Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What are Self Managed Teams?

According to Swati Jena and Nidhi Chandna,” the origin of the word ‘team’ can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘family’ which referred to harnessed animals to pull a load thereby implying common goals and cooperation. With time, the concept of team-work gained importance with organizations taking measures to ensure that a team is equipped and empowered enough to function on its own. This situation today is perhaps best described by the term ’self-managed teams’.”

“Self managed teams are closely associated with the concept of employee empowerment which entails the employee to have the requisite authority and resources required by him to carry out his responsibilities. A self managed team differs from a normal work team or group in one essential way that the processes or the means to achieve the team goal are designed and decided by the team itself. Given the stiff competition at the global level, all organizations have been forced to focus on developing their human capital.”

They describe self managed teams as “groups of employees who have the responsibility and authority to manage the work they do. The typical responsibilities of a self managed team are planning, scheduling, assigning responsibilities among members, ensuring product quality, ordering material, taking decisions and problem solving. The teams are also responsible for handling their interpersonal issues within themselves and work without any direct supervision. Self managed teams are responsible for an end product or a specific deliverable. Knowledge sharing and extensive communication between members is central to the working of any self managed team. Also, multi-skilling is a typical characteristic of self managed teams.”

But how are self managed teams really different from that of quality circles? “Self managed teams differ from other employee participation methods like quality circles in the respect that unlike quality circles where the employees voluntary come together to suggest or develop quality improvements, in self managed teams, the entire work process is structured around team work, with the team taking critical decisions. Also a quality circle may or may not be empowered by the upper management but the empowerment is built into the very concept of self managed teams. Self managed teams unlike quality circles are not managed by an external supervisor, personnel manager, administrator or a quality manager but rather facilitated by a team leader from within the team. He is either chosen by the team members or appointed based on experience or skills.”

They also covered the topic of ‘Why self-managed teams?’ Apparently, “when employees are completely in-charge of their job it is likely to create a greater interest and attachment to job. This also means that the managers can devote their time in innovation and process improvement rather than monitoring the employees. Also, since the employees are the front-liners, their tacit knowledge of even the most miniscule aspect of the job is utilized when they are given the responsibility of the quality and end result. As self managed teams require constant exchange of information, it leads to breaking of communication barriers between groups of employees. Other reported benefits of self-managed teams include: reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and increased employee satisfaction.”

Swati Jena and Nidhi Chandna’s article appeared in an issue of Human Capital’s newsletter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Get hired in the new year!

An article in The Mint ‘Stimulating a jobs recovery’ stated that not only 20 million people across 51 countries have lost their jobs, but that another five million are in the risk zone for losing them as well.

A survey that Manpower Inc. released, covering 71,000 interviewees across 35 nations, and 5,109 companies in India, showed that “Indian companies are the most optimistic in the world” about hiring this January to March quarter.

Another article in the newspaper said that “India’s job market is yet to recapture the highs seen in 2008, but it seems set to outdo 2009—a year when the economy slowed down—if the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2010 is any indication.”

““Most companies are coming out of their shell,” said Cherian Kuruvila, director operations at Manpower Services India Pvt. Ltd, the Indian arm of the Milwaukee-based firm. “2009 has been a year of restructuring.” He added that 2010 will see a mix of replacement hiring, to fill up vacant positions and hiring for new positions, signifying expansion.”

So job-seekers and those laid off during the time of the recession, these findings brings you hopeful news! Expect to be counted among those getting hired in 2010, for with TimesJobs.com – you can!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turn your Fat List into a Freshers Job!

Fresher jobs aren’t difficult to find or get. It’s all about the way in which you pitch yourself. You are the product, and unless you effectively market yourself, no one will come to know about who you are professionally, the talent that you have, and what you can do.

To begin searching for freshers jobs, start by making what is called a ‘Fat List’. A Fat List is nothing other than writing down all the professional and academic happenings in your life. If you can, outline them in a year-by-year format.

