Determining Human Resource Needs

Staffing is an ongoing process that begins with finding the right people through proper planning, recruiting, and selecting. But staffing doesn't end once employees are hired; management must keep and nurture its people via training, appraising, compensating, and implementing employment decisions that determine such things as promotions, transfers, and layoffs.

The first step in the staffing process involves human resource planning. Human resource planning begins with a job analysis in which descriptions of all jobs (tasks) and the qualifications needed for each position are developed. A job description is a written statement of what a jobholder does, how it's done, and why it's done. It typically portrays job content, environment, and conditions of employment. The job specification states the minimum acceptable qualifications an incumbent must possess to perform a given job successfully. It identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do the job effectively.

Job analysis is then followed by a human resource inventory, which catalogs qualifications and interests. Next, a human resource forecast is developed to predict the organization's future needs for jobs and people based on its strategic plans and normal attrition. The forecast is then compared to the inventory to determine whether the organization's staffing needs will be met with existing personnel or whether managers will have to recruit new employees or terminate existing ones.

Recruiting strategies

Recruitment includes all the activities an organization may use to attract a pool of viable candidates. Effective recruiting is increasingly important today for several reasons:

  • The U.S. employment rate has generally declined each year through the 1990s. Experts refer to the current recruiting situation as one of “evaporated employee resources.”
  • Many experts believe that today's Generation X employees (those born between 1963 and 1981) are less inclined to build long‐term employment relationships than were their predecessors. Therefore, finding the right inducements for attracting, hiring, and retaining qualified personnel may be more complicated than in previous years.

Keep in mind that recruiting strategies differ among organizations. Although one may instantly think of campus recruiting as a typical recruiting activity, many organizations use internal recruiting, or promote‐from‐within policies, to fill their high‐level positions. Open positions are posted, and current employees are given preferences when these positions become available. Internal recruitment is less costly than an external search. It also generates higher employee commitment, development, and satisfaction because it offers opportunities for career advancement to employees rather than outsiders.

If internal sources do not produce an acceptable candidate, many external recruiting strategies are available, including the following:

  • Newspaper advertising
  • Employment agencies (private, public, or temporary agencies)
  • Executive recruiters (sometimes called headhunters)
  • Unions
  • Employee referrals
  • Internship programs
  • Internet employment sites

But there's more to recruiting than just attracting employees; managers need to be able to weed out the top candidates. Once a manger has a pool of applicants, the selection process can begin.