LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Finding Winners and Avoiding Whiners

Here is the main issue: In most companies, the standard hiring process involves screening by the recruitment department, followed by an interview by the hiring manager/s. The numbers of stages of interview among the line managers vary but in recruitment, it normally includes, pre-screening of resumes, administering appropriate tests and initial interviewing. Normally, the line managers can tell who the better candidates are basing from whatever criteria they have. The Recruitment department on the other hand runs the risk of losing potential winners daily if they don’t know exactly what to look for in a candidate.

I had a glimpse of Boy Abunda’s “Home Boy” Show the other day. The topic then was about employment and how to succeed in job interviews. The resource people shared their advice to the new graduates and would be employees on how they can secure a job. They also shared what the employers look for in candidates, how they expect candidates to behave and respond during interviews, etc. The audience of interests must have learned a bundle from the said show, I have a few realizations of my own that I would like to share with you.

In the said show and in many job fairs and career planning seminars, I hear a lot of similar things about how to apply for work that I’m beginning to feel there is a certain degree of stereotype among HR Practitioners in screening for new employees. I didn’t do an extensive research so I hope it isn’t true for all recruitment people. I do know however that a good number of recruiters find the ability of the person to dress up, communicate and project above-average intellectual capacity attractive. I’ll be lying if I say that those are not true for me as well. The fact however is that this may not apply to all types of position and job functions. And if those involved in hiring do not look beyond looks and ability to express oneself, they may lose out in hiring the right person. I’ll share with you some of my personal experiences. I used to manage the HR for a software development company that required me to hire a lot of programmers and systems analysts who are proficient in using Oracle and Java. One friend of mine was asked to hire one Oracle programmer for his company’s IT department and I had to hire 15. We started at about the same time. I was able to hire 15 programmers in less than a month; he hired one well-dressed and eloquent programmer who was a better communicator than a programmer after two months of “thorough” search. Here’s another… In one teambuilding workshop for another software development company, I noticed that one participant participated very well, had great ideas to share and displayed a great deal of intellectual capacity. If I would give an award for the one with best suggestions and sharing of realizations that can be applied at work, he’d get the first honor. I happened to talk to the boss and shared my thoughts about how good this guy is and how I thought it would benefit the team to give him more responsibilities that would capitalize on his strengths. The boss shrugged his shoulders and said, “we’ve recognized how smart he is a long time ago, but his smartness never translated into good results. He complains and slacks off a lot and hardly turns up quality work.” Apparently, this guy was given a leadership function in the past only to have that responsibility taken back because he couldn’t deliver. Moral of the story, one size doesn’t fit all. Good communication skills and other “cosmetic” characteristics may be good for people responsible for dealing with other people but not for all types of jobs.

I read from somewhere about this “targeted selection” being advocated by Development Dimensions International DDI. It goes something like; the best way to select people is to identify the personal characteristics of people who are already doing well in that area and hire those who are like them. Simply put, if you are looking for programmers, don’t use eloquence in speaking or highly business like presentation of themselves (although I do not say that this is bad) as a sole basis for hiring. One needs to look beyond these qualities and look for ones that matter like, hunger for learning (considering that software engineering is a science that evolves at a breakneck speed), a real passion for the profession, humble enough to try and learn from others, etc. Now these things are hard to see with the naked eye (or ear). What makes it even harder is that some of the really good ones don’t know that they manifest these characteristics, hence they can’t communicate it. You need to be creative in order to find clues, hints that these qualities exists in your candidates. I remember hiring two very good ones, the first one finished dentistry, the other one studied to become a priest. I also hired one that looks like he was going to a rock and roll gig everyday. This is to say that they come in all shapes and sizes. What I found common among these programmers are the fact that their programming expertise shifted with the times. Doing something like this my friends is not easy, you have to be really hungry for learning and love discovering new ways of doing things in order to effectively shift from one programming language or technology to another.

I apologize the my examples are limited to programming as I just see this as a perfect example of the case im trying to point out. I am definitely sure that the same principle is applicable to others as well.

To prepare for hiring

1. Identify the desirable characteristics of successful players in the role you are trying to fill.
2. Identify a way to determine if these characteristics are manifested by your candidates. You may use paper and pencil tests. I do know that there are also software that you can use to profile your applicants and match them against a desired profile for the position.
3. Prepare pertinent questions or signs that the person manifest certain qualities. For example, when I look for competitiveness, I try to ask what kind of games the person likes to play or what kind of activities the person do. If the person wins competition or is involved in competitive sports or any activity where the person excel in, there is a good CHANCE that, the person is competitive.( the emphasis on the word chance means that nothing is for certain. The proof of pudding is always in the eating).
4. Learn as much as you can about the job, so that you have a better appreciation of what it will take to succeed in it.

Bottom line is Recruitment Department is the company’s gate keeper. It is important that people in this department recognize the kind of people that would contribute to the company’s growth. It is not an easy task. It requires dedication not only in terms of number of hours poured in to screen applicants but more so in coming up with a strategy to identify winners and to avoid the whiners.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for your wonderful site. Although I did not find admin jobs as a directmatch to your site, I did however enjoy the career advice from other posts.
    Thanks again for being here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Ed Ebreo I was looking for what I could find on work from home based business and your post came up. That Finding Winners and Avoiding Whiners is what I call a good blog! What I need right now though, is more information on work from home based business or what I could use for more income. I have a source I'm thinking about work from home based business, which could be what I need right now. Let me know what you think is a good source for work at home on the net, if you have the time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ed Ebreo I was looking for what I could find on work at home agent and your post came up. That Finding Winners and Avoiding Whiners is what I call a good blog! What I need right now though, is more information on work at home agent or what I could use for more income. I have a source I'm thinking about work at home agent, which could be what I need right now. Let me know what you think is a good source for work at home on the net, if you have the time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. John, hope all is well with your" legal jobs" search.
    Maybe you can find looking for "careers" at www.directmatch4free.com
    Just make sure you come back to this site to let us know how you are doing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your wonderful site. Although I did not find admin jobs as a directmatch to your site, I did however enjoy the career advice from other posts.
    Thanks again for being here!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, Ed Ebreo, I was looking for someone who could give me more information on work at home on internet and I came accross your real good blog Finding Winners and Avoiding Whiners. A lot of people must feel like saving it! It sure got my notice and keep it up! Right now anything on work at home on internet information interests me and would help, as we older folks know it's almost impossible to make ends meet today with inflation everywhere but where the feds look, like at the drug and grocery stores . I have a source for 10 possible commissions from one website that may pan out on work at home on internet that covers top 10 home based businesses that could make me a few dollars. You don't have to come by and visit my source site but maybe you better before you overlook it because you're so busy, and because you may have some great ideas to share.

    ReplyDelete

If you have an opinion about this topic or a related experience you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment but please be respectful. No bad words please or I will be constrained to delete it.