Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager


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However, in practice, those kinds of problems are rare. Most employees are well aware that their own reputations are at stake when they refer friends or family for employment, and think carefully before doing so. In addition, you can design the program to require that new hires remain on the job for a fixed period of time e.

This can reduce the applicant pool to those referrals who are very serious in their interest in working for you. What should you offer? Referral bonuses range widely see Box 3. Even if your organization doesn't have a formal employee referral program, you may be able to use this method on an informal basis by encouraging your employees to refer friends and family members.

BOX 3. Savi Technology Inc. Well, employee referrals do have their downsides. First, the speed factor is unpredictable. In some cases, employees may be able to respond quickly to your requests for referrals. But your employees may not have a very extensive network, and even if they know suitable applicants, those referrals may already be committed to other employers. In addition, relying on employee referrals may result in a very homogeneous workforce.

When your employees refer friends and family members, they are very likely to be referring applicants of the same race, nationality, or religion as themselves. Sometimes that homogeneity may be useful. For example, when Alpine Bank in Colorado needed tellers who could accommodate Spanish-speaking customers, the bank asked their Spanish-speaking Latino employees to refer family members for employment.

In that case, you might still want to use employee referrals, but supplement this method with other strategies that reach a broader applicant pool e. Another disadvantage of employee referral programs can become salient if you ever need to trim your workforce. Some organizations have found that employees who are hired together also tend to "hang together" when the time comes to end the employment relationship.

By the way, customers may also be a good referral source, especially for customer service positions.

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Several airlines including Southwest Airlines and American Airlines encourage frequent fliers to refer friends and family to vacant positions. Former Employees. Today, many organizations are enthusiastically rehiring former employees. Employees who worked for you in a limited capacity e. Many organizations are also hiring "boomerangs" who left traditional organizations for dot-corn startups and are now interested in returning to the fold.

However, applicants that are drawn from this pool may have a very high probability of success. These former employees have already experienced your organization in its entirety—the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a result, both you and the applicant can make informed decisions about fit. Choosing Between External and Internal Methods So far, I've laid out the advantages and disadvantages of external and internal recruiting methods.

These relative advantages and disadvantages are also summarized in Table 3. External methods such as newspaper or Internet advertising are relatively inexpensive and can identify applicants quickly, but they are associated with low yield ratios. Using intermediaries can boost the yield ratio, but this also raises costs and increases the length of time before new hires are on the job. Internal recruiting methods such as internal posting, employee referrals, and rehiring former employees have high yield ratios and lower costs, but are unpredictable in their speed and can result in a very homogeneous workforce.

So how do you choose? Well, the answer depends on your needs and your resources. If you need a lot of employees on board quickly, you may want to use newspaper and Internet recruiting, recognizing that you will have to invest considerable time and resources to sift through applications for suitability. And remember that one option is to compensate for the disadvantages of one recruiting method by pairing it with another recruiting method.

For example, an employee referral program can be initiated simultaneously with a newspaper advertising campaign, or a job announcement can be posted on both Internet and Intranet sites. Manager's Checkpoint Use the following questions to decide which recruiting methods are right for your hiring needs: Mow large is my recruiting budget?

If your recruiting budget is extremely small, you may be unable to hire intermediaries or offer inducements for employee referrals.

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Mow many employees do I need? Mow long can I wait to fill open positions? If you need to hire many employees quickly, internal recruiting methods may not produce enough applicants in time. Mow important is it that I hire employees who are demographically diverse? If you want to increase the diversity of your workforce, external recruiting methods may be more effective than internal methods. Mow much time and energy am I willing to invest in applicant screening?

If you want to limit your involvement in prescreening, using intermediaries or internal recruiting methods may be more efficient. Why is that? Well, applicants hired through internal recruiting methods tend to have a much clearer picture of a job and its demands than applicants who have only read a brief job description or heard a brief summary of the job responsibilities from a recruiter.

