Effective Recruitment and Selection in IT Industry

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 45
Words: 15251
Reading time:
53 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Introduction

Human resources form the backbone of any organization as they play a pivotal role in enhancing organizational performance. This is especially true in the case of IT and ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) as this is basically a talent and knowledge industry. Employing suitable persons whose skills, knowledge and attitude can be aligned with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization is a challenging task.

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Effective recruitment and selection strategies, thus, assume a greater significance in the above context. Recruiting the right person for the right job is crucial to organizational growth as ineffective recruitment affects employee performance, results in loss of business opportunities and triggers higher levels of labour turnover. All these have higher cost implications for the organizations.

Proper recruitment and selection processes not only enable the organizations to find suitable candidates with required competencies to help them meet the organizational goals but also contributes to employee retention. Effective recruitment and selection ensures that suitable candidates are selected who would continue to serve in the best interest of the organization for a longer period of time. With rapid globalization, employee retention has emerged as a matter of serious concern for the organizations nowadays (Sussland 54).

The process of recruitment involves identifying the needs of the organization to employ persons with specific competencies. “Selection refers to the processes involved in choosing the right candidate for the desired post” Sussland 54). The selected candidates are then initiated into various training programs in order to prepare them meet organizational needs.

Determination of recruitment strategies that would comply with organizational objectives, thus, forms an indispensable part of HR planning.

Background

Recruitment and selection in the human resource of a company is a vital part. A methodical and able recruitment is the fundamental strategy of a company’s future success and sustainability. Thus, it is necessary to find out whether recruitment plays a key role in achieving firm’s objectives. Other objectives will include; finding out the various recruitment and selection approaches in organizations that can be utilized by the management, to find out the best ways of linking recruitment and how an organization can best evaluate the performance of a motivated workforce. This is the primary objective of the study. The aim of study is to shed more light on the issue of recruitment and selection as one of key components that organizations have to engross in order to enhance there effectiveness towards attaining the set goals. The research is also aimed at equipping managers particularly those from Human Resource department to look critically on the best ways of recruiting employees.

Recruitment Strategies

Recruitment strategy, thus, involves the following components:

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  • Target group
  • Means of approaching the target group
  • Recruitment processes and sources

Identifying the target group and the means of approaching the target group with the intention of hiring are done much before the actual recruitment process starts.

Recruitment Process

An effective recruitment process involves a number of stages which specify the nature of the job and the skills necessary to meet the job needs. The first one is ‘Job Analysis’.

Job Analysis

The process involves a detailed evaluation of the nature of the job. This implies analyzing not only the content of the job but also the purpose of the job, the key requirements for it as well as the implications of the job in the organizational structure. “This task is usually accomplished by observing the employees at work, gathering information from interviewing job holders and referring to ‘training manuals’ or any such documents” (Barney 99-120).

The completion of Job Analysis leads to the next stage of the recruitment process, that is, ‘Job Description’.

Job Description

It involves the detail description of the job in the form of a legally binding, written document. It helps the employers as well as the candidates understand the kind of job expected out of them. It also specifies the skills, competencies, knowledge and experience expected from the desirable candidates as well as responsibilities of the job (Skyttner 21).

Job Specification

This is something more than mere job description. It highlights specific skills and attributes expected in a particular job. E.g. certain jobs require industry specific training or specific years of experience in a particular capacity.

“It also highlights the mental and physical attributes expected from the job holders” (Skyttner 22). This is essential as the particular job holder will not only work for himself but also for the team and organization at large. This also has a direct impact on employee retention.

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Methods of recruitment

“Recruitment processes are carried out either internally within the organization or externally by recruiting candidates from outside” (Skyttner 22).

Internal recruitment

In this case, recruitment is made within the organization from among the existing staff. This recruitment may be in the form of promotion, referral or relocation. The primary advantage of internal recruitment is that it is cost-effective as it is build up on the existing knowledge and skills of the employees. However, the biggest challenge lies in the fact that the organizations often do not have enough options to choose from. Moreover, it leaves scope for favouritism and discrimination.

One of the popular modes of internal recruitment is the use of the employee referral schemes where employees suggest suitable candidates using their respective networks. The employee referral scheme is being extensively used in the last few years as it is cost-effective and helps the applicants gain a better perspective of the job profile as well as organizational goals (Brown 20-32).

External recruitment

In this case, candidates are recruited from outside thereby providing the organization with a vast pool of talent to select from. External recruitment facilitates the growth of the company by generating new ideas and experiences within the organization. However, the process is costly and time-consuming. Moreover, the organizations run the risk of recruiting someone who may be competent enough on paper but not in person.

External recruitment may be via recruitment agencies or consultancies or through advertisements, campus selections etc.

Selection

Selection of candidates is the next crucial step after the recruitment process. Selection process involves short listing the potential candidates and selecting the candidate most suitable for the required job. Depending on the organizational goals and objectives, various selection tools are used. Sometimes, a combination of two or more selection tools is used to make the selection process more effective. Some of the commonly used selection tools are application forms, interviews, psychometric tests, curriculum vitae etc.

Application forms

Application form is the most popular selection tool around the world, especially in UK. This selection tool enables the employers obtain information regarding the applicant that is relevant for the particular job. This information helps them in deciding the suitability of the candidate for the particular position.

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Interview

This is considered to be an effective selection tool in the sense that there is a direct interaction between the selector and the candidate. This gives the selector an opportunity to assess not only the knowledge and intelligence of the interviewee but also his/her cognitive, oral and social skills which would help him/her fit into the organization (Gambles 112).

However, this is an extremely time-consuming process especially when conducted in large numbers. Furthermore, the subjectivity of the interviewer assumes prominence in this selection mode.

Psychometric tests

These tests are conducted to test the psychological aspects of the candidates. These tests are usually in the form of attainment, aptitude and intelligence tests conducted to analyze a person’s ability, personality and motivation. However, these tests are prone to misinterpretation of results.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

This is another popular selection tool which is basically used for short listing. It is actually a sort of summary history written by the candidates themselves. Recruiters often face the challenging task of filtering the proper CVs as these often contain irrelevant information.

The recruitment and selection processes to be adopted by different organizations are determined keeping the organizational goals and objectives in mind. Effective recruitment not only fulfils immediate organizational needs but also ensures the development of optimum organizational resources which would act as catalysts in the future organizational performance.

Thus, it can be stated that the labour body states that organizations are encountering difficulties when searching for human capital and this comes up as a result of a competitive environment through which we find that many companies compete for talented workforce. Companies believe that having a talented workforce enhance the success of an organization. It should also be noted that most organizations engage in attractive selection, recruitment and payment processes that will allow them to select the most qualified and competent candidates (Robbins, 2005).

Aims

The aim of study is to shed more light on the issue of recruitment and selection as one of key components that organizations have to engross in order to enhance there effectiveness towards attaining the set goals. The research is also aimed at equipping managers particularly those from Human Resource department to look critically on the best ways of recruiting employees.

Objectives

The overall objective of this study is to find out whether recruitment plays a key role in achieving firm’s objectives. Other objectives will include; finding out the various recruitment and selection approaches in organizations that can be utilized by the management, to find out the best ways of linking recruitment and how an organization can best evaluate the performance of a motivated workforce.

Research Questions

Based on the objectives of this study research questions will include the following:

  • Does recruitment and selection play a key function in attaining organizations goals or objectives?
  • What are the different ways of selection and recruitment in an organization?
  • How can management link recruitment in its effort of trying to achieve stated objectives?
  • How can the management evaluate recruitment processes put in place and rate them as effective or non effective?

Hypothesis

This study is expected to conclude that human resource management is a very crucial function in any modern organization that seeks to achieve its objectives. Further this research study is expected to ascertain that qualified and competent employees in an organization are the most important asset in an organization as compared to other assets that aid in running an organization.

The Literature Review

Adoption of different recruitment strategies is determined by the organizational goals and objectives. There is ample evidence to substantiate the above fact. There are several instances where organizations have modified their recruitment strategies in order to realize their objectives. The present paper focuses on the IT industry across the globe with more emphasis on the UK IT industry.

Here we present some worldwide citations as to how recruitment strategies are impacted by the business objectives.

Global IT Industry

IT companies, worldwide, consider recruitment and selection processes to be effective only when these are compared with strategies that are fundamentally higher in nature. Higher level strategies refer to the mission statements and strategic goals of the organization. In this context, reference may be made to IBM’s objective of expanding its consultation wing through its acquisition of Pricewater House Coopers Consulting (PWC). By acquiring PWC Consulting, IBM strengthened its consulting services by creating a new business unit, IBM Business Consulting Services with vast employee strength and operations in more than 160 countries (Conner 38-46).

