Human resource management and employment

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Introduction

The Human Resource Management (HRM) function within a business deals with recruitment, management and development of the human resource that is employed in the organization. Although it is incorporated in responsibilities of every manager in the an organization, but nowadays most organizations consider it more beneficial to set up their own specialist department that contain expert people in the field devoted to ensure the efficient performance of human resource function. http://www.accel-team.com/human_resources/hrm_00.html

Although the value of people in an organization is getting more importance by the day but still the in many businesses people remain

under utilized

under valued

under trained

poorly motivated, and as a result

inefficient

Organizations of any size need right people who are capable of formulating the appropriate strategy to cater for the increasing rate of changing environment. Regular staff turnover can be disruptive to the operations of an organization as it takes time to build up 'cultural awareness', knowledge and experience about the product, process and organization for new staff members.

http://www.accel-team.com/human_resources/hrm_00.html

Analysis of the scope

HRM helps human resource to connect strategically with organization's goals and objectives and deals with improving communication between the employer and employees. The importance of manpower makes the existence of HRM plan crucial for planning, controlling and maintaining the select and recruitment, training and performance appraisal of that manpower.

HR managers need a good understanding of the work being performed and work that is to be performed in the future along with how it is organised. To provide this understanding, organizations develop procedures such as job analysis to enhance and facilitate the process of recruitment, selection and training and performance management. The HR managers require details on the skills and abilities needed to perform a job, along with information on how a job is organised and carried out. This is also needed to be able to develop policies regarding the employee benefits, compensation and employee safety.

Recruitment

Recruitment of staff should be preceded by:

An analysis of the job to be done (i.e. an analytical study of the tasks to be performed to determine their essential factors) written into a job description so that the selectors know what physical and mental characteristics applicants must possess, what qualities and attitudes are desirable and what characteristics are a decided disadvantage;

In the case of replacement staff a critical questioning of the need to recruit at all (replacement should rarely be an automatic process).

Effectively, selection is 'buying' an employee (the price being the wage or salary multiplied by probable years of service) hence bad buys can be very expensive. For that reason some firms (and some firms for particular jobs) use external expert consultants for recruitment and selection.

Equally some small organizations exist to 'head hunt', i.e. to attract staff with high reputations from existing employers to the recruiting employer. However, the 'cost' of poor selection is such that, even for the mundane day-to-day jobs, those who recruit and select should be well trained to judge the suitability of applicants.

The main sources of recruitment are:

Internal promotion and internal introductions (at times desirable for morale purposes)

Careers officers (and careers masters at schools)

University appointment boards

Agencies for the unemployed

Advertising (often via agents for specialist posts) or the use of other local media (e.g. commercial radio)

Where the organization does its own printed advertising it is useful if it has some identifying logo as its trade mark for rapid attraction and it must take care not to offend the sex, race, etc. antidiscrimination legislation either directly or indirectly. The form on which the applicant is to apply (personal appearance, letter of application, completion of a form) will vary according to the posts vacant and numbers to be recruited.

It is very desirable in many jobs that claim about experience and statements about qualifications are thoroughly checked and that applicants unfailingly complete a health questionnaire (the latter is not necessarily injurious to the applicants chance of being appointed as firms are required to employ a percentage of disabled people).

Before letters of appointment are sent any doubts about medical fitness or capacity (in employments where hygiene considerations are dominant) should be resolved by requiring applicants to attend a medical examination. This is especially so where, as for example in the case of apprentices, the recruitment is for a contractual period or involves the firm in training costs.

Interviewing can be carried out by individuals (e.g. supervisor or departmental manager), by panels of interviewers or in the form of sequential interviews by different experts and can vary from a five minute 'chat' to a process of several days. Ultimately personal skills in judgment are probably the most important, but techniques to aid judgment include selection testing for:

Aptitudes (particularly useful for school leavers)

Attainments

General intelligence

(All of these need skilled testing and assessment.) In more senior posts other techniques are:

Leaderless groups

Command exercises

Group problem solving

(These are some common techniques - professional selection organizations often use other techniques to aid in selection.)

