Challenges Faced by Human Resource Recruiters in Post-Selection of Freshers in IT Companies
Shreya Ishwar Belchada1, Geetanjali P2
1Student 2Asst. Prof and HOD of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Management and Commerce, M S Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences,
Contact Author E-mail: [email protected]
Recruitment and selection remains one of the most important functions of the Human Resource department. Selection is the process by which specific instruments are engaged to choose from the pool of individuals most suitable for the job available. It increases the overall performance of the organization with good hiring. Selection of fresh graduates in IT companies is one of the most cost-effective means of hiring entry-level talent. The company hires graduates either during campus selection or through walk-ins. Hiring freshers comes with its own set of challenges for the recruiter. The main purpose of the present research is to identify the major challenges faced by the human resource recruiter post-selection of fresher since a lot of time and effort is invested in ensuring that right talent is hired. The study is based on quantitative research approach. The primary data is collected through questionnaire from the human resource recruiter from various IT companies. The sample size is 105. Secondary data is collected through literature review by referring various journals, research papers, articles and internet. 16 variables were considered to identify the major challenges post-selection of freshers. The paper mainly focused on some of the major challenges that recruiters face after selection of freshers that results into expensive failure of the whole recruitment process. The major challenges identified are allocation of projects to new recruits as per their interested work domain, change in location, background verification, counter-offers, candidate’s on bench without project and bond/ contract. The findings from the study also observed that effective induction program has a positive impact on the new recruits.
Keywords: Human Resource Recruiter, Post-selection issues, Back-out reasons, Recruitment challenges, Post challenges
1.1 RECRUITMENT CYCLE IN IT COMPANIES
Information technology sector is one of the most robust sectors in the world with rapid evolution over the years. There has been tremendous growth in this sector which has revolutionary effect on the lives of people. IT sector has been emerged as a major global source for both growth and employment. The use of information technology improves operational efficiency and transparency in the service sector. It serves as a medium of skill formation. Thus all sectors of the economy, has accepted information technology as a key enabler that contributes for the success and development.
In any organization, most important functions of human resource management are recruitment and selection. Gamage (2014) has pointed that the firm’s quality of human resource heavily depends on the effectiveness of recruitment and selection. Recruiting and selecting the wrong candidates who are not capable come with a huge negative cost which businesses cannot afford. Thus, the overall aim of recruitment and selection within the organization is to obtain the number and quality of employees that are required to satisfy the strategic objectives of the organization, at minimal cost (Ofori & Aryeetey, 2011).
Recruitment cycle is a complete process where first step is identification and understanding the needs and expectations of the recruiting manager/ company about the position to be filled considering the educational qualification, knowledge, skills, competency, etc. Next is sourcing for candidates through campus recruitment, job portals, employee referrals, consultancies, etc. that is followed by screening. Screening is where recruiter decides whether a candidate is selected for further rounds.
Once the candidate clears the screening, the various rounds of interview are conducted such as telephonic, personal/ HR round, technical round, final round where the recruiter collects detailed information about the candidate whether he/she is perfect fit for the organization. After the interview once the candidate is shortlisted, all the necessary documents of the selected candidates are verified. Once background verification is done the offer letter is issued. Once the offer letter is accepted by the candidate, last step of recruitment cycle is conducting on-boarding process to help new employees acquire, accommodate and accelerate into company system or culture.
1.2 SELECTION IN IT COMPANIES
Selection is the process of choosing most suitable applicant with the right qualification and skills, within or outside the organization, for the current position or for the future positions. In most IT companies, the criteria adopted for selecting candidates varies in nature. IT companies evaluate candidate’s based on his/her academic performance and skills, abilities and knowledge. Selection is important because the overall performance of the organization increases with good hiring. In contrast, if there is bad hire, the work of the organization will get affected and the cost incurred for replacing that bad resource will also be higher. Hiring freshers offers the most cost-effective means of hiring entry-level talent, but hiring them brings its own set of challenges such as offer denial, top candidates deciding between multiple offers, compensation, change in location, employee retention, inaccurate resumes, insufficient practical exposure to unrealistic expectations about the job and attitudinal issues, etc.
IT companies conduct a written test known as aptitude test for freshers to filter the best candidates from the lot. The test consists of questions on mathematics, vocabulary ; reasoning. Some companies also include technical questions in the test. After the written test companies conduct interview round for the candidates who qualify the written test. Interview round consists of HR ; technical interviews. Few IT companies conduct personality or psychometric test while some conduct group discussion as a part of elimination round. In most of the IT companies, the eligibility criteria for the selection process are minimum 60percent – 65percent marks throughout academics (10th, 12th, Graduation) and no backlogs at the time of applying.
2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Recruiters in IT companies face the situations post-selection, when a
candidate declines a job offer, quits during probationary period or due to relocation, accepts the offer but does not turn up and many more. Since lot of time, energy, and resources have been invested in finding the right candidate, these issues turns out to be disheartening for the recruiters. Thus, the overarching purpose of the study is to identify the issues and challenges Human Resource Recruiter faces post-selection of freshers. The main objective of the study is to identify and analyse the challenges faced by the Human Resource Recruiter’s in post-selection.
3. LITERATURE REVIEW
Robert E. Ployharti et al (2002) in their paper have stated that one should understand the psychological reasons for applicants’ withdrawal from selection process and the consequences of their attributions for withdrawal. According to the author, organizations use selection procedures to identify the best applicant from a large number of applicants. The author has pointed that one of the major issues during selection procedure is applicant withdrawal. The paper has found that applicant withdrawal is problematic for three reasons, first when the organization has different selection procedure for different demographic groups, second when there is requirement for skilled or qualified candidates and third when there is negative information about the organization.
The main aim of this paper is to understand candidates’ perception and reasons for candidates’ withdrawal. Since only a handful of studies have examined withdrawal despite the fact that applicant withdrawal has important practical consequences, the authors has suggested for further research to assess the links between attributions and applicant behavior.
Wendy R. Boswell and et al (2003) in their paper, pointed that the present research is intended to understand how job-choice decisions are made by job seekers, what are the factors applicants consider while taking decision and the role of effective and ineffective recruiting practices. The authors found that at the onset of recruitment, job seekers appear most concerned with company culture, nature of the work, compensation, benefits, training, and opportunities for advancement. These same job attributes along with job location and company reputation were considered important while making an actual job-choice decision. The author has clearly segmented the variables that job seekers consider important while making job choice decisions and has also suggested few practical recommendations during pre and post-selection of a candidate.
Chapman and Webster (2007) stated in their paper have found that previous research mainly focused on procedural justice (fair selection process), little work has been done on other mechanisms such as expectancy (receiving job offer) and signals (interviewers behavior about what it is like to work in the organization) and other variables such as pay and location. The main aim of the study is to provide a clearer picture of how recruiters influence the job choice decision of the applicants. This study examined all three mechanisms to determine the combined effect on applicant’s actual job decision. Thus results found that expectancy and signal have greater influence on applicant’s job choice. Authors also gave some practical suggestions by highlighting the importance of recruiter during the selection process and to improve their interpersonal skills which have greater influence on the applicant’s decision. They even highlighted the importance of informing the applicant about the results after the screening process as delay in informing the applicant may result in applicant discounting from the organization immediately and looking for other options. Also the authors suggested to keep fair selection procedures as unfair process may result in applicant drop out of the organization before receiving the job offer. As the current work was limited to organization where employment term was only for four months, the authors suggested for future research for organizations with longer term full time employment.
Steven E. Scullen (2012) in the article has pointed that in a small applicants’ pool when the top candidate rejects the job offer, the performance is affected as the preferred candidate (top candidate) is more likely to perform well on the job than the lower ranked candidate. This article focuses on impact of offer rejection on expected new-hire quality in a small pool context. According to the author the performance of the expected new-hire is maximized when employers hire their first choice candidate. The author states that when employers fail to hire most desirable candidate, it is advisable to choose some follow-up course of action i.e. to offer the job to the next candidate in the rank order. But the author feels that there would be chances that the job performance of that candidate might not be as good as the top ranked candidate. The method used for answering the questions is order statistics. With the help of this method, author found that the performance of second or third ranked candidate is less than the top ranked candidate. The author has suggested for future research on larger pool of candidates and to examine the attitudes and preferences of employers while hiring people.
Becker et al. (2010) stated in their paper have found that offer timing has greater influence on candidate’s job choice decision. According to the authors during the hiring process, speed and timeliness plays a significant role in candidate’s job choice decision. The quicker the candidates gets the offer, he’s more likely to accept it. The purpose of the study is to investigate whether offer timings had any influence on offer acceptance (whether candidates accepted or rejected the offer), job performance and turnover. It was found that there was higher probability of offer acceptance with quicker offers in both students and experienced candidate groups. Delays post interview resulted negative perception of the organization on the candidate. Further research found that there was no impact on performance of candidates who received slower offer than those who received quicker offers. The authors also suggested for future research as the current work was limited only to one organization, research on low or medium wage industry would be done to observe how offer timing vary with job type. Thus this study helped in understanding how offer acceptance and employment outcomes are impacted due to offer timings in the final phase of selection process. Thus delay in job offers would ultimately cost the company in terms of decreased offer acceptance.
