As a working unit, corporation or a company grows in size, it increasingly feels the need to hire people that help it to achieve its primary objectives. People are the life and blood of even the most automated of the manufacturing or production setups. Then other many units depend on people alone for their processes and procedures. People are normally termed as human resources in production milieus. In order to recruit people, most such units maintain and run a specialized department euphemistically termed the human resource management (HRM) department and also personnel management (PM) function. Management graduates from all reputed institutions all over the world are groomed in either of these as a major specialization stream.
HRM function envelops a wide range of activities, but on a broad canvas, these activities can be grouped primarily in three classes, i.e. hiring or recruiting, maintenance of the employed and then the managing of the exit of the employed. Hiring becomes critical as it starts the ball rolling in the unit. People can make or break a business. There have been case studies where specialist staff-highly skilled in a technical activity- have caused the demise of a unit in a major one-off event. Also, there have been cases where a considerable layer of hired staff have worked silently to dampen the performance of an organization on year to year basis, working to shoddy levels, resulting in making the unit sick beyond redemption at some future point of time.
In all such cases, other contributory factors played their parts, but the human factor remained prominent. After all, machines and computers can only think as far as the inventing humans would allow them to think. For instance, a hired fitter may not be able to do the job of a turner quite adequately. Similarly, a chairman coming from a trading organization may not fit well as a chairman of a core manufacturing unit.
When one is out hiring, one has to essentially divide their organization into three to four layers of people. One is top, second is middle, and the third is lower, and a fourth layer can be a support layer which may work to maintain three other layers and shuttle in between such layers. Then, one has to divide the constituency to be hired according to their ability to contribute to output, i.e. skilled, semiskilled and unskilled.
One can go in finer calibrations within these categories. For instance, the skilled can be divided as technical and soft skill qualified personnel. Within technical, one can have lower and higher technical skills. One can also envisage a separate category of personnel that has soft and as well as technical skills which can be called a hybrid category. An engineer MBA may fall in this hybrid category.
An important decision that any hiring function may have to make may read as follows as to how many technical, soft and hybrid staff may be needed for the top, middle and lower levels of the organization. A trickier decision may pertain to support function.
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