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Recruitment & Selection Process Case Study


The importance and purpose of recruitment stresses the need to attract and encourage skilled and knowledgeable candidates to express their interest in a job vacancy. This enables any organization to have a wide array of skilled candidates to enable the selection of best candidates. It includes determining present and future requirements of the organization in relation with its personnel planning. In this regard, recruitment is basically the bridge that links the employers with potential employees Recruitment helps reduce the probability that job applicants once recruited and selected will leave the organization only after a short period of time, enabling the organizations to meet its legal and social obligations regarding the composition of its diverse workforce.  This paper attempts to highlight the Recruitment & Selection process in a Recruitment Services Company based in Cardiff. It examines issues in the recruitment and selection processes and offers suggestions.

This paper highlights the effectiveness of the recruitment and selection practices at Vale Recruitment Services. The need to attract and select a high caliber of skilled workforce in a competitive market. Based on the investigation on best practices in recruitment and selection, certain questions need to be asked and answered. Firstly, the adoption of best practices in the organizations is studied. Secondly, the effectiveness of the recruitment and selection methods is giving attention. Finally, issues relating to the difficulties in the two processes need to be highlighted in relation to Vale Recruitment services.  The focus of this paper is to evaluate the recruitment and selection process employed by Vale Recruitment in assessing whether a more advanced process or method of recruitment and selection may reduce staff turnover.



Recruitment and selection is one of the few activities which organisations in every industry, sector and region is involved in at some point.  However, because every organisation must practice recruitment and selection does not mean that all organisations understand just how important your recruitment and selection practices are on the overall running of the organization. The right recruitment and selection process looks to identify new talent which can fill the position available (Armstrong, 2010), and can also be used as a way of gaining a competitive advantage through personnel, which is not easy for other organisations to copy (Grant, 1991). Getting recruitment and selection process wrong can have a major impact on an organisations as a combination of the money invested in the process, combined with the time spent possibly training the new staff, is high enough, without having to do it constantly due to not being able to identify the right person the first time around (Froschheiser, 2008) (Turner, 2010).

This paper will therefore seek to highlight the factors which influence the selection and recruitment process and at the same time provide insight both from an academic perspective but also to practitioners seeking to improve their internal recruitment and selection process.

This paper aims to gain an insight into the many different recruitment and selection techniques that organisations have available in today’s business environment.

The growth of recruitment service organizations is important with special emphasis being that they are in most cases recruiting for a third-party Company or customer. Because of the amount of change that has taken place in the last several decades, it is increasingly clear that the source of competitive advantage in many organisations has shifted from effective execution and reliable processes to the ability to provide satisfactory customer service to the ability to excel in customer relationship. Human resources is one of the sources of competitive advantage because they fulfill the criteria for being a source of sustainable competitive advantage (Wright, et al. 1994). As the world’s economy globalizes and competitors grow, competitive advantage is a compelling reason to do business with an organization has become increasingly important. Perhaps the most common approach to create competitive advantage is to be less expensive than competitors. The point is that traditional sources of competitive advantage such as cost, and product are becoming more and more difficult to maintain. Gratton 1997 shows that most organisations believe that rather than financial or technological resources, human resource can offer a competitive advantage. In a study, Jim Collins (2001) identifies hiring the right people and putting them in the right positions as a common practice among the most effective organisations. This eradicated the problems of managing and motivating people. The success of an organization is directly affected by the performance of those who work for them. There is a linkage between HR practices, competitive strategy and performance (Jackson 1987). Hiring the wrong people or failing to anticipate fluctuations in hiring needs can be costly, it is important that conscious efforts are put into human resource planning (Biles et al, 1980). Rynes (1990) suggested that “recruitment encompasses all organizational practices and decisions that affect either the number or caliber of individuals who are willing to apply for a vacancy”. Recruitment and selection also play important role in ensuring worker performance and positive organisational outcomes. As Mullins (2010) notes: ‘If the HRM function is to remain effective, there must be consistently good levels of teamwork, plus ongoing co-operation and consultation between line managers and the HR manager.’ Organizations need to ensure for candidates are well qualified physically and intellectually to sustain competitive advantage.

