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Recruitment is an important function of human resources. Process of recruitment involves motivating prospective candidates to apply for a specific job in an organisation (Brown, 2011) Organisations face many challenges while recruiting a workforce. The current study evaluates the recruitment challenges of Qantas Airlines. Qantas Airlines is the largest airline of Australia by fleet size. The firm was founded in 1920 and is headquartered in Sydney (Quntas, 2017). As the firm is now expanding globally it needs to increase its workforce. Due to this, firm faces many recruitment challenges.
The method of discussion of challenges and suggestion of recommendations is followed in the study. Information has been collected through secondary research method and use of deductive technique.
Recruitment is the function of human resource management which aims at collecting all the information pertaining to need and selection of new employees. Firms use many sources like referrals, job advertisements, online portals etc. to recruit new employees (Nikolaou, 2014). Through this function prospective candidates are attracted to apply for a specific job. Their details are checked as per job description and person specification and then they are made to pass through a selection process (Brown, 2011). Job description involves all the requirements of the job and person specification specifies the type of skills needed in the employee (Sylva & Mol, 2009) Therefore, recruitment is a very important function of human resource management which helps the organisation in selecting the right candidates for its various jobs.
Globalisation has brought dynamism in current business scenario and has brought people of diverse cultures together (Beechler & Woodward, 2009). Due to globalisation diversity management has become a major part of HRM practices. Globalisation has brought people of varied culture into contact with each other due to which practicing non-discrimination has become important for the HR function of an organisation (Iles, Chuai, & Preece, 2010) Employees now have more options; therefore, professional development and talent management has become a part of HRM practices. Additionally, as the employees have to deal with a larger global customer base; the need for training has increased (Tarique & Schuler, 2010). Therefore, it can be said that that HRM practices have changed in the wake of globalisation.
HRM department of most firms follow a set process to recruit and select employees (Byrd & Scott, 2014). At the onset, need for recruitment is identified by various departments based on their objectives and workforce requirement (Gary, 2010). Further, a job description which highlights the job roles is created. Additionally, a person specification is created to give an idea of basic skills required in prospective employees (Rue, 2010). In continuation, jobs are advertised and CVs and applications which are received are shortlisted based on predetermined criteria. Consequently, shortlisted candidates are called for interview and aptitude tests. Qualifying candidates go through a secondary interview (Kramar, 2012). Those candidates who get through are inducted into the organisations (Cooper, 2011). Therefore, a structured process is followed for the purpose of recruitment
Recruitment process helps in attracting and identifying right candidates for a job (Brown, 2011). Organisational objectives can only be fulfilled if right candidates are found for suitable jobs. There are many challenges faced by firms during recruitment due to many reasons like shortage of skilled labour, diversity, lack of resources etc. (Gummadi, 2015). Tourism and aviation industry also faces certain challenges due to its technology intensive aspect and the fact that these firms function in an extremely globalised business scenario (Kusluvan, Salih, Zeynep, Ibrahim, & Buyruk, 2010) Following are some of the challenges faced by Qantas Airlines while recruitment of staff.
Qantas Airlines is a global aviation firm with multiple regional offices (Quntas, 2017). Therefore it needs to recruit people from across the globe (Quntas, 2017). This leads to diverse applications for various jobs. Diversity is an advantage as it can create new ideas (Mor Barak, 2013). However, it can also breed discrimination and favoritism (Knights & Omanovi?). It is challenging to implement a fair and nondiscriminatory recruitment policy because people in the workforce may have a mental block or set attitude towards people of certain ethnic group or gender (Knights & Omanovi?). People with in the recruitment system may create blockades for people of certain ethnic groups from being selected. Therefore, it is of prime importance for Qantas Airlines to have non-discrimination training of the recruitment staff (Brown, 2011). The firm must have strict non-discrimination policy in its recruitment policy so that the process of recruitment is fair.
Tourism industry, particularly aviation industry is extremely competitive and technology intensive (Nickson, 2013). Qantas Airlines require highly skilled staff in handling aircrafts and passengers. Additionally, the supply of skilled staff is short and there are various firms in the labour market who want to recruit the technically skilled workforce. Demand of labour is more than supply leading to scarcity of workforces (Gummadi, 2015). Due to this scarcity Qantas Airlines faces a major recruitment challenge.
As Qantas is in the airlines industry it has to recruit a large staff. There is large number of technical oriented staff who needs to be recruited (Nickson, 2013). Staff requirements include pilots, engineers and technicians. These staff members do highly technical jobs. Therefore, they are recruited through a huge talent search and a lot of money and effort is spent on finding the right candidate. Due to many types of skill tests involved the cost of recruitment is very high (Nickson, 2013). This makes recruitment a very challenging job for Qantas Airlines.
