Recruitment Firms: Yay or Nay?

In an article from the Quality Digest website, author Kyle Toppazzini claims that staffing agencies lead their clients to the deterioration of quality management. He states that these agencies only present candidates with the minimal requirements to their clients to meet their 10-20 percent margins. For example, the author discovered several organizational lean job requirements stating they are accepting any level of certification from almost any institution. Toppazzini continues to argue how recruiters can just accept any level of certification pertaining to lean Six Sigma, especially if it was from a four-hour online course. He believes that four hours of online training does not necessarily mean that the candidate possesses the required set of knowledge and skills in order to perform a job well done. By overlooking these qualifications, “recruiters lead clients down the path of poor results.”

I believe recruitment firms only solve temporary “fixes” in an organization’s staffing needs. They are not meant to help any organization to substantially improve quality and overall performance by any means. According to the author, it is best for the organization to hire a quality management professional to educate the organization of what is truly needed to proceed forward if the company wants to apply a lean Six Sigma concept. The firm will then understand what set of skills, knowledge, and experience one needs to successfully lead the firm down to quality management.

While I do agree that a four-hour online training course does not mean that one is overly qualified for a job, but it does have an edge over other candidates who do not have certificates. Like most recruitment firms, they want to present the best possible candidates so clients would continue to use their services in the future. They don’t just select any, but the ones that stand out and would best fit the position. They are just doing their job.  Reaching their margins is one goal, but keeping clients and candidates satisfied and content is another. If neither side is happy, then these recruitment firms fail at matchmaking which is the essential responsibility to their job.

“Let recruitment firms provide the service they were intended to provide.” Recruiters don’t have the infrastructure in providing management solutions. They have no idea what the organizational goals or what the mission statement is. Recruiters are only provided with job descriptions, job requirements, what the organization’s vision of an ideal candidate would look like and then recruiters proceed to source candidates to find the ones that best meet what the company is looking for. Ultimately, the clients are the ones that make the final decision as to who to bring on to their family tree. They should not have any expectations as to what else the candidates will provide aside from the skills and experience to perform the job.

What do you think of staffing agencies? Do you think staffing agencies lead clients to poor quality improvement?


Poor Management

There are many intelligent and creative entrepreneurs in this world. Some with very successful businesses while others not so much. For those businesses who are not so successful, what happened along the way? What set them apart from companies that were able to grow into these amazing profitable businesses? Let’s look at small businesses in the Food/Restaurant industry. While they cannot compete with larger restaurants, some small businesses generate decent cash flow and profit and continue to stay in business. From the SBA (Small Business Association), about two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent survive at least 4 years based on a 2010 statistics. Is the failure because of the location site? Inadequate funding? Poor marketing? While those are some reasons as to why most new small start up businesses fail, a majority of the failure is because of poor management. Yes, we have all worked for and/or is currently working for someone with terrible leadership skills. It is people like them that actually harm businesses. “Businesses do not fail, leaders do”.

For the past few classes, our learning activities mostly exhibited poor management styles. The activities I remember were the Red Bead Experiment and the story of William Sowden Sims. For those who don’t know what these activities are, the red bead experiment provided a scenario of a white bead manufacturer which consisted of a plant manager, a chief inspector, two inspectors, and 6 willing workers. The plant manager repeatedly told the workers to manufacture 50 white beads with no defects (red beads), but it was impossible because the process was based on luck. The workers even suggested a few ideas to help improve the process but the plant manager wanted them to stick with the plan. The manager needed to implement a process improvement to get the results she was looking for. Bad management was shown when the plant manager expected workers to improve their performance with little to no defects without changing the process. William Sowden Sims was a navy artillery officer during the period of the 1898 Spanish-American War. He modified a gun that could significantly improve the accuracy based on his calculations without additional cost, manpower, and technology. He submitted his proposal to his superior officers only to get ignored. The reasons behind were if it could be done, someone would have already done. In the end, Sims’ proposal was adopted and his calculations were correct and the accuracy increased tremendously. Poor managament was shown when the superiors thought they knew what was best. These activies definitely helped me realize how crucial the role of management is in any organization.

Without a doubt, good leadership is essential for any company’s success. It means that management can make valuable and wise decisions. Management can reach objectives, goals and have an insightful vision on how to expand the business.

Poor management means poor leadership. My question is what is it that makes a leader bad? Is it their pride and ego that if they listened to others they will appear weak and vulnerable? Or is it just because they are arrogant and stubborn?