Impact of Brexit on Recruitment in the United Kingdom
Brexit, referring to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), has had far-reaching implications across various sectors. One area significantly affected by this decision is recruitment in the UK. In this essay, we will explore how Brexit has impacted recruitment processes and practices in the country.
Prior to Brexit, the UK enjoyed access to a large pool of skilled workers from EU member states. However, with the new immigration rules and the end of free movement, the recruitment landscape has undergone a transformation.
One immediate consequence of Brexit is the tightening of immigration regulations. The freedom of movement for EU citizens no longer applies, and a new points-based system has been introduced. This has made it more challenging for UK businesses to attract and hire talent from the EU. The added bureaucratic hurdles, such as visa requirements and sponsorship obligations, have increased the complexity and cost of recruiting from abroad.
As a result, many industries in the UK are experiencing labor shortages, particularly in sectors heavily reliant on EU workers, such as healthcare, hospitality, and construction. The scarcity of skilled labor has put upward pressure on wages and increased competition among employers for qualified candidates.
To mitigate these challenges, businesses have had to adjust their recruitment strategies. They are now focusing more on upskilling and reskilling their existing workforce, as well as seeking talent from non-EU countries. Additionally, some companies have expanded their operations to other EU countries, aiming to access a broader talent pool.
Overall, Brexit has brought about significant changes to recruitment in the UK, requiring businesses to adapt and find innovative solutions to address the labor market challenges posed by the new post-Brexit environment.
Overview of Recruitment in the United Kingdom
Recruitment plays a crucial role in meeting businesses’ workforce needs, ensuring they have access to skilled and qualified individuals to drive their growth and success. Prior to examining the impact of Brexit on recruitment, it is important to understand the current state of recruitment in the UK.
Pre-Brexit Recruitment Landscape
Before Brexit, there were already existing labor shortages and skill gaps within certain industries in the UK. For instance, research conducted by Read and Fenge (2018) highlighted challenges faced by social care sector recruiters due to factors such as low wages, demanding working conditions, and limited career progression opportunities.
To address these pre-existing challenges, businesses employed strategies that included both domestic and international recruitment efforts. Cooperating with universities worldwide allowed UK institutions to attract students from former Soviet countries (Chankseliani, 2017). Additionally, companies sought talent from EU member states under free movement policies facilitated by EU membership.
Anticipated Effects of Brexit on Recruitment
Post-Brexit scenarios raise concerns about potential impacts on talent acquisition for UK businesses. One significant factor is changes to immigration policies affecting access to talent from EU countries following Britain’s departure from freedom-of-movement agreements. Johnson’s study (2019) explores how tech workers are leaving Britain due to uncertainty around future employment prospects related directly or indirectly with Brexit consequences.
One possible outcome could be a shift towards more domestic hiring as companies may turn their focus inwardly when seeking new recruits rather than relying heavily on non-UK EU talent. This could result in a revitalization of domestic talent pipelines and an emphasis on upskilling existing employees.
Challenges Faced by Businesses Post-Brexit
Post-Brexit, businesses are expected to face specific challenges in recruiting and retaining talent. Legal or regulatory hurdles may arise due to changes in immigration laws or trade agreements between the UK and the EU.
Companies will need to navigate these new complexities while continuing to attract qualified candidates who meet their requirements. They may also have to ensure compliance with evolving regulations related to work permits, visa sponsorship, and right-to-work checks.
Strategies for Adaptation
To adapt successfully to post-Brexit recruitment challenges, businesses can employ various strategies. One approach is investing in upskilling programs for existing employees, allowing them to acquire the necessary skills needed for new roles within the organization. Expanding domestic talent pipelines through collaborations with education institutions can help create a steady stream of skilled graduates ready for employment opportunities. Seeking alternative sources of international talent from non-EU countries is another option that companies should consider.
Case Studies: Impact on Different Sectors/Industries
To illustrate how different sectors/industries are affected by Brexit’s impact on recruitment, let us examine two case studies:
The tech industry has experienced a significant impact from Brexit on its labor force (Johnson, 2019). Uncertainty surrounding future employment prospects has led many tech workers from Britain towards Ireland where they perceive more stability and better career opportunities.
Similarly, the social care sector faces considerable challenges recruiting and retaining staff due to factors such as low wages and limited career progression (Read & Fenge, 2018). While Brexit adds further uncertainty about accessing overseas workers within this sector, it also provides an opportunity for greater investment in domestic workforce development efforts.
Government Initiatives and Support
Recognizing the importance of supporting businesses with post-Brexit recruitment challenges, the UK government has implemented various initiatives. These include providing guidance to companies on navigating changes in immigration regulations and offering financial incentives for upskilling programs.
