1 Fabian Terver Aende, 2 Donald Iortyom Anshi, 3 Dinnah Mbayengen Aende (Mrs)
1 Department of Business Education, College of Education, Katsina-Ala.
2 Department of Geography, College of Education, Oju,
3 Department of Geography, Benue State University, Makurdi.
Behind the success or failure of any institution/organization, there is only one factor, and that is the employees of that institution. If they work with their full efforts then the institution is going to rise. Finding out the best employees is a very tough task. We cannot say which method is good, it depends on the circumstances. If an organization has a good employee base, then it can choose an employee for a vacant position from within the organization. However, if no employee suits best on that position, then it can employ external sources of attracting or supplying personnel which this write up however, considers the procedure for attracting or recruiting quality resource personnel for the improvement of standards in an organization by critically reviewing scholars’ views on recruitment and selection. The paper further examines and devises the best way of conducting recruitment and selecting best brains for organizations. Some recommendations such as recruitment / selection check list are made and that, it should possess job specifications, job descriptions, job analyses and job enrichment i.e. title of the job, employee qualifications, working conditions, compensation, training progression, job satisfaction and motivation. For the purpose of this write up, attracting is narrowed to mean recruitment and selection of workers.
Organizations provide goods and services and since it is human beings that make these goods and services, there is the need for workers in every organization, to man various positions earmarked for the organization based on its designed structure. The personnel function according to Nongo(2005) identifies, recruits and utilizes human efforts (resources) to achieve organizational goals. Personnel function helps in recruiting, selecting, training and developing staff of an organization.
Nowadays, every organization places priority on personnel planning as one of the most vital activities. Human resources planning is by far, an essential ingredient for the success of any organization in the long run. There are a number of techniques that need to be followed by every organization in order to guarantee its possesses of the right number and type of people, at the right time and right place, so as to enable the organization to achieve its planned objectives.
Commonly, the objectives of the Human Resource Planning Department include resource planning, recruitment and selection, career planning, training and development, promotions, risk management, performance appraisal, to name a few. Each of these objectives requires special attention and accurate planning and execution, as rightly pointed out by Nwachukwu (1988). It is of utmost importance for every organization to employ the right person in a right position. Recruitment and selection play a pivotal role in attracting quality resource personnel for efficient and effective work performance.
With the shortage of skills in organizations’ management in Nigeria, and the rapid spread of new technology, exerting considerable pressure on how employers perform recruitment and selection activities, it is recommended to conduct a step-by-step strategic analysis of recruitment and selection processes. With reference to the current context, this paper is primarily based on an analysis of six pieces of literature conducted by practitioners and researchers in the field of Human Resource Management (HRM), towards obtaining quality resource personnel for organizations.
Various researchers like Flippo (2009) have contributed to the field of Human Resource Management (HRM) and have offered intensive and profound knowledge on the branches of HRM such as scientific recruitment and selection, manpower management, job analysis, need and purpose of recruitment and so on.
Conceptual Clarifications of Terms
Attracting: Generally, to attract is to draw attention or cause to come to a place or participate in a venture, by offering some things of interest or advantage. For this purpose, the paper would like to customize a definition of attracting to suit particular circumstances as recruitment and selection of qualified candidates to fill existing vacancies in educational institutions or organizations. The aim of recruitment is to ensure that the organization’s demand for manpower is met by attracting potential employees (recruits) in a cost-effective and timely manner. Selection on the other hand, is to identify from those coming forward, the individuals most suited and who are likely to fulfill the manpower needs of the organization (Bur & Ager, 2004).
Quality: In the business world, there are three critical variables that account for success: quality, innovation and productivity. According to Akpa (2003), the quality of a product or service refers to the totality of attributes possessed by that product or service. These unique functional or ornamental features act to differentiate one product or service from the other, in the market place, as they constitute value or provide satisfaction to the consumer. The degree of excellence of a product or service is judged on the basis of these attributes. Quality is about delivering distinctive attributes or the excellent value expected by the customers.
Here, what we are looking for, are the quality resource personnel in the labour market, to key them into the education industry for improved service delivery. We believe quality is vital to successful organizations. Quality is about making organizations perform for their stakeholders, from improving products, services, systems and processes, to making sure that the whole organization is fit and effective. Managing quality means constantly pursuing excellence. It is the process of using quality improvement tools to improve the corporate culture of an organization and produce quality products and services with zero defect, to meet customers need and reasonable expectation at a minimum cost (Amozua and Gudugu, 2016).
Resource Personnel: By resource personnel, we are referring to academic or non-academic staff that possess sound knowledge of their professional calling for impacting to students or administering educational affairs.
