Serious Shortcomings in Human Resource Departments - First of all, I like to say HR skills are very much needed in all managers, simply because one of several main responsibilities of any manager is “people management”. As a former director of human resources and a current human resource lecturer & trainer, I theorize some human resource functions that need both “Science” and “Art” practices to share here in Mai-BS’s blog.
Recruitment and Selection:
If we refer to a recruitment and selection system, I have seen many companies who successfully established an acceptable system. There are several systematic interview types such as employment test, IQ test, EQ test, personality test, psychological test etc. etc. All these tests etc. have the purpose to select the best candidate, simply the right person to do the right job for the right company. I admire all mentioned tests and appreciate all the valuable time that many executives / managers put in their interview processes.
I however found that good systems for recruitment and selection cannot ensure that the owner or the manager is really open minded, modern and importantly fair to the organization and the overall workforce! Far too often, I can see senior managers and decision makers recruit their favorite employee who do not have any knowledge, skill and abilities, only the right personality to fit with the owner / manager. These employees are recruited because they are controllable, they will never question the manager, in some cases there are family-related to the owner or manager.
These un-professional managers who hire the above people create so many problems in an organization since the ‘manager’s favorite employee’ hardly do anything except making politics and de-motivate quality employees. These favorite employees keep themselves occupied with accommodating the top management’s comfort. As mentioned in my former articles, the success and failure of “Human Resource Management depends on the professionalism of top managers.
Now, let’s talk a little about “style” that need to be improved!
Some of us have seen many unproductive “styles” of recruitment and selection practiced by a HR manager / managers. For examples:
- An applicant has to wait for months to receive the first reply whether he or she is a candidate or an unsuccessful applicant. As a Human Resource teacher, many times I have received questions from some graduates such as “Do you know when I will receive a reply whether I am a candidate – I have sent my application letter 3 weeks ago”? Shockingly, most of these companies post good values on their office walls and signboards such as “We are fast, we are modern and we are innovative etc”! Candidates have to wait for several weeks just to find out if they are short-listed or not! What a shame!
- Candidates who have been contacted for an interview hardly know who will interview them and for how long the interview will approximately take place. One interview normally is like a un-plan-able one-day activity for the candidate.
- Many times candidates have to wait for hours for one interview. The higher the position of the interviewer is, the longer hours the candidate has to wait. I have seen cases where it took one full day for an applicant to be interviewed by only 2 interviewers. One of my friends, who have been invited by the owner for an interview for a General Manager position for a beautiful Island resort in southern of Thailand, had to wait for 6 hours on the Island to save the resort an additional 15 minute boat trip. Finally, the resort owner nicely and elegantly arrived by private helicopter! A very dramatic and impressive arrival and it does reflect an un-likeable leadership style. Many owners and investors like to have a resort with a 5-star management, 5-star services and 5-star employees! But it will hardly happen if there is such a behavioral model from the top. This is a classic example of a good vision by the owner, but in reality, the owner leads their people with own habit rather than his vision.
- Most interviewers will not even come out from their office to personally invite the candidate for an interview or even stand up to shake the hand with the applicant. Most of the time, a secretary will bring the candidate to the manager’s office. I did see this many times in several 5-star hotels and resorts where the owner always says “I want true 5-star service”! I however think that treating your candidate in such a way is an ineffective communication on the service excellence!
- Many times after the interview; the interviewer will end the interview that “we will contact you back soon”. But nobody knows “soon”! How long will it take? Most of the time, the candidate has to contact the company to beg for an answer simply because everyone needs to plan his and her life. Seldom, I have seen an HR person or interviewer who would say to the applicant “We will contact you back within 2 working days”. But, then again, when I do follow these cases closely, I found that even the interviewers say so, it normally takes much longer than said without any apology.
- Most of the times, if the interview is unsuccessful; the candidate almost never receives a simple reject & thank you letter. Most times, it is silence. Usually, here in Thailand, silence means “you have to wait”, or “you don’t get the job!
As you can read from above samples, some working styles reflect badly on the company culture and standards in treating employees (people). Many times, during my consultation and training assignments, I try my best to emphasize that HR style is a very important factor to communicate the company set standard. But I feel that many HR persons and managers do not realize this.
Often enough, many HR managers and managers behave so differently from the said and written organizational values and cultures.
Once an HR Manager with a “long-cold-still face” said during an interview to the applicant that …
“we are a top 5-star hotel, we invested billions of Thai Baht! We want all our guests to be welcomed and serviced by smiling-face employees and not by “long-cold-still face” type of employee”!?
Think about it….
© Nate-tra Dhevabanchachai, General Manager, Salaya Pavilion Hotel and Training Center, Mahidol University International College (www.salayapavilion) and Honorary Director of Mai-BS (Thailand) Company Limited, a hotel and resort consulting and training company (http://mai-bs.com)
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