However, it is essential to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives and identify areas for improvement. Regular consultations with businesses and industry representatives can help refine government support mechanisms and ensure they align with evolving needs.
In conclusion, Brexit has had a significant impact on recruitment practices in the United Kingdom. Changes to immigration policies and trade agreements have introduced new challenges for businesses seeking talent both domestically and internationally. To navigate these challenges successfully, organizations must adapt their recruitment strategies by investing in domestic talent pipelines, upskilling existing employees, and exploring alternative sources of international talent.
While the road ahead may be uncertain, proactive measures taken by businesses, combined with effective government support, can mitigate many of the disruptions caused by Brexit’s impact on recruitment in the UK.
Johnson, D. (2019). Brexit pushes tech workers from Britain to Ireland: Confusion about the future is changing recruitment – [Resources_Careers]. IEEE Spectrum, 56(8), 18–19.
Read, R., & Fenge, L. (2018). What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce? Perspectives from the recruitment and retention frontline. Health & Social Care in the Community, 27(3), 676–682.
Edwards, D., Trigg, L., Carrier, J., Cooper, A., Csontos, J., Day, J., Gillen, E., Lewis, R., & Edwards, A. (2022). A rapid review of innovations for attraction, recruitment and retention of social care workers, and exploration of factors influencing turnover within the UK context. Journal of Long Term Care, 205–221.
Chankseliani, M. (2017). Four Rationales of HE Internationalization: Perspectives of U.K. Universities on Attracting Students From Former Soviet Countries. Journal of Studies in International Education, 22(1), 53–70.
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How people are paid varies from place to place and largely. The most common way of payment is hourly. Therefore, the establishment of a minimum wage is important since the standards of living especially in cities are rising at a very high rate (Neumark et al., 2004). The minimum wage is simply the lowest amount an employee should be paid as he or she works hourly. The wages depend on which state one is and the kind of job involved. For the minimum wage to go up, the federal state or government has to declare.
Further research should take place to determine how people survive and what entails their ways of earning. There are ethical implications due to this issue on the minimum wage. The wages might raise, but people will shun from employing many people to cut the cost spent on salary payment. With low payment then people also tend to find other ways mostly illegal to get money. Therefore, it would be prudent to simply increase the minimum wage rate, and the government ensures they create more job opportunities in various ways to avoid idlers.
Most businesses have employed the minimum wage policy and are running that way. It has been noted that most of the hardworking folks are the lowest paid. Although many have raised an issue and said that as much as someone works at times on is not able to get what he or she exactly needs (Lopresti & Mumford, 2016). That is to cater for all basic needs even if someone decides to have some jobs at once it is quite impossible. Therefore, the best way to invest in the economy is by ensuring the low-income workers are paid well since they are hardworking and will ensure they get something from it.
Their way of spending is also highly monitored because of their understanding of the cost it takes to get to where they are. People have also claimed they can create more business opportunities and do away with much of the need for government assistance. With all these put in place then it is possible to achieve more and also secure the state from many arising issues due to the minimum wage.
There were some ways used to determine whether the sources of the information are credible. First, the author of the given information. According to Taylor, the wages should be increased since not many people have new employees too often. The author is an indicated it is most probably very reliable. In addition to that, one is also able to choose the desired author who is well known for having indicated facts and with good content.
Neumark says that wages are not enough, but when people also uphold high ethical standards, then they will be content with what they get, many people earn a lot and have much in their cup but instead decide to acquire more due to discontentment (Neumark et al., 2004). This source appears to be very reliable due to the indication of dates and timings that were exact, and one can refer to clearly. Neumark also states that a large number would avoid crime with the provision of needs, only a few are greedy.
The possession of a domain makes it reliable. It is almost impossible to balance both aspects but hopes for the best as has been witnessed from time to time. Therefore, work within your ability and live within your means and ensure as an individual one can strike a balance. As an employer promote your employees when the need arises and as an employee support the course for a greater gain and in turn share in the fruits.
Therefore, it is important to at least have some sources to ensure weight on any information given (Schmitt, 2013). Different people have different opinions hence giving one quite a wider perspective of approach to a particular issue. Scholarly articles also ensure that one meets the required standard since they help attain a certain quality of information (Belman & Wolfson, 2014).
They have also helped to ensure authenticity and present ability of a research paper, therefore; it can be used for the future response. Most of the important things to observe are who the author is, the sources, whether he cites contains a domain, its design, and style of writing. An outline of facts and some presently occurring circumstances helps one be able also to certify the information. With all these put in place then the article can be rendered reliable and indeed be used for more than the purpose of being kept but also for reference.
