Company expansion is a normal occurrence in optimal economic conditions or such as this technology firm, receiving the opportunity for a large multi-year contract. Human resources are a critical component to ensure that company needs and future planning in terms of staffing are adequately met. This paper outlines a staffing plan that is targeted at ensuring business sustainability and future growth and being able to meet all product delivery deadlines.
Based on the scenario, one of the key job requirements for any of the given positions would experience working in medium-scale technology manufacturing and development. This was selected as a key requirement because the firm is currently expanding and taking on larger orders. Therefore, it needs workers that already have experience working at that scale of production in order to quickly transition into the process, actually utilizing the guidance and experience of these workers to make manufacturing as efficient and high-quality as possible. The firm simply cannot afford the time to train inexperienced employees or take the time to trial and error the process.
The second job requirement is certifications indicating competency related to the respective positions. For assembly technicians, requirements are minimal with at least an associate’s degree in a power technology field, preferably electronics. However, other positions need professional certifications, such as a Certified Quality Control Engineer needs a certificate from professional organizations such as the ASQ, while a Contract Administrator requires one of the certifications from the National Contract Management Association. Certifications serve as proof of competency that the individual has achieved the level of education and practice needed to competently perform on the position, but also typically requires a range of professional experience or practical application to achieve that greatly increases the appeal of the employee in such transitional settings.
Finally, the last job requirement is more subjective and abstract, the ability of the candidate to demonstrate a level of professional stability. The firm is seeking employees that will transition into the company and continue to grow within it, especially as it expands. The company is looking to reduce turnover costs but increase professionals that know the industry and the company’s nuances and can help navigate it through its growth. Therefore, company loyalty and long-term commitment are a great benefit. Long-term stability and commitment can be determined through professional references and tracking their career path up to date.
A strategy that can be used to ensure that all applicants meet the requirements is a common practice in HR known as pre-screening interview/pre-employment screening. Essentially, it is an early-stage process during recruitment that allows identifying a candidate’s basic qualifications, experience, and certifications. At this stage, many of the unqualified candidates are set aside as they are missing some or all of the requirements in terms of experience or fundamental certifications. This can be done by reviewing applications, sometimes even with the aid of a digital sorting system, and a quick telephone interview with the candidate (Peterson, 1). As a result, only a handful of applicants make it to the next stage of recruitment, significantly cutting costs and time for HR and increasing the possibility of finding a candidate that is the best fit for the firm.
Long-Term Recruitment Plan
The long-term recruitment plan for the company will focus on the overarching principle of establishing a strong employer brand. The company needs to position itself as a rapidly growing technological manufacturing firm that has the opportunities to grow exponentially with government and private contracts. Therefore, employees are also able to grow with the company if they choose to apply and remain loyal. In the modern-day, it is not necessarily the highest pay that is attractive, but a robust company culture with opportunities for advancement and experiences for professional development. Therefore, it is absolutely normal for companies to reward employees with benefits and perks and focus on long-term cooperation.
A key point for the company’s recruitment strategy is to have a talent pipeline that is also vital in filling positions with specific job skills and certifications. Building up a talent pipeline with attractive offers for this level of business is key to creating a stream of qualified candidates that want to work at one’s firm. Targeting a specific audience is also helpful to ensure that one’s recruitment offers are most effective and attract the correct level and type of candidates. Another strategy is to prioritize jobs and targets, so when a rapid business growth occurs, such as with the firm expansion currently, it can utilize the full power of the hiring (larger salaries, signing bonuses, benefits) to attract top performers or someone experienced from another company. However, this approach should be saved for the most critical positions where it is difficult to find a qualified candidate from the general workforce. Finally, it may be beneficial to utilize data-driven analytics when filling positions, relying on subjective opinions only in selective high-level jobs where EQ also matters, but all other positions can be matched through objective data (Hunt Club 2).
As mentioned earlier, a strong employer brand is a key to attracting highly qualified personnel. First, the branding begins with the company itself. Even a medium-sized business without a massive public presence, such as a technological firm, can present itself appropriately. This begins with establishing a well-developed branding in terms of logo, slogan, mission statement, as well as a modern website that provides key details about the company and its operations. These small details are vital in making first impressions and are more likely to attract candidates that are looking for contemporary and future-oriented work opportunities. Another strategy is to use the power of referrals, as research indicates that almost 70% of candidates rely on referrals from family/friends, ex-coworkers, or even testimonials on websites such as Glassdoor, which describe the benefits and negatives of working at a firm. It is necessary to create a workspace and management structure that creates a generally positive experience while also creating a highly productive environment. Finally, companies should market themselves to applicants similarly as they do to consumers. This indicates showing the best sides of the company and demonstrating its strengths while attempting to offer what applicants at that level may seek.