The main aim of this unit is to provide clients with a whole range of business and technology consulting services globally thereby facilitating further growth of IBM’s services, technology, infrastructure and resources.

Here, the recruitment strategy that has been adopted has been basically a combination of internal and external methods. IBM absorbed PWC’s 30,000 consulting professionals within its own unit thereby becoming a leader in the field of global consulting services.

IT industry in China

In China, the significance of effective recruitment and selection in enhancing organizational growth has been realized much later. The recruitment systems that were prevalent in China before 1978 were deeply rooted in the Soviet management system of the 1950s. However, the introduction of the open policy in 1978 facilitated economic reforms which affected all the sectors of the Chinese economy, especially the IT sector.

The recruitment strategies adopted by the multinational companies in China mostly adhere to the common recruitment practices like advertisements in newspapers or specific industrial publications etc. Job fairs offer a wide opportunity to the companies to attract thousands of job-seekers. Campus recruitment is another widely used recruitment practice (Firth 98).

However, the recruitment strategies of the west have influenced the attitude of the IT companies in China towards the adoption of recruitment and selection practices. There are several instances where IT companies in China have adopted effective recruitment strategies in order to accelerate their economic growth.

In this context, reference may be made to the recruitment strategies adopted by one of the top Chinese IT company, Huawei. The recruitment strategies are aligned with the company strategies which is the reason for the tremendous success of the company. In fact, over the years, Huawei has reported a relatively low labour turnover rate and higher absorption of female employees.

Huawei’s ‘equal opportunity policy’ is based on the principles of non-discrimination, assistance to the physically handicapped and prohibition of child labour. Whatever be the recruitment process, the recruitment strategy strictly forbids any distinction on any ground while selecting a suitable candidate. It focuses on extending all kinds of assistance to the physically challenged persons and strictly follows the rules and regulations pertaining to abolition of child labour.

Moreover, Huawei’s emphasis on learning and training has lead to its development into a learning-oriented organization offering its employees with a wide range of educational opportunities and creating an atmosphere congenial to knowledge sharing. To this end, Huawei has started hiring external professors and experts who would act as mentors to the employees, especially the new recruits (Elsdon 39-47).

IT industry in Australia

In Australia, most of the recruitments are internal i.e. within the organization. Most of the recruitments in the Australian IT companies are in the form of promotions or relocations. The main motivation behind internal recruitment is to maximize the costs that the company has incurred in recruiting, selecting and training its employees. However, this does not suggest that external recruitment methods are not applicable to the Australian IT companies.

The commonly used external recruitment practice adopted by the Australian IT companies is advertisements which help the companies reach out to a larger section of the potential candidates. Recruitment agencies are also widely used by the IT companies. Another popular method favoured by the IT industry in Australia is direct recruitment of fresh candidates from various educational institutes.

There are several instances to substantiate the fact that selection of effective recruitment strategies have spiralled the success of the respective IT companies.

A case in this point may be the ‘Graduate Recruitment Program’ adopted by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Australia. HP believes that the skills, knowledge, experience and innovative ideas of its employees are the key to its success. Since it relies on the efficiency of human resources, it endeavours to attract the best possible candidates who would lead the organization to success.

To achieve this strategic goal, HP has implemented the ‘Graduate Recruitment Program’ with the aim of recruiting fresh, talented graduates who would be imparted the necessary training to develop their latent skills and competencies. As per the available data, HP Australia recruited a significant number of fresh graduates in the early 2005 through this program (Easterby-Smith 221).

The criteria for selection include a detailed assessment of the academic performance of the candidates which is then followed by a number of interviews and assessment tests to filter the best among the available talent.

IT industry in India

The biggest challenge that the multinational companies in India are facing nowadays is talent crunch. There is no dearth of manpower in India but the real problem lies in the rapid decline in the number of ‘employable persons’. This has a lot to do with the fact that a number of companies are setting up their business in India attracted by its huge manpower resource.

This has created a wide chasm between demand and supply. This transformation has been felt more acutely by the IT and ITES sectors in India where efficient human resource is an asset. This shortage of talent has forced the IT companies in India to adopt effective recruitment strategies to attract eligible candidates to the industry.

Tata Consulting Services (TCS) e.g. has adopted a number of innovative recruitment and selection processes while adhering to some of the traditional methods of hiring. One of its recruitment processes is the employee referral scheme to involve the existing employees in talent hunting. Moreover, it also recruits candidates through the online recruitment system as well as through job posting and other organization specific initiatives (Jamrog 51-63).

To site another example, Bangalore based Software Company, Infosys Technologies Ltd. has emerged a leader in the development and implementation of effective recruitment and selection processes to bring about organizational growth. It has achieved global recognition and featured in the top 100 companies adjudged by Computerworld as ‘Best Places to Work for in IT-2006’.

Infosys believes that people are its primary asset and aims at creating a highly motivating environment at the workplace to bring out the best in them. Its main objective is to bring its workforce at par with its global competitors while retaining the culture of a small company.

The recruitment and selection processes at Infosys are pretty tough as their main aim is to attract the best. They recruit new candidates through extensive campus selections. In addition to academic excellence, recruiters at Infosys also attach a lot of importance to the ‘learnability’ of the candidates. Learnability refers to the ability of the candidates to derive general experiences from certain situations and apply it effectively to different situations.

Team work, analytical mind, leadership qualities, communication skills are the other important qualities the recruiters at Infosys look for in their employees. Thus, the selection process involves written tests to judge the various skills of the candidates followed by several rounds of interview (Cheese 65).

A distinguishing feature of Infosys is the way it has addressed the problem of talent crunch. Until recently, it was focused on recruiting engineering graduates. However, with the lack of suitable candidates, it has started recruiting science graduates with mathematics background to create an alternative talent pool.

IT industry in UK

The above sections give us an overview of the recruitment strategies adopted by the IT industry in different countries. This insight will be of considerable help in our understanding of the recruitment and selection processes adopted by the UK IT industry by comparing them with those prevalent in the IT sector of different countries across the globe.

IT companies in UK are well aware of the inextricable relationship that exists between effective recruitment and selection strategies and organizational performance. In fact, the recruitment strategies to be applied are determined by the specific organizational goals. The following discussion focuses on the emerging trends in the use of recruitment processes adopted by the IT industry in UK.

Current and emerging trends in the UK IT industry

IT industry is essentially an industry that thrives on human performance. Naturally, its emphasis is on the employment of potential human resources. Recruitment and selection processes, therefore, have always been an integral part of the human resource activity.

Till the early 1990s, traditional recruitment and selection processes were put to use to recruit and select suitable candidates. These included advertisements in national and local newspapers, use of job centres, structured interviews, assessment centres, tests for specific skills etc.

However, the development of competitive market economy and globalization led to acute shortage of specialized skills. The organizations found recruiting individuals possessing niche skills pretty challenging. Shortage of specialized skills became the primary recruitment difficulty faced by a majority of IT organizations.

Consequently, efforts were made to find alternative means of addressing the problem. This included adoption of effective recruitment and selection strategies in order to match the availability of potential labour with the skill needs of the organization (Kesler 26-37). “Moreover, as more and more companies started realizing the importance of talent and skills of its employees in accelerating business performance, a new process emerged in the 1990s which has come to be adopted by a majority of organizations” (Kesler 26-37). This process is known as the talent management system.

Talent management system

The process involves taking initiatives to source, attract, recruit, develop, advance and retain highly skilled individuals. The main aim of this process is to develop the leadership and management skills and competencies in the employees which would be crucial in ensuring organizational success. The process of talent management, thus, helps the organizations achieve strategic objectives.

Nowadays, a large number of companies are devising a talent management strategy in alignment with it’s the business strategy. Organizations adopting the talent management strategy include the following:

  • Sourcing, attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining individuals with the required competencies
  • Managing and devising competitive salaries
  • Providing training and development opportunities to the employees
  • Devising performance management processes
  • Developing employee retention programs
  • Creating opportunities for promotion and transitioning (Lawler 15-31)

In the context of talent management, evaluation of an individual is based on two factors: performance and potential. The current performance of an individual helps in evaluating his/her potential. However, another important consideration from the point of view of talent management is predicting an individual’s performance, that is, the potential of the individual to perform if proper training and development opportunities are provided.

Emerging talent management practices:

The development of the talent management system has given rise to a number of new talent management practices. These include effective recruitment, selection and retention practices that cater to the different aspects of the talent management process. The easy and rapid acceptance of these practices within the organizations may be attributed to the fact that they have gained an edge over the traditional recruitment and selection processes. Some of these are discussed below:

Emphasis on soft-skills and use of competency-based interviews

The gradual transformation of the economy from manufacturing to service-based has led to the IT companies attaching a lot of importance to the ‘soft skills’ of the individuals.