Belman, D., & Wolfson, P. J. (2014). What does the minimum wage do? What Does the Minimum Wage Do? 1, 1–456.
Lopresti, J. W., & Mumford, K. J. (2016). Who benefits from a minimum wage increase? Industrial and Labor Relations Review.
Neumark, D., Schweitzer, M., & Wascher, W. (2004). Minimum Wage Effects throughout the Wage Distribution. The Journal of Human Resources, 39(2), 425.
Schmitt, J. (2013). Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment? Center for Economic and Policy Research, (February), 1–28.
Taylor, J., & Taylor, R. (2011). Working hard for more money or working hard to make a difference? Efficiency wages, public service motivation, and effort. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 31(1), 67–86.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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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Did you find any useful knowledge relating to recruitment and selection in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.
Employee motivation and motivation in general can be defined as a psychosomatic process that directs a person to behave and react in a way that helps them to satiate certain unfulfilled needs (Latham G., 2011). Motivation is what provides the stimuli and direction towards which employees can execute their duties (Lauby S., (2005). Motivation can be broken into three distinct categories that depend on each other for success. First of all, individual choices are driven by persistence, which reminds them of their unfulfilled needs. The choice taken will make an employee change their behavior in order to be in the right direction that would allow them to achieve those needs. Thirdly, there is the upholding of that behavior, which will go on until those needs and desires are achieved. Motivation however occurs differently in varying situations. Achieving a specific goal requires a particular motivational strategy and that same strategy cannot be used to achieve another goal.
Employee Motivation Theories
According to Gary Latham (2011), employees draw their motivation from unfulfilled needs that they need to satisfy. Were it not for those deficiencies, then people would never have enjoyed work. The motivation to work therefore is directly equated to human needs. Once those needs are fulfilled, then the morale to work goes down. These theories were however opposed and criticized strongly by many researchers (Latham, 2011). They argued that individuals did not receive motivation to work due to fulfilling certain needs. Research conducted by these groups reveals that apart from just fulfilling their needs, many people engage themselves in jobs for enjoyment. An artist will not just draw a beautiful portrait of Zeus just to sell it and make money, but also to practice and enjoy what they do best (Latham, 2011). Examples of need-based theories include Maslow’s theory of needs, McClelland’s theory, ERG theory and Herzberg’s two factor theory. This review will only discuss the Maslow’s theory of needs and Herzberg’s two factor theory.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
This theory views motivation as a desire that changes over time and these shifts are governed by different levels of needs. These needs are the actual drivers of employees to work hard in order to achieve their goals by all means. According to Hiam Alexander (2003), these needs are organized into a certain hierarchical order that one must follow in order to reach the highest levels. While coming up with this theory, Maslow suggested that needs already satisfied can no longer motivate someone to work hard. Once they achieve their purposed needs, employees begin to drift towards fulfilling needs that are situated at a higher level in the hierarchy. This theory was however criticized strongly because one does not have to follow the order as put by Maslow in satisfying their needs. The order that Maslow proposed starts with biological and physiological needs at the base, followed by safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs.
As much as Maslow tied employee motivation to hierarchical needs, Hiam believes that recognition, involvement and participation are among some of the factors that motivate a worker at the workplace.
Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory
According to Crouse Norm (2005), factors such as involvement, achievement, autonomy, participation, delegation and recognition are what increases the motivation of employees towards achieving a certain goal. Apart from that, hygienic factors such as working conditions, salary, and policies also influence the motivation of employees. As Crouse (2005) further states, poor hygienic conditions and poorly managed administrative policies lowers the morale of workers in an organization.
This theory suggests that employers should play the role of motivating their employees and is key to employee motivation. They should strive to ensure that all the factors involving working conditions go in favor of the employees – considering these factors will improve performance and bring better results for any organization. Both the two factors proposed in this theory work alongside each other.
No factor is independent on its own. Once the hygienic factors are fulfilled, the motivational factors can also be satisfied. Trying to satisfy only one set may lead to the lowering of work morale among workers, though. After doing away with the dissatisfaction in hygienic factors, employers should look forward to involving their employees in participating and developing programs. This will influence how they will perceive themselves as a part of the organization, with their due respect and recognition. This will make them improve their performance in the workplace, for they will not only increase the returns but they will also make the working environment appear more healthy and active. The model below demonstrates how Herzberg’s two factor theory is carried out.
Employee Motivation and Motivators
This theory was also criticized severely by Bruce Anne (2006), who argued that it did not serve the motivational needs of employees universally. Employees experience socioeconomic conditions differently and this makes them behave in variance. Herzberg’s theories assumed that the socioeconomic experiences of all employees are the same.
