Friday, 11 April 2008

How To Get An HR Job.

Knowing a bit about the HR field, I thought I'd try to note down all the points that one would need to break into the field. My advice may not be perfect, but it's based on a lot of my own experiences and observations.

It's not that hard to get a start in HR. Try the following things,

1. Study the field. Know what you’re getting into. HR is really a multifunctional field – there’s recruitment, learning and development (training), compensation and benefits, performance management (appraisals) and strategy. Find out what skills each functional area demands and if you posses those skills, and if you do, whether you enjoy exercising them. This applies to any job.
Depending on the size of the company, you could be a generalist handling most of the functions above, or a specialist handling just one of them. Strategy, though, is mostly handled by senior management, external consultants, or people with a lot of experience or potential.

2. Post your CV on job sites – Naukri, Monster, TimesJobs, Jobsahead, etc. Make sure you classify it under the appropriate tags so that your CV pops up when a recruiter searches for an HR candidate.

3. If you’re a fresher or new to this field, getting into corporate HR is going to be tough. They usually recruit for even their entry level positions, folks direct from management institute campuses (MBA’s who get absorbed as management trainees) or with years of experience.

Instead, start looking for entry level jobs in HR recruitment agencies as they're the easiest to get. Just do a Google search or look at the jobs sections of newspapers to get names, addresses and contact details of a few recruitment agencies. Then call them and send them your CV or start visiting them for interviews. It’s important to network, get your CV out there and make contacts.

4. At your interview, convince the people there that you have the skills that they need. You need to know that recruitment is a mixture of search and sales skills. At your job, you will be assigned a client. Your client will give you a position to fill; you need to know where and how to look for someone to fill that vacancy.

Most recruiters use the job sites, their own databases, and referrals to get whom they need. They comb job sites, wasting as little time as possible by entering the right keywords. From their search results, they then shortlist a few CV’s that they feel are good and begin making calls.

On the call, they are polite and clear about the benefits of the job they are offering. If the person they’re screening doesn’t fit the job role, they add that person to their database for future reference and ask for possible referrals.

5. Qualifications help. It would be good to get a diploma or certificate in HR from a management institute (Eg. Welingkars, NMIMS, etc.). They have 6 month and 1 yr full time and part time courses in HR so you could work and study simultaneously.

6. If you regularly meet or exceed your targets and impress your client, you might even get offered a job by your client. If not, you still stand to make a lot of money through incentives. After a few years of work in a recruitment agency, you should have all the skills that corporate HR is looking for and can start applying to various MNC’s. Once you get into a company, it’s easier to get transferred to another department if you wish, though you will initially be involved with recruitment.

7. If recruitment is not your cup of tea, you could always complete a full time course like an MBA and then get an HR job of your choice through campus placements.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

IPL Discussion

I recently responded to a bloggers post criticising the IPL. While I trust I've employed critical reasoning techniques and logic that I've learned over the last two years to refute this blogger's arguments, I still think that this whole IPL issue is open for discussion.

Here's what I had to say. If anyone does read this, please feel free to contribute, to find holes in or to disagree with what I've said:


I disagree with your views on the new IPL. You say that our country has problems and that the owners of these teams should not be throwing money away on useless cricketers. I find no relation between the problems of our country that you mention and a legitimate investment that a person or organisation makes in a business venture.

The IPL is, at the end of the day, nothing but a business venture that needs investment, just like millions of other businesses in this country. By your logic, do I now approach my neighbourhood grocery store owner and tell him to shut shop because his profits go only to himself and not the poor? Going by your logic, no person, businessman or other wise, can invest in any business involved in personal gain. Going by your logic, schools and hospitals themselves, which also function like private organisations, and also work on profits and a bottom line, should also shut shop.

Doesn't the building and functioning of schools and hospitals also involve huge sums of money? True, schools, hospitals and parks are noble causes that help society; investing in them is essentially investing in a better society, unlike investing in the IPL league, which largely only benefits the cricketers, their owners, and management. But many schools and hospitals are also privately funded, profit making ventures. So the difference that you make between the two is really one of purpose. Though they both function as greedy capitalist ruthlessly efficient organisations and employ the same methods and amount of money, the main difference between them is that schools and hospitals help people.

But this difference in itself does not invalidate the need for pouring money into the IPL. Why? Because people have a right to make as much money as they possibly can, without having to be forced to achieve this by always investing in a good cause. Don't you agree? Just because the companies we invest in or whose products we buy (like Reliance, Tata, Birla, etc.) are focused on selfish profit making, does not mean that we abandon all this selfish profit making and work, invest in or buy products from companies that only serve the country's need. That is silly.

Business is business. Just because funding a hospital is better than funding a cricket team, does not mean that we should spend the rest of our lives seeking out and funding or working for only organisations that help society at large and may or may not be able to support their employees and investors and their families in the long run.

You see, there is a limit to the amount of money that rich people can pour into charitable or 'low return' or society friendly organisations. Sooner or later, they will have to make money. That, after all, is the function of businessmen - they spend money to make money. You can't go up to an IPL owner or investor and accuse them of not doing enough for the country. For all you know, these individuals could be donating a larger part of their personal income to the poor than you are. 

Their job is to make money. If the way to make that money is by tapping venture capitalists or spending their life savings on a bunch of over hyped, overpaid cricketers, this does not make them bad people. It makes them smart business people. We need such smart people in this country. We need to teach our kids to be as smart as they are. We won't rid this country of poverty without smart people like these.