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ACADEMY OF ECONOMIC STUDIES BUCHAREST

FACULTY OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES


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Human Resource Management


Recruitment and selection process at HP

Authors:
Dan Dane
Georgiana Dun
Oana Dominte

Coordinators:
Lect.univ.dr. Valentina Mihaela GHINEA
Prep.univ.dr. Mdlina MOROIANU

Abstract. The environment is in a continuous change and companies need well-prepared and competent
employees in order to survive on the market. An efficient recruitment and selection processes benefits both the
company by increasing its added value and the future employee who can pursue a career and develop both
professionally and personally. The aim of this paper is to critically analyze the current process of recruitment
and selection at HP (Hewlett Packard) company and also to provide recommendations for improvements. For a
better understanding of the whole procedure we used the inside information that one of our friend encountered
during the application period.
Keywords: recruitment, selection, HP, interview.

1. Introduction
Finding the right person for the job has always been important and to appoint an individual is
one of the most crucial decisions that an employer will ever take. The recruitment and selection
process is concerned with identifying, attracting and choosing suitable people to meet an
organizations human resource requirements.
Recruitment is often distinguished from selection by the claim that recruitment is a positive
process, that is, it is attempting to attract a pool of suitable candidates for a position, whilst selection
is a negative process, that is reducing the likely candidates down to the number that are to be
successful. So a useful definition of recruitment is searching for and obtaining potential job
candidates in sufficient numbers and quality so that the organization can select the most appropriate
people to fill its job needs; whereas selection is more concerned with predicting which candidates will
make the most appropriate contribution to the organization now and in the future.
Employees are expensive assets to acquire but many businesses approach resourcing in a
relatively unstructured manner. However, other employees use sophisticated methods with long-term
objectives in mind, often attempting to balance considerations such as: satisfying the immediate need
to minimize employee costs while maximizing worker contribution to the organization, fulfilling a
long-term aim of obtaining the optimal mix of skills and commitment in the workforce.
Selection procedures are costly, but the consequences of choosing unsuitable recruits can be
even more expensive. Selection is time-consuming and often involves senior staff. Large
organizations increasingly use sophisticated tests and computerized packages, which are expensive to
buy and require proper training to administer. At face value these procedures may appear to be
objective; however, there are underlying issues of validity, reliability, fairness and equality of
opportunity.
The recruitment and selection process must be as efficient as possible. It is always expensive
and not always easy to rectify all the mistakes in selection. If recruits are not the best available, it
follows also that money spent on training is likely to be wasted. Therefore, time spent on setting up
and monitoring the best possible recruitment and selection procedures is time well spent.
The recruitment policy includes in general the following steps: planning and forecasting the
recruitment needs of the organization; identifying a vacancy; purchasing job analysis; considering
both external and internal applications; handling and processing with due speed, diligence and
courtesy; ensuring that the successful applicants will be chosen without regard to sex, age, race,
disability, marital status, religion, and any other factor unconnected with their ability to carry out the
job, and the last step is to make sure that no false or exaggerated claims are made in recruitment
literature or job advertisements.
Already mentioned, the recruitment process starts when a vacancy enters into discussion, and
a vacancy appears when an existing occupant leaves the organization and also when a new position is
created through expansion or reorganization.
The main recruiting stages are: do workforce planning and forecasting to determine the
positions to be filled, to build a pool of candidates for these jobs by recruiting internal or external
candidates and the last one to have the applicants fill out application forms.
The procedure through which the organization determine the duties of the jobs and the
characteristics of the people who should be hired is define through job analysis. After the analysis is
made a series of information will be provided in order to develop job description (the tasks and
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sequences of tasks necessary to perform the job) and job specification (employee characteristics and
qualifications required for satisfactory performance).
Regarding recruiting employees, the organization may have two possibilities using formal
(direct research, direct advertise, marketing activities, head-hunters companies, recruitment
counselors) and informal methods (re-hiring former employees, promoting from within, hiring
graduates having an internship, recommendations, consulting portfolio with hiring requests).
When a decision is going to be made regarding the successful candidate we may say that the
final stage of the recruitment process is fulfilled, meaning the selection.
Also, is very important to know the steps that are normally followed in processing an
applicant for a job and those are: completion and screening of the application form, preliminary
interview, employing testing, diagnostic interview, reference checking and the last one is the final
decision.
Another important aspect is that, when a company is choosing the right candidate, it has to
use a multiple cutoff technique in selection. Most used techniques include application forms,
bibliographical information, ability tests, personality assessments, work samples and
physical/physiological characteristics.
The interview is an opportunity for the interviewee and a prospective employee to learn more
about each other; it allow to go over information disclosed on the application and to ask questions and
assess the applicants personality, character, verbal skills, and ability to reason through tough
questions.
2. Description of the company
Hewlett-Packard is an American multinational information technology company with its
headquarters in California which was founded in 1935 by Will Hewlett and David Packard.
The creation of the company was based on an arrangement with Frederick Terman, a
professor at Stanford College. Initially, the company was producing audio oscillators and one of HPs
first clients was Walt Disney Company. The initial capital investment was $538 and in 1947 they
incorporated the company. There is a famous story about the name of the company: Dave and Will
could not decide whether to name it Packard-Hewlett or Hewlett-Packard, so they flipped a coin. This
is how one of the largest multinational information technology companies has gotten its name. The
two young founders of the company never imagined that their $538 investment would one day bring
in $74 billion revenue.
HP develops and manufactures computing, data storage and networking hardware, designing
software and delivering services. Hewlett-Packard was the leading company in the world at
manufacturing PCs until the China-based Lenovo took over, in 2012. Currently, HP offers a wide
range of products such as PCs and related devices, imaging and printing-related devices, enterprise
information technology infrastructure and technology services. At the moment, it is the largest
producer of inkjet printers and laser printers.
Based in Palo Alto, California, Hewlett-Packard brings an informal and laid-back culture to
more than 142000 employees in more than 170 countries around the globe. HP was among the first
companies in US that instilled an open-door policy. The open-door policy means that executive
offices remain open for all employees. HP has received numerous workplace awards, such as one of
the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers and has also received the title of being one of the top
gay-friendly employers in US by The Advocate.
Working at Hewlett-Packard has numerous advantages, one of them being the set of benefits
like owning stock options, using the fitness centers and obtaining performance-based bonuses.
Another important fact is that HP became one of the first employers in US that allowed flex-time so
that employees would manage their own working schedules. Some of HPs corporate objectives with
respect to employees are: to help HP people share in the companys success, which they make
possible; to provide job security based on their performance; to recognize their individual
achievements.
In Romania, HP is more than a producer of hardware: it offers end-to-end solutions for
companies that are situated in the most dynamic domains: telecommunications, financial services,
production and governmental sectors. In 2000 Hewlett-Packard Romania SRL was established. After
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acquiring Compaq. HP launched the new official marketing campaign in Romania, which
