Recruitment and Selection Part 1 Produce a report, advising HiTech on how it should move forward as far as recruitment is concerned i. e. what advice would you give? Introduction HiTech International is one of the fastest –growing companies in the world. It currently employs over 30’000 people in 60 countries and has annual turnover in excess of $19billion. Located in West Dublin, HiTech European headquarters employs 2’500 people. 90% are employees of the company and remaining 10% are employed on a subcontracted basis.
HiTech specialise in provision of computer hardware and bespoke software solutions for corporate clients to assist them in maximising the use of the internet. HiTech also provide a complete after-sales service which goes beyond regular software maintenance. The company is recognised as global market leaders in several of its principal line of business. Due to the competitive market that HiTech operates in innovation and continually evolving technology developments through research and development department is central to the company’s future success.
HiTech offers employees excellent terms and conditions of employment with top-salaries, generous bonus schemes, discounts, pensions, health and life insurance. The environment in which they work is very attractive with excellent facilities such as staff cafeterias, fitness facilities and valet services. Staff retention is very good; turnover levels are currently at 5% of which half are accounted for by dismissals and non-renewal of fixed-term contracts. HiTech are experiencing some difficultly with finding sufficient number of employees with the required skills to meet its expansion needs.
Due to the fast-moving nature of the industry graduates are not utilised as by the time they are trained with a set of skills technology has moved on making their training redundant. Some graduates do succeed but most struggle, and are dependent on too much from the start. HiTech’s main source of new recruits is staff employed by competitors or working in closely related fields. They also have adopted a ‘no poaching’ policy with companies that HiTech has a customer relationship with or partner companies.
Currently HiTech have two principle methods of recruitment in addition to a small- scale graduate training programme; advertising in national newspapers and head-hunters. HiTech are not satisfied with either method; adverts bring in too many applications that take up too much time to work through them. Head-hunters have found some suitable candidates but put at a great cost plus there is a risk that candidates would be lured away again by the same agent. And with the small pool of labour agencies are unable to identify the required individuals that are not already know to HiTech.
Recommendations Improve on employer brand Although HiTech has global market leadership in several lines of its business and is recognised for its products as potential a brand leader but has it adopted an employer brand. Edward (2005) “employer branding is clearly aimed at attracting and retaining staff” (Edwards, 2005 Employer Branding) HiTech aim should be to develop and maintain a strong brand image as an employer that will reinforce their efforts to attract and subsequently retain the most effective performers.
According to CIPD Survey “nearly three quarters of organisations have made efforts to improve their employee brand over the last year, most commonly through employee surveys and developing online career sites” (CIPD Annual Survey 2011/resourcing and talent planning). HiTech need to project a favourable impression of experience working there, similar to the reputation or brand that Google and Face book have. Evidence strongly suggested that employers can gain an edge in labour market through development of a good brand.
Charles Schwab from US investment bank states “having a strong brand for an employee is a competitive advantage and strategic advantage…… it really does help to attract the best candidate….. ”(The Conference Board 2001, pg 5/people resourcing Chp 3 pg 68) Using different media to search for talent Website One of the most effective methods that attracts applicants to an organisation is the organisations own corporate website. Corporate websites is an excellent pool for attracting potential candidates. HiTech would have the skills in house to setup a corporate website at a minimum cost.
The website should attract people to the careers section, convince them of the desirability of a career in HiTech and capture them as a candidate with an exceptional online response process. Furthermore to the website development HiTech should improve process of applying for a position within the organisation which would address the large quantity of applications received when they run a national newspaper advertisement. Adopting an online application will eliminate unqualified candidates from first round and then suitable applicants can progress onto the second stage of competency test.
This would highlight the qualified personnel with the required skills much more effectively. Trade Journals HiTech could sign up to the specific trade journals that are relevant to the specific industry, profession, trade or business that it in association with. Trade journal would effectively reach a number of the potential candidates that HiTech need to make their presence aware. LinkedIn It would be in HiTech best interest to get connected with social networking website LinkedIn that is geared towards companies and industry professional looking to make new business contacts, keep in touch with previous co –workers and clients.
