Compilation of answers on the process, steps, stages and procedure of staffing. 1. Components of Staffing Process 2. Elements of Staffing In Management 3. Importance of Staffing Process 4. Example of Staffing Process 5. Steps In Staffing Process 6. Components of Staffing Process 7. Elements of Staffing In Management 8. Importance of Staffing Process 9.Example of Staffing Process.
Process of Staffing: Steps, Stages and Procedure of Staffing:
1. Human Resource Planning:
The first step in the staffing process is to estimate the requirement of employees. While estimating the number and type of human resources required, the specific needs of the jobs to be filled should be kept in mind. Manpower Planning or Human Resource Planning is essentially the process of getting the right number of qualified people into the right job at the right time.
It is a system of matching the supply of people (existing employees and those to be hired or searched for) with openings the organisation expects over a given time frame. Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a forward looking function. It tries to assess manpower requirements in advance keeping the production schedules, market fluctuations, demand forecasts, etc., in the background.
The manpower plan is subject to revision, of course, and is tuned to the requirements of an organisation from time to time. It is an integral part of the overall corporate plan and reflects the broad thinking of management about manpower needs within the organisation.
The focus of the plan is always on getting right number of qualified people into the organisation at the right time. To this end, manpower plans are prepared for varying time periods, i.e., short terms plans covering a time frame of 2 years and long term plans encompassing a period of 5 or more years.
In order to find out the requirements of the jobs to be filled, it is essential to conduct job analysis. Job analysis is a formal and detailed examination of jobs. It is a process of gathering information about a job. It tries to “reduce to words the things that people do in human work”.
The major steps involved in job analysis are as follows:
(a) Organisational Analysis:
First of all an overall picture of various jobs in the organisation has to be obtained. This is required to find the linkages between jobs and organisational objectives, inter-relationships between jobs and contribution of various jobs to the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation.
The required background information for this purpose is obtained through organisation charts and workflow charts.
(b) Selection of Representative Positions to be Analysed:
It is not possible to analyse all the jobs. A representative sample of jobs to be analysed is decided keeping the cost and time constraints in mind.
(c) Collection of Job Analysis Data:
This step involves the collection of data on the characteristics of the job, the required behaviour and personal qualifications needed to carry out the job effectively. Several techniques are available for collecting such data. Care should be taken to use only reliable and acceptable techniques in a given situation.
(d) Preparation of Job Description:
This step involves describing the contents of the job in terms of functions, duties, responsibilities, operations, etc. The job holder is required to discharge the duties and responsibilities and perform the operations listed in job description.
(e) Preparation of Job Specification:
This step involves conversion of the job description statements into a job specification. Job specification is a written statement of personal attributes in terms of traits, skills, training experience needed to carry out the job.
The human resources are the most important assets of an organisation. The success or failure of an organisation is largely dependent on the calibre of the people working therein. Without positive and creative contributions from people, organisations cannot progress and prosper.
In order to achieve the goals or the activities of an organisation, therefore, we need to recruit people with requisite skills, qualifications and experience. While doing so, we have to keep the present as well as the future requirements of the organisation in mind. Recruitment is a ‘linking function’ – joining together those with jobs to fill and those seeking jobs.
It is a ‘joining process’ in that it tries to bring together job seekers and employer with a view to encourage the former to apply for a job with the latter. The basic purpose of recruiting is to develop a group of potentially qualified people.
To this end, the organisation must communicate the position in such a way that job seekers respond. To be cost effective, the recruitment process should attract qualified applicants and provide enough information for unqualified persons to self-select themselves out.
The sources of recruitment may be broadly divided into two categories:
1. Internal sources and
2. External sources.
1. Internal Sources:
Internal sources include the employees already on the payroll i.e., present work force. Whenever any new vacancy arises, people from within the organization will be upgraded, prompted, transferred or demoted. The process of filing job openings by selecting from among the pool of present workforce can be implemented by-
(i) Reviewing the personnel records,
(ii) Job posting and job bidding. Or Inside moonlighting and employee’s friends.
Review of the personnel records and skills inventory provides adequate information for the personnel director to find suitable candidates for a particular position. Under job posting and bidding system, the organization notifies its present employees of openings, using bulletin boards, and company publications etc.
This is more an open approach where everyone gets the same right to apply for a job and bid for the same. If the labour shortage is of short-term nature and great amount of additional labour is not necessary, then organization employs ‘inside moonlighting.’ It is a technique where organization pays bonuses of various types to people not on a time payroll.
Overtime procedures are, in many organizations, developed for those on time payroll. Furthermore, before going outside to recruit many organizations ask the present employees to encourage friends and relatives to apply.
2. External Sources:
External sources lie outside an organisation.
Here the organisation can have the services of:
(a) Employees working in other organisations;
(b) Job aspirants registered with employment exchanges;
(c) Students from reputed educational institutions;
(d) Candidates referred by unions, friends, relatives and existing employees;
(e) Candidates forwarded by search firms and contractors;
(f) Candidates responding to the advertisements, issued by the organisation; and
(g) Unsolicited applications/walk-ins.
The following are the most commonly used methods of recruiting people:
1. Promotions and Transfers:
This is a method of filling vacancies from within through transfers and promotions. A transfer is a lateral movement within the same grade, from one job to another. It may lead to changes in duties and responsibilities, working conditions, etc., but not necessarily salary.
Promotion, on the other hand, involves movement of employee from a lower level position to a higher level position accompanied by (usually) changes in duties, responsibilities, status and value.
Organisations generally prepare badli lists or a central pool of persons from which vacancies can be filled for manual jobs. Such persons are usually passed on to various departments, depending on internal requirements.
If a person remains on such rolls for 240 days or more, he gets the status of a permanent employee as per the Industrial Disputes Act and is, therefore, entitled to all relevant benefits, including provident fund, gratuity, retrenchment compensation.
2. Job Posting:
Job posting is another way of hiring people from within. In this method, the organisation publicises job openings on bulletin boards, electronic media and similar outlets. One of the important advantages of this method is that it offers a chance to highly qualified applicants working within the company to look for growth opportunities within the company without looking for greener pastures outside.
