Posted: Tuesday , June 17, 2008

National Skills Registry a ‘great first step’

Nasscom initiative yet to reach critical mass; 57 cos are participants

Bangalore, June 16 Two years after its launch, the National Skills Registry, a Nasscom initiative boasts of a database of over 2.5 lakh ‘clean people’ in the industry.

But with over two million employees in the current IT/ITeS workforce in the country, can the registry really enhance the country’s reputation as a ‘trusted outsourcing’ destination?

“Though there are moves to make it popular, it has to reach a critical mass to actually catch on with the industry,” says Mr. Gautam Sinha, Chief Executive Officer, TVA InfoTech, an IT recruitment firm.

The tipping point will be when large IT firms make it mandatory for all job aspirants to be registered on the registry, he says.

Mr. Mohandas Pai, Director, HR, Infosys, says that though the company has mandated a background check for all its lateral recruits, “we cannot reject a candidate if he or she is not registered with the NSR”.

But 57 IT/ITeS companies, including Wipro, Sasken, TCS and Cognizant, representing 50-60 per cent of the industry employee strength, are participating in the initiative, say Nasscom sources.

‘Fine-tuning needed’

Industry practitioners hail the registry as a “great first step” but insist that certain ‘processes’ need to be fine-tuned.

“There should be a mechanism to track the movement of people in the industry,” says Col Vijay Reddy, Director, Footprints Collateral Services, a Bangalore-based background check firm. Nasscom however, says that the update is employee owned and “it is in the interest of the employee to keep the info updated”.

For example, an employee completing an education qualification and changing jobs has to update the details so as to keep the entry validated.

Also as every update has a date as to when the last change was done, it helps in tracking the candidate’s profile.

Though the registry is open for both current and aspiring IT/ITeS employees, only about 10 per cent of the registrations are from candidates aspiring to join the industry.

In terms of candidate profile, about 80 per cent of the registrations are process associates and manager levels, according to Nasscom.

For other sectors too

Though it was initiated to compile a database of details of IT Professionals there are moves to make this a standard practice for recruitment in non-IT/BPO sectors too.