Sunday, November 30, 2008

Moro-Moro: Is the Job Hring Process Just a Stage Play?

Moro-moro is an outdoor stage play once popular in the Philippines which depicts the battle between Muslim Filipinos, called Moros and their Christian counterpart. It is normally played during a town fiesta. The play may run for 3 consecutive nights consisting of 5 to 6 hour performance per day. However long the play may be, with various intertwining plot and complexity, in the end, the Christians emerge as the winner. Stage play. Stage play...

If my memory serves me right, it was in 2006 when our company, Clark Development Corporation, hired U.P. Professor, Dr. Virgel C. Binghay to conduct among other things, job evaluation and staffing patterns of CDC. Many personnel were interviewed by Dr. Binghay's entourage, all pinning hope that somehow the discrepancy, disparity and polarity in the work force will now just simply vanish and that everyone will be properly commensurated as to the technical degree of one's job. So on and so fort.

Binghay's work was never published by the CDC Management. The employees never knew what happened to it. Many speculate that management does not like the outcome of the study because it, it, it ah ah .... Let me put it this way. There are employees here who are licensed practitioner that somehow not properly compensated, there are employees here who's jobs are so plainly clerical but are overwhelmingly compensated. There are engineers, CPA's, and the like who have to endure licensure examinations and has extensive job records being plastered by a person who's main qualification is that he or she is well connected.

In CDC we have this panel called Selection and Promotions Committee (SPC) in charge of interviewing personnel for job promotions whenever a slot is opened. More often than not, the employees are reluctant to apply for the job opening because, most often than not, the job opening already had a person to occupy it. The SPC is just a moro-moro as they say.

Here you are in front of the panel, knowing you are well qualified, you are a licensed CPA, you've worked in bank for three years, have been in an auditing firm with high caliber lawyers during your OJT and neophyte years and now here you are.

After two weeks, you've recieved a memo from HRD saying that you did not get the job. You've called HR and asked who bagged the job and they tell you, and then you now knew. He's.... Well, moro-moro. The simple adage is so true. It is not what you know, it's whom you know. Welcome to our company.

That's just Scene One, my dear dudes and dudettes. Here's Scene Two:

You are at the front desk, recieving documents being delivered by walk-in clients. There on your left side sits ten people who were applying for a job. At your back is an open air cubicle designed as the interviewing room for the job opening. You could hear every word they are saying. Somebody from the room came out and called the first person whom you've been talking for some while. As she've entered the room shouts of "Congratulations!", "Blow out na!", "No need to interview!".

You cringe and the 9 sitting people cringe for they hear what you are hearing, you tried to block the din of celebration from your ear, you've blushed. A while later, 5 of them went out in disgust. The remaining 4 apparently decided to go forward with the interview. A futile effort. A day later as you sit at your front desk, the winner gave you a plate of spaghetti in celebration for her victory. You are hungry and want to eat it, but somehow you feel that it may just create a lump on your throat. You gave it to the utility man.

And lastly, you've got a wisp that the man they've hired for the loan processor post doesn't even know how to open a worksheet much less operate a computer. What's his main qualification? He's a confidant of  a past VIP!

I could go on and on and on and tell you up to nine more scenes from my inventory coming from many victims, but will stop since I think I already proved my point. The hiring process is just a Moro-moro show as many employees sees it. The SPC is nothing more but a formality committee to comply with the collective bargaining agreement between the corporation and the union as majority of the employees sees it.

Some solutions that have been suggested by the employees themselves are as follows;

  1. Disband SPC and any hiring committee. Just let the department head or whomever just pick anybody he/she wants. This will surely eliminate competition, will ensure that there will be no hurt feelings among those truly qualified and the manager and whomever gets what he/she wants (and what he deserves).
  2. Outsource the hiring process. There are recruitment firms out there who's job is to get the best person for the job, let anybody from the company or outside the company to apply to that recruitment firm. The honchos of CDC then should inhibit themselves from influencing the outcome of the firm, respect the firm's finding (smells like Binghay) and what well have surely will be the most qualified person CDC money could buy.
  3. Treat the hiring process like a Diving Competition. (I like this one because it was my own. Nadia Comaneci, and Greg Louganis comes o mind) - Put the interview panel in a viewing room, similar to a police interrogation room, give them score cards, while representatives from the union and other association are at the outside to view what's happening in the room. Call a candidate, let the panel interview him, after the interview, each panel member pick one score card show it to those people outside, and the representatives will be the one to give the final average score. Say there are six people on the panel and they score it as 10, 9.5, 9.0, 9.0, 10, 8.75. Eliminate one of the top score and the lowest score (10 and 8.75) then get the average of the remaining 4 scores. That's 9.38. It will be quick and very very transparent, right? Catch 22 - those inside the room should not be allowed to talk to each other.
So on and so forth.

Clark Development Corporation's Vision statement runs like this,

"To be the most competitive international service and logistics center in the Southeast Asian Region"

I believe that to be true to our vision we should have the right employees for the job. The most qualified employees should get the job. Favoritism, Padrino and Accomodation should go. Don't let the corporation suffer because of your indulgence.

I am getting that condescending feeling again. Was it because I am about to dive into the quagmire called Interview Process?

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