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Employee Branding AND NOT Employer Branding!!!!

What is the difference? Does it mean anything!! How will it impact the organisation and employees? How can HR drive this? For those looking for technical definition or Harvard Articles are more than welcome to visit those sites. And for those who want to keep it simple and to the point can continue reading this 😉

I am sure just by reading the title, you might have had these questions running at the back of your mind. Let’s make it simple. Imagine a Brand talking about itself… blowing its own trumpet. And now imagine an employee sharing about her / his experience with the external audience. Which one would you believe? Which one looks more real?

ERWell, that’s the basic difference between Employee Branding and Employer Branding. This does not mean that Companies will completely move away from Employer Branding. But their main focus would and should now be Employee Branding activities. Always think from the candidates perspective, get into their shoes and think what would you like the organisation do to attract you or get your attention.

Companies which celebrate their real assets ie Employees, will succeed in the so called race of hiring the Right Talent. I am sure you would have heard a lot of buzz around “War for Talent”. Talent is how you define it, Talent is how you nurture it, Talent is how you develop it. 

By this time I am sure that HR folks reading this might say, how can we contribute towards Employee Branding? Right? It’s not a rocket science, NO Jargons, no super duper expensive survey is required for this. All you need to do is focus on your employees. Celebrate their Success Stories. Since childhood, we all do relate to Stories and love to live them too. So just go ahead, look for amazing stories within your company, assign a dedicated SPOC in each Function / Department / Business Unit to collect such stories and then all you need to do is prepare an interesting post / blog around it and celebrate it on your Corporate Social Channels.

Simple right? Well, it’s actually simple. This also has a positive effect on your brand. It helps your own employees to become Social Media Brand Ambassadors too. They will promote and talk about your brand with pride. It’s surely more authentic and real too.


Rambling Recruiter

India’s largest database of employees!​!! Free!! Possible!!

“Employee Database” – we feel Corporate HR alone has access to these names. Ever wondered or dreamt of getting access to real time employee data of all companies without being had to run behind insurance companies or by illegally buying the databank. YES there is a way to get access to this without shelling out a single penny.

You must be kidding. How can you get India’s largest database of Employees!! And to make things more interesting, for FREE!! How on earth is this possible!! Well, I am not a hacker, so this option is ruled out. During writing this post, I often did ask myself this question “After this post, some authorities and companies might want to block this database access!! 

So have I scared you enough!! So if this data involves all the companies that are operating in India, how can it be free to access? Well, I am still looking for those answers. But imagine the power of this database. People can use it and also misuse it. Again it depends on how and what you want to do with this data. Normally people use the term Gold Mine, but I would like to call this as Diamond Mine. Such is the power of this data. Enough of selling.

 Some questions before we get into the database: 

Can you get the entire list of employees working in any company in India!!! 

Can you find the exact number and full names of employees working in any organization in India!! 

Can you get the latest report of employee’s headcount (Updated every month) 

Want to know how many employees your competitors hired last month, last year!! 

Is all this possible!!! If yes, can you access it for FREE!!!

Well, as they say what’s knowledge without sharing it? And the more you share, the more you end up learning.

Enough of suspense. Following is the magic link that will answer all the questions that were highlighted earlier and much more.

Well, you might say that this is just an Employee’s Provident Fund Account. How will they provide access to the entire database? Well, in employer’s column, there is a section called “Establishment search (Also view Remittances & Member Name)” Just click on this.

Once you reach the page, just go and click on the last checkbox, ie – “Also search on Estt. Name (enter a few characters of estt. name or in full)”. And now all you need to do is enter any Company Name that operates from India. Simple!! Once you enter that company name, click on Payment Part. And then what you get in nothing short of a Eureka moment, which includes:

Sl. No. –  TRRN – Date of Credit – Amount Wages Month – No. of Employee – ECR and Member Passbook details. To get the name of all the employees working in that organization, all you need to do is click on the hyperlink (No of employees) section. Also to add, this data gets updated every month. Well, EPF org has to do it, as companies pay their own contribution every month. So no chance of this data being stale or old. How cool is this!!!

