TO HIRE OR NOT TO HIRE
Whirlway is about to usher in a change in their management team. Like all changes the pro and cons of bringing in fresh blood versus rewarding loyal employees is a conflict faced by Whirlway. Let us now examine the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing new staff at the management level as against to promoting an existing management team member. We shall also take a closer look at how to best assess the right candidate for the newly open position.
While it can be a welcome change to bring on board new staff, at the management level one has to consider both sides of the scale. We now present the advantages and disadvantages of new management member appointment.
Undoubtedly Fresh Perspective – A new mind can bring with him/her past experiences that can be invaluable to the company. The new person is not trained to think like the other management members who are seasoned to doing as the company trained them to do. The new person brings along entirely new ideas to the same situations and can enhance the research and development team with them. Every company after all needs the right person in the right job for it to have sustained growth.
Drive and Ambition – The new person can be very driven and motivated to perform to the best of his/her abilities. This is often not observed in an individual who is an employee of the company for a long period of time.
Industry Know-how and Trends - The new management member can embody the industry standards and trends that an otherwise employed individual may not exercise due to complacency at their job. Also past performance can be mirrored in Whirlway that the new person developed in his/her past. Whirlway can benefit from this experienced knowledge. The book 'Reengineering the Corporation' states that one who is responsible for reengineering a specific process should be a senior level manager with line responsibility. Such a requirement must be met at Whirlway to ensure the right match for the job.
Integration and Trust – A considerable amount of time will be lost during integration of the employee in the staff and management team. Also adjusting to a new member can be a stress factor for any staff as well as the employee itself. For the company to trust a new member and make him/her privy to confidential information regarding the functioning of the company is a time consuming process. Research and development happens to be such a department that needs confidentiality.
Company Specific Knowledge – It could take a long time to know the company specific information that is out there. Whirlway can have many dynamics that work for them and those that don't in its market place.
Resistance to Change – The management and the employees will have reservations regarding a new incoming person for the job. In the first place, they will feel their loyalty towards the earlier staff and then not place their confidence in the newly hired person.
OLD IS GOLD
To promote the Deputy Director of the retiring person would have certain advantages and disadvantages as explained below:
Familiarity – The deputy will possess familiarity and he does not have to be reoriented with the company, already possessing that knowledge from serving with the retiring person. He/she can fully understand the workings of the company and are familiar with its employees and culture.
Ensure Quality of Staff – The question of trust in the deputy is almost solved as the management is familiar with this individual. And can entrust the functioning of the department with him. A lot of people change jobs to make more money. Retaining an existing staff member at Whirlway will ensure that credibility is not compromised.
Motivation – The promotion of the deputy serves as a motivational factor for the rest of the staff as they feel that upon adequate hard work, they (the staff) will be suitably rewarded. This will increase the productivity of the Whirlway staff.
Lack of Broadened Scope – Hiring the deputy will restrict the incoming new perspectives that may be the key to turning the fortunes of Whirlway around. It is said that insiders by themselves are unable to reengineer a process as their outlook is too narrow and confined.
Shadowed Movement – For a brief period of time the deputy will remain in the shadow of his recently retired boss. He will be unable to shed the functioning patterns prescribed by his former superior and it will be a risk to undertake that he will be eventually successful in doing so.
While it is largely not possible to fully predict which the best path for Whirlway to adopt is, there are a few methods of hiring that can prove to be the right method for making such crucial decisions. Interview alone may not provide the right mechanism for recruitment in the position specified. The reasons being that interviews are:
- Too narrow a focus
- Can be practiced and rehearsed
- Is not result oriented but is presentation oriented
- Can be biased
For a position as senior as Director of Research and Development, I would suggest the additional methods of recruitment besides interview to be considered by the management members.
Role Playing – Following an interview, the candidates must be required to enact situations that may occur while on the job. This allows the recruiting team to access the the level of skills possessed by the individuals.
Job Preview – The individuals must have a through preview of the functioning of the job. They should be willing to meet the requirements on the job and be able to enhance the company productivity by accepting the position.
Probation and References – Finally in a job as crucial as this one, references play a very important role in determining the right candidate. Besides this, the job should be strictly placed on probation for a suitable duration to better assess the productivity of the individual.
We thus see that an interview alone will not be able to deliver the right person for the job in most cases. An extensive review process can determine the right replacement for the position in question. While there are advantages and disadvantages to promoting the deputy and hiring new blood, Whirlway will have to carefully analyze its requirements and future expectations. I would recommend a through job analysis and requirements study to conduct the above mentioned recruitment processes that will help confirm who the best fit for the job is.
- Charan, Ram (2001) What the CEO Wants you to Know. New York, Crown Business
- Hammer, Michael and Champy, James (2001) Reengineering the Corporation New York, Harper Business
- Davis, Stan and Meyer, Christopher (1998) Blur – The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy. New York, Warner Books
 Charan, Ram (2001) What the CEO Wants you to Know. New York, Crown Business, Page 95
 Hammer, Michael and Champy, James (2001) Reengineering the Corporation New York, Harper Business, Page 112
 Davis, Stan and Meyer, Christopher (1998) Blur – The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy. New York, Warner Books. Page 153
 Hammer, Michael and Champy, James (2001) Reengineering the Corporation New York, Harper Business, Page 114