Hiring may be Rocket Science, but its Tenets are Basic

Hiring is as old as employment itself. We are talking about a time period of a few thousand years – not a fact to be trifled with. The methods, tools and approaches may have changed and evolved with time, but I believe that it’s safe to say that the underlying principles would not have changed much.

Recall instances where you were evaluating a potential candidate - and it does not matter whether you were looking for someone to help out at home, or someone to drive your vehicle, or someone to join your team at work. Consciously or subconsciously you would be ticking checkboxes against these basic principles… Not convinced? Okay, allow me to lay them out for you – I’ll stick my neck out on this one.

Tenet 1

Notwithstanding his ability with the bat, fitness levels and mental strength, would MS Dhoni have been successful as an opener in Test Cricket? Most likely not!

What are you assessing?
Does she have an aptitude for this job? In other words, does she have a natural ability to perform this job?

Tenet 2

An ex-colleague of mine, a product of India’s best t-school, was undoubtedly brilliant. However, he consistently failed to meet his goals. Reason: either lost interest in the last mile, or buckled under deadline pressures. Sounds familiar?

What are you assessing?
Does she have the right mindset? How often have we seen – and heart wrenchingly so – that aptitude alone cannot and does not guarantee success on the job?

Tenet 3

Ever wondered why a majority of software developers are engineers?

What are you assessing?
Does she have the necessary skills? Skills could be knowledge, experience or even academic qualification? Even if you have a top class training facility at your disposal, your fresh hires will need a minimum set of pre-existing skills that are critical to succeed.

Tenet 4

A high performing and reliable colleague decided to put in his papers because he wanted to migrate to the US.

What are you assessing?
Do her aspirations align with what you can offer her? And this is not just about compensation and benefits. But more importantly, a match between career aspirations and available growth paths in your organization.

Would love to hear your views, especially if you disagree or have a contrarian opinion. Keep them coming…

Arijit Dutta photo Arijit Dutta
Arijit started his career as a chip designer in Motorola (and subsequently Freescale Semiconductor). In his 8 year stint in the semiconductor industry, Arijit led critical design functions and methodology formulation for Motorola’s next generation chipsets and managed cross functional teams across locations. Arijit holds 3 patents in this domain. Next, Arijit turned an entrepreneur and ran a company that developed and sold internet platforms and content in chip design, mobile application and web development. He graduated in Engineering from IIT Bombay. Arijit is a martial arts and music enthusiast.