Literature Review

Recruitment and Selection has constantly changed over the past number of years. Researchers like Smith and Robertson (1986) to Woodruffe (1993) to O’Reilly and Pfeffer (2000) to Pilbeam and Corbridge (2006) to the most recent in Taylor (2010), Armstrong (2010) and Gunnigle (2011) have weighed in with their opinions on how organisations can improve their recruitment and selection methods.  Recruitment and selection were once just to fill a vacant position, but this has changed dramatically with many researchers exploring this area in the hope to find the perfect method. The object of this paper is to review the literature on recruitment and selection with emphasis on the wastage or labour turnover organisations can typically expect and the possible solutions to it. It will then look at the different recruitment and selection processes that can be used, be it the classic trio, work samples or even assessment centers. Finally, it will look at the theories on exit interviews, and how organisations can use them to improve staff retention.

Recruitment and Selection

As stated earlier, Recruitment and selection methods and opinions have evolved over the years. It was once the policy to fill the position as quickly as possible but as time has progressed organisations have realised that the recruitment and selection methods they use can have serious

ramifications on how the organisation operates, and the turnover the

organisation makes. “Attracting and recruiting the best employees is critical to success in all sectors and to all types of organisations, regardless of size” (Cullen & Farrelly, 2005, p. 41). Froschheiser (2008) has claimed that putting the wrong person into the wrong position just to fill it can have dire consequences to your organisation, it may cause poor employee morale, low productivity and lost opportunities, all of which will have a negative impact on organisations. There is increasing pressure on organisations to ensure that they implement the best recruitment and selection method applicable to their organisation alas they risk becoming uncompetitive. Turner (2010) backs this up when he claims that the success of any organisation depends on its ability to get the right people, in the right place at the right time.

Organizations recruit internally or source from the external labour market.

Internal recruiting is one component of high-performance work systems

and companies that practice internal recruiting are more likely to be

successful financially than companies that rely on external recruiting for

top talent, reason being internal recruiting is cost effective compared to

external recruitment and is considered to enhance organisational

commitment and job satisfaction, which leads to lower employee turnover

rates and higher productivity (Bernardin, 2003). Among the external

recruitment sources, a study conducted by Lockwood and Ansari (1999)

on recruiting scarce IT talent, identified a list of successful recruiting

practices in descending order from most to least successful. These were:

employee referral programs; dedicated information technology recruiters;

speed hiring; local print and radio advertising; company Web sites with

employment opportunities pages; college recruiting and job fairs. College

recruiting is especially appropriate for the recruitment of younger workers

(Marchington and Wilkinson, 2002). Executive search firms are used

when firms lack in-house capabilities, when confidentiality is crucial, and

when speed of recruitment is a priority. Further, using recruitment

agencies tend to reduce vacancy durations (Adams et al., 2000; Roper,

1988 cf. McGuinness and Bonner, 2002) and hence many organizations

have increasingly ‘externalized’ recruitment activities, especially

executive recruitment (Torrington and Mackay, 1986 cf. Iles, 2001).

However, this method is expensive, and these agencies do not appear to

use more sophisticated techniques than references and interviews (Clark,

1993 cf. Iles, 2001). Moreover, informal sources, for example employee

referrals, direct applications, and friends or relatives familiar with the

organisation may yield higher performing and more stable employees than

formal recruiting sources e.g. newspaper advertisements (Decker &

Cornelius, 1979; Gannon, 1971; Reid, 1972 cf. Swaroff et. al, 1985).

Sources of recruitment are generally categorised into (i) internal, and (ii) external. Figure I




It is imperative to note that the objective of recruitment and selection is also to develop procedures that would help the HR department to choose the right candidates for the job (Cowling & James, 1994). The skills, abilities, and knowledge needed by the organisation might be to get through the process of recruitment. (Bratton & Gold, 2003). Smith et al. (1989) suggest that the more effectively the recruitment stage is implemented, the less important the actual selection process becomes. Job analysis is the first stage when an organisation decides to fill an existing vacancy through recruitment. After the job analysis has been drawn up, the organisation has a clear idea of the job requirement, and can initiate the process of recruitment.  According to Torrington and Hall (1991), three components can be distinguished in a recruitment procedure. First is the job analysis which is performed to collate all relevant information about the job demands and to set the hiring standards. The second component concerns the recruitment strategy, the strategy to spread all relevant information among the possible set of candidates; and the third component is the selection method, the purpose of which is to screen the applicants’ abilities and traits relevant to assess the degree of success and compatibility of the individual in the organisation. Since the selection, criteria follow the requirements of the job position, the process of recruitment and selection is aimed at making sure that the right competencies are identified to ensure a satisfactory performance.

Many writers who have studied recruitment and selection admit

that there is a distinct difference between recruitment and selection.

