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By |March 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

Exploit an Executive Search Professional to your benefit?

Today corporate’s pay an Executive Search Professional anything up to USD 200K to search a right professional for their enterprise. Quite often people ask me why one would pay so much for finding an employee when there’s so much unemployment around. Answer is that unemployment is at lower level or at entry level due to skill mismatch or lack of information. At senior/top level there is an acute shortage of talent. Not only that, at senior level professionals do have their choices and apprehensions that makes match making very difficult. There’s saying “Executive Search Professional does not hunt those who hunt jobs”.

One of the most important roles of an Executive Search Professional is to develop a communication without exaggeration to entice the person to take career decision in favor of the opportunity presented.  We have heard how Steve job convinced John Sculley from Pepsi to join Apple by asking Sculley “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Above statement by Steve jobs depicts an art to entice an unwilling individual. Sculley proved to be most successful CEO later on. Believe me it is no easy to attract good talent when prospective employer is small and does have the matching brand equity.  In early 2001 , one of my clients, a most reputed Real Estate Conglomerate at Mumbai, wanted to diversify in IT/ ITEs and was willing to invest USD 20 million in cash capital apart from lending Real Estate but no established IT CEO was willing  to join them, due to  obvious apprehensions. We released a half page camouflaged  Advert in India & , USA,  spending close to USD 100K  ,mentioning Mid/ senior level  positions to announce  seriousness of their intent and willingness to spend.   Then we identified 14 successful CEOs from IT Industry whom I had known otherwise and sent them the advert cutting requesting them to refer someone from their network for CEO position for this company. Seven of them reverted asking golden question “Who are the promoters?” and search story begins. Five of them were eventually presented to our client and one out of them joined. Some time you need to show intent in action to shake their apprehensions.

Foundation of Executive Search is research & knowledge on the DNAs of the Companies & Professionals operating in the sector of one’s specialization. It is all about reading the undercurrents of the industry and understanding professional whims and fancies of the individuals. Many confuse Executive Search Consultancy with low end recruitment Agency. Lower level recruiting is more mechanical process & number game coupled with filtering skills. One should not expect from a contingent recruiter to develop such communications strategies.

Executive Search is used by all but it is boon for SMEs who need good talent to grow their business but  does not have requisite size and brand equity. At the time when Steve Job proposed John Sculley, Pepsi was global giant and Apple a pygmy. How does one convince a professional to join a small upcoming company with low paying capability is both science & art that Executive Search Professional  need to exercise. Recently I was introduced to one Mid-size industrialist whose company was not doing well and wanted a Professional to turn around. But industrialist reacted sharply & negatively to my poking questions to understand the reasons for his company’s sickness. Guess what, meeting lasted just five minutes and I have to decline the mandate. If you are a Promoter / Businessman wanting to hire the services of an Executive Search Professional, my advice to you is to find a good Executive Search Professional through validated references and be transparent with that Professional to get the best out of him/her.  Do not hesitate to share with them inner woes. Because an Executive Search Professional needs to understand clearly the type of person needed to do your assignment successfully. He/she needs to be clear on “must have” strengths and ill-affordable Limitations of the prospective individual if he has to do a good job.  As such all of us are under the oath of secrecy & Non Disclosures.  Many of the seasoned industrialists spend few minutes extra with their trusted Head Hunter because Executive Search Professionals are supposed to be very authentic source to find or validate the undercurrents of Industry or to know new good practices. Executive Search Professionals interacts with many successful Executives in the industry and are privy to many happenings & analytics in the industry

And if you are a talented individual, then best is to network with an Executive Search Professional much before you need them. Best time is when you are just getting out of middle management getting into general management roles.  And if you are already at senior level looking for a change, then do connect with ones you had networked in past but don’t solely depend upon them. The reason is that an Executive Search Professional is driven solely by the needs of its clients and has very limited wherewithal to push someone through unless his/her mandate warrant it. It would be only a coincidence if Executive Search Professional happened to place you when you connected for a change. Of course one specializing in your sector will have better access and better chance to place you. But do keep in mind that an Executive Search is a very low volume business; they place not more than 1% of people they meet or know.   You can use your relations to take their inputs to make better career decisions or to get deep insight on a company of your interest. A knowledgeable Executive Search Professional can prove to be a good sounding board.  Executive Search Professional will invest his time in you if he/ she see a potential in you and you had maintained relationships. But don’t expect them to share beyond a limit as most of us are bound by our ethics and Non-Disclosure commitments.

