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40 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Exhibit 5-1 (Continued) Snapshot of Chapter 5 Workforce Pipeline Target Area Target Career Stages Comm. 4 year Graduate Entry-Level Mid-Career Senior K-12 Retirees Colleges Colleges Schools Staff Staff Leaders TRANSPORTATION WORKFORCE PIPELINE Screening Applicants Chapter 5 Target Area 5.1 Workforce Challenges. Programs related to "Screening Applicants" are typically designed to address challenges associated with accurately and efficiently screening and selecting the individuals who are most qualified for job openings. These challenges should be carefully considered before selecting the program that would best fit the needs of your agency. For example, these are common challenges agencies face: Lack of Recruiting Process. Slightly less than half of the participants in one of our studies indicated that their organization uses a formal recruiting process on an "as needed" basis (Cronin et al., 2007). It is interesting to note that one-quarter of participants suggested that their organization never engages in recruitment activities as all applicants come through "word of mouth." Some of these organizations fail to see the value in constantly updating and maintaining online job listings, company website listings, newspaper ads, and other job advertisements. Still other organizations cannot afford to pay for the costs associated with strategic recruitment initiatives. This is especially true for organizations working in the public sector. When it comes to attracting candidates, they seem to take the "kitchen sink" approach and implement a handful of non-strategic initiatives instead of evaluating which of their advertisements or recruiting methods are most successful in attracting applicants from their target population. When the needs of a hiring manager change, the human resource representative must find all the locations where the open position is advertised and make the appropriate updates. Bureaucratic Hiring Policies. This factor refers to the complex bureaucracy within the organization that often results in a slow recruitment process. Several participants acknowledged that successfully hiring a candidate could take several weeks because their organizations require several levels of approval for hiring. Potential candidates typically find another position with a competitor while waiting for these approvals to take place. Some hiring managers, who feel the pressure to maintain productivity, circumvent the recruitment process by determining who they are going to hire several weeks before they open up the position for applications. This type of non-strategic approach can lead to new hires who do not have the skill sets to be successful long-term. This informal approach can also have a negative impact on the organization's diversity goals since individuals tend to hire those "similar to themselves" when using a non-structured process for hiring. Aging Workers and Technology. Likewise, participants indicated that a major generational difference is evident in the area of technology. There are huge gaps in the technological skills and abilities among employees, most notably between older and younger workers. Organizations are transforming the original face-to-face approach of recruitment to an entirely online process called e-recruiting. While this new