Stress Management Assignment

Stress Management

Title: Stress Management. Identifying the relationship between stress level and physical activity in humans is one of the most useful strategies. It plays an important in understanding the root cause of the problem and knowing the best approach towards dealing with it or even managing it (Wang, Feifei & Silvia, 2019). Based on my stress inventory chart, my cumulative points stand at 358 points. A critical analysis of some of the issues leading to my high point accumulation reveals the most common stressors that a normal person would undergo and experience in the course of their growth and development.

In life, we are all faced with challenges such as losing our loved ones, financial constraints, first year and final year exams in high school as well as the death of our close friends or arguments with our siblings. These experiences induce the development of stress in us as humans and some of these occurrences or activities we may have little or completely no control over.

Stress Management and Physical Activity

In an adolescent life, for example, different situations can create stress in humans. For example, arguments with siblings or parents, death of our close friends, failure in an examination, or financial difficulty can lead to the creation of a significant amount of stress in adolescent life. The relationship between physical activity and stress is therefore evident. In most cases, an increase in physical activity reduces the stress level in humans (Chisholm, Leah, 2016).

Stress Management Assignment
Stress Management Assignment

When physical activity increase, there is increased production of endorphins which improve human’s ability to sleep and therefore leading to the reduction of stress levels. Therefore, the stress level can be managed by the implementation of physical activities into stressful daily routines. Some of the specific activities that seem interesting and worth finding time include running or going for a walk, playing at the park, doing some household chores, and taking the stairs instead of using the elevator. These are simple physical activities that do not leave a person overworked but burns a high number of calories and increase blood supply to the brain leading to the reduction of stress levels in human.

Having well-defined stress management techniques is a better approach to dealing with stress. There are many strategies that an individual can adopt in dealing with stress other than physical activities (Andersson, 2016). Some of these strategies include keeping a positive attitude in life, accepting the reality of some of the stressful events and experiences that we face as humans and acknowledging that we cannot control some of them, eating a healthy and well-maintained balanced diet, learning and practicing different techniques for relaxing our mind and body lie yoga and meditation as well as learning to be assertive in life instead of being too much aggressive (Mason, 2017). These are important strategies which when practiced effectively and efficiently, will lead to the reduction of stress level when we are faced with some of the stressful events or circumstances in our life.

Works Cited

Andersson, Siv GE. “Stress management strategies in single bacterial cells.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113.15 (2016): 3921-3923.

Chisholm, Leah, et al. “Physical Activity and Stress Incontinence in Women.” Current bladder dysfunction reports 14.3 (2019): 174-179.

Mason, Henry D. “Stress-management strategies among first-year students at a South African University: A qualitative study.” Journal of Student Affairs in Africa 5.2 (2017): 131-149.

Wang, Feifei, and Silvia Boros. “The relationship between physical activity, stress, life satisfaction, and sleep quality.” Journal of Physical Education and Sport 19 (2019): 227-234.

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Ideology and Hegemony Assignment

Ideology and Hegemony – The academic study of culture analyses our individual beliefs drawn from a cultural view of reality and the power positions we uphold as a result. In understanding a culture, one should obtain a viewpoint through a lens of their beliefs and examine how said beliefs are created, thus generating a cultural context. As Douglas Kellner and Meenakshi Durham summarised it “Viewing culture from political economy, from the perspective of analysis of the system of production and distribution, may disclose how the culture industries reproduce the dominant corporate and commercial culture, excluding discourses and images that contest the established social system” (2004, p.4).

With the academic field known for focusing on economic power and the subsequent enforcements, I’ve chosen to discuss the appropriate concepts of “ideology” and “hegemony” in relation to the field, and as well, to each other. The works of Karl Marx and Antonio Gramsci will be essential to my argument, which I will reinforce with the examples of the 1988 film ‘They Live’ for ideology and the widespread corporation Apple in relation to hegemony. Throughout, I will discuss the comparable link between both concepts and how they are manifested in our culture, and conclude by summarising the points made.

“Ideology as a concept is predominantly defined as “a belief or a set of beliefs, especially the political beliefs on which people, parties, or countries base their actions” (Cobuild 1987). Pioneered primarily by German philosopher Karl Marx, the Marxist theory as an entirety places a central importance on the “‘materialist’ stance that social being determines consciousness” (Chandler 1995, p.4). According to this viewpoint, ideological positions are predefined by class domination as the prevailing ideology in society is the ideology of its dominant class.

Those in overriding class position define what acceptable behaviour within a society is, summarised concisely by Marx and fellow Marxist Freidrich Engels with the statement “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas” (Marx and Engels 2000 p.21). Through their belief in a capitalist culture, Marxism organises society into two distinguishable classes: The Proletariat; those in means of labour, and The Bourgeoisie; those owning the means of production. Moreover, the ‘false consciousness’ that Marxism recalls as ideology allows for the bourgeoisie to control a functioning system of society, where labour flow from the proletariat continues and their class struggle is kept unassuming. Ideology has a constant interplay in cultural standings particularly within the meanings and values of the media industry, but also in the government’s control over society.

