My One-Day HR Manager Experience
Okay, first of all, I am not a Human Resource Manager. I am an accountant (for crying out loud!) and I deal with numbers (not people). But this new client of mine (who is from out of town) asked me to facilitate their hiring in my hometown because they have no employees here yet. What can I say? Certainly not the word NO. So, I smiled, nodded and say I'll be more than happy to look for their people. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
This Hub is not really for traffic, adsense or anything. It is simply a way for me to get out in the open my one-day experience. And here it goes...
Three Days Before the Date
First things first, where to find the applicant? I was already wracking my brain and calling my friends and telling my people to help me look for applicants. And then my client's franchisor's area manager called me up to say he posted an ad in a nearby cafeteria and there were already applicants who submitted their resume in that place. So I hightailed it there to get the resumes, bio-data, transcript of records (grades), etc., etc. There were already 20 applicants so I breathed a sigh of relief. That part at least was already done.
One Day Before the Date
After going through the resumes and weeding out those that do not meet the requirements for education and experience, I'm down to like 18 applications. Now how to tell the applicants that they are due for interview tomorrow? Simple - text them! All of them have cell phone numbers (hurray for technology) so I just keyed in their numbers (all 18 of them), sent one message ("go to this place at 8 am tomorrow for your exam / interview") and voila! Message sent. Communicate to applicants about their interview date? Check!
Finally, the day dawned bright and early. I arrived in the venue (armed with the applications) at around 8:05 am. I found the place filled with applicants (talk about eager young men and women). After I announced the start of the exam, I asked them all to be seated and handed out their exam questionnaires and answer sheets.
Mistake Number One: I completely forgot two things. First, that my client does not own the place and that we were only using it for free for that day. Second, the place is a cafeteria and all those applicants happened to fill it up so the customers do not have any place where they can be seated when they buy food. Good thing we started early so customers were not really flocking to the place then.
Okay, exam ongoing now. All is quiet. Then suddenly, one by one, new applicants start coming in and giving their resumes, asking if they can take the exam for the day. I almost turned them away but I just didn't have the heart to do so. So I bit my tongue, swallowed a sarcastic remark, and told them to sit down and take the exam.
Mistake Number Two: We didn't photocopy enough copies for the questionnaire and the answer sheets. So I called one of my staff and hurriedly told them to reproduce more copies.
Mistake Number Three: Second set of copies still wasn't enough! More photocopies had to follow.
Mistake Number Four: The place was too small for all the applicants. I should have chosen a bigger one. Oh well, can't be helped. Anyway the place is free.
Exam over, next thing to do - check all the answer sheets on the spot! Good thing there were three of us checking or else we would have been there the whole day! Check, check, check. Score good? Okay for interview. Score bad? Ditch them (okay use gentler phrase - hold their applications)!
The Interview Process
Truth be told, I didn't want to participate in this process. What the heck do I know about their business anyway? Good thing the area manager was there. He conducted the interviews while I handed him the scores and the applications (sounds like I played secretary too!). While doing this, I accepted (more!) applications and gave more exams (late applicants, arggghhh!). He was fast. This applicant, okay, will do this duty. This applicant, not so okay, put him on reserve. How many people do we have now doing this duty? Okay let him/her do this. Make sure we interview that girl, she will be a good addition to our people. Tell those who failed the test to go home. Tell those late applicants that we'll just call them for an interview. Tell those who passed the interview that they will go on training day after tomorrow. (gosh, I did play secretary, maybe I should title this HR Manager and Secretary).
...we have filled up all the positions. As to the late applicants, we're sorry but the interview is closed. We'll just check your papers and call you. (standard words for "you're not hired"?). I summarized the number of people for each position, showed this to the manager and got his approval. And at last! We can go home (or back to the office) and have lunch.
Lunch? It only took us 4 hours to process more than 35 applicants? Yes, what seemed like an eternity actually happened for only 4 hours (no wonder my feet were aching, where's that hammock?). So now I can go back to the office and prepare the summary of those who were accepted for the start of their training.
That's it. My one-day HR Manager (or should I say my half-day Assistant Manager / Secretary experience). KInd of exciting and scary and tiring, all at the same time. Or maybe this is the start of a new career for me? Hmmmm, that's a thought.
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