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Recruiting and Selection - Green Field

Recruiting and Selection - Green Field

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Published by Nikhil Alva

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Published by: Nikhil Alva on Apr 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Recruiting and Selection: Keys to Success
Stuart Greenfield, Ph.D.The aging of the public sector workforce will require organizations to develop newstrategies to maintain workforce quality, and one area that will require new practices willbe recruiting.In the past, government agencies have not been very proactive in recruiting. A reason forthis was the influx of baby boomers in the 70’s. With the departure of baby boomers andthe increased competition for highly qualified workers, government will need to adoptpolicies and practices that will improve the ability of the public sector to compete forhuman resources.One of the principle functions of human resources is recruitment. In the private sector,firms have had to adopt policies to ensure the best possible pool of applicants is available.A reason for this is that the market has forced companies to implement up-to-dateprocesses to succeed in a more competitive environment.In the third edition of 
Personnel and Human Resource Management 
(© 1987, WestGroup, Minneapolis/St. Paul), Randall Schuler described recruitment as “the set of activities and processes used to legally obtain a sufficient number of qualified people atthe right place and time so that the people and the organization can select each other intheir own best short and long term interests.”Recruitment is critical to an organization obtaining the best people who will be neededfor an organization to fulfill both its short and long term objectives effectively andefficiently. Without qualified staff, it would be very difficult to be effective and efficient.Recruitment addresses one activity needed to achieve an exemplary workforce; beyondrecruiting having an effective selection procedure is also necessary.Are there ways to improve the recruitment activity? Yes, there are a number of things thatshould improve the recruiting process. Among these activities are: 1) improved branding,2) increased use of the Internet, 3) developing relationships with colleges, and 4) greateruse of internships or co-op programs. The selection process also requires thedevelopment of improved processes and dissemination of how these revisions will impactinternal customers and reduce applicant cycle time.All organizations, both public and private, would probably agree that the resource mostcritical to success is people. Recognizing and publicizing an organization’s image iscritical to attracting the most qualified candidates. Efforts to inform the public about thework done by an agency are essential to developing one’s brand. There are plenty of examples of how an agency provided exemplary service to its customers in an efficientand effective way. Providing this information to the public will improve one’s brand.
While all government operations make job openings available over the Internet, theapplication process can be time consuming. Increasing the time required to applyincreases the cost to applicants and reduces the number of potential candidates.Are there more efficient ways to use the Internet to reduce applicant time? Again, theanswer is yes. While most agencies list the positions available, an applicant usually mustread each posting to determine whether or not they have the qualifications required. Whynot use the Web and have potential applicants query a database for possible openings?This is no different from what Internet job search sites provide. Asking an applicant toenter a few select characteristics would return a list of positions that might interest thepotential applicant.An agency could also maintain a database of potential candidates. The database wouldinclude basic information about a person, and that basic information could be matchedagainst new job listings. Those potential candidates who satisfied the requirements of the job would then be notified. These actions could reduce job search costs and therefore leadto a larger applicant pool.Agencies should also make an effort to develop relationships with college placementoffices. While Internet jobs sites have changed how people find employmentopportunities, most students still have contact with their job placement offices.Developing a relationship with college placement directors and staff would makestudents more aware of opportunities in government.Given the educational requirements for most government positions, it would be beneficialto develop improved relationships with colleges and universities.An effective way to bring students into government would be through either internshipsor a coop program; the former involves hiring students for the summer. The type of positions would be paid and structured. By bringing in new talent, the agency would beproviding experience to potential full-time employees, as well as enhancing its brand.Using the coop program would involve a more structured program, as coop programs areusually part of a student’s degree program and employment would need to be availablefor multiple years. Ensuring students have a favorable experience would also helpenhance the organization’s brand.With the increased competition for skilled employees, the selection process remains oneof the most critical functions for human resource departments. Having staff with theabilities and skills required is essential for government agencies to operate effectively andefficiently. In an era with low unemployment and increased demand for skilled workers,developing a selection process that is more aligned with the current work environment iscritical. In the past, many government agencies were obligated to use a rule basedselection criteria, e.g., “rule of three,” or “rule of five,” where selection was restricted tothe top scores on a standardized test. To better adapt to the changing employmentsituation, most states have implemented less stringent candidate lists, allowing manager’sgreater flexibility.

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