strengthened the brand and earned new customers. HP Romania puts a lot of effort into increasing
investment in resources, such as regional HP development centers, increasing the development of new
software, finding new ways of development and expansion.
Business magazines in Romania said 6 years ago that Hewlett-Packard will invest in Romania
more than $200 million dollars in the next 5 years in order to develop a new center of outsourcing for
business. After one year, the Hewlett-Packard Center in Bucharest employed 325 specialists with
multilingual abilities and the plans for future were to increase the number of employees with 900 in
order to reach 1200. In 2012, Hewlett-Packard Romania reached the number of 3600 employees.
The new center offers career opportunities especially for young fresh people that have
recently graduated an economic or informatics faculty. HP took into consideration the linguistic
abilities of local graduates, along with the theoretical knowledge that theyve gained in college. That
is why Romania is very attractive for HPs outsourcing projects that support businesses. The young
men and women of HP offer administrative, financial and technical support for businesses.
3. Current situation of the recruitment and selection process
Nowadays, Hewlett-Packard Romania SRL has 3600 employees. All of them speak at least
two foreign languages: English and French, German, Spanish, Italian or other languages, including
northern languages. All of the employees are innovative, open-minded, communicate very well; they
also have good negotiation skills and, most important of all, they all have the desire to learn and they
can easily adapt to a multicultural environment.
First of all, the company will forecast and plan its activity for the whole year, considering
how active will the company be on the market. If there will be an intense year, the managers must
decide if they need extra employees to accomplish the tasks and in conclusion they have to see on
how many employees they rely on. They take into account facts like: some employees may retire,
some may be dismissed or there are plans for opening a new center or expanding an existing one. The
HR Department analysis the situation and drafts several job descriptions which suit the existing
vacancies. Then, the recruiter first looks at the internal environment and if he doesnt find here a
person that is matching the requirements he will then look in the external environment. Here, he has
several options: he can post on the companys website, he can post on a specialized job website, he
can go to job fairs or he can contract another company that will do the recruiting.
Hewlett Packards recruitment and selection process is a 4-stage process whose goals is to
identify, asses, interview and finally hire the best man or woman available for that position. The
process starts by submitting an application: the candidate will submit his application form for the
position he desires, according to his background, formation and previous experience. Usually, an IT or
business-related degree is preferred, although in many cases this does not represent a strict
requirement. There are two main types of positions: IT positions, which require relevant technical
discipline (computing, computer science), or Presales consultant positions: computing or science with
strong IT focus. Even if HP doesnt post a list of competencies that graduates should demonstrate,
there are some key skills that might be an advantage and among these we have analytical skills,
communication skills, customer focus, positivity, strong work ethic etc.
After submitting the application, it is evaluated according to the requirements of the position.
Then, there is the assessment process, which includes interviews. There are usually 2
interviews in the process: first is the telephone interview, followed by an assessment center day at
which there is a second interview. The telephone interview is competency-based and it assesses the
candidates soft skills; the accent falls on general and soft skills while the technical knowledge is left
aside.
After the first telephone interview there is the assessment center stage. This stage contains
group tasks, written tests, presentations and might also include a face-to-face interview. In the case of
a presentation, the candidate will have to present a topic lasting around 15 minutes. Usually he is
contacted before the assessment day about the topic of his presentation. The group task is actually an
exercise where groups of candidates must solve a problem and they must take into account their skills
and experience. All members are involved and they all have to showcase their knowledge in a limited
amount of time, because this task is give a strict time limit. Then, the written test may be a standard
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numerical test or a verbal reasoning test. The final stage of the assessment center interview is similar
to the phone interview but it contains reference to the candidates CV. This interview is conducted by
two members of the company. Recruiters will usually tell the candidates what will happen next
because their purpose is not to catch the candidates off-guard.
4. Critical analysis of the recruitment and selection process applied within HP
The critical analysis is done with the help of one of our friends, who has an insight of this
company, and who provided us with enough information so that we can compare her own experience
with the theory.
The HR Department at HP finished the annual review regarding the available positions in the
company and reached the conclusion that there was a need for several positions, which had to be filled
in order to keep the company working efficiently. Because the recruiting and selection process is a
support activity, the company decided to outsource part of this assignment to other specialized
agencies (such as APT). Besides the internal recruitment, HP is targeting an external environment as
well. Therefore they decided to promote their vacancies through various channels such as their official
website, different job websites and through employment agencies.
In what it may concern our friend, after finishing a bachelor program, she decided that she
wanted to start her professional career. Therefore, she began to look for a job. So, she laid down her
educational background and her skills in a well-written and attractive CV, which she uploaded on
several websites such as bestjobs.ro, ejobs.ro or hipo.ro. She was targeting a job from the marketing
or sales sector at a multinational. The most attractive job offer was the one posted by HP (Hewlett
Packard) for a sales support position. Because she was proficient in English, advanced in Spanish and
intermediate in German she applied for a sales support job for Spanish and German speakers.
After several days she received a call from a recruiting agency called APT through which she
was announced that she was selected for an interview for the sales support position in Spanish that she
wanted at HP.
She had to pass first through an ability and personality test which consisted of a computerbased test including an IQ test, a language test (English and Spanish) and a logic test. There was a
large pool of candidates attending this test, which aimed at reducing at least 50 percent of the
applicants.
Afterwards she was announced that she suited the HP profile, but unfortunately the vacancy
for the job that she applied for was no longer available. Despite that, HP was interested in her for the
same position but English German Support. Therefore she participated in another interview with the
APT agency in order to assess if she is suitable for this job. Because her German level was only
intermediate she was proposed for another interview for another position in the EMR (Equipment
Management Re-marketing) Department.
At this stage of selection she was had to impress the Chief of the Special Pricing Department
(SP) and the supervisor from the EMR Department. The Chief of the Special Pricing Department
believed that she would fit better in his department rather that in the ERM one.
The Special Pricing Department developed their activity in conformity with eight regions of
the world. Therefore, she needed to be selected for one of them. At that time there was a vacancy for
Middle East Region. So her next interview was with Andreea Haktanir (the Chief of SP) who was
replacing the region manager for Western Europe (Carmen Petre - because she was not in the country
at that moment), the team supervisor and Alexandra Prunaru (representing the APT agency). They
conducted a situational interview (hypothetical behavior) in order to test her abilities.
She received positive feedback at this interview as well, and was invited to have a final
interview with Carmen Petre when she returned in Romania. The aim of this last interview was to let
Carmen interact with the applicant and check the relevance of the information she received from her
colleagues with regard to the applicants performance.
She ended up signing the employment contract for an undetermined period of time, negotiated
the working program, the salary, the medical insurance, the number of free days per year, the day
when she will start the work, and other organizational issues. This represented the final phase of the
selection process.
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5. Personal recommendation for possible improvements


