The managerial function of staffing is defined as filing, and keeping filled, positions in the organization structure. This includes identifying work force requirements, inventorying the people available, and recruiting, selecting, placing, promoting, appraising, planning the careers of, compensating, and training or otherwise developing both candidates and current jobholders to accomplish their tasks effectively and efficiently.
It is clear that staffing must be closely linked to organizing, that is, to the setting up of intentional structure of roles and positions. Many experts on management theory discuss staffing as a phase of organizing. Staffing is identified as a separate managerial function for several reasons.
First, the staffing of organizational roles includes knowledge and approaches not usually recognized by practicing managers who often think of organizing as just setting up a structure of roles and give little attention to filling these roles. Second, making staffing a separate function facilitates placing an even greater emphasis on the human element in selection, appraisal, career planning, and manager development. Third, an important body of knowledge and experience has been developed in the area of staffing. Fourth, managers often overlook the fact that staffing is their responsibility and not that of the personnel department.
To be sure, this department provides valuable assistance, but it is the job of managers to fill the position in their organization and keep them filled with qualified people.
Their main concern is profit maximization, innovation, risk taking, and similar activities. Yet another group of writers emphasizes decision making, especially the kinds of decisions that cannot be easily programmed. An additional view of the managerial job draws attention to leadership, with an emphasis on particular traits and managerial styles.
Closely related to this approach is the discussion about power and influence, that is, the leaderâ€™s control of the environment and subordinates. Other writers focus their attention on the behavior of leaders by examining the content of the managerâ€™s job. Finally, the
approach favored by Henry Mintzberg is based on observing the work activities of managers. He found through observations of five executives that their work was characterized by brevity, variety, and discontinuity and action orientation. He also found that executives favor oral communication and that they engage in many activities that link the enterprise with its environment.