Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Friday, January 2, 2009

Corporate Peter Pan - Recruitment & Retention.

Corporate Peter Pan - Recruitment & Retention.

Most times recruiting managers are battling self-created problems like an ill-fitted recruit.......

Internal talent movement and succession planning are surely better recruiting options considering the cost and fit factor. Internally placed employees are more likely to fit better as compared to an external recruit and therefore the time taken to get to work would be considerably less. Despite the advantages, experts say that these recruiting options may fail to deliver if measures to ascertain their workability are not adhered to.

One size fits all

The beliefs that a star salesman would make an excellent manager and a finance wizard would be an effective finance head have no takers now. Earlier people got carried away by past performances and based promotions on the performance of an individual in a particular job. However, the tales of failed leadership and managerial feat are famous when a junior executive was promoted to the managerial level only on the basis of his performance in his previous job. Most times in such cases the appraiser fails to take into account the difference in job profiles of the two jobs and therefore makes his decision with a short-sighted perspective. This logic has failed enough times to let managers know that the only time a person has performed equally well in two jobs is when the job profiles of the two jobs and the competency and skill level required to execute it are the same. It is very rare to see the same performance output from a worker who gets promoted to the next level without additional inputs in the form of training.

This belief is echoed in the Peter Principle, stated by Dr. Lawrence Peter. According to this principle, a person would continue to rise in the organizational hierarchy unless he reaches a natural level of incompetence. The principle clearly states that every time a person gets promoted to a job that is one step higher in hierarchy, the individual will in all probability fail to deliver the same level of performance as he did in his previous role. The relevance of Peter Principle becomes obvious every time a manger makes a wrong decision and promotes his "go-getter" to a position that does not need a "go-getter" but needs somebody who can manage a bunch of "go-getters"! Thus, with Peter Principle at work every time, leaders and managers need to craft their decisions carefully.

Intuition and bias

Another pitfall in the process of right recruiting is intuition and its evil twin bias. These factors together can play havoc with the science behind recruiting and result in decisions that may be far from logic. Recruiting managers justify this by saying that it is humanly impossible to gauge every little nuance of human behavior and make inference on its basis. Hence, in such times it is the intuitive powers that come to rescue and help them make decisions. While it is not completely wrong to use intuition in the process of decision- making, it certainly is unfair to make decisions only n the basis of intuition. Similarly, we all have certain mindsets and beliefs (halo/horn effect). We associate a smart looking candidate with professionalism, skill and panache. However, this may not always be true. In fact many times looks can be sadly deceptive and can disappoint beyond reconciliation.

Besides the halo and horn effect (the practice of making a decision on the basis of a single good/bad incident), experts believe that casualness in the interview process too can lead to bad decision- making. A study on the conduct of recruiting managers in the interview process revealed that, many times the decisions tend to be based on insignificant aspects. These include the way the candidate talks, his family background, his interests and other unrelated attributes. While these attribute are worth learning, they certainly do not make an impressive decision -making pre-requisite. Hence, recruiting managers should get more professional and focus more on job-specific competencies and skills if they want their "peg" to fit in well.

The funnel effect

As a guide to scale skills and competencies needed for different jobs in different hierarchical levels, experts recommend the "funnel effect". The funnel effect underscores the changing skills and competency levels as one rises up the hierarchy . The rise is depicted by an inverted funnel, that also represents the fact that as one climbs up the hierarchy the skills and competencies get more specific .

Recruiting is a scientific process. Hence taking a mundane approach to it can ruin the entire exercise and result in some very damaging recruiting decisions. When recruiting managers sit across the interview table they have to be aware and alert of the pitfalls in recruiting and use their providence to overcome them.

Ref: TheManageMentor

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