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RECRUITING Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                        Reading 5 Page 1 of 18

Gregory John Lee

1. Introduction

Recruitment is the topic in HR that comes naturally after HR Planning (see Figure 1 of
Reading 5 on the employee resourcing arm of HRM). It deals specifically with the
acquisition of employees, thus it looks at one of the HRP options for when there is a
shortage in a particular position.

Firstly, we must define recruitment:

Recruitment is…
…the process of attracting individuals on a timely basis, with appropriate
qualifications, in sufficient numbers and encouraging them to apply or be available for
jobs in the organisation

It is important to note that recruitment is NOT the same as selection. Many students get
the two confused, and lose substantial marks as a result. Recruitment is ONLY the
process of getting people to apply for a job opening. Selection, then, is the separate
process of taking those people who have responded to the recruitment drive (i.e. have
applied) and choosing which will actually be hired. Some, in fact generally most, of the
people recruited will not be hired, as the company only needs a certain number of people.

A key concept in the recruitment and selection process is person-organisation fit, i.e.
attracting and hiring people who fit into the organisation‟s needs, values, culture etc.
Likewise, the organisation should be „right‟ for the person, i.e. there should be two-way
congruence between the characteristics of the person and the job / organisation. For

     Practical Management Philosophy 101: “Someday we’ll all look back on this and plough into a parked car”.
                                                                                              Reading 5 Page 2 of 18

example, one person may prefer a stable and well-defined job, with job content that is
predictable and where office relationships are personal and close. Another may prefer a
fast moving job with constant exciting changes, not care about office relationships (in
fact prefer to work alone) and not worried about job stability. These two people should be
recruited into totally different jobs based on their beliefs, values, preferences etc. The
reason why person-organisation fit is important is that it is expensive and time-
consuming to recruit and hire people for a position. If there is a „mismatch‟ between the
person and the job or the person and the organisation as a whole, then the employee is
likely to be unhappy, less productive and ultimately (s)he may leave the company
prematurely. It is far easier and better for both parties if the right type of people are hired
in the first place. Of course, discrimination must not occur in the process, thus claiming
that a previously disadvantaged applicant should not be hired because (s)he will not fit
into the culture of the company is not valid!

The implication for recruitment is that the recruitment process is NOT about trying to get
the maximum number of applicants for the vacant job(s). Rather the RIGHT number and
type should be the target, given the organisation‟s needs, the type and level of job, the
expense involved in processing the applicants etc.

The attached textbook chapter focuses on two considerations for recruitment, namely:

   1. the characteristics of the vacancy and
   2. the characteristics of the applicant.

The company has three major internal elements to consider in this regard, namely:

   1. the personnel policies associated with recruitment (affect vacancy characteristics),
   2. the traits and behaviours of recruiters (affect the vacancy and the applicant) and
   3. the sources from which the company will recruit (which obviously will determine
        the type of applicant you get).

   Innovative excuses to miss a day of work: “I just found out that I was switched at birth, Legally, I shouldn’t
             come to work knowing that my employee records may now contain false information”.
                                                                                      Reading 5 Page 3 of 18

The Noe et al. chapter gives a diagram for the recruitment process. I replicate it here,
with some important additions (see the shaded boxes) that need talking about:

                 THAN RECRUITMENT?

     VACANCY                                                                             APPLICANT
  CHARACTERISTICS                               CHOICE                                CHARACTERISTICS

   PERSONNEL                            RECRUITER TRAITS                                  RECRUITMENT
    POLICIES                              & BEHAVIOURS                                      SOURCES


The two shaded additions to the textbook chapter‟s diagram take in the concepts of
corporate and HR strategy (as an input into personnel policies) as well as the possibility
that certain vacancies will be better suited to alternative forms of HRP than hiring. Both
of these aspects will be discussed below in the appropriate places.

                    Now read p 195 of the attached textbook chapter

2. Personnel Policies:

Personnel policies help determine the nature of the vacancy. The nature of the vacancy is
vital to understand if a proper person-job (i.e. person-vacancy) fit is to be achieved. Thus,
if one wants to affect the number and type of people who apply, then a change in
personnel policies may alter the vacancy and bring about the required demand.

                       What was the best thing before sliced bread? - George Carlin
                                                                                 Reading 5 Page 4 of 18

Personnel policies are often directly affected by strategic considerations, such as

     strategic direction or needs
     organisation size, geography (local vs international), image, policies etc
     employment equity (especially legislation - see end of Reading)
     employee group targeted
     historical data considerations (NB recruiting yield - p169)
     timing (do we need employees fast or can we take time?)
     family considerations

Thus one must thoroughly review personnel policies for strategic changes before
considering hiring, such policies affect vacancy attractiveness. For example, the
Employment Equity Act requires employers to set Affirmative Action plans (see Reading
5). If a particular job type is identified by a company‟s AA plans as underrepresented (i.e.
needs targeting for designated group advancement), then realistically this makes it far
more difficult for non-designated groups to get into that vacancy. Thus this change in
strategy introduces a specific personnel policy regarding the vacancy that may alter its
relative attractiveness for some (heighten it for AA designated groups, lower it for non-
designated groups).

There are certain personnel policies that may increase vacancy attractiveness for the
applicant. These are dealt with adequately in the attached textbook chapter, thus:

          Now read pp 196-199 of the attached textbook chapter, BUT NOTE:

‘Employment at will’ for employers (p198) does not exist in South Africa! No employer
can contract with an employee to fire him/her at will - employers always have to
remain within the termination laws of the Labour Relations Act. However employees
can be given the right to voluntarily leave at will, so this may increase the vacancy

                           Brain - the apparatus with which we think we think.
                                                                                       Reading 5 Page 5 of 18

attractiveness for them. Also, as the book states, built-in job security can be an
attractive aspect of a vacancy.

2.1. Alternatives to Recruitment

The personnel policies considered above are those that may increase the attractiveness of
the vacancy for the employee. However as indicated in the shaded portion of the diagram
above, the characteristics of the vacancy are also important for the organisation to
consider. It is possible that the organisation, based on an analysis of the vacancy,
personnel policies and ultimately strategy, may want to consider alternatives to
recruitment for that job type (i.e. alternatives to hiring new people). What happens if the
personnel policies required to fill the post with good candidates are just too expensive
and time-consuming? What happens if the post is just not core to the organisation‟s
business? These and other considerations may lead the organisation to decide not to
recruit, but rather to consider alternatives such as mechanisation or outsourcing. The
alternatives to recruitment are thus considered later in the reading.

We now turn to the sources from which applicants are to be recruited.

3. Recruitment Sources:

The recruitment source (i.e. where you search for the applicants) affects the type of
person that you are likely to get (applicant characteristics). Recruitment sources are
generally divided into two broad types:

  Practical Management Philosophy 101: “There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through
                                a suitable application of high explosives”.
                                                                                     Reading 5 Page 6 of 18

3.1. Internal Sources

Internal sources include recruiting from current employee pool, normally by transfer or

3.1.1. Advantages of Internal Recruitment:

The attached textbook chapter mentions several advantages to internal recruitment:

    Applicants are well known to the firm, and are probably more knowledgeable about
     the vacancy (thus do not have unrealistic expectations)
    It is generally a cheaper and more flexible form of recruitment than external

To these, I would add the potential advantage of increased motivation (it motivates the
workforce to know that they have a chance of advancement).

3.1.2. Disadvantages of Internal Recruitment:

There are however potential disadvantages of internal recruitment, including:

    Inbreeding (if you only recruit internally, you will have less infusion of new ideas)
    Jealousy / politics (the competition for internal vacancies may lead to detrimental

3.1.3. Internal Recruitment Methods:

There are various methods of recruiting internally, including:

    Management and skills inventories (as introduced in Reading 5, these are databases
     giving an idea of what skills exist in the organisation. This can then be used as a
     recruitment tool to approach the qualified internal staff).

         Innovative excuses to miss a day of work: “Constipation has made me a walking time-bomb”.
                                                                                       Reading 5 Page 7 of 18

     Job posting (internal advertising of a post)
     Bidding procedures (applicants are invited to make internal applications)

HR Humour: Recommending Internal Candidates

Letter of recommendation:

“Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
hard at work in his cubicle. Bob works independently, without
wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
finishes given assignments on time. Often Bob takes extended
measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
knowledge of his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
classed as a high-caliber employee, the type that cannot be
dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
promoted to senior management, and a proposal will be
sent away as soon as possible”.

Follow up e-mail 5 min later:

“Sorry, but Bob was looking over my shoulder while I wrote my assessment. Kindly read every
second line for my true assessment”.

3.2. External Recruitment

External recruitment may be necessary when:

     There are entry level jobs open (thus no-one lower to be promoted up)
     Inadequate internal supply, either as to numbers of staff or requisite skills
     New blood or ideas are needed

Now read pp 199-206 in the attached textbook chapter on external recruitment sources
                                       and methods, but note:

This section is really a selective (i.e. not complete) combination of important
recruitment methods. It fails to give all of the sources of external candidates, only

                 Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups - George Carlin
                                                                                 Reading 5 Page 8 of 18

looking at direct applicants and referrals. You need to know therefore that external
candidates may come from:

     high schools & vocational skill training institutions
     colleges & universities
     competitors & other firms
     the unemployed
     the self-employed

The actual methods can reach into a number of these sources, and are covered quite
well in the textbook chapter.

One point to supplement the textbook chapter does need to be made here. Although
employee referrals are often seen as an excellent source for good job-person fit, you have
to be careful in terms of employment equity law. Although more is said on this later, note
for now that employees tend to refer people from their own cultural background. Thus if
you have an initially un-diverse workforce, referrals can perpetuate the problem.

Humour In HR: Advertising As A Recruitment Method

A business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window, stating the following:

HELP WANTED. Must be able to type, have computer skills, and be bilingual. We are an Equal
Opportunity Employer.

A dog trotted up to the window, saw the sign and went inside. He looked at the receptionist and
wagged his tail, then walked over to the sign, looked at it and whined a bit. Getting the idea, the
receptionist got the office manager. The office manager looked at the dog and was surprised, to say
the least. However, the dog looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped
up on a chair and stared at the manager. The manager said "I can't hire you. The sign says you have
to be able to type." The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to type out a perfect
letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager and gave it to him, then jumped back up
on the chair. The manager was stunned, but then told the dog, "The sign also says you have to be
good with a computer." The dog jumped down again and went to the computer. The dog proceeded
to enter and execute a perfect spreadsheet that worked flawlessly the first time. By this time, the
manager was totally dumb-founded! He looked at the dog and said, "I realize that you are a very
intelligent dog and have some interesting abilities. However, I still can't give you the job." The dog
jumped down and went over to a copy of the sign and put his paw on the sentence about being an
Equal Opportunity Employer. The manager said "Yes, but the sign also says that you have to be
bilingual." The dog looked at that manager calmly and said, "Meow."

                                        A penny saved is ridiculous.
                                                                                         Reading 5 Page 9 of 18

HR Humour: What they REALLY Mean In Job Advertisements (For The Cynical)

COMPETITIVE SALARY: We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.
FLEXIBLE HOURS: Work 55 hours; get paid for 37.5.
GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they
want you to do.
ABILITY TO HANDLE A HEAVY WORKLOAD: You whine, you're fired.
CAREER-MINDED: We expect that you will want to flip hamburgers until you are 70. Female
applicants must be childless (and remain that way).
SELF-MOTIVATED: Management won't answer questions
SOME OVERTIME REQUIRED: Some time each night and some time each weekend
DUTIES WILL VARY: Anyone in the office can boss you around.
COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT: We have a lot of turnover.
with leads; there's no base salary; you'll wait 30 days for your first commission check.
CASUAL WORK ATMOSPHERE: We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up; well, a
couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.
SOME PUBLIC RELATIONS REQUIRED: If we're in trouble, you'll go on TV and get us out of it.
three people who just left.
ENTRY LEVEL POSITION: You'll be making minimum wage.
wage; we'll be bankrupt in a year.
PROFIT SHARING PLAN: Once it's shared between the higher-ups, there won't be a profit.
COMPETITIVE SALARY: We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.
JOIN OUR FAST-PACED COMPANY: We have no time to train you; you'll have to introduce
yourself to your coworkers.
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED LEADER: Inc. Magazine wrote us up a few years ago, but we
haven't done anything innovative since.
IMMEDIATE OPENING: The person who used to have this job gave notice a month ago. We're just
now running the ad.
MUST BE DEADLINE ORIENTED: You'll be six months behind schedule on your first day.
MUST HAVE AN EYE FOR DETAIL: We have no quality control.
COLLEGE DEGREE PREFERRED: Unless you wasted those four years studying something useless
like Philosophy, English or Social Work.
APPLY IN PERSON: If you're old, fat or ugly you'll be told the position has been filled.
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE: We've filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality.
REQUIRES TEAM LEADERSHIP SKILLS: You'll have the responsibilities of a manager, without
the pay or respect.

4. The Recruiter

Your book covers this quite well, so:

                    Now read pp 206-209 of the attached textbook chapter.

     Practical Management Philosophy 101: “Tell me what you need and I’ll tell you how to get along without it”.
                                                                                          Reading 5 Page 10 of 18

Just two points need to be made:

     I don‟t entirely agree with the Noe et al statement that realistic job previews have a
      “weak and inconsistent” effect on turnover. Research has found promising links,
      although, yes, the link is not overwhelmingly strong.
     Recruiters in South Africa should be drawn from all the groups (especially
      designated groups) to avoid claims of discrimination in the recruitment process.

Humour In HR: Mistakes Recruiters Can Make

The chief of staff of the US Army decided that he would personally intervene in the recruitment crisis
affecting all of the armed services. He directed a nearby Air Force base to be opened and that all
eligible young men and women be invited. As he and his staff were standing near a brand new M-1
Battle Tank, a pair of twin, well built, neatly kept brothers who looked like they had just stepped off
an Army Corps recruitment poster walked up to them. The chief of staff stuck out his hand, and
introduced himself. He looked at the first young man and asked: “Son, what skills can you bring to
this best army in the world?”. The young man looks at him and says: “Sir, I’m a pilot”. The general
gets all excited, turns to his aide and says, “Get him in today, all the paper work done, everything, do
it!” The aide hustles off the young man. The general looks at the second young man and asks him,
“What skills can you bring to this man’s army, Son?” “I chop wood!” replies the young man. “Son”
the General replies, “We don’t need wood choppers in the Army, what do you know how to do?” “I
chop wood!” “Young man”, huffs the general, “You are not listening to me, we don’t need wood
choppers. This is the 20th century and our battles are fought with our minds as well as with our
bodies”. “Well”, says the young man, “You hired my brother!” “Of course we did”, says the General,
“He’s a pilot!” The young man rolls his eyes and says, “Duh! I have to *chop* the wood before he can
pile it!”

5. Alternatives to Recruiting

Earlier, and in the diagram, we stated that, instead of hiring to fulfil an HR need, the
organisation may decide to go for alternatives to recruitment.

We have in fact already considered these alternatives in Reading 5 (Human Resources
Planning). There we looked at outsourcing, temporary workers and overtime as potential
methods of filling a shortage. This section therefore refers you back there, and only
serves to remind you that they are substitutes for each other, and in this case specifically
for hiring.

    Innovative excuses to miss a day of work: “The psychiatrist said it was an excellent session. She even gave me
                         a jaw restraint so I won’t keep on biting things when I’m startled”.
                                                                                           Reading 5 Page 11 of 18

6. The Recruitment Process

On thing that the attached textbook chapter does not look at is the normal procedure by
which recruitment takes place in the organisation. One such procedure, common in large
organisations with an HR department who do the hiring, is looked at briefly here.

1.     Firstly, a requisition for a new employee is filled in by the department or team
       with a vacancy, including:

              job title
              department
              date needed for work
              minimum qualifications required for job
              description of job duties

2.     This requisition is then generally referred to the appropriate job analysis:

              requirements of job (job description)
              qualifications required of recruit (job specification)

3.     In many firms, the question of whether the candidate is available within firm or
       not is asked. The policies regarding internal vs external recruiting are important
       here (see earlier).

4.     The actual recruitment drive is then undertaken with the above information
       serving to help identify which sources and methods to use to find the most
       appropriate candidates.

       Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit around in a boat all day
                                            drinking beer. - George Carlin
                                                                                    Reading 5 Page 12 of 18

7. Employment Equity : Anti-Discrimination Laws

This is an appropriate place to introduce in some detail the anti-discrimination laws of
South Africa as they apply to workplaces. Although these laws apply to all
discrimination, not only that found in recruitment and selection, the specific case of
recruitment is perhaps the first time in the HRM process where employees can come into
contact with discrimination, and thus it is dealt with here. However it is vital to note that
the Act (as indicated below) extends the ban on discrimination to all workplace practises.

The general anti-discrimination laws for the workplace are dealt with in Chapter 2 of the
Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998. These laws are applicable to ALL employers, not
only designated employers!

We now look at the most important sections for the context of HR processes, such as
recruitment. As with AA, however, you will look at these laws from other viewpoints
later on in your study. For now, this is a technical analysis for the context.

7.1.1. Chapter II and Relating Provisions:

Firstly, Section 6 of the Act („Prohibition Of Unfair Discrimination‟) states that:

6. (1) No person may unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against an employee,
         in any employment policy or practise, on one or more grounds, including:

Race,              Gender,                             Sex,                            Pregnancy,
Marital status,  Family responsibility,                Colour,                         Age,
Disability,        Religion,                           HIV Status,                     Conscience,
Belief,            Political opinion,                  Culture,                        Language
Birth              Ethnic / social origin,             Sexual orientation

                    Automobile - a mechanical device that runs up hills and down people.
                                                                                      Reading 5 Page 13 of 18

(2)     It is not unfair discrimination to -

        (a) take affirmative action measures consistent with the purpose of this Act; or
        (b) distinguish, exclude or prefer any person on the basis of an inherent
            requirement of a job

(3)     Harassment of an employee is a form of unfair discrimination and is prohibited on
        any one, or a combination of grounds of discrimination listed in subsection (1)

Thus, in terms of Section 6, one cannot unfairly discriminate on any grounds. However:

     Reasonable affirmative action done in accordance with Chapter 3 of the Act (see
      Reading 5) is generally not considered to be unfair discrimination.
     Neither is the case where an „inherent requirement of the job‟ requires
      discrimination. One example may be the security guards at concerts. It is law that
      men may not touch-search women for weapons or other items. Thus, it would be
      necessary to recruit only women for this job based on a (legally-enforced) inherent
      requirement of the job.

The security guard case above is a fairly clear-cut case, but they do get far more „grey‟.
What about the case where a job (e.g. a marketing position in Soweto) is perceived by an
employer as requiring a person from a certain race group only (in this case Black
Africans) because of the nature of the clientele? If an Indian person (say) is then not
allowed to apply based on ethnicity, and sues, then the employer will have a harder time
convincing the courts that there is no discrimination. The employer may claim that only
people speaking black languages and knowledgeable of the culture would succeed in the
job, thus ethnicity is an „inherent requirement‟. However the courts may find that this is
inadequate proof of an „inherent requirement‟ - they may point out that anybody can learn
a language and learn about a culture, and find the employer guilty of unfair
discrimination as a result. This example could potentially go both ways: what exactly is

      Practical Management Philosophy 101: “Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are
                                                 the statue”.
                                                                                            Reading 5 Page 14 of 18

meant by „inherent requirement‟ of the job can be very subjective. One factor is to look at
the consequences of hiring someone who lacks the „inherent requirement‟. If there would
be great loss in the effectiveness or efficiency of the person and ultimately a significant
cost to the employer, then the requirement may be „inherent‟.

There is one part of the Act that helps decide who is “suitably qualified” for a job and
who is not (which then helps decide the above). Section 20 includes the following:

20 (3) …a person may be “suitably qualified” for a job as a result of any one of, or any
combination of, that person‟s:

          (a) formal qualifications;
          (b) prior learning;
          (c) relevant experience;
          (d) capacity to acquire, within a reasonable time, the ability to do the job.

(4)       When determining whether a person is suitably qualified for a job, an employer

          (a) review all the factors listed above
          (b) determine whether or not that person has the ability to do the job in terms
          of any one of, or any combination of, the above factors.

This section thus tells us that potential to do a job is also a criterion to be taken into
account in discrimination. Thus you cannot discriminate against someone just because
(s)he cannot currently fulfil an „inherent requirement‟ of the job. If the applicant has the
capacity to learn, then (s)he must also be considered for employment. Experience is NOT
therefore a basis on which to discriminate anymore.

What happens therefore if there is a much more qualified non-disadvantaged person
competing for a job or promotion against a previously disadvantaged person who has far

      Innovative excuses to miss a day of work: “The dog ate my car keys. We are going to hitch-hike to the vet”.
                                                                                  Reading 5 Page 15 of 18

fewer qualifications but does have potential to learn (and is therefore “suitably
qualified”)? The Act would seem to state that a decision to appoint the previously
disadvantaged person would be fair. However recent case law suggests that it does
depend on the relative balance of qualifications. If the non-previously-disadvantaged
person is significantly more suitable, then it is permissible to choose him/her.

Note that Section 1 of the Act („Definitions‟) states that the definition of “employment
policy or practice” includes, but is not limited to:

 Recruitment      procedures,      advertising  The working environment & facilities
   and selection criteria                             Training and development
 Appointments & appointment processes  Performance evaluation systems
 Job classification and grading                      Promotion
 Remuneration, employee benefits and  Transfer
   terms and conditions of employment                 Demotion
 Job assignments                                     Disciplinary          measures      other    than
                                                          dismissal, and
                                                      Dismissal

Thus the unfair discrimination laws of section 6 apply pretty much to everything.

Section 9 of the Act also expressly states that “for the purposes of sections 6, 7 and 8,
“employee” includes an applicant for employment”. This is important for this particular
section on employee resourcing: you must recruit fairly for positions (it is no good
recruiting amongst whites only and then claiming that you only hire whites because no
„Black‟ people apply. More will be said on this later).

Also note that the EEA repeals section 1 (a), 2 (2) and 3(4) of Schedule 7 of the Labour
Relations Act, which previously dealt with residual discrimination claims.

                    Do paediatricians play miniture golf on Wednesdays? - George Carlin
                                                                                       Reading 5 Page 16 of 18

Discrimination disputes under the EEA:

Section 10 of the EEA states that (paraphrased):

 Disputes must be referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and
   Arbitration (CCMA) within 6 months of the alleged discriminatory act or omission
   (although the CCMA can accept later referrals with good cause)
 The party referring the dispute must satisfy the CCMA that a copy of the dispute has
   been served on the other parties and reasonable effort has been made by the referring
   party to resolve the dispute
 The CCMA then tries to resolve the dispute through conciliation, failing which any
   party may refer the issue to Labour Court or all the parties may refer the matter to

In terms of Section 11 of the EEA, if unfair discrimination is alleged the onus is on the
employer to prove that the act / omission is not discriminatory

7.1.2. Employment Equity and Recruitment

Employment equity affects recruitment in several ways:

   1. No recruiting message should unfairly discriminate
   2. Recruiting media which may not reach certain groups should not be exclusively
       relied upon (e.g. word of mouth or referrals)
   3. Even „neutral‟ criteria may indirectly discriminate (i.e. criteria that initially seem
       to have nothing to do with race, gender or disability). For instance, insisting on
       qualifications in a recruitment drive may be seen as discriminatory unless the
       employer can justify that such is an inherent requirement. If it is not an inherent
       requirement, then obviously previously disadvantaged people (who, by definition,
       did not have the opportunities to pick up experience) will indirectly be
       discriminated against.

     Practical Management Philosophy 101: “Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If (s)he isn’t there the
                first time that you need him/her, the chances are you won’t be needing him/her again”.
                                                                      Reading 5 Page 17 of 18


The temporary employment industry has grown substantially in South Africa, as in most
countries in the world. Although the industry is dominated by a few large players
(Logical Options being the holding company for the Kelly Girl range, PAG etc), many
smaller players are emerging to challenge in the market.

Imagine that Themba More is MD of such a small firm, Intelli-Temps, that is challenging
in the market. Intelli-Temps currently has 20 full-time employees coordinating close to
150 temporary workers. They have to compete in two types of labour markets. First, they
have to recruit among full-time employees to run the agency, and here they compete
against bigger, multi-million-Rand national agencies. He finds that it is almost impossible
to match these giants when it comes to salary. In addition, many larger companies
provide employees with stable career paths, where every couple of years someone gets a
promotion and a new title. This kind of internal movement is more difficult to promise in
a company this small. Second, he also competes in the market for temporary employees,
trying to recruit them for his army of temporary employees for hire. Given the amount of
growth in the temporary services industry, the number of available recruits is getting
smaller and smaller, especially considering the skills shortages.

One step that Intelli-Temps took in 1995 to gain competitive advantage in the temporary
worker labour market was to add a dependent-care reimbursement plan to its list of
employee benefits. They were the first temporary employment firm to offer such a
benefit, where employees can assign a portion of their weekly paychecks before income
or other taxes are withheld to be paid exclusively for dependent care. In addition,
employees who work 300 hours in a 10-week period are also eligible for long-term health
coverage, full disability insurance, and complete preventive care dental coverage. Since
most temporary agencies do not offer these types of benefits, this gives them some degree
                                                                    Reading 5 Page 18 of 18

of competitive advantage over other temporary agencies. As More notes, “It is part of our
program to attract and retain the very best people.”

Unfortunately, this does not address Intelli-Temps‟ needs in the full-time worker labour
market, where it has to compete against larger, full-time employers who offer similar
benefits. Yet there are certain advantages that come with a smaller size, and More is
interested in exploiting these as far as possible.


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Realistic Job Preview (RJP) is a method of recruitment whereby applicants to a position
are given a true picture of both the good and bad aspects of the job. It has been claimed
that RJP leads to better recruitment than that obtained when only the good aspects are

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Description: RECRUITING