I am writing you to seek advice /suggestions with regards to my queries and clarifications on HR. I highly hope that your rich experience will clarify my doubts. Thank you for giving me your time.

At very outset, I would brief myself. I am Subasree Sundaram have 2.10 years experience as an HR Generalist in Non - IT ( Advertising Industry).All these years I have gained working knowledge in major HR areas. I have been responsible for Employee HR Life cycle role. My expertise is in Talent acquisition, Employee relations, HR operations, HR policy framing.My previous experiences are with unorganized companies via Small sized companies.

As you know, the small companies where they work very informally. In my last previous company, the workforce is around 250 employees. There were no systematic workflows and work processes, lack of policies and procedures, lack of organization structure, lack of data Management, lack of goals & strategies which lead to low morale with employees resulted in less productivity. I worked on HR Generalist profile from recruitment to exit process.

That experience made me to learn the importance of HR Functions and Strategies. I was like a big fish in small pond (Small company). There were no clear role and responsibilities. As a fresher, I was not providing my assistance. But I was overloaded with senior position responsibilities and the company was relying on my output (recruitment, policies and procedures). Certainly, there was no good results because lack of strategies that laid me a good platform to know what is strategy is, what are HR functions plays important role and learnt how to do every tasks from scratch. I was efforting or working hard to turn the company to organized form with my meagre experience and knowledge.

Initially, as a fresher I struggled due to unclear expectations where my efforts failed. Then with the guidance of HR Consultants, I started working on SWOT Analysis, Strategic planning process via Vision, Goals and Objectives, Job design, PMS ie MBO, general policies and procedures, HR Administration, Tax planning ,payroll and compliance. That was quite successful.I could not compare the work with the standards of the other companies. In spite of finding difficulties, I started learning HR functions via books, forums, discussions, HR websites and HR Training.

And about my previous experience was with start - up company, where I was handling the same scenarios as before.There, I applied the things what I have learnt in my previous organization. But unfortunately the company got shut down due financial crisis. So I left the job.

Positively I learnt from my experience that “what should be done to keep things in the organized form” This is because I have learnt wrong ways /informal procedures which will not reap results and remain the company in unorganized form. I reminded of Thomas Edison famous quote signifying the truth of his reality, “I have not failed, and I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. And my perception about this, In the race, the failed one know “how fast to run and win”.

Right now, I am venturing the job opportunities for an HR Generalist in Bangalore. I do learn daily & update on what is

1. Strategies

2. Strategy planning process

3. Recruitment/Selection Strategies/Interviewing

4. Retention Strategies

5. PMS -How to devise the performance Plan

6. Employee relations/benefits

7. Succession planning

8. Payroll processing & statutory compliance

9. MIS Reports generation

I do clear my second round of Interviews. But, not turned with results. I guess these might be the reasons:

1. I am not matching their requirements

2. I am unemployed.

3. I worked with small companies

4. I may not be aware of Opportunities or Market with fewer opportunities

5. My Salary payment mode via cash

6. I am lack of knowledge or over qualified.

Could you possibly help me whether am I right? What are the major areas that I have to concentrate? What are the sources that I could learn & update my knowledge? Also suggest ways to improve my skills and abilities.As I am from Non- IT, I really want to know HR systems and work processes of the corporate IT Companies/other operates.What are the opportunities in the market

As a quick learner, I could do my best if you educate on this.Please post me your honest feedback, concerns and suggestions. This advice will help me to take a step ahead.

Awaiting for your response!

Thanks & Regards,

Subasree Sundaram

From India, Coimbatore
Dear Subashree

I appreciate your attitude towards learning and not to hesitate to do self-analysis and keeping yourself open to suggestions for improvement.After going through your post, my observations are asunder .

1) I do not visualise that points (3) and (5) are a hindrance in your efforts to get a break.

2) That leaves us to zero in on points(1) (2) (4) and (6)

3) As regards point(1), Iam not aware as to which sector you recieved interviews for.It is understood from the post that you have experience in HR in in an advertising comapny. Supposing you gave interviews for positions in manufacturing sector, they will not prefer one with experience in a white collar establsihment since the skills and knowledge required for a factory are different from those of manning HR in a white collar establsihment. You need to be aware of this distinction.So apply for jobs in establishmnets that have white collar set-up like IT sector, BPOs,KPOs, retail, banking & Insurance sectors where you stand a good chance of facilitating your selction.

Secondly, after giving an interview, rewind as to what questions they have asked.Did they enquire about any specific skills? Whether they refered to any technical skills? If so whether you have them? This gives you an idea whether you are matching their requirements.

2) As regards point(2), do not sit idle. try to do some short certfication course or consultant job in any HR recruitment consultancy in the intervening period or see whether you can join as a faculty in a training institute with back ground of your knowlege and skills.

