Between Nepotism And Merit In Staff Selection

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stockimages2Of all the resources available to a business organisation, the most crucial and major determinant of the success or otherwise of the business, is indisputably the human resource.

If you agree with me then you will also agree that the effectiveness of every other resource depends on the caliber of the human resource available in an organisation.

If you agree with my assertions above, then it becomes a settled issue that staffing – recruitment, selection and placement of workers – is one of the most delicate functions of the human resources department and by extension, the most delicate steps an organisation can take.

The human resource is just like a driver of a vehicle with every other resource on board the vehicle as passengers. So, their fate simply depends on how well (or not) the driver does his job.

Last Saturday  I watched a TV talk show where computer (my second love after Business Management) experts analysed the current trends in cyber crime. One of them then said something, which actually gave me the inspiration to do this post. He said a good percentage of the computer graduates we have these days cannot write a simple program !

In my about 20 years of working, I have come across all sorts of workers – the good, the bad and the ugly. Some years ago an ex-colleague was fired for incompetence. Imagine an Accounting graduate that cannot reconcile a simple cash book with a bank statement. In fact he was caught with a text book on his laps. Another accounting graduate I once worked with could not prepare a Trading Account. How did they get their degrees ? Beats me! What do you expect from these members of staff?

They are not alone on this. I had to dump a particular mobile network because of a very arrogant Customer Care Officer who attended to me once when I had connection challenges. I am not the only one who has done this.

The worst cases are those staffers who are at the top echelon of business organisations. It is often said in Business Management, that the Management of any business organisation “dictate the atmosphere in an organisation.” If they are creative and excellent decision makers, intelligent, have foresight, innovative, excellent planners, motivators and up-to-date with current business trends, it will reflect in the affairs and “life” of the business. The reverse is sadly also true. Imagine a manager who is so old-fashioned, disorganized, bad decision maker, unintelligent, acts before thinking, bad motivator, bad planner, knows next-to-nothing about creativity, innovation and current global management trends !!!

So many businesses are facing serious challenges today. While some are stagnant, some are moving at snail-speed, while some have even collapsed because of the choice of workers, especially at the management level.

A friend once told me that the major reason why one of the banks in Nigeria(name withheld) was doing so well was because of its deployment of sophisticated technology. Then I asked him a question “can technology, no matter the level of sophistication, come on board or work without human effort?” It’s simple – employ the right staff and enjoy the benefits; employ the wrong staff and watch the consequences unfold. It’s just a matter of time.

It is not different in public governance. In my opinion, one of the major reasons why the former Governor of Lagos State (Nigeria), His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, performed so well was partly because of the caliber of men and women that made up his cabinet. The other day, I watched the impressive achievements of his administration in all sectors of the economy of the state and I was so astonished because I was not aware of many of them. It’s simply a case of someone who cherishes outstanding performance, gathering an outstanding team that can help him achieve his dreams for the state. Thumbs up for His Excellency and his outstanding cabinet.

My advice? Read the story of the outstanding names we have today in business (the owners and their businesses) and public administration. I do that a lot.

It’s just a matter of decision making…a matter of choices.

Thanks for your time.

Image courtesy of Stock Images at

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Michael M.

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