Source: Economics Times 14/06/2011
When unemployability is an issue, India Inc cannot make the mistake of wrong hires. A potential candidate today has to go through many assessment tests, multiple interviews and some companies even set detectives on them so that they can be sure the investment they make on the person, is worth it. While Google has a long-drawn-out interview process, where the candidate is put under the spotlight over months and grilled by the seniors, the boss as well as juniors who would report to him/her, other shorter a but equally rigorous process before they give the official ‘aye’, says Devina Sengupta.
The world’s largest chip maker, Intel, does not believe in a blitzkrieg of questions hurled at a candidate since that may prompt learned and expected answers. Instead, case studies are presented where “there are no right or wrong answers, but solutions depending on the situation,” says Intel’s HR head Anish. It helps them to gauge the candidate’s reaction. “If his (or her) reaction to a case regarding integrity is even the slightest bit unsure, a red alert is flagged,” adds Anish.
To know if one has been successful in netting the right candidate, some like Adobe Systems follow the wait and watch approach. “The first 90-120 days prove if the right choice has been made, says Jaleel Abdul, director (HR). Responses to certain questions at the interview stage are also a sure-shot way to realise if the candidate should be on board. “I ask them what they are passionate about and what is that one question they would like to ask me,” adds Abdul. “If the response to the question is about the salary, then it’s a no. One has to show enthusiasm for the job, the possibilities of the role, and future prospects in the company. There has to be an aha! moment in the interview, which is worth the wait.”
“The past record of the employee and examples he gives on how he solved some problems are a good indicator,” says Mafoi’s GM, Aditya Narayan Mishra. The risk that innovations use to solve earlier problems may not be replicated in the new job are always there, but the candidate’s aptitude and skills can be tested this way. Personality is another focus point for Mishra. He says that when he hires for sales profiles, patience is a virtue he looks for.
Companies like the Marriott, Siemens, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and Fullerton have devised online games where those interested can get a feel of the job before they start their work in the company. Simulations and virtual assessment centres are the next step for firms. So when executive search firm Mafoi Randstad had to find a candidate for the role of a CFO, they sent the applicants to a virtual assessment centre. “A Mumbai-based firm had created the simulation assessment test to ensure that they get the right person in the CFO’s chain,” says E Balaji, Mafoi CEO. “They wanted someone whowas prepared for what might come next.”
Don’t retain the wrong ones hoping they might change. Co-founder and MD of staffing firm TeamLease, Ashok Reddy, says there are times when one makes the wrong hire because of a desperate need to fill a post, or the past experience of a candidate clouds one’s perception. After a couple of quarters if the results are not positive, and any attempt to improve the new hire’s performance has met with roadblocks, then it is best to let the person go.