Saturday, April 01, 2006

Offshore Bound

My friend, A was on the market for a consulting gig at the beginning of this year. She discovered that headhunters had rebranded in 2006 and were now referring to themselves a "talent acquisition professionals". We thought that was a hilarious nomenclature given how clueless most headhunters are about the "talent" they supposedly go scouting.

Unless it passes the resume scanning software's selection criteria based on keyword density, a jobhunter has little hope of getting noticed - and that's exactly what happened to A. She is a business process re-engineering specialist. That analysis would logically precede any reengineering would seem an obvious conclusion but we forget that we are dealing with bots - the humans are too busy taking clients out to lunch to keep the requirements flowing in.
Whereas in truth A is overqualified as a business analyst, recruiters usually assume she has no experience at all.

Like A, I have consulted long enough to be very disillusioned by this whole headhunting business. Interviews with headhunters are like interacting with your bank's voice activated customer support system. They stick to their script like their life depended on it and don't want you stray from a set of acceptable responses. Unlike me, A is too polite to refuse to do the "meet and greet" routine which they insist upon if you are local.

Hearing her recount horror stories from the latest jobhunt, I said that this function would be outsourced soon unless people in this business demonstrated a significant level of differentiation from a keyword scanner programmed to service at voice prompts. As luck would have it, by the end of A's search she was contacted by a couple of desi recruiters
working from Delhi using VoIP phones with a local numbers.

The other kind of job that I see going offshore soon unless it already has is the administrative and book-keeping work at doctors' offices. I would not know where to stop ranting once I got started
about that one.

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