Hiring lessons from Ramayana


This may sound odd, but the first thoughts on talent acquisition that comes to my mind are drawn from Ramayana. The episode that I find most relevant is how Rama came to lead the Banarasena to his own victory.

Rama found an ally in the exiled Monkey-king Sugriva and his contingent lead by, among others, the Hanuman. Rama promised and saw to it that Sugriva regain his kingdom defeating Bali, Sugriva’s brother. In return, Sugriva put all his followers (resources) at complete disposal of Rama in his quest to rescue Sita. The rest of the story is too entrenched in popular psyche.

From a purely tactical perspective, this winning over of the allegiance of the huge contingent of Banarasena was surely a turning point in the war to win back Sita. There would have been no better recruitment drive, so to speak, and how it bore fruit.

‘Moral’ of the story:

Employer to first choose carefully what profile would be suitable for the job at hand. Nothing could have been more apt as support for Rama in his war other than a huge contingent of powerful and agile beings such as the banarasena. A single hero as a recruit would not have done. Success in management of talent, therefore is contingent on what talent you acquire and why.

Employer to look for common ground between what the talent really wants out of the job and whether the job itself provides a scope for its fulfilment. This crucial connect in case of Sugriva was political as well as emotional (Bali had captured Sugriva’s wife as Sita was captured by Ravana). Again success in management of talent in contingent up on success in ‘fixing’ the ‘right match.’

There has to be some exchange signifying that the promise made by the recruiter to the recruit is met at the point when the offer is accepted. In case of Rama it was when he killed Bali, Sugriva’s brother. That single act resulted in a legion of banarasena being won over (recruited?) for Rama’s cause. In case of recruitment, how often have we heard of terrible stories where rosy promises made at the time of interview have been belied in the appointment letter itself?

However, the employer’s responsibility in keeping the promise made goes well beyond the point of recruitment. If Rama had treated the Banarasena badly, in ways they would feel unacceptable, would they have seen him back to glory across the arduous path?

It would be good to remember that the cause of mortal enmity between brothers Sugriva and Bali originated in a terrible miscommunication. The turn of events helped Rama do his bit, but thats life. Lesson is: beware of miscommunication at any stage, whether in acquisition or in management of talent.

In totality, I feel that in recruitment of talent and management of talent, there needs to be complete congruity between what the employer promises and what he delivers, what he says he stands for and how he leads by example.

This post has been submitted by Sourish Chatterjee, Dy. Manager – HR, Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd.Mumbai. Sourish is an HR Generalist, and has worked on roles encompassing Business HR, HRD, HR Initiatives, Industrial Relations, and Statutory Compliance etc. 

If you also want to write a post for hiringsquare.com, send us your original writings based on your experiences and perspectives at share@hiringsquare.com.

What's your take on this post ? Comment: