Module 3: Evaluating Staffing Policies, Procedures, and Practices
In your role as the new human resources manager for Human Solutions Software (HSS), you have been informally talking to many of the employees at HSS. There are several issues that have come up in your discussions
When HSS first started more than two years ago, the hiring practices were haphazard. The main method of recruiting new employees was to ask current HSS employees if they knew anyone who had the qualifications that HSS needed. It was common practice to hire family members and friends of established employees. Those practices are still being used today and have been institutionalized by providing bonuses to employees who refer people to apply for positions at the organization, who are eventually hired. In some cases, jobs appear to have been created to fit with the qualifications of people whom some of the founders wanted to hire
You have also been struck by the demographic characteristics of the employees. There are roughly an equal number of men and women working for HSS, but men fill most of the higher–level positions. Two of the founders are women, but there is a great deal of tension between these two women and the other three founders. This tension seems to be based on the two women wanting to set up a corporate structure that the men see as taking power from the founders. It seems that the new HR department is one of the changes that is in contention.
There is also a lack of minority employees. The two African American and three Hispanic employees are working in lower–level positions
In–Depth Scenario 1
From talking to one of the founders, you learn that one of the reasons for hiring from internal referrals is that HSS had attempted to hire its first marketing manager from outside the company in a generalsearch a year and a half ago. One of the candidates had outstanding qualifications—degrees from top universities and 15 years of experience at a very successful firm. He had worked for two other firms for less than a year before he applied for the position at HSS.
When the founders at HSS called the candidate’s last supervisor, the supervisor did not say anything directly negative about the candidate but left a negative impression of him with the founder who had talked to him. The founders did not want to believe that a candidate with such good qualifications had negatives in his background, so they called the president of the company for which the candidate had last worked. The president of the company assured the founders that there was simply “a personality conflict” between the candidate and his immediate supervisor. The founders decided to hire the candidate as the marketing manager for HSS
The first two or three weeks that the new marketing manager worked for HSS had gone well, and he used his knowledge and experience to begin creating a good marketing plan. Then one Monday he neither showed up for work nor called HSS. HSS tried to contact him, but because he had recently moved to the local area to work for HSS, they were unable to locate him. Finally,two days later, the new marketing manager showed up for work as if nothing had happened. One of the founders questioned him but did not get an adequate explanation as to why he had not showed up to work for two days. The new marketing manager assured him that it would not happen again, but two weeks later the same thing happened
One of the founders questioned him about his absence and the employee became somewhat belligerent and admitted that he had been receiving treatment for a chronic illness. When asked what the illness was, the marketing manager admitted that he was an alcoholic.
The founders decided to fire the new marketing manager. When they told him they were going to “let him go,” he threatened to sue them under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The marketing manager subsequently hired an attorney and started the process of bringing a lawsuit against HSS. HSS hired an attorney to deal with the situation. In his investigation the attorney learned that the marketing manager had similar problems in his previous firm and had initiated a lawsuit against them, but when he had been hired by HSS he had dropped the lawsuit against the other firm. The attorney recommended that HSS attempt to settle the case for a sum that was about the same as one year’s salary. The attorney believed that HSS would prevail if the case went to court, but that it would cost HSS more to contest the case than it would cost to settle the case. So HSS had settled the case.
The founder you talked with about this past situation is concerned that if HSS starts hiring from outside the organization, similar situations will occur. This founder also realizes that HSS must start to hire from outside the organization but is a little scared because of the past negative experience
Develop a brief internal memo that develops a selection strategy that will avoid the problems HSS had previously. Include the following:
- A discussion of the reasons why a selection strategy is necessary to hire the best candidates.
- An explanation to the founders regarding how the selection process should be based on valid and reliable selection criteria, including some examples.
- A discussion of the selection criteria and methods that could have been used to avoid hiring the wrong candidate for marketing manager position
Be sure to provide good sources to support your suggestions.