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Recruitment is the process of identify that the business needs to employ somebody, to the point at which applications are received by the company. Recruitment can be done internally or externally i.e. existing employees can be promoted or else the company can search outside itself for new candidates. Recruitment at higher levels especially is no longer a question of trying to fill a defined slot, but more of an attempt to match the needs of an organisation with people of the same skills set. Selection consists of a number of processes carried out to find a successful candidate. Recruitment and selection has been carried out by all companies since they began. The recruitment and selection process had humble beginnings amongst newspaper ads, and costly interview days, not to mention trips to job fairs but these methods have greatly changed and will continue to change in 2013. Recruitment and selection is important not only for a business to succeed, but for businesses to beat their competitors also.
A good job description is extremely powerful when it comes to recruitment. The most important aspect of the job description is that it works for both the company, and the eventual member of staff. If it is done correctly it can benefit the company in a variety of ways such as producing a person specification, shortlisting candidates, interviewing, checking their eligibility against desired criteria, identifying training needs and supporting the candidates in their attempt at fulfilling the requirements of the post. The job description is the basic component from which the recruit, tent and selection process begins. A job description needs to containing information such as the job title, overall purpose, location within the company, reporting lines and key area of responsibility that the job carries. (Greenwood, 1996)
Companies have always needed to hire people to work for them, but the term recruitment and selection, and the idea of the process is relatively new. Degrees in Human Resource Management are also relatively new in popularity. The introduction of the equality and equal opportunities legislation changed the way in which recruitment is carried out, as some older processes are now deemed as unfair and unjust. The employment equalities act 1998 to 2011 outlaw's discrimination in a wide range of employment areas. The act defines discrimination as treating one person differently to others on nine bases: age, gender, sexual orientation, and race, membership of travelling community, civil status, family status, religion, or disability. (Information, 2012) Employers also have less freedom now to hire and fire because of increased rules and regulations which is placing extra pressure on the recruitment and selection process because they need to pinch the best candidate first time around.
The most obvious methods of recruiting employees aren't working anymore, and are too costly so employers have found many new and innovative ways to bag the best person for their team. Technology has greatly helped in this changing process. Since the downturn in the economy there are huge numbers of people available and looking for jobs, but the key success factor is hiring the right ones. The following points are examples of innovative approaches that companies in 2013 are taking towards filling vacancies.
The starting key factor to hiring employees is not where exactly a company advertises the job, but the way in which the company is portrayed. Candidates will look to the internet to research a company they see a vacancy in, and if the company does not look attractive at that stage then a potentially ideal candidate may not even apply. Making a company attractive isn't necessarily about offering high wages, today's workforce want training and development, good facilities and a good working environment. Companies such as Google have realised this already, and are working hard at portraying themselves as a really desirable company to work for. (HRO, 2012) There are many publications such as Grad Irelands handbook which list the 100 best companies to work for, and to get the highest pool of graduate potential employees then companies need to work to get them included on these types of lists.
Social Media is a hugely innovative way in which companies are hiring employees. Most young professionals are more likely to use Facebook and twitter than pick up a newspaper. In a 2012 survey carried out by the unblog team, 98% of hr respondents said they believed that social media is an important tool for recruiting, training, and managing employees. The same survey found that 41% of college students use social media as a method of job hunting, and 64% of employers have already recruited employees from social media. 81% of college students are found to be using LinkedIn to distribute their CV's to potential employers and half use it to research these employers. See appendix 1 for more information on this topic. There is no denying the statistics that e recruiting is by far the best method for recruitment. It reaches a wide audience in different parts of the world, and comes at a lower cost than traditional forms of advertising jobs. (Boorman, 2012)
Online recruitment apart from social media shows many cutting edge ideas to hire employees. Job descriptions need to be specific - this is extremely important when advertising a job through any medium. Creative people are drawn towards creative postings. A unique way of advertising a job can be enough to poach the talent from a competitor. Video recruitment advertisements are starting to become popular. These are a highly innovative creative way to attract people to a company because they differ vastly from traditional blocks of text on a sheet of paper. Google are an example of a company that is embracing technology with their recruitment video portraying Google as an excellent desirable company to work for. Jobcasting (the process of recording job vacancies on a podcast) is another method of finding the right candidates in a new innovative way.
