Core Functions of Human Resource Management

Employee Recruitment

Recruitment is the process of identifying an organizational gap and attracting, evaluating, and hiring employees to fill that role.

Learning Objectives

Recognize the four phases in the recruitment process and the various strategies for executing them

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Recruitment is the process of attracting, evaluating, and hiring employees for an organization.
  • The recruitment process includes four steps: job analysis, sourcing, screening and selection, and onboarding.
  • There are various recruitment approaches, such as relying on in-house personnel, outsourcing, employment agencies, executive search firms, social media, and recruitment services on the Internet.
  • With a global marketplace for prospective employees, and the enormity of data and applications supplied via the Internet, HR professionals are challenged with filtering vast streams of data to find the best fit.

Key Terms

  • recruitment: The process of recruiting employees.

Recruitment is the process of attracting, screening, and selecting employees for an organization. The different stages of recruitment are: job analysis, sourcing, screening and selection, and onboarding.

The Four Stages

  1. Job analysis involves determining the different aspects of a job through, for example, job description and job specification. The former describes the tasks that are required for the job, while the latter describes the requirements that a person needs to do that job.
  2. Sourcing involves using several strategies to attract or identify candidates. Sourcing can be done by internal or external advertisement. Advertisement can be done via local or national newspapers, specialist recruitment media, professional publications, window advertisements, job centers, or the Internet.
  3. Screening and selection is the process of assessing the employees who apply for the job. The assessment is conducted to understand the relevant skills, knowledge, aptitude, qualifications, and educational or job-related experience of potential employees. Methods of screening include evaluating resumes and job applications, interviewing, and job-related or behavioral testing.
  4. After screening and selection, the best candidate is selected. Onboarding is the process of helping new employees become productive members of an organization. A well-planned introduction helps new employees quickly become fully operational.

Recruitment Approaches

There are many recruitment approaches as well. Approaches, in this context, refers to strategies or methods of executing the recruitment process. As recruitment is a complex and data-heavy process, particularly considering the global economy and Internet job boards, the supply of applications and interest can be quite overwhelming. These strategies assist in simplifying the process for HR professionals:

  • In-house personnel may manage the recruitment process. At larger companies, human resources professionals may be in charge of the task. In the smallest organizations, recruitment may be left to line managers.
  • Outsourcing of recruitment to an external provider may be the solution for some businesses. Employment agencies are also used to recruit talent. They maintain a pool of potential employees and place them based on the requirements of the employer.
  • Executive search firms are used for executive and professional positions. These firms use advertising and networking as a method to find the best fit.
  • Internet job boards and job search engines are commonly used to communicate job postings. Social media is also playing a vital role in recruitment in this century.
  • Social networking, whereby websites such as LinkedIn enable employers and prospective employees to interact and share information, is perhaps the most recent trend in recruitment.
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Online Recruiting: Monster.com is a popular job board for people seeking employment.

Employee Selection

Selection is the process—based on filtering techniques that ensure added value—of choosing a qualified candidate for a position.

Learning Objectives

Break down the human resource selection process as organizations pursue new employee talent

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Selection is the process of selecting a qualified person who can successfully do a job and deliver valuable contributions to the organization.
  • A selection system should depend on job analysis. This ensures that the selection criteria are job related and will provide meaningful organizational value.
  • The requirements for a selection system are knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs).
  • Personnel-selection systems employ evidence-based practices to determine the most qualified candidates, which can include both new candidates and individuals within the organization.
  • Two major factors determine the quality of job candidates: predictor validity and selection ratio.

Key Terms

  • Selection Ratio: A value that indicates the selectivity of a organization on a scale of 0 to 1.
  • validity: A quality that indicates the degree to which a measurement reflects the underlying construct—that is, how well it measures what it purports to measure.
  • Predictor Cutoff: A limit distinguishing between passing and failing scores on a selection test—people with scores above it are hired or further considered while those with scores below it are not.

