Today’s labor economy faces new challenges entirely unlike those of the past. With increased international outsourcing of both skilled and unskilled labor, in addition to aggressive downsizing, seemingly neverending RIF programs (reductions in force), cuts in health benefits, and cuts in retirement benefits, levels of employee commitment have dropped dramatically. The resulting effect is a high rate of turnover in the workforce across a broad range of industries. Employers everywhere face a growing need to work around the issue of high employee turnover, and many are finding answers in effective human resources management solutions.
That’s because managing a workforce made up of short-term employees requires a revolutionized approach to directing this changing field in the industry. Specialists in the management of human resources consistently advise that it is highly important to recognize the key features for an ideal staff. Indeed, not only must employers who are staffing a high turnover work environment look for staff that is well qualified and productive, but they must also be easily replaceable. It is under this paradoxical model that the right applicant tracking system must utilize the best practices for developing a committed and productive workforce when recruiting, staffing and tracking its employee applicants across the entire cycle of the recruiting, hiring, and training process.
Placing a high level of importance on recruitment and staffing coupled to a strongly structured training process is fundamental to the success of this system, and to the uninterrupted operation of the organization. To begin with, effective staffing and employee recruitment depends on seeking a combination of demonstrated behavior and performance. This is mostly determined through the interview process. Here, a well-structured series of interviews will effectively assess the applicant’s level of commitment as well as his or her past job performance. In addition, it will be able to provide an informed prediction of how well equipped the employee will be when entering the workforce.
In addition to the interview, effective recruitment and staffing involves attracting the right people to apply for positions in the workforce. The first step to this process involves knowing where to search. In certain situations the best candidate for the job may come from within the company itself. Regardless, it should be recognized that creating concise and targeted job descriptions help to effectively gather up the right talent. For instance, a job description that is brief as well as precise (i.e. lists the necessary requirements without rambling on about a series of ideal features desired) is the best way to pool a high number of recruits while weeding out those who are not qualified.
While a well-planned interview should be effective in determining the value of the applicant, it should also help the employer develop a clear understanding of his or her past performance metrics. Asking detailed questions about the performance as well as how it was carried out is an effective way of formulating a clear projection of the applicant’s future contribution to a company.
Indeed, there is no better way to determine the projected success of an applicant than by looking at his or her past. If the applicant helped to increase sales, productivity or growth in his or her job function, then it is likely the same performance can be expected.
In addition, successful applicant tracking is essential to maintaining a qualified and on-demand workforce in a high-turnover environment. Keeping track of an active database of applicants is necessary in order to quickly fill up jobs once openings for them are created (which is obviously a continually occurring phenomenon in high-turnover work environments). Indeed, this is absolutely essential to successful human resources management.
These best practices feature proven success. To demonstrate this, one case study that was recently produced by the Peter Manchester Associates found that a busy call center in Kentucky was able to increase its labor productivity metrics by 44% when human resources managers applied these advanced recruitment, staffing and management practices. The actual cost of running the call center went down by a stunning 16% simply from filling more seats with employees rather than short term contract workers, as well as employing a more effective training component that weeded out quitters before they reached the call center floor. That is the essence of human resource management in action.
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