RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCESS
As business organisations move further into the twenty-first century, it is becoming absolutely clear that the effective management of an organization’s human resources is a major source of competitive advantage and may even be the single most important determinant of an organization’s performance over the long term. Thus, levels of competition among organizations have increased. Most organizations today can copy technology, manufacturing processes, products, and strategy. However, human resource management (HRM) practices and organization are difficult to copy, thereby representing a unique competitive advantage (1998). To be successful in the future, organizations will have to build organizational capability. HR professionals and HRM practices will be required to create value by increasing organizational competitiveness (. 1999). And, as with any process, the human resource management aspect of a firm starts with first, the recruitment, and then the selection process. This paper discusses both, and touches on the most essential issues revolving around them.
IMPACT OF LAW AND ORGANIZATION PROCEDURES
One of the most important areas of global context for human resource is the area of employment law. There can be considerable risk of making mistakes, pursuing risky strategies, and putting the enterprise at considerable potential liability for not understanding adequately what these laws, standards, and codes require of the business. Every country's employment laws vary significantly from every other country's employment laws, making this area of the human resource management environment very complex. Around the world, countries are passing legislation to protect the rights of employees and job candidates to be free from discrimination based on their gender, race, color, religion, age, or disability. The laws in place, in some countries, such as the US and now in the EU, are pretty well developed, although, within the EU, there has been a distinct lack of uniformity in many of these areas, with the possible exception of sex discrimination. However, in 2003, directives went into effect requiring all member states to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, and religion or belief. The countries have not yet moved beyond maybe approving the ILO accords. But this is clearly an area of international labor standards to which every firm must pay close attention ( & 2000).
One of the general statements of equivalent employment standards stated by various international organizations with regards to the recruitment and selection processes is that there should be equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination ( & 2004). For instance, the American Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against a disabled person ( & 1995). Thus, an employer wishing to comply with the existing laws on human resource management especially in the area of selection and recruitment should review their recruitment and selection policy and all the associated documentation including job descriptions and personnel specifications, application forms etc. as any changes in a step in the process will have a knock on effect in the next stage. Likewise, the United Nations Global Compact states that with respect to labor standards, businesses should eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
At its most basic, organizations have different recruitment and selection procedures, depending on their need of personnel and their available resources. For example, a multinational company may opt for mass recruitment from outside the company to look for fresh and young talents that have not been discovered by competitors, while another may look for personnel to promote within the bounds of their own organization, for reasons of experience and knowledge of the intricacies of the business. Thus, the processes differ depending on what the company needs at the time. Another example would be when the culture of the company is inclined to keep employees for regularization. The recruitment and the selection processes would therefore be stricter, as they are looking for individuals who would be potential permanent members of the organization. Corporate strategy has a positive influence on the existence of HR policies with regards to recruitment and selection. It is the main explanatory factor with the exception of policies on equal opportunities and high-fliers. Company size is another independent variable which exercises a positive influence on all of the HR policies with respect to the two processes.
As with the recruitment and selection processes, the personnel requirements also differ, depending on the position required of the company at one particular time. Some of the general requirements that employers base their selection decisions in are: formal education, experience, past performance, skills and abilities, personal characteristics and fit with the overall organization. Employers faced with increased foreign and domestic competition, must engage in HRM planning on a near-continuous basis while simultaneously trying to ensure that their employees are working efficiently. New technology, shifts in labor demand, and improved work methods, for example, can each alter an organization’s human resources needs. As a result, in three months the human resources needs of an organization may be quite different from its needs today. As a result of these changing needs, the way workers perform their jobs may change. Eliminating jobs that are no longer necessary can streamline organizational functioning. Jobs that have changed in response to new technology create a somewhat different problem. Employers must find individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform adequately the activities required. It is through effective HRM planning that adjustments and refinements are made, transforming an organization’s workforce to meet the projected future needs of the organization.
Job analysis is one of the building blocks of the HRM planning process and is a fundamental source of information for this process. As organizations have increasingly tried to meet the dynamics of an ever changing competitive global world of work they have developed flatter, more agile, and innovative structures and work designs. These new structures and work designs have led to an increased role for human resource management personnel in the actual design and redesign of jobs intended to improve organizational success ( 2002). HRM personnel now find themselves needing to be prepared to modify job descriptions, job specifications (the qualifications needed to perform a job), and recruitment practices and perhaps to adjust pay scales as well.
ORGANIZATION OF A SELECTION PROCESS
According to (2002), the selection process is concerned with identifying the best candidate or candidates for jobs from the pool of qualified applicants developed during the recruitment process. At the heart of any effective selection system is an understanding of what characteristics are essential for high performance. With regards to screening the applicant’s educational background, it will be advisable to use educational accomplishment as a surrogate for or summary of the measures of an individual’s abilities. In a selection context formal education refers to the classroom training an individual has received in public or private schools and college, university, and/or technical school. As for the skill qualification, as organizations move more toward teamwork and team-based operating systems, it is desirable to put more emphasis on hiring individuals with the skills necessary to function effectively in a group situation. The rationale for this practice is that current team members are well placed to assess a given individual’s ability to fit in and become an effective member of the team. In all organizations, human resource recruiting and selection determines the quantity and quality of HR needed to foster organizational renewal and enhance competitive readiness. Thus, HR professionals and organizational leaders engage in a series of related steps to guarantee that appropriate HR are identified, recruited, selected, and developed.