Taylor (2008) and Rees and French (2010) say that recruitment is the

process whereby an organisation collects applications for a position and

generates a pool of potential suitable employees, while selection

involves using techniques or different methods to assess the applicants

and decide who is best suited to the available position, given

management goals and legal requirements


According to Costello (2006), recruitment is described as the processes

used to receive a suitable talent willing to offer services to an

organisation at the right time and at the right place so that it benefits both

the people and the organization”. The recruitment process gives the

organisation a good number of aspiring employees deemed qualified from

where a selection can be made to fulfil the job requirement. Jovanovic

(2004) wrote “recruitment is a process of attracting suitable candidates for

the selection process”. Good planning and forecasting can lead to

successful recruitment. “Recruiting will need to include finding required

job skill as well as matching personal chemistry to company culture and it

will be the front line of offense in creating a comprehensive team that

brings out the best in each member”. (Harriet Hankin, 2005). According to

Barber, “recruitment includes those process, activities and process

carried on by the organisation to recruit an efficient workforce that would

meet organizational objectives”. Newell and Shackleton (2000) refer to

recruitment as “the process of attracting applicants who make a

contribution of their skills, qualities and abilities that are needed to meet

the job requirement for the particular organisation”.

Recruitment is therefore a vital part of an organization’s human resource planning and their competitive strength. Competent human resources at the right positions in the organization are an important resource and can be a core competency or a strategic advantage for it. The objective of the recruitment process is to have the number and quality of employees suitable to help the organization to achieve its goals and objectives. With the same objective, recruitment helps to create a pool of prospective candidates for the organization so that the management can select the right candidate for the right job from this pool. Thus, according to Edwin B. Flippo, recruitment is the process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation”.

Before an organization embarks on the Recruitment process it is important to have a thoroughly researched Job Analysis. It is important for them to conduct a job analysis to identify the job design so the person to be recruited is suitable for the position. Froschheiser (2008)highlights the fact that following national survey results it was found that “over 30% of CEO’s said that up to half of their employees are not fit for their jobs” (2008, p.30). To prevent this, it is imperative that employers know what is required to do the job, as without the correct information on what is required the wrong candidate could be engaged. Pilbeam & Corbridge (2006, p146) define job analysis as the “systematic process of collecting information about the tasks, responsibilities and contexts of the job”. Many researchers including McMahon & O’Carroll (1999) and Pilbeam & Corbridge (2006) have agreed that there are many functions to a successful job analysis, and can be used not only in “recruitment but also selection, performance appraisal, training and development, job evaluation and health and safety” (McMahon & O’Carroll, 1999, p. 117). When a person carries out a job analysis they are essentially doing a form of research as they collect many pieces of data, so they can identify exactly what skills, knowledge and capabilities are required to do the job effectively. The job analysis can be carried out independently or jointly by a human resources manager or a general manager, this will all depend on how complex the job is. No matter who it is carrying out the analysis there are many ways a person can collect the information they need they can speak to and/or observe the person doing the job, talk to supervisors or managers and also conduct exit interviews when people leave. Vale Recruitment have not carried out a job analysis in several years, yet they have continued recruiting even though they are aware that the job has changed over time due to advances in technology.

After the job analysis has been written up, a job description should be drawn up which will essentially be “a broad statement of the purpose, scope, duties and responsibilities that are attached to the job and as such is the basis for the contract of employment” (Gunnigle, et al., 2011, p. 106). Through doing a job analysis and creating a job description it will be clear what the prospective employee would be needed for and thus management can assess whether there is a need for a new employee or whether a current employee could do this. Gunnigle et al, (2011, p. 106) says there are roughly 10 aspects to a job description:

  1. Job Title
  2. Department
  3. Location
  4. Reports to
  5. Purpose
  6. Main Tasks
  7. Liaison and Main Contacts
  8. Staff Responsibilities
  9. Special Features
  10. Reward and Conditions

The job description in the Vale Recruitment is very broad, and covers the employee’s duties and a responsibility, however, it is quite old, and needs updating.

It is pertinent to note that within the recruitment process, there are various stages that need to be completed to have a successful recruitment. After the job analysis it is imperative to draw up a person specification, which will provide the organisation with list of skills, knowledge and capabilities the candidates need to possess to carry out the job as effectively and efficiently as possible. Two writers who have developed similar frameworks to help assist recruiters to find the best candidates are Rodger (1952) and Munro-Fraser (1954).

