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Blogumulus by Roy Tanck and Amanda Fazani

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get to Know Your Oracle Recruiter - Prashant Singh and his Bass Guitar

We have so many talented people that work at Oracle, and while we have some great technical minds here, we also have people with a range of other skills and talents as well. The other week I had the opportunity to talk to Prashant Singh who is one of our Recruiters in our India Recruitment Team about what it is like to work here at Oracle and hear more about the band plays in outside of work Chromatix.

1) How long have you been with Oracle, what is your role? I have been associated with Oracle since Jan 2007 as a Recruiter for Oracle APAC.

2) How has the use of Web 2.0 Technologies changed the way you recruit? The use of Web 2.0 Technology has really changed our ways of recruiting in many ways.

a) The use of Linkedin, Twitter and Blogging has brought recruitment to a complete new level. We can get connected to candidates across geographic region, get personal touch with right candidates and give them the right opportunity.
b) With the use of Web 02 Tech we are able to exchange our thoughts and ideas in a better way.
c) There is a huge scope of learning for us Recruiters to understand new techniques of recruitment using Web 2.0 Tech.

3)What do you love about working at Oracle? I love working with Oracle for many reasons, I personally enjoy being associated with people who are innovative, who think and act creatively and Oracle is just the right place with great talents. Being a part of the Oracle Recruitment Team I have had many opportunities to do things differently and have worked with many very talented people and had vast amounts of fun achieving spectacular results. I have always enjoyed the support and encouragement from senior management and peers. Oracle brings out the best in me.

4) How long have you been playing bass guitar? Are you in a band? what type of music do you play? I have been playing Bass Guitar since my college days where I use to be a part of the Christian College Cultural team. I am currently associated with a very versatile professional Band - Chromatix. Chromatix is certainly one of few bands that can play a wide variety of music ranging from Western Classical, Pop/Fusion, Rhythm and Blues, Ballads, Rock 'N Roll, to Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal. The hallmark of a Chromatix performance is a blend of excellent sound quality and super tight coordination between band members.

5) What song would you say best describes what it is like to work at Oracle? Work at Oracle is a blend of an excellent work environment, work culture and ethics, pool of very talented individuals, best place for work-life balance, innovative and do things differently. I would categorise Oracle Corporation as a Fusion genre of music, as it is a blend and flare of Fusion.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Has this Recession led to more Job Offer Declines??…By Raghavendra Shetty

A new trend seen in recruitment during this recession is the increase in the “post-offer declines” from the offered candidates and “pre-offer declines” from candidates when they receive potential offers. A candidates reason for declining offers may be their decision to stay back at their present company. While the cause of the same can be easily identified as being due to the recession, here is how candidates may quote this –

-“I’m concerned about possible lay-offs”

-“My job is very secured and I have got good project pipeline in my present company…. I don’t want to take a risk”

As a Recruiter, some of these questions can really put you in a difficult situation to answer when candidates quote some of the examples of their own dear ones losing their jobs. However, there are many ways a Recruiter can turn such cases to successful hires and I believe on the following ones.

1. Help the candidate realise the importance and value of hiring during recession: Of late many candidates ask this question to me as to why are we hiring during recession and I turn this question as an answer to their question. First of all, we should make the candidates understand and realise the importance and value of hiring during recession. Candidates should be given enough information about the roadmap and future of business and also the position they are hired for as to how it can be a possible “recession proof”.

2. Involve Business/Hiring Managers: Asking the Hiring Manager to call the candidate very often after the offer release would definitely help to keep the candidate’s interest level high. Some time candidates may consider Recruiter as more of a job “seller” but their “trust factor” will be more when a hiring Manager calls up the candidate and talk to him.

3. Re-Brief the importance of the role in the company: Re-briefing is very important during a candidate’s post offer to pre-joining phase. Those candidates who are getting interviewed in multiple companies may forget what was explained to them during their interview. The Recruiter should make an attempt to address all queries related to job roles and responsibility.

4. Give personal touch: Perhaps there is nothing better than giving a personal touch to a rapport built with the candidate to avoid offer declines. Add the candidate to social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook, your chat room etc to make him feel more comfortable with the process. Meet the candidate very often both at office and outside, if possible. Apart from being his “career consultant”, talk to him about his personal part of life and make him feel you are not an outsider.

5. Beware of negative candidates/Window shoppers: Don’t be a victim to those ‘window-shopping’ candidates by letting them to make use of your offer to get what they want from their current employer.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle India Recruitment Team for the past three years and can be contacted at

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Life in Oracle, an Interview with Paul Kurt Howard

In the first of a series of Q&A sessions offering an insight into the working life of an Oracle EMEA employee, we talk to Paul Norris, Director IDM - EMEA Middleware Solutions Specialist Team. He is based in the UK.

