Recruit and Select Personnel Notes by mOjG09j


									Recruit and Select Personnel

The information provided here was accessed
from the Flexible Learning Toolbox Retail

Toolbox 314

The task of a retail manager is to maximise sales by making the most productive
use of all available resources. These resources include the:

      operational budget
      merchandise
      sales area
      staff
      store policies and procedures

Each resource has a valuable contribution to make to the store's profitability.
When you consider that for many retailers the major expense is staff, you see
how important it is to use this particular resource wisely. This is why strategic
HRM is crucial to the store's long term profitability. A key activity in this strategy
is recruiting skilled people.

The recruiting process usually produces a number of applicants whose
qualifications must be assessed against the requirements of the job. Making a
selection from these applicants is a major function of HRM.
Human Resource Planning
A central element of strategic HRM is planning the organisation's staff
requirements by the number of people required and the skills they must have.

Essentially it means estimating the current and future staff needs by ensuring
that you have:

       the right staff,
       in the right place,
       at the right time and cost.

There are three key points to consider here:

   1.   HR planning is designed to place the right number of people in the right
        place at the right time at minimum cost.
   2.   HR planning is concerned with ensuring that staff levels are in line with
        customer service requirements.
   3.   HR planning provides guidelines. The Manager/Supervisor uses the
        guidelines to make the best decisions.

HRM Policies and Procedures
Each organisation has its own process for planning their Human Resources needs.
What started out as simply 'hiring and firing' has developed into an important
strategic planning unit with most businesses.

Some large organisations have whole departments dedicated to HR Planning and
they use sophisticated technology to plan the future direction of the company.

HRM is a complex process due to the continuing flexibility of the economy and its
impact on consumer spending and business activity.

HRM practitioners must be able to predict the organisation's demand for workers
in a similar way as retail buyers predict consumer demand, the only difference is
HR managers decide how many staff and what characteristics they should have
rather than product related decisions.

Factors that the HR manager needs to consider when developing a strategic plan
include :

                       the state of the labour market
                       current legislation
                       government policies
                       education and training trends
                       up coming retirements
                       current technology
                       the company's profit targets

Staff Planning
It's important to consult with relevant staff members when planning to identify
their particular staffing needs.

Before developing a schedule, ask the following questions:

   1.   What will be the volume of sales and transactions?

   2.   When will those sales and transactions be achieved?

   3.   How many sales people will be needed to service that volume of business
        at that time?

The main aim of planning is to ensure that the store has the right number of
suitably skilled people to ensure that the organisation achieves its objectives.

If HR planning is to be of any use it should not be done in isolation. It must:

                       be linked to the company's goals
                       be part of an integrated strategy
                       involve all supervisors that will be affected by the decision
                       be supported by higher levels of management
                       be based on two way communication between the HR
                        manager and all line managers.

Seeking the Views of Relevant Personnel
To develop an accurate job specification talk to the people that actually do or
supervise the job. These people know first hand exactly what the requirements of
the position are.

As the managers are most likely to be affected by the decisions, their input is
invaluable and it should be encouraged. Information you should obtain includes:

       what qualifications are typical of people in this role?
       what experience is required of people who are successful in this role?
Identifying HR Needs
When identifying the HR needs of an organisation it is essential that the activities
of the company are identified and analysed. This gives a clear indication of the
skills and knowledge that current employees have and where any skills gaps exist
in the company.

A central activity in this process is the job analysis. The information gleaned from
this process is used to develop a number of useful HR planning tools.

Job Analysis
A job analysis is a systematic attempt to break a job down into its component
parts. For example, if using the term "customer service", there are a number of
component parts:

      product knowledge
      selling skills
      knowledge of stock locations
      knowledge of company returns procedures
      knowledge of delivery and other services

In a job analysis, the manager must determine the nature of the job.

The focus is to determine what tasks, duties and responsibilities are associated
with the job.

A job analysis requires the answers to the following questions:

                          what is to be done?
                          how is it to be done?
                          why is it done?

It also examines the relationship of the job to other positions in the store, the
conditions that the job is performed under and the personal qualities of the
person doing the job.
Below is a typical job analysis process.

The information collected during the job analysis also helps the HR manager to:

      Develop staffing plans
      Establish if there is a need to recruit additional staff
      Clarify the relationship of each position in the organisation.

