Just like the wedding season comes about three times a year in India, I used to think there are certain parts of the year when the recruitment season kicks in. In this season, I receive requisitions from almost all our Business Units, all at the same time. For someone like me, who is not a trained HR expert, recruitment comes with its own set of challenges. Imagine my plight when this season has for one reason or another become a perennial affair for the organization with recruitment going round the year.
One of the biggest challenges I continuously face during recruitment season is the lack of respect of time amongst the generation of today. When calling candidates for interview, I am reminded of my days of attending interviews, about 15 years ago. In those days, to get an interview call was such a big deal, that we would prepare for days to crack the interview. On the day of the interview, we would shower well, wear our best clothes, go to the temple and report at least 30 minutes before the interview time. Good preparation for interview was not a sign of under confidence in oneself. It was a sign that we valued the opportunity given to us and we wanted to make the most of it. Above all, we had very high respect for the time of the organization, and we couldn’t afford to waste it.
Today, out of the many candidates that apply for the post, we painstakingly shortlist candidates and send interview calls to tens of them. Only 5 -10 acknowledge the email confirm their participation for the interview. Out of these, only 4-5 actually show up for the interview. Out of these only, 1-2 report on time.
For me, it is so difficult to comprehend why would someone apply for a job, if they didn’t want to even attend the interview? The next level of dilemma is, how can someone afford to be late for an interview appointment for their first job? I can understand if you already have a job, you sometimes get late while coming to work. That is part of life. But in this case, you don’t have a job right now. You are searching for one and I completely understand the pressure you are under, thanks to your parents, society and girlfriend to find a job as quickly as possible. Given this context, when you get a call for an interview, wouldn’t you be really excited about it? Wouldn’t you polish yourself well before coming for it? Wouldn’t you turn the axis of the earth, if needed, to be on time for it? And yes, for any unknown reason, if the sun rose earlier and caused your clock to go awry that day, wouldn’t you have the basic courtesy to call and inform the Organization that you would be reaching a little late? And, of course, that you are extremely sorry for the delay. Wouldn’t you?
Sigh! I know I would. I also know most of the folks from my generation would. But, this generation….
I feel, for most of them, an interview is just another thing to be done during the day. For some reason if the Girlfriend, took more time over the phone, they can even choose to skip the interview all together. What the heck, there will be one more interview a few days down the line. Plus, it would look super cool in front of friends, that you got a call for an interview and you didn’t even bother to attend it. It will help create a perception that there are so many organizations trying to get you in.
I can go on for hours ranting about my recruitment woes. The bottom line is that I am completely at a loss trying to understand this generation. Maybe this is what Generation Gap is all about. Maybe, I can never get into the shoes of this Generation and understand what is that they are really after. All I know is that somewhere in this generation are the leaders for tomorrow. They are going to be the ones, we are going to hand the baton to. Since they are the next level of evolution, after us, I expect them to be faster, smarter, and more productive than us. I am counting on them to take forward whatever little we have been able to build in our lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong! The issue is not as simple as just turning up late for an interview. The issue is the lack of focus, commitment and discipline about the future. No matter how smart you are or how rich your father is, if you don’t have these three things in your life, you might as well take retirement now from your future work life.
In the end, whatever you choose to do with your life, is up to you. My only request is that please forgive an old soul like me and don’t waste my time, in the process. I have far fewer years left on this planet, than you. And, thanks to God, I still have many more tasks to accomplish in these years.
P.S. I chose to write about boys and their girlfriends to keep the context simple. I am not biasing any gender here. I am aware that girls are equally busy with their boyfriends, as well.