What’s your interview wait time?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

“All the 3 rounds of #interviews, the average wait time was about 45 minutes” when she brought that stat out, I wondered, is Interview Wait Time (IWT) a metric worth measuring?
We already measure many things like time to hire, quality of hire (still fuzzy), cost per hire, and not to forget how many we hired.

Let us say #hr gave hiring managers a score on

1) The average time to respond to a CV
2) Time taken to allot an interview schedule
3) Number of reschedules per interview
4) Average waiting time per interview
5) Number of days taken to give feedback post-interview

Don’t forget the numerous follow-ups in between to nudge for each of the processes to take place.

We do take post-hiring feedback on a scale of 10 on different parameters. But, the ‘experience’ of getting hired is often ignored when we get the salary, title, role of our choice, and some of us might be generous or forget things like wait time.
Let’s do an average waiting time for an enterprise if they

a) Interviewed 4 people for every each hire
b) Recruited 200 people a month
b) Did 3 rounds of interview
c) Had an average wait time of 30 minutes

Thats 4 x 200 x 3 x 30 = 72,000 Minutes per month 🤐

IWT🤷‍♂️ is an unwanted acronym in an overburdened hiring system. Can we ask What’s your Interview Wait Time?

Jugding colleagues

Recency Effect! How do you judge your colleagues?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

How do you judge colleagues?
Would it be based on

1. Their recent performance/behaviors or
2. Their strengths based on which they got hired/stayed/promoted?

3. Your relationship with them?

It’s safe to say it’s a combination of all three. In fact, recent behaviors may have a significant impact on the relationship? I think so.

I once launched a new initiative (what else do you do when you get bored and want to distract your teams?

I realised that couple of them were not interested in it nor pulling their weight around it. Both would not have done the project work or would skip the update calls calling themselves busy. One of them was a top performer, and the other was struggling with his team’s productivity.

I am sure they must have had their reasons for not interested in the initiative and maybe also lacked the courage to flag off that they cannot participate. Either way, their lack of interest and application was conspicuous. These were people I had hired, were talented and experts in their space. But, as their supervisor, I felt they were not pulling their weight on what was a crucial project (so I think even today).

My subsequent interactions with them suffered, and I guess whenever our paths met, I judged them based on those recent behaviors I had of them.

Of course, then somebody put some sense into me, and I changed on course on those two colleagues.

However, I found myself in many such zones in my work life, where I judged people based on how they behaved or performed in recent times. I forgot what I liked in them while hiring, their strengths that I admired, and the potential for which we promoted them.

All that I remembered was what happened recently!

I wish I had a kind of Ghajini memory, which only reminded me of why I like my team. Life would be much happier without judging them on the recency effect?

when loyalists leave

When loyalists leave!

800 371 Kamal Karanth

When your so-called loyalists’ walk away, what do you do?

Do you call them traitors & opportunists make them feel miserable by bitching about them or tell yourself that they had run their course with you? The former is a natural and maybe the first emotional reaction we might experience. The latter response will take its time, or perhaps the mirror of your conscience may eventually tell you. However, we usually don’t get there. I mean, can we think that he or she has given so much time and contributed to our team or organisation? It takes a brave and honest soul to let loyalists go. It’s even more difficult if your loyalists join the competition. How can you say, especially in public, that you wish them the very best? You must be worrying that it might open the flood gates, and more people might follow suit?

Everything is contextual, But for long, people who have spent long tenures with their employers have felt undervalued for sure. In some organizations, their value starts at Induction PPTs and ends with service anniversaries trophies. The million-dollar question is, how do you define loyalty?

1) Someone who stays for long like 10 -15 years or people whom we like to call as ‘lifers’?

2) Employees who step up during any crisis by making sacrifices or take the lead to solve the exigencies?

3) People, who defend the leaders in their absence and always try hard to paint a positive picture of the organization?

4) Colleagues, who stand up to the leadership when the value systems are compromised?

Our definitions of loyalty keep changing depending on where we are standing and how it affects us? Many people I know have been loyal to their careers than their employers. The widely held opinion is that the loyalties of employers keep changing too, and so there is no harm in we being loyal to our careers.

How have you dealt with loyalists leaving you?

Maybe we should start by answering the fundamental question.

What does loyalty mean to you?