Kulkarni and Nithyanand (2012) stated in their research paper, stated that past research concluded that applicant’s job choice decisions is based on recruitment activity or organizational attributes but according to the authors social influence also has an impact on applicant’s job choice decisions. The purpose of this paper is to examine how young job seekers make job decisions based on social influence. The research was conducted in India from an elite business school. The data was collected through in depth interview from 37 MBA students which consisted of 26 males and 11 females.
According to the respondents, others get socially influenced by seniors and peers. They also felt organizations do not provide them with necessary information so most of the applicants rely on others before making job choices. The paper also found that males feel more parental pressure than females. The authors have suggested for future research on more diverse context as the current study was only restricted to MBA students. As the key aim of recruiting is attracting applicants, the authors have suggested the employers to understand that social influence is also a key ingredient of job seekers behaviors and thus recruitment practices should be targeted accordingly. G.Ramanaiah and Xavier (2012) stated in their article have stated that one of the major issues that recruiters face today is candidates backing out of job offers. Recruitment process is an expensive activity and every time a candidate backs out, the companies face revenue loss, projects get delayed and lot of time and efforts get wasted. The authors conducted the survey at Wipro Technologies and the sample size was 134 aborted candidates from Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Pune and Delhi who rejected the job offer. The method used for the research was structured questionnaire and statistical tools such as percentage analysis, chi-square, weighted average method and correlation for analysis and interpretation of data.
The main aim of the research is to study the problems faced by the Wipro Technologies due to job offer rejection. From the survey the authors found that interview process has no influence on the job choice decision of the candidates. Instead various other factors such as commitment made by recruiters during selection process, inadequate salary, bond, etc. had greater influence on the candidates to reject the job offer. According to the authors, even though Wipro has a good brand image, the company should be flexible in negotiating with the candidates on salary, convincing deals, relocation and should keep communicating with the candidates once the offer is made. This in turn will help the company to avoid offer rejection by the candidates.
From the literature review, it is found that most of the studies have been done on recruitment from candidate’s perspective but limited studies have been done on the issues faced post-selection of freshers from HR perspective.
• All the above papers concentrated on candidates’ job choice decision, major reasons for back out, role of effective and ineffective recruiting practices, job choice attributes.
• There are limited studies concentrating on the post-selection issues from HR perspective.
• Thus, research gap identified by reviewing the papers concludes that limited studies are done on challenges faced by HR in post-selection of freshers. Therefore, study on challenges faced by Human Resource Recruiter’s in post-selection of freshers in IT companies in Bengaluru.
4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The study is based on quantitative research approach.
The primary data was collected from the Human Resource personnel through valid questionnaire, from various IT companies in Bengaluru.
The secondary data was collected through literature review by referring various journals, research papers, articles and internet.
The sampling technique used for the survey is purposive sampling. The questionnaire for the survey was designed in simple language based on the variables identified from literature papers and telephonic interview with HR. The questions were framed using Likert scale ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). The responses collected are computed, classified, analyzed and interpreted carefully using IBM SPSS Statistics 20 software.
Sample size – 105
Methodology of Study
Various statistical tools has been used for analyzing the data in SPSS software such as
• Reliability test
• Factor Analysis
The 12 variables are identified from various literature papers to analyze the challenges faced by the Human Resource Recruiter in post-selection.
• Multiple offers
• Personal Reasons
• Project allocation
• On bench
• Probationary period
• Delay in recruitment cycle
• Home sickness
• Health issue
• Non performance
The following objectives are framed to identify and analyze the challenges faced by the Human Resource Recruiter in post-selection.
1. To study the recruitment process for freshers in IT Companies
2. To identify the major factors in post-selection of freshers in IT Companies
3. To identify and analyse the challenges faced by the recruiter in post-selection
4. To suggest recommendations to prevent post-selection rejection
6. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
A possible direction for future research is to identify issues faced by Human Resource Recruiter post lateral hiring in IT and non-IT companies. Further, research may also be carried out to analyze effectiveness of recruitment process and its impact on applicant’s acceptance of job offer.
7. DATA ANALYSIS
7.1 Reliability Test
Table 1: Reliability Test
Cronbach’s Alpha Cronbach’s Alpha Based on Standardized Items N of Items
.806 .820 15
The overall coefficient is .806 which exceeds the minimal recommendations i.e. 0.70. Therefore, the viability and validity of the instrument is deemed to be sufficient.
