iPlace Celebrated 3rd Anniversary

iPlace celebrated its third anniversary at Leather Lounge on Saturday night with a fabulous party. The recession did not stop the iPlacers from having a blast. This spectacular event was organized by Jiten and the decor was Arabian. To add to the magic DJ C burned the dance floor and left the crowd screaming for more. The people, spirit and food made the party a big hit. The highlight of the evening was the Mission Award. The Award is given once a year to an employee who best demonstrates iPlace’s core values. The employees select the three most deserving candidates and the winner is announced at the party through a lucky draw. This year’s Award was certainly enviable and luxurious – 3 nights and 4 days all expenses paid trip for two at Leela Kempenski Kovalam Beach, Kerala. The award and the party get bigger every year.

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Pleasure of Working with iPlace

Author- Sujata Koul/Sheena Kirkland

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An incredible experience that has been the best so far! iPlace provides a rostrum where everyone can share their knowledge and experience to lead the company towards its goal. Although, having a prior experience working as an HR executive with an IT training institute, I consider this as my first professional experience in the true sense. I have learnt the actual meaning of professionalism here. iPlace has offered me more than what I could have yearned for in my professional life and that too in just less than a year. I am delighted to be a part of such an esteemed organization.

Recruiting for various clients from different domains and business sectors is not that easy when you do not have any prior exposure to this field. However, the training, support and guidance provided at iPlace makes one feel comfortable and perform their best. And this is what is highly commendable at iPlace. People have the quest to perform well and for that, management never lacks in providing all the needed space to the concerned employee. What do you think is the most important asset for any business to thrive? I believe it has to be the employees and in order to retain them trust plays an important role. At iPlace i sense and feel that trust!

You cannot learn everything by listening to or watching some one doing it. You have to implement things on your own and while doing so you are prone to make mistakes. I have made many mistakes at iPlace and that too on a very critical client. Still i was trusted by the management and provided with a chance to prove myself. At present, the status of that client is stable and finally we are out of the ‘danger zone’.

Progress comes with time and every one grows in an organization. At iPlace i have felt that change and today i find myself with a high level of confidence, maturity and of course self esteem. If we go by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, at the bottom of the pyramid is physiological needs followed by safety at second level. At the third level is belongingness which is followed by self-esteem. At the fifth and top level of the pyramid is self-actualization. My experience here proves that iPlace is dedicated towards helping employees reach their individual goals. iPlace pushes each employee to find the top level of the pyramid by boosting their confidence.

What counts most is probably the money at the end of the day but let me assure you that iPlace makes it sure that justice is done to employees in this regard as well. I am contended and happy because what i carry along with me is truly precious. I have received an award which is undoubtedly a strong foundation for my career.

Winning the iPlace Mission Award

Author: Kaushal Sampath/Alex Kage

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Let me start with introducing what iPlace Mission Award is all about. Like most companies iPlace has a yearly recognition of an employee in respect to the excellence in services by an individual. This award is not for an individual who has accomplished great success as per a designation or a position. This is award stands for the contribution made to the company in regards to performance, team building, mentoring, work ethics, partnership, work habits, timeliness, efficiency, dedication and the most important following the iPlace Mission statement.

What is the iPlace Mission statement?

The Mission of iPlace is to maximize the financial returns to: iPlace, Clients and employees through excellence in international recruiting.

Here are a few key parameters:

  • Integrity: We do what we say and do what is right.
  • Performance-based culture: We invest in our iPlace employees through performance-based incentives and training.
  • Respect: We treat everyone with dignity and welcome different perspectives.
  • Knowledge and creativity: We promote and support innovation, risk-taking, sharing ideas, and continuous learning.
  • Professionalism: We understand our client needs and the urgency of delivering on our commitments.
  • Partnership: We are true business partner and support win-win relationships based on sharing risks and rewards.

iPlace introduced this award in 2008. This award is the highest award to be achieved by any individual employee at iPlace. What makes this even more prestigious is the fact that the winner is nominated by fellow peers and not the management. In other words, this is an award by the employee for an employee. The nominees for this award are solely based on a vote out. Every individual employee votes for his/her most deserving peer and the person with the highest vote is shortlisted. In 2008, the employees of iPlace had nominated their top three contenders for this award. The final result was decided on a lottery picked by these three contenders.

What is the prize?

The most interesting part of this award is the prize. In 2008, iPlace decided to reward the winner a fully – paid vacation for 4days and 3 nights in a 5 star resort in Goa. Every year this prize gets bigger and bigger. The runners up also received gift vouchers as a token of appreciation in achieving this excellent mark by the iPlace management. For me, every individual standing on the podium for that prize is a winner, irrespective to who wins the lottery.

For me the prize wasn’t everything, it was all about the pride in getting nominated by your peers for this award. It was an honor for me to stand up there with the best at iPlace.

iPlace Media Stars

The iPlace team is extremely creative and we see Sojwala and Aswathy who are the iPlace Media stars achieving the heights of creativity with their article. The article is titled – ‘Best Practices for Managing Offshore Recruiting Teams’.  This article has been very helpful to a lot of our clients and even the internal team in understanding how to work best with an offshore partner and the subtleties of offshore recruiting. Kudos to Sojwala and Aswathy!