Job Interview – The Right Answers?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Are there Job Interview questions that have no meanings, but we still continue to ask? I wonder about the consequences if we could give the real answers that come to our mind than what they want to hear!  Just Imagine if we answered with the following answers in the interview

1. What do your parents do?

A: You want to hire them or me? 🤔

2. Are you married?

A. Are you running a marriage bureau?

3. How many children do you have?

A: Seriously?🤷‍♂️

4. Does your spouse work, and where?

A: Will I get a higher salary if s/he is not working?😇

5. Any particular reason only your team was laid off?

A: I am also trying to figure that out, dude!🤨

6. If you are so career-oriented, why are you on a break for six months?

 A: There is something called ‘life’ that I had to attend to so that I can be my best in my new job

7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

 A: When will you guys grow up? Can’t read up some new questions?😆

8. Why should we hire you?

A: If you don’t know, then why am I here?🤐

9. What’re your hobbies?

 A. Attending job interview

10. Where is your home town?

A: Wherever I get my next job

11. Where do you intend to be 5 years from now?

A: if I get this job I want to fire you one day so that 5 years from now I   would be in your seat and asking more intelligent questions.

12. You are returning to work after 5 years. After this long maternity break, will you be able to cope with the work pressure?

A: Have you delivered 2 babies, managed them, the spouses, parents, and In-Laws?🤫

13: Now that you have taken a break and returning to work, you will have to start at the same salary where you left as that’s the last work experience you have

A: Would you have offered the same if it’s you or your spouse or sibling?

Some of these questions have very little relevance to the job that is being offered & they continue to have an impact on the selection process!

I am as guilty as many of you on this front.

Performance Vs Behaviour

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Are performance and bad #behaviours two sides of the same coin? Otherwise how else do you explain the behaviours of most top performers in organisations too? Should we say, its pure jealousy of the lesser mortals due to the adulation around the top performers?

Carefully look at your colleagues who are superstars in terms of their performance. The best design engineers, sales toppers, doctors with maximum patients or anybody whom your employers label as #superstars. Besides the confidence arising out of their current success, there are a few more striking things that are invariably noticeable.

i. ‘I know everything’ attitude, poor listening skills
ii. Scant respect to systems and processes. Will always be last to submit reports. Furthermore, they are quite likely to be late or don’t show up to calls.
iii. Poor interpersonal skills with peers. You will find them mostly in bosses cabins.
iv. Name dropping. Their access to leaders gives them privileged information and they tend to show it.

You can’t help but notice top performers violating basic professional conduct irrespective of the roles, kind of organisations they work for. Dhoni is my favourite player 🙂

Resign and Stay Back? The repercussions!

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Some of us resign and regret, some of us stay back after quitting and then regret. Which one are you?

Have you resigned and then stayed back?

I think many things change in the next phase of stay after you offered to quit or threatened to leave and then got retained.

So, how does the work context change on these fronts?

Your own mindset

Once you have shot this resignation arrow and stay back, every time you have a bad day or a moment are you likely to regret the decision of having stayed back. Every time you want to make an argument against any decesion you may tend to step back feeling a sense a grattitude for your employer/boss who retained you.

Your Boss

Your supervisor is likely to think of you as somebody who can quit again. HR would work with this at the back of their mind even thinking of replacement options should you resign again?

 Counter offer

Lets say you stayed as your current employer matched your 50% salary hike of a competitor. Would you be under pressure to perform better?

I think your boss would be constantly asking him/herself if their decision to retain is financially prudent everytime you underperformed.

Your bargaining power

Lets reflect on your credibility. Will it change with your bosses and peers ? Would the trust ever be the same again? I reckon you might be a little lower in your boss’s favourite’s list thereafter

Flashback time; Refect on these two experiences

  1. One of my peers in her 2 decade long stay threatened to leave at least 5-6 times, She got a few plum assignments. You think her capability to threaten over resignations got her that growth? or she was just emotional and thats how she was. Make no mistake she was a top achiever in most assignments. In her case her bragianing power only seem to increase
  2.  One of my ex colleagues resignedand then stayed back as his manager requested. But, now he complains that he does not have the same pecking order like he felt in the past. Its either real or his imagination? cant tell for sure.

Seems like resigning and staying back have their own consequences depending on your context of staying back and the context of the organisation for asking you to stay.

