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Brown Goods Corporation is a global manufacturer of electrical appliances for homes throughout the world. With the corporate headquarters in the US, they are in the process of setting up a finance and accounting Shared Service Centre (SSC) in Singapore to support Brown Goods Corporation's Asian operations. A group of senior management from the corporate headquarters in the United States will be sent here to manage this SSC, running the company together with the local accounts assistants. The responsibility of HR consultants here is foremost; to recruit and select twenty talented accounts assistants, and also to provide the best practices to identify, attract and retain talented candidates and employees.
2. Singapore chosen as the base for this Shared Service Centre
Like many global investors, Brown Goods Corporation selected Singapore to be the base for their Shared Service Center in Asia. Below mentioned are some of the factors of Singapore which might had contributed in the decision of Brown Goods Corporation.
Singapore has one of the healthy economies in Asia, with an extremely open and corruption-free environment and a well-established legal system. As a result, there are high levels of transparency and trustworthiness in business, monetary and regulatory affairs in Singapore. With a highly developed and successful free-market economy, Singapore is becoming a growing financial services sector. In the Swiss-based international Institution for Management Development's 2008 World Competitiveness Yearbook, Singapore has been ranked as the second-most competitive country in the world after the United States (http://www.mas.gov.sg/fin_development/Singapore_International_Financial_Centre.html). And in addition, there is no foreign exchange regulation in Singapore which means that entrepreneurs in Singapore can remit, transfer or pay in any currency of their choice or to any nation. Reported by MAS Singapore (http://www.mas.gov.sg/fin_development/Singapore_International_Financial_Centre.html), Singapore became one of the top 5 most active foreign exchange trading centers in the world.
3. Human Resource Planning (HRP)
Human Resource Planning is often acquainted with 'manpower planning' and 'human resource planning'. In manpower planning, this approach is concerned with the numerical elements of forecasting, supply-demand matching and control, in which people are a part. Whereas in human resource planning, this approach is more concerned with motivating people - a process in which costs, numbers, control and systems interact to play a part. There are therefore important areas of overlap and interconnection but there is a fundamental difference in underlying approach. (Bramham. 1989: 147)
In this approach, it has undertaken greater emphasis on the 'soft' aspects of HRP. This approach aims to attract and ensure that the right number of people with the appropriate knowledge is in the right place at the right time. It focuses on labor insufficiencies or excess, employee capabilities development and flexibility in work system. The stages involved in this approach are business strategy, resourcing strategy, scenario planning, forecasting and labor turnover and human resource plans (example resourcing plan, flexibility plan, retention plan and downsizing plan).
In this approach, emphasis is placed on the 'hard' aspects of HRP, focusing on the balancing on the demand and supply of labor. The key stages involved in this approach are largely associated with manpower planning and they are namely, analysis and investigation, forecasting, planning and implementation, and control.
Incorporating the above two approaches, the definition of HRP considered here will be that HRP is the process for identifying an organization's current and future human resource requirements, developing and implementing plans to meet these requirements and monitoring their overall effectiveness (Breadwell and Claydon, 2007: 159)
4. Planning Process
In the planning process, as per the above definition, both the 'soft' and 'hard' aspects will be incorporated here. To be successful in the business world, there is a huge impact on how the organization utilizes their employees to help shape and execute its business strategy. Brown Goods Corporation strongly believes that employees are the most important source of competitive advantage and thus, it is very crucial to attract and retain the people required with the appropriate skills, expertise and competences (Armstrong, 2005) right from the beginning.
Job Analysis Process
The planning process will begin with the job analysis which presents the data required to identify the particular job and this includes job competencies, job descriptions and job specifications. Job competencies are the factors or characteristics that are valued by the organization to accomplish their goal successfully. Job descriptions provide a list of job functions for specific duties, tasks and responsibilities to accomplish and meet the goals. Jobs specifications are the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. After the job analysis is completed, the subsequent step in the planning process will be the recruitment and selection process.
Recruitment and Selection Process
Recruitment is a constant process which is used to identify and attract potentially employable candidates from internally and externally of an organization to evaluate them for future employment. The selection process can be executed once the potential candidates are identified. These include collecting, measuring, and evaluating the candidates' qualifications to match the people to the specific roles.
Brown Goods Corporation would use these processes to enhance the possibility of hiring individuals who possess the right skills, knowledge, attitudes and abilities to be successful at their jobs. The organization should implement progressive and feasible steps to recruit and select the best candidates. There are some essential aspects to take note of during the recruitment and selection process. Specifically they are; to target on the right candidates, to consider various sources of recruitment methods, to have trained or experienced recruiters and last but not least, to evaluate the candidates. Figure 1 shown the overall recruitment and selection process flow chart that includes most of the following points discussed below;
During the recruitment and selection process, Human Resource department should seek potential candidates base on relevant experiences, knowledge, skills and competencies that an accounting assistant should possess. In this case, the candidate should at least possess a Diploma in Accountancy or equivalent and have at least 3 years of working experience in similar field. The candidate must also be able to perform independently and be a team player in work, and most importantly the candidate must have the right attitude and behavior towards work.
