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Human Resource Management

Article Summary
Hiring Without Firing

Submitted to
Prof. Amitabh Deo Kodwani

Submitted by
Group 5
(Case analysis and article summary submission group)

Section - E
Aswathi Menon.P


Chimata Krishna Sunny


Debashis Behera


Kartikeya Sudhir Vyas


Nanneti Suraj


Pallav Prakash


Shalini Bhardwaj


The article Hiring Without Firing by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz talks about how hiring in an
organization tends to go wrong, the factors leading to it and how following a systematic process can
help hire the right person for the job. A substantial proportion of hiring at the executive level ends up
in resignation or firing. The task of employing the right person for a job has become more complex in
recent times with the growing number of joint ventures and alliances between organizations and the
growing importance of teams and networking. The article talks about instances of hiring in the
modern day business environment and the problems associated with hiring based on tangible
competencies. It emphasizes that intangible competencies like flexibility, cultural awareness,
communication etc. which are not directly evident from an individuals track record, should be given
due importance.
In order to ensure a more successful hiring process, it is necessary for organizations to avoid ten
common mistakes of hiring, which the article refers to as The Ten Deadly Traps, which are as
1. The reactive approach: When a company is hiring somebody as an alternative to an
employee who has resigned or been terminated from the job, it typically looks for somebody
who has all the desired qualities of the person leaving and none of his/her bad qualities. But
in practice this may not work because restricting ourselves to focus only on such qualities can
make us miss out on the actual requirements of the job.
2. Unrealistic specification: Sometimes job descriptions are such that it is too difficult to find a
perfect match .In these cases, organizations tend to miss out potential candidates because the
domain becomes very small.
3. Evaluating the people in absolute terms: People are evaluated on absolute terms without a
proper understanding of the conditions in which the performances were delivered. The
answers to standard interview HR questions should be actually considered as opinions and
evaluated to know the role fit of the person. But some interviewers consider these answers as
either being good or bad, evaluating them on an absolute basis.
4. Accepting people on face value: People tend project their best in an interview and hide their
defects. It is the job of recruiters to access the truth in their answers and assess their fit for the
roles in the long-term instead of believing whatever they say and hiring for short-term goals.
5. Believing references: People tend to accept candidates after verifying references. References
generally provide a good feedback so as to maintain relationship with the candidate going
forward. However, these references themselves may not be credible. Executives sometimes
even trust strangers which can lead to bad hiring.
6. The Just Like Me bias: Although many biases like halo effect, bias towards aspects like
nationality, gender etc. occur during a hiring process the key bias that can happen is that of
liking a person who is similar to the person who is hiring.
7. Delegation gaffe: Delegation of steps of the hiring process by the top management may lead
to inaccurate job descriptions. This can happen because the managers creating the job
description may not be properly informed about the requirements of the job. Delegation of
the interview process can also lead to bad hiring if the managers are not well prepared.

8. Unstructured Interviews: Structured interviews involve a set of particular questions

designed to reveal the candidates competencies, relevant knowledge, skills and general
qualities. In reality, interviewer throws some loose questions and interview turns into a chitchat. This can lead to rejection of a highly qualified candidate who is not good at casual
9. Ignoring emotional intelligence: Recruiters typically try to assess people based on their IQ,
academics, previous job etc. which gives information about a persons intelligence. But they
fail to assess their emotional intelligence which plays the most important role in discharging
of duties in the role which he/she is hired for.
10. Political pressures: Hiring may sometimes include political motives like the exercising of
control in the organization. In the case of Joint ventures each party may choose to hire a
candidate who would support them in case of clashes between the two parties. Sometimes
recruiters try to favor the candidates based on personal choices.
In order to avoid falling into the deadly traps of hiring, organizations must follow a systematic
process that involves an accurate definition of the problem and doing the related homework.
Investing in problem definition- Before an organization starts its search for candidates for a
position, it is necessary to define the problem to be addressed through the hiring. Looking for an
immediate answer can lead organizations into one of the hiring traps. The article states that finding
the right answer requires a substantial amount of ground work and investment of time and effort. The
current and future requirements of the position should be clearly defined with respect to the
companys strategy and generic frameworks. This phase also involves developing a thorough
understanding of the job opening and the priorities of the executive to be hired for the position. In
this context, the article speaks of addressing questions related to evaluation criteria, expected tasks to
be performed, initial objectives and incentive systems for the hired executive. After the priorities are
decided it is essential to identify the situations or critical incidents that the hired executive is likely to
confront. This can be done by interviewing managers in similar ranks in the company as well as the
future colleagues of the executive to be hired.
Doing the Homework- This phase involves decisions with regards to generating worthy candidates
and evaluating them properly to hire the right person. To generate worthy candidates the article talks
about the strategy of high leveraged sourcing in which, instead of placing advertisements, the
organizations contact people who have the knowledge of several quality candidates for the position.
The next strategy for generating candidates involves adopting methods and ideas which are different
from the ones followed as per convention. Once the candidates are generated, they need to be
evaluated through structured interviews. This phase involves choosing the right number of
interviewers to evaluate the candidates, ensuring independence of each interviewer and deciding who
within the organization should interview the candidates. This is to be followed by the step of
checking references which involves speaking to people who are trust worthy and know the candidate.
The formal references of the candidate should also be contacted and efforts should be made to
communicate with them in person.