Firms have realised that careers in which people can progress are increasingly attractive. Many of them have built on this, and now advertise progression through the career path in their initial advertisement which helps attract a greater pool of candidates. A simple way companies are recruiting staff is calling former employees who have left. This is very clever because if these employees would like to return then it reduces costs such as training and induction. Six months is recommended to wait before calling senior level management because they need this time to become acquainted with new surroundings. (Perry, 2006) Handpicking dream candidates is a difficult task, but if it works out then it can be a very worthwhile recruitment idea. Reaching out in a personal manner will show candidates that you really want them, and are willing to go out of your way to get them. Emails generally go unnoticed, and calls don't get returned - so innovation is the only way to recruit these people. An excellent example of this innovation is from Red 5 Studios; advertising their job vacancy didn't show up any desirable candidates so the company knew they needed to poach talent from elsewhere. Through extensive research they found 100 dream employees, and spent time learning about these people as individuals from places such as their social networking sites and blogs. The company then airmailed each of these people a personalised iPod with a recorded message. This made the candidates feel very special and the flattery paid off with more than 90 people responding to the pitch, three left their current jobs to come and work for Red 5 Studios and many more ideal candidates were hired after applying through the word of mouth buzz the company created with the iPods. This is a costly method but the company do believe it worked out for them in the long term. They not only got the staff they needed at the time but they now have a database to call upon in future, and people who did not take them up on the job offer at that time knew about the company if the planned a change of job in the future. (MacMillan, 2008)
Bergee Tattoo a new tattoo studio came up with a very innovative way of recruiting ideal candidates - to apply for the position of tattoo artist in their studio they made people fill in a QR code with precision. This created buzz for the company because of the uniqueness of the job advertisement idea, but also helped the company itself to shortlist and select candidates because precision in that specific industry is very important. (Moran, 2013)
The Australian tourism board created a pop up beach complete with lifeguard stand and cheery music in London's waterloo station. Although this was a small PR stunt for Australian tourism, the purpose of this stunt they said was to recruit staff for the best job in the world. This is similar to a stunt in 2009, but this time they are looking to hire six new staff. For 2013 there are six positions up for grabs in six different regions. Whether on dreams of their way around and about Western Australia, discovering all the sights and attractions in Sydney or spending some time as a Wildlife caretaker or Outback Adventurer the deal is pretty much the same: Enjoy the best Australia has to offer and get paid doing it. The positions are for six months and offers $50,000 payment and $50,000 expenses. To apply for these positions entrants must upload a 30 second video explaining why they are the best person for the job. The most creative ideas will be the ones to succeed to the next stage of the process.(Moran, 2013)
A very interesting article in the Houston Business Journal told of an American supermarket's recruitment process. Before candidates even get to the interview stage for the H-E-B Central Market they undergo tasks such as building cereal displays, tasting artichokes and creating art displays. The companies reasoning for this is that their number one asset is people, so they need employees to be passionate about the food they are selling to these people. It also gives the applicant an insight into the company to see if they like it as well. More and more companies are thinking of innovative approaches like this to help the recruitment and selection process. The first stage of H-E-B's recruitment process is an application form which asks candidates to describe a favourite food experience followed by this "Taste of Future" three hour process. If candidates get through these stages they take part in group activities which examines their willingness to try new products and also how they interact with others. Applicants are also asked to create their own application - by means of drawing a picture using crayons to best describe themselves. Although this may seem like a long and costly process the company believes that it works well because the people they then hire know exactly what the company is about and vice versa, thus reducing turnover in the traditional settling in period. (Staff, 2001) Legoland had a similar method to this for recruiting a Master Builder. They asked applicants to fill in an application form, add a CV and also make a 30 second video about why they should be the master builder. After this candidates were shortlisted and a total of eight people were invited back for a build off so they could be examined under a number of headings such as creativity, building ability, public speaking skills and also interaction with the public as these are all major parts of day to day workings at Legoland.
