Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Senior Management hiring-not just executive courtship!

I have always found Alok Mittal's posts very insightful for all aspiring entrepreneurs and businessmen. In a rejoinder post recruiting tips to the Business Week's refresher of hiring interviewing to win, he has triggered off a series of comments by adding a few pointers for 'start ups'

Both the articles are a must read!(I am refraining from editting or summarising from either of the articles-as every word is very critical -and both the writers have articulated the wooing process!)

As a recruiter, I have the following comments

-At different life stages of a company's growth-different personalities are needed.
In the initial stages, one needs a person to think systems-amidst chaos and ambiguity. Not to mention the lack of adequate resources. It takes a different person to execute and scale up. So, hiring the best would mean a euphemism at best. One of my mandates from an American midsized company wanted an 'immigrant with fire-in-the-belly ' apart from all the desirable's of international business management experience-as the second generation were 'born with a silver spoon' and just didn't have the extra drive to take the company to the next level!!

-Look beyond the halo! Start ups need people with complimentary skills-as one cannot have the luxury of 'not doing it right every time'. People from diverse backgrounds -who can defer gratification-are tougher to find and so it is essential to look at the personal value of add of the prospect- In one case, one of my clients preferred a candidate-who was the middle child among the three children his parents had had-as this breed is more likely to be compatible in all situations!!
-It is all about chemistry! While it is essential to get 'top performers' on the team- it takes a different culture to make them all work out of their skin each time. I can't resist alluding to the IPL cricket carnival happening right now-and most followers of the game would not have imagined Shane Warne led Rajasthan Royals to be heading the table at any time-and would have been shocked to admit the star studded Deccan Chargers and Royal Challenge teams from Hyderabad and Bangalore!

And lastly-but not the least- the onboarding process is just as critical for the new hire. Even in this age -where employees have a choice, most employers seem to think that once a candidate has accepted an offer-there is no need to woo him/her!! We constantly hear of lot of stories of new entrants -having to wait for getting the cubicle or laptop or visiting cards- for a few days -despite the HR team and the hiring manager being conscious of the date of joining for weeks :-)!
Don't we all want new entrants to 'hit the ground while running' ...?? Can we pre-empt attrition even as we fine tune our hiring processes??

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