Andreas Diantoro: Recruit Employees Based on Their Corporate Culture

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IN 2005 when Dell’s performance had slumped, Andreas Diantoro turned up and offered to revamp the company. He had just moved to Dell from Hewlett-Packard (HP) Indonesia and his first step was to recruit employees based on Dell’s corporate culture. “Many companies collapse because they do not recruit employees based on their corporate culture. Employees have to fully comprehend their company’s corporate culture, because it is important to build a solid company,” said Andreas, Dell’s regional managing director for South Asia. Dell is an American company dealing in computer hardware and servers.
In the recruitment process, Andreas looked for junior and middle level employees that fit the company’s corporate culture. He felt that recruiting high level or top position employees would be expensive for the company and it would be difficult to alter their mindset, while junior and middle level employees would be much younger, more competitive and have more motivation and ambition. So, the recruitment process was also inexpensive. “As they are not successful yet they still hunger for success, and Dell is the right company for such people,” said Andreas, who is also president of the Indonesian Marketing Association (IMA) for 2008-2010.
Unfortunately, finding such employees is not easy as it seems, he said. Some did not want to work for Dell because they thought the company was poorly managed. Pieter Lydian, for example, repeatedly rejected the company’s offer of employment. But Andreas did not give up and eventually convinced him that the management was being reorganized and revamped. Pieter now holds an important position at Dell. 
“I must assure you that today Dell is much different from the Dell we used to know. So, if you want to achieve success, join my company. I am sure that based on the strength of a solid team, Dell will be a successful and established company here,” Andreas told his employees. “I have replaced four out of five country managers with younger and more energetic people,” said Andreas.
Andreas has opened up a new chapter in the history of Dell’s management, especially for recruitment. All vital staff now consists of junior and middle level employees of high quality and potential. And, more important is their conviction that the company will make them successful. “Based on this conviction, they will strive for company’s success. A successful company certainly means successful employees,” said the father of two, who was named “Man of the Year 2002” by Male Emporium magazine and “Most Inspiring Chief Marketing Officer” by Warta Ekonomi magazine in 2005 as well as among “Indonesia’s 25 CEOs to Watch in 2006” by SWA magazine.
After the recruitment, the immediate job is to turn new employees into high achievers and train them according to the company’s culture. This is important for homogenous comprehension of the company’s values and teamwork, because every company has a different parameter or benchmark on achievements. According to Andreas, Dell has a very effective management system that results in optimum employee performance. The system comprises performance evaluations (PE) and individual development plans (IDP).
The PE evaluates an employee’s skill, attitude and performance and is conducted twice a year, whereas the IDP involves an employee’s contribution to the company’s development in reaching targets. A brilliant concept presented by an employee for the progress of the company is one of the parameters in evaluating IDP. IDP is conducted four times a year. “We conduct PE and IDP on Dell’s employees in Malaysia, Singapore and other areas in South Asia via teleconference every Tuesday. We also coordinate and communicate through BlackBerry and email,” said Andreas. Dell’s South Asia employees now total 35. “I direct all of them from Dell’s office in Jakarta,” he continued.
Andreas does not find managing his widespread crew difficult as he did the same thing when he was managing director at HP Indonesia. The only difference is that when he worked for HP Indonesia he had to travel around the country a lot whereas now he travels from country to country to monitor the company’s business development.
After the recruitment and the PE and IDP systems, his next concept involved corporate culture among all employees. It is by now naturally expected that their mindset is as per the corporate culture for the success of the company.
When an employee leaves the company, he usually recommends a replacement that suits the corporate culture. The final decision of whether to hire the recommended person rests with the management. “Resigning is normal, but we ensure that every Dell employee feels happy here as he or she is convinced of the future success,” he said.
Based on his strategy, Dell has eventually reaped the fruit of success. Andreas and his team have boosted the company’s performance in just two years. Before he joined Dell, the company’s sales had plummeted over the past eight quarters and it was only number five in the market. “Presently, Dell is number one for the corporate level. Our future target is to boost consumer and small business customers so that we can also be number one in that segment,” he said. In the corporate level the company’s main products are servers, while the targeted products for consumers and small businesses are personal computers (PC) and notebooks. In the third quarter of 2009 its consumer products saw increased sales, from 1.7 percent to four percent.
Also included in his plan is recruitment of new employees to handle Dell’s expanding business. One of the future businesses is a joint venture with one of the largest banks in Indonesia for the procurement of thousands of PCs and notebooks that will be rented for more than 10 years. (Reyhan Fabiano)
The Jakarta Post, December 16, 2009
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