Staffing is the management function that deals with recruitment, placement, training and development of organisation members.

Staffing: Introduction, Nature, Process and Principles


  1. Introduction to Staffing
  2. Meaning and Importance of Staffing
  3. Nature and Features of Staffing
  4. Systems Approach to Staffing
  5. Staffing Process/Functions of Staffing
  6. Principles of Staffing
  7. Importance of Staffing

# 1. Introduction to Staffing:

Staffing is the management function that deals with recruitment, placement, training and development of organisation members. It encompasses the selection, training and supervision of the activities of an efficient staff, with qualified understudies able to assume supervisory positions at all levels in case of promotions or absences.

It also includes the work of a manager in maintaining a high level of individual or group morale through the consistent application of company policies and effective leadership. The concept of staffing is broad enough to include rank-and-file employees as well as managerial ones. It is now recognised as a separate management function. Previously, it was considered to be a part of organisation function.


The reason for its separation is to give proper emphasis to the actual manning of organisational roles. Further in every organisation the interaction with human resources is a tough job compared to material resources.

Further staffing function has assumed importance in the present days due to rapid advancement of technology, increasing size of organisations and complex behaviour of human beings. The management is to give due importance to the various aspects of staffing function.

# 2. Meaning and Importance of Staffing:

Staffing refers to the managerial function of determining and meeting the manpower requirements of an organisation and of providing opportunities for the continuous development of its manpower talent. It is a key managerial function which gives life and meaning to other managerial functions.

It consists a number of sub-functions such as man-power planning, recruitment, selection, placement, training, promotion, remuneration, performance appraisal, etc. These sub functions are interlinked and serve as some of the determinants of organisational effectiveness.


The main purpose of staffing is to establish and maintain sound personnel relations at all levels in the organisation so as to make effective use of personnel to attain the organisational objectives and care for their personal and social satisfaction which they always want.

Koontz and O’Donnell have defined “The managerial function of staffing involves meaning the organisational structure through proper and effective selection, appraisal and development of personnel to fill the roles designed into the structure.”

It is the process of identifying, assessing, placing, evaluating and developing individuals at work. So the staffing function pertains to recruitment, selection, training and development and appraisal of personnel in the organisation.

# 3. Nature and Features of Staffing:

1. Every line manager is to perform staffing function. It is as important function as all other managerial functions, and it is the omnipresent duty of the managers to see that there is sufficient supply of well-trained subordinates to fill the various positions.


In the present day set up every organisation has a separate personnel department to perform staffing function and it does not mean the line managers have no concern for staffing. The personnel department is only to advice and provides assistance to line managers in performing staff function. So staffing is the responsibility of every manager.

2. Staffing function is continuously performed by every manager at various levels. In a company the Board of Directors appoints the chief executive who in turn appoints the divisional and departmental heads. The departmental heads appoint his subordinates. So staffing is an all pervasive function of management like other functions.

3. Staffing is an on-going exercise of the organisation. It starts from the very first day of the organisation. People are needed to man the organisation various levels. Vacancies caused by mobility of personnel, retirement, death, promotions at are hole filled from time to time. More vacancies are created due to growth and expansion. So it is an on-going process.

4. Some writers trying to distinguish between personnel management and staffing. They say that staffing is concerned with the filling up of managerial positions in the organisation whereas personnel management is concerned with plans, policies and procedures for filling up the operative positions. In practice, this type of distinction is not possible as principles of both are the same.


5. Staffing deals with human elements. This function deals with human resources of the organisation at various levels. These human resources are influenced by certain psychological, philosophical and social problems. To deal with this effectively, the organisation is to develop certain well defined staffing principles.

# 4. Systems Approach to Staffing:

Staffing concentrates on both present and future organisational needs and tries to determine the number and kinds of managers needed. For this purpose the organisation makes use of external and internal factors for performing various functions of staffing right from recruitment to retirement. Staffing gives life to the organisation and influences leading and controlling.

Systems approach considers every organisation as a system wherein inter­dependence and integrated functioning are the important features. The staffing function performs an open system approach. The systems approach is implemented internally and the organisation is linked to external environment. To keep the quality managers adequately the organisation must introduce reward systems.

The external environment cannot be ignored in the selection of right type of employees as this will definitely affect the quality of management. The number of managers needed is determined by factors like the size of the organisation, its complexity, expansion plans and manager’s turnover, and delegation of authority.


The linking of external factors with organisation is done successfully and effectively with the help of inventory chart which helps the organisation in:

(i) Recruitment of required staff.

(ii) With the object of placing the right man for the right job.

(iii) Placing managers in new positions.


So staffing is an open system which links the organisation with the external environment.

# 5. Staffing Process/Functions of Staffing:

The staffing process consists of the following steps:

(1) Procurement of personnel

(2) Development of personnel


(3) Compensation

(4) Integration

(5) Maintenance.

