Sometimes seemingly random data points helps the keen observer understand the observed entity better than all the glossy brochures, the slick ‘About us‘ section in the website or the unasked 53 slides presentation from the over keen, laughably under-informed HR team on induction day.
Take hiring and firing at a firm as an example.
In most firms we see, hiring is a quick and easy exercise. You make a case for the role, interview some people and hire the bloke your gut votes for.
Firing is its polar opposite. It’s a long, painful, extended process with HR acting as the spiritual embodiment of an Calcutta Municipal Department from 1983.
HIRING should be long, detailed and thorough and firing should be easier. Not easy, EASIER, when the employee is in the bottom percentile. The DECISION to fire should be long, detailed and thorough but the act and the process should be the length of a typical hindi movie (= 4 hours?)
The ratio between days on average taken to hire an employee and days taken to fire an employee probably gives an observer a needed data point to understand if he is dealing with a dynamic workplace or a stodgy firm. Firms where the hiring cycle is MUCH longer versus time taken to terminate is a place where the word ‘Talent management’ is taken seriously both by HR and critically by Operations. A company where the opposite is the reality (= most firms today) is likely to be a place where HR is a cushy job for ‘failed govt school teacher’ types who strayed into the lucrative private industry forest and decided to squat there in an easy part of the woods.
Hire slow. Fire fast. Prosper.