an evaluation of recruitment and selection practices in a water utility company
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The successful recruitment, selection and retention of employees have proved to be
anintegral part of businesses success. Recruitment and selection for largerorganisations
have proved to be a core human resource planning activity and assuch, they area vital part
of an organisation‟s overall strategic plan. Many businesses have Human Resources (HR)
as a corefunction.
The views of some researchers are summed up by the statement, „Don‟t Blame the
workers;all they did was ask for a job‟ (Marvin, 1994). The role of recruitment and
selection is toput in order preparations for potential long-term employment requirements,
as well as dealwith day-to-day employment vacancies, all as part of a human resource
strategy (Kramar,1992). It is a critical objective of all businesses to ensure that the people
who are employedthrough the recruitment and selection process are the right people for
the job. The alternativeis to have unhappy staff and a high turnover level. Whilst
recruitment and selection is amanagement problem, it is nowhere near as big a problem
as that of losing well-trained andvaluable employees. Notwithstanding this, Marvin
(1994) suggests that „turnover is amanagement problem, either because management
failed to provide a productive workingenvironment or because the wrong person was
hired in the first place‟.
It has been argued that in order for any organisation to build and sustain the competitive
advantage, proper staffing is critical. Recruitment and selection is a major human
resource managementfunction as it encompasses all organizational practices and
decisions. Recent technological advances, globalization, social trends and changes within
organizations have brought new challenges for recruitment and selection (Hax,
2001).Better recruitment and selection strategies result in improved organizational
outcomes. The more effectively organizations recruit and select candidates, the more
likely they are to hire and retain satisfied employees. In addition, the effectiveness of an
organization‟s selection system can influence bottom-line business outcomes, such as
productivity and financial performance. Hence, investing in the development of a
comprehensive and valid selection system is money well spent.
It is vital that organizations select people with the quality essential for continued success
in this competitive global village of today. The only means of achieving this success is
through proper recruitment and selection practices. Recruitment and selection process is
vitally important to any organization desirous of attracting and appointing qualified
personnel. Getting the right people in the right place at the time doing the right job is an
essential element of recruitment and selection process in organizations. In order for the
process to meet desired goals, it must be valid and measurable, with minimum adverse
impact. The challenge for many researchers then have been to demonstrate how
scientifically derived recruitment and selecting practices add value to organization‟s
performance. Recruitment and selecting staff is expensive both in terms of time and
money, and it is therefore important that the process is carried out smoothly and
efficiently and results in the appointment of a person who fits the job. Organizations exist
not because of their desire to be benevolent but to also make profit.
The success of organizations in this modern business environment depends on the calibre
of the manpower that steers the day to day affairs of the organizations. The process of
recruiting and selecting all categories of employees has been a matter of concern to many
organisationsand needs attention. Even though it is the wish of every organization to
attract the best human resource in order to channel their collective effort into excellent
performances, unconventional selection practices can mar any business plan. This study
will therefore, identify and assess the effectiveness of the recruitment and selection
practices and procedures of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study will be to assess the effectiveness of the recruitment and
selectionpractices and procedures of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study will be:
To identify the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage
To examine how recruitment and selection practices affect the performance or
development of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company.
To assess the challenges associated with the recruitment and selection practices of
Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company.
To identify factors that will improve recruitment and selection practices at Kafubu
Water and Sewerage Company.
The research questions which will serve as a guide to the study are:
What are the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage
What is the effectiveness of the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu
Water and Sewerage Company?
How do recruitment and selection practices affect the performance and
development of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company?
What are the challenges associated with the recruitment and selection practices of
Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company?
What are the ways to help improve human resource planning and development?
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
Recruitment is a process of seeking and attracting a pool of people in order toselect
qualified candidates for vacant positions within the organization (Byars&Rue, 1991).
During recruitment process, organizations may use both internal andexternal sources to
fill vacant positions. Internal recruiting is looking for candidatesamong employees
already working in the organization. It involves techniques likejob posting. In this
method, notices about vacant positions are posted in centrallocations throughout the
organization and employees are given a time to apply thesepositions. Another method
used in internal recruiting is to seek recommendationsfrom present employees regarding
friends who might fill vacancies. Externalrecruiting, on the other hand, seeks for
candidates from outside the organization. Themethods of external recruiting can be listed
as follows; media advertisements,campus recruiting, working with employment agencies
or executive search firms,using computer databases (Ivancevich, 1992).
