Managing Peoples Activities and Roles and Organisation

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In order to achieve great goals within any organisation the company they first needs appropriate people and qualified ones. This is the main reason why the recruitment process and the methods related to it are maybe the most important and with the highest priority in the HR management. (Foot and Hook, 2005)

The role of the HR managers in this process is to give valuable advice regarding the laws of employments that apply in the specific country, but also estimate the appropriate demand for labour within the company. The line manager is the one preparing the job description and consulting with the HR specialist (Denis Hoffman, Managing People and Organizations, MSc 2010).

The terms of recruitment and selection are often linked together even if they have different targets and they operate differently. Recruitment can be defined as the process oriented towards finding potential employees and also attracting applications that suit the position advertised. In medium-large organisation this operation is usually outsourced to an agency (Redman, Wilkinson, 2006).

The recruitment process is highly influenced by some inner and external factors, such as the legislation from the country it is enforced, not to discriminate any persons, offer fair rights for every person as well as ensuring that the ultimate goal of this process is to protect the benefit of the company. The role of the Human Resource management team is to make sure that of the legal, business and moral aspects of the recruitment process are respected.

Most companies consider as a first step towards recruitment, the internal search. For example, Ericsson Romania and Huawei usually search for people internally before looking for someone externally, but this applies only if the position is not a managerial one. The HR team from Ericsson prefers people from inside the company as they already know the Ericsson's procedures and the training period is no longer necessary.

The first step in the recruitment process is to identify the need for the position the organisation needs. One of the mistakes usually made is considering that a job description will remain the same in the future (Redman, Wilkinson, 2006).

There is a processual approach, an alternative to the traditional approach, which in Herriot's (1984) opinion is "an exchange or negotiating between two parties who both have an expectation related to their current and future needs".

The strategic plan of growth of the organisation has to be well examined by the HR team. The HR has to find the best strategy to offer the best possible solution filling the places. The recruitment process for Ericsson relies completely on the HR department and therefore every aspect of it has to be well documented. It is one of the attributions of a line manager that looks for a certain person to fill in a position in their departments to offer a complete job description which would include all the specifications needed. The next stage that the HR specialist should initiate is to write a person specification, which provides more details about the persons we are recruiting. Nowadays the most often used model for find out the a person's specification is the one belonging to Alec Rodger documented in 1952 and which covers aspects as "physical make-up, attainments, general intelligence, interests, disposition and circumstances" (Foot and Hook, 2005).

Nokia's approach towards the stages of the recruitment process is the following: the line manager, for one of the departments creates a job description for the position she/he wants to fill and after that the HR specialists are using different techniques to search for people internally.

There are many methods used in the recruitment process: on-site notice boards, local newspapers, professional journals, recruitment agencies, internal notice boards, Internet sites, television. In most cases it is the job of the HR administrative officer to place the job advertisement in the appropriate places.

Any successful campaign will result in finding the best people for the advertised job. Therefore the strategic approach towards selection begins. It is the HR department duty to choose the best person for the job and they can do these using different methods such as interviews, tests, assessments centres, references. The interview is probably the most often used technique of selecting people and this is performed by the line manager who will ask specific question for the job needed together with the HR specialist (Armstrong, 2006).

Figure 3.1.1: The model of Demand and Supply of Labour and Pricing

Supply of Labour









Both employer and employee at the point of intersection decide Price and Quantity

Demand for Labour


10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90


(Denis Haffner, Handout 2, pg 10)

3.2 Learning and development

Key concepts, model and theories applied:

-Human Resource Development





- Kolb's Learning Cycle

- The learning curve

- Elements of learning and development

Most organisations want to improve performance, to generate income for the stakeholders whilst the people working in the organization would want to "acquire and develop the knowledge' (Armstrong, 2006).

Learning and development can help achieve these goals for both parties. The theory associated with the learning process states the fact that people are happier and they can make future plans while the organisation continues to grow. This process of learning must be business oriented but also focused on the desires and needs of the employees. According to Walton (2003) "strategic human resource development involves introducing, eliminating, modifying, directing and guiding processes in such a way that all individuals and teams are equipped with enough skills". The process of learning is a shared responsibility between the HR team, line manager, senior manager and the actual employees. Armstrong argues that the process of learning is a continuous one not just a series of training sessions. Even so the link between individual learning and the organizational benefits it's not so easy to establish (Armstrong, 2006).

In Ericsson and Nokia, the HR team organizes periodically series of training on different levels but is the line manager's duty to select the most appropriate people from his team to participate. While working at Ericsson I saw a different situation, in which the employee finds a perfect training session and asks his manager to finance it. However "a learning organization is one which facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself "(Armstrong, 2006).

There is often a distinction made between learning and development. Learning is the means by each a person develops new knowledge whereas development is related to a person's ability to acquire experience and self guide himself through the learning process (Armstrong, 2006).

Figure 3.2.1: The Model of Elements of learning and development

The "Investors in People" standard provides a framework for organizations to follow, making sure that all the key principles are respected (Foot and Hook, 2005).

The first step in the process of learning and development is to assess the learning and development needs. This is the duty of all the employees, to express their preferences. But the true responsibility in an organization falls into the role of the line manager. They have to assist their staff with support, learning opportunities and also coaching (Armstrong, 2006, pg 689).

