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Employee resourcing strategies are fundamental to the survival and sustainable development of any organisation in the face of increasingly competitive business or academic environment. This study examined the resultant effects and level of relationship that exist between constructs of employee resourcing strategies, job performance and corporate image in some selected private Universities in Southwest Nigeria. To accomplish the goals of the study, a total of 500 copies of questionnaire were administered to the academic staff of the six (6) selected private Universities, out of which four hundred and forty-three (443) were retrieved and analyzed. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select the respondents for this study. Descriptive and inferential statistics such as Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient, Linear Regression, Structural Equation Model (AMOS 22), Mean and Standard Deviation were used for the analyses. The results show significant relationships between the employee resourcing strategies, job performance and University' corporate image variables. The results also indicate that human resource planning strategies have significant effects on brand image at F= 151.277, df= 442, sig. at 0.000. Meanwhile, employee recruitment strategies have positive significant effects on research image at F= 17.047, df= 442, sig. at 0.000. On the other hand, the relationship between employee selection strategies and corporate reputation was positive at a correlation of 0.250, df= 442, sig. at 0.000 and sig. at 0.01 level (2-tailed). Similarly, the result shows that there is positive significant relationship between employee retention strategies and corporate identity at a correlation of 0.325, df= 442, sig. at 0.000 and significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed). It is therefore recommended that University management should develop employee resourcing strategies that are linked with Universities overall strategy to achieve their institutional goals.
Key words: Employee Resourcing, Retention, Corporate Image, Research Image, Strategy, Job Performance.
1.1 Background to the Study
The survival and sustainable growth of any organisation largely depends on the effective and efficient management of her employees. The management of people at the workplace is traceable to communal societies where duties were predominantly divided and assigned among family groups. Tasks were allocated according to the individual skills, abilities, age, gender and strength. Division of labour and specialisation were highly encouraged (Alan, 2007; Manafi & Subramaniam, 2015). As civilisation and technology evolved, personnel management became concerned with the technological aspect of hiring, filing and firing; this emerged in the 1920’s (Chukwunonso, 2013). However, personnel management failed to give adequate attention to the significance of systematic relationships of employment practices on overall organisational performance. Consequently, hum1an resource management emerged and gained more prominence in 1981 with the introduction of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at Harvard Business School to train personnel managers on the adoption of human resource management for effective employment practices (Guest, 2011; Lamba & Choudhary, 2013). Therefore, in 21st century organisations, human resource management centres on the employees in economic terms as assets that must be productively managed for outstanding job performance.
Modern business is uniquely complex as a result of composite business environment, globalisation, rapid technological advancement, among others. Sequel to the above, strategic human resource management was introduced in reaction to the considerable increase in competitive pressures (Ambrose & Philip, 2015; Clarke, 2013). Therefore, competitive business environment requires that organisations engage employee resourcing strategies such as manpower planning, attraction and selection of talents and skill retention for organisational effectiveness and competitiveness. The integration of strategic human resource management practices with the overall business strategy will promote organisational performance and thereby enhance the corporate image of such organisation. Meanwhile, strategic human resource management is concerned with the use of planning for both human resource requirement and the process of capabilities development
(Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). Strategic human resource management includes resourcing strategies, employee development strategies, reward strategies, employee relations, among others. Employee resourcing strategies, an aspect of strategic human resource management practices that ensures the availability of the right quantity and quality of staff required as well as the selection and retention of employees who ‘fit’ the strategic requirements of the organisation, are fundamental in the knowledge-based economy.
It is imperative to note that in the knowledge-based economy, skills and employee development are the strength and backbone of sustainable economic development and social well-being (OECD, 2012). However, University education plays a significant role in human resource skills/knowledge development and the economic prosperity of any nation (Dill & Van-Vught, 2010; Jain, 2015). Today, Universities are characterised by massive expansion, wider participation and high rate of students’ enrolment because of public demand for University education, thus, giving room for the emergence of new Universities. Evidently, public Universities cannot meet the demand of people yearning for University education. Hence, opportunities now exist for private providers to meet the growing demand of University education and this has led to the rapid expansion and proliferation of private Universities around the globe in general and Nigeria in particular (Adeyeye, 2009). Universities in Nigeria are rising rapidly, but ironically, the number of academic staff is not increasing proportionately (National Universities Commission (NUC), 2015).
