Staffing and the Big Picture essay paper

Staffing and the Big Picture

I selected the topic which covers “Staffing and the Big Picture” because of how crucial adequate staffing is to the proper functioning of any good organization. A strong staff can push a company to higher levels of productivity and profitability. A weak staff can cripple an organization so that they are unable to function in a lasting and meaningful manner, and ultimately become defeated by competing organizations. In order for an organization to meet their goals and objectives, the right staff absolutely needs to be in place. For every organization, it’s not just a question of how one is doing today, but how close one is to current and future goals. The right staff will be able to assist in the long journey of making steady progress towards one’s goals, helping one to move toward the future which is mapped out. Another important facet of a good staff is that they exhibit a certain degree of loyalty and that an organization is able to retain them to a certain extent. If every year one has to work with a great staff, but always a new group of people, the real strength and progress of the organization is going to be undermined, merely because the team members keep changing and they don’t have the longevity or sense of history that long-term employees from other companies possess. Thus, there is a certain extent of the staffing process which is elusive and ephemeral and which requires a certain amount of investigation.

I truly believe that the staff and workforces of today really do make up the human capital that are crucial for developing a business and competing in the high stakes world of professions and professionalism today. “Human capital refers to the knowledge, skill, and ability of people, and their motivation to use them successfully, on the job. The term ‘workforce quality’ is also a way of referring to an organization’s human capital. The organization’s workforce is the human capital it acquires, deploys, and retains in pursuit of organizational outcomes such as profitability, market share, and customer satisfaction. Staffing is the organizational function used to build the organization’s workforce thought such systems as staffing strategy, human resource planning, recruitment, selection, employment and retention” (McGraw-Hill). This excerpt demonstrates just how essential staffing is to any organization: the staff refers to the actual human beings essentially who are or are not invested in the work and who are able to set objectives and meet those objectives: they are the real people who are responsible for the success and failure of a given organization. Determining how to recruit the best ones, how to keep the best ones, how to ensure they all work together at their highest level of excellence and related issues are some of the things which are truly nebulous at times and which deserve greater exploration — as the success of any organization depends on this.

Thus, increasing one’s knowledge and understanding about this topic can only help in increasing the success of one’s business: the two factors no doubt have a direct relationship.

Current Topic within Staffing:

The job/person match is one of the more elusive concepts that are contained within the greater realm of staffing. While there is some science behind what makes a person a good match for a particular job, there is also a certain degree of elusiveness behind it as well. For example, when it comes down to the basic pillars of what makes an appropriate job-person match, they are generally broken down into the following aspects of requirements, individual qualifications, the likely fit, and the implied consequences (McGrawHill). “Jobs are characterized by their requirements (e.g., commission sales plan, challenge, and autonomy). Individuals are characterized by their level of qualification (e.g., few interpersonal skills, extensive budgeting experience) and motivation (e.g., need for pay to depend on performance, need for challenge, and autonomy). In each of the previous examples the issue was one of the likely degree of fit or match between the characteristics of the job and the person. There are implied consequences for every match” (McGrawHill). Thus, a quiet, withdrawn person who is very shy and enjoys working on projects in solitude is not going to excel as a tour guide or as the front desk concierge person for a major hotel. There is some logic behind the rationale that people need to be matched for jobs which suit their indelible skill sets. This is a decades-old philosophy which generally believes that the more positive interactions a person has with their work environment, the better their match is, and the higher likelihood that this person will be retained for the future.

However, the elusiveness of staffing always prevails. Too many staffing firms or experts simply take an overly broad approach and engage in the numbers game of putting qualified applicants at vacant positions with the expectation that one of them will work out. This is generally a massive waste of time and seldom helps one find the most specialized individual for a position. This is because of certain enigmatic trends regarding the overall staffing process. For example, some people might have a particular skill set which is well developed and ideal for a given position, but have no interest in pursuing it, or are tired of working in a particular field, but don’t have the time or the resources to pursue another degree or to gain experience in a different field. This is actually the case with many top candidates: half the top candidates love their field and seek to aggressively excel in what they do. The other half of these candidates often exhibit a general malaise with this particular position: they are tired of working in this field, but they feel stuck or trapped. Thus, they continue to work and seek opportunities in the field, but the passion and energy from their work is generally gone. However, it can be difficult to weed out these candidates, because their qualifications are so excellent and they generally interview very well. It’s only a few months into the job that they generally demonstrate their true colors. Furthermore, good matching within staffing is so much more than just pairing people up who have the right qualifications with the most appropriate jobs, but it’s also about determining if the values of the individual candidates match up with the individual positions and if there’s compatibility in culture. It’s truly important to determine what a particular candidate values in her job along within in her life in the most fundamental manner. Finding out what makes a given candidate overwhelmed, nervous, enthusiastic, or anxious are all vital questions.

