The Employment Office's Role in Recruitment Plans

The Employment Office can refer either to the office of the employment recruiter or the recruitment section in an organization.

HR people working with line managers need to ensure that the terms and conditions of contract are well balanced to attract new employees as well as favorable to the organization but have the ability to engage and retain employees. They need to closely work with the recruitment people.

Those responsible for recruitment need ensure they get the right people in terms of qualification, competence and skills, experience and personality.

Simply put, the recruitment must identify an employee who is the right person who can perform the job and the job is the right one for the employee. The aim is to ensure that there is little discrepancy between the job requirement and the job holder.

Recruitment plans are intended to achieve this objective without fail.

We can only understand 'the right job' in its relation to its objectives that can assist in achieving the strategic plan of the organization. The job exists for a certain defined purpose beneficial to the organization and no other.

It is because of this that organizations cannot change the basis or objective of creating the job. A job is not created just to accommodate someone who will play no specific organizational role. For example, a person employed to be a golf-playing partner.

When you make adjustment to the job requirements to fit the employee, he or she is not satisfying the reason or reasons why the job exists. If alteration is made, this does not help your organization in attaining its objectives. The two are pulling in opposite direction.

When you are forced to change the requirements and aims of the job to fit the employee, it indicates that your recruiter had failed to identify the right person during the interview.

If this happens, the recruitment was a waste of time, effort and money.

Your organization may have to spend more money in training the new employee. If he or she proves a poor learner, that is, he or she cannot effectively learn the 'nuts and bolts' of the job, you are stuck with a person who is not contributing at all to the objectives of your organization.

The employment office has failed to satisfy the organization's actual needs.

Positioning of the Employment Office

When we refer to the employment office as the recruiter, then it is either positioned in the Human Resource Department or the Administration Department or Corporate Affairs Department.

It is more logical that this important position is placed in the HR Department. In many organization, the employment office is one of the sections under the supervision of the Human Resource Manager.

Some organizations refer to this office as the 'recruitment section.' They may have a recruitment manager reporting to the HR Manager.

Line managers may carry out the function in the absence of the recruitment office or they are allowed to sit as panel members in the recruitment and selection interview.

In the public sector, employment is the responsibility of the public service commission, an independent government agency. It conducts recruitment for the entire civil service.

In a federalized system, the federal public service commission engages people for the federal public service. Individual state's service commission looks after the needs of the state's civil service.

Where there is no HR Department, an Employment Officer can Undertake the Task of Recruitment

Some organizations create sections within the HR department, managed by a Recruiting Manager, a Training Manager, a Compensation Manager, and an Industrial Relations Manager respectively. These positions may all report to the Human Resource Manager.

The Recruiting Manager ensures that recruitment exercises are carried out properly.

The Training Manager manages the competency, skill and development needs of employees and the organization.

The Compensation Manager looks into staff motivation, engagement and retention strategies.

And the Industrial Relations Manager helps in the effective management of relations between the organization and union or unions.

In the public sector, Government departments do have their own respective human resource department. They look after all other activities under the HR function other than recruitment.

Recruitment under the Office of Personnel Management
The personnel department carried out administrative tasks with not much emphasis in using strategies.

There is a movement away from personnel management to human resource management. In the United Kingdom, there is some reluctance, though.

Organizations have started to adopt strategic recruitment in finding the right candidates to fill vacant jobs. They have come to realize the crucial importance of having the people with the right talents.

Centralization or Decentralization of Recruitment

If your organization is a holding company, you may want to centralize the recruitment of senior employees and key people.

Subsidiaries may employ other employees but always subject to needs, immediate and future, and the existing policies and standards applicable to the group.

It can happen that the recruitment function is decentralized to strategic business units (SBUs). Here the human resource department provides 'internal consultancy' services to the SBUs. It must have this capability.

Outsourcing the Recruitment Function

Some organizations outsource the recruitment activities.

The Employment Office or Recruiting Section can continue to exist. When the recruitment function is outsourced, one of the main responsibilities of the employment office is to effectively manage the outsourcing contract.

It is true that in outsourcing the recruitment is carried out by professionals but these are third party professionals. They may not have the right in-depth understanding of your organization's employee needs.

The advantage is that they can exercise impartiality and can make recommendations without any emotional attachment.

However, remember that it does not mean that the recruitment agency will recommend the right candidate every time. It is essential that the employment office sees to it that the objective of the recruitment function is achieved every time and all the time.

Effectiveness of the Employment Office
The recruitment section plays a very important role in ensuring that the employee needs of the organization is satisfied.

It follows that the following must exist:

  • capability in terms of manpower, budget, systems and procedures to carry out the responsibility of looking after the staffing needs of the organization
  • competencies and skills of employees in the section (competence and professionalism)
  • understanding of every job and how the job objectives fit into the strategic plan of the organization
  • knowledge of the current know-how and skills of every employee in the organization (skills inventory) to determine the types of skills and development needs required and, thus, the need for new people with such skills
  • recruitment tools such as manuals and guidelines, and may include use of technology

The recruitment exercise is the first important step in planning for your organization's success.

Once you have recruited the right people, all other plans will or must fall into place. However, you need to remember that merely recruiting the right people for the right job may not meet the needs of organizations in the 21st century.

Ask: "How can the employment office carry out its function effectively in order to contribute to the actual needs of my organization in terms of the number and quality of employees, skills, competencies and capability that can drive productivity?"

It is only when the skills and knowledge gap between the person and the job is bridged can we say that the employment office had played its role well and had contributed positively to the future progress and development of the organization.

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