Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dear Michael Arrington

Dear Michael,
I was deeply shocked to hear about the incident in munich. Though I have never written to you before, I am an avid reader of TechCrunch and your blog posts.

The value you are providing to the start up community is immense. I cannot imagine how a relatively harmless occupation such as your's can generate such vitriolic and violent responses.

Please do not stop doing what you are doing because of a few assholes. For whatever it is worth, my most sincere sympathies are with you.

It is time for the usually silent, moderate masses (such as I) to stand up and make our disgust for such behaviour known.

And whoever you are, who spat on Michael, know that you are worse than SCUM.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The king has left the building

There is an article in the Times of India today about "Mansions" beginning to empty due to layoffs. For the uninitiated, "mansions" in Chennai are not castles where kings and lords live, but inexpensive, mostly dingy, cramped bachelor pads housing hundreds of men (mostly) working (again, mostly) in the IT and ITES sectors.

What is interesting is that, while there are reports of visible after-effects of layoffs, there is as yet no report on which companies are doing the laying off. Neither companies, it seems, nor the laidoff employees want the world to know that there are layoffs happening!

For companies, it is the worry of political backlash that is stopping them from going public about retrenchment and for the employees it is the social stigma associated with being laid off.

Kind of a strange win-win situation - in reverse! Just like in the case of "Slumdog Millionaire", we seem to have this overpowering desire to deny the obvious and hope that nobody finds out!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Satyam support group

If you are a Satyam employee looking for a support group, please go to forum.laidoff.in. There is a forum there called Satyam support. Please urge your fellow employees also to participate. We need to support each other in all ways possible.

All the best.

What will happen to Satyam now?

B.Ramalinga Raju - India Economic Summit 2008Image by World Economic Forum via FlickrIt is now beyond a shadow of doubt that the Raju clan will no longer be at the helm of Satyam. And very shortly, the representatives of the Raju clan will also be shunted out. So what does the future hold for this IT major that has won many projects and awards and had a team of over 50,000 talented people working across countries on countless critical projects?

Here is a quick run down of possible options.

1. New board and executive team takes over.
This would probably be the best thing that can happen - for the company, the employees and the clients. Things can go back to normal and the well-oiled project delivery machinery can continue to do what it has done successfully for nearly 20 years.

However, it is not that easy. New leadership has to emerge and should be able to grab the attention and support of the existing employees. More importantly, the new team must find some money, at least working capital, right away. And finally they have to convince the existing clients to stick around and continue to have faith in the company. After all, whatever has happened has not been at the cost of the clients, at least not yet.

The biggest down side is that the new team will have to face all the law suits and class actions that are being filed now, here in India and in the US. Can they manage to revive such a large company and take on all the legal issues at the same time?

2. Get taken over by some other company
This is probably the second best option. Very similar to the first option, except that a new management team, mostly from outside of Satyam will take over and run the show. There will be some collateral damage at the top management level of Satyam where some of the upper management people will be let go. The rest of the employees would be spared as, like in most Indian IT companies, the people are the main asset.

The down side is pretty much the same as in case 1. That is what makes this option unlikely.

3. Individual divisions carved out and sold
This is salvage time folks. This option holds a lot of promise and benefits for the new owners as well as the clients. Already Tech Mahindra is talking about taking the telecom division of Satyam. This will be good for the existing telecom clients of Satyam and for Tech Mahindra which will get a new set of clients and projects as well as a talented team.

However, this option is not so good for the employees. Time and again, we have seen that when this kind of a carve out happens, most of the employees are shown the door. I am sure Tech Mahindra already has very good people and spare resources for the Telecom sector and so, many of the middle management and programmer level resources will be let go.

The beauty of this option is that the company that takes the division(s) only gets the clients and possibly, the employees. The charges of corruption and the cases filed against Satyam will continue to remain with Satyam. All gain, no pain!

4. Close down/bankruptcy
The final option. Not good for anybody. Not even for the competitors - TCS, Infosys, Wipro and others. If this happens, the faith in the entire Indian Software industry will be shaken further. Questions about the auditing and financial practices will come up. Questions like, "who really knows the situation within these companies?" and "Satyam today, who next?"

