This case study focuses on graduate recruitment and selection in an organization within the voluntary sector. You are required to answer both part i) and part ii)

i) What are the key factors to be considered when designing a suitable graduate recruitment strategy for Africa Omnipotence?

ii) What type of selection processes you would recommend for graduate entry, and what are the reasons for your choices?

Africa Omnipotence – The Way Forward

Africa Omnipotence is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to relief aid in Africa. The two founders are high-profile celebrities who were inspired to establish the charity three years ago after taking part in an excursion as part of Comic Relief. It is entirely dependent on charitable donations, which have mainly been forthcoming from media personalities and private companies. It has been decided to develop the charity from its limited online and agency recruitment and to target as a priority graduates seeking a career in the voluntary sector. The charity has contacted you as the retained HR consultant for guidance on the development of a suitable policy and procedure to attract top graduates in order to meet this immediate recruitment expansion.

Currently Africa Omnipotence relies on word of mouth to attract both employees and volunteers. The graduate entry will be aimed at persons wishing to develop a career in the voluntary sector. The charity employs over 50 staff, some of whom are part time. A large proportion of employees is employed full time and deployed in particular countries in Africa and required to perform specific duties. The majority of the employees are employed on fixed-term contracts, which have proved problematic to manage. The largest group to date are those with a nursing qualification, but there is a need for generalist roles and other professions such as engineers. The managing committee is required to have one of the two founding celebrities at any meetings and more importantly, one has personally hired all employees to date. Employees and volunteers have all been recruited from other charities. This has caused problems in the past due to the lack of applications, resulting in the charity having to resort to agencies, with the accompanying minimum fees of 15 per cent.

In order to meet the initial planned expansion programme, the graduates will have to be recruited quickly as the charity wishes to expand its operations across Africa within the next two years. The two founders are keen to delegate the recruitment and selection responsibility to the current management team. However, the managers have not received any formal training in graduate recruitment and only have limited experience of recruitment in previous roles. The charity has tended to agree pay rates and salaries on an ad hoc basis in order to attract the calibre of staff required, but it is unclear whether the charity is getting ‘value for money’.

You have conducted initial research into Africa Omnipotence and there is no salary structure at all with staff on varying rates yet fulfilling identical duties. The key problem you witness is confusion about roles and reporting structures with a definite hint of inflated egos amongst the nursing personnel. Despite claims to the contrary, it would appear that there is a turnover rate of 20 percent, which is relatively high for the voluntary sector. Only a very few of the overseas staff are multilingual and none speak the local language of the area in which they are based. There is no formal induction process in place and there is no structured approach to learning and development.

The expansion must attract top graduates in order to retain its current donations and to attract further funding. The founders are keen to attract the top graduate talent from all parts of the world to increase the profile of the charity in new areas. As the HR consultant you will have to design a strategy to meet this recruitment drive, but you also want to establish policies to deal with the other issues you have identified.

Case study: (2012) cipd publishing