3. Employee Referrals:
Employee referral means using personal contacts to locate job opportunities. It is a recommendation from a current employee regarding a job applicant. The logic behind employee referral is that “it takes one to know one”.
Employees working in the organisation, in this case, are encouraged to recommend the names of their friends working in other organisations for a possible vacancy in the near future. In fact, this has become a popular way of recruiting people in the highly competitive Information Technology industry nowadays.
Companies (Citi Bank doles out a coal Rs. 50,000; Hewlett-Packard pays a flat amount of Rs. 4,000; Hughes Software Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000 etc. See B.T. Sep. 2000) offer rich rewards also to employees whose recommendations are accepted after the routine screening and examining process is over and job offers extended to the suggested candidates. As a goodwill gesture, companies also consider the names recommended by unions from time to time.
4. Campus Recruitment:
It is a method of recruiting by visiting and participating in college campuses and their placement centres. Here the recruiters visit reputed educational institutions such as IITs, IIMs, colleges and universities with a view to pick up job aspirants having requisite technical or professional skills.
Job seekers are provided information about the jobs and the recruiters, in turn, get a snapshot of job seekers through constant interchange of information with respective institutions. A preliminary screening is done within the campus and the shortlisted students are then subjected to the remainder of the selection process.
In view of the growing demand for young mangers, most reputed organisations (such as Hindustan Lever Ltd, Procter & Gamble, Citibank, State Bank of India, Tata and Birla group companies) visit IIMs and IITs regularly and even sponsor certain popular campus activities with a view to earn goodwill in the job market.
Advantages of this method include- the placement centre helps locate applicants and provides resumes to organisations; applicants can be prescreened; applicants will not have to be lured away from a current job and lower salary expectations. On the negative front, campus recruiting means hiring people with little or no work experience.
The organisation will have to offer some kind of training to the applicants, almost immediately after hiring. It demands careful advance planning, looking to the placement weeks of various institutions in different parts of the country. Further, campus recruiting can be costly for organisations situated in another city (airfare, boarding and lodging expenses of recruiters, site visit of applicants if allowed, etc.).
These include advertisements in newspapers; trade, professional and technical journals; radio and television; etc. In recent times, this medium has become just as colourful, lively and imaginative as consumer advertising. The ads generally give a brief outline of the job responsibilities, compensation package, prospects in the organisation, etc.
This method is appropriate when:
(a) The organisation intends to reach a large target group and
(b) The organisation wants a fairly good number of talented people – who are geographically spread out to apply for the advertised vacancies let’s briefly examine the wide variety of alternatives available to a company as far as ads are concerned:
6. Newspapers Ads:
Here it’s easy to place job ads without much of a lead time. It has flexibility in terms of information and can conveniently target a specific geographic location. On the negative side, newspaper ads tend to attract only those who are actively seeking employment at that point of time, while some of the best candidates who are well paid and challenged by their current jobs may not be aware of such openings.
As a result, the company may be bombarded with applications from a large number of candidates who are marginally qualified for the job – adding to its administrative burden (Infosys Technologies Ltd had to process 3 lakh applications for a few vacancies in the company during the year 2001).
To maintain secrecy for various reasons (avoiding the rush, sending signals to competitors, cutting down expenses involved in responding to any individual who applies, etc.), large companies with a national reputation may also go in for blind-box ads in newspapers, especially for filling lower level positions.
In a blind-box ad there is no identification of the advertising organisation. Job aspirants are asked to respond to a post office box number or to an employment search firm that is acting as an agent between the job seeker and the organisation.
7. Television and Radio Ads:
These ads are more likely to reach individuals who are not actively seeking employment; they are more likely to stand out distinctly, they help the organisation to target the audience more selectively and they offer considerable scope for designing ads creatively.
However these advertisements are expensive. Also, because the television or radio is simply seen or heard, potential candidates may have a tough time remembering the details, making the process of applying for vacancies quite difficult.
8. Private Employment Search Firms:
A search firm is a private employment agency that maintains computerised lists of qualified applicants and supplies these to employers willing to hire people from the list for a fee.
Firms like Arthur Anderson, Noble and Hewitt, ABC consultants, SB Billimoria, KPMG, and Ferguson Associates offer specialised employment-related services to corporate houses for a fee, especially for top and middle level executive vacancies. At the lower end, a number of search firms operate – providing multifarious services to both recruiters and the recruiters.
9. Employment Exchanges:
As a statutory requirement, companies are also expected to notify (wherever the Employment Exchanges Act, 1959, applies) their vacancies through the respective Employment Exchanges, created all over India for helping unemployed youth, displaced persons, ex-military personnel, physically handicapped, etc.
As per the Act all employers are supposed to notify the vacancies arising in their establishment from time to time – with certain exemptions – to the prescribed employment exchanges before they are filled. The Act covers all establishments in public sector and non-agricultural establishments employing 25 or more workers in the private sector.
However, in view of the practical difficulties involved in implementing the provisions of the Act (such as filling a quarterly return in respect of their staff strength, vacancies and shortages, returns showing occupational distribution of their employees, etc.) many organisations have successfully fought court battles when they were asked to pick up candidates from among those sponsored by the employment exchanges.
10. Gate Hiring and Contractors:
Gate hiring (where job seekers, generally blue collar employees, present themselves at the factory gate and offer their services on a daily basis), hiring through contractors, recruiting through word- of-mouth publicity are still in use – despite the many possibilities for their misuse in the small scale sector in India.
11. Unsolicited Applicants/Walk-Ins:
Companies generally receive unsolicited applications from job seekers at various points of time. The number of such applications depends on economic conditions, the image of the company and the job seeker’s perception of the types of jobs that might be available, etc.
Such applications are generally kept in a data bank and whenever a suitable vacancy arises, the company would intimate the candidate to apply through a formal channel. One important problem with this method is that job seekers generally apply to a number of organisations and when they are actually required by the organisation, either they are already employed in other organisations or are not simply interested in the position.
The first step in e-hiring is to get a URL (Universal Resource Location) that people can conveniently guess and thus, not have to use a search engine.
