Wait a minute! I thought you hired me for something else?

The issues of recruitment have become so difficult that nowadays the job description (JD) or terms of reference (TOR) to a job can change in a matter of 24 hours. So much so, what was the initial hiring purpose can shift overnight. When that happens the reason why the prospect candidate joining your organisation in the first place can almost instantaneously vanish. They could be walking into a very different job or worse still they could be walking into a space of no turning back ( a bit of drama here).

Why does this happen? To understand and explain this phenomena we must understand the internal mechanisms that are in built into recruitment, the hiring and the evaluation of the performance of the new staff process in an organisation.

For Example:

1. The Job Advertisement - on average it could take between 2 weeks to 1 month before a concept or review becomes eventually public domain in the form of a JD. Once the advert is up and running, the due date to response can be from 1 week to 3 months... A LOT CAN CHANGE during that time....

Let us not disregard the interview time which can last from the moment of submission of the resume to the final offer letter which can be anything between 2 weeks to 3 months. 

Then there is the issue of walking into the office after receiving the offer. The time from the offer letter to actually date of joining is another time factor that can range between 1 week to 3 months (depending on the notice period the incumbent has to give his previous employer in lieu of notice).

2. The Probation Period - some organisation have it as 2 weeks and some go as long 6 months. During that time, the new employee will learn the ropes but also will be expected to take on areas that were not in the JD originally. This is because after the long wait the changes in the team, office or in the job per se may have shifted because the project could have been completed, the function may have varied or the budget may have been cut (many other things could have happened). This is when the new staff who joins begins to really understand the job. He or she will ask themselves if they are in the job they thought they had applied for....suddenly recollection of the interview and the discussion will surface very vividly. 

3. Performance Appraisal - Communication, transparency and results all happening at this moment in a discussion which is being documented. The new staff will begin to realise they were not either informed of the earlier targets set which was documented from the appraisal or if there are new ones being set, in any case chances are it was never discussed. This creates an atmosphere of "hey! I thought I was hired to do this? how come I am expected to that?"

And if you look at the time frame between when a new staff joins and the appraisal meeting, it can range from 6 months to 12 months before a serious conversation between supervisor and staff ever happens....LOTS CAN CHANGE...

So the next time, we hire people, please understand sometimes it is not the performance or the attitude of the new staff that is always delivering poor alignment or results to the needs of the organisation, but it could just be the internal systems in place that is actually breeding a misplaced identity.....and if you think about it, it all because a lot of time had passed by.....

Dr. Sudeep Mohandas is the Managing Director of I First International (IFI).

At IFI our mission is ensure the nonprofits, foundations, and social enterprise sector is able to enjoy and afford the benefits of top quality professional consultative services, thereby being able to scale up their impact on the ground. We focus on the Management and the Board. We help you help others.