Organizations are better to use realistic job previews in order to improve theeffectiveness
of recruitment process. Realistic job preview is a way to providecomplete information
including positive and negative things about the organizationto the job applicant
(Ivancevich, 1992).After recruiting qualified applicants, the selection process begins.
“Selectionis the process of choosing from a pool of applicants the individual or
individuals whobest fit the selecting criteria for a position” (Harvey &Browin, 1996, p.
120).Generally, in the organizations selection process begins with the completion of
theapplication form by the applicant. The second step is preliminary screening
interviewin which minimum qualifications of applicants are screened and a brief
personalinterview is conducted to form general impression of the applicants, and obtain
keyinformation about them. The third step is to make employment tests such ascognitive
or psychomotor ability tests, knowledge and skill tests, emotionalintelligence tests,
integrity tests, personality tests, vocational interest tests, andperformance simulations.
The validity studies of these tests demonstrate that integritytests have an operational
validity of .41 (Ones, Viswesvaran, & Schmidt, 1993).
Moreover, the validity of cognitive ability tests to predict performance is around.
(Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). As a fourth step, employment interviews are conducted.These
interviews can be in different formats; structured, unstructured, or semi-structured.In the
structured interview, the interviewee received a set of questionsthat have been prepared
in advance by the interviewer and the interviewer leads thecourse of the interview.
However, in unstructured interviews, the candidates controlthe flow of the conversation.
The interviewers do not direct the interviewee; theyrepeat the statements made by the
candidates to encourage further discussion.Unfortunately, unstructured interviews are
subject to the interviewer‟s interpretations(Harvey &Browin, 1996). The validity of
unstructured interview has been shown tobe relatively low whereas the validity of
structured interview is higher and similar toassessment center validities (Lowry, 1994).
There are also other kinds of interviewssuch as panel, situational and stress interviews. In
panel interviews, the applicant isinterviewed by a panel or group of individuals. In
situational interviews, theapplicants solve a particular problem or describe how they
would behave in aspecific job situation. The validity of situational interviews has been
shown to rangebetween .14 and .46 (Cesare, 1996). Lastly, in stress interviews, recruit is
subjectedto the stresses and strains supposedly encountered in the job situation (Harvey
The next step is to check references or recommendation letters that aresubmitted by the
applicants. As another step, some organizations require applicantstake a physical
examination tests or drug tests. The final hiring decision is madebased on the results of
the selection process.In addition, there are some other tools that used in selection process
such aswork samples and assessment centers. A work sample is a selection tool that
requiresthe candidates to show how well they perform the tasks involved in a job
understandardized conditions. On the other hand, assessment centers measures how well
arecruit is able to perform the tasks of a specific job and they include exercises like inbasketexercise, leaderless group exercise, problem solving simulation, and roleplayexercise. Additionally, according to Schmitt, Gooding, Noe, and Kirsch (1984),
thework samples have true validity of .38 and average validity of assessment centers
isaround .40 (Howard, 1997).
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
The objective of the human resource department of organisations is to recruit an efficient
labour force that would meet organisational objectives. Recruitment is a systematic
processthrough which the organisation can attract suitable candidates for the selection
process.Suitable candidates are those with the right skills, qualities and abilities that are
essential tomeet the job requirements of the organisation. An objective of recruitment and
selection isalso to develop procedures that would help the HR department to choose the
right candidatesfor the job (Cowling & James 1994, 29). Diversity oriented organisations
want to make surethat the recruitment and selection process is not only consistently
applied, but it is clear andvalid such that fair and equitable treatment is offered to all the
aspiring employees. Thehuman resource department of organisations ensures that all the
applicants invited forinterview deserves the chance offered to them. It also ensures that
resources used to recruitcandidates that would be able to provide the required output. The
performance oforganisation depends on the expertise of the workforce. Since the
selection, criteria followthe requirements of the job position, the process of recruitment
and selection is aimed atmaking sure that the right competencies are identified to ensure a
satisfactory performance(The highland council, 1999).