So can this be India’s largest database of employees!!!

Some of you might question the ethics part while sharing such data. Well, this data is free to access (As we speak). Not sure if  companies plan to block it in future. But personally I feel such data should not be open to all. Looking forward to connect with you and know your views, opinions on how this data can help you? Will you use this data!! Is it right to have the access of this data!! Should this data be blocked!!!


Rambling Recruiter


Appraisal Season is ON!! Are you ready!!

“Appraisals” – The most favorite word of all salaried professionals in this entire universe. Well, once it’s done, most of them end up disliking that word. Why!! Well, it is obvious, once they hear the following statements – “You were good, but you could have done better”, “There is still some scope for improvement”, “We wanted to promote you, but the bell curve is the issue”, “Next year we will surely promote you”. Right!!! Me sure most of them might have heard all these things, or at least some of these in the past. And for those who did not hear any of these, are the few lucky ones 🙂

For a Recruiter, Appraisal Season is where they have to get ready for hiring. Why hiring!! Well, based on the hikes announced by the company, people will decided to stay or quit. If they quit, Delivery managers will raise new requisitions, and the hiring season will be on for recruiters. For HR Professionals, well, it might turn out to be a nightmare, based on the hike declared. And for an employee, well, for some it’s shopping season and for some it’s time to reflect on their own performance. In case you might have missed out previous post about Appraisals, you can view it here – Life of an Employee, HR and Recruiter during Appraisals




The other day I was just going through this article in HBR – How to Write the Dreaded Self-Appraisal . There are some useful tips given in the post about how to manage your appraisals. But there is also a group of people who are not that impressed by the funda of Appraisals. People often end up saying that there is no use of this. Do you also feel the same!!! OK, let’s get back to some good news to all salaried people out there.

Last year, thanks to Infosys, the Appraisal season was not that great. Now you might ask how Infosys can make an impact on our Appraisals!!  Well, Infosys did end up announcing that it will not give any hike for its 149000 employees for 2012. That was a major hint to the other IT companies, as this was a massive step by one of the Industry leaders. Soon, there were a series of other companies who too kept the wait and watch strategy on. But other companies ended up giving 8-12% hike, matching the industry average. So will there be a similar hike this time around!!! Based on the following reports, it can be seen that there will be a double digit hike this year.

– India Inc to give 11% salary hike in FY13

– 2013 likely to see 11.2% pay hike: Report

– Indian employees to see 10% salary hike in 2013: Aon Hewitt

So is this good news!! Well, for some of them, they would be happy to know that the hike this year will be in double digit. But for some it might not be enough. Well, at the end of the day, nothing seems to be enough, considering the inflation and price rise around us. So what do you think about this Hunting season!! OOPS, Appraisal Season!! How are you preparing to present yourself this season!! Looking forward to your views on the same.


Rambling Recruiter

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National HRD Seminar on “HR & Social Media – What more can you do?” – Flashback

I was fortunate enough to attend an Interesting Seminar organized by NHRD Mumbai Chapter about “HR & Social Media – What more can you do?”. There were 16 eminent speakers who are all set to share their views on the topic of HR and Social Media. Well, gone are the days when people used to debate about Social Media’s Power and question it. Now the focus is moving towards how can companies, brands and individuals make the most of it. Coming back to the Seminar, the Session was divided in four sections. Each section had 3 speakers and one chairperson moderating the discussions.

Normally one would assume Manufacturing Companies to be a bit soft about Social Media. But that was not that case when Mr Prince Augustin – AVP, Mahindra & Mahindra started sharing about how Mahindra is working on Employer Branding. The Buzz word during this session was “MahindraRise”, and how their organization encourages innovation and creativity. He also spoke about their interesting page on Facebook – “Mahindra War Room“. For recruiters War Room is all about meetings, numbers, weekend drives. Anyways jokes apart, it was interesting to find out that an Auto Company being active on Social Networking Sites. Here is an interesting video about Mahindra – Employee Value Proposition.


