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1.1 Background to the Study
Too little is thought of personnel specialists in Nigeria. The task of the personnel specialist plays a tremendous role in boosting the fortunes of any business organisation. The personnel specialist or personnel management has the prime responsibility for the following: • Formulating, proposing and gaining acceptance for the personnel policies and strategies of the organisation, • Advising and guiding the organisation’s managers on the implantation of personnel policies and strategies, • Providing personnel services for the organisations to facilitate the recruitment, motivation and development of sufficient and suitable employees at all levels, • Advising the organisation’s managers of the human consequences of change. These four responsibilities mustn’t be a hit and miss affair, but rather a systematic approach to getting the best out of a business organisation. Therefore the role of the personnel specialist cannot be overstressed. This research project will focus on the recruitment of personnel. The aim of recruitment is to ensure that the organisations demand for employees is met by attracting potential recruits in a cost effective and timely manner; and then afterwards identify from those who come forward, the individuals most likely to fulfil the requirements of the organisation.
Recruitment refers to the process of attracting, screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm. For some components of the recruitment process, mid- and large-size organizations often retain professional recruiters or outsource some of the process to recruitment agencies. The recruitment industry has four main types of agencies: employment agencies, recruitment websites and job search engines, "headhunters" for executive and professional recruitment, and in-house recruitment. The stages in recruitment include sourcing candidates by advertising or other methods, and screening and selecting potential candidates using tests or interviews.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Over reliance on the class of a degree for assessing the worth of a recruit. Unsystematic method of hiring workers. Poor job descriptions. No criterion by which candidates for seeking jobs may be tested. No real vacancies at the time of taking on fresh recruits. Internal bureaucracy whenever vacancies arise. Good information does not reach potential recruits such as where to apply or in what form. Standard policies for recruitment non-existent.
1.3 Objectives of the Research
I have often heard my elders in the society complaining about their staffs’ inability to do simple tasks like writing a memo. They often
complain how such unqualified people are engaged for service. This research intends to illustrate the proper of selecting new staff for service and different ways of testing the suitability of recruits. It is a reference for personnel specialists. I also feel this research will be a good learning experience for me. I believe my strong point is in motivating people. I intend to specialise in recruitments matters.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Of course the quality of workers employed has a considerable effect on the morale of existing workers as well as the efficient running of the business. For example, a middle manager may not be so happy if his new personal assistant can’t speak very good English; the work of the personal assistant will be unsatisfactory and those around will be demoralized. Therefore it is rational to find out what works and what doesn’t work, what to fix and what to eliminate so as to identify what developments to make in future for the benefit of the company.
1.5 Scope and Limitations of the Study
From the title of the research project, the scope of this project is confined to the work of a personnel specialist in recruitment. Recruitment is a very wide subject. As with all studies, there is the problem of finding good and relevant information. The information in this project is restricted whatever relevant information the researcher can find that is related to the subject matter.
Hypothesis: Personnel Specialists are relevant in today’s business organisation. Null Hypothesis: Personnel Specialists are not relevant in today’s business organisation.
This project consists of 5 chapters namely General Introduction; Literature Review, Research Methodology; Data Presentation Analysis; Summary Conclusion and Recommendation. The first chapter which is the introduction gives a picture of what the rest of the chapters consists of. A little information about what recruitment is all about. Chapter 2 which is the literature review gathers all information about what a recruitment process should look like, as well as its challenges and prospects. Online recruitment seems to be acquiring a strong foothold these days so it was important to include some notes on it. Chapter 3 is the research methodology. All information about the way I intend to carry out my research is in there. For example, the type of sampling, population size etc. Chapter 4 is closely linked to chapter 3. The result of the research, after it has been conducted as specified, is found here. Finally, chapter 5 summarizes the project as a whole. It includes the summary, conclusions and recommendations.
Chapter 2-Literature Review
Finding and hiring competent, capable and quality staff is a constant challenge facing large, medium and small businesses. Many companies find that it is even tougher today to compete for talent and that as a result; many hire new staff quickly just to have somebody fill a position. This often leads to the expensive consequences of a bad hire - workplace disruption, lost productivity, increased stress, and deceased morale. In addition, firing a "bad hire" creates workplace anxiety and legal and personal complications and expenses. To make the best hiring choice, companies must make a commitment to the importance of the hiring process, instead of rushing through it. Creating Recruitment Policies is the first step. Companies who develop common-sense recruitment policies are the most effective at identifying, attracting and retaining quality employees. However, few companies and recruiters have policies in place that address issues surrounding effective recruitment. Good personnel managers will help a company develop sound policies that will eliminate expensive errors of judgment and procedure. As organizations begin to recognize the importance of effective recruitment to the bottom line, the need for clear and concise policies that outline how new staff are treated become paramount. High orientation, recruitment and turnover costs can be avoided if all new staff are treated equitably. Constantly hiring new staff hinders production which in turn
hurts the bottom line. This can easily be avoided if new employees are hired using the same criteria and if they know how they will be treated as new employees Recruitment is the premier major steps in the selection process in the Organizations. It has been explained as an activity directed to obtain appropriate human resources whose qualifications and skills match functions of the relevant posts in the Organization. Its importance cannot be over-emphasized and can also be best described as the ‘heart’ of the organization. It will be helpful to distinguish recruitment sub processes from selection sub processes. The aim of recruitment is to ensure that the organisations demand for employees is met by attracting potential employees (recruits) in a cost-effective and timely manner. The aim of selection is to identify, from those coming forward, the individuals most likely to fulfil the requirements of the organisation. To put it another way, recruitment is concerned with assembling the raw materials, and selection is concerned with producing the right blend for the organisation, at a particular point in time.
The Purpose and Importance of Recruitment are summarised below: •Attract and encourage more and more candidates to apply in the organisation.
Create a talent pool of candidates to enable the selection of best candidates for the organisation. • Determine present and future requirements of the organization in conjunction with its personnel planning and job analysis activities.
