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Congratulations, You Are hired

Posted: December 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Musings | 2 Comments »

In the last decade, I have been involved in several aspects of hiring, from appearing in interview to screening candidates and interviewing them and making final decision, if the person would be a right choice. After so many years I’ve realized that there are a lot of flaws in hiring in big companies and MNCs and processes of hiring in so called ‘process driven’ companies are also not error free.

The first thing is employee referrals. I believe the employee referral schemes should be leveraged for healthy and more productive work environment because when team members know each other well then results can be real good. But we don’t live in an ideal world and in my opinion employee referrals are sometimes used as a vehicle to get your known person get a job anyhow, whether s/he deserves it or not is a different thing. I believe if the interviewer knows (by a reference or directly) the person who has referred the interviewee then there will most certainly be some prejudice involved. I don’t want to imply that every employee referred candidate is not worthy of his position but the person will enjoy some discount which non-referred candidate might not.

On the other hand, I’m aware about incidents in some companies where a referred candidate will not get an interview call from the company but as soon as the profile is forwarded through a placement agency, the person will be interviewed. I have experienced it personally.

In an another incident, when I was looking for switch last time, I received a call from a company (which claims that they deliver high performance), the very next day of uploading my resume. My interview was scheduled promptly and I did not get an interview call even after 3 months but I did receive 2-3 calls about scheduling my interview but needless to say the interview was never conducted. I do receive an email from the same company after every 3 months that my profile has been archived in their system and I can use the reference id to appear for an interview in future. My other colleagues got their interviews scheduled at least 4-5 times and then they got call for an interview, some had to appeared for interview twice/thrice in the same company.

I just wonder if there is something like non-prejudice, unbiased and uninfluenced hiring which really judge the skills of a person and how s/he can contribute to company growth rather than who does he know?

Apart from referrals, there can be other biases as well. Can I claim that I conducted interview in an unbiased manner after I knew that the interviewee hails from my home town? if the person worked with me in one of my last organization and I hated him? if the person is real good and I think he can be a threat to my position? She looks good, should I select her? I have also experienced two cases where a person was not hired because of his religion/cast.

From interviewee point of view, there is a other side, what if the interviewer doesn’t know what kind of questions to ask? what to look for in a candidate? He is not competent enough to judge a good candidate. What if he wants to show his own authority, ‘dude, see-how-much-I know-and-you-dont’ than what the candidate’s real knowledge is?

There are so many such questions/situations which bothers me and that’s why I don’t truly enjoy to get involved in hiring processes partly because sometimes I feel that I don’t do justice to the person being interviewed ( impostor syndrome?) , and partly because I feel that I cannot be ruthless to reject a person if a person has potential but doesn’t has the credibility in his resume.

In one of the Startup Saturday Pune, someone ( was it @mhegi?) suggested that look in for commonsense, adaptability and learning ability in a recruit and rest can be taken care of. But then hiring for a startup is quite different than hiring for an MNC.

What has your experience been in hiring? It would be interesting to know your experiences.

Disclaimer: I’ve been interviewed as an employee referral on two occasions and I do like to believe that it was unprejudiced on at least one occasion.


2 Comments on “Congratulations, You Are hired”

  1. 1 Mitul Mehta said at 12:07 pm on December 16th, 2010:

    Hi Sudhir,

    You are absolutely spot on!!!
    Even i had similar queries in my mind.

  2. 2 Shilpa said at 12:04 pm on December 17th, 2010:

    The most frustrating part is when they tell you – “our HR will get back to you” and well many a time they dont. I dont understand why can’t they tell you if you have cleared or not. Whats the harm in telling one’s improvement areas?! Or just let the person know that the requirement is complete!


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