We can observe several inconsistencies between the general process of recruitment and
selection at HP and the stages through which the candidate passed. In the initial structure of the
selection there were maximum two interviews which led to a final decision of the department, but in
Adrianas case, she had more than that, because the position that she applied for was occupied
meanwhile.
In what it may concern the internal and external recruitment we do not have enough
information to make a more detailed analysis, but we can conclude that the company is following
some strict and efficient policies.
With regard to the selection process, we can notice that the responsibility of choosing the
right candidates is split between the HR Department of HP and the recruiting agencies that they
outsource. The long-term relation between APT and HP is based on trust and mutual benefits, but
despite that at least in one interview each party is represented by one recruiter in order to keep a
proper balance between the internal (values and corporate culture) and external (openness to diversity)
environment of the business. Our inside source provided us with information regarding the different
benefits which employees selected by HP have (salary bigger with 150 RON) in comparison with the
ones selected by APT (a discount of 7 RON/ day at the cafeteria).
One advantage of conducting this type of selection process is stressed by the fact that the HR
Department has a general overview upon the company, so that a candidate who applied for one
position that did not fit with his professional background but his profile was suitable for the corporate
environment of HP can be redirected to another department. Even though it is a long procedure, it
comprises various types of tests (IQ, personality, logic, situational behavioral etc.), which lead to a
better evaluation of the applicant. Giving constantly feedback can also be considered an advantage,
primarily for the applicant.
The main disadvantage refers to the total duration of the selection process. Taking such a long
period of time to get a final answer may lead to the demotivation of the applicant. It is also possible
that the applicant, who may be simultaneously engaged in other selection processes from other
companies, to get an employment offer more rapidly. It is also time consuming for the company to be
involved in such a complex selection process. Therefore, there is also a need for more resources in
order to be able to create an effective procedure.
One way of improving this system is to have a first interview with a recruiter who has a
general overview of the company and who knows best all the departments and another recruiter from
the department that the candidate applied for. In this way the company could reduce the number of
unnecessary interviews. It is very important to do so, because it saves a lot of time and money.
Concerning the recruitment process, the company should aim for a more targeted audience,
and focus more on specialized media channels such as business magazines, recruiting websites and
also to take into consideration the referral s recommendations.
6. Conclusions
As a conclusion we would like to state that although the HR functions including the
recruitment and selection process at HP are conducted with a high degree of professionalism, the
company may benefit more from implementing a less time-consuming process. This procedure is
based though on a win-win principle because the applicant has the chance to further develop his
professional career in a proper working environment, and in the same time the company will be more
efficient and produce more value for its customers if the proper candidates are selected. Due to the
current fickle business environment, the company should continuously adapt its recruitment and
selection policies in order to keep up with the trends and remain competitive on the market.

