CASE STUDY–4 Keeping Good People: Staffing Given the Current labor market, the Costs of Recruiting and Hiring: Operation Management Case Study

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Subject Operations Management

CASE STUDY–4    Keeping Good People: Staffing

Given the current labor market, the costs of recruiting and hiring are becoming more apparent than ever to organizations. After going through the difficulty of attracting and hiring talented people, businesses do not want to lose them to competitions. The difficulty is staffing has created an emphasis on retaining human resources. Applied Industrial Technologies, a Cleveland-based business, has taken steps to reduce turnover. Specifically, they have made self-fulfillment—the process of helping each person reach their full potential—a central value in the organization. According to CEO John Dannemiller, the company views its self-fulfillment mission as important as salary and benefits in motivating talented employees. He attributes a doubling in revenues over the past eight years and a turnover rate below the industry average to the self-fulfillment program. Here is a summary of Applied Industrial’s self-fulfillment strategy:

  • The company commits to 40 hours of training each year–a significant amount.
  • Applied Industrial conducts regular leadership and personality testing. The test results are used to identify areas for personal improvement and to measure growth.
  • The company offers reading lists of management books.
  • Employees are reimbursed for education expenses.


  1. What other actions could Applied Industrial Technologies take to improve this program?
  2. Now assume that you are an Applied Industrial Technologies manager working to orient and hire new employees.
  • How would you orient an employee who accepts a position at applied but does not care about the self improvement program? So far, the employee has met but does not exceed the job requirements.
  • What steps could you take in selection to assess whether prospects would respond effectively to the self-fulfillment program? (Hint: As a start, consider individual characteristics that might affect a prospect’s response to this type of program).
  1. Applied Industrial views its self-fulfillment program as a retention effort. Is it also a recruitment tool? What, if any, do you think are the differences between tactics designed to improve retention versus those designed to improve attraction and recruitment?
  2. Now let us assume that the labor market shift toward an increase in supply. Should Applied Industrial continue to invest in its human resources with the self-fulfillment program? Explain your recommendation.

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