Staff recruitment. How not to step on the same rake

imageAutumn is the time when one of the seasonal peaks of finding employees for employers and work for applicants begins. Yes, oddly enough, but the process of filling staff units of organizations has its seasonal peaks and dips. Perhaps because of this, many articles on the selection and selection of personnel appear on Habré right now.

They publish articles about the fact that the specialists who carry out this process make various mistakes, describe their outrage and indignation about this, each time leading to the fact that far from professionals are operating in this area. The topic is beaten and, in my opinion, is no longer interesting. What is the point of circling around the problem, regularly proving its existence?

Most authors who exploit this topic, from time to time talk about how they relate to this issue. But, as a rule, rarely one of them offers something really working. And the most interesting thing is that many in the comments support them, emphasizing the importance of the problem under discussion.

I do not know how these people relate to amateurs in the area in which they are professionals. But I guess that when these specialists begin to issue their pseudo competent opinion based on personal fears and speculation, this action causes, at least, bewilderment.
"Yes, but things are still there. ..."
- I. A. Krylov, "The Swan, Pike and Cancer" (1816)
If an article is written about the uselessness and mistakes of a recruiter - the article passes to loud applause. But if someone has suggestions on how to improve the situation, then it ends in a flurry of negative, a description of his unsuccessful experience and fears about the fact that God forbid something new will appear in the selection issues. Suddenly it will be even worse than it was? And indeed all this is nonsense!

The root of the problem is to select or take anyone who is looking for work?

imageThere are two hostile camps. If IT specialists believe that professional "selectors" of personnel do not exist a priori, then it may be worthwhile to dismiss all personnel managers, as an unnecessary element (rudiment) of an organization. And let this be done by a large army of heads of departments of IT staff, versed in all matters of the enterprise. And what do you think happen? I will assume that there will be several options.

1. There will be a conflict of those who would like to just go about their business and not be distracted by what they are not interested.

It is unlikely that any of the engineers admits that the selection process is not simple enough and requires certain knowledge, skills and professionalism. And if they think that this is elementary, then let's do a similar experiment at least in one of the self-respecting enterprises. By the way, at such an enterprise (with which I had to cooperate) there was a similar case. This is by no means an indicator, but I think it will be instructive and revealing.

At one of the large Russian enterprises required specialists who worked with Oracle DBMS. In general, production optimization was required, and a modernization project was made for this event. At that time, the structural units of the processing department were intertwined quite crookedly (through Excel spreadsheets, coordination of activities took place, planning was updated, etc.). This approach is rather tired (since it was a dead end) and it was decided to integrate a normal DBMS into the ACS system. The head of the information workers said that he would personally select the candidates and interview them. Came a fairly large number of applicants. He, with skill, chose the best.

The director provided information about the selected candidate to me. He was a truly technically savvy IT engineer with suitable work experience, which made a favorable impression on our manager. Unfortunately, at the interview to see this candidate’s inability to integrate into a streamlined team, conflict and tendency to ingratiation, he could not.

After warning the director that these qualities are likely to manifest themselves in a future employee, we agreed with him that he would take a note of this, although he supported the choice of his manager and would not tell him about the information available.

This was the case when the listed qualities took place. And literally 5 months after being hired, this candidate showed himself in all its glory. He began to not constructively argue with one of the experienced specialists in the programming and program adaptation department (8 years in production). Agree with him was not possible. At first, the manager tried to listen and understand him, tried to convince and prove him. Everything was in vain. The new employee was unshakable in defending his ideas about how the system should be arranged, and work with the base was organized. It is difficult for me to judge which of them was right and who was not. But this situation has reached the director. The director, in turn, said that this employee was chosen as the head of the department. And accordingly, let him decide now.

The conflict dragged on. Another 8 months passed before the employee was dismissed. A specialist in his field, he was really literate, but as it turned out, he knew labor legislation as well. Therefore, during this period of time, the enterprise was repeatedly visited by the labor inspectorate and the prosecutor's office. Malignant nothing was revealed, but the nerves patted pretty. As a result, another 4 months lawyers went to the courts. Further, having paid a forced simple worker for unlawful dismissal, he had to be hired once more and only one year later he was finally dismissed.

