Staffing – A Function of Management


Staffing – A Function of Management

Staffing is a critical organizational function which consists of the process of acquiring, deploying, and retaining a workforce of sufficient quantity and quality to create positive impacts on the effectiveness of the organization.  It is one of the significant functions of the management.

In an organization, it is the people which carry out the various jobs which are needed for its functioning. They are the most important resource of the organization. They supply the talent, skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. In fact the performance of the organization largely depends on the quality of its people. Hence the staffing function of the management is an important function and it involves in the building of the organizational workforce. In staffing, the management is faced with the challenge of not only finding the right person for each job but also to match the personnel with the jobs identified and to provide for their long-range growth and welfare as members of the organization.

Staffing is that part of the process of management which is concerned with acquiring, developing, employing, appraising, remunerating and retaining people so that right type of people are available at the right positions and at the right time in the organization. In the simplest terms, staffing in management is ‘putting people to jobs’.

Staffing apparently cannot be done once and for all, since people are frequently leaving, getting fired, and retiring. Often too, the transformations in the organization generate new positions, and these must be filled. In fact, the process of staffing is also the never-ending process in the organization. The first step in the process of staffing is to understand the job requirements. It is concerned with determining two aspects namely (i) the number, and (ii) the type of personnel required. This can be done by preparing a human resource plan in the organization.

Four building blocks for the staffing function the organization are (i) the division of work, (ii) the departmentalization, (iii) the hierarchy, and (iv) the coordination.

Definition of staffing

Staffing is defined as, “filling and keeping filled, positions in the organizational structure. This is done by identifying work-force requirements, inventorying the people available, recruiting, selecting, placing, promoting, appraising, planning the careers, compensating, training, developing existing staff or new recruits, so that they can accomplish their tasks effectively and efficiently.”

The definitions of the staffing function as given by the different management experts are given below.

“The managerial function of staffing involves manuring the organizational structure through proper and effective selection, appraisal and development of personnel to fill the roles designed into the structure.” – Koontz and O’ Donnell

“Staffing relates to the recruitment, selection, development, training, compensation of subordinate managers.” – Theo Haimann

“Staffing is the function by which managers build an organization through the recruitment, selection, and development of individuals as capable employees.” – McFarland

Nature of the staffing function

The following points describe the nature of the staffing function.

  • Staffing is an important managerial function. Staffing function is normally the sub function of the organizing function. All the five functions of the management viz. planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling depend upon the employees of the organization which are made available through the staffing function.
  • Staffing is a pervasive activity. It is carried out in every organization and at all the levels of the management in the organization.
  • Staffing is a continuous activity. This is due to the fact that the function of staffing continues throughout the life of the organization.
  • The basis of staffing function is the efficient management of personnel.  The process involved in the staffing function in the organization is efficiently managed by a system or with well-tried procedures.
  • The function of staffing helps in placing right men at the right job. It can be done effectively through proper recruitment procedures and then finally selecting the most suitable candidate as per the job requirements.
  • All the levels of management are involved in the function of staffing though the personnel department coordinates it.

Importance of staffing

The staffing function is a very important function of the management due to the following reasons.

  • Staffing helps in discovering and obtaining competent personnel for various jobs.
  • It helps in the optimum utilization of the human resources.
  • It helps in developing professionals in every field of organizational activity.
  • It helps to improve the quantity and quality of the output by putting the right person on the right job.
  • It helps in developing competencies in the organization to face the challenges.
  • It helps to improve job satisfaction of the employees and hence their morale.
  • It facilitates higher productive performance of the organization by appointing right man for right job.
  • It reduces the cost of manpower by eliminating the wastage of the human resources.
  • It facilitates growth and diversification activities in the organization.
  • It provides for the development of the employees and through them it ensures continuous survival and growth of the organization.

Process of staffing function

The process of the staffing function involves human resource planning i.e. estimating the size and nature of the personnel required for the recruitment and selection of the best candidates to train, to induct, to reward and to have regular and effective communication with them. The process of staffing consists of the following steps (Fig 1).

