Processing the applications
Once the advertisements are placed in the chosen source, the applications of the potential candidates are processed to shortlist based on the information provided on their CVs.
KSC has a very good system of screening the employees given the strict legal procedures in place in Saudi Arabia. Candidates are divided into national and international to establish the documents required and then the relevant documents such as ID cards and/or Visa documents together with references are checked to ensure the genuineness of the applicant. If the candidates are unable to provide required documents their applications are rejected.
The HR department then conducts telephone interviews to further shortlist the applicants. This is a cheaper method of short listing before inviting the applicants for interviews.
Selection of the right candidate
This is a crucial stage as the shortlisted candidates are interviewed to establish competence to do the job. In KSC potential candidates are invited for interviews by providing them the travel fare ranging from bus fare to air fare, depending on the job scale of the applicant.
The interviews are carried out by the HR Director, Head of recruitment and the relevant department head using the pre determined questions to be asked. Candidates are selected based on their merit and their performance in the interview.
A good systematic procedure is followed allowing the HR department to participate in the interview which can help clarify some of the questions that the candidates may have regarding the company policies and procedures.
Once the right candidate is selected an offer letter is sent off for signing and returning back within one week in most cases except for the cases where a longer period is agreed by the company director. Once the job is accepted two copies of formal descriptive contract is prepared, one for the HR records and the second for the candidate. If the offer is not accepted by the candidate the next best candidate is contacted and job offered after further interviews.
KSC follows a strict system to verify the documents like Visa, degree certificates, work experience and references provided by the candidates. If the verification is not upto the accepted standards of the company then the application is rejected.
Expatriate HR policy
Following the recent joint venture of KSC with LV Shipping and Logistics Company based in the UK, there is a potential for expatriate employees to be placed from Saudi Arabia. A policy regarding the expatriate employee selection is missing in the existing recruitment procedure of KSC. It can choose from the following options of expatriate policies;
Under this policy, key management positions are filled by the parent country national i.e. Saudi nationals to overcome any lack of skilled mangers in the host country, to continue with the culture of the parent country and to make sure that the core competencies are preserved in the top management to make strong strategic decisions. This can however create resentment in the host country, UK, as this creates a separation from the local culture.
It is not a very straight forward selection process as other than the basic skill set there will have to be following considerations related to the candidate’s;
Level of self orientation as they will have to take initiatives and keep themselves motivated while they have set backs in their jobs
Interaction ability in the host country’s language could be seen as a key benefit as this would reduce the communication gap.
Ability to perceive the situation and people in the host country where candidate doesn’t speak that language.
Ability to adjust to the host country’s culture and society. This is because the success of a candidate’s stay abroad may not be easy if they find it difficult to adjust to new environment, people, climate and culture.
In this case the host country nationals manage the subsidiaries while the parent company holds the key management positions in the head office. This policy removes the cultural difference to an extent with the people from the host country managing the operations in that country. And it is less expensive to implement as the training cost and the cost involved in the expatriate failure is substantially reduced.
More independence and responsibility is transferred to the host country in this case. Parent company will find more time to focus on other issues of their main business and also on the expansion into other countries.
The final approach to staffing is to choose the best people to do the job without considering their nationality. The idea is to increase the efficiency of the job role and the success of the overseas venture. This helps in the building of a strong relationship and culture among the employees.
There could however be issues related to immigration policies in the host country and it could prove expensive as well if the best people to do the job are not available in the host country.
Pay review timing
In KSC’s Recruitment policy the pay is discussed and finalized once the application of a proposed employee has been accepted by the company and the job is offered. The applicants must have prior knowledge of what to expect from the job in terms of pay scale and benefits which is formally documented on the employee contract. Pay scale is decided based on the applicant’s education, work experience, existing salary and also looking at the internal equity of pay.
There is however no mention of the periodic pay review date which depends from company to company and also from job to job e.g. for an accountant there could be an annual pay review but for an employee working in the sales and marketing who is exceeding the sale targets may get a half yearly or even a quarterly pay review. This is an area that the applicants will be interested in as well to be informed about while joining the company. It is beneficial for KSC’s HRM as well to inform the employees at the time of joining to add to their motivation.