Nov 18th

Global Trend in Workforce Planning

By Rajeev

In this post, I am sharing the gist of the discussions that transpired during the professional evening meeting organized by NIPM, Karnataka Chapter. The speaker was Ms Debolina Dutta, Director (HR), VF Corporation, Bangalore. VF Corporation is an American worldwide apparel and footwear company founded in 1899 and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina.

 At the outset the speaker underscored the fact that quite a few leading companies worldwide, are acknowledging the changes in the expectations of the work force.They are accordingly making changes in their approach to recruitment and engaging of people. Research suggests that a poor recruitment experience could turn candidates away from that brand, for life.According to the report of an employer branding agency ph.Attraction, one in four British jobseekers have either entirely stopped purchasing (12%) or purchased less (11.5%) from a brand because of a negative candidate experience. 

The speaker cited  instances of  individual companies which learnt the hard way that future employees need to be handled with a lot of sensitivity. Let us take the case of  Virgin media. More than 1,30,000 candidates applied to work at Virgin Media in 2014, 18% of whom were existing customers of the company.  However, as a direct result of poor candidate experience more than 7,500 candidates cancelled their subscriptions and switched to a competitor, resulting in millions of pounds (£4.4m ) in lost revenue. The brand has since brought its recruitment function in-house, which allows it to take a lot more control and engage with individuals on a one-to-one level. The company has also invested in technology with a candidate portal that maps the recruitment experience; the focus being on what candidates want rather than Virgin media leading the experience. The process also features inspirational voice messages from brand ambassador Usain Bolt.


Ms Debolina said that IBM responded to the attrition nightmare by developing a predictive analytics model which helps in identifying those likely to leave and this helped to reduce attrition by addressing issues. Further, the Bell curve model of performance assessment has become outdated and is being given up by many organizations. GE has now come up with a regular updates model (feedback to employees on how they are doing) resulting in a five times increase in productivity. Similarly Adobe introduced instantaneous feedback system that contributed to a 2% reduction in attrition. Cisco has moved away from ratings and annual reviews and are looking at team oriented incentives.


It is clear from the above that employers are no longer perceiving employees as mere numbers but are looking to provide a humane experience to candidates right from the stage of interview and during their tenure in the organization.The speaker said that in the IT industry, as HR is not sure of how many will join, there is a tendency to issue offer letters to more than the required number of employees. But then what if all the 5 Java programmars who were issued offer letters ( as against the 4 required) join? Companies are looking to engage them through gamification portals etc even before they even join the organization so as to ensure better predictability of the candidates joining. Readers may like to see an earlier blog of mine covering the L&D Leadership League organized by People Matters, wherein the VP (HR) of TCS explained how gamification is used to engage young engineers.

 In accordance with the latest trends ( the millennials presence is very high in social media), HR would do well to utilize the services edge networks which scan the net for inputs from the social media, Linked in find out the best fit employees and recommend those deemed 100% fit for a position. Edge networks  are focused on the development of workforce planning solutions with the use of artificial intelligence and data science technology solutions. The speaker said that in her company this tool  was used for internal bench management.

 Another trend is to get career counselling done for employees by a doggie/bot on their desk tops so that they would be able to open up freely without being intimidated by human seniors, some of whom may also be reluctant to give undiluted honest feedback. Websites like Wade & Wendy help in this connection, providing instructive conversation with a chat bot.

 Further, technology today has made available the tool of machine learning. Machine learning explores the study and construction of algorithms, which can make data driven predictions or decisions by building a model from sample inputs.This enables companies to zero in on the optimum workforce.In future, there could be a situation of 73% of the workforce being flexible, part time freelancers. Dell, which presently has a 25% flexible workforce is planning to increase it to 50%.

  The global trends indicate that talent will be procured by companies from anywhere in the world.The focus would increase on engaging and mentoring the employees after they have joined. Johnson & Johnson has a web enabled mentoring platform.There is bound to be increased collaboration between man and machine. Amazon has started using around 30000 robots at their distribution centres. The good news is that understanding the trends in advance can enable organizations to be prepared. It is for each company to look at its own unique context and become ready to face what the future may throw up. The bad news is that the trends predicted are not going to affect the IT industry alone but all organizations, across the board....  