Recruitment is the process which links the employers with the employees.
Increase the pool of job candidates at minimum cost. • Help increase the success rate of selection process by decreasing number of visibly under qualified or overqualified job applicants. • Help reduce the probability that job applicants once recruited and selected will leave the organization only after a short period of time. • Meet the organizations legal and social obligations regarding the composition of its workforce. • Begin identifying and preparing potential job applicants who will be appropriate candidates.
•Increase organization and individual effectiveness of various
recruiting techniques and sources for all types of job
2.2 Recruitments: Policies and Procedures.
Recruitment policies constitute the code of conduct which the organisation is prepared to follow in its search for possible recruits in the marketplace. Some examples of reputable policies in this field are as follows. In matters of recruitment, this company will: advertise all vacancies internally before making use of external Always advertise under the company name when advertising endeavour to ensure that every applicant for a position in the sources, externally, Company is informed in advance about the basic details of the vacancy, and the basic conditions of employment attached to it Endeavour to ensure that applicants are kept informed of their seek possible candidates on the basis of their ability to perform the progress through the recruitment procedures, job required. ‘In matters of recruitment, this Company will not:
Knowingly make exaggerated or misleading claims in recruitment discriminate unfairly against possible candidates on the grounds of
literature or job advertisement, sex, race, age, religion or physical disablement.’ The recruitment activities of an organisation are carried out mainly by Personnel staff. These activities represent the marketing role of Personnel, reaching out across the organisation’s external boundaries in the labour market. It is important, therefore, that such activities are conducted in manner that sustains or enhances the good reputation of the organisation. People who are treated well when they seek employment with the organisation are potential ambassadors for the organisation, whether they are successful in their application or not. Conversely, those who are treated badly in this situation are quick to spread their criticism. Examples of bad treatment of applicants include omitting to reply to a letter or form of application, keeping applicants waiting for an interview, and failing to inform applicants who have been unsuccessful. Well-organised Personnel departments work to a checklist of recruitment procedures designed to minimise errors and thus avoid marring the organisations image externally and Personnel’s reputation internally. A typical checklist is shown below. It helps to ensure a rational and logical approach to the recruitment of employees throughout the organisation.
Questions to be considered 1 Has the vacancy been agreed by the responsible manager 2 Is there an up-to-date job description for the vacant position?
3 What are the conditions of employment (salary, hours, etc) for the vacant position? 4 Has a candidate specification been prepared?
5 Has a notice of the vacancy been circulated internally? 6 Has a job advertisement been agreed? Have details of the vacancy been forwarded
to relevant agencies? 7 Do all potential candidates (internal or external) know where to apply and in what form? 8 What arrangements have been made for drawing up a shortlist of candidates? 9 Have the interviewing arrangements been agreed, and have the shortlisted candidates been informed? 10 Have unsuitable candidates or candidates held in reserve, been informed of their position? 11 Have offer letters been agreed and despatched to successful candidates? Have references been taken up, where necessary? 12 Have suitable rejection letters been sent to unsuccessful shortlisted candidates, thanking them for their attendance? 13 Have all replies to offer letters been accounted for? 14 Have the necessary procedures for placement, induction and follow-up of successful candidates been put into effect?
Figure 1. Recruitment checklist The job description referred to in item 2 would usually contain at least the following information about the job concerned. o Title of job o Grade/salary level of job o Title of immediate superiors job o Number of subordinates o Overall purpose of the job o Principal responsibilities of the job o Limits of authority o Location of job
In most organisations this information is contained in a formal document, completed following an analysis of the job. In some cases it may be less formally expressed, but nevertheless covers the points noted above. The candidate specification, or personnel specification, as it is frequently called is a summary of the knowledge, skills and personal characteristics required of the jobholder to carry out the job to an acceptable standard of performance. This is an extremely important feature of the recruitment process, because it sets down a standard by which candidates for interview may be tested. There are two very well known classifications for personal requirements: the seven point plan developed by Professor Rodger of the National Institute of Industrial Psychology in the 1950’s, and the Five-Point Plan produced by J. Munro Fraser at about the same time. These two attempts to produce general profiles of candidates for selection are compared in Figure 2.
Seven-Point Plan (A. Rodger) 1. Physical make-up 2. Attainments 3. General Intelligence 4. Specialised aptitudes 5. Interests 6. Disposition 7. Circumstances Five-Point Plan (J. Munro Fraser) 1. Impact on others 2. Acquired Qualifications 3. Innate abilities 4. Motivation 5. Adjustment
Figure 2 Personal Classifications It can be seen that there are many common features between the two classifications. In practice, the Seven-Point plan tends to be the most popular, and individual firms often model their personnel specifications
on it. A formal layout for a specification is shown in figure 3. Note that the form enables a distinction to be drawn between points that are essential in order to fulfil the job requirements and those that are desirable, but not essential, for adequate performance.