1 How long have you worked at Oracle, in what capacity did you join and what is your current role?

5 years in March 2009. I joined Oracle as a Senior Sales Manager. My current role is Director IDM - EMEA Middleware Solutions Specialist Team.

2 How did you find yourself working at Oracle?

From the Oblix acquisition, our entry point into the Identity and Access Management (IAM) space.

3 What is it about Oracle that keeps you working here? What is it you enjoy about Oracle?

The variety, challenges and the success. For example, I lead the Oblix acquisition integration and all subsequent acquisitions in the IAM space.

4 What qualities and characteristics would you say Oracle look for in its potential employees?

Team player, committed, confident, flexible, able to take initiative, sense of fun and humour

5 How would you describe the Oracle culture?

Mature start-up! Whilst there is structure, systems and processes in place we are able to develop the business in a highly flexible environment of collaboration and co-operation. "Blue Sky" is over used but we do Blue Sky and some of the ideas actually work.

6 How would you say Oracle motivates its employees to be even more successful than they already are?

From my perspective, a very open relationship with my line management. Ability to work in a collaborative way across lines of business at all levels. Seniority/rank not being barriers to getting things done.

7 What opportunities can Oracle provide for its staff?

The size of Oracle and the way in which it is organised presents many opportunities for personal and career development.

8 How does Oracle support its staff?

Flexible working, such as being home based. This helps with work/life balance. This is a win-win as watching the clock is not something that enters my mind...if I need to be on call or travelling out of hours its not a problem. Likewise if I need to do personal errands during "working hours", these are accommodated.

9 What advice would you give to someone embarking on a career with Oracle?

Be open-minded, get used to "self service" systems, speak up, engage, contribute (even if the idea might seem crazy!), stay focused (can be difficult when spinning lots of plates) and enjoy yourself!

10 How would you summarise your experience at Oracle?

Challenging, exciting, demanding, rewarding and fun.

Thanks Paul, for giving us this opportunity to talk to you about your life in Oracle.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle EMEA Recruitment Team for the past two plus years and can be contacted at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Micro-Blog Recruiting What is it??? MC Didone

One of the latest technologies that the Recruiters are using are Micro-blogs. Micro-blogs, by definition, are different than a traditional blog, such as the one you are reading now.

According to Wikipedia “Micro-blogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates (say, 140 characters or fewer) or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, digital audio or the web.”

With the nature of a Micro-blog being limited in characters, the content is different than what one finds in a traditional blog. People use Micro-blogs for both personal and business use. A Micro-blog is a great way for an organization to announce products, services or career opportunities.

There are quite a number of Micro-blogs available to use. The most known appears to be Twitter which has been around for about two and one-half years and has won web awards in the blog category at the 2007 South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

Plurk is also another Micro-blog platform that integrates video and picture sharing. Jaiku is a Micro-blog platform that incorporates social networking and lifestream service and is by invitation only.

Yammer is a recently launched micro-blogging service that allows users to post updates, follow others and tag content. “Yammer focuses on business, and only individuals with the same corporate email address can join a given network”
As companies come and go, some micro-blogs might come and go as well such as Pownce did. Pownce was a free social networking and micro-blogging site but was closed down following an acquisition by SixApart.

The concept of micro-blogging, however, is here to stay and can be an invaluable tool to get corporate messages and career opportunities out into the community and start a “following” of candidates for current and future opportunities.

Stay tuned for my next blog installment discussing Social Networking and Recruiting…

The author of this article has been with the North America Recruitment team for approximately five years and can be reached at

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hiring People in Tough Market Situations - by Pushpa Sreenivasan

We all know how this is not the employers market. The slump in the market has brought huge challenges to Recruiters whose hunt is still on for the best talent from the market. As the supply of resources flood the market, there surely is a dearth of opportunities within company for open positions. How do we tackle such this situation?

1) Narrow your search: The job portals are flooded with resumes as potential candidates are uncertain about their current job. In a situation like this, it’s very important as a Recruiter for you to narrow your search to the active job seekers than passive job seekers. The active job seekers are responsive to the job offer that you have to offer and they are surely up for grabs.

As for the candidates, its important for you to narrow your search in identifying the right job for you and follow up regularly with the Recruiter on the open head count to have yourself land your dream job.

2) Networking is the key: In a volatile market situation, the job market is the most affected as the perception is LIFO (Last in first out). As a Recruiter, your potential hire is weary of the situation and is not really keen to move out of his comfort zone. The key here would be to build an active network with your potential hires not just for jobs but to gain knowledge on his side of the story. Then it becomes easy for you to present his dream job and then hire him for your open position.

As for the candidates, it helps you to network with the Recruiters and HR folks to gain knowledge on company situation, their hiring prospects, their growth directions just for you to be aware if the move that you are going to make is worth end of it all.

