Should We Have a Blacklist of Employers as well ?

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One of the most popular post on this blog remains the “Should we have an industry wide blacklist to better evaluate job applicants?“, the topic was controversial and Osama himself categorized this as the Evil post. it brought all kinds of comments abuses and discussions.

Today I will rekindle the flame again but this time from an employees point of view. I had been putting of writing this because of my schedule but the recent happening at DPS made me sit up and bring this to the table for discussion. Over the years there have many horror stories of employers not paying the employees for long amount of time, or not paying there dues after the employee has left the organization or maybe promising some thing during the interview and not delivering when the person joins and the list goes on. So shouldn’t we have a list of Employers who have been unfair to the Employees?

The problem with employee behaving un ethically or unprofessionally is not as bad as an employer acting in the same manner the reason being when an employee does some thing of this sort or his actions brings some damage to the organization the scope is limited to what was under his jurisdiction but if an employer goes out and does some thing un-ethical it is catastrophic the ripple affects are too much to be ignored or left alone. for example lets say an employer for down sizing or any reason what so ever fires its employee without notice and does not compensate him. can you think of the situation that employee has to face and his family, with living costs rising day by day people would literally  come on road. Now compare this to if an employee leaves without notice, At max the damage that brings to an organization is that few months will be required for training another person for his job some of the work lost due to his unavailability, but there will be many inside the organization who will be able to cover his position (Unless the employee was working alone without any interaction for whole his tenure with the company), now i am not saying any where that this is allowed or is insignificant i am just comparing the two situation for me the earlier one has more damaging effect than the later.

Our law system is so obfuscated that no one ever dares to challenge the employer in the court after being exploited, employers here in the country are getting away with all kind of exploitation and seems to be free what ever they do and no one can challenge them. This combined with some of the pure business mentality of people coming in to earn quick money which squeezes the employees for as less as possible until they can give no more creates an environment which is painful for employees to work in, one of the reasons(not the major one but still) we have not been able to stop the brain drain people who want to work here are driven off by these problems for a job which gives them peace of mind and security for their job against an employers injustice.

So my question is shouldn’t we have a place where the professional can look before joining an organization to learn about how it has been treating its employees. maybe a rating system based on employee’s feedback so new comers can take caution for employers who have a lower rating. The reason i think this can work vs the employee black list is that in that case we are placing the judgment on entirely one person usually the HR Manager or the Company head. But for employer rating system all of the employee base are participating and the judgment derived for all of the employees and the prejudice of a single person can be generalized and not affect the company name too much, this will also push the employer to improve where they are lacking and help an employee make a better judged decision of joining an organization. This is more or less happening informally by the word of mouth, you can always contact some one to ask how the company is doing business but still there is not proper way of measuring this, and i propose that such a system should exist for the safety of employees. This is not a novel idea this has been going in come countries for example the best company to work for rating by Fortune magazine http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2007/. Shouldn’t we have some thing on the same lines for Pakistan?

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  • But this can really turn ugly because sometimes your viewpoint over a particular organization is actually based on rumors. That information would be useless.

    Moreover, there is some competition in the local industry as well; where one company won’t like the other company to get the best available people. There they can exaggerate stuff to mar the competitor’s reputation.

  • my point was only the employees of the company should be able to vote on the ranking and the over all ranking should be based on an average from all their employees. i mean for a 50 person company if all 50 are not satisfied and feel exploited then there must be some thing wrong. one person’s peronal prejudice should not be able to affect that.

    I know this will turn ugly but still isn’t this needed at some point, if not the bad ranking then at least the good ranking which will make these companies improve facilities for employees
    I am sure google invests heavily in its environment and policies to keep its employees satisfied to retain the number 1 position in the best place to work with. we all know Pay is not the only thing

  • @Jaywalker :) some how i thought you would be the first to comment on it but in favor because of this
    http://greenwhite.org/2007/07/17/quitting-do-it-professionally/#comment-2096

  • Not a bad idea.

    I think it would be best if you at this very blog start a sort of rating of different companies. So instead of having black listed companies, we can have preferred or less preferred companies based on different valid/logical points.

    Job reliability, working hours, medical and other benefits, stress and yearly holidays can definitely make a good comparison.

  • I am a balancer. You’ll always find me becoming the devil’s advocate when people start inclining to one viewpoint, thinking that the other view point is completely bogus.

  • i think we should have both, why only bad employees should looked at how about good employees they should have an honor list for them as well…

  • I’m not in favor of black lists. Just as individuals should be checked for references, companies have/develop reputations which should be looked at. However its not possible to build an objective rating system.

  • Just wanted to let you know that as of last year P@SHA has added the following two categories to its Annual ICT Awards:

    1. Best IT/ITES Employer
    2. Best Brand Development

    Admittedly last year was the first and a lot of details need to be worked out to make it an effective survey. Any suggestions that any of you can make will be passed on to the P@SHA Central Executive Committee.