Unlike need-based theories, these theories focus mainly on job aspects that motivate employees and change their behavior towards achieving their needs. According to Bruce (2006), these theories look at how employees fulfill their needs, while at the same time bargaining between behavioral choices that will suit their motivational patterns.
Cognitive Evaluation Theory
It is believed that extrinsic factors are independent from intrinsic factors in employee motivation. However, this belief does not work in contemporary organizations, because such intrinsic factors like participation and involvement are closely linked to extrinsic factors like financial incentives in the motivation of employees. This is where this theory comes handy, for it provides dependence between the external and internal factors and merges them also in the realization of an employee’s needs. Cognitive evaluation theory argues that satisfying internal factors first before proceeding to satisfy the external factors does not work. Both these factors are supposed to be satisfied at the same time for any improvement to occur in an organization.
Giving employees financial incentives and denying them an opportunity to participate and involve themselves in organizational matters such as decision-making will not motivate them fully towards achieving the goals and objectives of that organization (Latham, 2011). Some of the internal factors to be considered in employee motivation include appreciation of self-worth, employee autonomy and rewards for the achievements made. Organizations should consider such factors before coming up with job designs. The model below demonstrates various reward aspects.
Importance of Aspects of Reward
Locus Of Causality
Feelings Of Competence
Intrinsically Motivated Task Behavior
Model adapted from Latham, 2011
Cognitive evaluation theory can help organizations to attract talented employees because of the commendable pay and the participation of employees in decision-making.
Goal Setting Theory
This theory was proposed by Edwin Locke and Latham in 1968. They viewed goal setting as a major basis and foundation of employee’s motivation. According to Latham (2011), the intention and objectives of an employee in a workplace is innate and that is what drives motivation. The more complex the goals become, the harder the employees work, thus improving performance. Organizations are therefore supposed to set more challenging goals for their employees in order to improve productivity. Motivation is the process that controls a person’s behavior in realizing and achieving certain goals and objectives.
As Latham further states, this theory only looks at the increasing complexity of goals with other factors remaining constant. In case there is an interruption in other contributory factors, then the challenge to achieve those goals becomes void. Apart from that, employees are supposed to accept the challenge of achieving their needs as presented to them by the goals set. Failure to accept those challenges will instead reduce the motivation towards performance.
Leaving the employees to set their own goals and objectives will result in better performance than when they are set for them by their organizations. According to Purcell John (2003), that autonomy makes employees believe in themselves and set goals that will be achieved more readily than if the goals had been set for them by others. Purcell (2003) further suggests that an employee who is restricted too much is less likely to get motivated than one that is left to participate in goal setting and decision-making processes. Contemporary organizations are supposed to therefore understand the needs of their employees before setting goals.
The Relationship between Managers and Employees
According to Ritter Joseph and Anker Richard (2002), the relationship between managers and their employees greatly affects motivation. Managers are supposed to come up with strategies that will ensure that employees remain motivated all the time. One related strategy is formulating a plan where the employee can have live forums with their supervisors and managers on a regular basis. Through those forums, managers are also supposed to recognize the behavioral patterns of their employees. Every employee has their own distinct behavior that cannot be compared to another. By understanding and appreciating the behavioral patterns of their employees, managers will be able to know which incentives and techniques to use to increase employee motivation.
Better communication between managers and their employees is also another factor that strengthens the relationship between them. Managers who rarely communicate with their employees suffer a blow when it comes to the overall outcomes of the organization. Ritter & Anker (2002) further point out that the closer the managers are to their employees, the more motivated the latter become. Regular communication between the two also makes managers understand the needs of each personal employee, thus knowing which technique to use to motivate them. According to Bruce (2006), most managers generalize the needs of their employees. This generalization is what leads to dismal performances in most organizations.
A study carried out by Sdrolias Maria, Terzidis Konstantinos and Vounatsou Maria (2005) shows that active, friendly and less strict managers are more inclined to motivate their employees towards achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. The study was conducted on eight employees of the Tech Organization in Canada. All the eight employees admitted that their manager was close to them and that he understood the individual needs of each of them.
Three employees said that they were more motivated by intrinsic factors than extrinsic ones, while the remaining five revealed that extrinsic factors carried the weight in their motivation. However, both extrinsic and intrinsic factors mattered in motivating these employees. If asked whether their manager understood them completely, all of them responded that he was a man who understood all their individual needs without generalizing.