There is no Point in being a famous company if people cannot find you without trouble on the net. Step two is to put out detailed job postings—spelling out your exact requirements. A separate web pages would help potential applicants to find whether they fit into the announced job openings or not.
You are likely to get a lot of surfing if the details of openings are listed category-wise. Allow people to apply online create an e-form which can be filled up on line, and then you do the calling-up. Finally, ask HR to maintain a data base on all applications.
You may not have an opening today. But, remember tomorrow may be another desperate day for you to look for people with requisite skills qualification and experience.
To select mean to choose. Selection is the process of picking individuals who have relevant qualifications to fill jobs in an organisation. The basic purpose is to choose the individual who can most successfully perform the job from the pool of qualified candidates.
The purpose of selection is to pick up the most suitable candidate who would meet the requirements of the job and the organisation best and to find out which job applicant will be successful, if hired. To meet this goal, the company obtains and assesses information about the applications in terms of age, qualifications, skills, experience, etc. The needs of the job are matched with the profile of candidates.
The most suitable person is then picked up after eliminating the unsuitable applicants through successive stages of selection process. How well an employee is matched to a job is very important because it directly affects the amount and quality of employee’s work. Any mismatch in this regard can cost an organisation a great deal of money, time and trouble, especially, in terms of training and operating costs.
In course of time the employee may find the job distasteful and leave in frustration. He may even circulate ‘hot news’ and juicy bits of negative information about the company, causing incalculable harm in the long run. Effective selection, therefore, demands constant monitoring of the ‘fit’ between person and the job.
The Process of Selection is usually a series of hurdles or steps. Each one must be successfully cleared before the applicant proceeds to the next. The time and emphasis placed on each step will, of course, vary from one organisation to another and, indeed, from job to job within the same organisation. The sequencing of steps may also vary from job to job and organisation.
A company is known by the people it employs. In order to attract people with talents, skills and experience a company has to create a favourable impression on the applicants right from the stage of reception. Whoever meets the applicant initially should be tactful and able to extend help in a friendly and courteous way.
Employment possibilities must be presented honestly and clearly. If no jobs are available at that point of time, the applicant may be asked to call back the personnel department after some time.
(2) Screening Interview:
A preliminary interview is generally planned by large organisations to cut the costs of selection by allowing only eligible candidates to go through the further stages in selection. A junior executive from the Personnel Department may elicit responses from applicants on important items determining the suitability of an applicant for a job such as age, education, experience, pay expectations, aptitude, location, choice etc.
This ‘courtesy interview’, as it is often called, helps the department screen out obvious misfits. If the department finds the candidate suitable, a prescribed application form is given to the applicants to fill and submit.
(3) Application Blank:
Application blank or form is one of the most common methods used to collect information on various aspects of the applicants’ academic, social, demographic, work-related background and references.
It is a brief history sheet of an employee’s background, usually containing the following things:
Contents of Application Blanks:
(a) Personal data (address, sex, identification marks)
(b) Marital data (single or married, children, dependents)
(c) Physical data (height, weight, health condition)
(d) Educational data (levers of formal education, marks, and distinctions)
(e) Employment data (past experience, promotions, nature of duties, reasons for leaving previous jobs, salary drawn, etc.)
(f) Extra-curricular activities data (sports/games, NSS NCC, prizes won, leisure-time activities)
(g) References (names of two or more people who certify the suitability of an applicant of the advertised position)
To make the application from more job-related, some organisations assign numeric values or weights to responses provided by applicants. Generally, the items that have a strong relationship to job performance are given high scores.
For example, for a medical representative’s position items such as previous selling experience, marital status, age, commission earned on sales previously, etc., may be given high scores when compared to other items such as religion, sex, language, place of birth, etc. The total score of each applicant is obtained by summing the weights of the individual item responses.
The resulting scores are then used in the selection decision. The WAB is best suited for jobs where there are many workers, especially for sales and technical jobs and it is particularly useful in reducing turnover. There are, however, several problems associated with WABs. It takes time to develop such a form.
The cost of developing a WAB could be prohibitive if the organisation has several operating levels with unique features. The WAB must be “updated every few years to ensure that the factors previously identified are still valid predictors of job success”. And finally, the organisation should be careful not to depend on weights of a few items while selecting an employee.
(4) Selection Testing:
A test is a standardised, objective measure of a person’s behaviour, performance or attitude. It is standardised because the way the test is carried out, the environment in which the test is administered and the way the individual scores are calculated – are uniformly applied. It is objective in that it tries to measure individual differences in a scientific way, giving very little room for individual bias and interpretation.
Over the years, employment tests have not only gained importance but also a certain amount of inevitability in employment decisions. Since they try to objectively determine how well an applicant meets job requirements, most companies do not hesitate to invest their time and money in selection testing in a big way.
Some of the commonly used employment tests are:
i. Intelligence Tests:
These are mental ability tests. They measure the incumbent’s learning ability and also the ability to understand instructions and make judgments. The basic objective of intelligence tests is to pick up employees who are alert and quick at learning things so that they can be offered adequate training to improve their skills for the benefit of the organisation.
Intelligence tests measure not a single trait, but rather several abilities such as memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency, numerical ability, perception, spatial visualisation, etc. Stanford-Binet test, Binet-Simon test, The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are examples of standard intelligence tests.
Some of these tests are increasingly used in competitive examinations while recruiting graduates and post-graduates at entry level management positions in Banking, Insurance and other Financial Services sectors.
ii. Aptitude Tests:
Aptitude tests measure an individual’s potential to learn certain skills – clerical, mechanical, mathematical, etc. These tests indicate whether or not an individual has the ability to learn a given job quickly and efficiently. In order to recruit efficient office staff, aptitude tests are necessary.
Clerical tests, for example, may measure the incumbent’s ability to take notes, perceive things correctly and quickly locate things, ensure proper movement of files, etc. Aptitude tests, unfortunately, do not measure on-the-job motivation. That is why the aptitude test is administered in combination with other tests like, intelligence and personality tests.
iii. Personality Tests:
Of all the tests required for selection, personality tests have generated lot of heat and controversy. The definition of personality, method of measuring personality factors and the relationship between personality factors and actual job criteria have been the subject of much discussion.
