Ethos Connect with Roshan Rawal

Ethos Connect with Roshan Rawal
Ethos Connect with Roshan Rawal

Our team spoke with HR professional Mr. Roshan Rawal (HR, Indusa). He has been with the firm for more than 6 years and has rich experience in HRIS, HR Policies, Culture Building, Performance Management, Employee Integration, Employee Value Proposition, Software Talent Acquisition, Training and Development.


CONNECT: Tell us about your experience in the industry over the years.

ROSHAN: I have been associated with the IT and software service industry for almost a decade now. If you see from the year 2002-2003 till date there have been many ups and downs, the major setback being in the year 2008-2009 when the whole world was gripped in recession. Our industry also suffered. A majority of our clients of Indian IT services are American companies, Fortune 500 companies, and since they were not doing well naturally we also suffered. But fortunately, since 2014 there has been an steady growth with of course some periodic ups and downs. Especially in the last 6-8 months, the euphoria I see in my company is amazing. I am seeing growth that I have not witnessed in the last 10 years and I know many other companies who are as bullish in terms of business. They need more people, they are expanding, doing well. Healthy merger and acquisitions are happening, so as of now picture is rosy. And seeing the penetration of mobile, internet, digital and social media I see very positive times in the coming years.


CONNECT: What are the expectations you have from new job seekers in your industry?

ROSHAN: Well, its bit complex but if you see any employer in IT, traditional or consulting, the company would look for 2-3 very basic traits which any applicant should have.

1. Sincerity: Towards the organization and their own careers

2. Knowledge and Skills: Of whatever job/task is assigned to them.

3. Positive Attitude: To learn new things, creativity and readiness to face competition and challenges.

Nowadays every company is facing unforeseen challenges and everything is going digital.
Let me give an example. A few years ago, we never thought that we would buy diapers online. The usage of diapers is hardly 10-15 years old in India. We would generally buy it from a medical store or some local store. But today I know a person who orders it from Flipkart. So, due to this change in consumer behaviour everyone has to make changes or else they will perish.


CONNECT: Do you do a background check of a new applicant through Social Media?

ROSHAN: Yes. Social Media gives the idea of the applicant’s views on various thoughts which may or may not align with the organization’s thoughts. India being a democratic country, these are very sensitive matters and it’s important to assess them. It becomes very important for that person to update their LinkedIn profile in alignment with their actual profile.


CONNECT: Do you see any specific issue with freshers who are coming up for recruitment?

ROSHAN: The problem with the present generation is that they are very easy-going. Getting an Engineering degree or a MBA degree is much easier than it was 10 years back. With this they are also of the notion that they will get their job very easily and life will be “cool”.
But not having a serious approach towards their job and career makes it difficult for us. We have repeatedly come across people who have earned their degrees but then have no clue what they will do after it. Scrutiny becomes very difficult for us as we have to pick up the right candidate from this lot. It’s the same as picking up a needle from a haystack.


CONNECT: Any advice for freshers through which they can improve at a personal level?

ROSHAN: They should be very serious and have a clear cut goal for their career and their actions should also match those goals. Applicants should be completely aware about their field of interest. In spite of having access to information the present generation is still not informed. The young generation has not been able to utilize that power of access to information. It can partly be due to their immaturity or know-how or just a lack of seriousness. Freshers should develop an attitude to be informed and use all available mediums of information to gain knowledge and stay updated.


CONNECT: Do you see any issue with middle management employees in the company?

ROSHAN: All the people in middle management who have work experience of 10-15 years are children of those who have started their careers in early 70’s in private or a government enterprises, where ‘getting a job’ was enough in life and it was easily attainable. They lacked vision of a long term good career in jobs. Due to that, the environment that the middle management people have got in their childhood doesn’t give them any vision; that being a professional and having a degree they should focus on upgrading themselves and keep themselves ready for challenges. At one point of time these people get complacent and do not push themselves to get more competent. The organization suffers as it also lacks a competency level from such employees. They are otherwise doing a very good job but their complacency stops them from attaining new heights in their careers.

