1. Identify the role of a recruitment agency?
2. Discuss the reasons why an employer in this sector would choose to use recruitment agency?
3. Discuss the criteria an employer should use to select an agency to recruit for them. You should refer to any relevant best practices in the sector. For example; Legal implication, cost, trust, expertise, market reputation and so on?
4. Analyse what HR department and agencies can do to build a good relationship between them. In your discussion, you should include equal opportunities, health and safety, data management and related operational issues?
Hospitality industry within the service industry is a broad category of fields that include event planning, lodging, transportation, theme parks, cruise line and some other fields within the tourism industry (Brotherton, 2012). A rapid increase in demand and desired standards has resulted in increased demand for skilled human resources within the hospitality industry. In order to tackle the existing challenge of skills gap, more and more firms within the hospitality industry are looking forward to recruitment agencies for meeting their recruitment needs.
1. Role of a Recruitment Agency
Recruitment agencies are external firms that help employers perform the initial stages of the recruitment process, such as advertising, testing, interviewing and selecting candidates for the final interview with the in-house HR department (Härtel & Fujimoto, 2014). Recruitment agencies play a vital role in helping employers source the right candidates with the right skills to perform the right job without putting too much stress on their in-house human resource department (Brown, 2011). Recruitment agencies help employers within the hospitality industry meet their human resource needs in the most effective manner. By outsourcing their recruitment tasks, employers can focus on their core competencies instead of spending time and money to maintain an in-house team of recruiters (Hughes & Rog, 2008). Recruitment agencies have gained expertise in selecting and hiring the right candidate for the right job and they ensure employers are not bothered by candidates who lack needed skills and expertise.
Recruitment agencies help hospitality industry in meeting their needs for both permanent as well as temporary staffing which has always been a big challenge for employers (Härtel & Fujimoto, 2014). These agencies act as a middle man between potential employers and job seekers ensuring skills and roles match in the most effective manner. Recruitment agencies not only streamline the recruitment process but also enhance the efficiency of the process.
2. Reasons to Choose a Recruitment Agency
A rapid increase in demand and a desire for improved standards of service has lead to an increase in demand for skilled workers within the hospitality industry (Armstrong, 2011). As a result of increased demand the hospitality industry is facing skills shortage due to which considerable amount of their time and money is spent on sourcing and hiring candidates whose skills match the demands of the position. In order to fulfil the long-term and short-term recruitment needs, firms within the hospitality industry can choose to appoint a recruitment agency for a number of reasons, such as gaining access to a much larger talent pool, save time, resources and costs spent on maintaining a in-house recruitment team for attracting, selecting and hiring the right talent, acquisition of new skills, knowledge, behaviours, abilities and attitudes for the organisation, increase innovation and knowledge creation in the process of hiring right candidates, enhance workforce diversity and to benefit from the specialised services and expert knowledge provided by the recruitment agencies such as screening, testing and market trends analysis etc.
Recruitment agencies help firms within hospitality industry to streamline their recruitment process and increase efficiency (Crawley, et al., 2013). They help firms in saving remarkable time and money that would have been spent in developing and maintaining a dedicated in-house recruitment team. Hospitality firms thus can focus on improving their core competencies and providing improved services to customers (Hughes & Rog, 2008). Using a recruitment agency helps hospitality firms in considerably reducing recruitment related HR workloads and reaches a large diversified talent tool. Recruitment agencies ensure that initial stages of recruitment process, such as advertising job vacancies on various head hunting sites, collecting and short listing candidate applications, initial interviews, testing and culling of suitable candidates happen in the most effective and efficient manner (Lawler & Boudreau, 2009).
Hospitality firms can benefit greatly from the recruitment agency’s knowledge of the market as they know the nerves of the market in which they specialise (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009). They are aware of all ins and outs of the talent market. They know where the right talent will be available, how to reach them and attract them. Recruitment agencies can update the hospitality firms on current salary and career expectations of potential candidates, hiring complexities and skills sets available in the market (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009). Recruitment agencies have an extended reach in terms of potential candidates as they also include those candidates who are passive and selective. These agencies have developed strong networks through which they can connect employers with a range of skills and experiences which the in-house recruitment team can never reach (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009). Recruitment agencies help hospitality firms save a lot for their time and effort that is spent in assessing, filtering, communicating and matching candidates with right skills to the right job.
Recruitment agencies have their own database of skilled candidates which can be used by a hospitality firm to fill up the vacant positions effectively (Brotherton, 2012). They help reducing the number of undesirable applications which is highly bothering job for HR departments. Overcoming this burden will enable in-house HR team to focus on issues related to employees and solve them in an effective manner. Hospitality industry face a rapid change in demand depending upon season and time of the year, during peak season they look forward to increase their human resource capacity to meet increased traffic however during the lean periods they need to reduce human resource capacity in order to keep operational costs low. Owing to this fact hospitality industry has frequent requirements for temporary staffing, a service that is best provided by recruitment agencies (Brotherton, 2012). Thus, appointing a recruitment agency help hospitality firms meet their long term and short term human resource needs in an effective and efficient manner, ensuring right candidate, with right skill is available to perform the right job at right time.
