Lecture 4 (Chapter 6 of textbook) Recruiting Human Resources

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1 Lecture 4 (Chapter 6 of textbook) Recruiting Human Resources 1 This lecture will deliver the concept of recruitment process within organisations, including addressing the need for a strategic recruitment approach, the different methods of recruitment, the importance of EEO in the recruitment process, and the need for organisations to evaluate their recruitment process. Strategic recruitment The pressures of competition, cost saving, downsizing and global skill shortages have made recruitment a top priority. The competition for talent means that skilled workers are today s prized trophies. Recruitment (the process of seeking and attracting a pool of qualified candidates for a job vacancy) and selection (the process of choosing the candidate who best meets the selection criteria) are used today as major levers to bring about strategic and cultural change. Management must anticipate changes in the organisation s environment to ensure that people who are recruited have the unique skills and know-how required by the organisation s strategic business objectives. Organisational strategies and culture determine whether the focus is on technical skills and formal qualifications or personality, the ability to fit in and the potential for development. Recruiting is also affected when organisations make fundamental strategic changes. An organisation can destroy its unique competitive advantage if it ignores its strategic mission, objectives and culture in recruiting personnel. Recruitment begins with identifying HR requirements and ends with receiving applications. It involves determining where qualified applicants can be found (recruitment sources) and choosing a specific means of attracting potential employees to the organisation (recruitment methods). Recruitment is a two-way process: information is given and received by both the applicants and the organisation. It is concerned both with satisfying the organisation s strategic HR requirements and with helping potential candidates decide whether they meet the job requirements, are interested in the position and want to join the organisation. Recruitment policy An organisation s recruitment policy provides the framework for recruiting action and reflects the organisation s recruitment objectives. It details the overriding principles to be followed by management in general and by the HR manager in particular. Recruitment activities Effective recruitment requires the HR manager to undertake an examination of the organisation s long-range and short-range HR needs, changing conditions in the labour market, appropriate recruitment advertisements and literature, the number and quality of applicants from each recruiting source, the effectiveness of the recruiting effort. Recruitment is a form of economic competition. Organisations compete with each other to identify, attract and employ qualified human resources. The way in which the recruitment process is handled affects the organisation s image as an employer and, in turn, its ability to attract qualified people. The HR manager must ensure that applicants do not receive misleading or inaccurate information. This can create unrealistic expectations among candidates. And may produce job dissatisfaction, lower commitment and higher turnover. Recruitment methods Internal or external recruitment? The first replacement source to consider is within the organisation. Advantages of internal promotion include improved morale, reduced orientation and training requirements and management s perceptions of an employee are likely to be more accurate. The disadvantages include employees who apply for jobs and are rejected can become discontented; the pool of

2 2 candidates may be restricted; creativity can be stifled as a result of inbreeding; and management s time involvement and expense may be excessive. Internal recruitment methods Methods to locate qualified internal candidates and to inform their existing employees about job vacancies include computerised record systems and job posting. External recruitment methods HR departments can use various approaches to locate and attract external candidates, often looking to more than one source. Government employment agencies, private employment agencies, recruiting consultants, executive search firms, educational institutions and professional organisations are popular sources, as are advertisements, employee referrals and unsolicited applications. To choose an approach, the HR manager must know which recruitment channel is likely to be most successful in targeting a particular labour group. EEO and AA in recruitment Australian organisations have clear legal obligations to provide for equal opportunity in the workplace. EEO and AA legislation require fair treatment for all members of the community and the elimination of discrimination. EEO/AA is about merit. It means selecting the best person for the job in terms of his or her job-related skills. Particular attention needs to be given to the recruitment of women, minorities, people with disabilities, older workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and Gay and Lesbian workers. Evaluation of recruitment Organizations tend to evaluate success of their recruitment initiatives in immediate short-term ways, such as whether vacancies are filled with minimally qualified people at acceptable cost, or whether recruitment efforts produce a rise in the number of applicants. Measures of effectiveness, such as the quality of applicants and of those who accept a job offer, are often ignored. Philips recommends that assessment of recruitment activity focus on: Productivity Quality Costs Time Soft data Evaluation of the recruitment activity is important for meeting strategic business objectives, controlling costs, satisfying EEO objectives and improving recruiting performance. Wrap up: Recruitment is the process of locating and attracting qualified candidates for job vacancies within an organisation. It is a form of business competition. To achieve their strategic business objectives, organisations require candidates with the appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities and personal qualities. Thus, the job to be filled must be identified and precisely defined. Next, the type of candidate needed must be specified. Potential candidates have to be made aware of job vacancies. This can involve a number of methods such as advertising or using consultants, educational institutions and professional associations. EEO legislation requires organisations to eliminate discriminatory recruiting practices and to take specific action to ensure that disadvantaged groups are given fair access to job opportunities. Organisations that are regarded as good employers have the least trouble attracting high-quality candidates. Evaluation of the recruitment activity is 2

