In contemporary America companies are increasingly becoming focused on being competitive on a national and global level. The importance of the recruitment process is vital for organizational competitiveness and a failure to approach this function effectively will have consequences for future job performance. Numerous authors have emphasised the importance of integrating the recruitment process into organizational strategies and HR systems as well as the necessity to respond to changes in the organization's environment (e.g. Stone, 2002, p.174, Nankervis, Compton & McCarthy, 1999, p.190). The organization is constantly changing and in order to respond to changes in its environment, for instance, the structure of the organization may change and jobs redesigned to improve efficiency or reduce costs. However, one of the fundamental mistakes made by management is the failure to allocate “the right people to the right jobs” (Stone, 2002, p.124). In conjunction with the impact of the global economy, the high demand for skilled labor has meant a world-wide shortage of skilled staff and this trend continues in the US particularly as organizations seek increased competitiveness resulting in a fundamental change in the labor market. This has led to a need for organizations to develop sound HR policies and an effective recruitment process ensuring that it can acquire the most qualified pool of applicants available. The essence of the recruitment process is traditionally embedded among its steps and their effective execution.
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From the critical point of view, the name of steps in recruitment varies with the author’s approach. In broad sense the first step in recruitment process refers to planning. This step is designed to ensure that company’s management has a vision of company’s staffing needs and requirements, as well as a realistic time scale for it. This stage is also important as company or its HR department decides on what method or strategy to pursue to acquire the most qualified pool of candidates, namely conduct internal or external recruitment. Practical stage of recruitment process contains four intrinsic elements: job requisition, analysis, attracting candidates, and selection. Job requisition stage corresponds to the process described above as planning stage though in some literature separate these stages and some incorporate in one whole element.
A Job Analysis Stage represents a very important part of the recruitment process as it provides a framework to base manager’s decisions on. For instance, if HR decides that a third level qualification is required for a particular job then he/she can dismiss all application forms from candidates who are below this level. From this standpoint, writing a job description will help the company define exactly what company wants its new employee to do, and it will also help the applicants understand what they are applying for. A good job description will set out the boundaries within which a person is to work along with the tasks and responsibilities to be undertaken, so that is gives both the employer and employee an understanding of what is excepted from both of them. It should also include the main purpose of the job and the results the person should achieve.
During the stage of attracting the candidates, company, which decided on the position it wants to fill and the type of candidate, has a range of options for finding suitable applicants. Different methods will be appropriate for different jobs. There is a combination of methods, which can give HR department the best choice of candidate. Internal recruitment can be cost effective as it makes the most of existing talent who have had first hand experience within the companies systems and procedures. Press advertising can create quick responses and it also reaches a wide range of possible applicants actively looking for a new job. However this method can be expensive and it may attract too many candidates, which lays beyond necessary division. Using recruitment agencies can save a lot of time and money, as they will advertise shortlist and interview. This method can also be quicker than others as the company has access to the agency's database of potential candidates. On the other hand, recruitment agencies can be very expensive, they may not understand exactly what the company requires and they may use limited selection methods as recruitment consultants’ skills can vary.
During selection stage, the major challenges faced by HR management are the handling of job applications and interview preparation. One main contributor of poor selection of applicants is the failure to establish a selection criterion that is not only consistent with organizational strategies, but reflects the frame of reference set by the job analysis. Employers frequently change job requirements and it results in incorrect selection if HR and line management select unqualified candidates (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, p.81). This will have consequences for the organization, such as increased training time, labor turnover, absenteeism and poor performance (Stone, 2002, p.212). Therefore, information required for interview preparation must be accurate and objective. It is necessary to specify the exact skills and qualifications required for jobs and this is difficult due to the dynamic, perpetually changing nature of jobs.
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