Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Experience speaks!

When one speaks with heart there tends to be a lot of acceptance and appreciation. It’s more to do with the words untold and also those “read in between lines”. For someone who is as seasoned as Mr. Karthikeyan, it was more of spontaneity and instincts taking the lead. A Trained Psychologist and consultant, he spoke the’ HR language’ with a lot of depth and conviction. Stories of his own failures and hard lessons broke the shackles one could have on learning by failing in life.

“Is it feasible for assessment centers in the private sectors?” I asked. Karthikeyan had actually done it in his previous assignments as consultant. He went over the process in his earlier stints with fine tooth comb. Neatly presenting the story, he posed questions on HR concepts that had the students gripped completely, not to forget those moments shared to mull over certain serious lapses that occur in recruitment.

Couple of anecdotes on strategies is worth mentioning. Karthikeyan had emphasized on absorbing ITI students outside Chennai to fill in for as large as 1500 technicians for a top automotive player. The underlying motive was to retain people for a considerable time. Additionally, the pay offered was too less for a worker from within the city. This turned out to be a huge trump card in success of the recruitment process with the automotive giant.

Life comes 360 degrees. Yes, he had his failures too, when a mass recruitment drive went berserk. This was one such incident where Karthikeyan had to recruit for front office executives. There was huge turn around with police getting involved to control the ‘mob’. Eventually, people were asked to drop in their resumes. And guess what, there were torn resumes deposited all over, an indication of torn hearts due to improper communication. It was a clear illustration of a poorly written “Job Description”.

Importance of observation was stressed on as a HR professional. Empathy to sit through the allotted time with an interviewee was discussed further. Never ‘Test’ an individual and ‘Dump’. It’s extremely important to provide a candid feedback to ensure he/she works on the shortcomings. Karthikeyan was particular on such ‘humane’ dimensions that complete a HR as a person and also the role per se.

No presentation in power point, nothing ‘flash’y, yet clear and profound way of reaching out to the student community with relevance to one’s hardships in life. The session would stay in our mind, as a definite reminiscence of the gentleman and his methodology of teaching.

Contributed by Balaji MS, HR Varsity, CBS Batch-4 (2009-10)

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