Staffing refers to the managerial function of employing and developing human resources for carrying out the various managerial and non-managerial activities in an organisation. This involves determining the manpower requirement, and the methods of recruiting, selecting, training and developing the people for various positions created in the organisation.
Staffing function is an integral part of human resource management and, in its wider sense, also includes the activities of determining the remuneration of workers, appraising their performance, and deciding on their promotion, transfers, etc.
The process of staffing starts with ascertaining the required number of various categories of employees for the organisation. This is known as manpower planning. It decides the kinds of staff and the number of staff required for the organisation. This is done through several methods like job analysis, workload analysis, etc. The next thing to be done in the staffing process is the recruitment exercise, i.e., finding out the available manpower from internal and external sources. The next step is to select the right person from the available manpower through tests and interviews and make appointments. This is followed by their placement on the jobs and necessary introduction of the work environment and the rules of compensation, promotion, transfer etc. Thus, the various steps involved in the process of staffing are as follows.
- Manpower Planning: Manpower planning refers to the process of estimating the manpower requirement of an organisation. While estimating the manpower requirement, the management generally keeps in mind the available infrastructure including the technology, production schedule, market fluctuation, demand forecasts, government’s policies and so on. It tentatively decides the kinds of staff as well as the number of staff needed for the organisation. The focus of the manpower planning is to get right number of qualified people at the right time.
- Job Analysis:. It is a pre-requisite for any recruitment exercise. The job analysis helps in determining the qualifications, skills and experience required for various categories of employees. It involves:
(i) Job Description: Identification of each job in terms of duties and responsibilities.
(ii) Job Specification: Determining the abilities and skills that are required for performing the job.
These two aspects of job analysis (job description and job specification) are useful in recruitment and selection of employees so as to find the right person for the job.
- Recruitment: The process of finding and attracting suitable applicants for employment for various activities of the organisation using the internal as well as the external sources.
- Internal Sources: In any business, existing employees expect that they will have chances of promotion and will be considered for higher positions before outsiders are considered. Managers therefore may promote and transfer some of the existing employees to fill the vacant positions. The advantage of internal recruitment is that it is easier for managers to fill vacancies as they are conversant with the abilities and skills of their subordinates and have records of their performances. Employees also feel happy as their work performance is recognised by management through promotion. However, there is one major drawback of recruitment through internal sources i.e., the organisation is deprived of the benefit of inducting fresh blood into its system.
- External Sources: All vacancies cannot be filled up from within the organisation. Existing employees may lack the required skill, initiative and qualification needed for the jobs involved. Hence managers have to recruit some persons from outside the organisation. Not only that the external recruitment provides a wide choice from among a large number of external candidates from which employees may be recruited. The workers and office employees at the lower level are often recruited from outside the organisation. The various external sources of recruitment are as follows:
(a)Media Advertisements: You must have seen advertisements in newspapers about vacancies in organisations. The advertisement contains details about the job, its nature, the qualification required to do the job, how to apply, etc.This is a very popular medium of advertising. The job advertisements are also given in magazines, specialised employment magazines like Employment News, Rozgar Samachar, etc. Now-a-days we also commonly find such advertisements in various electronic media like television and Internet. Such advertisements normally get a very good response from the prospective candidates.
(b)Employment Exchanges: In India, employment exchanges have been setup by the government for bringing together job-seekers and employers who are looking for employees. Those who are in search of employment get themselves registered with the local Employment Exchanges which keep a record of all such persons in detail who require help in finding jobs. The employer informs about the vacancies to the nearest Employment Exchange. The Employment Exchange, in turn, identifies the names of the qualified employment seekers already registered with it, and forwards them to the employer for consideration. Thus, if you are seeking a job after passing the senior secondary examination, it would be better if you get yourself registered with an Employment Exchange. It may forward your name to the prospective employers keeping in view the suitability of the job as per your qualifications.