Selection is the process of choosing a qualified person for specific role who can successfully deliver valuable contributions to the organization. The term selection can be applied to many aspects of the process, such as recruitment, hiring, and acculturation. However, it most commonly refers to the selection of workers. A selection system should depend on job analysis. This ensures that the selection criteria are job related and propose value additions for the organization.

Selection Requirements

The requirements for a selection system are knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics, collectively known as KSAOs. Personnel-selection systems employ evidence-based practices to determine the most qualified candidates, which can include both new candidates and individuals within the organization.

Common selection tools include ability tests (cognitive, physical, or psychomotor), knowledge tests, personality tests, structured interviews, the systematic collection of biographical data, and work samples. Development and implementation of such screening methods is sometimes done by human resources departments. Some organizations may hire consultants or firms that specialize in developing personnel-selection systems rather than developing them internally.

Metrics

Two major factors determining the quality of a newly hired employee are predictor validity and selection ratio. The predictor cutoff is a limit distinguishing between passing and failing scores on a selection test—people with scores above it are hired or further considered while those with scores below it are not. This cutoff can be a very useful hiring tool, but it is only valuable if it is actually predictive of the type of performance the hiring managers are seeking.

The selection ratio (SR) is the number of job openings (n) divided by the number of job applicants (N). When the SR is equal to 1, the use of any selection device has little meaning, but this is not often the case as there are usually more applicants than job openings. As N increases, the quality of hires is likely to also increase: if you have 500 applicants for 3 job openings, you will likely find people with higher-quality work among those 500 than if you had only 5 applicants for the same 3 job openings.

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SAT score averages: SAT scores used as university admissions criteria are a good example of the use of predictor cutoff. Some universities will not admit students below a certain SAT (or ACT, GMAT, etc.) score. Employers use a similar method with different metrics to filter high volume applications.

Employee Orientation

Orientation tactics exist to provide new employees enough information to adjust, resulting in satisfaction and effectiveness in their role.

Learning Objectives

Define orientation and onboarding from a human resources perspective, with a focus on the socialization model

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Employee orientation, also commonly referred to as onboarding or organizational socialization, is the process by which an employee acquires the necessary skills, knowledge, behaviors, and contacts to effectively transition into a new organization (or role within the organization).
  • A good way to envision this process is through understanding the organizational socialization model.
  • Employee characteristics, new employee tactics, and organizational tactics are the three inputs that begin the orientation process.
  • With a combination of the above three inputs, employees should move through the adjustment phase as they acclimate to the new professional environment, making important contacts and further understanding their role.
  • The goal of effectively orienting the employee for success is twofold: minimize turnover while maximizing satisfaction.
  • Some critics of orientation processes stipulate that sometimes the extensive onboarding process can confuse the employees relative to their role, though in most environments onboarding is considered a strong investment.

Key Terms

  • onboarding: The process of bringing a new employee into the organization, incorporating training and orientation.
  • extroversion: Concern with, or an orientation toward, others, or what is outside oneself; behavior expressing such an orientation; the definitive characteristic of an extrovert.

Employee orientation, also commonly referred to as onboarding or organizational socialization, is the process by which an employee acquires the necessary skills, knowledge, behaviors, and contacts to effectively transition into a new organization (or role within the organization).

Orientation is a reasonably broad process, generally carried out by the human resources department, that may incorporate lectures, videos, meetings, computer-based programs, team-building exercises, and mentoring. The underlying goal of incorporating these varying onboarding tactics is to provide the employee enough information to adjust, ultimately resulting in satisfaction and effectiveness as a new employee (or an existing employee in a new role).

Organizational Socialization Model

A good way to envision this process is through understanding the organizational socialization model. This chart highlights the process of moving the employee through the adjustment stage to the desired outcome:

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Organizational socialization model: A model of onboarding (adapted from Bauer & Erdogan, 2011).

