Cost-Effective Recruitment Process - Recruitment Essay Example


REQUIREMENTS: Research, develop, explain, and defend the following for the Prison Guard Supervisor position:


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More Recruitment Essay Topics.

A cost effective recruitment process.
An appropriate selection process.
A accurate evaluation and appraisal process
An acceptable compensation method.
Cost-Effective Recruitment Process

According to Sims (2002, pp. 107-108), the recruitment process can be fairly costly when the costs of ‘advertising, agency fees, employee referral bonuses, applicant and staff travel, relocation costs, and recruiter salaries’ are considered. Although recruitment in the government sector can be quite expensive, the organization has not always treated it as systematically as other HRM functions, such as selection. However, in recent years the United States government has increasingly recognized that failure to systematically recruit employees can impact the quality of public service delivery. Sims (2002) also claimed that there is every indication that organizations will continue to see the value of recruitment to their success. The magnitude of the United States government’s recruiting effort and the methods to be used in that recruiting effort are determined from human resources management planning.

Recruitment follows human resources management planning and job analysis and goes hand in hand with the selection process by which the United States government evaluates the suitability of candidates for various jobs in the sector. Many factors and issues must be taken into consideration by the Federal Prison System if it is going to be successful in its recruiting efforts for the prisoner guard supervisor position. Cost, for one, is an important factor in recruitment. Recruiting efforts by any organization are expensive, much more for a sensitive position such as the prisoner guard supervisor.

A long search is not possible because of obvious budget restrictions, which can only be expected from the public sector, since funds have to be apportioned to many other government sectors. Accordingly, it has been known that when the United States government considers various recruiting sources, it does so with some sense of effectiveness in mind—such as maximizing its recruiting travel budget by first interviewing employees over the phone or through videoconferencing. Thus, the organization will need to analyze the costs involved in alternative methods of recruitment. The recruitment process for the prisoner guard supervisor would be a labor intensive process, due to the delicateness of the position and the relative weight of responsibility that the job entails. A solution for this concern is automating the recruitment process, which would also attend to the more pressing matter of cost-effectiveness.

A computerized selection process would handle the process with ease, therefore saving valuable time and precious organizational resources that would otherwise have been spent on manual labor. For instance, with the common functionality of having applicants’ data stored in a data base, the system will automatically build up a pool of prisoner guard supervisor applicants that could be recalled at the touch of a fingertip any time the information is needed. Reduced is the paper trail of required information that can make the recruitment process costly, that would be critical for a sensitive position such as that of the prisoner guard supervisor, which basically ensures that the public is safe from violent criminals by transporting them safely back and forth between cell and destination during certain special occasions.

Likewise, once the recruitment process has been automated, the employer, which in this case is the Federal Prison System under the United States government, will have the greater ability to keep track of the costs associated with obtaining a prisoner guard supervisor. An analysis could be made to determine the most cost-effective advertising media, which in this case, would have to be a combination of internal and external organization media, as the government should keep all their options open with respect to the position being offered. An overlooked applicant source would not only undermine the objectivity of the Federal Prison System in choosing the recruit most fitting for the duties and responsibilities entailed of the job, but could also prove costly for the organization if it will choose to train a person from a limited pool of people, when it could have otherwise chosen the best among the bunch of wide labor sources.

A goal for the Federal Prison System should be that recruiting efforts should have beneficial ‘spill-over’ effects; that is, the United States government’s general image should be enhanced, and even unsuccessful applicants should develop positive attitudes toward the government and its services. Further, the goal should be reached with the greatest speed and at the least possible cost to the organization, in order to ensure that taxes paid by the citizens of the United States are made to work for their general good and not just for the benefit of some. This is a goal that would not only promote the unbiased image of the government, but also save the sector on costs that could be used for other public service activities like increasing the visibility of police officers in states where the incidence of violet crimes is notably high.

Appropriate Selection Process

The selection process, according to Briscoe and Schuler (2004), is concerned with identifying the best candidate or candidates for jobs from the pool of qualified applicants developed during the recruitment process. The selection process is a critical one for the organization as a whole and for all managers. Recognizing the importance of these decisions, today’s successful organizations invest substantial amounts of time, effort, and money in selecting their human resources. By making good selection decisions, organizations help ensure that their financial investments in employees pay off (Briscoe and Schuler, 2004). Effective selection also minimizes the risk of lawsuits brought by victims of criminal, violent, or negligent acts perpetrated by employees who should not have been hired or kept in their jobs. By using fair and legal procedures when making selection decisions, employers can also minimize the risk of discrimination lawsuits.

In the context of the current position offering of the United States government, the Federal Prison System must take into account the fact that not only can an incorrect selection decision lead to a tremendous cost in terms of public resources and opportunity but it can also affect many people. Since one of the duties of the job requires the maintenance of a secure and orderly facility maximum security prison which houses the most violent criminals of society, the right choice can mean the general feeling of safety and security of the public, as well as decreased incidences of riots and the like within the confines of the maximum security prison.

