Staffing in Educational Institutions: Experiences from Tanzania

Scientific Essay, 2012

28 Pages


Staffing in Educational institutions: Experiences from Tanzania


Godlove Lawrent & Placidius Ndibalema

Department of Educational Foundations and Continuing Education

College of education (University of Dodoma)-Tanzania


This paper presents various issues regarding staffing. In an introductory part, the paper describes the origin of staffing by tracing back to the administrative management theory. Such staffing issues as conceptualization of staffing with regard to different scholars. The features of staffing, the importance of staffing and the implication in educational institutions, challenges facing staffing and the strategies to address these challenges are also clearly explained in this paper. In the last part, the paper concludes that, staffing is inevitable because of the dynamism of the organizations and the educational institutions in particular.

Key words: Staffing, educational institutions, recruitment, selection & appraisal


This paper is guided by the administrative theory. The proponents of this theory are Henri Fayol, James Mooney and Lydal Urwick (Galabawa, 2000). Administrative theory was first postulated by Henri Fayol (1916) giving out five management functions, these includes, planning, Organizing commanding, coordinating and controlling. The work of Fayol influenced Luther Gulick who came with seven managerial functions with acronym POSDCoRB; where P- Planning, O-Organizing, S- Staffing, D-Directing, Co-coordinating, R–Reporting and B-Budgeting (Okumbe, 1998; Gupta, 2008). Out of these functions propounded by administrative theorists; Staffing is the concern of this paper.

Conceptualization of Staffing

The term staffing may be defined as the managerial function of hiring and developing the required personnel to fill in various positions in an organization (Gupta, 2008). Koontz and O’Donnell (1972) assert that, staffing involves managing the organizational structure through proper and effective selection, appraisal and development of personnel to fill the roles designed into the structure. This function involves the determination of the size and categories of staff requirement. It is also concerned with employing the right type of people and developing their skills through training. The staffing function focuses on maintaining and improving the manpower in an organization.

Similarly, Green (2001) maintains that, staffing is the process of identifying work requirements within an organization, determining the number of people and the skills necessary to do the work, recruiting, selecting and promoting the qualified candidates. It is the selection process of screening and hiring new employees, which include functions like resume reviewing, interview, medical testing, assessment testing and background experience. Okumbe (1998) adds that staffing is the whole personnel function of bringing in and training the staff and maintaining favourable condition of work. Thus, staffing involves the process of recruiting, selection, deployment, training as well development and performance assessment of individual workers in organization.

Features of Staffing

Staffing is an important managerial function. Staffing function is the most important managerial acting along with planning, organizing, directing and controlling. The operations of these four functions depend upon the manpower availability, because staffing is the process of matching people with jobs (Dyer &Holder, 1988). Therefore, the following are some of features of staffing.

Staffing is a universal activity. This implies that it is performed by all managers, depending upon the nature of institution, size of the institution, qualifications and skills of managers (Gupta, 2008). In small institution, the top management generally performs this function. In medium and large scale institution, it is performed especially by the personnel department of that concern. For example, the heads of the schools are appointed by the permanent secretary where the criteria used to appoint them are the same. Basically, all organizations-business, political, cultural and social are involved in staffing because it is staffing which helps an organization and education in particular towards accomplishment of a definite purpose. However, setting universal norms can be a problematic. Thus, there has to be a general acceptance of the methods used to arrive at the norms (Scott, 2003).

Nevertheless, staffing is a dynamic function; which is a never ending process. With changes in the size and environment of the organization, changes take place also to the personnel required to accomplish the organization tasks. For instance, the splitting process of larger school into two or more small schools simplifies the management and administration. This was mainly done in Tanzania where bigger primary schools, from 2003-2005 were divided into relatively into small size schools (Babyegeya, 2007). It was largely caused by enrolment expansion, where bigger schools with large number of students were divided and enhanced the effectiveness of staffing. The strategy of splitting large schools into relatively small size schools is making schools more effective both administratively and in performance of both teachers and pupils.

Staffing is a continuous activity. This is because staffing function continues throughout the life of an organization due to the transfers and promotions that take place. Beer (1985) describes staffing as a process that governs the flow of people into, through and out of the organization. It also encompasses the whole arena of interrelated activities of the organization, such as human resource planning, job analysis, mobility, evaluation and career planning and development (ibid). Being a process, it also consists of other several activities such as estimating man power needs, recruitment, selection, training and development, deciding on remuneration for work to be performed, transfer, promotion and performance appraisal. It is therefore, rightly to say that an educational institution without staffing is simply like an unproductive shell. Education as lifelong learning is purposefully continuous activity undertaken by people keen on increasing their knowledge developing and adapting their skills as well as modifying their attitudes (Nyirenda and Ishumi, 2002). All teachers regardless of their previous training, education and experience must be given further training and development. This is because the competence of workers will never last forever, due to such factors as curriculum and technological changes, transfers and promotions (Okumbe, 1998).

