Article (April-2019)


The Unethical HR

Editorial Team

Designation : -   Editorial

Organization : -  Business Manager HR Magazine


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P. Mohan Reddy, the works director was not happy to see an email in his mailbox after coming from routine meeting of all managers and taking a review of manpower planning and continuous inflow of people to cater the plant needs. The main issue was of failure of providing sufficient man power supply by HR to different departments on daily basis. The manufacturing facility was new so the recruitment drive was on full swing.

Initially the company thought of a policy of outsourcing many activities through agencies to cater maximum needs and keep a stable minimum numbers of employees on permanent rolls. But after joining of new Recruitment Manager Shiva Prakash from last one year, the policy was changed. On his suggestion, management agreed to increase employees' numbers slowly on Co. rolls to maintain the minimum inventory of head counts. Shiva was appointed by the corporate office with some reference of one of the independent board director.

Shiva Prakash was devoting his maximum time with placement vendors to acquire maximum people to appoint them on Co. permanent rolls.

The mail before Mr. Reddy was sent by Maintenance manager. He expressed his uneasiness about growing rate of attrition of people appointed on permanent Rolls. Maximum duration of employees was less than six months. His last line was much disturbing. He mentioned that the some boys had revealed that the same vendor providing us the manpower approached them for better opportunities and also poached them for some other organisations. The people crisis was rather becoming more and more complex. It was becoming a challenge for Mr. Reddy. Till now he left everything on Shiva Prakash. But after reading mail, he decided to get involved and go deeper to find out the reasons behind all this. He called Shiva Prakash to discuss the issue. Here is the conversation :

Reddy : Shiva what is this happening? Why we are not able to stable the employees inventory. Why so much attrition?

Shiva : Sir, it is demand and supply issue. We are at very remote location. People join us, stay for some time and then leave as soon as get other opportunity.

Reddy : But we have increased the base salary rate and other allowances also as advised by you. What more you want to do?

Shiva : I will ask placement vendor to be more serious and send us the candidates who are willing to stay back for long time.

Reddy : Everything is not right in your process. Call that vendor. I would like to meet him.

Shiva : Ok Sir.

Even after one week, placement vendor did not come to meet Mr. Reddy. This raised his eye brows.  During this time, Reddy got message from one HR officer assisting Shiva in recruitment process. He wanted to meet Reddy not in plant but at his residence. It was not normal. Things were looking messed up. He responded - "Send context of meet at my personal mail Id from your personal mail. Then will meet." 

Reddy got the mail in the same night. "Sir, Everything is not right in Recruitment. I am no more involved in recruitment now. Things are not transparent. Mr. Shiva and other female colleague only are doing all activities. Shiva does not trust me more. He is deeply involved with the placement vendor. I am never allowed to talk to him. He does everything of his own. I can share much if you permit to meet."

Reddy Replied back. "Come 2maro morning before leaving for plant."

HR officer, Sumit who was recruited by Reddy was in his first job. He belonged to well educated family. His father was senior bureaucrat. Many times Sumit demonstrated his integrity and commitment towards organisation. Initially when he was assisting the administration, He caught scrap vendors loading/carrying material in collision with security guard at the post, which was not purchased by them. He compelled the vendor to unload the truck and re-segregated the scrap material. Rajni was appointed by Shiva.

When Sumit met Mr. Reddy at his residence and exposed Shiva, it was like a bombing. Sumit revealed that Shiva was favouring the vendor unreasonably. He diluted the agreement terms also. Earlier, the vendor was responsible for providing free replacement if the candidate leaves within six month. Now the condition has been diluted to three months. Earlier the payment terms were of three months. Now it has been reduced to one month only. The persons who are approaching directly to Co. for possible employment opportunities are discouraged and advised to come through vendor. In many cases Shiva shared the information of direct applicants to vendor and asked him to contact them and send their CVs through him. Sumit also requested that he can further investigate and takeout more details if Reddy permits him to do so. Reddy assured him that nothing will happen and he should continue watching him and his activities.

Reddy came to office, asked the finance manager to provide him the details of payments made to placement vendor during last one year. He was surprised to see the whopping payment figure. It was touching 10 million. He decided to put Shiva under surveillance. He engaged a private vigilance agency. After fifteen days the agency shared his report of findings. It ran like this :

"The Placement agency named Metaphor executive search agency address provided was of a residential flat. There is no display board. People of the area do not know about any such business activity being carried out from the flat. Neighbourers revealed that an old couple resides there. The proprietor of the placement agency is relative of Mr. Shiva. The account statement obtained from bank unofficially in confidence reveals the interesting pattern of funds flow. Whenever the payment from the company was credited in the account of the agency, It was transferred to another account in the different branch of the same bank. The ultimate beneficiary in which amounts were used to be transferred belonged to one woman, who happened to be the wife of Shiva. Rajni, the female employee working in the HR assisting in recruitment activities was spotted with Shiva in the restaurants and malls of the city far away from factory location during last fifteen days. The relationship reflected was not of a boss and a subordinate."

Agency also enclosed the photographs of Shiva and Rajni while in restaurants and malls, bank statements of the agency, and his wife where amounts were transferred."

Next morning, Before Reddy could think of any action against Shiva after discussing with corporate office and his confident managers, Shiva came running to meeting room where Reddy was discussing some other issues with different managers in meeting room. He was perplexed. He said that that the female employee working in HR department has given a complaint of sexual harassment against Sumit and the issue was very sensitive. He tried to molest her in the office when they were alone. Shiva put the written complaint before Mr. Reddy. Shiva said that she was standing outside meeting room and wanted to see you Sir. She is insisting that she will report the matter to the police.

Questions For discussion :

1. Discuss the functional style and behavioural traits of Shiva vis-a-vis of Mr. Reddy.

2. Discuss the people processes of the organisation? Were they correct or some review is required if so, what would you suggest?

3. What do you suggest, how Reddy should handle the situation move forward step by step now and come out as successful leader in a crisis?