In this assignment, you will have to read the Recruitment & Selection Case Study and answer the questions given below.
Despite an unemployment rate of around 9%, U.S. manufacturing companies are scrambling to find enough skilled workers. There are several reasons why this is occurring. First, there is an increased demand for manufacturing workers. Second, baby boomers (employees 55 or older) making up more than 25% of U.S. manufacturing employees are beginning to retire. Third, the U.S. education system is not developing the math and science skills potential employees need to operate computer-controlled factory equipment like lathes and other metal-shaping equipment. Math and science test scores for U.S. students are significantly lower than those compared to students from countries such as China, Japan, Canada, and Germany. Also, manufacturing jobs suffer from an image problem.
Although these jobs often pay from $50,000 to $80,000 per year with benefits and many require advanced math, mechanical drawing, and blueprint reading skills, parents discourage smart children from considering careers in manufacturing, instead emphasizing enrolling in four-year colleges. Also, youth often are unmotivated to train for manufacturing jobs because of misguided stereotypes that they are dirty, unsafe, and boring. Fourth, many manufacturing companies decreased the emphasis they placed on recruiting and finding employees when it was easier to find them in the labor market. For example, Woodward Inc. a parts manufacturer for aircraft and power generation equipment based in Fort Collins, Colorado, used to operate its own training academy but closed it to lower costs. As a result, the company lost its pool of available skilled machinists and technicians. To reestablish a pool of skilled workers Woodward is sponsoring students enrolled in two-year programs in manufacturing skills at local community colleges. The company pays their tuition and other costs and they are paid for working part-time. Woodward’s goal is to hire those students for full-time manufacturing jobs after they earn their two-year degree. Hamill Manufacturing Company, a 127-employee company located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, cuts metal into parts for ships and machinery. The company needs to fill customized orders for small numbers of parts requiring meeting precise specifications. To find workers Hamill works with vocational schools. Employees serve on advisory boards, donate equipment, and even volunteer as guest lecturers. Jeff Kelly, Hamill’s chief executive officer, organizes a program in which high school students learn to build fighting robots. These activities have paid off in attracting talented new employees but other larger companies are poaching talented workers away from Hamill Manufacturing. One Hamill employee who won a national competition for metal working skills left for a new job at Curtiss-Wright Corporation, a company that makes pumps and generators and purchases parts from Hamill. Curtiss-Wright pays him 40% more than he earned at Hamill and because it is a larger company it has more career opportunities.
To try and discourage skilled employees from leaving Hamill, Jeff Kelly increased wages 18 to 25%. Despite the pay increases, over the past two years, Hamill has lost 10 employees to Curtiss-Wright. Besides poaching and involvement with community colleges, other manufacturing companies are relying on creative sources for skilled workers. Swift-Cor Aerospace is hiring former prisoners for its airplane parts plants near Los Angeles. San Quentin prison in California is using its machine shop to train prisoners skills in operating computer-controlled lathes and mills. Some prisoners also take classes in calculus and trigonometry to help them work with machinery. Advanced Technology Services of Peoria, Illinois, hires employees with military backgrounds because they have acquired the skills needed to fix equipment through repairing tanks and airplanes and have a strong work ethic.
Recruitment & Selection – Questions
- Describe the facts in this case in order of priority.
- What are the problems that management is facing?
- What are the probable underlying root causes of these problems?
- Based on your reading, class lecture and discussion, and your own research – what recommendations do you have to solve the problems?
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