Monday, January 17, 2011

Attention, (Indian) Employers !

A girl who has just written her final year engineering exams attends a campus interview for a huge MNC. She hears nothing from them for nearly 5 weeks and then suddenly one day the appointment letter arrives by post asking her to join work in 2 days in a different city. In addition to that, the letter also has a list of requirements from getting the provisional certificate to registering at various places.

I cannot believe that the employer is dumb enough to assume that the girl is some version of superman and can fly and get all these things done in a day, pack, move to a totally different city, find a place to live in and still be ready to start working at 9am the next day.

The girl is obviously anxious, calls HR, gets an extension of 5 days, hurriedly does everything (not to mention the parents who work round the clock to help accomplish this in addition to all other things they normally have to do), goes to the new city, finds temporary accommodation after spending a whole day going around the city and arrives on the joining day exhausted and even more anxious!

Is the employer increasing productivity by making the freshers join a week in advance? Wouldn’t it better if all candidates were given at least 2 weeks time to be prepared, especially when they are just stepping into their careers from student life? When HR already knows that the candidates are going to ask for an extension, can they not save all this drama by being a little considerate? Why take the freshers for granted? Is such behaviour going to give the employer loyalty and respect from those freshers?

An NRI wants to move back to India for good. He has a telephonic interview with a MNC at 7am in the morning (because of a 4 hour time difference with India). Its 7:45 am and he is still waiting. He writes an email to the person with whom he has interview asking if there is a change of plan. He gets a reply in 2 minutes saying that the person is in a meeting with a client and will call back later.

Would it have been difficult to send this email 45 minutes ago informing the NRI of the change? It would have been clear from the NRI’s resume that he is currently working and has a job to go to and cannot sit around for 45 minutes doing nothing. How can a group lead at an MNC not even have this basic courtesy?

The interview is rescheduled and this time the group lead is again 20 minutes late. Neither does he inform about this in advance nor does he apologise for being late.

Following the interview, a video conference is set up. The NRI has now taken an afternoon off and is sitting in a video conference facility. He has a presentation prepared and is expecting 4 people to be present. As usual, they are late. 3 of them turn up in 15 min and the fourth in 25 min. No apologies, as usual. He starts presenting; one of them sitting right in front of the webcam starts chewing a samosa loudly while 2 others are discussing among themselves. Patiently he finishes presenting and then answers a few questions. He is told that he will be informed of their decision in a week.

2 weeks pass by and there is no response, so he writes an email asking them for an update. 2 more weeks pass by without a response.

The NRI writes to HR saying that he is withdrawing his application. Who would want to work with a bunch of people, with absolutely no professional ethics whatsoever ?!?

Does applying for a job translate to “I need a favor from you and so you can take me for granted”? (Indian) Employers, please understand that it means “I have skills that I think will be of use to your company and your company has prospects that will help me grow”. It is a mutually beneficial relationship and until both the employer and employee understand this, there can never be a healthy work environment.

I have heard of number of people in India who change jobs just because they get a better package elsewhere and have seen a number of employers complain. I am not saying that its always the fault of the employers. But before expecting loyalty from the employees, they should think if they did at least a few things right to deserve such a loyalty. Paying a salary does not guarantee that because it is not money given away, it is money given for services rendered.

Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) there are certain things beyond money….

….for everything else, there is master card :D !


  1. i liked the labels "enna koduma saravanan" and "india" side by side. nalla kalaaippu.. :P

  2. From one point of view, software companies in india are actually a boon giving employment for lakhs of engineering students... its a scary thought what wd every1 do without S.Industry.. On the other hand they recruit like "aatu mandhai" and they dont give a damn abt employee satisfaction and all, tht's the bitter truth. They ll get another goat if they lose 1 :)

  3. @Sridhar
    I am wondering if it is really a boon. Yes it gives people money but does it teach them anything else? There is hardly any scope for innovation or research, just following templates and work instructions. Most of the people do not have job satisfaction or a sense of accomplishment. Half the people do not even have basic business ethics. So makes me wonder if all the s/w industry is doing is widening the barrier between the rich and the poor and contributing to inflation….I read recently that China is looking to bring educated and experienced non-resident Chinese back to China and is giving special incentives for such people when those in India seem to chase the few NRIs who really do want to come back and contribute !

  4. hmm... u r absolutely rite abt ho the industry has turned ppl into... but wat to do, we have a huuuuge population and a band of corrupt officials... so if this industry can provide employement to these many graduates, then i choose to welcome it.. cos, what other choice we really have?? :)

  5. I do not have experience in SW sector but the behavior is a typical Indian Culture. Glad to know that the culture survives irrespective of the high international exposure SW industry has when compared to other industries.One thing credible abt this sector is they are able to absorb all educated students irrespective of their skills and provide a decent living to them. It is very scary to imagine the plight of large Indian population without this industry which otherwise would hv lead to large scale chaos and violence.

  6. Yes, the SW industry has done a big service by making every babu and kumar to a mediocre sw professional. It has done more damage by making every youth to opt only for software, irrespective of his educational background just because it offers more money. What sense does it make for a person studying chemical or textile or mechanical engineering to write rot codes for banks and insurance companies. If there is no discipline in thoughts, no discipline in action and no discipline in expression, there will be no discipline in growth and progress.

  7. Yes, Indian companies take freshers for granted. Eight years ago, I had attempted about eighty five tests, called aptitude tests to test my aptitude on finding out which direction john was headed if he was facing left from his north-facing house that led to an east facing driveway on a south-facing highway.... dont attempt to make sense of this.. all questions in the name of lateral, analytical,logical and business thinking skill tests ate the heads of every engineer in the country... if you clear all these questions, you get to attend some five to six rounds of interviews and finally some cousin of some manager's friend's son is granted the job and the best part is you are assked to wait for the results!!!!! I have spent countless hours on such exams tests, interviews and result announcemnts, not to mention the travel.. The job consultants, the employers, the interviewers all of them forget that there was a time that they also had started off as a fresher. The worst thing that can happen to a fresher in India is to search for a job himself without any assistance from the college or sensible HR agencies. But then one plus in all these is the freshers who have struggled to find a job in India have better confidence to look for new jobs at a later date and mostly treat their interview candidates well.. :-)


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