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Utter Tomfoolery

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From the beginning of time we have heard that to make it in this world depends on ‘Who you know and who knows you’. It is for this reason, many professionals encourage networking. They believe that networking determines who are employed and who aren’t or even who gets the promotion and who does not. Although, many may be reluctant to admit it, if we are candid we will confess that many positions are filled worldwide and right before our eyes because of nepotism disguised as networking and ‘who you know’. I once witnessed a manager being hired after a mere two-minute interview. A significant number of employers commonly use shoulder tapping to fill influential positions in corporations. I often heard a managing director justify such actions by saying, ‘It is better the devil you know’.

With the economy in trouble and unemployment at its highest, one may think that employers would prefer to employ the most apt candidate in every position especially those of senior management. It is not rocket science that the candidate who is most qualified and experienced would be more efficient in a position; than someone with limited relevant experience and little qualification but would have previously served on a committee with you, belong to the same social group or happened to be a family friend. Researchers believe that employers prefer to use shoulder tapping because of the assumption that someone who is familiar will be easier to work with. This begs the question, is it better to crash and burn surrounded by familiar faces or thrive in the midst of objective strangers?

An efficient and effective process for hiring employees involves identifying the talent needs, selecting from a talent pool and hiring the most qualified candidate. While each corporation may have its own hiring process, the most successful process contains the following: identifying the need and devising a recruitment plan. The next step is to write the job description, advertise the position and review the applications. Finally, conduct the interviews, assess the applicants, perform the due diligence checks and then make a well informed decision.

The fluidity and uncertainty of the present business landscape leaves no room for incompetence in any corporate position. Also, the high unemployment level provides a large talent pool from which to recruit. Consequently, taking shortcuts and performing recruitment favours at the risk of corporate success is utter tomfoolery.

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Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at [email protected]