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Staffing, Recruiting & Training

Hiring people is one of the most important and cumbersome jobs of a manager, especially in

growing firms or in businesses where there is a continuous supply of personnel is needed. It

is defined as the set of activities and processes used to legally obtain a sufficient number of

the right people at the right place and time so that the people and the organization can select

each other in their own best short and long term interests. (Schuler; Dowling; Smart; Huber.

Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in Australia. Australian Economic

Review.)

Its aim is to provide the organization with a pool of applicants or aspirants from which people

can be selected to fill specific positions. In the earliest stages of an intervention, recruitment

decisions often get made on the basis of who is standing in the right place at the right time

with the right look on his/her face. As the situation matures, one has to think more carefully

about picking the right people for longer-term roles including middle and senior

management. The integrity of the recruitment and selection process helps to ensure

sustainability by building a strong and balanced team, demonstrating the organization’s

neutrality, promoting its good name and serving as an example for partners.
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Assessing Staffing and Training needs

Hiring is not a gut feeling in any sense; in fact it has become an art form these days.

That makes the job of a manager even trickier. Mangers need not to go on the resumes alone,

but they have to use their judgmental skills as well, to make sure that the person posses the

characteristics needed to perform the job. It is this assessment of candidate’s fit with the

desired requirements, which should be used while making a decision about it.

Certain aspects of this fit can easily be assessed like a person’s knowledge and work

experience etc. but when it comes to the judgment of fundamental personal characteristics

and work ethics the task becomes complicated as these aren’t discernable from the resumes.

But there are two sets of factors that can be used to analyze the requirements of a particular

position and then evaluating the difference of fit between a candidate and the position for

which he/she has applied for:

• Background factors, like education and experience, and

• Personal factors, like intellectual; ability, motivation and personality.

(Roberts, Michael, J. “Note on the Hiring and Selection Process”.)

Background factors are those factors which can be easily assessed from resumes. The

most complex part is the assessment of personal factors. Analytical ability, creativity and

decision-making style are some of the main intellectual abilities one has to look for during

hiring process. Similarly, dominance, extroversion, patience and formality are the basic traits

of personality. Whereas, goals, interests and energy are the factors that may chalk up one’s

motivation. (Roberts, Michael, J. “Note on the Hiring and Selection Process”.)

Normally companies should look for following qualities in a candidate:
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• A person who doesn’t need to be told what to do.

• A far less regimented person.

• A self-starter.

• An entrepreneur.

A survey reveals that recruitment companies are resisting the trend towards specialization –

the old maxim “get big, get niche or get out” seems not to be noticed by the respondents. Respondents

showed that they were risk averse; the lack of staff turnover indicates that a sense of smugness exists.

This in turn exposes organizations to the risk of data shrinkage when staff do leave. The inability to

identify opportunities associated with major events re-enforces the impression that many respondents

lack vision and/or the ability to see beyond the tactical elements of their job. Strategic thinking,

planning and informed decision making were not demonstrated by the majority of the respondents.

(Survey Report. The future of Recruitment in UK – Glory or Death. Collier Pickard Ltd).

Finding and successfully recruiting the correct staff is a big challenge for any organization

and is the most commonly reported barrier to growth amongst SMEs. CIPD reports that

almost 85% of organizations report recruitment problems, mainly due to a lack of specialist

skills or relevant work experience. (Survey Report. The future of Recruitment in UK – Glory

or Death. Collier Pickard Ltd). As recruitment is a noteworthy business cost and requires

considerable investment of time and effort throughout the whole process, getting it wrong can

be a costly affair. Hence the employers are being pushed to consider how their approach to

recruitment is a reflection of their wider business strategy. Having the right recruitment tools

and methods to do the job right therefore becomes the key.
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The economic slowdown; apparent global recession; government legislation; online

security; shortage of skills; securing best recruitment practices… These are just some of the

concerns currently affecting recruitment firms.

Even in a tough and tight economy where companies normally feel the normally and

some even consider downsizing, there are certain companies who create and offer job

vacancies. In order to fill these vacancies, companies will usually look for the easiest

solution. They reach to connect with traditional contingency staffing agencies - commonly

referred to as head hunters or recruitment agencies. (Stone, Florence. Recruiting and

Retaining People.)

Contract recruiting is usually more cost efficient solution than establishing in-house

recruitment teams for small businesses, as it delivers improved and more consistent service,

and results in long-term placements. The approach is simple and straightforward – the

contract recruiter is contacted by the hiring company to fill a position or number of positions.

It is a very precise solution to a much defined requirement.

