‘Letters of intent’ not legally binding, says HCL

IT major HCL, which has been making headlines after industry freshers took to the streets opposing their recruitment policies, has in its formal reply to the State Labour Department said the letters of intent (LOI) given to the campus hires is “legally non-binding”.

“Candidates represented/referred in the complaint were issued legally non-binding LOI whereby they were merely short-listed for suitable opportunity, which may arise with HCL, in line of job openings and demands from time to time,” the letter states. HCL submits that the issuance of LOI is only “one of the steps in the recruitment process”, thereby implying that job offers made during campus recruitments are not final until appointment letters are sent.

Most companies hire in the seventh semester, and the final appointment letters are only given at the end of the course. During their agitation, the students had submitted that having been promised a job in HCL, they had not sat for recruitment drives of other companies and had lost crucial opportunities.

HCL, in its letter, points out that given the non-legally binding nature of the LOIs, there is no legal case against it. It points out that there is no “employer-employee relationship between HCL and any candidate and in the absence of such a relationship the complainants have no locus-standi to file the complaint”.

Maligning reputation

Imploring the Labour Department to reject the complaint and withdraw the notice, the letter claims that the company has been “repeatedly targeted by persons taking undue advantage of the situation”, and with the intention of maligning the reputation of the company. It also suggests that those who have lodged the complaint do not represent other candidates.

The company submits that it has on-boarded 1,000 candidates who were issued letters of intent and to 200 others, who are slated to join over April and May in the IT Infrastructure Management line of business. It may be recalled that when the HCL issue first came to light, the company offered the engineers, recruited for HCL Technologies, jobs at HCL Infrastructure. Several candidates rejected these jobs saying that the jobs paid much less than the jobs they were offered, and were not in the domain that they had applied for.

The delays, as HCL has said in previous statements, are attributed to the “constrained-growth in the IT services industry”. The company also points out that the situation has created an industry-wide delay in job openings.

Labour Department officials said they are considering the next course of action. “We will talk to the complainants and tell them about this response. Legally, we can intervene under the Industrial Disputes Act if a section of the workforce supports this complaint. In this case, there is no precedence for such a thing and we will have to consider what step we can take on this.”

Source: www.thehindu.com


IT companies cut intake of engineering talent

IT firms that have been the biggest employers of engineering talent are sharply reducing their intake on account of automation of lower-end processes, and a move to higher-end work.

The IT industry used to hire half or more of the approximately 5 lakh engineers that India produces each year, but that number is now sharply down, and is estimated to be significantly below 2 lakh last year. Though one reason for that is the slowdown in global IT demand, there is now a much more serious longer term reason for why the industry may not touch those hiring highs again.

Mundane, repetitive IT tasks are getting automated, just as it did in the traditional manufacturing sector. Equally, the major IT companies are all talking of moving to do more sophisticated and complex work that requires skilled engineers. “Technology and automation have been significantly minimizing the human intervention across industries and this would mean a reduction in fresher hiring in the country,” said Saurabh Govil, senior vice president of human resources, at Wipro.

Fresher hiring, he said, would be muted going forward. “Previously, companies focused on investing on the supply (people) side. But now the focus is on innovation on the demand side (to create demand for IT). The focus is on managing demand and creating demand,” Govil said. Infosys’s new strategy that it calls 3.0 is entirely predicated on the assumption that their customers’ requirements have become more sophisticated and they will have to be met primarily through products and platforms; and that requires few people to build and manage. The company’s revenue per employee has shown clear signs of rising in recent years; it stood at $47,215 last year, compared to $44,473 in 2008-09.

HCL said it would not hire freshers this year; Wipro said fresher hiring would drastically come down. Wipro’s gross employee utilization was as low as 64.9% in the last quarter. Infosys’s was 70.9%; it says the ideal figure is between 78% and 82%.

Romi Malhotra, CEO of Linkage India, a global leadership development and employability solutions provider, said IT had become an old economy sector in terms of growth rate and hiring volumes. “Today, the industry has enough critical mass to hire from within. So we will see a whole lot of freshers moving into niches and specialization around mobility, cloud and gaming,” he said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

How to nail your job interview

Now that you have completed your education and are ready to set foot in the real world and as much as you’d like to earn some money, the idea of job-hunting can be pretty intimidating for some. If you’re feeling shy and lacking confidence about getting out there and talking to employers, you are far from alone, according to many career counsellors.