The ideological messages and values of the mass media are routed deeply in our culture, in the Marxist approach to the subject it’s been long perceived that mass media, both news and entertainment forms, are “sites for the dissemination of ideology” (Croteau and Hoynes 2002 p.160), in a sense basing their notion of capitalism on the media. One textual example that demonstrates seamlessly this effect is John Carpenter’s 1988 film ‘They Live’. It sees the central protagonist discover a pair of sunglasses, upon wearing them he sees publicity billboards reading imperatives like “Obey”, and “Marry and Reproduce”. With passers-by also now appearing as robots, the narrative connotes an exaggerated yet accurate message that we as a society are governed by the ideologies that surround us.

Online blog ‘UltraCulture’ (2014) makes reference to psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek’s (2009) review of the film “When you put the glasses on, you see the dictatorship within democracy. It is the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom”. He likened ideology as having a relationship to our social world, one where we are addressed not as subjects of duty but of pleasures. Throughout the film, the protagonist battles the numerous capitalist robots he is exposed to. It concludes with him being victorious, allowing every member of society insight into the previously unseen ideologies surrounding them.

A Marxist commentary is notable in the text; wearing the glasses let him see the struggle for dictatorship, linked to a Marxist belief, meaning it no longer determined him, he still viewed it before but just wasn’t aware of it. The “beautifully naive mise-en-scene of ideology” (Zizek, 2009) forms the basis of this cultural text, it teaches us how as individuals in society, our desires are controlled by ideologically constructed systems such as ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. This gives relevance to the academic field of cultural studies as it describes the ongoing battle in our culture between wanting to revolt one ideological construct just to conform to another.

Ideology and Hegemony – Academic Culture

Although the concepts of ‘ideology’ and ‘hegemony’ are both relevant in the understanding of cultural academics, there is a key distinction between them. Ideology refers to the ideas and values reflecting the social needs of a particular group, and hegemony, in a general sense, is the dominance of one group or state over another. Ideology speaks of a set of ideas whereas hegemony describes a power relationship. Having said this, hegemony came as a development of Marxist ideology, as a concept advanced and used extensively by Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci. He had a fascination with the power of culture and civil society, and took to his works ‘Prison Notebooks’ to explore why the ruling class was so successful in maintaining its interests. Unlike Marx, Gramsci rejected the notion of a ‘false consciousness’, arguing the same value system would continue under the socialist mode of production unless the notion was replaced.

In his writing, reviewer Perry Anderson (1976) stressed Gramsci’s viewpoint “The fact of hegemony presupposes that account is taken of the interests and tendencies of the groups over which hegemony is to be exercised, and that a certain balance of compromise should be formed”. In other words, sacrifice is necessary from higher classes for hegemony to be overruled. The work of Gramsci has significance in today’s cultural standings, particularly when considering American culture and the overwhelming realisation of how globally widespread their movies, TV shows, fast-food chains and so on, are.

A profound cultural example, deep rooted in today’s society, is the corporate giant Apple. It could be said that the business has a potential likeness to Gramsci’s philosophy for the force it imposes on cultural society. Hegemony reflects the notion that capitalist societies use their influence to dominate social classes particularly in social and political means, however it may be argued that today it is now corporations, such as Apple, that possess this power rather than political bodies. The ever-increasing demand for new technology could potentially have brought about a new wave of capitalism. It’s plausible that Apple have gained control of this and manipulated it as a means of dominating subordinate social classes and investing itself at the heart of digital technology usage.

Ideology and Hegemony
Ideology/Hegemony: Marx, Althusser And Gramsci

When the company was being developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak around the 1970 and 1980’s, research on the behalf of social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner was ongoing simultaneously. They developed a theory of social identity, suggesting “self-image is defined by one’s social group”. (Dooley 2012). They recalled that it is in fact simple to turn a brand into a cult through the notion of rivalry, something the consumer giant Apple embodies. ‘Apple created an enemy, the PC and its users, and built that enemy into much of its marketing’ (Dooley 2012). In their 2006 ad campaign Apple aimed to target the perceived weakness of PC computers, as well as publicising the stylish features of their own product, the Mac, and its reflection on its users’ lifestyle.

It’s arguable that this mirrors Gramsci’s notion of hegemony; Gramsci upheld bourgeois culture as the social norm similarly how Apple promotes itself as the number one digital innovator, adding that their products enable acceptance amongst society. The hegemonic values of Apple, exuding trendiness and vitality, is essential in their approach of consumers, making them believe your identity is reflected by your choice of product. Under a Marxist viewpoint, we as consumers are the proletariats and Apple maintain a bourgeoisie status, using advertisement in their control of wealth and widespread acceptance. As political theorist Yannis Stavrakakis paraphrased, corporations such as Apple “stimulate false desires, and deepen our enslavement to consumerism and capitalist exploitation” (2006 p. 86).

To conclude, cultural studies is deeply invested in the notion that our society is marked by a struggle for power, giving the concepts of ideology and hegemony strong relevance.