Rogers (1952) seven-point plan is made up of the following components:

  1. Physical make up: health, appearance, bearing and speech
  2. Attainments: education, qualifications, experience
  3. General intelligence: intellectual capacity
  4. Special aptitudes: mechanical, manual dexterity, facility in use of words and figures
  5. Interests: intellectual, practical, constructional, physically active, social, artistic
  6. Disposition: acceptability, influence over others, steadiness, dependability, self-reliance.
  7. Circumstances: any special demands of the job

While Munro-Frasers (1954) five-fold grading system consists of these similar components:

  1. Impact on others: physical make-up appearance, speech and manner
  2. Acquired qualifications: education, vocational training, work experience
  3. Innate abilities: quickness of comprehension and aptitude for learning
  4. Motivation: individual goals, consistency and determination in following them up
  5. Adjustments: emotional stability, ability to stand up to stress and ability to get on with people

(as cited in Beardwell & Holden, 2001, p. 236) “While these frameworks are commonly referenced, one must be very careful when following them as some of the points have become out of date. If we are to look at point 5 and 6 in Rogers seven-point plan one must ask themselves if these points actually matter”. It goes to say how does one pin point the precise interests or dispositions a person should have to do a certain job? Evidently, in everyday life people are different, we come in all different shapes and sizes with different emotions and different interests. Thus, a person cannot and should not be told they can or cannot do a certain job because of their interests.

Rogers first point, the reference to the physical “make-up” of candidates are issues which open the opportunity for grounds of discrimination in the 1998-2008 Equality Act.

Then in Munro-Frazer’s fivefold grading system points 3, 4 and 5 appear

to be what we describe as competencies people can possess in today’s

world and seem to be outdated. Although these frameworks are

undoubtedly outdated, it is the consensus that if an organisation does

create a job and person specification it will increase their chances of

being absolved of any bias or discrimination. According to Beardwell

and Holden (2001, p.237) “preconceived or entrenched attitudes,

prejudices and assumptions can lead, consciously or unconsciously, to

requirements that are less job-related than aimed at meeting the

assumed needs of customers, colleagues or the established culture of

the organisation”. Thus, through doing job analysis and creating job

specifications, organisations can help prevent such assumptions.

Before the recruitment and selection process begins it is important that the organisation identifies exactly who is going to be involved in the recruitment process and ensures they are up to date with the job and person specification. This is so that when the recruiter begins the recruitment process they are aware of exactly what they are hiring for, and what type of person they need.

The better the planning and organising of your recruitment and selection methods is, the greater competitive advantage an organisation can be. Fitz-enz (1995, p.45) said “it is commonly acknowledged that people are the key assets in the new global market and that all other assets are more of commodities that can be purchased at market prices, because only the human asset has potential to learn, grow, and contribute to sustainable economic development” (as cited in Vokić & Vidović, 2008). As “we do live in a world in which knowledge, rather than physical capital, is increasingly important, we need smart people who can do great things, increase productivity, build new products and services and do so even more quickly” (O’ Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000). This is very relevant in the recruitment industry as technology/media is constantly being updated to try and improve and expedite the process.  Achieving a competitive advantage over your competition can be very hard as unless the new idea is complex it could not be easily copied, so the more talented the workforce is the bigger advantage an organisation has. Grant (1991) agrees with this when he affirms “the firm’s most important resources and capabilities are those which are durable, difficult to identify and understand, imperfectly transferable, not easily replicated and in which the firm possesses clear ownership and control” (as cited in Armstrong, 2010, p.480). As people are unique, it’s often said no two people are the exact same. People can prove to be the greatest form of competitive advantage as everyone has their own thoughts, ideas and opinions, put together with various backgrounds, qualifications and life experiences they are guaranteed to produce different abilities, skills and endless opportunities for the organisation should they find a way to tap into it. It is for this reason why organisations must spend lots of time assessing their recruitment and selection policies and procedures to ensure they get the most talented individuals available on the market.

Naturally Selection follows recruitment, beginning with the preliminary interview of the applicants, concluding with the contract of employment. Selection therefore identifies the individual, who will most likely succeed in performing the job from the pool of potential candidates.

Figure II depicts a general outlay of the selection process. However, the process differs among organisations and between different jobs. Selection procedure for senior managers will be long-drawn and rigorous, but it is simple and short while hiring junior workers.