For example:

My Fat List

1991 – 2003

Kindergarten – Grade 12

Participated in School Volley ball team

Took singing classes

Learned beginner guitar

Took art classes

2003 – 2006


Completed a course in etiquette, manners, public appearance and public speaking

Completed a course in Debating and Public Speaking

Worked part time in event management

Started a kids e-magazine called Pop

Took a course on sales and marketing

Worked in Dad’s business as a writer and business developer

Read books on online marketing

Did charity events for underprivileged situations

Took teaching classes

Taught kids to get my 240 hours of teaching experience needed for the certificate

Learned to use a sewing machine to make my own clothes

Learned cooking and household inventory/ replenishing

Learned smart buying

2006 – 2008


Completed a course from NIIT in basic computer applications

Helped Dad manage the finances for the family and kept accounts

Pursued singing projects

Sang on radio

Made a record

Got a job in BPO

Got a job with a media company


Joined singing school to learn to read music

Started a band

Wrote songs

Did interior design

Events to fundraise for poor kids

Once you have made your own Fat List, proceed to make it into a resume. A Resume will work slightly different than a Fat List. You will need to segregate your academic achievements and your professional ones. Everything should be listed from the most recently done achievement, following on to the one previously done, and so on, till you reach to the first achievement you had done.

For example:

2006 – 2008


2003 – 2006


1991 – 2003

Kindergarten to Grade 12

You need to outline your professional achievements in the same way. The only difference is that from your Fat List, you must convert your write-up into a more professional and official language.

Next, create a profile in an online job portal and post your completed resume there. Posting your resume online will give you the quickest route to finding jobs for freshers. As the internet has become the most common mode of hiring, recruitment and job-hunting, you will find the jobs you are looking for there.

Once you get your fresher job, don’t forget to keep adding on to your Fat List and your newly made resume. You never know who might be reading it and what kind of job offer they will have for you, or when you yourself might need it to apply for a new job. Save yourself the time and effort, and apply as you go.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pay hikes are here! The recession recedes.

Job market doors are beginning to open once again. Thanks to the buoyancy across countries and locations, “enterprises are hiring, internal and third-party HR professionals are back in action and employees who maintained a stay-put status have started looking out.”

The IT/ ITES sector seem to be faring the best as they are said to be up for hiring “at least 150,000 people over the next year, against 100,000 this year and 350,000 to 400,000 [people later on].”

Economic Times said that “many companies have started reworking their hiring mandate. Infosys Technologies, which previously planned to hire 18,000 persons this year, has said it will hire an additional 2,000 during the third and fourth quarters of the current fiscal. A large number of product firms, R&D companies and mid-tier MNCs have also started hiring.”

“‘‘There is a sense of stability in the market. The next two quarters are expected to bring more clarity,” says T V Mohandas Pai, head of HR, Infosys. Pradeep Bahirwani, vice president for talent acquisition, Wipro Technologies, says, ‘‘There is a clear uptake in hiring, though it is too early to conclude if it is a temporary spurt or full-blown recovery.””

Third party recruiters – and otherwise – say that “hiring is currently more evident in non-IT sectors and it will take another couple of quarters before IT/BPO hiring picks up momentum.”

According to them, “recruitment is more evident in non-IT sectors. Industries like banking, retail, realty, healthcare, education and housing have been the early beneficiaries of the stimulus package. The thrust on infrastructure roads, ports, airports, highways, bridges will mean additional hiring in these spaces. Domains like telecom, oil & gas, energy, education, government (e-governance) and utility are also expected to be more active than the tech space.”

It certainly looks like those hiring “will be busy for the next two quarters with non-tech sectors, though the tech sector too has also started showing signs of recovery, says B S Murthy, chief executive officer, HumanCapital.”

Employees are beginning to step out of their recession-hit careers with hope for better salaries and regained positions. “There was virtually nothing in the market for almost a year. Many of us had no option but to stay put. Now, the situation has definitely changed, maybe it is time to start exploring again, says Kiran Kumar, an employee in a large telecom company.”

So candidates and recruiters alike, look lively! The market is slowly turning around and making changes in our favor.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Indians, get set to get a pay hike.

According to a survey by Hewitt Associates, “salaries in Indonesia and China will also surge by 8.7% and 6.7%, respectively, whereas workers in Japan can expect a paltry 2.1% pay rise”.

