Process Management   




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June10, 2014.

TheHiring Process at General Motors

  1. Background Information

GeneralMotors is an American Multinational company that deals worth themanufacture, distribution and marketing of vehicle parts, vehiclesand financial services. The company was founded in 1908 in Flint,Michigan, and it grew from a small automotive industry to a giantmultinational automaker. Its headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan andhas operational centers in 37 countries globally where it sells,markets and distributes its manufactured ten-vehicle brandsChevrolet, BMC, Holden, Baojun among others. In addition, thecompany has partnership ventures in other countries such as ShanghaiGeneral Motors, FAW-GM in China and General Motors in India amongothers. The company boasts of an estimated 212, 000 workforceglobally and does business in 157 countries. The firm is one of thegiant automakers in the world. The firm has a well structuredcorporate governance structure that comprises of the board ofdirectors, chief executive officer, the firm’s general president,executive presidents and vice presidents for different global regionsand departments.

However,recently the firm has been faced by major financial, productsfaultiness and labor crisis. In 2009 for instance, due to reducedsales and returns from its global distribution and increasingoperating expenses, the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy but wasrescued through government loan. In other instances, the firm hasbeen plagued with the labor crisis both at home and abroad. The firmhas been fighting a lawsuit from workers union who were demandingbillions of pension benefits. In the same line, the firm is reportedto have fired more than 200 workers in Colombia and dismissed themwithout covering their compensation benefits. In more recent timesthe firm has faced yet another serious crisis that threatened itscorporate image globally(General Motors history, 2014).

In2014, the firm came under intense criticisms for its inefficiency invehicle engines that consumed more fuel than the stated rating. In asimilar line, the firm has also been blamed causing thirteen deathsglobally through its vehicles faulty ignition keys. As a result, thefirm was fined $35 million for recklessness and delay in recallingthe faulty vehicles. The company is also facing other 79 counts ofcustomer lawsuits. All these incidences have dented the previousimpeccable corporation image. Although the recent trends in thecompany are disheartening, the company has been recognized as thelargest automaker by sales in the world as per 2008-2011 researchstudies. As part of its corporate image, the company has recentlyannounced its commitment in repaying government loan taken earlier.

Hiringprocess-Why the process was selected for study

Organizationssuccess depends on the inputs of its workforce. It is the workforcethat determines the direction and achievement of the organizationgoals. An agile and innovative workforce enhances an organization toproduce and give valuable services to customers thereby improving thecompanies’ competitiveness.A motivated workforce that is qualified has a great influence inattracting customers and enlarging the organization goals. A firmthat recruits builds and enhances the capability and capacity of itsworkforce can accomplish and achieve its organization objectives.Therefore, employee hiring process is an important process throughwhich an organization can attract and recruit talented and qualifiedpersonnel.

Hiringprocess encompasses the whole load of recruiting, training, retainingand managing the human resource in order to align their tasks withorganization objectives. The importance of hiring process cannot beundermined for the great role the process plays in supporting anorganization acquires special skills that would boost the firms’competitiveness.General motors’ faced serious issues in 2009 arising from radicaleconomic changes and changing consumer demands, this made the companygovernance to rethink their strategy in becoming more agile andinnovative to regain their corporate image in the world. Thereinvention strategy, therefore, was to source new and incorporatepeople with specialized skills. Under this scope, was talentacquisition approach that required the organization to use contractrecruiters in order to fill its hiring needs. It is based on thisimportance that this study focuses on the hiring process as animportant organization mandate. The study will apply case studyapproach on the existing hiring process at General Motors as well asother practices used in the recruitment. Afterwards, the study willanalyze the different methods and practices used in the hiring andmake an analytical conclusion.

  1. Existing Hiring Process at General Motors

Thefirm relies on outsourced recruitment process for new talentacquisition. In order to get the best firm to outsource itsrecruitment for new talents, the firm screened many recruitmentagencies and settled on IBM. Initially, the automaker had plannedmonths of training for applicants but shifted that task to IBM.Through the firm, General Motors was able to attract over 6000employees in a month for a position that had been in theadvertisement for over 2yrs. The need for outsourcing recruitmentprocess was based on the fact that the firm wanted to acceleraterecruitment and acquisition in order to benefit from the greaterefficiency of the process. In addition, due to the high number ofrecruits the company makes, the hiring managers at General Motorsrealized that they could not efficiently manage the workload ofrecruitment, and it was more efficient outsourcing such a process.

Underthis strategy, the recruiting team convenes brief meetings with thehiring managers to get the criteria and requirement required to filla certain position. The outsourced firm composes the talentacquisition using a system that integrates hire performance,recruitment programs and sourcing strategies. Previously, the hiringmanagers at GM used to assess over 50 applications and select fivecandidates who would then be interviewed to select the rightcandidate.

However,the IBM adopted variable interviewing sites that have helped GM getthe most qualified candidates for the job and save millions ofdollars. In addition, the process has enhanced an increasedefficiency and saved time for managers to focus on the design anddevelopment of vehicles. The process was also touted as important forthe firm in that it enhanced the firm save more than 80% agency feesand reduces the time taken to fill an open position. Previously ittook one hundred and twenty days but through IBM the process takesless than sixty days(IBM Global Process Services, 2013).

