In larger organizations specialist recruitment officers may be appointed within the HER team or recruitment services may be delivered from a recruitment service centre, whose main role is to ensure that (to borrow a time-honored expression) ‘the right people with the right skills are employed at the right time’ by the organization. Other HER practitioners have little involvement in acquirement and selection, however, because these activities have been devolved to line managers or outsourced to specialist agencies and the in- house practitioners may only get involved in limited activities or in overseeing the process. Although recruitment and selection are core activities for many HER practitioners, they are activities that are affected by the organization’s policy and the external A free sample chapter from Human Resource Practice, 5th edition. By Malcolm Martin, Finn Whiting and Iatric Jackson published by the CUPID.
Copyright O CUPID 2010 All rights reserved; no part Of this excerpt may be reproduced, stored in a travel system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Publishers or a license permitting restricted copying in the United Kingdom issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. If you would like to purchase this book please visit www. Cupid. Co. UK/bookstore. 110 HER Practice environment – such things as business expansion or contraction, developments in employment legislation, the general economic climate and skills shortages. Whatever the economic climate, the workforce planning recess is by no means simple. Organizations need to predict their workforce requirements (egg numbers, skills and levels of responsibility) in accordance with future corporate objectives.
In times of business contraction, even if it is obvious that fewer staff will be required in the future than currently, it is highly unlikely that a recruitment freeze would deliver the changes in workforce make-up where they are required or could be effective for an extended period of time if the organization is to remain viable. There are many factors to be taken into consideration (egg existing skills, training and placement provision, retention, career progression and labor turnover), and it would be an unusual – and fortunate – employer that did not need to kick to the external labor market to ‘buy in’ new skills and abilities for key posts.
The employment situation over the years shifts from a sellers to a buyer’s market and back again and the approach of HER practitioners and the amount of time spent on recruitment and selection activities must reflect and anticipate this. However, this effect is not always evenly balanced across different employment sectors. In some sectors, downsizing of operations or moving hierarchical tiers leads to losses of jobs through redundancy exercises. In others, relocation of manufacturing and/or service facilities to areas, often outside the KICK, where labor costs are cheaper (and employment legislation may be less restrictive) leads to more radical approaches to recruitment and selection.
While in certain sectors, growth and the development of new business, new technology or changing markets can mean real skills shortages in the face of which recruitment and selection become of prime importance. In this section we will consider the context within which recruitment happens ND the factors impacting upon recruitment, the place and impact of employment legislation and the importance of equality and diversity in recruitment and selection practice. We will also provide an overview and detailed information on the recruitment and selection processes, considering both activities and skills, and will look at the transition to becoming an employee. H e c hanging nature of the workforce Two significant factors can be seen to be having a continuing impact on the nature of the workforce in the LIKE, both with implications for recruitment and selection activities: demographic change, and the use of more flexible less rotational working patterns, including the growth in outsourcing. Demographics Over coming years the workforce is set to become more diverse in terms Of gender, age and ethnic balance, building on changes that have already happened: Copyright @ CUPID 2010 All rights reserved; no part of this excerpt may be reproduced, stored in a In relation to gender, there is a continuing trend for more women to enter the workforce, raising issues such as equal pay and the provision of childcare.
In relation to age, falling birth rates and greater longevity mean that by 2030 46% of the UK population will be over 50 – compared with 33% in 2002. Pension changes will also impact in this area, leading to many people working for longer. In relation to ethnicity, government predictions indicate that by 2020 net migration will account for more than 40% of the growth In the working age population. All of these matters are important and complex and will take serious consideration by organizations during recruitment as well as other employment activities. Employers will need to do more to both attract and retain a more diverse workforce. The complexity of these issues can be seen by considering further just one of these elements – age – in more detail.
To maximize the participation of different age groups within an organization’s workforce and encourage age/generational diversity, the particular needs and expectations of each age group will have to be taken into account in designing jobs, in recruitment activities and in induction into the workplace. Although not homogeneous in their expectations, there are some common themes that are apparent in the different generations at work. Generation Y The younger age group (up to 30), often referred to as Generation Y, have been the subject of much recent research because they are perceived by any to be very different from previous generations in their approach to work. Research has shown that even within Generation Y, what people are looking for from work is not homogeneous, but that there is some common ground.
The dominant expectation of this group about work is for fulfilling roles and career development. Other things found to be of importance are work-life balance, opportunities for longer periods of time off, the working environment and organizational values, a need for challenge, stretch and change, the organization’s approach to social responsibility, having motivating ND inspirational managers, and having opportunities to work from home. Pay and location Of work, although important, were not high on the list. Research has also shown that boundaries (of place and time) between work and life outside work for many in this generation are breaking down.
Also, many have high expectations (and skill) around the use of technology at work, particularly the ‘participatory’ web – forums, blobs, networking, webmasters, etc. For this generation, being able to be yourself, feeling highly valued and being in a supportive and inspiring workplace drive satisfaction and happiness at work. They are excited by career development, particularly the opportunity to gain transferable skills and knowledge through professional and academic qualifications. Published by the CUPID. Copyright C CUPID 2010 mechanical, photocopying, recording, or thinness without the prior written 111 112 Generation X Workers within the middle age group (Generation X) are the most likely to have the dual responsibilities of dependent children and dependent parents.
