Excellent Recruitment, Selection, and Hiring Excellent Recruitment, Selection, and Hiring Practices...

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    C H A P T E R

    11

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    The Importance of Sound Recruitment Practices

    Basic Recruitment Concepts and Issues

    The Preplanning, Recruitment, Selection, and Hiring Processes

    Recruitment

    Employee Selection

    Hiring

    Upon completion of this chapter, the reader will be able to:

    Prepare a plan for recruitment, selection, and hiring for a designated position within a human service organization.

    Write a job announcement that is based on the job analysis and complies with human resources law.

    Design instruments for preliminary and secondary screening.

    Plan a structured interview that complies with human resources law.

    Assumptions

    That job openings represent important opportunities to improve the organization that should not be wasted by failure to follow sound recruiting practices.

    That preliminary and secondary screenings are crucial to the selection process and require carefully crafted instruments and procedures to increase the likelihood of making the best selection.

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    Achieving Excellence in the Management of Human Services Organizations, by Peter M. Kettner.Copyright © 2002 by Allyn and Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc.

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    Bringing together the right mix of personalities and talents is vitally important to maxi- mizing organizational effectiveness, and the opportunities to change the makeup of per- sonnel are few and limited. That is why it is so important to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, and one that occurs fairly regularly in most human service agencies is the filling of a vacancy. Agencies that have planned ahead will be prepared to make the most of this opportunity and will generate a large and diverse pool of applicants from which to choose. Other agencies will take actions only as they are absolutely neces- sary and will often find that they are not able to improve the organization by bringing on a highly talented and enthusiastic new employee, as they hoped they would. The Lakeside Mental Health Clinic was such an agency.

    Lakeside provides services to individuals and families in need of help with drug, alcohol, and mental health problems. They employ fifteen clinical staff and attempt to promote teamwork among the three programs because it often happens that clients who come for services could logically be served by more than one program. Although most of the staff were committed to collabora- tion and teamwork, a small group, led by Frieda S., was very possessive about what the unit saw as its “turf” and attempted in every way to maintain exclu- sive control of the treatment plans for clients served by this unit. Frieda was a recovering alcoholic. She was able to persuade several of the staff in the alcohol program that clinical staff in the drug and mental health programs did not really understand alcohol addiction and would not be able to provide effective treatment to clients suffering from alcohol addiction. As a result, many clients with multiple problems were treated only for their alcoholism and frequently suffered relapses. Efforts by administrators to get Frieda to work more collaboratively resulted in lip service to the team concept, but behavior did not change.

    Frieda was a longtime employee and showed no signs of interest in changing jobs, so it was with a good deal of surprise that program managers, agency administrators, and clinical staff learned of her plans to move back to a small town to be closer to her family. Although outwardly expressing their appreciation for her many years of service, agency staff members were secretly celebrating and looking forward to getting a new person into the position. There was such a strong sense that a new hire would be an improve- ment that little effort was put into the recruitment process.

    Two days before Frieda left the agency her position was advertised in the local paper. Because of the heavy demand for services, the position had to be filled promptly. Instead of a rush of applicants there was merely a trickle. By the closing date four applications had been received. Two applicants did not qualify for the position. Follow-up telephone calls revealed that one of the two qualified applicants had accepted another job, leaving only one qualified applicant. When the interview process was completed, the interview team and

    CC HH AA PP TT EE RR 11 11 Recruitment, Selection, and Hiring Practices 227777

    Achieving Excellence in the Management of Human Services Organizations, by Peter M. Kettner.Copyright © 2002 by Allyn and Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc.

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  • staff members in general were less than impressed but felt that at least the new employee would pick up the mounting caseload responsibilities left behind by Frieda and could probably do an adequate job, which she did. In a short time, however, the new employee made it clear that she preferred to work alone and was not really interested in collaboration and teamwork.

    This is the type of missed opportunity that happens all the time in social service agen- cies. In the more forward-looking agency, where there is excitement about the mission and function of the agency, and where administrators and managers are looking for every opportunity to move a bit closer to excellence, there tends also to be a recognition that a vacancy is a very precious opportunity to make a positive change. In this type of agency, way before the first hint that an employee is about to leave the agency, much of the machin- ery is already in place to support active recruitment and conduct a thorough search.

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    Recruitment of staff has only one clear and singular purpose: to generate a maximum num- ber of highly qualified and diverse applicants. A large pool, although more work for those who must process the applications, is a compliment to the agency, a reflection of the attrac- tiveness of the position, and an affirmation of the quality of the recruitment process.

    As established in Chapter 10, recruitment is rooted in equal employment opportunity/ affirmative action law, in human resources planning, and in the job analysis. Figure 11.1 depicts this relationship.

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    Policies establish guidelines within which organizations function and serve as the refer- ence documents for agency operations in each area of responsibility. An organization can save itself time and trouble by thinking through important issues before there is pressure to fill a vacancy. Employment policies ensure that decisions made during a recruitment and selection process will not be unique to the situation but rather will follow established pro-

    227788 PP AA RR TT II VV Managing Human Resources

    Recruitment

    Job Analysis

    Profile of Staff Needs

    Human Resources Law

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    Recruitment Planning Based on Job Analysis, Profile of Staff Needs, and Human Resources Law

    Achieving Excellence in the Management of Human Services Organizations, by Peter M. Kettner.Copyright © 2002 by Allyn and Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc.

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  • cedures using approved criteria. Jensen (1981) proposes eight sections that should be included in employment policies:

    1. Statement of nondiscrimination. A statement that applicants will be considered regardless of sex, race, age, religion, veteran status or disability.

    2. Hiring authority. Who will have the final authority to make an offer of employment? This often depends on the size of the organization. It may remain at the top or may be delegated.

    3. Starting salary approval. This authority to set starting salaries also may remain at the top or be delegated. Supervisors sometimes recommend, while top management retains final approval.

    4. Promotion from within. Policies should make clear the rights of employees to apply for open positions. Some organizations agree to consider internal candidates before the posi- tion is opened to outside applicants.

    5. Hiring of friends and relatives. Guidelines should be established so that it is clear that friends and relatives do not get positions simply because of their relationships.

    6. Use of reference checks. The point in the process when references are to be consulted should be established in policy so that it does not vary from one candidate to another or one search to another. Also the format—written or telephone.

    7. Use of tests. What tests, if any, will be used? When will they be administered? How will they be scored? How will the scores be used? Answers to these questions will help keep testing practices within the law.

    8. Recruitment sources used. Use of a range of recruitment sources and strategies can help to insure a diverse pool of applicants. (pp. 20–23)

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    Recruitment, selection, and hiring are parts of a process that begins, hopefully, with a very large pool and ends with a single, final candidate. The status of the pool of potentially inter- ested people c