Essential Formal Qualifications Knowledge Experience Skills -Manual -Social -Other Personality/Motivation Physical Requirements Interests Circumstances Desirable
Figure 3 Personnel specification In cases where a tight specification is drawn up, i.e. where the emphasis is on the essential requirements of the job, the job market is being effectively segmented, and the response will be specialised. Where a loose specification is drawn up, the emphasis will be more on what is desirable than on what is essential and the response will tend to be proportionately larger. When skilled manpower is plentiful, specifications will tend to be tight, and vice versa in times of manpower shortages. To illustrate the use of such a document as show in figure 3, we could take the example of a Chief Accountants position in engineering company employing, say 1500 people. In this case a formal accountancy qualification would be regarded as essential, as would a practical knowledge of the accounting systems used in engineering companies. Experience of deputising for the chief accountant in an accountancy department would be desirable. Any reference to skills would tend to
relate to social skills (e.g. ability to work with line colleagues) and intellectual skills (e.g. ability to see opportunities for developing computer-based control systems). The requirements for personality/motivation would probably include an ability to work under pressure and a willingness to adapt accountancy procedures to meet the needs of marketing and production, where existing systems are not working effectively enough. Physical requirements would probably be omitted, and interests might be related only to work interests. The circumstances of the position might require the Chief Accountant to live within a reasonable travelling distance of the company’s head office, and might require him to be away from home for short periods on company business. The job advertisement referred to in item 6 in figure 1is the external advertisement in the press and trade or professional journals. The basic principles of an effective job advertisement (i.e. on that attracts sufficient numbers of the right kind of candidates) can be summarised as follows: o Provide brief, but succinct, details about the position to be filled, o Provide similar details about the employing organisation, o Provide details of all essential personal requirements, o Make reference to any desirable personal requirements, o State the main conditions of employment, especially the salary indicator for the position, o State the main conditions of employment, especially the salary indicator for the position, o State to whom the application or enquiry should be directed, o Present the above information in an attractive form,
Short-listing arrangements are necessary to select from the total number of applicants those who appear, from their application form, to be worthy of an interview. If an external advertisement has hit the target segment correctly, then only relatively small numbers of applications will be forthcoming, and most of these will be strong candidates for interview, and the difficulty will be to decide who not to invite. If the advertisement has been drawn up rather loosely, or has deliberately sought to tap a large segment of the labour market, then large numbers of applications can be expected, many of whom will be quite unsuitable. In drawing up a shortlist, it is common practice to divide the applications into three groups as follows 1. Very suitable – Must be interviewed 2. Quite suitable – call for interview if insufficient numbers in category (1), or send holding letter 3. Not suitable – send polite refusal letter, thanking them for their interest in applying If there are numbers of very suitable candidates, then it may be necessary to have two or more sequential interviews, until only the best two or three candidates remain. This whole procedure may sound quite long-winded, but when purchasing the human assets of the organisation it is worthwhile spending time over the selection of these most valuable assets of all
2.3 Selection Processes
In the overall process of tapping the labour market for suitable skills and experience, recruitment comes first and is followed by selection. Recruitments task is to locate possible applicants and attract them to the organisation. Selections task is to cream off the most appropriate applicants, turn them into candidates and persuade them that it is in their interests to join the organisation, for, even in times of high unemployment, selection is very much a two-way process – the candidate is assessing the organisation, just as much as the organisations is assessing him. The main objective of selection, therefore, is to be able to make an acceptable offer to the candidate who appears, from the evidence obtained, to be the most suitable for the job in question. The most widely used technique in the selection process is the interview. Well behind the interview, in terms of popularity, comes psychological testing, and both interviews and tests will be considered shortly. However, before turning to them, it is important to reflect on the role of application forms and letters of application in the selection process.
2.4 Application Forms
An application form or a letter of application tells an organisation whether or not an applicant is worthy of an interview or a test of some kind. This initial information constitutes the bedrock of the selection process, i.e. prima facie evidence of an applicant’s suitability of unsuitably for the position in question. An applicant, who is deemed suitable on this evidence, then becomes a candidate for interview. Many organisations require applicants to write a letter explaining why they are interested in the vacant post and how they propose to justify the role they
think they could play in it. This approach enables the organisation to see how well applicants can argue a case for themselves in a letter, but it has the disadvantage that the information provided is controlled by the applicant – he can leave out points which may not help his case, and build on those which do. Thus most organisations prefer to design their own application forms, so as to require applicants to set out the information about themselves in a standardised way. Application forms vary considerably in the way they are set out. Some, for example, as in figure 4, require prospective candidates to answer routine questions in a form that gives them to opportunity to discuss their motives for applying or to talk about themselves in a general way. Others, as in figure 5 are very open-ended in their format, and require applicants to expand at some length on themselves and on how they see the job. In between the two forms illustrated are several compromise versions, which aim to establish some kind of balance between closed and open questions. The answers to the closed questions supply the organisation with routine information in a standardised form; the answers to the open questions provide a clue to the motives, personality and communication skills of the applicants.
2.5 Selection Interview
The selection interview is far and away the most common technique used for selection purposes. Unlike most other management techniques, it is employed as much by amateurs as by professionals. Whereas in work study, for example, only a trained work study analyst will generally be permitted to conduct method studies and work
measurement exercises, in the selection of staff everybody is deemed capable! Few managers and supervisors carry out selection interviews regularly; many of them have received no formal training in the technique either, so it not surprising to learn that research has shown that such interviews are frequently neither reliable nor valid. The measure of the reliability of an interview is the extent to which conclusions about candidates are shared by different interviewers; the measure of the validity of an interview is the extent to which it does measure what is it supposed to measure, i.e. the suitability of a particular candidate for a particular job. The main reasons why so many poor interviews are carried out are two-fold: 1. lack of training in interviewing technique, and
Lack of adequate preparation for an interview.
Training designed to enable appropriate staff to conduct competent interviews generally involves two major learning methods: firstly, an illustrated talk/discussions; and secondly, the process that is taking place during an interview, and to acquire a method for harnessing that process (i.e. an interview plan). The second method helps trainees to experience the process by means of role-playing exercises, and to understand how they may need to adapt their behaviour in order to meet the aims of this kind of interview Questioning plays a vital role in a selection interview, as it is the primary means by which information is obtained from the candidate at the time. Questions have been categorised in a number of different ways. For our purposes, it is enough to distinguish between closed questions and open questions. The major differences between them are as follows: Closed questions
These are questions which require a specific answer or a YES/NO response. For example ‘How many people were you responsible for in your previous job?’ (Specific); ‘Were you personally authorised to sign purchase orders?’ (Yes/No); have you had experience of….?’(Yes/No) Open questions These are questions that require a person to reflect on, or elaborate upon, a particular point in his own way. Examples of open questions are: ‘What is it that attracts you about this job?’ ‘Why did you leave…..Company?’ Open questions invariably begin with what? Or How? Or Why?
Post applied for: Surname: First Names: Address: Telephone No.: Date of Birth: Marital Status: Details of Examinations Passed/Qualifications Obtained:
Current Post: Last Three Posts:
What attracts you to this post?
How do you think you can contribute to the post?
How do you see your career developing over the next ten years or so:
Figure 5. Open-ended application from It is usual to ask closed questions to check information which the candidate has already partly supplied on his application form, and to redirect the interview if the candidate is talking too much and/or getting off the point. Open questions tend to be employed once the interview has got under way, with the object of getting the candidate to demonstrate his knowledge and skills to the interviewer Controlling the interview is sometimes a problem for interviewers. Lack of control can be manifested in the following ways: o The candidate takes over the interview, dominating the talking, following his own interests and interrupting the interview, o The candidate is allowed to spend too long over his replies, and to repeat things he has already mentioned, o The interviewer appears to be tentative in asking questions, and appears to accept whatever the interviewer says, o The candidate patronises the interviewer Interviewers can help themselves to maintain control in a firm, but in a diplomatic way by: o Proper preparation, especially to preparation of key questions to be put to the candidate,
o Returning the questions which they feel have not been adequately
answered by the candidate, i.e. they are showing that they will not be fobbed off by a plausible non-answer, o Politely, but firmly, cutting short a response which has gone too long,
o Taking an opportunity themselves to supply information to the candidate, thus requiring him to listen o Using the application form as a map of the interview, on which progress can be plotted, o Resisting the temptation to get involved in an interesting , but timeconsuming, issue raised by the candidate, o Allocating the time available for the interview between the key phases to be covered. It is usual for interviewers to supply a certain amount of information to candidates. It is better not to treat the candidate to a ten minute account of the job and its conditions right at the beginning of the interview, when he or she is feeling tense and wants to get started. If possible, it is better to feed in information as the interview progresses and to round off the final stage of the interview with any routine information about condition of service. Candidates’ questions may be left to the end or dealt with during the course of the interview. In general, the more information that can be supplied before the interview, the better. Ideally, the time available for the interview should be spent in assessing the candidate as a person, and adding a feedback dimension to the information obtained from the application form, references and any other previous data about the candidate. Thus the hallmark of a good interview is a lively exchange of relevant facts and impressions between the interviewer and the candidate, which enables the interviewer to decide if the candidate is suitable, and which enables the candidate to decide if he or she still wants the job. Interviews are usually conducted on a one to one basis, but two to one situation is also widely favoured, and there is still a lot of support for panel interviews, especially in public services. In a two to one situation,
the two interviewers usually agree amongst themselves as to how they will share the questioning and information supplying during the interview. Frequently, in medium and large organisations, one of the organisation representatives is a personnel specialist, and the other is the client, seeking to fill the vacancy in question. The advantages of this type of interview are that whilst one interviewer is asking a question, or pursuing a point, the other can observe the candidates reaction and make an independent evaluation of this response; and that each interviewer can specialise in his own areas of interest in the selection process, the client concentrating on technical capability and the ability to fit into his team and the Personnel member concentrating on the wider aspects of having such a person as an employee of the organisation. The slight advantage of this approach is that the candidate may be less forthcoming if there are two people present to interview him. The panel interview is an altogether different prospect for a candidate. In this case the individual candidate is faced by several interviewers – at least three and possibly as many as eight of ten. In the case of a panel interview, it is of great importance to decide who is going to ask the questions, and how the panel is be chaired. In some public sector panels, there are members who do not ask questions and who do not comment either – they are simply as observers, until after the interviewing process is over, when they contribute their impressions to the final decision-making discussion. Generally, however, panel members agree beforehand how they will allocate questions, and then they rely on the discretion of the chairman to deal with the allocation of supplementary issues. The advantage of this type of interview is that it ensures the fairness of the proceedings. There are several disadvantages, however – the candidate will find it difficult to feel at ease in such a formal atmosphere than being concerned to listen to what the candidate is
saying; and there is also the problem that the interviewers are often not able to follow up points with the candidate because they are under pressure from their chairman of their colleagues to move on to the next question. Taken as a whole, interviews are most useful for assessing the personal qualities of an individual. They help to answer questions such as ‘Is this candidate likely to be able to fit into our team or our environment?’ and ‘Has this particular candidate any special personal characteristics which give him an advantage over his rivals?’ Interviews are not so useful for assessing technical ability or the value of past experience. This is one of the reasons why organisations may consider using psychological tests to supplement information gained during interviews.
2.6 Psychological Tests
Psychological tests, or selection tests as they are often called, are standardised tests designed to provide a relatively objective measure of certain human characteristics by sampling human behaviour. Such tests tend to fall into four categories as follows: I. Intelligence tests II. Aptitude tests III. Attainment tests and IV. Personality tests Intelligence tests and others are standardised in the sense that the same set of task have been given to many other people over a period of
many years, and bands of typical results have been developed to provide standards against which subsequent results can usefully be compared. Publishers of tests invariably insist that only trained personnel should administer their material so that the standard conditions of each test are adhered to strictly, and so that the scoring of tests can be relied upon. All reputable tests have been carefully checked for their validity and their reliability. Checks for validity are designed to ensure that any given test measures what it sets out to measure, e.g. an intelligence test should be able to measure intelligence, and a manual dexterity test should be able to measure manual dexterity. Checks for reliability are designed to ensure that tests produce consistent results in terms of what they set out to measure. Thus, if a test which is carried out on an individual at a particular point in time is repeated, the results should be similar. The different categories of tests are as follows
Intelligence Tests These tests are designed to measure thinking abilities. The word ‘intelligence’ has no generally accepted definition, as yet, and has to be defined in terms of a number of different interpretations of its meaning. It is enough for our purposes to understand that general intelligence can be manifested by verbal ability, spatial ability or numerical ability, or a combination of these. Popular tests in use for personnel selection are often composed of several different sections, each of which aims to test candidates on the key ability areas just referred to.