Researchers have also questioned whether applicants answer all the items truthfully or whether they try to respond in a socially desirable manner. Regardless of these objections, many people still consider personality as an important component of job success.
iv. Achievement Tests:
These are designed to measure what the applicant can do on the job currently, i.e., whether the testee actually knows what he or she claims to know. A typing test shows typing proficiency, a short hand test measures the testee’s ability to take dictation and transcribe, etc. Such proficiency tests are also known as work sampling tests.
Work sampling is a selection test wherein the job applicant’s ability to do a small portion of the job is tested. These tests are of two types; Motor, involving physical manipulation of things (e.g., trade tests for carpenters, plumbers, electricians) or Verbal, involving problem situations that are primarily language-oriented or people-oriented (e.g., situational tests for supervisory jobs).
Since work samples are miniature replicas of actual job requirements, they are difficult to fake. They offer concrete evidence of the proficiency of an applicant as against his ability to do the job. However, work-sample tests are not cost effective, as each candidate has to be tested individually.
It is not easy to develop work samples for each job. Moreover, it is not applicable to all levels of the organisation. For managerial jobs it is often not possible to develop a work sample test that can take care of all the full range of managerial abilities.
v. Simulation Tests:
Simulation exercise is a test which duplicates many of the activities and problems an employee faces while at work. Such exercises are commonly used for hiring managers at various levels in an organisation. To assess the potential of a candidate for managerial positions assessment centres are commonly used.
An assessment centre is an extended work sample. It uses procedures that incorporate group and individual exercises. These exercises are designed to simulate the type of work which the candidate will be expected to do. Initially a small batch of applicants come to the assessment centre (a separate room).
Their performance in the situational exercises is observed and evaluated by a team of 6 to 8 trained assessors. The assessors’ judgments on each exercise are compiled and combined to have a summary rating for each candidate being assessed.
Simulated Exercises in the Assessment Centre Approach:
Initially a small batch of applicants come to the assessment centre (a separate room).
Their examples of the real-life but simulated exercises included in a typical assessment centre are as follows:
a. The In-Basket:
Here the candidate is faced with an accumulation of reports, memos, letters and other materials collected in the in-basket of the simulated job he is supposed to take over. The candidate is asked to take necessary action on each of these materials, say, by writing letters, notes, agendas for meetings, etc. The results of the applicant’s actions are then reviewed by the evaluators.
b. The Leaderless Group Discussion:
In this exercise, a leaderless group is given a discussion question and asked to arrive at a group decision. The evaluators then evaluate each participant’s interpersonal skills, acceptance by the group, leadership and individual influence, etc.
c. Business Games:
Hence participants try to solve a problem, usually as members of two or more simulated companies that are competing in the market place. Decisions might include how to advertise and produce, how to penetrate the market, how much to keep in stock, etc. Participants thereby exhibit planning and organisational abilities, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities.
Business games have several merits; they reduce time, events that might not take place for months or years are made to occur in a matter of hours. They are realistic and competitive in nature. They offer immediate feedback also.
d. Individual Presentations:
A participant’s communication skills are evaluated by having the person make an oral presentation of a given topic.
vi. Graphology Tests:
Graphology involves a trained evaluator to examine the lines, loops, hooks, strokes, curves and flourishes in a person’s handwriting to assess the person’s personality and emotional make-up. The recruiting company may, for example, ask applicants to complete application forms and write about why they want a job.
These samples may be finally sent to a graphologist for analysis and the results may be put to use while selecting a person. The use of graphology, however, is dependent on the training and expertise of the person doing the analysis. In actual practice, questions of validity and just plain skepticism have limited its use.
vii. Polygraph (Lie-Detector) Tests:
The polygraph records physical changes in the body as the test subject answers a series of questions. It records fluctuations in respiration, blood pressure and perspiration on a moving roll of graph paper. The polygraph operator forms a judgment as to whether the subject’s response was truthful or deceptive by examining the biological movements recorded on the paper.
Polygraphs, despite strong resistance by many applicants, are increasingly being used by companies which have problems with inventory and security of funds. Government agencies have begun to use the polygraph, especially for filling security, police, and fire and health positions.
Critics, however, question the appropriateness of polygraphs in establishing the truth about an applicant’s behaviour. The fact is that polygraph records biological reaction in response to stress and does not record lying or even the conditions necessarily accompanying lying.
Is it possible to prove that the responses recorded by the polygraph occur only because a lie has been told? What about those situations in which a person lies without guilt (a pathological liar) or lies believing the response to be true?
The fact of the matter is that polygraphs are neither reliable nor valid. Since they invade the privacy of those tested, many applicants vehemently oppose the use of polygraph as a selection tool.
viii. Integrity Tests:
These are designed to measure employee’s honesty to predict those who are more likely to steal from an employer or otherwise act in a manner unacceptable to the organisation. The applicants who take these tests are expected to answer several ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type questions, such as have you ever told a lie?
Do you report to your boss if you know of another employee stealing from the store? Do you carry office stationery back home for personal use? Do you mark attendance for your colleagues also? Etc.
Often these tests contain questions that repeat themselves in some way and the evaluator then examines the consistency in responses. Companies that have used integrity tests have reported success in tracking employees who indulge in ‘theft’. However, these tests ultimately suffer from the same weaknesses as polygraph and graphology tests.
(5) Selection Interview:
Interview is the oral examination of candidates for employment. This is the most essential step in the selection process. In this step the interviewer matches the information obtained about the candidate through various means to the job requirements and to the information obtained through his own observations during the interview. Interview gives the recruiter an opportunity-
a. To size up the candidate personally;
b. To ask questions that are not covered in tests;
c. To make judgments on candidate’s enthusiasm and intelligence
d. To assess subjective aspects of the candidate – facial expressions, appearance, nervousness and so forth;
e. To give facts to the candidate regarding the company, its policies, programmes, etc. and promote goodwill towards the company.
(6) Medical Examination:
Certain jobs require certain physical qualities like clear vision, perfect hearing unusual stamina, tolerance of hard working conditions, clear tone, etc. Medical examination reveals whether or not a candidate processes these qualities.