Due to technology driven functions pertaining to the airlines industry, the recruitment process of Qantas is complicated (Nickson, 2013). Highly skilled technical staff is found after a massive CV search based on complicated job description which has many aspects like specific qualification, experience and skills (Karim, 2013). Additionally, the prospective candidates have to go through a long process of multiple interviews to ascertain their skills. This is because due passenger security risk the airline has to be extremely sure about the candidate that they are hiring (Nickson, 2013). However, this complicates the process of recruitment and creates a challenge for recruitment.
Qantas Airlines is a large company; however, there are many larger global aviation companies which offer extremely high salary packages to the technical staff (Nickson, 2013). This puts a pressure on other airlines like Qantas to pay in equal measure. Additionally, this can lead to employee attrition towards the larger company (Beechler & Woodward, 2009). However, costs in the aviation industry are high due to high aircraft maintenance, airport hangar rent and fuel costs (Nickson, 2013). Therefore, it is not always possible to pay competitive salary packages. This makes the recruitment drive challenging because technical staff has a choice to take up a better offer.
Hence, Qantas faces recruitment challenges due to the inherent nature of the industry like shortfall of skilled labour, diversity, high recruitment costs and higher labour costs. However to survive in the tough labour market Qantas needs to adopt certain recruitment strategies.
Most of the challenges that Qantas faces is because it exists in a highly technology intensive industry where skilled labour is less in supply (Quntas, 2017). Additionally, recruitment deficit occurs because of high costs and technical workforce preferring large companies (Nickson, 2013). These challenges can be countered by Qantas Airlines by using the following recruitment strategies.
Employer Branding Employer branding is a method through which firms can promote themselves as a good place to work for. (Wilden, Gudergan, & Lings, 2010). Through employer branding, an image is created about the company in the mind of the employees. This helps in attracting skilled and qualified prospective candidates (Sivertzen, Nilsen, & Olafsen, 2011). Qantas Airlines can benefit from employer branding because through this method it can attract technical workforce.
Employer branding involves enhancement of the employer image as a good employer. Policies like annual increment, promotions, career development attract the prospective employees and build up the employer image (Mosley & Barrow, 2014). Additionally, if the firm inculcates a work culture of cooperation, collaboration and development, it will create a positive image for the firm. The firm can popularise its good work culture with the help of social media, public relations and publicity (Mosley & Barrow, 2014). Training and talent development policies can also help Qantas Airlines to create a positive employer image (Cooper, 2011). Through these policies skilled employees and employees who are interested in life-long talent development will be encouraged to explore the opportunity of being hired by the firm (Iles, Chuai, & Preece, 2010). All these policies will also evolve the organisation as a learning organisation giving positive employer image to prospective employees in general.
Using various types of advertising –Positive advertisements pertaining to various jobs can also create positive image of the company in the minds of the potential employees (Kramar, 2012). Advertising which is done for recruitment purpose is known as recruitment advertising or recruitment communication (Gary, 2010). Suitable candidates can be attracted through advertisements of the jobs, highlighting the features of the firm as an employer (Kramar, 2012). Through recruitment advertisement the company can create a first impression of the firm and get skilled workforce to apply for the job.
There are various methods of recruitment advertisement. One of the methods is print advertisements (Phillips, 2013). This is a very common and frequently used method and Qantas Airlines can use this method for effective recruitment advertisement. Under this method a print advertisement is published in some reputed medium like a newspaper, employment journal or a business magazine where skilled workforce is most likely to see the advertisement (Hayton, 2012). For example, by putting its recruitment Ad in a technical skills business magazine, Qantas Airlines will be able to target prospective employees with that skill. Qantas Airlines should also put details like job description, person specification, range of salary and incentives so that prospective candidates find it attractive and look at the ad and think of applying for the job.
Web based classified Ads and banner ads on online recruitment portals are also good medium for giving recruitment advertising (Dhamija, 2012). This method is more cost effective as compared to print advertising (Cooper, 2011). It will help in lowering cost of recruitment for Qantas. Additionally, they can be placed more frequently as compared to print Ads and their hit rate is also more as many people use online portals nowadays (Gummadi, 2015). However, proper identification is required of web portals which can be used for advertising (Kramar, 2012). Placing Ads on web portals will be effective if those websites are chosen which have more potential for visits by people having technical qualification.
Therefore, through the use of recruitment strategies like employer branding and print and online advertisements, Qantas Airlines can try to manage its recruitment challenges.
Recruitment process is very important for the function of an organisation. If well qualified employees are recruited, the organisation can grow and become better and well equipped in attainment of organisational goals. As recruitment involves finding the right candidate for the job the function of recruitment becomes challenging. Finding suitable candidates is difficult in all industries but in aviation industry there is added challenge of finding extremely technical staff which is scare. Additionally, the costs of recruitment are also high. Due to these challenges Qantas Airlines finds it difficult to recruit qualified staff. However, recruitment strategies can help firms like Qantas Airlines in finding well qualified staff. The firm can use employer branding and various types of advertisement to attract prospective employees. Hence, through the use of recruitment strategies Qantas Airlines can get better skilled labour and can counter the challenges of recruitment.
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