Friday, May 14, 2010

Talent from institute and perfect resume: Holy Grail

We should hire good candidates from reputed management and technical institutes.”

CEO mandated to HR head. HR head communicated this to recruitment manager and recruitment manager come up with the list of top management and engineering institutes in India along with the huge hiring budget. Management (means CEO) approved the budget and hiring plan. Recruitment manager along with other 5 panel members travelled all over the India in different institutes and shortlisted 25 students for final offer.

With so many business school graduates coming into the market it was tempting to think that this is a great moment to upgrade company’s intake. When it comes to hiring people, isn’t it true that you get what you pay for?

All these 25 students were from top institutes with excellent communication skill (means fluent in English), presentation skills, (means making and presenting ppts), influencing skills (as they influenced interview panel), and other so called soft skills. They had long rounds of screening, group discussions, and interviews.

Recruitment manager and HR head were very happy. CEO was even more happy. Now the organization was ready to make the history. Double growth, more money and 25 future leaders to work on different projects. Their average CTC was more than 6 lacs per annum all inclusive. There were another set of employees who were working with the company for last few years, experienced and doing well (as 80% were rated excellent, very good or good during appraisals). But their compensation was less as compare to these fresher. They started to check their market value and updated their CV on job portals.

“So what, these guys are from top institutes and have different qualities and traits. There will be differentiation” was the justification. It went well. Vigorous shop floor training of one year in different departments went well. Some line managers were happy with these new entrants, some were not happy. Reasons were different. Somebody was thinking that now their department problems will be easy. Somebody was thinking that, ok, at least they got additional manpower.

Finally candidates were ready for working in departments. They were absorbed in different departments like marketing, SCM, HR, Operations, QA, production etc etc.

Actual problems started.

“I am concern about my safety, I have to travel on bike to visit customer.”
“My potential is not used fully; I am from chemical background and what I am doing in SCM?”
“I have to work late evening, my work life balance is not maintained.”
“I am not getting proper feedback.”
“Travelling time is very long. This is not what I was expecting”
‘It is not challenging, you know, it is monotonous.”

And so on….

At the second year out of 25 employees, hardly 5 employees decided to pursue the career with this company; other either left or were asked to leave.

Line manager gave the feedback.
“They are good in concepts but not at par when come to the operations.””
“We don’t know what their inclinations are, but there are other hundred employees who are doing good work than these people.”
“They may be good in project planning and presentations, but then what’s about shop floor management.”
“They are not connected to the floor.”
“Everybody wants to be in marketing, what’s about sales. After all we need the people to aggressively sale the product.”

And so on….

“What they will do after one year?” the question should have been asked by recruitment manager, HR Head and line manager.

“Are they worth of what we are paying? If we are hiring these guys for the job which other lower paid employees are doing, do we really need them?” next question should have been raised.

“Business is growing, we need smart people, but what to assume that these guys will be more smart?”

“You are hiring them, but how are you managing their hunger for challenging work?”

“Are we clear on expectations? We must be expecting more merely because we are paying them more. We should look for real talent. They may be good for staff function, why to hire for line function?” So many questions need to be asked before finalizing any hiring plan.

The biggest mistake executives make, it’s a hard question because there are so many answers to choose from. But top, or near the top, of the list is the failure to appreciate the potential of their employees. When we hire the perfect talent, we hope that we have found the Holy Grail: the employee who is so smart with perfect resume and top institute stamp.

Hiring talent is easy; developing it is harder. Which do you do?


Sang Pencerah said...

Well, exactly right. I think before hiring talents from top universities. we, HR, should explain their career plan and our corporate culture to them. we know we need them for the future and we have to treat them properly but we have to remind that before them, we have many good loyal, experienced, and developed employee before them. so, HR also think about that.

Anonymous said...

Hello Vinod,

A sensible post. You have finely pointed out the madness for candidates from branded institutes who cannot mostly fit into tailor made organizations. As the branded clothes and unbranded ones serve the same purpose, so does the candidates from branded institutes who are given overall exposure but have not gained expertise on any concepts useful for the effectiveness of the work assigned to them.

Corporates and business houses should shun the fancy towards hiring candidates from branded institutes alone and concentrate on hiring real talents they may be from branded institutes or unbranded too..

Good Post Vinod.

Sri Manjari .V

Anonymous said...

Hi Vinod

Really good article........thanks for sharing.

What ever you have mentioned about campus recruitment from reputed institute's are very much true.


Kartheka R

Anonymous said...

Dear Vinod,

I have gone through your article. It is something which was behind my mind since quite some time. I wanted to blog about it in a day or two, but then I saw your article on it. Kudos to you for bringing it up so wonderfully well.

Best wishes to you. I have read some of your other blogs too and they sure do inspire thinking.

Keep up the good work buddy.

Regards, Harish

Neha Mehta said...

I think its not about the institute, its about the right hire. Its not about attitude but aptitude that matters as per your organisational goals set for these students. Hiring is a responsibility, not a task just to complete or filling in numbers for the departments. Its not about getting people and filling positions. Its also at times about "creating" positions for the right set of people who can deliver and who are cut out for your kind of organisation & culture.

Neha Mehta
Sahara One

Krishnamurthy Thakur said...

Hi Vinod, Excellent insight. This is what I call as "Hire the Fire and Fire the Hired".
Increase in demand has meant increase in supply(not necessarily quality and right attitude) , with companies hiring based on their parameters of the name of the institute and others mentioned. We have shorter cycles of employment and another cycle of recruitment.

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