An organization’s people are one of the most important resources for long term competitive gains. That is how the leading organizations of the world are finding success; by aligning their human resource goals with their business goals. This competitive global market of the present is making it more tricky and complicated for organizations to hunt, recruit and select capable individuals. The rivalry for aptitude and ability is escalating, as there are less competent candidates obtainable. This scarcity of applicants makes it all the more essential for businesses of being capable of attracting, selecting, and retaining worthy candidates effectively.
Selection and recruitment enable the organizations management to better determine and slowly transform the competencies and behavioral traits of the labor force. The style of working as a team, for example, has a focus on individuals with an inclination towards working as a team in contrast to the individual players chosen by recruiters in the 80’s. Broader based competencies are given an edge over inflexible lists of skills and abilities.
In common, people with flexibility and adaptability are regarded well than those who are rigid, an adaptation of present to future stability (Alan Price, 2007). Thus in my view organizational outcomes that are related to manpower can be improved by better selection and recruitment practices. To get hold of and to retain satisfied employees, effective selection and recruitment of candidates is a must for all organizations.
Selection and recruitment both are the two phases of the employment procedure. However both are different. Recruitment is defined as a process by which a firm identifies and attracts potential candidates from inside or areas external to the organization to assess for employment.
Once this part is over and the individuals are identified, the procedure of selecting suitable individuals begins. This can be defined as gathering, determining, and assessing data regarding a candidate’s credentials for a specified job (Bernthal, 2001). These practices thus increase the probability for organizations to hire those individuals who posses the most effective skills and abilities appropriate for the job. How ever both these processes involve steps and techniques that are quite different and unique. Therefore I would like to elaborate on both separately.
A well written resume is often prepared with the help of professionals, or, at least reviewed by professionals. The employee might even give a positive interview which would leave all participants excited. But are these measures a guarantee of a successful hire? (Heathfield, N/A). I think that hiring the right candidate is then a gamble when an organization lacks reliable tools to guide it through the process of selection. Selection of wrong individuals has a disturbing impact on the whole organization. Selecting candidates on basis of gut feeling is an inappropriate procedure which results in leaving the organization exposed to danger in the event of any resulting challenge (Brenda K, 2004).
Hiring is a risky dealing and firms can be subjected to domestic objections, official protests or accusations. I am certain that informal selection procedures with the help of inconsistent tools not only result in external consequences such as human rights but also have internal repercussions such as impacting spirits, returns, feedback, contest etc. on the contrary, formal selection processes, which make use of consistent and predictable methods, and where evaluation and response is based on genuine job decisive factors, will guarantee hiring decisions, which are justifiable, defendable and lucrative. I strongly believe that to magnetize smart people, good quality selection procedures are necessary. They result in the selection of applicants best capable for and apposite to the job. Three key selection criteria must always be considered while selecting a candidate:
1. The skills and experiences the candidate possesses
2. What does the applicant demand and expect from the job
3. Is the applicant a likely fit in the company and the job?
(Cassey, C. 2006)
Cost is another factor to be taken in account while selecting candidates. Fitz-enz (2002) explained ways of gauging the different costs associated with the selection process. In fact these measures are vital metrics in making decisions about the costs in attaining and retaining employees. To fully comprehend the significance and efficacy of the selection procedure, one has to examine the impact of the employee’s participation to the organization in terms of cost, along with his short and long term performance. Thus for effective acquisition of employees, selection procedures must be made in a way as to hire the best qualified candidates on minimal costs which will prove to be productive and useful for the organization.
Coming towards the process of recruitment, id like to highlight what recruitment basically is. Recruitment seeks to secure job applicants to fill the human resource needs identified by the human resource department. It provides a pool of applicants to be further screened in the selection process, through which the people who meet the needs of the organization are finally hired (William and Davis 2005). The importance of the recruitment function lies in seeking out a sufficient number of talented applicants so that the human resource department can make efficient and effective selection decisions and hire the most appropriate applicant to become a part of the organization. The basic aim of the recruitment process is to ensure that the applicants who are solicited for job applications have what the organization needs from its human resource, that is, they meet the demands of the organization at some basic level.
The recruitment process is being redefined by certain challenges that it faces. Ramlall (2002) describes these challenges as; first, recruiters are increasingly facing constraints in attracting applicants due to the international competition for competent labor which is scarce. Second, traditional channels of recruitment are proving to be insufficient in meeting the human resource needs as the labor market growth rate is slowing down. Third, the human resource demands that managers put forth on recruiters is increasingly becoming more complicated as managers are not willing to settle for anything less than the best, most competent and most skilled labor. Fourth, recruiters now have to actively compete with major global businesses for competent employees and they have to deal with the complexities of international recruitment to satisfy their human resource needs. Furthermore, retaining valuable employees by maintaining a satisfied workforce reduces recruitment needs and costs and therefore is gaining more and more important as the above mentioned challenges make recruitment increasingly complex.