Employee resourcing strategies however set out what the University intends to do about its human resource planning, recruitment, selection, retention and how they should be integrated with University strategies (Armstrong, 2010; 2014). Evidently, human resource is a backbone and life-wire of any organisation that can be productively and strategically engaged for excellent job performance that will culminate into positive corporate image. Universities are expected to intensify efforts at strategic modality and corporate initiatives to plan, recruit, select and retain valuable faculty and staff towards the actualisation of the University’s overall strategic goal (Gberevbie, 2006; Kanyemba, Iwu & Allen-Ile, 2015; Vander, Basson & Coetzee, 2009). Employee skills, knowledge and intellectualism are competitive enablers and distinctive capabilities of a University. Attraction, selection and retention of talented employees will culminate in sustainable job performance which will invariably enhance corporate image of Universities (Minchington, 2010; Prinsloo, 2008).
The pivotal goal of any University, be it private or public, is to “develop the whole man mentally, morally and physically, and thereby confer degrees on their products who are found worthy in character and learning” (Idogho, 2011). In addition, they are expected to provide leadership training, build strong economy and society, giving quality education through comprehensive courses that will translate theory into practice (Adeyeye, 2009; Aina, 2010; Gberevbie, 2006). However, this can only be achieved by attracting and retaining formidable and competent faculty and staff. Nonetheless, for Universities to achieve positive corporate image and competitive advantage, employee resourcing strategies become imperative (Ahunaya & Osakwe, 2012; Kibui, Gachunga, & Namusonge, 2014). It is essential to note that employee resourcing strategies are not restricted to attracting ‘eggheads’, but continuous process of selection, placement, induction and retention, among others (Venkateswaran, 2012). However, University management must, therefore, have the capability to identify individuals with distinctive competencies and experiences and as well as intensify efforts to retain them. This can be achieved via competitive reward system, career development, job security, and other motivating factors (Gberevbie, 2010).
Employee resourcing strategies are a significant and dynamic tool for Universities’ survival and worthwhile achievements (Ngui, Elegwa, Gichuhi & Waititu, 2014). The sustainability of any University largely depends on its ability to strategically employ and retain talented employees that will formulate and implement strategies to foster excellent academic performance thereby enhancing the organisational image (Armstrong, 2010; CIPD, 2012; Dhar, 2015). According to Ogunyomi and Ojikutu (2014), employee resourcing strategies become essential because University’s rapid growth and sustainable development often times require different types of talent for success in a competitive academic environment. Besides, as noted by Antonio and Luis (2015), “Universities are expected to respond to the changes in their competitive environment by identifying the types of “talent” needed at present and in the future to ensure consistent growth and sustainable development”. This study becomes necessary because it concerns the integration of employee resourcing strategies into the overall strategic goal which is non-negotiable for Universities’ growth and sustainable corporate image.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
One of the most valuable assets of any University is its human resource. Attracting and retaining skilled employees in a competitive academic environment is sine qua non for a University’s survival and sustainable corporate image. Despite the importance placed on employee resourcing strategies, research in this area in Nigeria requires more definite attention. Studies such as Akhigbe (2013); Gberevbie (2008); Ogunyomi and Ojukutu (2014); Satop (2014) among others have indicated the significance of employee resourcing strategies and job performance, however, the relationship between employee resourcing strategies and corporate image in Nigerian Universities should be accorded the necessary attention.