These companies are keener to employ persons who possess not only the necessary technical knowledge but also ‘soft skills’ which are an amalgamation of individual attributes, personal traits, communication skills and social skills. However, the definition of ‘soft skills’ vary from organization to organization (Bramham 165).

The recruitment and selection processes adopted by many UK based IT companies, thus, are tailored to judge the ‘soft skills’ of the eligible candidates along with technical knowledge. One of the selection methods that are extensively used by the IT companies in UK in this context is competency-based interviews.

‘Competencies’ are qualities/attributes that the organizations look for in their suitable candidates. Competencies differ from organization to organization and are determined by organizational needs. A competency-based interview, also known as competency interview is used to judge a candidate’s competence which gives an insight into his/her working style or behaviour in specific situations. A competency-based interview is therefore, also known as situational or behavioural interview (Porter 77).

A competency interview is an effective tool for judging those candidates who are fresh from their colleges and possess no prior experience in the particular industry.

However, many are of the opinion that competency-based interview is not an effective tool for evaluating candidates since it is organization-specific and often a reflection of the values and interests of a selected few.

Use of Internet recruitment

However, the recruitment process that has found a favour with most of the IT companies in UK is internet recruitment. Its sudden emergence into one of the primary recruitment processes has a lot to do with the rapid technological advancement.

Internet recruitment has proved to be an effective recruitment tool especially in the selection of IT and technical professionals although it is also widely used in other industries.

This recruitment method has provided the employers with a wide range of options to choose from. Some companies encourage direct applications through their own website; some prefer to create their own recruitment websites; still others may post their requirements on specific internet recruitment sites like Monster, Top Jobs, Gold Jobs and Guardian Jobs Unlimited.

This recruitment process has a number of advantages which has resulted in its rapid popularity. Primarily, it is cost-effective and provides the recruiters with a vast pool of talent to choose from. Moreover, it helps in the reducing the time required in the entire recruitment process and provides a greater flexibility to the applicants by matching the job requirements with the organizational needs (Ramlall 51-64).

In this context, it may be mentioned that a majority of IT companies in UK nowadays encourage job applications via e-mail. Advertising job vacancies on corporate websites has emerged into another popular e-recruitment process.

Use of the Employee referral schemes

The employee referral scheme has been in use in the IT industry in UK for quite some time. However, a reference to this recruitment process emanates from the fact that it has developed into one of the most effective internal recruitment methods globally. In fact, according to the CIPD Recruitment and Retention survey, the use of the employee referral scheme in UK has shot up pretty rapidly.

Employee referral scheme offers a lot of benefits to the organizations. Firstly, it reduces the expenses involved in the recruitment process. Secondly, it helps the applicants in gaining a better insight into the nature of the job. Thirdly, involving the existing employees in the recruitment process has long-term implications. The fact that the employees suggest their organization to others implies their contentment with and commitment to the organization (Summers 14-19).

Selection processes

Application of effective selection processes has emerged as a matter of serious concern as it can make or mar the prospects of organizational growth. Organizational growth is dependent on employee performance which in turn, depends on the effectiveness of the selection processes.

The IT companies in UK believe that suitability of the candidates for meeting organizational needs can be judged better by employing a number of selection procedures rather than relying on one single source. A ‘fair’ selection process is one which, all insist upon.

Usually, the companies employ the general selection procedures which have been referred to in the introductory part. Some of the common selection processes prevalent in UK include interviews which may be structured, unstructured or semi-structured; psychometric tests and selection through assessment/development centres.

One of the selection procedures extensively used in UK IT sector is psychometric tests. It helps in ensuring procedural justice as it is conducted for all the candidates on equal basis (Ulrich 12-22).

However, there are some reservations regarding this procedure and efforts are on to develop more effective selection procedures. Systematic analysis and monitoring of the outcomes of various recruitment and selection processes will prove to be beneficial in this context.

Employee retention practices

This is an important aspect of the talent management process. Employee retention refers to the policies and practices organizations adopt to prevent the competent employees from leaving. It benefits the organization in more ways than one.

Some of the extensively used employee retention practices include open communication, including employees in the decision-making process, encouraging knowledge sharing among members, enabling employees to balance work and personal life etc.

Difference between traditional recruitment and selection practices and talent methods

The current talent management practices are certainly an improvement over the traditional methods of recruitment and selection in the sense that these have resulted in considerable reduction in the recruitment cost and time. Use of e-recruitment practices has made the entire recruitment and selection process faster and easier (Wright 56-59).

Secondly, by employing the new talent methods, organizations are exposed to a wider talent pool. This has helped in addressing the problem of lack of specialized skills which has emerged as one of the greatest recruitment difficulties.

Gaining exposure to a wider range of potential candidates helps in developing workforce diversity. The importance of workforce diversity emanates from the realization that human resources are the most important assets of an organization.

The new talent management practices, thus, enable the organizations to diversify their workforce by adopting the policy of inclusion. These practices have helped in including competent employees irrespective of caste, religion, sex, ethnic origin etc.

Another important distinction is that the traditional recruitment and selection practices have not given enough importance to employee development and retention.

Moreover, the traditional recruitment practices have failed to align with the different organizational strategies. In fact, the traditional practices have never developed into effective recruitment strategies. The talent management practices, on the other hand, have developed a strategic outlook towards the entire talent management process (Barney 99-120).

Effective Recruitment

For an organization the most important asset is the work force of the company. But one of the most important things of building the proper workforce of an organization is the effective selection of the work force and in recent times the organizations are giving too much stress on the selection of the employees. In recent times records show that the attrition rates in companies are going up. Sometimes it is also seen that the permanent employees are also leaving the companies.

Talent Management

If we look at the infrastructure of a company we will immediately understand why the organizations suffer from the attrition of the employees. When a person comes to join a company he is given training by the company and the training of the person costs company a lump some amount of money. And if the person after being trained leaves the company the money that was spend by the company for training the person gets wasted. It is different if an efficient employee leaves the company. For any organization it is one of the most unwanted scenarios. If an efficient employee leaves the company, the company will have to search for the replacement of the person and it can take a lot of time to find the suitable replacement. This even can cause the company a lot of financial harms.

The decision makers of a company make decisions and they also decide the course the company will be taking in the future. Here we can say that effective selection does make out the future of the company. This is a very integral part of the financial gain of the company. Every company does have some strategic objectives. And effective selection in many ways helps them to achieve the targets. In the following part we will discuss how it helps to achieve an organization their target (Wright 56-59).

Traditional Recruitment and Selection

The company selects the employees on the basis of their merits and their work ethics. They have to be very careful about choosing the employees. The selection committee will have to choose the right person who will suit into the company profile and help the company in all the ways to achieve their goals. If a person is chosen and he does not fit into the company profile the person will some day quit the company and it will ultimately become a huge loss for the company.

Strategic objectives are generally of two types. The first is the short term objectives that the company needs to be fulfilled. And the second one is the long term strategies that define the company in the long term. Effective selection will directly in both the cases. The employees will work relentlessly to achieve both the tasks (Brown 20-32).

Talent Methods

Effective selection is one of the procedures that govern the future of a commercial organization. A commercial organization can not really thrive to lose money, and wrong employee selection always costs huge money on the company. Effective selection not only saves money but also pushes any organization some steps forward.

Research on the Effective Selection

One of the very important aspects of organizational culture in recent times, when the attrition rate in most of the companies are getting higher is effective selection. There is not much research on the subject. It is one of the very important subjects for research and it will immensely help the companies in future.

The researches show some very important steps for effective recruitment and these steps generally show which can hint about an employee that if he will stay in the company for long or not. Some of the factors are discussed in the following list.