Staffing processes

Staffing as a managerial function involves a number of activities. The staffing processes involve the procurement, development, compensation, integration and maintenance of personnel in an organization (Gupta, 2008). Likewise, Zaccaro and Klimoksi (2001) point out some of the staffing functions. One among them is assessing of manpower requirements; the first activity in staffing is to plan the manpower inventory required by a concern in order to match them with the job requirements and demands. Therefore, it involves forecasting and determining the future manpower needs of the concern. As the requirements have been identified the organization makes an advertisement of the personnel with their qualifications required. The advertisement involves job description, mode of application and the dead line for the applications. Likewise, Marquis (1994) advises that, assessment of manpower should be done now and then to avoid costly action during acute staffing shortages.

The projection of needed staff depends on several indicators which include the demographic structure of the population, data obtained from sampling surveys of children expected to start schooling or transmit from one level to the other, and the trend in previous demand of school opportunities (URT, 2008). Once the projected staffing needs are identified for the total facility, strategies and timeframes are established for recruitment. The process requires a broad based inventory of faculty talents and interests. Projection of staffing needs is used to formulate a wide work force plan, outlining costs and implementation process. Thus, projection provides a general picture of the future staff needs and shortage in school institution facilities. Basically, projection of needed staff helps to identify the training requirements and cost implications of deploying particular cadres of staff in different educational institution settings. It also provides a macro level overview of human resource requirements, future detailed planning, priority needs as well as other relevant variables (Service Staff Projection Tool, 2011). For instance, before the initiation of Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP) and Secondary Education Plan (SEDP) in Tanzania, there was a projection about the number of students who will be enrolled during the implementation process of the programmes. The enrolment targets gave an overview on the number of teachers who could accommodate the expected number of students (teacher-student ratio) for training purposes. Since the programmes went hand in hand with the reforms of the curriculum, the projection about the in-service teacher training was also inevitable. However, the exercise appeared to be less successful as it was cost-effective to implement.

Recruitment is another staffing function in a work place. Once the requirements have been notified, the concern invites and solicit/reviews applications according to the invitations made to the desirable candidates. The procedure requires attentions and resources. In Tanzania, these procedures have been strictly followed in recruiting the non-teaching staff. Also, it is a process of actively seeking out qualified applicants for existing position in the organization in a cost effective manner. Recruitment requires long term planning and continuous efforts if the organization is to be productive in recruiting and retaining a highly qualified staff (ibid). On other hand, Okumbe (1998) points out that, recruitment refers to the process of making a worker interested in a particular job, so as to apply for it. Likewise, Cole (2002) asserts that, recruitment is to attract sufficient and suitable potential employees to apply for vacancies in the organization.

In the Tanzanian context, the recruiting teaching staff differs from non-teaching staff. The recruitment of teaching staff is done through the formal education system where students finishing secondary education are selected to join teacher training institutions, including education faculties of Universities. In the case of secondary teacher recruitment in public secondary schools in Tanzania, it is practically performed by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Dar es Salaam upon receiving the estimates of the number of teachers required from each region. The Ministry prepares the estimates indicating the number of teachers and associated costs (personnel emoluments). The estimates are then submitted to the President’s Office-Public Service Management for the approval and processing of the employment permit. Sometimes the President’s Office-Public Service Management makes some adjustments on the number of teachers to be recruited depending on the budget approved by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in respect to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. Thereafter, the President’s Office-Public Service Management (PO-PSM) issues the employment permits to allow the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to continue with the recruitment process of teachers.

In the case of primary education, the recruitment is done through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training according to the demand of teachers in relation to students’ ernrollment. According to Chediel (2009) several measures have been taken in meeting the increasing demands for new teachers for primary schools in Tanzania and there have been strategies provided to expand the recruitment of students in the Pre-service Teacher Education (PRESET). The following table shows how the estimated and actual enrollment in schools related to the estimated and actual recruitment of students in PRESET.


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Staffing in Educational Institutions: Experiences from Tanzania
University of Dodoma  (Tanzania College of Education )
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staffing, educational, institutions, experiences, tanzania
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Godlove Lawrent (Author)Placidius Ndibalema (Author), 2012, Staffing in Educational Institutions: Experiences from Tanzania, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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