Figure II. Selection Process














Factors affecting selection

The selection process is influenced by several factors, mainly supply and demand of specific skills in the labour market, unemployment rate, market conditions, legal and political considerations, organisations cultural image, company’s policy, resource planning and cost of hiring. The last three constitute the internal environment and the rest form the external environment of the selection process.

For the selection process to succeed, preliminary interviews are carried out mainly for eliminating unqualified applicants.



Selection Tests:

Usually candidates who pass the screening and preliminary interview are called for selection tests depending on the job requirements. Tests are used to determine the applicant’s ability, aptitude and personality. Interest tests, graphology tests, medical tests and genetic screening are some of the tests carried out on candidates

Validity is a test used to predict whether a person will be successful in each job. A test that has been validated can be helpful in differentiating between prospective employees who will be able to perform the job well and those who will not. Naturally, not test will be 100 per cent accurate in predicting job success. A validated test increases possibility of success.

There are three ways of validating a test. The first is ‘concurrent validity’. This involves determining the factors that are characteristic of successful employees and then using these factors as the yardsticks. ‘Predictive validity’ involves using a selection test during the selection process and then identifying the successful candidates. The characteristics of both successful and less-successful candidates are then identified. ‘Synthetic validity’ involves taking parts of several similar jobs rather than one complete job to validate the selection test.

Benefits of a validated test are obvious from Figure III. Individuals who score 40 and above are successful employees. Those who score less than 40 are unsuccessful. As noted from the figure, the test is not accurate. A small number of workers who score below 40 are good workers. Also, some participants scoring above 40 are less successful. Hence, test results should serve as only one of several criteria in the selection decision.

Unsuccessful Employees

Figure. III: Results of a Validated Test

Figure III.

Reliability refers to the standardisation of the procedure of administering and scoring the test results. A person who takes a test one day and makes a certain score should be able to take the same the next day or the next week and score the same score. An individual’s intelligence, is generally a stable characteristic. So, if an intelligence test is done, a person who scores 110 would score close to 110 if tested on a later date. Tests which produce wide variations in results serve little purpose in selection.

Employment Interview:

The next step in the selection process is employment interview. As seen in Figure IV,(below) an interview is conducted at the beginning and at the end of the selection process. The emphasis here is on the latter. Interview is a formal, in-depth conversation conducted to evaluate the applicant’s acceptability. It is to be considered as an excellent selection device. However, interviews do have shortcomings. Absence of reliability, lack of validity and standardisation are some of the limitations. Finally, biasness of interviewers may cloud the objectivity of the interviewers. The employment interview can be (i) one-to-one, (ii) sequential, or (iii) panel. Interview has at least three objectives – (i) helps obtain additional information from the applicant; (ii) facilitates giving general information to the applicant such as company policies, job, products manufactured and the like; and (iii) helps build the company’s image among the applicants. Interviews can be of different types. The usual types are structured, unstructured, mixed, behavioural and stress- producing



Evaluation of the Selection Programme:

The broad test of the selection process is the quality of the personnel hired. A firm must have competent and committed personnel. The selection process, if properly done, will ensure availability of such employees

After thoroughly highlighting the recruitment and selection processes it is vital that as scholars we seek to find ways in which to improve the retention of staff. In a bid to do this it is important that organisations carry out exit interviews when staff leave. An exit interview is a one to one interview between the departing employee and a manager where the individual’s reasons for leaving are explored. Suff (2014) believes that exit interviews are a powerful tool which managers can use to try and identify problems within the organisation which are causing people to leave. The information obtained from these interviews the organisation can then set about correcting the issues brought up. Issues should normally be job related reason rather than a personal. The organisation should try and ensure an independent individual interviews the person leaving instead of their immediate line manager conducting the interview as this may influence the information obtained.  A person may not be as inclined to disclose information to their immediate manager about the problems they have experienced more still if the line manager is responsible. Suff (2014) believes that exit interviews should be conducted in a sensitive and non-threatening way to encourage employees to be frank about their reasons for leaving. The interviewer must also be well trained, and must be able to probe the interviewee to find all the information they can from the departing employee. Taylor (2010) believes timing is an important aspect when it comes to conducting exit interviews, he points out the fact that if delayed until the employee’s final day the employee may be nostalgic and almost regretting leaving so their answers may not be totally honest, but also points out that if you do it too close to their resignation notice they may have a feeling of resentment at this period which could cloud their reasoning also. Another issue can be that if you wait until after they leave they may refuse to give you any feedback. Although feedback at this stage may be more beneficial as the person has moved on and may be more open to divulging the real reasons for their departure. Pilbeam and Corbridge (2006) have a different opinion, it is their belief that timing will not matter as the person has already decided to leave, thus they will show little hesitance in providing feedback as they are leaving and would not face any possible reparcations for doing so.

