The purpose of this report is to analysis the best practices followed by organizations around the globe for recruitment and selection of top level executives. This paper includes the summary of journals reviewed on this topic. We have described the best practices followed by leading organizations for recruiting and hiring top level executives. The role of the Human Resource Department is crucial at all the stages of recruitment. In fact it starts as early as identifying the need of recruiting and is continuous in nature. The Human Resource Department in any organization aligns the goals / objectives / strategies of the organization with the best practices followed for recruitment and hiring. It helps the organization secure the best of the best talent and also retain the talent in the long run. It is of utmost importance as organization vary immensely, be it the sector wise, geographic location, economic implications to name a few. The economic factor involved in the process of hiring and recruiting is immense. The pro-activeness of the Human Resource Department can help organizations save much cost of recruiting and hiring. To achieve this objective, necessary and sufficient training should be imparted to the executives of the Human Resource Department.
The process of enticing, screening, selecting and finalizing a qualified person for a vacancy or job at a firm is called recruitment (ACAS, 2012).
The objective of hiring is to find a person whose skills, abilities and personal characteristics suit the position or role. Hiring includes fitting an individual with the requirements of the position.
A company with the right people with the right skills at the helm can achieve wonders. Conversely, poor or uniformed hiring and recruitment decisions at the top most level can cost a company not only financially, but will have a negative bearing on the organization’s reputation with the stakeholders (Piovesan, 2007). Moreover, Piovesan states that ‘Businesses are only as good as the people who run them’ (2007, p. 52). Keeping this in mind, the likelihood of future problems can be eliminated if best practices are followed for recruitment and selection activities. Successful businesses are only built by establishing a robust recruitment process as hiring mistakes can be extremely costly and time consuming.
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The use of best practices helps furnish an organization with highly skilled, flexible and motivated employees. The best practices in recruitment and selection processes bring forth systems that are modern, proficient, professional and effective, and ensure that individuals who are recruited demonstrate commitment, ethics, and motivation, eagerness to grow and develop and most importantly have values that match with the organization’s values, vision and mission.
This paper seeks to highlight the best practices involved in hiring top-level executives at organizations and how by following these practices a company can retain the pool of hired talent.
Summary of Articles Reviewed
A variety of literature was referred to while writing this paper. Recruitment and Selection by Hugh Secord and The definitive guide to recruiting in good times and bad by Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, and Nohria helped form the basic structure of the paper. The basic seven steps and best practices for recruitment and selection were formulated from these papers. These papers formulate a rich and structured approach to best practices in recruitment. Sally A.Carless in her article Psychological testing for selection purposes: a guide to evidence-based practice for human resource professionals(2009)explains in detail how job analysis can be done and its relevance to the recruitment process. The advantages of employee referral systems and e-recruiting and their implementation are discussed in How the best recruit the rest: Building a culture driven by employee referrals(Torrisi-Mokwa, 2006) and e-Recruiting Is Driving HR Systems Integration(Cullen, 2001) respectively.
Recruitment and Selection: Best Practices
Despite the universal acknowledgement that hiring good people is a crucial source of competitive advantage, only a few companies excel at one or more of the hiring aspects but only a select few companies such as – Southwest Airlines, McKinsey, Intuit, TCS and ServiceMaster have come closer to exceling in this process (Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria, 2009).
Also, the recruitment process comes with a recruitment and hiring cost associated with it. Companies can look at these costs in a more quantifiable way, which can affect the budget directly, than they can look at the advantage of hiring the right person and the benefits that these companies can reap out of it in the long run. As a result, there can be a tendency in companies to opt for a less than thorough recruitment procedure. This can be a false view as firstly, recruitment costs are inconsequential when compared to the cost of employment especially when employment is followed by a period of training. Secondly, the benefits of a successful recruitment, though intangible, can extend for many years. Thus, if we are able to hire the right people along with minimizing the turnover rate, the advances in the company’s performance would be much greater than the these recruitment cost as they will be accounted for over a long duration of time(Secord, 2009).
However, in today’s situation the recruitment strategies of many companies are in a dismissive state. When top executives of companies were asked about their company’s recruitment strategies they seemed to rely heavily on personal assumptions and vague organizational traditions (Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria, 2009). Furthermore, lack of specified criteria and inconsistent practices has led to a one-third of the new recruits quitting within three years of joining, thereby increasing recruitment cost.
With respect to the challenges specified, companies need to change their view on hiring and selection by trying to approach this field with a strategic and objective point of view. They can resort to follow developing best practices keeping in mind the best practices already followed worldwide. As described in the study by Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria(2009, p. 77), the following seven points can be summarised as the best practices in Recruitment and Selection.
Anticipate the Need
However good the situations at firms might be, some of the top talent is bound to leave and companies need to continually asses this situation. They need to conduct a proactive analysis of future needs. Potential pool of talent must be continually evaluated and rigorous periodic forecasts of the company’s needs must be continually developed.
Intuit has built an excellent system to anticipate their periodic need of talent. It has built a proprietary data which consolidates information from hiring pipelines (such as mobility figures, referral programs and external recruiting fields) with supplementary data based on predicted attrition and budgets of business units, to predict how many people will be required in the organization annually (Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria, 2009).
However, for the successful implementation of the same, continuous inputs from the HR department into the strategic planning process can prove extremely consequential.