According to CIPD annual survey on resourcing and talent planning professional networking 16% of organisations find that it is an effective method of attracting applications to an their organisation (CIPD annual survey 2011 on resourcing and talent planning). HiTech can create profile that details the company profile and can link in with similar professional establishments and people. This can then form a platform for HiTech to search through profiles of people that they are interested in hiring new employees and also for candidates to search for potential job opportunities.
Education Development Even though HiTech skills shortage is an immediate concern they also need to think long term especially when it comes to skills shortages as planning for the future will ensure the organisations continued success. Linking up educational establishments to ensure that the curriculum being taught is relevant to skills set required and preparing students for work and developing their internal talent pipelines around skills shortage areas.
HiTech could also offer work experience placements with students to begin the internal training process of the organisation and therefore once qualified will be more up to date with the technology and possible bring new ideas in order to remain innovate. Apple have developed an excellent link in with local colleges and students ; they approach colleagues in different fields and establish a campus rep that is trained in the apple technology and then the campus Rep hosts workshops , demonstrations and build up the Apple brand as a desirable employer.
They also have an internship programmes to students through summer placements or co-op during academic year. Apple provides hands on experience by allowing interns to work on critical projects and also offer employment opportunities after they have graduated. Graduate Recruitment From the case study it is said that HiTech has a small scale graduate training programme and that they have difficultly employing graduates with limited experience and train them.
HiTech need to further resource and enhance their graduate programme to ensure that candidates get the best possible opportunity during their studies and that they receive the relevant work experience so that once they graduate they can ‘hit the ground running’ . Sony has launched a European Graduate programme that is well structured and offers graduates the experience of all elements of the organisation. The structure is divided up into Business Experience – which is run over two years and graduates rotate on two assignments taking in all roles.
They are then provided with training modules that are delivered by top management and highly skilled personnel giving them a unique networking opportunity. Each graduate receives a mentor from the middle management leadership development programme. And finally they are offered social entrepreneurship were they collaborate in groups and apply their business skills making a real contribution to a social project. “One in ten organisations is considering sponsoring students through university” and “over a quarter of organisations operate a structured graduate programme” (CIPD annual survey 2011/resourcing and talent planning).
Talent Management Graduates struggle to succeed in developing their careers within the company and it doesn’t mention in the case study about any development programmes for employees. Talent management is “ systematic attraction , identification, development , engagement , retention and deployment of individuals who are of particular value to an organisation, either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are filling business/operation –critical roles”( CIPD Factsheet; Talent Management An Overview).
HiTech need to develop this further for their graduates and employees, it would include a range of activities such as formal and informal leadership coaching, networking events and board-level and client exposure. This would assist HiTech to maintain competitive advantage and get the best from their people. This can be achieved by focusing on four areas of the talent management loop; Attracting talent – as previously mentioned attracting external talent through corporate website to offer a recognised graduate programme enhance the employer brand which will attract new talent.
Developing talent- learning and development initiatives should be in implemented to enhance employees and assist graduate to succeed in their career. Managing Talent – this could be linked to development aspect but focuses more on the retention. Succession planning can help HiTech to identify future and potential skilled personnel. Tracking and evaluating talent – continuous evaluation of talent will help improve the staff retention and give focus to areas that management need to work on. Secondment
Secondment refers to the temporary movement of an employee to another part of organisation. HiTech could find this very beneficial if they temporary moved the employees from other countries to Dublin based office. It would certainly assist with the immediate shortage of skills, they would not have to train the candidates as they would be familiar with the organisation and it would provide the time for the organisation to adopt the recommendations mentioned above to improve the employer brand and training and development programmes.
Another option would be external secondment , HiTech have develop relationships with partnership companies and even with no poaching policy in place they could come to an agreement with another organisation to loan a required skill employee to them for short-term basis to relieve the immediate requirement . Conclusion HiTech International case study highlighted the fact that even been the fast growing company it the world and recognised as global market leaders without the requires skilled staff can cause significant effect on the companies continued success and to maintain competitive advantage.