4)As reagrds point (4), try references and professional sources like your class mates who are currently employed. Look for retail sector. It si big covering your kitchen, soaps to smart phones. It means it covers provsions to electronics to telecommunications.There are hundreds of stores.Then look for banking and insurance which are growing. Another sector is HR consultancy(not recruitment) which require consultants to undertake various projects in OD, performance mangement, training etc.

5) As regards point(6), while I rule out over qualification as the impediment as MBA HR is the qualification which employers looking for core HR jobs unless you are looking for routine administrative jobs.Try to get into proper HR function.As regards the doubt of inadequate knowledge, go to point (1) and anylise this issue with reference to the questions asked in the interviews.

Trust this will be of some help.


HR & labour Law advisor


From India, Mumbai
Actually, if you carry on with this kind of positive attitude, you are sure to scale new heights. If you miss out in one organisation, dont worry, there may be other companies who will be willing to take you for the kind of exposure that you have undergone so early in your career.
Keep working, keep learning and you will go places.
Best wishes

From India
It might sound funny, but the truth is most CEOs I know don’t have a ready answer to the question "How does your HR leader help your organization compete?" nor do they have a handy list of must-do activities for an HR executives charged with boosting the organization’s competitive future. Honestly, if you ask a CEO "What does your HR leader do?" he or she is likely to say: "You got me. I just know I need to have one."

We expect our HR executives to look after employee records, hire and train people, administer performance reviews, and see that compensation and benefits practices chug along. It’s every HR chief’s highest calling to make sure his or her employer has the most excited, switched-on, and capable people on the market.

As an HR professional, our key job is to attract, retain and grow human capital. However, to do that, it would be an added advantage if we have an exposure to other functions i.e. Finance, Sales, Marketing, Quality etc.

Here’s a list of the things your HR head should be doing right now:

1. Work with a mission of taking the company from one level to theother by collaborating with you and other leaders to design and communicate a vision for the company, using every communication vehicle you have. Instead most people re very comfortable playing the role of carrying out the CEO's plan's blindly rather than reasoning. In short the CEO's "Yes" person. Building a culture of collaboration that fuels every important program at your company. If your HR chief isn’t the advocate for people and evangelist for your culture, that’s a bad sign

2. For one who really wants to make a contribution then selling the company to the vast "talent pool," and making it a company where people would want to be working for. This has to be done by utilizing every opportunity and every media available- in person, online, and via print and broadcast media. A HR Leader should articulate the organization’s history, culture and story, not only for recruiting purposes but to fuel all the other activities - clients, vendors, media, and the business community. Building a pipeline of qualified, energized people to fuel the company’s growth—scrapping the requisition-by-requisition, transactional recruitment model.

3. A HR Leader should "walk the talk" be an influencer so that employees would want to emulate by to hold 'integrity" at work, especially when sticky interpersonal or political wrangles crop up. They should have the liberty and be empowered enough to even tell the CEO isn't right always. Reinforcing a culture that emphasizes ingenuity over irrelevant, one-size-fits-all metrics. Asking your team members every day for their input on your business, their own careers, and life in general—not via a sterile, once-a-year "employee engagement survey." Replacing fear with trust at every opportunity, in policies, training sessions, management practices, and via every conversation in the place.

4. Installing just enough HR process to meet your company’s regulatory compliance needs but not so much that people are stymied or treated like children. Shifting the HR function away from a break/fix model ("Benefits question? Second door on the left.") to an embedded function in your business units.

There are 4 key part of HR value chain as outlined in the picture i.e. Talent Acquisition, Organizational Development, Employee Engagement and HR Service Delivery which includes entire spectrum of HR transaction including compliance with law of the land. To build successful career in HR, it is imperative that we build depth and breadth in each of these and subset of these strands and deliver consistently on defined CTQ's (Critical to Quality). If we skip any of these and somehow manage to reach to leadership positions in HR, we will find it difficult to strategize and even if we strategize, it would be difficult to visualize the entire execution phase. Most of strategies fail not because they lack perspicacity and sound judgment on the part of strategist, however, they fail as it is difficult to execute them and the person who strategize without going through the rigmarole, fails to anticipate the bottlenecks in execution.

I have seen HR People more willing to do employee engagement / Organizational development related roles and are happy carrying out transactional spectrum of HR which is an operational matter so is truly the backbone of any HR organization.

In my view, aspiring HR professionals must build the efficiencies, depth and breadth to become Transformational HR Leaders". This will help them in the long run and catapult them into "hands on" HR leaders where they will not demand, however, command the respect of their staff.

Shoul you want toknow more on Transactional vs Transformation HR, I suggest you google and that will lead you to a lot of informaton.

Best wishes and warm regards,

From India, Hyderabad

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