Recruitment activities are shaped and constrained by the strategic plans, human resource plans and affirmative action plans that specify how many and what type of workers need to be recruited. Environmental conditions such as the unemployment rate, skill shortages in the labor market, projections of the labor force, labor laws, recruitment policies and efforts of competitors and organizational policies such as compensation policies, employment status policies, international hiring policies and promote-from-within policies further limit the freedom of recruiters in carrying out their recruitment activities in a manner that they deem to be most efficient and appropriate (Aswathappa, 2005). UNIFEM- united nations development fund for women, for example has Human Resources Specialists who handle the selection and recruitment operations to help ensure that UNIFEM is equipped with the finest available human resources from interior and exterior sources. The HR Adviser guides the specialists through out the selection and recruitment process to make sure that that staffing priorities are in coordination with the objectives and goals of UNIFEM. Vacant positions are given to deserving candidates who meet the staffing requirements based on effectual matching of individual skills and capabilities to position requirements. (UNIFEM, 2008)
Recruitment needs can be met in two ways: through internal recruitment channels or external recruitment channels. Current employees are a major source of recruits for all positions except entry-level positions. Internal recruitment provides internal candidates for promotions or lateral job transfers. The advantage of using this channel is that existing employees already know the informal organization, norms, policies and procedures and therefore do not need extensive and costly orientation and training that new employees need.
One possible internal recruitment channel is when job openings are publicized to employees through Job-Posting Programs which inform existing employees about job openings, job requirements, required qualifications of candidates etc and invite qualified employees to apply. The notices are posted on company bulletin boards, electronic bulletin boards, placed in the company newspaper or sent through email. This method allows the HR department to fill internal openings and meet employees’ personal objectives at the same time. One other possible internal recruitment channel is buying back departing employees who resign to take another job by outbidding the other organization’s offer.
External recruitment channels that an organization can use are employee referrals, placing want ads in newspapers, state employment security agencies, private placement agencies, professional search firms, educational institutions, professional associations, labor organizations, government-funded/community training programs, and temporary help agencies and leased employees. The organization also needs to collect information about recruits in a standardized, uniform manner. This can be done through job application blanks which allow information gathered to be comparable.
A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH:
Recruitment and selection procedures must be placed within a firm’s context, including a system of planning and policies for human resource acquisition. Policies and planning helps provide a framework to manage people effectively. It is a strategy that helps utilize, retain and manage the man power of an organisation in order to achieve its objectives (M. Armstrong 2006). An effectual human resource plan makes available the stimulus for a recruit’s management programme, a structure in which action can be taken to help surmount probable employment problems.
Successful recruitment and selection involves a planned organized approach. This minimises the risks associated with hiring new employees. The need for a planned and systematic approach is necessary to get a quality staff and then to retain it. An organisation must keep in view some of the following points before recruiting some one for a new or an existing position:
1. Has the function of the job changed
2. Has the job been altered by new technology, productions or work patterns in any way?
3. Will the job experience further changes which will require a flexible or different set of skills from the applicant?
4. What should be the qualities of the new candidate or if for an existing job then what added qualities shall the new candidate have which the previous one did not have?
(HRINZ Knowledge Base, N/A)
The answers enable organizations to clarify the requirements that the job demands. This ensures that the right person is selected for the job and is fit for the organization and its culture.
During the process of recruitment an organization can advertise for openings. After the applicants have applied, short listing is an important way to save time and costs. The short listing should be in a way that choice of applications should be suitable to the nature of the position and the tasks and responsibilities it has to offer. After that the selection committee should plan the entire process. This includes focusing upon interview questions, identify techniques and tactics, health and safety issues regarding the occupation etc. Referencing is the next step usually. The shortlisted candidates should always be checked and it should be made sure that the applications are authentic and genuine. The last steps include the interview and the selection decision. The merits of each candidate should be evaluated carefully. (HRM Division, 2000). While making the decision final, additional information gathered by additional data should also be viewed once. The appointment is then made by applying the criteria which was used to make the selection decisions (M. Dale, 2003). By following these procedures organizations can ensure a systematic approach towards the hiring process.
