Recruitment and Selection process in the US

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According to a recent article in USA Today, the majority of CEOs report that in five yes, when they look back at the most important decisions affecting their success, getting and retaining talent will have surpassed all other areas. (Cober, 2007; 479-494) Those other areas include executing business plans and improving customer service. In another recent USA Today article, 46 percent of CEOs report the scarcity of qualified employees is one of the three biggest obstacles to their success.

Attracting and hiring the tight employees is the first step to building a solid and effective safety culture. Employers have some unique challenges to consider if safety- and health issues are to be taken seriously by employees. Attracting the right employee is very different today than it was years ago. As the workforce shrinks, the makeup of the workforce is changing drastically. There are more women and minorities in the workplace than ever before. Experts say this is a trend that will continue into the future. The paper covers two important steps of HR hiring process 1) Recruitment Strategy 2) Selection Strategy

Recruitment Strategy

Despite all of the workplace flexibility and family-friendly policies offered by companies today, many challenges still exist in attracting, hiring, and retaining the "best and brightest." Unfortunately, many employers -11 are hiring just to fill "spots," especially in labor, manufacturing, and service jobs. The pool of candidates can be quite diverse, ranging from Generation X and Y (the future labor pool) to immigrants speaking English as a second language. (Malone, 2000, 162) Issues such as cultural and language barriers and high illiteracy rates can make it even more challenging for employers to meet staffing needs

A Great Place to Work

Today, it's important to make a concerted effort to promote your industry or company to a potential employee. Men, women, generation Xers and Ys, older workers, and various ethnic groups have different needs and expectations. How can you meet those needs? Generally, Generation Xers are looking for more excitement and fun at work, higher pay, and job challenges. The competition is fierce. These types of job candidates are more savvy and particular.

Gain Visibility for Your Company

Making appearances at job fairs and school career discussions or becoming part of the educational curriculum in colleges, high schools, and elementary schools is another way to attract future employees. The construction industry uses coloring books as a way to introduce the industry to young people. This approach can make a lasting impression on a child or young adult as he or she considers a particular career. It's important to emphasize safety and health as part of your company's focus. (Cober, 2007; 479-494) Prospective employees do pay attention to how you handle employee-related issues.

Let Them Sample It

Internships are a good way for employers and potential employees to "test the waters." Some industries, such as construction, have created six-to-eight-week courses to help prospective female employees get a better sense of the type of work involved, the work environment, and the culture so they can make an informed career choice. The industry has found that individuals who have taken the course and chosen construction as a career option are more likely to remain employed by that industry. (Malone, 2000, 162)

Consider asking retirees or soon-to-be retirees to help in the process of attracting, hiring, and retaining employees. They could mentor new employees, conduct training classes, lead employee orientations, or assist in the development of training products.

Hiring Good Employees

In these times of low unemployment rates around the country, I hear all too often: "I hire them because it's a warm body." ..."Has a heartbeat." Costs for hiring and retraining due to poor employee selection can be astronomical, depending upon the level and skill, of the position to be replaced. When it comes to performance, employee job fit is critical. (Pernick, 2001, 429) Sure, we can train people, but understanding what you have coming in the door is essential. Job skills testing, personality testing, and safety orientation are all crucial pieces to helping you make better choices.

One trucking company learned the true value of its new personality-based and safety-focused hiring tool. While using the tool in a test validation mode, company officials found their lowest-scoring candidates were less successful in training classes. In fact, two people who scored lowest on the test were involved in two separate rollover accidents. If the company had used the tool during the hiring process of these two people, it may have been able to save $400,000. The company may not have hired the two employees, or if it had, it may have opted to give them more training and oversight. (Pernick, 2001, 429)

One of the most important factors to an employee's success on the job-particularly from a safety and health standpoint-is a new employee orientation. Our research at The St. Paul Companies shows 38 percent of accidents and 42 percent of construction fatalities occur in the first 90 days of a new job. (Joinson, 2008 82) Orientations need to include the basics, such as job responsibilities, policies and procedures, safety-related issues and exposures, and tours of the plant, facility, job site, and office areas.

Selection Strategy

If you use sound employee selection practices, your hiring process doesn't have to be a gamble. You'll be going a long way toward lowering your operating costs by reducing employee turnover, and you'll be boosting revenues by increasing employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

Over the past five years, Interview Technologies (IT) has successfully helped many companies select peak performers and maximize the potential of their current employees. They do this by focusing on employee selection, performance appraisal, coaching efforts on specific behaviors and personality traits related to peak performance. (Sullivan, 2002)

The Predictive Performance Profile (P3) system and the new Integrated Performance Management (IPM) system blend the power of behavioral science with the accuracy of personality profiling to deliver powerful, integrated tools for selecting and managing employees with maximum effectiveness.

