Process Essay, 14 pages (3500 words)

"recruitment: history, people, process & strategies”

Growing up I always had a keen interest in learning about and working with other people.

This desire to work with others has led to professional endeavors which encompass an array of industries and disciplines including, but not limited to: retail management, executive recruiting and college admissions/enrollment. From these various positions over the past six and a half years I have finally decided to take the leap and focus my graduate school degree in Human Resource Management and Development, as I got the most fulfillment and had the most interest in the work I was doing as an executive recruiter. Over the course of this paper I am going to attempt to provide a historic overview of the recruitment industry, explain the different parties involved in the hiring process, discuss how to build a hiring strategy and will round out the paper with various recruitment strategies that employers use to attract talent to their organizations. Based on my personal history and how I got there I often wondered how the recruitment industry started. According to Kevin Sundheim, “ recruiting began with the military and dates all the way back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The birth of the modern recruiting industry, however, did not take place until the 1940’s as a result of WWII. ” (Sundheim) He indicates the reason for the recruitment discipline and the employment agencies was to find qualified workers to replace those individuals who were working and being called to military duty. Upon return from the war, many individuals who were serving came back with new skills and found themselves not going back to their old jobs, but instead to the up and coming technology field. Based on this, the need for headhunting agencies became popular. At first, these headhunting agencies worked for those who were seeking employment, rather than for the employer seeking new employees, like they are used today. The next phase of recruitment history was in the 1970s when large corporations began outsourcing their hiring efforts to recruiting companies, particularly for full time, executive level positions.

In the 1980s there were regulatory concerns on the differences between employee (W2) and independent contractors (1099) which was blurred due to labor laws. Laws were then passed to open the door for the next phase of recruitment in the 1990s which saw huge demands on the industry and where the industry started to take on new forms of recruitment practices including various types of strategies. In the mid-to-late 2000s, the economy took a downturn, along with the industry as unemployment rates are high and companies are now looking to save money so they keep the staffing in-house. (SUNDHEIM 1). Due to the fact that the economy is still not to where it was in the 1990’s, I think it’s important that the remaining focus be on the internal considerations when recruiting new employees into an organization. The first thing that needs to be identified when putting together a recruitment plan are the parties involved.

This, of course, is going to differ based on the considerations for each type of position that the recruiter and human resource team are trying to fulfill. Generally, the categories of people who may be involved in various stages include board members and other external constituents, internal hiring manager, administrative support staff and human resources representatives. ” (GUIDESTAR 2). The individuals involved in each stage of the recruitment process depend on various criteria including the level of position, style and values of the organization, structure of the organization and availability. For example, when discussing level of position, if you are responsible for a chief or executive level position you will most likely want to have a search committee structure which includes board members.

On the other hand, for an entry-level position it may be possible that the direct supervisor is solely involved in the hiring process. Additionally, it’s important to take into account the style and value of the organization. If it’s a highly collaborative work environment then it may be important to include the input from staff in regards to hiring decisions. If decisions are made by just a few people, then it will not be important to include various staff members in on the hiring and decision making process. Furthermore, the structure of the organization may impact the hiring process. Some human resource departments may be extremely involved, while other companies may have this department only sign-off for the final candidate.

Finally, availability of individuals involved in hiring is key to the success of a recruitment process. (GUIDESTAR 2). Once there is an idea of who should be involved in the hiring process it’ll take the form of mostly one of four options, including single hiring manager, hiring manager with human resource department support, board-driven search committees and staff-driven group process. Each of these various options provides their own benefits and challenges which will be discussed. The first is the single hiring manager process.

The benefits to this option are that the “ single vision simplifies the process and decision making; the process can move quickly if hiring manager is organized and has the capacity to manage the effort; and the hiring manager is able to understand the position and sell it to candidates, along with personally select the person with who will best work. ” (GUIDESTART 2). The challenges with this approach are that the “ hiring can be too subjective to one person’s point of view about the ideal candidate and his/her role in the organization; additionally one person is rarely able to make the commitment needed to ensure a truly effective process. (GUIDESTAR 2). The second approach is the hiring manager with human resource support.