Some of the communication methods may include the company website as described above, job posting platforms looking for positions, and direct contact with applicants (either at job fairs, initial pre-screening contact, or attempting to hire a professional away from competition). By taking the branding concepts described above and integrating them in appropriate forms in the communication channels, it will create a positive effect in terms of the appeal of the business as an employer. This approach is also known as an integrated communication strategy in marketing, it ensures that brand consistency is demonstrated across all channels, essentially aligning communication with the business objectives. The key to integrated communication is just as one would market a product, one markets a job position. It is critical to send the right message to the right audience, in the right voice at the right moment, using the right channel (Beehive 3). In turn, it is appealing as the company is able to effectively target its audience in the sector, engage applicants, and present itself as streamlined and focused. This will lead to a greater quantity and quality of candidates for the company.
One vital selection process for recruiting new employees is job design and publication. The position needs to be designed with specific responsibilities taken into account, as well as varying levels of decision-making and management involved. The four distinct positions that the current company is looking for are highly different in terms of expectations and responsibilities. An effective job design accurately and honestly outline these, provides the pay range (dependent on experience), expected hours worked, and benefits offered by the company. An accurate job design is crucial to finding the right candidate for the position and ensuring trust so that both parties understand what is involved in the employment contract.
Another highly effective selection process is the interview. Comprehensive interviews allow one to get to know the candidate personally, beyond the resume and certifications. It helps to determine if the candidate is the right fit for the firm in terms of character, dedication, enthusiasm, loyalty, and other more emotional or personal qualities. This is, of course, subjective, but there are certain elements and ‘red flags’ which can be identified in an interview that contribute to the decision on a certain candidate over another (Zhang, 4).
Given the high-pace, advanced technology, and high responsibility environment of the technology firm, certain criteria are fitting for the selection of candidates. The first is the ability to effectively communicate in a team and work cooperatively, as the job will require complex multitasking and consistent communication among departments. Second is the necessary qualification in the relevant (electronics or similar) industry area. While there may be great technicians or engineers, without the experience and certification in this area, it will be difficult and costly for the company to retrain them. The third criterion is excellent time management and the ability to meet deadlines. This is particularly relevant for managers, and as the company expands, it will be necessary for projects to stay within key deadline parameters because without one stage, the next stages of production usually cannot effectively continue. The fourth criterion is attention to detail, a highly valued skill, particularly for positions such as quality oversight or contract management, ensuring that the company remains at the utmost high quality of product with consistently positive business results. Finally, being analytical and data-oriented is also vital, especially for this type of industry where margins are low, and it is necessary to achieve maximum efficiency at all levels of the production process. Combined, these selection elements help to select an employee, which is very process-focused and aims to achieve optimal results for the firm. This is necessary for the long-term health of the business and provides employees opportunities to grow and develop new methods and techniques to improve the business.
The first assessment test that can be offered is a manufacturing aptitude test such as the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA). It is a commonplace test used in production and manufacturing, test an employee’s familiarity with machinery and basic principles of manufacturing, it is especially relevant for technicians. This test is valid as it was specifically developed for the purpose by professionals in the industry, and it is reliable because it has been evaluated and used over the years with good results. Another assessment method that can be used is the Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP), a personality-oriented test which helps to identify productive behaviors and flag those who may demonstrate unproductive or unsafe behaviors in the workplace. As a personality test, this assessment method is more subjective and may not be as accurate because they typically depend on certain stereotypical profiles (CriteriaCorp, 5). However, it can be helpful for employers to ensure that all team members are on the same page and highly productive.
KSAOs are difficult to assess, but there are certain job predictors which may be beneficial. These are cognitive ability, training/experience, interview performance, and teamwork capability. These KSAOs are critical in demonstrating knowledge of the business and its operations, skills of working with others and with specific manufacturing technological equipment, and the ability to communicate and have a positive impact on the organization and co-workers (Moliterno & Nyberg, 6). These predictors offer a holistic oversight of an individual’s skill, experience, and ability to think and perform in the context of manufacturing environments. Focusing on these factors during selection can improve the quality of candidates and the best fit for the technological firm at hand.
John Peterson. 1994. Staff Screening Tool Kit: Keeping the Bad Apples Out of Your Organization. p. 15. Web.
Hunt Club. 2020. A Comprehensive Guide to Strategic Recruitment. Web.
Beehive. 2020. Why Integrated Communication is the Future of Business. Web.
Zhang, Don. (2018). Telling stories to communicate the value of the pre‐employment structured job interview. Web.
CriteriaCorp. (n.d.). Pre-Employment Tests For Manufacturing Companies. Web.
Goffin, Richard. An Empirical Method of Determining Employee Competencies/KSAOs From Task-Based Job Analysis. Web.