Understanding Human Resources Management and JetBlue

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Laws gives a blueprint for the development of HR systems that are constant with legal requirements and make HR decisions that are legally defensible. JetBlue Airways has always been a company which implements equal race, gender and nationality policies. Various laws impacting the hiring practices of employers take place all over the country. Due to these laws which have been set in place to protect potential employees, and to protect their employers, such laws have been passed and amended to enhance the hiring of all organizations. Acts such as the Pregnancy Act of 1978, Americans with Disabilities act of 1990, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment act of 1994, and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1996 are all laws that have been passed to protect the right of those who are seeking positions within an employer daily.

        The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prevents an employer from discriminating against a woman because they are pregnant. This act prohibits questions from being asked with regard to birth plans, birth control in the future, family planning in the future, and so forth. This act also protects women from being fired or refused a job promotion due to the pregnancy as well. Jet Blue is impacted by this Law possibly more than most companies would be.

        The Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 prohibits an employer from discriminating against someone who is qualified for the job but may have a disability. This also protects the people who associate with, are related to, who have a relationship or any known association with a disabled person.

        The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment act of 1994 makes it so that both Reservists and National Guard members or their families are entitled to return to their positions or fair hiring due to their status in the National Military Service.

        The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1996 was passed to prevent the intentional hiring of Illegal Aliens in the United States workforce. By conforming to this act an employer must verify all identifications of their employees, both current and those they intend to hire. Companies through this act had been made aware of the possibility of fraud on paper and were expected to protect themselves with background investigations.

If JetBlue Airlines complies with the EEO and their laws and guidelines, they have the opportunity to conduct interviews and deal with their employees with the highest of integrity. The impact that this has on the company is a solid hiring practice that not only protects the company but also the applicants within the company and from outside.

Internal Recruitment Methods

Internal recruitment methods are the first type of recruitment with which the human resource management teams have access. Several types of internal recruitment methods are available in this style however; a few stand out and are used more than others. One of these types is Job Posting and Job Bidding. This method couples the use of the company's intranet, and the extranet. By making employees aware of the current positions which are open in a company and giving them the opportunity to bid for these jobs, internal recruitment fills vacant opportunities with existing, qualified employees.

A second method of internal recruitment is through employee referrals. Todd Davis, senior clinician recruitment consultant with California's largest physician firm said, "Peer referrals are the most powerful recruiting tool. When I get a referral in-house I know the candidate is going to have the skills and the interest because a colleague has already made the contact." This type of recruitment is one that hr reps can truly rely on because they are so easy to come by, and the interest and initial contact has been made by the most important part of the company, the workers who daily put in their time and effort.

External Recruiting Methods

The second type of recruiting method that is available to the human resources team is that of external recruitment, or when the company looks to other resources beyond its own front doors. With as many different methods are available within internal recruitment possibilities are endless on the outside. The external recruitment methods of yesterday included newspapers, colleges, high schools, and many other by word of mouth methods. Though these are used today there are also many new and improved external recruitment methods that can take place.

In today's world, the use of the internet, virtual job fairs, weblogs, websites and other forms of electronic advertisement are used. This type of recruitment sends word to millions upon millions of job searches within the click of a button.

Effects of Recruitment Methods on JetBlue's Recruitment Efforts

The effects of internal and external recruitment efforts on JetBlue are positive and significant in the success of their company. JetBlue has come to realize through their internal recruitment efforts that they have a wide variety of people whom they have prescreened in the external hiring process that now show and give them employees who may be just as, if not more valuable then they themselves are. JetBlue through their forecasting, and need to maintain and achieve success in all areas have been able to build a very reputable HR department.

While JetBlue has been able to have high success in their internal recruitment, sometimes there still is a need to externally to recruit. Through the recruitment externally of college students, stay at home moms, people looking for a way to make an income, and more JetBlue has been able to set a market determining factor for the hiring of at home airline reps, positive reps for the frontline, also maintenance and piloting crews for their teams.