The process begins with a talent inventory which reveals employees' skills, knowledge, abilities, and potential, and how they are currently being used. Job analysis follows; it identifies the performance outputs, standards, and activities required of each job and the competencies needed by employees to execute them. These criteria serve as job requirement data, for which recruiting plans are designed, as measurement criteria useful in the initial screening and interviewing of available candidates, and as the final determinant in selecting new employees. Another important criterion, an employee's growth and developmental readiness, is a critical attitudinal element that must be identified during the screening, interviewing, and selection processes. Once selected, employees participate in orientation programs designed to socialize them within the organization and help them with placement on the job. An individual who is found to be qualified for employment, based on his or her performance on these various selection techniques, would then be subjected to more in-depth interviews, followed by reference and recommendation checks. Finally, physical examinations will be authorized for those who are about to be offered employment.
The records that would need to be kept include the individuals’ appointment Letter, backing papers (CV, references, terms and conditions, job advert/specs, request to appoint, any paperwork regarding work permits and application form), signing-in form, probationary documentation, letter of confirmation of post and personal information (Including changes affecting name [copy of marriage certificate], address, bank account / details, telephone number.
IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
It is essential to provide constructive feedback to candidates throughout the selection process because although only one or a handful of individuals will be hired, the rest will go back into the community and talk about the company and their experiences as an applicant. Anything that can be done to give applicants a positive experience throughout the selection process will pay off in the long run. Providing constructive feedback throughout the selection process is also beneficial for the individual involved. Through this, the applicant can use the strength comments to understand what the HR staff observed he or she does well and build upon them so they can continue to evaluate and improve on them. Also, through constructive feedback, they could prioritize their opportunities for improvement. Feedback could be done in a formal manner or simply through verbal communication. Commenting on how a certain job was done well or how fast the applicant is picking up on the things being taught through saying it directly to them will be one sure way of letting the applicants feel good about their selves and have a positive outlook on the firm and about themselves. In the formal manner, the constructive feedbacks can be in the form of a letter or an evaluation form.
INDUCTIVE AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR APPOINTED CANDIDATES
According to (2002), organizations provide training for many reasons: to orient new hires to the organization or teach them how to perform in their initial job assignment, to improve the current performance of employees who may not be working as effectively as desired, or to prepare employees for future promotions or for upcoming changes in design, processes, or technology in their present jobs. Recent changes in the business environment have made the training function even more important in helping organizations maintain competitiveness and prepare for the future. Effective orientation can play a very important role in employee job satisfaction, performance, retention, and similar areas ( 1998).
The induction and development plan for the new employees, first that needs to be done is to give the employees an bird’s eye view of what the orientation will include. Then, viewing with the new employees the orientation video and explain things on the duration should come next. The HR staff in charge of the program will also need to explain his or her relationship to the program. Presentation of a copy of their position descriptions, outlining the employees’ duties and responsibilities and discussion of the type and tenure of appointment and probationary period should follow. After the three activities, there should also be a presentation of work hours, lunch schedule, leave policies, leave of absences and other leaves, overtime and holidays. There is also a need to show the employee around the work area and other facilities, including the location of telephones, mailboxes, copy machines, fax machines, restrooms, etc, plus a discussion of the security of the building/property. Introduction of the new employees to co-workers and superiors, and explaining the relevance of their work to the employees’ will also be part of the induction and development plan. HR staff in charge of the program also need to identify the person(s) the new employees can go to for help if the HR manager is absent, arrange for the issuance of an identification card, go over safety, accident, and emergency procedures for the work area. Also, have them complete job-related tasks that will provide a sense of familiarization to the surroundings that will soon become part of their everyday lives. Assisting them in completing the necessary documents and ensuring they are submitted to the personnel office will also be a must if the induction and development program for the new employees will be beneficial to all concerned.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF SELECTION PROCESS
The selection process is a critical one for the organization as a whole and for all managers. Recognizing the importance of these decisions, today’s successful organizations invest substantial amounts of time, effort and money in selecting human resources. The organization must take into account the fact that not only can an incorrect decision lead to a tremendous cost in terms of resource and opportunity but it can also affect many people. The right choice can mean growth and increased productivity for specific work groups associated with the new hire as well as success for the organization. The wrong selection can result in months of frustration, repetitive training, documentation, and low morale prior to the eventual termination of the recently hired individual, after which the selection process begins all over again. Employee selection is a decision that needs to be made right the first time. Although this is true in organizations of any size, the impact of a wrong selection decision is magnified in a smaller organization. In a larger organization, one inappropriate placement can perhaps be reassigned or retrained. In the smaller organization, there may be no such luxury. Selection is critical. The various selection devices available for the use of HR staff can be used in combination. Indeed, one of the challenges facing a staffing manager is not only to pick a selection device(s) but also to arrange for the most cost-effective result.
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