1

Chapter 6 Recruiting Human Resources
Learning Objectives * Describe strategic recruitment. * Discuss the major internal and external sources of human resources. * Explain the major recruitment methods and their advantages and disadvantages. * Discuss the recruitment of women and minorities, older workers, people with disabilities * Evaluate the recruitment activity Chapter Outline This chapter examines the recruitment process within organizations. It is divided into four main sections which address the need for a strategic recruitment approach, the different methods of recruitment, the importance of EEO in the recruitment process, and the need for organizations 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.

2

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 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.

Summary
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

3

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 necessary to ensure that the organisation is meeting its strategic business objectives, containing costs, satisfying EEO objectives and improving recruitment efficiency and effectiveness. Terms to identify electronic recruiting executive search glass ceiling glass walls government employment agencies job posting labour market management recruitment consultants outplacement

Personnel consultancies promotion from within realistic job preview recruitment recruitment methods recruitment sources strategic recruitment Web site

REVIEW QUESTIONS
Questions in bold print are recommended as exam questions 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.

4

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 are the basic differences between an employment agency, management recruitment consultancy and executive search firm? The Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) is an employment agency and has offices throughout Australia. Although it covers a range of job vacancies, the CES is used mostly for clerical, sales, technical, industrial and manual positions. Because eligibility for unemployment benefits requires people to be available for 'suitable employment', the CES in some cases can be a good source of potential employees. Management recruitment consultants concentrate on advertised recruiting for professional and managerial positions. As with personnel consultants, there is a myriad of firms and a great diversity in professionalism, ethics and fee structures. This has contributed to considerable criticism and scepticism about the use of management recruitment consultants. Ian Godwin, Pacific Zone General Manager of PA Personnel Services claims that only about 30 per cent of managers in Australia are recruited through consultants because most organisations do not believe that they offer good value for money. Unfortunately, says Godwin, this is often the case because anyone can advertise themselves as a recruitment consultant. As a result, many of Australia's 900 recruitment consultancies operate in a haphazard manner with success rates as low as one in five. Reputable management recruiting consultants have a strict code of ethics, employ qualified staff and utilise a systematic approach to recruitment and selection. Services that the human resource manager can expect from a professional management recruiting consultant include a detailed client background study, preparation of a job description and ideal candidate profile, development of the recruitment strategy, creation of the job advertisement, candidate screening and evaluation, reference checking and post appointment counselling. Executive search is a technique for recruiting senior managers and professionals. Commonly called 'head hunting' it is favoured when personnel with the required skills and experience are not known to be seeking a job change, the number of people with the necessary qualifications and experience is limited, and when maximum confidentiality is desired. Although surrounded in considerable mystique, the executive search process is quite straightforward. The Egon Zhender executive search process involves the following steps: • • • • • • Hold initial client meeting to define client problem or need. Confirm the proposed method, targets, timing, consultants responsible, and fees. Conduct systematic search through research, approaching sources in a position to comment, and targets. Interview potential candidates and prepare confidential reports. Present candidates and check references. Assist with offers, negotiations and follow up.

Executive search is expensive. Fees ranging from 25 to 40 per cent of total remuneration are paid in three instalments: one third in advance, followed by two scheduled payments. The fee is paid whether or not a candidate is hired. Expenses are billed separately and are not often itemised.

5

3. 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. To promote the recruiting of disadvantaged groups an affirmative action program is essential. The basic steps involved are: • • • • • • • • 4. 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. What are the roles of the job analysis, job specification and job description in recruitment?

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). 5. What is a realistic job preview? How can it be used to reduce labour turnover?

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. Unfortunately, research indicates that most recruiters give general, glowing descriptions of the company rather than a balanced or truthful presentation. To be effective, recruitment must satisfy the needs of the candidate as well as the needs of the organisation. 'You have to tell candidates what you have to offer as well as finding out what they can offer you,' Reddin Consulting Group's David Reddin advises. This is

6

best done honestly. The human resource manager who does otherwise risks not only the integrity of his organisation but his status as an HR professional. 6. 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. 7. 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, 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.

7

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). 8. 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). 9. What are the roles of the HR manager and line manager in the recruiting activity?

