Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hiring Process Lacks Basics

Below is a fictionalized case study that presents dilemma faced in real organizations. And written by me is the recommended solution to the problem. This has been published in Business Manager Magazine November 2015 edition.

Case Study - Why Mayank did not join?

Mr. Bajaj’s day was spoiled. It was month end and all financial reports were to be sent to CEO after collecting and compiling data from different business centers. Being financial controller, he was to ensure that his people deliver as expected. It was 11 Am and till that time he did not get the clue from Rahul as what was happening. Rahul joined this organization six months back as management trainee in finance department. He was chartered Accountant. His role was to get various financial reports from different facilities, compile them, put before Mr. Bajaj, for his finishing touch and finally to be sent by Mr. Bajaj to CEO. Bajaj was checking his inbox. After the mail of Rahul having reports, next was of his resignation. 

Rahul, who was merely a "trainee" having no visibility all of a sudden became very important for Me. Bajaj. He called and counseled rahul to stay back even offered to raise his salary by Rs.10k but he did not budge. He told that he will not come from next Monday. It was Tuesday Means only six days left. 

Bajaj gave a call to Mitra, Recruitment head. The conversation held between them was: 

M- Hi Bajaj ji, How are you? 

B- Not good yaar.. That CA, rahul you gave me six months back has resigned. He will leave by Monday. These young boys don't know what they think of them…. totally irresponsible and negligent. Give me some good boy this time... You HR guys also don't put your best while recruit. This time put a condition of three year bond. We can't be left behind like this. I want the replacement by Monday. 

And the call ended. 

Mitra was perplexed. He was not sure how he will meet this dead line. He searched his data bank. Coincidently, He laid his hand on a CV of a boy mayank who recently passed his CA. Mitra asked her subordinate Ruchi to coordinate for immediate interview. She gave a call to that boy. Here is the conversation: 

R-hello, I am calling from ……. co. we have your CV. Pl. come for interview tomorrow. 

Mayank- But mam can I come day after? 

R- No... No... You have to come tomorrow only otherwise you will not get this chance. 

Mayank- Ok. Mam.

Next day mayank reached office of the company. But at reception when asked, He was unable to refer the name who called her for interview. Ruchi did not tell her name. Mayank could simply tell that he got a call from this office for the interview in finance department. Receptionist inquired from Finance whether mayank was called for interview. She could not get any clue from finance even. Mayank showed her the mobile No. from call list in mobile. Receptionist then could identify that it was Ruchi's number. She gave call to Ruchi and informed about Mayank waiting at reception. 
After some time mayank was called in.... Ruchi directed him to meet Mr. Bajaj for interview. Mayank reached to Bajaj office on next floor. He was made to sit waiting for about an hour. When called in, Bajaj asked — where is your CV? 

Mayank gave copy of his CV from his document folder which luckily he carried with him. 

Interview questions: 
B- Sit down. 
M- Thank you sir. Mayank sat on the chair. 

B- So you did your CA... All in one attempt... Good. 
M- Yes sir... 

B- You will be here as management trainee and will be responsible for MIS. Is It OK? 
M- (Kept quite) 

B-I am also CA. You will report to me directly. But you have to execute three years bond. We don't want that people come here, work for few months and leave us. 
M- (Kept quite) 

B- Your salary will be … ( Bajaj Quoted some figure) 
B- Join from Monday... take this CV, and meet Mitra... 
M- Ok sir... 

Bajaj handed over his CV back to mayank. Mayank read the comments written on his CV while getting down to the floor.. Bajaj wrote — selected. 

Mayank again went to Ruchi and gave that CV to her and asked for Mr. Mitra.

Ruchi told her to wait as he was in lunch. Mayank waited for about 45 minutes. He could make out that mitra was HR/ recruitment head. 

In the meantime mayank went to wash room. One more person entered wash room behind mayank. 

Their conversation: 
P- Have you come for interview? 
M- Yes. 

P- For which post? 
M- Don't know. I am CA. just Passed. Not aware what post will be given. 

P- Hi... I am also CA. Hopefully you are for replacement of Rahul who has just resigned. 
M- Why he has resigned? 

P- Here people come and go. I will also leave shortly. Till you get a good job, it is not bad to pass some time here. 
M- But they are asking for three year bond that too as management trainee. 

P- But nobody has so far been asked for any bond. Nor I executed. 
M- Why for me then..? 

P-Don't know. 
M- How is the company? 
P- Agar kahin job nahi mile to theek Hai... 

Both came out of the wash room. 

