Final very low, with commission percentages low as well




















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Public University

21st, 2018











A case that was experienced
was a recruiter at a staffing agency. The environment was very toxic and had a
poor company culture. In staffing, the less money that you pay the contractor
that you’re hiring, the more money that the recruiter is making. To management,
all of its staff are just a number to them, the way a recruiter is treated was
based on what their current numbers were. It was a difficult environment for
new employees to enter in to, because everyone was already established in the
company, and maintained friendships, and were not welcoming of new recruiters
since it was taking away from the amount of money they could earn.

Management was not
supportive and felt that the recruiters should always have candidates for jobs,
no matter the excuse. Competition is high in the IT staffing world, with at
least 6 other firms just in the same area. The starting pay for a beginner
recruiter was very low, with commission percentages low as well to the point
the total compensation was difficult to live off of. Since recruiters are paid
salary, managers expected the recruiters and other staff to always work more
than 40 hours a week. It was very frowned upon for someone to only work 8-5, it
was expected by managers for everyone to be there by 7:30 AM, and not leave
until at least 6, and work on the weekends when your numbers aren’t high
enough.  Overall, it is a very toxic
workplace, and not surprisingly, an organization with very high turnover rates.

Kouzes and Posner

“Jim Kouzes and
Barry Posner have been working together for more than thirty years, studying
leaders, researching leadership, conducting leadership development seminars,
and serving as leaders themselves in various capacities”, and they are
coauthors of the award-winning, best-selling book The Leadership Challenge
( 2017). Kouzes and Posner developed what we know now as
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.

five practices include:

Model the Way

Inspire a Shared Vision

Challenge the process

Enable Others to Act

Encourage the Heart

Model the Way

“The most
important personal quality people look for and admire in a leader is personal
credibility. Credibility is the foundation of leadership. If people don’t
believe in the messenger, they won’t believe the message. Titles may be granted
but leadership is earned” (student leadership challenge). In the staffing
firm and any sales position, this was the most crucial part of how management
handles its employee’s. In this situation, the leader always gave advice on
what was being done right and what was being done wrong. There was a morning
meeting everyday where the manager would go around and ask everyone where the
currently stood with the positions that they are assigned to, in front of
everyone. If the recruiter was not doing well, he would tell them some
different options of what they could change. This is helpful maybe to an extent
and with senior recruiters, but new recruiters might need some guidance or
given an example. The manager always talked about his recruiting days and how
he devoted his entire life and how great he was, but the recruiters never saw
that. It is difficult for a leader to model the way, when they are not doing
anything to show the recruiters or other employee’s how to do things. Also, the
leader having the attitude of no one ever being up to his standards, besides a
select few, that takes a toll on the employees. Leaders who truly model the way
are encouraging, and always setting the best example for its employee’s. There
are bad days and bad months in any sales job, and it is the leaders reaction to
those bad days that models the way for its employee’s.
Inspire a Shared Vision

passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future,
creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Through
their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams.
They breathe life into their visions and get people to see exciting
possibilities for the future (leadershipchallenge 2017). In a staffing agency,
the main goal is to get people jobs and get them a job that leads them in the
right direction in their life. A recruiter should feel good about going to work
every day and helping people realize their dreams and be able to improve
people’s lives. That is what the staffing industry is supposed to be about, and
what the manager’s in this companies should be focusing on, is improving the
recruiters to make them the best that they can be, so they can help other
people achieve their goals of obtaining these jobs that will improve their
life. The leader in this situation was more concerned about the money. He
wanted to make sure that the recruiters were always paying the contractors the
least amount of money in order to bring in the most revenue for the company,
even if that meant for the recruiter to talk a candidate into taking a pay cut
so that they can make more money. Many of the recruiters get into that mindset
because that is what the managers are instilling, and they believe that money
is the only thing that matters. Then there are other recruiters who feel that
is morally wrong and don’t feel right paying someone less than what they
deserve, and those are the people that end up leaving the company and moving on
to different career paths. It is a difficult position to be in when a manager
believes in something so strongly that is all based on money and greed. If the
true vision of the company was able to be upheld, it would be an overall
positive environment, and truly help better people’s lives.