Pioneering Marxists, like Marx and Engels, focused on the control that the ideological values of dominant forces have, demonstrated effectively in the textual example of ‘They Live’. The comparability of the two concepts is reflected by the development on Marxist thinking by philosopher Antonio Gramsci. His theory of cultural hegemony is particularly relevant to today’s society with corporations such as Apple. Their subtle form of manipulation, through advertisement, targets our wants and desires, something Marx and Gramsci had foreseen long before and what those in the academic field of cultural studies are continuously working on today.

Bibliography

Durham, M.G and Kellner, D.M (2005) Media and Cultural Studies (KeyWorks in Cultural Studies) Revised Edition. Wiley-Blackwell. p.1-29

Cobuild, C. (1987) English Language Dictionary 1st Ed. London and Glasgow. Collins.

Chandler, D. (1995) Marxist Media Theory 1st. E-book. Aberystwyth University

Marx, K. and Engels, F. (2000) The German Ideology 3rd Ed. Marx/Engels Internet Archive. p.21-61

Croteau, D.R and Hoynes W.D (2002) Media/Society: Industries, Images and Audiences 3rd Ed. SAGE Publications. p.159-193

Burke, A. (2014) Slavoj Zizek’s Masterful Commentary on John Carpenter s ‘They Live’

Zizek, S. (2009) Through the glasses darkly. Socialist review

Anderson, P. (1976) The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci. 1st Ed. New Left Review

Dooley, R. (2012) Build Loyalty Like Apple: Define Your Enemy. Forbes

Stavrakakis, Y. (2006) Objects of Consumption, Causes of Desire: Consumerism and Advertising in Societies of Commanded Enjoyment. Gramma. p.83-103

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Women in Politics Empowerment

The Role of Women in Politics

The Role of Women in Politics – Over the years, there has been a growing recognition of women’s untapped capacity in leadership. Women are more involved in political decision-making and implementation of laws across the globe. The rate of representation of women in parliaments has grown tremendously over the past decade. There is a growing understanding of why women’s participation in politics is significant in developing and sustaining nations as their contribution towards a better society is well documented. Women’s participation in politics has contributed a great deal towards economic growth, gender equality, advancing social rights and in enhancing health, reduce mortality and fertility rates.

Women have been advocates towards economic growth. In the past, women were considered to be insignificant in the society, and they were uneducated. Women, therefore, had low economic status, relative poverty and limited business network which their hindered economic growth. Now that more women are educated and actively involved in leadership, they can attain access to economic resources and relative financial stability (Kabeer & Natali, 2013). This has significantly increased financial security across nations since women’s skills are effectively used in utilizing economic resources. Therefore, women’s involvement in politics has contributed substantially to economic growth worldwide.

Women’s meaningful involvement in politics has boosted gender equality. Not long ago, women were only viewed as property to men and hence were not accorded equal chance in various fields such as education and leadership. They also could not own property in some societies. Downs, Reif, Hokororo and Fitzgerald (2014) note that over the years, women leaders have formed women groups and movements that have given women a voice in the struggle to have equal rights as men. These efforts have proved successful in ensuring gender equality across the world. Women now participate equally as men in the making and implementation of policies and also their rights to education and own property among others. This has enhanced women empowerment which has led to gender equality.

Women lawmakers are family-friendly in their platforms hence they tend to advance social studies. This is majorly due to the role women play as mothers and caregivers to their communities. Kabeer and Natali (2013) posit that, women leaders use their positions to help minority and often forgotten groups such as disabled people who are unrecognized by society. Women can, therefore, improve the social relations in the society since they take into consideration community concerns and are more responsive to people’s needs. These qualities of women in power encourage confidence from the people hence social relations are enhanced.

Women in Politics
Women in Politics

Women in politics are a tool for improved health and reduced mortality and fertility rates. This relationship is obvious since nutrition and child health fall within the remit of the woman’s household decisions. More women are educated on family planning hence they can give birth to a manageable number of children whose needs they can cater for sufficiently (Downs et al., 2014). Ultimately, strong, educated and empowered women bring up children who are equally healthy, educated and empowered. These children grow to be responsible people in the society.

Overall, when women are entrusted to lead, countries often experience higher standards of living with significant developments in economic growth, gender equality, social relations and improved health which in turn reduces mortality rates. Women are just as capable of running countries as men, so they should not shy away from this enormous task. Allowing women to take up positions in politics will also help break traditional customs that hindered developments across nations. We as a society should be ready to entrust women to power since they are agents of change in the society.

References

Downs, J. A., Reif, M. L. K., Hokororo, A., & Fitzgerald, D. W. (2014). Increasing women in politics and leadership in global health. Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges89(8), 1103.

Kabeer, N., & Natali, L. (2013). Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is there a Win‐Win?. IDS Working Papers2013(417), 1-58.