3 3 necessary to ensure that the organisation is meeting its strategic business objectives, containing costs, satisfying EEO objectives and improving recruitment efficiency and effectiveness. Questions for you to discuss: 1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of recruiting from (a) within the organisation and (b) outside the organisation? Internal sources Advantages Organisation has more knowledge of the candidates strengths and weaknesses. Candidate already knows the organisation. Employee morale and motivation is enhanced. Organisations return on investment in training and development is increased. Can generate a succession of promotions. Organisation needs to hire only entry level candidates. Disadvantages Employees may be promoted beyond their level of competence. Employee infighting for promotions can affect morale. Inbreeding can stifle creativity and innovation. System can become bureaucratic. Excellent training and development programs are necessary. External sources Advantages The pool of talent is bigger. New insights skills and know-how can be introduced into the organisation. It is often cheaper and easier to hire employees from outside the organisation. Outside employees are not members of existing cliques. Disadvantages Attracting and selecting a new employee is more difficult. New employee adjustment and orientation takes longer. Morale may suffer among existing employees who have been passed over. An employee may be selected whose performance is below the standard required or whose personality does not match with the organisation's culture. 2. What guidelines should be followed to ensure that an employment advertisement does not violate EEO requirements? The employment advertisement must only state job related criteria. Australian organisations have clear legal obligations to provide for equal opportunity in the workplace. Equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action (AA) legislation requires equal treatment for all members of the community and the elimination of discrimination. EEO/AA is about merit. It means selecting the best person for the job in terms of their job-related skills. Candidates are thus treated equally irrespective of differences in race, sex, religion, nationality or other factors. Good human resource management demands that organisations have well-defined EEO/AA objectives and policies. In turn, these must be communicated to all employees and be seen as having top management support. 3

4 4 To promote the recruiting of disadvantaged groups an affirmative action program is essential. The basic steps involved are: A statement is made to all employees by the employer, through a senior manager, that an affirmative action program has been initiated. One or more persons with 'sufficient authority and status are given responsibility for the program. Any trade unions whose members are affected by the program are consulted. Employees themselves, especially female ones, are also consulted. There is a systematic collection of job statistics, covering the types of work done and the seniority of classification levels of employees, and including information about gender. Current work practices are brought up for review to reveal any lack of opportunity, based on discrimination. New affirmative action objectives are set, including the formulation of forward staffing estimates. Finally the whole program is monitored so that it can be assessed, evaluated and modified as necessary. 3. How should recruitment activity be evaluated? Why is evaluation important? Recruitment activity is evaluated by determining if its goals have been achieved. The basic goal is to identify and attract a pool of qualified candidates. More specific goals vary from organisation to organisation. Students should recognise this, and answers should fit this general specification. Recruitment is concerned with both meeting the organisations HR requirements and in helping potential candidates decide whether they meet the job requirements, are interested in the position and to join the organisation. Unfortunately, many HR managers forget this. Organisations that are the most satisfying to work for are also the organisations that have the least trouble getting good candidates. 4. What is meant by the term strategic recruitment? It is important that recruitment be viewed strategically and that it reflect the organisation s business objectives and culture. The core purpose of Nike, for example, is To experience the emotion of competition, winning and crushing competitors. Consequently, this creates a need to recruit people who are stimulated by the competitive spirit and the urge to be ferocious. Other organisations have other objectives and values. Thus, recruitment is a means of delivering behaviours seen as necessary to support the organisation s culture and strategies. The current emphasis on employee competencies illustrates this role. Organisational strategies and culture determine whether the focus is on technical skills and formal qualifications or personality, the ability to fit in and the potential for development. Toyota, for example, seeks people who can work as a team, who have ideas for improvement and who can demonstrate an ability to learn. A consequence of this emphasis on employee characteristics has been an increasing use of psychological tests (to specifically assess behavioural and attitudinal characteristics) in employee selection. This has aroused some criticism because it results in the recruitment of a young green labour force, without years of acculturalisation in traditional manufacturing methods in heavily unionised plants and marginalised unions. Townley, for example, criticises such strategies because they dehumanise applicants and promote management control by producing a compliant non-unionised work force. Recruiting is also affected when organisations make fundamental strategic changes as a result of asking questions such as: What is our core business? What business should we be in? What is it we want to achieve? Mayne Nickless was a land transport company until recently, but today its core businesses are health care, logistics and express freight. Clearly, the organisation now requires people with different know-how, skills and abilities. Consequently, 4

