The construction industry in Australia comprises around 320,000 enterprises. Of these enterprises over 60% are sole .traders, with nearly 30% employing between 1 and 4 people.
Overall, the sector employs more than 1,000,000 people (Thomas, 2009). The building and construction industry is generally characterised by a tiered system of organisational relations. Reflecting this arrangement, the largest development projects in Australia are dominated by a few major corporations (known in the industry simply as the 'majors').
Given the high proportion of sole traders in the industry, it is likely that highly aggregated data over estimates the competitive pressures in some parts of the sector. Housing Industry
Association data shows, for example, that in 2006-07, the largest 100 commercial construction companies won contracts worth 68% of all work started in the year to
March 2007. The 10 largest companies won 55% of the work won by the largest 100 companies in the sector in 2006-07, while the largest 20 firms accounted for 71% (Thomas, 2009).
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Confident Constructions competes within this same fragmented and highly competitive market, which was highlighted in The Australian Industry Group Construction Update
Survey and found that 67.5% of respondents rated the level of competition in the construction industry as high and a further 13.0% rated the level as extreme (Thomas, 2009).
The mega environment for the construction industry is diverse and has gone through some dynamic periods with the recent impacts of the Global Financial Crisis. The emergence of the global warming 'movement' around the world has shifted the way industries review their impact on the world from an environmental standpoint. This has also had an impact on the way traditional processes in construction are conducted.
For example, Global Warming has raised the awareness of solar electricity. This obviously impacts construction workers as construction workers must then become familiar with installation and maintaining solar based equipment. Ridout (2009) notes "many, if not most, buildings will be retrofitted to accommodate these solar concentrators. The implications for the construction industry are huge". Confident Constructions should implement an education policy within the firm and may be subsidise education costs for potential employees in order to obtain higher calibre of employee.
The recent Global Financial Crises has had a major impact on construction companies which Confident Constructions may be impacted. Financial Credit is harder to attain now and companies have become more conservative with spending policies and therefore this has impacted the growth of the construction industry. The global economic and financial crisis has brought an end to a period of sustained strong expansion in the construction sector (Ridout, 2008). While demand for mining and engineering projects will continue to remain strong, the remainder of the construction sector is experiencing significantly weaker conditions. There is a range of other issues also impacting on the industry, including labour and capital supply constraints and high costs, which constitute a significant risk to the growth and development of individual firms and the industry as a whole (Virginia, 2010).
RSP Improvement Options
From reviewing Confident Constructions current situation, the firm seems to be having difficulty receiving applications for the qualified positions for the new proposed work, which include:
Five qualified Carpenters
Three qualified Plumbers
Three qualified electricians
Confident constructions need to review its employment opportunity in the following areas.
Confident Constructions may not be reaching out to potential employees using mediums available to companies in order to advertise job vacancies. Some types of mediums that are used and recommended are according to (Field, 2006).
The internet (Job websites (seek.com.au, careerone.com.au and LinkedIn etc) and Advertising mediums such as Google Adwords)
Educational Institutions (Even qualified individuals further educate themselves in different areas of their industry)
Radio and Television
Social Networking Sites
The internet and traditional advertisements through Recruitment Agencies are recommended. The internet provides the ability to target specific websites or profiles through social networks such as Facebook in order to expose the job advertisement to the right demographic, relative to other solutions (Elzweig, 2009). Recruitment Agencies are also recommended choice as they are usually aware of industry trends and have a repository of individuals in their database they can contact and offer the job too. This highlights the importance of the job offering and the importance of the potential rewards (Remuneration + Bonuses) that need to be communicated to the potential applicant.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Job descriptions play a role in notifying and attracting applicants (Feldman, 2006). But they can do far more. Lavishing attention on your job descriptions at an early stage in the company's growth and continuing to attend to them over time can help understand who's doing what as your company grows, help you develop your employees, and improve retention.
Confident Constructions has failed to attract many qualified applications and therefore needs to consider remuneration packages and the way the job has been marketed and articulated to potential applicants.
The aim of an effective job advertisement does not mean receiving a large number of applications but a smaller number of very suitable applicants (Welch, 2009). Confident Constructions needs to attract qualified applications and therefore must make clear statements about the following:
Confident Construction will need to offer a more competitive salary for qualified positions as the market is competitive and employees hard to come by
Benefits of the position
Confident Construction likely did not properly advertise the benefits of the position and a good reason why working for the firm will be rewarding.
Prospects of the organisation
Confident Constructions needs to provide the 'end goal' for this project and what will be available for the potential candidate post project completion.
Opportunities offered for successful candidates (Is there promotion opportunities?)
Are bonuses available for successful applicants that complete the work ahead of schedule?
Is there an opportunity for stock options or equity within confident constructions?