Job interviews have a lot in common with having a first date. You really want one, and you are thrilled when you get one, but then you start worrying about everything like, what to wear, what to say, what not to say and how not to act like an idiot!

Though job interviews can be nerve wracking experiences, they can also be wonderful opportunities too. If you are well prepared, confident and do everything right, you will make a winning impression and obtain your goal.

Below Q&A are answered by Amit Bansal, CEO-PurpleLeap

aparna asked, what to answer when they ask me why am changing domain since i do not want to tell m desperate for a job
Amit Bansal answers, You can always say you would like to expand your skill set. Now days it is important to be multi – skilled to be an asset to an organization.

amit1000 asked, How to go ahead with career transition from one domain to another domain after having around 15 years of work exp. and how we can showcase value to perpective employer?
Amit Bansal answers, At a senior level even if you change your domain, there will be a set of skills that will be common to both the domains for example management skills. What is important is to identify the exact role you want to apply for and customize your CV highlighting the skills you feel you have and might be useful for that. role. Like I said, After an experience of 15 years there might be few domain specific skills that you might have to pick up but you would have enough business related skills to project yourself well.

ablinc asked, how to answer the question- “what are your weaknesses”?
Amit Bansal answers, Weaknesses need not always be negative. They can also mean your areas of improvement or something that you think might be of help to you but you haven’t acquired that skill yet.

Savio asked, Ironically, i’m just going for an interview in a company in 2 hours. I have prepared (hopefully well). What is the single most important thing i need to keep in my mind? Good day
Amit Bansal answers, Well there are a lot of important things that matter.However, if you have already prepared well then, the only thing I would recommend you to do is try to build rapport with the interviewer with positive and confident approach and body language.

Rajesh asked, How to crack Product Management interview? What are the key skillsets for PM?
Amit Bansal answers, A product manager should have skills like organizational skills, strategic planning , good communication skills, negotiation skills, business acumen, administrative skills etc. As far as cracking an interview is concerned, it depends on how well you prepare and project yourself.

Abhinav asked, How does one overcome the barrier of employment gap in the resume and at the interview
Amit Bansal answers, It helps if you have taken a course during that gap as it is still utilizing your time. However, if you have a personal and more important reason, it is alright to be honest.

AmitBansal asked, Sir, should my resume have 5 pages for every year of experience?
Amit Bansal answers, A good resume should not ideally exceed 2 pages however, in certain cases people have to mention the projects. So another page can be added to accommodate that.The recruiters usually take a look at the basic information, snap shot of career progression and significant accomplishments.

ataneja asked, How to overcome nervousness in the interview?
Amit Bansal answers, Being prepared for the interview usually helps to kill the nervousness and makes you feel more confident. It is always a good idea to research on the company, read the JD well, know your resume and be prepared with examples of achievement to quote from your experience. Dress well and keep an open and positive body language.

rediffbhai asked, i want to know how to negotiate a salary, my salary is 5 lakhs
Amit Bansal answers, The companies usually pay as per the market scenario. To be able to negotiate you have to first convince them that hiring you will be an asset for the company. You can always quote a % hike that you expect based on your last drawn salary which is realistic.

AJOY asked, Apart from qualification,experience and special skill, what should be mentioned to draw attention
Amit Bansal answers, Apart from the above it is important to mention how have you utilized your skills in your previous roles and how has the organizations benefited from it. Important projects you might have worked on.

Sony asked, what is the answer to Why are you leaving your current company if there is no problem in there and it is located near to your house?
Amit Bansal answers, People don’t always leave their jobs because there is a problem. They might be looking for a change for several reasons like career enhancement, knowledge/ expertise gain, domain change etc.

Stallion asked, 1. How should one structure the answer to the question – “tell me about yourself”? 2. How to “map” your strengths to the role description, especially if there is a gap? 3. Should one give a number when asked “what salary are you expecting”?
Amit Bansal answers, 1. When asked this question, the recruiter expects you to give a quick snapshot about your skills and where have you used them. The best way to start is always from the latest. 2. It is very important to go through the job description and identify your areas of expertise matches the JD. If yes, find the common ground and use that to prepare for the interview. 3. It is always more dignified and professional to mention the % of hike you expect on your current CTC.

red asked, Amit sir, how to nail job interview and shine??
Amit Bansal answers, A lot of things can be done to make sure your interview goes well. 1. Researching about the company 2. Knowing your own CV well. 3. Reading the job description well and have relevant examples ready to quote in case asked. 4. Good body language..

