FinalPaperBalieBiermannAmericanPublic UniversityJanuary21st, 2018 A case that was experiencedwas a recruiter at a staffing agency. The environment was very toxic and had apoor company culture. In staffing, the less money that you pay the contractorthat you’re hiring, the more money that the recruiter is making.
To management,all of its staff are just a number to them, the way a recruiter is treated wasbased on what their current numbers were. It was a difficult environment fornew employees to enter in to, because everyone was already established in thecompany, and maintained friendships, and were not welcoming of new recruiterssince it was taking away from the amount of money they could earn. Management was notsupportive and felt that the recruiters should always have candidates for jobs,no matter the excuse. Competition is high in the IT staffing world, with atleast 6 other firms just in the same area. The starting pay for a beginnerrecruiter was very low, with commission percentages low as well to the pointthe total compensation was difficult to live off of. Since recruiters are paidsalary, managers expected the recruiters and other staff to always work morethan 40 hours a week. It was very frowned upon for someone to only work 8-5, itwas expected by managers for everyone to be there by 7:30 AM, and not leaveuntil at least 6, and work on the weekends when your numbers aren’t highenough.
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Overall, it is a very toxicworkplace, and not surprisingly, an organization with very high turnover rates.Kouzes and Posner”Jim Kouzes andBarry Posner have been working together for more than thirty years, studyingleaders, researching leadership, conducting leadership development seminars,and serving as leaders themselves in various capacities”, and they arecoauthors of the award-winning, best-selling book The Leadership Challenge(leadershipchallenge.com 2017). Kouzes and Posner developed what we know now asThe Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. Thefive practices include:· Model the Way· Inspire a Shared Vision· Challenge the process· Enable Others to Act· Encourage the HeartModel the Way”The mostimportant personal quality people look for and admire in a leader is personalcredibility. Credibility is the foundation of leadership. If people don’tbelieve in the messenger, they won’t believe the message. Titles may be grantedbut leadership is earned” (student leadership challenge).
In the staffingfirm and any sales position, this was the most crucial part of how managementhandles its employee’s. In this situation, the leader always gave advice onwhat was being done right and what was being done wrong. There was a morningmeeting everyday where the manager would go around and ask everyone where thecurrently stood with the positions that they are assigned to, in front ofeveryone.
If the recruiter was not doing well, he would tell them somedifferent options of what they could change. This is helpful maybe to an extentand with senior recruiters, but new recruiters might need some guidance orgiven an example. The manager always talked about his recruiting days and howhe devoted his entire life and how great he was, but the recruiters never sawthat. It is difficult for a leader to model the way, when they are not doinganything to show the recruiters or other employee’s how to do things. Also, theleader having the attitude of no one ever being up to his standards, besides aselect few, that takes a toll on the employees. Leaders who truly model the wayare encouraging, and always setting the best example for its employee’s. Thereare bad days and bad months in any sales job, and it is the leaders reaction tothose bad days that models the way for its employee’s.
Inspire a Shared Vision”Leaderspassionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future,creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Throughtheir magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams.
They breathe life into their visions and get people to see excitingpossibilities for the future (leadershipchallenge 2017). In a staffing agency,the main goal is to get people jobs and get them a job that leads them in theright direction in their life. A recruiter should feel good about going to workevery day and helping people realize their dreams and be able to improvepeople’s lives. That is what the staffing industry is supposed to be about, andwhat the manager’s in this companies should be focusing on, is improving therecruiters to make them the best that they can be, so they can help otherpeople achieve their goals of obtaining these jobs that will improve theirlife. The leader in this situation was more concerned about the money. Hewanted to make sure that the recruiters were always paying the contractors theleast amount of money in order to bring in the most revenue for the company,even if that meant for the recruiter to talk a candidate into taking a pay cutso that they can make more money. Many of the recruiters get into that mindsetbecause that is what the managers are instilling, and they believe that moneyis the only thing that matters. Then there are other recruiters who feel thatis morally wrong and don’t feel right paying someone less than what theydeserve, and those are the people that end up leaving the company and moving onto different career paths.
It is a difficult position to be in when a managerbelieves in something so strongly that is all based on money and greed. If thetrue vision of the company was able to be upheld, it would be an overallpositive environment, and truly help better people’s lives.Challenge the Process”Leaders searchfor opportunities to change the status quo.
