Role of HR in recession

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I was observing one recruiter recently, who wish to prove that the job seeker is ineffective and inconsistent in his career.  I told him that this is not the way to do interview during recession based on recruitment theories that one should have consistency, excellent track record with bookish knowledge of selection and recruitment policies and senseless question and answer sessions. So, what kind of role HR has to dawn in the wake of recession? 

As a Recruiter myself, I am very much confused with the consequences of recession and the fate of prospective candidates waiting in the wings to grab a job with all their sincere efforts. If a recruiter want to recruit you, no questions asked, they will do that at any cost.  If they don't want to, they will put you all questions to make you feel like a fool. Though I will not compromise on quality of the candidates, this recession compelled me to have some compassion as a Recruiter and compromise on some such as communication skills, minor errors in attitude when it comes to selecting the right candidate.  How to go about it?

You think it's a critical question. How HR Department should behave in post recession? How they can take interview?  What kind of answers they will accept from prospective recession hit employees with gaps in their careers for no fault of theirs?  Do you think HR should empathise with the prospective employees while interviewing them post recession?

HR is always proud to present their ‘perfection' in all their activities such as recruiting the right talent, training effectiveness, creating healthy workplace, excellent employee relations management, highly rewarding positive unbiased performance appraisal system,  team spirit without any conflict of interpersonal relations and many more activities they claim to be perfect in their execution.

Many HR people strongly feel that they are the best in acquiring the best talent available in the market.  But when it comes to functioning to make the organization grow with the team they have selected, they will become dud.  If the organization is a start up, then the HR will have more challenge to make the talent acquired produce results within the target period. Many a Management compels the HR to recruit ‘cheap labour' by compromising on the quality of the talent. 

Then the grind starts. They will start compromising first on qualifications, then on experience and then they bring referrals who are relatives of the present employees, finally the company will never take off with confidence to declare first quarter results.  Then, the Management starts blaming the HR for their ineffective ‘team building' and ‘talent acquisition skills'.

Reliance, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam are highly successful from the beginning, because they never compromised on the quality of the ‘talent acquisition'.  Once they set the QRs (Qualifications required or Qualitative requirements), HR is given required freedom to recruit the right kind of talent to build a great organization.

Now, in recession, the situation is entirely different.  You will receive job seekers daily, who were laid off and to your surprise, will not fit into your organization, keeping in view of their KRAs and KSAs.

Then what is the role of HR in this kind of complex situation?  How to recruit proactive, progressive and productive employees to build a great team? How to recruit recession victims to the advantage of the organization?  What kind of parameters we have to set to help them by boosting their motivational levels, morale and confidence?

The following tips may help if you wish to help ‘recession victims' as a HR Manager with human touch.

  1. Never compromise on basics such as Qualifications, experience and skill set required.
  2. Do not look for excellent communication skills.  If they can communicate effectively in their mother tongue in the workplace to interact with their colleagues and to get the things done, that is more than enough.
  3. Do not encourage work place sarcasm, if you select recession victims.  Try to protect them from the ‘verbal duel' of your colleagues.
  4. Organise induction program giving more impetus on ethical values in recruitment and the importance of interpersonal relations and accommodating the need of ‘recession victims', keeping in view of the need of the organization and also focus on the ‘goodness' of the Company in these ‘bad times'. This will increase loyalty of the employees and enhance the image of the organization.
  5. Help the employees communicate freely without alienating the ‘recession victims' recruited.
  6. Help them to get reasonably good pay to survive with dignity, instead of making them feel exploited.
  7. Training them in soft skills such as Time Management, Workplace Communication Skills, Interpersonal relations, Team Spirit, Team Work, Stress Management and Workplace behaviour, will help them to cope up with the tough times.
  8. Generally, we entrust all kinds of works as we feel that any human being can do any work especially highly time consuming coordination and facilitating assignments, which would make the Management feel that there is no productivity due to the unproductive tasks assigned to them. Give them right work which would enthuse them and they will deliver in time.
  9. Do not interfere or guide them while they are in the process of success and involved in performance to deliver.
  10. Never allow them to whine without completing their work; but help them to relax within the work station and in the campus, to make them feel the freedom of work place. 

 Hope these tips will help to become ‘effective HR' in these days of recession.

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