Aptitude Tests these are basically tests of innate skills. They are widely used to obtain information about such skills as mechanical ability, clerical and numerical ability, and manual dexterity. Several standard tests are available for the use of organisations, and it is also possible to
have tests specially devised, although this is much more expensive business, since the tests have to be validated before they can be implemented with any confidence.
Attainment Tests these tests measure the depth of knowledge or grasp of skills which has been learned in the past – usually at school or college. Typical attainment tests are those which measure typing abilities, spelling ability and mental arithmetic, for example.
Personality Tests the use of personality tests derives from clinical situations. Their application to personnel selection is rather restricted, because of the problems associated with the validity of such tests. Where they are employed in work situations, they usually take the form of personality inventories – list of multiple choice questions in response to theoretical situations posed by the test designers – or of projection tests – where the candidate is required to describe a series of vague pictures or a series of inkblots. The aim of personality tests is to identify an individual’s principal personality traits or dimensions, e.g. introverted or extroverted, sociable or isolate etc.
Psychological tests can provide useful additional or confirming information about a candidate for a position. They can supplement the information obtained from application forms and from interviews, and are particularly useful where objective information would be illuminating. They are probably most economically applied in situations where reasonably large numbers or recruits are needed every year e.g. school leavers, college leavers and other young employees. Apart from attainment tests, most of the categories still remain relatively unpopular
with employers, and there is no question of psychological tests ousting the need for application forms and interviews.
2.7 Online Recruitment
The arrival of the Internet has provided an opportunity for widespread organisations to recruit remotely. Multinationals, in a particular, can benefit from ‘e-testing’ of new recruits, or promotion prospects, without having to incur all the costs involved in bringing individual candidates into a recruitment centre or personnel office. Other organisations might find a benefit in online recruitment if there is a large number of candidates wanting to apply at any one time, or where it is not easy to set up the appropriate facilities in house (e.g. obtaining the services of a qualified psychologist or personnel staff). Online testing of candidates does raise issues of security and confidentiality, which are unlikely to occur in face to face testing. This means that such tests need to be adapted to online applications, so that both tester and test taker are properly identified, and that the results will be deal with via a secure Web site. Data protection legislation will apply to any records of tests kept by the tester. In addition, the internet and web-based technologies have transformed the process of recruitment and job-hunting in recent years. Online recruitment has the virtue of being available to candidates and employers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. It is always on and easily adjustable to meet changing requirements. Online recruitment can take place through a company's own website or through specialist providers such as Hobson's Graduate Jobs service or the worldwide Post Jobs and Search Resumes on Monster.com
Online recruitment can be used for large-scale hiring. For example, Peopleclick, Inc., and McDonald's Restaurants Limited have announced that McDonald's will use Peopleclick's High Volume hiring technology to recruit staff for its 1,200 UK-based stores. McDonald's UK currently employs over 67,000 employees. The company will use the Peopleclick system for its store management and crew recruitment process in a shift from a paper-based process to an automated recruitment system. Candidates can apply online anytime, anywhere in the world. The new system is said to:
make it easier and faster for restaurants to respond to job applications reduce the time it takes to hire applicants reduce 'candidate abandonment rates', and provide a faster, friendlier process
• • •
According to Jez Langhorn, employee reputation manger with McDonald's Restaurants Limited: "Peopleclick is the only talent acquisition organization able to provide a comprehensive solution for the management of the entire workforce of an organization of this size. This scalability was a leading factor in our decision to move forward with Peopleclick as a partner. By using Peopleclick's unique constant sourcing model for our high volume hiring, we will be able to create a strategic talent pool based on key high volume positions to attract the right people at the right time." Larry Cucchi, managing director and head of Peopleclick's EMEA operations, said:
"As a globally recognized brand, McDonald's has seized the opportunity to create an industry leading programme, designed to bring high quality candidates to the organization. With Peopleclick's talent acquisition offerings addressing the unique needs of recruiting all types of labour - full time, hourly and contract - we have seen significant demand for this type of comprehensive solution throughout the world." Peopleclick High Volume uses a constant sourcing model designed for restaurant, retail and other high volume hirers. It provides a "just-intime" pool of candidates for a business, eliminating the need to create new job requisitions each time a vacancy arises. "Requisitions" or job categories are open all the time so that positions that continuously need to be filled remain open and seeking applications continuously. This means that a pool of qualified and pre-screened candidates is available at hand for the next available position. The websites involved in recruitment have two main features: job boards and a résumé/curriculum vitae (CV) database. Job boards allow member companies to post job vacancies. Alternatively, candidates can upload a résumé to be included in searches by member companies. Fees are charged for job postings and access to search resumes. Since the late 1990s, the recruitment website has evolved to encompass end-to-end recruitment. Websites capture candidate details and then pool them in client accessed candidate management interfaces (also online). Key players in this sector provide e-recruitment software and services to organizations of all sizes and within numerous industry sectors, who want to e-enable entirely or partly their recruitment process in order to improve business performance.
The online software provided by those who specialize in online recruitment helps organizations attract, test, recruit, employ and retain quality staff with a minimal amount of administration. Online recruitment websites can be very helpful to find candidates that are very actively looking for work and post their resumes online, but they will not attract the "passive" candidates who might respond favorably to an opportunity that is presented to them through other means. Also, some candidates who are actively looking to change jobs are hesitant to put their resumes on the job boards, for fear that their current companies, co-workers, customers or others might see their resumes. There is also what is termed job search engines. The emergence of meta-search engines, allow job-seekers to search across multiple websites. Some of these new search engines index and list the advertisements of traditional job boards. These sites tend to aim for providing a "one-stop shop" for job-seekers. However, there are many other job search engines which index pages solely from employers' websites, choosing to bypass traditional job boards entirely. These vertical search engines allow job-seekers to find new positions that may not be advertised on traditional job boards, and online recruitment websites.