Former employees, current employees, and applicants with friends or family working in the organization have accumulated a rich storehouse of information about life in your 38 CHAPTER 3 organization—warts and all. As a result, when these individuals put forward a formal application, they know what they are getting into, and they are likely to have already engaged in a thorough self-assessment of their fit to the job.

In contrast, most external recruiting efforts "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Set your own hours! Recruiters eager to "reel the candidate in" describe the job in glowing terms and conveniently neglect to mention the negatives. But let's face it: every job has some undesirable characteristics.

For example, telemarketers put up with constant rejection and abuse. While high school students may dream of traveling around the world as flight attendants, real-life flight attendants talk about difficult customers, jet lag, and other common complaints. When a job applicant is left in the dark about a job's undesirable characteristics, both the applicant and the organization may face a reality shock down the road.

If the applicant doesn't learn about the negative aspects of a job early in the recruiting process, the hiring manager may invest considerable time and effort only to learn that the applicant is poorly suited for the job. And if the applicant doesn't learn about the downsides until after the hiring decision, low performance and job dissatisfaction are likely to result. Research suggests that applicants who receive a realistic job preview are more likely to be successful hires.

What's a realistic job preview? In addition to telling people about all the positive things a job has to offer e. You can also incorporate some of the negative information about your opening in the advertisements you place in newspapers or on the Internet.

As a result, individuals who apply for your job do so with a balanced picture of the job's pluses and minuses. The idea of providing negative information during the recruiting process may seem counter-intuitive. Managers who have had a hard time finding applicants may be reluctant to risk scaring them off. You're right to expect that negative information may immediately make some potential applicants unwilling to consider the job.

But a realistic job preview can ultimately have the effect of boosting your long-run yield ratio. Remember, the people who are so turned off by the negative elements you present in the realistic job preview that they decide not to apply are the same people who would be likely to quit soon after being hired. A realistic job preview can help you to avoid investing time and training in applicants who ultimately are not good fits to the job. Manager's Checkpoint The following questions might help you to decide whether you want to integrate realisticjob previews into your recruiting process: Do new hires seem surprised about skill requirements, workload demands, or other aspects of the job?

Are these surprises associated with employee dissatisfaction or attrition? If your answer to both questions is yes, applicants may be receiving skewed information during the recruiting process. Have I encouraged recruiters, managers, and current employees to share accurate information both positive and negative with applicants?

If your answer is no, organizational members may be trying to "help" in the recruiting process by overemphasizing positive elements of the job. Have I'given applicants access to customers and employees who can provide accurate information both positive and negative about the job? If your answer is no, applicants may not be able to gather enough information to develop an accurate picture of what their day-to-day life in the organization is likely to be. That was the situation managers faced in the late s, and Box 3.

Will organizations face this kind of widespread recruiting challenge again? Sure—the only question is, how soon? Analysts suggest that in the years ahead a labor shortage will result from the retirement of huge numbers of baby boomers—a crunch likely to last for years or even decades. When you want to increase the applicant pool, there are three interrelated issues to consider: Who falls outside of your typical applicant pool?

How can you reach them? And what would attract them to your organization? Identifying Nontraditional Applicants Let's start with a little exercise. Take a few moments to describe your "typical" employee in terms of demographics and lifestyle. Do you employ more men than women? Are most of your employees relatively young?

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Do your employees tend to be single? Where do your employees live in relation to work? Now, try "tweaking" each of those dimensions and consider the implications. But when iCube needed 26 more consultants very quickly, they added a VCR to the package. The offer drew applicants in 2 days.

Consciously identifying those employee groups who currently are not wellrepresented within your organization may provide useful clues about how you can change your recruiting strategies to "pull in" previously underutilized segments of the labor force. For example, when the aging workforce made it difficult to find high school students interested in jobs flipping burgers, McDonald's actively recruited retired and disabled members of their local communities. Another example of recruiting nontraditional applicants comes from the health sector.

Historically, jobs associated with medical professions have had very skewed sex distributions: Nurses were usually women and pharmacists were usually men. When U. Employers have teamed up with groups as diverse as local prisons33 and refugee service agencies34 to open up new applicant pools. While prisoners and refugees aren't usually targets of organizational recruiting efforts, organizations pursuing these groups have found that they represent pools of underutilized labor resources.