Ashish asked, I have 14 year exp. what is an apt way to reply for the question ” Tell us about yourself?”
Amit Bansal answers, When people ask this question, they usually want to hear more about your career progression and significant contribution towards something. Basically a snap shot of your skills and how you have used them in various roles.

amar asked, I am a fresher MJMC how to prepare for media jobs. What kind of skills should i put in my resume if i want to become a news anchor
Amit Bansal answers, Now days there are several workshops that will help you gain knowledge and expertise on this. Few skills that any anchor is required to have are: Good conversationalist expertise in preferably more than 2 languages Extroverts People who easily build rapport on screen. You can always create a short video and show it as a sample.

shivamogga asked, Why should we to select you…?? what kind of answer will be better !!!
Amit Bansal answers, No one knows your strengths better than you yourself. While answering a question like this one, always be factual and avoid getting into a self praise mode.You can always mention your strengths that have enabled you to achieve something preferably quantifiable in your previous companies.

Bhat asked, whats a good answer for the question – why do you want to change your job ?
Amit Bansal answers, I have always recommend honest answers. People change their jobs for various reasons like career enhancement, chance to work with a big name, experience, domain change etc..Having said that one should keep in mind that most of the recruiters look for what a candidate can bring to the company and not what the company can give to the candidate.

A asked, whar are the keywords should i use in my resume to get shortlisted?
Amit Bansal answers, The keywords in your resume will depend on the job profile and your skill set. For example, if any recruiter is looking for someone with experience in Business development, then he would ideally be looking for resumes with key words like Client management, Business development, sales, vendor management etc…

Source: http://www.rediff.com

Chat Date: April 17, 2013

How to handle conflict at work

At a workplace there will always be minor disagreements and differences of opinion. The way you handle conflict in the workplace can have a huge impact on how you are viewed as an employee. It can affect your entire career and it can say a lot about your character.

Conflict arises from differences, and when individuals come together in teams, their differences in terms of power, values, and attitudes contribute to the creation of conflict. You can’t win a conflict at work. Winning a conflict means getting the outcome ‘you’ want regardless of what the ‘other’ person wants. Since the underlying issue has not been solved, it will simply reappear later. Hence it is much better to resolve a conflict than win it. Unresolved conflicts make people unhappy at work and can result in antagonism, breakdown in communications, inefficient teams, stress and low productivity.

below Q&A session are answered by Amit ABnsal, CEO – PurpleLeap

dfee asked, amit, is there any thumb rule to avoid conflicts in the company
Amit Bansal answers, 1. Avoid Gossip. 2. Listen deeply. 3. Appreciate People Genuinely. 4. Don’t criticize people without evidence and criticize (if you have to) their action and not their personality. 5. Let people make mistakes, but be prepared for them (if you are in a leadership position), 6. Understand the value system of your team (what they believe in). 7. Sensitise other team members about the importance of values. These are some thumb rules. Good Luck

sethu asked, how to handle the boss who is not listening us, and he insist the way he wants?
Amit Bansal answers, Sometimes, it takes time for the boss to feel confident in his/her team’s ability to contribute. This typically emerges from the managerial style. One need not be put off by it, give it some, make notes of when he accepts certain ideas, in fact, one can also ask him of an example of work which he really liked and why, that will give you some clues…

dfee asked, amit ji, How to handle a colleague, Who is not treating everybody in a same manner and making unnecessary comments on other employees in the company
Amit Bansal answers, If one cannot avoid, you will have to learn to divert attention, find out what the colleague likes (cricket, etc) and bring out topics whenever you sense he/she is making ‘unnecessary’ comments

poi asked, hi. how to deal with sensitive colleagues to avoid conflict
Amit Bansal answers, First Step is to Build rapport with sensitive colleagues, then it becomes easier to give them feedback (if needed). Know what ticks them off, avoid it where possible. For example some are very sensitive when it comes to caste, religion, etc. Avoid these topics alltogether in those lunch sessions, then develop respect for you and will be more open to feedback

rajesh j asked, my boss never praise for my work . he ask me to fulfil all the pending work . He is aware that only I can do this. But I expect he should give me a reward may in the form of promotion or praise. But he will never do that. What should i do
Amit Bansal answers, Step 1: Prepare a summary of your work, Step 2: Present it Step 3: See if you can involve other stakeholders (take your boss’s permission)