Training as a Motivational Factor
Employee training is also another component that keeps employees motivated. According to Latham (2011), employees are supposed be trained on a more regular basis concerning the new technologies introduced in an organization. Most organizations introduce fresh changes in order to remain relevant in the market. Although such steps are taken to improve the performance of the organization, a issue arises when the employees fail to incorporate those technologies in their working systems. Many organizations will carry out a short-term internal training for their employees. According to Bruce (2006), this training technique discourages most employees because they are not given enough time to master new technologies. Instead, both internal and external training are supposed to be done. Employees should be sent out to a plethora of seminars and conferences that deal with the technology particular to the company.
This will not only give them exposure, but they will also see themselves as important players in the organization. The criteria used by some organizations to only send out only their supervisors and managers for further studies is never taken well by the employees. They see themselves as less important and this lowers their morale towards job performance thus reducing employee motivation.
Apart from technological training, organizations are also supposed to train their employees in special skills that will help them overcome difficulties and stress at the workplace. According to Bruce (2006), stress and other psychological issues like depression reduce the motivation of an employee drastically. Specialists are supposed to be brought and teach employees how they can reduce and manage their stress levels. It is difficult to realize the obstacles employees are going through unless managers develop a closer relationship with them.
A study conducted by Salmela Katariina & Numi Jari-Erik (2004) at Stanford University revealed that the non-teaching staff is motivated to work by the regular training they receive in their areas of expertise. One of the employees in the kitchen said that she strove to make the best food and serve her customers jovially. This, she said, was attributed to the program introduced by their manager to carry out a training that ran for 4 days for all the employees every month. She revealed that this not only helped her to improve her cooking styles, but it also encouraged her to be friendly and courteous to the people she served.
Teamwork as a Motivating Factor
According to Hiam (2003), teamwork is also one of the major components that determine the degree of motivation. In most companies and organizations, sales are achieved through teamwork. What determines motivation in a team is the type of task assigned and its expected outcomes. Once members gather together to fulfill a certain task, the bond and relationship among them heavily determines how that task will be accomplished. Team members are supposed to encourage one another and act as an example to others. Managers and supervisors on the other hand are supposed to evaluate and understand each team separately.
According to Latham (2011), every team in an organization has its own motivational factors which might be different from those of another team. To achieve their desired goals, managers should break down the assigned tasks into smaller and measurable units that will enable team members to easily assess the information on how they have performed. This will greatly help them in determining the amount of effort they are supposed to exert in order to complete remaining tasks. The selection and formation of teams should be done on the basis of compatibility. This step requires managers and supervisors to understand their employees well and how they can perform and react in certain situations. Even though it is useful to understand an employee on an individual basis, some employees are understood best in their various teams (Hiam, 2003).
The empirical research conducted by Latham (2011) shows that teamwork is actually one of the factors that contribute towards employee motivation. The study was conducted on employees of a bank in India. According to Latham (2011), banks are among the institutions that are generally believed to be dependent on individual efforts. This study, however, shows that bank employees feel more motivated when they work as a team and not on an individual basis. Ten bankers were interviewed and all of them agreed that consulting each other while on the job encourages one to work harder in order to achieve the set goals and objectives.
One of the respondents admitted that a career in banking is full of challenges and difficult moments. He cited some of the challenges which included serving fraudulent customers, attending to customers who had not fully complied with all the rules and even attending to clients whose money had been withdrawn by conmen. Due to these challenges, he argued that they should be given freedom to consult their workmates in order to be successful on the job. All the respondents said that their bank manager was strict and he rarely allowed them to communicate to each other, but they found themselves breaking that rule in order to seek help from their team members. All the respondents agreed that they would be more motivated to perform better if their manager allowed them to freely consult with each other while in the course of duty.
Employee Motivation – A Summary Showing the Relationship between Motivation and Job Satisfaction
Purcell (2003) points out that motivation is the key factor in determining the success of a worker. As observed from the above cases, motivated employees are more likely to meet the demands of a job than those who are not. Motivation is an innate aspect that drives one’s behavior towards achieving certain goals and objectives. Managers are supposed to understand the psychological needs of their employees before drawing work plans. Such psychological disturbances like stress and depression are likely to reduce the motivation of an employee in carrying out their duties. Employers are supposed to understand the behavior of their employees before delegating duties to them. Both the need-based and process-based theories discussed above reveal that intrinsic and extrinsic factors are supposed to be satisfied concurrently for better performance. Motivating an employee by financial incentives alone is not enough, for they will need to be recognized and appreciated as an important person in that organization.
Appreciating an employee can be done through many acts, including training and educating them on the rising issues in the organization. Employee motivation should therefore be considered as a key aspect of job satisfaction.
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