MIMAMSA WAY OF ACQUIRING TALENT
“Both what is seen and what is not seen must be taken together.” by Jaimini (Ancient indian scholar and founder of mimamsa philosophy).
Talent Acquisition (TA) is the most critical phase not only in the entire gamut of Human Resource Management but also in the business lifecycle. Effective TA processes ensure availability of required skill set which gives strategic advantage in this competitive scenario. It also ensures able leadership pipeline which is vital for business continuity.
Turnaround Time(TAT), Return of Investment (ROI) and attrition of new hires regarded as some of the parameters on which effectiveness of TA could be measured. But these parameters are only indicators of process and methodology adopted by any organisation. TAT in present scenario is not very difficult to maintain. Similarly, the ROI of TA has many stakeholders. Only hiring process could not be held responsible for the same. Again, attrition of new hires had multiple factors i.e. quality of supervision, assimilation of new hires vision with organisation goal, concurrent business scenario and so on.
The business acumen of the TA process is the key for its success. The understanding of the respective business and the modulation of the process according to the business, decides the success of TA process. This also includes cultural compatibility of new hires and potential growth path in the organisation.
Indian Philosophy has many shades. It could be also utilised for entire life cycle of Human resource management. For example the Samkhya branch describes how life emerges in the universe; the relationship between Purusha (self) and prakṛti (nature). Development of Tattvas (reality) and Gunas (quality, virtue) is major components of Samkhya Philosophy. Any Talent Development program should design on these principles. While under 24 Tattvas’s, Talent Management program should understand Prakirti (eternal truth) of the organisation, business and their resources. The aim should to develop budhi (intelligence), aham (ego-principles) and Manas (physical mind and brain). Guna (quality) essentially means virtue, merit, excellence or quality, attribute etc. The development of Guna of the work force in general and of the organisation in particular is prime objective of any Talent Management and Talent Development program. There are three types of Gunas described in Indian Philosophy. Those are Sattva which means quality of balance or harmony. This will enhance maturity level of the workforce and organisation. Rajas, the quality of passion, will bring dynamism in the approach and help the organisation to sustain amid competitive business scenario. Tamas is quality of imbalance or disorder. This will prepare the workforce to handle any chaotic, negativity or anxiety environment.
Yoga, another pillar of Indian Philosophy is slowly and steadily creating its own space in the engagement calendar of the corporate across the globe. These components are inter-related and aim at to prepare a strong, balanced and intellect human being which is definitely a strategic advantage for any organisation.
The elements of Nyay(justice) branch of Indian Philosophy should be base of any performance management system. The components like Comparison (upamana), instrument of valid knowledge (pramana) and Testimony are key parameters on which any performance management system could be evaluated.
Mimamsa is an important pillar of Theistic (non-rejection of God) branch of Indian Philosophy. Mimamsa means reflection, critical investigation, consideration, profound thought, investigation, examination, discussion" in Sanskrit language. If we evaluate process of Talent Acquisition, each of the above meaning of Mimamsa signifies it.
Mimamsa model of TA could be discussed under three heads. Purva (earlier), Karma(action) and Uttar(later) Mimamsa. But before we deep dive into the concept, a little more clarity about this concept requires.
This school of thought give importance on Aatma (soul/self). It is that component where consciousness resides. In the prospective of TA, the soul of the whole process is ensuring continuity of business. This is the base of the whole process. This self or consciousness is different from body or knowledge. The body is the HR structure or processes of the organisation while knowledge is intellect of workforce. But the self is aware even if when you’re the other two senses are taking rest. Therefore, Self i.e. consciousness i.e business acumen or business continuity is the centrifugal force which should drive it. When we quote about business acumen, it encompass the analysis of market, competitors, manpower planning based on business visibility etc.
There is an on saying “A well beginning is half done”. We need to have a well define beginning of the whole process of Talent Acquisition. Here comes two important component of Mimamsa philosophy.
Opening TA process with PA Model:
TA process starts with two very important processes. This can be explained through two components of Mimamsa Philosophy.
P: P stand for Pratyakṣa or Perception:-
When we think of a particular position, we are driven by perceiving the nature of role. It tends to perceive rough KPI’s of the position. Perception can be external or internal. We perceive internally by our intuition. It travels from indefinite judgment to conclusion. It can be external as well which we does through our sensory organs.
We perceive the position which has its roots in subconscious mind during business planning. As per ancient Indian Texts, there are four requirement of correct perception i.e. direct experience by sensory organ, non-verbal ways, does not wander – correct perception does not change, definite – correct perception excludes judgement of doubt.
Perception may lead to Assumption and Reality in long run. But we should neither take perception as reality nor Assumption as reality. Our perception of any position should graduate to Assumption with collection of facts and qualify as reality.