In contract recruiting, the company who needs to employ a candidate(s) hires a

contract recruiter who physically works on-site as the human resource department or as an

extension to it. Contract recruiters are generally compensated on an hourly or monthly basis

with no other fees paid. The overall cost of using a contract recruiter generally works out to

approximately 10-15% of the total salaries of the person or people hired on this basis. In

addition, since the contract recruiter works on behalf of the employer he or she can be

charged with negotiating the employee’s compensation package that is in the best interest of

the prospective employer while still securing the services of the candidate.

Contract recruiting allows the employer to exercise the same control over the

recruitment process as if they were conducting it themselves. Contract recruiters fill the
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vacancy using the company procedures, while being mindful of the corporate culture and

being aware of the organizational goals. Typically, the recruitment process, in general,

remains the same. Resumes are generated and reviewed. Then candidates are screened,

interviews are arranged, references are checked, applicants are tested (if this is required) and

negotiations take place.

Contract recruiting comes with enormous flexibility. Organizations can start with

contract recruiting, particularly for one off vacancies, but can expand the service once they

need to hire more staff.

Using a headhunter employment agency to find a suitable employee for your company

is an effective way, one without much fuss. It gives a company access to a wider range of

candidates, expert screening and interviewing skills and because they generally have a no-

charge, guaranteed replacement policy, the process of using a recruiter is low risk. These

agencies have huge network of contacts that you may not otherwise be able to find on your

own. Headhunters work for both the company seeking the new employee and the individual

that they are attempting to find a suitable position for, but it is the company that places a

candidate and pays the headhunters fees. The fee is usually a percentage of the candidates

first year's salary. (Alex, Dakotta. The Recruiters Guide Book: A comprehensive and

practical guide to Corporate Recruiting, Contract Recruiting, Agency Recruiting,

Headhunting, Diversity Recruiting, Sourcing and Interviewing Candidates and becoming an

Employer of Choice.)

The Internet has completely revolutionized the role of the traditional recruiter. Gone are the

days where cold calling and candidate networking were the only options available to identify

new potential candidates. Now recruitment is all about searching through thousands of CV's

placed on personal web pages and browsing online corporate staff directories or using other
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innovative marketing methods to source the right candidate for a particular role. The primary

drivers for using e-recruitment as a resource for the process are:

• Promotion of their corporate image.

• A reduction in the cost of recruitment.

• Streamlined and paperless administration.

Studies have shown failure to train and develop recruiters and recruiting systems will

often prove much more costly than training itself. The right answer is investing in training,

being creative and finding ways to make things happen.

When money is tight, there is always the public library. One may also want to

establish a departmental library where books and other resource material may be shared. Too

often the real problem is lack of motivation. Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Training and development initiatives are an investment in the employee and employee

retention. As such, they signal that the firm believes in them, the firm believes in their

intelligence and capability, the firm is committed to their success (both present and future),

the firm is investing in their acquisition of new skills, they are investing in the enhancement

of today’s skill set in preparation for tomorrow’s challenges and responsibilities and that they

are evolving as no one wants to stay with a stagnant organization. Our world changes rapidly

and organizations must change with it or they perish. Training and development programs

send a message loud and clear that the company is looking ahead and is committed to its

continued relevance and viability in the competitive marketplace. (Pritchard, Christopher, W.

101 Strategies for Recruiting Success: Where, When, and How to Find the Right People

Every Time.)
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Internal Staffing Dilemmas

Internal promotion is the cheapest way to recruit, and can also help one to keep

existing staff motivated. Its important points are identifying potential candidates from

existing staff who participate in professional developing training programs, training, and

development programs and offering bonuses and incentives to existing employees who

connect you with potential, and then successful, recruits.

An employee skills inventory is like an index of the individual skills, abilities, and

knowledge. Most organizations keep personnel files or job histories of each of their

employees. Conventional job histories have a focus on results accomplished, whereas an

employee skills inventory focuses on the skills and qualities that led to those

accomplishments. This is a tool not only for the large multinational firms. Even a relatively

small firm – with 100 employees or fewer – could also reap its benefits. The biggest benefit is

that, rather than sort through reams of personnel files to identify logical internal candidates

for a position, one simply has to search the database of the employee skills inventory. Within

a few minutes at most, one would have a list of all employees in the company who come

closest to the requirements of a specific vacancy. (Stone, Florence. Recruiting and Retaining

People. Capstone Publishing).

Undertaking one’s own in-house headhunting can be made relatively simple, by

following the same approach, techniques, and attitude that head hunters employ, one too can

seek out the best available candidates.

Head hunters use specific techniques that will solve an employer’s job vacancy

problem by finding the best possible candidate. Head hunters understand that the long held

traditional process of job hunting is somewhat inefficient and not necessarily reliable. As a

result, they have made a living from ‘filling in the recruitment gaps’. They have developed
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methods that work because they must work in order to survive in the recruitment business.

They know that if they don’t make the right placements they just will not survive in the

industry.