Medical Examination can give the following information:
a. Whether the applicant is medically suitable for the specific job or not;
b. Whether the applicant has health problems or psychological attitudes likely to interfere with work efficiency or future attendance;
c. Whether the applicant suffers from bad health which should be corrected before he can work satisfactorily (such as the need for spectacles);
d. Whether the applicant’s physical measurements are in accordance with job requirements or not.
(7) Reference Checks:
Once the interview and medical examination of the candidate is over, the Personnel department will engage in checking references. Candidates are required to give the names of two or these references in their application forms.
These references may be from the individuals who are familiar with the candidate’s academic achievements or from the applicant’s previous employer, who is well-versed with the applicant’s job performance and sometimes from co-workers. In case the reference check is from the previous employer, information in the following areas may be obtained.
They are- job title, job description, period of employment, pay and allowances gross emoluments, benefits provided, rate of absence, willingness of the previous employer to employ the candidate again, etc. Further, information regarding candidate’s regularity at work, character, progress, etc., can be obtained.
Often a telephone call is much quicker. The method of mail query, provides detailed information about the candidate’s performance, character and behaviour. However, a personal visit, is superior to the mail and telephone methods and is used where it is highly essential to get a detailed, first-hand information which can also be secured by observation.
Reference checks are taken as a matter of routine and treated casually or omitted entirely in many organisations. But a good reference check, when used sincerely will fetch useful and reliable information to the organisation.
(8) Hiring Decision:
The Line Manager concerned has to make the final decision now – whether to select or reject a candidate after soliciting the required information through different techniques. The line manager has to take adequate care in taking the final decision because of economic, behavioural and social implications of the selection decisions.
A careless decision of rejecting a candidate would impair the morale of the people and they suspect the selection procedure and the very basis of selection in a particular organisation. A true understanding between line managers and personnel managers should be established so as to facilitate good selection decisions.
After taking the final decision, the organisation has to intimate this decision to the successful as well as unsuccessful candidates. The organisation sends the appointment order to the successful candidates either immediately or after sometime depending upon its time schedule.
After selecting a candidate, he should be placed on a suitable job Placement is the actual posting of an employee to a specific job. It involves assigning a specific rank and responsibility to an employee. The placement decisions are taken by the line manager after matching the requirements of a job with the qualification of a candidate.
Most organisations put new recruits on probation for a given period of time, after which their services are confirmed. During this period, the performance of the probationer is closely monitored. If the new recruit fails to adjust himself to the job and turns out poor performance, the organisation may consider his name for placement elsewhere.
Such second placement is called ‘differential placement’. Usually the employees’ supervisor, in consultation with the higher levels of line management, takes decisions regarding the future placement of each employee. Placement is an important human resource activity.
If neglected, it may create employee adjustment problems leading to absenteeism, turnover, accidents, poor performance, etc. The employee will also suffer seriously. He may quit the organisation in frustration, complaining bitterly about everything. Proper placement is, therefore, important to both the employee and the organisation.
Induction or orientation is the process through which a new employee is introduced to the job and the organisation. In the words of Armstrong, induction is “the process of receiving and welcoming an employee when he first joins a company and giving him the basic information he needs to settle down quickly and start work”.
Induction serves the following purposes:
(a) Removes Fears:
A new comer steps into an organisation as a stranger. He is new to the people, workplace and work environment. He is not very sure about what he is supposed to do. Induction helps a new employee overcome such fears and perform better on the job.
(b) Creates a Good Impression:
Another purpose of induction is to make the newcomer feel at home and develop a sense of pride in the organisation.
Induction helps him to:
i. Adjust and adapt to new demands of the job.
ii. Get along with people.
iii. Get off to a good start.
Through induction, a new recruit is able to see more clearly as to what he is supposed to do, how good the colleagues are, how important is the job, etc. He can pose questions and seek clarifications on issues relating to his job.
Induction is a positive step, in the sense, it leaves a good impression about the company and the people working there in the minds of new recruits. They begin to take pride in their work and are more committed to their jobs.
(c) Acts as a Valuable Source of Information:
Induction serves as a valuable source of information to new recruits. It clarifies many things through employee manuals/handbook. Informal discussions with colleagues may also clear the fog surrounding certain issues. The basic purpose of induction is to communicate specific job requirements to the employee, put him at ease and make him feel confident about his abilities.
Induction training tries to put the new recruits at case. Each new employee is usually taken on a formal tour of the facilities, introduced to key personnel and informed about company policies, procedures and benefits. The training opportunities and career prospects are also explained clearly.
Every attempt is made to clarify the doubts of the new recruits. They are encouraged, in fact, to come out with questions on various issues confronting their working lives. The company’s manual is also handed over at the end of the programme.
Socialisation is a process through which a new recruit begins to understand and accept the values, norms and beliefs held by others in the organisation. HR department representatives help new recruit to “internalise the way things are done in the organisation”.
Orientation helps the newcomers to interact freely with employees working at various levels and learn behaviours that are acceptable. Through such formal and informal interaction and discussion, newcomers begin to understand how the department/company is run, who holds power and who does not, who is politically active within the department, how to behave in the company, what is expected of them, etc.
In short, if the next recruits wish to survive and prosper in their new work home, they must soon come to ‘know the ropes’. Orientation programmes are effective socialisation tools because they help the employees to learn about the job and perform things in a desired way.
(c) Follow Up:
Despite the best efforts of supervisors, certain dark areas may still remain in the orientation programme. New hires may not have understood certain things. The supervisors, while covering a large ground, may have ignored certain important matters.
To overcome the resultant communication gaps, it is better to use a supervisory checklist and find out whether all aspects have been covered or not (covering organizational issues, employee benefits, job duties, introduction to supervisors and co-workers etc.).
Follow up meetings could be held at fixed intervals, say after every three or six months on a face-to-face basis. The basic purpose of such follow up orientation is to offer guidance to employees on various general as well as job related matters without leaving anything to chance.
Answer 2. Process of Staffing in a Sales Organisation:
The process of staffing in any sales organisations happens be one of the most challenging activities. One of the most important challenge is to determine the characteristics of the potential sales people that will be most suited to the organization apart from the challenge of deciding as to who will make the ultimate selection decision.
