MGT 4481 Chapter 1-2 Discussion Questions

Many years ago I applied for a job I learned about by word of mouth. I was instructed to contact the supervisor of the position I was seeking in order to set up an interview. I interviewed with the supervisor, and met the qualifications he had for the job, and he told me he would contact me at a future date to formally offer the job.

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After a few weeks, I had heard nothing. I contacted the supervisor who conducted the interview, only to find out another applicant had been hired by the supervisor’s boss. It was apparent the business I applied to did not have a formal process of hiring employees because the supervisor had no idea the manager was doing a search of his own.

The organization could have benefited from the sort of flowchart in Figure 1-1 by allowing the HR Dept. to screen all potential applicants, then presenting them to either the supervisor or the direct manager for a further interview. Following a process like the one presented in Figure 1-1 would have potentially solved the problem of two different supervisors interviewing candidates without knowing what the other was doing.

2. Assume that your organization wants to pursue a staffing strategy of acquiring the best talent possible. Give an example of how the firm’s ability to provide only average pay can affect the success of this staffing strategy.

An organization seeking the best talent available will have to figure out a way to properly compensate their workers, but this is not always an option due to differing business climates. Firms wanting to recruit the best talent must be able to provide competitive wages and/or performance pay to avoid losing the employee to another job offer.

When the labor market is competitive, firms may find they will have to increase wages just to draw in applicants. If the firm is operating on a tight budget, it may not have enough money for top-level talent. If a firm can only afford to hire average talent, it may want to develop a training program which will increase the knowledge and productivity of its average workforce, turning them into top-level talent over time.

Over time, attempting to hire the best talent with average wages will certainly affect the firm by causing retention problems. Job applicants identified as top performers could also be affected by average wages. If a potential top-level employee takes an average paying job believing that over time he/she will be able to receive pay increases and those increases never come, he/she may not perform at their full potential or worse, begin to seek work elsewhere.

4. Recruiting and selection are interdependent, two-way processes in which both employers and recruits try to look appealing to the other while learning as much as the they can about their potential fit. Impression management is the process through which people and employers each try to control the impressions others form of them. How do applicants and employers try to look appealing to each other during the staffing process?

Employers seeking the best, most qualified applicants must make the organization appealing to potential job seekers. This is done through employer branding, where the employer attempts to create a favorable image about their organization. Attractive wages, benefits packages, and actual work environment are factors employers can offer to applicants to entice them to join the firm. The resume is the applicant’s main source when trying appeal to potential employers.

An accurate, honest resume will greatly impact a potential employee’s chance at landing the best job. Additionally, well-rounded applicants are appealing to potential employers, as are those who have taken the time to become informed about the company and its business objectives.

5. If your CEO asked you why she should invest more money in the  organization’s staffing system, what would you tell her?

At our company, the staffing model is quite simple, but it works. The company I currently work for likes to hire “from within”, as opposed to always looking outside of the company for potential employees. Our business is a sales and service business, and this model works for us because most, if not all, of our employees have both business and personal relationships with many of our clients/end users. Hiring from within has allowed our employees to grow within their job, acquiring basic knowledge and skills needed advance within the company.

Retention is high at our organization, and many employees have been working in their present jobs for many years. If the CEO wanted to invest more in the staffing system, I would recommend he invest in both off-site and in-house training for all employees with more regularity. Although we have knowledgeable employees, factors such as business climate and technology are constantly changing. Investing in a training program for all employees, not only new hires or those being promoted would allow employees to possibly be more productive.

Chapter 2

1. What are the three most important ethical principles that you feel organizations should adhere to in terms of their staffing philosophies? Why?

An employer should be truthful, fair, and act with integrity towards its potential and current employees. All three principles coexist together, and usually can be interchangeable. Truthfulness and honesty in hiring practices can open up the lines of communication with potential applicants, discouraging delays in hiring the best talent. If an employee or potential employee knows an employer conducts their business with integrity, that employee is more likely to follow the example set once he/she is hired.

Finally, is a potential employee feels he/she has been treated fairly during the hiring process, he/she is more likely follow that principle into the workplace. Employees who view the employer as fair will usually feel better about the work environment knowing the employer will act with fairness across the board, regardless of rank, title, or job description.

2. What is the difference between treating employees as assets and as investors? When is appropriate for an organization to treat employees as investors? When is it appropriate for an organization to treat job applicants and employees as assets?

Employers who view employees as assets generally have in mind the goal of getting the job done as cheaply as possible, much in the way a firm would seek to purchase equipment (get the best vehicle for deliveries and at the lowest price).

Employers who view employees as investors create more of a “team” atmosphere, where the employees work towards the organization’s mission/goals by investing their time and resources in exchange for pay and benefits. It is appropriate to view employees as investors when the firm’s goal is to give employees a return on their personal investment (time, resources, and energy) as a means to accomplish the firm’s business mission. It is appropriate to view employees as assets when the goal of the firm is to manage costs by seeking and acquiring applicants who will perform the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.