Mayank was called by Mitra. Their conversation: 
Mitra- Sit down mayank.. Congrats.. You are selected. 
Mayank- sir, I am told that I would be as management trainee. 

Mitra- Yes. 
Mayank—for how much period? 

Mitra—Need not to worry. We are here. You are fortunate that you got this job.
Mayank- Will I be rotated to other assignments also or will do only MIS..? 

Mitra- How do you think that MIS is lower level work to be done by CA? Is company fool appointing a CA for this work? 

Mayank- three year bond will be from very first day or after training? 
Mitra- From very first day. 

Mayank-what will be the duration of Training? 
Mitra—that will be decided after looking at your performance. 
Mayank-(Kept quite) 
Mitra asked ruchi to give him offer letter. 

Mayank was handed over the offer letter asking him to join by Monday. Mitra gave a call to Bajaj and confirmed that Mayank will be joining by Monday and his problem is over now. But Mayank did not join. After one month Mayank again got a call from Mitra informing about him that co. has waived off his three years bond condition. Mayank did not join even after that. 

Case Study Analysis

1. Discuss the ingredients of Hiring process, style of interviewers, organization culture and why this recruitment failed?

Given the way recruitment was being handled at the company and treatment meted out to candidates who would come for interview, this was a disaster waiting to happen. This scenario also spoke of the disarray functioning of the HR of the company and it’s importance in scheme of things in the company. The company did not value the importance of time of Mayank whom it had called for interview. It made him wait for endless hours to meet the interviewer’s. The company that does not value prospective employee before recruitment, that employee should not expect much after joining. 

Also the interview questions asked seemed to be mere formality and were not meant to judge or gauge the skills and abilities of an aspiring candidate. There was no robustness in the hiring process like a candidate has to go through minimum 3 rounds of interview and meet different people so that the company gets a 360 degree perspective of the candidate’s skills and abilities before zeroing in on the final decision.

HR was merely looked upon as a side function to fulfil manpower needs as and when it arises and other statutory and regulatory requirements like payroll. HR dept. also seemed to be under pressure to fulfil manpower needs on urgent basis as the stem of flow of person leaving the company was high. As one of the current employee’s rightly said about the company that working here is good till such time you do not get a better offer or till you do not have any other job. So the company was basically looked upon as an option when there is no other option. It was not the preferred choice for employment.

There does not seem to exist any recruitment policy or hiring process at the company. If at all it is there, it does not seem to be effective or is outdated. There are no laid down criteria for screening of resumes, shortlisting for interview, skills / abilities to look out for when hiring a candidate, rolling out offer, acceptance of offer confirmation, pre-joining and joining formalities. Even the employee bond execution policy was not fixed nor was probation period of management trainee. It looks like that it all depended on the whims & fancies of the manager / reporting authority and the HR dept. was merely a facilitator of the same. HR had no role or say and had to merely do that which the company wanted it to do.

2. Was managements of the company failed in understanding the GEN Y kind of person and failed to meet the challenge, If so how management should have handled the situation?

Yes, the management of the company had failed in understanding the GEN Y person, his needs and aspirations, what the GEN Y person looks out for when joining a company. Firstly the reason why Rahul had put in his resignation needed to be looked into. If it was an issue related to his job profile or reporting authority, that could have been resolved through discussions and an amicable solution worked out. If Rahul was looking for more things to do in his current profile other than merely compiling data, he could have been given more work opportunities to learn and grow. 

Firstly the objective should have been to retain Rahul. Still if he had decided to move on, then an exit interview should have taken place and corrective measures on Rahul’s interview feedback acted upon so as to ensure that the next candidate joining in his place, same mistake does not happen again.  

Here, it is also to be noted that the onus lies of Mr. Bajaj, Rahul’s manager to train and develop him and make him a valuable asset for the company and thus retain him. How Mr. Bajaj engages with his subordinates and motivates them is also important. GEN Y person’s are constantly evaluating opportunities for themselves like whether they get to enjoy the work that they are currently doing, is it providing them enough learning and growth opportunities, is the work opportunity provided to them meeting their individual career goals, etc…They are looking to engage themselves more with the organization by job sharing and rotational assignments. They would not be merely satisfied with one profile. GEN Y looks at option of job rotation to help them diversify their job portfolio and gain experience in various roles.

Thirdly the Recruitment process is to be well defined and should focus on a combination of technical, behavioral and personality aspects of potential candidate before making final decision.

Fourth is to identify back up for relevant position and Cross training as a measure to be executed to ensure continuity in case of attrition as compared to existing scenario of looking for a replacement when one leaves and that there is no guarantee that the replacement may join in time.

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