Sorry, we can’t hire you!
“You have left your job without having a new one in hand!!” smirked the guy sitting on the chair at the other side of the table. The candidate stuttered a bit and replied: “I am on sabbatical, and want to get back, isn’t that normal in western part of the world”. Unfortunately, he forgot that we still are shackled by our traditional mindset in India. His “unemployed” status has already tagged him as a non-hire material.
What an embarrassment we bring to our own clan by following these mindless practices. Why do we need to follow such dogmas and be a part of the crowd? Aren’t we Shortsighted? And the worst part is that we are definitely missing out some great talent in this ruthless game of crowd mentality where we just do what people, in general, are doing.
In my career of almost fifteen years now, what I have seen is that “the road most traveled is the road of mediocrity”. And I believe that performance and talent have nothing to do with someone currently out of work. In fact, it needs lots of courage and determination to try out something different. This tendency to question the wisdom of this crowd mentality is a must for every Leader.
Generally, people who take a break due to some pressing need, after getting the next job are more motivated. They will give you their utmost loyalty, dedication, and hard work to prove their mettle. Thanks to some progressive organizations that are making efforts to bring a change in this direction. Vodafone is launching a program with the aim to recruit career-break women. Après is a new job marketplace that is targeted towards moms who want to opt back into their careers. Sheroes, Schneider, Intel, HUL, GE and many others organizations have started thinking in these lines but mostly they are targeted to women taking career breaks. The men still somehow are not preferred in this area. Isn’t this unfortunate?
Let us try to get into a sneak preview of what is the real situation, which is still happening in many organizations; when they see a resume which has the “currently nonworking” tag.
• “I am sure; the candidate will not be updated on recent practices, developments, and technological changes”.
What a nice way of generalization! Just because he or she had a break in her career, doesn’t necessarily mean that he has not kept himself abreast with the latest know-hows of the industry. It may be the other way round too, let him prove that when you meet him. Give him a chance at least.
• “That’s not the exact reason for him to take this break. There’s something more to it”.
Such figment of imagination adds to one more reason for rejecting the candidate without even trying to get into the nitty-gritty. Though there are many cases in which this holds true, such mindset really scares me. We are here to do business, and let us do it with some intellect and grace rather than putting our imaginative instinct on it.
• “Seems a good candidate, but was in a break, Offer him the same salary and ask him to join. He must be thankful that we are giving him a job.”
Yes, that’s certainly true, they will remain more loyal and committed because you have given them another opportunity by trusting their mettle. But does this call for a financial negotiation? Certainly not, offer them at least what’s fair.
What HR Leaders need to do – be the change!
Remember, you have a huge role and responsibility. Don’t pass this responsibility to others; rather devise a shared accountability with all functional leaders. The unconscious biases of other leaders in the organization need to be addressed and managed delicately by the HR leaders by bringing a psychological mindset change in them.
• Question the wisdom of this crowd mentality.
• Free your recruiting team from unconscious biasedness; don’t reject and never endorse anyone to reject just because he or she had a break in her career.
• Contemplate and find out solutions to remove such dogmas which can be a cloud on the horizon for our future generation.
• Create a success story and showcase it as an example for people to start thinking in the right direction.
Give them a fair chance!
The crowd mentality makes the humans do stupid things. The leadership mantras will hold a veritable meaning only when we change our beliefs, challenge the status quo, and liberate ourselves from the chains of regimented conventional thinking in a true sense. Let us not imprison the minds of the current generation and our offspring with something we have been incontestably and inheritably resonating within us. Let’s bring the change - from mindsets to actual practices.