Sometimes new segments of the labor pool can be identified by easing up on geographic constraints. Is your organization located in the inner city, but you would like to recruit from the suburbs? Or, is your organization located in a rural area, but you would like to recruit employees from distant towns and villages? It's becoming more and more common for organizations to offer transportation services to new employees as a way of broadening the recruiting pool. For example, an exclusive resort in the Florida Keys negotiated with the local transit system to establish a new bus route enabling them to recruit workers from 30 miles away.

For example, is there an age or skill requirement that could be lifted? Grocery store chains have been experimenting with hiring and year-olds as baggers. Recruiting Channels Now that you've identified these underutilized segments of the labor pool, the next challenge is reaching them. Your current recruiting strategies may not be attracting the attention of these nontraditional applicants. You may want to supplement your newspaper advertisements with ads in publications directed toward more specialized audiences e.

When you place a help wanted ad in a newspaper or on an Internet job board, you are only reaching people who are actively searching for a job. The biggest untapped part of the labor market includes those people who are not currently seeking employment. This group includes people who might be great fits to your job and your organization— but because they aren't reading the help-wanted ads, they'll never be able to consider you as an employer. How can you get your opportunity onto their radar screen? Organizations recruit in many diverse contexts.

Texas Instruments recruits employees at flea markets and sports events. They represent relaxed settings that attract plenty of people but few employers—giving the companies a chance to advertise their positions to a broad audience with little competition. Firms are now placing their help-wanted ads on pizza boxes and restaurant place mats. Again, these methods put the position before the eyes of the passive job seeker—the one who doesn't yet know that he or she is interested in a new job.

We discussed Internet recruiting earlier. Organizations who use the Internet merely as an extension of their traditional recruiting strategies will only reach active job seekers, the ones who are actively monitoring career Web sites for new job opportunities. But passive job seekers surf the net too. Some high-tech firms monitor public Internet forums to find potential hires. If a poster offers a creative solution to a software user's problem on one of these forums, the firm can e-mail the poster and invite him or her to discuss employment opportunities.

Other organizations offer easy ways to learn about jobs on their own Web sites. The advantage of all these recruiting methods is that your job announcement is being seen by a broader pool. Inducements In a tight labor market, organizations offer signing bonuses to fast food employees, full-time benefits to part-time workers, concierge services, on-site massages, and other glamorous benefits.

However, it's important to recognize that while these methods of "extreme recruiting" attract a lot of attention, the goal is not just to offer more benefits. The goal, ideally, is to find the benefit that will make your organization more attractive than your competitors to a significant segment of the applicant pool. For example, in , Lotus Development began offering employees with same-sex significant others the same spousal benefits available to employees in traditional marriages. Now, of course, benefits for gay partners are relatively common,49 but as one of the first employers to offer this benefit, Lotus had a tremendous advantage.

But older job applicants had the option of taking advantage of this bonus themselves or passing it on as a gift to a younger family member. Younger employees can take more risks if they want to e. If your answer is yes, your recruiting strategies may be missing other viable segments of the labor pool. Can I supplement my regular recruiting channels with alternatives that will reach these underutilized segments of the labor pool?

The answer here is almost certainly yes! Am I currently offering benefits that might appeal to particular segments of the labor pool? If so, can I highlight these benefits in my recruiting practices? If not, are there benefits I would be willing to provide in order to attract additional applicants? Again, the goal here is to match the inducements with particular segments of the labor pool.

But, a word of caution: Recruiting new permanent employees may not always be the answer. Many businesses experience cycles in which there is high demand one week and low demand the next. During the s, new workers were in short supply, and organizations recruited year-round to ensure enough workers for the peak periods. So one possibility to consider is whether peak demands can be accommodated through overtime, subcontracting, or hiring temporary help. Temporary workers no longer are limited to low-wage clerical positions; organizations can hire contingent employees at all professional levels.


