Staffing and other human resource functions are among the most vital components of any company’s operations. While development, production, and marketing are all integral and necessary pieces of the typical business model, without the identifying, hiring, and maintaining of a suitable workforce, there can be no hope for any lasting success. For larger corporations, finding and recruiting suitable employees for new and expanding roles can become a full-time operation in and of itself, simply in order to keep steady pace with growth and change in particular areas of the business. On top of that, today’s HR departments are asked to handle an increasing number of responsibilities related to personnel, making external recruitment and temporary work agencies more and more viable and cost-effective options.
The staffing and recruitment process can be very complex, but will invariably cover the core phases of applicant consideration, candidate selection, and company onboarding. Resumes and CVs will generally be solicited and read, interviews will be conducted, and internal discussions will be held to narrow prospective fields. Often companies will need to administer skills and aptitude tests, verify references, and conduct drug and background screens before making any official job offers. The onboarding process begins following successful hires and entails basic administrative details (such as payroll and network set-up and integration), along with more specific, interpersonal measures (such as coworker introductions and more detailed role explanation). If the recruitment and hiring phase of staffing operations is to be thought of as the finding and securing of qualified individuals for positions in need, then the onboarding process can be viewed as the introduction and acclimation of new hires to their particular teams and functions.
While, in the past, the active participation of corporate personnel divisions extended very little beyond the successful hiring and introduction of new employees, today’s human resource divisions have a drastically increased scope of responsibility. In fact, in many cases, the majority of HR work focuses on improving and maintaining both employee success and corporate compliance with industry regulation and standards. In this capacity, HR departments manage employee data, benefits, and compensation, monitor conduct, behavior, and performance, and oversee any necessary training and continuing education. Human resource staff will also generally be in charge of employee morale and motivation, as well as record keeping, analysis, and confidentiality of personnel-related files and information. The handling of individual complaints, grievances, and conflict mediation and resolution also typically fall under the greater HR umbrella. Essentially, the modern human resource department is in charge of all business aspects related to the workers themselves.
Due largely to the wide breadth of HR responsibility, more and more companies have begun to turn to outside hiring and recruitment sources, in order to mitigate the heavy workload on their own internal structures. This is especially true of businesses that have continuing staffing needs due to fluctuating markets, evolving strategies, and structural adaptations. Through the use of temp agencies, recruiters, and private search and placement firms, companies can outsource most or all of the hiring process to more accurately and efficiently address both short- and long-term needs. This use of external professionals not only saves businesses time and money, but frees up their human resource departments to look beyond day-to-day staffing needs, toward greater organizational design and development.