The evolving competition in the Nigerian University system has called for the adoption of strategic approach for effective and efficient teaching, research, innovation and community impact, to compete favourably with their counterparts around the globe. Universities ranking is one of the core factors responsible for Universities’ reputation and image. Sequel to the various platforms of University ranking in the world, no Nigerian University has ever ranked among the best 2000 Universities in the world in Times Higher Education-QS Ranking; Webometrics Ranking, Academic Ranking of World Universities; Newsweek Ranking among others (Tichaona, 2014). Obviously, several steps taken by government and other stakeholders in the education sector through various interventions and restructuring have not solved the problems. This apparently needs to be considered holistically. Besides, the survival of the Universities in the competitive academic environment requires availability of Senior Faculty with distinctive capabilities. Therefore, strategic plan for immediate and future manpower requirements of the Universities is an area that needs to be explored. The research problem addressed here therefore is the role human resource planning strategies can play in enhancing job performance and promoting University’s brand image.
The growing competition in the Nigerian University environment is evident in the increasing number of new Universities approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC). Thus, the need for systematic and rigorous recruitment strategies to attract and retain skilled and experienced academic staff for quality teaching and research that will proffer solutions to the socio-economic problems of the Nigerian society cannot be over emphasised. As noted by NUC (2015), the number of Universities in Nigeria has increased, yet these Universities are struggling and hunting for Senior Faculty. Nigeria has a total of
forty-six (46) Federal Universities, forty (40) State Universities and sixty-one (61) Private Universities licensed to operate (NUC, 2015). However, Elegbe (2010) posits that Nigerian Universities require about 60,000 academic staff to compete favourably with Universities in the developed world. The shortage of qualified academic staff is greatly affecting tertiary institutions in Nigeria to the extent that most of the newly established Universities are struggling to get senior academic staff (Elegbe, 2010). Nevertheless, the few qualified staff are overloaded with teaching, committee works, administrative works and other extra-curricular activities in the University system. All these are likely to affect the research output, teaching and project supervision, community service, among others. Attracting staff with high level of talent, skills, competence and other distinctive capabilities have been a major universal challenge to the University education system. In Nigeria, for example, both public and private Universities are springing up frequently and both old and new Universities are confronted with how to attract competent staff for outstanding teaching, quality research output, innovation and entrepreneurial enhancement (Aina, 2010; Scullion
& Collings, 2010). Thus, the research problem to be addressed here is to find out the resultant effects of recruitment and selection strategies on University’s research image.
The retention of Senior Academic Staff has been a global concern which affects both developed and developing countries. In the United States, for instance, about 7.7% Academic Staff left their institutions for another within a session (Yousaf, Imran, Sarwar
& Ranjha, 2010). In South Africa between 5-18% of their Academic Staff were likely to leave for other Universities (Pienaar & Bester, 2008); it was predicted that there would be
serious crises in the 21st century in Australian Higher Educational Institutions with estimated academic staff shortage of 20,000 if nothing is done to address it (Tettey, 2009). As a result of the shortage of academic staff in the institutions of higher learning, coupled with increasing number of Universities in Nigeria, and greater worldwide opportunities for those with talents, there is serious competition in attracting and retaining talented Academic Staff with doctoral degrees for better performance. Academic staff are moving from one University to another. Startup, Gruneberg and Tapfield (1975) and Adeniji, Falola and Salau (2014) opined that Senior Faculty hardly stay long in a University before moving to another. Moreover, inability of any University to manage its human resource will expose such Institutions to the competitive world, thereby losing best hands to competitors. Thus, this study addressed retention strategies as it affects University’s efficiency in building Universities’ image.
Sequel to the above, employee resourcing strategies and corporate image in institutions of higher learning is an area that needs further exploration (Aryee, Walumbwa, Seidu & Otaye, 2016; CIPD, 2012). Therefore, one of the reasons that informed this research evaluate the influence of employee resourcing strategies on job performance and corporate image in the institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study examined the effect of employee resourcing strategies on job performance and corporate image of Private Universities in Nigeria. However, the specific objectives are to:
i. examine how human resource planning strategies can enhance job performance and promote University’s brand image.
ii. determine whether employee recruitment strategies can promote or enhance University’s research image.
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