Wednesday, May 11, 2016

True Incident: CEO's Corporate target to reject participants, how I managed adherence & still achieve 100% retention

This is true incident

8 years ago while working with leading telecom company, the company CEO gave me target to reject minimum 20% of participants. He also sarcastically remarked that  I am too friendly & play favorite by passing/certifying all participants. He also quoted statistics by my team members about their rejection ratios. (PS these members were reporting to me).

I was pained by CEO's decision to axe non performers in sales, as identified during training (induction).

The 13 day and 4 day sales induction/training was exhaustive, perhaps best in the industry, competitors often tried to replicate the same.

I could easily identify those who would not be able to with-stand rigor of final certification process. However took HR's recruitment team in confidence & suggested we can save cost & efforts if we decide to give opportunity to those who who do not clear sales certification in other verticals

All people are not made to be in sales profession and psychometric test have only 60% reliability, we should explore offering them option in Customer care, Retention, Back-end, Collection after we give them two chance to perform in sales vertical..... they agreed.

We are first a human being, was always at back of my mind, always wanted to keep people who are starting their career in high positive self esteem, used to refer potential would be failures to their team leader & suggested they should be given exposure in field before we take a final call. Senior sales person was assigned as mentor for 3 week and these participants were given decent hand holding.

Now they were allowed to appear in final certification for sales after their consent. They were given option to delay final certification for upto 30 days, they could always request for change in function anytime during these 30 days. We achieved 100% retention of new joinee in company. 

CEO was happy, because statistics & graphs reflected rejection ratio in sales training and HR was happy to save hiring cost.

PS: I was pained; how cruel & dehumanizing hiring and corporate culture can be, many participants used to come from humble rural background, sometimes selling of their meager assets to start a new life in city. Many used to bribe HR recruiter and often realistic picture as to what sales involved was never given.