  • New Employee Characteristics—Though this segment of the model overlaps with other human resource initiatives (such as recruitment and talent management), the characteristics of a new employee are central to the strategies used as the employee moves through the orientation process. Characteristics that are particularly useful in this process are extroversion, curiosity, experience, proactiveness, and openness.
  • New Employee Tactics—The goal for the employee is to acquire knowledge and build relationships. Relationships in particular are central to understanding company culture.
  • Organizational Tactics—The organization should similarly seek to emphasize relationship building and the communication of knowledge, particularly organizational knowledge that will be useful for the employee when navigating the company. The company should also use many of the resources mentioned above (videos, lectures, team-building exercises) to complement the process.
  • Adjustment—With a combination of the above three inputs, employees should move through the adjustment phase as they acclimate to the new professional environment. This should focus primarily on knowledge of the company culture and co-workers, along with increased clarity as to how they fit within the organizational framework (i.e., their role).
  • Outcomes—The goal of effectively orienting the employee for success is twofold: minimize turnover while maximizing satisfaction. The cost of bringing new employees into the mix is substantial, and as a result, high turnover rates are a significant threat to most companies. Ensuring that the onboarding process is effective significantly reduces this risk. Additionally, achieving high levels of employee satisfaction is a substantial competitive advantage, as satisfied employees are motivated and efficient.

Criticisms

The desired outcome of an onboarding process is fairly straightforward—ensuring that new employees are well-equipped to succeed in their new professional environment. However, some critics of orientation processes claim that sometimes extensive onboarding can confuse new employees with regard to their role, as most of their time is spent in company-wide learning, as opposed to role-centric learning. While this criticism may be true in some contexts, it can be offset through a more role-specific onboarding process. It is generally acknowledged that orientation strategies generate positive outcomes and returns on investment.

Employee Development

A core function of human resource management is development—training efforts to improve personal, group, or organizational effectiveness.

Learning Objectives

Describe the basic premises behind the development process, as conducted by human resource management professionals

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • For overall organizational success, it is crucial to develop employees through training, education, and development.
  • Employee development focuses on providing and honing skills relevant to employees’ current and future jobs as well as future activities of the organization.
  • Talent development refers to an organization’s ability to align strategic training and career opportunities for employees.

Key Terms

  • human resource development: Training, organization, and career-development efforts to improve individual, group, and organizational effectiveness.
  • training: Organizational activity aimed at bettering the performance of individuals and groups in organizational settings.
  • stakeholder: A person or organization with a legitimate interest in a given situation, action, or enterprise.

Employee development helps organizations succeed through helping employees grow. Human resource development consists of training, organization, and career-development efforts to improve individual, group, and organizational effectiveness.

Development Stakeholders

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An astronaut in training.: An Example of Training

There are several categories of stakeholders that are helpful in understanding employee development: sponsors, managers and supervisors, participants, and facilitators. The sponsors of employee development are senior managers. Senior management invests in employees in a top-down manner, hoping to develop talent internally to reduce turnover, increase efficiency, and acquire human resource value. Line managers or direct supervisors are responsible for coaching employees and for employee performance and are therefore much more directly involved in the actual process. The participants are the people who actually go through the employee development, and also benefit significantly from effective development. The facilitators are human resource management staff, who usually hire specialists in a given field to provide hands-on instruction.

Each of these stakeholder groups has its own agendas and motivations, which can cause conflict with the agendas and motivations of other stakeholder groups. Human resource professionals should focus on aligning the interests of every stakeholder in the development process to capture mutual value.

Talent Development

Talent development refers to an organization’s ability to align strategic training and career opportunities for employees. Talent development, part of human resource development, is the process of changing an organization, its employees, and its stakeholders, using planned and unplanned learning, in order to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage for the organization.

