PFG Money is a financial services firm that aids customers with fund transfers and additionally provides services of mortgaging, loan facilities refinance and currency exchange. To understand the staffing policies and procedures followed by PFG Money, a telephonic interview was conducted with Ms Cynthia Robbins who holds the position of Assistant Hiring Manager with the company. The company has laid proper focus in aligning the staffing strategy along with business strategy which ensures seeking suitable candidates for respective job profiles. The staffing and recruitment procedure of PFG Money is comprehensive and has been derived under the Fair Work Ombudsman Act followed in Australia. The company involves necessary steps starting with vacant position analysis, job advertisement through relevant mediums, shortlisting candidates which is the job responsibility of HR Department, interview process which is a 4-step process for middle-level profiles and direct interviews with CEO for high-level profiles. Reference checks are an important part which is conducted for potential candidates before offering them a job position. The company also lays important emphasis on training and development of the employees which are initially put on three-month probation before confirming them for employment. As part of staffing challenges, factors related to employee turnover, finding the right fit, managing bulk load of applications and risk of upskilling the talent only to see them leave have been identified. Certain staffing challenges concerning the current pandemic crisis have also surfaced leading to managing employee morale during COVID-19 as well as developing mechanisms to aid remote working systems which are now the new normative for organizations. Recommendations to PFG Money include better use of company website to invite job applications, use of applicant tracking system to gain effective utilization of application pool and building upon the existing employer brand by furnishing employee testimonials to gain candidate trust and manage employee retention.
Table of Contents
About PFG Money Private Limited (PFG Money, 2016).
Business and Staffing Strategy.
III. Staffing process followed at PFG Money.
Organizations are a good blend combination of physical, financial and human capital with human capital forming the core of its existence and sustenance. Staffing is a function of management that is undertaken after the company has carefully devised a plan and defined an adequate organizational structure. Without staffing, an organization is like an empty shell and thus it is more important to fill the organization with the right kind of people for different job responsibilities. The following report aims to analyse and evaluate models of strategic staffing in the context of the current challenges within an organisation, identifying recommendations for the future. For this purpose, the report will discuss the staffing process followed by PFG Money, a firm that aids people in transferring money from one country to another besides other financial services. The report will present a brief organization profile and the staffing process followed by the hiring manager. The premise of the report is based on the interview conducted with Ms Cynthia Robbins (name changed for privacy purpose) who currently holds an assistant position in the HR Department of the company. Owing to travel restrictions posed due to the rampant spread of COVID-19, the interview was conducted over the telephone to conform to safety standards. The report will attempt to throw light on the discussion with the assistant hiring manager relating to staffing challenges faced by the organization with a specific focus on the current scenario caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Recommendations based on various literary resources relevant to an organization's strategic process will be presented following up with a conclusion that summarizes key findings of the report.
PFG Money has been operational in Australia for 14 years. The company deals in cross-border money transfers and also offer additional financial assistance such as refinance, currency exchange, and varied forms of loan provision services such as home loans, business loans, vehicular loans and personal loan services to its customers and other stakeholders. PFG Money has a strong network spanning more than 200 locations in Australia and has brand extensions of MoneyGram (dealing in fund transfers), PFG Forex (dealing in currency exchange) and PFG Mortgage (dealing with mortgage and loan lending services).
The company operates with a network of workers and employees stationed at various levels. According to Cynthia, the company comprises of nearly 65-100 employees that look after internal company operations as well as coordinate with identified stakeholders for the company such as company agents, customers, regulatory bodies and remitters.
Cynthia shares that the business strategy of PFG Money is quite simple to understand and the alignment of companies staffing strategy helps in ensuring definitive and measurable results.
According to Cynthia, “Our business strategy helps people avail hassle-free connectivity across borders to different countries.”