The advantages of e-testing can be summarised as follows: • Reduction in costs of organising tests • Flexibility of timing of tests • Faster scoring of tests as results produced electronically • Convenience and privacy for test takers
The disadvantages of e-testing can be summarised as follows: • Lack of control over the test environment • Difficulty in ensuring consistency of treatment for all candidates • Possibility of candidates getting unauthorised help in responding to questions • No immediate advice or support available to candidates who may be having difficulties understanding what they are being asked to do • Possible lack of security or personal data
2.8 Recruitment Problems
There are a lot of problems encountered when recruiting which arise from a mixture of various internal and external forces. The internal forces or factors are the factors that can be controlled by the organisation. And the external factors are those factors which cannot be controlled by the organisation. The internal and external problems affecting recruitment function of an organisation. A concise illustration is shown below
Another problem is the discrepancy in applications. A recent survey checked 2487 job applications for the financial services industry for discrepancies, embellishments and false information. Conducted by Powerchex, a pre-employment screening firm, the research looked at applications from a total of 1029 women and 1458 men over a six month period. Employment histories, dates, university degrees, professional qualifications and criminal records were verified and checked against information provided by job applicants. With results compiled by the Shell Technology and Enterprise Program, the research was undertaken to discover any trends in discrepancies and the most common embellishments in job applications. The survey found that 25 per cent of applications had at least one major discrepancy. While the majority of applicants falsifying information did so only once; some submitted forms with up to four
major discrepancies. There is no significant difference between men and women in this respect. The most common discrepancies overall relate to:
• • • • • • • •
employment titles or duties (12 per cent) employment dates bankruptcy or county court judgments academic qualifications reasons for leaving previous employment compensation received directorships held Criminal record (less than 1 per cent).
The authors found that 37 per cent of applicants had gaps in their employment history and suggest that giving false information about dates (9.5 per cent of discrepancies) is probably intended to conceal this. The least common discrepancy identified related to criminal records which the authors link to applicants being aware that this can easily be checked against an existing database. The survey found that the tendency to have discrepancies on applications increased with age, possibly suggesting that older workers feel the need to embellish in order to compete. Discrepancies were found in 28 per cent of applications from those aged 51-60, compared with 22 per cent of those aged 21-30. An alternative explanation might be difficulty in remembering the details of a complex employment history. British applicants gave false information in 32 per cent of cases overall (38 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women), compared to 25 per cent of their non-British counterparts.
The trend towards job hopping is reflected in the survey, with 72.5 per cent having held at least two jobs in the last five years. Income had an interesting effect with people earning between £80 001 and £90 000 most likely to give false information (40 per cent) and those earning between £60 001 and £70 000 least likely to do so (9 per cent). If the authors are correct in the assumption that all discrepancies identified are deliberate - and that is surely questionable - this survey indicates that one in four job applicants to the financial services sector are prepared to falsify information on their job applications in order to gain employment. Furthermore Line managers often do not understand the whole process of recruitment. Managers involved in the recruitment should not hire employees that should start as soon as possible. This habit leads to poor recruitment and mis-profiling of individuals who will in turn become part of the problems in the system. Recruitment at an officer and managerial level should be done effectively and one should remember that once you make the mistake it takes sometime before that mistake is corrected. It may be costly to the organization. Many people we see in organizations today are in the wrong jobs and as a result, they are not utilizing their full potential. This is compounded by the fact that some companies have built a tradition of hiring people based on personal connections when the person is not qualified for the job. This is a vivid case in most Organizations today. Most recruitment that involves managers is done during discussions at lunch hour, at social clubs or during the coffee break time. All the other processes that follow will only be a formality as the decision would have been made by line managers involved in the process.
This practice suffocates the Organization for professionalism and to some extend leads to obsolete policies. Many of those appointed may not have the necessary skills and competencies to carry out the functions competently. Also they may not have proper qualifications in the field they are working. Such people will not have much desire to make any contributions in terms of growth and development. Their contributions are marginal if any; they are just passengers in the system and are protected by those who recommenced them. The other thing that the author observed is that, those line managers who are involved in the recruitment are not given courses to enlighten them on the importance of the process. One may ask why it is necessary always to be systematic in recruitment process? Certain type of managers can make a significant impact on Organizations or Companies. Consequently, a process or a strategy is necessary to deal effectively with equal opportunity issues, to hire the right people, to minimize cost and most importantly, to identify marginal performers before they are hired. Inadequate recruitment procedures will result in a number of staff not being sufficiently qualified either for the positions they hold or their grades levels, especially in management positions. Most formal systems are flawed in such fundamental respects that there is a tendency to circumvent it through the application of ad hoc measures, which often rely heavily on personal contacts.
Chapter 3 -Research Methodology
This chapter aims to show just exactly how the hypotheses are to be tested. The hypotheses have already been stated back in chapter 1. This chapter shows all the steps taken to prove or disprove the hypotheses.