Oct 27th

Women's Corner

By Ush

About the Book


Women play multiple roles in their lives with élan. They are adept at multi-tasking, moving seamlessly from one activity to another. Their ability to rise up in a crisis is admirable. It is always interesting to know how women manage to do this. I’m sure that the readers will concur when I say that reading about women’s issues is more relevant today than ever. More written on this issue is always welcome. So let’s bring it on...!!


To be a woman I am indeed proud

over the years, my true identity I have found.

I know I have a long way to go

but I have begun my journey of  discovery to grow.

I am now up to any task assigned to me

completing it well I can surely guarantee.


I am in no competition with my male counterparts

I too wish to rise up in my life chart;

so I will revolt against any biased rulings

that goes against my spirit and my being.

So please, don’t be the jury

and curb my voice and liberty;

I will not take it lying down anymore.

My dignity in full, I plan to restore

so that my victory I can ensure.


In return, to you, I wish to assure

I will in situations behave mature

I will act without fear and always be fair

I will discharge my duties, responsibilities with care.


More power to women!


Kudos to all the women who strive to establish their own identity, independence. I have titled my book ‘Women’s Corner’ – it has eight short stories sketching the life experiences of the protagonists. I have endeavoured to capture a few snapshots of how women think, perceive, behave and act in different situations. I’m painfully aware that this is a limited picture – but this book is just a beginning!


A woman’s priority is often considered flawed if she chooses a career over her family. Ambitious women are sometimes berated and ignominy is heaped on them; when they should be praised for showcasing their talents in their respective fields. But some have achieved their goals in spite of the obstacles they have faced in their path to success. ‘A Rare Retake’ tells one such story through the life of the protagonist Rama who focuses on her professional life for a major part of her life. She faces many tribulations in her life both professionally and personally. She gets a rare chance later to make amends in her personal life due to her wonderful parents.


Age is no barrier for change; this is exactly what is shown in the story ‘A Spring in Life’. Jaya, a homemaker in her sixties – decides to bring about a change in her life after her husband’s demise. In order to be independent and helpful she sets up a homestay for working girls at her place. A decade of her experience of interacting with the various girls forms the theme of this story. 


Parents work hard and make many sacrifices to give their best for their children. But in some families the reciprocal feeling is missing as the children fail to take care of their parents in their later years. Maya in ‘Reverse Swing’ faces just that situation in her old age. It is a tale on how her children abandon her, refusing to take care of her, when Maya falls victim to Alzheimers in her old age.


‘A Train Sojourn’ is a narrative on how four women who are strangers become friends and enjoy a rather tedious journey together – sharing, and regaling each other, with their stories. 


A Mothers’ love for their children is so subjective and unconditional, that sometimes their help to other children may fall short. Prema in ‘A Mother’s Remorse’ has two lovely children but she takes another child Geeta, in duress, under her care. She treats her like her own child and provides her all the comforts. But when she sees that her own children turn out to be just mediocre in sharp contrast to Geeta, the ‘mother’ in her rebels, and she tries to quash Geeta’s dreams. Prema is filled with remorse at her own deeds – but only after she loses everything precious to her. 


‘A Sombre Silence’, traces the life of a happily married couple till tragedy strikes one of them in their old age. The silver lining in the cloud appears when relatives and close friends come together to be the life support for Sashi – the protagonist in the story.


In ‘A Collective Resolve’ a group of young and determined women decide to change the age old regressive practices and attitudes in their village. The story describes the trials and tribulations of the women as they set about their task. But in the end success smiles on them, as there is a visible change in the economic and social status of the people residing there. The men folk gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the women in reviving their village. A theatre group tells the tale of these brave women and the impact of their work in and around their village in the form of plays to a wider audience across the country. 


Girls enjoy a carefree life in school where their personality gets moulded by their peers, teachers and the school environment. Schooling is a very important phase in their life; and that is why they never hesitate to relive the memories with their peers, even much later. Rainbow Reunion is one such story in which six women meet after several decades to catch up on their present lives, and to recollect their nostalgic school days. I hope it brings a smile on some of the reader’s faces as they recall warmly some of their own personal experiences.


I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did in penning them. 