  1. The recruiters have to understand the requirement of the company and they have to recruit accordingly: This is the most important factor of effective recruitment. The people who will choose the future employees have to know all the requirements of the company in a detailed way. It is a real complex situation. Suppose the recruiters are recruiting for a technical post, they will definitely look for the required technological knowledge that the person have and also they have to understand if the person is suitable for the working environment of the company and also the situation of the vacancy (Ulrich 12-22).
  2. Analysis of the situation along with the working condition: The next step will be of determining the position of the person and the team where the person will be put. This is some what very difficult to assume but one have to deal with this. This can also happen for the recruitment of the management positions. For example, one man has the experience of leading five men, and now the recruiters recruit him for leading a group of 100 men, so the man will surely falter in the task. It is interesting to know that in most of the cases a person quits a job because of his supervisor. So the recruiters have to keep in mind about who is the supervisor of the person and what type of relation the person they are recruiting may have with the supervisor.
  3. Finding out the right person: This is the third step and after the two initial steps this can be dubbed as the most important step. The employer has to match all the skills of the person along with the two above mentioned criteria. In this case another perspective arises. The salary is always a big issue in recruitment. Suppose one is recruiting a person who has experience. In this case the recruiter have to keep in mind what he will offer the person as salary, and will he be able to match up with the salaries that the person has drawn earlier. For a fresher this is not a very important problem. But for a fresher one have to examine the stability factor of the person.
  4. Collecting Basic Information: Some recruiters believe that it is silly to try to find out all the necessary information about the candidates. But it is one of the most important steps. But the basic information about a candidate can help the organization about all the whereabouts of the person, his (or her) current situation and other aspects of his life. This will ultimately help the recruiter to decide whether the person will be applicable for the work the organization is recruiting (Conner 38-46).
  5. The interviewing Process: There are a lot of checking factors during an interviewing process that can show that if the interviewee is suitable for the job or not. The body language of the candidate and the speech pattern are very important parts while determining candidates. The interviewer will have to prepare for the interview like the person who is coming for the interview. Some of the often discussed questions, like the behaviour based questions and other questions dealing with some hypothetical questions that have link with the job have to be prepared by the interviewer and he has to think about all the different kind of answers for the questions.
  6. Another very important aspect of the recruiter is to present the profiles of all the selected persons to the management and then also discuss about where the newly recruits should be placed. More than that in the very beginning the recruiter has to shortlist a number of profiles before selecting the right person, and this gives ample choice for both the recruiter and the management.
  7. The effective recruitment is a job like a sales person. The person in the case sale the jobs, but he also has to find out the right person who will do the job efficiently and ultimately provide financial gains for the company.

The Differences between Both of Them

Effective selection is one of the very important aspects of the running of an organization, whether it may be commercial or non-commercial. It is said that hiring of a person is one of the easiest tasks of the World, but hiring the effective person is one of the toughest tasks of the World. There are a sea of difference between a very good employee and a common employee. The best employee will be easy to work along with and they are totally committed to the development of the company. Another aspect of effective recruitment is how to use the recruitment sources. It is recorded that most of the jobs are generally done by networking, but a good recruiter will have to do more research than that. Some times to find the right person he will have to personally look for the right choice. The organizations have to choose the sources of advertisement wisely for posting employment advertisements. It will be a wise step to clearly mention all the needs of the company for the job and thus it will narrow the amount of job seekers, and it will ultimately mean lesser number of interviews (Elsdon 39-47).

Effective recruitment is the process of recruiting the best of the employees from many. By choosing the right people one does not only help the company’s work force but also indirectly secures the future development of the company too.

The Importance of Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment is defined as an act of an organization to hire an individual to be part of an organization. There have been many questions regarding this action on its importance towards an organization. This paper will therefore discuss the importance of selection and hiring of individuals in an organization. Many organizational management teams are aware that for the firm to be productive and successful in the business arena therefore it has to employ individuals who skilled and well experienced in the required field of expertise. Research indicates that those organizations that hire incompetent employees are always faced with challenges such as poor coordination between the employees and the employers, poor performance and losses in terms of financial assessments

Research indicates that when an organization applies a better recruitment and selection procedures it will bring some benefits to the organization at large. Indeed, making a business successful in a particular setting demands crucial and detailed studies and examination of the factors that will generate the best results that will serve the aims and objectives of the company (Dainty 116).

Recruiting and selection processes

Looking at the significance at the importance of human resource, we find that an organisation can only benefit from it depending on the methods of selection that the management opts to use during the selecting process for the posting available in the organization. To know the importance of the recruitment and selection of the employees then we need to look at the methods applied and how important they are to the organisation recruiting its workforce.

Advertising the position through Advertisements

Business firms are found to be selecting their workforce through advertisements mostly on newspapers that are published on a daily basis. This method of selection is found to be very important to both the candidates and the candidates, since these advertisements qualified candidates are always made aware of the available vacancies in a particular organisation through which they can apply for the posting. The other type of advertisements used is that of the internet that allow the creation of websites that allow organisation post their vacancies, this is normally referred to as online advertising this method is normally advantageous to the organisation since it is found to be cheaper (Beardwell and Holden 165). Coming up as a result of globalization the use of internet as a tool of advertising vacancies in organizations carry a number of benefits to those practicing the transaction, through this tool the vacancies are taken up to the international job market where a number of targeted candidates from various countries are always in a position to be aware of the vacancies that is put on the online advertisements, this has actually pronounced a gain in the profits of many organisation since there is a prove of an increased awareness of position by the applicants by the targeted candidates who normally use the internet on a daily basis, through this we find that the advertisements gets to a large number of qualified candidates which reduces the cost of advertising that could have been used in other means of advertising.

Information technology is pronounced to be an important tool in businesses currently since it puts an organisation in a position to enter new markets and enhance its growth. The internet creates a direct link between numbers of businesses this actually provides an opportunity for any member in the transaction to change the information about its postings when launching a new advertisement in the job market, this simplicity normally reduces the costs of advertising that is used in other advertising methods. The other advantage of using the internet in the advertising of jobs by organizations is that it reduces the competitive gap of employee recruiting between organizations; this may be done through the reduction of marketing and advertising costs. The internet market always provides room for small businesses to interact with multinational organizations in the same market to know the best recruitment method that they apply in order to get qualified and productive workforce (Beardwell and Holden 132).

Application forms

Application forms is another method of recruitment that carries a number of advantages to many organizations in this case we find that this method allows the qualified candidates to a particular position to carryout the activity of filling forms meant for their application of the vacancy in a particular organisation after which they send it to the organisation. These forms are found to be advantageous to the organisation as it enables the firm to firm to get enough details of information of the applicants’ experience and educational background. This method of selection is regarded as effective in terms of decision making process because the organisation gets a detailed data of each of the candidates thus enabling the management to make the right decisions (Robbins 65).

The importance of this method is that gives time to the management to formulate the questions to be administered to the candidate at the time of interviewing. These forms enable the management team to start comparing and contrasting the availed data by the applicants and through this the organisation will be in a position to make the right choice in terms of employing a qualified candidate. Through this method we find that the filtering of the candidates who are not suitable for the position is made easier, this brings in the focusing of the management team towards the most promising applicant. The other advantage of this method is that it record keeping whereby the organisation is put in position to keep future references for the same job posting this enables the organisation to save costs on advertising of the same positions. Though this method is easy and cheap it also carries a negative impact in the organisation whereby the applicants are given a chance to cheat and give wrong information with an aim of getting the employment and at the end of the time the organisation may end up employing the candidates with wrong information towards the mentioned position for this reasons organizations are always advised not to use this method alone but should use other methods availability for them to reach their target goals(Robbins 77).

Interviews

After placing advertisements in daily newspapers and in the respective website, potential employees are expected to submit their application letters within two weeks from the date of advertisement. The application letters will be scrutinized based on the basic desired qualifications and those meeting the initial criteria will be conducted and required to attend in person scheduled interviews. Those who will not have received any feedback after a month from the date of the advert should consider themselves unsuccessful. Since interviews results to clear information then the organisation will be in a position to know who the applicants for the position are with their specific personalities and to assess whether they will produce if the organization recruits them (Armstrong 98).

Apart from obtaining the most qualified and competent workforce, the assessment of interview method clearly depicts that the recruiting team will also lead to recruiting those individuals with desired qualities that the organization is looking for. Interviews therefore are effective since the recruiting panel have the opportunity to interrogate the potential candidates particularly on their expectations and productivity levels if recruited.

Evaluation of this method shows that employers had the opportunity to introduce the company to potential employees. This was a very good opportunity for the employers to explain in detail what the company entails. This method is effective in the sense that potential employees can ask the employers any questions concerning this company. It is quite effective as any misunderstandings between the two parties can be aired.

However, it should be noted that interviews as a selection means is subjective and can therefore lead to recruiting non-competent candidates. For instance those in the panel may recruit their relatives and friends thus rendering the method to be bias (Jamrog 51-63).

Competency framework

For an organisation to build its foundation the organisation needs to know how its employees are competent in the performance to enable the firm reach its respective goals. To achieve this competency test then the organisation should be able to measure the capabilities and technological know how on their performance in the organisation. The following competency framework can be used for the management trainee post in any modern company that seeks to recruit and retain competent workforce.

Leading change

The candidates to be recruited need to be evaluated for the position by the management of the organisation; this involves the evaluation of how innovative and creative the candidate is. Evaluation of how responsive they are in times of a crisis. The other thing that can be evaluated in a candidate is his or her vision in life and the employment if granted. This can be used in the interviews where the candidates are asked questions about their ability to manage conflicts candidates can be asked if they have ever been in a conflict situation and how they managed it (Armstrong, 2006).

