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When it comes to search capabilities, the companies are addressed to Applicant Tracking Systems providers but these systems have the disadvantage that they are very limited in terms of their searching capabilities.
Therefore, many of them require from their candidates to fill customized applications online. This way, the companies can get the information they want to have and not just the information the applicant wants to share with them.
Some companies turn to specialized providers that offer them products with extended search capabilities, job matching, analytics and semantic search engines. The latter enable the companies to look not only to their internal databases but also to social media and other online job boards. Semantic search gives the opportunity to improve accuracy by understanding the context and not just look for words.
Companies look also for software programs that can assess a candidate's character and not just his/her skills.
They also use more sophisticated psychometric tests that measure knowledge, abilities and traits to check an applicant's suitability with the position e.g. such as Services Predict Performance Psychometric assessments.
There are also companies such as Kenexa that develops software that helps companies to predict a candidate's performance by linking Human Resources practices to business outcomes.
Social media, on the other hand, has been a catalyst in Human Resources Management. Nowadays, companies have acknowledged the importance of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for identifying and attracting talents. However, their approach to Social Media is rather basic since most of them use them to post vacancies and create a company profile. However, the role of Social Media is to create relationships and these tactical approaches do not fulfill this role and do not engage candidates which is also another advantage of Social Media. Therefore, in order to meet these goals, the companies should create employee referral programs as well as engagement tactics.
Subject 2 (25%)
Using your findings from the previous question, what are the implications for the skills and capabilities Human Resource Specialists need to attain today in order to be able to efficiently manage "talent" in their companies
Generally, an HR professional should be in a position to understand the company's dynamics and find ways to affect in a positive way business performance by implementing the adequate HR practices. In addition, the HR professional should have a global mindset since the market is globalized.
As it is seen in the article, the HR professional should have technology skills since many technological systems are made for HR aiming at predicting candidate's performance.
HR professionals need to provide consulting which can be acquired by promoting their work within the organization.
Finally, they have to be leaders create vision and strategy which is very important for all HR aspects but in particular for talent management.
Regarding talent management, the HR manager should be in the position and have the right skills to set up a strategic process that:
1. It should be based on a definite and declared policy choice.
The policy should outline the objectives of the process, the practices to be followed and how the process should be done. It should be available to everyone and will provide an understanding of everybody in order that the choice is aligned with the goals of the organization.
2. It should use specific job analysis criteria.
The increase in the perceived importance of assessment increases its effectiveness, and the quality of selection decisions. Assessments must be, where possible, a realistic simulation of the role. This is determined by job analysis and other search tools such as the technological tools described in the article.
The basis for the selection process lies within each organization's capacity. The responsibility framework identifies the key attitudes required for successful job performance.
3. The HR executive should be trained adequately for talent management.
People responsible for recruitment should have the skills and experience to make objective assessments.
The design and implementation of a series of training workshops to develop HR executives' skills ensures objective assessment. Training workshops can include theoretical and practical applications giving assessors the opportunity to practice and apply the knowledge and skills they acquire.
4. The process should be cohesive to candidates and business areas. A clear structure should be followed by everyone which should encourage proving of the candidate's abilities. The candidate is assessed based on the subjective preconditions that exist for the job and the business. This structure also enables the creation of a standardized database which allow the organization to understand the strong points and abilities that exist within it as well as the gap or the areas where the organization does not have good performance.
5. It should be easy to follow and understood. The process should be clear and as a result the quality of selection decisions will be improved. Technology, as it was seen in the article, can improve the effectiveness of the process.
6. It should be objective and fair for candidates. Talent management as a strategic choice should ensure that all candidates are assessed in an objective and fair way. Measures should be taken that no sources of unwished discriminations exist.
7. It should be provide feedback to candidates. It is fair to provide substantial feedback to candidates to help them develop in the future their development. Providing feedback helps the image of the organization and makes it a place that people would like to work for.
8. It should record with accuracy information and keep databases for supporting selection decisions. Selection should be based on criteria which will be used in the selection decision making.
9. It is flexible and open to continuous improvement. The mechanisms for controlling if a selection was successful should be integrated and become an integral part of the selection process. Any problems or changes that are required should be easily tracked and adequate measures should be taken.
The effect of the selection process has to be measured based on cost leading to a quantitative calculation and thus proving any direct benefits to the organization arising from strategic talent management.
A training program is required to support the implementation of the selection process and ensure that the best practice is followed at all levels and that recruiters are confident in their assessment.
Subject 3 (25%)
Discuss the use of perks by companies in relation to the theories that deal with the
effects of rewards and compensation on individuals.
Perks are likeable to employees since it is a way to improve their working life and their employment package gets higher. At the same time, it is a nice reward to their efforts.
Perks should be the right ones, they also have to be clear and affordable. They should not be seen as a substitute for their salaries, if they are seen this way then they will fail.
Perks go tighter with a good company salary scheme, good working conditions and management practices that reinforce training, rewards and clear communication.