On the 22nd of October, Economic Times posted an article on pay hikes in the coming year. Apparently a survey showed that “companies in Asia are set to offer bigger pay rises next year as the region continues to rebound from the global recession’ and that too, ‘notably in India where base salary levels are poised to jump nearly 10%.”

This survey covered over 2,000 local as well as joint venture companies in the Asia-Pacific area. Hewitt said that “salaries — or annual guaranteed pay — this year in Asia’s fast-growing economic powerhouses, China and India, at 4.5% and 6.3%, respectively, were the lowest since 2005.”

“Salaries barely grew at all in Hong Kong and Japan, this year as companies cut staff. More than 60% of companies surveyed in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore froze wage levels, compared with only 26.1% in India and 30.8% in China.”

“Next year, only 6% of companies in India and 8.3% in China expect to freeze pay compared with 12-14% of companies in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.”

So, it looks like it’s just about party time for us in the Indian market! The recession is on its way out and pay hikes will be all the rage in just a few short months. Hold on to your seats! Here comes your salary hike.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TimesJobs launches a new generation resume - Global Connect!

It’s brand new, it’s practical and it’s never been on a job portal before. Global Connect was recently launched on TimesJobs as a tool with which a candidate can connect their online social media to their existing TimesJobs profile.

With candidates incorporating social media to their profile, recruiters will now be able to get a more well-rounded view of the candidate before they do so much as call them.

Candidates can now upload and attach to their TimesJobs profile, such things as:

  • Messenger ID’s for live chat interviews
  • Slideshare, Youtube, Google docs, etc.
  • Linkedin, PeerPower, blogs, websites of companies worked for, etc.
  • Work samples, voice clips, courses done, etc.

By viewing samples of their work, professionally chatting with them online and more, you will gain a better perspective on them, thereby cutting your future interview with them in half.

Speaking on the TimesJobs Global Connect feature, Mr. R. Sundar, CEO, Times Business Solutions Ltd. said: “We are in an age where everyone has a presence on many places on the internet. We continuously examine & analyse modern & practical online innovations and leverage them into new services which anyone in any industry can use. With TimesJobs Global Connect, our users can now experience a whole new ease & speed of online hiring with the power of Social Media.”

“With TimesJobs Global Connect, candidates can project to potential employers a comprehensive profile which, apart from their resume, will also intelligently highlight his work & achievements from sites like PeerPower.com, LinkedIn, Blogs, Slideshare, YouTube, Google docs etc, on the same platform…Connecting with potential employers is also enhanced with the addresses of various messengers like Gtalk and Yahoo, apart from connecting via phone and email.” added Mr. Nilanjan Roy, Product Head, TimesJobs.com.

With Global Connect on TimesJobs, candidates can now project to potential employers a comprehensive resume. Apart from his TimesJobs resume, he will also intelligently put his profile and work from other sites on the same platform.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What kind of employee are you?

There are two kinds of employees. Some believe they can make things happen, and the others believe that things happen to them. The first group believes that the outcome of their life and career is more or less in their own hands, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. The other group takes more of a Forrest Gump approach: They sit around and wait for a bus to take them somewhere.

This distinguishing feature is captured by something called a “core self-evaluation.” After more than a decade of research, psychologist Tim Judge has discovered that virtually all superstar employees—from rainmakers in the field to line workers on the floor all the way to big guns in the boardroom—have one thing in common: a high core self-evaluation. Judge describes core self-evaulation as “a person’s fundamental bottom line evaluation of their abilities.”

Judge and his colleagues have shown overwhelmingly that employees who feel like they control the events in their lives more than events control them and generally believe that they can make things turn out in their favor end up doing better on nearly every important measure of work performance. They sell more than other employees do. They give better customer service. They adjust better to foreign assignments. They are more motivated. They bring in an average of 50% to 150% more annual income than people who feel less control over the fate of their careers. Not surprisingly, these employees also like their jobs a lot more than the Gumps do.


Corporate SeatIn one study, Judge and his team tracked the progress of more than 12,000 people from their teenage years to middle age. He found that core self-evaluations predicted who did and didn’t capitalize on the advantages life dealt them. With only a bleak view of their capacity to handle life’s challenges and opportunities, even the brightest kids born to executives and engineers failed to reach as high an annual income as their less fortunate classmates.

