Tag Archives: Human resources

Background verification companies on the prowl

HYDERABAD: Are you on a job hunt? If you thought that you can quote a fake project or can create a false resume, chances are that you would be caught red-handed sooner than you thought.

With the number of candidates giving wrong information in their applications rising, recruiters are now employing the services of specialised companies for background verification of the applicants. More than two dozen such companies are operating in Hyderabad.

“We have found that almost four out of 10 applicants give some or other form of inaccuracies in their resumes,” V. Sridhar, associate vice-president, operations, at a background verification company, Crederity, said.

When a professional changes his job, he usually tries to negotiate better terms and salary from his new employer. For this reason most people try to exaggerate their salary, duration of their work, responsibility they held and sometimes even their education. “To check these practices most major companies, including MNCs, are now banking up on our services to verify the authenticity of these claims,” he explained.

Background verification takes 15 to 20 days to finish and can cover a range of issues from employment verification, reference checks to even claims of overseas work experience, he said.

Challenging task

But how can a firm verify the claims of a person with a diverse experience? Mr. Sridhar says that it’s a challenge even for the firm. “While it is easy to check employment details of a person, dealing with government agencies like universities and police is a time consuming process,” he said.

Recruiters too claim that employing specialised firms to get a through verification of a candidate has become a necessity these days.

“To get better positions candidates are now using sophisticated methods to hoodwink the companies. Gone are the days when a candidate would just create a false certificate or a project report. There were few instances where some candidates even created fake bank statements and employment certificates, which can amount to criminal conspiracy,” a senior human resource (HR) manager working in an MNC observed.

With candidates using better tactics employing professional verification companies is a better option, he added.

This article was published in The Hindu on June 20, 2012

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Leverage socialmedia better

HYDERABAD: It is a common knowledge that current generation is very active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But what do they do on these platforms? Bond with their friends? Meet strangers with similar tastes and interests? Tell their peer group what they are doing?

While social media websites make it possible for youngsters to do all these, Shantanu Ghosh, an authority on social media feels that younger generation is not using the platform efficiently.

Social media, more than anything else, has the ability to create a strong personal brand and youngsters should try and utilise it better,” he says.

In the current networked world, where a person can connect with professionals from across the world, social media websites help in providing an efficient platform and hence they should be extra cautious in the way they use these sites, he points.

“In social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn a person can create a strong brand and further his career prospects but sadly most youngsters limit their accounts for personal use,” he explains.

With HR professionals increasingly turning to the social media websites to scout for the talent, it is vitally important for a person to create a better personal brand, he explained.

Human Resource (HR) professionals also concur with Prof. Ghosh. “Many people create online profiles with pictures of film stars and other popular figures.

zThe moment we come across such a profile, we disregard the candidature of that person,” a HR professional revealed. Like in real world a person has to create a credible presence in the online world without which it is not possible for him to secure a better job, the professional said.

After all, the whole trade of ‘head hunting’ (HR term for scouting a suitable candidate) depends on credibility of a person, the professional quipped.

So if creating a credible online presence is a necessity, what should a youngster do towards this endeavour? Prof. Ghosh gives out few points to help a person in creating a better online profile.

First, a person should identify his target clearly. “One should first decide upon which field he wants to excel in. Then he should join the networks or groups, available on social media platforms, regarding that field. This way a candidate will have opportunity to interact with professionals and can keep himself updated about the latest developments in that field,” Prof. Ghosh explains.

Joining the groups also has another advantage, he point out. By participating in the discussions in those groups one can also increase his visibility on the platform there by generating credibility, he said.

Prof. Ghosh advises that a person should share the information that he stumbles upon.

Credibility of a person increases when he shares substantial information on the net. This not only helps people, but will also help in creating the brand value of a person,” he said.

“Gone are the days when one could out smart a competitor by knowing more than him. With information being available on the net freely, everyone has equal access to it. A person should instead share the information so that his peers can be benefited by it and in turn increase his popularity,” professor points out.

The article was published in The Hindu on May 07, 2012.

Also read my article on Career opportunities through socialmedia

Social media throws up many job opportunities

Hyderabad: With social media gaining steady popularity, the traditional methods employed by the recruiters to identify a suitable candidate are increasingly becoming obsolete. Recruiters are now looking towards social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to spot the talent. And this necessitates candidates to have a better online presence to corner the desired job.

Shantanu Ghosh, an authority on social media and its implications for business practices agrees. Contrary to the popular perception that social media is not a credible platform for recruiters to scout for the talent, Prof. Ghosh argues that the very basis of social media stands on the credibility of a person and aspirants should maintain a ‘credible’ online profile.

“Online acquaintances and relationships are very fragile and anyone can leave a network without prior information. Only credibility and resourcefulness can hold one’s reputation and ensure a better following in the social media,” explains Prof. Ghosh, who was a business development head in Singapore for a leading multi-national.

In social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter a recruiter can easily follow a person’s activity and hence can understand his personality. Because of this it becomes easy for a recruiter to zero in on a preferred candidate.

But Prof. Ghosh cautions that online search for a job may not be that easy for a fresher. “Because of lack of proper awareness, college students and fresh graduates are failing to harness the power of social media in promoting their careers and these youngsters are limiting their social media presence for personal reasons,” he said. HR professionals are relying on social media for spotting a candidate for middle and senior level positions instead, he said.