PFG Money Staffing Strategy:
The staffing strategy for PFG Money as identified by Cynthia is as follows:
“The recruitment process followed by us at PFG Money essentially aims at identifying the ‘right’ fit for a job profile in a way that entails a lasting association of commitment, abiding company values and reflecting them in their behaviour towards our stakeholders like customers, agents or management.”
From the excerpts, above it becomes clear that the company treats staffing as one of the core functions that define the operational and financial success of the organization in the external environment. Staffing is a process that starts with the identification of the human resource, goes on to assessment and nurturing of the potential resource to ultimately placing them within the organization (Idrees, Waqas, Naqvi, Imran, & Anjum, 2018). It is an essential function for any business as not only do staffing and recruitment help the organization grow and develop, they are also a source of stepping stones for the employees who seek to push their ambitions and drive to climb the ladder of corporate success (Greer, Carr, & Hipp, 2015). For a successful outcome of recruitment, the company needs to ensure fitting the employee in a profile that adequately suits their potential (Idrees, Waqas, Naqvi, Imran, & Anjum, 2018). Wrong placement of an employee in a department he might not work well is just like fitting a square peg in a round hole and could lead to negative consequences for the organization.
The following section of the report discusses the staffing process followed at PFG Money as shared by the executive hiring assistant for the company. According to Cynthia, the staffing process of PFG Money is followed according to the legislation defined by the Government of Australia which is through Fair Work Ombudsman Act (Fair Work Ombudsman, 2019).
Job advertisements are posted for the equal duration within and outside the organization and the company follows proper legislation norms to ensure that advertisements neither present misleading information nor are discriminatory or offensive to any caste, creed or community in any sense.
For higher-level profiles, the HR after relevant screening proceeds the profile for a direct final interview with the CEO and Board Members. These interviews may last anywhere between 45 – 60 minutes.
Any organization faces a fair share of challenges when it comes to staffing and recruitment (Collings & Isichei, n.d.). Whether it is high attrition rate (Hom, Lee, Shaw, & Hausknecht, 2017; Shuck, Twyford, Reio, & Shuck, 2014) or factors about the working environment (Kim, Tam, Kim, & Rhee, 2017) or well-being of the employee (Brunetto, Shacklock, Teo, & Farr-Wharton, 2014), the onus of all of it ultimately falls on the HR Manager who is responsible for ensuring that any identified challenge is proactively analysed and corrected (López-Cotarelo, 2018). In terms of staffing, one can identify challenges as obvious, to hidden and unprecedented challenges related to employee recruitment and retention. Some of the staffing challenges highlighted during the interview with Cynthia have been shared as under, which are both general and ones that PFG Money has to face during particular situations.
“One Candidate too many Takers”
According to Cynthia, the biggest challenge that hiring managers, in general, have been to manage and engage candidate attention when there are other companies chasing candidates for same/similar skill set. The increase in competition and business opportunities have also given rise to need for employment. Because of which candidate has access to multiple opportunities from different companies because of which the company's chance of receiving a quality candidate get affected at times (Cardoso, Mourão, & Rocha, 2019).
“A potential candidate is running after multiple opportunities at the same time”
The candidates today, do not restrict themselves to one interview at a time. Rather they are approaching multiple companies at the same time for grabbing the suitable opportunity (Moore, 2017). According to Cynthia, this factor has been observed during interviews with a prospecting candidate. Often the body language reflects a sense of complacence within the candidate indicating "if you don't hire me, I will hear from some other company" which is a point for introspection for the company to understand the lack in number of applications that would present a sincerity and willingness to commit to the company for a long association as directed from their staffing strategy (Galperin, Hahl, Sterling, & Guo, 2019).
