an evaluation of recruitment and selection practices in a water utility company


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an evaluation of recruitment and selection practices in a water utility company

  1. 1. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 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.
  2. 2. 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. 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT 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. 1.3 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. 1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The objectives of the study will be: i. To identify the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company.
  3. 3. ii. To examine how recruitment and selection practices affect the performance or development of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company. iii. To assess the challenges associated with the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company. iv. To identify factors that will improve recruitment and selection practices at Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company. 1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS The research questions which will serve as a guide to the study are: i. What are the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company? ii. What is the effectiveness of the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company? iii. How do recruitment and selection practices affect the performance and development of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company? iv. What are the challenges associated with the recruitment and selection practices of Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company? v. What are the ways to help improve human resource planning and development? 2.0 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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 &Browin, 1996). 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). 2.2 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
  6. 6. 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 analysis. 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. 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
  7. 7. 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 2008, 3) 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). 2.1 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 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
  8. 8. the evidence in many organisations, best practice in selection requires a comprehensive program thatincludes realistic tests of work practice and the use of validated psychometric instruments. 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. 2.2 RESEARCH VARIABLES ARISING FROM THE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK These are; recruitment, selection, academic qualifications, work experience, interview, aptitude tests and induction
  9. 9. 3.0 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN 3.1 RESEARCH 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 questionnaires. 3.2 RESEARCH APPROACH This researchwill follow the deductive approach. The approach will be adopted since the study will adopt a positivist philosophy. 3.3 RESEARCH STARTEGY The researcher will adopt a survey for this study. 3.4 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 of 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.
  10. 10. Recruitment 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‟. Selection „The process of choosing from a group of applicants the best qualified candidate‟. academic qualifications work experience interview aptitudetests induction 3.5 SAMPLING FRAME 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. 3.6 SAMPLING TECHNIQUES 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. 3.7 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.
  11. 11. 4.0 CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS 4.1 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).
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  13. 13. 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.