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Blog - People Practices

Read An operational perspective of the Telecom Industry Blog

Selection: developing your personal check-list
 -  Posted by Deepa on Mar 8 2009 [Recruitment]

Two separate conversations with different senior leaders’ triggered this post.

One asked whether there was a single test to help identify the right person for the right job. The other felt that the probation period could help determine the suitability as a short interview was not sufficient to know whether a candidate was the right fit.

There can be no single test to determine suitability of a candidate and all organizations need to take responsibility to ensure that the candidates who are recruited are most likely to succeed in their jobs.

Errors in selection can and ought to be minimized by taking multiple perspectives and views. Tests (where applicable) and interviews are a part of a wider selection process. One way to approach the process is to look for competencies that are common to all successful people.

Here are two leaders on what they looked for as ‘must have’ competencies for success:

Jack Welsh (Former Chairman and CEO of GE) looked for

  • Integrity, Intelligence and Maturity
  • Positive Energy (self)
  • Ability to energize others
  • Edge- courage to make tough Yes- No decisions
  • Execute
  • Passion
  • James M. Kilts (Former CEO of Gillette)

    (Brains and capacity for hard work are a given)

  • Intellectual Integrity
  • Results
  • The ability to make decisions
  • Leadership
  • The ability to think conceptually
  • (Source: Doing what matters)

    Incidentally when

    “Warren Buffett was asked why the Gillette board of directors chose Jim Kilts to be CEO, he said, “Jim made as much sense in terms of talking about business as anybody I’ve ever talked to. If you listen to Jim analyze a business situation you get absolutely no baloney. And, frankly, finding someone like that is a rarity.”

    Ultimately, Good leaders learn to develop a Personal Check-list of what has worked for them while picking out good candidates.

  • Do you have such a check-list?
  • What critical skills do you personally look for in candidates?
  • What has been your success rate?
  • How do you predict winners?
  • A book on a related subject that makes interesting reading is Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers

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    Ideal length of a resume
     -  Posted by Deepa on Aug 26 2006 [Recruitment]

    A great interview on recruitment by Guy Kawasaki with Libby Sartain, Chief people Yahoo! in his blog

    One of the questions deals with the length of the resume:

    Question: Does a resume that?s over one page long hurt a candidate?s chances?

    Answer: We are looking at resumes electronically, so the pages aren?t really the issue. They should be succinct, but if they are two pages, or three pages…and great, that works. Anything over three pages is too much.

    (Editorial comment from Guy: God help us, Libby is unleashing three-page resumes on us. Nota bene: she said ?and great.? Of course, every candidate believes his resume is great and requires three pages just like every entrepreneur believes he needs sixty PowerPoint slides.)

    Guy Kawasaki shares with his own examples of a resume (short and long resume) and a cover letter in other related posts.

    While short resumes ( one / two pages) appear to be a recommended practice in the US ( Though Libby Sartain is fine with three pages), atleast in Singapore, India and many other countries in Asia, most recruitment consultants would recommend a longer resume. This is one area that would be dictated by the region where you are submitting your resume and not on any standard international or best practice.

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    How to fill positions after a merger
     -  Posted by Deepa on Aug 4 2005 [Recruitment]

    Degussa Chairman, Utz-Hellmuth Felcht shares his views on ?the best way to fill positions after a merger?.

    From his interview in the Wharton Newsletter:

    “My colleagues on the board and I met one day to decide on the top positions in the organization. We knew it would be a decentralized organization — that was a positive lesson I had carried over from Hoechst — because we were in different businesses. We sat in a living room and looked at one another, and the conversation went something like this: “Do you have a good controller?” “Yeah, I have a good controller.” “Can he do the job?” “Yeah, I think he can.” “Okay, I don’t think my controller is that good, so we’ll take your controller.”"

    “We followed the same process for other positions. There was no compromise or balancing — we didn’t say we must have so many people from Degussa and so many from SKW. We ended up randomly filling the positions with each of us knowing just 25% of the people. We built it on trust. In one-and-a-half days we filled the top 80 positions completely on trust. We said, if 5% of these appointments don’t work out, we’ll tell them peacefully later on, but we need to get out there so that everybody knows where he or she stands.”

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    Innovative solution to a staffing shortage
     -  Posted by Deepa on Oct 8 2004 [Recruitment]

    Via Smart Mobs

    A couple of hospitals in the US now allow their nurses to bid for shift work in an attempt to address nursing shortages.

    The hospitals use a software product called e-shift that allows nurses to bid for shifts. The hospital posts the shift openings and the maximum it is willing to pay and a pre-condition that the nurses must be willing to work at least four shifts a month.

    This is what the nurses have to say: (From The Boston Globe

  • “User friendly” was also the description used by Arsenault, the Nashoba nurse, who works in the medical-surgical unit. “I usually make a bid once a week, which is very easy to do,” she said, noting that the top hourly rate is $37.50. And more often than not, she said, the top rate is obtainable.
  • And that’s also been the experience of Gill, an emergency room nurse. “I always try to go for the top ER rate of $42.50 an hour, and so far, I’ve had good luck getting it,” she said.
  • An ER nurse who wants “to lock in” her rate at $37 an hour automatically gets work when a slot opens up, she said.
  • “I really like this system because I have a very busy lifestyle and it gives me flexibility,” said Arsenault, 26
  • Polley, 43, said he often seeks work on his off-days because “of a son who’s starting college.”
    It addresses the shortage problem and I guess will work only in ?shortage? scenarios and in industries facing acute shortage.
  • To read more including a number of comments about the system go here

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    Innovative Recruitment Drive at Google
     -  Posted by Deepa on Jul 16 2004 [Recruitment]

    Giving number problems to solve in an attempt to attract smart engineers. Google is using a novel way, through a billboard to invite smart engineers to join them.

    Read more at Google Blog

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