By contrast, the supremely confident sons and daughters of roofers and plumbers who had only mediocre SAT scores and below average grades earned a 30%-60% higher income than the smart kids with dreary views of their abilities. And those kids with all the advantages of intelligence and pedigree plus a firm belief in their competence earned three times as much money as their otherwise equally blessed peers.

It seems that the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful employees has as much to do with an employee’s beliefs about her ability as the reality of that ability. Considering that this difference is based as much on illusion as on reality, you might think the employee’s performance would take a serious nosedive under challenging circumstances.

After all, if you think you’re special, what happens when your superior or your board tells you about the areas in which you’re falling short? Worse yet, what happens when the self-described superstar finds himself laid off or responsible for a division with tanking revenues? In other words, what happens when people who believe they are capable of controlling the world find themselves in an economy that is out of control?

It turns out that this is when the true stars shine. Tough times weed out both those with low self-evaluations and those poseurs who only pretend to have a high self-evaluation—the narcissists. Judge finds that only about one in five people with a high core self-evaluation also scores high on measures of narcissism. That’s probably why researchers continually find that those with a high self-evaluation do so much better in turbulent times compared with those with a dimmer view of their abilities, and compared with those narcissists with fragile egos.

In a series of studies by different researchers, employees with high self-evaluations have been found to respond better to corrective feedback.

They also experience less stress and burnout than other employees, struggle less with work-life balance, and persevere more when searching for a job. Rather than shattering their beliefs in their abilities, it seems that a high self-evaluation creates a mental toughness that makes these people stronger and more resilient even when the chips are down.


ChallengesTo identify these stars who can take charge of your organization’s rebound, you can use Judge’s simple 12-question “Core Self-Evaluations Scale.” (You can learn more about the scale and download it for free on Tim Judge’s Web site.) It would also be a good idea to start keeping an eye out for these positive go-getters already working for you and consider giving them more responsibility and visibility in your recovery efforts. Here is how to spot them:

  • “I Think I Can” Attitude: Kindergarten never taught a lesson more supported by empirical evidence than this: People who believe they can overcome challenges are more successful in virtually every sphere of life, including work.
  • In Control: Does this employee take control of his work, or does he always point to outside circumstances when his projects go astray?
  • Confident, Not Narcissistic: There is an important difference between having a high self-evaluation and being a narcissist. Does the employee pitch in when teammates need help, or bad-mouth co-workers they view as threats? Are they receptive or defensive when you give them feedback?
  • Emotionally Stable: Employees who aren’t easily discouraged are less likely to succumb to stress and burnout. They solve problems instead of saying, “See, I knew it wouldn’t work!”

You could argue that getting these winners and their can-do attitudes on board still can’t do much about a dismal economy. After more than a year of watching the economy go the way of the Titanic, nobody would blame you for trying to wait out the hard times. But do you really want to spend the coming months soothing your anxieties with a box of chocolates, and hoping that your bus arrives before the wind picks up?

Nick Tasler is a writer, researcher, and organizational psychologist. Tasler began his career at Andersen Consulting, was director of global research and development for think tank TalentSmart, and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller public and private enterprises. His book The Impulse Factor was named Best Career Book of 2008.

Article courtesy of Economic Times

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Careers or Jobs?

It is a cliché that building careers not finding jobs that helps in being successful. But is there a real difference between the two? Let us first take a look at what is the typical approach practised by many young people. As soon as education is completed, most of the youth look for a ‘job’ and the jobs are evaluated on the basis of the earning potential, promotion possibilities, the opinions of friends in the industry and the perceived value of the ‘job’ in the known circles. Once someone is on the ‘job’, the next most important aspiration is to get promotion or more money with the same company or with another. Very often he/she could hop from one ‘job’ to another with ease for better ‘prospects’ as experienced talent at entry levels has always been in short supply and the employers have been willing to pay a premium to attract such talent.