If I have to stick my neck out I would say, “You will be on a imaginary weighing machine everyday thinking if you made the right decision by staying back.

Only we deserve every new role and promotion?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

When my boss announced my peer’s posting at Hq as the new Product Head I was dumbstruck. Though he was my best friend I did not like the ‘news’. Every time a promotion or an external hire for a new role is announced whats your typical reaction? I always felt surprised or shocked if that announcement wasn’t me 🙂 Some of the organizations broadcast new roles and call for internal applicants, assess them, interview and painstakingly give feedback to people whom they think aren’t ready yet. Many Employers still do internal ‘black box’ consultations and announce their new appointee. Sometimes, we get to know from the market that an external search is on. I worked in both kinds of employers and benefitted from both processes. However, when I used to get promoted without a transparent announcement of the role or a formal assessment process I ‘felt’ my peers looked at me with suspicion. It made me feel as though the bosses favored me. But, the self-righteousness in me eventually used to lead to euphoria. No doubt that for every role/promotion, there are always multiple deserving candidates. But, in our ‘diary’ only we deserve every new role and promotion? Btw, that ex-colleague is today based overseas and heads a billion dollar biz of a pharma MNC.

On your last day at work, what are your emotions?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

On your last day at work, what are your emotions like? Relieved/Heavy? There she was ‘dressed up’ like never before and full of energy. I should say I had never seen her so happy before. I asked her what the occasion was, “today is my last day here” she replied. I couldn’t hold myself and asked, “seems like you are so happy to leave us, are we so bad? Does our last day emotion depend on ‘why’ we are leaving or our ‘next’ destination? I reckon its a combination of both. If we are leaving a place which was a nightmare I am sure its a huge hashtagrelief. It sure calls for a celebration. But, an additional factor can also be about the excitement of our new role, employer or salary. It goes without saying that we join every job with the hope that its a step up to our career. That compensates for any sadness of leaving the previous job. Send-offs today are more a celebration than teary-eyed farewells that they once were. Maybe becoz leaving nowadays is common & hence whatever emotional quotient attached might have lost its relevance. The friendly colleagues are not missed due to Whatsapp, FB or instagram. The friends at work are happy that you got something better and they can talk/meet you more freely. The happiness of your foes needs no explanation 🙂

Your sales guys walk with a chip on their shoulders

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Your sales guys walk with a chip on their shoulders and have the tendency to cheese you off? Are they also likely to walk away with all the limelight in the organisation? Do they have better access to the C-suite in your organisation? The leadership team tends to give in to all their demands? You are in operations and slog long hours to fulfill customer demands and feel short-changed when it comes to fair treatment, incentives or recognition? In your opinion sales-guys have scant respect for internal processes, they are only interested in their customers getting what they want. You must have wondered how they are able to build good relationships with customers when they behave like jerks internally with their own colleagues? This Operations vs Sales has been an evergreen battlefield. When I used to sell products I felt my manufacturing peers never understood sales needs. When I got into services Industry my opinions did not change either. When operations became part of my team I saw the other side of the coin. But, Heart of my heart, that bias for salespeople continues 🙂 I say that becoz of the man in the mirror? Or Sales-people really need special treatment to ensure their ego is kept high to earn the organisation’s livelihood?

Do you work next to your boss?

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Do you work next to your boss & you feel liberated when s/he isn’t around?

On a Friday evening, I was at a #theatre for a late night movie & I bumped into my boss who was also there with his family. Next day, when he summoned for a review of my #sales activities I couldn’t call it a coincidence. It was my first managerial job and I started to envy all my peers who were posted outside the regional headquarters. That day I swore never to work again in the same location as my boss.

Fast forward a few years, I was heading a branch in another firm; the cricket world cup was on. I got the TV from my home and installed in the office hallway. One of those days our Director came to my office unannounced. Nervously, I looked out of the office to see my colleagues enjoying cricket, Even before I could react, she shook hands in appreciation & said “I like the way you engage the team” That day I wanted to tell the world that one shouldn’t miss working at the Headquarters.

Do you work in the same office or location as your boss? You work any differently when s/he is around? Is your work ethic equal/higher/low when they aren’t around? Does their absence cause longer lunch breaks, more water cooler discussions, late comings, early leavings?

Enjoy your #FreedomAtwork