The Rigors of Recruiting


Word Cloud Recruitment

Image Courtesy Google 

Recruiting the right person for an opening in the company is a tough job. You have to go through the entire tiered process because you just can’t afford to select the wrong candidate. Experience tells us that often after interviewing candidates whom we have hired, we come to realize they don’t fit in. This is when you start doubting the interviews and candidates!! And so now we make sure that we add all the recommended steps in our evaluation process to achieve the best outcome.

HERD Group is now all set to follow the challenging selection process that we have designed for our purposes. HR has set up an exacting process that will hopefully help eliminate uncommitted candidates. Therefore we start the hiring process with a test of commitment. Commitment is never a secondary option. It is either there or it is not. And it shows up eventually. Our recruitment process builds up the commitment building recruiting approach. Therefore we rigorously screen candidates prior to formal interviews. It is essential to weed out fibbers in the first round.

To enhance the selection process we give due attention and exert energies on the highest norms of recruitment. We spend good time on identified people so that they begin to understand our expected standards. And in this circumlocutory fashion we offer more of our time with candidates. We know that such rigorous selection processes will help us find suitably fitting employees. However, as to what degree the skills that have been adjudged may be put to good use for the ascribed role would be ascertained only later. Also it will take some time for candidates to fit into existing company culture and this too we may know only later.

However, it is safe to assume that most candidates who clear the interview rounds, allow us to form some distinct impression as to their suitability to don the desired role. It is only subsequently that we wonder how well and how soon would the candidates fine-tune into the cultural environment and work ethos of the company. No matter how rigorous may have been the interview process ultimately, it is only later that we would be able to sense the candidate’s consistency and objectivity.

Existing recruiting technologies make it easier to use innovative candidate screening and assessment processes. Also it is possible to tailor solutions to make decisions informed by experiences, particular needs, and organizational culture. HERD Group now makes use of these new standards for candidate screening and assessment. We hope to follow this rigorous and holistic approach to ensure that the hiring process is valid, consistent, and objective. And finally the most critical fact is that processes may bring out scales and numbers of high achievers but we will be guided by human decision-making to arrive at a consensus verdict in choosing the most suitable candidate.

For most top positions HERD Group’s HR department involves other sectional unit heads to offer their time and intervention in the selection of the most appropriate candidate. The final round of decisive talks and face-to-face interview is undertaken by the Managing Director. Thus the three guiding principles for HERD Group after the rigorous screening and assessment process remain validity, consistency and objectivity. This results in the applicant’s complete understanding to assimilate and provide solid indicators of potential performance. We try always to make this rigorous procedure as engaging and comprehensive for the candidates so that it becomes a learning experience for them too.

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World Hepatitis Day



Photograph – Courtesy Google

All over the globe today World Hepatitis Day is being observed! July 28th was earmarked back in 2011 to dedicate World Hepatitis Day to bring all countries together to work with single minded devotion on the scourge of viral hepatitis. The thematic issue was taken up to raise awareness for the global burden of this disease as also to influence real change. It is also one of the just four disease-specific global awareness days officially endorsed by the World Health Organization.

The day involves stakeholders that include patient organizations, governments, medical professionals, civil society, industry and the general public to work together in order to boost the global profile of viral hepatitis. Viral hepatitis remains one of the leading causes of death globally. It accounts for nearly 1.34 million deaths per year. This figure tallies to the total HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria deaths! Additionally hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.

It is interesting to make note that viral hepatitis is not found in any one location or amongst any given set of people. It is actually truly a global epidemic that affects millions of people without them even being aware. Presently 90% of people living with hepatitis B and 80% living with hepatitis C are not aware of their status! This can result in the real possibility of developing fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting the infection to others.

With the availability of effective vaccines and treatments for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, the elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable, but greater awareness and understanding of the disease and the risks is a must, as is access to cheaper diagnostics and treatment. With the recent adoption of the world’s first global hepatitis strategy, we stand at a pivotal moment in time. Besides political commitment, urgent action is needed or deaths will continue to rise and the epidemic will continue to grow.