Access to additional information about the organisation
Confident Constructions needs to provide a website with in depth detail about the firms history, culture, management, goals and positive impacts it has on employee and the local community it operates within.
The people in every organization are the most important resource. To remain successful in business, it is not only essential to hire the very best employees, but it is crucial that you retain these assets. Arms (2010), has stated "your salespeople are one of your most valuable investments. Companies recruit them, train them and trust them with your valued customers. Companies depend on them to keep your business growing." The hiring process of personnel will involve recruitment, selection and training. Retaining valuable employees with adequate compensation, fringe benefits, fair business relationship, favourable work environment, promoting morale, inspiring confidence and encouraging development help retain long term employment (Messmer, 1999).
To be able to keep valuable employees it is crucial that the recruitment process is done properly. During the presentation of the company and the interviews it is important to give a realistic job preview, so that the future employees understand where they are heading and what they can expect the job to be like. According to the essays article "How Auditing" (2008) "PhD Robert Sniderman, president of HRFocus USA, argues that employers that want to see high performance must realise that clear visions, purpose, goals, and expectations should be expressed when hiring a new person. Employees need to be able to see the big picture, especially when it comes to how their contributions work toward accomplishing the greater goal."
Establishing such an interdependent relationship should be considered by both the employer and the worker. Yet, many employer-employee relationships are formed with little care or thought. In this competitive job market, skilled staff needs to be retained and there are several ways of ensuring this. Salary, bonuses and perks although significant are not the overriding factors that keep employees from looking for other job opportunities. It is much better to create an environment in which people are happy to be affiliated with (Frank, 2006)
Confident Constructions needs to provide a flexible remuneration package that offers performance based bonuses and stock options in order to retain staff. Properly promoting Confident Constructions culture may also be a factor in why applications are so small. Most qualified employees are also likely to be slightly older in age due to the time it takes to educate and qualify them self. This means that staffs likely have a preference towards flexible working hours as well as flexible work/life balance. Perhaps even offering gym memberships, dental and healthcare subsidies are further ways the company can show it cares and looks after its employees, rather than treating them as 'cogs' in a mechanistic company structure.
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Recruiting and selecting the right people is paramount to the success of Confident Constructions and its ability to retain a workforce of the highest quality. This Recruitment and Selection Procedure provides guidelines and policies to assist supervisors hire the best people on merit and that the recruitment process is free from bias and discrimination. In Short, recruitment is about sourcing the right people at the right time in the right place and at the right time (Lingard, 2009).
Overview of RSP Process
Assess the need for the job and ensure adequate funding
Review the job description to ensure that it meets the present and future requirements
Design the selection process (utilise search committee process if applicable)
Draft the advertisement and select the advertising media
Short list using the person specification only
Interview and test short-listed candidates
Validate references, qualifications and background checks
Review the Job and the Need for It.
Upon the resignation, transfer, retirement, or the authorization of a new position, the "search and selection" procedure begins. This is an opportunity to review position responsibilities and the way in which the position contributes and promotes unit, department, division and company objectives.
Supervisors need to consider the following issues:
Is the job still necessary?
What value does it add to the team and to the delivery of service?
How will the Post be funded?
Does the job description need updating?
If so, the grade for the job and the person specification may need to be re-evaluated.
What type of employment could be offered?
Is job-sharing an option?
If the decision is to hire for the position, it is the responsibility of the Supervisor/Director to ensure that the Position Management Form is completed and sent to Human Resources Department for review.
Not all interviews for permanent positions must be conducted by a Committee. The HR manager is responsible for determining the positions that require a committee to interview and select. If the position is a possible promotion for one or more, then a committee should be used to ensure there is no appearance of bias or favouritism.
When an employee gives notice of intention to leave the company, the immediate supervisor should notify the Human Resources & Employee development so that necessary interviews for re-staffing might be arranged. The job classification, description and qualifications desired of replacement personnel should be provided by the department head at that time. Examples of such information might include:
1. Education or technical training required.
2. OHS requirements, lifting, vehicle operation, physical demands, etc.
3. Hours of work
4. Officials to whom applicants are to be referred.
5. Recommendations of any known applicants.
6. Additional information felt useful in preliminary screening.
When advised of a vacancy, the Human Resources will review the existing job description, making the necessary corrections, post a vacancy announcement for a minimum of five days on local job listing websites, bulletin boards, and on the Human Resources web site for the company. Postings will be forwarded to the HR manager for their reference and applicant referral. It is hoped that this procedure will create an awareness of positions available to insure upward mobility in careers within the company and to encourage applicant referral from numerous sources. Other advertising arrangements can be made.
Employee Priority Posting
All open positions must be posted for a minimum of five days, however the employing unit may initially designate that a position be posted with an employee priority designation or be posted on the general public website.