Methods of Job Analysis
There are two basic methods of conducting a job analysis. The approach taken
will influence the type of information that will be collected. The two approaches

      Job or task focus
      Employee or behaviour focus

Job Focus
If a job focus is used in job analysis, the information collected will centre on what
tasks are done, the responsibilities of the position and any responsibilities that
the person has.

Employee Focus
If an employee focus is used, the information collected will centre on the human
behaviour that is used to get the job done. This method identifies any skills or
qualifications that the person doing the job would require to be successful.
Which Method is Best?
Generally, both methods are used in combination to arrive at a detailed picture of
the position's requirements.

                  To do this effectively you must be aware of the stores trading
                  trends. For example, when the store is open, quiet or busy.
                  The other side of this question is how many people should be
                  available to assist customers in quiet times? While fixtures
                  have to be filled and housekeeping duties completed, there is a
                  limit to how many people can be involved in these activities at
                  the same time.

Confirming the Specification
Ensure that you talk to the relevant staff to ensure that your job description and
specification accurately reflects the job.
The aim is to get their feedback and comments on your job description and
specification. People worth talking to include:

      The employee who is actually performing the job
      The supervisor or manager
      Human resource manager

From the job analysis, a number of documents are created by the HR manager.
These include a:

      Job description
      Job specification
Job Descriptions
Before you can recruit appropriately skilled workers you must identify what skills
and knowledge they need to do the job effectively. This is usually done by
developing a job description first.

A job description defines the key objectives, responsibilities and tasks associated
with the job. This document is used to help supervisors and the person doing the
job to understand what is expected. It is a useful document to refer to when
recruiting new employees, conducting performance appraisals and disciplinary
interviews. While, there is no standard format, a typical job description would
resemble this example:
Job Specification
A job specification is developed from the information in the job description. This
document focuses on the personal characteristics and qualifications that the
person doing the job should have. It usually outlines the specific skills, education
and experience needed to perform the job.

The job specification identifies the criteria for evaluating applicants during an
interview. A job specification may be in the job description document or it may be
a separate document. While, there is no standard format, a typical job
specification would resemble this example:
When developing your job description and specification it is important to be
aware of the impact of equal opportunities and anti-discrimination legislation as
well as any relevant industrial relations requirements.
Staff Selection & EEO
According to the Federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act
(HREOCA), discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably than
others on the grounds of their:

      gender
      marital status
      pregnancy
      parental status
      sexual preference
      age
      race
      nationality
      religion
      physical impairment
      political belief or activity
      trade union activity

The Federal Sex, Race and Disability Discrimination Acts, administered by the
Federal Human Rights Commission, apply when your State or Territory's equal
opportunity and anti-discrimination laws do not provide for these categories.

Developing Selection Criteria
An effective job analysis can provide the background information for the selection
criteria used to recruit new staff. When developing a selection criteria:

      Ensure the job specification is consistent with the job requirements
      The selection criteria should be consistent with the job specifications and
       only include skills that are required to be carried out on a regular basis
      Distinguish between essential criteria and desirable criteria
      Establish if formal qualifications are essential to the job
      Ensure the amount of experience required is justifiable for effective
      Ensure there are no unnecessary English language qualifications on the job
       that may not be required to do the job
      Be specific with communication skills necessary
      Determine how criteria will be assessed: interview, referees report, work
       record, testing etc

Job Description and EEO
When writing the job description and specification it must be consistent with the
job analysis and comply with EEO requirements.

It is particularly important not to:

      Include certain skills or physical requirements in the job description where
       the job analysis does not support the need. For example, stating that the
       person must be able to lift 80 kgs when they will only be working at the
       sales counter,
      list extensive experience required for the position unless it is necessary to
       do the tasks associated with the job.
      Base the job specification and/or description on your personal opinion
       when the job analysis does not support that opinion.

EEO and Job Application Forms
It is essential that the company's job application forms do not breach EEO
requirements. To achieve this, many companies use a standard application form.

This is a useful practice because it ensures that the same information about each
applicant is collected and used as the benchmark for short listing applicants.

The application form should:

      Contain language that is relevant to
       performing the job
      not include invasive or irrelevant questions
      be designed to avoid discrimination
      be treated with strict confidentiality.