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Organizational Ethics Program

Organizational Ethics Program

Organizational ethics refers to the principles and standards upon which businesses function according to the business’s references. The principles, as well as set standards, are mostly demonstrated over the deeds of objectivity, reliability, decency, compassion and obligation. The strategy for both business venders as well as the officials is to confirm that all the workers comprehend to the set standards as well as the principles. This can be done by initially communicating the organizational ethics to the employees through the act of training the employees on the standards of the company. Based on the basis of illustrating the goals of an organizational ethics program, essentials necessary in constructing and ensuring the function of the organizational ethics program together with the ways of implementing the procedure in favor of an organization’s future will be discussed.

The Goal of the Organizational Ethics Program

Based on the different sectors that the set organizational principles and standards function, such as on uniform treatment, considerations, financial ethics as well as dealing with the social responsibility of a particular business, the connection established is used to construct a uniform organizational goal to be attained on the course of operation. To start with, the set standards and principles ensures uniform treatment amongst all employees based on the same respect regardless of their culture, race, religion or even lifestyles. The ethics program in business through this role establishes the provision of equal promotion chances to the employees whereby the issues can be addressed during sensitive training, holding seminars as well as through inviting outside experts to disclose these issues unto the employees.

Secondly, on achieving an organization’s goal, financial stability has to be met that is protected by the compliance of the organizational ethics program in the business. This is for the purpose of business owners to establish clean business operations with respect to finances, expanding as well as investing for their companies. For example, the standards and principles may be set on prohibiting and taking action to those who bribe state legislators for either tax privileges or even credits (Johnson, 2018). On the consideration basis, a company’s ethics program ensures the provision of care to the employees who are mentally challenged, with substance abuse problems including alcohol and drug dependency. The ethics of the business through the set principles as well as standards helps the employees to overcome such problems if possible, such as putting them through employee advisor programs.

Ethics are also mandated to protect the community as well as establishing and maintaining safety standards to the nearby residents. They ensure the communication of chemical dangers by the organizations steered on ethical environmental practices. Through the joint functions established by the organizational ethics program, actions, as well as company decisions, are governed on ensuring welfare amongst the employees, customers and the community at large thus establishing the organization’s ethical philosophy hence defining its reputation on efficiency and effectiveness.

Essential Elements of an Organizational Ethics Program

For corporate compliance to organizational ethics, the standards, as well as principles, should be set to align with the company’s operations as well as objective strategies. In this approach, standards and control that includes both the code of conduct, procedures as well as standards and policies are based as the foundational elements of a functional organizational ethics program (Doppelt, 2017). Another pillar is the training feature that ensures the employees are well acknowledged on the relevant company corporate policies, laws, prohibited conduct as well as the set regulations to be applied in practice. After communicating all the critical information from the management, the questions on whether the employees of the particular company are answered through an oversight approach that includes monitoring, auditing and responding to the organizational issues.

Monitoring involves both reviewing and detecting the process of ethics compliance whereas the auditing process comprises of limited review that is based on targeting particular business components, region or even a sector of the market within a specific timeframe. Both efforts, therefore, require responding from the top management for the need of adopting any change if required in compliance with the organizational standards and principles.

Organizational Ethics Dissertation
Organizational Ethics Dissertation

Implementing the Changes based on Future Organization of a Project Management

During the process of practicing to initialize, plan, execute, control as well as close the activities of a particular team to achieve certain goals as well as meeting a specific criterion over a specified time, implementation of organizational ethics program counts to be of great significance. I work in project management that involves the planning, initializing, executing, controlling and closing different works from various teams, and observing activity operation under undefined standards and principles is a challenging issue. This is because most project management work fails as a result of unification in carrying out specific activities (Hornstein, 2015). On the other hand, you find that the initializing process of a task is simple amongst a particular team group, and the work collapses upon reaching the planning as well as the execution process. This fails due to the lack of ethical procedures to unify different plans as well as execution processes that establish the concept of how to control and finalize the work.

However, implementing the ethical changes will increasingly create a foundation for the achievement of future organizational effectiveness as well as efficiency in its operations. Further, the implementation process should be based on strategies to educate and acknowledge new as well as the existing employees on the changes that have occurred regarding compliance of the company’s standards and principles. For example, implementing these changes on my expertise area, project management, ensures mutual initializing, planning and execution of different tasks, that is closed under a unified system of control thus increasingly constructing a good reputation based on the concept of effectiveness and efficiency.

References

Doppelt, B. (2017). Leading change toward sustainability: A change-management guide for business, government and civil society. Routledge.

Hornstein, H. A. (2015). The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), 291-298.

Johnson, C. E. (2018). Organizational ethics: A practical approach. Sage Publications.

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Recruitment and Selection Dissertations

The Importance of Recruiting

At the heart of every Human Resource Management (HRM) practice is a deep-seated concern regarding how human capital can be managed to derive the best results for any organization. One of the most critical functions and processes in HR is recruitment and selection. The importance of Human Capital and the impact it portends for companies and business organizations cannot be understated – it is the most crucial asset in every organization. As such, it follows that the mechanisms and procedures employed by organizations in recruiting talent among its ranks are an accurate presentation of how an organization intends to implement its mission and achieve its vision.

This paper examines the importance of this process in recruitment and selection, especially in the modern work environment. It does this by evaluating the standard frameworks of recruitment and selection before it explores the common trends as practiced in the modern era. It then examines the challenges faced by HR professionals within this context and concludes by highlighting some recommendations to address these challenges.

