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Randstad: Recruitment and the Selection Process

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    Randstad Holding is a global provider of HR services and the second-largest staffing organization in the world. Randstad was founded in Amsterdam over 50 years ago in 1960 by Frits Goldschmeding. The company represents more than 90 percent of the global HR services market. In July of 2008, Randstad acquired the human resources company Vedior. The acquisition of Vedior has made Randstad the second largest human resource services provider in the world. The company mission is “to be a world leader in matching demand for and supply of labor and human resource services. (Randstad US, 2012) The Randstad Group holds top positions in multiple key markets such as Argentina, Belgium & Luxembourg, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. They also hold major positions in Australia and the United States. Randstad Holding has 28,700 corporate employees working from 4,711 different branches, and is employing over 576,000 people every day. Randstad Holding nv is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands, The Randstad Holding organization is a $22. billion, global Fortune 500 Company, with operations in 40 different countries providing professional employment solutions and services. Some of the solutions provided include: temporary staff, temporary to hire, direct hire and outsourced placements. Company services include: payroll, managed services, recruitment process outsourcing and HR consulting. Randstad US is a subsidiary of Randstad Holding. Randstad US has over 1000 branches across the country and employs 4,800 employment specialists. The United States headquarters are situated in Atlanta, GA.

    Randstad’s employment specialists put an average of 125,000 people to work each week within the Accounting & Finance, Office & Administration, Engineering, Healthcare, IT, Legal, Life Sciences, and Manufacturing & Logistics industries. (Randstad US, 2012) Recruiting is defined as any activity carried on by an organization with the primary purpose of identifying and attracting potential employees. Our course textbook defines personnel selection as the process through which organizations make decisions about who will or will not be allowed to join an organization (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2011).

    For a company like Randstad, who specialize in providing professional employment solutions for their clients, recruiting and selection are two key actives that are vital to the company’s success. A different way to define recruiting is as active ways to encourage qualified people to apply for jobs. The three aspects of recruiting are: personnel policies, recruitment sources and recruiter traits and behaviors. It is important for the human resources personnel responsible for recruiting in their organization to build a pool of potential employees that can be accessed as needed.

    This is important because in many organizations, obtaining an accurate estimate of the number of new hires required in advance of the demand can be difficult. Many of a company’s personnel policies impact recruiting. Policy around internal or external recruiting, pay strategies and employment-at-will policies are just a few areas that can be relevant to recruitment. Where to look for resources is also important. There are many sources for finding new employees. Outside of the typical direct applicants and referrals, print advertisement and electronic recruiting are other avenues frequently used.

    The recruiter is the link in this entire process. It is important that recruiters are warm, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Randstad uses various ways to recruit talent. Randstad uses various social media websites such as Facebook, and Linked In. They also use the most popular employment websites such as Indeed. com, Monster. com, Careerbuilder. com and their own website- Randstadstaffing. com. Job Fairs are also a very good tool Randstad uses to recruit candidates. Typically they will partner with groups such as the Department of Labor, various community organizations such as churches and Catholic Charities.

    A good tool Randstad considers the “secret weapon” is referrals from their talented candidate pool. Recruitment is continuous as they move through the selection process. Personnel selection is the systematic placement of individuals into jobs. The process of selection follows a methodology to gather information about an applicant in order to determine if the applicant can meet the organizational standards and employment needs. The United States government imposes legal requirements on selection decisions. The selection process must avoid discrimination and provide equal opportunity to employees with disabilities.

    There are several laws such as The Civil Rights Act of 1991, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, that impact how the selection process should be governed. Any methodology used for selection must not violate any laws regarding personnel selection. Most organizations use a five step selection process that includes the following steps: Step 1. Screening Applications and Resumes Step 2. Testing and Reviewing Work Samples Step 3. Interviewing Candidates Step 4. Checking References and Background Step 5.

