Re: Future of HR in LOs LO3561

Middleton, PWW, Paul, Mr (
Wed, 1 Nov 1995 10:03:42 UTC+2

Replying to LO3540 --


I was interested by your experience. One thing struck me- in
choosing people that would fit in to the organisational culture, you
may have beeen choosing a broad band of similar people. Were there any areas
of weakness in the organisation that this created ? I so how was this
managed ?

Thanks for your input.


> Date: Tue, 31 Oct 95 15:10:40 0400
> From: Duncan Sutherland <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Future of HR in LOs LO3540
> Reply-to:

> Replying to LO3233 --
> Pamela wrote:
> > I imagined that one of the functions that teams might want to be
> > involved in is recruitment of new team members. Whilst the upfront
> >'screening' would most likely be outsourced, the inside interviews and
> > final selection could be conducted by members of the teams. As I don't
> > have any practical experience of this it might be just a pipe dream.
> >
> > Any comments?
> Just a couple of comments, Pamela. I worked for a company for several
> years where virtually _all_ hiring was done by the groups wit= h whom the
> candidate would primarily be working. With respect to hiring, the role of
> 'HR' was minimal; basically, to handle the pap= erwork, the logistics of
> getting candidates in to interview, etc. Our (somewhat unique) approach
> to hiring had a number of implicat= ions. For one thing, we had the
> reputatioin of having the longest interview process in the industry.
> People would often come in fo= r a half-dozen or more 'interviews' (we
> thought of them more as 'culturalal fit-testing' than traditional
> interviews). For another = thing, we almost never had to fire anyone
> because we (or they) subsequently discovered they 'didn't fit'! By the
> time people got hi= red, they had typically spent a signifiant amount of
> time with the people that they would be working with, they had learned a
> lot ab= out the unique culture of our company, and they had been exposed
> to the kind of work they would be doing (and the work settings with= in
> which this work was done). The result was that people typically
> self-selected themselves out of the hiring process rather than u= s having
> to reject them. Likewise, as a result of this process, we knew a lot
> about the people we were interviewing (to use the con= ventional term). A
> key to all of this was that we did not view people as interchangeable cogs
> in our organization. We looked at ea= ch candidate as a unique
> individual. We _assumed_ that they had the technical skills we were
> looking for (and HR did do some initia= l screening in this regard based
> on our statements of need). What we were looking for was people that
> would 'fit in' to our rather = unique culture. The results were actually
> pretty amazing!
> Duncan Sutherland

Paul Middleton

Mechanical Engineering Department Private Bag University of Cape Town Rondebosch 7700 South Africa

Phone : 27 21 650 3242 Fax : 27 21 650 3240 E-mail : _________________________________