Training in interviewing and in appraising candidates is clearly essential to good recruitment. Largely the former consists of teaching interviewers how to draw out the interviewee and the latter how to xratex the candidates. For consistency (and as an aid to checking that) rating often consists of scoring candidates for experience, knowledge, physical/mental capabilities, intellectual levels, motivation, prospective potential, leadership abilities etc. (according to the needs of the post). Application of the normal curve of distribution to scoring eliminates freak judgments.

Managing Diversity

Excellence through diversity is one of the Chancellor's goals, yet the term diversity often raises controversy, confusion, and tension. What does it mean? Is it the same as affirmative action? Why should you focus on it?

When people think of diversity, they may think first of ethnicity and race, and then gender; however, diversity is much broader than that. In Workforce America! Managing Employee Diversity as a Vital Resource, diversity is defined as "otherness or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet present in other individuals and groups." Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience (Loden and Rosener 1991, 18-19).

It's important to understand how these dimensions affect performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others. Institutional structures and practices that have presented barriers to some dimensions of diversity should be examined, challenged, and removed.

To address diversity issues, consider these questions: what policies, practices, and ways of thinking and within our organizational culture have differential impact on different groups? What organizational changes should be made to meet the needs of a diverse workforce as well as to maximize the potential of all workers, so that Berkeley can be well positioned for the demands of the 21st century?

Most people believe in the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. The implicit assumption is that how you want to be treated is how others want to be treated. But when you look at this proverb through a diversity perspective, you begin to ask the question: what does respect look like; does it look the same for everyone? Does it mean saying hello in the morning, or leaving someone alone, or making eye contact when you speak?

It depends on the individual. We may share similar values, such as respect or need for recognition, but how we show those values through behavior may be different for different cultures. How do we know what different cultures need? Perhaps instead of using the golden rule, we could use the platinum rule which states: "treat others as they want to be treated." Moving our frame of reference from an ethnocentric view ("our way is the best way") to a culturally relative perspective ("let's take the best of a variety of ways") will help us to manage more effectively in a diverse work environment.

Performance management

An effective performance management process sets the foundation for rewarding excellence.

By linking individual employee work efforts with the organization's mission and objectives, the employee and the organization understand how that job contributes to the organization.

By focusing attention on setting clear performance expectations (results + actions & behaviors), it helps the employee know what needs to be done to be successful on the job. 

Through the use of objectives, standards, performance dimensions, and other measures it focuses effort. This helps the department get done what needs to be done and provides a solid rationale for eliminating work that is no longer useful.

By defining job-mastery and career development goals as part of the process, it makes it very clear how the current position supports employee growth and the additional opportunities the employee needs to explore. 

Through regular check-in discussions, which include status updates, coaching, and feedback, it promotes flexibility, allowing you and the employee to identify problems early and change the course of a project or work assignment.

By emphasizing that an annual appraisal should simply be a summary of the conversations held between you and the employee during the entire cycle, it shifts the focus away from performance as an "annual event" to performance as an on-going process.

An effective performance management process, while requiring time to plan and implement, can save you and the employee time and energy. Most importantly, it can be a very effective motivator, since it can help you and the employee achieve the best possible performance.

Developing people

Competitiveness demands a diverse workforce and up-to-date skills. The free market belief in 'buying-in' skill has proven inadequate, even in times of high unemployment. HRD allows people managers to be proactive, focusing on employees as investments for the organization. One of the great strategic contributions of HRM lies in the planning of skill availability in advance of need. Development programmes involve more than training and may be focused on competences, gender and role. They require constant accurate assessment, counselling and personal challenge. Development also involves socialization of employees to fit the cultural requirements of the company.

Employee relation

The management literature provides differing views and definitions with regard to both employment relations (ER) and human resource management (HRM). The Harvard Group labels HRM as the "high commitment work system", one of a number of employment systems, all of which are still in operation (Lawrence, 1985). HRM may only apply to a core or primary group of workers, with secondary or peripheral workforce groups being subject to other ER (or IR - industrial relations) practices. Bain and Clegg's (1974, p. 98) earlier definition of IR as "the study of the rules governing employment and the way rules are changed, interpreted and administered" supports this view, given that this allows for coverage of all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. This approach emphasizes process and regulation. Mabey et al. (1998, p. 278) note that IR has become too closely associated with the traditional and declining industries; ER represents a more holistic viewpoint, being industry-neutral and more reflective of a situation where all employees (and not just trade union members) are included; and where, increasingly, the relationships are with the individual employee rather than the industry workforce as a whole, possibly to the exclusion of collective relations.

