Define the acquisition function.

The public sector is faced with many responsibilities that distinguish it from the private sector. Insuring public safety, justice, and environmental quality are just a few areas that go beyond the demands placed on private organizations. Recruiting and retaining highly qualified employees to provide the services citizens take for granted is becoming increasingly difficult in a competitive labor market because even though the responsibilities may differ, the private and public sectors are in direct competition for the same scarce qualified applicants. Even when the economy starts to weaken and the unemployment rate increases, the demand for labor in skilled and knowledge-based professions will remain.

Dynamism in the economy has forced many adaptations in the recruitment, selection, and retention of public employees. Nevertheless, much remains the same, anchored by conflicts that frequently characterize debate over the appropriate criteria to use in the recruitment and selection of job applicants and the promotion of employees. In addition to describing some of the technical aspects of recruitment and selection, this chapter reviews the value conflicts and the compromises that take place over the criteria used in the acquisition and planning functions. It discusses how the contemporary labor market affects the view of work and how organizations of the future affect the acquisition function.

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

1. Define the acquisition function.

2.Describe the influence different values have on the objectives of the acquisition function.

3. Describe how characteristics of the workforce and the nature of contemporary work influence the acquisition function.

4. Describe ten steps in the recruitment and selection process.

5. Identify six practices that are likely to produce timely and valid hiring processes.

6. Discuss the comparative characteristics of centralized, decentralized, and electronic staffing techniques, and outsourcing.

7. Describe the concept of test validation and validation strategies.

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