Recruitment and Selection – Getting it Right

The importance of the recruitment process in any organization is evident – recruiters ensure that an organization succeeds in achieving its goals and objectives by availing the best candidates whose competence and skills make them the best suited for the job. In this sense, recruiters are the filters that select the most appropriate candidates for organizational success. In the modern business environment—one that is continually evolving—the need to hire individuals who are knowledgeable, loyal, adaptable, dependable and skilled has become even stronger. As such, the recruitment and selection process is one of the core responsibilities of Human Resources (HR) in most organizations. This is because it is widely regarded as a process that fundamentally affects the potential for revenue growth and hence the profit margins of any profit-driven organization in comparison to other tasks like leadership development, onboarding, retention and talent management (Bhatia, 2013).

The theoretical framework under which this topic will be discussed in this paper is based on two theories – the human capital theory and Resource-Based View theory (RBV). The human capital theory contends that humans are the most important asset of any organization and that their market skills are a form of capital which essentially makes humans a type of investment (Buta, 2015). This point of view is critical especially in developing an understanding of the incentives as well as the structure of earnings and wages. The Resource-Based View theory is premised on the notion that an organization can develop a competitive advantage by creating a human resource capital which is unique to its organizational demands and which cannot be imitated by other organizations (Rothaermel, 2012). The representation is a graphic representation of the Resource-Based View theory framework.

Recruitment and Selection Dissertation
(Source: Rothermel, 2015)

In this paper, the task is to position the recruitment and selection process as a pivotal component of organizational success.

The Recruitment and Selection Process

Human talent is without a doubt, one of the most sought-after commodities in the 21st century workplace. Therefore, the process of searching, isolating and recruiting these talents is at the heart and soul of all organizations. Within the professional realm of Human Resources, recruitment is defined as the ‘process of searching out and attracting qualified job applicants’ (The Strategic Importance of Recruitment, 2012). Naturally, this begins with identifying the position that needs to be filled and ends when an adequate number of candidates have submitted their application forms or resumes. The strategic plan of the organization dictates the identification of job openings. In some instances, these needs can arise unexpectedly due to factors such as terminations, natural attrition, or resignations.

Once the need for hiring has been identified, the next step is to select an appropriate method that will facilitate an effective recruitment process. Some organizations prefer to recruit from within while others prefer to widen their selection pools by going outside the organization’s talent pool. Each of these methods has their advantages and disadvantages. For example, when an organization hires from within, it enhances the morale, commitment, and performance of its employees. However, when a company’s existing pool of talent does not meet the required standards, it is common for such companies to search outside. Studies show that most entry-level jobs are mostly filled by candidates sourced externally (The Strategic Importance of Recruitment, 2012). Because of the advances in technology that inform HR processes, online recruitment is increasingly becoming a popular strategy for getting external talents. Job fairs and co-operative education programs are equally powerful recruitment methods.

Once the recruitment process had ended, the next step selection involves choosing the most suitable candidate from the pool of recruiting. Methods of selection usually vary from one organization to the other depending on their demands and culture. Regardless, this process is usually complex and involves a lot of decision making.  The structure of the selection process typically depends on a lot of things such as the urgency, number of potential candidates, and so on. Irrespective of the structure of the selection process, the main objectives of selection tests are: (a) prediction, (b) diagnosis, and; (c) situational behavioral assessments. (Opayemi & Oyesola, 2013).

The Selection Process

The overall selection process can be made up of several stages. This is exemplified in the diagram shown below. It is, however, instructive to understand that the steps in a selection process vary depending on many factors that will be discussed herein.

Selection Process Dissertation
(Source: Alsabbah & Ibrahim, 2011)

According to Alsabbah and Ibrahim (2013), Kamran, Dawood, and Hilal (2015), the structure of the selection process differs from one organization to the other and mostly depends on a company’s needs. In most cases, however, the selection process comprises several stages which are:

Evaluation – the evaluation stage entails applicants submitting their applications usually in application forms. The information contained in these forms include the name of the candidate, age, education, experience, expected salary, hobbies, and references, etc. the applicants who apply are the called shortlisted candidates.

Preliminary interview – in this stage, the shortlisted candidates are invited for the interview.  Their personal interests, career goals, objectives for applying, and general attitudes are evaluated. Those who meet the basic standards proceed to the next stage.

Selection tests – in this stage, the candidates are subjected to written examinations. Different types of selection tests can be used depending on the nature of the job, responsibilities, and the number of applicants. Some of the typical selection tests are intelligence, personality, attitude, interest and professional examinations. Qualification and skills are also assessed in this stage. The goal is to select candidates who meet the minimum requirements.

Selection interview – this interview usually is more comprehensive compared to the preliminary interview. In this stage of the selection process, the candidates are subjected to face-to-face interactions where critical aspects such as speech delivery, intelligence, motivation, and the capacity to understand a problem are evaluated. The candidates are interviewed on questions directly related to the job to gauge their suitability. These interviews can be structured, semi-structured or unstructured.

