My compliments for walking away from these kinds of abusive hurdles. Such employers undoubtedly think what they’re doing is a clever “pre-assessment” of job applicants. That is, they want to assess whether it’s worth their time to meet and assess you. They lay the burden on you, while they avoid putting their own skin in the game.
My guess is they add this step because some HR consulting firm charged them a bundle for “best methods” in recruiting. But there’s nothing “best” about abusing the job candidates those same employers complain are in short supply! Talk about trying to appeal to a candidate!
Job assessment tests come in many flavors. Tests and assessments can be useful tools for employers and job seekers. But more often than not, they’re misused. Some assessment methods are transparently ridiculous and unreasonable — and they’re not assessments at all. They’re bogus.
I think the way you’re dealing with unreasonable demands is just fine. And I don’t think anything you say to employers or recruiters is going to make them stop insisting that you jump through hoops, participate in totally one-sided “interviews,” and do free work. These employers have established a policy and a process. You’re not likely to change any of it. But it may be fun to make a point to them — a point that may hit home after they lose lots of good job applicants to their competitors.
An interview is called that because inter- means between, mutually, reciprocally, together — not one-sided. I’m looking for a good employer, and that means one that respects me enough to invest time together and reciprocally. I don’t jump for treats. Do you really have so many great candidates that you can afford to ask them all to do tricks before you’ll interview them? I’m ready to interview you if you’re ready to interview me.
HR is just a scam run by cretins. Why they would want to exclude cretins from their workplace eludes me. If they excluded all cretins, there would be no HR left! Oh, I get it. Having gotten themselves in, they then want to exclude all potential competition.
And personality tests are a pseudo-scientific scam too. They are generally proprietary tests, pushed by the companies that publish them, and marketed to HR departments as the ultimate tool for their hiring decision making. Yes, the scammers are scamming the scammers.
And more and more companies, at least as far as the HR departments and management go, don't seem really to give a fxxking rat's ass if employees are actually, you know, competent and good for doing any useful work. All they care about any more is getting a crew of sycophantic ass-licking yes-men and yes-women who can all get along with Pointy-Haired Boss.
The Harrison Assessment personality test is one such. It's just so much drivel, but apparently a whole shit-load of employers and HR people have been duped into swearing by it.
Why do they do this?
You know such jump-through-the-hoop job assessments are inappropriate and usually offensive. So do I. Why don’t employers know it?
It’s pretty simple. These are employers that don’t know how to recruit job candidates. They want you to do the work, preferably with no investment on their part. These employers want you to incur costs before they do. They want you to pay for hiring managers’ (and HR’s) ineptitude. They’re all telling you one thing: “You don’t want to work here because we have no idea how to hire.”
What are the most ridiculous or offensive assessment tests you’ve been asked to jump through? How have you responded? Is there a way to say no that keeps you in the running? If you’re an employer, how do you justify asking candidates to perform — before you invest any time in them? (That’s not a loaded question. I’d really like to know.)
A Lean Six Sigma consultant is someone who is specially trained not only in Lean Six Sigma but in helping other companies implement Lean Six Sigma in their businesses.
When it comes to hiring a Lean Six Sigma consultant, you will definitely have your pick – there are thousands of consultants out there willing to earn your money. Not every Lean Six Sigma consultant will be a good fit for your or your organization. You’ll need to put some effort into finding the consultant that is right for your business.
Ask For References
Unsurprisingly, most of the references only specify the clients' company name. There is no additional information such as:
If none of the aboves are provided, YOU ARE BEING CONNED! Those company names you've just seen are just their marketing gimmicks. Will you hire a consultant who has just preached a 1-day Lean Six Sigma Awareness training in that particular "list of reference"? Or, will it be suffice if they were engaged for just a 1-pax attending their Green Belt public training?
Specifically ask what the consultant did for the reference. Was the consultant’s work the same work you want the consultant to do for you? If it matches, the reference can provide you valuable information about the consultant’s work. If it doesn’t match, the reference may be of no value to you.
If you think, having done all these are troublesome, you are not serious in helping your company in rightsourcing the correct consultant. You will end up wasting manpower resources and throwing your money down the drain.
Expertise of the Consultant
Be specific! What is your intent in engaging consultants? Are you looking for just Lean Six Sigma trainings or you need someone who can guide you on your projects? What is the point of sending your staffs to be trained as a Certified Green Belt or Black Belt and end up not executing any projects?
Do you think the consultant is capable to handle your projects? Most of them were just trainers, not consultants. They can be spending 10 to 20 days with you preaching the Lean Six Sigma methodologies, but can they really handle your projects? They are not Subject Matter Experts, which you think they were. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can become trainers, but do they really understand your business?
Does the consultant understand farmer-owned Projects? Have they worked with farmers in the past? Farmer-owned projects often develop differently and members may have a different set of values than traditional large company initiated projects.
Lastly, bear in mind, most of the consultants outside claimed themselves as Certified Master Black Belts (I've warned you about this in my earlier articles). Master? Really?
What you should do:
Most of the well known Certification Bodies such as ASQ, IASSC, SSC do provide certificates if you are GENUINE. I can guarantee you, if they are able to show you, they are likely Certified Black Belts, not Master Black Belts. Will you allow a Black Belt consultant to train your Black Belts? I dare you to fail.
More interestingly, those who are not able to produce any certificates, they will tell you these:
BULLSHITS! (Sorry for being harsh)
I can setup a new company and hire a few school leavers, printing Certificates for them and call them as Master Black Belts. If you are not a licensed driving instructor, don't even dream of teaching your driving students. You are putting other lives in danger!
