Career Magazine

Hire, as the Wise People Do

By Paragp

I’mjust back from attending a wedding in my ancestral village. While there, Ithought many times about some wise people who were no more. And about whatthey’d said to me, off and on, over the years. Naturally, I also thought abouttheir views on marriage. A rule, which they had said was time-tested, came tomind.
‘Ifyou want progress for your son and for your family, marry him to a woman whohails from a better family. If you want a secure and dignified future for your daughter,marry her to a man who is a rising star in his family’.
Asprofound and simple rules do, this one too had left unsaid the routine but notunimportant stuff that people anyway pay attention to while match-making. So itdidn’t say that if the man or woman or their families failed obvious standards,then a mere application of the rule would make for a happy marriage. Asenduring rules do, this one too had allowed for a dynamic definition of‘progress’, ‘better’, ‘secure’, ‘dignified’, and ‘rising star’. So it letspeople decide for themselves, and in keeping with their times, whether theseterms were to be interpreted on the basis of anthropological, social, politicalor economic value.
Allit said, was that one could use the rule as a supplement to one’s own goodsense and judgment. Even if it were the man and the woman deciding bythemselves about a life together.
Ok.So a man should marry a woman from a better family. Because she would havehigher standards, expectations and aspirations. Because she would want an evenbetter life for their kids. If the man could understand and appreciate that,then he would be propelled forward. And if the man’s family could understandand appreciate that, then they would be propelled forward too. By virtue of aunit in the family getting propelled forward and raising the bar for otherunits. Needless to say, that an insecure man and his ungrateful family wouldwaste time and effort in trying to make the better woman conform to their lowerstandards. Also, that a woman with a chip on her shoulder, could never be apropelling force with her condescending ways.
Butwhy would a woman marry beneath herself ? Well, she could, if the family were only alittle beneath hers. And she found a man who was a rising star in that family and looked allset to exceed her standards and expectations in the near future. She would bethe appreciated additional propelling factor in the early days of marriage and a respectedparticipant in the later days. Besides, the woman marrying a little beneath herwould also satisfy the condition that is good for the man. That he shouldmarry above himself. It’s a win-win match.
A womanmarrying above her would need to have high personal qualities to avoid thepossibility of being ignored or made subservient.
Sure,there are many exceptions that defy the rule, for reasons I can understand, andfor reasons I can’t. But when I look around, and look within, it appears to me thatthe underlying spirit of the rule applies more often than it does not.
Forgetmarriage. Forget man and woman. Forget old times and new. Examine for yourselfhow we hire people into our organisations.
Dowe have any theory at all to guide our hiring decisions after we have assessed theeducation, experience, skills and behavior of the candidates ? Do we frequentlymanage to get in people better than ourselves ? Can we prove to them that we are risingstars worth joining with even if it’s a little beneath them to do so ? Often times,not.
It’s very common to want togo into a better family. Therfore it’s very easy to bring in someone from a lesser family. You decide if you want to continue to hire like that.
Orhire, as the wise people do.

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