World-Class Staffing? How Would You Know?

We all talk about creating a world class staffing function, Yet how many of us have any guidelines for setting up such a function? Would we know a world class function if we saw it? Over the next few weeks I will explore what is meant by this, I think, from a variety of angles. I believe that there are 6 basic factors that must exit before you can say you have the best staffing function around. They are: 1. PAPER IS NON-EXISTENT 2. MANGERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RECRUITING PROCESS 3. THE ORGANIZATION USES THE RIGHT TYPE OF EMPLOYEE IN THE RIGHT POSITION 3. DEVELOPMENT OF TALENT IS PART OF THE RECRUITING MINDSET 4. THE ONLY CONSTRAINTS ON FILLING POSITIONS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY ARE CAUSED BY SCHEDULING DELAYS 5. STAFFING IS PART OF THE IMAGE DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING EFFORTS OF THE ORGANIZATION 6. THE ORGANIZATION MEASURES RECRUITING SUCCESS This week I will begin by discussing the first of these: PAPER IS NON-EXISTENT. In ensuing weeks I will discuss all of the others. An organization where paper in non-existent uses web-enabled or web-based electronic systems to locate candidates, route resumes to managers, communicate with candidates, track candidates through the recruiting process, and capture historical data. There are large banks of candidates who are pre-qualified by on-line interviews and by email chats with potential hiring managers. Software allows candidates to self-select and screens them for appropriate competencies and experience before passing them on to a manager for review. There are no candidates in this databank that are inactive or more than 90 days old. Managers are encouraged to build networks of potential hires and maintain some contact with them even when they have no interest in hiring immediately. All applications for employment and other necessary paper work have been placed on-line and are available to candidates at any time. Pre-hiring background checks are at least partially automated through connection to outside screening agencies. And, once a candidate becomes an employee, the initial introduction to the company, orientation process, and all necessary paper work are on-line and available all the time. A candidate can start learning about the company and start filling out benefit forms and insurance information even before reporting to work on the first day. I have constructed the rating scale below to help you determine where your organization is in developing this paperless world. Choose ONE answer from each group below if it applies to you or your organization. If nothing applies, go on to the next group of statements. Add up the total points. If you scored 9-12, you have a long way to go although you have made a start. If you scored 13-22, you have already made lots of progress. See if you can continue to add more features to what you do and change the mindset. Scores over 22 mean you have a virtually paperless staffing function. I’d love to hear from anyone who honestly scored in this range. I will write an article about you in a forthcoming column. We use email to communicate with candidates (1) We use email to communicate with managers and to forward resumes to them (2) Managers communicate directly with candidates on a regular basis (3) We prescreen candidates by phone (1) We interview candidates online via email (2) We interview candidates on-line via email or live chat with a video camera link. (3) Recruiters do the bulk of all sourcing, screening, interviewing and selecting of candidates. (1) Our managers and recruiters almost equally share the recruiting, interviewing, selection process (2) Once the recruiter locates and pre-screens a candidate, she is out of the process until offer time (3) We use a PC-based, propriety tracking system we built ourselves. (1) We have and use a client-server applicant tracking system (2) We have and use a web-based or enabled applicant tracking system (3) We use the Internet search engines (Alta Vista, etc.) heavily in sourcing candidates (1) We actively use job posting boards and search engines to source candidates (2) We use a web-bot to search the Internet for candidates automatically for us. (3) Our organization has a web site and uses it for recruiting (1) Our web site is used internally by employees seeking jobs as well as by outside candidates (2) Our web site has the capability of screening candidates through some form of on-line assessment tool (3) Our application for employment if on-line and can be printed and then filled in and mailed back to us. (1) Our application for employment is on-line and can be filled in on line, printed, signed and mailed back. (2) Our application is entirely electronic, can be emailed to us after it is filled out and uses electronic signature. (3) We conduct background screening, at least partially, via on-line services and tools (3) Information about the company and its benefits is available on-line through the company intranet.(1) Our orientation material is on-line for new employees including answers to frequently asked questions (2) New employees can fill out benefit forms and related documents on-line (3) Next week I will talk about the next two points about manager’s responsibilities and types of employees. Have a great week!

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Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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