Personnel Selection and Goals

JetBlue used a targeted selection process for the hiring of their mechanics and pilots. Not only did they need to find people who were computer savvy, but they also needed to find people who would fit the culture that they were aiming to build within their airline. JetBlue encompasses their five values into their company, their interviews and everything that it touches. With respects to personnel selection these five values were built into the interview process for both mechanics and pilots seeking employment with this new airline. The values named by JetBlue were Safety, Caring, Integrity, Fun and Passion. In the selection process JetBlue was able to determine what attributes they would and would not want working for them. Through the translation of the five values into questions, mechanics and pilots would answer based on their experience and what they had done previous which would give vast insight to the interviewers on how that subject would benefit the company. Described by Ann Rhoades, "To me, hiring is the most important thing you can do if you know what you want to look like."

Early recruiters recalled being in interviews were because of the arrogance of the interviewee a position was not given, however, on the other hand, a mechanic was hired because in a previous job he had been told to give a green light on a flight so that the airline would be on time, and passengers would be happy and so forth, instead this mechanic grounded the flight until the problems were fixed and was fired. JetBlue hired this mechanic immediately because his goals, and attitude fit what they wanted to be working in their company.

The interview process took place in front of multiple interviewers and before a person could be hired all the interviewers had to agree on the job proposal. The goal of conducting interviews in this targeted selection process was to find the perfect fit. Although the perfect fit cannot happen 100% of the time, still to gain that perfect fit is feasible through the correct line of questioning and interviews. The main goal of this personnel selection was to make sure that not only were they as an airline covered with the right fit of people, but that these people would find their workplace a comfortable and colossal place to work so that they would stay longer and work with JetBlue.

Factors That Influence a Performance Appraisal System

Performance appraisal systems are methods by which we can evaluate and improve employee performance, company performance and corporate performance alike, which help to impact and improve goals and targets set by the company and employees. Because you are working on many different levels with performance appraisal systems there are many different factors that influence them. Both internal and external influences determine how a performance appraisal system will work.

Internal influences such as corporate culture highly influence performance appraisal systems. Corporate culture will either assist in the performance process or it will tear it apart. If a corporation is nurturing to its employees the performance appraisal system will grown and thrive due to the utilization of team and individual performances. If a corporation is not trusting and does not nurture its employees then performance appraisals will not work as favorable.

External influences

360- Degree Feedback Evaluation Advantages

360-degree feedback is a highly advantageous way to evaluate employees, administration, corporate as well as any other department that belongs within the company. Surveys are handed out to the worker, his or her peers, superiors, subordinates, and customers. When all the surveys are compiled, supervisors or managers give the results of the tabulations to the employee. The advantages to doing these feedbacks far outweigh any other type of evaluation method. Through a 360-degree feedback habits and ideas are discussed as a way to improve performance and advance the workers career. The advantage to this open line of communication allows the manager to give constructive feedback, while the whole idea is to improve the career and organization of the worker. Another advantage is that the 360 method puts the worker as the central purpose of the evaluation. "Under ideal circumstances, 360-degree feedback is used as an assessment for personal development rather than evaluation" (Tornow, 1998). Through the personal development of employees, better and higher producing work is completed.

The 360 method is also seen as advantageous because organizational climate fosters individual growth within all parties involved. When the 360-degree evaluation is used, criticisms can and are seen as opportunities for improvement Employees, customers, management, and peers are assured that their responses will be kept one hundred percent confidential

The 360 also is advantageous because not only is it personally affecting the person whom it concerns, but it also gives a proper layout of feedback method by management to give to their staff. Just like a child who thorough application and discussion happens to increase a behavior that is liked, or disliked, the 360 method gives management the advantage of having a system that can grow and develop and remain consistent.

A final advantage that the 360-degree feedback method gives is an ability to train and develop future employees, managers, and supervisors in appropriate methods to give and receive feedback. The 360-degree method also gives the ability to train correctly what needs to be changed through its results. Because 360-degree is a round evaluation, all parties' ideas and thoughts are tabulated, thus giving a higher idea of how different goals and guidelines can be accomplished.