The benefits of this option is that “ human resource expertise (is) woven into the process to ensure that the search is efficient and effective; future direct supervisor can be relieved of the often uncomfortable final negotiation responsibilities. ” (GUIDESTAR 2) The challenges with this approach are that the process “ can slow the process and make it more bureaucratic overall; and the HR process can be seen as a ‘ hurdle’ to candidates who would rather deal with management directly. (GUIDESTAR 2) The third approach is the board-driven committee. The benefits of this process, typically for executive level positions are that it “ generates widespread ‘ buy-in’ to the decision; candidates gain diverse perspective about the organization by meeting a variety of stakeholders. ” (GUIDESTAR 2) The downfalls are that it “ requires significant time to manage and coordinate; the process can be slowed by the need for consensus building; and can be difficult to get to a shared vision for the process, ideal candidate or final hiring decision. (GUIDESTAR 2) Finally, the staff-driven approach also has it’s pros and cons.

The pros are that the “ multiple staff members bring diverse perspectives; more people available to divide responsibilities; often allows for senior management involvement in final decision with limited other requirements. ” (GUIDESTAR 2) The cons with this approach are that the “ role of each staff member needs to be clearly defined and also communicated to candidates; there is a risk of alienating staff who are not involved and (similar to the board-driven committee) can be difficult to get a shared vision for the process, ideal andidate or final hiring decision. ” (GUIDESTAR 2) Once the appropriate people are in place and roles are defined, it’s important to then figure out how to plan a successful hiring process, along with measuring the outcome of each search. Therefore, it’ll most likely be the role of a human resource professional to put together a seamless hiring strategy. The first step in the process according to SNI Companies is to “ determine a time frame to have your new hire on board.

(SNI COMPANIES 3) During the recruitment process it’s important to consider that there are several circumstances involved in hiring a new individual to a company. For example, the position may need to be filled quickly where some of the qualifications for the desired qualifications may need to be sacrificed. It’s also important to not pass by a great employee because the process was planned to take a longer period of time. Other considerations in this first step are the “ long range and annual operating plans for the business, workforce plan, critical roles, compliant and attractive job descriptions, key success factors and key performance indicators for the role from hiring managers, determine talent availability externally by conducting a market analysis and internally by talent review process, performance and succession plans and ensure employer branding and value proposition for the available opportunities which includes why someone would want to work for this company, what are the current employees saying and what is the current turnover rate. (RAVI 4) The second step in the process is to “ narrow down sources you’d like to use to find the best talent quickly. ” (SNI COMPANIES 3).

This step is going to take additional action from the employer. Most employers use a variety of channels to hire new employees which may include a “ referral program, campus recruitment, industry associations/user groups, social networking sites” (RAVI 4) in addition to “ personal network of contacts and with a specialized recruiting firm. The broader type of source you use will directly affect the quality of candidates you receive. Be aware that posting your opening to an on-line job board may flood your inbox with unscreened resumes. ” (SNI COMPANIES 3) The third step in the hiring strategy is to “ determine the salary range you’re willing to pay.

” (SNI COMPANIES 3) It’s important during this phase to “ research the local employment market to confirm that your compensation is in line. You may also want to find out how your competitors structure their bonus pay and benefits. If your budget is significantly lower than market, reconsider the level of hire you can make. Plan to pay market value for the job so that you don’t get caught in a cycle of turnover related to compensation issues. ” (SNI COMPANIES 3) The fourth step in the hiring strategy is to “ determine necessary skills and other qualification. ” (SNI COMPANIES 3) “ It’s helpful to divide these into lists of requirements vs.

preferences. This is a good time to evaluate if the level of the position should be changed or even upgraded as your needs may have changed from the last time you hired for this role. ” (SNI Companies 3) The fifth step is to “ write a clear job description. (SNI Companies 3). SNI Companies suggests that “ if possible, enlist the help of the person leaving the job for realistic input of what the position entails. Include an overview of both daily responsibilities and long-term projects.

