STRATEGIC FACTORS AFFECTING RECRUITMENT PRACTICES OF ACADEMIC STAFF IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES: A CASE STUDY OF EGERTON UNIVERSITY, NJORO KENYA

ABSTRACT
The recruitment of employees with the right skills and abilities helps an organization achieve its strategic goals efficiently. Egerton University has had difficulty in attracting a pool of applicants in fields such as Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Health Sciences, Agricultural Economics and Commerce as highlighted in its strategic plan. Past studies have not examined the strategic factors influencing the recruitment of academic staff. The purpose of this study was to determine the strategic factors and how they affect recruitment of academic staff in public universities by examining whether there is any difference in the recruitment practices used in the six areas of study, to determine the most importance strategic factors in influencing recruitment in the different departments and to determine if there are any differences in the strategic factors affecting recruitment in the six areas of study. The study was conducted in Egerton University which has a total academic staff of 536. The sample size for this study was 15 heads of departments from the six areas of study and 15 members of the University Recruitment Committee involved in the recruitment of academic staff. Primary data was collected using questionnaires and secondary data included internal documents such as Egerton University’s 10 year Strategic Plan and the Egerton University Scheme of Service. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysing data and the results presented using tables and graphs. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data. Kruskal Wallis test was used to determine whether there were any differences in the academic staff recruitment practices, and whether there were any differences in strategic factors affecting recruitment in the six areas of study. The results indicated that the recruitment practices were the same for all the areas of study, the strategic factors studied affect the recruitment of academic staff at Egerton University, the most important strategic factors affecting recruitment were salary, terms and conditions, presence of facilities, geographical location, and institutional reputation. The results also indicated that there are no differences in the strategic factors affecting the recruitment of academic staff in the different departments at Egerton University. The study made recommendations to management practitioners to take into consideration the strategic factors that affect recruitment of academic staff and also as an area for further research, to consider a comparative study of factors affecting recruitment of academic staff between public and private universities.

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
Background of the Study 
The level of performance of any organization depends on the quality and quantity of its human resource, which depends on the effectiveness of its recruitment function. As such, recruitment is one of the most crucial roles of the human resource professionals. Over the years, organizations have developed and followed recruitment strategies to hire the best talent for their organization and to utilize their resources optimally. Therefore, a successful recruitment strategy should be well planned and practical to attract more and good talent to apply in the organization. Cloete (1993) states that the process of recruitment must be undertaken with a view of obtaining the services of people of quality and that a recruitment policy should distinguish between posts to be filled by external recruits and those that should be filled by internal promotions or succession. An institution’s Recruitment Policy has to be fair and consistent, be of non-discriminatory nature and should conform to statutory regulations of the country, and agreed best practices. There is a general shortage of supply of knowledgeable staff, as a result, there is vast competition in organizations to attract and retain these skilled resources (Notten 2003). 

Strategic human resource management plays an important role in the recruitment process of an organization. According to Armstrong (1998), strategic human resource management is fundamentally about matching human resources to the strategic and operational needs of the organization, and ensuring full utilization of the resources. In every organization, recruitment of qualified management staff is crucial for efficient and effective performance. As Tobias (1990) notes, “To achieve excellence, organizations must start with excellent people…It is easier and more cost-effective to approach excellence through better selection than through any other method”. Pynes et al. (1997) emphasizes that the process of figuring out in advance what kinds of people and skills will be needed in the future is one of the major strategic steps an organization can take to successfully recruit, and it should actually take place prior to the need for recruitment for any other position. 

According to Schuller et al. (2003), employees would become upset if the firm would advertize open positions in the external market before first giving internal candidates a chance to apply for the jobs. Current employees should be considered as a primary source of any job opening. This can be done through various methods such as job posting, talent inventory, promotions and transfers. Internal sourcing has the advantage of reduced labor costs and motivation to employees while it also has the disadvantages of a company not getting the most qualified candidates, infighting between candidates and inbreeding. Strategic HRM thus links corporate strategy and HRM, and emphasizes the integration of HR with the business and its environment. It is believed that integration between HRM and business strategy contributes to effective management of human resources, improvement in organizational performance and finally the success of a particular business (Holbeche 1999). 

According to Fletcher (2009), the recruitment and subsequent selection of new employees are the most important decisions any company can make. Employees are the fuel that keeps an organization running and ensuring that the best people are hired, involves a firm understanding of how to make that happen. The recruitment process is however affected by several strategic factors which need to be considered while undertaking the process. These strategic factors can be internal or external and every organization has a set of unique strategic factors that affect its process. 

Egerton University Recruitment Procedure 
Egerton University has a ten year Strategic Plan 2005-2015 in which, human resource is recognized as the most important asset whose development is given emphasis during the entire planning period. The plan emphasizes on retaining quality staff through the development of a scheme of service (Egerton University Strategic Plan 2005-2015). 

Egerton University's recruitment procedure has been developed to support key objectives and core values identified within the University's strategic plan. The procedures are designed to assist the University's aspiration of attaining a world class status for development of humanity, while upholding the core values of “Equality of opportunity” and “Corporate Social Responsibility”. 

According to the Egerton University Recruitment Procedures (2008), which elaborates on the steps of the recruitment process in the University, recruitment begins from the department in need of staff. The heads of departments are mandated with the process of forecasting and identifying specific needs within the department, and then forward them to the human resource section, which is mandated with the process of recruitment and selection of staff. They then create a list of attributes and qualifications that are required for a particular position. A strategic and professional approach to recruitment processes enables the University to attract and appoint staff with the necessary skills and attributes to fulfill its strategic aims, and supports the University’s values. 

In determining the recruitment strategy for a particular position, cognisance is taken of whether there is likely to be suitable staff within the institution who have the competencies associated with the position. Should such suitable staff exist the post will be advertised internally. Where there are few possible internal suitable individuals, the relevant selection committee will decide on whether it should interview those individuals to assess their suitability or consideration of both internal and external applicants for the position should take place. Where there are no suitable internal candidates, the position will be advertised externally. The Recruitment Committee then sits to shortlist applicants who meet the minimum criteria set and invites them for interviews. The candidates are then subjected to one interview which consists of a panel of interviewers who ask questions orally covering several areas such as appearance, academic qualifications, general knowledge and social responsibilities. Candidates are then rated and ranked from the highest score by the panel. Those who meet the minimum cut-off requirement are employed depending on the requirement as per the staff establishment. As such as this has been the case, there is a challenge in some departments such as Engineering, Computer Science, Commerce, Economics, Health Sciences and Agricultural Economics as they try to source for academic staff in their departments. Previous researchers have tried to identify factors that influence recruitment but none has focused on strategic factors that influence recruitment of academic staff in the specific above disciplines.

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Item Type: Kenyan Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 57 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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