HRM may be categorised as a subset of ER, with ER encompassing a broader range of activities and concerns. Strategic HRM is certainly more broadly based than such a categorisation, however. It can also be seen as evolving from ER/IR. As Cappelli (1995, p. 595) notes: "The pressure on employers to break many [my emphasis] different aspects of the traditional employment relationship are intense and appear unlikely to abate in the immediate future". This is reinforced by the writings of Kochan et al. (1986), though it is economic pressure as much as strategic choice which is the driver. "The critical management task is to align the formal structure and the HR systems so that they drive the strategic objective of the organisation" (Fombrun et al. 1984, p. 37). The Harvard approach has as its core "the responsibility and capacity of managers to make decisions about the relationship between the organization and its employees such as to maximise the organisational outcomes for key stakeholders". While this "undermines workforce organisation or collectivist values..." it nevertheless encompasses a range of activity no less wide than IR/ER, as defined above, focussing as it does on "managers' responsibility to manage four key SHRM policy areas: employee influence (participation); human resource flow; reward system; and work systems (work organisation)" (Mabey et al., 1998, p. 61). Given the definition of HRM as the "high commitment system", it can also encompass worker participation, not least because employees are one of the key stakeholder groups (Kaplan and Norton, 1992).

In reality, then, there is a considerable degree of overlap between IR/ER and HRM. Both share similar contexts: geography (global, national, regional, local); industry (type, traditions, markets, product, technology push/pull); size (sector, structures, globalisation workforce, organisation); politics (economics, culture, legislation); ethics (equity, fairness). ER emphasises the interaction and, indeed, conflict, between employer and employee, within the pluralistic and the radical frames of reference defined by Alan Fox (Donovan, 1968), while (S)HRM leans towards Fox's unitary perspective where "there is essentially only space for one source of legitimacy and there is or ought to be a single, shared, set of objectives..." In its purest form, "there is no legitimate place for trade unions because they represent an alternative, competing, source of legitimacy and crystallise alternative objectives" (Mabey et al. 1998, p. 281). More realistically, Fox's "pluralist frame of reference" recognises that conflict is an inevitable and ongoing part of ER with trade unions "being accepted and even valued for their representational role" (Mabey et al., 1998, p. 282).

Methodological Consideration and literature relating to different issues in HRM

According to recent research published in the International Journal of Human Resource Management, "Perceptions of the business culture of different countries are important factors in international human resource management (IHRM); affecting the development of human resource management (HRM) and impacting on existing and potential expatriate managers sent to those countries. This paper analyses such perceptions as a contribution to the discussions about whether the central and eastern European (CEE) states form a separate variety of capitalism and IHRM."

"We focus on six of the CEE countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Poland, and Slovakia, using a large sample of expatriate managers working in those countries and a control group of local managers. Data from two small and peripheral western European states is used to contrast the findings in these CEE states. We find that in general local managers are rather more positive than expatriates but otherwise share the same perceptions; that there are both positive and negative perceptions of CEE states in general and in particular; but that the negatives outweigh the positives. We examine both the similarities and the differences between these states," wrote C. Brewster and colleagues, University of Reading.

The researchers concluded: "We draw out the theoretical and practical implications for multinational companies (MNCs') international HRM policies and practices."

Human Resource Management; Research from University of Reading Yields New Data on Human Resource Management. 2011. Economics Week, January 21, 1126.  http://www.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/ (accessed January 23, 2011).

This paper seeks to understand the effects of institutions on the practice of human resource management (HRM) in Greece. Hence, it evaluates how alternative approaches to institutions conceptualize contexts such as Greece, and the relevance of such approaches in the light of empirical evidence," investigators in Thessaloniki, Greece report.

"The latter would suggest that, in common with other Mediterranean economies, Greece has been undergoing a long evolution, marked by reforms both towards greater liberalization and greater coordination. However, the ultimate direction remains unclear, and embedded ways of doing things - above all, a strongly paternalist tradition - persist. Again, as with other Mediterranean economies, the Greek economy is an essentially dualistic one, divided between larger organizations (both within the state and private sectors) and the SME sector: the relative importance of the latter has increased in recent years," wrote A.G. Psychogios and colleagues, City College.

