Staffing Essay

This essay has a total of 2804 words and 13 pages.


Staffing has been an important aspect in all types of organizations' development. More and
more companies have noticed a good staffing plan could increase productivity and reduce
operation costs in terms of lower turnover rate and transition costs. Good staffing could
be able to minimize cost in order to maximize profit, because it could assist the company
to stay more competitive within the industry. According to the definition by Dr. Green,
"staff is the process of identifying work requirements within an organization; determining
the number of people and the skills necessary to do the work; and recruiting, selecting
and promoting the qualified candidates. It is the selection process of screening and
hiring new employees, which includes functions like resume reviewing, interview, drug
testing, assessment testing, and background check" (Green, 2003). Different companies have
different strategies in how to select their candidates. Depending on the size, geographic
and industry etc, so that their strategies could be very different. Therefore, one
specific staffing plan might work for one company, but it might not work for another.

"In staffing an organization or an organizational unit, it is important to consider its
developmental stage-embryonic, high growth, mature, or aging-in order to align staffing
decisions with business strategy" (Cascio, p.268). In the 21st century, due to the reason
that new technologies have been invented and improved. That had lead to many organizations
change its behavior in terms of the way they deal with customers, suppliers, business
partners and employees. Without a careful selection, organizations often hire people that
do not fit the job or it is just not the type of work the employee wants to do. There are
people who could not keep up with the technology trend working in a place where new
technologies always come into place. There are people who could not deal with other
people, or with no patient working as a teller in the bank, or going into the teaching
field. There are so many different examples in today's world where people apply for jobs
that they could not be successful, or in many cases that organizations hire people who do
not have the qualifications for the job.

Organizations have encountered some problems that associated with which method to use in
the selection process. There are so many tests that organizations could use to select whom
to hire, for example: recommendations, reference checks, employment interviews, drug
tests, handwriting analysis, polygraph examinations, work-sample test and etc.
Organizations could select one or more of these tests, but they have to be careful of the
reliability and validity of all the results. Some results might be different depending on
the environment of the testing area, or the relationship between the applicants and their
previous employer/manager.

Many organizations depend only on the result of the test without taking the reliability
and validity into considerations, which that might lead to in hiring the wrong people.
What is the difference between reliability and validity? "Reliability is the consistency
and the stability of a selection measurement and validity is the degree to which a measure
predicts on-the-job performance" (Green, 2003). For instance, the consistency of a test is
made for to measure reliability and what kind of method to use to test the candidate is to
measure validity. Since reliability and validity are both important aspects in the
selection process, let's look at several methods that are used in today's industries.

College Grade Point Average (GPA) is one of the areas that employers look at and might
weighted heavily in the selection process. According to a study, "grades have a fully
corrected validity in the mid .30s for predicting job performance"(Roth, BeVier, Switzer,
& Schippmann, 1996) and "a validity for .20 for predicting starting salary" (Roth &
Clarke, 1998). However, those results do not take into other considerations like the
ethnic background of the college students. In the 20th century, many companies weight GPA
very heavily in determine a candidate should be hired or not, but what does GPA tell us? "
GPA represents both verbal and mathematical ability, like SAT, but it is most strongly
represents personal motivation" (Brown & Campion, 1994).

With a group of candidates that without any working experiences, GPA has more valid reason
to use as a method in the selection process. However, in most cases, there are many people
from different backgrounds that apply for the same job. Some of the candidates might have
a high GPA without any working experiences, and some of them might have a moderate GPA
with working experiences. How could the employer decide which one is the best fit for the
position? "The career planning literature suggests GPA is sometimes rated as moderately
important" (Posner, 1981). But it is typically rated as one of the most important pieces
of information considered in the interviewing process.