Improvement: Improvement according to Longman (1995), in Kpanja (2003), is the act of making something better than it had been. Improvement in this context means putting in place the right procedure for acquiring competent staff in all institutions of learning, who are ready to update their skills, knowledge and competencies in theory and in the use of materials, tools and equipment effectively in teaching, to make students become relevant to the demand of the present-day economy.
Quality resource personnel can be attracted into an organization through recruitment and selection. Recruitment can be seen as the process of identifying potential job seekers and encouraging them to be interested in the organization’s job offer. Recruitment provides a large pool of candidates, thereby affording the organization the opportunity to select the qualified employees it needs.
Flippo (2009) defines recruitment as “a process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating and encouraging them to apply for jobs in an organization”. In simpler terms, recruitment and selection are concurrent processes and are void without each other. They significantly differ from each other and are essential constituents of the organization. Recruitment helps in discovering the potential and capabilities of applicants for expected or actual organizational vacancies. It is a link between the jobs and those seeking jobs.
According to Korsten (2003) and Jones, Locke and Davies (2006), Human Resource Management theories emphasize on techniques of recruitment and selection and outline the benefits of interviews, assessment and psychometric examinations as employees selection process. They further state that the recruitment process may be internal or external or may also be conducted online. Typically, this process is based on the levels of recruitment policies, job postings and details, advertising, job application and interviewing process, assessment, decision making, formal selection and training Kortsen (2003).
Jones et al. (2006) suggest that examples of recruitment policies in the healthcare, business or industrial sector may offer insights into the processes involved in establishing recruitment policies and defining managerial objectives. Successful recruitment techniques involve an incisive analysis of the job, the labour market scenario/conditions and interviews, and psychometric tests in order to find out the potentialities of job seekers. Furthermore, small and medium sized enterprises lay their hands on interview and assessment with main concern related to job analysis, emotional intelligence in inexperienced job seekers, and corporate social responsibility. Other approaches to selection outlined by Jones et al (2006) include several types of interviews, role play, group discussion and group tasks and so on.
Every management process revolves around recruitment and failure in recruitment may lead to difficulties and unwanted barriers for any company, including untoward effect on its profitability and inappropriate degrees of staffing or employee skills. In addition, insufficient recruitment may result into lack of labour or hindrances in management decision making, and the overall recruitment process can itself be advanced and amended by complying with management theories. According to those management theories, the recruitment process can be largely enhanced by means of Rodgers Seven Point plan, Munro –Fasers five-fold grading system, personal interview, as well as psychological tests, (Jones et al, 2006).
Price (2007), formally defines recruitment and selection as the process of retrieving and attracting able applications for the purpose of employment. He states that, the process of recruitment is not a simple selection process, because it needs management decision making and broad planning, in order to appoint the most appropriate manpower. The existing competition among business enterprises for recruiting the most potential workers is on the path way towards creating innovation, with management decision-making and employers attempting to hire only the best applicants who would be the best fit for the corporate culture and ethics specific to the company. Price affirms further that, this would reflect the fact that the management would particularly shortlist able candidates who are well-equipped with the requirements of the position they are applying for, including team work, since possessing qualities of being a team player would be essential in any management position.
Hiltrop (1996) was successful in demonstrating the relationship between the HRM practices, HRM organizational strategies as well as organizational performance. He conducted his research on HR manager and Company officials of 319 companies in Europe regarding HR practices and policies of their respective companies and discovered that employment security, training and development programs, recruitment and selection, team work, employee participation, and lastly, personnel planning are the most essential practices. As a matter of fact, the primary role of HR is to develop, control, manage, incite and advice the commitment of the employees. The findings of Hiltrop’s (1996) work also showed that selectivity hiring has a positive impact on organizational performance and in turn provides a substantial practical insight for executives and officials involved.
Furthermore, staffing and selection remain areas of substantial interest. With recruitment and selection techniques for efficient hiring decisions, high performing companies are most likely to spend more time in giving training particularly on communication and team work skills. Moreover, the finding that there is a positive connection existing between firm performances and training is coherent with the human capital standpoint. Hence, Hiltrop (1996) suggests the managers need to develop HR practices that are more focused on training in order to achieve competitive benefits.
As discussed by Jackson and covey (2009), Human Resource Management approaches in any business organization are developed to meet corporate objectives and the materialization of strategic plan via training and development of personnel to obtain the ultimate goal of improving organizational performance as well as profits. The nature of recruitment and selection for a company that is pursuing HRM approach is influenced by the state of the labour market and its strength. Furthermore, it is necessary for such companies to monitor how the state of labour market connects with potential recruits via the projection of an image which will have an effect on and reinforce applicant expectations.
