Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Employee Morale : The recruitment phase

This is the first in a series of posts about employee morale (or rather lack of it) in an organization, which does not necessarily need to be a software company. Since I come from a software background - specifically product companies, my assessment is based on what I have seen so far.

Disclaimer: This is not directly related to my company, but based on what I have gathered from observation.

In the first article, I want to focus on the campus recruitment which happens to be the starting point of ones professional journey.

I have been part of many campus recruitment events. Most of the candidates in India, who appear for campus interviews do not have any prior experience. When companies come and blow their own trumpet, these unsuspecting gullible candidates start dreaming about the quality of their job, work profile right from that moment. Everybody is so eager to get a job that nobody even thinks of finding out whats under the hood. Nobody ever questions - what am I really going to work on - what is going to be my profile. Everybody looks at the company, what it does, how fat the pay packet is. That's it.

When these candidates finally join the company after day dreaming about their profile, work etc for many months, they find themselves doing something they were never interested in. For example, a person who is interested in development of features and products find themselves doing QA work or solving some bugs. Hold on -

* Is there something wrong with QA work?
* Is there something wrong with solving bugs?

Here is my take on it. There is nothing wrong with either of them. Both are essential functions in an organization. Solving bugs is a nice way to understand the product, but its a creativity-killer if that's the only thing a person is supposed to do for the rest of his tenure.

This in my view is a simple case of expectation mismatch. Who is responsible for it - I would blame both - the employee and the employer. It is a candidate's duty to find out what is in store for him, and it is an employer's duty to project the correct image and give appropriate information to a candidate. Wouldn't this be the ideal scenario?

What happens to the employee morale? It plummets on day 1. He had dreamed of implementing what not in the product, and now he finds himself doing something he doesn't like.

Well... This is not that bad a scenario because he still has hope. Hope that if he does well in this job, may be he will be moved to something better, or something that he finds interesting. The guy recovers from this morale abyss that we was in on day 1.