This will eventually build pressure in the market as organizations would lack innovation or new ideas. There would be a revolution similar to what happened during the 19th century in USA, when there was an eruption of the idea of an individual career, which will anyways take time in our country. Such ideology of individual careers and also a new political structure in the country which looks promising will help the country to move on the way to becoming a Superpower.


CONNECT: How important is HR as a function for small entrepreneurs?

ROSHAN: Small entrepreneurs have to first build their business to decide what type of culture they want to set in their enterprise. Getting good people is difficult, retaining them is even more difficult but growing with them is the most difficult task. It becomes difficult for these small entrepreneurs to provide increments to employees if they don’t deliver as expected.

Big companies like L&T and TCS faced the same problem when they had to retain employees because such employees become liabilities for the company. At such times the role of HR becomes very important to deal with such issues.

CONNECT: What do you expect from the industry in terms of hiring one year from today?

ROSHAN: The key words are “very short term hiring in talent acquisition” and “project based hiring”. Moreover we will also focus on hiring specialists for short term. This will give freelancers immense opportunities. This is where you may have a very specific requirement for 20-30 days and you can’t afford to hire a full-time professional. I also see dominance of very short lifecycle of employees, specialist, consultants or experts in the industry.

CONNECT: Can you state your any memorable experience as a HR which would stay with you for a very long time?

ROSHAN: We celebrate a family day on Diwali where we invite family members of our employees. They visit the office and see the environment and meet other colleagues. There we often meet family members of our employees especially junior female employees. The kind of respect we get from their family members, especially for HR people is just humbling. They personally come and thank for the opportunity that we have given to their son or daughter and also the help we have extended to them. The real respect and gratitude that you see in their eyes pays off for all our efforts. As President Obama during his recent visit to India had said in his ‘Man Ki Baat’ broadcast, “How do I get energy to do my work? It is a fact that all the complex problems of the world come to my desk, they’re hard to solve and they affect the lives of millions of people associated with them. It gives me immense pleasure to solve such problems to make their lives better. When I go out to campaign or any other official outing I meet so many people and they say things like “…three years ago you did this… and it helped me a lot…” and this gives me energy.’ My work too affects someone’s life and that gives me energy. I come to office every day and get my hands dirty, my CEO gets angry with me for doing few things but I still do those things, because I have conviction that I am doing something right for my employees and the organization. It’s a very enriching journey.

CONNECT: Lastly is HR a female-dominated function?

ROSHAN: Your mother cooks the food at your home but the most famous chef of India is a man. Most cooking shows on television are run by men. So you may draw the same analogy here too.

 Every week we connect with one veteran HR professional and get that connect into the corporate world. We talk about trends, expectations and their plans for the future. If you’d like us to ask something specific, drop us a mail at

How Recruiters Can Help Smoothen Out Relocation Pains

As one of the top placement agencies in Gujarat, at Ethos, we have learned to solve staffing problems by going beyond the ordinary, and doing that bit extra where experts and professionals trust us to provide smooth experiences. This does not always happen by just matching job resumes with job positions, or just because a potential employee and potential employer are ready to negotiate.

Big companies have their own human resources networks and experts, but they still hire us because we manage to deliver where others cannot. And one of our secrets is professional relocation management.

People hire executive search companies only when there is a chance of improvement

Large companies engage in recruitment process outsourcing when they are sure that it can enhance their prospects of acquiring talent, and also because they trust that the recruiter would take care of certain angles, which they themselves would not like to engage in.

Relocation problems constitute a large part of components that traditionally, large companies do not want to shoulder because of numerous complex and justified reasons.

However, without solving relocation problems, recruitment efforts are confined and constrained only to locally available human resources pools – in effect forcing companies to keep moving in circles.