Suff (2014) identifies 5 points she believes are very important for the interviewer to follow when carrying out exit interviews;

  • Ask open-ended questions- this will allow the departing employee to speak and say exactly what they want to say- thus encouraging them.
  • Give the person prior notice, this will allow them the opportunity to think about what they are going to say.
  • Assure the interviewee that all information will be totally confidential- this may also encourage them to be frank and divulge all relevant information.
  • Remember to always stay neutral, do not make any judgmental comments based on the interviewees responses.
  • Look for positives, it’s all well and good collecting all the negatives, but surely, they will have some positives which will reassure the company of areas they are getting it right.


Literature Review Conclusion

Recruitment and Selection are very vital processes which all organisations, in every industry, region and sector must engage in. There are so many benefits to having a successful recruitment and selection process. Organisations will always endeavor to keep their labour turnover as low as possible, as the higher it is the more financial output needs to be invested into recruitment and possibly training thus a successful recruitment and selection process could help reduce labour turnover. It can also give an organisation a competitive advantage through its personnel. By having a fully functioning recruitment and selection process it is possible for an organisation to identify the best candidate, and thus gain an advantage through having the most qualified staff available on the market.

An accurate job analysis or person specification can be of great value to recruiters when it comes to recruiting staff. A clear job specification will allow the recruiter to know exactly what the job they are hiring for entails, and thus enables the screening of candidates who do not possess the desired qualifications, or skills necessary to carry out the job. A clear person specification will additionally allow the recruiter to know exactly what type of person is ideal for the position, it will highlight characteristics which the recruiter can then look out for from the applicants.

Within the literature review emphasis has been put on highlighting different recruitment and selection processes an organisation can make use of, be it a classic trio, a work sample or an assessment center and pointed out the pros and cons of each. As regards the classic trio it looked at how beneficial an application form can be rather than just taking in c.v.’s. The review highlighted the advantages a structured interview process can have over an unstructured one, and how interviewing is a skill people can be taught, and that interview training is very beneficial regarding a successful recruitment and selection exercise. Following this it has looked at both the advantages and disadvantages of references. Scrutiny was made on work samples and assessment centers and looks at the advantages of getting the applicants to perform a task which is representable of what the job will require.

The many advantages an organisation can obtain through conducting exit interviews has been highlighted, with great emphasis being on the retention of staff. It points out how through interviewing employees who are leaving the organisation a company can gather information as to why their staff are leaving and try and improve the conditions affecting staff in this regard.


The Research is based on primary data available through interviewing around two operations personnel. It also uses secondary data available on various web-site portals, books and e-articles. The assimilation of the information is used to suggest ways and means to face the arising challenges of the processes involved in the recruitment and selection function.

At present this Vale Recruitment has acknowledged that they have a bad history when it comes to staff turnover, which they blame on their recruitment and selection techniques and furthermore to their retention policies.  This researcher is already aware that Vale Recruitment is using the classic trio approach to recruitment. The first objective will be to assess and evaluate this process. In order to gather information in aid of this, it would be necessary to get all people involved in the current recruitment process to fill out a structured questionnaire. This will give an insight of the current culture of the recruitment. The next objective will be to discover if the people involved in the recruitment and selection process are fully aware of the position they are trying to fill, and the qualities of the person required for this position. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to analyses records of their job analysis to assess exactly what the person being hired will have to do. In order to do this, it will be important to get information from staff who actually do the job which the organisation are hiring for.

It is also vital to obtain the employees and employer’s perception of the job, this can be done by getting all management involved in recruiting and several general employees to fill out structured questionnaires.

This paper will assess why employees are leaving the job. It will establish whether employees misunderstood exactly what the job or did they not feel welcome or they had found a better job. This will be done by conducting exit interviews with the people who have left recently, the information derived from these exit interviews will allow this research to assess whether it is a recruitment issue and or whether a more advanced method of recruitment and selection may reduce staff turnover or if staff turnover has other causes. It is the intention of this researcher to carry out exit interviews with people whom have left the manufacturing company recently as this researcher may be able to find reasons other than that of the recruitment and selection methods which are causing such a high turnover. It may also be possible to find out information about the recruitment process when they went through it, and how they found it- honest opinions from previous staff could help pin point a lot of the issues.