The wrong selection can result in not only repetitive training, documentation and low morale prior to the eventual termination of the recently hired individual, after which the selection process begins all over again, but also of endangering the safety of the general public if ever one of the maximum security prisoners manages to escape. Employee selection under the current position is a decision that needs to be made right the first time. Although this is true in organizations of any undertaking, the impact of a wrong selection decision is magnified in such a sector as the Federal Prison System. In business organizations, one inappropriate placement can perhaps be reassigned or retrained. In the Federal Prison System of the United States government, there is no such luxury. An appropriate selection process is therefore highly critical.

At the heart of an appropriate selection system is an understanding of what characteristics are essential for high performance of the prisoner guard supervisor position. This is where the critical role of job analysis in selection becomes most obvious because that list of characteristics should have been identified during the process of job analysis and should now be accurately reflected in the job specification. This information helps the Federal Prison System goes about selecting a given individual from a pool of qualified applicants, combined with the automated recruitment process mentioned in the first section.

Thus, from a performance perspective, the goal of an organization’s selection system should be to accurately determine which job applicants possess the education and experience, specific skills and abilities, and personal characteristics (Greenberg, Weinstein and Sweeney, 2001) – needed to perform the five main duties entailed of the job successfully. Additionally, the organization’s selection system must be capable of distinguishing between characteristics that are needed at the time of hiring, those that are systematically acquired during training, and those that are routinely developed after an individual has been placed on the job.

For some jobs, the organization may stipulate that people have a high school diploma. Other jobs require a two-year associate degree from a junior or community college, and still other jobs might require a four-year college education. In this instance, the organization could not leave the educational fields open, as the job requires an advanced degree in the field of criminology, and because the position is of supervisory nature, the amount of experience is quite vital. Experience refers to the amount of time the individual has spent working, either in a general capacity or in a particular field of study, and thus past performance on a similar job is often one of the best indicators of future performance. However, Certo (2005) strongly recommends that care be exercised not to set standards that are higher than actually required by the job.

An individual who is found to be qualified for the prisoner guard supervisor position, based on his or her performance on various selection techniques, may be subjected to more in-depth interviews, followed by reference and recommendation checks. Finally, physical examinations might be authorized for those who are about to be offered employment. If a particular candidate for the job scores well on all selection techniques except one, the Federal Prison System may choose either to ignore the results of that one technique or to try to learn more about why the individual did not perform better. All in all, an appropriate selection process for the position can be succinctly described in one word: cautious.

Accurate Evaluation and Appraisal Process

Performance appraisal, as defined by Sims (2002, p. 197) ‘is the process by which an employee’s contribution to the organization during a specified period of time is assessed’. The evaluation and appraisal of the performance of a prisoner guard supervisor is a control mechanism that provides not only feedback to the higher ups in the Federal Prison System but also an organizational assessment of how things are progressing. Without performance information, the United States government can only guess whether the employee is working toward the right goals, in the correct way, and to the desired standard of public service.

Today, the United States government treats the performance appraisal as an evaluation and development tool, a form of a check and balance for government employees, as well as a formal legal document (Rudman, 2003). Appraisals review past performance—emphasizing positive accomplishments as well as deficiencies and drafting detailed plans for future development. By emphasizing the future as well as the past, documenting performance effectively, and providing feedback in a constructive manner, employees are less likely to respond defensively to feedback, and the appraisal process is more likely to motivate employees to improve where necessary. The performance evaluation also serves a vital organizational need by providing the documentation necessary for any personnel action that might be taken against an employee.

The performance appraisals should occur both formally and informally. Formal performance reviews should be conducted once a year at a minimum, but twice a year is better. Informal performance appraisals and feedback should complement the formal appraisal system. The ultimate goal is to establish an effective performance management system where performance is monitored and managed overall, not just appraised in a once a year session. Continuous feedback is primarily important in letting the employee know how he or she is doing. Without constructive feedback, DelPo (2007) argues that employees tend to assume that their performance is acceptable, and problems may continue.

Conversely, without positive feedback or praise, employees begin to feel that their hard work is unappreciated and may decide to stop putting forth so much effort. Employees need and expect frequent communication and feedback about their performance—not just during the formal appraisal interview session. A critical incidents type of appraisal is most fitting for an environment where the prisoner guard supervisor will have to work. Grote and Grote (2002, p. 204) describes this kind of appraisal as focusing ‘the evaluator’s attention on those behaviors that are key in making the difference between executing a job effectively and executing it ineffectively’.

That is, the Federal Prison System head writes down anecdotes that describe what the employee did that was especially effective or ineffective. The key here is that only specific behaviors, not vaguely defined personality traits, are cited. A list of critical incidents provides a rich set of examples from which the employee can be shown those behaviors that are desirable and those that call for improvement. To successfully conduct a critical-incident appraisal, Sims (2002) suggests that a rating supervisor must keep a written record of incidents that show positive and negative ways an employee has acted.

