Company X has recently taken on a new client that is going to require a significant increase in staff size. According to estimates from the Operations group, 35 new call center representatives and 15 new support staff are going to be necessary to support the new client’s business. Incidentally, Company X has seen a surge in its Spanish-speaking customer base. Therefore, it makes sense to increase the bilingual staff while staffing up for the new client. It is the responsibility of myself and the Human Resources department to design an effective recruiting strategy based on these criteria.
Planning & Preparation
Before any recruiting can begin, the we must analyze the jobs that will be posted. In this case, there are two different jobs: call center representative and support staff. There are six steps involved in analyzing a job. First, I must decide what information is relevant to the position. Understanding what information is relevant will help us decide what data collection to use. Next, I must consult the existing organizational data to see where the jobs under analysis fit in. This gives me an idea of how the job will fit into the reporting structure and who will need to be interviewed for input on the new job. If there are similar jobs in the company, a sample of the existing employees will be selected for interview. Their input on their daily tasks is the real meat of the job analysis. In addition to interviewing existing employees, monitoring their work will be especially instructive in determining what roles are expected of them. Once I have done the interviews and derived an analysis of the job, the previously selected employees should review the analysis for further input. It might be the case that an important piece of information was somehow lost in translation from employee to interviewer. Finally, with the job analysis complete, I can move on to writing the job description for the new position (Dessler, 2008).
Once the job analysis is complete, it is time to write the job descriptions for the new positions. All job descriptions contain the same general information, mainly job identification, job summary, responsibilities and duties, authority, standards of performance, working conditions, and job specifications. This information accurately describes the information that any interviewer would need to know before trying to screen a candidate. Two key areas of the job description are the job summary and the responsibilities and duties. The job summary neatly wraps up the essence of the position. It should succinctly convey to the reader what the job entails and how it functions. The responsibilities and duties, on the other hand, should be a detailed list of the positions significant tasks (Dessler, 2008). As CareerLab points out, employment lawyers can offer crucial advice at this juncture (CareerLab, n.d.). It is important that the job descriptions do not violate any federal or state employment laws.
Since Company X must hire 45 employees in 30 days, it seems appropriate to use an alternative staffing method. Usually when hiring call center representatives and support staff, we would put an ad in the local newspaper and the usual job sites. In this case, we need a large number of staff members training soon so that we can be prepared when the new client comes on board in 30 days. The obvious answer here is to use a temp agency to provide the staff we need. The arrangement would be made with the temp agency to bring the staff on board quickly and allow Company X to hire these temporary employees as necessary.
Since many temp agencies keep a certain staff level, they should be able to begin placing temporary employees in training immediately. Additionally, these employees will receive on the job training and be replaceable should they not work out. Even in an “at will” state, getting rid of an under-performing employee is full of pitfalls. Using the temp agency, Company X can cherry pick the best candidates from their staff and offer them full-time employment. This benefits Company X since temporary employees will not receiving benefits, and only the best will become full-fledged Company X employees. Over time the temp agency will be phased out of use as a full compliment of call center representative and support staff are chosen from their ranks. The temp agency will still have a place with the organization for providing temporary employees when Company X employees are unavailable due to illness or vacation (Dessler, 2008).
If we utilize the temp agency to fill these positions, we would require that a certain number of their call center representatives be bilingual, perhaps 50%. Knowing this in advance, we must base our selection of the temp agency on their ability to provide the expected level of bilingual representatives. If no agency can be found that satisfies this requirement, we will have to begin our own bilingual recruiting. An excellent source of bilingual candidates can be found on college campuses. Many colleges require students to study a foreign language, and there are many clubs that promote either bilingual or Hispanic culture. Sending representatives to the local college campuses to find suitable bilingual candidates will provide a healthy bilingual applicant pool (Dessler, 2008).
There are two specific traits that need to be measured in order to accurately weight the applicant. The first deals with the daily situations a call center representative must deal with. Irate customers are a common occurrence for call center representatives and a situational test must be derived to measure the applicants ability to deal with irate customers and shed the stress after the call has ended. A simulation can be derived that places the applicant in the middle of a phone call with a hostile customer. If the applicant deals with the customer with hostility, their viability as a call center representative is doubtful. On the other hand, applicants that quickly placate irate customers and maintain their courteousness will likely be successful (Dessler, 2008).
Additionally, a cognitive test for those claiming Spanish-speaking ability will need to be administered. Although it is true that cognitive tests are often considered to have an adverse impact on minority applicants, a test of Spanish language skills should not have such a negative impact. It is important that this Spanish language test is administered orally and that the test administrator make note of how quickly the applicant responds. It is often the case that individuals familiar with a foreign language can read and write the language with a greater degree of accuracy than they can respond to unanticipated oral interaction (Dessler, 2008).
CareerLab. (n.d.). Recruiting and hiring. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
Dessler, G. (2008). Human Resource Management. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.