Characteristics of this group include not wanting to work long hours, being keen to learn new skills and stay employable, a lack of trust in institutions, oiling increasingly uncomfortable in corporate or large organization life, a desire to see fairness in approaches to promotion based on performance not tenure, and a preference for an entrepreneurial or independent style of working. Perceived difficulties at work include not being as comfortable with technology as the younger generation (but being less willing to admit to it than the older generation) and having to manage the younger generation with their different approach. Baby boomers The older, 50+, generation (baby boomers) are approaching retirement much more flexibly than previous generations. They are most likely to have the dual erasures of very elderly parents and supporting children through early adulthood. There is no longer an absolute cut-off retirement age, and many work – and want to work – into retirement: so-called ‘retirement jobs’.
The reasons for this include financial security, enjoying work, an ongoing need for the friendship and companionship found at work and a fear of full retirement as an unknown experience. At work they value personal growth, want to be involved, believe in team orientation and value organization commitment and loyalty. They are motivated by teamwork and responsibility and seek reward for long hours and their work ethic. Generation Z When Generation Z (those currently still in education) are added in, the complexity all of this adds to the activities of recruitment is clear to see. Organizations will need to find new and improved ways of widening the groups from which they recruit.
Even in organizations that are anticipating reductions in the workforce, it will still be critical to future success to be able to attract and retain staff with the right skills and experience. Indeed, with a workforce reduced in size, it will be even more important to ensure that recruitment processes are selecting staff with the right skills and impotence’s and that retention is focused on keeping talented staff and managing out those whose performance is not at the required level. TO ensure the necessary level of creativity within a smaller workforce, diversity will become ever more important. Now see Activity 5. 1 and consider the age diversity in your organization. Purchase this book please visit WV. Cupid. Co. UK/bookstore. Activity 5. 1 Consider the age/generational diversity in your own team/department/organization.
Do the issues outlined above seem familiar to you? Have you interviewed people of different ages recently? Did any of these differences come across during the recruitment process? Talk to some people of different ages. What things are most important to them in relation to their job and work situation? What things are most important to you? Flexibility The trend away from a reliance on ‘permanent’ full-time contracts of employment to the increasing use of more flexible and atypical working arrangements – egg homework, compressed hours working, term-time contracts and part-time arrangements, as well as outsourced services and contracts for services – can be seen to be a continuing one.
The reasons for this include: isolation ? ii the unfair dismissal rights of employees, agency workers’ rights employee expectations about work-life balance changes in career paths as knowledge workers move to self-employment organizations’ utilizing a range of options to resource their non-core functions organizations’ requiring increased flexibility in terms of hours of work, location, skills development and the duration of the employment relationship in order to respond quickly to market demands government policy on outsourcing and efficiency in the public sector business gurus’ – notably Tom Peters’ ? encouraging companies to concentrate on hat they are good at and to outsource the remainder. We have thus seen many organizations move towards the ‘flexible firm’ model proposed by Atkinson (1984). Essentially, this means that employers retain a core group of primary workers who are likely to be permanent employees (although increasingly this group includes key part-time and other flexible working posts as well as full-time posts).
Numerical and functional flexibility is then provided by employing a range of temporary, casual, fixed-term and agency workers as well as outsourcing activities to other companies and self- employed individuals. Please note that whatever the make-up of your workforce, the same level of care and attention has to be paid to the recruitment and selection process (of employees and other Woofers’) in order to ensure that the organization’s workforce requirements are satisfied in as cost-effective a manner as possible. See Case study 5. 1 for further verification of this point. 113 ca SE SST dye 5. 1 114 A company director in a FÊTE-OHIO company learned his lesson the hard way about the dangers of compromising good practice with regard to recruitment and selection.
After the resignation of his PA/secretary, he used secretary supplied by a local recruitment agency as a temporary measure while seeking to recruit a permanent replacement. It was a particularly busy time of year and the ‘temp’ coped well in the circumstances. She put in a lot of effort and worked long hours because she was keen to impress. As the weeks passed, the director decided not to bother with a proper recruitment and selection process but to offer the permanent position to the temp. She gratefully accepted – and that was when the situation took a turn for the worse. As the workload of the department settled back to normal, it became apparent to the erector that the secretary did not possess the full range of skills that were expected of a PA.
A capability procedure was adopted as a late measure but the situation was irredeemable. Eventually, they reached a mutual decision to part company – but in the meantime there had been months of disruption and soured relationships. The secretary felt that she had been misled and badly treated, and was conscious that this experience would be viewed as a black mark on her previously good employment record. As can be seen from the sections above, it is important for organizations to now what type of posts they need in their business and to know something about the labor market they are operating in. We shall now look at human resource planning as a means of obtaining this knowledge. U ma n resource planning There are two components to the process of human resource planning (HARP): managing the demand for human resources, and managing the supply. An effective plan keeps the two in balance. Demand One source of demand arises from the organization’s activities requiring more resources. As a general rule managers like to increase their staff. The act of having more subordinates signifies an increase in power and influence, boosts self-esteem and, quite possibly, leads to a higher salary level or increased prospects. ‘Empire-building’ is a mark of success in both public and private sectors, although a reputation for the activity can be damaging. However, an increase in employment costs invariably leads to an increase in overhead costs.
There is a downward effect on overhead costs from shareholders (who expect the organization to make a profit) in the private sector, and from the Treasury, and ultimately the electors, in the public sector. From time to time there can be pressure to reduce overheads, and this is particularly likely to arise if there is a reduction in demand for the organization’s products or services. When it comes to cutting overhead costs, the number of options can be limited and a reduction in staff (usually the greater part of these costs) is the inevitable outcome. HER practitioners should keep the long term in mind and seek to curb unwise or unnecessary increases (or decreases) in employment.