Sreejit asked, Dear Sir…. I am working in a banking sector in technology dept. Our group has been entitled with large scale projects which needs proper planning and forecasting. My boss doesn’t align the work properly and at times assign the same task to two people. Further he blames the team members in case of deadlines are not met due to his lack of decission making and approvals. Further he spends lot of time in discussing the same thing with other seniors but does not update us on what is required from us. In case anything is required from me, he just tells single line requirement and further we needs to take it ahead and in case of any help or support is required he suggests to check with other team members or seniors and never gives a solution. This is going on since last 2.5 yrs with situation going from bad to worse. Kindly guide, is it worth continuing under his leadership.
Amit Bansal answers, From what you share, it appears poor managerial skills are being used, whether it is worth to continue to not is a larger question, you may to look at IJPs (internal job postings) before you make a strong move…Good luck

sneha asked, Amit ji, can you please share your experience on how to avoid conflicts and do better neogitiation…
Amit Bansal answers, 1. Decide on your starting position & your “bottom line,” 2. Consider the objectives & motivation of the other party. 3. Prepare for the meeting by determining your own motives and objectives: Why are you negotiating? What do you expect to gain and why is it important to you? What do you think you will have to offer to achieve this? 4. Be prepared with information, facts, …

AmitB asked, Dear Sir, What is the solution if your boss is someone who likes to micro manage, a control freak who always calls meetings where he is asking everyone’s opinions but finally he decides what needs to be done. Also – pls dont give gyaan answers.. a real solution will be appreciated
Amit Bansal answers, Gyaan is important. The gyaan here is psychology and management styles. If one does not understands how decisions are taken then this dilemma can take place. Maybe there is patter he is using in taking decision. He is obviously not a consensus type or collaborative type. Read/research more and make daily notes, see how you react whenever you are being ‘micromanaged’, one needs to become a student of behavior and one needs to stop looking for ‘fomulas’

nilesh asked, hi sir my manager does not pass any work to the team. he completes the same and then call on saturdays and sundays to complete the same. till the time he is not through he keeps us busy in some petty matters
Amit Bansal answers, Try and address it in your team meeting, it will require courage, but it seem important

DEb asked, I have a total exp of 10 years and recently have been associated with a blue chip company for a little over 2.5 years, offlate there have been some appraisal related conflicts, favoritism shown by my line manager to others, my growth has been not that great.. my peers tell me since it is a big company, all these are part and parcel…. I am seriously considering leaving my company because of all this and join a small company…. what do you suggest, should I stick on for another 2-3 years with low growth and disinterested boss just for the sake of stability or move on.
Amit Bansal answers, Are you linking growth with learning or you relating to only financial growth, because if you are learning well day to day then it might have long term rewards, but if you are looking at short-term growth then the strategy might be as you have thought of…

Pritpal asked, How to Avoid arguments at workplace?
Amit Bansal answers, See if all argue or is it only your team. If all then it is a culture which has been set as a precedent.

prasad asked, My boss expects me to do menial tasks like photocopying his papers. I am a senior person (A Manager myself) in organization and this seems demeaning to me. How to tackle it?
Amit Bansal answers, This seems like a culture issue, see around to see if a lot of managers are doing what you doing or you are an exception, If you are the only one then you will have to creatively avoid the task

dipa asked, sir, my boss does not involve me in any productive activity and also harasses me over trivial issues. this is causing stress. how do i handle??
Amit Bansal answers, You want to make a list of the issues he assigns you. Check if there is a pattern and check if is coming because of what you think/do

sushil asked, hi amitji, i just want you to educate me on resolving conflict of interest with our boss.where he dictates his views and wants everybody to follow it.
Amit Bansal answers, It is difficult skill to question your boss, it comes with experience and skill, you may to reflect and think of a strategy of how you will do this. One way is to extrapolate some events if you do as he says. Then question if he is ok with those results.