Bratton and Gold (1999) suggest that organizations are now developing models of the kind of employees they desire to recruit, and to recognize how far applicants correspond to their models by means of reliable and valid techniques of selection. Nonetheless, the researchers have also seen that such models, largely derived from competency framework, foster strength in companies by generating the appropriate knowledge against which the job seekers can be assessed. However, recruitment and selection are also the initial stages of a dialogue among applications and the company that shapes the employment relationship (Bratton & Gold, 1999) contended. This relationship being the essence of a company’s manpower development, failure to acknowledge the importance of determining expectation during recruitment and selection can lead to the loss of high quality job seekers and take initial stage of the employment relationship so down as to make the accomplishment of desirable HRM outcomes extremely difficult.
In the opinion of Bratton and Gold (1999), recruitment and selection practices are essential characteristics of a dialogue driven by the idea of “front-end” loading processes to development the social relationship among applicants and an organization. In this relationship, both parties make decisions throughout the recruitment and selection and it would be crucial for a company to realize that high quality job seekers, pulled by their view of the organization, might be lost at any level unless applications are provided for realistic organization as well as work description.
In the view of Jackson et al. (2009) and Bratton and Gold (1999) applicants have a specific view of expectations about how the company is going to treat them; recruitment and selection acts as an opportunity to clarify this view. Furthermore, one of the techniques of developing the view, suggested by Bratton and Gold (1999) is Realistic Job Previews (RJPs) that may take the form of case studies of employees and their overall work and experiences, the opportunity to “cover” someone at work, job samples and videos. The main objectives of RJPs are to allow for the expectation of job seekers to become more realistic and practical. RJPs tend to lower initial expectations regarding work and a company, thereby, causing some applications to select themselves. However, RJPS also increase the degree of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, employee performance, appraisal and job survival among job seekers who can continue into employment (Bratton & Gold 1999) Jackson et al (2009) conclude. However, the process of recruitment does not cease with application of candidature and selection of appropriate candidates, but involves sustaining and retaining the employees that are selected, as stated by Silzer & Dowell (2010).
The work of Silzer & Dowell (2010) was largely concerned with talent management, and through their work, they were successful in resolving issues like whether or not talent is something one can be born with or is it something that can be acquired through development. According to Silzer & Dowell (2010), that was a core challenge in designing talent systems facing the organization and among the senior management. The only solution to resolve the concern of attaining efficient talent management was adopting full executable recruitment techniques. Regardless of a well-drawn practical plan on recruitment and selection as well as involvement of a highly qualified management team, companies following recruitment process may face significant obstacles in implementation. As such, theories of HRM can give insights in the most effective approaches to recruitment even though companies will have to employ their in-house management skills for applying generic theories across particular organizational contexts. The work conducted by Silzer & Dowell (2010) states that the primary objective of successful talent strategies is to create both a case as well as blue print for developing the talent strategies within a dynamic and highly intensive economy, wherein acquisition/deployment and preservation of human capital talent that matter, shape the competitive advantages and success of many companies.
Toward that end Taher, Phatak and Boseman (2000) carried out a study to critique the value added and non-value activities in a recruitment and selection process. The strategic manpower planning of a company, training and development programme, performance appraisal, reward system and industrial relations, was also appropriately outlined in the study. This study was based on the fact that efficient HR planning is an essence of organizational success, which flows naturally into employee recruitment and selection. Therefore, demand rather than supply must be the prime focus of the recruitment and selection process and a greater emphasis must be put on planning, supervising and control rather than mediation.
Extending this principle, the realistic approach to recruitment and selection process was demonstrated, and the study found that an organization is efficient only when the value it commands exceeds the price involved in determining the process of decision making or product. In other words, value added and non-value added activities associated with a company’s recruitment and selection process impact its role in creating motivated and skilled workforce in the country. Thus, the study identified the wasting time, inspection time, and filing time as non-value added tasks and the cost of advertisement as the study only value added activity in the overall process.
Taher et al. (2000) further investigated the recruitment and selection process of the Bangladesh Open University (BOU). It was found that whenever the recruitment and selection department of BOU received a recruitment request on new applicants from other sections, the officials failed to instantly advertise the vacancy in various media. The university had to follow some long sequential steps prior to doing so. After the vacancy was publicly advertised, what followed were the bureaucratic formalities and complications together with inspection and supervision by two departments, thereby causing unnecessary waiting in the recruitment and selection process that eventually increased the cost of recruitment by keeping the organization’s image at stake. The study also witnessed some amount of repetition taking place at every step of recruitment where the applications of applicants circulated around too many departments for verifications. This repetitive work tended to engage unnecessary persons for a simple task that resulted in unnecessary delay in the decision and unjust wastage of manpower.