What this essentially means is that human resources departments, in addition to their other responsibilities of job design, hiring, training, and employee interaction, are also tasked with helping others improve their career opportunities. This process requires investment in growing talent. It is often more economical in the long run to improve on existing employee skill sets, as opposed to investing in new employees. Therefore, talent development is a trade-off by which human resources departments can effectively save money through avoiding the opportunity costs of new employees.

Employee Career-Path Management

Career-path management requires human resource management to actively manage employee skills in pursuit of successful professional careers.

Learning Objectives

Examine the dimensions and considerations involved in outlining an employee’s professional development

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Career-path development includes structured planning and active management of an employee’s professional career.
  • There is a classification system, with minor variations, in the managerial process of career-path management.
  • Human resource development underlines the importance of human resources in empowering employees to advance their careers through training and development initiatives.
  • Human resource development requires human resource managers to identify employee potential and expand upon it, and to ensure that the company utilizes these talented employees to capture value.
  • The first step of career management is setting goals, which requires employees to be aware of career opportunities along with their own talents and abilities.

Key Terms

  • empower: To give someone more confidence and/or strength to do something, often by enabling them to increase control over their own life or situation.
  • Career Management: The structured planning and development of a employee’s professional career.

Career-path management refers to the structured planning and active management of an employee’s professional career. The results of successful career planning are personal fulfillment, a work and life balance, goal achievement, and financial security. A career encompasses the changes or modifications in employment through advancement during the foreseeable future. There are many definitions by management scholars of the stages in the managerial process. The following classification system (with minor variations) is widely used:

  • Development of overall goals and objectives
  • Development of a strategy
  • Development of the specific means (policies, rules, procedures, and activities) to implement the strategy
  • Systematic evaluation of the progress toward achievement of the selected goals and objectives to modify the strategy, if necessary

Human Resource Development

Human resource development (HRD) is the central framework for the way in which a company leverages an effective human resources department to empower employees with the skills for current and future success. The responsibility of the human resources department in regard to employee development primarily pertains to varying forms of training, educational initiatives, performance evaluation, and management development. Through employing these practices, human resource managers can significantly improve the potential of each employee, opening new career-path venues by expanding upon an employee’s skill set.

This is achieved through two specific human resource objectives: training and development (TD) and organizational development (OD). Training and development, as stated above, is primarily individualistic in nature and focused on ensuring that employees develop throughout their careers to capture more opportunity.

Organizational development must be balanced during this process, ensuring that the company itself is leveraging these evolving human resources to maximum efficiency. Depending too heavily upon TD may result in an organization incapable of capitalizing on employee skills, while focusing too much on OD will generate a company culture adverse to professional development. Therefore, human resources departments are central to empowering employees to take successful career paths while maintaining an organizational balance.

Some Dimensions of Career Management

The first step of career management is setting goals. Before doing so the person must be aware of career opportunities and should also know his or her own talents and abilities. The time horizon for the achievement of the selected goals or objectives—short-term, intermediate, or long-term—will have a major influence on their formulation.

  • Short-term goals (one or two years) are usually specific and limited in scope. Short-term goals are easier to formulate. They must be achievable and relate to long-term career goals.
  • Intermediate goals (three to 20 years) tend to be less specific and more open-ended than short-term goals. Both intermediate and long-term goals are more difficult to formulate than short-term goals because there are so many unknowns about the future.
  • Long-term goals (over 20 years) are the most fluid of all. Lack of both life experience and knowledge about potential opportunities and pitfalls makes the formulation of long-term goals and objectives very difficult. Long-term goals and objectives may, however, be easily modified as additional information is received without a great loss of career efforts, because experience and knowledge transfer from one career to another.

Other Focuses of Career Management

The modern nature of work means that individuals may now (more than in the past) have to revisit the process of making career choices and decisions more frequently. Managing “boundless” careers refers to skills needed by workers whose employment is beyond the boundaries of a single organization, a work style common among, for example, artists and designers. As employers take less responsibility, employees need to take control of their own development to maintain and enhance their employability.

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Promotion: A promotion often comes through effective career-path management.