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In addition, temporary assignments can be a great way to test fit before making a permanent hire—think of the temporary assignment as an extended realistic preview for both sides. Some companies team up to share employees, shifting them from organization to organization depending on demand. For example, Olsten, the staffing company, created a pool of workers in Denver who are shared among eight companies.

Recruiting is a critical first step in the staffing process. But once you've developed a recruiting strategy, the next challenge is selecting from among the interested applicants. In the next chapter, I'll describe the most common selection techniques and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Too many workers? Mot for long. Matinez, M. The headhunter within. Overman, S. Put overlooked labor pools on your recruiting list. HRMagazine, 44 2 , Thomas, S. Recruiting and the web.

Business Horizons, How do I demonstrate a commitment to diversity during the recruiting process? And will an emphasis on racial and gender diversity turn off the White male applicants who make " u p t h e largest segment o f m y applicant pool? Instead, create a recruiting process that emphasizes inclusion. Use specialized outlets e.

You'll also want to take a close look at your recruitment materials—the brochures, job announcements, and other materials you use during the recruiting process. Do the pictures in the brochure reflect the diversity you already have in your workforce? Does your organizational mission statement include a commitment to diversity? Research suggests that including statements about the organization's commitment to diversity in recruiting materials leads all applicants to rate the organization as more attractive—not just the female applicants, and not just the applicants who are members of racial minorities.

But recently I'm finding that the applicants these recruiters send to me are not good fits to the company culture or to the requirements of my jobs. What can I do to increase the effectiveness of these recruiting efforts? Are recruiters familiar enough with the job content that they can knowledgeably address applicant questions? Recruiters often receive only a bare-bones sketch of the job requirements. That can discourage job applicants who try to probe for more details about the work environment. Second, check the message that you are sending to recruiters.

Are you providing incentives for more applicants or for applicants who provide a better fit to the organization? Recruiters who are trying to fill quotas may be over-selling the job to potential applicants. By encouraging them to provide a realistic preview to job applicants, you communicate your commitment to finding qualified applicants, not just more applicants.

It seems like all the applicants want health insurance and other benefits I can't afford to provide. Is there any way that I can attract qualified applicants to my company? However, small businesses can offer job applicants more opportunities to gain hands-on experience and greater responsibilities than they might find at larger firms. Try emphasizing these nonfinancial benefits during your recruiting efforts. For example, students are frequently covered by their parents' health insurance plans, and might be less concerned about the lack of health benefits than applicants from other labor pools.

But students would value flexible scheduling or training opportunities that allow them to gain work experience at the same time they are maintaining a full-time courseload. Any advice on doing this right? Start by using the Internet as a supplement to your traditional recruiting efforts, and systematically compare the yield ratios of Internet and non-Internet sources. You'll have more success in finding qualified applicants if you target specialized boards in your industry rather than using multi-purpose ones.

Joinson, C. Turn up the radio recruiting. A creative net will snare the best. Feldman, D. Internet job hunting: A field study of applicant experiences with on-line recruiting. Human Resource Management, 41, Silverman, R. Software helps employers sift through work pool. B14; Pollock, E. Inhuman resources. Maher, K. Hitting the target. Hogler, R. L, Henle, C. Internet recruiting and employment discrimination: A legal perspective.

Human Resource Management Review, 8 2 , Harrington, A. Can anyone build a better Monster? Corporations cut middlemen and do their own recruiting.

Wall Street Journal Online. Moses, J. Employers face new liability: Truth in hiring. B1-B2; Work week. Al; Lublin, J. Recent court case likely to push firms to be more candid with job applicants. The going rate. Al; Franco, M. Don't drop those incentives yet. Catalog Age, Word of mouths. Credit Union Management, It's all who you know, and who can last 90 days.

