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May - 2007 - issue > The Recruiter
Hire Chargers Not Batteries
Anil Sharma
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
When Sapna left the marketing division of a company, everything went on fine for two weeks. People worked unperturbed; they would call Sapna almost every day, as if she was still there and they did not feel her absence.

Gradually, her colleagues started realizing that there was something amiss. The whole atmosphere was becoming more official. Discussions at lunch barely went beyond clients. Post-lunch walks and interactions about each other’s personal lives were no longer part of the agenda. Although every one wanted to, there was no common thread binding them; they felt like a chain of pearls whose string had been broken.

The manager, Rahul, did not realize this until someone from the other department told him. At that point, it struck Rahul that forget having lunch with his team, his discussions with the team members in the past two weeks had always centered around clients, revenues, billing and business development. Gupshup about the latest movies, fashion icons and new restaurants had taken a back seat.

You might question as to what is wrong with such an environment. After all, it is the manager’s job to get the work done. But I am sure you have heard this – that ‘all work and no play make Jack a dull boy’.

By now you might have guessed that I’m talking about people who bring a zing to the work-place. If you have one in your department, you are lucky; if you don’t, well it’s time to hire one.

Most of the time, managers look for technical skills (in a candidate) and ignore social skills to a great extent. The hiring manager’s target is to get a competent person for the job and then it is left to the person to contribute to the group’s culture – in either a good or bad way.

You may have noticed that the presence or absence of a particular person makes a huge difference in the way people work, relate to and interact with each other. If there is a charger in your group, he/she will bind the group together at an informal level and your team will be one. You won’t need to spend money on team building programs; on the contrary, if this person is missing, no matter how much time and effort you spend, it will always lead to a restricted and formal peer-relationship.

Since people spend most of their waking time in office, they long for good people in the workplace, so that they look forward to work. They seek the company of people who have a lively and positive presence, rather than only intelligent and hardworking people. Of course they have their own place in the team but the importance of having a capable and lively person cannot be ignored anymore. That makes it the responsibility of hiring managers to ensure that they have such chargers in the company.

How to identify find a charger?
Typically, a charger has the following characteristics:
1. A high level of energy and initiative
2. One who has varied social interests
3. Positive attitude towards work and life
4. Laughs and smiles during interactions
5. Makes others feel part of their own from the first meeting
6. Converses on any topic and relates to people from different backgrounds

In today’s work environment, characterized by tough competition, unbeatable deadlines and tremendous stress of performing, it is essential to have people who can help you ease the pressure and look at work as fun and then build on productivity charts.

What do you get if you hire a charger?
1. Better team relationships
2. Lively work environment
3. Reduce the stress level of your people
4. And last but not the least; reduce attrition – because people would always like to work with nice rather than serious people

So next time you need to hire a team member, please ensure that you hire a charger who turns your office into a lively and interactive place to be, and where everyone wants to come on a Monday morning.

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