The way in which companies recruit and retain their employees is considered as a competitive weapon. Not until recently that firms are becoming serious on the act of recruitment as the Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that jobs will grow faster at a rate that is not proportional with the labor force, hence forcing the aforementioned to appeal to various groups such as omen and minorities. As such not only recruitment is very vital but also retaining employees (Denton, 1992, p. 14).
According to Frank Doyle, the senior vice president of corporate relations at General Electric: “For U. S. corporations, tomorrow’s competitive battle will be won or lost on the strength of their ability to build and retain a skilled work force” (Richman 1990, 76 as cited from Denton, 1992, p. 14). General Electric believes that labor shortage does not significantly matter if companies know which people to hire and to retain. For instance, companies such as Merck & Co. often times target certain universities or campuses that give a more detailed specialization on certain knowledge and skills that are very vital to their business.
The Plumbing and Heating Industry The plumbing and heating industry has been experiencing shortages as well on their workforce due to the difficulty of finding skilled plumbers and retaining them. It needs several numbers of years training on order to become a qualified plumber and heater and such also requires a deep dedication for a lifelong learning process. Certain skills are also necessary to be a good plumber such as “need a head for heights, the ability to work in cramped conditions and the stamina to complete physically hard work day after day” (The Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, 2007).
In addition with this, plumbers also need the intelligence to solve complex equations. More importantly, they must have the expertise and flexibility to install various systems and the capability to comprehend the logic of various systems. They should also have the ability and initiative to solve a problem and a passion to know and apply various technologies on their work. Plumbers and heaters must also have a creative mind and a sound judgment, and finally they should be professional and honest (The Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, 2007). Employee Recruitment Interviews
In order to find the right people, the process of interviewing and getting to know them not only through their answers but also through their eye contacts, body languages and the likes (Dibble, 1999). For instance, some companies like Merck often conduct a 30-minute interview in order to assess the qualifications of prospective employees. Hewlett-Packard did it further by implementing a technique called “behavioral interviewing” that is developed by organizational psychologist Paul Green that would assess the future behavior of a prospective employee based on his or her past behaviors.
In using this technique, interviewers can design employee questions that would allow them to elicit behaviors that are closely related to the job that they are looking for (Denton, 1999, p. 16). The process of behavioral interview often times identifies 21 skills that are very vital for certain jobs such as “coping, decisiveness, assertiveness, tolerance of ambiguity, written communication skills, creativity, commitment, team building, versatility, and leadership” (Denton, 1999, p. 17).
For the aforementioned skills there are still eight job behaviors that are needed to be known such as how prospective employees deal with “varied duties, deal with diverse groups, respond to others’ needs, be socially flexible, “roll with the punches”, understand individual differences, make others comfortable, exhibit wide range of social behaviors ( “More” 1988, as cited from Denton, 1992, p. 17). Decentralized Hiring Traditional recruitment approaches that focuses on interviewing prospective employees by a single person is no longer deemed as vital nowadays.
For instance, the Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC) one of America’s most successful small companies still has their hiring process as a group activity. SRC adopts a non-traditional method of recruitment by having all of their applicants have five or six interviews with various individuals that he or she might be working with (Denton, 1992, p. 18). Recruitment through Reputation The reputation of the company is also one of the leading factors in which highly knowledgeable and skilled employees will desire to work for the aforementioned.
For instance SRC received more than 2,500 applications for a small company that only employs 300 people. It could also be noted that the company only pays $6 or $7 per hour, yet applicants are still flocking to them. One significant reason for this is its reputation for being one of the best places to work. One of the ways of doing such is the capacity of a company to manage the diversity of their workforce (Denton, 1992, p. 19). The shortages in terms of prospective employees is a growing concern among companies that is why there is a need to focus more on recruiting minorities and women.
However, in order for a company to have a wide application pool, such must first establish to have a good reputation of being able to effectively manage organizational diversity (Denton, 1992, p. 20). Aggressive Recruitment for Entry-Level Workers One of the best ways to tap to a good employee resource is through recruiting entry-level workers through implementing various programs such as “Adopt-a-School” or “Join-A-School”. These programs allow companies and organizations to establish partnerships between business and schools which may involve elementary school, vocational school or even a university (Denton, 1992, p. 5).
