The Story of Cook!
I invite attention to the 1990s when all new-age facilities like Google, Whatsapp, Internet, Mobile phone were not there or not easily available. My friend had a Senior joining in his office in Delhi. Those days, if anyone new comes, all will give utmost importance to make that person comfortable and settle easily. And now I am talking about a Senior who joined with my friend who happened to be his Boss. One can think about the importance now!!
The Boss had only one and small demand and that was to get a good Cook. Most of them thought it was easy but had no clue as to how to get a good cook. But they had a nice guy Kailash in their office, the Go-To Buddy! He will make anything possible. So all of them rallied behind him to somehow get a good Cook. Kailash got hold of a Cook who is serving with one of the IAS Officers in Delhi. My friend arranged a meeting with the Boss and his family. He got outright rejected because he has no ability to cook all types of cuisine – Boss will have Guests who will be with varied cultural backgrounds so the Cook should know various types of recipes (keep in mind there was NO www.sanjeevkapoor.com those days). Kailash got another smart guy and they presented that South Indian Cook who lived with a Military Officer in North India. Kailash was very confident that he cracked it this time.
My friend asked the Cook to meet Madam (Boss’ wife) directly. All we’re waiting for the good news but the next morning Boss was upset when he entered the office. He called Kailash and blasted him as to why he sent a Cook whose personality and communication skill are pathetic (Change in Job Description). As per Madam, the Cook should be able to handle/serve their Guests pleasantly so he must be presentable. Another new demand is that Cook should also be able to drive a Bike OR Car to get provisions and vegetables from the market independently. Tired Kailash found a Cook who has been working with a Marwari family for 20 years and who can cook, drive and take care of kids too. This time Cook got rejected because he is too aged and has no energy!!!
We debated this issue over a weekend party as to how to please the Boss; not delivering a Cook now will be termed as a performance issue for many at office. We decided that we look for a Driver who can cook very well. Next day I also participated in the brief to Kailash to find a smart Driver who can cook. Kailash had a tough time and found a Driver who is working with a Start Hotel for a long time. He has exposure to cooking and is ready to take up this job for money.
He was asked to get a briefing from the Chef in the Hotel for various recipes before we arranged a meeting with Madam. It took a week and then the Driver converted to a Cook and met the Madam. She was very happy to consider him as he comes with a good background of working in a Star Hotel, smart and had all qualities including the zeal to learn! Rest is history.
If I look back, this case becomes very relevant to all IT Recruitment I come across today. All HR principles of recruitment and dynamics relate to this case. There must be a change to this madness. One must know what is needed and who can do the job in the first place itself. There is no point in having 3 – 4 – 5 level interviews and go on rejecting candidates!
I always wonder if the Interviewer was born to become what he or she is today! And the fact is each individual differs in personality and capability. All reached a level just because one got an opportunity to learn and grow. We need to think about using technology in the selection process, take risks and give chances to the candidates who show the hunger to learn and perform. We deal with human beings and cannot be customized in a factory!