The researchers concluded: "Empirical research evidence would underscore the importance of conceptualizing institutions as subject to both continuity, and uneven, contested, yet constant change, and the extent to which internal diversity persists within national institutional frameworks."

Human Resource Management; Reports Outline Human Resource Management Research from City College. 2011. Economics Week, January 21, 1090.  http://www.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/ (accessed January 23, 2011).

Cautious hiring trends are expected to carry over into the New Year as UK employers closely monitor the nation's economic recovery, according to CareerBuilder's 2011 Job Forecast. While the majority of UK employers (73 per cent) described their organisation's financial performance as steady or growing, 28 per cent reported it is declining or uncertain. Thirty-nine per cent of UK employers plan to add new employees in 2011 with a mix of full-time, part-time, contract or temporary workers and interns. One-in-five (20 per cent) plan to add full-time, permanent staff. The study was conducted from 17 November to 17 December on behalf of CareerBuilder.co.uk and included 194 UK business leaders across industries.

"Employers are hiring again, albeit at a guarded pace," said Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA. "Our survey and job posting activity on CareerBuilder.co.uk point to gradual, moderate improvements in the UK job market in 2011. We'll see more jobs added across a variety of industries, but it will still be a highly competitive job market."

Top Functional Areas Employers Are Recruiting for in 2011

UK employers are focusing on functional areas that have the greatest impact on revenue first. Creating new efficiencies, driving innovation to open new revenue streams, extending customer reach and strengthening customer loyalty are among top priorities within organisations. Technology is the number one area cited for hiring with one-in-five employers planning to add headcount:

[Table]

- Technology - 20 per cent

- Sales - 18 per cent

- Engineering - 14 per cent

- Creative/design - 12 per cent

- Customer service - 10 per cent

- Marketing - 8 per cent

Emerging Opportunities

UK employers also reported the need for workers to fill what they consider emerging positions within their organisations. Green jobs, or environmentally-focused positions, were cited most often in terms of new opportunities followed by positions centered around global relations, social media, the use of mobile technology and cyber security.

Temporary or Contract Hiring

Businesses will be relying on interim solutions to help shoulder growing workloads. Eighteen percent of UK employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers to help supplement leaner staffs.

Entry-level Hiring

In addition to seasoned workers, employers will be investing in the next generation of talent for their organisations. Thirty-one per cent of those hiring plan to recruit recent college graduates in 2011.

Compensation

Twenty-seven per cent of UK employers are concerned that best talent will leave their organisations once the economy improves, as heftier workloads and longer hours take their toll on worker morale. Thirty per cent said they will increase compensation for their existing staff in 2011 with the majority estimating the raise will be three per cent or less. Twenty-two per cent of those hiring will provide higher initial job offers to job candidates with most increases likely falling within the same 1 to 3 per cent range.

*Totals may not equal 100 per cent due to rounding.

Survey Methodology

An online survey of 757 business leaders in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden was conducted in a range of organisations between 17 November and 17 December. Business leaders included C-level executives, directors and senior managers with recruitment responsibilities. The survey was conducted online by Shape the Future, a market research agency based near London which specialises in high speed online research.

The total sample size in the UK was 194, giving a margin of error of 7.04 per cent at 95 per cent confidence. The survey was conducted strictly according to the code of conduct of the UK's Market Research Society.

U.K. Employment Trends to Hold Steady in the New Year, According to CareerBuilder's 2011 Job Forecast. 2011. PR Newswire Europe Including UK Disclose, January 12, ***[insert pages]***  http://www.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/ (accessed January 23, 2011).

Conclusion

The underlining aim of the HRM is to: "ensure that at all times the business is correctly staffed by the right number of people with the skills relevant to the business needs".

These issues motivate a well thought out human resource management strategy, with the precision and detail of say a marketing strategy. Failure in not having a carefully crafted human resources management strategy, can and probably will lead to failures in the business process itself.

This set of resources are offered to promote thought, stimulate discussion, diagnose the organizational environment and develop a sound human resource management strategy for your organization. We begin by looking at the seven distinguishable function human resource management provide to secure the achievement of the objective defined above.

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