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Review: On Staffing

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On Staffing CoverTitle: On Staffing: Advice and Perspectives from HR Leaders
Editors: Nicholas C. Burkholder, Preston J Edwards Snr, Libby Sartain
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
ISBN: 0-471-41069-1
Price: £34.95

On Staffing focuses on how to get, induct, develop and retain great people. It’s a timely publication. Now that the skills shortage is starting to look like ‘the good old days’ and HR faces up to the fact that it is approaching a time of ‘body shortages’ regardless of skills as the baby boomers get busy spending their kids inheritance and the consequences of an aging population start to bite, it’s time to get competitive in the staffing market.

However, On Staffing is not a text book in which you will find well structured processes, tried and tested methodologies or even a great deal of instruction on how you and your organisation can prepare for the testing times ahead. Instead it provides you with an array of case studies and position pieces on what the world of recruiting, development and retention is like now and how it may start to look soon.

With 50 different chapters, each by a different contributor, running at less than 10 pages each, On Staffing is a great book to dip in and out of for inspiration. You may find yourself nodding in agreement with some, shaking your head in worry with others, or just yelling at the few who seem to be way off beam. Articles include:

  • Employer Branding

  • Generational Shift

  • Cross Cultural Communication

  • Replenishing the Workforce and

  • Outsourced Recruiting

Be warned, there is a very strong American bias to the book, so you’ll need to take care when quoting examples and statistics from it. Don’t let that put you off – among the contributors are executives from Amazon, Monster, PeopleSoft, and IBM. It’s not all new media – you’ll find interesting articles from the likes of J Walter Thompson, IBM, and Pizza Hut, along with consultancies led by Ernst & Young and Deloitte. It was the consultants and academics that felt most like padding in the book, but not to a degree that becomes annoying.

Don’t expect this book to be the solution to all your staffing problems. On Staffing raises more questions than it answers, and as such it’s a book HR professionals should have read and developed their own points of view around before others in the organisation start snapping at their heels wanting to know what HR are doing about the challenges raised. As a thought starter On Staffing is a sound investment for anyone who is interested in the recruitment development and retention of great employees.

Review by: Claudine McClean MCIPD
Claudine is a consultant with www.structuredtraining.com with interests in instructional design, people and technology and recruiting and retaining talent. Previously she worked in recruitment and training for Manpower plc and for General Motors.

mailto:[email protected]

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