Here is the link of the article, please be sure to read it and give us your valuable comments.  http://www.recruitingtrends.com/online/thoughtleadership/1409-1.html

iPlace Team Photos

The Allure and the Challenge

Author – Hank Levine

Corporate recruiting departments have been working with staffing agencies since the first employment agency in the United States, Engineering Agency, was founded in 1893. Although working with staffing agencies is expensive, until recently there have been few other ways for companies to supplement their internal recruiting capabilities.

A single corporate recruiter may handle up to 60 simultaneous job openings. It simply is not possible to conduct quality searches for this many positions. Many corporate recruiters also have human resources responsibilities, which make it even more difficult to find the time to recruit for so many openings. Therefore, companies turn to staffing agencies to ensure critical openings get filled.

In the last three or four years, progressive companies have discovered a better alternative. Working with an offshore recruiting partner can increase recruiting productivity by 30 to 50 percent while lowering staffing agency costs by up to 80 percent.

Sound too good to be true? While these types of results are certainly possible, they are not always achieved. The quality of many offshore recruiting firms is inconsistent and some firms are less than totally reputable. So selecting the right partner is critical.

The Concept

Many of the tasks involved with recruiting mid to fairly senior ($50,000 to $130,000) information technology, finance, and accounting professionals are not done face-to-face. Recruiters often identify candidates through Internet-based sourcing and then communicate with the candidate using the phone and e-mail. These “back-office” activities can be performed equally effectively from a lower cost center – offshore. The majority of offshore recruiting firms are located in India, but some offshore recruiting firms can be found in other Asian, Eastern European, and Latin American countries.

Offshore Recruiting Services

Offshore recruiting firms provide a range of services. Full lifecycle recruiting allows corporate recruiting departments to outsource recruiting functions that do not require in-person interactions. Tasks can include sourcing, candidate interviewing and qualification, negotiating pay rates, administering online tests, and conducting background and reference checks.

Internet-based sourcing and/or candidate screening services are simpler than full lifecycle recruiting, yet can free up to 50 percent of corporate recruiters’ time. The offshore sourcers and recruiters work as “assistants” to the corporate recruiters and typically provide support for the most critical and time sensitive job openings. The offshore team performs the time-consuming tasks and leaves the highest-value, highest-touch tasks to the corporate in-house recruiters. As a result, corporate recruiters can close up to 50 percent more job openings, focus on complex tasks requiring the greatest skill, provide a more positive experience for candidates, and delight their hiring managers through presenting higher quality candidates.

What to Look for in an Offshore Recruiting Partner

Selecting an offshore recruiting partner can be confusing. The “sales pitches” of many firms sound suspiciously similar. Oftentimes, these “me too” firms end up competing almost solely on price. This can be dangerous because at a certain price point, it becomes impossible to provide quality sourcing and recruiting services without significantly cutting corners or worse.

Recruiting is not a commodity business. It would be foolish to hire an internal recruiter based solely on the cost of the recruiter and with no regard to the recruiter’s capabilities and experience. The same is true when hiring an offshore recruiting firm.

The checklist below outlines thing to look for when selecting an offshore recruiting firm. With careful due diligence in selecting a partner, the promise of offshore recruiting is likely to be realized.

• Challenge – Recruiters who are not trained

Solution – Offshore recruiting firms work on low margins and some cannot afford to hire experience recruiters or provide training. Insist on the offshore firm providing bios of the recruiters on your offshore team. Verify that the recruiters have received training and be skeptical of firms that claim to provide on the job training.

• Challenge – Recruiters who do not speak clearly

Solution – Insist on speaking with the recruiters on your offshore team. Verify that the recruiters have received voice and accent neutralization training.

• Challenge – Recruiters who do not understand the nuances of American business

Solution – Some offshore recruiters will not understand the urgency of American business or the importance of delivering on commitments. Some will be hesitant to say “no” or “I do not understand” to an American client. Verify that the recruiters on your offshore team have experience working with Americans and training in American business practices.

• Challenge – Recruiter turnover

Solution – Turnover of recruiters in India is extremely high and can undermine performance. High turnover is mostly caused by the enormous demand for experienced international recruiters. Other reasons include health problems from working the nightshift, proposals for arranged marriages that stipulate no nightshift jobs, and leaving a job to take care of an ailing family member – even when the ailment is not life threatening. The level of turnover is much lower in offshore firms that offer their recruiters higher pay and better opportunities to learn and advance professionally. Ask your offshore firm about their recruiter attrition rates and retention programs.

• Challenge – Lack of processes

Solution – The offshore firm should have well-established work processes and procedures to monitor the progress of each job opening. Ask detailed questions about the work process and make sure there is experienced management overseeing the recruiting team.

• Challenge – Poor Infrastructure

Solution – Effective offshore recruiting is not possible without quality infrastructure for both voice and data. Talk with your offshore team to confirm voice quality is acceptable and check to make sure the offshore firm has redundant ISPs in case of an outage.

• Challenge – Disreputable companies

Solution – Some offshore recruiting firms, especially those competing on price, will cut corners. Some common dishonest practices include billing “dedicated” recruiters to more than one account, not fully staffing teams that are supposed to have multiple recruiters, not providing backup recruiters when recruiters are absent, and submitting candidates to multiple clients (be especially leery if the offshore firm has its own US staffing agency). Make sure that your agreement is with a US firm in case there is a need to enforce disputes.

• Challenge – Contract Terms

Solution – Some firms insist on long-term contracts that provide little recourse if performance is not acceptable. Look for firms with flexible contract terms.