This happens because at certain top levels, the number of true professionals in any given market is very limited. Few of them may be ready to join your company, and fewer may be a cultural fit. Often the only solution, for manpower agencies in Gujarat, is to source candidates from other regional markets, and if necessary, even international markets.

However, experts have a terrible reluctance to relocate, and for prudent reasons. Our job is to spot those reasons and address problems that a professional might have in relocation, even if he or she is agreeable otherwise.

Strategies that help to make relocation agreeable to professionals

In work dealing with overseas recruitment in India, we refined and shaped the following steps, and then begun to employ them even for domestic relocations. Wherever it is possible to have companies agree to our policies, we ensure:

  1. Companies create a relocation policy and relocation allowance
  2. Proactive help is provided for schooling of children of relocating employee at the same standards or better than those presently enjoyed
  3. Support for spousal employment made if relocating employee has a working spouse
  4. Temporary accommodation for the relocating employee and his/her family is arranged during the beginning of his/her tenure
  5. Provide help to gain permanent accommodation when the employee is ready
  6. Provide help in the process of disposing and renting properties
  7. Arrange financial support for bearing immediate costs of relocation, which sometimes might be huge and may not be covered in a stipulated relocation allowance

Remember that there are few companies who could or would shoulder the responsibilities of arranging important things like spousal employment or children’s education arrangements. However, companies know that good recruiters have their own systems to offer support to the right employees, and companies are not reluctant to pay the recruiter, as long as they get the support they need.

On the other hand, keep in mind that even three years down the line, a relocated employee is going to trust the recruiter who convinced and helped him to relocate in the first place, and from questions about where to buy kitchen utensils to how to arrange a home loan the recruiter would be the first person to call. We know this, and provide the support down the line to those who trust us. And this is one of the reasons why we manage to stay at forefront of placement consultants in Gujarat, year after year.

Five Critical Phases of Any Recruitment Interview

This might seem preposterous, but in our work as one of the best recruitment agencies in Gujarat and while collaborating on talent hunts with other recruitment agencies in India, we have found that many recruiters work hard to interview their applicants, but lose track when interviewing face-to-face.

Different humans have different personality traits and capacities of influence, and it is not uncommon to face candidates who can exert enough influence to make an interviewer lose track of his objectives.

This is why, besides understanding the job functions and job requirements of an open position and besides preparing lists of competency based questions or behavioral questions – it is essential for a recruiter to prepare an interview format and keep the interview on track.

Why recruiters use interview formats

Quite often, even experienced recruiters are hit by common dilemmas of interviewing. Which question should be asked first? Should they jump right in with competency based questions? If so, what should be the first question? Should the interviewer begin by providing some information about the job and the company? How much information to give? What is the correct order to give and receive information? How can a recruiter keep encouraging interviewees to keep talking but still keep them on track? How to end the interview?

Preparing an interview format is necessary so that recruiters do not face dilemmas during interviews.

Formats provide structures to interviews. They are beneficial both to recruiter and candidates, and they provide a checklist to interviewers to make sure that all necessary information has been gathered through the interview.

Five main areas of any interview format

Whatever format may be used in an interview, it can generally be broken down into five critical phases.

  1. Introductory remarks: This phase is all about introducing each other and conveying what the candidate can expect for the next hour or so. The tone of the meeting is set during introductory remarks, and while this may seem overly formal, it removes any ambiguities about the content of the interview. It also signals to candidates that the interviewer is in control.
  2. Introductory questions: Questions about an applicant’s work history and education, and how they relate to present job requirements. Other questions related to suitableness of a candidate are also asked during this phase.
  3. Providing information: Providing clear information about the job opening, the compensation package, the responsibilities, and the benefits of the position when working in this particular organization.
  4. Answering questions: Answering the candidate’s questions about the job and the organization.
  5. Informing the applicant about next steps: Ending the interview on a positive note and informing the candidate on his or her next options, or what the organization expects in the next phase. The final stage is extremely important for the interviewer. At this phase the interviewer also has to ask himself or herself: Have I gathered enough information to determine job suitability? Have I provided enough information about the organization and adequately described the job? Have I discussed salary, growth opportunities, and other related topics that the organization wants me to discuss? Have I allowed the applicant to ask questions and receive answers? At the summing up phase, the interviewer not only has to sum up an interview to the candidate, but also to himself or herself for recruitment efforts to be successful.