World Hepatitis Day therefore becomes an opportunity to join together and raise the profile of viral hepatitis among the public. The elimination of viral hepatitis has to be firmly put as a priority agenda. The 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva had 194 governments adopting WHO’s Global Strategy on Viral Hepatitis. This included the goal of eliminating hepatitis B and C in the next 13 years. The community responded by launching NOhep, the first ever global movement to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030.

Today we can all commit to and build on the momentum to accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of elimination by 2030. ELIMINATE HEPATITIS is a simple call to action that involves everyone. Regardless of priorities the theme may be easily adapted for local use to achieve elimination, greater awareness, increased diagnosis and key interventions that include universal vaccination, blood and injection safety, harm reduction and treatment. Every activity that addresses viral hepatitis is a step towards eliminating it.

No matter what your plans are to mark WHD, be it a rally or press briefing or testing events, they can all come under the theme of Eliminate Hepatitis. The elimination of viral hepatitis is not just a public health goal – it is an individual goal for millions of men, women and children across the world. Every single person could be affected by viral hepatitis and we all have a part to play to achieve elimination. HERD Medical Foundation stands up to the challenge and will continue to focus on elimination of this deadly killer.

Company Compliance for Business Ethics


A certification that your business meets up with all required and accepted practices, legislation, prescribed rules and regulations, specified standards, or terms of a contract is necessary to make your company business compliant. Anyone employed by a company makes sure that you need to be in compliance with all policies and procedures, at all times.

In India, compliance regulations span across three echelons – Central, State, and Local regulations. Financial organizations and foreign funds require central regulation. Compliance regulations often vary between industry segments as also from geographical locations. Most regulations diverge between economic, public interest, and environmental regulation. India suffers from poor compliance with around 65% of companies not following compliance norms.

All businesses need to follow varied compliances to obey the legal laws and regulations with regards to how they manage business, staff, and even customers. The concept of compliance ensures that business houses act responsibly. Compliance management is therefore the process that ensures that a given corporate set up is following the given set of rules.

These norms are actually the compliance standards or compliance benchmark and the process is what actually manages their compliance. Compliance is thus being in accordance with established guidelines or specifications, or being in the process of being so. The definition of compliance includes encompassing all efforts that ensure your organization is abiding by requisite regulations.

HERD Group of Companies is also in the process of following the needed regulatory compliances that we need to adhere to. Presently we are in the process of understanding the regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to our businesses. Well aware that violations of regulatory compliances could result in legal reprisal we are therefore attempting to conform to the business laws. In this regard we are making sure of taking steps to comply with relevant laws, polices, and regulations.

Due to the increased number of regulations and need for operational transparency, we are going about the process with help from a professional agency. This will help us to adopt tried and tested measures that will harmonize the sets of compliance controls we may be in need of. This approach would ensure that all necessary governance requirements would be met without the unnecessary duplication of effort and activity.

For starters we are following suggestions made by the professional agency and attempting to achieve the corporate compliance aims for our varied business units. By collaborating and coordinating amongst ourselves we will be helped to evaluate and examine measures that would help us automate the compliance measures that need to be put in place. Herein it would be essential to document and manage all the information to be compliant ready.

Customer Experience to Exceed Beyond Satisfaction

Let’s start with a telling quote on customer experience by Bill Gates – “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” When in the business of serving customers day in and day out, one could tend to do things by rote and forget the better niceties of attracting and retaining customers. Loyal customers in particular need to be handled with great care. A sharp manager knows to keep track and measure what needs to change, where and how.

With HERD Group of Companies our focus is constantly on anticipating the needs of our customers. We do this by taking a step back from time to time to revisit our mission and vision in order to repurpose our targets. As we well know the retail businesses need more than safe, tried and tested survival methods. We also need the right set of approaches to attract a clientele that increasingly trusts our motives.

Our aim is to enhance the retail segments and to top the best customer experience in the different units of the Group. We have come to realize that the secret to success is to lay continuous stress on the importance of customer experience.  For this we lay down tenets of best practices for the retail businesses to follow. Based on our own experiences and expertise we have evolved certain ground rules for establishing our retail sales.

