Recruitment..the potent and portents!!

“Our most important assets are our people”, there is no CEO who would not vouch by this statement.

Potential of the people determine the capability of the organisation. People are the only sustainable source of competitive advantage. Their potential is a factor of multiple elements, such as skills, knowledge, attitude etc.

Every individual possesses to a lesser or greater extent some uniqueness. Human beings are the only species in the universe who have, truly, unlimited potential to think, imagine, therefore innovate and contribute. However, every other species that has capability to produce fruits, offer service to humanity, has no choice but to give or be compelled to offer what they are capable of. The sun shines bringing with it brightness and warmth, the trees provide food and shelter, the cow provides milk, animals carry load etc. All of these have little or no discretion to withhold its potential because it dislikes someone, or is not in the right mood or whatever. Human beings with all their richness/endowments have an option to utilise the endowments. Investment of the potential is not automatic, but is discretionary, left to the volition of the individual.


Identifying unique talent, skills, its relevance to the business, latent potential, together with the willingness of individuals along with the ability are crucial skills required, making the job of talent acquisition folks so much more complex.

With all its complexity, it is so very tempting and human frailty being what it is, many companies leave it to green horns to do the initial filtering and mid to senior levels final selection. Compare this with Hindustan Unilever, which has it board members participate in the selection of Management Trainees. Seasoned CEOs or CXOs, who realise the importance of getting the right folks into the organisation in variably, find the time do the final round of interviews before the selection.

Identifying, attracting and selecting the right people for an organisation is very critical to its success. What is HR value add in recruitment, what talent is and how one should go about its identification, get an appreciation of potential & evaluate the same in candidates, what generic skills sets in addition to domain skills, should one look for at different levels in the organisation & how are they actually tested for. The more complex issues relate to understanding of attitudes an individual brings along, the cultural & values fit of candidates.

Does pedigree matter? Would you bring in outliers at the cost of disrupting the morale of the current set up? How does one prevent a back lash if one plans to bring in a high potential performer at very high salaries or break the seniority in the system?

What analytics beyond cost and time criteria should one look at?

The very issues that makes recruitment complex, makes it challenging & therefore offers interesting career choice. It provides the recruiter unlimited opportunities to identify the right gems to be inducted which make organisations great. This fortnightly series will analyse some key issues and perspectives mentioned above that recruiting teams should be aware of to select and induct the right recruits who enhance the potential and could create value for the organisation.

In the meanwhile feel free to share your views.

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