HR Buzz – May 9, 2012

Engg courses back in demand on robust IT hiring
Deccan Chronicle
Demand for IT and computer science engineering (CSE) degrees has witnessed a surge after a dull four years, Deccan Chronicle reports. The trend was led by IT companies, which hired the maximum number of engineering graduates from these streams this year. With parents rushing to secure seats for their wards, engineering colleges are demanding premiums of between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 20 lakh for seats in the management quota. The fee set by the government is Rs 95,000 per annum. B Tech seats, much sought after during 2001-08, have fewer takers now. IT made about 90 percent of the job offers in the recently concluded placement season between September and March. Infosys, Cognizant and Wipro were the top recruiters. The other sectors accounted for the remaining 10 percent, said Rajeshwar Reddy, chairman of Anurag Group of Colleges.

Click here for the story from Deccan Chronicle.

Jobs expected to increase 3% in Ahmedabad
Times of India
A survey said Ahmedabad will see a 3 percent rise in overall employment, Times of India reports. According to the Employment Outlook Report for April-June 2011 from staffing firm TeamLease Services, the city has seen the lowest attrition level of 8.75 percent compared to other cities in the last 12 months. Bangalore faced the highest attrition at 17.2 percent. This was attributed to better salary levels. Employees in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi also felt they had better career prospects. IT, engineering and manufacturing have shown a higher increment percentage across Gujarat, said Sangeeta Lala, senior vice president and co-founder, TeamLease. These industries have hiked salaries to attract and retain talent from Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and other cities. Ahmedabad has also become a pharma hub with low attrition levels, says Shyam Sharma, president HR management at Claris Lifesciences.

Click here for the story from Times of India.

Cognizant lowers guidance, but pay hikes on track
Economic Times
The reduced guidance by Cognizant will have no impact on salary hikes planned for later this month, Sangeetha Kandavel, group chief executive, technology and operations, said in an Economic Times report. The hike will be around 8 percent, including promotions for offshore. Increments will be in single digits for onsite positions as well. The company has cut its revenue guidance to 20 percent from 23 percent for 2012. The purpose was to give a fair outlook of where the business was headed. The revised guidance of 20 percent is much ahead of competition and industry body NASSCOM's projection of 12 percent to 14 percent. Apart from financial services in North America and pharmaceuticals, all other segments are expected to do well. Cognizant does not expect U.S. elections to impact business. Demand will continue to be healthy and hiring will remain on track.

Click here for the story from Economic Times.

Gender, specific needs diversity gaining ground
The Hindu Business Line / Financial Express
As many as 91 percent of companies in the Asia pacific region surveyed by Mercer said gender was a top focus area for them, The Hindu Business Line reports. Next on the list was disability, with 39 percent affirming its importance. Some companies already have a diversity strategy specific to people with disabilities. This includes targeted recruitment and creating a work environment for specific needs. Of the participating companies in India, a total of 60 percent had a diversity and inclusion strategy. Companies said they would gear their efforts towards developing women for leadership roles and attracting more diverse talent to their organisations, especially in the context of the rapidly changing demography. Companies will also work towards retaining female talent. In Infosys, 34 percent of its workforce now is female, up from just 10 percent in 2000.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.
Click here for additional coverage from Financial Express.

M-learning trains employees on the move
Economic Times
Companies are beginning to deliver training content on smartphones, thus managing to impart training to employees constantly on the move, Economic Times reports. Wipro is already implementing m-learning, as the new method is called. Employees will receive training modules in audio and video clips on their phones, which they can access any time. An analytics team will track the modules seen, the number of times they have been watched or heard repeatedly, and even monitor modules that have not been accessed. People learn in different ways, not everyone will have a laptop, but almost all employees have a smartphone, says Abhijit Bhaduri, chief learning officer. Wipro is starting a pilot training project in New Jersey for 25 senior employees. Besides filling the training gap, m-learning is a relatively cheaper option for companies as they pay an annualised licence fee to the provider.

Click here for the story from Economic Times.

Women yet to make a mark at senior levels in IT
Times of India
The Indian IT sector has failed miserably in terms of representation of women at the top, Times of India reports. Only one in every 10 senior managers is a woman. More women have entered the industry at the entry level, but their numbers at the middle to senior management level remain the same. An alarming trend of women dropping out in large numbers has been noted. Research by Kelly Services shows 22 percent of women left their jobs because of family reasons, 27 percent quit for taking care of their children and 32 percent of women have not rejoined the IT workforce for lack of suitable employment opportunities for them. This is a huge loss for the overall industry as some of these are top performers, according to Shruti Guleri, director, operations, Kelly Services India.

Click here for the story from Times of India.

Watch out for design flaws in variable pay plans
Business Standard
Most variable pay plan programmes are flawed because they are based on obsolete thinking, says Subeer Bakshi in a Business Standard report. Bakshi is director, talent and rewards, Towers Watson India. Most companies continue to be guided by The Agency Theory while crafting their reward programmes. The theory says that transactions involve a principal and an agent. A principal can influence an agent to act in a certain way by controlling the incentives. The assumptions are that the agent is motivated by self-interest, acts rationally and has an aversion to risk. These premises are being questioned. Recent studies seem to show that people become more risk friendly if the rewards are tied to a perceived loss. Results show that the employee will work harder and take more risks in order to avoid a loss.

Click here for the story from Business Standard.

Keeping emails at bay lowers stress
Financial Express
Take a break from your email if you really want to de-stress, Financial Express reports. New research conducted by the University of California Irvine (UCI) and the U.S. Army arrived at this conclusion. Researchers attached heart rate monitors to workers in a suburban office, while software sensors detected the rate at which they switched windows on their computer screen. People who read email changed screens twice as often and were in a steady state of "high alert". Their heart rates were also constant. Those disconnected from email for five days had more natural, variable heart rates. Those with no email could perform their jobs better and stay on task, the researchers found. Gloria Mark, a UCI informatics professor and co-author of the study, said when emails were removed, workers did not multi-task as much and were less stressed.

Click here for the story from Financial Express.

How to build rapport with a new boss
Economic Times
Adjusting to a new boss is always hard. An Economic Times report deals with how to make the transition to a new boss. Learn all you can about your new boss. Understanding what is important to him is the best way to build a rapport, says Makarand Khatavkar, managing director and HR head for Deutsche Bank Group in India. Get feedback from the new boss on how you can improve upon your work. That way you demonstrate that you are willing to go the extra mile. Identify the opportunities where you can make yourself useful. Pitch in on an assignment that your boss needs to do to create a good impression. There is no substitute for hard work. Be punctual, focused and deadline-oriented. At the same time, do not over-commit. You may risk your reputation.

Click here for the story from Economic Times.

People Moves & Recruitments

Ramco Systems appoints CEO
The Hindu Business Line
Ramco Systems has named Virender Aggarwal CEO, The Hindu Business Line reports. He replaces PR Venketrama Raja, who was vice-chairman and managing director.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.

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