When developing an application form, there are some questions that are illegal to
ask. These include:

      Marital Status. The applicant cannot be asked about their family situation.
       However, they can be asked if they are willing and able to be transferred,
       to travel, work overtime if this is a requirement of the position
      Ethnic Origin. The applicant cannot be asked about their birthplace,
       nationality or first language.
      Relatives. The applicant cannot be asked the names, addresses or
       relationship to relatives. They can be asked to supply emergency contact
       details after they have been employed.
      Photographs. The applicant cannot be asked to provide a photograph
       unless the job involves modelling, acting or similar activities.
      Organisations. The applicant cannot be asked about any clubs or
       organisations that they belong to.
      Criminal Record. The applicant cannot be asked to supply details of any
       criminal record on the application form unless it is relevant to the job.
       They may be asked at the interview however.

The only information that can be requested on an application form is information
that will help you determine if the person can do the job. The application should
however include information relating to:

      name of applicant, address and phone number for contact
      education and qualifications
      employment experience
      referees
Recruitment Policy
Effective recruitment is an essential part of HRM planning. Once a need for
additional staff is identified, the recruitment process is activated to address this

For recruitment to be successful, all jobs within the organisation must be clearly
defined. In addition, the skills of current staff must also be known.

When conducting a recruitment drive it's important to remember that the
company's image is at stake. Therefore, the process should be handled in an
open and honest manner, though the applicants are unsuccessful, they may still
be customers of your store.

There are two main pools of potential candidates that
the HR manager can draw new staff from:

      Internal sources
      External sources

Internal Sources
Many companies believe that promoting from within the company is the most
effective recruitment policy. This policy sees existing staff promoted into the
higher level, vacant position and a new employee is recruited from outside the
company to fill the lower level position.

This strategy has both advantages and disadvantages.
      Candidates are well known to the company
      Candidates know the company and its policies
      Employees are generally more motivated if there is a possibility of future
      The company receives the benefits of training staff

      Staff may be promoted beyond their abilities
      'Inbreeding' can reduce creativity within the company
      Infighting may happen as employees push to be promoted
      Staff morale may decline if employees are not promoted

External Sources
There are many external sources that can be used to recruit new employees:

      advertising in newspapers and/or industry journals
      using an employment agency
      contacting educational institutions
      staff referrals
      unsolicited resumes

The effectiveness of each source largely depends on the state of the economy and
the local pool of skilled workers.

Like the internal recruitment sources, external sources also have advantages and

      There is a larger pool of candidates to draw from
      New people often bring new ideas into the company
      New employees do not belong to political 'clicks' in work groups
      It is often less expensive and faster to recruit from outside sources

      Orienting the new employee takes longer than an existing employee
      Existing employees may resent being passed over for promotion
      The new employee's attitudes and skills may not suit the company's
      Finding a suitable employee may not be an easy task.
The Selection Process
Selecting someone for a job is a difficult task that requires careful consideration.
The process must be fair and the type of process used will depend on the nature
of the job.

It is unlikely that a single interview will be enough to select a Store Manager but
it may be sufficient for recruiting sales assistants. The selection process should be
documented so it is clear how the process was conducted.

While, the actual selection process will vary from company to company, the basic
process is very similar. In each case the aim is to identify the most suitable
candidate(s) to be interviewed.

Weighted Application Forms
To address EEO requirements, a weighted application form is recommended. This
type of form encourages the interviewer to score the candidates application on its
merit against important criteria related to the job rather than using their own
subjective judgement.

Developing a weighted application form involves identifying the relationship
between the specific tasks and their importance to the position. A score is then
assigned to each criteria based on its level of importance. The candidate's
responses are then scored against the weighting. The candidates with the highest
score are then judged to be the most suitable people for the position and are
short listed for interview.

This method of selection is predictive of the most likely candidates that will be
able to do the job effectively.

Processing Applications
Effectively processing applications is a critical aspect of the recruitment process.
If a business does not have the right people, it can affect the store's ability to
operate effectively. Depending on the position, it is important to fill any vacancies
as quickly as possible without rushing through the process. It is essential to find a
balance between quickly filling a position and hastily hiring an unsuitable

Short Listing
Short listing enables you to rank all of the applications in order of merit. This
ranking is then used to identify a number of suitable candidates to interview. The
weighted application form can be a valuable tool for identifying the most suitable
When short listing applicants:

      base your decisions on essential criteria first then on desirable criteria
      Don't make assumptions about:
          o qualifications or experience

           o   if applicants could handle a particular situation

          o how current employees or customers may react to them
      Obtain more information from the candidate if necessary
      Aim to find the best person for the job
      Use a consistent method to evaluate each applicant
      Document the decisions made and reasons for them

Effective recruitment aims to minimise the possible mistakes and unnecessary costs
that can happen if the process is not handled well. The effectiveness of the interview
and selection processes are heavily influenced by the accuracy of your short listing
Conducting an Interview
The face to face job interview is the most widely used selection tool for two key

   1.   it is relatively inexpensive compared with alternative specialised selection
        methods, for example executive search consultants,
   2.   many people feel a strong need to meet and talk with potential employees
        to get to know them before appointing them.

Interview Methods

There are many variations of the interview process that can be
used depending on the position and the company's approach to
recruitment. They can be either structured or unstructured
using a selection panel or a single interviewer.

Unstructured Interviews
This type of interview is generally an informal discussion between the
interviewer(s) and the candidates. Because there is no format to the interview it
has a tendency to wander from topic to topic without collecting enough relevant
information to make an informed selection decision. One major draw back with
this method is the difficulty justifying a selection decision if it is challenged
because the information collected from each applicant can vary.

Structured Interviews
                                In the structured interview process, the
                                interviewer(s) ask each candidate the same
                                specific questions. Their responses are then
                                weighted and scored against a set of criteria. There
                                is little (if any) deviation from the structured
                                format. This method is the most likely to provide a
                                fair comparison of the candidates if it is conducted

Panel Interviews
A panel interview is conducted by a number of people (usually two or three
people from management roles) as a group. The benefit of this method is that it
allows the interviewers to evaluate the candidate's responses to the same
questions, at the same time. It also reduces the potential for personal bias to
influence the final selection decision if only one person conducted the interviews.

While, it is a more expensive process, it can produce more thorough results to
base the final selection on.
Interview Steps
To conduct an effective interview:

   1.    Know the job requirements so the most suitable and capable person is
   2.    Know the personal attributes, experience, skills and qualifications that the
         most appropriate person should have
   3.    Have specific objectives for the interview. Know what additional
         information (from that supplied in the application) you need to make an
         informed decision
   4.    Conduct the interview in a suitable venue. It should be comfortable and
         free from distractions
   5.    Review each application before the persons interview to identify
         employment gaps, inconsistencies, frequent job changes etc.
   6.    Don't allow your personal prejudices to influence your decision or
         behaviour during the interview
   7.    Make an effort to put the candidate at ease in the early stages of the
   8.    Keep control of the interview by directing the candidate to the subjects
         you need to cover
   9.    Encourage the candidate to do most of the talking. This helps you to
         gather the information you need to learn as much as you can about the
   10.   Explain the job, its responsibilities, salary and conditions
   11.   Give the candidate the opportunity to ask questions
   12.   Close the interview in a friendly manner and tell them when they can
         expect an answer
   13.   Using the notes you took during the interview, write up your report as
         soon as the interview is over. This reduces the chance of forgetting
         important information or confusing information from one candidate to
   14.   Above all, be prepared for the interview. You are the public face of the
         company in this situation and successful or not, the candidates could still
         be customers of your store.

Interviewing & EEO
Whichever method you select, it is important to ensure that the actual process
and particularly the questions you use comply with EEO requirements.

Consider the following guidelines:

      If possible allow applicants to demonstrate what they
       can offer the organisation. Don't conduct the interview
       simply to confirm your expectations or to see how the
       applicants perform under pressure§ Check beforehand
       if there is a need for any specific arrangements eg;
       physical access, interpreters etc
      Have your questions prepared in advance
      Make sure there is consistency and fairness in your
      Focus on the needs of the job. Don't stereotype the
      If an applicant is asked if they can meet the job's
       requirements (for example travel, or overtime) all
       applicants must be asked
      It is appropriate to ask people with disabilities, if they
       need any adjustments to perform the job
      Allow the candidate enough time to make their point.
       Listen actively and clarify their response if necessary
      Don't make assumptions about a person's ability to do
       the job based on their physical characteristics
      Do not ask invasive and irrelevant questions
      Keep a record of each interview that includes the
       questions asked and the answers given by each

Interview Rating Sheets
An interview rating sheet is used to score the responses that each candidate
gives against a predetermined criteria and weighting. When developing an
interviewing rating sheet consider the job in terms of essential and desirable skills
or attributes.

      Essential criteria must be met and there can be no compromise.
      Desirable criteria are skills or attributes that would be nice to have.

Using this sheet makes the decision process more transparent and fair because
candidates without the essential criteria can be immediately excluded and those
with the most desirable can be included.

A sample interview rating sheet is shown below.
Applicant Testing
Some companies also request applicants to take specific tests. These vary and
should be administered by people qualified to do so. If testing is used it is
important to ensure that:
      tests match the requirements of the job
      tests are relevant to the job requirements

Referee Reports
There is much debate over the value of references and referee reports. Your store
is likely to have its own policy and attitudes towards them. The approach you
take and weight you give to them will depend on this policy.

As a general rule, be consistent in your use of referees to rate
applicants. Ideally use a standard referee reporting form that
matches the selection criteria. This will assist in maintaining a
common weighting to all referee reports.

Making the Decision
When making a decision on which candidate is the most suitable for the position
it is important to ensure that it observes EEO legislation and follows the store's

Your decision should be based on the selection criteria by:

      Ranking all applicants according to how they scored on the essential and
       desirable criteria
      Assessing all the information that the candidate has provided
      Recording your decisions and the reasons for them
      Avoiding value judgements
      Ensuring that your applicant assessment is kept confidential
      Providing constructive feedback to unsuccessful applicants on request
Informing Candidates
All candidates for a position should be promptly informed about the status of their
application. This is very important if the recruitment process is expected to take a
number of weeks.

This notification is usually done in writing and should use language appropriate to
the situation.

A typical notification process would be:

   1.   a card is sent to all applicants notifying them that their application has
        been received and is currently being processed
   2.   applicants are telephoned and informed of their interview date, time and
        place if successful
   3.   the successful applicant is given a letter of appointment
   4.   unsuccessful applicants are sent a letter informing them that they have
        been unsuccessful

Notifying Unsuccessful Candidates
Your store is likely to have a defined procedure for contacting unsuccessful
applicants. You should follow this process to the letter.
In no procedure exists it is important to remember that the unsuccessful
applicant will be disappointed, and your organisation may well be judged by the
approach taken. Its advisable to take a professional approach to this delicate

Contacting the Successful Candidate
When you contact the successful candidate it is important to remember to
establish a professional relationship from the beginning. Your offer of
employment should include the:

       Hours of duty
       Salary and conditions
       Start date and time
       Contact person
       Additional documents (if any) that they
        should bring with them

Whether you are contacting the successful candidate to offer them the position or
notifying unsuccessful candidates it is essential to ensure that you establish and
maintain your store's image as a professional retailer.

Offering Wages and Conditions
During the recruitment process it is crucial that the wages and conditions of
employment you offer a candidate comply with the relevant award or enterprise
agreement and the store's policy.
Depending on your position in the organisation, it is unlikely that you will have
much to do with establishing the award/agreement conditions that apply to your
team. This is generally the responsibility of the HR manager.

                     However, it is important to be aware of the
                     award/agreement that applies to the position you are
                     recruiting for. At the interview, the candidates will want to
                     know the terms and conditions that apply to the position. It
                     is worth remembering that if the candidate is currently
                     employed, they are likely to be making a comparison of their
                     current position and the one you are offering when they
                     make their decision to accept or reject your offer of

A sound knowledge of the position's terms and conditions will enable you to
answer the candidate's questions in a professional manner.

Recruitment Records
Any records relating to the recruitment process should be kept in a secure and
confidential place. These records may include the

       job analysis findings
       job descriptions
       job specifications
       interview Rating Sheets
       all applicant files for a specified period
       response and success rate for different recruiting
        methods used

In addition to recruitment, the human resource manager must keep a number of
specific records related to the management of the human resource function.

                While confidentiality and security must be maintained HRM records must be readily
                available to authorised personnel

Access to Personnel Records
A good HRM tracking system is based on the level of information it collects and
records. This raises the question of who should be able to access this information
and for what purpose it will be used.
HRM records provide valuable information in situations such as...

       paying appropriate salaries based on existing skills

       staff performance appraisals and career planning

       being used as supporting evidence in a legal dispute.

It is important to treat all personnel records with a high degree of confidentiality.
Your store should have a firm policy on collecting, storing and accessing
personnel data and how it should be protected.

This policy and its associated procedure should be based on legislation like the:

       Privacy Act (1988)
       Privacy Amendment Act (1991)
       Freedom of Information Act (1982)
       Relevant state laws.

HRM Records and Industrial Disputes
Any industrial disputes that occur in the workplace should always be recorded, for
two reasons:

   1.   If an industrial problem has led to a dismissal the records provide
        evidence that the correct procedure was used, as per industrial relations
2.   They provide valuable information when you conduct a performance

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