” (SNI Companies 3) The sixth and half-way mark of the hiring strategy is to “ determine selling points of your opportunity and employer. ” (SNI Companies 3) As most recruiters should know “ interviewing is a two-way street so be prepared to explain the reasons why this role would be attractive, especially to someone who may not be in an active job search. (SNI Companies 3) The seventh step of the process would be to “ obtain proper approval from human resources. ” (SNI Companies 3) The eighth and perhaps one of the most important aspects to consider as a human resource professional is to “ give timely and detailed feedback. ” (SNI Companies 3) “ Whether you’re working through your own internal human resources group or through a recruiting firm, timely and detailed feedback is critical to everyone involved.

Job specifications may change, and that’s understandable. However, not providing detailed information as to what you like or don’t like as you progress through the hiring process, and not communicating in a timely manner will lead to inefficiency and failure. ” (SNI Companies 3) The ninth consideration when putting together a hiring strategy is to be “ proactive about news surrounding your company. ” (SNI Companies 3) “ Discussing recent news about your organization that may be construed as negative to a candidate is the best approach. Whatever the potentially negative news is, be prepared to address it proactively with candidates. This allows you to clarify for the candidates what’s really going on.

It also gives them an immediate impression of how straight-forward you are in running your department or organization. ” (SNI Companies 3) The tenth and almost last thing to consider when putting together a strategy is to not “ make hires based solely on personality. ” (SNI Companies 3) It’s important to “ make sure the candidate can technically handle what’s required of the position. Personality is definitely a part of whether or not someone is a fit for a position and an organization, but don’t hire based more on personality than technical capability. ” (SNI Companies 3) The eleventh consideration is “ internal conflict” (SNI Companies 3). “ If you pass over someone internally to fill a position from the outside, do not have the person involved in the hiring process.

You will also need to be hands-on in managing the involvement of individuals who are training new employees that may feel slighted or be negative about the company. ” (SNI Companies 3) Finally, have “ an acceptance checklist. The offer being accepted is rarely the last step in the hiring process, and the last thing you want to do is make a poor first impression with a new employee. Make sure all company required testing and paperwork is done prior to starting. This may include drug tests, background checks, credit checks, reference checks, etc.

As their new manager, make a personal phone call once the employee has accepted to reaffirm your enthusiasm about them joining your team. If possible take the new employee to lunch between the acceptance and the projected start date. (SNI Companies 3) Additionally, it’s important to measure the outcomes of the hiring strategy. This is important as it’s been indicated that “ what cannot be measured cannot be improved so it is imperative to come up with Key Performance Indicators and measure performance and delivery against those” (Ravi 4) for those involved in the process. In conclusion, one is able to see that for any type of position within an organization there is a lot of planning that goes into the recruitment process in order to ensure a successful and seamless hiring process.

Now that the history, people involved and recruitment planning process has been discussed it’s now time to dive into various recruitment strategies that companies use to attract new employees to their organizations. Businesses, human resources managers and other staffing professional use many recruitment strategies and methods. These can be a combination of several different approached including placing advertisements in the paper and online, publishing internal announcements for promotions and personal referrals, enlisting the help of employment and executive ecruitment agencies and perhaps even government job centers. Nowadays, progressive companies are also using social media strategies to target the best candidates for the organizations needs. Over the course of this section I will begin to explain the different strategies.

The first is the job advertisement, which is one of the most common methods used for recruitment for businesses. These advertisements can be placed in local and national print and online media. In order to attract and target the appropriate types of individuals it’s important to focus in on the publications and websites that have specific readers. For example, a technical business may consider advertising in trade publications and websites that tend to have high traffic to promote a new opportunity. When placing an advertisement it typically states the jobs location, job title, description, compensation package and instructions on how to apply.

(STRATEGIES 5) The second type of strategy to use would be internal bulletins and personal recommendations. This is a good way to get internal candidates interested in a promotion to apply. In addition, internal employees often know of individuals who have backgrounds like themselves and can also refer candidates to their organization. This strategy could potentially save the company time and money in recruitment efforts. When an employee refers a candidate they usually are rewarded with a bonus.