Head hunters usually follow a fairly simple process. They meet with the client,

establish a concise job description, develop a list of target candidates, and talk to the

candidates to gauge interest, screen the candidates and undertake the reference checks and

testing.

Head hunters possess a rare kind of skill - they have the finely tuned ability to know

how to navigate the right person into a good job. They can do this because they have many

years experience of successfully matching jobs and people. This is why it is not really a big

jump for existing human resource professionals to undertake the role in-house. After all, most

approaches to job hunting have been designed by human resource professionals, so in reality

if all human resource professionals were good at matching people with jobs, head hunters

would not exist.

The key differences between the two groups of people – recruiters and human

resource specialists - are the art of communication and relationship management. Where

human resource professionals are focused on traditional process driven tasks, head hunters

tend to focus on relationships and people matching.

Interviewing and Testing Methodologies

After all the sourcing, screening, background checks, and references are complete interview

is often the deciding-factor regarding whether or not a candidate will be offered a position.

In other words, when all is said and done, hiring tends to be a rather subjective decision. But

this subjectivity is a double edged sword. The hiring manager thinks, and rightly so, that he
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know the company and knows what he’s looking for. A new hire needs to get along with

others and fit in with rest of the group if he/she is to have a happy and successful career with

the company. On the other hand, subjective decisions may not always the correct or best

decision. As long as human beings are involved in the hiring process, subjectivity will play a

significant role. Still, we can build objectivity safeguards into the hiring process by the use of

a technique called “Behavioral Interviewing”. This is an interviewing methodology that

focuses on exploration of a candidate’s past behavior as a predictive indicator of future

.behavior. Specific requirements of an open requisition are framed as behavioral questions

Behavioral interview questions are open-ended. Candidates are encouraged to give specific

examples and detail. By comparison, close-ended questions encourage either a yes or no

response. (Pritchard, Christopher, W. 101 Strategies for Recruiting Success: Where, When,

(.and How to Find the Right People Every Time

A number of books and Internet search engine provides readily available resources regarding

behavioral interviewing and other interview methodologies.

Usually, purposes of an interview are verification and expansion of knowledge about

someone, to draw some conclusions about his/her personal factors that may have their impact

on his/her performance. Resumes, by their nature, provide a very concise version of facts

about someone; hence the importance of interview increases manifolds, as it may be the only

opportunity available to the company to probe deeply into the candidate’s character. A testing

methodology, very frequently used by interviewers, is reference checking. Instead of

checking only the references applicant has provided himself/herself, interviewer during the

course of interview asks a series of questions about the applicant’s superiors, peers and

subordinates, thus getting a list of names, few of which the applicant may not have revealed

yet. This technique provides the manager with a tool to gather further information about the
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applicant. An initial screening can be done by any person related the company but the final

interview is normally done by the person in a decision-making post. A common technique

used by nearly all the proactive firms is hiring students as internees, this provides company a

chance to gauge the capabilities of the individual, at the same time it also provides the student

to assess whether he would like to be a part of this company or not. This mutual grading of

each other normally results in form of a talented employee to the company and a job

guarantee to the student even before he/she has finished his/her studies. This phenomenon

keeps a steady supply of fresh and vibrant blood into a company which is growing, because

normally the employee turn over and continuous growth makes it necessary to inject fresh

employees as often as possible. A company can choose between a one-on-one interview

approach and a group/panel interview approach.

A strategic approach to the recruitment is needed because paying recruitment firms

frequently at higher and higher rates is equivalent to, as Dr John Sullivan, chief talent officer

of Agilent Technologies reportedly said, a doctor deciding to increase the speed of

transfusion as a patient begins to bleed faster.
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Works Cited

Alex, Dakotta. The Recruiters Guide BookBook: A comprehensive and practical guide to

Corporate Recruiting, Contract Recruiting, Agency Recruiting, Headhunting,

Diversity Recruiting, Sourcing and Interviewing Candidates and becoming an

Employer of Choice. Fable Press. 2005.

Menkes, Justin. “Hiring for Smarts”. Harvard Business Review. November 2005.

Pritchard, Christopher, W. 101 Strategies for Recruiting Success: Where, When, and How to

Find the Right People Every Time. AMACOM, a division of American Management

Association.

Roberts, Michael, J. “Note on the Hiring and Selection Process”. Harvard Business School

Press. February 1993.

Schuler; Dowling; Smart; Huber. Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in

Australia. Australian Economic Review. Volume 27 Issue 2, Pages 113 – 123

Published Online: 28 Jun 2008 ©2008 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne

Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

Stone, Florence. Recruiting and Retaining People. Capstone Publishing (a Wiley company).

2002.

Survey Report. The future of Recruitment in UK – Glory or Death. Collier Pickard Ltd. June

2008.