Source of Recruitment
The organization can use various recruitment methods to attract candidates. This includes advertising through newspapers, internet, engaging recruitment agencies and head-hunter, career fairs, road-shows, Universities and referral from employee. In Singapore, many organizations still practice the traditional way by advertising through local newspapers. Local business organizations might also participate in career fairs in Singapore Expo, Suntec City and even local Universities seeking potential candidates. As Brown Goods Corporation is new in the Singapore market, recruiting experienced employees will be a better preference in order to start-off smoothly in their Asian operations.
The organization can begin with engaging recruitment agencies or head-hunters to bring in the most potential candidates for the organization. The organization can also participate in career fairs and publish career opportunities in local newspapers. Subsequently, the organization can advertise through their own company's website for career opportunities as recruitment is always an on-going process.
Another aspect to take note is to have well trained and experienced recruitment specialists conducting the interviews and the other recruitment activities. These specialists normally are the managers, Heads of Department (HOD) and Human Resource (HR) personnel. They should possess the ability to determine the candidates' abilities, skills, knowledge and attitudes while interviewing and selecting a candidate. These trained recruiters should also possess professionalism to avoid discrimination on sex, age, race and disability.
Evaluate the Candidates
Candidates are expected to submit the resume either by emails or faxes to the organization's HR department. After receiving the data, HR recruitment section will filter and select only the suitable candidates based on the information provided from the resume to predetermine the selection criteria. Shortlisted candidate will be notified via the contact information provided for an interview session.
After reviewing all the selected candidates' application forms, screening interviews will be conducted to find out more detailed particulars about the candidate and concurrently to provide more information regarding the position to the candidate. At the same time, the recruiter can also evaluate the candidate's level of interest to the position before the formal interview is held.
During the formal interview, recruiter should use various criteria to identify the right candidate in the selection process, namely; Behavior-Based Interviews - to hire people who have the right mindset and attitude such as having emotional intelligence and working team spirit that are to fit into the organization culture, Ability Tests - to hire conscientious people as they are the people who tends to perform better at work, Motivational fit inventories - to align personality with job as people are happiest when they are placed in jobs that align with their own personality, and lastly, Biographical Data practice to be used to evaluate information proved for accuracy, as there might have contradictions with the information received from the resume and with the first impression of the candidate.
Upon job offered, all employees are expected to undergo a probation period of 6 months with the organization for the purpose of assessing suitability for the job. During this period, employees will be monitored and assessed based on his/her abilities and job attitudes. Interview alone is not enough to assess an employee as there are people whose papers qualifications are excellent but they perform badly in terms of work abilities. After the probation period, those employees shall be confirmed as permanent staffs of the organization. Probationary period may be extended if the manager finds that there is a need for the employee to be further assess. If the employee's work performance fails to meet the requirements expected during the probation period, the company shall have the right to terminate his/her services.
Selected candidates shall undergo a pre-employment medical examination by the company's appointed clinic or government hospitals. Employment of the candidate is dependent on his/her medical report and being certified medically fit to work by the doctor.
Identify Jobs Requirements
Source of Recruitment
Assess by interviews
Figure 1: Recruitment & Selection Process Flow Chart
Organizational Offerings to attract and retain talent
The quality of organizational offerings will affect the ability to attract and retain talents. With the current competitive labor market and job opportunities, candidates can afford to be choosy in searching for their ideal organization that is able to offer them various types of benefits, welfare and career advancement beside attractive salary. As a Multi National company, Brown Goods Corporation should at least offer benefits and welfare to the employee that aligns with the Singapore employment act.
Under the Ministry of Manpower employment standards, employee are entitled to basic salary, rest days, public holidays, annual leave at least seven days per year, sick leave, maternity leave one month immediately before and three months immediately after delivery, total of 4 months, child care leave of six days per year for female employees and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution for Singaporean and permanent resident in Singapore. CPF is a mandatory retirement savings scheme for Singapore citizens and permanent residents to provide sense of security and confidence in their old age. This savings can be use for buying a flat in Singapore, investment, education, hospitalization expenses and for retirement usage. A monthly contribution of 20% of the employee salary to be input to the CPF account and the employer will contribute a monthly of 14.5% of the employee's salary to the employee's CPF account.
In addition to use the Singapore employment act as a benchmark to offer to candidate and employee, Brown Goods Corporation could offer several additional practices and incentives to attract, retain and motivate talents to join or stay in the organization. This includes learning and training opportunities for personal development, healthcare and insurance benefits, corporate benefits, reimbursements, job rotation, overseas allowances, education sponsorship, annual merit & promotional increment, annual market pay adjustment, annual wage supplement, variable bonuses, overtime pay, stock option, work life balance and job flexibility. Finally, having better recruitment and selection strategy result in enhanced organizational outcomes. With the organization's recruitment and selection strategy, will lead to have more contented employees and are more successful at hiring and retaining them.