This aspect of leadership framework is very important because leadership skills in leading people are clearly evaluated in the candidates. This is because one can find that there are candidates who may have passed their examinations but do not have the skills to lead other people. Candidates can also be evaluated if they have the skills to develop others. This is because there are some people who are quite self- centred in nature. They work towards the downfall of other people. The candidates should also be evaluated whether they have the ability to leverage diversity. This is whereby a candidate is tested on his or her ability to create a common culture for different people. This is seen in leading people of different cultures and from different religions. Qualities like team building are also essential.

Business acumen

In business acumen the financial management of the applicants has to be critically analyzed. This is whether the applicants are good or they are poor financial managers. This is very fundamental when organizations are carrying out recruitment process. This is because if any organization will employ poor financial managers then this will greatly affect the Company financially (Druker 92). Human capital management is also important in management trainee responsibilities in any organization. This is ability to carry out planning in the organization. Do the candidates have leadership skills in managing people of diverse characters? Human resource management skills are very important in this case as they will determine whether the organization will be successful or not.

Coalition building

Partnering is a very important aspect of coalition building. Applicants in any organization should have partnering techniques. This is because these candidates will end up being partners with this Company. In partnership, stakeholders do business together. A partner would not want to see the downfall of the business because he or she will be affected too. When applicants have partnership mentality, they will not work to the downfall of the organization but to the betterment (Druker, 96)

Political know how of the applicants is also very important. This is because every company is always affected by the political environment around it. This political environment could have positive or a negative effect to the organisation. Applicants should also have the ability to negotiate this is because one of their tasks will be to carry out negotiations with their customers and also other stakeholders. This includes the ability to influence other people to make decisions or to carry out a task. This design will be used by selectors when screening application forms. This framework will also help interviewers to frame their questions for candidates. This design can also be used to make questions administered through test method.

The following table shows a competency framework designed to fit a contemporary organization;

Initiating change Ability to lead people Being results driven Having business acumen Ability to build coalitions
Being innovative and creative Managing conflicts Applicant’s accountability Financial management Ability to partner
External awareness Leveraging diversity decisiveness Human capital management Negotiating and influencing
Flexibility Team building Customer service Technology management Political Savvy
Resilience Developing others Problem solving
Vision and thinking strategically Entrepreneurship and technical credibility

Conclusion

The difference between the two methods helps to explain the growing importance of the talent management system. However, it is not to be inferred that traditional recruitment and selection practices are no longer used currently. On the contrary, the gap between the traditional and current media is narrowing day by day.

Research Methodology

Research Design

This research requires the researcher to come up with the importance of employee selection and retention in organizations. This clearly indicates that the concentration of this study will be based on factors involved in employee recruitment and selection and how they can be applied by the management of the business organizations with the aim of boosting their productivity and benefits. Since this study is an exploratory one it will therefore focus on the following elements; desired activities and time-based plans, research questions, selection of sources and types of information required, outline of procedures for every research activity to be carried out and also it will be based on the framework that will specify the relationships among the samples identified for this research purpose.

Target Population

The target sample will be mainly those business organizations that normally carryout their employee selection and recruitment on a yearly basis. However, some middle level and top managers will be considered and given an opportunity too to air their views. A total of twenty respondents will be identified and questionnaires administered to them. The administering of questionnaires as a tool of measurement will be based on the willingness of the respondents to adhere to the instructions thus in the process answer the questions in their best knowledge.

Data Collection methods

“Since a sample of the population will be identified the researcher will utilize both open and closed questionnaires to collect the required information from the respondents who will be selected from the sample identified” (Yin 112). This method is considered and found to be effective and efficient to the researcher since he will only drop the questionnaires to the respondents and collect them at a later date. The reason for choosing both open and closed questionnaires to be administered is that it will give the respondents an opportunity to answer freely to the set of questionnaires that will be administered to them during the study.

Method used

The methodology used in this report is the combined method with interview questioners, thus, it could be stated that in a way, it would be a mixed method. This method tries to analyze the given data which is generally word, pictures or objects in order to gain a through understanding of certain behaviour and the different reasons that causes such behaviours. The main objective of this method is the development of a particular hypothesis or theory concerning the natural phenomenon. (Creswell 59)

Method for the Study: Combined Method

There exists extensive debate regarding the validity and supremacy of one of the research methods but it has again been criticised by scholars who believe that the two methodologies are compatible. So these group of scholars believe that even though the two paradigms are different, there lies certain elements of similarities which can provide fruitful research: “The goal of mixed methods research is not to replace either of these approaches but rather to draw from the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of both in single research studies and across studies” (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie 15).

Thus, it can be stated that “This methodology is identified through the use of both the qualitative and quantitative methodologies” (Yin 125). This method identifies the similarities in the traditional methodologies which have been used. According to Casebeer & Verhoef, “Careful review of the … experimental situations” (Casebeer & Verhoef 76).

This method has gained acceptance in various research fields. Sociologists and nursing researches widely use this methodology. As has been suggested by Corner, “the use of different research methods within a single study can provide a richer and deeper understanding of the area under investigation than would otherwise be possible” (cited in Casebeer & Verhoef 79). Recently medical research has also started using both the traditional methods together (Casebeer & Verhoef 78).

Advantages and Disadvantages

As the mixed research model is evolved through the disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative research method, it is important to understand the various areas where in the method can be applied. Further it is important to understand the areas wherein the two traditional methods will be applied to reap full benefit of their combinations. A mixed research method comprises of the following steps: “(1) determine the research question; (2) determine whether a mixed design is appropriate; (3) select the mixed method or mixed-model research design; (4) collect the data; (5) analyze the data; (6) interpret the data; (7) legitimate the data; and (8) draw conclusions (if warranted) and write the final report.” (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie 21)

Methodology

Given the extensive discussion on the three different kinds of methods of conducting research, it is important to understand which method will be useful for the proposed research. The research methodology that the research proposes to use is a mixed research methodology. In the following section, the research will enumerate the reasons behind my choice of methodology wherein the research will use a case study approach to study approach to determine the problem.

Information system research methodology has been dominated by mixed strategy wherein case study approach has been extensively used (Koltsova 56). Qualitative research methods have been used extensively used in studying the study of adoption of media influence where mostly the scholars have provided their analysis of the situation as they have seen through their experience or through interviews or secondary research. Very little research has been done on the area of internet adoption in marketing in Recruitment policies which will help in analyzing the situation objectively (Mason 221).

A mix of qualitative and quantitative research is proposed. In the qualitative research section, the research will follow the historic data of the media influence and try to determine the areas where the internet has been adopted and the existing Impact of media on Recruitment policies market system. In this part, the research will do an extensive secondary research on the Recruitment policies market system, try to ascertain the benefits that banking has achieved through internet and then do constructive interviews to ascertain the complete picture.

From the qualitative research, the research will gain adequate information regarding the organization’s present adoption status of internet and the barriers to it. The quantitative research section will follow a questionnaire survey in the designated organization or sector which was done with the help of the website ‘Survey Monkey’. The survey was directed to understand the profile of the respondents, the effectiveness of recruitment policies which they are presently using. The next section of the questionnaire will discuss the benefits that the sector has gained from the recruitment policies. The perceived benefits of recruitment policies have to be captured through the questionnaire. Then the questionnaire will discuss the barriers which the sector faced in adopting the recruitment policies for its business and clinical purposes.

The survey result will be evaluated through factor analysis of the data collected. Here it must be kept in mind that barriers or usage of recruitment policies may be enhanced not only due to organizational factors but also due to individual factors. This has to be kept in mind while working on the questionnaire. The questionnaire will also evaluate the adopter’s decision and the criteria for choosing recruitment policies as an innovation. The business and clinical benefits that the recruitment policies can provide to the sectors will be asked in the questionnaire (Mason 76).

Further in order to determine the performance growth with the use and adoption of recruitment policies has to be correlated to the degree of usage of recruitment policies to the operational, financial, and performance success of the sector. This can be done through the data on recruitment policies usage and the perceived level of adoption to the financial performance over the years of adoption, number of patients treated, cost aspects, etc. can be correlated which will provide the level of acceptance of the recruitment policies and the success of using it. This can be validated through the study of the perceived benefits of the recruitment policies of the respondents with that of the financial and operational data. This process is important to be done in order to understand the Impact of recruitment policies and find out the role of recruitment policies in the Global Market.