Companies want their talented personnel to be attached with them and there are many ways to achieve it. Among these benefits are pensions, health insurance etc. Perks include extra holidays, birthday gifts, flexible working hours to balance family and work-life, parties, employee canteens where personnel can eat at discounted prices, free tea/coffee, memberships in clubs etc. Training is also very important since it provides employees with knowledge that goes beyond the skills needed for the job. Other perks may include free car parking, season tickets etc.
There is a difference between perks and benefits. Benefits are an integral part of employees' rewards and may include health, dental care and in certain occasions a retirement account. On the other hand, perks can be a reward to someone due to his/her performance or it can be a motive to attract people to join the organization.
Current economic crisis lead organizations to examine the perks offered and reduce perks that are costly. The trend is to link compensation to incentives and not just offer perks for perks. Flexible hours and telecommuting are perks and according to the article they should not be seen as costs but as a different way to look at ways of working.
Linking perks to compensation is related to the theory of goal setting. This theory suggests that the achievement of a goal is influenced by motivation, self-concept and goal identification (Locke, 1976). Locke and Laiham (1979) suggested that a goal to be attainable, must be sufficiently precise and not vague. High targets mobilize more people, because their achievement increases self-confidence, as they require more effort, specific and systematic methodology, increased cognitive skills and greater satisfaction. According to these researchers, analytically defined objectives, which are not unrealistic, require training, personal counseling, individualized and team spirit, all-round participation of the workers, trust and understanding. Despite their difficulties, their achievement is accompanied by a greater sense of personal and collective value.
Therefore, perks can impact business performance if they are related to the goal setting theory as mentioned above.
Subject 4 (25%)
What are the advantages of using perks for a company and for the employees? Are
there any potential drawbacks?
Many experts agree that perks are very important and they keep people to a company since when an employee is satisfied with his/her boss and enjoys a set of perks then s/he rarely leaves the company since s/he may not find the same situation in another company.
On the other hand, some experts suggest that perks act as way of orienting an employee towards a company's goal i.e. if the company wants an increase in sales and offers perks for it then the employee knows that the company wants him to concentrate on sales.
Perks can also attract high quality employees to join the company, increase employees' motivation and thus productivity. On the other hand if a perk is very strong e.g. health insurance (although some consider it as a benefit) then this can lead to a reduction of absenteeism.
Bonuses which are a financial scheme of motivating employees can improve performance by focusing on achieving a goal, however, usually rewards are very small and employees can get demoralized if they cannot achieve the specified goals.
On the other hand, most of perks are non-financial rewards and among them are included flexible working hours, extra days of holidays etc. Perks usually acknowledge an employee's lifestyle and therefore, employees' attachment to business is increased. On the other hand, if the perks offered are not the right ones then employees can take them for granted.
On the other hand if perks are linked to individual performance the disadvantage is that an employee's income is not steady. Group perks can be effective and trigger team work, however, they can undervalue individual performance.
As mentioned above, perks can attract talented personnel, however, employees that join a company due to perks, they take them for granted and this may result to dissatisfaction and thus leave. According to experts, companies should use perks up front when they face difficulties in recruiting whereas companies that do not face these issues may link perks to performance goals.
When perks have to do with mid and lower level employees offering a membership at a health club this automatically benefits the company since employees can get a no cost membership whereas the company gets healthy employees. On the other hand, according to Guay, there may be negative perks such as the option employees had in the past to buy a company stock at a discount or buy a mutual fund for retirement. What usually happened was that employees preferred the company stock since they were not financially sophisticated and were more familiar with the company stock . The company took the money and "raised" more capital.
Incentives and perks act as staff motivators although they only constitute part of what a work package is. Training, job satisfaction and security and good working conditions are also important parts of the work package. Apart from tangible benefits, there are also other intangible benefits such as work atmosphere, good communication and fairness that also impact an employee's performance.
When the company wants to establish the adequate incentive scheme, it should think on its goals i.e. encouragement of recruitment, staff retention, conflict resolution, teamwork encouragement, productivity and financial goals etc.
As soon as the company identifies the goals then it moves on formulating the adequate incentive scheme in order to avoid the disadvantages of perks mentioned above.
Prior formulating the scheme the staff and trade unions in case they exist, to find out what the staff considers as most valuable to them. The company should also decide if the scheme will be financial or not and how this incentive scheme will be related to other benefits, the way of administering it, any tax implications for the staff involved as well as any extra costs.
Furthermore, the company should set up the performance measures such as the quantitative and qualitative goals as well as the length of service. The best incentive schemes are those that can be adapted to the changing company needs and keep personnel interested.
Before implementing the scheme, it is better to think of implementing a pilot scheme. For example, in case there is a bonus scheme but goals are set too high that nobody can achieve them then it is worthless.
From the moment the scheme is set up then it should be ensured that all details are written down so everybody can have access to them, good records are kept and the whole system is reviewed regularly and the staff is encouraged to provide feedback.
It is crucial for a company to find the right combination of incentives and perks but it is proved that it is worth it since employee motivation is lifted.
Companies compete for attracting highly qualified, experienced and well trained personnel and more and more companies have realized that despite economic crisis, finding real talents is hard and perks make good business sense.