The optimist that I am, I am hoping for option 1 to materialize. GO Satyam GO!

(No harm in updating your profile though, if you are a Satyam employee - try www.jobsbyref.com)
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why are you not getting responses to your job applications?

This is a question that is being asked more and more often these days! The answer is not that complicated, if you understand how the online job boards work (or don't).

1. Fake candidates

Bad news -Your application is getting drowned by fakes
Surprised! You shouldn't be. While you are busy building your resume based on facts, there are thousands of candidates building theirs on fake credentials. While you are adding all that you know to your skills list, they are adding all that the companies are searching for into their skills list (even though they have no such skills). While you are entering the factual details of your education and employment records, they are faking theirs. While you are working on your single, definitive resume, they are uploading multiple profiles, under slightly different names.

They are doing it so that they appear high up in all searches made by potential employers. And in the process bury your resume somewhere beyond the 10th page of the search results where no employer ever goes!

Good News - Faking doesn't lead to a job
However, don't for a moment think that the fakers are getting all the jobs - the employers and the interviewers are not dumb. Over 99% of the fakers are caught out during interviews and are disqualified. But, they have already done the damage to you and the company by taking the interview slot that should have rightfully belonged to you. The main point to remember here is that those openings are still unfilled. You just need to find a way to reach them!

Solution - Distance yourself from the fakers
You need to build your credibility. Till recently, there were very few clear and easy ways of doing that. Which is why we started JobsByRef.com. Here is how you can thwart the plans of the fakers - by proving that you are genuine in ways that they cannot.
a. Register on JobsByRef.com and spend some time to update your profile.
b. For every college degree that you have, connect to at least 5 of your classmates.
c. For every employment record, connect to at least 5 of your (past or current)colleagues, preferably including those you reported to.

Very easy to do, if you are a genuine candidate. Not so easy, if you are a faker. On JobsByRef.com, we have built an algorithm that determines how genuine a candidate is based on the nature and diversity of connections.

Once you have built a healthy score, you will start appearing higher up in search results as employers look at resumes with higher credibility first.

Read more about it here and here.

2. Fake job postings

Bad news - Many of the job postings are fake!
Surprised again?! At least now you know. The truth is, for some of the unscrupulous recruitment companies, this is an easy way to collect resumes. Advertise a few nonexistent jobs and collect all the responding candidate resumes.
So that they can show case a large resume database and hope a genuine opportunity comes along.

Good news - There are still good guys around
There are still a lot of genuine job postings by both genuine placement agencies and direct employers. You just need to find out which ones are genuine.

Solution - Check out the credentials
Look at the websites of the recruitment companies, ask your friends, call the recruitment company, write to their support addresses - basically check out the credentials of the recruitment company before you apply. If you are a candidate with less than, say, 5 years of experience, don't stop applying. So what if a few more recruiters have your cv? It will only do you good. Just adjust your expectations and understand that you may not get responses from many of them - that way you will not be disappointed.

3. Market conditions

Bad news - Job openings are limited in today's market condition
Everyone would have told you that this is the main reason why you are not getting responses. Not entirely true. While the number of job openings have come down, they have not come down so drastically. Every day, I hear companies lamenting the lack of good candidates.

Good news - There are always openings for the good guys!
There are always openings for good candidates - even in bad times such as now. Look for openings published by direct employers. There are still many around. Remember, many of the openings are not getting advertised so much (advertising cost a lot and the ad budget is one of the first things that gets chopped in a bad economy).

Solution - Utilize your network
The thing to do is to make sure you are aware of all the job openings that are available, whether advertised or not. The way to do that is to ask your network of connections if there are openings in their companies. Don't have a network? WRONG. If you have started building your credibility, you have started building your network. The people who enhance your credibility (your classmates, friends, and colleagues) are the ones who can spot the right openings for you.

Bottom line
Do not let the fakers stop you from finding your dream job. Use online tools such as jobsbyref.com to control your career. You have the power now.

Register on www.jobsbyref.com today and Make your career move!

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