The organizational values need to match the values of the individual in a lasting and meaningful manner. “Organizational values are norms of desirable attitudes and behaviours for the organization’s employees. Examples include honesty and integrity, achievement and hard work, fairness, and concern for fellow employees and customers. Matching these values as well as the job description has to be assessed during the staffing process” (McGrawHill). Thus, a person who works in used car sales might not excel as much in politics (or might excel tremendously). The interview process thus has an obligation to not only consider the skills and experience that each applicant is bringing to the table, but to determine also what the belief systems and priorities are of each individual. For instance, a person who values having a balanced lifestyle and a solid home life is not going to excel completely in a law firm where each person is expected to work at least an 80-hour week. Likewise, an individual who likes to rely on past solutions to current problems and tried and tested answers, is not going to necessarily excel in a place where innovation is valued above all else.

It’s also important to bear in mind that organizations are seldom ever stagnant. “New job duties represent tasks that may be added to the target job over time. Organizations desire new hires that will be able to successfully perform these new duties as they are added. In recognition of this, job descriptions often contain the catchall phrase ‘and other duties as assigned.’ These other duties are usually vague at the time of hire, and they may never materialize. Nonetheless, the organization would like to hire people it thinks could perform these new duties. Having such people will provide the organization with a degree of flexibility in getting new tasks done” (McGrawHill). This demonstrates yet another controversial and highly debatable aspect of the entire hiring process. Since no job is ever stagnant, one has to be able to hire individuals who will be able to take on the changing needs of the job as the job transforms over time. This is a truly difficult part of the hiring process because it can nearly be impossible to determine what those needs are and how the organization is going to change. Really all that can be done is that a sense of each individual candidate’s adaptability needs to be sussed out and determined during this process.

Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge that each individual candidate is going to grow and change throughout the hiring process, and that’s normal, and that hopefully the individual and organization can grow and change together, though unfortunately, there are seldom any guarantees. This demonstrates yet another elusive and uncontrollable aspect of the staffing process.

Flexibility is an issue and a necessity with virtually all job candidates, as almost all jobs require a certain degree of flexibility with each individual employee at a given time: this is in part because nearly all jobs require a multi-task approach and because modern work environments require a lot from individuals. “Flexibility concerns also enter into the staffing picture in terms of hiring persons who could perform multiple jobs. Small businesses, for example, often desire new hires who can wear multiple hats, functioning as jacks-of-all-trades; or, organizations experiencing rapid growth may require new employees who can handle several different job assignments, splitting their time between them on an ‘as needed’ basis. Such expectations obviously require assessments of person/organization” (McGrawHill). To a certain extent, an individual’s resume is going to demonstrate how much flexibility he or she is capable of: there will be a strong sense of juggling and multi-tasking which should be identifiable just based on the work experience that an individual has had. However, the elusive part of the staffing process is whether an individual will be able to maintain that flexibility within the new work environment, and how rigorously that will be achieved and maintained. As much as there is a strong science and philosophy background present in the entire staffing process, there is also a certain amount of trial and error, that need to be accepted.

Impact of the Staffing Process on the HR Function of an Organization

The elusive and enigmatic process of staffing really has a tremendous amount to do with how well the HR department is able to understand the demands and rigors of a given position and the needs and abilities that an ideal candidate would bring to it. For example, even for a position as basic as a receptionist, a receptionist in a design firm is going to need to have skills and characteristics which are different from a receptionist in a corporate law firm. These distinctions are acute and the HR department truly needs to have a nuanced understanding of this. Furthermore, the HR department also needs to have a razor sharp understanding of emotional intelligence and the signs of someone who will exhibit healthy amounts of emotional intelligence. Based on the interview process alone, the HR department needs to be able to determine which candidates will be team players, which will be leaders, which will be able to adapt well to change, which will resist change, which candidates will be flexible and which will be resistant. There’s a great deal of the interview process which will depend on the experience of the HR person interviewing the candidate and their instincts at being able to pinpoint a winning fit.

However, a good HR team member will realize that the staffing process is about more than just determining or pinpointing a winning fit, it’s about helping to increase the competitive advantage of the overall firm while keeping in mind the necessity of employee satisfaction and the need of preserving the healthy, safety and wellness of all employees. Staffing is not just about filling open positions; it’s about helping to elevate people and empower them in their own careers


McGrawHill. (n.d.). The nature of staffing. Retrieved from

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