The purpose of this research is to assess whether or not this company has adapted the best possible recruitment and selection practices and consider if another form of recruitment would reduce their staff turnover.

The significance of this piece of research will be to improve both the organisations and this researcher’s knowledge of the different approaches to recruitment and selection available to human resource managers in manufacturing organisations, and how certain forms may reduce staff turnover. This research will also provide the organisation with a full job analysis which they can use in the future when recruiting, along with a recommendation as to what form of recruitment and selection they should use in the future. Also depending on results, it may highlight other issues the organisation may have which is causing staff turnover which is not applicable to the recruitment and selection practices.

Process of the research

In order to complete this piece of research the researcher has adapted a mixed method research approach. This researcher has given a structured questionnaire to all people involved in the recruitment and selection process within Company  to assess exactly what each person does and what influences them when recruiting and selecting. This researcher has also carried out a job analysis by both verbally and getting some of the people who are actually doing this  job day in and day out to fill out a structured questionnaire. Finally this researcher has carried out exit interviews with people who have left the organisation recently as a means of establishing why staff turnover is present.

Chapter 4: Methodology

Research Philosophy and Approach

The research philosophy applied by any researcher is very important as should the wrong philosophy be applied it may impact the researchers overall findings thus labelling the findings unreliable or invalid and rendering the research as null and void. There are a number of issues which researchers must consider before choosing their method for data collection and analysis. Saunders et al, (2009) developed a research “onion”- a multi-layered diagram where they suggest researchers must start on the outside and peel through each layer to make sure they get the most appropriate research strategy, design and methodology.


(Saunders, et al., 2009)

Research philosophy is concerned with the development of knowledge- how it has been developed and what assumptions researchers have made or can make about it. These assumptions will depend on whether the researcher takes an ontological or epistemological viewpoint. Ontology deals with the nature of reality and whether a researcher subscribes to objectivism or subjectivism. Epistemology concerns itself with what constitutes as acceptable knowledge, and this will depend on whether the researcher adopts a positivist or interpretivist stance- that is, whether a person is to rely on facts or impressions. Whichever philosophical stance the researcher adopts will determine the research approach, which in the case of positivism will be deductive and in the case of interpretivism will be inductive, however, it is also common to combine both approaches. Saunders et al, (2009), are quick to point out that no research philosophy is better than another- research questions will often fall into more than one domain, so therefore adopting one over another is not totally practical in reality. They conclude by describing the pragmatist philosophy, where they say- the most important thing a researcher must consider when applying a research strategy and methodology is research question(s).

This researcher is using a pragmatist philosophy as he is working to the idea that the most important thing is to answer his research question.

4.3 Research Strategy, Design and Methodology

This researcher supported the pragmatist philosophy in that the research method applied was that which would allow the researcher to fulfil the research question, aims and objectives which where stated in chapter 3.1 and 3.2.

Given that the intention was to explore the current recruitment and selection process employed at Manufacturing Company X and assess whether a more advanced process or method may reduce turnover this researcher decided to use two structured questionnaires- a structured one for the recruiters and a structured one for the employees- to assess exactly what was happening in the current process through both asking the recruiters what happens, and seeing if the employees who completed the process concurred with what the recruiters have said.

This questionnaire was also designed to include questions which would help the researcher create a job analysis and a person specification analysis too. There were varying questions on the recruiters questionnaire and the employees one to see if the recruiters were familiar with the job they are actually recruiting for- and to see if the job specification was similar to the one created by the researcher.

In addition the researcher also observed the general operatives doing their job on three different occasions to obtain an understanding of exactly what the staff have to do. This researcher also conducted exit interviews with some staff that had left the Manufacturing Company recently.

The research strategy is therefore a mixed methods approach- Bryman & Bell (2007, p.642) describe the term mixed methods research as “simple shorthand to stand for research that integrates quantitative and qualitative research within a single project”. “Quantitative data is numerical data and quantitative analysis is the analysis of quantitative data using statistical methods” (Quinlan, 2011, p. 380), this is applicable as we will see what percentages of people who completed the questionnaire agree or disagree on different aspects. Qualitative research on the other hand explores attitudes, behaviours and experiences (Dawson, 2010)- this will be used to assess the different attitudes and behaviours of the recruiters in comparison to the different experiences the employees have gone through, or go through.

