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The various issues of recruitment in childcare

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In the following assignment, the various issues of recruitment in childcare will be discussed; this will include the integration and retention of qualified and experienced members of staff.

Other factors that will be discussed include legal requirements, legislation, equal opportunities, job descriptions, person specifications and the process of recruitment.

The above, will all be related to the above statement as to whether the success of any childcare organisation is dependent not only on appropriate recruitment but also the integration and retention of qualified and experienced members of staff.

This will be discussed in relation to the appendix, which includes job descriptions, person specifications, advertisement sites, an application form and an overview of organisation for applicants’ perusal.

Howard Green 1994 states

“The task of appointing staff has always been of crucial importance, for the quality and commitment of staff is vital in ensuring that the whole curriculum is effectively provided for pupils.”

(Green: 1994:109)

Within recruitment, the aim is to get the right person for the job. It could be said that hiring the right people is the key to success within any organisation. The recruitment process needs to be quick and efficient and part of the reason for this is due to expenses.

When children are concerned, it could be said that whether the person can do the job is not the only necessity, there are a few other factors that need to be taken into consideration.

As stated in Good Practice in Nursery Management,

“The standards accepted by staff become the standards of the institution and these directly affect the satisfaction of parents”

(Sadek.E & E: 1996:99)

The process of recruitment is very important in any organisation, and throughout the process, there a variety of actions that need to be undertaken.

Mullins 1996:674 suggested that there are three considerations, which should be involved in the recruitment and selection of staff. These include that recruitment and selection should not be considered in isolation, the question as to whether the new member of staff will fit into the organisation is equally as important as the technical competence. Also, the ability to perform certain tasks and that legal requirements are complied with fully.

When considering legal requirements and recruitment, there are four important acts that need to be taken into consideration. These include the Race Discrimination Act 1976, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Equal Pay Act 1970 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

The Race Discrimination Act states that employees should not be discriminated against on grounds of race. The Sex Discrimination Act states that employees should not be discriminated against on grounds of sex or marital status. The Equal Pay Act states that there should be equal pay for work of equal value. The Disability Discrimination Act states that employees should not be discriminated against on grounds of disability.

Other Acts that employees have rights to include the ‘Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974, Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 and the Employment Rights Acts. 1966

“Equal opportunities is an important and fundamental aspect in employment” (Mullins: 1996:678) All organisations should have an equal opportunity policy, which ensures that all employees are treated fairy and equal.

London Voluntary Service Council identified

“The law concerning equality of opportunity in employment is limited and has no provisions for unpaid volunteers or trainees. Therefore organisations should adopt an equal opportunities policy to ensure no member of staff or any job applicant suffers direct or indirect discrimination or victimisation”

(1998: 50)

Within Rochdale Council, the front sheet of every weekly bulletin (See appendix Pg. 1) shows that they are “Striving to be an equal opportunities employer.” The front sheet identifies they are aware of the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995 and Race Relations Act, 1976. The application form (See pg. 4) for the job also mentions the Disability Discrimination Act.

The bulletin mentions that applications from deaf and hearing-impaired people with a minicom facility can ring another number, which will help them in applying for the job.

It could be said that Rochdale Council has addressed most issues relating to equal opportunities and as already said, as they are “Striving to be an equal opportunities employer” it would seem they are very committed towards equal opportunities.

Within the recruitment process, Jackson 1997:50 states there are two major stages involved, which are job analysis and advertising.

Jackson 1997:50 identified that within a job analysis, there are three elements; a field study, job descriptions and person specifications.

According to Jackson 1997:52

“A field study should provide information that can then be formulated into ‘user friendly’ documents”

Jackson 1997:50 suggested that the aim of a field study is to acquire information about a job and the skills and qualities needed to ensure a person is found suited to that job.

Job descriptions as Mullins defined are

“The total requirements of the job: exactly what it is, its purpose, what it entails, the duties, activities and responsibilities attached to it and its position within the formal structure of the organisation.”