First and foremost we ensure our front-end staff is adept at connecting with our customers. We try and inculcate staff to develop an emotional connect with them. Research states that bonding is as much essential as leaving customers completely satisfied. Staff is motivated to reach out to customers with a sense of belonging and attainment. This they do by walking the customer journey via emotional touch points. Understanding customer mindsets and thereby segmenting them through creative communication enables to establish that emotional connect.

An emotionally connected customer will always walk up to you. He would be recommending you around and may even overlook slight price changes. He will always bring in more revenue. Employees have therefore to be trained to learn to achieve such needed emotional connect. Retail business definitely wants to reach out to as many customers as possible. This has to be accomplished by a well-trained and well-prepared sales team.

Employees can play a key role in creating emotional connections with customers in a physical set up of a retail store. They can start by anticipating the needs of the customers and be ready to reach out to them even before being asked. HERD Pharmacy for instance has been practicing a customer centric culture, aided by leadership that helps them focus on giving a boost to increased happy customer experiences. For doing this they are encouraged to keep track of customer related data like preferences, mindset and transaction history.

The key here is to offer personalized and warm customer experiences. As stated by Sir Richard Branson – “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways”. So it all depends on the attitude and helpfulness of front end staff to retain customers. Payment counter should provide quick efficient service with the least amount of queuing–up time.  It is important to maintain a human element that becomes the emotional connect.

An emotionally connected customer who is well engaged with human efforts is more prone to return and bring more business to the organization. To conclude in the words of Henry Ford – “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money … It is the customer who pays the wages.” We therefore consider customers not simply as passive participants but actually as the intrinsic hub in the running of the business.

Importance of On-The-Job Training


Dr Amol Deshmukh Giving Certificate of Appreciation to Mr Ramesh Sangare – Expert Trainer

July 13 saw HERD HR team organize a training workshop on Dynamic Supervisory Leadership Development for the benefit of HERD Pharmacy Group. The trainer from Human Resources Development Corporation, Mr Ramesh Sangare demonstrated how coaching employees in their given roles made a difference in motivation and propensity for work. Nearly 30 participants from the pharmacy unit along with key staff of the head office including Managing Directors, Dr Amol Deshmukh and Dr Suchika Gupta attended the training programme.

As we all know trainers play an essential part in the success of any team. They help develop and motivate team members. They have the knowledge and knack of bringing out the best in staff members and offer compelling information, examples and techniques to drive home points leading to success for creating a winning team. Undertaking this type of coaching while on-the-job becomes very purposeful as employees learn to attain higher levels of performance that ultimately brings success to the company.

It is for this reason that training employees for superior performance becomes quite important. Such trainings offer numerous benefits. While improving quality and productivity, they also boost enthusiasm and morale. Additionally they help strengthen relationships between employees and promote effective communication between all concerned. On the one hand it adds to the employees sense of job satisfaction and enhances team spirit too. Such continuous periodic trainings helps build trust and employee loyalty.

HERD HR Department therefore considers internal training programs for employees to be a very important area of work. They well know coaching helps employees improve performance and grow professionally. Besides helping develop closer and more effective working relationships among employees, such regular training get-togethers add to a sense of purpose for all concerned. Mr Sangare proceeded with day’s training according to the planned scheduled beginning with basics of motivation and team work.

HERD pharmacy unit started two years back is fast emerging as a visible brand pharmacy chain in Nagpur. Staff working in the pharmacy unit as Managers and supervisors receives ongoing training even as they continue to grow into their respective roles. Over time they have identified new areas in which they need to hone their skills. As the unit is continuously evolving the workforce too has been increasing and HR Department effectively manages outcomes. Yet the need for external coaching was included to make sure employees get trained to enhance skills through an expert facilitator.

The one-day training proved practical, engaging, and quite relevant for supervisors as well as experienced managers to act as a quick refresher course. Participants were enjoying a variety of techniques and gaining perspectives with regard to leadership abilities. Also they were getting new ideas about how coordinated efforts could make a difference in output. The inclusion of a popular feature film cut short to drill in the salient features of team building and winning was an inspiring feature of the training programme.