Performance Management & Appraisal System
Performance management is a process that involves formal and systematic review of progress and development of shared understanding among employees to achieve strategic goals in an organization.
Brown Goods should set up and practice a performance appraisal system for the employees. This performance appraisal system is to ensure that employees receive formal feedback about their performance from their managers on a scheduled and consistent basis to allow employees' commitment to future improvement and development. Brown Goods should also set up an electronics appraisal system for the employees and managers to have the comfort to input, monitor, amend and approve the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the electronics appraisal system. This helps for easy referencing in the future.
According to Grote (1996: P18), performance appraisal doesn't start with the form, it starts with the job. The performance appraisal system should be set up in an open environment and a two ways communication method that every employee is clear of the organization's direction. The manager should sit down with individual subordinate and discuss on the individual KPIs for the year. Both the manager and the subordinate shall agree to the KPIs discussed and discuss how to achieve the goals, the next steps are to execute it and assess it.
The organization's performance appraisal exercise should be conducted twice annually in mid-year and at the end of each calendar year. However, performance appraisals may be written at any time when there is a demonstrable change in an employee's level of performance, either positive or negative. The 360-Degree appraisal could also be introduced to collect collective feedbacks and information from the colleagues in the organization. The performance appraisal should involve the appraiser and appraisee, the appraisee will has the chance to evaluate and self-appraise personal performance towards the targeted goals in mid-year. The appraisee will also be able to self-assess towards organization's core values and mission, personal leadership competency, personal career development plan and personal nomination for promotion. The appraisee's self-appraisal will then be review by the appraiser and will have a face to face meeting, discuss on the achieved goals and non achieved goals, what can be done to do it better and finally the amendments towards the employee's appraisal or approval from the manager. Towards the end of the calendar year, the manager as the appraiser will have to appraise the appraisee's achievements using the agreed KPIs as a benchmark and perform another round of face to face performance appraisal interview with the appraisee. Using the mid-year appraisee's appraisal and end year appraisal performance results, the manager will have to submit an overall performance appraisal of the appraisee to the management and Human Resource manager towards end of each calendar year for review. The performance appraisal new KPIs for the next work year will therefore be discuss between the manager and the subordinate after the assessment and review of the current work year ends. This is a continuous closed loop cycle after every subsequence work year shown in Figure 2; Discussion & Planning, Job Execution, Job Assessment, Appraisal Review and KPIs Renewal.
Discussion & Planning
Figure 2: Performance Appraisal Closed Loop Cycle
Communication and Employee voice
Employee voice is a two-way communication channel that enables employees to involve in organization decision making. Communication is an essential tool that bridges the gap between the organization and the employees to focus in the right direction. It plays an important role in transmitting meaning and receiving of the same meaning from the transmitter in order to convey ideas across.
Brown Goods should commit to develop and implement the employees' voice practice and create an environment in which people have the impact on decisions and action as we believe that employees are the assets of the organization and employees' feedback are the important part of the communication process. With this practice, it could increase employees' commitment, motivation and contribution to continuous improvement for the organization
Brown Goods should aim to achieve the above through a series of mechanisms for different objectives namely; Electronics Media, Staff Briefing Session, Employee Opinion Survey, Staff Suggestion Scheme and 360 Degree Appraisal.
The objective of using the Electronics Media is to disseminate, share and seeking of information by email to employees to keep the employees updated with the latest news update of the organization.
Staff Briefing Session
To implement a half-yearly staff briefing session to allow employees to know the latest information and updates of the organization every half year. This serves as a platform for the employee to understand the organization's direction, announcements and for employees to seek clarification.
Employee Opinion Survey (EOS)
The EOS is another way that the organization could seek to hear from the employees' voice; discover employee's work satisfaction level. This also allows and empowers employees to have a say in improving the working environment in any aspects.
Staff Suggestion Scheme (SSS)
This SSS encourage individuals to contribute improvement ideas to the management, and monetary reward will be awarded to those whose ideas are implemented.
360 Degree Appraisal
The 360 degree appraisal could be use for subordinate to appraise his/her manager, used to provide information feedbacks and development purposes to improve performance on the job.
Recruitment and selection is a continuous cycle in an organization. Although there isn't any best way of approaches to recruitment and selection but with the proposed systematic recruitment and selection process flow chart and putting employee's benefits and welfare into consideration, it is able to provide useful strategy for Brown Goods Corporation to identify, retain and attract the best talents to the organization.
With the practice of employees' voice and putting serious acknowledgement to the employees, Brown Goods employees will have higher job satisfaction, sense of involvement, sense of value, more influence over their job and higher job security. This will lead to likelihood of the employees to stay and contribute more to the organization. The organization will also gain positive reputation that may attract more talents to join the organization.