The record in this case should include dates, people involved, actions taken, and any other relevant details. This is important in such a tension-charged atmosphere as a maximum security prison, as all incidents should be reported formally so that measures can be taken to make sure that the situation within the prison premises is always controlled. At the time of the appraisal, Federal Prison System head should review the record to reach an overall evaluation of the supervisor’s behavior. During the appraisal interview, the head should give the employee a chance to offer her or his views of each incident recorded. The critical incident method can be used with other methods to document the reasons why an employee was rated in a certain way (Certo, 2005).

Acceptable Compensation Method

Today’s compensation systems must be strategic in nature, and pay in particular must go beyond individual or group incentive pay and seek to provide a mechanism for an organization to use all elements of compensation, direct (cash compensation) and indirect (benefits), to forge a partnership between the organization and its employees. Especially for such a difficult position as a prison guard supervisor, the employee must have some desire for the compensation plan, if only to recompense for the occupational hazards entailed of the position.

This desire, according to Sparrow, Brewster and Harris (2004), is influenced in part by how successful the Federal Prison System is in introducing the plan and convincing the employee of its benefits participate in developing and administering the plan is likely to increase the individual’s willingness to accept it. People willing to work in such a strenuous and dangerous environment such as a maximum security prison are hard to come by, which is why the importance of having an acceptable compensation method is tantamount to the desirability of the supervisory post.

The Federal Prison System has been criticized for its focus on the short-term goals to the detriment of long-term survival and growth objectives. Therefore, the organization should adopt compensation strategies that tie pay to long-term performance measures. In this light, a major function of the incentive plan for the prison guard supervisor should be to motivate the individual to develop and use his or her abilities and contribute his or her energies to the fullest possible extent. Incentive plans should also facilitate the recruitment and retention of the employee, if the individual proves to be competent in carrying out his or her main duties as a prison guard supervisor.

Chiavenato (2001) noted that the United States government commonly has more than one compensation strategy for supervisors and department heads in order to meet various organizational goals and needs. In this instance, the position may have its compensation packages heavily weighted toward long-term incentives because prison guard supervisors should be more concerned about the long-term impact of their decisions than the short-term implications. Further, the Federal Prison system should start to recognize that they can leverage the value of the incentives they offer to the position in their organization by allowing the individuals to have a say in how rewards are distributed, a characteristic innate of business organizations.

For example, the organization could grant salary-increase budgets to the individual. This method would appear to hold considerable promise if all parties involved would understand the performance arrangements that exist and everyone is committed to being fair and equitable. Regardless of the method used, however, Briscoe, D. & Schuler (2004) asserts that it is also important that organizations effectively communicate what rewards are being distributed and the basis for that distribution. That is, if incentives are being distributed on the basis of perceived individual contributions to the organization, then members of the organization should be informed of that fact. This information will presumably help them to understand the basis on which pay increases and other incentives and performance-based rewards have been distributed.

Mandated protection plans such as workers’ compensation which provides benefits to persons injured on the job is especially important for prison guard supervisors due to the obvious nature of their job. U.S. government employees like prison guard supervisors are covered under the Federal Employees’ Liabilities Act, administered by the Department of Labor (Sims, 2002). The workers’ compensation system requires employers to give cash benefits, medical care, and rehabilitation services to employees for injuries or illnesses occurring within the scope of their employment. Employees are entitled to quick and certain payment from the workers’ compensation system without proving that the employer is at fault. In exchange, employees give up the right of legal actions and awards; so employers enjoy limited liability for occupational illnesses and injury.

The United States government also should provide full-time employees with some payments for time not worked, as is mandated by law. This is only expected of a government agency such as the Federal Prison System, and the payment for time not worked’ category of benefits (e.g., supplemental pay benefits) includes paid vacations, bonuses given in lieu of paid vacations, payments for holidays not worked, paid sick leave, military and jury duty, and payments for absence due to a death in the family or other personal reasons (Burke and Cooper, 2004). Supplemental pay benefits are typically one of the government’s most expensive benefits because of the large amount of time off that many employees receive, but is only essential of the current position under review, which is also due to the fact that the nature of work of a prison guard supervisor is highly stressing given the weight of responsibility placed upon the individual’s shoulder.




Briscoe, D. & Schuler, R. (2004). International Human Resource Management: Policies and Practices for the Global Enterprise. New York: Routledge.

Burke, R. & Cooper, C. (Eds.). (2004). Reinventing Human Resources Management: Challenges and New Directions. New York: Routledge.

Certo, S. (2005). Supervision: Concepts and Skill-Building. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Chiavenato, I. (2001). Advances and Challenges in Human Resource Management in the New Millennium. Public Personnel Management, vol. 30, no. 1, p. 17.

DelPo, A. (2007). The Performance Appraisal Handbook. Berkeley, California: Nolo.

Greenberg, H., Weinstein, H. & Sweeney, P. (2001). How to Hire and Develop your next Top Performer. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Grote, D. & Grote, R. (2002). The Performance Appraisal Question and Answer Book. New York: AMACOM.

Rudman, R. (2003). Performance Planning and Review: Making Employee Appraisals Work. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.

Sims, R. (2002). Organizational Success through Effective Human Resources Management. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.

Sparrow, P., Brewster, C. & Harris, H. (2004). Globalizing Human Resource Management. New York: Routledge.

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