Reference check – this is a background information check usually done to confirm the information provided by the candidates are true.

Decision-making – this is usually the final step in which candidates who have succeeded in the above steps are presented with appointment letters. These letters contain information on job description, salary, benefits, accountability, authority, and etcetera.

Validity and Credibility of Selection Tests

The validity and credibility of the selection tests go a long way in determining the caliber of employees that will be hired. The overall goal is to hire employees who are the best fit in relation to the job and for this reason, it is imperative that the selection tests are rigorously analyzed using up-to-date credibility tests. In this regard, the reliability of selection tests can be examined using three different methods (Opayemi & Oyesola, 2013):

  • Over time – the outcome should be the same throughout the testing period.
  • Across different sample – the outcome from a group of employees ought to be the same during the testing period.
  • Across different rates – this test compares the results from two (or more) independent raters. A consistent rating throughout the testing period indicates that the selection test is reliable.

Similarly, validity tests simply evaluate the correctness of the selection test. The practice is that the candidates who emerge with the best results should be able to perform equally as well in real working environments. In other words, validity tests measure job relatedness. The commonly used validity tests are: (a) content validity, (b) concurrent validity, (c) predictive validity, and; (d) construct validity (Bertua, Anderson, & Salgado, 2005). The details of these validity tests are beyond the scope of this discussion and therefore will not be discussed herein.

The Importance of Recruitment and Selection

Since a comprehensive summary of the recruitment and selection process has been provided in the preceding paragraphs, this paper now focuses on the importance of the recruiting and selection process. As such, the proceeding analysis will categorize the four significant implications for the recruitment and selection process into (i) costs, (ii) retention, (iii) productivity and loyalty, and; (iv) legal issues.

Cost

A common perception among HR professionals is that a lot of money and effort goes into managing employees and this sometimes leads into a situation where organizations end up over-staffing or understaffing for its organizational needs. Logically when the number of employees in a department is higher relative to the need for which they were employed, then the company will incur higher operational costs in maintaining such as department (Ekwoaba, Ikeije, & Ufoma, 2015). In the long run, this will diminish the earnings of the company. Conversely, when an organization understaffs a department such that critical positions are left unattended, then the organization also faces the risks of incurring losses because of reduced revenue earnings.

Today the traditional concept of hiring where all job vacancies were treated equally has shifted to one that prioritizes the hiring process as one based on criticality. The objective of this style is to create a perfect balance between work that needs and employees in a manner that is sustainable for the company. Moreover, the process of recruitment and selection places more emphasis on selecting and ultimately hiring the candidates that exhibit the highest level of competency and skill (Ekwoaba et al., 2015). As such, the cost of hiring a candidate has a direct implication on the company, and as demonstrated in most cases, weak hiring mechanisms do place higher costs on the organization (Ekwoaba et al., 2015).

A weak hiring system is likely to bring in employees with high failure rates. This happens when a newly hired employee(s) voluntarily quits or is terminated within a few months irrespective of their performance. Weak hiring systems thus create a situation where a company can repeat the recruitment and selection process for the same position repeatedly – a scenario that increases the costs of damages incurred by the organization (Ekwoaba et al., 2015).

As technology continues to be more and more integrated into the management of businesses, most companies are going the extra mile into not only using job recruiters who possess business acumen, astute judgement, and an ability to foresee the crucial factors that will likely impact the growth requirements of their organizations, but also supplementing their effort with talent management and recruitment software to facilitate the efficacy of the recruitment and selection process (Bhatia, 2013). The use of tried and tested technology is thus a practical recommendation that is expected to reduce the inefficiencies of human-led recruitment and selection processes significantly.

Productivity and Loyalty

These two entities are linked – an employee who feels connected to the organization will work hard to help it achieve its objectives. On this basis, it is the recruiter’s responsibility to ensure that they get as much details from potential employees in order to sufficiently analyze their strengths and weaknesses. These pieces of information can be obtained from the candidates if the recruitment and selection process employs strategic mechanisms for achieving this goal. In general, loyal employees demonstrate a track record of competitiveness, innovation, excellence which cumulatively results in increasing the profitability of the business.   

Legal Issues

The most common legal problem that arises from recruitment and selection processes is discrimination. Discriminatory practices often have dire consequences on the reputation of an organization and sometimes can also have financial implications. In the United States, for instance, the department of labor expressly prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, sex, political affiliation, and many other features that have often been used in facilitating discriminatory practices (Saez, 2018). In the end, recruiters are required to implement checks and balances to ensure that their methods are beyond reproach. For example, most organizations advertise only the basic requirements for the job. In recent years, the practice of listing language proficiencies and physical capabilities has gradually been phased out unless they are inherently vital in the position (Heneman III, Judge, & Kammeyer-Muller, 2015). Some organizations also encourage the recruitment and selection process to be run by more than one recruiter.

