A MATTER OF ETHICS
Sometimes, HR managers tend to be pennywise but pound foolish by
ignoring ethics and focusing entirely on skills
Tell me something about yourself!
We all have been through this question invariably during every
interview that we faced. As boring as it may sound, the question is an
icebreaking tool used by the HR managers. The HR conversation
starting from here, often moves in a methodical way, assessing the
professional experience, academic qualification, and cultural fit for the
prospect. The well-rehearsed questions, psychological tests, and
professional reference check way back to the last three professional
engagements of the candidate, are the linear steps for hiring. If all goes
well, the salary is negotiated and handshakes seal the deal.
Here is the catch
A 2012 survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
revealed that 53 per cent of the participating HR managers agreed that the candidates
falsified their information in the CVs. While some of such incidents may have been
detected during the reference checks, one cannot deny that there must be many who pass
through the filter, by sheer chance. Such slips allow a breed of employees which are ethical
or cultural misfits and can bring down the foundation of the organisation.
All these horrifying workplace crime numbers point towards one common reason not
ensuring the ethical and behavioural integrity of the employees at the time of recruitment.
In other words, HR recruitment process has become much more complicated with the
changing business requirements. Hence, the recruitment process needs to evolve much
above the typical mechanical process of going by the pre-established checklist for
identifying an appropriate candidate. While most HR managers may argue that it is
impossible to assess and establish the ethical and behavioural integrity of a candidate
during the hiring process, here are some important tips which can help in nipping the
workplace nuisance in the bud (read: interview stage).
While resumes may never be obsolete, its concept has changed
significantly. Employers have the choice of checking the social media
page of a candidate, a resume endorsed by his peers and friends. An
individual shares the content of his choice on social media. Hence, it is
a very good source to understand what kind of personality he would
want to portray himself as. This assessment can be done before or after
the face-to-face interview and the parity between the two can be a
good indicator of his future behaviour. There may be debates about the
ethical viability of social media screening of the candidates, but the
employer is not intruding into the private space of the candidate.
Instead, he is merely going through the publically available information.
Optimise the interview process
The standard interview process at present is very predictable. It allows a candidate
to fake a personality which may suit the job profile. It is important for the HR
managers to optimise the process by putting him under situations which reveal the
personality under some trying circumstances. Such a process should aim at testing
the professional skills and ethical integrity simultaneously.
Role play, case study discussions, or simulated situations can be some relevant
tools to achieve this. Author Nan DeMars in his book `You've Got to Be Kidding:
How to Keep Your Job Without Losing Your Integrity' suggests that one of the
easiest ways to check on the ethical value of a candidate is to ask them questions
with behavioural paradox. One such question suggested could be “Would you lie
for me?“. While there is no right or wrong answer to this, the elaboration made by
the candidate would be a good indicator of what values he stands for. As an HR
manager, one has to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of these out-of-the
box methods to see which one fits the needs of their organisation.
Never mind hiring the specialised hiring
Hiring panels across the industries are increasingly inviting the likes of
industrial psychologists and counsellors during the interview process.
Their presence on the panel allows the HR managers to understand the
probable behaviour of the candidates when they deal with their
frustration, stress, peer pressure, and anxieties at the workplace.
Although human behaviour is the most unpredictable trait, such expert
support can be important in weeding out the misfit candidates.
Invest in civility
Once the candidate is hired, the process should not stop. Most organisations
invest in honing the professional skills of their employees as they see a direct
return on it. However, this penny-wise move can make one pound foolish, if
the organisation loses out on business opportunities due to workplace
conflicts. Hence, it is important to invest in conducting civility training for the
employees. The intangible returns out of these trainings will show in the long
term financial numbers of the organisation.
The moral of the story for the HR managers is to continue with their usual
assessment and skill driven testing penny-wise. But they also need to go a
step further and look for values, character and personality based fit of the
candidates in order to ensure a mutually rewarding, long term, bilateral
relationship pound wiser.
For details and bookings contact:-
Parveen Kumar Chadha… THINK TANK
(Founder and C.E.O of Saxbee Consultants & Other-Mother
Mobile No. +91-9818308353
Address:-First Floor G-20(A), Kirti Nagar, New Delhi India Postal Code-110015