Dr. Usha Sridhar

Women’s Corner is available Amazon_India, Amazon_com, and Authorspress



Name of the Book

Women’s Corner – A Collection of Short Stories

Name of the Author

Usha Sridhar

No. of Pages



ISBN-10: 9386722283;ISBN-13: 978-9386722287


Rs. 695/ US $ 29.95


Authors Press, Q-2A, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi 110 016. India

Author’s Email-ID

Oct 26th

Lend me your ear

By Padma

Lend me your ear, Oh! Dear!

Let me help you hear

all the worldly things

that are evil and good,

to see you turn an usual

perceptive child!

Oct 8th

Tolerance and its meanings

By shanmugam


Tolerance primarily stood for endurance-

Endurance of pain; endurance of hurts;

Then it stood for concessions by the sovereign,

And later for allowance by the majority.


Now it stands for accommodative minds

Between two sets of races or religions.

Identity solidification dropped,

The organized intolerance exits.



Oct 8th

Doubt is faith’s shade.

By shanmugam


Doubt is the precursor to faith.

Doubt is the base for certainty.

Doubts in faith, hopes in failure

And fear in success are their shadows.


When in a grave situation

One shipwrecks the vessel of reasons

On rocks of doubt and to the ground

Of faith he leaps with no thinking.



Sep 7th


By mgk

Sometimes even the most sweetest melody becomes a cacaphony

when you've been whirled into a black hole of nothingness. 

This feel , so comforting and consuming,

this peace , this calmness ,

this even undisturbed serinity, in my chaotic world 

where the thoughts freeze every now and then 

This freeze, its addictive. 

I'm not restless nor am I composed.

I'm lost in this void of my heart and soul. 



Aug 8th


By Shernaz

Friendship is a garden of many hued flowers nurtured with care and tenderness. It is a necklace of most  gems.  It is a rainbow of countless   that don’t fade away; in fact, they become more vibrant, mushrooming on the expanse of life, into a fantastic collage of exquisite times spent together.  It is an exquisite poem of love, understanding, compassion, , laughter, fun, mischief, sympathy, honesty, togetherness, trust, generosity and forgiveness that friends compose. 

Read more here


Aug 3rd


By Shernaz

Fear that is birthed by doubts, suspicions, distrust of the other, misunderstandings and ignorance is the xenophobic roar within…. It sees foes where there are none and can translate into acts of divisiveness and terrorism. It is the embryo of violent ethnic cleansing, bigotry, anti-secular mind sets, disruptive societies and lynching mobs..


Jul 17th

Mahakavi Vallathol

By soman





Russian Author and Translator of Vallathol’s poetry into Russian.

(Abridged version of article published in the Vallathol Memorial Souvenir 1965).


When a man is old and beloved by his contemporaries, a strange belief arises in them – that the venerated patriarch will never die.  More bitter their grief when he does die.  But if the departed is a poet, and a great poet to boot, he has more friends than any ordinary man, and the grief grows all the greater.  Such was the death of Mahakavi Vallathol.


He is no more, but we still hear his sonorous chants, reciting his poems - and their echo shall reverberate through innumerable centuries.


His sight was sharp - it was at once a telescope and a microscope. His poems are luxurious tapestries, whereon are woven intricate designs of the poet’s impressions of the material world.  He had an astute brain and a super-sensitive heart. …And his ideal was: HARMONY – of life and art; the true harmony; the Harmony that only Liberty can bring. The venerable bard never considered himself a person apart from his people.  No ivory tower could lure him away from the steep and glorious road he was treading, to his dying day.  It was for his people that Vallathol wrote his poems.  He made great efforts and achieved remarkable results in preserving the true national culture of his country.


In 1951 Vallathol visited my native land, the Soviet Union.  He appeared before a Moscow audience and recited his verse. …  And what applause there was when he ended! The vast Hall of Columns seemed to crack – the language was foreign, but the sentiment it conveyed was magnificent.



Vallathol lived a long and noble life.  Never did he make a single compromise, but unflinchingly followed the way he deemed right. … We in the Soviet Union are proud of having had among our allies a person so remarkable as Mahakavi Vallathol, Poet Laureate.

Jul 13th


By Rajeev

Country is dominated today

by strong right wing views

and retaliation by those at the other end

with extreme views of their own.... policy is

totally disagree with what the other articulates


The real need is saner, sober, balanced voices

which sadly get drowned in the din

generated by those who insist on ' black' or 'white'

with no place for the grey

for them it is simply " either you are with them

or with us, decide quickly, you cat on the wall..."



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