3.2 Research Design
According to Kerlinger (1986) “research design is the plan and structure of investigation so conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions. The hypotheses areHypothesis: Personnel Specialists are relevant in today’s business organisation. Null Hypothesis: Personnel Specialists are not relevant in today’s business organisation. The aim is to prove that more attention needs to be given to the recruitment process as a means of boosting the fortunes of a business organisation. Recruitment should not be done haphazardly as is the case
today in Nigeria. The operational implications are observed in the final analysis. This research design is an activity in itself and a time based plan based on the research questions. These questions guide the selection of sources and types of information; The researcher used descriptive research design in collecting the data from respondents. The design is preferred because it is concerned with answering questions such as who, how, what which, when and how much (Cooper and schindler, 2003). A descriptive study is carefully designed to ensure complete description of the situation, making sure that there is minimum bias in the collection of data and to reduce errors in interpreting the data collected. The questionnaire with 10 questions in all. The case study is the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria. The questions have been kept simple and straight to the point. Many of the workers over there are quite busy and already have much thinking to do. Nevertheless, the questions and their responses will provide more than enough information for this research, and to subsequently test the hypotheses. The researcher used primary source to collect data. In this case the Primary data was collected using Questionnaires. The researcher chose the self-administered questionnaire method for all correspondents as it is inexpensive and allowed the respondents to complete the questionnaire at a convenient time. The researcher administered questionnaires containing mainly closed ended questions to the sample respondents. Each respondent received the same set of questions in exactly the same way. An assumption was taken by the researcher that all respondents were literate and thus able to read and write. The design of the questionnaire is found below:
Circle as appropriate
1. Is a recruitment policy important when taking new workers? YES/NO 2. Does the execution of a sound recruitment policy require trained personnel? YES/NO 3. Can the business organisation save money if some positive changes are made to the way employees are hired? YES/NO 4. Can the morale of staff be enhanced if the business organisation adopted a more apt recruitment policy? YES/NO 5. Can the efficiency of the business organisation be boosted if the more competent workers are hired? YES/NO 6. Apart from paper qualifications, are there any other means of assessing the worth of recruits such as tests and interviews? YES/NO 7. Do relatives or acquaintances of employees have the upper hand at the time of recruitment? YES/NO 8. Are the employees hired the most qualified for the job? YES/NO 9. Are proper job descriptions drawn up before vacancies are declared? YES/NO 10. Are extensive efforts made to reach out to as many job seekers as possible? YES/NO
3.3 Research Population
Successful statistical practice is based on focused problem definition. In sampling, this includes defining the population from which our sample is drawn. A population can be defined as including all people or items with the characteristic one wishes to understand. Because there is very rarely enough time or money to gather information from everyone or everything in a population, the goal becomes finding a representative sample (or subset) of that population. The target population was from the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria. There are currently 320 permanent staff working there which are divided into several distinct groupings as management and staff. Primary data was collected from the headquarters itself located within Sokoto.
3.4 Sampling & Sampling Techniques
Sampling is that part of statistical practice concerned with the selection of individual observations intended to yield some knowledge about a population of concern. There are different types of sampling, but the most appropriate method of sampling in this case is the cluster sampling method. Sometimes it is cheaper to 'cluster' the sample in some way e.g. by selecting respondents from certain areas only, or certain time-periods
only. (Nearly all samples are in some sense 'clustered' in time - although this is rarely taken into account in the analysis.) Cluster sampling is an example of 'two-stage sampling' or 'multistage sampling': in the first stage a sample of areas is chosen; in the second stage a sample of respondents within those areas is selected. The reason for choosing this method of sampling is to reduce movement in and around the company. Some areas are out of bounds to visitors. Another reason is to sample only those with good knowledge of human resources; particularly recruitment. Such personnel are to be found in the administrative department. It also means that one does not need a sampling frame listing all elements in the target population. Instead, clusters can be chosen from a cluster-level frame, with an element-level frame created only for the selected clusters. Cluster sampling generally increases the variability of sample estimates above that of simple random sampling, depending on how the clusters differ between themselves, as compared with the within-cluster variation. Nevertheless, a disadvantage of cluster sampling is the reliance of sample estimate precision on the actual clusters chosen. If clusters chosen are biased in a certain way, inferences drawn about population parameters from these sample estimates will be far off from being accurate. Fortunately this disadvantage has been offset by the fact that only those in the administration department will be sampled. The exact number of those to be sampled is 20 Other types of sampling techniques include quota sampling, mechanical sampling, convenience sampling, panel sampling etc.
3.5 Sources & Methods of Data Collection
Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and collecting data - for example as part of a survey or similar project. The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on record, to make decisions about important issues, to pass information on to others. Primarily, data is collected to provide information regarding a specific topic. As the population is large, a sample survey has a big resource advantage over a census. A well-designed sample survey has been created to provide a very precise estimate of population parameters. This has made the research quicker, cheaper. Furthermore, less manpower has been used. The goal of this data collection process is to ensure the imformation is main source of the data of the hypotheses test comes from the permanent staff of the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria. I personally went there and distributed my questionnaires to the 20 staff and waited for them to fill it. This is the source and method of data collection.
3.6 Method of Data Analysis
Data analysis is a process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of highlighting useful information,
suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, in different business, science, and social science domains. There are many methods of data analysis but for this research the ‘T-Test is going to be used. The t-statistic was introduced in 1908 by William Sealy Gosset, a chemist working for the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Gosset had been hired due to Claude Guinness's innovative policy of recruiting the best graduates from Oxford and Cambridge to apply biochemistry and statistics to Guinness' industrial processes. Gosset devised the t-test as a way to cheaply monitor the quality of stout. He published the test in Biometrika in 1908, but was forced to use a pen name by his employer, who regarded the fact that they were using statistics as a trade secret. In fact, Gosset's identity was unknown to fellow statisticians. The t-test is probably the most commonly used Statistical data analysis procedure for hypothesis testing. Actually, there are several kinds of t-tests, but the most common is the "two-sample t-test" also known as the "Student's t-test" or the "independent samples t-test". T-Test Example The two sample t-test simply tests whether or not two independent populations have different mean values on some measure. For example, we might have a research hypothesis that rich people have a different quality of life than poor people. We give a questionnaire that
measures quality of life to a random sample of rich people and a random sample of poor people. The null hypothesis, which is assumed to be true until proven wrong, is that there is really no difference between these two populations. We gather some sample data and observe that the two groups have different average scores. But does this represent a real difference between the two populations, or just a chance difference in our samples? T-Test Statistic The statistics t-test allows us to answer this question by using the t-test statistic to determine a p-value that indicates how likely we could have gotten these results by chance. By convention, if there is a less than 5% chance of getting the observed differences by chance, we reject the null hypothesis and say we found a statistically significant difference between the two groups.