Without a defined, well recognised employer brand an organisation that depends on innovation and creativity attracting specialised skills in a relatively small pool of people can be difficult. Reviewing the organisations methods for recruiting talent and researching how successful they are and be willing to adapted and change to the diverse global market is important. Making connections with educational establishments and encouraging graduates to sign up with the programmes will help to prevent future shortages but all programmes and connections must be supported, managed and evaluated on a regular basis.
Focusing on in house training and development of staff with career structures will further enhance the organisation and challenges employees to continue to be creative and motivated. Sourcing staff from other branches in other countries could relieve short-term shortage of staff while progress is being made on the employer brand to attract external candidates, training and development programmes are set up and implemented. Regardless of how successful an organisation is, skills shortages can cause significant negative effects on the competitive advantage of an organisation.
Continuous assessment of organisation recruitment strategy and ensuring that it is linked to the corporate strategy of the organisation should be re-evaluated on a regular basis to remain a successful organisation and a global market leader. Part 2 With reference to relevant academic literature; evaluate the effectiveness of the interview as a selection method. Introduction “There is a long tradition going back to the beginning of the twentieth century of academic research into the relative merits of different selection tools (People Resourcing Chp 11 Pg 254). Organisations worldwide must adapt selection method to recruit personnel in order to operate their businesses. The method that they select, be simple or sophisticated depends on a number of factors such as financial, cultural, resources that are available and if their requirements are immediate or for the future. “You are attempting to predict how a person will perform their work, interact with their future colleagues, treat your customers and respect your business”. (Recruitment and selection slide 8 Selection) All selection methods have positive and negative results and none are infallible.
According to CIPD Annual report 2011, interview remains the most common selection method. (CIPD Annual report 2011 resourcing and talent planning). Main Body “Interviews of one kind or another are almost universally used “(IRS 2002c, CIPD 2007c). Interviews are popular as they provide the opportunity to meet face to face with the potential future employee, assess candidate’s ability to carry out the job. It also provides the opportunity for the employer to describe job specification, discuss the terms and conditions of employment and project a positive impression of the organisation and emphasise the organisations brand. A controlled conversation with a purpose “(Torrington, 1995). Despite their widespread use, interviews are often questioned as to how effective in selecting people for specific roles they really are. A number of draw backs that Anderson and Shackleton (Anderson and Shakleton, 1993) gather from a variety of studies show some of the reasons why interviews can been criticised. These include; Expectancy Effect – this is where the interviewer gains impression of the candidate before the interview Stereotyping – interviewers assume that particular characteristics are typical of a particular group of people.
Personal Linking – interviewers may make decisions on whether they liked or disliked a candidate. Halo and Horns Effect – interviewers may rate candidates as simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Mirror Effect –interviewers may give preference to candidates that perceive to be similar to them. Contrast Effect – the interviewer may allow the experience of interviewing one candidate to affect the way they interview others. Primary Effect – interview puts too much emphasis on information gained in initial part of interview. Information overload Effect- interviewers may make decisions on only part of the data available to them.
Temporal extension Effect – interviewers may assume that a candidate’s conduct at interview is their general personality. One thirds of employers make an initial hiring decision in the first ninety seconds of an interview, based entirely on interviewees appearance” (XpertHR 2011 selection interviews survey). It could be said that interview selection tool is prejudiced and biased but it is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure that interviewers are adequately trained to help eliminate these errors.
It would appear that recruiters are positive, although not passionate about the effectiveness of the interviews as a selection tool (XpertHR 2011 selection interviews survey) Two thirds of employers rate interviews as “effective” but just 16. 7% say they are “very effective” (App1). Studies have found that the predictive validity of the structured interview is quite high (Campione et al. 1988; Wiesner Cronshaw 1988). Structuring interviews can also help improve the ability to predict performance in the role as they provide interviewers with a framework to follow when interviewing each candidate, based on the criteria for the job.