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.

8

10.

What special measures might be necessary for a successful EEO recruitment program?

To promote the recruiting of disadvantaged groups an affirmative action program is essential. The basic steps involved are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 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.

DIAGNOSTIC MODEL 1. Identify and discuss the factors from the diagnostic model (figure 1.11) that have significance for employee recruitment. Human resource strategy can emphasise or de-emphasise the importance of recruitment. For example, a HRM strategy might be 'to source externally as the first choice for new personnel'. If so, then external recruitment will be a crucial factor in the strategy. This strategy can then be translated into tactics (activities) which will put that strategy into place. Job analysis, advertising and searching will be some of the activities that will have to conform with that strategy. HR strategy is a function of HRM objectives, which are a function of organisational objectives and strategy. 2. Explain the impact that employee recruitment has on the acquisition, development, reward, maintenance and departure of an organisation’s human resources. Recruitment and selection must be considered together. Recruitment is a major source of HR acquisition. Improperly recruited people will have to be developed further at the expense of the organisation. This is expensive and also time consuming. They may have to depart the organisation and be replaced. Even worse, they may maintain their relationship with the organisation, and stay with the organisation, continuing to perform at a substandard level. Rewarding poorly recruited people is a difficult paradox for any organisation, especially if the organisation is encumbered with comparatively inflexible awards that fix the levels of reward. 3. Discuss the impact that recruiting policies and practices may have on commitment, competence, cost effectiveness, congruence, adaptability, performance, job satisfaction and employee motivation. Figure 1.11 shows us that if the acquisition, development, etc are achieved, then the results of commitment, etc will also be achieved. Recruitment is essentially an acquisition 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. 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

9

the most satisfying to work for are also the organisations that have the least trouble getting good candidates. Soapbox There are seldom clear answers to these questions. The idea is to stimulate debate as much as to determine an answer.

Ethical dilemma A matter of equal opportunity 1. If you were Dennis, what would your reply be? Why?

Does he want the business, or not? 2. Do you regard Moravec’s behaviour as justified? Explain your answer.

Completely justified. He must pick people who can succeed in the other country. Not to do so would be suicidal. To pick a Chinese could be just as dangerous. 3. What do you think of Moravec’s comment that he has the right to nominate the type of people he hires? What are possible legal consequences of Moravec’s approach? This statement by Moravec is a little more difficult to justify. Generally, yes he has that right, but still within the confines of the law. Remember that EEO legislation tells people what they cannot do; it does not tell them how to run their business. 4. Should Australia’s approach to equal opportunity be ‘exported’ to countries whose differing cultural, social, religious or political values give preference to particular groups? In short, no. It is quite likely that a woman or a Chinese person would be neither safe nor happy in Indonesia, let alone productive. Hence, one has other valid criteria for not selecting a woman or a Chinese. The decision becomes one of safety and social compatibility rather than one of race or gender. 5. If Dennis accepted the assignment, would you regard his decision as ethical? Explain your answer. Yes, but with any such decision, he has to live with it. We are all capable of rationalising such decisions in our own minds. Case study Red Star Cardboard Box Company Ltd You are the HR manager for Red Star. Outline in a memo to the general manager the recruiting action you plan to take to secure the personnel on the opposite page. Use the recruitment grid shown below to help explain your action plans. Form into groups of four to six and critically review your recruiting proposals. Research the costs involved.

10

VACANT POSITIONS RECRUITING Blue collar - Office/Clerical Professional/ Executive/ MEDIUM AND plant operators - junior Technical - Managerial SOURCE OF secretary industrial manufacturing EMPLOYEES chemist manager High schools x x Colleges, TAFE x Universities x x Professional x x x associations Competitors x x Other firms x x x x Overseas x Private employment x x x agencies Government x x employment agencies Executive Search firms x Unsolicited applications x x Employee referrals x Applications on file x x Temporary help x Summer interns x Former employees x x x x Existing employees x x x x Employee leasing x x x Newspaper x x x advertisements Magazines x x Direct mail x Radio/TV x x Job fairs x x Internet x x Trade unions x x Military x x x Personal contacts x x x x

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful