Free «CW - People and Organizations» Essay

CW - People and Organizations

Introduction

People form the most important asset to any organization with a vision to become competitive in the market. In view of this fact, an organization must attract and retain the best talent in order for the company to maintain or grow its market position. According to Chowdhury (2003, p.1), an organization that must lead in the present and in the future should employ and retain the best, brightest, and most diversified people in order to innovate. The employees of a firm should be in a position to work together to bring out better and competitive products to the market or deploy better processes at the work place. In reference to Swart et al (2005, p.2), people matter because, in view of the competition that now prevails in the market, human capital can provide any sort of advantage over other firms.

To get the best employees, an organization should consider the best methods of hiring. The human resource department in an organization is tasked with the responsibility of assessing the human resource needs of the organization and taking appropriate measures to address those needs. Rothwell (2010, p.294) indicates that an organization must follow certain key steps in a continuous recruitment process some of which are; clarifying what kind of people are needed, devising an organization recruitment policy or plan, implementing the plan while revising the plan according to the strategy needs of the company and giving feedback to applicants whether successful or not. It is worth noting that there are many successful organizations that have solely depended on recruitment as a source of competitive advantage in the market.

Internal Recruitment

The alternatives available for the company are internal and external recruitment. Identifying the jobs that can be filled by internal and external recruitment is crucial for the company management. Compton and Nankervis (2009, p.47) point out that the criteria for identification is based on the strategies of the organization, human resource policies and the financial capabilities of the company. The advantages that accrue to internal recruitment are:  a boost in morale; ease in assessing the abilities of the applicants and also acts as opportunities to reward good performance in the company. In addition the cost involved is low and a good succession plan is the promoted.

Despite all these advantages, internal recruitment has its own challenges. The disadvantages of internal recruitment are: firstly, discontent among those who have not been promoted. Secondly, the challenges of inbreeding will rise with continued employment of   this method. Thirdly, internal recruitment may result in political infighting for the positions advertised, necessitating a strong performance review system. Additionally, while this method promotes the maintenance of the status quo in the company, criticism from outside the organization may be received for such a closed approach to recruitment. Interestingly, internal recruitment may result in the maintenance of company culture, which may not necessarily be good. It is argued that sourcing talent from outside the organization may transform a bad culture in an organization to a good one.

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External recruitment

External recruitment is required when the skills needed for the job cannot be met by internal recruitment or when a company needs to create a more productive and effective culture (Compton & Nankervis 2009, p.48). The potential advantages of this method of recruitment are: firstly, it is an effective way of eliminating old ineffective and unproductive culture from an organization. Secondly, the entry of new employees facilitates the introduction of change within the organization they can be a more dynamic workforce. Should a company decide to transform its culture, the step to take is to recruit as many employees as possible from outside the organization, and ensuring that a new culture is established with their arrival. The introduction of a new workforce, with new ideas means that the insiders will be forced to compete with them, thus the productivity of the company is leveraged.

Internal recruitment does not result in any form of resentment since there are no persons considered as favorites. The disadvantages of external recruitment include cultural displacement, lowered morale on the part of the insiders who have not been considered for the job and the need for further education and development.  According to Sims (2002, p.118) another potential disadvantage of external recruitment is the need for longer orientation period since the newcomer is not familiar with the company operations and culture. In addition this method can be very expensive, especially if the company decides to outsource to a recruiting company.  Existing employees of the company may also develop resentment to employees that have been recruited externally.

Selecting the right people for a job in an organization can be very challenging since it involves a process that must be thoroughly followed. According to Kanagel (2006, p.172) applicants should be screened carefully to in order to get an employee who is persistent, motivated, creative and hardworking. The human resource department will come up with the parameters, or competency framework that will be used in determining the individual that best meets that company human resource needs. This is in a bid to find out the commitment and determination of the applicant to do the job advertised. To get the best individuals for the advertised, a set of personality aspects have to be evaluated during interviews in order for such individuals to be determined. Besides personality, the prospective employee should also exhibit the basics of professional behavior, such as appropriate dressing, meeting deadlines and maintaining phone etiquette.

Personality Traits

There are various methods that have been developed to help employer to determine the personality of individuals during interviews. Personality refers to qualities in person that distinguishes him from the others.  It is the stylistic consistencies in social behavior which reflect an inner structure and process. Consideration of personality at work is critical since research has found a correlation between personality and performance. In reference to Furnham (1994, p.11) there are several personality characteristics such as biological traits, cognitive dimensions, decision and thinking styles and coping patterns. The occupational variable that are manifested as a result of the personality characteristics are attitudes towards work, beliefs about work, behaviors at work and psychological measures.  According to the predisposition model, personality factors etermine behaviors that relate to work.

Commonly used in testing personality is the big five theory which consists of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. According to Engler (2008, p.295), many of the traits reflected in the big five structure are closely related to those needed for positive achievement at work, exemplified by the measures associated with the dimension of conscientiousness are critical in predicting job success.  In reference to Bernstein and Nash (2006, p.428), conscientious people are curious, imaginative, insightful, have wide interests and distinct intellectual and thought processes. Conscientiousness is associated with persistence, self-discipline, and achievement striving. Additionally, Gensler (1996, p.60) informs conscientiousness promotes the good of society as people are motivated to do their duties and is vital for social life and survival.

The trait of neuroticism as found by researchers is a fundamental and unique trait which entails behaviors and cognitions that go hand in hand with guilt, low self esteem, depression, psychosomatic illnesses , phobia and anxiety. The differences in personality translate to the differences in abilities of individuals to handle different jobs. It is argued that agreeableness is the least related factor to intelligence and ability among the big five. The conclusion of a long time debate and research on agreeableness, according to Premizic and Funham (2005, p.63), point to lack of correlation between this dimension and intellectual competence because none of its primary factor scales such as trust, altruism, straightforwardness, compliance, modesty and tender-mindedness, only appeared to be related to intellectual competence.

Openness to experience, which expresses need for cognition, is the factor that is most associated with intelligence. Premuzic and Furnham (2005, p.57) argue that although openness has been regarded as a self report measure of ability, others have argued that openness to experience should be considered as ability and not a personality factor. The fifth factor, extraversion, assesses the degree to which an individual can show preference and tendency to be talkative, outgoing and optimistic. The relationship between extraversion and intelligent is established by testing the effects or influence of personality or the test performance of an individual.

From the descriptions of the big five factors, it is clear that to a greater degree, personality influences an individual’s ability to perform in a work environment. The question however that can be asked is how good objective personality tests in the process of selecting people for jobs are.  Bernstein and Wash (2008, p.447) argue that they are considered valuable tools for the selection of good employees. Researchers have concluded from studies involving thousands of people that reduced absenteeism, theft and other disruptive employee behaviors are attributed to initial objective personality tests. In addition, the measure of job performance and leadership was found to significantly correlate with the big five factors.

However, personality tests are claimed not to be perfect predictors of behavior at the work place, since they may not predict specific areas of job performance. Furthermore, ethics point out that some employees view personality assessment as an infringement into their privacy. Their main concern lies with the fact that their personnel files might be misinterpreted, thus narrowing their chances of promotion in the company. Measures have however been taken to ensure that the tests are reliable and valid and the rights of individuals involved are not infringed. The DISC theory has also been developed to assess behavior in individuals by looking into   the various traits associated with each of the four factors; Dominant, Influential, Steady and Conscientious. Snyder (2001, p.35) writes that for the DISc theory, each behavioral style is ruled by a different emotional style. 

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Skills and Professional experience

Besides the assessment of behavior, the prospective employees must display professional and experiential qualifications, if the are to give the company the competitive advantage that it is seeking. Centrally and critically, the human resource department must attract and retain employees who respect and uphold professionalism, who will command high standards of performance and corporate etiquette, without which the company cannot achieve its objectives.

Professionalism refers to the possession of the requisite knowledge, skills and decorum that is associated with professionalism. According to Little et al. (1999, p.107), a professional is a person who has applicable skills based on special knowledge; has advanced education and training; is competent; has association to professional a professional body; observes a code of conduct or ethics and is committed and has a sense of responsibility in serving the public. Kenworthy and Rodgrigues (2007, p.171) adds that professionalism should be practiced even outside the office for the sake keeping customers. A professional should choose something exciting and challenging, which will make him happy for the next few years, and the longer term success happen by itself (Collins 2003).

How one dress, acts, speaks, and works will determine whether they are acting professionally or not, since there is a strict code of conduct that professionals are expected to adhere to. Maister (1997, p.35) argues that true Professionalism is the courage to care about your people, yourclients, and your career.  It is noteworthy that those organizations that insist on professionalism usually vibrant and keep growing rapidly. The essence of professionalism is the delivery of excellent results and providing unparalleled experience. Professionals make clear and distinctive difference and have attitudes that set them apart from the normal resulting in competitive advantage for the company.

Use of personality traits, skills and professionalism in recruitment

The need for professional experience is critical since it is a demonstration that the individual has performed tasks of the same quality and magnitude as the duties he or she is going to be assigned. To apply the concepts that have been developed above, the following is a profile and selection method for a member of an international team of accountants and software programmers developing a new accounting software package. The position under consideration requires an individual with a wide experience in accounting and has dealt with accounting software. Jinnett and Pinson (2006, p.146) point out that accounting software is only beneficial if the user has a good working knowledge of accounting principles and hass developed reasonable skills in computer operation. The best method of recruiting the prospective employee is by enlisting the support of a human resource agency for accounting specialist. Agencies are strategically placed to access the best talent in the market and have a pool of professional job seekers at any time. In addition the agency employees are specially trained top search for talent in job seekers. The employee should be a practicing professional accountant who can clearly articulate accounting principles.

The prospective employee must proficient in programming, and deeply conversant with the programs necessary for the development of new accounting software. A critical understanding of the accounting software that is currently in the market is fundamental. In addition, he or she should understand the shortcomings of the software currently in the industry that necessitate the development of new software. Knowledge of the changes in accounting practices that may have occasioned the need for change in software, such as changes in tax laws, and hence formula of calculating tax, is critical during the interview. A considerable experience in developing accounting software, alone or as a team, that have been successfully used in the market will be an added advantage to the prospective candidate who will possess this experience.

Besides the consideration of academic qualifications in accounting and the attendant professional experience, the history of professional achievements in accounting and accounting software use and development will be also be considered. Additionally, the consideration of knowledge of the most current global accounting standards, and global accounting communication language is essential. The recruiting agency will also seek to know whether the prospective employee has done professional examinations that are globally recognized which will give advantage over others. Importantly, affiliation of the prospective accountant to professional accounting bodies if applicable, will account for professionalism and good accounting practices. This is because, as Dunn and Brooks (2009, p.362) indicate, professional bodies set codes of conduct and provide information about the operation of discipline process of the professional association.

Documentation of former experiences with other employers will also be a key requirement. Testimonies from referees will also be used to determine the capability and professional abilities of the prospective employee. In view of that fact that the position will involve international experience, prior exposure to international matter may be considered of great importance. This will ensure that the costs involved in the orientation process are minimal, while work is efficiently done as well.

As far as agreeableness is concerned, the prospective candidate is expected to possess the traits that describe this factor. According to Silzer, Israel & Dowell (2009), agreeableness is the tendency to be compassionate and cooperative while interacting with others. .Although research does not relate this trait to intelligence; it nevertheless is required since it carries desirable traits that can help in the promotion of good company culture. Such traits as trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty and tender mindedness are core in forming the character of the organization. The panel of interviewers will watch out for these traits in the prospective candidates. It is important to point out that the company can avoid risks such as theft and misappropriation of the company’s resources by observing, or recommending to the recruiting agency, that these traits are core to the organization and must be factored in the recruitment process. They should be in a position to comply with the regulations of the firm, while observing modesty which is necessary for professionalism.

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The candidate should also be conscientious. Conscientious people are curious, imaginative, insightful, have wide interests and distinct intellectual and thought processes, all of which are traits, desirable in every employee.  Conscientiousness is associated with persistence, self-discipline, and achievement striving, which are necessary for achievement and success in the delivery of service in the company.  The accountant should deeply be interested in his work and always look forward to his international assignments. Passion and enthusiasm should characterize his actions and even his expression. With a consideration of these traits during recruitment, the right person may be found for the accounting job.

The sought after person must also be compliant with the company regulations and objectives. According to Biegelman and Biegelman (2008, p.2), compliance is besides following the law, making sure that the organization adheres to all legal requirements, while observing ethics and rules of business conduct. Compliance with all the regulations, objectives, vision and mission of the company is critical. Compliance by a new or prospecting employee with the company culture and legal framework will ensure that the security of the information assets, for example accounting information in software from, is well of the company is well kept. By complying with the company way of operations, harmony will be promoted in the company and a sense of belonging and pride will be created. Losses associated with breaking the law and breaching ethical codes of conduct will be avoided.

The person to be chosen must also be correct. This means that he or she should possess characteristics that give him or her advantage over fellow contestants. In addition, he should be the person most suited for the job. In addition psychometric tests may be carried out on the prospecting employees to ascertain their personality and their abilities by administering aptitude tests. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the employee recruitment process in a company is not easy. In a quest to fill vacant positions that arise in the company, the human resource managers should decide the best method of recruiting an employee for the position. The company may promote an individual within the company, or get the employee externally. The human resource mangers will also decide whether to outsource the recruitment exercise to professional recruitment agencies, or conduct the interviews internally. Getting the employees that will give the company the much needed competitive advantage requires that behavioral and professional qualifications be considered. Professionalism entails competence, which consists of sufficient skills and knowledge, and possessing the right attitude. In the recruitment process, two things are vital: the behavioral traits and the professional competence and experience of the prospective employee. The employee who meets these criteria will be selected to join the company.

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