They look for innovative ways toimprove the organization. In doing so, they experiment and take risks. Andbecause leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, theyaccept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities” (leadershipchallenge 2017). This is where in this situation a leader could really changethe way things are done. The manager in the current situation never looked foropportunities to change the status quo. He wanted things to stay the same,because that meant more money for him. The status quo across all staffingcompanies, from what was witnessed is generally the same.
The current visionfor the company was to “treat job seekers better, provide a better staffingservice for companies, and to build a company where the best recruiters, salesstaff and infrastructure specialists would want to work” (apexsystems.com2018). On the outside looking in, that mission statement definitely sounds likea company that wants to change the status quo, and maybe in other locationsthey did stick to this mission. The location in this case though was notstraying from the status quo of staffing agencies.
They were continuing to bethose pushy like sales people that just wanted to make a dollar. A leader wouldmake sure that everyone in the company was happy, looking at what was goingright and what was going wrong, and always be working to improve all aspects ofthe company. Part of changing that status quo for a staffing agency could bemaking it seem like to the candidates that this wasn’t just a sales pitch, thatthe recruiters were genuinely helping the candidate get the job. There is a lotto be changed in the IT staffing industry, and with the right management teams,could slowly be changed in to a more positive work environment.
There is anarticle from Huffington Post that talks about how a contractor has a terribleexperience with a direct competitor of the staffing agency in this case, hesays “”There are abuses in many of these industries where employers try to keepsomebody on a, quote, ‘temporary’ for periods of time far longer than you’dexpect for a temp job, but in this economy, workers are less likely tocomplain,” he said. “And the temp agencies are pretty much unregulated, soworkers are on their own having to bring contract action.” (Bassett 2011). Thisman ended up suing the company because he quit his original job to take thecontract that ended up not being offered to him. It is terrible that thingslike this happen, but it is exactly what recruiters in staffing do on a day today basis. Managers in this field acknowledge that these types of things arehappening, and some are even encouraging it.
Enable Others to Act “Leaders fostercollaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others. Leadersunderstand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; theystrive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthenothers, making each person feel capable and powerful (leadershipchallenge2017). The part of this step of the model that stands out is the mutual respectpiece.
In an adult work environment, one would think that mutual respect wouldbe a given and that it would not even be a question that this behavior would beinvolved in a workplace. However, this is not the case in this situation. Thereis only mutual respect among the people in the company who are making the mostmoney. The atmosphere is not one to be described as having trust and humandignity. Newer members of the organization were always publicly put down ifthere were not catching on to something everyone else thought that they should.This part of the model also mentions each person feeling capable and powerfulby strengthening each other. Ideally, especially in the world of sales, themain focus would be to help each other out so everyone would be at the samepace as the others.
However, in this situation everyone was looking out forthemselves, because the more positions they could work on or take from otherpeople, the more money that they would be making. Everyone only looked out forthemselves and what they could gain on their own for every situation. Thereason though that the recruiters were acting in the way that they were, wasbecause that is what management was promoting.
The management did not carewhether or not a position was stolen from someone, or if a situation happenedunfairly, all that mattered was that the money was made and the position wasfilled. The management in these high stress and competitive situations shouldbe encouraging friendly competition and teamwork. Staffing is the perfectsetting to encourage friendly competition. Everything is already tracked up onthe white boards for everyone to see, it would be easy to encourage friendlycompetition, instead of the greedy competition that happened in this case. At the very least management should at leastbe instilling values in their employee’s to not take work from other employees,and if it does happen there should be some type of compromise between the twoemployees there. Encourage the Heart”Accomplishingextraordinary things in organizations is hard work.
To keep hope anddetermination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make. Inevery winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts,so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes”(leadershipchallenge 2017). It can be difficult for someone to think that theyare actually able to make big changes in an organization, especially as anindividual in a non-leadership position. However, leaders do have thatcapability to make a difference and keep the hope alive for the employee’s.
Just a simple recognition of someone working hard can make all the differencein the overall team atmosphere and how everyone is interacting with each other.I think what is important about this aspect of the model is the members sharingthe rewards and the leaders celebrating. In a sales environment, and in thisenvironment that is not what was happening. Only the select few were sharingthe rewards, and the leader was rarely celebrating.
If the organization in thiscase could even just follow this part of the model, they would be able toflourish and reduce turnover drastically. Overall, Kouzesand Posner’s model of leadership is a great one to follow. If everyorganization could follow their model there would rarely be high turnover inany workforce.
If even a small portion of the model could be applied to theorganization in this case, there would be so much potential for growth and muchmore success to come.