Interacting with candidates in a group setting is a huge trend companies have created. In this way they get to see before the select candidates how they work in a team. Observations can be made and a high number of people can be eliminated within half an hour - either for being too pushy or not pushy enough. As corporate culture is important to organisations in 2013 this method helps employers to see if a candidate has their desired corporate culture in mind when acting in these group situations.
Companies are realising that in 2013 they need to look out from the ordinary when it comes to places to recruit talent from. Job fairs are not the way forward - looking in unusual places may be its replacement. Job fairs can prove to be a waste of time because the best candidates may already have a job, but for example if a company is looking for a graphic designer they could try places such as a graphic design focused meet up where they will find a larger pool of similar minded people whom you know are passionate about the job subject. Looking for people in unexpected places may not necessarily find candidates with relevant experience, but many companies re learning that once somebody has passion all the other skills can be taught to them.
A random selection tip which helps in interviews is from James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio, Mark Wilson, VP Sales Western Region at LogLogic, he finds that asking candidates their favourite cuss word can help him to assess if they can think on their feet or not. Some candidates get so flustered when asked that they cannot recover from it. This lets him know that if the candidate was in a sticky situation at work - perhaps during a very important deal then they are unable to recover quickly, and this could cost the company money. (Spark, 2011)
Jury's Inn operates a graduate programme which they advertise on their own website. This is not innovative necessarily but to select candidates they go through a number of processes. After the applicants are selected from the application forms they go to a graduate talent centre. The talent centre comprises of three parts, a group problem solving session where nine interviewers monitor the work of the candidates who are solving an issue, part two is an individual 45 minute interview and the third part comprises of candidates being given a scenario and they must make a presentation of their finding. If applicants get through this stage then they attend a final interview in the hotel they are most suited to. This process lets Jury's see how candidates work in situations similar to those they will face in a management role.
Small companies are facing huge selection problems; they may advertise one job and receive hundreds of applications. A 38 person consultancy firm Toronto Canada advertised nine job openings, and received 1200 applications. Selection from this number would have been extremely time consuming, so they came up with a new idea - The Company invited all applicants to attend an "open house" in Toronto. Instantly this was a case of self selection, only 400 turned up to the open house. A simple thing to do would have been attend but 800 did not bother so this proved that many people apply for jobs, but are not serious about it and time is wasted reviewing these CV's. At this open house event the first floor was a space where employees could mingle with candidates, and the second floor was similar to a speed dating event where one on one interviews were conducted for a few minutes. Each person had a time slot, and with properly thought out questions management was able to decide if candidates were going to be suitable within five minutes. By the end of the day the company had found 68 potential candidates, who were called back for group then individual interviews. This was an extremely efficient and innovative way to sort through this huge number of applications. The company has found that their instincts aren't always correct at interviews, and with training a costly procedure they have introduced questionnaires to the selection process. These questionnaires tests motivators, interpersonal styles and outlooks and according to the company they work well. (Maltby, 2009)
There is no denying that recruiting staff is a costly time consuming but nevertheless essential process. Doing it correctly can save the company money and time in the long run, and produce better productivity. The old traditional methods of recruitment and selection are no longer viable to attract the best talent. Equality acts have changed the way companies act, and legislation has changed the way in which they can change their workforce. This proves the importance of getting it right at the start. On the other hand technology has changed the way in which candidates treat job opportunities and increases flexibility for them. There is no denying from the above examples that recruitment and selection processes are extremely important to the future success of all companies, and innovation such as the above ideas is the key success factor in moving forward.
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