Select, Don't Neglect !
Tips for MBA Candidate Selection
BY JAGDEEP KAPOOR
Well, the placement season would be starting in the next few months and a lot of candidates will be selected by a number of companies in various functional areas. Candidates will come with their own hopes, aspirations, dreams and of course a whole set of expectations. Companies on the other side will be very clear and keen about the number as well as of the profile of the candidates they would want in their organisation to help them grow and prosper.
There are certain key things which need to be looked at before selecting the appropriate or if you like the right candidate.
Before doing that it is important to break some myths.
While doing the selection process, one would come across certain expectations from the candidates and certain expectations from the organisation, which I feel would be a little unwarranted. For example, from the candidates side, they would expect to get on to the top positions very soon or would want to hold strategic sessions hardly within a month of joining, which by any stretch of imagination is not possible. The first few months, in fact the first few years go down in building a good grounding, foundation and learning the basics of business for that functional area.
Another expectation from the candidate would be the ideal conditions in the organisation which they would be dealing with. This is far from reality. There are organisations which have good environment, but ideal conditions may not be there. There are organisations which have very strong systems but may not have professional attitude. On the other hand, there could be a number of them who have a professional attitude but lack systems. Important is not what is an overall or generally best organisation, but the organisation which is relevant to your needs and capabilities, that would be the best for you.
Similarly, the other myths which need to be removed are from the organisations’ side.
Many a time the organisation expects an MBA candidate to be fully equipped and skilled into nitty gritties as well as nuances of certain highly functional areas. This would not be fair to the candidate because the candidate would have just gone through an academic exercise for two years, may have done a lot of practical projects across corporates, but still is in his or her formative stage, and therefore cannot be expected to think like a seasoned or an experienced person.
Thus asking very technical and highly skilled questions may be unfair to the candidates. While it is important for the organisations do have to make sure that there is a working knowledge of the subject and there are specifics which candidates are aware of at a threshold level, definitely specialists level of knowledge at a high degree is certainly trying to be too ambitious.
On the other hand organisations should look for, and many do rightly so, attitudinal, behavioural as well as growth prospects. While family background is important so is educational background and so is the aspect of training, summer projects, academic projects which were done – all constituting a part of background.
On the other hand assessing whether people have a positive attitude, a drive in them, are aggressive or are adaptable or even to the extent of having an open mind. These traits are important because many of the MBA candidates are raw diamonds and are extremely good raw material, which if well moulded, trained and skilled could contribute not only to their own growth but to the growth and prosperity of the organisation.
Thus one has to make sure that the candidate is fair in terms of expectations towards the organisation and the organisation is fair in terms of expectations from the candidate. Any over or under expectation from either side leads to dissonance or leads to dissatisfaction and therefore within a few months, frustration.
Selecting the appropriate or relevant candidate is of course not an easy task. It is a task which has to be thought through keeping in mind the ethos of the organisation, the vision of the company, the mission statement and the corporate culture that the company adopts. No two companies could be similar. Similarly no two candidates could be similar. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses and each of them have potential to grow in certain directions.
Selecting the appropriate candidate and giving a job opportunity or for that matter a career option is a responsible and accountable task.
However, those candidates who do not make it in a particular organisation should not get disappointed because may be it is not that they were not up to the standard or that they were above the standard but in terms of relevance to the need of the organisation or in terms of relevance, in terms of attitude or behavioural traits, the organisation and the candidate may not have had the best desired fit and hence there could be others waiting for them which could be appropriate or relevant to them.
Similarly organisations need not get disappointed for missing certain candidates, because may be there would be others who would be relevant to them and they would be appropriate for the building growth, sales and market share and brands.
Selecting an MBA candidate is a sensitive issue and to my mind should be treated sensitively with care and a certain amount of empathy.
The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.
Tel: 022 28477700 / 7701
Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
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