(1) Procurement of Personnel:

This is the first step in staffing. This involves the procurement of adequate number of qualified persons to fill up the various positions in the organisation to achieve organisational goals. This involves manpower planning, recruitment, selection and placement.

Manpower planning is the process of determining the manpower requirements both in terms of number and quality of personnel. Recruitment involves locating various sources of prospective candidates. Selection means choosing the right type of required number of persons out of the prospective candidates. Placement means assigning specific jobs to the selected candidates.


(2) Development of Personnel:

This second step of staffing involves orientation, training and counselling of personnel. Orientation is the socialising process of adjusting the newly hired employee in the organisation. Training involves the process of improving the knowledge and skills of personnel. Development means preparing them for additional responsibility or advancement. All these are done to increase efficiency and to increase productivity.

(3) Compensation:

This step involves fixation of adequate and equitable remuneration of personnel. The compensation or pay package involves both monetary and non-monetary payments. For this purpose the organisation is to develop equitable wage and salary policy.

This is developed by considering basic needs of people, job requirements, provisions of wage laws, organisation’s capacity to pay, competitive wage levels etc. The policy should also provide for bonus, incentives, retirement benefits, perquisites, incentives etc. The wage policy should always be developed with the object of motivating people.

(4) Integration:


Integration means the development a sense of belongingness to the enterprise. This can be achieved by an effective two way communication system. An effective communication system achieves harmony and team spirit among employees. The management communicates with employees to tell them before-hand what is expected of them.

Similarly the employees can communicate to the management their grievances which can be redressed at the earliest. The effective interaction with employees and trade unions promotes harmony and discipline in the organisation.

(5) Maintenance:

This involves the provision of such facilities and services which are required to maintain the physical and mental health of employees. So this includes the provision of health, safety and comfort of the employees. The employer may provide labour welfare activities like medical benefits, housing recreational facilities, rest room, canteen etc. This is done with the object of eliciting loyalty of employees.

Thus the staffing function involves manpower planning, recruitment, selection and placement, training and development, performance appraisal and job changes.

# 6. Principles of Staffing:

Some useful and important principles of staffing are:


(1) Principle of Staff Objective:

This principle involves the matching organisational requirements with the individual skills. The object is to provide the organisation with competent employees at various levels and to achieve long-term success of the enterprise.

(2) Principle of Staffing Responsibility:

Every manager at various levels is to perform efficient planning and execution of staffing function. They can rely on the services of personnel department to carry out staffing responsibility.

(3) Principle of Job Definition:

This tells the managers the job to be performed and the result to be achieved. This gives them a good idea what is to be achieved. So this defines to role of managers in the organisation.


(4) Principle of Human Resource Planning:

This principle aims at providing adequate supply of staff at all levels of the organisation. This is required at all times irrespective of abundant availability or scarcity.

(5) Principle of Recruiting Personnel:

This involves the proper and judicious utilisation both internal and external sources of recruitment. The management will normally encourage open competition among all candidates for various management positions.

(6) Principle of Training Objectives:

The management is to state the training needs for different kinds of personnel. This will facilitate the management to know the effectiveness of training efforts. Once the training aims are stated then it becomes easy for the management to achieve them.


(7) Principle of Managerial Appraisal:

This involves the correct identification of verifiable objectives and managerial activities to enable precise appraisal of managers against standards. This principle advocates that managerial performance appraisal should be based on variable objectives so that the evaluation of managers will be easier.

# 7. Importance of Staffing:

Staffing is an important function of management. It is necessary for every organisation to recruit, select, train and maintain an efficient workforce. Appointing right man at right place will facilitate the organisation to achieve organisational goals. This will develop competent and loyal employees at various levels.

In the present day set up, the importance of this function has increased due to the increase in size of the organisation technological development, emergence of trade unions, human relations movement and high wage bills.

Effective staffing facilitates the organisation in the following ways:

(1) It ensures availability of personnel at all times. Any position can be filled as and when it falls vacant due to an efficient manpower planning.

(2) It facilitates effective and higher performance provided right people are appointed in right places.

(3) It improves job satisfaction and morale of the employees through objective assessment and fair compensation of their contribution.

(4) It facilitates optimum utilisation of manpower in the organisation by selecting the employees through a scientific selection process and developing them according to the needs and requirements of the organisation. It tries to minimise the cost of manpower.

(5) It enables the organisation to cope with shortage of executive talent.

(6) It ensures continuity and growth of the organisation through the development of managers.

(7) In a dynamic set up where technologies are changing regularly, organisations are to recruit people who are conversant with change in technologies and at the same time the people recruited earlier should have the mind to accept changes. Staffing can meet this effectively by developing right policies both for new recruits and the recruited employees.

(8) In the execution of long-term plans management must determine the manpower requirements well in advance. This is facilitated by staffing.

(9) Good staffing is considered as a boon to society because it develops good performers due to sound staffing policies pursued and developed by organisations. Further this improves productivity and profitability of the society.