H2O Organization is a mid-sized software development company that is based in Munich, Germany. The organization has a total of more than three thousand employees based on several of its operating locations in the country. To keep in tandem with globalization, the organization seeks to expand its operations to other countries. The managers have identified the United States of America as a possible market. To this end, they are seeking advice regarding best practices to enter this market. One of the areas that they are seeking advice on is human resources. There is a concern to the effect that a cross-over cannot be made from Germany to the United States of America without first aligning H2O’s human resource initiatives with guidelines and stipulations in the US.
The company has made it known that they are especially concerned with the staffing and recruitment practices in the United States of America. This is because new employees will be needed in addition to the expatriates that will be sourced from Germany to launch the company’s operations in the United States of America. The managers have requested to be furnished with information regarding the best practices in recruitment, especially for firms in the information technology sector.
Staffing and Recruitment Methods in the United States of America
Perhaps before embarking on the recruitment methods in this country, it will be in order to have a look at various definitions that are accorded the term “recruitment” here. This will contextualize the methods that will be discussed later on.
Quoting the United States of America’s Code of Federal Regulation, Marsden (1994, p. 990) defines recruitment as the process where one party (employer) seeks to establish contact with individuals that may apply for employment. The process involves contacting and attracting the attention of potential employees, soliciting their applications, reviewing them, and selecting those deemed to be suitable for the position identified. This has to be carried out within the legal framework of the country, and no party (the employer or the potential employee), should be coerced to engage in the activity outside the legally demarcated points.
There exist several recruitment procedures practiced in the United States of America. A potential employer makes use of the method that they feel will best serve their goals and objectives. Here follows a commentary on some of them:
Recruitment through a Human Resource Agency
In this era of a division of labor and specialization of the same, many companies opt to out-source what they consider to be peripheral or non-core business processes to specialized firms so that they can concentrate and perfect their core activities. It is out of this rationalization, aimed at increasing productivity and cutting down on operational costs, that several firms are delegating staffing and recruitment activities to firms that are dedicated to hiring professionals on behalf of other businesses (Annington, 2010, para. 1).
Recruitment through agencies is usually done by large businesses. This is because the cost per hire for such processes is quite high (Lim & Long, 2002, p. 552). Most agencies charge a percentage of what the potential employee will be paid, meaning that lucrative positions call for higher charges (Annington, 2010 para. 2).
One advantage riding on this position, despite the higher charges that come with it, is the fact that the post is likely to be filled with a professional, a person qualified for that particular position. This is because the agencies are specialized in human resource recruitment, and they orchestrate it professionally.
There are several agencies that are dedicated to this task in the United States of America. They are, among others, Aardvark Swift and Eazyrecruit. H2O Organization can use one of these, given that its financial base can make it afford the services.
Richardson (2008, p. 17) is of the view that print recruitment is falling out of favor with the majority of contemporary employers in the United States of America. This is in favor of online recruitment, which is now preferred by many of the executives for its myriad benefits. In fact, it is estimated that in the year 2007 alone, revenue accrued by the print media as far as recruitment advertisements were concerned plummeted by thirty-two percent (Schulz, Richaurd & Waltman, 2008, para. 6).
With the proliferation of the internet in America, many job seekers are now turning to it to lookup for available vacancies in their fields. Most homes and offices in this country are now connected to the internet. This mode of recruitment has several benefits to the employer when contrasted with others like print media.
It is faster to place advertisements and to receive replies from potential candidates via the internet than in print (Desler, 2000 p, 6: Richardson, 2008 p, 6). The employer does not have to wait for the duration between paying for the advert and having it printed. It can now appear immediately on the internet, and the responses are likewise fast. It is also cheaper, for it can be retained on the posting site for a period of up to two months without additional costs to the employer (Richardson, 2008 p, 6: Burleigh & Wilson, 2009 p, 20).
By using the internet to recruit employees, H2O organizations will also have the added advantage of reaching out to that passive job seeker (Hunt, 2005, para. 3). This is the person who already has a job that is satisfying but will not mind better opportunities. These probably highly experienced professionals do not peruse the papers for vacancies. Rather, they access the internet from their offices or from home, and this is where they look for better chances than they already have.
This is perhaps one of the best recruitment practices that H2O organizations can use. The potential employees in this field are likely to spend the better part of their day on the internet, and this is the best way to reach out to them. The cost per higher is also considerably low, and the time to fill the vacancy is relatively shorter. But a thing for this organization to note is the fact that responses from candidates may be overwhelming. This will make it hard and tedious to process all the online resumes and unqualified candidates may be picked by overwhelmed human resource managers (Richardson, 2008 p. 17).
Some companies have made it their policy to transverse colleges and universities trying to attract the attention of students in their final years. This is especially those students that are from the relevant disciplines that the company is interested in. this is a practice that has been adopted by many information technology firms like Yahoo! and Microsoft. For example, Oracle Corporation has what they call “The Oracle Graduate Recruitment Program”, where staff moves around colleges and campuses identifying and hiring final year students.