The next speaker Mr.Rajan Sinha, CEO of My Parichay did end up creating a lot of debate when he mentioned “60% of Job Seekers are only on Facebook” and “65% of folks likely to use FB over LinkedIn for the next job search”. Well, may be the Facebook thing works for a certain companies, and for some it does not. Well the debate can go on and on. Soon the discussion got a bit interesting when Statistics took over the discussion. 15 million, 10 million, the numbers were just zipping across the room. But all said and done, it’s not only about the numbers, it’s also about which Social Networking Platform works for you and how you use it to engage with your customers.

The next speaker was an Entrepreneur, a Social Media Consultant, a Blogger aka 27 yrs old Rajiv Dingra . He took the session to a whole new level when he said “Brands can’t broadcast anymore. You have to be ready to engage, converse and LISTEN”. This was good enough to make the audience clap and wait for more such interesting statements. The next one was “Social Media being just another medium to create Employer Brand” Well I completely agree with this. Social Media cannot be a solution to all your problems. He also spoke about Power of Youtube and how Companies can make the most of it.

The next set of panellist were also power-packed, which included the likes of Gautam Ghosh – Social Business and HR Consultant , Anand Pillai – Chief Learning Officer, Reliance and K Sudeep – Head Talent Acquisition, TCS.  Anand Pillai mentioned an interesting quote “In today’s world none of us can have a private life'” Well, this is so true. Facebook is a place where we wish our friends, share B’day pics, party pics and the list is endless. He mentioned some interesting things such as “The next stage is also about getting into structured collaboration using social media” and “It’s not just about retweeting, but about how people are building a conversation”. Soon after this K Sudeep shared an interesting stuff from TCS’s campus connect platform. He mentioned that “Transparency is key when it comes to Campus Connect programs”. Soon it was time for  Gautam Ghosh to take over the discussion. He spoke about changing embedded behaviours to embrace the connected, networked world. He did also share about how Capgemini uses #Yammer. It was good to hear a lot of discussion about Yammer at the Seminar and how companies are using it. Gautam soon spoke about the famous Dell Hell story, how IBM and CTS are encouraging internal blogging and how information is being shared within the company. And finally he also spoke about how Coursera is evolving careers and how they are into providing training sessions.. FREE.


In the third session, Indraneel Ganguli – Sr VP- Marketing & Communications, Mahindra Satyam spoke about how they managed to rise back after the fall of Satyam as a Brand. He also mentioned about their association with FIFA. It was surely a proud moment to see an Indian Brand at a Global Sporting Event. He made a valid point “If you know your purpose, you’ll figure out a way to handle Social Media” and “HR doesn’t even sneeze without a framework”. I’m sure that most of you would agree 😉 The next speaker, Colin Mendes spoke about 11 vibrant HR online communities within the TATA. Well the Tata group is connected with its 3300+ HR employees via social technology to enable knowledge sharing, industry practices and communication. The next speaker Hareesh Tibrewala – Joint CEO, Social Wavelength mentioned that we need to learn to tap the collective intelligence of the internal communities. He believes that the onus must be in creating chaos in the organization and Order / structure would emerge from it. Do you agree !! Mr Kamal Karanth, MD of Kelly Services did start with the example of the first social media war between Israel and Gaza. All he was trying to showcase the power of Social Media. Well, I personally dont think that was the best example to quote at this event. Let’s move on 😉

The final session was about “HR re-fresh and Employee Insights through Social Media. Well by this time the audience was bombarded with lots of data and stats. Some of the stats were repeated almost four times (Watch this video – Did you know). Well such things bound to happen during day long sessions. Soon Sarang Brahme from Capgemini was out with some interesting examples as to how Social Media can help HR professionals. He talked about how as an HR you can create a Mood-O-Meter for your employees and about their stint with TechGig.