When we perceive about any position, we perceive the desired profile as well. This is simultaneous activity which our brain does. Hence, when we look for desired candidate, we always try to match our perception with the candidate’s skill set. Intuition, which we discussed earlier, plays a good role in forming our perception about any candidate.
Therefore, perceiving any positions, perceiving about the desired profile is the start of TA process. A well perceived position is must to make the process effective.
A : Stand for Anuman or Inference:-
Inference means drawing conclusion based on reasoning or facts. It is useful source of information.
We have perceived the position along with the details. Now, it is turn to collect information and facts. This step includes justification of the position and the growth path both horizontally and vertically. Positioning of the role in the whole organisational structure and creating space for the position in the organisational culture.
The method of Inference had been classified into three categories.
Pratijna or Hypothesis: It roughly means more than a guess and less than facts. Hypothesis is based on observation and certain facts. Scholars had divided inference into two stages. The first step is the subject which needs to be analysed and second step is an object on which the subject is predicted.
When we perceives any position and candidate, we tend to look for ideal candidate hypothetically based on our experience and knowledge. Now, we need to supply correct information about the position/candidate to ensure better success rate of our hypothesis. Psychometric test, background check of the candidate falls under this category which gives clear indication about suitability of the candidate.
Hetu or a reason: Hetu means a reason. The reason for existence of the position and contribution in realizing the organisation vision are mandatory requirements. When any TA process is not supported by organisation design and we try to fit the role into organisation structure, the process is complete but the purpose is defeated. The Hiring manager should be convinced that the position is absolutely necessary had a contribution in the organisation growth.
Drshtanta or Examples: Examples from the past should be taken as reference for acquiring new talent. The industry benchmark, compensation and benefit benchmark is the base for drawing examples.
Execution through UAAS model :
After preparing in the opening steps, it is time to execution of the process. We will start where we have left in opening process. It can be divided into four category i.e.
Upamaan (comparison), Arthapatti (Postulation), Anupalabdi (negative/cognitive proof) & Sabda (word).
Upamaan or Comparison: Comparison is the traditional method of evaluation. It is also source of knowledge. It examines the internal parity and industry benchmark at the same time. During screening process, comparison is essential to relate the experience with the role and suitability in the peer group.
Arthapatti or Postulation: It is circumstantial evidence/fact. One need consider the circumstances under which any position had evolved. The potential variation of the position i.e. assimilation to another similar role etc. should also be taken into account. While evaluating the candidature, facts has to established between the profile and the position based on given facts. A proper analysis of co-relation need be found before processing for activate the next level.
Anupalabdhi or Non-perception: It talks about grey areas of the position and the candidature. It is advisable to co-relate the high point of any positions but it is desirable to compare the low points of the position and the candidature as well. The limitations of the positions should also be evaluated against the candidature.
Ancient text further divided this Non-perception into four types. These are Non-perception of cause, Non-perception of effect, Non-perception of object and Non-perception of contradiction.
Sabda or Words : Human being require to know various facts through available limited sources. Acquiring knowledge through Words can either through verbal or written.
Selection of words holds important place of any conversation. More importantly, the posture and gesture while expressing the words, perceiving the concept should be analysed thoroughly to test the authenticity of the candidature.
However, the chances of making mistakes in this process are very high. This requires a high level of precision in planning and excellent execution skills. We should not forget that we talk about building competitive positive organisation culture, but this begins with talent acquisition only. The way we treat our potential candidates is like kindergarten organisational culture.
There are many hindrance in the process of Talent Acquisition. But would like to draw attention towards Illusion as an very important hinders of TA process.
Although, Illusion is not mentioned in Mimamsa philosophy, it is worth to mention here as hinder to effective TA process. Illusion is mentioned in the Vedanta branch of Indian philosophy. According to Cambridge Dictionary, Illusion means an idea or belief that is not true. In other words, when our sensory organs mis-interprets any object, is known as illusion. Why organs mis-interprets. This is because these organs takes shortcut to perceive things. When it comes across any object, based on the experience and knowledge, it tries to perceive the things by indications only. When the same things supplied to brain to react, brains makes mistake by half baked information.
In TA process, same thing happens. We try to rely on our knowledge and experience to judge any candidate. As a result, the chances are bad hires are high. We should use our experience to judge the candidature in view of the position and organisation not depending solely on knowledge. It requires a high degree of maturity of hiring managers. Approximately, 60% of hiring managers makes the mistake because of this Illusion effect.
To counter this affect, we should come out the thought process that every manager can be hiring manager. There should be limited hiring managers depending upon the size and spread of business. Secondly, the hiring manager should be trained in basic psychometric tools and behavioural event interview method. This will improve Quality of Hire.
To sum up, these are some pointer mentioned in Mimamsa branch of Indian Philosophy which we can be utilise for making the TA process more effective and contributing in success of the organisation. Few take away are to remember PA approach for building platform for acquiring talents and UAAS method to make it effective.
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