3. Criteria for Selecting a Recruitment Agency
Recruitment agencies help employers in hospitality industry to streamline their recruitment process and increase efficiency. They help firms meet their recruitment needs for both permanent as well as temporary staffing. Using a recruitment agency to find the most suited candidate no doubt helps firms save valuable time and cost but are also associated with a number of drawbacks (Rankin, 2009). Threat to data confidentiality is one of the biggest issues faced by employers when deciding to choose a recruitment agency to handle their recruitment tasks. There is a number of new recruitment agencies coming up how do not have any past records and may or may not have the needed expertise to understand the specifications of the role. There are a number of factors that an employer must consider before selecting a recruitment agency, such as;
Market reputation: While choosing recruitment agencies most of the employers rely on their knowledge about the firm. Surveys reveal that 91% of employers feel the proven effectiveness of an agency really counts (Salaman, et al., 2005). In case when the employers are not familiar with the agency they rely on market reputation of the agency while deciding which agency to use out of many agencies present in the market. This best practice assumes that each recruitment agency has its track record which acts as a guide to identify its current and future standards of services (Torrington, et al., 2007). However, at times of dealing with new recruitment agencies that do not have any service record, this best practice does not provide satisfactory results.
Expertise: The second criteria considered by an employer while choosing a recruitment agency involves benchmarking their requirements against those offered by the agency (Torrington, et al., 2007). Hospitality firms prefer recruitment agencies that have expertise in hospitality industry, complete knowledge of their local labour markets and regulations and are aware of the skills that the needed to be successful in hospitality business. An expertise and knowledge of the hospitality industry ensures that the consultant has access to the right talent pool and will be able to attract the right candidates.
Cost: Outsourcing recruitment process to external recruitment agencies helps reducing operational costs which would have been spent to develop and maintain and in-house recruitment team (Walker & Miller, 2009). However it is important to ensure that the standard of services provided by recruitment agencies is worth the cost paid to them. The services provided by them should have the ability to justify the cost spent for hiring them. Employers ensure that the cost spent for hiring recruitment agencies is not more than that needed to develop and maintain an in-house recruitment team.
Trust: Trust is an important deciding factor when it comes to using a recruitment agency for handling the initial stage of recruitment process (Rankin, 2009). Employers tend to appoint agencies whom they know and have worked with earlier. Employers also make use of their own network to get more information about recruitment agencies that have been able to win the trust of reputed organisations through their services (Rankin, 2009). An agency that is recommended by reputed firms within hospitality industry has greater chances of winning the trust of other hospitality firms.
Legal Implication: It is important to ensure that the recruitment agency being selected complies with all legal obligations such as employment law, equally opportunity acts, anti-discrimination laws etc (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009). The recruitment agency must be aware of all legal implications that apply to hospitality industry and must ensure right candidate is hired in the most appropriate manner. Each recruitment agency has its own terms and conditions and it’s important to ensure they benefit both the agency and the employer.
Apart from these best practices there are some other factors that an employer considers while deciding which recruitment agency to choose, such as time taken by the agency to fill vacancies, available talent tool and service standards.
4. Building good relationship between HR department and Recruitment Agencies
Hospitality industry is currently facing the challenge of skill shortage and temporary staffing, thus it is important for them to develop and maintain a productive partnership between their HR department and recruitment agencies, such that both parties derive maximum benefit from the partnership (Ehnert, 2009). Both parties involved must work in coordination with each other in other to streamline the recruitment process which is essential for enhancing overall business productivity. People are considered as the most precious asset of a hospitality firm as they are the ones responsible for enhancing customer satisfaction. Stronger the partnership between HR and recruitment agencies stronger will be the chances of finding the most suitable match for the role (Miller, 2007). A hospitality firm can only achieve its desired goals, if it is able to keep its customers satisfied, and this is only possible by acquiring the right talent for right job.
Big brands in hospitality industry such as Hilton, Taj Groups, Oberoi’s etc have developed strong partnership with their recruitment agencies that help them attract the best talent across the globe from the most reputed educational institutes (Brotherton, 2012). In order to derive best results, employers must ensure that they provide as much details as possible about their requirements to the recruitment agencies. Details such as, job role, salary and benefits, location, job description, desired notice period, interview process and start date must be provided in a very specific manner. Recruitment agencies must properly understand the employment policies and procedures of the firm and accordingly source candidates for them (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009). Effort should be made to ensure the best possible match is sent to the HR team for further processing. Providing complete details about the requirement will help narrowing down the search for the right candidate thus saving time and costs for both the parties.
Each recruitment agency has their own terms and conditions and it is important to ensure that both parties have agreed to these terms and conditions before entering into a contract (Härtel & Fujimoto, 2014). Recruitment agencies should also ensure they have gather complete details about the policies and procedures of the employer related to equal opportunities, health and safety and data management. Both parties must ensure that they will maintain the confidentiality of information provided to them and will at no cost share it with competitors. Threat to data confidentiality is the biggest disadvantage associated with this form of partnership which must be maintained to develop a strong partnership (Miller, 2007). It is beneficial to use a real time data management system that will ensure data security and improved results. Employers must always provide honest feedback about the referred employees to the recruitment agencies as it helps them better understand the expectations of their clients and work accordingly. Both the parties must strongly adhere to the payment terms and deadlines in other ensure desired objectives of partnership are achieved effectively.
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