After a careful consideration of similar problems in BOU, Taher et al (2006) recommended an amendment of the recruitment process stating that firstly, processess like job analysis and searching internal and external sources must be followed by a direct advertisement of the post as the HR’s own responsibility and not by any intermediate officials. This will eliminate the non-value activities. Secondly, Taher et al. (2000) suggested a ‘System’ to be introduced to ease the respective department’s study of the shortlisted candidates, which can be done only by the request of the HR department. A medical assistance must be sought by BOU in regards to the physical or mental abilities of applicants for the job function as well as their workers compensation and risk. A procedure needs to be devised pertaining to the privacy and confidentiality of medical reports. Thus, this privacy and decrease in non-value added activity of the medical exam can be sustained effectively by testing the applicants via contracted medical advisors or in-house doctors. The use of a computer based HR system should be installed in BOU to manage the pool of information about employees and to make just-in-time HR recruitment and selection decisions.
Therefore, every organization is encouraged to develop real-time recruitment strategies that must attempt to generate a pool of appropriately qualified and well-experienced individuals so as to effectively initiate the selection strategies and decisions. In essence, the potential applications are encouraged to apply for open vacancies and also the relevant department can engage in recruiting the best candidates to upgrade the department’s performance (Taher et al., 2000).
Procedure for Attracting New Qualified Staff in an Institution / Organization(s)
Sullivan (2004) developed twelve elements of comprehensive recruiting strategies to include:
Develop accurate job descriptions: your first step is to make sure you have an effective job description for each position in your institution. Your job descriptions should reflect careful thought as to the roles the individual will fill, the skill sets they will need, the personality attributes that are important to completing their tasks, and any relevant experience that would differentiate one applicant from another. This may sound fairly basic, but you would be surprised at how many small institutions or organizations fail to develop or maintain updated job descriptions.
Compile a “success profile”: In addition to creating a job description, it is important to develop a “success profile” of the ideal employee for key positions in your institution that are critical to the execution of your business plan. These might include such positions as head of the institutions, departmental heads, and lecturers. For example, let us say you currently have 20 lecturers within that group, you have four that are top performers, 12 that are middle-of –the-road and 4 that are not quite making the grade. If you could bump the number of folks in the top group from 20 percent to 33 percent, that could have a dramatic impact on your institution’s performance.
To accomplish that goal, one needs to profile everyone in the lecturing group to identify any skills and attributes that are common to the top group but missing from the other groups. Using this information, you will be able to develop a profile to help you select the candidates most likely to succeed in that position. Remember, you cannot tell if you have found a match, if you are not matching candidates against a specific profile.
Draft the adverts, describing the position and the key qualifications required: Although, some applicants will ignore these requirements and respond regardless, including this information will help you limit the number of unqualified applicants.
Post the advert in the mediums mostly likely to reach your potential job candidates: Of course, the internet has become the leading venue for posting job openings, but do not overlook targeted industry publications and local newspapers.
Develop a series of phone-screening questions: Compile a list of suitable questions you can ask over the phone to help you quickly identify qualified candidates and eliminate everyone else.
Review the résumés you receive and identify your best candidates: Once you post your advert, you will start receiving résumés, sometimes many more than you anticipated. Knowing what you are looking for in terms of experience, education and skills will help you weed through these résumés (applications) quickly and identify potential candidates.
Screen candidates by phone: Once you have narrowed your stack of resumes to a handful of potential applicants, call the candidates and use your phone screening questions to further narrow the field, using a consistent set of questions, both this step and your face-to-face interviews will help ensure your evaluating candidates equally.
Select candidates for assessment: Based on the responses to your phone interviews, select the candidates you feel are best qualified for the next step in the process.
Assess your potential candidates for their skills and attributes using a proven assessment tool: A résumés and phone interview can only tell you so much about a job applicant, so you will need a dependable assessment tool to help you analyze the core behavioural traits and cognitive reasoning speed of applicant. For example, a good test will provide insights as to whether the individual is conscientious or lackadaisical, introverted or extroverted, agreeable or uncompromising, open to new ideas or closed- minded and emotionally stable or anxious and insecure.
