Prepared for an Interview, Walked In on a Circus

I  find the relationship between certain interview practices and the employees’ subsequent performance on the job quite fascinating. I wouldn’t refer to them as being HR practices because they fail by all standards, having not the slightest correlation with performance.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s boredom or plain disrespect for the individual. Perhaps one may conclude that recruitment managers are beginning to learn some vital lessons from circus shows and find themselves at odds in an attempt to apply same to a more professional sphere.

Or how else would one explain subjecting candidates to dancing their way to being shortlisted. Remember, this isn’t the ‘Nigerian’s Got Talent Show’ It’s an actual interview day. What purpose do employers hope to achieve with such unprofessional techniques?

Likewise, what would you make of a panel of interviewers who hurl insults at interviewees by virtue of their positions. The fact is, this will in no way predict one’s ability to work under pressure. The only thing it ever does is humiliate the interviewee and project a poor image of the company to the public.

There’s a line up of similar tales, the list of which is ridiculously endless. I bet you have a couple of yours to tell as well.

Doing the right things in the right way do come with benefits. Certain tools have been deemed effective for identifying specific skills that better predict the probability of on-the-job success. Notable HR systems are equally capable of revealing details about the individual’s behaviour. The Predictive Index, Belbin as well as several versions of the Talent Management Tool-kit  are just a few. These tools and much more can be made available to recruitment managers at the very click of a button. What’s missing is some effort. Some additional training would be nice as well.

Point is clear, if you must spend on R&S, make it count! Your focus shouldn’t be to employ anyone flexible enough to dance to your tune (because, the truth is: most would dance if their lives depended on it). Rather than hosting a circus, sessions aimed at identifying candidates of initiative who are smart minded and performance-driven should be the prime focus.

A Note to HR
I believe…

  • There is the need to ensure that the employee resourcing tools employed by firms are those suitable for the parameters/attributes to be measured/assessed.
  • At all times, the validity and reliability of the selection methods chosen should be verified.
  • Finally, thorough analysis and evaluation of the responses/results generated by trained HR professionals matched with organizational policies that encourage fairness, respect for the individual and professionalism will in the long-term perhaps diminish the negative stereotypes surrounding the practice of HR in Nigeria.