Organization success defined in terms of its capabilities to achieve goals and accomplish tasks successfully is dependant on its workforce quality. Human capital of an organization enables it to get competitive edge in the industry. Contemporary organizations are more focusing on selection of diverse workforce for its strategic vision accomplishment. Many critical factors characterize the ability of an organization to recruit effective workforce. Many researches have focused on examining of the consequences of workforce diversity and its role in globalized industry.
Recent transformations in industry structure have propelled organization to focus on its core competencies to get competitive edge. Contemporary organizations have become more oriented towards strengthening its position through human resource. Initiatives have been taken by many organizations in last few decades to diversify its human resource that influenced strategic positioning of organization in the industry (Bratton & Gold, 2003). Workplace diversity refers to combination of employees having differences in race/ethnicity, gender, age, personality, education, family background, thinking style etc. Diversity among employees explains their perception, and stimulus interaction response (Stone, 2008).
Multinational corporations are emphasizing on recruitment and selection of diverse workforce that creates a distinct position of company in the market. However, it offers unique advantages in terms of innovation, unique perception, critical way of thinking, and employee abilities based on above stated factors. It increases the responsibility of human resource manager to effectively utilize recruitment and selection strategies in order to develop a pool of applicant that possesses diverse capabilities and characteristics. Selection of diverse workforce requires improvement in communication, adaptability to change, and organization structuring to enhance the benefit of diverse workforce (Dessler, 2003).
DIVERSE WORKFORCE SELECTION
Diverse workforce selection increase responsibility of human resource manager to focus on multiple strategies that increase the potential of generating appropriate applicant pool from underrepresented groups. In order to effectively have access to diverse candidates’ manager should define the recruitment strategy in consideration of organization objective supporting by human resource planning. First of all manager should properly allocate resources on medium effective for generating normally distributed applicant pool; having people from diverse backgrounds. A manager should develop fair and equal opportunity recruitment program to ensure access to competent employees irrespective of cultural barriers and other discriminatory factors creating workforce diversity essential for an organization to perform in multi-cultural external environment (Boxall & Purcell, 2008). For recruiting at entry level in organizations, manager should conduct assessment at all or majority of universities in a particular region where company is intending to run operations. It must be assured that number of applicants applying for the position belong to different backgrounds and have same potential to add their services to company irrespective of any social differences, either in status/color/gender/ethnicity (Nankervis et al., 2004).
When human resource department specifies the vacancy position through advertisement medium it should highlight ‘equal opportunity employer’ in order to facilitate the purpose of recruiting diverse workforce (Nankervis et al., 2004). Selection panel interviewing candidates/people must comprise of people from different social backgrounds having intellectual understanding aims at maximizing the business value through diverse workforce. Geographical isolation of selection limits the organization’s ability to select diverse people (Schuler & Jackson, 2007); therefore management organization planning should focus on add on to the problem by various categorical role for recruitment staff emphasizing on increasing extent to potential applicant pool by eliminating stereotypical responses by senior members of organization.
IMPORTANCE OF RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF DIVERSE WORKFORCE
Organizations are differentiating its position from competitors by focusing on its core competencies achieved through diverse workforce. Organizations assessment of its workplace diversity conditions and associated issues enable company to develop control measures for Redesigning of recruitment programs to select diverse but competent employees lead towards certain benefits to organization which offers following advantages.
Organization growth can be fostered by diverse workforce as each member possess different and unique skills differentiating his capabilities and enabling the company to have access to greater ideas. Diverse workforce present a critical analysis of any situation based on different perspectives which result in distinct decision making to resolve problem and support organization goals. Employees belonging to different backgrounds and races possess different training and education experience separating their personality characteristics; enhancing the flexibility of an organization to restructure itself when entering in new markets (Sheehan, 2005). Procter and Gamble is strongly focusing on diverse workforce creation and is therefore offer equal opportunity recruitment program to generate applicant pool of its future leaders. Company employs combine hurdle strategy through accessing all platforms enabling company to generate competitive diverse workforce. It has no discrimination for its employees on height, color, race and gender basis; recruiting from different cultural universities. This enables company to offer wide range of products and solutions to customers and effectively manage its operations due to innovative and critical decision making skills of employees.
