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Go; No Go

December 20, 2011

Go; No Go

this is the basic quality check process. you run the finished or intermediate product through a series of filters or checks. If the product goes through, it is passed; if not, it is a reject.

The recruiting approach commonly being adopted by organisations across the globe are uncannily similar. The filters & tests change depending on what the company does and what they are hiring for, but the concept is same.  If the candidates pass through all the checks, they are selected, if they falter at any stage, they are out.

Human beings, unlike products, react differently to different situations and with different people. The filters themselves ( the people who evaluate or interview) are influenced by their perceptions & their own knowledge. Very often you find a candidate being screened by an HR person who has no clue about the role requirements at the ground level. The wsj article on why HR makes hiring mistakes touches on this. Two line managers may evaluate the same candidate differently.  The funny thing is that the fitment process does not stop at hiring but continues through-out the employee life cycle. Rarely is any attempt made at employee valuation.

In effect, the whole exercise is one of trying to fit the candidate to parameters that are , rightly or wrongly, pre-defined.

Imagine, you have a position to fill, you have a bunch of resumes ( most often already screened by someone else based on preset parameters) to look at.  How do you filter out the ones whom you want to meet ? Do you keep only the position in mind when filtering or do you keep an open mind to look for good talent ?

Let’s say you have shortlisted some candidates based on their resumes ( Go; No Go) and are now ready to meet them face to face. What are the thoughts in your mind when you sit down for the discussion ? are you looking for a candidates who fits in to your job description or do you propose to evaluate the candidate & see how they can deliver value to you ?

Do you start with a cost band in mind or look for the right talent pay for what it deserves ?

Do companies hire to stick to the budgeted numbers or are open to induct a talent even though the budget does not provide for it ?

These and many other questions at every stage in the process provide you a choice between fitment and genuine evaluation.

when we work with  fitment as the goal, we start with a few assumptions such as –

1. we have the exact and correct description of the role

2. we are absolutely certain of  the qualities/skills needed to execute that role ?

3. we are looking to fill a current position

4. the salary band we have in mind is reasonable cut-off

5. the qualifications ( not skills) we have decided for the role, are appropriate ones & anyone without those qualifications is not a good fit.

6. we look to hire the functional person within the candidate & not really worry about the person’s strengths/abilities in other areas.

What if we

1. start with the assumption that we know the JD but the boundary conditions are fluid

2. are looking to see as to what the candidate brings in, to play his role in this position

3. are looking ahead ( as to how a candidate may enlarge the role or add more value than envisaged)

4. focus on the skills & not qualifications

5. look at hiring the person as a whole, not just the sales or operations person within the candidate.

No doubt there has to be some process for filtration. No hiring manager has the time to go through every profile & to meet every candidate that applies for a job.

A good first step would be to keep an open mind while meeting the few screened & shortlisted candidates. To look at a candidate as they are & what value they can deliver as against trying to pass them through some filters.

  1. Kiran
    December 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Interesting and thought provoking. Made me look back and think of all the hiring decisions I made in the past.

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