(STRATEGY 5)J The third strategy that could be used are employment and recruitment agencies. These agencies can save the company the hassle involved with the initial screening of outside resumes, assessing qualifications and testing, and checking references. Recruiters provide their service for a fee and often specialize in certain employment areas, such as financial services professionals, teachers, office personnel and executives. Another strategy for to use within the recruitment of new employees and to find talent is to use government job centers. These centers typically offer advertising services as part of their employment development effort for the citizens they serve. The government also has job training and divisions that work with businesses that need to staff their companies.

The best advantage of this strategy is that it is often free to advertise job vacancies The newest strategies companies are beginning to embrace are social and new media. This can be a fruitful source as it can connect companies to professionals across the world. With this option it’s possible to find, collaborate and get introductions to many qualified professionals. (STRATEGIES 5) The aforementioned strategies are what is traditionally used when a new job has been brought to the attention of the human resource department. In addition to the traditional strategies, companies nowadays are embracing creative recruitment practices as a way to hire new and qualified individuals as well. The strategies discussed will help avoid sifting through a pile of poor-fit resumes, or will help you reach your ideal candidates that are not actively seeking a new opportunity.

One of the first creative strategies that a company could use is to use self-selection to find out who’s really interested. In this process the human resource department and appropriate personnel would hold an open group event, like an Open House. This event would be open to those who are qualified for the position. Upon completion of the event you will truly know who is interested from the pool of candidates that accepted the invitation and showed up for the event. (STRATEGIES 6) Another creative strategy that could be used is to arrange for group interaction.

This is a good way to allow interaction with potential candidates and is a great way to see their character, level of interest, working knowledge and communication skills. In addition, it lets the hiring personnel see what candidates would be a good fit for the corporate culture. When in a position to search for candidates the recruiter will often find that they are most interested in passive candidates. These are individuals who are already employed and not actively searching for a new position. The suggested approach for this is to reach out in a personal manner so that it demonstrates that the company is willing to go out of their way to get their attention.

One company that used this approach targeted 100 candidates in manner by sending them personalized iPods with a message from the CEO. This ended up paying off as 90 recipients responded, three left their jobs and a lot of other hires were discovered through the word-of-mouth buzz that the gesture created. (STRATEGIES 6) It’s also important to consider looking for talent in unlikely places. Quicken Loans which has consistently been rated in Fortune’s “ 100 best places to work” have conducted blitzes where they go into local restaurants and retail stores to find individuals with passion, urgency and a willingness to go the extra mile. Once individuals were targeted if they possessed these traits, they were then offered interviews.

They explain that those are traits that are hard to find, while it’s easy to teach someone finance. (STRATEGIES 6) In addition, to keep your recruitment strategy fresh it’s important to also attend events that are not job fairs. Job fairs typically turn out to be a useless strategy since the best candidates most likely already have a job. For example, if you needed to hire a project manager, the hiring personnel could attend an event targeted for this specific discipline and would be a great way to get a feel for what individuals are like in person. (STRATEGIES 6) Some other creative strategies to find new talent are to make yourself stand out with non-traditional media.

Written job descriptions won’t necessarily make an employer stand out. However, if the company were to post a podcast or video this would garner more attention. This is also a good way for potential employees to see the corporate culture of the organization. (STRATEGIES 6) One other approach is to find young talent. College job fairs are a good way to find young talent with knowledge and energy, but there are additional ways to tap into this talent pool.

For example, work study programs and mentored internships are a good way to show college students how fun it is to work for an organization which can often lead to a hire after graduation. In addition, marketing job openings at events that aren’t job fairs where younger talent might get together is also a recruitment strategy. Finally, another strategy to hire is to consider past candidates as former rejections could make great hires now. In addition, it’s important to advertise in places frequented by your ideal candidates as discussed earlier. All in all, the discipline of recruiting is a very exciting and rewarding career. There is much history within the industry, there are several people involved in the job hiring process, there is a process in regards to how to hire employees and then it’s important to figure out what the appropriate recruitment strategy is to find the best hires in the most cost effective and process oriented manner.

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