5 5 an organisation can destroy its unique competitive advantage if it ignores its strategic mission, objectives and culture in recruiting personnel. In addition, it places at risk the careers of those applicants who do not match the organisation s strategic requirements. Attracting such candidates is simply a costly waste of time for all involved. Strategic recruitment avoids this by locating and attracting the right potential candidates to the right job openings within an organisation. Such applicants form a pool from which those who most closely match the job specifications can be offered employment. Recruitment begins with identifying HR requirements and ends with receiving applications. It involves determining where qualified applicants can be found (recruitment sources) and choosing a specific means of attracting potential employees to the organisation (recruitment methods). It immediately precedes the selection process and involves attracting qualified and interested candidates (from either inside or outside) who have the capacity to generate a sustainable competitive advantage for the organisation. Recruitment is a two-way process: information is given and received by both the applicants and the organisation. It is concerned both with satisfying the organisation s strategic HR requirements and with helping potential candidates decide whether they meet the job requirements, are interested in the position and want to join the organisation. Unfortunately, many HR managers forget this. Organisations that are the most satisfying to work for are also those that have the least trouble getting good candidates. Successful recruiting means clearly outlining each job, which involves job analysis. Products of the job analysis process are the job description (which highlights duties and responsibilities, relationships, required know-how, accountability, authority and special circumstances) and the job or person specification (which identifies the job s human requirements in terms of qualifications, experience, skills, abilities and knowledge, and personal and special requirements). 5. What is recruitment? Why is it important? What information is needed to develop a recruiting plan? Recruitment is a key HRM activity. Organisations to survive and grow need to attract candidates who are qualified to help them achieve their objectives. Effective recruitment does this by locating and attracting potential candidates to job openings within the organisation. Such applicants form a pool from which candidates who most closely meet the job specifications can be offered employment. Recruitment begins with the identification of human resource requirements and ends with the receipt of an application. It immediately precedes the selection process and involves attracting qualified and interested candidates from either inside or outside the organisation. It is a two way process. Information is given and received by the applicants and the organisation. Recruitment is concerned with both meeting the organisations HR requirements and in helping potential candidates decide whether they meet the job requirements, are interested in the position and want to join the organisation. Unfortunately, many HR managers forget this. Organisations that are the most satisfying to work for are also the organisations that have the least trouble getting good candidates. An organisation's approach to recruitment is determined by human resource planning. For recruiting to be successful, each job must be clearly defined. This is done by job analysis. Products of the job analysis process are the job description (highlights duties and responsibilities, reporting relationships, working conditions and supervisory responsibilities) and the job or person specification (identifies the job's human requirements in terms of qualifications, experience, skills, abilities, knowledge and personality). 6. What are the roles of the HR manager and line manager in the recruiting activity? 5

6 6 Important activities the human resource manager must undertake if recruiting is to be effective include: determining and categorising the organisation's long-range and short-range human resource needs keeping alert to changing conditions in the labour market developing appropriate recruitment advertisements and literature recording the number and quality of applicants from each recruiting source following up on applicants to evaluate the effectiveness of the recruiting effort. Recruitment is a form of economic competition. Organisations compete with each other to identify, attract and employ qualified human resources. The proposition that 'people make the difference' means that recruitment is a key marketing tool for organisations seeking a competitive edge. The way the recruitment process is handled affects the organisation's image as an employer and in turn its ability to attract qualified people. As there is often pressure to promote both the job and the organisation in the most favourable light, the human resource manager must ensure that misleading or inaccurate information is not used. Failure to do so can create unrealistic expectations among candidates. In turn, this produces dissatisfaction and high turnover. The HR manager works closely with line management at the stages of job analysis, job description, and job specification. If this is done satisfactorily, the HR manager can continue with the recruiting process without too much contact with line management. 6

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