 Executive Search is all about relationship. Most of us have relationships with our customers & candidates that go back more than a   decade.  Two years ago, I placed a person, for the position of Managing Director with one of my old European clients, whom I had known for over a decade but never placed him before. During this period, this gentleman conferred with me for 3 to 4 times regarding his career moves. Thanks to this I understood that he thrives in chaos. All his successful innings were in troubled companies and he turned out to be virtual status quo manager in a stable company. So this time I have to really impress upon my client to push hard his candidature because the said company was in all sorts of troubles including the treason by local JV partner. In Last two years, this gentleman had sorted out all problems and put the company on comeback trail. You must have guessed it already; soon it is going to be the time to hand over company to someone else.

It would make a sense to keep in touch with Head Hunter just the way you connect with your doctor even when healthy. But refrain from asking oft asked question “How’s the job market these days? “ as there exists no such market. And if you consider your talent a commodity then you are not worth a search by Executive Search Professional.

Why Organizations Outsource HR Duties

Every company either small, big or a startup needs to enforce human resource laws and policies to secure their employees. So, does this mean the organization should have an HR department implemented inside the entity?

For fast growing businesses the major problem for them might be managing the needs of their workforce in time. A popular trend in many of the business organizations today is outsourcing of the HR department for managing hiring and recruitment process.

According to Jan Kruchoski, principal-in-charge, CliftonLarsonAllen Search LLC in an article by Dan Emerson on stated that it entirely depends on an organization when they want to hire an HR leader. Jan also said that a highly focused professional service firm may want to make that calculation earlier than a small manufacturing business with shift workers, who may not want a full-time HR specialist.
A Minneapolis based HR consultant, Arlene Vernon highlighted the need for companies that often hire entry-level employees needs to have an in- house HR leader to handle job descriptions, employee orientation, managing benefits and maintaining personnel files.

Some of the common functions of an outsourced HR department in small businesses are mostly payroll, preparing necessary documents for the employees, keeping record of employee details etc. Companies who do not have an HR department mostly face problems while firing an employee because firing an employee requires written policies and documentations. If you fail to provide the supporting papers for that decision, it can make an employer accountable for paying unemployment benefits and potentially trigger legal liability. So, it becomes very essential to have an HR specialist who can manage the hiring and firing of employees either on-staff or outsourced, as said by Vernon.

Ken Viggers, HR management services director in RSM McGladrey’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa, expressed his views on the same saying that when organizations contain at least 50employees they often outsource functions to a contract HR manager. However, companies having 100 or more employees require a full-time, in-house HR manager. HR generalists are responsible for doing those types of jobs.

By |December 3rd, 2014|Standard Post|0 Comments|

The unlearning from Akbar Birbal Story

The Most Common Profession

Akbar’s Question:
One day Akbar resolved to find out which profession was the most Common Profession in his capital. He asked the
courtiers; some said trade, others said masonry, but the general consensus was on soldiering.

Birbal’s Answer:
When Birbal’s turn came, he arose from his seat, bowed before Akbar and said, “Your Majesty, in my opinion the most
popular profession is medicine.” This was surprising as one could count the number of physicians in the city. The court
physician was furious and said that Birbal had no clue about how difficult it was to train in this profession and advise
people on medical problems.

Birbal smiled and said, “I can prove my statement, Your Majesty, if you come with me tomorrow morning.”

Akbar agreed, and the next morning met Birbal on a major crossroad in the city.
Birbal had a bandage on one hand. Akbar looked at it and asked what the matter was. Birbal said, “I cut my hand while
chopping fruits for breakfast. Please, Your Majesty, you will have to write down the names of all the physicians we come

“I will do that Birbal, but be sure to wash that wound well and apply some ointment on it,” said Akbar.