4.4 Data Collection Methods

The primary data was collected using three different techniques. Originally the researcher went on two different occasions to observe the staff doing their daily job- these visits allowed the researcher to gain an understanding of what the staff actually did and thus helped the researcher to design certain parts of the questionnaire. The questionnaire was then given to all recruiters and all general operatives- this allowed the researcher to gather a large amount of information in a timely manner. Following the analysis of the questionnaires the researcher then returned to the Manufacturing Plant to observe the workers again having gained a greater insight into the opinions of what the workers actually do. Following this the researcher then conducted some exit interviews via phone call to employees who had left in the previous three months.

4.4.1 Questionnaire Design

Following the two trips to the Manufacturing Company this researcher worked in close coordination with the HR manager employed by the Manufacturing Company to create a questionnaire which would allow this researcher to obtain all the information he needed, along with abiding by the previously agree confidentiality agreement. This researcher used Microsoft word to create the questionnaire (see appendices 1/2) and after each edit it would be sent to the HR manager until it was fully approved.

The first questionnaire- the recruiter’s questionnaire- was broken down into four distinct sections. Section 1 was entitled “Recruitment and Selection Process”- it is in this section questions were asked which would allow the researcher to obtain an idea of how each recruiter viewed the recruitment and selection process along with asking questions to identify exactly what goes on in the recruitment and selection process. Section 2- “Job Specification” was designed to find out what exactly the recruiter knew about the job or the current job specification, and find out if they were familiar with it. Section 3- “Person Specification” was designed to try and identify what attributes each recruiter felt were most necessary to do the job of a general operative. The final section, “Interview Training” was designed to find out if the recruiters actually knew or were previously shown, how to interview, and to establish whether the recruiter felt that their interviewing skills were up to date.

The second questionnaire- the employee’s questionnaire- was broken down into three headings. Section 1- “Recruitment and Selection” was designed to find out about the employees experience when partaking in the recruitment and selection process. It was also designed to see if there were any ways to by-pass the recruitment and selection process.

Section 2- “Job Specification” was designed to get the employees perception of their job and to establish if they agreed with the current job specification. And finally, section 3-

“Individual Specification” was again designed to try and identify the attribute the employees think you need in order to be a good operative.

4.4.2 Questionnaire Administration

As the researcher required the questionnaire to be filled out by all recruiters and general operatives working at Manufacturing Company X, and would not be guaranteed the employees would do it, or have access if it was posted online the decision was made to do a paper based questionnaire. Subsequently, the questionnaire was printed and put in an envelope and handed to each employee who was required to do the questionnaire and a drop off box was placed beside the clock card machine to make the returning of them minimum hassle on the employees. Each employee was given the questionnaire on a Monday and asked to have it returned to the drop off box by the following Friday.

The top of the questionnaire had a small introduction paragraph informing the recipient of why the questionnaire was being done, along with a note saying it wouldn’t take much time and finally a note of thanks for taking their time to fill it out.

4.5 Data Analysis

This section deals with how the researcher handled the different pieces of data once it was collected. This section is broken up into three sub headings to show what was done with the data from each of the primary research methods.

4.5.1 Questionnaires

Once the researcher collected the drop off box which the questionnaires had been returned to, he brought them all home. Each envelope was then opened and depending on whether it was a recruiter’s questionnaire or an employee’s questionnaire it was put into a separate box. The researcher then used Microsoft Excel to record all the data- once the questionnaire had been put into the Excel figures it was then put into a separate, completed box. When all questionnaires had been fully recorded onto the excel spread sheet they were returned to the Manufacturing Company as this was part of the confidentiality agreement the researcher had with them.

4.5.2 Observation

The researcher was not allowed bring anything other than a note pad onto the Manufacturing Companies production floor as they have a lot of production secrets which give them a competitive advantage in the market, and thus would not allow photos or any other equipment on the floor which may compromise their trade once secrets.

On the first visit the researcher made some bullet point notes when he was on the production floor and once he returned home he expanded on all the points and stored the sheets with all his other vital dissertation documents.

On the second visit the researcher had some bullet points made out prior to arriving- things which the researcher wanted to specifically look at, he then expanded on these notes while on the floor and added any extra things he notices. Again, when he returned home he expanded on all these notes and stored it with the previous notes.

On the third visit the researcher had very specific points made before arriving, and these very the sole reasons for the third observation. On this observation the researcher wrote some notes on each of the points while on the production floor. Then when he returned home he made notes either agreeing or disagreeing with earlier points that either the researcher or the staff had made.

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