  • Manpower planning – It is the very first step of the staffing function. It involves forecasting and determining the future manpower needs of the organization. It is the estimation of the required manpower keeping in view the present and future needs of the organization. It is regarded as the quantitative and qualitative measurement of work force required by the organization. It involves in creating and evaluating the manpower inventory after considering the development of the required talents among the existing employees through their promotion and advancement.
  • Recruitment – Once the requirements are known, the organization invites and solicits applications from the desirable candidates. Recruitment is a positive process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for the jobs in the organization. It is the process of creating the application pool. It is the process to attract maximum number of applicants so as to have more options for the selection. In other words, recruitment stands for discovering the source from where potential employees are likely to be selected. The scientific recruitment leads to greater productivity, better wages, higher morale, reduction in the employees’ turnover and better reputation for the organization. For the process of recruitment high skills are not essential.
  • Selection – It is the screening step of staffing in which the solicited applications of those candidates which are not found suitable as per the requirements of the notified post are screened out. It is the process of elimination of the candidates who appear unpromising for the post. It is the process of picking the best amongst the application pool. The purpose of selection process is to determine whether a candidate is suitable for employment in the organization or not and involve rejection of the candidates not found suitable. Selection process needs high skills since only those are to be selected that are fit for the job. The chief aim of the process of selection is choosing the right type of candidates to fill in various positions in the organization. Selection process requires exactness. A well planned selection procedure is of utmost importance for the organization.
  • Placement and orientation –Once selection process is over, the selected candidates are appointed. After this, the placement of the appointed employees takes place by putting right man on the right job. It means putting the appointed employee on the job for which he is selected. Orientation is the introduction of the appointed employee with the job. He is made familiar to the work units and work environment through the orientation programmes.
  • Training – After appointment of an employee, the most important and established part of the personnel programme is to impart training to the new comer. With the rapid technological changes, the need for training employees is being increasingly recognized so as to keep the employees in touch with the new developments. Training is generally given according to the nature of activities and scope of expansion in it. It is given to acquaint the appointed employees with the processes and the procedures which they are required to follow for the job. It provides the appointed employees benefits of in depth knowledge of their functional areas. It is necessary that the organization has a systematic training programme otherwise employees will try to learn the job by trial and error which can prove to be a very costly method.
  • Development – A sound staffing policy in the organization calls for the process of the development of the employees so that they can take higher responsibilities. The process of development is for preparing the employees for variety of jobs. It widens their outlook and enhances their conceptual ideas. It opens promotional avenues for them and thus provides for their growth in the organization. With the avenues of growth available the employees do not get frustrated and remains motivated and this helps in getting enhanced output from him.
  • Promotion – Promotion implies upgrading of an employee to a higher position involving increase in rank, prestige or status. It generally consists of shifting the employee to a higher job which requires bigger responsibilities. Generally increase in pay and enhancement of powers accompanies promotion but it is not essential ingredients. Promotion can be given to the employees in the same department in which they are working or by transferring them to different department where similar job opportunities are available to them.
  • Transfer – It normally implies movement of the employees from one job to another without any increase in pay, status or responsibilities. Usually employees are transferred to different work units and branches of the organization. Normally transfer takes place between jobs paying approximately the same salaries but sometimes employees are also transferred during their promotion. Employees of the organization who have been identified for taking up of higher positions in the organization are being transferred to different departments so that they can learn intricacies of the functioning of different departments. This helps them when they take up positions in the higher management.
  • Appraisal – it is normally done in order to keep a track or record of the behaviour, attitudes as well as opinions of the employees towards their jobs. Appraisal of employees reveals as to how efficiently the employee is performing in his job. Appraisal of the employees is also done to know their aptitudes and other qualities necessary for performing the job assigned to them. The qualities for which the employees are generally apprised through performance appraisal include (i) ability to do work, (ii) spirit of co­operation, (iii) job knowledge, (iv) discipline and sincerity, (v) managerial ability, (vi) self-confidence, (vii) initiative, (viii) problem solving abilities, and (ix) intelligence etc. The main objective of performance appraisal is to improve the efficiency of the employees by mobilizing their best possible efforts and through them achievement of the objectives and the goals of the organization.
  • Remuneration- It is a kind of compensation provided monetarily to the employees for their work performances. This is given according to the nature of job- skilled or unskilled, physical or mental, etc. Remuneration forms an important monetary incentive for the employees. Fixation of remuneration is the most difficult and complex function of the management since there are no definite or exact means to determine the correct wages. Job evaluation is one of the systematic techniques to determine the worth of the job but much remains to be done in this regard.

Steps in the process of staffing function

Fig 1 Steps in the process of staffing function

Benefits of staffing

The benefits of an effective staffing function are as follows.

  • Staffing helps in getting right people for the right job at the right time. The function of staffing enables the management to find out as to how many employees are needed and with what qualifications and experience.
  • Staffing contributes to improved organizational productivity. Through proper selection the organization can enhance the quality of the employees, and through proper training the performances level of the employees can also be improved.
  • Staffing helps in providing job satisfaction to the employees and thus keeps their morale high. With proper training and development programmes their efficiency improves and they feel assured of their career advancements.
  • Staffing maintains harmony in the organization. Through proper staffing, individuals are not just recruited and selected but their performance is regularly appraised and promotions made on merit. For all these, certain procedures are made and are duly communicated to all concerned. This fosters harmony and peace in the organization.