A candidate needs to have the motivation to apply for sales jobs. However the challenge lies in identifying the skills and characteristics required for deep deliberation and in-depth analysis. There are two basic skill dimensions involved as far as sales people are concerned.
There are the mental aptitude dimensions like mental alertness, business terms and memory recall aptitude, communication skills, numerical ability and mechanical interest and then there are the personality dimensions like honesty, strength of character, sociability, cynicism, high energy levels, emotional maturity, work habits and work motivation.
Step # 1. Planning:
The planning stage of the staffing process comprises of three steps viz. establishing the responsibility for the staffing process, deciding number of sales people required and outlining the type of sales people required. It is the sales manager who decides on the responsibilities at various stages of the staffing process.
Generally in the medium and large sized companies, the medium and senior HR levels in the management along with the sales managers are responsible for the staffing process. For any effective staffing to take place, it requires proper coordination between sales, marketing and HR departments.
The next step of the planning process involves deciding on the number of sales people required for a sales territory. The step involves deciding on the optimum sales force size apart from adding number of promotions, transfers, terminations, resignations expected from existing sales people.
The needful steps in this stage are followed by each territory sales manager who plans the requirements of sales people by subtracting expected transfers into the territory and existing sales force and making a total of the number of sales people required. The territory managers submit the requirements to the general manager of the company.
There are various methods available to assess the optimum sales force size viz. workload method, sales potential method and incremental method. The work load method assumes that-all sales people have equal work load.
The steps involved in calculating the Optimum sales force size using this method are:
1. Classifying customers as per their sales potential
2. Deciding time per sales call and call frequencies for each class of customers
3. Calculating total market workload
4. Deciding total work time available per sales person
5. Dividing total work time available by different activities per sales person in hours
6. Calculating total number of sales persons needed by this formula-
Total market workload/total selling time available per sales person. The method is generally regarded as simple and conceptually sound and has been found to be used in all types of selling situations. However it neglects sales productivity and sales force turnover which happens to be the disadvantage of this method.
The sales potential method is aimed, at analyzing the potential of individual sales people who are existing in the organization and based on that a requirement is drawn up for the organization. The method is simple and straight forward but then it is conceptually weak and the lead time required for a sales person top reach average productivity is high.
The incremental method is based on the marginal analysis theory of economics. The basic concept behind this method is that net profits will increase when additional sales people are added is the incremental sales revenues exceed the incremental costs. It is conceptually accurate as it quantifies relationships between sales force size, sales, costs and profits.
However the method cannot be used if historical data on sales and costs are not available. It is the strategic position analysis that determines the number and type of sales people required by the organization. The strategic position analysis is a system that describes the way a sales job is to be performed and the skills and abilities needed to perform a job.
The analysis comprises of the following steps:
1. Determination of performance measures
2. Identification of critical success factors
3. Performance dimensions of the position
4. Determination of the performance measure dimensions
5. Establishment of performance
6. Standards and designs of the assessment tools
As far as planning on the type of sales people required is concerned, there are three steps involved:
1. Conducting a job analysis
2. Preparing a job description
3. Developing job qualifications/specifications
Conducting a job analysis is done by either the sales manager or the HR manager. It basically involves two major tasks viz. analyzing the environment in which a sales person is expected to work and determining the duties and responsibilities of the sales people in which information is obtained from sales managers, customers etc.
The job description is a written document prepared on the basis of job analysis. A job description often serves as an effective tool for recruiting, selecting, training, compensating and evaluating sales people.
A job description covers the following in terms of content:
1. Job title
2. Reporting relationship
3. Types of products sold
4. Types of customers
5. Duties and responsibilities
6. Location and geographic area to be covered
The next step involved is about developing job qualifications and specifications. These are based on job description. Job specifications include education sales experience, skills and personality traits. There are some methods followed to develop job specifications viz. studying job description, analyzing personal histories of sales people and asking customers.
Step # 2. Recruiting:
The purpose of recruitment is to identify sources of manpower to meet job requirements and manpower specifications. Recruitment as an activity is defined as the process of generating a pool of qualified candidates for a specific job.
The step involves motivating potential employees to apply for a job and inducing qualified candidates to complete formalities as far as joining a certain sales organization is concerned. Any recruitment in a sales organization should be targeted towards people who qualify for the standards set during the planning stage.
The sources of recruitment are classified into major categories viz.:
1. Internal and Sources:
i. Employee referral programmes
ii. Current employees
iii. Promotions and transfers
2. External Sources:
i. Advertisements in newspapers and journals / magazines
ii. The Internet (job sites)
iii. Educational institutions
iv. Employment agencies
v. Job fairs
vi. Other companies
The internal sources are found within an organization and include existing employees who have been promoted, transferred or demoted. There are two goals achieved by following internal sources of recruitment viz. vacancies are filled up quickly and the morale of people working in an organization gets boosted.
The internal sources of recruitment helps sales people to get acquainted with the firm and result in lower investments on training and thus the overall recruitment costs are low. There are two major sources of internal recruitment viz. employee referral programs and promotions and transfers.
There are many sales organizations that encourage their internal staff members to refer candidates for the organization they are working in. They are incentive – based programs designed to reward an employee presently working in the organization for scouting relevant talents for the organization.
It is widely understood that such recruitments usually contribute to the intake of such people who will make a significant contribution to the overall goals of the organization. Promotion and transfers basically refer to the lateral or upward moves that people experience within an organization.
Sales people are often found to move to higher positions in an organization after completing a certain time period in service. Most sales managers are recruited through internal sources following this mode. It is felt that such managers can command greater commitment from his juniors when it comes to fulfillment of targets.
It is also observed that executives do come into sales organizations via transfers from other departments based on their selling skills and abilities. The main advantage of such recruitments is that people joining the sales force do have a good understanding of the organization and its products and have greater chances of proving to be loyal to the organizations’ cause.
The external sources of recruitment include advertising in newspapers, magazines and trade journals along with placing advertisements on the internet. Educational institutions, employment agencies and networking are some of the various other external sources of recruitment.
