spot-light-shama-saghirQ.1. What makes your company an attractive employer for the job seekers?

Ms. Shama Saghir: It is heartening to know that despite the global economic crisis which has squeezed the life out of many companies, including the IT sector in Pakistan, i2c Inc continues to grow. We are experiencing significant growth in business and employment opportunities and are always on the lookout for talented people to join our team.

We offer a challenging and rewarding career to individuals who have a passion to excel and can deliver in a fast-paced, team-based environment. Our management culture fosters open communication and flow of ideas throughout all levels of the organization. The proven strength and speed of our team-based culture contributes directly to the success and agility of i2c.

The diversity, talent and expertise of our employees drive success in all areas of our business, and keep us on the cutting edge of opportunity. And that, in my opinion, makes us a very attractive destination for both fresh as well as experienced job seekers.

Q.2. What is your policy on work-life balance and how do you achieve this balance yourself?

Ms. Shama Saghir: Work is an end in itself, but for a fulfilling life, one should also be able to have time for their non-professional and leisure activities. Overburdened and overworked employees are not the best performers. We try to create very supportive work environment for our employees and try to resolve employee issues in a way that enables them to create a healthy work-life balance as well as fulfill their worth to the company.

We can also boast of very generous employee benefit programs that make us stand out from other players in the market. Some of the attractive features of our employee-oriented policies include:

• Child education support
• Family health care
• Two off days in a week
• Compensation leaves
• Annual paid leaves
• Annual events to bring together employees and their families

To achieve work-life balance, I think, you have to learn time management and set priorities in your life. If you know your priorities and manage your time well, you should be able to strike this balance.

Q.3. Do you believe that Pakistani Universities are creating an effective talent pool, and what is your Company’s strategy to attract the best talent in Pakistan?

Ms. Shama Saghir: I think that the Pakistani universities need to craft their curricula and courses to meet the demands of not only the present but also the future markets. This will take more than churning out the graduates who are content with merely trying to follow and mimic the best industry practices they read about in books.

The institutions of higher education should understand the higher priorities of producing the leaders and workers of this information age. This requires development of creative minds with keen analytical skills. The universities should also invest more time and effort to groom the overall personalities of their graduates to make them more effective in the workplace and in life at large.

Finding the best person for the job is always a challenge. We have been recruiting a number of people through online portals and employee referrals. We have also been recruiting directly from the universities, and intend to pursue this avenue more vigorously in the next quarter by broadening our search for fresh talent to a number of top schools in the country.

Q.4. Due to rough economic situation and soaring price rise, how does your company deal with keeping itself cost-effective and attractive for job seekers?

Ms. Shama Saghir: We believe in innovation and leadership – the qualities that have helped us maintain our growth and undertake expansion even in these bitter economic times. We have over a hundred positions open at the moment, which clearly shows our growing business needs and highlights our achievements. This positive outlook, coupled with our excellent working environment, competitive salary packages and first-rate employment benefit programs, has made us the first choice for job seekers.

Q.5. Human Resources are the first causalities of an economic slowdown. What is your company strategy to deal with this challenge?

Ms. Shama Saghir: The human resources are the most valuable asset a company has. They’re like the life-blood of an organization.

We expect our resources to pursue continued professional development to stay on the top in this highly competitive and demanding market. The fate of an organization and that of its workers are intertwined, and I think our resources understand that. This is one of the reasons that while others are busy trying to manage their lay-offs, we continue to invite more talent.

Q.6.As far as Industry linkages are concerned do you feel that Industry will continue to support academia?

Ms. Shama Saghir: If it is serious about improving its long-term business prospects in a knowledge-based economy, the industry should not only retain its links with academia but strengthen them. Otherwise, the industry will be faced with a dearth of workers with the right skill sets to propel its future growth.

A partnership between academia and the industry is a win-win for all and is absolutely crucial in producing graduates who are marketable and are ready to hit the ground running.

Q.7. How would you rate success and importance of online recruitment firms such as ROZEE.PK?

Ms. Shama Saghir: Online recruitment firms are certainly going to play a major role in a digital world. What we are witnessing is just the beginning…

Rozee has proven itself the number one job portal in Pakistan. It has done an excellent job in building a relationship between various market forces and bringing the employers and prospective employees together. As the economy expands and gives birth to new employment opportunities, the job seekers will increasingly look toward recruitment firms like Rozee.

Q.8. How has ROZEE helped your firm regarding recruitment i.e. Have you tried any recruitment tools provided by ROZEE e.g. Job Fairs/Job Postings/CV Search?

Ms. Shama Saghir: We have been using the Rozee portal for two years now, and have also participated in the job fairs arranged by Rozee. Our booth at the last Rozee job fair generated very high interest and attracted more online traffic than any other booth. As I mentioned earlier, we are trying to fill over a hundred vacant positions, and, naturally, that is something that engages people’s attention. We also made sure that a facilitator is always present at the booth to guide the job seekers.

We appreciate the platform that Rozee has provided us to demonstrate our success and potential, and reach out to a very large audience in the job market. We hope that Rozee will continue to play its important role, and look forward to strengthening our mutually beneficial relationship.

Q.9. Tell us about your educational life.

Ms. Shama Saghir: I was a pretty good student. I was also always conscious of the fact that there is more to learning than memorizing course books. I actively participated in the extracurricular activities, and strived for a healthy balance in my student life.

I have a Master’s degree in Business Education from the University of the Punjab. It could be interesting to note that at that time, HR Management was being offered as a course and not as a full-fledged specialization. We could specialize either in marketing or finance. It is good to see the educational institutions finally catching up with the global trends in realizing the value and potential of HR Management.

I also feel that a person’s education doesn’t end with his or her final degree. In my professional life, I had had the invaluable opportunity to be a part of the development and evolution of many new HR processes at the companies I have been with. I also consider it an excellent continuing learning experience.

Q.10.What are the biggest turn-offs in an interview/a job applicant?

Ms. Shama Saghir: The biggest turn-offs are the candidates:

– Who do not have well-defined objectives in life or career
– Whose knowledge about life and profession has been borrowed exclusively from books
– Who do not have well thought-out ideas and opinions of their own.

Q.11. What do you look for in a candidate during a hiring interview session? Name 4 key things?

Ms. Shama Saghir:

• Passion to do something
• Sense of responsibility
• Teamwork
• Positive approach towards life