The staffing function of manager pertains to recruitment, selection, training and development and appraisal of personnel. It is the duty of every manager to perform these functions..

Staffing – Definition, Need, Process and Importance


  1. Definition of Staffing
  2. Need of Staffing
  3. Process of Staffing
  4. Importance of Staffing
  5. Sources of Recruitment in Staffing
  6. Wage Policy for Workers and Its Objectives
  7. Ideal Wage Plan in Staffing

# 1. Definition of Staffing:

In recent years, the staffing has come to be recognised as a separate management function. The reason to separate the staffing from organising is to give proper emphasis to the actual manning of organisational roles. The staffing function has assumed greater importance in recent times. The main causes of its importance are rapid advancement of technology, increasing size of organisations, etc.

In the words of Koontz and Donnel, “The managerial function of staffing involves manning the organisational structure through proper and effective selection, appraisal and development of personnel to fill the roles designed into the structure.”


The staffing function of manager pertains to recruitment, selection, training and development and appraisal of personnel. It is the duty of every manager to perform these functions.

It is the human resources function of management. It is concerned with obtaining, developing and retaining a competent group of managerial and operative personnel to effectively and efficiently perform the jobs of organisation.

According to Gullick, “Staffing is the whole personnel function of bringing in and training the staff and maintaining favourable conditions of work.”

Staffing is a continuous ongoing activity of managers. In short, most of the staffing functions are performed throughout the life of an organisation. The increasing scope and importance of staffing function has given rise to a separate branch of management called personnel management.

# 2. Need of Staffing:


The study of staffing as separate function of management is needed due to the following reasons:

i. The staffing of organisational roles includes knowledge and approaches which is not generally recognised by managers who think of organising as setting up a structure of roles but give little attention to filling these roles.

ii. It gives greater emphasis on the human element in selection, appraisal and personnel development.

iii. An important body of knowledge and experience in the area of staffing is now available.


iv. It is the job of all managers (and not that of the personnel department only) to fill the positions in their organisation and keep them filled with right persons well equipped in terms of qualification, experience, attitudes and aptitudes.

# 3. Process of Staffing:

Staffing is concerned with ensuring a business enterprise that it has the right number of people and the right kind of people at the right places, at the right time and that they are doing things for which they are economically most useful.

This will need the following measures:

i. Estimating Manpower Requirements:


Manpower requirements are estimated through job analysis.

Job analysis refers to the careful study of each job to determine the following:

(a) Tasks and responsibilities involved in a job;

(b) Relationships of one job to other job;


(c) Conditions under which job performance is carried on; and

(d) Personal capabilities a job-holder must possess for its satisfactory performance.

Due to care with which tasks, processes, responsibilities and personnel requirements are studied in job-analysis it is referred to as job study also.

According to Carrol and Shartle, job-analysis is an intensive direct method of obtaining the pertinent facts about jobs. It includes the observation of the job and the reporting of facts which are observed and which are obtained in conversation with workers, supervisors and others. This definition by Shartle includes both the contents of job-analysis and methods used to obtain them.


Three terms occur frequently in any job-analysis. These are jobs, positions and occupations.

Job refers to the ‘collection or aggregation of tasks, duties and responsibilities’ regarded as the reasonable assignment of an individual employee.

Position is a job performed by and hence related to a particular, specific employee. The position is both the job and the particular employee performing it at any given time. A job may include many positions. Thus, an employee has his own position. But the same assignment of duties may involve many positions which would constitute a single job. According to Yoder “The job is impersonal, the position is personal.”

Occupation is a generalised job, i.e., a job found in many undertakings and regions. The term refers to a whole group or class of similar jobs common in the several employees, industrial firms or areas. Mechanical engineer, stone cutter, die-maker etc. are the examples. Machine-operators, domestic servants are the examples of other groups of occupation.


ii. Identification of Sources of Recruitment:

Recruitment function is concerned with discovering the sources of manpower required and tapping these sources, i.e. attracting the potential employees to offer their services to the working organisation.