Theprocess of hiring through IBM has been successful in talentacquisition, and the firm has been able to managetheir candidates efficientlythrough technology. General Motors set requirements on technical andenergy expertise skills that are used by IBM to screen candidates forrecruitment. IBM created a hiring strategy that attracts,specialized, diverse college recruits through social Medias asFacebook, YouTube and Linked In portfolio. Through the IBM, GeneralMotors hiring managers have been able to fill new opportunity as itrises with impressive results. After a pool of selected individual ismarked, the selection of the right candidates involves three stagesthe testing, interview and the final screening process before the jobare offered. Most of the jobs at General Motors are best analyzedthrough tests which, therefore, require individuals to have the rightskills to succeed. Under the testing stage, candidates are given awritten test to finish under certain time limit.

Afterwards,production simulation test is given to the candidates in whichcandidates are tested on their assembly capacity as such candidatesare given assembly simulation units to show their practical ability.In the second stage, individuals are interviewed where they aresupposed to give details of their work, training and educationexperiences this interviewing is conducted through the telephone.The final stage of interviewing involves the screening process allcandidates who qualified through testing and interview assessment arepooled together for the purpose of been picked when job openingscomes up.

However,this does not guarantee the candidate job offers as various factorssuch as manufacturing requirement, market conditions and otherconditions affecting the automotive industry may interfere with jobplacement. Nonetheless, candidates selected, are taken throughmedical and drug assessment. Successful candidates who are throughwith the medical and drug test are given the job offers detailingterms and conditions of work. The GM approach of hiring is throughand has the high potential of selecting the most talented andsuccessful candidate.

Flowchartof the existing hiring process at General Motors

  1. Performance Measures

Inorder to assess General Motors recruitment process, the mostimportant aspect knows how the employees and the firm leadershipthink about the process this is important in assessing if the methodused is making positive impact on the firm. In order to get thisinformation, questionnaires are used to collect data regarding theprocess of recruitment used. In addition, it is good to makecomparison of the firm hiring process with others in order to assessgaps and conflicting issues that could be affecting the efficacy ofthe hiring process (Creelman, 2005). This process of reviewing thecompany’s hiring process could be completed through developingcriteria questions that would be used. The basic performance measuremetrics that could be adopted in assessing General Motors hiringprocess through the IBM is through

  • Time taken to fill the position

Underthis measure, an assessment of the time used for hiring is donebeginning with the time for requisition. The overall goal is toassess the efficiency of the outsourcing method in relation to timeused and the workload management efficiency. Time to fill theposition involves all time taken from advertising the post, candidateselection, tests, interviews, screening, the job offer and time takenfor the candidate to begin employment (Earle, 2011).

  • Hiring Cost

Inthis case, a measure of the amount of finances used in this processis done. It relates to the efficiency of the process in recruitingthe right candidates and saving the hiring cost to the organization.In most cases, the number of staffs required, the industry and thegeographic regions determines the hiring cost. As such, in the caseof General Motors outsourced hiring process comparisons could be madeon other organizations hiring process or the different approaches ofhiring and then compare the costs (Creelman, 2005).

  • Quality of candidates hired.

Underthis metric performance measure, the goal is to assess the HireTurnover or the retention rate of the hiring method. This assessmentcould be done through survey n which questionnaires are used tocollect information from the hiring managers, measuring staffretention after a given period and measuring employees’productivity.

  • Source of hired personnel

Thesource of hired candidates is another important performance measurethat could be used to assess the effectiveness of the recruitmentprocess used by the firm. In this case, an assessment is done on thenumber of hires from different sources and the cost incurred througheach source. The best practice would be measuring the candidates’source over time and comparing it with other sources. In addition,under this scope, the cost of new hiring service could be comparedwith budgeted advertising costs and measuring successful sources fromthe targeted universities and colleges.

  • Candidates satisfaction

Underthis scope, an assessment is done on the organization to verify thesatisfaction of the recruit on the process of hiring. In this case, asurvey could be administered with varying rating scales to assess thecandidates overall experience, performance, treatment within theorganization and their perception or impression about the recruitmentprocess used by the firm (Creelman, 2005).

IV.Benchmark Information

Practicesused in the hiring process

Applicanttracking system (ATS)

Inthe modern world, most corporations have adopted the Applicanttracking system as an efficient strategy of hiring. In this case, anelectronic enabling software application is used to handlerecruitment requirements. The process is both adaptable in large andsmall businesses as well. The process is similar to the customerrelationship management systems but in this case the ATS arespecifically designed for hiring process(Zielinski, 2011).Under this method, the firm can filter large numbers of applicationsbased on predesigned criteria such as experience, year of study,education level and organization worked in. As such, applicants arerequired to structure their resumes in a manner that enables the ATSto track a candidate’s applications. Most major corporations relyon this process to pool and manage a database of job applicants. Theapplicant’s dates are extracted from job sites or through thecompany’s websites. This practice not only enhances easier dataretrieval and analysis, but also helps in automating the hiringprocess and coordinate recruitment efforts(Earle, 2011).