Al; Brown, E. Have friends, will hire. Forbes, Titunik, V. Get us an accountant, we give you the car. Litvan, L. Casting a wider employment net. Nation's Business, Lambert, W. No bias seen in homogeneous work force. Wysocki, B. Team effort. Qilbertson, D. Frequent fliers turn headhunters. Arizona Republic, pp. Al, A15; Gilbertson, D. Southwest finds new way to use air-sickness bags. A1; Vinzant, C. They want you back. Williams, C. Recruitment sources and posthire outcomes for job applicants and new hires: A test of two hypotheses.

Petzinger, T, Jr. They keep workers motivated to make annoying phone calls. Useem, J. For sale online: You. Fortune, ; Nakache, P. Cisco's recruiting edge. Bernstein, A. Not for long. When it is the job from hell, recruiting is tough. Bl, B8. Poe, A. Hiring in the hinterlands. Hausman, T. Engineering perks. Handouts for the helpful. Quintanilla, C. As jobs go begging, bosses toil nights—and improvise. Richtel, M. Poaching in Silicon Valley. International Herald Tribune, business sect. Aeppel, T , October 5.

A passage to India eases a worker scarcity in Ohio. Anybody here want a job? Employers go to prison to recruit new workers. International Herald Tribune, p. Digh, P , October. Getting people in the pool; Diversity recruitment that works. Johnson, J. The recruiting wars.

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Discount Merchandiser, p. Thaler, C.

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Diversify your recruitment advertising. Anonymous , December. In the moral minority. Management Today, pp. Nakache, P. Oseem, J. Sunoo, B. Temp firms turn up the heat on hiring. Markels, A. Is anybody out there? Working Woman, 23 6 , Munk, N. Think fast! Boehle, S. Online recruiting gets sneaky. Training, ; McConnell, B. Companies lure job seekers in new ways.

HRNews, pp. Schodolski, V J. Extension of benefits to gay partners on rise. Chicago Tribune, pp. Hammonds, K. Lotus opens a door for gay partners. Business Week, pp. Lotus creates controversy by extending benefits to partners of gay employees. Bl, BIO. Ray, S. Personal communication. Rasmussen, E. Does your sales force need a new look? Sales and Marketing Management, Tight job market. Aley, J. The temp biz boom: Why it's good. Fortune, ; Work week. Williams, M. The effect of a managing diversity policy on organizational attractiveness.

Group and Organization Management, 19, CHAPTER 4 Hiring hew Employees i, : your recruiting efforts are successful, you will find yourself in the luxurious position of being able to select new hires from a pool of interested applicants. But how do you identify the applicants with the highest potential for success on the job?

In this chapter, I'll describe some options that are available to assist in staffing decisions. I'll also highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the various options. You'll notice that one popular selection option, the selection interview, is conspicuously absent. That's because I've devoted the entire next chapter to discussing selection interviews in detail. As with recruiting, it's important to first establish some criteria for evaluating selection procedures.

In general, when we evaluate the relative effectiveness of selection methods, we need to consider both the cost of using the method and the accuracy of decisions resulting from the method. As a manager, you should be concerned about these criteria for both practical and legal reasons. On the practical side, we'd like to identify a selection method or a combination of methods that identifies the best candidates at the lowest cost.

On the legal side, evidence regarding the accuracy of your hiring procedures is your first line of defense if your selection procedures are ever accused of being discriminatory. The most accurate selection decisions result from using selection procedures that have high validity. There are three common forms of validity: 1.

Criterion-related validity. Criterion-related validity is the extent to which a selection procedure predicts on-the-job success. Suppose you hired employees last year. During the hiring process, applicants took a cognitive ability test. Six months after hiring, supervisors rated each employee's overall performance on the job. Now you have two pieces of information about each employee—their prehire score on the cognitive ability test, and their posthire job performance rating.

The cognitive ability test has high criterion-related validity if scores on the cognitive ability test are strongly associated with the supervisors' ratings of performance. Positive correlation coefficients indicate that scores on the two measures in our example, the prehire test score and the posthire supervisory rating covary in the same direction: The higher the employee scored on the cognitive ability test, the higher the supervisory rating and, conversely, the lower the employee scored on the test, the lower the supervisor rating. However, it can also be desirable to have negative correlation coefficients.

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