Graduate recruitment has some advantages over the hiring of experienced professionals. For starters, the graduate is eager to make a change in society, and as such, they are likely to embark on their job with a measure of enthusiasm (Richardson, 2008 p. 13). This is unlike an experienced worker who finds nothing stimulating in the field. The graduate is also likely to bring new perspectives in the workplace, having spent a number of years in the education system.
This is a highly recommended option for H2O organizations. Given the fact that they are embarking on a new market, it will be only appropriate for them to have a different perspective than that of firms that have existed here before. This can only be gained by having a number of fresh graduates on the team.
Recommended Recruitment Methods for H2O Organization
The above are just some of the recruitment methods in the United States of America. For this organization, a combination of the internet or online recruitment and graduate recruitment is recommended. Online is recommended due to the fact that the potential employees, as earlier indicated, are likely to spend most of their time on the internet, and as such, the organization stands a higher chance of accessing them through this method. On the other hand, graduate recruitment is recommended given that new ideas and perspectives are called for in this industry. Graduates, likely to be looking for new organizations than the same old ones, are likely to respond positively to this. This is in fact one of the favored methods of information technology firms such as Oracle and Yahoo!
Consideration of Recruitment Time to Fill Vacancies
The above section covered the recruitment methods that are at the disposal of H2O organizations when it comes to recruitment in the United States of America. But the managers, to make this process a success, need to track the time that it will take to fill these vacancies. This is because much is at stake when the time to fill vacancies is concerned. This includes the productivity of the company and the cost of the whole process (Dickmeyer, 2001 p. 9).
When considering the time to fill vacancies in an organization, it is important to backdate this to capture the time that the recruiting or hiring manager felt the need to recruit new employees in response to developments within the company. The managers at H2O Organization have already expressed the need for new staff, and all that is remaining now is for them to requisition the job. This is the identification of the vacancies that need to be filled and the desired qualities of the candidates (Fitz-Enz, 2008, para. 2). The time that will be taken by this process will add up to the total filling time at the end of the recruitment process.
Response time is another time factor that has to be put into consideration when quantifying time to fill. This, according to Fitz-Enz (2008, para, 2) is defined as the time from the day that the hiring manager has approved the job requisition to the day when short-listed candidates are ready to be interviewed. This will be determined, to a greater extent, by the method that was used to advertise the vacancies. This was one of the reasons why online recruitment was recommended as one of the recruitment methods for H2O organizations. This is because candidates will respond most likely from the first day that the advert was placed on the internet, cutting down on the time needed for filling the vacant position. The following is the formula that Fitz-Enz (2008, para, 8) opines is used to calculate response time:
(Response time = the date the first qualified candidate was referred for an interview – the date of approval of job requisition) source Fitz-Enz (2008, para, 8).
But when H2O Organization uses the graduate recruitment method, this time will be extended. This is because a lot of logistics will have to go into graduate selection, starting from the identification of the suitable candidates to waiting for them to graduate and be available to take up the position.
The actual time to fill opines Fitz-Enz (2008, para, 9) is measured by taking into consideration the duration of time between the approved job requisition and the actual acceptance of the position by the successful candidate. This will capture the time for the advertisement of the vacancy, the time to process the application, interviewing the candidates, and finally electing and inviting the successful candidates to take up the positions. The following is the formula to calculate this, according to Fitz-Enz (2008):
(Time to fill = the date of receipt and approval of job requisition – the date that the offer was accepted) source Fitz-Enz (2008, para. 10).
As earlier indicated, the time to fill will be greatly determined by the method that the organization will adopt to recruit candidates. Some methods take longer than others, due to logistical consideration that goes into them, while others are relatively short. H2O Organization has to note that whereas online recruitment is recommended on time to fill basis, there is a catch. If the response is so overwhelming, as earlier stipulated, the time to process the applications will be longer, thus increasing the time to fill duration.
But Dickmeyer (2001, p. 12) is of the view that this can be changed. The recruitment manager can use the recruiter/manager interface, a software application that has the potential to track the posted vacancy, the number of responses and those candidates that meet the qualification. His, in effect, cuts down on the time to fill given the fact that the recruiters do not have to go through all the applications; they only need to go through those that have been vetted by the system.
The total time to hire is especially significant for firms which are conscious on operation costs. H2O Organization, being a new entrant to the American market, may have to concede to the fact that their recruitment may take time due to the logistics of moving the process from Germany to the US. Dickmeyer (2001, p. 10) holds that on average, the time that is taken to fill vacancies in America vary from 67-90 days. This is a fact that the organization has o put into consideration, and that was why online recruitment was recommended. It will help it cut down on the time to fill.
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