General Electric is one of the leading producers and manufacturers of energy-related products worldwide. The company operates as conglomerate offering technology, media and financial services and is leading name in the business of energy production manufacturing such things as "gas, steam, and aero derivative turbines; generators; combined cycle systems; and renewable energy solutions, as well as provides water treatment services and equipment." (Yahoo Finance)
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCESS
The company operates around the world employing more than 300,000 employees. And hence staffing and recruitment more major concerns at GE as it looks around for the most talented people with strong work ethic and a serious desire to perform well in a rapidly changing environment. For this reason, staffing is carefully planned and GE takes advantage of the changing trends to hire the very best.
Kim Warne is the manager of the GE Center of Excellence supporting U.S. recruiting and staffing operations for five GE businesses: Energy, Aviation, Transportation, Water & Process Technologies, and Oil & Gas who believes in capitalizing on the frenzy that marks the power industry today to effectively meet staffing needs of GE. "Today's power industry is very exciting and competitive. Innovative shifts to alternative power sources such as renewable energy and cleaner coal, as well as traditional power sources such as natural gas and nuclear, are driving tremendous interest and activity." Warne says that since the company needs talented people from all over the world, it is looking to hire skilled people all year around but lately there has been a shortage of qualifying graduates.
In other words GE doesn't just want people who have a passion for energy and power; instead it also needs people with professional degrees. "…the competition is heating up for qualified engineers and scientists. In this environment, GE's goal is to recruit, develop, and retain the best available talent."
GE has a clear staffing policy- it must capitalize on the current trends and news. For this reason when energy began creating a buzz all over the television, it became easier to take advantage of the passion and debate on the subject in hiring the right kind of people. The company is thus using news to translate buzz into effective recruitment. In order to do so, GE has taken several initiatives.
HIRING THROUGH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
In order to hire the right minds for GE, it is important to set the criteria correctly and to train the people even before they have landed a job with GE. For this reason, GE has developed some leadership programs that focus on providing training to young graduates, some of whom can later be given a job offer if they seem like the right fit for the company. "Technical graduates (both undergrad and graduate) can apply to our Edison Engineering Development Program (design/development), Operations Management Leadership Program (manufacturing/sourcing), or Commercial Leadership Program (sales/marketing). Our program members rotate through different assignments and attend formal training classes. By combining these programs with mentoring and exposure to GE leadership, we are able to develop the next generation of GE leaders. Says Warne
The company has also designed a leadership program specially addressing the needs of renewable energy sector and for this program, it seeks MBA graduates who are willing to learn more about this source of energy and later join the firm. This is a good way of providing adequate training and also giving knowledge about GE's goals, objectives and mission even before a candidate has been hired.
GE CAREER WEBSITE:
Since young graduates and the kind of people GE needs are more computer savvy, there is a website where they can find various available job opportunities at GE. The website is found at www.gecareers.com and a great deal of information on leadership programs is also found on the website.
UNCCONVENTIONAL RECRUITING METHODS
GE has tried to go beyond the traditional job postings to create various microsites that provide information on openings and also allow visitors to join the newsletter list. This newsletter gives latest information about featured jobs while educating people on various aspects of GE businesses. One such microsite is found at http://www.jobs.gecareers.com/whygeenergy.
GE's staffing actions also include a clear retention policy that focuses on retaining quality employees by helping their transition into the firm in the first few months. It is important for new staff to understand GE's culture and hence a retention program exists at GE as Warne explains:
"First, due to the large number of new people we bring into our business each year, we find that orientation and assimilation are critical to retaining talent within the first 12 months," she says. "We have new-hire checklists that walk new employees through the first 30-60 days. We have also developed a PowerOn new employee assimilation program, which is mandatory for all new hires. We provide information on the business, our products, critical processes, and operating mechanisms. We also provide bimonthly newsletters to keep new employees up-to-date on tools and information that's useful as they become acclimated to GE."
But GE is not only investing in new employees, it's also seeking ways to retain its old staff and hence there are programs for those who have been with the firm for 2 to 5 years. This program is called Energized faces which gives employees a platform to share their experiences at GE, see for themselves how far they have and where they plan to go from here etc.
GE does have a very comprehensive staffing method that also includes leadership programs, pre and post hire training sessions, constant feedback from employees, programs for seasoned employees, job postings via websites and so on. This gives GE access to the most talented people who are able to demonstrate passion for what they do.
GE follows the benchmarking standards commonly associated with job assignments. These are based on Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required for each job and how a candidate fits the bill. There are three grading levels Outstanding, Above Average and Average. These are assigned based on job analysis of each job.
GE conducts job analysis which is basically the determination of skill level that is required to perform each job well and the critical personality traits needed for someone doing that job. This job analysis also sets the benchmarking standards and helps in checking if a candidate or employee meets all requirements, is above average or just barely suitable for the job. This way GE can hire the most suitable people for each job. Job analysis helps in defining the parameters for hiring personnel and GE has been following this practice for a long time now.
The use of job analysis and other such tools to check the suitability of a candidate is directly connected with effective recruitment, selection and retention theory which is grounded in right selection and retention of talented employees. This theory suggests that for recruitment to be considered successfully, it must be based on correct selection criterion. This helps in saving costs because as talented people who are the right fit for the company are chosen, they enrich the workforce and do not need as much training as others who may be the wrong fit for the company. The theory also states that selection criterion must be clear and should come from the use of some important tools like job analysis. Once it is determined what kind of person is needed to perform a certain task, it becomes easier to select the right people. This saves time and money in the long run.
The theory says that retention of valuable employees is immensely significantly for organizational success. Retention can also be tied to good salary options and regular promotions because talented staff needs to be kept and a company can design various policies to see how it can retain the best talent. This may sometimes involve monetary incentives. GE has been successfully working on this theory and using this as the benchmark, we can say that GE is already doing every correctly to hire and retain the best minds in the business.
GE has a sound recruitment system and hence it requires very few modifications, if at all. The company has been working hard to hire the kind of people and retain them as well. One important addition can be re-training of staff as the nature or scope of job changes. In any company when a job widens in scope, management starts looking for new people to replace the old ones, GE most likely does that as well. In order to become a better employer, it can design re-training sessions for employees who are capable but need further training to meet new job requirements.
GE can also make its leadership programs available to graduates of other disciplines. It must be noted that not all MBAs will make great candidates for GE since the company is a global entity and requires diverse workforce. For this reason, it must specifically…