(Mullins: 1996:676)

A job description actually describes the job. It could be said that from reading a job description, one would be able to decide whether it is the job they are looking for. Job descriptions will usually include the same aspects although this will vary for different organisations. Examples of various job descriptions are shown in the appendix on Pg. 3 in the booklet, Pg. 5, 7 and 9.

Rochdale Council has produced the job description in the booklet on Pg. 3 and a local school has produced the other job descriptions. All three are very different and each would have a different effect of various people.

The job description on pg.3 is very detailed. It could be said that from reading this job description, one would be able to decide if that was a job for them. The job description clearly shows in hierarchical terms where the position is within the organisation.

The purpose and objectives of the job are clearly shown, to whom the postholder would be working for and in brief what the job entails.

The principal duties are shown in greater detail under six sub headings, which include – Teaching children with a hearing impairment, advice to class and subject teachers. Assessment and monitoring of the progress of children with hearing impairments, parental guidance and advice, in service work and administration. This gives the candidate a vast amount of detail about the job. From reading this, the candidate should immediately know whether this is the job they are looking for and if they are capable of doing the job.

This job description would help to help retain staff as it paints a realistic picture of what is involved in the job. It is very detailed and therefore must contain every aspect of what is involved in the job.

The job description on pg. 5 does not provide as much detail as Pg. 3, although describes what the candidate is required to teach. This job description is designed in such a way that it would only appeal to qualified teachers. It identifies various aspects of the job although only very briefly. It is straight to the point and would help in the process of recruitment as only candidates who would be capable of teaching all the aspects required would hopefully apply.

The job description on pg. 7 and 9 are what the school provides to new members of staff. Although the candidate will already have read the job description, this is a second job description which is part of the school policy. The new member of staff would be required to sign the second job description which contains more detail than the first.

It could be said that the second job description would not help with the recruitment process and in the retention of staff as the first job description does not give the full picture. It could be said that some candidates would feel that the organisation had not been honest with them in the first instance and once they have accepted the job, they are being forced into accepting additional responsibility.

A person specification is an extension of a job description and describes “the ideal person for the job” (Jackson 1997: 52) A person specification would clarify whether the job advertised is what they are looking for and whether they have the necessary requirements.

Legal requirements need to be taken into consideration when a person specification is used. All legal requirements

“Make it unlawful for organisations to take into account a person’s gender, marital status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin or disability in employment decisions”

(Jackson 1997:49)

The person specifications shown in the appendix Pg. 3 and 6 are very different. Pg. 3 gives clear notes to applicants what each section means and how it should be completed and interpreted. This would help in the recruitment process, as all perspective candidates would be able to follow the person specification and know exactly whether they have the specific requirements or not. The person specification is split into different sections. These include -Qualifications and Experience, Skills and Knowledge and special working conditions. As with the job description, it is very detailed and useful to a perspective candidate.

This person specification does not mention the legislation that will be followed throughout their process of recruitment. However the advertisement in the local bulletin as already said identifies in detail the legislation and equal opportunities.

If an organisation is in the process of recruitment, it may be beneficial to consider the different alternatives available in order to save money where possible. The process of recruitment is also very time-consuming. Not only that, a high turnover of staff, may highlight different disadvantages for the company. It could be said that a high turnover of staff has an effect on ‘staff morale, motivation and job satisfaction for the staff already working for that company.’ (Mullins 1996:674)

Also, it could be said that if advertisements for the same organisation are continually being advertised, the organisation may get a bad reputation as people may be curious as to the reason behind the high number of turnover’s.

Within a workplace, an organisation could redistribute tasks to existing workplace, which in turn could give employees more responsibility. Other options include transferring staff, promote people internally, using subcontractors, hire part time or temp staff or try job sharing.

