has conventional recruitment practice failed us?

if the economy could produce enough jobs on its own, the government would have been relieved of pumping funds into programmes like mgnrega and other sops to support low income groups. that sadly isn’t the case. let’s see how conservative recruitment norms inspired indian industries’ incompetence.

economists and analysts will talk of low industrial growth, rising non-performing assets of banks and the losing sheen of indian information technology sector owing to lack of skill upgradation in indian engineers, but rarely does anyone talk of how human resource failures fueled these downturns.

india may be inching closer towards a place amongst top 5 economies in the world, we may be the fastest growing major economy, stats including worst credit growth, dismal private sector investment, failure of indian industry in matching up with global competitiveness and technological prowess and inadequate job growth show the ground beneath is hollow and vulnerable to collapse; not to say of our so-called demographic dividend that is eying jobs, not india’s gdp growth rate.

it is never the bank, a company or any business that peddles the bicycle, it is always humans who drive these through decision-making. and the qualitative difference between these decision-making skills of humans is what makes one company profitable and the other a loss-making venture.

let’s talk more basics. while a regular bank employee does not need to demonstrate higher skills than that used by a regular accountant with a mid-sized enterprise, the former is paid more by employers like sbi and pnb (a major reason behind their deteriorating ratios). the reason to worry is the selection process of both private and public sector enterprises that has failed prudent economic theories.

for a bank job, a written test is conducted to know candidate’s knowledge of language, reasoning and basic arithmetic. is that all you need when you function as a banker, what about effectively managing queues during demonetization drives? at managerial positions, b-school graduates, who pass out with theoretical lessons on leadership and organization, are biasedly preferred.

while it is logical that a medical graduate must be someone who shall undertake practicing of medicine, totally irrational is a naïve, a learner of simple leadership skills hired at a managerial position owing to an utterly unreliable b-school degree. in 4 years of engineering, what the passed out engineer is taught is something that can easily be acquired within 6 months by a person with inclination toward engineering and science.

in the entire process of hiring against the backdrop of communication skills and degrees, we are ignoring a fundamental equation that real world scenarios demand not the acquired (or forcefully injected) know-how but operational dexterity.

the only way possible to judge any applicant on this is to float an assignment during job interviews, for recruiting only through predictable tests and verbal one-on-ones has not only resulted in losses to corporates but has also made it hard to achieve and sustain efficiency and competitiveness for the economy at large. the sole road ahead is therefore a prudently conceived and designed assignment to assess real capability of any candidate.