• Vishakha Waikar

Recruiting the right person for the right job!!!

Recruiting correctly for the job – an activity which many business owners have grown vary of. Frequent attrition at the MSME level has put the entrepreneurs and their HR teams into a vicious circle of finding replacements. The overall ratio of replacement to new vacancy does tilt in favor of replacements when it comes to MSMEs.

The question is why? There are numerous reasons we have heard from the Entrepreneurs – some say we are not able to pay the salary that big companies pay these people to shift, some say the attitudes of people are not good, some say people always want to move out of small towns to bigger cities and ultimately bigger companies.

Separation analysis of scores of people leaving have told us that these are a few reasons for people leaving small and medium enterprises; but there are those who stay with the businesses for long tenures too. And even if all the exit forms mention similar trends in reasons like salaries, relocation, “personal reasons” etc. usually people are not leaving their jobs. Well, it is a common yet profound observation that people leave their bosses. Let us expand it a little and say – “People leave People, not Jobs”. We will shortly be dealing with this topic in the next article because here we are going to discuss another reason – “the person recruited was not the correct fit!!!”.

So how do we really find the piece of the puzzle which really fits? We start by introspection of what kind of a person we really want. Most commonly when a Job Description is written for a vacancy it includes the technical skills and knowledge required, degree, age and sometimes the gender preferred. It sometimes refers to common soft skills like Communication, Team work, leadership etc. but they do not deal with the behavioral tendencies we should look for in certain positions.

Moving on, when an HR person shortlists the resumes, it is based on the type of industry worked with, team size, reporting manager profile, activities handled etc. and even though they are really enough at the shortlisting stage, many HR executives are not able to dive into the softer aspects of the resume. Like – the organization of the resume, spellings, alignment of text, fonts used, cleanliness in the resume all are indicators of how the personality of this person might be. These parameters are often missed at the shortlisting stage and thus are early indicators of whether this person is likely to suit our needs. You would ask how can a person’s ability to write a resume be the judge of his/her characteristics. Honestly, smartphones have opened us to a plethora of information. A majority of people know how to google information and find how to write a good resume or make an effort to get it done from a friend. Mainly, the resume does show the effort a person has put into presenting himself/herself to a potential employer. And if the person has not really taken an effort to sell their skills correctly, well???

Next is the telephonic or the personal interview round. We observe a lot of common questions which obviously are also necessary. But the common mistake made in these rounds is that since we as interviewers have heard the answer to this question so many times, we often end up ignoring the nuances of the answer. Also, if the HR executive maintains a proper telephonic round tracker with their own observations regarding not only professional but personal characteristics. Here are certain things which you should do while taking a personal interview -

1. Observe – How the person speaks of himself/herself.

2. How elaborative is this person when they are talking about themselves? Is the answer short and the person is at a loss of what to speak about themselves or is the person too descriptive and seems desperate to show that he might be useful to your organization. If the person is crisp and is able to tell you how he or she has contributed to different areas of their lives so far (even though only professional or personal) and what their experiences have taught them – for sure this person has given a thought to himself/herself as a person.

3. Does this person maintain a steady eye contact? If the person is continuously looking at the surroundings while speaking about themselves, they are not sure if they should be saying all these. An indecisive person like this will come running to you with problems not solutions.

4. Ask practical questions – actual situations happening in your organization and the candidate’s possible response to the situation. Then – listen without interrupting. Observe whether the candidate’s answers are focused on action or planning or are just about delegating or blaming others. If a person speaks about solutions or planning on handling the activities – surely the person has gained a positive point.

5. Actually make them perform a small task – If you are interviewing for a production manager, the give the person a paper and ask the candidate how he will plan a production schedule during a particularly heavy absenteeism period. Or ask an HR executive candidate to actually draft a job description and the related KPIs.

6. Ask very clearly the period which they are willing to commit to your organization. Motivate them to be completely honest. It is ok for them to plan their careers too. But as an organization even we need to be prepared to accept that there will always be people lasting longer with us than others. But asking this question very openly gives us an idea of whether this person’s planned tenure matches our plan.

7. For positions of strategic importance, make sure you ask the person about their vision for life. That’s because if at a strategic position the person doesn’t have a vision for themselves, would they have a vision for your organization.

8. Don’t forget to ask the candidate’s expectations from their job and role. Asking expected salary is a question followed by all; but asking the persons expectations about their job and role tells us a lot about the person. And it prepares us to engage this candidate well if selected.

Moving on to the second and very important part of finding and maintaining a good person – organization fit, is the post recruitment induction and engagement of the person who is joining.

Most of the companies have a set induction pattern and some of us have divided it into various types of information to be given to different managerial or executive grades people joining on. Still, lets start from the basics.

1. Start by looking at what is the induction process you have set down in your organization.

2. If there are departments, is each department/function owner involved in the induction process.

3. Is there a proper presentation given by each Function Head starting with the organization’s Leader where in these new joinees are educated not only on the products, business, function heads, departments and processes but also on the vision, mission and values of the organization?

4. Are the joinees taken through some engaging process in induction or are all the introductions and presentations just plain vanilla motions that HR and others are going through?

Not only is the involvement of all the function owners very important but it is also the job of the HR executive to make the induction as informative about the future of the organization and at the same time to make it engaging too.

A few games can be introduced in the induction if there is a small group joining together, a lot of content can be moved from the presentation format to video format. Feedbacks should be taken post induction and analyzed to make the induction better. The point here is – the interview was the examination of the candidate; the induction is the examination of the organization.

Once put on the job, the new joinees need to be given a clear job description. The Director or the function head should sit down with the new joinee after a fortnight and a month of joining to understand what the joinee is feeling by the end of the fortnight and the first month. These feedback questions can be focused on the kind of difficulties they are facing in understanding their job, if they have any suggestions for improvement. If for the first 3 months we create and effective engagement to people who are new, it makes a huge impact on their tenure. That is because a person usually takes at least 3 months to start performing in new roles and the more we support them in this period, the more affiliation they develop for the organization and the team.

This article is basically an attempt to bring a perspective to person – organization fit which is quite ignored. Often, the concept of person – organization fit is limited to recruitment and we forget that once inside, the person needs to be trained and supported to fit. A lot of parameters like culture, team environment, supervisor’s and peers’ natures and the nature of the new person themselves acts as a stimulant to this entire scenario of “fitting the person”. Even in manufacturing just the way it is not about only buying material and putting it together, it is more about processing the material to match our product. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the owners and the HR to create an ecosystem of support for this new joinee to perform and take charge of their role.

To summarize, working on the person – organization fit is about recruiting correctly, inducting correctly and hand holding to make the position successful. Look at it with a holistic perspective and you will see that the new people joining don’t have a high level of engagement only at the start of their tenure but will maintain the engagement for a long time.

Do let us know your views and queries on this article or you want us to publish an article on some topic; comment below or email us at the given email address. We would be happy to help!!!

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