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Recruitment and selection practices at Sunshine Steel (China and Australia) Report

Selections and recruitments practices at Sunshine Steel are causes for concerns to Jessica Walker. The company separately utilises different recruitment and selection practices that result into high turnovers of employees.

In the Chinese company, the general operations manager, Chu Jian had different methods for different groups of employees. For the middle management, he embraced authoritarian and paternalistic approach. He recruited close relatives, friends, or associates. In this scenario, he treated them as replaceable resources insignificant to the organisation.

These two ways of recruitment and selection are part Chinese culture leadership and management style. For the team leaders and professionals, their recruitment and selection depended on the academic qualifications, personality, values and English proficiency. Each candidate had to undergo a personality test. This was to determine whether the recruits’ values marched those of the company’s culture.

Although a well designed and up-to-date job description for each position in the Chinese company, the general manager only considered the job description after the candidate started working.

In the Melbourne Company, Jonathan stable shouldered the responsibility of recruitment and selection processes. He perceived that utilising hard HRM practices would work in the selection and recruitment procedures.

Therefore, he took responsibility of applying it in the recruitment and selection to the line management. Majorities of the company’s positions had job description and person specifications, but contrary to those of China’s, they were unrevised and out-of-date.

In the event of hiring more staff for Sunshine steel in Australia, Jonathan shortlisted candidates using the outdated job description method. These candidates teamed up with their counterparts in China.

In this situation, Jonathan Stable failed to consider factors of cross-cultural interaction and communication at the workplace. Similar to China’s case, many employees proved unfit for the job. Therefore, new employees left the organisation within the first six months of employment.

The leaders of the company lack competence and proper management skills. They have failed to embrace key approaches of recruitment and selection that results to high numbers of employees leaving the organisation (Lepak and Gowan, 2008).

Handling the notification of the acquisition and the consequent staff changes in the Chinese company

In the deal of purchasing the Chinese medium-size firm, Jason Blaker should have thought of many phases the acquisition ought to have taken. First, the whole recruitment and selection process is poor due to lack of planning. In addition, the process left most of the employees devastated.

Prior to informing employees of the sale plan, the companies ought to have known the exact positions that would remain vacant, and the interview process for hiring new staff. It also ought to have taken into consideration whether or not all the employees would retain their positions or only operation staff, or managers or supervisors would remain (Stahl and Mendenhall, 2005).

In the acquisition process, management would have notified employees of the changes that were likely to take place. This would have prevented situations of employees discovering for themselves about the acquisition and spreading rumours that would ruin the company’s reputation as initially feared (Schweiger, 2002).

Sunshine Steel and the Chinese medium-sized company would have taken an initiative to plan for a series of meetings with employees. They would also consider the likely question to rise in such meetings. Such issues need the management team to plan in advance and provide satisfactorily responses.

After the acquisition, most of the employee feared for their job security and were uncertain of what the future of the company holds for them. They were not sure of their new terms of services and employment, and the new company’s policies. Such issues lead employee to make comparisons with the previous management.

The human resource for the company ought to have familiarised itself with the employees audit in order to obtain information on promotion, pay rise, performance evaluation, stage of disciplinary action or even vacations. These would have provided guidelines on whether to continue with the promises or threats from the previous owner or start a new process.

Sunshine Steel did not factor in preparing the existing staff for the merger. This acquisition process also did not take into account diverse management styles in different cultures. Thus, the recruitment and selection processes insisted on English language proficiency for the potential recruits. Cultural differences play a significant role in cases of global acquisitions.

Therefore, it was necessary to arrange for smooth transition and embracing of the differences among the two cultures. These steps would have prompted the existing staff to embrace new ideas from Australia and merge with their own.

After the transition, the company would have come up with a plan of helping the staff that would have lost their jobs to have a smooth transition. This process requires adequate preparation. The process of acquisition affected most employees’ motivation.

Significant number lost their jobs as the new employees did not last for more than six months before finding themselves unable to cope in the new organisation (Galpin, Timothy and Herndon, Mark, 2007).

While merger and acquisitions are meant enhance growth and competitive advantages an organisation, poor planning and takeover can ruin a promising organisation particularly in a different culture.

Although the Chinese HR department has up-to-date and comprehensive job descriptions, they do not use them recruitment and selection process.

Reflections about keeping job descriptions confidential

Job descriptions enable applicants and potential recruits become acquainted with the job requirements. Thus, keeping job descriptions confidential is not among the best HR practices in recruitment and selection.

The need for potential employees to have clear job descriptions before a job search begins is a fundamental step towards selecting the right applicant for the vacant position. Job descriptions enable potential employees gauge their qualifications against those outlined in the vacant position. This eliminates cases of unqualified applicants.

The best HR practices in recruitment and selection processes demand that job descriptions should be current, comprehensive, and concise”. This is because the job description document is an essential requirement that is crucial at different stages during recruitment and selection of employees.

Employers should also review their job description documents to ensure that potential recruits have access to current contents that do not discriminate them, and are relevant to the positions. Potential employees have the right to know what task are in the position, minimum qualification, knowledge and skill, work experience required, and a given level of academic achievements.

However, the document should not contain how the potential employee will follow traditional practices in discharging their duties. Accessible job descriptions can protect the organisation from possible legal battles. At the same time, such job descriptions should be reviewed periodically to keep them up-to-date.