I will, Your Majesty, but only after I have proven my statement,” said Birbal.

They sat at the busy crossroad all through the day. Birbal was a well-known personality, so everyone who passed by
asked Birbal about his injury and advised him about some medication or the other. As the day wore on, the list grew long
and by afternoon Akbar was tired of writing names, so he suggested they go home.
Birbal asked for the list and said, “My Lord, you forgot to write your own name at the top of the list. You were the first
one to advise me!”

Unlearning from story:
What is free or cheap or commonly available, need not be most suited. When it’s critical, there’s no alternative to Professional help.

Professional observation:
In the similar vein of story, as per professional observation, in today’s world, after Medicine profession, second most common Profession is Recruiting or Talent Search. Any common man/woman starting from house wife to CEO has an idea how to search a talent. Everyone tells you how he/ she had found talent successfully and advises you to do the same.

But the experienced & competent recruitment consultants india / search Professional is worried how to find new ways to hunt good candidates for their clients. They (Professional Searcher) don’t talk of solution before knowing facts & understanding the constraints. Professional Searchers know that they are requisitioned only when in-house or common efforts do not yield results. Professional Searcher knows that in this fast paced world. Searcher’s competence lies not in learning but constantly unlearning .

We, at Magna, try hard to unlearn of the art of searching. Despite of doing many tough searches in the past, we still find ourselves nothing but bright students of science of Search. Talent Search – A science which is yet to be fully discovered. We are not the largest Executive Search company in the world but we are definitely among the top tough search ones. We advise our customer to refer us only when in-house efforts does not yield results or when Other Recruiter fails

By |December 3rd, 2014|Standard Post|7 Comments|

The Dos and Don’ts of hiring talent from your competitors

While the job market is stronger than it has been in years, the search for qualified talent is growing more and more challenging. Employers want to hire candidates that have theright experience, are familiar with their industry, and are a culture-fit. So for many managers, the only seemingly feasible way to find this perfect candidate is to hire them from competitors. While hiring from one’s competitors may seem like a simple recruiting solution, there are certain aspects, like non-compete agreements, that need to be considered beforehand. To help you determine whether hiring talent from your competitor is the right move for your company, consider these dos and don’ts:


People who are doing well in a role and are happy with their company are not going to risk leaving and becoming dissatisfied with their new position. This means that you are going to have to provide an incentive if you want a competitor’s employee to come work for you. The easiest incentive you can provide is a salary increase. It shows the candidate that you are truly interested and believe they are worth the investment. However, if increased compensation is not in your budget, there are other ways to incentivize a career move. For example, you can offer equity in your company like many early stage technology companies have done when cash was tight and prospects were huge.


Non-compete agreements are issued, amongst other reasons, to prevent employees from competing against their original employer in the event they leave. In other words, many non-competes are meant to prevent, or at least discourage, you from hiring your competitor’s talent. While some companies choose to disregard these agreements, it is imperative you have an attorney look over a candidate’s non-compete prior to issuing an offer letter. The repercussions vary based on how strict a company enforces their non-compete agreements, but in some cases lawsuits will be taken against both the employee and the new employer. So before even thinking about offering a candidate a job, make sure they 1.) don’t have a non-compete agreement and 2.) if they do, consult with an attorney before you find yourself in hot water.


Hiring a successful candidate from a competitor does not mean they will immediately be successful with your company. Just like any other new employee, they will need time to ramp up and to go through training in order to thrive. Like most training programs, they should gain a complete understanding of the company, what differentiates the company from their previous employer, the systems and tools needed to go about daily operations, and the company culture as a whole. By providing them the same training as any other new employee, you’re setting them up for success. Before deciding to hire talent from a competitor, it is important to sit down and evaluate whether it is the right choice for your company. While the benefits of hiring successful employees from your competitors can be immense, the risks are just as great.