Mr. Sreenivas (55) working as manager in Alfa Chemicals, a large scale industrial establishment engaged in the production of Phosphate and Sulphur. He has 30 years of experience in Alfa Chemicals. He has an excellent track record as Manager Human Resources within the organization. Many times he got ‘best employer award’ to performance excellence. His area of expertise in recruitment and selection process, and performance appraisal has been widely acknowledged. The Information Technology division of Alfa Chemicals industry once faced acute shortage of manpower. Mr. Raj, Manager IT division put forward an immediate requirement of 10 employees in the IT division, to HR department, starting from junior level to senior level. As and when Mr. Sreenivas got the letter from Mr. Raj, in his department, he started processing of it. To get it done, he approached many sources. He had gone through the data bank of company and considered 100 resumes for recruitment from it.
He also informed the employees and employers of the organization, in their respective departmental notice board, showing the immediate requirement of 10 employees to facilitate the internal recruitment procedures. From the employees and employers of Alfa Chemicals he got around 150 applications with resumes. In addition to that in order to give an opportunity to candidates’ external to the organization he floated an advertisement in several daily news papers viz., Times of India, Sakal, and Indian Express. From external sources he got around 350 applications. Almost 600 candidates, including internal and external applicants, applied for 10 vacant posts. To ensure the reliability and dependability of the process, Sreenivas made his personal scrutiny at all levels, in the recruitment and selection process. Since the entire department function as a team in HR, all the members trust each other and extended their valuable contribution in the recruitment and selection.
The department conducted a preliminary interview in order to made first screening process and filter the number of applicants. After the first screening process the HR department reduced the number of applicant list from 600 to 500 applicants. He conducted a written test and group discussion and there by further reduces the number of applicants to 300. These 300 candidates then exposed to one hour psychometric test and out of which 50 candidates selected for the final interview. From the final interview, 10 candidates finally selected. The entire process of recruitment and selection took almost 3 months. The selected candidates list then forwarded to the top management for the final approval. HR department informed the candidates that the appointment letters will be sent to those who are selected for the post.
Sreenivas approached several time to the top management about to get final approval of list of candidates for the IT department. Sreenivas informed the IT department also that the delay in the final list announcement as the top management take some more time. He waited almost 4 weeks. But, no reply at all. Mr. Raj, the IT manager every day enquired about the latest information about the final list of the candidates and tentative date of induction. Sreenivas faced the difficulty to make any comment on the subject as there was no information from the top management. HR department had to answer many phone calls from out side and inside the organization, as recruitment involved candidates from inside and outside.
The employers and employees of the industry, whose relatives got into the final selection process, became regular visitors of the HR department, asking for the finalist. Sreenivas called a meeting of HR team members and once again made a close verification of the entire process. But he couldn’t find any fault in any of the recruitment and selection process. As the time went on he became more suspicious about the delay in the announcement of the result.
When the problem becomes so crucial Sreenivas got direction from the top management to meet Mr. Kartik, General Manager, one of the top officials in the organization. Mr.Kartik asked the entire process of recruitment and selection that made on IT professionals. Sreenivas furnished the entire details of the process in a precise report. Mr. Kartik read the entire report and soon after made a direct comment that the recruitment and selection process that for IT professionals need to be cancelled as he observed some discrepancies in the process made by his department. He further directed Sreenivas that the vacancies have to be filled through contract basis and no permanent vacancies to be made in these positions, for one year.
Further he informed Sreenivas that another recruitment process to be done from external candidates applied and no internal application to be entertained. Sreenivas couldn’t agree with the Mr. Kiran comment on his department’s inefficiency in the recruitment and selection process. For a while he thought about quitting the organization, as he faced a baseless allegation from the top management. Till date there is no black mark in his functional dissemination. On many occasion he helped the industry to find out best possible solutions in order to tackle the many manpower crisis. Sreenivas became so depressed and felt quiet unhappy about the decision taken by the management.
Mr. Sreenivas called an urgent meeting of his subordinates and communicated the management decision and directives. He shared with the team members that the management had greater dissatisfaction on the recruitment and selection process done by the department. He enquired that any one made any mistake in the process. All members denied the probability of any mistake. As there were clear norms and regulations related to each step and there was no dual command, they found no possibility of creeping errors in the selection process. In the meeting he informed his subordinates that the management freezes the appointment process for IT professionals and asked for external recruitment on contract basis. It was shocking news to members. They asked several questions to get a proper clarification from Sreenivas. As Mr. Sreenivas himself unaware of the reasons behind management decision, he informed his subordinate his inability to give a proper reply in this regard.
Sreenivas also informed this matter to Mr. Raj. During the evening hours, in the same day, Sreenivas got a call from Mr. George, one of his senior-level Managers, with whom he had friendly and informal relationship. Mr. George asked Srinivas to come to his cabin. As per the call Mr. Sreenivas met George in his cabin. George enquired about his family and many unofficial matters in the informal interaction. Half an hour later, Mr. George enquired about the recruitment and selection process of IT professionals. He shared with George all those things happened with top management. Leaving aside the informal interaction, George initiated formal discussion with Sreenivas. He told Sreenivas that the selected list of IT professionals consisted two names, Mr. Avdesh and Mr. Praveen, they are the relatives of two trade union leaders of the organization.
The management felt that being the relatives of two trade union leaders, in the long run, they could be a threat to organization. It may create an image that the trade unions still have a control over the decision making process in organization. Further, the hold of trade union may expand if this selection process materializes. Mr. Geroge informed Sreenivas that management didn’t have any doubt about the dependability and exactness of the recruitment processes that HR departmentr did.
George further informed Sreenivas that as per the intimation from top management he called Mr. Sreenivas and briefed about the undercurrents of this episode. The entire news was shocking to Mr. Sreenivas. He didn’t know that the management decision had this much of undercurrents. After hearing entire story Sreenivas become so silent and returned to his cabin.
While sitting inside his cabin, he made a silent comment that, “what a useless effort.
1. What are the undercurrents of selection process in Alfa Chemicals?
2. How management decision justifies management effort in the maintenance of harmonious industrial relation?
3. Do you believe that as HR Manager, Mr. Sreenivas failed to gather direct and indirect information about the candidates?
4. How ‘cancellation of appointment’ decision that affect the moral of organizational members?
5. How you interpret the dilemma of HR managers have to face in such kind of situations.
6. What would be your decision if you have to face such situation?
7. Do you believe that trade unions have ‘quota’ in appointments?
8. How the decision affect the reduction of wastages and improvement of resources.
9. Is the decision reflecting management fear towards trade union or inability to develop a congenial industrial relationship within the organization? 10. How you interpret the silence of Mr. Sreenivas?