3.0 Lesson Introduction
In the previous lesson, we discussed job analysis and the methods managers use to create job descriptions and job specifications. The main purpose of this lesson is to help you improve your effectiveness in recruiting job candidates. The main topics we will discuss include personnel planning and forecasting, recruiting job candidates and developing and using job application forms. Personnel planning is the first step in the recruiting and selecting process. We can conveniently view this process as a series of hurdles.
Steps in Recruitment and Selection Process
The recruitment and selection process as is a series of hurdles aimed at selecting the best candidates for the job. The steps employed are summarized below.
1. Decide what position you will have to fill by engaging in personnel planning and forecasting.
2. Build a pool candidates for these jobs by recruiting internal or external candidates.
3. Have applicants complete application forms and perhaps undergo an initial screening interview.
4. Use selection techniques like tests, background investigations and physical exams to identify viable candidates.
5. Finally, decide who to make an offer to, by having the supervisor and (perhaps) others on the team interview the final candidates.
In the sections that follow, we discuss each of these steps in details.
3.1 Employment Planning and Forecasting
Employment or personnel planning is the process of deciding what positions the firm will have to fill and how to fill them. Personnel planning covers all the firm’s future positions from maintenance clerk to CEO. However, most firms use succession planning to refer to the process of deciding how to fill the company’s most important executive jobs. Employment planning is an integral part of a firm’s strategic and HR panning processes. A firm’s plan to expand plans to enter new business, build new plants, or reduce costs all influence the types of positions the firm will need to fill. One big question is whether to fill projected openings from within or from outside the firm. In other words, should you plan to fill them with current employees or by recruiting from outside?
Each option produces its own set of HR plans. Current employee may require training development and coaching before they are ready to fill new jobs. Going outside requires deciding what recruiting sources to use among other things. Like all good plans, management builds employment plans on premises – basic assumptions about the future. Forecasting generates these premises. If you’re planning for employment requirements you’ll usually need to forecast three things Personnel needs, the supply of inside
candidates and the supply of outside candidates.
Factors to Consider When Forecasting
1. Demand for product/service.
2. Project turnover within the organization.
3.1.1 How to Forecast Personnel Needs
The expected demand for you product or service is paramount when forecasting personnel needs. The usual process is therefore to forecast revenues first. Then estimate the size of the staff required to achieve this volume. In addition to expected demand staffing plans may reflect.
1. Demand for product or service.
2. Projected labor turnover (as a result of resignation or terminations)
3. Quality and skills of your employees (relations to what you see as the changing needs of your organization) – training needs.
4. Strategic decisions to upgrade the quality of products or services or enter into new markets.
5. Technological and other changes resulting in increased productivity.
6. The financial resources available to your department.
Methods to Predict Employment Needs
1. Trend Analysis
This means studying variations in your firm’s employment levels over the last few years to predict future needs. Thus you might compute the number of employees in your firm at the end of the last five years or perhaps the number in each subgroup (like sales, production, secretarial and administrative people) at the end of each of those years. The purpose is to identify trends that might continue into the future. Trend analysis can provide an initial estimate, but employment levels rarely depend just on the passage of time. Other factors (like inflation changes in sales volume and productivity) also affect staffing needs.
2. Ratio Analysis
This means making forecasts based on the rations between some usual factor (like sales volume) and the number of employees required (for instance, number of salesperson). For example, suppose a salesperson traditionally generates Kshs. 500,000 in sales. If the sales revenue to salespeople ratio remains the same you would require six new salespeople next year (each of whom produces an extra Kshs.500, 000) to produce a hoped-for extra Kshs 3 million in sales Like trend analysis, ratio analysis assumes that productivity remains about the same- for instance, that each sales person can’t be motivated t produce much more than Kshs 500,000 in
sales. If sales productivity were to increase or decrease, the ratio of sales to salespeople would change. A forecast based on historical rations would then no longer be accurate.
3. The Scatter plot
A scatter plot shows graphically how two variables- such a measure of business activity and your firm’s staffing levels- are related. If they are, then if you can forecast the level of business activity, you should be able to estimate your personnel requirements.
4. Managerial Judgment
Whichever forecasting method you use, material judgment will play a big role. It’s rare that any historical trend, ratio or relationship will simply continue unchanged into the future. You’ll therefore have to modify markets – your belief will be important. In practice, making personnel forecasts usually isn’t mechanical, even for major firms. It is sometimes difficult to take a long-term perspective, particularly when market conditions change dramatically.
One may need to modify managerial judgment due to ;( will affect forecasting)
- Upgrade quality of products or services or services or enter into new on market. This will have implications on quality of employees that you require.
- Are employees going to fit the new products you make
- Technological and administrative changes resulting in increased productivity which may lead to reduced no. of employees.
- Financial resources available- pay more wages
3.1.2 Forecasting the supply of inside candidates
Knowing your staffing needs only satisfies half the staffing equation. Next, you have to estimate the likely supply of both inside and outside candidates. Most firms start with the inside candidates. Here the main task is determining which current employees might be qualified for the projected openings. For this you need to know your current employees’ skills sets- their current qualifications. Sometimes it’s obvious and managers to qualifications inventories. These are manual or computerized records listing systematic listing of employees education, career and development interests, languages, special skills and so on, to be used on selecting inside
candidates for promotion. The following devices are of importance when forecasting the supply of inside candidates. Manual systems and personnel replacement charts: Managers use several manual devices to keep track of candidates for most important positions. A personnel inventory and development record compiles qualifications information on each employee. Personal replacement charts are
another option, particularly for the firm’s top positions. They shoe the present performance and promotability for each position’s potential replacement. As an alternative, you create a card for each position, showing possible replacements as well as their present performance, promotion potential and training.
Computerized information systems: Companies don’t generally track the qualifications of hundreds or thousands of employees manually. Most firms computerize this information, using various packaged software systems. In many of these systems, the employees and the HR department enter information about the employee’s backgrounds, experience and skills often using the company intranet. When a manger needs a person for a position, he/she describes the position (for instance, in terms of education and skills). After scanning its database of possible candidates, the system produces a list of qualified candidates.
Such computerized skill inventory might include:
Work experience codes: A list of work experience titles or codes describing the person’s job within the company.
Product knowledge: The employee’s level of familiarity with the employer’s product line or services
Industry experience: The persons industry experiences, since for some positions work in related industries is very useful.
Formal education: Each postsecondary educational institution attended, filed of study, degree granted and year granted
Training courses: Those taken or conducted by the employee, including courses taught by outside firms
Foreign languages: Which languages; degree of proficiency, spoken and written.
Relocation limitations: The employee’s willingness to relocate and the locales he/ she would prefer
Career interest: Work experience codes to indicate what the employee would like to be doing for the employer in the future
Performance appraisals: Updated periodically, along with a summary of the employee’s strengths and deficiencies.
Skills: Skills such as “graphic designs inter face” (number of times performed, date last performed, time, spent), as well as skill level, perhaps ranging from level 1 (can lead or instruct others) to level 3 (has some experience: can assist experienced workers).
In practice the, the data elements could number 100 or more. For example, one vendor of a package reportedly used by over 2,000 companies suggests 140 elements, ranging from home address to driver’s license number, weight, salary, sick leave used, skills and veteran status.
3.1.3 Forecasting the supply of outside candidates
If you wont have enough inside candidates to fill the anticipated openings (or you want to go outside for another reason), you need to focus on trying to anticipate the availability of outside candidates. This may involve several activities. For example, you may want to consider general economic conditions and the expected unemployment rate, usually, the lower the rate of unemployment, the more difficult it will be recruit personnel. Information like this is easy to find. Local labor market conditions are also important high tech.
Your plans may also require that you forecast the availability of potential job candidates in specific occupations such as nurses, computer programmers for teachers. Some occupations are in demand that they seem it remain in demand even when the economy slows. The jobs in high de3mand aren’t necessarily always high tech.
To forecast for external candidates one will be guided by;
- General economic conditions- expected prevailing rate of unemployment. The lower the rate of unemployment, the lower the labor hence the more difficult it will be recruits personnel.
- Local market conditions
- Occupational market conditions- availability of potential job candidates in specific occupations e.g. engines, computers experts for which u will be recruiting
3.2 Effective recruiting
Assuming the company authorizes you to fill a position, the next step is to develop an applicant pool, using one or more of the recruitment sources described below. It is hard to over emphasize the importance the importance of effective recruiting. The more applicants you have, the more selective you can be in your hiring. If only two candidates apply for two openings, you may have
little choice but to hire them. But if 10 or 20 applicants appear, you can use techniques like interviews and test to screen out all about all the best.
Effective recruiting is increasingly today, for several reasons. First the ease of recruiting tends to ebb and flow with economic and unemployment levels. High average turnover rates for some occupations are another problem; the increased emphasis on technology and therefore on skilled human capital also demands more selective hiring and thus a bigger applicant pool Finding the right inducements for attracting and hiring employees can be a problem. Aggressive recruiting is therefo0re often the name of the game. “Poaching workers is fair game”. Some recruiters even have their own jargon. They call luring workers away from other high- tech firms “nerd rustling’.
The Recruiting Yield Pyramid
This is historical relationship leads and invitees, and interviews, interviews and offers made, and accepted. Some employers use a recruiting yield pyramid number of new employees. In the figure below (figure 3.1) the company knows the ratio of offers made to actual new hires I 2 to 1; about the people to whom it makes offers accept them. Similarly, the firm knows that the ratio of candidates interviewed to offers is made is 3 to 2, while the ratio candidates invited for interviews to candidates actually interviewed is about 4 to 3. Finally, the firm knows that of six leads that come in from all its recruiting efforts, only one applicant typically gets an interview- a 6 to 1 ratio. Given these ratios, the firm knows it must generate 1,200 leads to be able to invite 200 viable candidates to its offices for interviews. The firm will then get to interview about 150 of those invited and from these it will make 100 offers. Of those 1000 offers, about 50 will accept.
Figure 3.1: Recruiting Yield Pyramid
Recruiting may bring to mind employment agencies and classified ads, but current employees are the best source candidates.
Filling open positions with inside candidates has many benefits. First, there’s really no substitute for knowing a candidate’s strengths and weakness. It is often therefore safer to promote employees form within, since you’re likely to have a more accurate vies of the person’s skills than you would an outsiders. Inside candidates may also be more committed to the company.
Morale may rise, to the extent that employees see promotions as rewards for loyalty and competence. Inside candidates may also require less orientation and training than outsiders. However hiring from within can also backfire. Employees who apply for jobs and don’t get them may become disconnected telling unsuccessful applicants why they were rejected and what remedial actions they might take to be more successful in the future is thus crucial. Similarly, many employers require managers to post job openings and interview all inside candidates. Yet the manger often knows ahead of time exactly whom he or she wants to hires. Requiring the persons to interviews a stream of unsuspecting inside candidates can be a waste of time for all concerned. Groups are sometimes not as satisfied when their new boss is appointed from within their own ranks as when he or she is newcomer: it may be difficult for the insider to shake off the reputation of being “one of the gang” Inbreeding is another potential drawback. When all managers come up through the ranks, they may have a tendency to maintain the status quo, when a new direction is required. Many “promote from within”. Balancing the benefits to morale and loyalty with the possible inbreeding problem can be a challenge.
3.3 Finding internal candidates
To be effective promotion from within requires using job position, personnel records and skills banks. Job posting means publicizing the open job to employees (often by literally posting it on bulletin boards or intranets) and listing the job’s attributes, like qualifications, supervisor, work schedule and pay rate. Some union contracts require job posting to ensure union members get
first choice of new and better positions. Yet job posting can be a good practice even in non union firms, it facilitates the transfer and promotion of qualified inside candidates. (However firms often don’t post supervisory jobs; management often prefers to select supervisory candidates based on things like supervisor’s recommendations and appraisals and testing results). Personnel record share also important. An examination of personnel records (including application forms) may reveal employees who are working in jobs below their educational or skill levels. It may reveal persons who have potential for further training or who already have the
right background for the open job: Computerized records systems (like those discussed above) can help ensure you consider qualified inside candidates for the opening. Some firms also develop “skill banks” that lists current employees with specific skills. For example, if you need an aero scope engineer in unit A and the skill bank show as person with those skills in unit B, that person may be approached about transferring.
3.3.1 Hiring employees- the second time around
Until recently, many managers consider it unwise to hire former employees, such as those who’d left voluntarily for better jobs. Quitting was often seen as a form of betrayal. Managers often assumed that those they’d dismissed might exhibit disloyalty or a bad attitude if hired back.
Today- thanks partly to high turnover in some high-tech occupations rehiring former employees is back in style.
Rehiring back employees has its pros and cons. On the plus side, former employees are known quantities (more or less) and are already familiar with the company’s culture, style and ways of doing things. On the other hand employees who left for greener pastures back into better positions may signal your current employees that the best way to get ahead is to leave the firm.
In any event, there are several ways to reduce the chance of adverse reactions. For example, once rehired employees have been back on the job for a certain period, credit them with the benefits such as vacation time and thereby on morale. In addition, inquire (before rehiring them) about what they did during the layoff and how they feel about returning to the firm; you don’t want someone coming back who feels they’ve been mistreated,” said one manager.
3.3.2 Succession planning
Forecasting the availability of inside executive candidates is particularly important in succession planning- “the process of ensuring a suitable supply of successors for current and future senior or key jobs”, arising from business strategy so that careers of individuals can be planned and managed to optimize the organizations needs and the individual’s aspirations. To fill its most important executive positions. Succession planning often involves a complicated series of steps. Succession planning typically includes activities like these:
- Determining the projected need for managers and professionals by company level, function and skill
- Auditing current executive talent to project the likely future supply from internal sources
- Planning individual career paths based on objective estimates of future needs and assessments of potential
- Career counseling in the context of the future needs of the firm, as well as those of the individual
- Accelerated promotions, with development targeted against the future need sof the business
- Performance related training and development to prepare individuals for future roles as well as currents responsibilities
- Planned strategic recruitment to fill short-term needs and to provide people to meet future needs.
- Actually filling the positions- via recruiters, promotion from within and so on.
3.4 Outside sources of candidates
Firms can’t get all the employees they need from their current staff, and sometimes they just don’t want to. We will look at the sources firms use to find outside candidates next
Everyone is familiar with employment ads and most of us have probably responded to one or more. To use help wanted ads successfully, employers have to address two issues; the advertising media and the ad’s construction
2. The media
The selection of the best medium- be it the local paper, TV or the internet- depends on the positions for which you’re recruiting. For example the local newspaper is usually the best source for blue-collar help, clerical employees and lower level administrative employees. On the other hand, if you are recruiting for blue-collar workers with special skills you would probably want to advertise in the heart of the industry. The point is to target your ads where they’ll do the most good. Most employers are also tapping the internet. For specialized employees you can advertise in trade and professional journals.
3. Advertisements in professional publications like journals
4. Use of professional recruitment agencies e.g. manpower, Hawkins etc
5. Referrals and walk-ins/ word of mouth
6. Computerized employee databases
Constructing the ad
Construction of the ad is important. Experienced advertisers use a four point guide called AIDA(attention, interest, desire, action) to construct ads. You must of course, attract attention to the ad or readers may just miss or ignore it. Develop interest in the job. You can create interest by the nature of the job itself, with lines such as “you’ll thrive on challenging work” you can also use other aspects of the job, such as its location to create interest. Create desire by spotting the job’s interest factors with words such as travel or challenge
Keep your target audience in mind Finally make sure the prompts action with a at statement like “call today” or “write today for
The filled application form provides information on education,
- You can make judgments on substantive matters such as level of education experience
- Draw conclusions about the applicants previous progress and growth especially for management candidates
- Draw tentative conclusions regarding the applicant’s stability based on previous work records.
- Use the data in the application to predict which candidate will succeed on the job and which will not
Using application forms to predict job performance
Some organizations use application forms to predict which candidate will be much useful in much the same way that might use test for screening. They do this by conducting statistical studies to find relationship between
- Responses on the application form
- Measure s of success on the job