Conclusion

Why both the qualitative and quantitative research methods are proposed to be used in the research process? The reason is due to the use of qualitative tool in the information system research in the literature is rich and has been validated as one of the most accepted tool (Koltsova 56). Further, quantitative research is a well accepted methodology for measuring the benefits and barriers of recruitment policies adoption. This is so because it provides the objectivity and positivism that the research method presents. The combination of the two methodologies will be used to identify the factors which are the benefits, barriers, and usage of recruitment policies and quantitative method will validate the factors that we draw from the qualitative research.

Presentation of Findings

The introduction and literature review sections focus on the various recruitment and selection practices that are currently adopted by the different IT organizations across the globe. However, the primary focus of this paper is on the use of the traditional as well as emerging recruitment, selection and retention practices prevalent in the UK IT industry. Presently, a lot of importance is being given to the concept of talent management and the methods employed to attract and retain talented resources. The present findings provide valuable information on the current and emerging people resource practices of the IT companies in UK.

These findings have been based on a survey conducted through the website Survey Monkey on the traditional recruitment and selection practices as well as the talent management methods.

This survey has been conducted in the year 2010. The survey has been carried out in the form of a questionnaire sent to the HR professionals of about 100 companies of UK. The responses received from the organizations in the form of the filled-in questionnaires form the basis of these findings.

The findings relate to the following aspects of the human resource strategies of the UK companies.

Adoption of recruitment and selection strategies

The findings suggest that approximately 60% of the organizations have adopted a formal recruitment and selection strategy. This trend has been recorded more in the case of larger organizations.

Table 1: Organizations adopting formal resource strategies as per size (%)

Number of employees Percentage
250 or less 49
251 -500 51
501-1000 58
1001-5000 59
5001-10,000 65
10,001 or more 75

Objectives of human resource practices

Adoption of formal recruitment, selection and retention practices are dependent on organizational objectives. The findings reveal the main organizational objectives for undertaking various human resource practices.

Table 2: Main organizational objectives of resource activities:

Objectives Percentage

Attracting and recruiting suitable candidates to the organization 82
Enabling the organizations achieve strategic objectives 60
Addressing the future skill requirements of the organization 48
Supporting changes in the organizational structure or business environment 30
Addressing the problem of talent crunch 25
Reducing recruitment costs 21
Supporting succession planning 20
Supporting the human resource planning 8

Recruitment difficulties faced by the organizations

A considerable number of companies are finding recruitment a pretty challenging task. Various reasons have been attributed by the organizations for the emergence of recruitment difficulties. The following data lists the factors cited by the organizations as reasons for recruitment difficulties.

Reasons Percentage

Lack of specialized skills 75
Higher pay expectations 50
Insufficient experience 40
No applicants 22
Organization image/job profile 20
Lack of interpersonal skills 20
Area preferences 10

Common recruitment practices adopted by the UK IT industry for attracting suitable candidates

As far as attracting suitable candidates are concerned, approximately 88% of the organizations prefer to have an internal recruitment policy. However, external channels are also extensively used by the organizations. Traditional recruitment processes co-exist with new recruitment methods to attract talented resources.

Table 3: Methods frequently used to attract candidates:

Methods used Percentage

Recruitment agencies 82
Corporate websites 79
Employee referral scheme 78
Local newspaper advertisements 60
Special industrial journals/trade press 58
Encouraging speculative applications 64
Campus recruitments 70
Advertisements in national newspapers 30

Selection methods:

The next important step after recruitment is selection. The following data gives us an idea regarding the extent to which organizations use the selection methods and the methods predominantly used.

Table 4: Methods employed to select candidates (%):

Selection methods Percentage

Structured interviews (panel) 55
Interviews based on CV/application form content 80
Competency-based interviews 65
Structured interviews (one-to-one) 40
Tests for specific skills 55
General ability tests 65
Telephonic interview 60
Personality/aptitude questionnaires 36
Assessment centres 34
Online tests 10

The rise in the use of e-recruitment

The process of recruiting online has spiralled in the last few years with more and more organizations using corporate websites and encouraging online application. The following findings reveal the common forms of e-recruitment that are being employed by the UK IT organizations for the last few years.

Table 5: Common recruitment practices employed by the organizations (%):

E-recruitment practices Percentage

Email applications 89
Online application 80
Job vacancies advertised on corporate website 78
Background information placed on corporate website 70
Commercial job boards 25
Online testing 20
Self-selection questionnaires offered on corporate websites 10

The following data also reveals the reasons for the rapid development and incorporation of e-recruitment practices within the organizations.

Table 6: Business objectives for rapid development of e-recruitment practices (%):

Business objectives Percentage

Reducing recruitment costs 78
Greater exposure to talent pool 65
Making the recruitment process faster 50
Providing the candidates with greater flexibility and ease 40
Strengthening the employer brand 26
Dealing with a larger number of applicants 22
Supporting the organization’s resource strategy 25
Bringing about consistency in the organizational process and improving the efficiency of applications 18

Workforce diversity in organizations

The fundamental idea of talent management being maximum utilization of the potential talent available, diversification of human workforce forms an important aspect of the talent management process. The following findings reveal how successful implementation of workforce diversity programs can bring about organizational success.

An important aspect of creating a diverse workforce is adopting an equal opportunities policy. As per the data available, almost all organizations possess an equal opportunities policy.

Different organizations adopt different strategies to develop equal opportunities/diverse workforce issues. The following table enlists some of the commonly used methods

Table 7: Methods adopted to facilitate equal opportunities/workforce diversity (%):

Methods adopted Percentage

Monitoring recruitment and/or staffing data to collect information on ethnic origin, gender, age, diversity etc. 55
Providing adequate training to the interviewers to understand the concept of diversity and the impact of stereotyping on organizations 54
Adopting policies that encompass certain issues that are beyond the legislative policies on sex, gender, disability, religion etc 45
Advertising job vacancies in different recruitment sources to gain wider exposure to the under-represented groups 40
Using specific images/words in the job advertisements to appeal to a wider pool of talent 33
Checking that the tests conducted are valid, reliable and culture-free and tested on diverse cultural groups 35
Providing recruitment documents in other formats 8
Setting recruitment targets to correct a workforce balance 10

Workforce diversity basically refers to the inclusion of highly skilled individuals irrespective of any difference. An important distinction that still persists is age discrimination. The following data gives an insight into the initiatives taken by the organizations to retain older employees.

Table 8: Initiatives taken to retain older workers (%): Initiatives Percentage

Removing the mandatory retirement age 72
Providing flexible working hours 85
Provision for career leave 50
Provision for unpaid leave 45
Flexible pensions 77
Recognition given to employees through length-of-service benefits 50
Providing career advice 35
Redesigning training and development to facilitate the involvement of senior employees 70

Employee retention practices

The importance of effective employee retention practices have become more pronounced in the light of the impact of high labour turnover on organizational performance.

The findings reveal the steps usually taken by the organization to enhance employee retention.

Table 9: Steps taken to address the issue of employee retention (%): Employee retention practices Percentage

Improved induction process 55
Enhanced learning and development opportunities 50
Improved selection techniques 50
Increased pay 60
Development of line management HR skills 50
Expansion of employee involvement 38
Improved benefits 32
Changes made to improve work-life balance 30
Offering coaching/mentoring/buddy systems 20
Revision of the staff rewards system 35
Improved physical working conditions 20
Redesigning jobs to make them more attractive 18
Removal of age-related policies and practices 18
Incorporating changes in the approach of the organization towards career management 15
Using recruitment/ induction bonuses 8
Increasing staff diversity 15

Discussion Based on the Above Findings

The findings presented in the previous section relate to the different aspects of the recruitment, selection and retention practices that are prevalent in the UK IT industry. These findings reveal the approach of the organizations towards the adoption of effective strategies to meet the organizational goals. The data is helpful in understanding the progress the UK IT industry has made in certain aspects and the key challenges that need to be addressed. This section has been divided into different sub-sections which will discuss the different aspects of the findings in detail.

Adoption of recruitment and selection strategies

According to the data available, a majority of the IT companies (approximately 60%) believe in adopting a formal recruitment and selection strategy. However, the findings also reveal a disturbing trend with almost 40% considering the alignment of recruitment strategies with organizational goals to be of less importance. This is more so in the case of smaller organizations. Larger organizations are more likely to adopt formal recruitment and selection strategies.

Organizational objectives behind the adoption of recruitment and selection strategies

The findings reveal the main organizational objectives for undertaking the various human resource activities. As per the available data, more than three-fourth of the organizations believe that the main purpose of adopting a recruitment strategy is to attract and recruit suitable persons for fulfilling immediate organizational needs. Enabling the organizations achieve strategic goals is considered the next important objective by almost 60% of the organizations. Another objective considered important by 47% of the organizations is meeting the future skill requirements of the organization.