    Making a Selection Using the steps above, organizations can create a selection process customized to their organization and its job descriptions, however as our textbook notes, most simply use a process that is familiar. When customizing the selection process, all of the steps listed above may not be used and they are not necessarily executed in the order listed. Each of us at some point has had to complete an employment application. Application forms have areas for the applicant to provide general information such as contact information, work experience and education.

    Because application forms do not have to be customized for the company, the employment application is an extremely cost effective way to gather information from a large number of applicants. These standard forms can be purchased from office supply stores or organizations can create their own. Resumes are another common way for applicants to provide general information about themselves and their employment qualifications. This is another inexpensive way for employers to gather basic information from candidates. By screening applications and resumes HR personnel reduce the load on the hiring manager and save the company money.

    This first step of the selection process allows for the identification of a potential hire that meets the minimum education and experience requirements before moving the candidate further along in the process. The screening process is fundamental for Randstad. As noted earlier Randstad US employs approximate 125,000 people each week. They are in the business of supplying resources for their client’s workforce. This requires that they hire and maintain a ready and available pool of resources, which requires an enormous amount of screening. Applicants are creened and their information is stored in a PeopleSoft tool called the Randstad Front-Office (RFO). Randstad has a goal of “making the match in 24 hours”. Figure1 below is a graphic of the process flow Randstad follows when a request for a resource is received. Figure 1 – Resource identification process flow using the available pool of pre-screened candidates (Randstad US, 2012) First, recruiters search their available pool of pre-screened resources. If the right candidates are not found in the Randstad Front-Office, alternative steps exist in the process to perform specialized recruiting to fill the client’s need. Randstad US, 2012) After an organization has screened applications and resumes and have identified a group that meet the basic requirements, testing and reviewing work samples is often the next step in the process. This helps to narrow the selection pool even further. There are two large categories of tests, aptitude and achievement. Aptitude tests measure how well a person can learn or acquire skills and abilities. Achievement test evaluate a person’s existing knowledge and skills. Based on the job requirements, physical ability and cognitive ability tests may be given.

    All tests must be determined to be valid and reliable before an organization decides to use it as a part of their selection process. Job performance test and work samples are additional ways of evaluating candidates’ skills. To evaluate candidates for jobs that require that the right candidate excel at specialized tasks such as operating certain machinery or fast and accurate data entry, job performance test are the tools most often used. Some examples of job performance tests are keyboarding speed and in-basket tests. For jobs in advertising, graphic design or writing, examples of the candidates work are often requested.

    These work samples are good way to assess the candidate’s true ability. Since Randstad staffs for an array of jobs from manufacturing to management they have designed an extensive testing process for all job categories. They use an online testing tool titled “Prove It” to test candidates from machine operators to accounting clerks. For example, if they were recruiting a maintenance technician, the candidate could come into the office or the recruiter would email a test that would test his cognitive skills as well as verify the candidates’ knowledge of maintenance terms and processes.

    Randstad also uses client specific tests where necessary to ensure candidates have the required skills to fulfill job duties. When testing is complete, the number of candidates should have been narrowed enough to move to the next step in the selection process, interviewing the candidates. Interviewing is a method that is used more than any other part of the selection process. There can be multiple people involved in the process of interviewing candidates. Both supervisors and team members can be a part of the interview process. There are several interview types and interviewing techniques that assist with the candidate evaluation.

    Interview techniques include choices about the format of the interview, the number of people involved and the types of questions to ask. A nondirective interview is a selection interview where the interviewer uses his or her own discretion in determining questions to ask each candidate. According to our textbook, the reliability of a nondirective interview is not a good as some other techniques. In a structured interview a predetermined set of questions is defined for the interviewer. The results from a structured interview are more reliable than the nondirective.

    There are several types of structured interviews. A situational interview is a different form of structured interview where the interviewer describes a situation that is likely to occur on the job, and asks the candidate to describe what he or she would do if faced with that situation. This type of interview is considered valid way to predict future job performance. A behavior description interview is also structured. In fact it is a situational interview where the interviewer asks the candidate to describe how he or she may have handled certain situations in the past.

