HR Buzz - August 9, 2012

Job security boosts consumer confidence levels
The Hindu Business Line
A study by financial services provider BluFin found consumer confidence was higher in July on expectations of improved job security, The Hindu Business Line reports. The BluFin consumer confidence index (CCI) increased to 41.1 in July from 40.3 in June. The index gauges the sentiment of Indian consumers with regard to the economy, spending behaviour and employment. It appeared to be bottoming out in December and rose steadily until June, when there was a slight decline, said BluFin CEO Rashid Bilimoria. However, in July, the index improved slightly, thereby allaying fears of a downtrend. Consumer sentiment towards spending looked up across four key categories. These were durables, two-wheelers, four-wheelers and homes. Overall, the urban Indian consumer is feeling more optimistic, Bilimoria added. The findings are based on monthly surveys of 4,000 respondents across 18 cities in India.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.

Quest for women candidates leaves men in the lurch
Economic Times
With companies pushing their diversity agenda, the odds of landing a job are stacking up against male candidates, Economic Times reports. Job openings are lying vacant for longer periods as companies are willing to extend the waiting period just to find good women candidates. Hiring agencies are being told to meet the gender diversity objective. In the process, they are being forced to turn down applications from worthy male candidates. Consequently, job openings that normally close within 30 days to 45 days are being extended to 90 days. In the consumer care and durables as well as retail sectors, 27 percent finance positions are lying vacant, 22 percent marketing and 16 percent brand management jobs, data of the last three quarters with Elixir Consulting showed. Still, more men are being hired in the absence of enough suitable female candidates.

Click here for the story from Economic Times.

Study: Most MBA graduates unemployable
The Hindu Business Line
A survey of graduates from 100 business schools showed that when it comes to employability, fresh MBAs barely make the cut, The Hindu Business Line reports. The study, conducted by testing and assessment companies MeritTrac and MBAUniverse, found that only 21 percent of the students were employable in 2012. To make matters worse, the typical MBA graduate appears to be extremely poor in logical reasoning. The top 25 B-schools, including the Indian Institutes of Management and the Indian School of Business, were not part of the study as their students have few issues of employability. The survey found that only one in five MBA graduates actually possesses the level of logical and reasoning skills employers seek. It analysed pre-recruitment scores in verbal, quantitative and reasoning ability, with a cut-off at 45 percent, 35 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.

Unhealthy routine telling on IT professionals
The Hindu Business Line
Unhealthy eating habits, hectic work schedules and strict deadlines are taking a toll on the health of IT professionals, The Hindu Business Line reports. According to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, about 55 percent of the youth employed in the IT sector suffer from chronic health problems. The study polled about 2,000 young men and 1,000 women in the age group of 22 to 30 in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Pune. Irregular meals and incessant telephonic conversations were causing gastric problems, fatigue and headaches. Apart from that, junk food, lack of physical exercise, long working hours and lack of sleep was affecting the health of BPO and IT professionals in the cities. Most of them eat food from small, takeaway restaurants and this may have a detrimental effect on their health in the long run.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.

Stanchart case turns lens back on outsourcing
Financial Chronicle
Outsourcing of key oversight jobs by global banks has come under scrutiny once again, Financial Chronicle reports. The latest trouble comes from lapses detected by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in compliance processes at Standard Chartered Bank. The bank has been outsourcing its entire OFAC compliance process for the New York branch to Chennai, with no evidence of any oversight or communication between the Chennai and New York offices, the regulator said. OFAC is the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. The charge could negatively affect India’s outsourcing industry. The Stanchart back office handles functions including HR support, finance and accounting, IT services and helpdesk support for the group. Though the bank is not based in that country, offshoring is becoming a sore point in the U.S., especially in the run-up to the presidential election this year.

Click here for the story from Financial Chronicle.

Zensar lays off 250, more job losses likely
Deccan Herald
In a bid to cut costs, Zensar Technologies has laid off 200 to 250 employees and is planning to shed 700 more, Deccan Herald reports. The lay-offs come at a time when the IT industry is under huge margin pressures and faces intense competition. Zensar has been culling jobs over a few months. A total of 700 people are said to have been asked to go on grounds of non-performance. Of these, 200 to 250 have already been asked to quit. The cuts were part of a routine exercise where employees failing to perform even after sufficient training are “encouraged” to leave. At the end of June, the company’s headcount stood at 7,286. Apart from this, joining dates of many freshers have been deferred. Zensar would be staggering the induction of some 700 fresh recruits on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

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for the story from Deccan Herald.

Tech decisions move into CEO, CFO domain
Times of India
With IT becoming more strategic for business, the decision-making power is shifting from chief information officers (CIOs) to CEOs and CFOs, Times of India reports. In some cases, CIOs are being asked to report to the CFO, which means that business leaders are taking technology decisions, says TK Kurien, CEO of IT business at Wipro Technologies. The role of IT has changed from merely automating processes within a company to improving its competitiveness and innovation capabilities. A study by MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM has found that organisations which embrace analytics are 2.2 times more likely to outperform peers. Amid data overload today, analytics makes it possible to see hidden patterns to predict what is coming next. IT has thus become a key enabler for remaining competitive in business. CIO functions too are shifting from procuring hardware to governance and management.

Click here for the story from Times of India.

Fudged CVs threaten to dent IT image
Economic Times
The problem of fake resumés continues to dog the IT industry, Economic Times reports. Industry insiders and hiring experts say one in every five CVs floating in Indian IT is suspect. If verification tests are conducted, up to 10 percent of the existing workforce would be caught for fudging their qualifications, said Aditya Mishra, head of staffing business at Randstad India. HR experts say the issue of resumé fraud reflects on the integrity of the employees and affects India’s image. If companies do not act soon, their reputation will take a hit, says Ganesh Shermon, partner and country head for human capital advisory services, KPMG. Lack of firm commitment from companies to follow uniform practices is partly responsible for this worrisome trend. A senior IT executive said that unless the culprits are reported, the problem of false credentials will persist.

Click here for the story from Economic Times.

Young India aspires for a good job, partner
Financial Express
Today’s youth wants a good well-paying job and a nice girlfriend in a decent urban city, says Chetan Bhagat in a Financial Express report. Bhagat recently launched his first work of non-fiction, “What Young India wants: Selected Essays and Columns”. There is nothing wrong in such aspirations, but it is important to earn that living honestly, with integrity and excellence, says Bhagat. He lays stress on a progressive and value-based society. In his book, he touches upon sensitive topics such as why Indian students regularly commit suicide, why there is so much corruption in India, and so on. He also expresses concern over the quality of education in India. Educational institutions are driven more by profit and less by value. There are 175 MBA colleges in the National Capital Region alone, but not all of them produce worthy management professionals.

Click here for the story from Financial Express.

People Moves & Recruitments

Aditya Birla Group hires Consumer Business Head
Economic Times
Prakash Nedungadi has rejoined Aditya Birla Group as head of consumer insights and brand development, Economic Times reports. The former president of Madura Garments will report to Group Director Rajiv Dube.

Click here for the story from Economic Times.

Kuoni India names India MD
The Hindu Business Line
Kuoni India has appointed Rajeev Wagle managing director, The Hindu Business Line reports. Before this, he was group CFO at UTV Software Communications.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.

L&T Mutual Fund picks Investment Head
The Hindu Business Line
L&T Mutual Fund has named Shriram Ramanathan head of investment, fixed income, The Hindu Business Line reports. He joins from Fidelity Worldwide Investment where he was portfolio manager, fixed income.

Click here for the story from The Hindu Business Line.


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