Ref # HRM/CH/04/CA-01
Human Resource Management
Who Do We Have To Hire?
As the excitement
surrounding the move into their new offices wound down, the two principal
owners of LearnInMotion.com, Pierre and Jennifer, turned to the task of hiring
new employees. In their business plan they’d specified several basic goals for
the venture capital funds they’d just received, and hiring a team topped the
list. They knew their other goals—boosting sales and expanding the Web site,
for instance—would be impossible without the right team.
Peter and Jennifer were just
about to place their ads when Pierre
asked a question that brought them to a stop: “What kind of people do we
want to hire?” It seemed they hadn’t really considered this. They knew the
answer in general terms, of course. For example, they knew they needed at least
two salespeople, plus a programmer, a Web designer, and several content
management people to transform the incoming material into content they could
post on their site. But it was obvious that job titles alone really didn’t
provide enough guidance. For example, if they couldn’t specify the exact duties
of these positions, how could they decide whether they needed experienced
employees? How could they decide exactly what sorts of experiences and skills
they had to look for in their candidates if they didn’t know exactly what these
candidates would have to do? They wouldn’t even know what questions to ask.
And that wasn’t all. For
example, there were obviously other tasks to do, and these weren’t necessarily
included in the sorts of things that salespeople, programmers, Web designers,
or content management people typically do. Who was going to answer the phones?
(Jennifer and Pierre had originally assumed they’d put in one of those fancy
automated call directory and voice-mail systems—until they found out it would
cost close to $10 000.) As a practical matter, they knew they had to have
someone answering the phones and directing callers to the proper extension. Who
was going to keep track of the monthly expenses and compile them for the
accountants, who’d then produce monthly reports for the venture capitalist?
Would the salespeople generate their own leads? Or would LearnInMotion.com have
to hire Web surfers to search and find the names of people for the sales staff
to call or e-mail? What would happen when the company had to purchase supplies,
such as fax paper or computer disks? Would the owners have to do this
themselves, or should they have someone in house do it for them? The list, it
seemed, went on and on.
It was obvious, in other
words, that the owners had to get their managerial act together and draw up the
sorts of documents they’d read about as business majors—job descriptions, job
specifications, and so forth. It all had seemed a lot easier when they read the
textbook. Now they want you, their management consultants, to help them
actually do it. Here’s what they want you to do for them.
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