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Why it's important to establish a staffing system in your company.

When it's treated as an integrated part of corporate strategy, staffing helps build world-class organizations with the ability to achieve superior performance

Finding the right people to do the job requires a staffing system because a company's most valuable asset is its people, yet the staffing process usually is so random.

"Most companies have systems for virtually everything, but only a handful have a system for staffing, said Louis S. Adler, president of CJA Associates, Tustin, California-headquartered executive search organization."

"The art and science of staffing is a complex management process. When it's treated as an integrated part of corporate strategy, staffing helps build world-class organizations with the ability to achieve superior performance. Successful companies must attract and retain top performers to improve their competitive edge and to continue to survive and grow in tough times," he added.

"Quality staffing is the ability to ensure a good fit between people and the job that needs to be done. Here are five specific suggestions that can be used for an individual hire or as the framework for a complete, company-wide staffing system," he said.

1. Create a results-based job specification to increase accuracy and understanding. "The position determines the need. Turn every job description into a list of measurable results, such as improve quality by five percent. This changes the selection process to focus on performance rather than attributes. Previous performance correlates highly with future success, while the job candidate's personal presentation doesn't," stated Adler.

2. Prepare structured interviews to establish a common measurement system. "To ensure consistency among different interviewers and candidates, to increase accuracy and control and to raise the level of expectations, use a pre-planned, challenging interview. The best job candidates want to work for companies and bosses with challenging standards, Adler advised.

3. Conduct in-house training to improve interviewing, recruiting and closing skills. "Train everybody. You need to train all managers responsible for hiring to recognize the performance traits that predict success. Untrained managers make the costly mistake of focusing on personality and presentation. Training enables interviewers to get past first impressions, chemistry and emotions. There is a science to interviewing and it's more than chemistry," the executive staffing expert revealed.

4. Use outside objective appraisals and testing to increase reliability. "To ensure a consistent frame of reference and a higher standard of quality throughout your company, use independent testing and evaluation techniques," suggested Adler.

5. Formalize the transition into a new assignment to increase the effectiveness of the new staff member. "It's important to formalize the transition because many companies have learned the hard way that even competent people can fail when your expectations and objectives are not clear. An objective third party should be used to conduct a series of one-on-one and group meetings with the new staff member and the hiring manager prior to the new employee's starting date. This helps clarify objectives and align expectations, personal styles and values," Adler counseled.

"These five proven strategies for establishing a system for staffing represent a basic shift from the way that most companies conduct their staffing activities. By implementing this staffing system, formalizing and integrating it throughout your company, you'll raise the overall caliber and performance of your people and your organization," Adler concluded.

Founded in 1987, CJA Associates conducts executive search for management individuals in finance, accounting, MIS, manufacturing and engineering. CJA also provides organizational consulting, executive coaching and management training. Offices are located in West Los Angeles and Orange County, California.

For more information about strategic staffing systems, contact Adler at (714) 731-0867.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Canadian Institute of Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Canadian Manager
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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