7.2 KMO and Bartlett’s Test
Table 2: KMO and Bartlett’s Test
KMO and Bartlett’s Test
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy. .794
Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity Approx. Chi-Square 600.241
The value of KMO statistics obtained is 0.794. Since it is greater than 0.5 it is good and hence indicates that factor analysis can be used for the collected data. To examine the appropriateness of factor analysis for the survey on Issues and challenges faced by Human Resource Recruiter in IT companies post selection of freshers and to check the adequacy of the sampling, Bartlett’s test of sphericity and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) has been used. The approximate chi-square statistic is 600.241 with 66 degrees of freedom which is significant at 0.000 levels (Table). The KMO statistic (0.794) is also higher than 0.7. Hence, Factor analysis is considered as an appropriate technique for further analysis of data.
7.3 Rotated Component Matrix
Table 3: Rotated Component Matrix
1 2 3
Multiple Offers .051 .007 .799
Delay in recruitment cycle -.074 .636 .313
Probationary period -.204 .766 -.083
Termination .633 .156 .479
Non performance .224 .662 -.320
Health issue .299 .643 .253
Home sickness .849 -.043 .238
Relocation .576 .502 -.126
Project Allocation .831 .100 .018
On bench .897 .094 .096
Identity card for campus recruitment .478 .018 .626
Induction .879 -.079 .121
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
a. Rotation converged in 5 iterations.
From the above statistical data, 0.5 is the cut-off range selected for the study. If any one of the variable does not have cut off more than equal or greater than 0.5, then the corresponding variable is eliminated from the factor analysis and then the whole process is ran again. Therefore, looking at the table above, we can see that availability of termination, home sickness, relocation, project allocation, on bench and induction are substantially loaded on Factor (Component) 1 while delay in recruitment cycle, probationary period, non-performance, health issue are substantially loaded on Factor 2. The remaining variables i.e. multiple offers and ID for campus recruitment are substantially loaded on Factor 3.
Table 4: Labelled Factors
GROUP NO GROUP NO.1 GROUP NO.2 GROUP NO.3
Total number of variables No. of Variables- 6 No. of Variables- 4 No. of Variables- 2
Group Name (factor name) Post selection challenges Back out reasons Recruitment issues
Variable 1 Termination (.633) Probationary period (.766) Multiple offers (.799)
Variable 2 Home sickness (.849) Delay in recruitment (.636) Identity card for campus recruitment (.626)
Variable 3 Relocation (.576) Non-performance(.662)
Variable 4 Project allocation (.831) Health issue (.643)
Variable 5 On bench (.897)
Variable 6 Induction (.879)
The above table infers the grouping of the variables using Rotated component matrix. From the statistical data, three factors groups have obtained grouping similar variables in one group. The labelling of factors is done based on the data collected and analysis performed.
Group one is labelled as Post selection challenges which includes six variables such as termination, home sickness, relocation, project allocation, on bench and induction that are some of the challenges faced by HR post selection of freshers in IT Companies. In some companies, the new recruits get terminated due to lack of performance during probationary period. Sometimes new candidates face the issue of home sickness when they are away from home which results into depression, stress, lack of concentration at work place. This may lead the candidate into quitting the offer post joining. Candidates may initially accept the offer but later reject it due to change in location because of personal reasons, job security concerns, no desire to relocate, etc. Some candidates also quit
post relocation due to lack of adjustment, not comfortable in new city or environment or culture and home sickness, thus resulting into mental stress and depression at workplace. Candidates not allocated with the project of their interested domain may result into low productivity. Candidates on bench without project for longer duration may result into lack of interest in work resulting into low employee engagement at workplace. Effective induction and mentorship program is an important part of employment process because one of the reason candidates leave the organisation shortly after joining is due to treatment they get in the new organisation during the starting period of their employment.
Group two is named as Back out reasons includes four variables such as probationary period, delay in recruitment, non-performance and health issue. Some candidates may quit the company during probationary period due to lack of interest in project, better offer from competitors, lack of mentorship program, etc. Delay in recruitment cycle results into back out of top candidates post-selection because of lack of follow up by the company or getting better offers from competitors, etc. Health issue can be a reason for last
moment back out because of lack of work-life balance in the company. Health issue can also be due to change in location.
Group three is labelled as Recruitment issues which includes two variables such as multiple offers and Identity card for campus recruitment. Multiple offers are an issue because candidates usually opt for better offers resulting into offer rejection. One of the recruitment issues during campus recruitment is generation of Identity card for huge number of students in campus. It is expensive as well as time consuming.
Since the cut-off value should be more than 0.5, the variables whose values are less than 0.5 are excluded from the rotated component matrix and the factor analysis is run again. The excluded variables are offer timings, bond/ contract and background verification as the cut off value is less than 0.5.