In other words, the purpose of recruitment function is to seek out the potential employees so that they can be evaluated, their commitment is obtained and thus the new employees are placed and inducted to fill up the vacant positions in a working organisation.

# 4. Importance of Staffing:

Staffing function is important for the following reasons:

i. Procurement of human resources involves investment. This investment has varying effects, varying with the quality of the persons, the functions performed, and the level of the organisation structure at which they work.

ii. The usefulness of the person in an enterprise depends on the manager under whom he works and the facilities made available as well as other person or persons who assist.


iii. The investment in human resources is of long-term effect. This makes the decisions to employ and remove from employment the most important consideration. It is more so in case of managerial personnel. The tendency for human resources to become obsolete makes this fact all the more difficult.

iv. While selecting a person, more particularly for the managerial position, the enterprise has not only to think of the current tasks but also the expectations from him after a decade, two or three.

v. In terms of the rate of return on the cost of material resources used in any business enterprise cannot be negative. This is not so in case of the money invested in human resources. The return on the investment of personnel, more particularly managerial personnel, may be positive or negative.

vi. The total effect of the functioning of the individual members of a team of managers may not be equal to the effect of the team as a whole. It may be less or more.

As a matter of fact, the sum total of the effect of the team should be much more than the arithmetical calculations of the effect of the work of the individual members of the team. But it may or may not happen. This adds to the importance of the responsibilities of the management for manpower procurement, compensation, motivation, appraisal, training and development.

For all these reasons staffing function assumes special importance in the study of the management process. Hence in modern times staffing function has come to be studied with special attention.

# 5. Sources of Recruitment in Staffing:


I. Internal Sources of Recruitment:

Recruitment from within the organisation is made through promotions and transfers. In some cases demotions too may take place.

i. Promotions:

Promotion refers to shifting of an employee to a position carrying higher responsibilities and therefore enjoying increased prestige. Thus, positions vacant in higher rank may be filled up by promoting suitable employees.

ii. Demotions:

Demotion is shifting of an employee to a position in which responsibilities are decreased. Promotion results in an increase in the rank of employees affected, demotion in decrease in rank.

Sources of Recruitmentiii. Transfers:

Transfer involves the shifting of an employee from one job to another. By and large transfer does not involve any change in the responsibilities, ranks, rate of compensation or prestige of the employees.

iv. Lay-Off:

Lay-off refers to the temporary separation of the employee from the employer on the initiative of the employer. In most of the cases lay-offs are due to lack of work. There is clear understanding between the employer and the employee that the employee will be recalled no sooner work is available. Thus, by recalling the laid-off employees vacant positions may be filled up.

II. External Sources of Recruitment:

All firms cannot meet all their manpower requirements from internal sources alone. Employees may resign. Vacancies thus created must be filled up.

Expansion programme may create new jobs with specifications which cannot be met from the list of existing employees. Death, retirement and dismissal of employees do likewise create jobs. Therefore recruitment from outside sources is necessary.


These sources are briefly discussed here:

i. Waiting Lists:

Many firms maintain their application files in which applications received from casual applicants are kept pending. Similarly, individuals might, have visited personally or enquired about the availability of job through mail or on phone. Applications from these are also taken and kept in record. Such records, if kept up to date prove very useful sources of recruitment.

ii. Recommendations of the Present Employees:

Many firms encourage their employees to recommend the names of their relatives, friends and acquaintances for employment. Some firms believe this policy to be a valuable asset both for maintaining goodwill of the present employees and finding reliable candidates.

