Most of my American friends cannot comprehend the idea of arrange marriages. So, when they see any of my Indian friends getting arranged for their weddings, they always say – How can you do that? How can you marry someone who you hardly know? How can you go through that experience? To those questions, I would say, you have also been through that kind of an experience when you got your first job. Isn’t it? Think about it. How is arrange marriage any different from a job interview?
When you are looking for a job as an employee, or when you are looking for a candidate to fill in for a job as an employer, both of you don’t know each other personally. Even then, the expectation is to meet the candidate (or the company) for 2-3 times, and decide your future on the basis of few conversations that you have had over the phone or in-person. Agreed, some people don’t consider a job as important of a decision as their marriage, even though by hiring someone, you are making them to commit half of their awake life to your company.
Since, we have now identified few similarities between arrange marriages and finding your next ideal candidate, let’s see if we can learn something from these arrange marriages that can help us hire and retain the best talent out there. Following are some of my advice.
Background checks: Even in the information age like today, lot of employers refrain from verifying the credentials of their candidates, and they end up hiring fake people with their dishonest profiles like – Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson. Instead of hiring these dishonest people, we should spend some time and resources in checking the background of potential candidates, before we even invite him/her for an in-person interview. In arrange marriages, parents/elders always check the background of the bride/groom’s family, before even scheduling a meeting to meet in-person. They often check the references of the family through the grapevine and through the people who know them. We should also do the same, while hiring someone. As their future employer, we should not only check the references that they provide, but we should also verify their credentials through the common connections that we might have through LinkedIn or other sources.
Find a cultural fit: Parents, who tend to chose life partner for their kids, always check for similar backgrounds in bride/groom’s family. In most arrange marriages, people come from similar backgrounds and they share similar values. Often, they share the same religion and similar economic background. Obviously, while hiring someone, we cannot always guarantee that the person that we are going to hire will share the same values as us, but we can do our due diligence through interviews and some social engineering to make sure that their cultural background is similar to our company’s culture.
Do you agree? Do you find any commonalities between arrange marriages and the hiring process? If so, please share it with me here. Wait for my next blog to find out more…..Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi