Placement is the allocation of people to the job. It is assignment or re-assignment of an employee to a new or different job. Placement includes initial assignment of new employees and promotion, transfer or demotion of present employees. Placement should be made with as little disruption to the employee and organization as possible. To this end new recruits must be oriented properly so that they become productive contributors. There should be conscious and determined effort to adapt the new recruit to the organization’s culture (the rules, jargon, customs and other traditions that clarify acceptable and unacceptable behavior in an organization) by conveying to the employees how things are done and what matters. When new employees know what is expected of them, they have better organizational performance and less frustration and uncertainty.
After a candidate has been selected, he should be placed on a suitable job. Placement is the actual posting of an employee to a specific job; it involves assigning a specific rank and responsibility to an employee. The placement decisions are taken by the line manager after matching the requirements of the job with the qualifications of a candidate. Most organizations put new recruits on probation for a given period of time after which their services are confirmed. During this period, the performance of the probation is closely monitored. If the new recruit fails to adjust himself to the job and turns out poor performance the organization may consider his name for placement elsewhere. Such second placement is called differential placement usually the employees’ supervisor in consultation with the higher levels of line management take decisions regarding the future placement of each employee.
Placement is an important human resource activity. If neglected it may create employees adjustment problems leading to absenteeism, turnover accidents poor performance etc. The employee will also suffer seriously. He may quit the organization in frustration complaining bitterly about everything. Proper placement is therefore important to both the employees and the organization.
A few basic principles should be followed at the time of placement of a worker on the job. This is elaborated below:
- Man should be placed on the job according to the requirements of the job. The job should not be adjusted according to the qualifications or requirements of the man. Job first; man next, should be the principle of the placement.
- The job should be offered to the person according to his qualification. This should neither the higher nor the lower than the qualification.
iii. The employee should be made conversant with the working conditions prevailing in the organization and all things relating to the job. He should also be made aware of the penalties if he commits the wrong.
- While introducing the job to the new employees, an effort should be made to develop a sense of loyalty and cooperation in him so that he may realize his responsibility better towards the job and the organization.
- The placement should be ready before the joining date of the newly selected person.
- The placement in the initial period may be temporary as changes are likely after the completion of training. The employee may be later transferred to the job where he can do better.
The major benefits of having a proper employee placement programme are that it improves employees’ morale since he/ she does what he is skilled at. It also reduces labour turnover because the employee is likely to be satisfied with the job. Placement also reduces the rate of accidents and absenteeism as well as helps to improve quality of work since the worker is placed at the right job. The benefits of placement of an individual employee are that he is able to; Show good results on the job, Get along with people easily, Keep his spirits high, report for duty regularly, Avoid mistakes and accidents.
On the other hand, the main problem of placement arises when the recruiters look at the individuals but not the job. Often the individual does not work independent of the others. When employee are not properly placed, it may result to high labour turnover, lack of morale among employees, absenteeism of employees, poor performance and quality of work, decrease in output and accidents especially for workers dealing with machines if they are not well skilled.
Orientation or induction is the task of introducing the new employees to the organization and its policies, procedures and rules. A typical formal orientation program may last a day or less in most organizations. During this time, the new employee is provided with information about the company. Its history, current position, the benefits for which he is eligible, leave rules, rest periods etc. Also covered are the more routine things a newcomer must learn, such as the location of the rest rooms, break rooms, parking spaces cafeteria etc. In some organizations all this is done informally by attaching new employees to their seniors who provide guidance on the above matters. Lectures, handbooks, films, group seminars, are also provided to new employees so that they can settle down quickly and resume the work. Induction usually centers on corporate policies such as safety, security and anti-discrimination, which, although useful, may not be the most compelling information for new staff.
An induction programme is an important process for bringing staff into an organisation. It provides an introduction to the working environment and the set-up of the employee within the organisation.Many employers see induction as a waste of valuable time but this is a critical process when taking on a new employee. Induction gives a new employee an objective view of your company, organisational culture, and work ethic, which will allow the employee to better integrate into the workplace. The process will cover the employer and employee rights and the terms and conditions of employment. As a priority the induction programme must cover any legal and compliance requirements for working at the company and pay attention to the health and safety of the new employee. General a good employee induction programme is important in that;
a) Induction can assist in cultural change
New staff members will be unfamiliar with the work environment and the processes of the organisation. Therefore, induction is the perfect opportunity for new employees to be ‘shaped’, potentially resulting in a cultural change, for example: encouraging new staff members to use the intranet as the primary source for information; and providing a holistic view of the organisation that may avoid organizational ‘silos’.
b) Induction can assist with knowledge transfer
An induction programme is part of an organization’s knowledge management process and is intended to enable the new starter to become a useful, integrated member of the team, rather than being “thrown in at the deep end” without understanding how to do their job, or how their role fits in with the rest of the company. Companies which either formalize knowledge transfer, or provide a vigorous framework for informal transfers can assist new staff members to obtain the information they require. This allows them to perform their role more effectively.
c) Induction helps build social networks
One of the biggest hurdles new staff members face is finding the right person to contact if they have an issue – especially in large organizations. Therefore, induction can be useful for introducing new staff to the key people within the company who will likely be of most use, such as HR and payroll.
d) All business units should be involved
Induction isn’t exclusively the domain of the human resources department but rather, the process should be a collective effort involving all relevant business units such as security, IT or finance. Involving the relevant stakeholders in this process will ensure that new staff receive a complete picture of the organization and also promote relations between staff working in different departments..
e) Reduces labour turnover
The benefits of a good induction to an employee are; the employee feels welcome into the organisation, respected and is made to feel more comfortable in the workplace. He therefore finds it easier to integrate into the workplace, the new employee also feels that he made the right decision to join that organisation; a good induction programme builds the new employee’s self-esteem, morale and sense of motivation; and assists him to establish good communication between the supervisor and the new employee from the very beginning.
There are three actions employers can take to ensure that new staff will be appropriately supported in their first few weeks. Being proactive and taking the initiative in integrating new employees into the way the company operates, will increase the likelihood that the person will stay with the company in the long term. To achieve this it is important to;
i) Plan ahead
Before your new employee begins, make sure that all the necessary equipment and supplies are in place, and their workstation is ready for their first day. It’s not unusual for new employees turning up to their first day of work to find that they are under-equipped to perform their jobs due to the lack of foresight and planning. It might also be a good idea to assign a person to look after a new employee regarding the day-to-day operations so they can be adequately supported during the orientation period.
Managers should take the time to meet new employees at the beginning of their first day, ensure that their calendar is planned ahead of time and that meetings are scheduled with key people within the organisation who may be important. Managers should also check-in with the new employee at the end of the week to gauge their thoughts on the role, while also using the opportunity to provide any pertinent feedback to the new employee as well.
iii) Put the role in context
Although the nature of the role would have been covered during the interview, it’s a useful exercise to reinforce the key accountabilities, relationships and objectives of the role. If an organisation sets out the key performance objectives from the start, it will ensure that the new employee has a clear understanding of what is expected, while also setting the framework for what constitutes success in the role.