2.2.1 Strategic approach to recruitment
The human resource plans of organisations determine the resources that the organization
needs to be able to attain the objectives of the organisation. The plan also states
theresources that are available for the organisation. The available resources in this case
are bothinternal and external resource. In some situations, the skill needed by the
organisation mightbe obtained through the process of recruitment (Bratton & Gold 2003,
223). The managementof some organisations may plan to reduce the number of staff,
redeploy employees or eventrain and develop the human resource. Other organisations
might consider promotion andretention using incentives to reduce mobility of labour. In
those organisations that decide toengage in a recruitment process, a job analysis is
conducted. A job analysis is a documentthat contains a job description and person
specification. Organisations compete to attract thebest categorise of labour force. During
periods of high unemployment, the problem inorganisations is not to attract desirable
applicants but to select them. In order to select thebest candidates, the job needs to be
analysed to determine the duties required by theposition as well as the characteristics of
the candidates to be hired. This objective is obtainedthrough a process known as the job
2.2.2 Job analysis
Job analysis is used to determine the information that is needed to prepare a job
descriptionwhich is then used for advertisement of the vacancy. Job analysis leads to two
importantdocuments. These documents are job description and person specification.
220.127.116.11 Job description
A job description contains a statement that describes the responsibilities of the job. A
jobdescription also contains the working condition and safety hazards. (Dessler 2003,
62). A jobdescription is a more concise indication of the duties and requirements of the
job. It cansometimes be regarded as a summary in the senses that it gives a general
picture of theposition while making emphasis on the important functions of the job. It is a
tool used to sellthe job to applicants (Bach 2005,119). Applicants would always apply for
a job if the positionor the demands of the job is clear. Something made possible by the
job description. It is alsoan opportunity to limit the number of unqualified applicants that
would want to apply for theposition. A good job description should contain a list of job
functions. That is what thequalified or hired applicant would be expected to be doing
when they are offered theposition. It also contains the requirements of the job. These are
the educationalqualifications, certificates, licenses and experience necessary to perform
the job. Other vitalinformation that the job description should provide are the working
hours, travelrequirements, reporting relations and location of the position.( Marder-Clark
18.104.22.168 Person specification
The job specification is a statement similar to the job description, but it stresses on
thepersonal qualities, traits, skills and background required for the job. In other words, it
is torewrite the job description with regards to the person needed to perform the job.
(Dessler2003, 62). The purpose of a person specification is to identify the role and the
suitablecandidate to perform that role. It is a chance for the candidate to judge as well as
matchtheir skills with the role that they are applying for. To the organisation,
specifications helpthe HR manager or organisational manager to decide if a role is
supportive to the organization or is just a waste of resources. The role could be reviewed
or redesigned as a result ofspecification. The person specification is done with the use of
some particular key aspectsamongst which is the competences. (Gareth 2004, 4).
The „best practice model‟ of human resource management will be used as a framework to
discuss the recruitment and selection practices at Kafubu Water and Sewerage
Company.A wide selection of techniques are available which range from intensive (and
expensive) activities (e.g., multi-day assessment centres), to the more commonly used
interviews and reference checks including a range of recruitment strategies (i.e.,
advertisements, personal referrals, employment agencies,direct applications). Based on
the evidence in many organisations, best practice in selection requires a comprehensive
program thatincludes realistic tests of work practice and the use of validated
Organizations with the most effective selectionsystems are 15 to 22 percent more likely
to usethe following practices:behavior-based interviews, training and experience
evaluations, ability tests, biographical data and motivational fit inventories.
Other best practice techniques most commonly used are:
• Curriculum vitaes / résumés and written applications
• Conducting interviews
• Reference checks.
Organizations with highly effective selectionsystems experience higher business
outcomes(i.e., financial performance, quality of productsand services, productivity, and
customersatisfaction) and employee outcomes (i.e.,employee satisfaction and retention of
qualityemployees) than those with ineffective selectionsystems.
Better recruitment and selection strategies result in improvedorganizational outcomes.
The more effectively organizations recruitand select candidates, the more likely they are
to hire and retainsatisfied employees.
Recruitment is the process of identifying andattracting potential candidates from within
andoutside an organization to begin evaluating them forfuture employment. Once
candidates are identified,an organization can begin the selection process.This includes
collecting, measuring, and evaluatinginformation about candidates‟ qualifications
forspecified positions. Organizations use theseprocesses to increase the likelihood of
hiringindividuals who possess the right skills and abilitiesto be successful at their jobs.
These are; recruitment, selection, academic qualifications, work experience, interview,
aptitude tests and induction
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
The research will be based on assessing recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu
Water and Sewerage Company. The design will be a descriptive study which will use
both quantitative and qualitative tools to recruitment and selection practices adopted by
Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company. The study will be based on the use of
This researchwill follow the deductive approach. The approach will be adopted since the
study will adopt a positivist philosophy.