But while there is much ado about the rise of social media and its implications, will these strategies be successful in India? “LinkedIn has become a de-facto tool for hiring a senior level professional and sooner than later the job portals will loose their sheen. For entry level jobs, companies prefer posting the job vacancies on Facebook as younger generation is active on that platform,” agreed a HR professional of a leading company.

While HR professionals are looking into social media profiles to track a prospective candidate, they also have evolved the pattern of this evaluation. “While finalising a candidate, companies are preferring a professional who is already doing well in his present job and is active on social media,” A.K. Menon CEO of Options Executive Search, explained.

Terming these professionals as ‘Passive Job Seekers’, Mr. Menon says that companies are not inclined to select a candidate who creates a online profile in search of a job. “One has to maintain a continuous presence on social media and build credibility over time,” he opined.

This article was published in The Hindu on April 30, 2012

Also read how my next blog on Leveraging socialmedia better

 

Ameerpet, Hyderabad becoming a hub for fake experience certificate racket

Java, SAP, Dot Net, Mobile Apps, Testing, Networking these may look like disjointed words, but for aspirants who want a share of the lucrative software industry pie, these are but keys to a dream job. And the popularity of these courses can be gauged even during a casual stroll through the narrow by-lanes of Ameerpet.

Aspirants throng the nondescript pathways displaying the pamphlets urging an aspirant to take up various courses for a brighter future. Whatever may be the educational background, if one can splurge enough money on learning proprietary software, institutes in Ameerpet assure that they can land a well paying job in a software company.

There are more than 500 engineering colleges in the State and only a handful of these manage about 100 per cent placements for their students through campus placements, Siddhartha Malempati of Forum for IT Professionals (ForIT) said. And for these students doing a course in proprietary software is the next available alternative, he said.

Many institutions in the city adopt a standard procedure. They charge a candidate anywhere between Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 1.5 lakh depending on the course. Then they train the person for about six months and arrange an experience certificate for the candidate to enable him in finding a job.

“Lured by these claims, fresh graduates from the smaller towns are flocking the city to do these courses and spend huge amounts of money and precious time,” Mr. Siddhartha said.

But aspirants land in trouble soon after they finish their courses. “In Andhra Pradesh craze for an IT job has put all other engineering streams into a relative disadvantage. When candidates do not get a job through campus placements they try to enter a company through backdoor and produce a fake experience certificates,” a senior HR manager from an IT company said.

“More than 80 per cent of fake experience certificates come from Andhra Pradesh and the largest concentration of training companies, who provide experience letters for dummy projects done during the training, is around Ameerpet,” he observed.

“To make an experience letter look genuine, candidates are indulging in illegal activities of fabricating fake documents like bank statements and salary slips,” he said.

With a rise in the incidence of fake certificates, the software companies have made the background verification of a candidate a mandatory procedure before hiring him, he said.

“Apart from the background verification, most companies screen out the candidates, who they feel, might be producing a fake certificate in the initial stages itself,” he said.

“As a precaution companies started rejecting a candidate carrying an experience certificate from an Ameerpet based company or institution. The only exceptions being those companies whose names are well known in the industry,” the professional explained.

This article was published in The Hindu on April 03, 2012

No jobs in Campus placements? go for higher studies instead!

(This article was published in The Hindu on April 02, 2012)

With academic year coming to an end the final year students in various engineering and other degree colleges across the State are getting ready to step into a brand new world of jobs and careers.

Each summer, the final year students indeed reach a crucial crossroad where they have to take a decision as to whether they should continue with their studies or take up a job. It is also the time when most engineering students dream of joining a software company in the hope of taking a slice of the lucrative IT and ITES sector jobs.

For the students who study in top rung institutions like NITs, IITs and reputed colleges options of taking up a job becomes very easy. With most companies preferring these colleges for campus placements, the students from these colleges are set to join better jobs.

But for those who did not study in a better college or those who failed to land a plump job during campus placements, taking a decision proves to be a daunting task. Should they join whatever job that is available for them? Should they take up some course in proprietary software and then join a job? Or should they continue with their further studies? “Only about seven colleges in Hyderabad get campus placements nearing 100 percent. Most students from other colleges have to either take up courses in proprietary software or have to go for further studies,” Siddhartha Malempati of Forum for IT Professionals (ForIT) said. For those who do not have a job in hand by the end of campus placements, taking a decision becomes quite difficult, he said.

While most students prefer to join a short term course and join a software company, HR managers from reputed MNCs believe that going for higher education is also a better option.

“Doing a B. Tech is sufficient to get a job in India and all big companies have a mechanism to induct fresh graduates. But the problem lies in the fact that all big companies have a clear ranking of institutions,” a senior HR manager from a MNC says.

Companies also choose the candidates for different streams based on the nature of work to be done and required skill proficiency, among others. For maintenance and support projects, companies usually hire non-engineering graduates and for software development and core projects they hire engineering graduates,” he explained. “So, for those who pass out from colleges, without many placement opportunities, it makes sense to pursue masters,” he opined.

But again the choice of institution selected to pursue one’s masters is very important. “A student should join for a masters program only from a reputed institution. Joining in a nondescript college or university for a master’s degree will not fetch the desired results as companies view the institutions with a clear hierarchy,” the HR professional says.