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For all the job seekers, here is an insider on social hiring from recruiter or HR perspective, to have a better understanding of the hiring system and create job search strategies accordingly. CareerBuilder India talks to Mr. Naveen Narayan, Global Head Talent Acquisition of HCL Technologies, and here is the direct conversation for you.

What according to you is the role of online media in hiring?
“If you are not on social hiring as of now, you probably have completely missed out a trick. And in that includes, if you are not probably on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, if you do not have plans in terms of how people would follow you, if you have not thought through how you would advertise jobs, and you would have people find you in some way. In my view, I think some of the best class companies at this point of time are doing lot of things which are like search optimization is one of the biggest things that a lot of companies are doing, which effectively means that if somebody goes to a search engine and types jobs or jobs of particular skill, profession, or an industry, then probably your company would come in the first one or two, because the research shows that a lot of people click only one or two and get on there. I think it is very important for you to think through from a jobs perspective, overall on how you advertise & track & get people through the door, in terms of being present on the social media.
I would also probably say that the candidates are looking at how cool you are, and if you are not necessary on social media, then probably they think that you are very uncool, because they do have much better social presence outside of the company and they wanna also judge whether you are as cool within the company.
If you are a candidate, I think, key aspect in social space is to figure out what is it that you are saying on that space, because what you say gives edge to include history. You can try to delete a few things but it doesn’t work that way. So try and be responsible in terms of how you are saying it but that doesn’t mean that you need to always say things positively but some of the ways in which a lot of recruiters are looking for people also in terms of how you are contributing towards a particular space. If you happen to be in technology, are you writing about it, are you blogging about it, do you happen to be at the right places in terms of where some of those particular technology folks are sitting together; how you are engaging with all those folks; who do you follow is a big thing, so there are lots of ways in which a recruiter looks for candidates for say what is been your contribution, point of view, in terms of a certain skill, so try and see whether you would also have fun on the social space but if you really wanna present yourself well to companies, it is very important that you are also packaging yourself in some of these areas.
Everything that you have probably written on a social space is pretty much official, there is nothing which is unofficial. I think, the company also do have a dilemma in terms of how to deal with it, but as I said, try and be responsible, it certainly would help you.”

What do companies look for in a candidates?

Some of the things from my perspective which is from an IT services firm, a new technology is always a craze, which is social, analytic, mobility, cloud. But what we are looking for are the things like the core implementation experience that you may possibly have. And again I mean if you are in some of the enterprise technologies, SAAP or a film or any other enterprise technologies, again it depends in terms of the deep industry expertise, because now the key that we are looking for today is whether you have SAAP banking experience, SAAP banking experience in European industry- whether it is in a transformation way or in integration ways or so on. So, the ways in which people are looking for candidates has gone deeper & deeper, its not just about some modules, its not just about some ways of implementing them but the core happens to be on 3 factors, which is the technology, the industry & the geography. So try and focus on these, and try & specialize in particular industry more than anything else. I would also say that it wouldn’t be any of the platform skills, technology skills, or in terms of any new other age skills that couldn’t be there. The one general advice that is probably there for all candidates is more in terms of technologies are disrupting faster than you can probably learn them, so if you wanna stay relevant, if you wanna stay in the hot skills range, it is important that you are also keeping pace with the technologies. So, somewhere it is very important that you are also looking at some of the newer technologies, and find to see whether you can learn them and you can be a part of that. A simple example is the whole social mobility site, I mean there are probably two out of ten that is available in the market and is clearly a hot skill. Another 5 years may be they’ll be abundance by then but the technology would have shifted, so try and ensure that you are ahead of the way before the entire abundance catches up in any form.

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How do numbers & Data fit in the Picture?
The whole data analytic space is probably already in a huge explosion. For many reasons, the availability of data – public data – has become so huge and then people are making or made available in terms of many decision points that they could have from this data. I believe that the whole data piece could probably go in few ways which is either you are a extreme statistical expert so if you are statistician and on that side of it or you are probably a guy who is on a technology side, who can integrate and bring particular thing to life. The most important thing that I have found in either if you are a technology person or a functional expert, it is very important to understand business. Because, the business guy always talks and tells you that I have a problem in this area. And you are trying to find the functional solution to it, and then if you are not able to make the connection or the bridge between these two, there is a huge struggle that happens. So, it’s very important that as you specialize in either technologies or in function, learn about the industry and I think its very very critical to learn about that deeper into that industry, which then helps you to say that this is how my technology can help you or my function can help you, and data analytics is of course one of them.

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How important is Analytics in HR?
There is a lot that I think is there, I think the analytics space by itself is growing. We do a lot of analytics work within our HR function in itself. Let me give you a simple example, in the last few years one of the biggest problems that is there in the IT services firms is the whole space around once people accept an offer, they do not join, they do not turn up, which is called a renege, and one out of 4 renege is typically in the industry or one out 5 is the best in class. And then if you are hiring 1000 people, that’s a lot of people that you are missing out. Now, keeping in the whole analytics space or the questions to the analytic guy is you need to tell me predictively through some predictive modeling which of that particular 200 or 250 in a month will not join and you need to tell that to me at 90% accuracy and pretty quickly so that I am able to take some quick decisions around it, so we did some program with reputed institutes and today we have a model, where after a person has accepted an offer, within about 7 days of post acceptance of offer, there is enough data that comes to the recruiter, to say that this person 90% of the chance is that he will not join or some percentage of chance is that we will join. And of course the proof will be there on the date of joining, and if on the day of the joining is the person turns up then yes the statistics survived, and then you keep refining the statistics more and more. So, that’s how the analytics space has seeped in into the HR space. One example of ho w it has solved one big problem, and today we are able to do in the 200 or 250 who may not turn up, and we are able to take now corrective actions, probably make parallel offers, and at that space we are also able to ensure that people are joining on time. So that’s one example at least on how analytics has seeped in into HR.

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How can companies utilize Social Media?
I think the social space is going to disrupt a lot of the provider community in some ways. For example, the job agencies that used to earlier be a custodian of resumes has now democratized a lot. Same thing probably with media agencies which used to come and advice and say a lot of things on how you should advertise. Today’s again been democratized because today for example, I can run a campaign on a large platform on Facebook or Twitter, without even asking from anybody. You can run a campaign as an individual and get viralized and then thousands of people could see you. This democratization has changed the way in which both input power at the user level and it has changed the level in which the jobs of let’s say placement agencies, marketing firms, and many other who earlier provided services as specialist, and today also, we are rediscovering what specialization mean; but it’s not as easy as it seems within the organization, just because the power exists and there is excess to it. What we have found is again research will show that the best organization that get followed are the ones where there is a tremendous amount of active presence and active leadership presence. So people do go and search for companies, which have now a active CEO presence, CEO is actively participating in many things, blogs of all the CXO folks; so called thought leadership that is coming from the organization and the way in which they are interacting with the external communities, and that could be customers or that could be candidates. So, clearly the owners and the responsibility of today branding & marketing has moved to pretty much CXO to including a recruiter, because we do find that people are making decision and they don’t go to a company’s website and read up company’s information, but they go and see the people who are working at the company and what they are saying about the company or what are they probably contributing for that particular function and that’s really how they are making decisions on do I want to work with this guy or don’t want to work with this guy. So, I think the whole idea of having a good presence right from the CXO down to recruiter and that presence being measured as an influential presence in terms of saying how many people follow you, visit you, impressions & things like that, which is a very critical way in which you can probably clearly measure as for how your brand is currently moving in the social space.

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