Your company has shortlisted some candidates for a particular appointment. You are smug in the knowledge that your company is of considerable repute and you will get only the best talent in the field. Perhaps. But, there's a good chance that your man of choice may not exactly leap at your offer, and just turn down what seems a rather lucrative job.
Surprised? Rest assured, your prospective employee has done his homework and knows as much about your company, as you know of him. Perhaps, even more.
And, why not? After all, he has to ensure his well-being and professional growth. He has to be sure that his contribution towards the company's bottomline will earn him his dividends as well.
If an employee is considering leaving an organisation because of certain reasons, then he/she would surely want to know if the new place which he/she is considering is different -- and, better. Or, is there any other organisation which is offering a higher pay and better privileges for the same position, which can be considered even though the same sort of working conditions as the current workplace prevail there? There are questions galore in your candidate's mind for which he/she hopes to get the right answers from you.
The world has undergone a rapid change. Youngsters of today are not just running after money, but want many other things as well. Moreover, they are aware of their rights. They want to be recognised and rewarded for their contribution, and want to know if the organisation believes in the same values as he/she does.
I am reminded of a copywriter who asked someone from the HR department whether or not the company believed in 'familial employment', since his wife and he were an 'art and copy' team, and that they wanted to work together.
Prospective employees would want to know about an organisation's HR policies because it's these policies that will help them get a feel of the company culture. They want to be sure whether they are making the right decision.
Trust me, if you are deciding on acquiring a great talent and doing a reference check on him/her, you better be aware that he/she is doing the same thing on you and your organisation's HR policies through friends, relatives, or through Google.
An employee looking for a change of job, if married with domestic responsibilities, will do an in-depth study on the policies related to stability and job security. They want to know how stable they will be.
Some Frequently Asked Questions Are:
Does your HR follow a hire-fire policy?
If you stop doing great work and are delivering only good work, will you become an outcaste?
Do you define hardworking as "working 20 hours a day", or working hard to keep the client happy?
Does the salary come in on the 1st of every month or on the 7th?
Do salaries have a large performance bonus component at all levels, or is it for business heads and above? Will I fall into the fixed salary bracket?
Do you pay performance bonuses on time or do you break it and pay every quarter?
Do you have an 'equal opportunity' policy?
Do you believe in meritocracy?
The questions go on and on.
I was recently talking to someone who told me that many of the prospective employees are calling up friends to do a 'culture check' on his company. If you believe you are a great company with great values, culture and a crisp clear vision, the first thing you need to do is to put it up on your website for all to see and read.
While this may be easy and is common in many companies, walking the talk and living your values, is a totally different ballgame.
Organisations should not only be looking towards acquiring great talent, but should also look inwards and work towards becoming an employer of choice, which means great culture, values and HR policies.
As a policy, we need to move with time, and change the policies if required, based on growing demands. There is no harm in changing policies as long as it does not affect the values and the culture of the organisation, and if the change brings about positive results.
(Ajit Menon is Executive Director, Organisational Development, The Mudra Group)