External and Internal Recruitment Procedures/Methods
To operate effectively, and thus remain in business, an organization must have in place an able, motivated, and competent staff. Indeed, it has been stated in some quarters that human resources are the most valuable organizational assets. I wouldn't agree more. To ensure that they have the right staff to advance their agenda and achieve their objectives, organizations routinely seek to bring on board the most capable employees. This they do by engaging in an often complex and lengthy recruitment process. Essentially, recruitment could be categorized into two, i.e. internal recruitment and external recruitment. Both approaches to recruitment have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. In brief, external recruitment, according to Schermerhorn (2010, p. 293) "seeks job applicants from outside the organization," while internal recruitment, as the author further points out, "seeks job applicants from inside the organization."
It is important to note that today, the relevance of taking diversity into consideration in recruitment and selection efforts cannot be overstated. This is particularly the case given that as the world becomes increasingly borderless, companies are finding a diverse workforce more effective. Business entities are also seeking to ensure that the interests of their clientele, regardless of their background, religion, or even race, are catered for in the best possible manner. In that regard, therefore, 'diversity' could be regarded one of the concepts that does have a significant effect on staffing and organization effectiveness.
Diversity: Impact on Staffing and Organizational Effectiveness
It is important to note, from the onset, that diversity does not have an assigned definition. What this means, in basic terms, is that in the realm of human resource management, diversity has been defined variously. Diversity is best explained by invoking its various dimensions. Within the last two or so decades, as Griffin and Moorhead (2009) point out, gender and race have been regarded the key components of diversity. It is, however, important to note that there exists other dimensions of diversity apart from those mentioned above. The primary dimensions of diversity, in the words of Griffin and Moorhead (2009, p. 35), "include age, race and ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, and sexual orientation." However, there are also other dimensions of diversity referred to as the secondary dimensions of diversity. These, as Griffin and Moorhead (2009, p. 36) further point out include, "educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, and work expedience." In contrast to the primary dimensions of diversity mentioned above, secondary dimensions of diversity are less permanent. Further, they can, in most cases, be easily altered or changed.
Enhancing Diversity during Recruitment and Selection, and Beyond
The recruitment and maintenance of a diverse workforce could be challenging for most organizations. This is particularly the case given that most organizations do not have in place recruitment methods and hiring processes that demonstrate their commitment to diversity. In this section, I will highlight not only the strategies that entities could make use of to attract a diverse pool of applicants, but also the key considerations that should be made during the selection process to guarantee the 'level' nature of the process. The approaches an organization should adopt to maintain a diverse workforce will also be explored.
To begin with, an organization ought to develop a clear and concise opportunity statement and position description that in addition to highlighting the needed qualifications and skills, also clearly and in no uncertain terms welcomes all applicants regardless of their background, race, race or even sexual orientation (Hubbard, 2004). This, according to Hubbard (2004), could be done by, amongst other things, ensuring that the job description is not unnecessarily restrictive or unfair towards certain groups or categories of people, except on the basis of their skill or qualifications. A footnote can also be inserted, in the case of print advertisements, indicating that the company is 'an equal opportunity' employer.
There is also need to develop or formulate standards as well as expectations for the entire hiring process. For instance, amongst other things, the hiring committee ought to be aware of what is expected of it. It should be made aware of the opportunities for accommodating diversity. The search committee membership should also be diverse, with individuals selected to sit in the same being made to pledge their intention to provide a fair and honest evaluation of applicants without bias (Hubbard, 2004). There is also need for the members to be aware and appreciative of the laws in place with regard to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination. Interview questions should be tailored to query only those skills and abilities that are relevant to the position.
An organization also ought to carefully review its Human Resource Policies to ensure that there are no barriers to the recruitment of competent personnel -- with skill and experience being the key consideration, as opposed to gender, race or the other dimensions of diversity. For instance, the recruitment panel, in those instances where the organization has not outsourced its recruitment undertaking to a professional firm, should be reflective of the organization's diversity policy -- in terms of its membership.
An organization could also broaden its recruitment efforts. For instance, instead of going through the regular channels of recruitment, the organization could make use of other avenues to advertise available positions, all in an attempt to attract a diverse pool of job applicants. These avenues could include, but they are not limited to, associations that serve specific groups, community boards, and targeted ethnic newsletters, where applicable.
According to Hubbard (2004), it also helps to have an organizational culture that is welcoming and appreciative of diversity. Without such a culture in place, there is likely to be a high turnover of employees as those who feel that they 'do not fit' quit and look for work elsewhere. The organization, in essence, should be welcoming to all.
An organization could also come up with benchmarks for success so as to gauge its performance on the inclusiveness front. Benchmarking for success is important as in addition to being a measure of progress, it helps in the identification of deviations from planned objectives, and hence the institution of corrective action. The key question an organization could ask in this case is; how should the diversity programs in place be measured? Both short-term and long-term goals should be developed, and specific outcomes clearly identified. The said specific outcomes could, for instance, include, 'x number of African-Americans to be hired by xxx month.'
The Relevance of a Diverse Workforce
An organization could benefit in many ways by embracing diversity. To begin with, diversity "enables a wide range of views to be present in an organization, including views that might challenge the status quo from all sides" (Ferreirra, Erasmus, and Groenewals, 2010, p. 431). In today's dynamic world, only those organizations that are responsive to change and are ready to adapt to new realities are likely to survive. A diverse workforce sees things from a different perspective, thus keeping the organization alive to changing realities - and hence new opportunities and emerging threats on the marketplace for appropriate action to be taken. Indeed, diversity, "is instrumental in organizational change" (Ferreirra, Erasmus, and Groenewals, 2010, p. 431).
According to Leviticus (2014), a diverse workforce could translate to growth and enhanced profitability for the organization. In the author's opinion, bringing in individuals from diverse backgrounds helps a company gain better perspective of the various unique needs of its diverse clientele. In the author's own words, "employees who come from a variety of racial and ethnic groups and sexes can provide valuable insights regarding the best marketing or customer service tactics to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction ratings among their respective group" (Leviticus, 2014).
Next, a diverse workforce could also help bring down employee turnover rates.…