Notices exhibited in workshop or at the main gate. Notices showing that vacancies exist may put on boards placed at a central location in the workshop or at the main gate. Sometimes even posters are used for the same purpose. These help in inducing potential candidates to apply for the jobs so notified.


iii. Factory Gate:

Usually a large number of job-seekers assemble everyday at the gate of the factory. In times of severe unemployment, in case of positions requiring unskilled workers and in filling up casual vacancies recruitment at the factory gate is an important method. Usually, the first-line supervisors or foreman is deputed to select suitable workers out of them.

iv. Jobbers and Contractors:

Many industries in India secure their manpower requirements through jobbers and contractors. These jobbers and contractors keep in touch with the potential labourers in the villages and bring them to the places where workers are needed. On payment of commission they are ready to supply required number of workers.

v. Personnel Consultants:

There are firms of personnel or management consultants which specialise in the recruitment of managerial personnel. It will depend upon the personnel policy of an undertaking whether to make use of the outside experts in personnel matters or not.

vi. Colleges, Universities, Institutes of Technology and Schools:

All these are very useful source of employees for full range of jobs. Universities may be used for recruiting graduates to be trained for positions of responsibility. Colleges, institutes of technology, etc. provide graduates and younger applicants as technicians, engineers, chemists, accountants etc. Many universities have established their own employment bureaus for the purpose.

vii. Employment Exchanges:

Public employment exchanges are an important source of recruitment from outside. Job -seekers get their names registered in these exchanges. Employment exchanges keep in touch with the employers. At the requests of the employers names of persons from the list of those registered having requisite qualifications are sent for consideration.

viii. Advertisement in Newspapers and Journals:

Advertising is an extremely popular method of recruiting staff. One significant benefit is that the advertiser can choose the most appropriate newspaper or journal for the post being advertised.

For example, if an accountant is needed, the post may be advertised in an accountancy journal, the posts of engineering personnel may be advertised in engineering journals. Also status papers such as The Economic Times, Financial Express, The Times of India, National Herald, etc. may be chosen for the purpose.

After reading this article you will learn about the meaning and objectives of wage policy.

# 6. Wage Policy for Workers and Its Objectives:

Management has to undertake the responsibility of paying a fair remuneration to the workers at all levels proportionate to their role and performance in the assigned catalogue of duties. Scientific wage policy has to be designed to attract the talented personnel and to motivate them for higher production.

Wage policy is also an important factor in maintenance of morale and discipline and preservation of contentment and initiative among workers. From the point of employers or management, wages are significant element of aggregate costs and are also the harbingers of workers’ efficiency and morale. A good pay-master enjoys highest rating in reputation.

Workers’ loyalty to the firm depends on the wages paid according to fair norms and opportunities open to them for increasing their remuneration.

From the point of workers, wages are the source of their income and their means of livelihood. Fair and progressive wage policy helps in maintaining and raising the standard of living of workers.

Moreover, well-designed wage policy promotes cordial industrial relations avoiding the possibilities of strikes, lock-outs and other perversities in labour- management relations.

Wage policy therefore aims at stimulating productivity, ensuring reasonable standard of living, maintaining discipline among the workers and preserving industrial peace.

Quantity and quality of work would be influenced by the quantum of wages paid to the workers. Profitability of the undertaking and its goodwill are, dependent on the productivity of the workers which in turn depends on the earnings assured to them.

The very quality of the personnel is influenced by remuneration payable to them. At the same time it should be remembered that unrealistic wages paid to workers regardless of their worth and work would spell economic deadlock for the industry.

Hence wage policy should be designed in such a manner as to reconcile the objectives of economy in costs, efficiency in performance and adequacy of earnings essential for maintaining workers’ living standard and social status consistent with criterion of equity.

According to Shubin, “Both employees and management are keenly interested in the design and operation of the company wage system; it affects the level of workers’ earnings, the case of recruiting and maintaining an effective labour force, morale and efficiency and the firm’s costs and competitive standing in the industry.”

In short, the industrial peace, constant flow of production and distribution will to a large extent be influenced by the satisfactory scheme of employee remuneration.

Objectives of Wage Policy:

The concept of paying as little as possible with a view to maximise profit is no longer valid. These days wages are used as a method of increasing profitability through increase in productivity induced by suitable wage-adjustments.

A purposeful wage policy should help in achievement of the overall objectives of the firm. The objectives of profitability, efficient service to the consumers, healthy relations with labour, less labour turnover, better quality of work, high employee motivation are the major considerations governing the wage policy.