The formula for the ‘T test ‘is given below:
Where X = Σx N
Y = Σy N A = Σ(x²) – (Σx)² N B = Σ(y²) – (Σy)² N
Chapter4-Data Presentation & Analysis
This research involved qualitative and quantitative analysis. The data collected by use of the various instruments was first thoroughly edited and checked for completeness and comprehensibility. The edited data was summarized and coded for easy classification in order to facilitate tabulation
Question 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 x 19 18 20 11 20 20 13 9 13 14 157 y 1 2 0 9 0 0 7 11 7 6 43 Xy 19 36 0 99 0 0 91 99 91 84 519 x² 361 324 400 121 400 400 169 81 169 196 2621 y² 1 4 0 81 0 0 49 121 49 36 341
X = Σx N = 157 10 = 15.7 Y = Σy N = 43 10 = 4.3 A = Σ(x²) – (Σx)² N = 2621 – (157)² 10 = 2621 – 2464.9 = 156.1 B = Σ(y²) – (Σy)² N = 341 – (43)² 10 = 341 – 184.9 = 156.1 N = 10, n = 10
Substituting figures into formula =
4.3 Test of Hypotheses
Stockburger(2004) has defined hypothesis testing as ‘Hypothesis tests are procedures for making rational decisions about the reality of effects.’ He went on to say that ‘A rational decision is characterized by the use of a procedure which insures the likelihood or probability that success is incorporated into the decision-making process. The procedure must be stated in such a fashion that another individual, using the same information, would make the same decision.’ To test our hypotheses, the following steps are taken. Level of significance = N + n – 2 = 10+10 -2 = 18
Level of freedom Tcritical
= 0.05 = 1.7340
Using the Tdistribution table
If Tcal > Tcritical Hypothesis1 is accepted If Tcal < Tcritical Hypothesis0 is accepted. Tcal = 6.1208, Tcritical = 1.7340 Therefore hypothesis1 is accepted I.e., Personnel Specialists are relevant to the business organization.
4.4 Summary of Findings
After gather the data and inserting it into the formula, the researcher was able to retrieve significant information to ascertain an accurate conclusion. That is to say the hypothesis was accepted as the calculations above justify.
Chapter5 – Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This is the final chapter of this research. As is expected the aim here is to try and summarize the total efforts of the researcher. That is to stress once more the importance of good recruitment at technical and managerial levels and the implications that are encountered as a result of ad hoc recruitment processes. Recruitment is a responsibility of every manager in the Organization.
After analysis, it has been realised that proper recruitment is essential to effective Human Resources Management. It is the heart of the whole Human Resource system in the organization. The effectiveness of many other Human Resource activities, such as selection and training depends largely on the quality of new employees attracted through the recruitment the recruitment process.
Policies should always be reviewed as these are affected by the changing environment. Management should get specific training on the process of recruitment to increase their awareness on the dangers of wrong placements. Personnel Managers should be on the guard against all the malpractices and advocate for professional approach through out the system. The Personnel Managers should indicate disagreement in the event that biasing toward certain candidates is creeping in and point out the repercussions that may follow in terms of performance and motivation. It is the Researchers conviction that, the recruitment process should be seen in the context of ongoing staff planning that is linked to the strategic and financial planning of the organization.
Most managers don’t truly consider the implications of bad recruits. and therefore require guidance in this operation. From the result of the research absence of a strategic recruitment plan leads to chaotic recruitment that leads to a bumper harvest of unqualified applicants resulting in more unnecessary work for the staff in the recruitment. If you start the process without a systematic approach, you can rush your decision and end up with a mismatched person who will not be suited to work in the Organization. This is a typical case in some organizations. There is a need to have a system that assists to assess candidates
throughout. This reduces the odds that you will have to repeat this extensive, time consuming process. To terminate a poorly recruited employee especially at managerial level is a costly failure to the Organization, considering the cost involved in recruitment, selection, training etc. Wrong placements at officer levels can lead to stagnation within the system. This may also affect production at one point or the other during the times of change. On the other hand developing relevant recruitment policies and consequently effective implementation increases managerial effectiveness. Many routine decisions are standardized clarifying the role of various managers in the recruitment process. The result is highly functional organization. Finally, this research has been a brilliant experience for the researcher. It has developed his managerial skills greatly and he intends for professional managers to use this as a reference in their habitual line of business.
At the end of writing this project, the researcher has gained a lot of valuable knowledge on the topic of recruitment. The researcher has come up with the following recommendations that if adopted by any organization would certain improve the performance of staff in general. They are as follows.
1. Business organizations should depend less on paper qualifications to assess recruits. I.e. Employers shouldn’t over rely on the class of a degree for assessing the worth of a recruit. People may have the same class of degrees but vary greatly in skill. It’s up to recruitment specialists to filter out the strong applicants from the weak ones using some of the procedures mentioned above.
2. Recruitment of workers should be more systematic; with the real intent of solving problems and not to favour a friend, family member or anyone else along those lines. There shouldn’t be internal bureaucracy 3. Vacancies should be advertised with proper descriptions. Tasks should be clearly stated. Applicants will be able to ascertain before hand if they have skills suitable for the job; and if they get the job they will know what it is expected from them and will aim to deliver on that. 4. There should be genuine vacancies at the time of taking on new recruits. If people are given employment at already congested organizations then there will be redundancy, reduction of efficiency as well as drop in morale. 6. Recruitment policies should be made easy for both the recruiters and recruits to save time and energy. Unnecessary procedures should be done away with. Only information required for assessing the worth of recruits should be sought. 7. Organizations should try to develop standard policies for recruitment and adhere strictly to these standard policies.
Clutterbuck, D. (1994), The Power of Empowerment, Konan Page. Humble, J. (1967), Improving Business Results, McGraw-Hill. Mintzberg, H. (1983), Structure in Fives: Designing Effective Organisations, Prentice-Hall. Peters, T. & Waterman, R. (1982), In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies, Harper & Row. Porter, M.E. (1980), Competitive Strategy, The Free Press. Thomason, G. (1981), Textbook of Personnel Management, IPM www.ilo.org www.scribd.com www.wikipedia.com
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