The informal institutions that affect hiring decisions stem from two sources: the regional culture in which the firm operates, and the norms and values of the firm itself. The HRM decisions that a company makes is likely to be influenced by how it views its role in business, its particular stance of moral or social issues, and the kind of atmosphere it wants to establish. In many ways, these cultural norms function as a filter that separates ideal candidates from the rest of the pool. The recession of 2008-2009 has caused a significant increase in the unemployment rate of the US. But in spite of this surplus of available employees, firms that are hiring in this recession have largely been targeting people who already have jobs. Why such an approach? Though there are a number of reasons, chief among them is the belief that those who are still employed in this economic climate must be more skilled, more qualified, and have more value, than those who lost their jobs. And it is by hiring these people, so the assumption goes, rather than those who were terminated, that a firm can establish and maintain a culture of success in difficult economic conditions. (Source: Dana Mattioli, “Only the Employed Need Apply,” The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2009, D1).
Evaluate this approach to HRM – do you think it will be effective? Do you think it is fair to the unemployed? Would you make any changes? If you were one of the unemployed applicants, how could you convince an HR manager that you are a valuable candidate?
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