Lastly, if you are unsure in engaging the right consultant for your organization, you can always reach me. I have been in the Lean Six Sigma field for more than 15 years. I specifically know the quality of each and every Lean Six Sigma consultants out there. Some of the companies I've even worked for them during my earlier years. I'm not ASKING for your money, I'm here to make sure YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
I'll end my session here. Thanks for reading.
Everyone of you understand that you should outsource something to the experts in the world. But you certainly fear doing that to the wrong company. If you understand the dirty secrets of the consulting world, it can work in your favor and help you chose the right company you want to outsource.
We’re a consulting company ourselves and have seen what goes on here. That gives me the authority to write about this topic. I might be shooting my ownself with this article, but nonetheless, it will be in the favor of clients, and hence, us consulting companies eventually.
1) DO NOT TRUST THE WORD “ BEST ”
Best is a superlative word. However, most consulting companies claim to be the industry’s best on their website and sales pitch. As a smart consumer, you must learn to ignore the superlative terms used by the people vying for your business.
A few of the consulting firm in Malaysia claimed themselves originated from UK or USA. If you have done proper research on those companies, in fact, they are just pure local companies who are "UK / USA wannabes" trying hard to impress their customers to stand out from the rest of their competitors. What is wrong with calling yourself local?
Worse still, some of the TRAINING PROVIDERS even dare to brand themselves as CONSULTING FIRM. This amused me much as these jokers don't even know what business they are doing. As a consumer, are you brave enough to let trainers who read directly from PowerPoint slides to handle your projects?
Look for firms that include evidence of their greatness. How many years of experience does an average consultant have? Hong long do their engagements last on average with their clients? What actual awards have they won? What tools or methodologies do they use to separate them from competition?
2) A MOUTHFUL OF ROCK STARS?
Every consulting company boasts of having the best team. The fact is that every consulting company only has only a few rock stars with them. The rest of the team is a compromise they had to make to scale up the team in lieu of large business that comes in. These rock stars are easy to spot from the company blogs and who shows up in the new client meetings.
Try setting up a few appointments with them and you will notice the same face revolving around them. Those were the 'ROCK STARS' dedicated to do sales pitch and clinch your deal. When the deal is clinched, they will have second and third class consultants assigned to your job, which you didn't even aware of.
3) IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY
Though consulting companies are truly passionate about the things they claim, they have high expenses to retain the team they have. Hence they are under constant pressure to generate sales. Since the sales team has a target to attain, at times they take up projects even if the project does not fall into their sweet spots. For these reasons, during low times, they are forced to pick up projects which do not fall under their forte.
Say for example you come from the financial institutions, and the consultant's forte is basically manufacturing based. Have you spend enough time to look at their CV to determine whether they suit you? Most of the time, the CVs are perfectly written for marketing purposes. DO NOT take it seriously. Try throwing them a few technical terms / questions related to your industry, look into their eyes and see what are their reactions?
4) YOU DEFINITELY NOT GETTING THE BEST
Its obvious that the best will have their best talent reserved for bigger clients than your startup. Hence, they will only engage mid-level or junior talent for your project. Guess what? Now you are no longer working with the “BEST in the industry.” Oh, but look – your billing rate does not reflect that change.
As business minded as you may be, you will hire junior talents to fill up your company's manpower. A 3-weeks old consultant may be assigned as your consultant to fill up their work calendar. Are you still paying for what you get?
Most of the time, prices are determined by the number of man-days utilized. Therefore, man-day rate is quoted. Try asking them how many consultants they have and what are the differences in price and whether a second class consultant is lower in price compared to a senior consultant. They will normally tell you it's the same man-day rate and all their consultants are equally competent.
5) YOU ARE JUST THEIR SMALL ACCOUNT
Even if you manage to meet their minimum requirements, you are always treated as a small account, and they will not be as flexible as you would want a vendor to be when you are paying them so highly. You won’t get the attention you deserve.
If you are paying them in millions, they might probably assign you with their senior consultant who have that capability to handle your project. On the other hand, if you are engaging them for a two-to-three days of job, you are just a 'filling up the gaps' kind of customer. Don't even dream of getting a qualified consultant for your project. They might even send an intern to be your consultant.
6) THEY WILL NOT LISTEN
Since they are the best, you will not be able to raise a voice to be creative and do things differently. In fact, they will tell you what you should be doing all the time. If you are lucky, you are allowed to “whisper” a few times in the conversation, though.
Most of the time being a consultant, their ego is clearly written on their forehead whereby what they say is definitely correct and don't expect them to listen to your opinion. All you got to do is to follow what they preach and do not contest their 'expertise'.
7) THEY JUST WANT TO QUICKLY GET DONE WITH YOU
If you are really very unlucky, they will have bagged a big Fortune 500 account just after they started working with you. Now, they want to focus everyone on that account, and your small project is becoming a hurdle, so they sure know that you are soon not going to be able to afford them.
How flexible in terms of time they have for you when they have other pending projects in hand? Can they accommodate to your timeline? Last minute postponement when the other client changes dates? You tell them you want 1 visit per week, they will counter propose you with 3 visits per week in order to hasten up their time to focus on other bigger projects. All these are imminent.
SO... WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Choose a consulting firm where you will be an important client. What happens now?
SAM CONSULTING MALAYSIA