The above data implies that organizations gradually are attaching a lot of importance to workforce development. The emergence of the concept of talent management has brought about a transformation in the outlook of the organizations towards human resources. People are no longer considered as additional costs but as assets that have a value.

This aspect is also manifested in the findings where a large number of organizations consider recruitment and selection of suitable and potential talent as the main reason for their adoption of the recruitment strategies. Creation and development of efficient workforce will thereby enable the organizations achieve their strategic objectives (Kesler 26-37).

Recruitment difficulties faced by the organizations

Difficulties in recruiting suitable candidates have emerged as an area of major concern for all the industrial sectors, especially the UK IT industry with 81% of the respondents admitting to finding recruitment a challenging task. The larger organizations are more likely to face recruitment challenges.

The findings reveal the possible reasons for organizations facing recruitment challenges. According to the data available, most of the organizations (75%) consider lack of specialist skills as the primary reason for recruitment difficulties. Many organizations (50%) consider higher pay expectations to be another important factor giving rise to recruitment difficulties. Lack of sufficient experience is cited the third important factor contributing to recruitment challenges.

Based on the above findings, it may be inferred that with more and more organizations preferring individuals with the desired talent, it has given rise to an acute shortage of people with specialized skills. Thus, the process of sourcing, attracting, recruiting and selecting qualified candidates with the necessary skills has indirectly given rise to the problem of talent crunch.

Thus, steps need to be taken to overcome recruitment difficulties. The best practice considered by most of the organizations in reducing recruitment problems is absorbing people who may not possess the desired skills but possess the capacity to grow with the organization. The basic assumption here is that persons with the potential to grow would be able to develop the necessary skills with the help of proper training. Taking into account a wider range of qualities when selecting a candidate can be another effective way of addressing the problem of recruitment difficulties.

This has given rise to the recent trend that is gradually gaining momentum in almost all the industrial sectors, specially the IT sector- seeking persons from abroad. Many believe that this step creates a positive impact on the organization (Lawler 15-31).

Common recruitment practices adopted to attract suitable candidates

As per the available data, a majority of the organizations prefer advertising the jobs internally to attract potential candidates. However, among the external recruitment methods presently used by the organizations, recruitment agencies continue to be the preferred source for many.

The findings suggest some interesting trends. One of these is the increased use of corporate websites. This is due to the rapid development of the talent management system. Development of web-based technologies has given the talent management system a new impetus. Corporate websites is one of the many ways organizations have implemented web-based technologies in the recruitment processes.

Another interesting aspect that is revealed through these findings is the use of the employee referral scheme. This is one of the internal methods extensively used by the organizations presently (78%). The growing popularity of the employee referral scheme may be attributed to the fact that it increases employee engagement in the decisions regarding organizational growth.

However, there has been a major decline in the use of traditional recruitment methods like national newspaper advertisements, TV and radio advertisements, job centres etc. Use of special industrial journals, on the other hand, has been on a rise.

Selection methods

Data regarding the selection methods presently used by various organizations also reveal some interesting trends. “Interviews based on the content of CV/application form is the selection method preferred by a majority of the organizations although structured interviews (panel) is still prevalent” (Porter 76).

However, the findings reveal that a large number of organizations are opting for competency-based interview. This is mostly used by large organizations for graduate level recruitment. Competency-based interviews also help in reducing recruitment difficulties as these focus on the situational and behavioural competencies of the individuals rather than on their work experience.

Individuals with such competencies are considered to possess the capacity to grow with the organization. Thus, it also helps in addressing the problem of talent crunch. Moreover, employing persons having the necessary talent to grow and develop with the organization makes a lot of difference to organizational performance (Porter 77).

The rise in the use of e-recruitment

As has been already mentioned, e-recruitment practices form an indispensable part of the talent management system. Gradually, organizations have felt the need to reach out to a larger section of the human workforce to attract the necessary talent. Traditional methods of recruitment like advertisements have proved ineffective in exposing the organizations to a wider talent pool. In this context, the e-recruitment practices have proved to be highly beneficial.

There are various ways in which organizations use web-based technologies to enhance their recruitment and selection processes. The above findings enlist the various types of e-recruitment practices.

As per the data available in this context, inviting applications via e-mail is the most popular e-recruitment practice employed by most of the organizations (89%). This is followed by the use of online applications and job vacancies advertised on corporate websites.

However, there is an interesting aspect of the use of web-based technologies that is evident from the findings. Although the majority of organizations prefer web-based technologies to assist them in their recruitment processes, they have inhibitions regarding the use of these technologies in the selection processes. This is probably the reason why most of the organizations prefer not to offer self-selection questionnaires via their websites. Online testing is also not favoured by most of the organizations.

The survey has also endeavoured to identify the reasons for the extensive use of e-recruitment practices by the organizations. Although these have developed into effective talent management tools, there are specific organizational objectives that are satisfied through the use of these methods.

More than 77% of the organizations consider reduction in the recruitment costs as the primary objective for developing e-recruitment practices. Exposure to a wider talent pool and reduction in the time required in the entire recruitment process are the other important objectives (Ramlall 51-64).

In an endeavour to assess the attitude towards the use of e-recruitment practices, the survey came up with an interesting finding. In spite of the fact that a majority of the organizations appreciate the benefits of e-recruitment and predict the gradual replacement of paper based recruitment by e-recruitment practices, many are also of the opinion that e-recruitment also increases the number of unsuitable candidates. This and many more findings imply that organizations need to further develop the e-recruitment practices in order to address the possible loopholes.

Diversity in workforce

The effectiveness of creating a diverse workforce has already been discussed. With more emphasis on creating diverse workforce in order to meet the talent needs of the organization, efforts are on to incorporate those groups that have remained unrepresented for a long time.

The issue of workforce diversity is addressed by the adoption of equal opportunities policy. As is already mentioned, almost all the organizations (98%) have adopted equal opportunities policy.

The above findings reveal the various methods used by the organizations to encourage workforce diversity. Based on the findings, it may be inferred that the steps taken by the organizations to address the issues of equal opportunities/ diversity in workforce are appreciable.

The method that is preferred by most of the organizations is constant monitoring of recruitment and/or staffing information to obtain data on gender, disability, age, ethnic origin etc. The next method that is mostly used by the organizations is imparting training to the interviewers to make them understand the concept of diversity and the impact of stereotyping on organizations. Another initiative considered effective by many organizations is formulating policies which go beyond the scope of legislative regulations in order to address the issues of gender, caste, religion etc.

The concerted efforts made by the organizations to accommodate diverse workforce implies a significant development in the organizational attitude towards human resource management. Valuing human skills and competencies more than the physical characteristics is what most of the IT companies in UK aim at.

This is inextricably linked with the one of the primary objectives of the organizations to create an effective work atmosphere that would facilitate employee growth and development. In other words, it also implies creating a work environment where all people are treated equally and with respect. Human efficiency should be the primary concern, not human ‘differences’ (Summers 14-19).

There are obvious benefits of developing a diverse workforce. Firstly, it reduces wastage of individual potential by excluding competent persons solely on the basis of certain demographic characteristics. Secondly, it helps in creating a positive organizational image which can be an important recruitment strategy to attract competent individuals. Thirdly, this is one of the ways of facilitating employee development. Not only that, it also helps in ensuring employee satisfaction which is one of the primary factors for employee retention.

This survey has focused on one of the important discriminations that have prevailed in the organizations for longer time- discrimination on the basis of age. The recent age discrimination legislation has forced the organizations to review their recruitment and selection practices so as to retain older employees. Although many organizations have implemented effective strategies to bring about diversity in the workforce on the basis of age, there is more to be done in this respect.

Almost half of the organizations have made necessary changes to their recruitment policies so as to employ individuals irrespective of age. The best part of the findings is that the smaller organizations are as forthcoming as the larger ones. The motivation for retaining senior employees arises from the fact that in this labour-tight economy, organizations can benefit a lot from an experienced workforce.

Data regarding the age-groups organizations prefer to employ suggest that approximately 78% of the organizations prefer younger employees in the age-group of 16-25 years and about 72% of the organizations prefer older employees. Thus, it is evident that organizations have made significant improvements in this context.

The above findings in this context refer to the initiatives taken by the organizations to retain older employees. As per the data available, a majority of the organizations (85%) consider providing flexible working hours as the most effective measure to retain senior employees. The next initiative favoured by most of the organizations is incorporating a flexible pension scheme. Removing the mandatory retirement age is considered the next important initiative by most of the organizations.