But then, the scenario is changing now. Firstly, jobs are not easy to find, not only because they may not be in as many numbers as were in the past, but also because the employers have become choosy and their expectations are changing. If, in the past, employers were willing to recruit freshers and provide them training anywhere from 3 weeks to 9 months, today they expect the ideal recruits to come equipped with skill sets they would have to otherwise train them in. Once the candidate joins the organization, promotions and entitlements do not come easy anymore, he/she is expected to demonstrate competence and also willingness to stretch beyond the ‘defined expectations’ of the role to capture the attention of the bosses and the peers. In order to manage this shift taking place in the workplace, it is imperative to appreciate how to plan the work phase after education.

The starting point for planning one’s work phase is to distinguish a career from a job. A job should be seen as a step towards a career and not as an end in itself. In order to plan a career, therefore, it is important to understand and identify one’s own potential and strengths and embark upon a path that is built around them. The gaps identified to meet the industry expectations can be filled by relevant training programmes in order to be equipped with relevant skill sets to launch into the career of your choice. Just having several strings of qualifications in one’s resume are not enough, training and qualification with reference to the career are accorded more value by the employer.

Career orientation would require one to be focused on developing one’s skill sets in the specific domain as well as develop the all round capabilities beyond the narrow definition of the job. While it may not be easy for all to have a very clear vision at the start of the career, being focused on doing the best at every stage of the career and have willingness to learn and adapt continuously would bring in sharper focus on career goals and build the resilience to navigate towards these goals.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

RAI + TimesJobs = a retail-specific job portal

In conjunction with TimesJobs.com, Retailers Association of India (RAI) launched RAI.TimesJobs.com. Focused solely on the retail industry, this online job portal will be promoted actively among the 400+ members it has. This portal is expected to aid those in this industry – both employers and jobseekers – to efficiently recruit/ get recruited in a time-saving, low-cost way.

R Sundar, CEO, Times Business Solutions, has said, “This partnership is the beginning of a long and flourishing relationship between the country’s leading retailers’ body – RAI and TimesJobs.com.” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, has added, “We are proud to be associated with TimesJobs.com and are sure that RAI’s alliance with India’s premier recruitment portal will provide tremendous value to our member companies.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Importance of Jobs and Careers

The starting point for planning one’s work phase is to distinguish a career from a job. A job should be seen as a step towards a career and not as an end in itself. In order to plan a career, therefore, it is important to understand and identify one’s own potential and strengths and embark upon a path that is built around them.

The gaps identified to meet the industry expectations can be filled by relevant training programmes in order to be equipped with relevant skill sets to launch into the career of your choice. Just having several strings of qualifications in one’s resume are not enough, training and qualification with reference to the career are accorded more value by the employer.

Career orientation would require one to be focused on developing one’s skill sets in the specific domain as well as develop the all round capabilities beyond the narrow definition of the job.

While it may not be easy for all to have a very clear vision at the start of the career, being focused on doing the best at every stage of the career and have willingness to learn and adapt continuously would bring in sharper focus on career goals and build the resilience to navigate towards these goals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Premium Career Services - Make your career come true!

TimesJobs.com has achieved the distinction of becoming India’s No.1 Recruitment Portal in India with the largest number of active job-seekers and a database of over 8.5 million candidates.

In addition, the massive database of over 200,000 better paying jobs are available from more than 25,000 TimesJobs.com clients, including blue-chip companies from India and abroad. This ensures that no matter the job search, it always yields results.

Recently TimesJobs.com has come up with a brand new addition to the job portal which has been released for the first time ever in India. The new feature is a Premium Membership on all the TimesJobs Career Services. It includes such things as having an external public profile viewable on any search engine, being the first to know about new jobs being released and other premium benefits.

PREMIUM BENEFITS – With the InExTa Advantage, you can double your chances of getting an interview call. The Preferential Job Messenger helps you to beat the queue and see matching jobs before anyone else. Stand out from the crowd in employer search with Resume Highlighting. Applyvantage helps you in applying to jobs of employers who view and are interested in your profile. And Public Profile helps you to broadcast your profile on the internet.

With Premium Packages, you can get:

  • Professionally written resume for target job market in India, Gulf and Abroad.
  • Send resume to the top recruiters in India and Gulf.
  • Take advantage of the combo and Get 20% discount

To know more about our Career Services, visit: http://www.timesjobs.com/candidate/candidateServices.html

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