The success profile you create for each position will help you determine which behaviour traits are important for that position. For example, you would expect a successful lecturer to be extroverted. On the other hand, someone filling a classical position might be more introverted. These assessment tests can be administered in person or online. Online testing and submission of results can help you determine whether the applicant should be invited for a personal interview.
Schedule and conduct candidate interviews: Once you have selected candidates based on the previous steps, schedule and conduct the interviews. Use a consistent set of 10 or 12 questions to maintain a structured interview and offer a sound basis for comparing applicants.
Select the candidate: Make your selection by matching the best applicant to the profiled job description. Run a background check on the individual to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews.
Make your offer to the candidate: The information collected during the interview process will provide you with important insights as to starting compensation levels and training needs.
The paper has offered an incisive review of literature as many as six authors based on their individual studies and research on recruitment and selection as instrument of attracting quality staff in an organization. It can be clearly concluded that for an institution to succeed, all it takes is the proper recruitment and selection strategies which also shape the overall manpower management of the institution. The paper emphasizes the fact that recruitment and selection process should be integrated with other processes such as a strategic plan of the institution/organization, training and development schemes, compensation, rewarding/incentive system, performance appraisal, and industrial relations. Thus, one best way of recruitment and selection is advocated by the paper. For accuracy assurance, a checklist is recommended as a mirror for employers. It is the ardent belief of the researcher, at the end of this paper that personnel saddled with the responsibility of either training or attracting quality resource personnel for any organization should be well equipped academically to train or technically to recruit, select and place the best brains in various positions in the given organization.
Apart from the procedure advocated by the paper, it is also suggested, based on the flow of the discussions that, for purposes of accuracy and avoidance of mistakes in the recruitment procedure, this typical checklist should be adhered to during recruitment and selection exercises.
The recruitment officer should agree on the vacancy with his superior officer, update job descriptions for the vacant position, state conditions of employment i.e. age, sex, hours, holidays, salary, responsibilities and prospects for progression on the job, specify the type of candidate needed, circulate notice of vacancy internally, agree on job advertisement internally or externally, provide information on where and how and the form the application can be made, make arrangements for drawing up a shortlist of candidates to be interviewed, agree on interview arrangements and inform shortlisted candidates, have a reserve list of qualified candidates to cross check facts, make provision for referees of candidates to cross check facts, polite letters to be sent to successful and unsuccessful candidates, provide necessary procedures for placement, induction and follow-up of progress by successful candidates.
Above all, check list must have job specifications, job descriptions, analyses and job enrichment i.e title of the job, employee qualification, working conditions, compensation, training progression, job satisfaction and motivation.
Akpa, B. (2003). Total quality management: Survival secret in a competitive environment. Unpublished lecture notes for MBA, BSU, Makurdi
Amozua, J. T. & Gudugu, E. T (2016). Modern entrepreneurship and small business management. Makurdi, Nigeria: Seron Press.
Bratton, J. & Gold J. (1999). Human resource management: Theory and practice. UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Bur, A. & Anger B. (2004). Personnel management. Makurdi, Nigeria. Oracle Business limited.
Flippo, E. (2009). Human resource management. Mc Graw Hill.
Hiltrop, M. S. (1996). Human resource management practice (6th ed.). Kogan Page Limited.
Jackson E & Covey S. (2009). Human resource management. London: University of London.
Jones F, Locke, E. A. & Davies L. E. (2006). Employee recruitment and selection in Jackson e’tal human resource management, Jackson e’tal library Book shelves, University of London.
Kpanja, E. H (2003). Vocational/Technical Education in Primary Schools. Benue State University Journal of Education, 4(1).
Korsten B. (2003). Employee recruitment and selection as discussed in Jackson e’tal Human Resource Management, Jackson e’tal Library Book Shelves, University of London.
Nongo, S. (2005). Fundamentals of management. Makurdi, Nigeria: Aboki publishers.
Nwachukwu, C. C. (1988). Management: Theory and practice. Onitsa: Africana, FEB. Publishers.
Price, A. (2009). Recruitment and selection process – International Journal of Recruitment and selection process. Tata: M.C. Graw – mill publishing Company Limited.
Silzer, R. & Dowell B. E. (2010). How are top companies assessing their high – potential employees: Hand book of employee selection. Published by Tyalor and Francis Group LLC. Trade mark.
Sullivan, J. (2004). Human resource strategy: Steps in developing a recruiting strategy. Part 2 in 2006, ERE Tweet. Share. London: Black Well Publishers.
Taher B, Phatak, M. & Boseman T. L. (2000). Down Load Complete Journal of the International Journal of human resource management. Emerald Group Publishers, Penguin Random House.