Thursday, September 20, 2012

Truth in Advertising - Recruiting Staff in India

At a previous company, I had to manage staff that were completely untrustworthy, never followed through on projects, always had excuses why they couldn't work on projects, completed work poorly and were generally difficult to manage. Exacerbating the problem was top management who never shared projects with middle management but went direct to managed staff to get work done with no regard as to how other work was to be completed.

That said, I did my work to the best of my ability AND their work. One individual, who had the title of Senior Marketing Manager was by far the worst. Whenever asked where he was with a project, he had always never started it because he was "working on another project for the CEO". His work was shoddy at best, rife with misspellings. Once he had an entire trade show project, booth panels, printed deliverables, etc. to work on and instead of using a reputable translation service, took it upon himself to pocket to costs and use Google Translate to put everything in Russian; it was a complete disaster. Did he get into trouble for this? No. When I asked for him to be replaced, the COO said that he had hired him personally and it was my responsibility to mentor him. While I agree with the concept, there is only so much that can be taught to someone who doesn't want to learn.

I'm no longer with the firm, but yesterday, I got a connection request on Linkedin from him. Here's what his Summary on linkedin states:

Hmm. Sounds familiar, methinks. First, he is writing sentences in proper English, something he was unable to do in the three years I got emails from him. Here's my summary:

Hmmm.  So what does he say he does at the company we both worked for?

Interesting. While he played a role in packaging and did all of the photography, he was not involved in any other aspect he has stated were his responsibilities. There is no way that he could write a requirements doc, do social media, write a film brief - he can't write a decent sentence in English. Here's mine:

A lot of what's written on his is from a previous version of my resume, something which he has in his possession because one time I had given him my backup external drive while at a trade show for him to use in case a project came in that required him to work on projects I'd been developing. He had copied EVERYTHING, including my personal files, photos, etc. onto his computer while performing none of the work he was supposed to work on. No one seemed to think this was an issue.

Unless his title really changed, he's still Senior Marketing Manager, not Creative Head. And he's still no good.

This is not an isolated case. I see hundreds of resumes that are cut and pasted from other people's CVs. Recruiters tell me that the single toughest issue they fight in recruiting staff in India is the veracity of people's CVs. This manager will likely find something else to do, another employer who thinks he can actually do this work, which he very much can't. And that's too bad, because honest hardworking staff should get that position, not a liar. I feel bad for the company that hires him because what they expect as an employee is hardly what he represent himself to be.

What do you think about this issue? As a recruiter? Potential hire? As a company?


  1. I cannot believe that he said he managed stuff in Yangon. I know for a fact that he's never been to Yangon and has not worked on any projects there. I can't believe he had the balls to just copy paste stuff from your profile. It's just typical of him to take the easy way out. I mean this is the guy who stole the company database and took a year to develop a website. A year! He's still an asshat.

  2. I don't know if he stole a company database - doubt they had one! But, yeah, more than a year to develop a web site... unforgivable.

  3. I think you are being unfair to the guy. Surely he would come out tops in terms of ingenuity? That in itself would make him eminently employable as this is something very necessary in today's world.

    Please don't hit me ... I'm only kidding!

    Reminds me of a time I had to recruit for a clerical post in the office I was working in in India. Going through the mountain of applications, one suddenly struck me as familiar. I checked back through the huge pile of "read" ones and, sure enough, it was a photocopy of one submitted by another applicant.

    I was wondering whether to give high marks for time management and ingenuity or to throw the two into the dustbin. The latter choice prevailed!

    Good luck!

  4. Update: he changed his title to creative head/ senior marketing manager... Really?

  5. Would it considered slanderous or something of that nature if you were to out him? In a larger way than reporting his actions to his supervisors?

  6. If he were in a more important position, let's say, running for president, this sort of thing would be vetted and reported. He's not important enough to merit exposure. This post was using one example of what I see on a regular basis. Ethics are a tough thing to instill in an adult, especially when the culture in which they sit does not find ethical behavior important. While in the US such lack of ethics could get you fired immediately; none of my "superiors" considered this offense anything other than him being a "naughty boy".