sam asked, I am joining a new co. they have take a months time to issue me a offer letter even though it was promised that it will be done in 2 to 3 days. consider all the pros & cons, still I feel insecure to join the co. although pay package and position is good.
Amit Bansal answers, Speak to HR, your manager, and consult a senior whom you are trust and discuss the matter further…

mak asked, I know it is important to have diversity in your team and conflicts are bound to happen. How do we make sure that conflicts at some point helps the team to achieve a common goal ?
Amit Bansal answers, It is important to check the rapport between the team members, if it is poor then achieving a common goal might be difficult…btw conflict is an important part of developing as a team, it is how you manage the period of conflict…

war asked, sir , i am working in spare parts trading company , my vice president is corrupt and taking commission from supplier , not allowing me work with genuine good price suppliers , how can i inform MD of my company ?
Amit Bansal answers, You may want to take internal advise here. It appears like a critical issue, which might affect the business. You are indicating that action is important here.

MGS asked, How to handle very stubborn & egoistic person,who usually starts the conflict
Amit Bansal answers, You may to read some strategies, for example, How to ‘Win Friends and Influence People’, gives you some time tested ideas. Genuine listening might help the ego to break down. Also one has to examine whether one is also responsible for the ego of the other person to build up…

water asked, Hi SIr, I have been working with an comapny for more than 10 years now…. Sir now a days it seems that the boss does not like my work and he is not replying to any of my emails.. He is giving half information to me for any project and is not making his inentions clear on the projects… Sir please advice what I sould do ?
Amit Bansal answers, It is difficult to predict, how things might unfold, you may need to have a discussion with him. You will need to bring out in the open what assumptions he has made about you. This might simply involve asking for feedback. Risky but it may be worth trying. Recommend that you consult somebody in office before you do that.

sam asked, Hi Amit, my performance i excellent, but just because of my cast my boss always praises my colleague, their relationship is like husband wife, I feel left out out and really dont like to middle in them
Amit Bansal answers, The main question in today’s discussion can be: is it causing conflict or are you a negotiator between the two of them, if you are then that is something you should be aware of…

razz asked, Hi Amit, my manage and leads are giving more work. they always wants to complete work ahead of time. for this we are working very late night upto 10pm sometimes 11pm. Please suggest me how to get out of this issue
Amit Bansal answers, Are you also seeing how you are dividing your tasks against the time of the day? Morning, afternoon and evening have different impacts on our productivity. You may need to map this first.

Source: http://www.purpleleap.com

Chat Date: April 10, 2013

India Inc plans to hire more

Indian business houses plan to hire more compared to any other country, says International Business Report by Grant Thornton, a global consultancy firm. The report also ranked India fifth in the world in business optimism and planned wage growth. Globally, 27% of businesses are optimistic about the economic outlook, up from 4% in the previous quarter, according to the report, which is based on a quarterly survey of more than 3,000 businesses in 44 countries.

Another global research firm Morgan Stanley in its report said the worst phase of the economy might be over. “Trailing macro stability indicators are a cause of concern for investors, but we believe that the worst may be behind,” the research report said. The government has initiated steps to correct the bad mix of high fiscal deficit and low investment spending, which should improve the productivity, it added.

Morgan Stanley report said moderation in inflation is one of the main reasons behind better growth prospects in the coming days. Slower growth in government spending, deceleration in rural wages, slower rise in global commodity prices, moderation in asset prices, particularly housing, and also slower growth in domestic demand should lead to moderation in inflation in the country.

source: www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

88% of Indian companies to give wage hikes

About 73% of Indian businesses are planning to increase hiring in the coming year doubling the global average of 36%, said the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR). About 83% of Indian businesses are optimistic about their local economy (up from 78% three months earlier), and much higher than the global average of 50%, trailing only Peru (98%), the Philippines (92%), the UAE (92%) and Mexico (84%).

The Grant Thornton International Business Report said that 88% of Indian businesses plan to increase employee wages at or above inflation (up from 83%). Inflation is still a concern for Indian businesses as 76% planned to increase the prices of their products (up from 69%), ranking third in the world, trailing only Botswana (86%) and Argentina (77%).

Vishesh Chandiok, national managing partner at tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton in India, said, “Though the survey shows an increase in optimism and demand, as well as willingness to invest, there’s still an issue of uncertainty. For most businesses while Reason says hoard cash, their instinct says invest now to get ahead of the competition. If businesses think another crash is imminent, they will hoard cash to insulate their operations.

Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) is a quarterly survey of more than 3,000 businesses in 44 countries.

Source: www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com