A company is only as good as its workers. If people come to work each day eager to see each other, to do their very best on the job, to serve their customers, and to help their firm compete, then it’s very likely that company will be a success. The best companies value their employees just as much as their customers—without workers, there would be no goods or services to offer customers. The Walt Disney Company and Walmart understand this. Management at these companies know that hiring good workers—including military veterans—is vital to their overall success. Achieving the highest level of job satisfaction and dedication among employees is the goal of human resource management, which attracts, develops, and retains the employees who can perform the activities necessary to accomplish organizational objectives.
human resource management function of attracting, developing, and retaining employees who can perform the activities necessary to accomplish organizational objectives.
Not every firm is large enough to have an entire human resources department. But whoever performs this function generally does the following: plan for staffing needs, recruit and hire workers, provide for training and evaluate performance, determine compensation and benefits, and oversee employee separation. In accomplishing these five tasks, shown in Figure 8.1, human resource managers achieve their objectives of
1. providing qualified, well-trained employees for the organization;
2. maximizing employee effectiveness in the organization; and
3. satisfying individual employee needs through monetary compensation, benefits, opportunities to advance, and job satisfaction.
Human resource plans must be based on an organization’s overall competitive strategies. In conjunction with other managers, human resource managers predict how many employees a firm or department will need and what skills those workers should bring to the job—along with what skills they might learn on the job. Human resource managers are often consulted when a firm is considering reducing costs by laying off workers or increasing costs by hiring new ones. They may be involved in both long-term and short-term planning.
Hiring good workers—including military veterans—is the key to a company’s overall success. Job fairs are popping up across the country, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hire 500,000 Heroes” program, which aims to hire 500,000 military veterans and their spouses as a way of helping these heroes transition back to civilian life.
Anthony Behar/Sipa Press/AP/Wide World Photos
1. What are the five main tasks of a human resource manager?
2. What are the three overall objectives of a human resource manager?
Recruitment and Selection
Human resource managers recruit and help select the right workers for a company. To ensure that job candidates bring the necessary skills to the job or have the desire and ability to learn them, most firms implement the recruitment and selection process shown in Figure 8.2.
FIGURE 8.1: Human Resource Management Responsibilities
FIGURE 8.2: Steps in the Recruitment and Selection Process
Finding Qualified Candidates
When the economy dips and jobs are lost, many people compete for a limited number of positions. When a company develops a great reputation for benefits or working conditions, it might be inundated with applications. But even with a large number of job candidates competing for a small number of openings, companies sometimes have trouble finding the right person for each position. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, firms are currently looking for candidates with these strengths: verbal communication skills, strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical skills, and initiative.2
In addition to traditional methods of recruiting, such as college job fairs, personal referrals, and want ads, most companies now rely on their Web sites. A firm’s Web site might contain a career section with general employment information and a listing of open positions. Applicants are often able to submit a résumé and apply for an open position online. When applying for jobs online, it’s helpful to use the key words in the job description as part of the application. Also, if a current résumé is required as part of the job application, tailor the wording of the résumé to reflect the key components of the job you are seeking.
Internet recruiting is such a quick, efficient, and inexpensive way to reach a large pool of job seekers that the vast majority of companies currently use the Internet, including social networking sites, to fill job openings. This is also the best way for firms to reach new graduates and workers in their 20s and even 30s. Using a social media site such as LinkedIn or Facebook allows firms to communicate directly with candidates and get feedback, as the “Hit & Miss” feature explains.
Hit & Miss: Using Social Media for Recruitment
Companies use social networking for many purposes, but finding new employees has become the biggest and continues to grow. More than 7 in 10 executives at large U.S. firms use social media to recruit new talent, reveals one survey, and 89 percent of HR professionals in another survey plan to do so, up from 83 percent last year. Two in three firms using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter report making successful hires through these sites. Job boards, in contrast, seem to be on the decline.
LinkedIn and Facebook are the networks recruiters use most heavily. Here employers maintain dedicated company pages, scour visitors for potential candidates, and join discussions and user groups to encourage applicants. Through firms like Jobvite they even use social networks to automate employee referrals.
A word of caution to potential job seekers: It is important to be careful about posting information in public places—even online. Once material is posted via social media, it is available for everyone to see.
Questions for Critical Thinking
1. One consultant says companies like social networking but don’t know how to measure results. How should firms judge recruitment results from social networking?
2. Some job seekers like separate social and professional networks and find Facebook messages about job openings “invasive.” How can recruiters overcome this bias?
Sources: Jessica Miller-Merrell, “Corporate Social Media Risk and Employment Law Concerns When Hiring,” https://www.blogging4jobs.com, March 5, 2012; “Recruiting Tops List of Corporate Social Media Initiatives,” Business Wire, October 5, 2011, www.businesswire.com; “$ Facebook Recruiting Tips Inspired by Sodexo,” TalentMinded.com, September 15, 2011, https://talentminded.com; Christina DesMarais, “Facebook as a Recruiting Tool,” Inc., August 9, 2011, https://technology.com; Joe Light, “Recruiters Troll Facebook for Candidates They Like,” The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2011, https://online.wsj.com; Susan Adams, “More Employers Using Social Media to Hunt for Talent,” Forbes, July 13, 2011, www.forbes.com.
It’s also important for job seekers to be as specific as possible when using the Internet to look for a job. For example, if possible, they should apply through the firm’s Web site instead of one of the large, third-party job sites. “Employers see that the vast majority of applicants coming through these [third-party] sites have not done sufficient research, and often are questionable fits for the advertised positions,” notes one human resource expert.3
Recruiting techniques continue to evolve as technology advances. JobsinPods.com is an online library of podcast interviews with hiring managers and employees at a variety of U.S. companies, including AT&T, Intel, and IBM. New podcasts, also called jobcasts, are posted in a blog format and older podcasts are archived. Some describe employers’ hiring needs, while others talk about what it’s like to work at a particular company. Job seekers can also download the podcasts to an iPod and listen to them at their leisure.4
Selecting and Hiring Employees
It’s the human resource manager’s job to select and hire employees, often in conjunction with department managers or supervisors. Every firm must follow state and federal employment laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants based on their race, religion, color, sex, or national origin. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled applicants. The Civil Rights Act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate discrimination complaints. The Uniform Employee Selection Guidelines were adopted by the EEOC in 1978 to further clarify ways in which employers must ensure that their employees will be hired and managed without discrimination.5 The EEOC also helps employers set up affirmative action programs to increase job opportunities for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and other protected groups.