Where to hire talent from — larger organisations or smaller?

For any organisation, hiring from another organisation that is larger than itself or smaller, has its advantages and disadvantages

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For any good recruiter, the talent-acquisition process involves multiple variables upon which the suitability of a person’s candidature is judged. The robustness of the process allows companies to identify and acquire talent that they assess and find to be a suitable match for their culture, a critical factor in retention.

At the time of recruitment, one of the things that a recruiter takes into account is the occupational history of the candidates, that is, their past experiences. This primarily helps them understand their competency for the job role at hand. Delving into the prior engagements, the recruiter looks at the sort of companies they have worked for, in terms of size and work culture

In a bid to understand how the workforce strength of a previous employer/s has a bearing in the process of recruitment, HRKatha spoke with Kamlesh Dangi, group head-HR, InCred Financial Services.

“The advantage with people from smaller companies is that they are more adaptable, agile and fit in well with an organisation”

Reetu Raina, CHRO, QuickHeal

Dangi feels it is difficult to generalise as to whether preference should be given to a person coming from a larger or smaller organisation. However, exercise of such a preference may be required for specific roles for which the company may be hiring.

“The argument regarding the suitability of talent coming from bigger or smaller organisations is centred around the role requirement of the hiring company,” he explains.

There are many large-scale organisations where people work process-oriented jobs.

One would expect people to understand and not get frustrated with rules, but rather, work well under limitations and within boundaries as that is what such organisations are used to.

This may not work for smaller organisations, where talent is required to be more agile and nimble in their approach. Hence, talent coming from such organisations may not be the best choice for process-driven roles, Dangi explains.

“If the role is process oriented or if the success of the role depends on how accurately the processes have been followed, then a person coming from a larger- scale organisation will be a better fit,” enunciates Dangi.

He goes on to further add, “However, when one needs a person to work in an out-of- the box, unconventional manner, then, candidates from smaller organisations will be more suited.”

Reetu Raina, CHRO, QuickHeal, also agrees with Dangi on the fact that preference may be given on the basis of the requirement of the role at hand.

“People from larger organisations come with good practices, processes and sound knowledge to some extent. On the other hand, the advantage with people from smaller companies is that they are more adaptable, agile and fit in well with an organisation,” Raina explains.

“If the role is process oriented or if the success of the role depends on how accurately the processes have been followed, then a person coming from a larger- scale organisation will be a better fit”

Kamlesh Dangi, group head-HR, InCred Financial Services

She further exemplifies that for an R&D role, she would prefer to hire talent from a smaller organisation, whereas for an enabling function, she would prefer someone from a larger organisation.

Raina adds that talent coming from smaller organisations is more retainable, which is a clear advantage for the organisation.

“In larger organisations, people are sometimes pampered and very dependent on the process or role at hand, and hence, are not very malleable. Those from small-scale setups are just the opposite, and are able to generally fit in well, and hence, are engaged for a longer period of time,” she justifies.

Anil Mohanty, head – people and culture, Mediakabazaar, says that ascertaining culture fitness is very critical at the time of recruitment, especially for startups. He explains that the status of the previous employer’s organisation reflects the challenges and needs of that particular workplace. Hence, it indicates their culture and the sort of work culture the talent is accustomed to.

Mohanty further explains that a startup requires different types of talent at different stages.

“As startups looking for growth, we would like people from large corporates who are aware of systems and processes that large-scale organisations work on, and help build further in line with those”

Anil Mohanty, head – people and culture, Mediakabazaar

“As startups looking for growth, we would like people from large corporates who are aware of systems and processes that large-scale organisations work on, and help build further in line with those. Given the position we are in, someone from a very structured workplace would be very beneficial for the company,” he admits.

Talking of how every stage needs different type of people, Mohanty explains, “When starting a small setup, one can’t attract people from larger organisations. Hence, people from the smaller workplaces are the ones who act as building blocks for startups in the initial stages. Once they grow, they are able to attract talent from bigger organisations in a bid to scale up their operations.”

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