    This way we can start building a list of companies who are good employers – in terms of their HR policies, the work environment, Training, Growth opportunities and ethical practices in terms of promotion based entirely on merit.

    We can moan and groan all we want but if we do not develop the culture amongst individuals and companies, things will never change.

    Employers and employees who knowingly break laws/contracts need to be taken to task if we are to improve the working environment.

    And, I tend to disagree with the viewpoint that it is only our industry that is suffering from these woes. Just this morning a friend at one of the television channels was complaining about employees jumping ship after receiving intensive training from foreign media specialists/trainers – simply because more money was offered.

    Each of us wants to make a better living for ourselves but morals and ethics and commitment should be kept in mind and adhered to – both by employers and employees if we are to forge ahead at the speed that we can.

    There is so much talent in this country. It would be a shame if it was wasted due to a lack of ethics and professionalism.

    Maybe I live in a dream world. Maybe cut-throat competition, poaching and dog-eat-dog is what it’s all about. Somehow I don’t think that is true though. I have met and worked with a lot of good people and companies in this country. I have spoken with a lot of young kids who are in college or university. I have hope that this country has a lot of depth, a lot of talent, a lot of expertise – and a value system, which if inculcated, will give us the desired results.

    All we need is discipline, opportunity, counselling and training – and of course laws and practices that will keep people and companies in check.

  • @Babar. reference checks are easy for a person who has been around doing business for some time. think of some one who returns to country after 10 years of business/job abroad and looks around for either setting up an office or looking for a job in his home country has no links where does he turn to look who is to guide him

  • I think i’m a bit late in commenting, but Thank You Qazi for brining such an awesome topic to limelight.

    God knows how badly I need that black list after working with numerous companies as a recruiter and firm believer in Do No Evil. Yet at the same time to balance the thing, I do also agree that employee’s can be equally wrong.

    What I feel one of the main problem is, Job Description a.k.a JD is taken as a mere formality in organizations. Rather it can be made a dual purpose yardstick for both employer’s and employee’s. If both the parties adhere to the spirit of the JD, mutually work on it I don’t think so thinks can become as bad as they do.

    I agree with Jaywalker, that if this powerful tool becomes so powerful, it can damage the repute of the organization if not fact checked. I’m witness to such an ongoing event with one of my clients, due to one bad fish the whole pond is becoming dirty. A non-performing resource was let go for not working, who happens to have immense influence in his peer group. Our industry being so much connected, whenever a job query emerges from that particular org., a background check somehow passes through this resource and he would make sure to provide the Darkest side of the moon to prospect employee’s. We have requested him to visit us and sort out the issue’s, but as Jehan mentioned, if we didn’t had dog-eat-dog thing going out there….

    Qazi, I think a list like fortune, particularly of our Industry is very much required. And that could function very well. So who is going to start it ?

  • Salman, sorry for replying so late. seems i skipped your comment. i guess Jehan Ara said above that they are already doing some thing of the sort lets analyse the result and see if we can add more factors to it.

  • PASHA and PSEB are serving to shelter only Employers. These are not associations to protect / shelter Employees. hetic are those who believe that taming young-blood by penalizing them through a Social / Economical Boycott would serve a good purpose are living in the world of fools as our young talent already leaves the country on student vizas, rest leave this country / industry right after graduation and some after two years. Employers in Pakistan are already working in easy terms that they do not have to pay all allowances to their employees as employers in other countries of the world has to pay as legal binding. Software Development Business has become home-based business in pakistan where there are single-roomed software houses in almost every other street; and from experience i learn that there are also popular PSEB-registered companies who falsely, shamelessly openly claim on their websites as being ISO-certified OR CMMi-Level-2 which they are not. It is a very common practice in Islamabad-based companeis that Several companies do not even pay salaries to their employees for several months and several ex-employees are never paid for their work of last month they spend in company. Employers fraudulently offer jobs with a kind of contract in which they can be able to make an employee unpayable slave for lifetime of employee and employee naively sign job-offer. However, when they find that employer is not paying salaries for several months, then they reallize what hell has happened with him / her. Employers have more powers, whereas there is no association of Software Engineers in Pakistan which support and protect the rights of Software Engineers. PASHA and PSEB are both there to support business but not young-talent. PSEB itself pays compensation to its Interns after 6/7 months of completion of their Internship, worst. Why would an employee miss an opportunity offered by a company which pays market value, along with allowances, and professional-growth. I suggest that Employers in Pakistan need to improve their work-environment and reputation to retain young-talent rather than to focus on the strategy of taming young-talent by penalizing them through social / economical boycott which is unIslamic way. Better learn how to improve work-environment and pay-scales to retain resources.

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