(c)Educational Institutions: Now-a-days, companies/big organisations maintain a close liaison with the universities, vocational institutes and management institute for recruitment of their staff. As and when the need arises, the companies send one or more of their senior executives to the institutions of repute imparting such professional/technical education to students. These executives take the interview of the interested candidates and select the suitable candidates as per their requirement. This process is popularly known as campus interview and is found to be an effective source of recruitment of managers, engineers, technicians etc. for many companies on a regular basis.
(d)Unsolicited Application : Those looking for jobs often apply on their own initiative. They assume that certain vacancies are likely to arise, and apply without references to any job advertisement. Managers keep record ofsuch applications and contact the suitable candidates when they need them.
(e)Recruitment at the Factory gate : This is found mainly in case of factory workers to be recruited on daily wages. Such workers gather in the morning at the factory gate to serve as casual workers. Very often existing regular employees go on leave, and their vacancies are filled up by recruitment at the factory gate. These casual workers having served in the factory for sometime may be considered for regular employment at some stage.
(f)Referrals: Quite often the management gets references about interested workers from different sources like workers unions, previous employees, existing employees, clients of the organisation etc. These sources are important because their recommendations are made by people who are associated with the organisation and are fully conversant with its requirements. Sometimes we also receive recommendations from our friends and relatives to employ persons known to them. But one should be very much cautious while considering such recommendations.
(g)Private Employment Agencies: In urban areas, a number of private organisations have started functioning as employment agencies. These agencies register with them the names of the individuals who are seeking employment and try to arrange job interviews for such candidates. Companies often getting touch with such agencies to provide them the details of suitable candidates for various jobs.
- Selection: Selection refers to the process of choosing the most suitable person from among the list of interested candidates. It involves going through the qualification and experience of all candidates and matching them with the expectation for the job so as to decide on the most suitable ones for the job. The entire process goes through a number of steps which may be called as selection procedure. Selection Procedures stated above, the selection procedure consists of a number of steps in logical order to identify the candidates who are to be finally appointed. These steps are :
- Screening the Applications: After receiving the applications from the candidates through recruitment process, the same must be examined to decide which ones deserve to be considered and followed up. Screening is usually done by a senior officer of the company or by a screening committee. The purpose of screening is to prepare a list of eligible candidates who are to be evaluated further. Candidates not eligible are thereby excluded from further consideration
- Holding Tests: After screening the applications, eligible candidates are asked to appear for selection tests. These tests are made to discover and measure the skill and abilities of the candidates in terms of the requirements of the job. The nature of test depends upon the nature of the job involved
- Selection Interview: Interview is the most important part of the selection procedure. It serves as a means of checking the information given in the application form and making an overall assessment of the candidate’s suitability for the job.
In an interview, the candidate has a face-to-face interaction with the employer or representatives of the employer, where they try to judge the ability of the candidates. They also get an opportunity to go into the details of the candidate’s background which helps a lot in assessing the candidate’s suitability.
- Checking of References: In addition to the requisite educational qualification, skill and experience, it is expected that the candidates who are to be considered for employment must have other qualities like balanced temperament, honesty, loyalty, etc. These qualities cannot be judged on the basis of any test. Therefore, information is obtained and verified from the heads of educational institutions where the candidates have studied, or from the persons whose names are given by the candidates as referee, or from their previous employers.
- Medical Examination: Candidates finally selected for the job are asked to undergo medical examination to see whether the selected candidates are physically fit for the job. A proper medical examination ensures higher standard of health of the employees and their physical fitness which, in turn, reduces the labour turnover, absenteeism and accidents.
- Issue of Appointment Letter: Candidates finally selected are offered to join the organisation for which a formal appointment letter is issued containing the nature of job, the remuneration, pay scale, and other terms and conditions relating to employment. Usually a reasonable time is given to the candidates to join the organisation.
- Induction: Induction is the process of introducing new employees to the organisation. The new employees should know under whom and with whom he/she is to work, get acquainted and adjusted to the work environment, get a general idea about the rules and regulations, working conditions etc. Usually the immediate supervisor of the new employee introduces him to his work environment. A proper induction programme is likely to reduce his anxiety on how to cope with the work and how to become part of the organisation and helps in development of a favourable attitude towards the organisation and the job.
- Training and Development: the employees to improve their knowledge and skill so as to be able to perform their tasks more efficiently is known as training. It is an organised activity for increasing the knowledge and skills of people for a specific purpose. The term ‘development ‘refers to the process of not only building up the skill and abilities for specific purpose but also the overall competence of employees to undertake more difficult and challenging tasks. It is generally used with reference to the training of managers and executives. Training and Development Training is an act of increasing the knowledge and technical skills of an employee for doing a particular job efficiently.
Development refers to the learning opportunities designed to help employees to grow. It involves growth an individual in all areas. Development help workforce to improve technical skills, problem solving skills and decision making skills. Training is necessary for new employees as well as the existing employees for improving their performance at work. For new employees, training is necessary to help them get acquainted with the method of operation and skill requirement of the job. For existing employees, training at periodical intervals is helpful for learning better ways of doing the work, and also as and when they have to undertake new jobs. Thus, training helps employees to improve their knowledge and skill and make them perform their tasks more efficiently. It also helps them in promotion and improves their attitudes and confidence levels.
Importance of Training and Development Benefits of training for organisations:
Methods of Training There are different methods of giving training to the employees which can be divided into two broad categories.
On-the-Job methods and Off-the-Job methods.
- On-the-Job methods : In these methods, the employees learn about their jobs while doing the work duly assisted by their supervisors or seniors. These methods encourage self-learning through practice. Job instruction or coaching, and job rotation, learning while working as an assistant to a senior, understudy positions, temporary promotions are some of the common methods of on-the-job training.
- Off-the-Job methods: These methods involve training employees away from the work place so that experts may conduct the training and employees are free from immediate pressure of completing the jobs at hand. Lectures with demonstration, conferences, case discussions, video shows and films are some of the common methods used as off-the-job training methods. Then, there is another off the job method of training called vestibule training. The vestibule training refers to the training in specially designed workshops in which an attempt is made to duplicate as closely as possible the actual conditions of the work place. In such workshops a large number of employees can be trained in a relatively short period of time.
- Performance Appraisal: Performance appraisal means judging the performance of employees. Specifically, it means judging the relative abilities of employees at work in a systematic manner. This enables managers to identify employees who are performing the assigned work satisfactorily, and those who are not able to do so, and why. To be fair, performance appraisal needs to be carried out using the same methods and keeping in view uniform standards of work. Generally it is the responsibility of supervisors to carry outperformance appraisal of their subordinates, and report it to their own superiors.
The standard of performance or the expected level of performance of an employee on a job forms the basis of judging how well the employee has performed, and whether one employee is more efficient than the other in doing a similar job. The yardstick placed may be the desired quantity of output, the quality of work done, minimisation of wastage of materials caused in the process of work etc. The choice depends upon the type of job involved. However, where quantity or number of units produced or wastage of materials form the basis of appraisal, it is likely to be more accurate. On the other hand, quality of work done may be difficult to measure and hence performance appraisal may not be very accurate.
Some Important things in staffing
What is Probation Period?
In most of the organisations the candidates are not initially appointed on permanent basis because it is considered better to try them for a few months on the job itself. This period of service is known as the period of probation. It is necessary because no procedure of selection can fully establish the qualities of a selected candidate. It is only by observing a person at work that one can find out how he performs and also how he behaves with his superior and fellow employees. If during the probation period, his performances not found satisfactory, his period of probation may be extended. The management may also transfer him to some other job at which he may be expected to do better.
What is Difference between recruitment and selection:-
Recruitment and selection are the two essential components of the staffing process. While the recruitment helps in attracting suitable candidates, selection helps in finding out the candidates who meet the requirements of the job. These are closely inter-connected activities. However, recruitment and selection differ in certain respects. While the recruitment refers to the process of attracting good applicants for jobs, selection identifies the most suitable amongst the applicants. In the recruitment process, the effort is to attract the candidates as many as possible and it is regarded as a positive process. But, selection is a negative process as it involves rejection of many candidates. Recruitment involves decisions as regard to the sources of potential candidates. Selection is made through different steps in the procedure adopted. Recruitment helps the manager to attract good candidates