All in all, although some of the points were repeated during the session, overall it was an amazing seminar. To have 16 industry experts on Social Media at the seminar made the event even more interesting. And to personally meet them and ask questions was even more special. Well, there were many things that one can learn from such sessions, but most important thing is to have passion for Social Media and keep innovating. As always looking forward to your views and feedback about this flashback.


Ways to handle Exit Interviews – “Yet another corporate jargon”

Exit Interviews! Any professional who have been asked but their perception of this corporate Jargon ends up saying that “What’s the use of it”, “It is just a formality”. This Blog is much related to this myth. While we will try to understand the importance of Exit interviews in the following discussion, the main essence of discussion would be around ” What is the right way to Handle Exit interviews by both HR representative and the Employee. To start off with, let’s first understand what exactly is the concept of an Exit Interview!.

Exit interviews in Layman’s language means the interactions held between the employer (HR representative) and the Exiting employees (who have submitted their resignation). Well the basic purpose of these interviews is to find out the reason for an employee’s departure which could be for various reasons like Compensation, education, better offer Etc.  And to aims at improving the working conditions by concentrating on those areas which is leading to attrition. All this is based on the feedback from the employees who have decided to move on / moved out. So does that mean that employees who have been fired also have to undergo an Exit Interview? Well the answer is YES. Exit Interviews act as a medium wherein employees can share and talk about their experience with the organization and this in turn will help the HR to note specific points and based on which they can work on the points. But as mentioned earlier, there is a general feeling of dissatisfaction amongst employees that this is just a formality. Nothing normally happens once the feedback is shared. So do you think this is true? Are Exit interviews not been implemented properly?  

Following are some of the points that might throw some light on this interesting subject for Employees:

– In cases where if you decide to switch jobs for better prospects, it is always advisable to make the transition as easy as possible. It mostly depends on what kind of inputs the HR is looking for and how will the organization make use of that piece of information.

Avoid negative / damaging criticism: Well this is a very important part for the employees who leave on a negative note. What does this mean? Well if an employee is not happy with his / her manager or the organization they tend to give a lot of negative / damaging criticism. I am not saying that you should not share the facts, but do focus on the situation. Try to balance your expectation, the situation then and how things could have been made better.

 – Always try to prepare yourself for such interviews, try to consider this as a recruitment interview. You might ask WHY? Well the HR might ask you questions such as reasons for leaving, job satisfaction, frustrations, and feedback concerning company policies or procedures. So in order to answer these kinds of questions one must have data to support the answers.

 – Employees also need to understand that the professional world out there is very small, in terms of contacts and networking. You never know when and where you will meet your last employer and work together again. 😉

Now let’s try to focus on the HR Professionals who conduct Exit Interviews. Well some might say that this is an easy job, all you need to do is give some forms, ask why you want to leave, shake hands and say good bye. Well this is not as easy as it seems. Following are some of the points that the HR must take care during Exit Interviews:

Prepare and Prepare: Well just like the employees, the HR must also ensure that they have sufficient information of the employee and have data to support the flow of the discussion.

 – Avoid Question such as:

Where are you going to work next?”  Well I am not saying that this is a wrong question, but imagine if that employee’s employment verification report comes as negative, or the offer gets revoked? You might not like to be held responsible for this unfortunate event, as you are the only one who might know where the candidate is joining.

Always ensure that you send across a formal calendar request and give appropriate time slot to the employee. As normally companies have these interviews on the last day. And as we all know the amount of running around that requires on the last day. (Exit From, Approvals, Time sheet, ID card, Bus Pass, etc.)

Organization should have a documented policy stating how exit interviews happen and Interviewers need to be trained to conduct Exit interviews.

The best way to conduct an Exit Interview is F2F. In some cases this might not always be possible (Centralized Team, Out Stationed Resource), hence one must look for alternate options such as Video Conference. Having telephonic exit interviews are not advisable, as this might not create a good impression on the employee.

