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8 commandments to combat employee `no-show' malaise

Anjali Prayag

Many cos incorporating them as hiring guidelines

What it means
Employee no-show is the practice of accepting employment offers and not coming onboard on the appointed day, with of course, no advance intimation.

Bangalore , July 24

Thou shall not negotiate with any candidate who has accepted another offer. Thou shall insist on a proper relieving letter. Thou shall not hire people with less than six months at current job without valid reason...

These are just three of the eight recruitment commandments that have been drawn up to combat the `no-show' malaise plaguing industry. In fact, CEOs of 30 product-development MNCs in Bangalore and 15 in Pune have made these their hiring guidelines and also have started practising some of them.

"These, if followed faithfully, could put a lid on the number of no-shows occurring in the industry and it's already showing some results," says Mr C. Mahalingam, Executive Vice-President, Symphony Services, and the President of the IT-HR Association. In fact, some companies that have practised the eight commandments have seen no-shows falling by almost 50 per cent, he says.

Employee no-show, a `very Indian HR issue', is the practice of accepting employment offers and not coming onboard on the appointed day, with of course, no advance intimation.

"About 30-80 per cent of new hires indulge in no-shows without realising the repercussions of their behaviour on the company," according to Mr Mahalingam.

Employee search and selection involves huge costs and investments of time and effort from the recruitment team. And if employees do not turn up at work, the whole exercise is a washout, resulting in a repeat effort for the recruitment team.

Mr Mahalingam says no-shows occur because offers are not perceived as a contract between the individual and organisation and no controls exist in industry today. "There were some initial efforts by Nasscom to build an employee registry, but currently it's available only for the BPO industry."

The other commandments

The other five rules that companies have drawn up as commandments are: capturing reasons for leaving in the relieving letter, underscore obligation to live up to ethical standards in the offer letter, send communication signalling disapproval to no-show candidates (they are hoping this can make employees pause when contemplating a no-show the next time), don't consider no-shows for future employment within the same organisation and share `no-show' data on mutually acceptable mechanisms with a peer set of companies.

Related Stories:
`No-show' behaviour rampant in IT sector
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