Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recruiting: More than that meets the eye?

We live in interesting times!

Arguably, we-at least in India, are coming out of a 'hiring freeze' that seems to have afflicted most companies globally. Life is getting back to normal.But old habits still die hard :-)!?

Let me try and take a few events that transpired just yesterday-in a span of about 12 hours-to get you into the right perspective.

As part of NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network- with over 400 associates globally, we are all connected on a software platform where in we share most of our critical assignments, and some of the topnotch globally migrant talent-in a bid to help extend our reach for the ‘best fit’. We constantly have teleconferences to debate best practices-and of late have been engaging the merit of a captive job portal! Does it enhance one’s quality of solutions? Most of us are specialists in our respective domains, and so are contemplating ‘cross selling’ to improve delivery.

The final verdict given by a Guru : “I have learned in my 30 years in this business that the key to success is filling my customers' needs. I don't care where the resume comes from as long as the customer is happy”.

I gloated for a while considering the value we strive to bring in -for our clients & candidates...

The reality check happens when, among the news headlines, I see an interesting article - "IT companies should not resort to poaching: Nasscom"! The prescriptions were very simple:

1) Ask for an employer relieving letter as a standard HR best practice for all new joinees.

2) Approach prospective employees with unbiased means of advertisements eg newspapers, website, radio or television

Ironically, there are veiled references made to companies to refrain from 'paying high facilitation fees' to HR consultants, and not to 'indulge in cartelization', and formation of 'whistle blowers for external relations', the Nasscom committee remained mum about the CEO level compensation :-)!

(Who will police the police?)

Later in day, as I was browsing through my tweet feeds, I came across an article by Geoff Votta in ERE (this visual is courtesy the same source)-where in he evangelises the value of a retained search consultant and the trade off over the ‘hidden costs’ of hiring contingent search consultants ! In a game where the emphasis is on “who pressed the buzzer first” he reckons that one apparently glosses over the quality of the ‘possible misfit caused in the hurry”!

However, what touched a raw nerve was an innocuous (?) question a corporate recruiter asked, trying to evaluate & to em panel new recruitment consultants-wanting to know how we ‘source’ candidates?

Most corporates today anyway subscribe to most job portals, and some of the decision makers feel they own the haystack-even when the challenge is find the right needle :)!?

To them-source is the key. Apart from of course the lowest price (L1). Period. Hardly ever does one consider the value add?

Surely there must be some effort/skill/ competency required by any recruiter to sift through different media, and then pore through pages of resumes, and screen for the right fit related to the specific role in question-in the desperate deadlines given for the hire?

Oh yes, there is also a client who –after having found the elusive candidate, is willing to match the same offer –in lieu of the higher responsibility/scope of work the assignment demands. Only to realise that in the time the negotiations have been slowly unwound, our candidate has since bagged 3 other juicy offers –and is constrained to make up his mind –he wants money, designation & the growth –all in one!

And we are not even talking about some of the ‘window shopping ‘ clients who –in the midst of speculating a bid for a new project, try to showcase a bunch of sample profiles as theirs-courtesy third party placement firms-till they claim the project is ‘on hold’-when in reality someone else has pipped them in the race!

Before you realise-the day is over. Have we achieved anything? What can be measured-can be managed, right?

PS: As I left the office, we got a call from one of our clients. Their panel is visiting a metro in about 60hrs time, and would we be able to line up enough number of prospects? They want all the 70 odd people to join the project in 3 weeks time :-)!?

1 comment:

Amit said...

I am quite interesting in this topic hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts.
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