3) Gain business intelligence: Its important to all of us to keep ourselves updated on what is happening around. Gain knowledge on various industries growth or slump. This will help and comes handy if as a Recruiter, you are talking to your potential hire from that domain. This will give you the insight to attract the candidate and also gives confidence to the candidate that he is talking to the right person in the company.

As a candidate, knowledge on verticals not only helps you weigh your option to move to that domain but also helps you compare the industries. In such a turbulent situations, the managers out there want to hire “only the best” who is far beyond excellence. You have to give an impression in the minds of the Recruiter that its you who is cut for the role and nobody else.

4)Reskill and Reinvent: By now, we all know the traditional method of hiring is not the in thing in hiring in turbulent market situations. As a Recruiter, you too have to reskill yourself to reinvent new forms of recruiting. As mentioned in the previous blogs here, the candidates out there are becoming more and more passive making a recruiter’s job even more aggressive and tougher by the day. Its very important as a Recruiter to bell the cat in finding out what works best in his favour. Hunt for the best resource from the deep caves, which did not exist for many.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle India Recruitment Team for the past three years and can be contacted at

Friday, February 6, 2009

Changing Jobs in a it Safe? by Lucy Zhuang

Almost every morning, CNN announces list of companies that have cut jobs, Google, IBM, Microsoft, AMD, Autodesk…… While it is tough times at Oracle we are hiring people. More and more of the candidates I have been speaking to have expressed their concern that they don’t want to change their job because of the recession. I always like to ask them back “are you really safe/stable with your current employer?”

Most people feel insecure to change jobs because they worry about the high possibility to be laid off as a new staff member. In my opinion, not really, we need to look at exactly what kind of situation you are facing. From a recruiter’s point of view, there are several factors I suggest to consider:

1. If you are facing risk at being laid off by your current company. A few days ago, a friend of mine told me her company laid off several employees, to “save the company and the rest of employees”. I asked her if she was considering of looking for some other opportunities, she said NO, because she felt blessed. What if the company’s business gets worse if the economy continues to struggle? What if they need to cut more jobs to “save the company”? If your company already has laid off people, you need to think more about future, think about what kind of positions are being cut off and analyze for your own situation.

2.Is your performance at the bottom of the team? If your department is at the edge of the business? If yes, try your best to improve performance, get more training, and if possible, try to transfer to core business units or start to look for a new opportunity.

3. When a new opportunity comes, don’t simply say yes or no. Get to know more about it, not only regular information about the job such as the scope and responsibilities, but also some facts such as if it is a new position or a replacement position, why to hire for the position, if the company is cutting off jobs and what types of jobs they are, if the company’s business is badly influenced by the recession. Usually a new headcount could be more risky to be cut off than a replacement headcount. Sometimes, a company cuts some positions in one business group while at the same time hiring more for another business group. Some business is not influenced as badly as others. For example, one of my friends is working for a reseller of tires. Due to the recession, more people choose to change tires instead of buying a new car. So their business is not that bad at all.

4. If a company has an effective HR management system. Usually companies with a good HR management system that includes an effective HR planning system has a lower risk to cut jobs dramatically. Working at this type of company will be more stable than those without good HR planning system, which leads to irresponsibly hiring and lay off.

Actually to change jobs is the best way to potentially get a salary increase given many companies cancelled all the salary increase and bonus in recession for existing employees. So be careful with changing jobs, but do not necessary stop pursuing great opportunities for your career development just due to the fact there is a recession.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle China Recruitment Team for the past two years and can be contacted at

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Miracles of Communication – By Prashant Singh

We are living in an increasingly globalised world today. The world has become smaller due to the miracles of communication. Barriers of distances, languages, and cultures have all been overcome by today’s technology. This means of better communication essentially means that we have become more accustomed to communicating with the outside world, for example you can apply for jobs anywhere across the world through various channels like: Blogs, Linkedin, Twitter, etc…. This has helped millions of us to get in touch with the right people and also for the right job opportunities.

The miracles of communication can be used to our advantage for getting better and the right jobs across globe. Any rewards or appreciation from your past work history may make a huge difference in your profile. Not every opportunity that you come across would be the right fit for you, but you can definitely make a difference in your career with the right approach and communication. These days you have an option to get in touch with the concerned recruiters through Blogs, Linkedin, Twitter, etc… and get their contact number and speak to them regarding a position, role, and responsibility in detail before you send your resume. You will also get to understand if your profile will be the best fit or get an option of some other opening that might be best suited for you. Communicating your aspirations is another very essential aspect when you apply for a job. Expressing and communicating your thoughts for that particular job will lead to a better prospect in your career goals as well as any organisational goals.

Communicating through the right channels would create miracles in your career.
The author of this article can be contacted at

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