7. References
Chang, J., Where you can work: Hewlett Packard. Retrieved December 2012 from:
http://www.lawcrossing.com/article/168/Hewlett-Packard/#
Competences and qualifications. How to get hired. Hewlett Packard. Retrieved December 2012 from:
http://targetjobs.co.uk/employer-research/hewlett-packard-insights/recruitment
Corporate objectives. Retrieved December 2012 from:
http://welcome.hp.com/country/lamerica_nsc_carib/en/companyinfo/corpobj.html
Foulkes, F.K., How top nonunion companies manage employees. Retrieved December 2012 from:
http://hbr.org/1981/09/how-top-nonunion-companies-manage-employees/ar/2
Ghinea, V.M. (2011) Recruitment process. In Ghinea V., M. (eds.) Conducting the company: Human
Resource Management Course, pp. 44-69. Bucharest: Bren
Ghinea, V.M. (2011) Screening and selecting employees. In Ghinea V., M. (eds.) Conducting the
company: Human Resource Management Course, pp. 70-91. Bucharest: Bren
Ilie, R., HP investete n tinerii din Romnia. Retrieved December 2012 from:
http://www.cariereonline.ro/articol/hp-investeste-tinerii-din-romania
Recruitment process. Careers. Retrieved December 2012 from:
http://www.hpadvancedsolutions.com/careers/recruitment_process.htm

8. Appendix
8.1 CV

8.2 Job Description


Special Pricing Specialist
Responsibilities:
Act as single point of contact for all EMEA Sales Operations requests
Processing requests in a timely manner as agreed with Sales Organization across EMEA
Submits and processes requests that are coming from clients, partners, sales representatives
and/or commercial groups ensuring the agreed time frame.
Process and coordinates standard and non-standard requests for a particular range of clients
Verifies the accuracy of data contained in the requests
Makes sure that prices, discounts and other data are correct and obtaines all necesarry
authorisations for the processing of the requests
Is well informed of the promotions, discounts and other informations which are necesary for
handling the requests into the system
Ensures the crosschecking and consolidation of financial reports
Deliver reports and memos regarind the processed requests , orders and transactions
Creates, documents and optimizes operational processes across EMEA
Job Requirements:
No or minimum experience in Special Pricing area required.
Fluent English knowledge, another European Language is an advantage
Educated to Bachelor degree level with basic knowledge of sales/customer support
General computer skills (Windows), specific experience in working with MS Excel and MS
Outlook
Good communication skills (good questioning and listening skills)
Efficiency in handling numbers
Excellent organizational skills