I would also like to stress on the value of job analysis and what role it plays in a systematic approach to recruitment and selection. Drawing job descriptions and specifications help choose the most suitable applicants for the job. It is also important that recruitment and selection are not recognized as a separate entity but considered in the background of over all human resource plans. While recruiting and selecting individuals, technical competence should be measured along with sociability. Similarly fair justice and treatment to all the candidates is another important factor. Fair treatment leads to boosted morale’s and high energy and enthusiasm amongst employees. For elimination of biasness, a consistent treatment should be provided to all applicants (G. Roberts, 1997). This way they try their best and show their maximum capacities as to how well they can handle the job. Organisations image as an employer is affected by the impressions the applicants leave with (D. Harris, 1997). Thus fair practices are very important while selection and recruitment of applicants.
At this point I would like to highlight the case of Tesco. The company is the biggest private sector employer in UK and also has stores in twelve countries outside UK including US. Such huge business requires people across a broad spectrum of store and non store based jobs. This demands Tesco to ensure all positions work collectively to achieve its business objectives. Tesco needs to make sure that it has the appropriate amount of people in the right jobs at any specific point in time. For this reason it has a very structured method of selection and recruitment in order to attract interested candidates for operational and managerial roles.
Tesco advertises jobs in various ways. It first looks at its talent plan for filling a vacancy. This encourages its employees to move through and up the organization. If there are no people available on the talent plan or people available are not suited for the job, Tesco advertises externally. People are interviewed and then assessed at an assessment center. After this the selection process starts. Through interviews and CVs, Tesco assesses if an applicant is suitable for the job or not. This is the screening process. After the screening, those candidates who clear it are sent to the assessment center. Applicants are given various individual or team based exercises according to the job requirements. These assessments provide consistency in the process. Those who clear the assessments then have a final interview to assess the applicants on the basis of the five points stated above. (Times, 2008)
From the above stated theory I conclude that selection and recruitment are an important part of the human resource projects. If selection and recruitment are done keeping in mind the nature of the job, it helps the organization to staff people whose skills can be utilized to achieve organizational objectives. The selection procedures should be fair and unbiased and aim to hire people who are competent for the job. Only then the two processes will help the organization in terms of performance. The approach towards selection and recruitment should be systematic to ensure the staffing of capable employees.
Armstrong, M. 2006. A Handbook of Human Resource and Management Practice- 10th edition. Kogan Page publishers
Aswathappa, K. 2005. Human Resource and Personnel Management- 4th edition. Mc.Graw-Hill publishers
Dale, M. 2003. A Manager’s Guide to Recruitment and Selection. Kogan page publishers
Fitz-enz, J. (2002). How to Measure Human Resource Management- 3rd edition. McGraw Hill.
Harris, M. 2004. Handbook of Home Health Care Administration. Published by Jones ; Bartlett Publishers
Price, A. 20007. Human Resource Management in a Business Context- 3rd Edition. Thomson Publishers
Roberts, G (institute of personnel and development). 1997. Recruitment and Selection: A Competency Approach. CIPD Publishing
William, B and Davis, K. 1995. Human Resources and Personnel Management- 5th edition. McGraw- hill publishers
Bernthal, P and Rioux, M. 2001. Recruitment and Selection Practices. Development Dimensions International. Available from http://www.ddiworld.com/pdf/cpgn51.pdf
Cassey, C. 2006. Recruitment and Selection- Structures for business growth and compliance. CA consulting limited. Available from http://www.caconsulting.ie/recruitmentandselection.pdf
Heithfield, M. (N/A). Plan Your Recruiting to Ensure Successful Candidate Selection. Available from http://www.about.com/
HRINZ. Recruitment and Selection. Knowledge Base- HR Delivery. Available from http://www.humanresources.co.nz/
Kinnear, B. 2004. Selection- What you really need to know. Barnes Management Group. Available from http://www.barnesmanagementgroup.ca/work/article-08-001.html
Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy. 2000. Appendix A, appointment committee constitutions. HRM Division, University of Waikato. Available from http://www.waikato.ac.nz/hrm/internal/policy/recruit.pdf
Cascio, W and Aguinis, H. 2004. Applied Psychology in Human Resource Management – 6th Edition. Prentice Hall.
Fisher, C, Schoenfeldt, L and Shaw, J. 2005. Human Resource Management – 6th Edition. South-Western College Pub.
Ramlall, S. 2002. Measuring Human Resource Management’s Effectiveness in Improving Performance.
Selection and Recruitment at Tesco. A case study. 2008. The Times Newspaper Limited. Available from http://www.thetimes100.co.uk/
UNIFEM Jobs. 2008. Available from webpage http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_lang=en;job_id=7470