Agree, quite thoroughly, the company plunged into the shoe polish. At the same time the project costs, the enterprise works and loses money. Was it worth the head to give the right to choose? Of course, yes, but if he still listened to the information from the personnel selection specialist, perhaps the story would have a positive ending, or it would have ended less pitiably.

2. A horse riding circus will start, consisting in the fact that each of the IT specialists will begin to pull the blanket over him

Reading reviews on articles about resumes or interviews, one can make a self-evident conclusion - the main thing is for the new employee to like the head of the IT department or be recommended by the employee of the enterprise. They have intuition and flair. It is important that he imposes them. And whether he will violate labor discipline, jump over the head of this manager, or sabotage his own tasks and orders, whether he will be trained - apparently it does not matter at all. We will understand later, in the course of the play. This is not important!

Here is another story from the many that I had to face in my work. In one rather large holding company specializing in the provision of IT services, a group of specialists was needed to perform temporary work at the client’s enterprise. There was also some idea of ​​expanding the structural unit, which specialized in writing custom programs. To solve these problems, the call was thrown to the employees of the holding, so that they offered to invite their friends to take part in the competition for existing vacancies. Set a day for an interview. And here that very circus began, about which it was written earlier.

Part of the organization's IT specialists staged a sabotage and disrupted the procedure for writing test items. When an internal investigation into this fact was carried out, it was revealed that these employees had delivered an ultimatum to their division head. The essence of the ultimatum is that the specialists who invited their acquaintances to the selection procedure required that newcomers be hired without test assignments. After all, they vouch for those who will work with them side by side.

The incident was hushed up. The director went to meet his employees, who took the initiative. One and a half weeks later, because of those workers who caused all this fuss to take place, a new scandal broke out. Only now it was the claims of the enterprise - the client, the essence of which was that with the arrival of consultants there was a major leak of confidential information. And the cause of this leak was systemic errors that were made by those who were specially hired in order to enhance the existing information security.

As a result, the director of the company that provided IT services spent a significant amount of hours in the detention facility. Fortunately, everything worked out, and as it turned out later, the one who was the cause of the information being drained, did this specifically in order to substitute the head of the group of consultants. This leader and led the "Trojan horse" in the organization. The plan of this “breeder” was to show the management of the company that the head of the group was not competent and had to be removed, and the person who indicated the identified errors had to be put in his place.

By coincidence, for the director and the organization the whole combination was revealed by the security service of the enterprise - customer. After this incident, newcomers are not only tested and checked on a polygraph, but also forced to undergo additional interviews in several stages of selection.

3. Having faced several times with the fact that the new employee is “not comme il faut”, our head of the IT department will begin to postpone interviews and look for solutions

imagePerhaps gradually retraining in HR specialist and will be on the other side, beyond which is not his among his. And again he will also begin to be despised quietly, as dismissed by dismissed pickers. Or perhaps he will simply abandon the process of selection and recruitment that has filled him with the edge of edge. He will find a recruitment agency that will supply “selected” candidates in batches, and also continue to stuff cones.

I remember one episode from the past, where my group conducted at one of the enterprises a complex of works on describing the processes of IT structures. We were assisted in the assistance of the head of these units. He was a competent professional who knew the specifics of the IT department well. In the intricacies of understanding the work and by the nature of his activity, daily communicating with the specialists of his units, he was like a “stranger among his own”. Drawing his attention to this interesting fact, he said that this was not always the case. Before he began to engage in the reception and dismissal of personnel in his units, he was respected, they turned to him for help. But everything changed after he took the post of head.

He understood that, having taken the place of the leader, he would have to communicate with colleagues in view of this distance. But he could not even imagine that those with whom he had previously worked shoulder to shoulder, with whom he had discussed the marasmus of the higher leadership, would stand against him.

So, what is next?

No one has answered this question yet. I urge those who like to “troll” the authors (who dared to talk about their achievements in the field of personnel selection to change the situation in the direction of improving it) to propose solutions that not only shed light on who is right or wrong, but also will be able to combine these two warring parties. And most importantly, to finally push this issue in the direction that you, dear IT workers, have been quietly working.