Adapting structure to the interview means that questions are planned carefully before the interview, all candidates are asked the same core questions, answers are scored using a rating system and all questions focus on the attributes and behaviours needed in the job. Evenden and Anderson ( 1992) suggest that the choice of questions and the appropriate use of them can ensure greater balance and flow in the interview itself (Gunnigle Human Resource Management in Ireland Chp 5 pg 128) The types of questions that can be used are ; * Direct or Closed – are useful to get facts but too many lead to repetition. Leading – no real value in this type of question as most interviewee would follow it. * Topic Changing- help to create a flow through interview. * Probing and developing- help to test the interviewees specific knowledge or skills. * Open-ended- are useful to encourage interviewee to talk and get involved. * Reflecting back – are useful to ensuring information is understood. * Command – are useful retrieve additional information on specific area. Structured interviews can be behavioural, they focus on past performance or situational, they focus on future performance. A growing number of employers are now taking his approach, 60% carry out structured interviews as part of the selection process. (XpertHR2011 selection interview surveys). Interview format can also provide additional structure to the interview selection process, where her they are one to one, panel interview or sequence of interviews but whatever format is chosen the effectiveness of the interview should be the same. Newell (2000) warns that while efforts have been made to improve the selection process through a more systematic approach , currents trends in organisations make ‘best practises’ model somewhat problematic.
Job specification and analysis can become difficult if job requires flexibility and also with a number of organisations looking for innovation and creativity the term ‘fit’ has less relevance. (Gunnigle, Human Resource Management in Ireland, Chp 5 pg 124). Other criticism of the structured approach is although highly effective method with the use of controlled questioning etc its doesn’t actually represent the more relaxed environment that a candidate can easily open up. “The main disadvantage of using a structured interview is that its rigidity can limit the information-gathering process.
Instead of exploring an applicant’s responses by further questioning during the interview, the process is often rushed in order to get through all the questions on the schedule, and the assessment of the individual can inaccurate as a result. Also, since the interviewer takes the lead, he or she may dominate the process, denying the applicant sufficient time to provide a considered and accurate response” (Du Plessis 2003 Pg 170). Approaching a system in reality there is always so sort of compromise as without flexibility systems wouldn’t be sustainable.
The interview selection tool would need to adopt a degree of flexibility and would help to improve the problems that have been suggested above. Adopting a mixed approach of semi-structuring or mixed approaches into the process would create the more open relaxed situation that interviews are perceived as but also the structure process remains which overall would make the interview selection method more effective. Conclusion Through the research that has been carried out and reflecting back on some of the statistics that have been reviewed , the interview process across a wide ange of organisations and even in different markets would be reasonable to say that it is and will continue to be an effective selection tool. Even more so structured interviews have a greater effectiveness, however rigid the process is interviewing remains essentially a selective process. Organisations must ensure that they provide adequate training to equip their interviewers with the essential knowledge and skills required to maximise the interview process and also that they offer the best opportunity with no bias or error for the candidate in question.
Furthermore organisations need to be flexible in order to adapt to external and internal factors effecting their organisations environment for example economic, political cultural and technology. Thus the selection processes also needs to be adjusted; we can see this through compromising with the structure approach to interviewing with semi-structure or mixed approaches that slight modifications can improve the outcome. Organisations need to be flexible in order to maintain best practise for their organisation and jobs roles would need to be adjusted accordingly.
The interview as a selection tool is still by far the most effective and widely used method across the globe. There are a number of draw backs and there are other selection tools that are more effective but a cost. The interview is the most cost effective, time effective method and with selecting the wrong candidate for the role costing an organisation approximately €15’000 you are not going to offer a position to someone that you haven’t meet face to face now are you ? Appendences 1
Bibliography Anderson and Shackleton(1993) Successful selection interviewing. CIPD Fact Sheets Selection Methods. CIPD Fact Sheets Secondment. CIPD Fact Sheet Talent Managment. CIPD Annual Survey Report 2011 Resourcing and Talent Planning. Gunnigle Human Resource Management in Ireland. Taylor People Resourcing. www. sony. com www. apple. com XpertHR 2011 Selection Interviews Survey; Effectiveness and Training Article. XpertHR 2011 Selection Interviews Survey; Interview tools and record-keeping.