“Upskilling a talent only to see them leave the organization sooner”
A challenge bigger than recruitment and selection is retention and managing employee turnover (Belete, 2018). The real work of the hiring manager starts after the candidate has been recruited in the organization. Many efforts are pitched to shape the candidate for being able to meet the organization goals and objectives. This involves hours of training spent on the skill development of the talent for achieving optimum outcome. However, a candidate leaving the organization affects the organization in terms of ineffective outcome of time and resources spent on upskilling and nurturing the talent only to realise that it might not come to organization's use after all (Belete, 2018). The concern was also shared by Cynthia during the interview conversation that PFG Money also faces employee turnover related issues which becomes an unnecessary expense because of resources spent in training the talent.
"Managing the bulk load of applications during the day can be overbearing"
Receiving pool of applications can be as challenging a task for a hiring manager as receiving insufficient applications. The hiring managers are constantly bombarded with a bulk load of applications everyday even when hiring is closed in the organization (Rozario, Venkatraman, & Abbas, 2019). As part of job responsibility, it can be challenging task for the hiring manager to keep track of prospective candidates and revisit them when required, where most of the applications may become obsolete for reasons such as candidate got employed elsewhere, candidate unavailable for an interview due to relocation or in the case of PFG Money, a candidate's financial certifications being expired. As such, it becomes a challenge for the hiring manager to not only gauge through existing applications which can be a time-consuming exercise if applications are not structurally managed but also an additional expense of inviting applications through advertisements as they are unsure about the existing ones.
Challenges due to COVID-19
In the present day scenario, the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has shaken the global economy and disrupted the routines in every sphere (Bonaccorsi et al. 2020). Various business organizations have excessively borne the brunt of the pandemic and have been forced to rethink the ways to maintain financial viability during the tough times (Bonaccorsi et al. 2020). The interview with Cynthia brought to the discussion, some of the critical staffing challenges being faced by the company during the times of COVID-19.
“Managing employee morale all through this time has been and still is a challenge”
The pandemic crisis caused by COVID-19, forced business operations to be shut down for prolonged time durations which had a significant financial binding on the business (Rehman et al. 2020). Although according to Cynthia, PFG Money did not layoff their employees. It took it as its responsibility to look after the well-being of its employees who had been considerably affected due to anxieties and insecurities related to their jobs and salaries. According to Cynthia, in a time where there were limitations with physically reaching out to the employees, managing morale and regaining the trust of employees has been a task that the HR Department constantly catered to.
“Drafting the process and managing staffing solutions for remote hiring system during COVID-19”
Another factor brought to the surface during the pandemic has been the development of a work from home mechanisms. Before COVID-19, most of the organizations have not been very open to the idea of working through a remote location on the pretext of potential fall in productivity, security issues and impact on social life (Kramer & Kramer, 2020). However, the pandemic forced the organizations to develop mechanisms that support remote location working (Kramer & Kramer, 2020). According to Cynthia, this has been a major challenge for the company as most of the operations are reliant and based out of the branch locations. Therefore, the company is currently managing employees from both office locations as well as remote locations which leads to increased vigilance and making provision for parallel work cultures and managing them effectively and simultaneously which as Cynthia shared, the HR Department is gradually coming to terms with.
This section of the report deals with the recommendations based on the staffing procedure and challenges identified and highlighted for PFG Money
The report aimed to identify, analyse and evaluate staffing procedure for PFG Money. A telephonic interview with Ms Cynthia Robbins who holds an Assistant Hiring Manager position with the company helped in understanding the staffing process. The staffing procedure followed by PFG Money is comprehensively well aligned to the organization's business strategy and has been designed according to the regulatory and legislative requirements followed in Australia. The report also throws light on staffing challenges that relate to retaining the employee after selection, spending on upskilling the talent only to see them leave the company, managing bulk load of applications and finding the right fit. Staffing challenges that have emerged as a result of the crisis caused by COVID-19 have also been highlighted in the report specifically entailing the challenges hiring managers are facing while managing employee morale and also developing mechanisms that aid remote working for employees owing to physical contact restrictions. The recommendations for PFG Money include effectively utilising company website, broadcasting employee testimonials to build employer brand and incorporating an applicant tracking system for better access to applicant’s profiles.
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