The researcher will adopt a survey for this study.
OPERATIONALISATION OF RESEARCH VARIABLES
This will involve translating the theoretical definitions of variables into precise
indications as to what are the fundamental characteristics of the variables.The definitions
of the key variables in this research are provided here, as in manyinstances there are
differing definitions that might distort the meaning of this research. It isthe researcher‟s
intention to provide key definitions identified and establishedfor the purpose of this
research. Therefore, for the purpose of this research, the followingdefinitions are adopted.
Human Resource Management
The definition of Human Resource Management (HRM) „Involves the productive use
ofpeople in achieving the organisation‟s strategic business objectives and the satisfaction
individual employee needs‟.
Human Resource activities
„HR activities such as job analysis, HRplanning, recruitment etc.‟ HR activities for the
purposes of this research have been identifiedas recruitment, selection and retention.
The definition of recruitment is „The process of seeking and attracting a pool of qualified
applicants from which candidates for job vacancies can be selected‟.
„The process of choosing from a group of applicants the best qualified candidate‟.
The names of the respondents will be collected from the Human Resource Departmentat
Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company using the formulae K=N/n, where K is the
sampling interval and N is the total number of names in the register and n the sample size
of the research.
The simple random sampling technique will be used to select respondents from the
various departments with the exception of the Human Resource Department. This is
basically because the population will have an equal chance of being selected.
Significantly, the purposive sampling technique, which is a non-probability sampling
technique, will be used to select respondents who deal directly with recruitment and
selection from the Human Resource Department. This is because the researcher wants to
deal with only typical cases based on the objectives of the study.
DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES
The studywill use questionnaire. The questionnaires will be responded to by the sampled
employees of the organization. The questions will be designed to make the purpose of the
study successful after the results have been ascertained. This instrument will give
expected information about the recruitment and selection procedures or practices.
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS
QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS
This is a process by which numerical data are collected and analysed and used to
explainphenomena (Franses&Paap 2001). The collected data will be statistically
analyzed, using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software (SPSS).
Representations like tables and charts will be used to ensure easy and quick interpretation
of data. Responses will be expressed in percentages.Data from the completed
questionnaire will be checked for consistency. The items will be grouped based on the
responses given by the respondents and will be coded for easy usage of the Statistical
Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Armstrong, M. (1991) A Handbook of Personnel Management Practice, 4th Edition, Kogan
Arnolodo, C. (1985): A Methodology for the Development of a Human Resource Strategy, Sloan
School of Management.
Biles, George, E. & Holmberg, Stevan, R. (1980): Strategic Human Resource Planning, Glenn
Ridge, New Jersey: Thomas Horton and Daughters.
Burack, Elmer H. and Mathys, Nicholas J. (1980), Human Resource Planning, Lake Forrest, I1
Brace-Park Press. P130.
Cran Cheryl (1995), Employee Retention Strategy, How to Attract and Retain Top Performers,
Sada NY, Blue Boulder Internet Publishing.
Dessler, Gary (2000), Human Resource Management, Eighth Edition. New Jersey, USA, 2000.
Mullins, L. J. (1999), Management and Organizational Behaviour, 5th Edition, Pearson
Thompson, P. and McHugh, D. (2009) Work Organisations: A critical approach, 4th ed.
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gilmore, S. and Williams, S. (2009) Human Resource Management. Oxford: Oxford University
Granovetter, M. S. (1974). Getting a job: A study of contacts and careers. Cambridge, MA:
Gareth, R. (2004). Recruitment and Selection a competence approach. Wilshire: Cromwell
Muijs, D. (2004). Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. London: SAGE.
Armstrong, M A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, Kogan Page2003.
Armstrong, M, Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action Kogan Page 2004.
1. Buchanan, D and Huczynski, A, OrganisationalBehaviour: An Introductory Text Prentice Hall
2. Drucker, PF, Management Challenges for the 21st Century Butterworth Heinemann .
3. Handy, C, Understanding Organisations, Penguin.
4. Mullins, L.J. Management and OrganisationalBehaviourPrentice-Hall 2005.
5. Pinnington, A and Edwards, T, Introduction to Human Resource Management, Oxford
University Press 2003
6. Redman, T and Wilkinson, A, A Contemporary Human Resource Management: Text and Cases
Prentice Hall 2001.