Classified and box advertisements for various positions are displayed/advertised in newspapers. There are also certain trade journals that advertise selling positions for various niche products. Advertisements as such have been found to attract a number of respondents but then the screening often becomes a hectic activity in this case as there are many irrelevant candidates who apply based on the advertisement just to try their luck without having any interest or aptitude for a selling career.
In the contemporary era, there are various instances where recruitment ads have been brilliantly conceptualized and presented in an innovative manner in order to enhance the reputation and image of the company.
There are many companies that resort to campus recruitments for various sales positions. Campus recruitments are specially done for those positions that are considered as front line selling positions. When companies come to campuses for placement purpose, they often get to test the skills of candidates regardless of the qualification of the candidates.
Various skills like communication, leadership, customer orientation etc. are tested. This method offers advantage of selecting people from a captive source where the quality of manpower is assured and the cost of recruitment is low.
Recruitment through employment agencies is a very traditional method of recruitment. Apart from the government employment agencies, there are scores of employment agencies along with the online ones like naukri.com, monster.com etc. that have been found to recruit people for various sales positions on behalf of companies in the country. These agencies invite applications, carry our initial screening and conduct interviews on behalf of various organizations.
There are many candidates who build a network along their acquaintances so that they can multiply their chances of being called for an interview. Often now a days people are not called for interviews by simply sending resumes to the HR personnel of a company. Networking or getting in touch with the right person at the right time helps candidates to seek the desired job.
Step # 3. Selecting and Hiring:
This particular step involves making a ‘hire’ or ‘no hire’ decision. The step determines the overall quality of recruited resource for an organization by analyzing whether the recruited sales force is in sync with the requirements when it comes to skill sets and attitudes. An effective selection process improves the overall goodwill of a firm.
There are several factors impacting the selection process that can be categorized as factors related to the applicant and factors related to the organization. Those that are related to the applicant include selling aptitude of the candidate, education and training, basic understanding of consumer psychology, age and life cycle stage and family background while the factors related to the organization include role of the management in the selection of manpower, simple and clear norms of selection and selection of flexible methods of recruitment.
Since all selection decisions have economic implications for a company, any decision at this stage need to be carefully taken.
Let’s now understand the basic selection procedures that sales managers are found to follow while selecting sales executives for their sales force:
1. Screening resumes
2. Inviting application blank
3. Personal interviews
5. Reference checks
6. Physical examination
8. Initial orientation
1. Screening Resumes:
Resumes are screened by an organization once they receive a number of resumes for a particular sales position advertised. This is the first step of the selection process and is often not required to be done by a sales organization provided the same is being performed by an external recruitment agency like a consultancy firm. Initial screening of resumes is done by comparing with job specifications.
2. Inviting Application Blank:
Companies are found to have certain standard forms which record the details of individual blanks in a particular format to ensure consistency and homogeneity. The primary objective of the exercise is to collect and evaluate information about the applicant’s physical characteristics, education and employment history.
There are certain further information that need to be furnished by applicants like the family status, participation in social events, hobbies etc. The application blanks actually helps managers to put forth suitable questions to a candidate during the interview that are pertinent.
3. Personal interviews:
Personal interviews is a widely used tool for selection of candidates for various sales positions. There are certain initial interviews for screening candidates. Often intensive interviews are conducted to analyze a particular candidate in greater detail. Personal interviews have been found to help managers assess a candidate’s personality, the level of appearance and intelligence, communication skills, empathy, aggression, ambition etc.
Interviews can be of four major types:
1. Structured/patterned interviews
2. Unstructured/informal interviews
3. Semi-structured interviews
4. Behavior and performance based interviews
5. Stress interviews
The type of interview depends upon the type of job to be offered and it is meant to analyze the true potential of the candidate. Stress interviews are often conducted for front line direct selling of products since this is one area where sales people have to encounter maximum stress while dealing with customers.
They have to take quick decisions that are effective within a fraction of time and this is where stress interviews actually allow the manager to understand that whether a particular candidate can actually endure stress in the market or not.
In case of structured interviews, the interviewers are often found to prepare an outline of the questions to be asked. Those candidates who offer maximum correct answer to the questions asked get to be called for the next round of interview.
As far as format of structured interviews is concerned, they can be either situational, job knowledge based or as per the requirement of the sales person. A situational question is often put across to understand how well a candidate will be responding to a particular kind of job situation.
Unstructured interviews are mainly designed to allow candidates to speak freely of their experience, training, career plans and activities that a candidate thinks will be important for an organization. Interviewers however must see that they stay focused while putting across questions and should not start asking peripheral questions to candidates.
There are different types testing mechanisms involved in selecting candidates for sales jobs. There are basically five types of tests viz. – psychological tests, intelligence tests, aptitude tests, personality tests and achievement tests. Psychological tests are aimed at measuring the mental ability and personality of sales people.
These tests measure the verbal, qualitative and cognitive ability of candidates. Generally, cognitive ability is measured by the summation of the scores on tests of verbal and quantitative abilities and is also a measure of general intelligence.
Intelligence tests determine the mental ability of an applicant. It is used the most for selection of sales people in organizations as it measures the overall intellectual capacity of a salesperson. The aptitude tests are conducted to measure a candidate’s sensory processes and intellectual abilities. It measures whether a candidate has the interest in or ability to perform certain tasks and activities.
The aim of personality tests is to measure non-intellectual characteristics of the sales people that include motivation interests, ability to adapt etc. The tests are conducted on a number of identified traits. Achievement tests are also called tests of proficiency and they measure skill or knowledge acquired from a training program or job experience.
5. Reference Checks:
Candidates are often found to furnish wrong information in their resumes or during interviews and hence some kind of a background check is required to verify their credentials and that is exactly the function of reference checks.
Reference checks verify all the information furnished by candidates and these verifications are done by calling up or sending mails to people who have been mentioned by a candidate as reference in the resume/application blank.
These people are not supposed to be a relative or friend of the candidate and should ideally be knowing the candidate in a professional circuit. Often reporting authorities of previous organizations or faculties of the institute from where a candidate has studied are acceptable to employers.
The objective of physical examination is to find out if a candidate has any physical abnormality that can stop him from performing a certain duty in the organization. Most companies have the policy to make prospective employees undergo physical examination before they are offered offer letters.