Job sharing may prove effective and would provide for in absences although difficulties may arise with the workload. The front cover of the bulletin shown on Pg. 1 of the appendix mentions job sharing which could influence candidates on whether they apply for the job. The aspect of job sharing is clear from the start, which could be seen as an advantage for some candidates.

Within the above options, it is important to consider advantages as well as disadvantages also if any of the above was to be used, it would need to be more beneficial than recruiting.

Difficulties may arise with the issue of using some of the above options in relation to equal opportunities. Jackson: 1997:54 suggested that the organisation might face criticism if they constantly rely on internal applicants.

If an organisation decides that recruiting external as well as internal staff is the most appropriate option, advertising the post would be the next step.

It could be said that through advertising, a more suitable candidate may be found and until a post is advertised, an organisation would not be using all options open to them in order to find the right person for the job.

Advertisements play a vital role in the selection process. This is the first impression of the organisation and depending on what the advertisement says, will depend on whether a candidate will apply for the job or not. An example of a job advertisement is shown in the appendix on p.g.2.

Lyus 1998 identifies that within a job advertisement the strengths of the organisation should be identified. “Communicating standards to the carer is important and these should be conveyed in the advertisement.” (Lyus 1998:131)

According to Sadek 1996,

“An advertisement should be based on the requirements of the job specification and should be designed and worded in such a way that it will appeal to the kind of people you are hoping to attract”

(Sadek: 1996:102)

From looking at the advertisement on pg. 2 and comparing the person specification on pg.3, part of the qualifications and experiences section is the same what is included in the advertisement.

When and where the advertisement is placed is a very important aspect in the recruitment process. The teaching post advertised on pg2 was advertised within the weekly bulletin of the local council. Other recruitment sources include the Job Centre, employment agencies, through parents or members in the team.

It could be said that depending on the type of job would depend on where the best place of advertisement would be. This will be different for every organisation and it could be that in order to find the best place for recruiting potential candidates would take time.

Jackson et al 1997 identified that

“Different sources are appropriate depending on the group of potential applicants that you wish to target”

(Jackson et al 1997:54)

The advertisement must be detailed enough to ensure the perspective candidate for the job is suitable also to ensure qualified and perhaps experienced candidates apply. The advertisement must attract the right person to ensure the aim of recruitment is completed.

There are many issues in the process of recruitment, which could all have an affect on the integration and retention of staff. Although this may be different from person to person, it could be said that the job advertised for within Rochdale Council gives a very good impression. A great deal of information was sent after ringing for an application from which is very informative. The information would be very helpful to a perspective candidate.

According to Mullins 1996, Staff are more likely to stay with your organisation for a reasonable time and provide a satisfactory standard of work if

“The person specification paints a realistic picture, neither the organisation nor the job is oversold, the job and working conditions have been explained fully prior to their acceptance of their appointment. The candidate’s understand exactly what will be expected of them including the difficulties and distastes of their job, their personal attributes and qualities match closely those required for successful performance of the job”

(Mullins 1996:680)

From comparing this statement and the issues discussed above, it could be said that the job advertised within the council is more closely related to this statement than the others. The job description and person specification was very detailed and informative and as Mullins 1996 identifies is an important aspect in the retention of staff.

Jackson 1998: 48 suggested that the process of recruitment is very complex and when recruiting, wider issues need to be discussed, used and understood.

The issue with integration of staff will depend on the organisation. Green 1994:112 suggested that an annual staffing review is necessary to ensure that that the pupil numbers and curriculum needs can be analysed and compared to the existing staff and curriculum.

It could be said that there are many different aspects, which affect the integration and retention of staff, which will vary for every individual. The recruitment process is very important in order to get the right person for the job. If this is not achieved, the recruitment process will not have been a success and will consequently have an affect on the retention and integration of staff.


Green.H 1994 The School Management Handbook


Kogan Page

Jackson .T & 1997 Personnel Practice

Martin .M Wiltshire

Cromwell Press

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