Practices and Trends in HR

The standard practice in many HR functions seems to be that most organizations do not concern themselves with the Return on Investment (ROI) especially when it comes to their human capital. Most organizations are guilty of perpetuating a recruitment process that does not measure the impact that its employees have on the organization. This is compounded by the trend among organizations not to document or make reports on their recruitment process. Furthermore, there is no accountability on HR regarding the opportunities missed and the costs incurred during the recruitment (Cascio, 2016). But as focus on strategic activities of HR departments continue to increase, an ever-increasing number of organizations are becoming more interested in calculating ROI on recruitments. As such, the activities and functions of HR are increasingly being assessed in a bid to quantify their outcomes and results.

Admittedly, calculating the ROI on recruitment is not an easy process because of the high numbers of variables involved. But since it portends critical implications on the activities of the whole organization, this is a task that every recruitment manager needs to perform. To achieve this, the manager should (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013):

  • Define the objectives of the recruitment in terms of the results that should be achieved.
  • Devise mechanisms to accurately measure critical aspects of the recruitment process such as time of hire, the effectiveness of recruitment source, and the cost-of-hire.
  • Establish a precise estimate of the costs of the recruitment project.
  • Calculate the intangible and tangible benefits the organization will accrue, including payback period, from the recruitment.
  • Ensure that recruitment managers are well trained.

The ability to evaluate the recruitment process in terms of ROI is fundamental for organizations that desire to strengthen their HR processes. This is because it significantly improves the recruitment function and develops a strategic human capital advantage for the company (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013).  But even as employers pile the pressure on HR professionals for increased accountability, experts contend that recruiting trends are getting more and more competitive. The main trends that have dominated talent acquisition in recent years are branding, repairing the potential candidate’s experience, maximizing talent analysis, and venturing into untapped sources (Maurer, 2016). They are also aware that getting real talent is getting harder and this is forcing companies to reinvent their strategic approaches to talent acquisition. The year 2015 beckoned the beginning of thoughtful attitudes in recruitment, but this approach will only pay off for companies and organizations that focus on important success determinants.

Employers are expected to improve their branding if they are to attract highly qualified job seekers who themselves are becoming increasingly selective about companies.  The onus is on employers to make themselves attractive to potential employees, and this means availing as much information as they can about the organization, its culture as well as corporate values. Some organizations have taken this a notch higher- they are using employees’ photos to showcase their culture, training opportunities, and key benefits associated with working with them (Maurer, 2016). This practice is supported by the notion that employees are the best brand ambassadors any organization and as such, their stories do much more compared to the company’s mission statement.

Another trend that is expected to continue is the use of talent analytics. Talent acquisition professionals are under increasing pressure to demonstrate ROI in the recruitment process. This has forced them to move away from traditional methods of recruitment that were primarily based on instincts and instead focus on techniques that can convert everyday data into actionable information that can guide decision-making (Maurer, 2016). With the advent of HR data scientists, data science in HR has become a fundamental aspect of the recruitment process.

Most companies are going beyond routine operational measurements like cost-per-hire, source-of-hire, and time-to-fill to mine more in-depth metrics on talent (Morgan, 2018). Some organizations have turned to data analytics to analyze competitors’ talent pools with the aim of finding the candidates with the skill-set that they want and which can be convinced to join their organizations. The use of talent data analytics essentially captures the whole-person analysis in determining whether potential employees have the experience, competencies, drivers, and traits to bring additional value to an organization.

Employers have widened the scope of their talent search by venturing into new sources. Cross-industry hiring, for instance, is believed to make persons who have worked in various fields acquire experience that could come in handy. These types of employees also carry with them a wealth of cultural diversity that is especially appealing for new companies (Maurer, 2016). Nevertheless, internal hiring is likely to be embraced going forward because of the advantages it has over external hiring. According to Bryne Mulrooney, the CEO of a company that specializes in recruitment, internal sourcing has a shorter hiring-to-productivity time and considerably lowers staffing costs, which in the long run translates into better financial performance. This system also promotes talent development – a feature that keeps employees motivated as they become more valuable to the organization as the knowledge they acquire compounds with time (Maurer, 2016). The consensus is that the hiring process has changed fundamentally and in addition to personality and aptitude, experience is increasingly being seen as one employee feature that can be adjusted.

Repairing the candidate experience is another trend that most organizations are quickly catching up on. They try to create positions that can be filled with candidates with the right combination of skills and competence. Failure to maintain contacts with employees, minimal engaged by recruitment during the recruitment process, and tedious and lengthy application process do leave candidates and employees feeling unappreciated.

Elaine Orler, the CEO of a talent acquisition consultancy firm based in San Diego, opines that every touch point starting from the application process to the interactions with the schedulers to interviewers’ preparedness to turnaround time, creates an impression in the candidate about the employer (Maurer, 2016). The well-coordinated these experience are the higher the acceptance rates of a firm considering that highly skilled candidates will most likely be juggling job offers from different companies. In short, recruiters are expected to give candidates white-glove treatment whether they succeed for the job or not for it increases the interest of the candidate to apply when another opening comes up.

