Attitude Engineering – It’s all about money Honey!

Money is one of the key motivators for all job seekers. I have seen extremes of money mindedness in job seekers, while few jobseekers look for benefits beyond money right from their early years. It is not right on my part to judge either of them, as opportunity to earn more along with other benefits is always the best bet. However, the attitude of keeping only money ahead of you is not the best policy and may not carry someone too long.

A few years back, I was interviewing a candidate for a role of head of recruitment. The person was good at his job and had all the right credentials. It took me almost three months to get him interviewed and selected. My US counterparts too interviewed and liked him. All along, the candidate was very smooth talking when it came to remunerations. His constant answer to queries related to salary and benefits were a standard one. ‘ I should be given in line with market standards. Anything more will give me happiness while I join.’

I was in hurry to close this position as my company was starting large-scale recruitments and I had very few hands to help. Moreover, I had no one to help me in recruitment process.

I had deliberately worked a package that was double his last salary drawn. I was sure that it would delight him and we will start with a very happy note. On the fateful day, just forty-five days before my mass recruitment event, I handed him over the offer letter. I knew that he could join me in just 30 days and I was excited to bring him on board.

He took the offer letter and gave me an unusual smile. ‘I think, this offer is not what I was looking for. As I am joining a new company and I am coming from a big company, the minimum raise has to be 300%’. I was shocked and mumbled with my words. I tried to convince that
double salary itself is a big deal and even my company is not a new one but I am opening its new India office. Moreover I tried to convince him on the benefits of coming on board as part of first few employees that would certainly give him better growth in the growing company. He was adamant and left telling that he would come back tomorrow and take a final call.

This attitude left me tired and shocked. I could not believe that my three months of hard work came to such an outcome. Did I pick a wrong person or what that guy was talking had some substance. I was in a bad situation with so many things depending on filling that position quickly. Over the night, I spoke to few of my friends in HR field and within few hours I was given reference of two other candidates who could fit the bill. Right in the morning the next day, I met both the persons. While one was not the best I wanted, the second one had something special.

I asked him what salary he wanted. He was clear. The raise he asked was modest. On my question of why he would come with a modest raise, his answer was something that was music to my ears. ‘I would get opportunity to work with the CEO of the company. Moreover, I am being hired to grow this company; so obviously, I will also grow and learn a lot. It is not the salary that is my key driver but the opportunity that is exciting me. However if you feel, you can add few mode dollars, I would be delighted.’ He cautioned with a smile, ‘ I wish to work that is challenging and will help me hone my own skills. I hope you would give me that for sure.’

The offer letter to this new person was prepared in next one hour and I gave him far more raise than he was expecting along with a good joining bonus.

In next few hours, Mr. Greedy arrived and waited to meet me in the reception. While I was unwilling to see him initially, I could not resist the temptation of giving him a shock of his life. As soon as I broke the news that I have already offered someone else in his position, he could not understand what I really was talking. He tried telling me that he was fine with two and half times increase and after sometime he was even agreed to the original offer. I did not budge. I could clearly see that he was shocked and upset at this opportunity slipping away.

The selected candidate worked great with my company for many years. He did earn a good increase and bonus year on year due to his good job. On the other hand, the greedy one lost his job a few months later due to his company issues. Last I knew about him was that he was struggling to find a good offer.

You have to understand one thing for sure, going back on your word and promises is the worst thing one can do while changing jobs. On top of it, if this promise is because of the lure of money, somewhere it will hound you back. You must be clear of your expectations and be clear in expressing them, else the biggest looser in this entire cycle would be you.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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2 Responses

  1. Avyukta says:

    Hi Alok, an interesting anecdote, that outlines how people take leaders for granted and manipulate for personal gains. The opportunity to work with leaders is a great one, for that is where one learns what makes leaders successful.

  2. JP Chaurasiya says:

    Had u selected him (Mr Greedy), you would b facing the negotiation daily in one or the other aspect. It is the attitude if the person which matters and u hv rightly judged him.

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