But sometimes the line managers need help with this from the HR specialists who must provide support and guidance. The next best approach is to set up appropriate objectives for the employees' process of learning. These must be realistic and very clear. After that the planning of the learning or development occurs and this is an activity that the HR department must fulfil. They have to choose the most appropriate location, prepare the necessary handouts and also inform the participants about the administrative details. After the training is carried out, in Huawei company there is usually an evaluation. It is very important to"assess its effectiveness in producing the outcome specified when the activity was planned" (Armstrong, 2006, pg 693).

The theories behind people's motivation (goal and expectancy), are usually good barometers for the HR department in order to assess interest.

The specialised literature defines different type of learning: instrumental, cognitive, affective and self-reflective learning. The concept behind the learning curve talks about the times it takes an "inexperienced person to reach the required level of performance in a job or a task" (Michael Armstrong, 2006).

Figure 3.3.2: Kolb's learning cycle model

Figure 3.3.3: The learning curve model

3.3 Health and safety

Key concepts, models and theories:







The health and safety policies are concerned with protecting the employee and any customer affected by the organisation's products.

Every person working in the organisation has the duty to eliminate at the maximum any possibility of hazards. This is not only the responsibility of the employee but also of all the managers who have to protect their team, because any kind of infection illness or disease can have catastrophically impacts on the business. The role of the HR department is to enforce appropriate regulations regarding the policy and proper behaviour conducted at work. Armstrong's (2009) theory suggests the fact that instructed employees react better in case of an emergency. In order to align to the correct theory the health and safety policies should include the following: 1.the general policy statement, 2.the description of the organisation for health and safety and 3.details of arrangements for implementing the policy. (Armstrong, 2009, pg 961)

The most important aspect of this activity is to try to prevent any kind of health problem. This is the main purpose of what is known as risk assessment. Its main purpose is to identify the main reasons for hazards such as stacking and storage, processing of raw material, receipt of raw materials, lifting, and installation of equipment, using electricity or failure to wear protective equipment. But the main goal of this risk assessment is to enforce it not only to write about it. As a consequence the HR team should be informed of every operation that goes on the organisation and try to make it noticeable to the employees by using warning signals, barriers, imposing the use of protective equipment. (Armstrong, 2009, pg 964)

Both Nokia and Huawei assign a person for each department in charge with controlling the situation in case of a safety hazard. This person is usually chosen by the HR specialists after appropriate training.

The line managers also have the duty to train their team about the appropriate procedure that must be enforced in case of an accident. At Ericsson every three weeks, the HR department organized an exercise about fire escape exits and my line manager always emphasised on this exercise. The main aspects of it were discussed our next staff meeting.

But every organisation is also controlled by a professional audit company who verifies that every aspect related to health and safety is respected. According to Saunders (1992) "it will examine hierarchies, safety planning processes, decision making, delegation, policy making and implementation as well as all areas of safety programme planning".

In most organisation, the HR team emphasises on the prevention of accidents and hazards and this can be achieved by induction courses and training. This procedure should be applied for all employees new one, those who changed the department or even old one.

Health and safety is also usually measured using the frequency rate (number of injuries/number of hours worked X 100,000), the incident rate (number of injuries/average number employed during the period X 1,000) or severity rate (the days lost through accidents or occupational health problems per 1 million hours worked). (Armstrong, 2009, pg 969)

Figure 3.3.1 Occupational Health and safety performance


3.4 Employee welfare

Key concepts, models and theories:



-added value

-stress management




One of the newest HR focuses is the one concerning the welfare of the employees. The theory behind this new branch is that a happy and satisfied employee adds value to the organisation. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) tries to make employees aware of the real benefits of having a more proactive approach towards their jobs.

But now the question is how much can a line manager interfere in his employee's life and its aspects? The line I think is drawn in the moment that the employees' personal life affects his work. Having an employee that can easily cope with stress factors is vital to any line manager and therefore most of the HR department provide "employee assistance programmes "in order to assist with any worrying thoughts. Another aspect that is taken into account by line managers is to keep some good working relationships and a friendly atmosphere within its team. (Foot, Hook, 2009, pg 389)

There are many aspect of personal life that can interfere with a proper behaviour at work. The HR department must have procedures to deal with these kinds of situations or maybe others more severe such as drug consumption, alcoholism or some form of discrimination in the workplace. Ericsson offered their employees free services to a private clinic with different kinds of facilities as well as a 50% discount to one of the well known health club in the city. These kinds of services keep the employees happy and give them enough reason to keep working in the company.

One of the most important aspect of employee's welfare is stress and dealing with stress. After carefully studying the this problem the Health Safety Executive elaborated a series of standards for managing stress.(Foot and Hook , 2009, pg 392) It is the HR duty to present these standards to all employees and also offer support in order to make them effective. These standards refer to the following areas of work: Demands, Control, Support, Relationships, Role, and Change. (Foot and Hook, 2009, pg 392)

For example Huawei opted for a more flexible shifts for its employees compared to the 12 hours shift offered by Ericsson in order to be more competitive. In order to do that they, had to adapt their business, so as the 6 hours shift to be productive, and their employees happier.

4 Conclusion

The theoretical essay presented above makes two contributions to the telecom industrial field. First I have emphasised on the great importance of the HR department in large companies and secondly I have discussed about how four of the main activities are accomplish by line manager in a close collaboration with the HR managers. I will conclude by saying that the Human Resource management is a "distinctive approach to employment management which seeks to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural and personnel techniques." (Storey, 1995)

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