Providing flexible working hours has proved effective in retaining not only the older employees but also in increasing the number of women employees in the IT sector. Women representation in the IT sector in UK is another area of serious contention. Till a few years back, women representation in this sector was very limited. Flexible working hours usually mean reduced working hours. Part-time jobs, remote working and distance working are the areas that require less working hours. This is beneficial both for the senior employees and for the working mothers.

However, there is one major obstacle to flexible working hours. These kinds of jobs usually don’t lead to promotions. Part-time and distance working, thus prove effective in attracting and retaining certain types of employees but cannot be looked upon as alternative career paths, especially for the new entrants.

High labour turnover and employee retention practices

High labour turnover is a matter of serious concern for the IT companies in UK which have recorded a gradual increase in the labour turnover rate. The primary reasons for high labour turnover are redundancies, termination of employment, voluntary exit, retirement, long-term and short- term contracts etc.

The organizations have recorded higher rate of redundancies and recruitment freezes in the last couple of years. In this context, it has become essential to address the problem of high labour turnover as it has a significant impact on organizational performance.

Most of the organizations believe that a high labour turnover has a negative impact on the organization. Organizations recording a high labour turnover have to recruit, select and induce employees on a regular basis that leads to constant depletion of precious human resources. This directly affects the performance of the organization and creates an obstacle for the organizations in realizing strategic goals.

Employee retention has therefore, assumed greater significance in the present scenario. The best way to develop employee retention practices is by investigating the reasons for employees, especially those in the hard-to-recruit group, leaving their jobs. Secondly, the organization needs to find out the kind of employee turnover that is proving to be expensive to the organizations.

Exit interviews of the employees conducted by external agents would prove effective in gathering more accurate information. This information would be of much help in devising strategic employee retention practices.

The survey findings reveal the initiatives taken by the organizations towards staff retention. As per the data available, increased pay is considered the initiative taken by most of the organizations (60%) to retain staff. Improved induction process is the next initiative favoured by most of the organizations. This is followed by other initiatives considered important by 50% of the organizations- enhanced learning and development opportunities, improved selection techniques and development of line manager HR skills.

The above findings also give us an insight into the aspects that motivate the employees to work with the organization and bring about organizational success. Competitive pay packages are a source of immense motivation as employees consider it as one of the ways organizations recognize their contribution to overall organizational performance and growth.

Well-sketched induction training program ensures that new hires are retained as well as adapted to the organizations easily and comfortably. Professionally organized and implemented induction process helps the new employees gain a better idea of the organizational goals, values and philosophy as well gives an impressive idea about the organization.

Employees would prefer organizations which could offer a work environment congenial to learning and development. This gives them an opportunity to grow with the organization. Implementing effective selection techniques is also essential. Behavioural assessments and structured behavioural interviewing techniques must be included to ensure that the candidates selected are best suited for the job. This increases the possibility of staying in the organization for a longer time.

Development of line manager HR skills is an equally important employee retention practice. Most of the human resource practices of the organizations are nowadays passed on to the line managers. These not only help in solving various workplace problems of employees speedily and effectively but also create a closer relationship between line managers and employees.

Thus, the above discussion has tried to address the different issues related to recruitment, selection and retention practices prevalent in the UK IT industry.

Conclusion and Recommendation

This paper draws our attention to both the positive trends in the recruitment, selection and retention practices prevalent in the UK IT industry as well as the key challenges threatening the industry.

The development of the talent management has enabled the organizations to attract, recruit, develop, integrate and retain skilled workers. The new talent management practices have definitely strengthened the recruitment, selection and retention practices.

Web-based technologies that shape the entire talent management system are being extensively used by the organizations for fast and effective recruitment. E-recruitment practices have come to the aid of the organizations in solving the problem of talent crunch. It has enabled the organizations to choose from a wide range of potential candidates. As has already been mentioned above, e-mail applications and advertisement of jobs on corporate websites are the most popular e-recruitment practices prevalent in the IT sector. It may well be predicted that in the near future, web-based technologies would replace other recruitment and selection methods.

Talent management process has made the organizations realize the value of human resources. Consequently, not only recruitment and selection, human resource development practices are also being integrated into the talent management practices.

Creation of workforce diversity is another significant development in the approach of the organizations towards human resource. Organizations have started realizing the fact that human skills and competencies are more valuable than mere demographic characteristics.

Another major area of concern is the increasing rate of labour turnover. In a fluid market like that of UK, voluntary quitting of jobs is higher than involuntary turnover like redundancies and dismissal.

Thus, the reasons for the increase in the number of persons quitting voluntarily needs to be investigated. A better understanding of the reasons would enable the organizations take effective steps to retain employees. Development and implementation of effective employee retention practices is the only way to deal with this challenge.

Lack of persons with specialized skills is another problem hitting IT companies around the world, especially in UK. However, a positive trend is emerging in the UK market that is- absorption of migrant workers. With the expansion of the European Union (EU) in May 2004, the number of persons migrating to UK increased considerably. These migrant workers have, to some extent, have helped to reduce the skilled job vacancies in many organizations.

Another area of concern is the recruitment difficulties faced by the IT organizations in UK. Shortage of skills has certainly emerged as the most important recruitment challenge. Interestingly, organizations have realized the importance of imparting training to individuals to meet the skill needs. However, the fact that the problem persists indicates that employers need to take strategic measures in this context before it is too late.

In this context, it may be mentioned that development and retention of older employees have helped the organization tackle the problem of talent crunch. The changing attitude of the organizations towards the employment and retention of senior employees is a positive indication of the changing work culture in UK.

On the whole, it may be concluded that the UK IT industry has certainly realized the importance of aligning the recruitment and selection processes with the organizational objectives. The talent management practices have further increased the effectiveness of recruitment, selection and retention practices in order to meet the organizational needs. Globalization has lead to the development of competitive economy. The changing times have also influenced organizational objectives. Naturally, the recruitment strategies need to be modified in order to accommodate the changing organizational goals. The current and emerging recruitment practices prevalent in the UK IT industry have, to a large extent, helped the organizations meet organizational needs.

Recommendations for organizations

Organizations need to derive an effective recruitment strategy and selection process to achieve their strategic objectives. In this paper we have seen the various strategies adopted by organizations worldwide with an emphasis on UK IT industry. In the rest of the text, we will try to propose some recommendations that organizations may use as a baseline guidance and tailor as required.

  • First and foremost, organizations need to define whether they want to grow. Proper planning is the key behind strategic growth. Analysis should be made regarding the kind of positions before thinking of a growth. As part of this analysis, organizations need to decide whether the positions are technical or managerial, how important the soft skills are for the positions, and whether there are any location constraints.
  • After this analysis is done, organizations need to decide on the broader recruitment strategy like whether the demands can be fulfilled internally or they need to access the external market.
  • In case of internal recruitment, organizations should have a proper cross training plan, so that the employees can be productive in their new role easily and comfortably. Cross training also helps in creating multi- skilled talent pool within the organization.
  • In the case of external recruitments, the media of advertising needs to be chosen judiciously. In UK, it has been seen that internet recruitment and use of recruitment agencies have given the best results in terms of accessing a wider talent pool. However depending on the organizations past statistics, it may use other advertising channels like electronic and print media.
  • In the job advertisements, organizations should project the roles properly so that these can attract the best and brightest talent. A competency based interview structure is likely to give good results in recruitment decision.
  • Along with traditional recruitment and selection practices, talent management is also equally important in today’s marketplace. For managing talent, organizations should derive good retention strategies. Competitive compensation structure is a motivation parameter for attracting good workforce.
  • Employees usually look for an overall package, not only compensation while deciding to stay in an organization. So to retain the workforce, the organization should also stress on creating other value propositions for the employees.
  • It should create a flexible work environment so that employees can have good work life balance. Moreover, steps should be taken to develop a diverse workforce. As the primary infrastructure for IT companies is internet, companies should have working from home option as well, if possible.
  • Companies should create a good knowledge base, and encourage the cross skill enablement for their employees. By this employees will get benefited in terms of enhancing their abilities. Furthermore, organizations will be benefited from a diverse, flexible pool of workforce.
  • Organizations should also create proper career path for their employees so that employees can align their growth along with company’s growth.
  • HR policies should be determined keeping traditional recruitment and selection strategies and talent management practices in mind.
  • Finally, organizations should always gather long term data and use the data to do statistical analysis of what is working well for them. They should use this analysis in formulating their recruitment and talent management strategy.

Employee selection process is very important in every organization. Selection methods that are commonly used include interviews, tests, advertisements and application forms. “Competency involves having a measurable pattern of abilities, behaviours; skills and knowledge that one needs to have in order to perform a task” (Summers 14-19). The best method an organisation can directly improve its overall performance in the first place is to employ, select and train the right people.

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