Ideally,the hiring process the hiring process entails a series of processesthat company employees to select the right candidates for the job inregard to laid down descriptions.


Thefirst step in the hiring process entails candidates sourcing, in thiscase effective strategies are used to advertise for the openpositions either through internal or external mechanisms. In mostscenarios, newspapers, websites, company publications, internet andtelevisions are the commonly used channels of advertising andsourcing candidates for the jobs. However, in the recent times, aspart of increasing efficiency and select the right candidates, mostcorporations have resulted to outsourcing their job advertisementthrough the third-party placement firms. Organizations are able torecruitthe right candidates effectively ifthey write the correct job description and required skills(Overman, 2009).

Screeningand selection

Afterjob advertisement, the next step is screening the database ofapplications to filter out the right candidates. The screeningprocess is normally done directly by the human resource managers, orthrough online psychometric tests to filter out unqualifiedcandidates. In this case, the applicant tracking system becomeshandy. The selection and screening process should enhance equalopportunity to all candidates this process is important in selectingcandidates who have the requisite qualifications and are able to fitin the organization culture.


Inthis case candidates’ intellectual ability is tested as well astheir professional competencies. This testing should be in accordanceto the legal requirement and aid in determining which candidates areto be interviewed. As such, standardized assessments are important inanalyzing the candidates job competence such as their technicalcapability in using particular programs related to the job(Earle, 2011).

Structuredbehavioral interviews

Interviewsform an important element in the hiring process. It entails involvingthe candidate in the face to face conversation in which a set ofstandardized questions are asked around the job requirement.Structured interviews have been proven to be the most effective inassessing the suitability of the candidate it ensures that the rightcandidate is selected as well as giving an opportunity to thecandidate to assess if the firm is the right for them to work. Theseinterviews are sometimes conducted in stages where individuals arefirst interviewed over the phone. Later, a face to face interview isarranged with the applicant to determine their skills. In some cases,follow-up interviews are used on the shortlisted candidates after thefirst and second behavioral interviews. Later an assessment is doneon candidate’s referees to give firsthand experience with thecandidate this information is used to assess if the applicant isgiven the job or not(Turner, 2004).

Hiringprocess Approaches

However,there are various approaches and models used in most firms inaddition to the normal hiring strategies as a way of boosting theirselection of the right candidate.

In-househiring models-Inthis case the organization hiring personnel conducts all the hiringprocesses. The human resources are left to plan and execute thehiring right from the first process to the last. In this type ofhiring, candidates are sourced through employee referrals or selectedfrom a pool of databases received from the advertised post.

Socialmedia hiringRecruiters utilize information in the social media to integrate it intheir recruitment process. In this case, candidate information onsocial Medias as Face-books, Twitter and Linked In is used to makerecruitment decisions. Social networks have also been used tooutsource recruitment of candidates.

Inother cases, some organization outsources their recruitment throughintermediary firms.

Employmentbureaus and agenciesthese are established firms that provide other firms with permanentand temporary recruitment.

V.Opportunities for Improvement

Although,General Motors are satisfied with the quality work done by IBM, whichrecruits employees on its behalf. IBM needs to utilize psychometrictests, application tracking system and more structured behavioralinterviews in order to improve its current recruitment process. Theoutsourced firm should not rely only on social media to source andadvertise for jobs. Other channels like posting the jobs in itswebsite, newspapers and other recruitment agencies could help todiversify its sources of candidates. These changes are important indiversifying the quality and source of candidates, time and cost ofeach selection source and promoting candidates satisfaction. Throughthe IBM, the General Motors have been able to recruit individualsfrom a wide range of sources(IBM Global Process Services, 2013).

However,the company needs to incorporate such practices as psychometric testson all applicants in order to give each candidate a fair selectionrather than relying on programmed approach of short listing. Inaddition, the outsourced firm needs to incorporate more structuredbehavioral interviews to assess candidates’ suitability in allaspects (Turner,2004).

NewFlowchart of hiring process at General Motors (proposed).


Candidates Sourcing

Through –Newspapers, social Media, IBM

Step 2.

Screening and selection-Psychometric Tests, Applicants Tracking System,

Step 3: Testing, Production Simulation

Step 4:

Structured Interview (15

Minutes) (phone based) Individual Interview

Step 5:


Structured interview (face to face)

Step 6:

Final Screening

And Job Offer

VI.Control Measures

Inthis new hiring process at General Motors, the hiring managers at GMneeds to request IBM modify its sources of candidates by using othersources of candidates like newspaper adverts, other recruitmentagencies and applications through its website adverts. The rationalebehind this control measure is to ensure diversity of candidatesources, quality of recruited employees. In all stages, it isimportant to get candidates feedback on their perception of theprocess in order to assess its effectiveness. In particular, costcontrol measures would be put in place during the initial hiringprocess by assessing and comparing different costs of differentapproaches available. In addition, innovation measures would be putin place after each step in order to improve on the overall processfor the benefit of applicants and the company. In this case, surveywould be conducted in every step to assess their satisfaction withthe mode used this is important in understanding what caneffectively aid in the selection and screening of the competentcandidates.


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