H0: Effective induction does not aid in proper project allocation of the new recruits.
H1: Effective induction aids in proper project allocation of the new recruits.
Table 5: Correlation 1
Project Allocation Pearson Correlation .669**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
From the above table, we observe that variable 1 indicates independent variable i.e. project allocation and variable 2 indicates dependent variable i.e. induction. From this statistical data, it shows positive correlation between the two variables with a correlation of +.669. Hence according to the analysis, H1 hypotheses is accepted i.e. Effective induction aids in proper project allocation of the new recruits and is related with positively significance at 0.01 level. The correlation result shows that induction program is a very important part of the employment process. Lack of an effective induction and mentorship programmes result in poor productivity among newly appointed candidates. A good induction program helps newly appointed employees to integrate into the organization work processes with minimum difficulty, by acquainting them with the details and requirements of the organization. This will help the new candidates to settle in with ease and render services within their relevant professional areas of expertise. Thus an effective induction and mentorship program helps to improve work processes, employee morale and satisfaction.
H0: Allocation of project as per interested domain is not an issue with candidates on bench.
H1: Allocation of project as per interested domain is an issue with candidates on bench.
Table 6: Correlation 2
On bench Pearson Correlation .651**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
From the above table, we observe that variable 1 indicates independent variable i.e. induction and variable 2 indicates dependent variable i.e. project allocation. From this statistical data, it shows positive correlation between the two variables with a correlation of +.651. Hence according to the analysis, H1 hypotheses is accepted i.e. Allocation of project as per interested domain is an issue with candidates on bench and is positively related with significance at 0.01 level.
The correlation result shows that when organization pushes a candidate to join a project they are not interested in, often results in turnover. In such cases, organization ignores the skill of the candidate and this might result in building stress among the candidate in order to meet the requirement.
Some of the major issues that recruiters face after selection of freshers are identified from findings from the study:
• Project allocation is an issue with candidates interested to work in their domain area
• Effective induction and mentorship program results in the productivity of the new recruits
• Candidates on bench without project allocation for a longer duration results in turnover
From the survey, various challenges post-selection of freshers are identified. Hence to combat with these problems some suggestions are provided. They are as follows:
• Companies should conduct a Pre-connect before induction where 10-15 days prior joining date, all the selected candidates are called and demonstrated about the company goals and mission, culture, roles, career opportunities, project details, work timings and how to showcase and improve their career. This program helps the new candidates to familiarize with the company.
• During the pre-connect program, the company should provide training needs analysis document to the new candidates, that will help in identifying any skill gap of the candidate and for which appropriate training could be incorporated into his/her schedule.
• Create a mentorship program or buddy system that will help employees build relationships within the workplace.
• Try generating offer letter immediately after acceptance, expedite the joining formalities after offer acceptance, stick to the promises made to the candidate including no changes to work location, remove ambiguities in salary components and keep the salary components transparent, have an informal introduction to the team and management before joining. Company should create an excellent candidate experience by building a strong reputation, giving specialist insight and providing a lot of options, offering office tours and introducing to senior leaders as a way to showcase the brand and taking feedback from selected candidates.
• Provide constant reskilling, shorter duration projects and training opportunities on bench candidates through online sessions and courses, enablement videos and knowledge sharing to keep the candidates updated with new trends and technologies
• Create a Project HR management System where the skills of each candidate and roles, responsibilities and skills needed for each project are stored in the system and automatically the candidate is allocated to the interested candidate.
Selection is an extremely important aspect for companies as the performance of the company directly relates to the people working within it, thus right candidate needs to be hired to ensure organizational success. It is an expensive process and a lot of time and money in invested in hiring the right candidates, so companies should be flexible in negotiating with the top candidates on salary, location, projects and bond/ contract. When a candidate gets selected after three to four rounds of interview and the candidate declines the job offer at the last moment, it results into a very expensive failure of the whole recruitment process because till the time of the offer, the recruiter is almost done with 95percent of the necessary work. Thus, recruiters should communicate frequently with the candidates once the offer is made. The main objective of the study is to identify the challenges faced by Human Resource Recruiter’s post-selection of freshers in IT companies. The results from the study found home sickness due to change in location, termination during probationary period due to lack of performance, project allocation as per interested domain, effective induction and mentorship program are some of the major challenges that recruiters face post-selection of freshers. According to the analysis, effective induction program aids in productivity of the new recruits. It’s the responsibility of the company to engage new recruits, make sure they grow into their roles and ultimately pass their probationary period.
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