By M R Chandramowly
VIJAY: They say that “hire for behaviour and train for skills”. But, what we normally see in the interviews are the padded CVs of academic certificates and accomplishments. How to go about selecting the best?
KISHAN: “Cyrus Mistry, Chairman of Tata Group was sacked”, “Tata Sons Says Cyrus Mistry’s Email Leak Is ‘Unforgivable’. These are the headlines in the news. The company talks about “repeated departures from the culture and ethos of the group”. Mr. Mistry says his “empowerment” was “interfered”. If the hiring was not right, how can a selection board go wrong? Is it right to leak out the Company’s internal mail/details? Who is responsible for the economic impact caused? Though we need not get in to this, academically, specific Values conflict or the Hiring defect can be linked to your question.
Hiring for academic skills is an old adage. The crusade now is to hire right people for the positions. Who are the right people? Those who can jell well with the team and accepted by others. Look in to the attitude behind the mask of academics. Attitude decides the altitude of growth and job effectiveness. To find out who is effective and who is not, there goes the search for “Excellence” which is always confined to few. The best way is to observe the effective people and find what drives their superior performance. Just observe how they perceive, behave and act upon challenges. That brings out the indicators of competencies, based on which we can build the recruitment policy. We will talk about that in detail when we touch upon Behaviour Based Interviewing.
VIJAY: OK Sir. At times, we walk in to an impressive candidate and hire based on functional skills, long term success and visible impressive behaviour. I had one such experience, wherein we hired the best out of the interviewed candidates and he turned out to be unproductive later. It is a real challenge to spot the “excellence”. Where do you place “Competencies” in this context?
KISHAN: Long term Job success and uninterrupted performance excellence doesn’t result without right motives and values which are the ‘underlying characteristics’. Some people are more effective than others. Competency is the key factor that distinguishes success and failure or superior performance and average performance. The same is true with organisations as well. Most organisations have great plans and strategies and the research shows that over 70% of the reason for Organisational failure is not deficiency of strategy or technical know- how, but it is lack of competencies to implement strategies, to execute goals.
Competent people add value and the incompetents destroy value. People with developed competencies maximize return on investment since they understand the task and do things with commitment to win.
Knowledge and Skills are visibly displayed in a situation or in an interaction. Those are easy to observe, learn or assess. The one layer of underlying characteristics is what one thinks about one-self, the confidence or motivation to do things. Beneath this layer, lies the persona of how this person has responded to similar situation or information in the past. The ‘intent’ drives knowledge and skill to perform. The ‘intent’ cannot be seen but one can observe that in a displayed behaviour. So, which behaviour results in superior performance is the central focus. If you fail to discover the ‘intent’ or ‘drive’ or the ‘motivating force’, you end up in putting a square peg person in round hole job. Who is the best among the rest must be driven from job fitment. Finding out what one has achieved in the past and what motivated his/her job movement is critical.