Ways in which job descriptions work to make the recruitment and selection functions more efficient

Stone notes that job descriptions define jobs in terms of “specific activities and responsibilities and identifies the abilities, skills and qualifications needed to perform it successfully” (Stone, 2010).

Job descriptions enable organisations to perform their selection and recruitment drives based on laid down qualifications and procedures. In this manner, the HR can use such descriptions to make relevant choices for the organisation (Heron, 2005).

Job descriptions are responsible for providing a base on which selection and recruitment teams can base their decisions.

In this manner, job descriptions influence most essential aspects of the organisation, such as recruitment and selection, hiring and placement, performance evaluation, training and development, compensation, job design, workforce projections, and workforce growth in terms of elimination and promotion” (Clifford, 1994).

Nelson further notes that job description can influence all the recruitment and selection processes as it attempts to offer interdependency, flexibility, and diversity that is necessary for the organisation and the nature of the job (Nelson, 1997). At the same time, job description ensures that recruitment and selection processes are efficient and valid.

Globalisation, merger and acquisition, and takeovers have changed the HR landscape and procedures and practices. This means that the HR must keep its recruitment and selection procedures and practices up-to-date. This calls for flexible and diversified descriptions of jobs.

If we take the changing environment of employment and different cultural aspects into practice, HR must align their job descriptions for such constant changes for subsequent recruitment and selection.

Some studies have proposed that the future job descriptions will mainly focus on technical issues. These will involve work and workers related issues (Nelson, 1997).

Work related issues highlight job description and its components. On the other hand, worker related issues look at areas of employees’ behaviours in a working environment. Thus, the current dynamic employment requires flexibility in defining job descriptions to cater for the need of a diverse workforce.

A study by Compton and associates posits that job descriptions are changing rapidly (Compton, Morrissey and Nankervis, 2006). Thus, the traditional approach may not work, particularly where there are mergers and acquisitions that involve different cultures.

In this case, the HR must incorporate job descriptions into “employee contract for agreement by both parties before the start of the job” (Compton, Morrissey and Nankervis, 2006). Thus, job description is a necessary tool for the HR in recruitment and selection processes.

Selection procedures recommended for job such as technical supervisors, senior supervisors and middle managers in two branches of the company

Selecting management teams needs different approaches and thorough analysis of the recruits than hiring some employees more so in organisations that operate in more than one culture. Thus, Sunshine Steel must take that into account before commencing its selection process.

This is because the success of any organisation depends on “the abilities, competence, and leadership styles of its management team” (Mathis and Jackson, 2011). Therefore, HR must improve selection procedures in order to ensure future growth and improved performance of the organisation. These procedures must result into the most effective leadership for the organisation.

Since both branches of the company are in different locations and cultures, selection procedures must reflect the real situation of the company in terms of work and culture of both countries.

This procedure involves thorough job descriptions. It process must account for diversities in both Chinese and Australian cultures. In this regard, the company must focus on cultural adjustment, personal characteristics of the management team, organisational requirement in terms of its operations, communication skills, and other issues related personal or family.

The company may apply the use of both internal and external recruitment sources so as to attract and retain the best talents in both countries. Sunshine Steel operates in a tough economic and dynamic environment. Thus, it should source its senior management from external sources and develop internal sources. It must take qualified staff from within and resort to external sources to fill gaps.

The company must also enhance its recruitment effectiveness through a number of ways. The HR should resort to résumé mining from large numbers of applicants instead of picking the first 50 applicants and throwing the rest. The company should apply tracking of its applicants through various stages of the job from listing, performance, and appraisal.

The company should also implement career website where interested candidates will sample available jobs and post their applications. It should also resort to internal sources whereby it tracks existing employees and their performance for future vacancies.

The company in China must enable potential employees preview job descriptions and get relevant details of the job and employer. On the other hand, the Australian branch must update its job description to fit the dynamic work environment, global contexts and different cultures.

There should also be responsive recruitment. Still, the company should base recruitment drives on suitable qualities for applicants and not on kinship and friendship, or business relations.

Sunshine Steel should target pool of applicants, broad labour markets, change its recruitment approaches, enhance internal recruitment processes, interviewing of managers and their subsequent training (Nelson, 1997). The HR must also enhance positive communication with potential applicants.

Effective selection of technical supervisors, senior supervisors and middle-level managers is a crucial success factor for Sunshine Steel in both Australia and China.


Clifford, J. (1994). Job Analysis: Why Do It, and How Should It Be Done? Public Personnel Management, 23(2), 321-340.

Compton, R.L., Morrissey, B. and Nankervis, A.R. (2006). Effective Recruitment and Selection Practices (4th ed.). Australia: CCH.

Galpin, T. and Herndon, M. (2007). The Complete Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions: Process Tools to Support M&A Integration at Every Level. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Heron, R. (2005). Job and work analysis guidelines on identifying jobs for persons with disabilities. ILO skills and employability department, 1(1), 1-4.

Lepak, D. and Gowan, M. (2008). Human Resource Management. New York: Prentice Hall.

Mathis, L. R. and Jackson, H. J. (2011). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Nelson, J. (1997). The Boundaryless organization: implications for job analysis, recruitment, and selection. Human resource planning, 20(1), 39-48.

Schweiger, D. (2002). M& A Integration : A Framework for Executives and Managers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Stahl, G. and Mendenhall, M. (2005). Mergers and Acquisitions: Managing Culture and Human Resources. Carlifornia: Stanford University Press.

Stone, R. (2010). Human Resource Management (7th ed.). Australia: John Wiley & Sons.

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