HRM strategies and recruitment theory

Recruitment is an aspect of HRM that focuses on the human capital of any business or organization through which the planning of human resource and job analysis is initiated so as to realise the employer’s requirements. The purpose of recruitment according to Macky (2008, p. 190) “is to attract people with the required knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) or competencies to apply for available positions in an organization”. Further to this Drucker (1992) cited in Macky (2008) argues that recruitment is a form of competition for talent in a labour market.

Given this perception, public sectors such as the Department of Corrections is directly impacted, therefore it is imperial for Corrections to be an active competitor in the labour market. If Corrections is actively competing for human resources, what approach and strategies are in place to realise their objectives and how are these policies and strategies executed? These and other questions are discussed and analysed in this report, thereafter recommendations are made for improvement on the recruitment process.

It must be noted that the increased competition for human resources in New Zealand requires HR strategies to be aligned to the overall business strategies of the organization. In reviewing the HRM structure and practices of Corrections, we found out that the recruitment process is critical as it is the key to attract and identify capable human resources that will advance its purposes. The challenges of the evolving phenomenon of the recruitment competition could be directly attributed to the new technology and globalisation therefore requiring HR strategies to be aligned to the overall business strategies of the organisation.

Write a report critically analysing the current HRM strategies, policies and practices of this organisation with reference to the HRM aspect you have selected. Make recommendations for improvements. 1. 0 The Department of Corrections Department of Corrections is a government department with the jurisdiction to enforce orders from the Government justice sector. The department’s main function is to hold offenders to account for their actions and provide public safety.

The activities of the said function constitutes offender management (in its 20 prisons and community based sentences), Parole administration, rehabilitation and re-integration with a focus of reducing re-offending while protecting the community from those threatening its safety. To achieve these objectives it is crucial that Corrections’ HRM sources the kind of resources and appropriate people who can make these activities happen. 2. 0 Corrections HRM strategies and recruitment theory

Human Resources strategy can be defined according to Macky (2008) as an essential aspect of business strategy that is concerned with critical choices in the way the firm organises work and manages people. Being a public sector, administration and alignment of resources is bureaucratically scrutinised so as to justify the need for personnel through gap analysis to ascertain supply and demand for employees and informs recruitment and others. This process is followed by Job analysis and person specification to inform managerial decision making.

As stated by Macky (2008) a number of organisations in New Zealand are adopting a value based orientation in terms of their human resource function. This has also been embraced by the Department of Corrections as their business strategy has an emphasis on partnership with families and communities of the offenders especially Maori since they represent the largest component of the prison population. This is clearly stated in the Department’s mission statement as reflected in the emblem below The integration of the mission statement and the organisational strategies within the Department of Corrections emblem forms the organisational culture.

The Department of corrections’ recruitment process has shifted away from recruiting applicants that have competencies that best fit a position towards those who fit and enact the values and culture of the Department of Corrections. According to Macky(2008) recruitment is a two way process in which there are employees looking for an ideal employer and at the same time employers seek an employee who will fit within the organizations values and culture as well as well as required competencies. 3. 0 Recruitment Process and Policy

The Department of Corrections’ current HRM strategy on recruitment is prescribed in its operational policies and practices that require consistent approach across the Department Services. The policy requires any vacancy within the department to be advertised widely so as to optimise and attract a range of potential, best, most competent applicants and this process is administered centrally. However according to the theory of recruitment, the purpose is to ensure that there is a pool of suitable applicants for a vacant position from which the best person can then be selected (Macky, 2008).

Corrections’ HRM written policy on recruitment is regulated and appear to comply with the legal context for recruitment in New Zealand. The policy and procedure document details the process and an obligation for HR system to observe the Human Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity, Privacy Act and Employment Relations Act. These legal requirements are part of the current HRM strategies, policies and practices that guide or drive the Corrections’ recruitment process through to the exit of any employee. 4. 0 Recruitment channels

In today’s market there is extensive use of e-recruitment which refers to reaching the job seeker using channels such as the Internet, which is faster and easily accessible. The Department of Corrections like most companies that are likely to advertise on-line usually have a website that allows potential candidates to learn about the company before deciding whether to apply for particular positions. This reduces the number of potential candidates who may apply for a post then decide that the organisation does not meet their requirements thus wasting time on both sides.

As indicated earlier, recruitment is conducted externally as well as internally through promoting and transferring the existing employees or through recommendations or referrals, by the existing employees. Where internal recruitment is considered, job openings are advertised through “job posting”. It is a strategy of publishing notices electronically or manually on the bulletin board of a company. Department of Corrections posts all the vacancies on “Corrnet” which is their internal website and is accessible by internal staff only.

The idea of posting vacancies is to inform the available jobs along with the KSAs required to all interested individuals. Through internal recruiting, job posting process is controlled. It also generates the notices to match internal candidate’s qualifications with the job specifications. Corrections jobs can also be found on the government and seek websites with detailed information to encourage potential job seekers to build an interest in joining the organisation.

However the use of agencies and consultant is minimal as the policy restricts outsourcing except on senior management and speciality vacant only. Therefore recruitment costs are reduced significantly. 5. 0 Applicant inducement and recruitment message Job description or Job Profile is clear, specific of the requirement and duties that include four parts which are Job summary, a list of functions, requirements and other information about locations, hours, travel and reporting relationships (Clark, 2008).

When there is clear message in the Job description then it is easy for a potential employee to know the expectations of the employer and what is required to excel in this job. One common statement that you find on most advertised Corrections jobs states that: “The successful applicant will be highly motivated, enthusiastic, team player, have an eye for detail, able to communicate well and committed to providing outstanding customer service etc. ” One question that comes into mind is: Why should I apply, am I going to be provided with outstanding salary as well?

This statement raises lot of ethical issues and if the potential applicant does not get incentive information, they may be discouraged to apply unless they are really desperate for a job. The two-way recruitment process should bring both sides with their needs for a win-win process. It is therefore important to offer incentives to activate desire or induce applications from best potential employees. Another barrier on the recruitment message is the requirement to provide names of referees and if the potential employee is not ready to notify the current employer, then this requirement will defeat the purpose.

It is also generic for the Department of Correction to request potential candidates to carry out a KSAs self assessment and in some of the positions, applicants are required to describe their perceived KSAs in writing. While this exhaustive application process could eliminate time wasters as it narrows on the required potential personnel, it is also possible that a large number of interested potential personnel could be demoralised with this robust process.

However those who endures the initial process have been reported as staying in the job for a long period and the department of correction statistics on long serving staff shows that 60% of the employees have been working for the department for over 15 years. Bedford (2003) suggests that the capability to create a centre of attention and retain people in organisation is a major disquiet and given the process in question, it could be cost effective for Corrections to maintain their KSAs requirements on the initial recruitment.