The main value of such programs is the establishment of closer relationships between schools and in a macro perspective, creating better understanding businesses and industry. More importantly, partnerships such as like these, would allow companies to easily recruit personnels that can improve the company’s image that could help the prospective applicants to view your company’s business as a career, hence a better chance of creating a wide labor pool (Denton, 1992, p. 26). Employee Retention
If finding good people is hard, so as looking for ways to make them stay. One of the companies that have displayed such an admirable trait is Federal Express, wherein they have emphasized the importance of retention, recruitment and employee relations (Dibble, 1999). If a particular company is very careful in terms of recruiting, there is also a relatively better match of keeping them. One best way of doing such is the company centralizing all of its recruitment centers (Denton, p. 47).
After which, they provide immense value on putting their people first on their list. Good employee relations for Federal Express involve “deeds that impress employees and improve relations” (Denton, p. 48). According to Fred Smith, CEO of Federal Express, “I think a lot of companies talk about how their employees are their most important asset, but where you can really tell whether it is very important or not is how much their senior management spends on the issues” ( Trunick 1989, 19 as cited from Denton, 1992, p. 48).
Through implementing the philosophy of “people, service, Profits” the company makes their people feel that they are indeed needed in the organization. They let them answer several basic questions such as “What is expected of me, and what do you want me to do? ” (p. 48). These questions are answered by having all of their employees attend extensive orientation programs wherein the Federal Express’ values are discussed Incentives Career advancement is not the only incentive that will make people stay within the organization.
For instance the use of awards program that is designed to reinforce a particular desired behavior such as superior quality of work and customer centricity played a lot in terms of motivating employees to stay (p. 49). One very good example of this is Federal Express’ “Bravo Zulu Voucher Program: wherein employees who displayed admirable work performance such as going beyond what is expected of them are able to receive cash or non cash rewards. Also, their “Suggestion Awards Program” allow employees to participate in the management process by sharing their ideas that will enable the company to improve its operations.
Any idea implemented that will lower costs, increase productivity, revenues or promote safer working conditions will receive recognition and $100 to $25,000 worth of cash (p. 49). Communications Open Communication among employees is also vital to solve a problem. The internal employee response program allows employees to find answers to situations that they perceived as something that is disagreeable, controversial or is contrary to existing policies. If employees express negative concerns about their work or with the management, the latter is expected to respond within 14 days.
These concerns are assured to be forwarded to the CEO (p. 50). Appeals Board The Appeals Board is a venue wherein decisions among complaints could be given and also disciplines could be implemented. However, it is very important that when keeping such a type of venue for resolution of organizational conflicts, the organization must have the capability to streamline its process to make the time alloted for every case reasonable enough (Denton, 1999, p. 52). Survey, Feedback, Action (SFA)
An annual survey of employee attitudes is also important for the company to measure its employee opinions and to make changes that could hopefully change not so favorable employee attitudes to the company (Dibble, 1999). This assures that the management will see clearly what its team feels about the organization. In addition such allows a fair gauge of attitude and anonymity among employees (Denton, 1999, p. 52). Education and Trainings Continued learning is a venue wherein employees themselves would feel that they are indeed valued by the company.
As such it us also very relevant as well that the organization will invest on trainings or even scholarships to employees who wanted to continue their education (Logue, Yates and Greider, 2001, p. 46-47). Conclusion The Plumbing and Heating Industry has been experiencing a significant decline in terms of its workforce. Hence in order to solve this problem the industry must be able to adopt effective recruitment and employee retention practices that were formulated in theory and practice of various management scholars and organizations.
For the purpose of this research, in order to have an effective recruitment process, the research has emphasized the importance of: Interviews, Decentralized Hiring, Recruitment through Reputation, and Aggressive Recruitment for Entry-Level Workers. On the other hand, in order to retain employees, companies must be able to focus on: Incentives, Communications, Appeals Board, Survey, Feedback, Action (SFA), and Education and Training.