- On October 19, 2016
- bankrupt, hire, HR, management, manager, supply chain
During HR selection process we have enough candidates for supply chain manager, some of them even perfectly meet (on paper) our requirements. We start the interviews and every candidate performs perfectly well, his CV is fantastic and so on nice things. We are glad about our luck and hire the person who impressed the whole comittee, involved in the selection.
A year later we face a crash caused by the mess and chaos which appeared after hiring the manager. Where was our mistake? He was our shining star that we were looking for, wasn’t he?
Alas, such cases are met quite often and usualy the problem has started with the selection. Many HR specialists think that they know enough technics and have the intuition to hire the right person. The truth is that during the interviews only few aspects from the character can be cought and only extremely good expert may analyse and predict to some extend the subsequences from hiring a particular candidate. The candidates come prepared with frequently repeated phrases which sound rather convincing but these phrases and values do not come from the soul. Thus before hiring any manager his profile must be explored. The exploration should be done not via references on paper but via conversations with his ex colleagues, boses, subordinates. I’ll give an example for such research.
We were searching to hire operational manager who to be responsible for the deliveries and warehouse. We received an interesting CV from a person who was a production manager in a FMCG factory. His documents were excellent, on the interview he was great, even too great. And we know that too good is not good. Then we decided to investigate his professional experience. The HR manager was absolutely against any check as she considered the candidate suitable for the vacant position. But the owner insisted on this additional check. Some of us were involved to find ex colleagues of our future colleague. I had an acquaintance who appeared to be a subordinate to our candidate. He told me that he has felt perfect during our candidate’s management because the factory was like an incubator – whatever happened inside was never revealed outside and the management never heart of any problem in the factory. The employees were protected even when there were breakdowns and sabotages. Even when the state authorities were visiting the factory and were giving directions for elimination the pests, these issues were not reported to the general manager who was in Germany. My acquaintance had leaft the factory soon after that because the new accountant has found some discrepancies in materials and recepies. Since then no manager who had come to this position could fix the mess or could deal with the anarhy and peoples’ carelessness. The managers were coming and leaving because the staff had continued to behave in the old careless way. The new managers did not want to hide the problems any more but to solve them. One year later the general manager was forced to close this factory. My colleague had found a source in another factory where the same candidate had started a personal war with the technologist and had changed the recepies for some of the products. The change in the recepies had been dictated by the wish to have a new supplier and to achieve savings. Generally speaking this could be a great idea but without the technologist’s approval it is a disaster. As a result the firm had lost market share due to poor product quality. It appeared that until now the lost market share has not been recovered yet.
This person was not hired in our company. Few months later I met an enterprenuer who talked tall that he was working on a new project with the same our candidate. I hint that may be the candidate is not the right peson to work with. The answer was that they were family friends and everything was perfect. The new idea has not been realized yet.
Selecting a manager is a very, very responsible job. There fore some HR agencies are specialized in selection of managers only. The specifics is that these people should be not only experts in their area but should also inspire the team. The selection and research require time for a deep analysis how a person would react in different situations. And of course to check his past experience. If someone has taken a bribe, obviously he cannot be hired in purchasing department. Actually I wouldn’t hire him on any position.
There are nuances in the interview which hint about bad intentions or wrong value orientation. We consider one value orientation as wrong when it does not comply with our views for business and life. Thus we cannot work with people who have different view point about the business. If one manager consider that hiding problems could be a long-term strategy, he dooms the company to failure because the problems should be solved not swept under the carpet.
So hiring a certain manager is a question of our choise and estimation how much we may influence him. Having in mind that changes in people’s character is a difficult process, especially in mature age, it is unrealistic to think that we may shape a completed manager. That is why it is better to attract a person who, due to his values, contributes to our company progress. We don’t need a person who thinks only about the moment results and adjusts the reports. The real manager is a knight who has the courage to admit his mistakes and to seek for exit from any unpleasant situation even when his ego suffers.