Challenge the Process

“Leaders search
for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to
improve the organization. In doing so, they experiment and take risks. And
because leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, they
accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities” (leadership
challenge 2017). This is where in this situation a leader could really change
the way things are done. The manager in the current situation never looked for
opportunities to change the status quo. He wanted things to stay the same,
because that meant more money for him. The status quo across all staffing
companies, from what was witnessed is generally the same. The current vision
for the company was to “treat job seekers better, provide a better staffing
service for companies, and to build a company where the best recruiters, sales
staff and infrastructure specialists would want to work” (
2018). On the outside looking in, that mission statement definitely sounds like
a company that wants to change the status quo, and maybe in other locations
they did stick to this mission. The location in this case though was not
straying from the status quo of staffing agencies. They were continuing to be
those pushy like sales people that just wanted to make a dollar. A leader would
make sure that everyone in the company was happy, looking at what was going
right and what was going wrong, and always be working to improve all aspects of
the company. Part of changing that status quo for a staffing agency could be
making it seem like to the candidates that this wasn’t just a sales pitch, that
the recruiters were genuinely helping the candidate get the job. There is a lot
to be changed in the IT staffing industry, and with the right management teams,
could slowly be changed in to a more positive work environment. There is an
article from Huffington Post that talks about how a contractor has a terrible
experience with a direct competitor of the staffing agency in this case, he
says “”There are abuses in many of these industries where employers try to keep
somebody on a, quote, ‘temporary’ for periods of time far longer than you’d
expect for a temp job, but in this economy, workers are less likely to
complain,” he said. “And the temp agencies are pretty much unregulated, so
workers are on their own having to bring contract action.” (Bassett 2011). This
man ended up suing the company because he quit his original job to take the
contract that ended up not being offered to him. It is terrible that things
like this happen, but it is exactly what recruiters in staffing do on a day to
day basis. Managers in this field acknowledge that these types of things are
happening, and some are even encouraging it.

Enable Others to Act

            “Leaders foster
collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others. Leaders
understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they
strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen
others, making each person feel capable and powerful (leadershipchallenge
2017). The part of this step of the model that stands out is the mutual respect
piece. In an adult work environment, one would think that mutual respect would
be a given and that it would not even be a question that this behavior would be
involved in a workplace. However, this is not the case in this situation. There
is only mutual respect among the people in the company who are making the most
money. The atmosphere is not one to be described as having trust and human
dignity. Newer members of the organization were always publicly put down if
there were not catching on to something everyone else thought that they should.
This part of the model also mentions each person feeling capable and powerful
by strengthening each other. Ideally, especially in the world of sales, the
main focus would be to help each other out so everyone would be at the same
pace as the others. However, in this situation everyone was looking out for
themselves, because the more positions they could work on or take from other
people, the more money that they would be making. Everyone only looked out for
themselves and what they could gain on their own for every situation. The
reason though that the recruiters were acting in the way that they were, was
because that is what management was promoting. The management did not care
whether or not a position was stolen from someone, or if a situation happened
unfairly, all that mattered was that the money was made and the position was
filled. The management in these high stress and competitive situations should
be encouraging friendly competition and teamwork. Staffing is the perfect
setting to encourage friendly competition. Everything is already tracked up on
the white boards for everyone to see, it would be easy to encourage friendly
competition, instead of the greedy competition that happened in this case.  At the very least management should at least
be instilling values in their employee’s to not take work from other employees,
and if it does happen there should be some type of compromise between the two
employees there.

Encourage the Heart

extraordinary things in organizations is hard work. To keep hope and
determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make. In
every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts,
so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes”
(leadershipchallenge 2017). It can be difficult for someone to think that they
are actually able to make big changes in an organization, especially as an
individual in a non-leadership position. However, leaders do have that
capability to make a difference and keep the hope alive for the employee’s.
Just a simple recognition of someone working hard can make all the difference
in the overall team atmosphere and how everyone is interacting with each other.
I think what is important about this aspect of the model is the members sharing
the rewards and the leaders celebrating. In a sales environment, and in this
environment that is not what was happening. Only the select few were sharing
the rewards, and the leader was rarely celebrating. If the organization in this
case could even just follow this part of the model, they would be able to
flourish and reduce turnover drastically.

Overall, Kouzes
and Posner’s model of leadership is a great one to follow. If every
organization could follow their model there would rarely be high turnover in
any workforce. If even a small portion of the model could be applied to the
organization in this case, there would be so much potential for growth and much
more success to come.


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