Positions designated for employee priority posting will be posted for a minimum of five business days on the employee priority website and only applications from current qualified internal positions will be forwarded to the HR manager for Confident Constructions. Positions not designated for employee priority posting will immediately be posted on the general job websites and general public job outlets.
If the employing unit identifies a successful candidate from this internal pool, no additional recruiting is required. If after five business days no internal applicant has been selected, the position will be reopened and posted for recruiting on the general public website for a minimum of five additional business days. Internal employees may still apply during this open period.
Read all applications submitted. The selection of the top candidates for interviewing must be based on the Job Description and specifications. New criteria cannot be introduced to assess the candidates at this stage as it would be unfair. It is the responsibility of the persons conducting the interviews to complete the short-listing and to ensure the process remains free of unlawful discrimination. If a committee is used, the entire committee should agree on the short list. If a committee is not used, it is desirable that a second person also participate in the short-listing process.
Arranging the Interview
The persons responsible for the interviews is responsible for scheduling dates and times for interviews directly with the short listed candidates and notifying the candidates of any selection tests that will be used.
Federal law prohibits certain questions in an employment interview and the application for employment has been developed to comply with Federal guidelines. Examples of such illegal questions might refer to the applicant's age, disability, religion, ages of children, etc.
The purpose of interviewing is to appoint the best person for the job based solely on merit and suitability. The Recruitment and Selection process achieves this using methods that are systematic, thorough, fair, unbiased and based on rational, objective, job related criteria.
At the interview, each candidate should be treated consistently. To achieve this, the panel should:
Ask the same initial questions of each candidate
Supplement their understanding of the candidate's responses by following up questions as appropriate
Be consistent in allowing access to presentation material, notes and so on
Not allow any discriminatory questions, harassment, or any other conduct which breaches the equal opportunities policy or code of conduct
Keep in mind that information obtained throughout the selection process is treated as confidential and is known only to parties involved in the selection process
Keep records of interviews and the reasons for decisions - each question should receive a grade, and a grade for overall impression. The candidates will be ranked from highest to lowest based on the scores given and the position negotiated or offered to the highest ranking candidate. The scoring sheets and all documentation of the interviews must be given to Human Resources and Employee Development for filing
In selecting the successful candidate, the panel must make a decision based on the merit and eligibility of the candidates as judged by:
Content of application and qualifications
Performance at Interview
Outcome of any selection tests
As part of assessing the merit of each candidate, persons selecting candidates must satisfy themselves that the information the candidate gives is authentic, consistent and honest. This includes being satisfied about information regarding the candidate's:
Application -- work history
Qualifications (where a qualification is a requirement, supporting evidence or certification must be obtained from the candidate and recorded)
Evidence presented at interview
Reference checks; references must be called and information recorded for the file
Identify yourself immediately, explain your position within the organization and tell the person why you are calling about the applicant.
Ask if he or she is free to discuss the situation
Try to establish rapport
Tell the person the position the candidate is being considered for
Let the person talk feely
Ask the references the same questions for each of your candidates
Always end the call with: would you rehire this person?"
Should any of these not meet the required standards, Human Resources must discuss the issue with Management
Criminal Background Checks
In an effort to provide a safe and secure workplace, to comply with Board of Regents Policy and to minimize the potential litigation associated with "negligent hiring processes," Confident Constructions will require background checks on the top two candidates for the position. Employment shall be conditioned upon the execution of a consent form for criminal record disclosure and upon consideration of one's criminal history.
Pre-employment drug testing of candidates selected for certain types of employment is required in order to avoid further complications, post employment. Confident Constructions shall require pre-employment drug tests of individuals selected for positions which may directly impact the health, safety and welfare of others.
Disqualification of Applicants
An applicant will be disqualified for employment for any of the following reasons:
He or she is addicted to the use of alcohol or use of illegal drugs.
Discovery of any false statement or omission of material facts from the formal application.
He or she has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, unless pardon has been granted.
He or she has been convicted of a crime, unless first offender treatment was granted by the court.
Having completed the interviewing process, an offer of employment may be extended by the employing department. However, the dept head must advise the candidate that the offer is conditional pending the results of a criminal background check.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In order for Confident Construction to resolve the issues highlighted in the report. The company needs to:
Ensure effective advertising mediums for job opportunities are used
Understand how to write effective job offerings in order to attract applicants
Understand the construction industry in terms of remuneration, bonus packages and standard employee perks and benefits of employment in order to attract excellent employees
Implement the standard procedure highlighted in section three as a standard recruitment practice
Constantly keep job descriptions up to date and become pro-active in retaining employees by listening to their suggestions, complaints and overall monitoring their work environment to ensure employees are satisfied.