Don’t tell anyone, but I will be going undercover for a week. But before I get carried away and tell you that I will be going Covert Ops on a drug bust, it is just for an office activity that we normally do each year. Ever since I got in the Training Department, I have been tasked to pretend as a newly hired guy off the streets and join a class of agents (I work in a BPO) for one whole training class. I have been given this wonderful task because I look young (*ahem*) and I can blend in the classes.
The main purpose of this activity, and I am hoping not to give too much away, is to get as much information as I can about the people that we are hiring. For people who are familiar with the business, they would know that hiring involves several stages. From getting people interested in our company (advertising) to the “head hunters” getting people to actually apply to the actual recruitment process. After all of those, they get to our laps, the Training Department. Going undercover helps us determine if the people that we hired were hired “properly”. If a Trainer gets picked to go undercover, he or she needs to figure out a way to squeeze information out of the trainees without blowing his or her cover, otherwise the trainees will become a little wary of what they will say, since they will have the “wall” up. The “wall” is what we like to call the gap between a supervisor and a subordinate, which happens on any business. One subordinate will be comfortable with their supervisor only to a certain degree, with the thought of getting fired or saying the wrong things always in his or her mind.
Going undercover also helps us understand how trainees think, and figure out the reason why some of them fail, or ultimately leave. Every batch is different, but this activity always gives us a feel of what transpires during the training. We can use also observe the Trainer and provide feedback, thus helping each other out too.
I am hoping that all turns out well, and that my cover will not be blown. I will be playing a part that I have played a few times already: an undergraduate who just got hired with no prior working experience, with the only knowledge of the industry coming from a relative who is also a trainer, working on the same company.
It’s almost like the show ‘Undercover Boss”, except that I am not a CEO.