Actually, steps 2-4 above do not need elaboration to interviewers, but our work with placement agencies in Gujarat show that somehow, most get it wrong in the first and last phases of an interview, and these are the most critical.

There is no set pattern to an interview format, however these five critical phases remain in any primary interview and the sequence between stages 2-4 are altered according to need, or they blend into each other, while the first and fifth stage are left virtually unchanged.

Five Key Interview Questions for Finding a Personality Fit

Different job positions have the need of different personalities. While as the top placement consultants in Gujarat, we are concerned with company culture fits above all else, our work in contractual staffing has given us deep insight into interviewing for personality fits. This is because, during contractual staffing, companies are not so worried about cultural fits, as to whether the personality of the candidate fits the job functions and responsibilities.

In this article we would be discussing five interview questions or question types that help interviewers to assess personality fit of a candidate for a job position.

Broadly, candidates can be divided into three categories or personality types – task focused, colleague focused, and power focused. Task focused candidates are more worried about tasks to the exclusion of most other things, colleague focused candidates are led by examples and like supportive roles, while power focused candidates like control and being in charge of things. According to the job role, we need to select the personality type that would fit the job.

There are some traditional interview questions that help to assess personality fits, and they along with cues to decipher personality fits are as follows:

1. Tell me about your most recent job

In usual responses to this –

The task-focused candidate would give detailed description of the job activities

The colleague-focused candidate would describe personalities of people he worked with

The power-focused candidate would talk of issues where he was in-charge

2. What do you consider as your greatest strengths?

In usual responses –

The task-focused candidate would talk about quality work and doing a good job

The colleague focused candidate would state he likes teamwork and gets along with people

The power focused candidate would state he is able to lead and run the show

3. Why does this job role interest you?

In usual responses –

The task-focused candidate would talk about facing new challenges or things like being able to do things faster or without supervision

The colleague-focused candidate would say he can handle the work because he has done similar work before – or something like it is near my home

The power-focused candidate would stress the role of the job as a stepping stone to the future and having scope of advancement or assuming leadership

4. Give an example of a difficult problem you solved

In usual responses –

The task focused candidate would describe a problem of a technical nature

The colleague-focused candidate would describe a problem involving people and perhaps himself or herself

The power oriented candidate would talk about making a leadership decision or solving a situation by influencing others

5. What do you think are the most important qualities a candidate should have for this post?

In usual responses the candidate would describe himself or what he thinks of himself to be –

The task focused candidate will talk of qualities like dependable, self-starter, honest, hard-worker, and etc

The colleague-focused candidate will talk of qualities like being helpful, friendly, and cooperative and etc

The power-focused candidate will talk of qualities like leadership potential, ambition, growing mentality, ability to assume responsibility and take charge and etcetera

Of course, our work for the last decades as one of the best recruitment agencies in Gujarat has taught us that nothing works according to plan or copybook, but we need to improvise from one situation to another. The questions and responses given here are just a general guide but recruitment agencies in India and elsewhere know well enough to moderate the questions and responses to fit the situation.

The Feedback Inbox: a Powerful Tool for Employee Development

In this article, I am going to share a very powerful yet absolutely simple strategy on organizing feedbacks that would help both the management and individual employees in coordinating developments. I call it the Feedback Inbox.

In researching and creating documents for HR and recruitment agencies across the world, I have witnessed a perpetual grievance that despite the best efforts and intentions of recruiters, prime hires fail to deliver, where there is a lack of support and feedback.