Sometimes seemingly random data points helps the astute 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.
Let’s take hiring and firing at a firm as the starting equation.
In most firms we see, hiring is a quick and easy exercise. You make a case, interview some people and hire the bloke your gut votes for.
Firing is its antonym. It’s a long, painful, extended process with HR acting as the living embodiment of a Indian Govt Department that has won untold medals for ‘suicides-on-account-of-dealing-with’.
The Americans justify the latter, saying (correctly I suspect) that in the nation that invented the frivolous lawsuit and ambulance chasing lawyers, you have to ensure termination is not too easy. Ally McLean episodes detail why.
But here in India, the land of the 46-year-court-cases, why the delay and new-bride shyness about booting the laggards ?
Here, 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 overacted SRK movie (=all his movies = 4 hours ?)
The ratio between days on average taken to hire an employee and days taken to fire an employee probably gives the astute observer a needed data point to understand if he is dealing with a dynamic workplace or a stodgy firm for ‘retired@desk’ workers.
Firms where the hiring cycle is MUCH longer versus time taken to terminate is a place where the word ‘Talent management’ is taken seriously by HR and the Senior team. A company where the opposite is reality (= most firms today) is likely to be a place where HR is a cushy job for obese fugly ‘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.