Human dignity, social economic equity, financial capacity are the prime factors to be borne in mind in designing a wage policy or compensation plan. The basic criteria of wage schedules should conform to the objectives cited above.

Following are the criteria of wage fixation:

i. Productivity:

Productivity represents the contribution of the workers towards increased output. Wages, it is felt, should be commensurate with the productivity of the respective workers. Wages are fixed and further raised in proportion as the output rate increases. Productivity is the yardstick of labour efficiency; wages linked thereto would provide incentive and stimulus for quicker, accurate and higher performance.

Wages fixed according to productivity would also help the firm in keeping close grip over costs.

ii. Comparative Wage Levels:

Comparative wage levels are used both by labour and management to prove their contentions in any bilateral negotiation for wage fixation. Wages paid by competing firms or other enterprises for particular type, quantity and quality of work are compared and categorised and accordingly wages in a given firm are fixed around the comparative levels.

iii. Individual’s Needs:

Wages are often fixed with a view to enable the worker to meet his needs. The wages should be sufficient as to sustain the wage-earner and his family. Wages should give the recipient adequate purchasing power to possess the goods and services essential to satisfy his needs. Minimum wages legislation is enacted to ensure the workers the irreducible minimum income to fulfil their needs.

iv Cost of Living:

Changes in cost of living influence the availability of real earnings to the workers to meet their needs. Higher cost of living erodes the purchasing power of the workers. Hence it is found desirable to vary the wage rates as per the variations in cost of living. Money wages are not important to satisfy the workers’ needs and real wages matter most. Hence money wages should be adjusted to maintain the real wages intact.

v. Ability to Pay:

Subject to minimum subsistence and assured of productivity, wages are to be increased as the firm’s net profitability increases. If the firm’s earning increase beyond the reasonable level of return on capital employed, workers are said to be entitled to participate in the increased surplus. Of course, the fair level of profit should be precisely determined first. The negative effect on managerial incentive to expand should also be avoided.

vi. Maintenance of Consumer Demand and Prosperity:

Wages should be increased in order to step up demand for the goods and eventually to stimulate higher production and employment. But the impact of higher wages is ignored. Arbitrary wage-increases may bring about cost-spiral, price-inflation and consequent erosion of purchasing power.

# 7. Ideal Wage Plan in Staffing:

Some of the features of an ideal wage plan are as follows:

i. Wages should enable the workers to maintain the standard of living to which they are accustomed.

ii. A guaranteed minimum should be included in the wage plan so as to enable the workers and their families to lead a decent living.

iii. Wages should be commensurate with the capacity of the industry to pay. Reduced capacity due to mismanagement should not however be an excuse for sub-standard wages.

iv. Wage system should envisage a scheme of incentives in the form of extra remuneration, bonus or premium to meritorious workers for their extra-skill, better workmanship, prompt performance, etc.

Wage system should be used as a lever to regulate production and enhance efficiency by financial motivation. A good wage system should not only reward productivity but should provide an incentive for the worker to meet or exceed the standard every day. Such a system facilitates production control and tends to reduce the unit cost of production in the long run.

v. Wage plan should be such as to encourage even the beginners. With addition to experience and skill, wages should be raised in a phased way.

vi. Wage plan should be simple and intelligible to average workers. Complication procedures confuse the workers and create suspicion among them. As Lundy observes, It is almost impossible for a wage plan to be purposeful, and inspirational if it cannot be thoroughly understood. Simple wage plan avoids distrust of the workers in the motives of the management.

vii. Wage plan should be stable but “sufficiently flexible to permit adjustment” according to changing conditions.

viii. Wage system should be objectively designed on the basis of equity to all. “Wage system”, says Lundy, should be fair in that it should compensate employees without discrimination among individuals. It should not sanction deviations for the unjust abusing or rewarding of an individual.

ix. Wages should be such as to attract talented personnel and related to the educational, professional and general abilities of the personnel in different grades and positions.

x. Wage plan should fit into the general budget of the firm. It should not damage the viability of the firm and dislocate its cost structure. It should emphasise low-labour costs and increased productivity.