Why Should JetBlue Adopt a 360-Degree Feedback Evaluation?

In the case study Ann Rhodes was concerned with the ability to keep and maintain a cool, convenient, cost-effective service to the customer and keeping a fun, productive environment for JetBlue employees. Dave Berger as well mentioned that he wanted to keep a small company feeling. With these two comments and concerns, a 360-degree method of training would be the best possible kind of feedback tool as well as advancement tool available to their employees. With the ability to effectively deliver feedback and give the chance to continually improve and advance, the goals of the management can be reached. Through the 360-degree method behaviors can be corrected, and employees can still believe that small company care that the corporate managers want to retain within their company.

Employee-Related Factors that are Essential in Determining Financial Compensation

Many factors come into play when determining financial compensation. Employee-related factors help to narrow down the list of determinants. Job performance takes the lead in employee-related factors. By compensating the higher performers in an organization, companies generally will see an increase of the other workers as well to receive the same benefits and offers that are given to the higher performers. Ways that workers are compensated for higher performance may be through merit pay or an increase added to the employees' base pay, variable pay or a bonus, spot bonuses or bonuses of small amounts such as gift cards, certificates and much more, or in piecework which is an incentive pay plan.

A second employee-related factor is skill based pay. Skill based pay is a way to pay the people who have different talents that provide greater versatility in dealing with different jobs on a company level. Related to but not including skills based pay is another employee-related factor in determining pay. This determinant is Competency. Instead of basing pay off of an employee's skills obtained from previous education and job experience this type of pay is determined by what the employee obtains by attaining new skills and competencies from the current employer.

Seniority is one more factor which determines pay in relation to Employees'. Depending on the amount of time that a person has worked for a corporation also has an impact on pay. Of course, along with seniority, experience comes hand in hand. Using experience to determine an employees' pay also allows a company priceless insights to higher performance and a better atmosphere.

So far Job performance, skill based pay, competency based pay, Seniority and Experience have been names as factors in determining pay which are influenced by employees. A final few employee-related factors which are influenced by employees' are potential and political influence. Potential marks the gate for hiring fresh new talent who may not have the experience or seniority; however, they can add value to a firm by bringing in fresh new ideas. Political influence encompasses who you know, not what you know. Sometimes when an employee has political affiliations, that political pull may also influence the rate of which they are paid.

Discretionary Benefits

Discretionary benefits are benefits which are not required by law, however, they are provided by the employer. The possibilities are endless in these types of benefits. Only a few benefits will be discussed to show what types are available being as there are so many available with discretionary benefits.

Contribution plans such as 401K are very popular among many employers and their employees. With the contribution plans, a shift has happened giving employees total control over their retirement versus the company having that responsibility. Another discretionary benefit would be an employee stock option plan. With the employee stock option plan it gives an employee the option of contributing stock shares to a trust.

Many employee services are also considered discretionary benefits. Relocation assistance, child care, educational assistance, financial services, legal services, and scholarships are all benefits which are provided by the employer which are optional. No one has the requirement of using these benefits, although they sure do make life easier for employees.

Another form of discretionary benefits is premium pay and hazard pay. By law overtime is required to be paid out for anything worked over 40 hours in a week. The difference is that some companies pay for any time over 8 hours in a day. Hazard pay on the other hand, is paid out for employees who work in hazardous environments or high risk jobs. Both types of pay described here are discretionary benefits which again employers do not have any requirement to pay out.

How JetBlue Has Incorporated Discretionary Benefits

JetBlue has incorporated several discretionary benefits among its many benefits. JetBlue has offered a 401k, medical and profit-sharing options to its employees. JetBlue has offered higher rates of pay, offered benefits full to part time and full time employees. JetBlue has incorporated several benefits within its packages to create a better working relationship with their employees.

Conclusion

Through the examination of recruitment, performance appraisal, pay, benefits, and all HR practices, the ability to hire, maintain and control a company's most important assets begins to rise. Not only through text book explanation but also examples from a company who itself has risen from a small to big company and kept the values clean and clear within its organization shows that human resources plays an integral part of success in any company.

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