Work in a team that does not turn into corporate survival just because there are cuckoos in your team, with whom you will have to interact side by side, day after day. Or maybe even have to quit, not because the organization does not like, the wages are not satisfied or the work has become across the throat. And because the situation at work has become intolerable.
A computer is an electronic device that will not replace a person until he learns to laugh at his boss’s jokes and dump his own mistakes on a nearby computer.
Everyone should do his own business, in which he has the knowledge, best practices and experience. Every surgeon has his own graveyard. Each personnel officer has those who, for one reason or another, he rejected in the selection process or helped to go through this process and failed. And behind all this are human fates. This is neither good nor bad - this is a reality with which each of us may encounter in our life. And if it’s hardly possible for us to influence the surgeon’s activities, then I think that it’s worth helping those who are called upon to assist in creating a team.


imageIn my opinion, the problem will be solved if it is approached from the position that it is and only by joint efforts it can be overcome.

If employees of IT structures, if necessary, recruitment of personnel will:
- give clear professional requirements to recruiters regarding the employees recruited to their structure;
- to check the competencies of candidates independently and jointly composing test tasks for them if necessary;
- participate on a par with recruiters at interviews during the selection process;
- negotiate with recruiters in case of differences of opinion.

If recruiters:
- will begin to listen to the opinion of IT professionals who are directly responsible for the result of the work of their department,
- do not oppose or try to circumvent the engineers when discussing a new candidate from the direct head of the IT department or from the director,
- learn to appreciate and respect the work of IT specialists, as well as the work of all other structures of the enterprise.

Approaches and Solutions

To date, a lot of effective methods have been created to ensure that the selection of staff was more efficient. Having studied this topic far and wide, I have collected and used in my professional activity several of the most, in my opinion, effective methods. Moreover, these methods have been working on the Russian market for more than 10 years. Get at least an article on the recruitment wiki . In the list of references to the article there are interesting books describing the methods of effective staff selection during the interview.

However, you should take into account that when choosing a person according to test tasks, you can skip exactly who you need. Do you know why? Not because it is so simple, but stupid recruiters, who have not been taught so much, deal with these issues and express their incompetent opinion, on the basis of which they filter out the supposedly best ones.

This is because there are no sufficient methods for assessing the professional orientation of the individual. I often come across these questions in my professional activities. I see how many people have not found their purpose. And, unfortunately, this issue is not being dealt with properly either in schools or in universities. Often, recruiters do not own methods for assessing professional orientation.

Knowing or not knowing how to solve a particular task, or how a particular task can be solved with the help of technical means, languages ​​and constructions does not give a complete picture of a new employee. By collecting this information, you will learn only what skills, approaches to solving these or other tasks, as well as experience have been gained by this person in the past. And coming to a new organization, no matter how experienced this person is, he will still have to learn something anew.

In this case, you will not know what tasks this employee will do as well and quickly as possible. How attentive he is, or how often, due to his carelessness, he will make critical mistakes, whether he will listen to comments or requests from colleagues, etc. Not every IT specialist can become a good boss. And not every boss is a good deputy first-person enterprise. And picking up a specialist in the structural unit it would be nice to know his motivational expectations, and indeed his professional orientation. And this is real, despite the fact that some of you may now object to me.


Here after all incident, on Habré with nonprofessionals in the field of personnel selection you come across quite often, but none of the articles commenting on them, as if they do not notice a trick. I would like to ask: do you support the stupidity of whiners and unwillingness to change anything. Or is it just convenient for all the choir to sing about the notorious personnel question that will never become a solved task?

To write about who is less professional and unfair, in my opinion, there is little point. The main thing is not who is to blame, but what can be done about it? To be guided solely by insults and malice due to the fact that they faced those who rejected them and described the situation as dead-end and not affected in any way - this means that these people should be left as they are and revel in their helplessness, which they rewrite from article to article.

The problem of personnel selection is complex. And for some reason, only recruiters are accused of all sins. But after all, the candidate of the IT department can still weed out the medical service, security specialists, polygraph examiners, and other specialists, depending on the profile and specifics of the enterprise. It's a shame, but maybe it's worth thinking and still accepting those theses that work and do not oppose anything new?

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