Increased Services/Products Portfolio
A diverse set of skills and employees experience belonging to different races/ethnic backgrounds enables company to provide a wide range of products/services to customers. Team comprising of diverse workforce members can tackle the situations effectively as weakness of one member in potential area can be offset by other member’s expertise when working on global projects (Beardwell et al., 2004). Unilever in Middle East effectively utilized its diverse workforce team comprising of few members belonging to same region whereas remaining selected from global markets (non-Arabs). This proved successful as non-Arab members contribute international experience to Arab members to offer a unique solution customized to specific customers.
Variety of Perspectives
Diverse workforce creates a pool of different mind set and knowledge which creates different perspectives of each member contributing to organization success. Effective communication between diverse workforce members creates different innovative ideas and provides a large pool of experience (Redman & Wilkinson, 2001). Therefore organization can develop new goals and set objectives to meet the needs of customers and increase its value in comparison to market competition.
Increased Employee Performance Levels
Organizations that emphasize on workplace diversity are actually synchronizing the potential drawbacks of the company in consideration of market opportunities and role of employees in organization’s success. This increases the employee productivity and performance as diverse employees try to offer better services to organization comparing to their colleague members belonging to different background. This would enable the company to increase its profits, and return on investment through higher productivity, increased participation, and inherent ability of diverse workforce to handle critical situations.
DEMAND OF DIVERSITY IN CONTEMPORARY ORGANIZATIONS
Globalization of industries has increased pressures on contemporary organizations to focus on inherent competencies to sustain in long run. Diversified workforce and sustained objective would enable the company to increase its performance in stern market conditions when business are countered by competitors’ aggressive strategies. Diversity in employees in consistent with vision and mission of organization increases employee satisfaction and retention; enhances responsiveness and increase competitiveness of organization through knowledge source of organization (employees) which add value to business (Schuler & Jackson, 2007).
Globalization of work activities and increasing competition requires reformation of selection process and therefore place emphasis on manager to determine the apt set of standards essential to manage the organization objectives in long run (Friday, 2003). Organization can get competitive edge over its competitors by leveraging differences in workforce structure that result in acquisition of contemporary and diverse knowledge. Therefore equal opportunity employment programs in recruitment and selection will enable company to increase productivity and creativity. However, diverse workforce management is a challenge to most organizations due to inability to handle crucial issues related to workplace. Conflicts can be arise in team members and workforce belonging to different backgrounds either on the basis of perception difference or due to external fact (such as of discriminatory pay plans and benefits structure). Although problems persist, but effective management policies can minimize the inter-group conflict (Chuang et al, 2004); diversified portfolio of company in different market requires different skills and knowledge that can be accomplished through diverse workforce recruitment and selection.
BARRIERS TO FAIR SELECTION
Organizations with strong historical background may find it difficult to incorporate changes in its structure; therefore more oriented towards following standard principles. Fair selection of employees is inhibited by such organization culture where more focused is on sustaining the organization’s values irrespective of global market needs, whether weakening the position or not. Apart form that organization unions and staff groups also create significant problems for management when it focus on selecting diverse workforce as such group are unable to understand the value of external knowledge diversification in group due to group norms preservation (Bratton & Gold, 2003).
One of the major barriers to fair selection is created due to biasness of recruitment and selection management team. This limits the organization capacity to involve new members in organizations as inability of management either due to stereotype or any other discriminatory response limits the fair selection of employees (Boxall & Purcell, 2008). Multinational firms are considering the evaluation of applicants on different scales to decrease such barriers and have tighter policy control to encourage fair selection of employees and equal opportunity employment. However, small business firms limited by resources and insight are confronting fair selection issue and rely more on employee referral; discouraging the workforce diversity, giving them a more cultural look as majority of employees belong to same background and posses nearly same way of thinking.
Globalization and transformation of industry to increase its capabilities have encouraged diverse workforce development due to its enormous advantages. Changes in organization policy structure have enabled companies to incorporate knowledge and perception of people belonging to diverse backgrounds in business. Recruitment and selection process must be properly refined evaluating the outcome based on approaches undertaken to generate applicant pool form diverse and underrepresented groups. Discrimination in selection process would limit the organization ability to achieve growth in long run; hindering its success and limiting its ability to manage operations in rapidly changing market conditions.
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