Specify the Job
The first step in hiring and recruiting, while specifying the job description, is job analysis. According to Sally A. Carless (2009, p. 2520), job analysis gives the management information about the complexity, context, tasks, behavior related to the job, coupled with required activities and behaviors performed in previous roles. A job analysis also specifies whether the potential employee is expected to meet all the important knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics before selection into the job or whether trainings can be furnished on certain aspects (Carless, 2009).
On the basis of the above job analysis, a job description is prepared. According to Hugh Secord (2009, p. 414), ‘a typical job description should comprise of achievements and professional qualifications, intellectual abilities, special aptitudes and skills, interests and motivation, disposition (personality), practical considerations and relevant experiences.’
Develop the pool
A pool of candidates can be developed by two methods, namely, internal sourcing and external sourcing of candidates. Internal sourcing is based on a formal means of planning for anticipated vacancies, retirements, mergers, acquisitions and expansion plans in line with employee promotion and succession planning. This should ideally be the first source of information about candidates but is usually never made use of or is not referred to, even if available, in case a need arises. The human resource strategic plan should include and enforce the review of the succession plan whenever a vacancy is available or a need to fill a position surfaces (Secord, 2009). Apart from reducing the costs of recruitment, internal sourcing through a succession plan identifies and recognizes the employees that the firm has already spent resources to develop for future roles, identifies other suitable employees who could have been missed in the succession plan, and provides for a recruitment plan that is conceived as fair internally.
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The objective of external sourcing is to widen the pool of candidates available for a position. It is particularly useful when there are no suitable internal candidates. External sourcing is usually done through recruitment advertising which ensures that the organization attracts suitable candidates for the job (Secord, 2009). Now, advertising can be a costly affair and should be done in a cost effective way. E-recruiting and employee referral systems can in this way, be cost effective ways of developing external sourcing.
According to Bernie Cullen (2001, p. 24),’e-recruiting involves collection, storage and retrieval of information concerning employees (or potential employees) for purposes of making decisions or controlling actions.’ Thus, e-recruiting can provide an organization with the means to quickly collect data, store and receive information and use this information whenever needed for the purpose of external sourcing.
As businesses are driven by people, referrals can be immensely effective and economical in developing external sourcing (Torrisi-Mokwa, 2006). Torrisi-Mokawa (2006, p. 17) also cites that to develop a good system of referrals, the management needs to communicate the defined and identified requirements of the job, establish connections between referrals and recognition and also set referral goals for its employees.
Assess the Candidates
An effective assessment procedure not only brings in a good candidate but can also improve the company’s bottom line and market value. Once a pool of candidates is formed, well-trained, motivated and high-caliber interviewers should be used to assess these candidates for their suitability to the position. The objective of this step apart from evaluating the candidates is also selling the position and organization to highly attractive candidates along with building consensus in the organization regarding the suitability of the candidate. Due to the criticality of this step, a good interviewing procedure should employ rigorous behavioral event interviews, detailed reference checking, and the inclusion of top stakeholders for the position i.e. relevant managers, HR personnel etc(Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria, 2009).
Close the Deal
Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria (2009, p. 83) specify that in spite of finding the right person for the job, many times firms fail to close the deal as highly valued candidates are in abundance of offers. This might happen in spite of a good compensation and remuneration package. Candidates need to feel secure in the new environment and a show of commitment from the management regarding the candidate’s interest might happen to be the difference maker in the candidate’s decision. The candidate would also expect a true and real picture of the job so that he/she knows what is at hand. An introduction and a discussion with the line manager apart from the HR will help affirm view of the organization and the job role in the candidate’s mind. Encompassing all the above in an efficient and effective manner will help close the deal with mutual benefits for both the candidates and the organization.
Integrate the Newcomer
Systematic integration of the new employees leads to lower turnover as the recruits report greater commitment and job satisfaction. Successful firms look to orient the new recruits on various fronts such as their own departments as well as to the other facets of the organization. A good induction program enables the new employees to utilize all previous knowledge in relevance to the new job role (Secord, 2009). Detailed orientation programs with specific milestones and regular progress report is practice followed by many top organizations as a part of their integration programs. Furthermore, if top performers are assigned as mentors in addition to the above programs, the development and satisfaction level of a new recruit can be elevated (Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria, 2009).
Audit and Review
The chances of hiring ill fits and committing mistakes can never be ruled out in spite of a good recruiting and integration program. If ineptitude is shown by a new employee, good practice firms usually let them go within the period of the first year. Such practices are widely followed in many top IT firms such as Wipro, Infosys and TCS (Fernández-Aráoz, Groysberg, & Nohria, 2009).
Interviewers and assessors play a big role in this process and should be developed to enhance and hone their skills, apart from being held accountable. They should as well be rewarded for their contributions in bringing talent to the organization. The above listed practices if followed and implemented can help companies to strategize their recruitment process in order to hire the best of the best either internally or externally, whenever the need arises.
If the Human Resource Department of an organization follows the best practices as described above, then the task of this department is cut short. This is a myth. The above described best practices can act as an excellent guideline / framework for designing industry specific or company specific plans and policies. Each company has a defined set of strategic approach (which may change given the external environmental conditions) towards the business it is functional. The task of Human Resource Department is to integrate the above mentioned best practices and strategy approach keeping in mind the organization’s core values, ethics and culture. These company specific plans and procedures should be monitored and controlled well for smooth functioning of the organization. Organizations with pro-active HR department have always triumphed over organizations with reactive HR department (considering similar industry / company).
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