Serial recruitment style is the “normal” way of hiring staff. It calls for some (or a lot) degree of multi-skilling from the incumbents. It is best to demonstrate this by way of example – take a typical machine operators job in a manufacturing environment. Their job may typically consist of:
- Operating the machine using computer controlled software. Create settings
- Attending the machine, monitoring dials and visual appearance.
- Loading and unloading materials into/out of the machine.
- Maintaining the machine
- Cleaning the machine and workspace.
People who do this job are highly experienced and skilled with machines and have an aptitude for engineering so what job is the odd one out in the above list?
It is the cleaning job, of course. Cleaning is also a job requiring a great deal of care and skill but the skills required are very different to maintaining a technical machine and, generally, cleaners would be paid a good deal less than a machine operator. However, in a great majority of factories, the machine operators will spend additional time cleaning their machines and being paid at their normal rate and possibly not even doing the job well (because it is not what they were trained to do).
Why not pay the machine operators for the time they are operating and hire specialist cleaners to do what they do well? This is the concept of parallel recruiting and it can have some major advantages for employers if they adapt it, such as efficiency gains, greater safety and reliability and cost savings.
Consider this scenario, based on the above example:
Machine Operator is paid at rate of $22 per hour and works a daily shift of 8 hours plus 45 minutes cleaning time (at an overtime rate of $32). Let’s say that there were 10 machine operators working at this location. The cost of the machine operators doing their own cleaning is thus:
10 x 0.75 hr x 5 days x rate $32 = $1200
An alternative (or parallel recruiting) solution would be to employ a specialist cleaner working a night shift to clean ALL the machines. If this person was paid a typical cleaners rate of $15 per hour plus a night shift allowance of say, $3 the cost would be:
10 x 0.75 hr x 5 days = 37.5 hr total @ rate of $18 = $675
This example shows that the alternative solution is almost half the cost of having the operators perform this duty and is likely to be carried out far more efficiently and safely. This is just one example of how parallel recruiting can assist employers – can you think of other examples, especially in your chosen field of work?