Section 1: Developing an Applicant Pool
Many hiring managers relegate the responsibility of recruiting applicants for a job opening to the HR department. However, this practice may not be in the managers’ best interest. The managers’ involvement in developing applicant pools may help ensure that the employees who will eventually work for them are qualified and talented.
This section describes the manager’s role in developing an applicant pool—namely, defining the open position and recruiting candidates.
Upon completion of this section, you will achieve the following objectives. Test questions will reflect these objectives.
- Explain how a hiring manager effectively defines the open position.
- Identify several methods for recruiting candidates.
DEFINING THE OPEN POSITION
The first step in selecting the right person for the job is to assess the needs and accurately define the position to be filled. Even if HR will recruit applicants, a manager of the department with an open position should provide a complete job description and outline clear expectations for that position. The description should identify the job duties and include a candidate profile that outlines the skills, educational background or knowledge, and core competencies required to perform those duties.
In determining the skills that are necessary for the position, the manager should consider technical skills, as well as business acumen and interpersonal, or “soft,” skills. To identify core competencies, efficient managers examine the qualities and abilities of employees who are or were particularly good at the job. This information can help determine objective standards against which the manager can later evaluate the candidates and determine who warrants an interview and ultimately whom to hire for the position.
Figure 1A illustrates an appropriate job description/candidate profile, which includes the key elements mentioned above. An inappropriate job description is often incomplete, missing one or more of the key elements. (Note: In some cases, the job description and candidate profile may be separate documents.)
The next important step is to develop recruiting strategies that will attract the best possible candidates to apply for the position in the first place. Time invested in developing a suitable and large enough candidate pool upfront may help avoid hiring the wrong candidate for an opening. Hiring the wrong person is costly in terms of time and money.
Although it may be HR’s responsibility to do the actual recruiting, managers may have a say in how they recruit candidates.
Basic methods for recruiting are shown in Figure 1B.
Many companies have been especially successful in recruiting candidates by personal networking, finding that this method saves them time and money and attracts more qualified applicants. The manager may want to consider internal candidates who are interested in a department/position transfer or job promotion because they have already proven they fit in the company culture. Also, new hires that come from employee referrals are considered the gold standard for recruiting, and several organizations offer their employees bonuses for referrals who are hired. Because they are personally invested, employees who refer new hires try to ensure that their referrals work out. However, it is not recommended to use employee referrals as the sole recruiting method. By recruiting only candidates who are referrals, a company may inadvertently engage in “indirect discrimination.”
SUMMARY – SECTION 1: DEVELOPING AN APPLICANT POOL
The following table summarizes information presented in this section on developing an applicant pool.
PROGRESS CHECK – SECTION 1:
DEVELOPING AN APPLICANT POOL
1. What aspects of a job must managers include when defining an open position?
2. Which of the following methods is considered the gold standard for recruiting new hires?
a) Print media
b) Electronic media
c) Employee referrals
d) College/University campus recruiters
PROGRESS CHECK ANSWERS – SECTION 1:
DEVELOPING AN APPLICANT POOL
The answer to each question contains reinforcement of important information and provides the number(s) of the objective(s) to which the question relates. If your answer is incorrect, you can return to the material related to that objective for further review.
1. A manager of a department with an open position should provide a complete job description and outline expectations for the position. The job description should identify job duties, then the skills, educational background or knowledge, and core competencies required to perform those duties. Sometimes managers provide a candidate profile separate from the job description. (Learning Objective 1, page 13)
2. c) Employee referrals
New hires that come from employee referrals are considered the gold standard for recruiting. (Learning Objective 2, page 16)