Effective vs. Ineffective

One way to distinguish effective from ineffective employees is in how they act and react to the demands of their positions. Effective employees act and react in ways that help performance, while their ineffective counterparts act and react in ways that hinder performance. These actions and reactions are influenced by the employee’s personality.

Using this knowledge and the system, developed job profile benchmarks for key positions, such as service technician, service supervisor and sales representative. The job profiles illustrate and describe the personality traits supporting peak performance, and are the baseline for comparing the personality traits of candidates and employees. (Sullivan, 2002)

By comparing these traits to the job profiles using System software, managers select more peak performers and maximize the potential of current employees with greater consistency.

Personality Traits

People with higher "dominance," for example, are hard-driving and more willing to take risks. They're anxious with receiving stuff done, and are aggressive and target-oriented. They desire to be influential and like to control others. Confident in their ability, they're often authoritarian and daring. They may also be abrasive at times and critical of others.

People with lower dominance are congenial and cooperative. They tend to defer to others, are less likely to take risks, are modest and cautious, and try to avoid conflict. Effective salespeople are often higher in dominance. (Vandenberghe, 2004 47-71) Effective service supervisors tend to demonstrate moderate dominance, while effective service technicians and clerical/support staff tend to be lower in dominance.


Employees with higher "extroversion" traits are people-oriented. They’re gregarious, welcoming and friendly, and favor superior groups and get-togethers. They want people to like them and are lively and fluent. Extroverts like enthusiasm and inspiration, and have an influential, expressive approach. They lean to be keen, positive and hopeful.

People with lower extroversion traits (those who are introverted) are calm, stern and personal. They're snobbish in social circumstances and repeatedly take away themselves from moreover a great deal of participation with others. (Vandenberghe, 2004 47-71) They’re thoughtful and reflective. Effective salespeople are often higher in extroversion, while effective service supervisors, technicians and clerical/support staff tend to have moderate extroversion.


Employees with higher patience are amiable. They like harmony, but dislike conflict and tend to avoid it. At ease with life's complexities, they're stable and reliable, and like the same traits in others. Those lower in patience are fast-paced, intense and action-oriented, and convey a sense of urgency. They appear restless, take quick action and are more willing to risk conflict to achieve change. (Selden, 2003)

Effective sales reps are often lower in patience. Effective supervisors need to get results through others and tend to have moderate patience, while technicians and clerical/support staff often have moderate to lower patience.


People with higher conformity traits are partial to structure and rules and are concerned about what is fair and appropriate. Effective salespeople often exhibit low conformity, while effective service supervisors are moderate to low on conformity. Service technicians and clerical/support people, on the other hand, tend to place higher on the conformity scale.

What Predicts Success? Try the FACTs Method

The FACTs method is an easy way to remember and apply four key best practices that help to recruit and retain employees.

* Fairness. Employees need to be rewarded equitably for their contribution. They need to be treated fairly and with respect and given equal chance for training and promotional opportunities. If employees feel the workplace is unfair, they will go elsewhere for better pay and compensation or a more favorable working environment.

* Accountability. Your employees need to know their job duties and responsibilities and receive regular feedback on their performance. If employees lack goals or focus, they cannot contribute optimally, which results in wasted time and resources for the organization. If employees can't contribute fully, this can negatively impact their attitude and self-esteem. (Selden, 2003)

* Communication. Employees need an open line of communication with their employers so they can perform their job to the best of their ability. The regular sharing of information can make employees feel involved, engaged, and empowered.

* Training. Employee training has been shown to improve productivity and reduce on-the-job injury rates (Ostroff, 2000, 211-266). Training helps employees perform their job with skill and efficiency. Your employees need tools and training to help them grow and develop.


A good example of FACT is Occupational English Services (OES), a Minnesota based program developed in part to train and improve communication among multicultural workers and their employers. OES teaches non-English-speaking individuals basic English so they can perform simple tasks, such as reading instructions, answering job-related questions, and completing written forms. In addition, cultural differences are discussed in the classes. By providing this type of education to employees, the high costs associated with worker turnover can be reduced and teamwork can be developed. At the same time, morale and productivity should improve.

The key to achieving success with Workforce 2000/2020 and beyond is simple: Attracting and hiring the right employees. Then, it's up to you as an employer to support and nurture employee growth and development and guides them to perform their job in a safe manner.

Once you have done that, you'll find your organization is better equipped to deal with a variety of safety issues. So, go ahead, take the plunge!