"Hypotheses indicated that GPA will change as students progress through college as well as
students from different ethnic group" (Roth & Bobko, 2000, p. 400). Many studies have
shown that Whites tend to have a higher college GPA than Blacks, "Use of college GPA to
select for employment is associated with fairly large ethnic group differences for
seniors. Although college GPA has moderate validity for predicting job performance" (Roth
et al., 1996), the large ethnic group difference means that many Blacks might be screened
out of jobs. " Blacks will be screened out at higher rates than Whites if cumulative GPA
is used in selection" (Roth & Bobko, 2000, p. 404). Does that mean employers should hire
Whites instead of Blacks? Definitely not, GPA is just one of the ways to determine if the
candidate have verbal, mathematical skills and personal motivation, but does not mean a
person might have a lower GPA would perform worst than a person with a higher GPA at work.

"Interviews are notoriously unreliable and invalid in predicting on-the-job performance,
interviewers' decision are overly influenced by first impressions, non-relevant individual
characteristics, contrast effects and general impressions" (Dr. Green, Spring 2003). Some
companies require a telephone interview before a face-to-face interview, because there
would be cheating problems associate with just conducting a telephone interview alone.
With regards to the unreliable and invalid information that has been given out to the
interviewers, why do most companies require at least one interview in order to consider
the candidate? Telephone interview has the problem that "the interviewee might have
someone else take the interview for him or her" (Schmidt & Rader, 1999, p.454). Therefore,
the employers think that they need to met and talk to the candidate in person to confirm
the information that was given during the telephone interview, and to get information like
the personalities of the person. Finally, the employers decide whether the candidate is
the best fit for the job.

This method might not be as reliable and valid as I had mentioned earlier, many candidates
could pretend or act the specific way that they think the employer would like them to be.
So how could companies avoid the problems associate with interviews? "Several studies have
reported practically useful validities for structured interviews and the results of
several meta-analyses indicate that structured interviews are more valid and more reliable
than unstructured interviews" (Brtek & Motowidlo, 2002, p. 185). What is structure
interview? Campion, Palmer, and Campion (1997) defined structure as "any enhancement of
the interview that is intended to increase psychometric properties by increasing
standardization or otherwise assisting the interviewer in determining what questions to
ask or how to evaluate responses" (p.656). If structure interview is more valid and more
reliable, why companies do not use this method? What are the problems associate with
structure interviews? "We cannot always assume that interviewers use a structured format
as its developers intended, and if they do not, there is no reason to expect their
judgments to be any more valid than judgments based on an unstructured format" (Brtek &
Motowidlo, 2002, p. 185).

Managers and interviewers are human beings, they often tend to follow their first
impressions, contrasts and non-relevant individual characteristics. It has been very
difficult to ensure every interviewer has followed the right and structured process. By
holding interviewers accountable would increase the validity of the interview. "Holding
interviewers accountable would involve making them "answerable to external audiences for
performing up to certain prescribed standards thereby fulfilling obligations, duties,
expectations, and other charges" (Schlenker, Britt, Pennington, Murphy, & Doherty, 1994,
p. 634). Being accountable in this sense means being monitored and evaluated by others for
the quality of one's judgment or decision, being obligated to others, or having to justify
one's thoughts or actions to others (Brtek & Motowidlo, 2002, p. 185). It is very
important to make sure the interviewer is only accountable for the interview procedures
and not the interview outcomes and not to have a hiring quota. If they are held
accountable for a quota or the outcomes, they will not be able to make a good judgment in
selecting and hiring the employees. "One reason that procedure accountability might
improve interview validity is that it might compel interviewers to be more attentive
during the interview. As a result, they will encode more relevant information about
applicants and therefore make more valid judgments" (Brtek & Motowidlo, 2002, p. 186).

Many companies use methods like cognitive ability tests, work samples test, achievement
tests, job knowledge tests and personality tests in their selection process. "A number of
quantitative reviews have demonstrated that personality inventories can be useful
predictors of job performance, particularly if specific, job-relevant personality
constructs are used to predict specific criteria" (Levin, 1998, p. 634). Although it is
valid, problem associated with this method is that the effect of response distortion on
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