The training took in effective motivation strategies for staff and by the time they followed the nuggets of simple formulas that clarified how a combination of factors could assist them in reaching their goals, participants were able to understand the elements of adult learning. Since HR head Ms Nisha Mishra had already assessed training needs as per the unit identified for training, the earmarked objectives were addressed accordingly in the training. The experienced trainer was able to help train the young adults effectively. HR now plans to develop more such training sessions to enhance learning for the benefit of staff. HERD Group of Companies is committed to foster and encourage a culture of continued learning.

Establishing Trust in Business


Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable. A dependable work-relationship begets trust and becomes mutually great for both parties to feel safe in every sense of the word. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to trust each other. Oftentimes we experience a workplace that gradually becomes more trusting with time. Nurturing trust makes for the biggest difference in work-place journeys.

Trust is really the ultimate quality a pharma-business brand could build and sustain. More so in the pharmacy line where it can literally make the difference between life and death! A chemist’s shop doesn’t merely offer medications, good customer service, or excellent delivery mechanisms. These are learned attributes that certainly make you reliable. The key factor here is ‘trust’ that needs to be build up. Trust is that rare sentiment that binds your customers to you.

HERD Pharmacy believes that it is trust that acts as the direct chord, tying you to your customers. Even a start-up business can generate the quality of trust. Trust is one of the most powerful allies in the business world, as elsewhere. It works both inside and outside the organization just as forcefully to create bonds that may last a life time. It should be kept in mind though that in business practices trust is a virtue that is mostly an intangible component. One that is often hard to quantify, keep track of or assess. Even so, you will absolutely know it when you see it and experience it.

It is often a challenge to understand this subtle quality that goes beyond reliability and dependability. But this is just what it takes to create an awesome place to work and to cater to the external world. Rest assured customers too can sense this quality and it is your conviction that can be seen through – through all the gloss and polish of well-trained employees and working systems.

So what is it that one needs to imbibe to create this culture of confidence building and trust building? Essentially the people in an organization need to improve areas around mutual-respect, being open and transparent, and creating a positive environment. This energy flow has to extend from top to bottom – from MD and CEO to gardener and guard-man. You need a management that listens and employees that offer their complete participation. When employees realize their voice matters and they are being heard with leadership playing a parental role – is when mutual trust begins.

Mutual trust goes a long way in making significant business progress when we show respect to each other and create positive vibes and affirmative energies. Extend this same positive energy to customers and clients and you will create constructive ambiance for your customers. Watch how trust as the single most critical attribute will make huge improvements in people-skills and people’s level of satisfaction. Good vibes will flow from managers, supervisors, front-line staff, back-end staff to roll on for intuitive bonding with customers.

More positive outcomes will benefit the organization. Employees will feel a sense of pride in working for the company. Trust opens minds and hearts to work willfully with willingness to work beyond what is expected or required. Trust builds up an enormous powerhouse in the commitment of employees that makes them go beyond the call of duty. There is no doubt that at present this is just what we are primed at doing and so it can be safely said we are moving in the right direction.

The way forward is to instill work values that will create a trust-based work environment. What is it that one needs to do to establish trust at the workplace and facilitate it to filter out beyond our counters? This would mean sticking to well-set routines. Multi-tasking is all very well but being reliable would be of prime importance. Trust is just another way of saying you can rely on someone. Each one has to mean what they say. Speak the truth. Share what they really feel. That may be the starting point in building a trust-filled environment.

Preparedness Training for Youth Employability – Celebrating World Population Day

Preparedness Training for Youth Employability – Celebrating World Population Day

HERD Foundation, Nagpur

YuvaConnect Training Dr Amol Deshmukh Handing over Training Certificates

World Population Day is observed on July 11, around the world to create awareness about population growth and related issues. UNO has declared 2014 World Population Day theme as: Investing in Young People. It is a call for investments in support of the largest-ever generation of youth. As the world population edges on we stand at the threshold of 1.8 billion young people who are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values, and building the foundation of the world’s future.

Youth has profound implications for development and all opportunities are to be given to them that have implications on sustainability, access to health services and youth empowerment. HERD Foundation has since inception continued to invest in youth. Our YuvaConnect initiative has been consistently involved with youth from rural areas who have been accorded membership to help them participate in various initiatives like Employable…

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