End of it am sure you too might have loads of things to add about this topic and you might agree or disagree on the points mentioned in this post. I would be more than happy to know your views and your experience based on the Exit Interviews that you might have conducted or attended 😉


Rambling Recruiter

Life of an Employee, HR and Recruiter during Appraisals

March-April, come what may the Buzz of this month is “Appraisals” in every Indian company. It’s time to showcase and highlight your work & achievement that you have accomplished throughout the year. It’s a busy time for all the three parties (employee, recruiter, HR) involved in this process. You should be well prepared with your feedback on the management, managers should be well prepared with their review, HR spends hour after hour to make sure your manager turns up with your performance evaluation on time.  Year-end Merit based reviews are often matter of debate.. For some this is a unique opportunity to cash in the mullahs 😉 And for some it’s a deciding factor to be in the system or out of the system. For Management it’s a risk factor, who stays & who leaves the organization.


 Following is just an attempt to share the experiences that all the 3 parties undergo during this process:


 A Life of an Employee during Appraisals:


Tensed, Excited & hope…These 3 words are just somewhere close to their reaction during the appraisals. There is an Air of tension during appraisals, you may turn out to be a shining star or just be fitted as Average performer, No one knows about their ratings and the likely hike percentage to be announced. Even though things are in black and white every year we see some information floating around about the likely hike percentage and if the standard sounds good it either excites us or disappoints us.


– No matter whatever is the hike on the standards we are always hopeful of a good rating and hence a good hike considering the efforts we put in throughout the year.  Employees get carried by the market standards, Content and Satisfied employees are the one who stays back and plan for coming year and there also arise a situation where discontent employees feel unhappy about their efforts not being paid off. It is said that this period is crucial as they might plan to switch jobs based on the ratings declared. Also the variable / bonus factor plays a major role in the life of an employee.




 A Life of an HR during Appraisals:


Accountability, Accuracy and meeting Deadline ….. Guess These 3 words are just somewhere close to their reaction during the appraisals.


– According to me, this month is the toughest of all for the HR folks. An HR is the face of the organization during this phase. While appraisals are usually done by immediate managers or supervisors, HR provides the necessary tools and procedures for the process.It’s they who sit with the employees along with their managers and reviews the performance rating, HR has to ensure that there is no disconnect whatsoever in the mind of the employee after the appraisal process is completed. It is HR’s responsibility to provide employees with consistent, fair evaluations.


– This is a high pressure period where in the HR has to keep a check on the events unfolding after the employees get to know about their ratings. If the ratings is as per their expectations (Humans are never satisfied and we are no different) then the HR can take a breather, but if it’s not good then it’s a major challenge for HRD team to come down with reasonable explanation. Also thanks to Bell Curve, there are always cases where the employee is not happy with his/her rating. So as a HR one has to ensure that the right kind of discussions are conducted , standard organizations also involve the delivery manager in this post appraisal discussion .This is normally the time when HR is in full demand and they become most indispensable part of the organization 😉 All of a sudden we remember our HR and just try to bombard with our grievances 😉 


A Life of an Recruiter during appraisals:


 – Numbers, Targets and closure ……These are the recruiter’s reaction during this phase; I guess it is all throughout the year


 – Well this is my favorite part 😉 As this is a risky month for both Employer and employee, the management plans well in advance about the upcoming scenario (Attrition and fulfillment). This is the time when the Delivery Manager, Recruitment Manager and the Management brainstorm abort the probable positions which might go vacant and would need replacements. The Recruitment Team plays a larger role here to map the market and make sure there is no dearth of resource within the organization. Hiring team works in full swing to make up for the expected attrition figure and form a bench.


 – I guess this is the most challenging month from hiring perspective. Almost everyone in the market has multiple offers to play with, this is further topped up by their hiked salaries. If their rating if decent enough their salary expectation is sky-high. To hire within budget seems like Everest which we climb. Nevertheless a challenge is what makes Recruitment the most interesting work in the industry.


Me sure you to might have loads of things to add about this amazing chain of events. Hoping that you might have experienced this at various stages of your life, as a Employee, as an Recruiter and if you lucky then as an HR too. 😉 Wishing all you all the best for the Appraisal Season 😉



Rambling Recruiter

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