Technology is slowly but gradually being integrated into the talent acquisition processes. Cross-platform expansion and technology consolidation are becoming increasingly streamlined as organizations shift from multiple vendor systems to conflating their tracking systems, management of their human capital, and video conferences into one platform (Maurer, 2016). While this process is admittedly coming along at a slow pace, its impact in HR processes stands to be significant. Nonetheless, conventional talent management suites have also been expanding and increasing their recruiting potential. But while the recruitment and selection would seem, in principle, to be a straightforward HR process, the reality is much different in practice. The following section outlines some of the common challenges faced by HR recruiters and the possible solutions that have been proven to help in alleviating some of these problems.

Common Challenges in HR Recruitment and Selection

The recruitment process is widely seen as a procurement activity designed to identify and hire the best candidates for a job. On the part of recruiters, this directs attention to their expertise, business perspective, and ability to make decisions that are beneficial to both the organization and the individual. The challenges start from the type of recruitment method to use – whether to use internal or external talent pools. The ever-evolving job market dynamics with regards to technologies, recruitment sources, competition and etcetera compounds the range of problems that HR professionals encounter. Furthermore, in a job market that is already saturated, recruiters are constantly faced with new challenges that they ultimately need to overcome in order to get the best candidates in line with the requirements of the organization.  While these problems are unmistakably unique to every organization, the primary challenges faced by recruiters are:

Adapting to globalization – the HR professionals are typically required to keep pace with changes happening in the within the realm of Human Resources across the world (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013).

Minimum motivation – the view of most HR professionals is that recruitment is a thankless job because they seldom get the appreciation and recognition they believe they deserve for getting the best candidates and top performers for the company especially when the impact of these candidates is tangible across the performance spectrum (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013).

Process analysis – most companies demand a flexible, responsive, cost-effective and adaptive recruitment process that is timely and able to cater to the company’s requirements (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013). Nevertheless, such companies might not be investing in attaining such systems.

Strategic prioritization – HR professionals are often required to make strategic moves when performing their recruitment and selection functions. This is to enable them to exploit the opportunities that arise from the challenges that come with new systems (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013). As such, reviewing staffing needs and prioritizing tasks in line with markets demands has in recent years emerged as a critical challenge for these professionals.

Workforce diversity – while ideally, diversity is a good aspect of an organization’s workforce, sometimes integrating people from different cultures and backgrounds do present significant challenges for HR professionals (Kamran et al., 2015). If this aspect is not managed correctly, it does escalate conflict levels in an organization and ultimately impairs the ability of the organization to achieve its goals.

Government policies – this is an external challenge that most HR departments have to acknowledge. Government policies can limit the operations of HR and certainly has implications for organizational demands and needs (Kamran et al., 2015).

Conclusion

The recruitment and selection process varies from one organization to the other, and this variance can be as a result of many factors such as the size of the company, corporate culture, objectives, and etcetera. Be that as it may, the importance of the recruitment and selection process in helping in the attainment of organizational goals and objectives has been adequately substantiated in this paper. The fundamental role of the recruitment function is to avail the best candidates for the organization, and the benefits that are associated with an effective recruitment process are numerous ranging from cost reduction, elimination of potentially catastrophic discriminatory practices, enhanced employee productivity and retention, and compliance with legal requirements.

However, recruitment is not a simple, straightforward exercise – it is hampered by a wide array of challenges that make the role of HR professionals increasingly tedious. The current trends in HR practices as discussed in this article enumerate some of these bottlenecks and the potential ramifications they portend to any organization. Furthermore, as the job market becomes more and more saturated, talent acquisition is becoming a much harder objective to meet. HR recruiters have been forced to employ somewhat unconventional methods to keep up the ever-evolving corporate landscape. And as these challenges continue, HR professionals are facing increased calls for accountability – an aspect that has created a need to adopt more empirical-based approaches in the recruitment function as more organizations demand favorable ROIs on the investments on their human capital. With this in mind, below are some of the recommendations that could significantly address the issues in HR recruitment.

Recommendations

At the elementary level, recruitment and selection process should be well-defined in order meet its critical objective – tapping the best talent. It is also vital that the response time during the whole recruitment process is reasonable relative to the time frame provided in order to minimize the chances of losing potential employees to rival companies. The methods used in this crucial process should be versatile but effective. With the advent of social media and the World Wide Web, there are numerous sources of talent pools that can be exploited by recruiters.

The conventional stage-by-stage interview like the one discussed in this paper are time-intensive and are less cost-effective. A practical interview strategy like panel interviewing would portend better returns in the short term since it is less time-consuming. However, it might not be effective in identifying the most appropriate candidate. A well-structured recruitment process that is clear on the type of candidate the organization wants and which is within the cost and time constraints may be a better alternative. The uniqueness of organizational needs and demands means that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy with regards to recruitment and selection.

Some challenges such as lack of motivation, strategic prioritization, and process analysis boil down to organizational policy. But HR professionals should be able to demonstrate that with better corporate policies, their processes can yield better ROIs for the organization. As such, HR should play a core function in the design and implementation of these policies. The integration of technology in recruitment should shift focus to empirical-based methods rather than the traditional methods which were more instinctive.

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References

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