    These types of questions are considered some of the most valid. Randstad uses behavioral description interview. Interviewing in a core step in the screening process required to build the pool of available workers. When a Randstad client places an order for resources, the Randstad employment specialist need only to present the opportunity to the candidates in the pool that match the client need. Either a single candidate is presented, or multiple interested candidates are presented to the client.

    The client may or may not do secondary interview of the candidate selected by Randstad. Another step of the selection process is reference verification and background checks. Most applicants are asked early in the selection process to provide several employment references. Employment references are normally former employers or others who can speak to the candidate’s past job performance. When an organization has completed several steps in the selection process and are nearing a selection decision, employment references are usually contacted.

    Some employers also look for ways to verify the accuracy of the information provided on a person’s resume and also to find out as much additional information as possible about a candidate before making a final hire decision. Background checks involve reviewing a candidate’s past to assure what has been provided to the potential employer is truthful. They also check for criminal activity. Our textbook indicated that 8 out of 10 large companies and two-thirds of smaller companies conduct background checks.

    Another type of background check often used by employers that was mentioned in our textbook was the use of credit checks. The reasoning given for the need of credit checks is to avoid hiring individuals with financial problems into roles that require handling money. This practice has recently been called into question. Since the housing crisis and downturn of the economy, there are many people looking for work. With such high unemployment rates and the burst of the housing bubble, the time it takes to find a job has been extended and the impact affects individuals credit is much higher.

    Our textbook noted that some states now ban or are considering bans of this practice. Because Randstad’s clients are usually in need of immediate staffing and they strive to make a match for the client within 24 hours, drug screens, background and reference checks are completed before adding a candidate to the RFO database. Clients of Randstad can be sure that all candidates’ previous employers and references have been contacted and a full background check has been run. Randstad also uses TheWorkNumber. com, an automated tool that does employer verification.

    After screening the applications and resumes, testing and reviewing work samples, interviewing candidates, checking references and running the background checks a final selection decision can be made. The people responsible for making a hire decision are tasked with looking for the best fit between candidate and the position. The final selection decision is usually arrived at by a combination of ranking the final candidates based objective criteria paired with subjective judgments made by the interviewers (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2011).

    There are multiple ways of getting to a selection decision. The multiple-hurdle model is a process of coming to a selection decision by eliminating candidates and each stage of the selection process leaving only the most qualified at end. This is the usually process for arriving at a selection decision. Decision makers may also use a compensatory model to help make the selection decision. The compensatory model is a process of arriving at a selection decision in which high score on one type of assessment can make up for a low score on a different assessment (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2011).

    Human resources can help in the process and even at times make the decision using standardized objective criteria. Once the final decision has been made the human resources department notifies applicants of the end result of the selection process and makes an offer to the chosen candidate. For Randstad the final step of the selection process may in fact include a decision by the Randstad employment specialist and the client. In both cases the process is the same. After narrowing down the selection pool through each step of the selection process the right candidate for the position is selected.

    Notifying the candidate of their selection and salary negotiations are all completed by the Randstad employment specialist. For Randstad, recruiting and the selection process are keys to the company’s success. They are a company who specialize in providing professional employment solutions for their clients and make selection decisions on behalf of their clients’ every day. Whether you are a company like Randstad US that employs 125,000 resources a week, or small company looking to hire one individual the overall recruiting and selection process involves the same activities.

    Recruiting is any activity an organization embarks upon with purpose of identifying and attracting potential employees. Personnel selection is the process of screening the applications and resumes, testing and reviewing work samples, interviewing candidates, checking references and running the background checks so that an informed decision about who will or will not be allowed to join an organization can be made. References Noe, R. A. , Hollenbeck, J. R. , Gerhart, B. , & Wright, P. M. (2011). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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