Since sales jobs require lot of stamina and the power to withstand stress, companies are inclined to know if the prospective candidate is actually to fit to take up a selling career. Some of the routine tests/ checkups that are done during physical examination are basic pathological tests, general doctor consultation, ENT checkup, dental checkup apart from doing an ECG.
The appointment letter is issues to candidates once they are okay with the physical examination process. The document contains the terms and conditions of employment and mentions the compensations and allowances to be offered to the candidate during the probationary period.
After a candidate joins an organization, they are exposed to a formal orientation program where they are briefed about the company and its products apart from making them aware of the organization culture.
The process offers job related information to candidates apart from allowing them to understand the various levels of hierarchy, their reporting authority and the expectations of the organization from the new recruit. Many organizations conduct an informal orientation process to accommodate new employees in the organization.
Step # 4. Socialization:
It is the process through which new sales executives in an organization learn the norms, values and attitudes of people working in the organization. The process of socialization actually starts with the new sales person accepting the job offer and continues till the new recruit is assimilated in the organization s culture.
An effective and planned approach to socialization is necessary for enhancing the value of manpower in the organization. With no proper socialization process in place, new recruits often misunderstand the sales goals, organization mission and chain of command in the organization. There are three basic stages of the sales force socialization model viz. – anticipatory socialization, accommodation and outcomes.
Anticipatory socialization is the first stage of the socialization process and is concerned with the perceived notions of the sales person about his tenure in the new organization. Realism and congruence are two key terms that define the perception of the new recruit.
Realism highlights the degree to which the new sales person has an accurate understanding of life in the new organization while congruence refers to the degree to which an organization’s resources and the demands of sales people are compatible. It is observed that closer the realism, the higher the congruence of the new recruit.
The second stage of the socialization process is the accommodation stage that involves four processes that explains the events that happen to a new recruit in the sales organization.
He is to be initiated to the task that he is required to perform in the new organization and his role in the organization needs to be clearly defined so that there is no confusion in his mind about what the organization expects from him. He also needs to be initiated to the group along with which he is supposed to work in the organization.
The outcome stage helps in facilitating participation and performance of new sales people in the organization. The level of satisfaction among people will increase depending on how effective the socialization process is.
Answer 3. Process of Staffing: Top 18 Steps:
Abled and qualified personnel or employees for an organisation can be determined by a thorough staffing process.
The steps involved are as follows:
1. Determining Human Resource Requirements:
The staffing process begins with determining the number and type of employees needed by the organisation in the future. Type of employees implies the required educational qualifications, specific skills and abilities and years of experience either in the industry or in a relevant activity. Organisations should also consider socio-economic background (gender, caste, etc.) of human resources depending upon the requirements.
Accordingly, determining of human resources involves the following (sub) steps:
(a) Find the number and type of employees required to perform various tasks designed in an organisation structure according to the specific job profile.
(b) Analyse existing number of employed personnel to verify whether they are overburdened or under-burdened with work.
(c) Compare within departments to establish excess of workforce for dismissal or deposing or transferring employees elsewhere as overstaffing is undesirable.
Recruitment process commences subsequent to determining the human resource requirements of an organisation. Recruitment process is the development and maintenance of adequate human resources. It involves encouraging potential candidates to apply for the job/s in the organisation to create a pool of available labour which an organisation can obtain whenever they need additional employees. This process involves searching for these potential candidates from internal and external sources. Job seekers then check these sources and send their job applications to these organisations.
Selection is a lengthier process than recruitment. Competent and potential candidates for vacant jobs should be selected out of a large pool of prospective job seekers created during the recruitment process in the organisation. Selection mainly involves identifying the right person for the right job. Selection also involves making the potential candidate realise the importance of the job he / she is selected for.
4. Placement and Orientation:
Placement means, the selected candidate occupies his/her post in the organisation. After selection, this candidate is given an appointment letter which details the job title, date of joining, brief description of the company or department and possibly the salary package for the position. When the selected candidate has accepted the appointment letter and joined the organisation, these candidates who become new employees are introduced to the company and its workings through an orientation.
This orientation aims at familiarising the new employees with existing subordinates/superiors of the organisation. The orientation also informs new employees about the organisation’s objectives and policies and the new employees’ authorities/responsibilities etc. for familiarising and easily accommodating them in the organisation.
5. Training and Development:
Training and development aims at enhancing their knowledge and skills that boosts their confidence and ability to take up initiatives. Training also gives employees a sense of security and satisfaction. It also aims at reducing errors during work, time efficiency and improves productivity.
As training involves learning and / or revising new skills and knowledge, development of employees can occur with employees utilising and integrating their newly learned / revised skills and knowledge into their responsibilities. Training and development acts as a motivating tool wherein the employees can improve and assess their abilities towards enhanced efficiency and productivity.
6. Performance Appraisal:
Appraisal means assessment and this step involves judging and evaluating the performance of employees to determine whether the targets and goals identified for the employees have been met effectively by the employees. Performance appraisals usually indicate whether additional responsibilities can be given to employees or whether employees require more attention or training.
7. Promotion and Career Planning:
Based on a good performance appraisal, employees can be promoted to a higher position in an organisation with better salary, better status, better opportunities, better facilities / incentives and more responsibilities. The basis for promotion is mostly devotion, discipline, efficiency, etc.
Promotion also sets the basis for employees to plan long-term career growth. Promoted employees can look into recognising opportunities in the future for high-level job positions. This step is important because the management can accordingly ensure highly skilled employees to continue working in the business.
Compensation refers to something tangible or intangible provided as recognition for a service. Staffing also involves determining the compensation for potential/existing employees.
It includes payment of money, rewards and other incentives that can be categorised under direct and indirect financial payments discussed below:
(a) Direct financial payments – Direct financial payments or direct compensation consist of pay (money) received in the form of wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions received by employees at regular and occasional intervals.
(b) Indirect financial payments – Indirect financial payments are all financial rewards that are not included in direct compensation such as gift vouchers, leaves, retirement plans, education, etc. Compensation also includes non-financial compensation such as training and career development, opportunities for recognition, as well as feasible working environment and conditions.