Strategic Human Resource Management And Assessment Centre Management Essay

Answer: Strategic Human Resource Management is the efficient way of organising the workforce by the implementation of a particular strategy, where employees’ performance can help to accomplish the planned organisational targets, such as increasing revenue or improving the profit margin. Strategic Human Resource management helps to recognise the business strategy that you can adopt. For example, you implement an effective training and performance improvement plan to improve customer service. More satisfactory customer service will bring in more revenue. It gives clear direction for a business, without strategic human resource management managers will be unaware about business goals, targets and competitors and it can give rise to uncertain environment. Strategic human resource management is also about considering the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses. This is very important as the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s human resources have a direct effect on the how a company will do in the future.

2.  Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using an assessment centre to select employees

Answer: Assessment Centre is a process whereby a group of participants undertakes a series of job-related exercises under observation, so that skills and character persona can be assessed. Various methods of assessment may be used, including interviews, group discussions and group problem solving exercise. Assessment centres are used in selection for recruitment and promotion and in training and development, and aim to provide an organization with an assessment process that is consistent, free of prejudice, and fair. Assessment Centre brings about many advantages. It provides organisations with the opportunity to see how an individual performs in a work situation. It provides more in depth profile of a worker which can help an organisation to gain more knowledge about an individual. Assessment centres not only help the organization in placing the right candidate for the right job but also helps in developing the participants. When participants see others handling the same exercise differently, it gives them an insight into their own performance thereby raises the credibility of the selection procedure. Stimulations can also help to assess leadership skills. However some anticipated disadvantages of assessment centre could be: Assessment Centre requires highly skilled observers as the observers may bring in their own perceptions and biases while evaluating. Those who receive poor assessment might become de motivated and might lose confidence in their abilities. Assessment Centre is very costly and time consuming

3.  Explore the reasons why recruitment, selection and training costs are ‘one and a half to three times a person’s salary’

Answer: Recruitment is best described as the way in which an organisation tries to source or attract the people from whom it will ultimately make selections. Recruitment strategies include efforts to reach better pools of candidates and to sell the organisation as an employer of choice. Selection is about choosing between job candidates. It is about how to make a fair and accurate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of applicants and how to identify the candidate who is most likely to perform well in the job. Employment recruitment is composed of several stages: verifying that a vacancy exists; drawing up a job specification; finding candidates; selecting them by interviewing and other means such as conducting a psychometric test; and making a job offer. Effective recruitment is important in achieving high organisational performance and minimizing labour turnover. Employees may be recruited either externally or internally. Selection is a two way process and should be just as much about employees as the other way round. Employee needs to decide the company is a place they can work in. The company needs to decide the employees will fit within organisation, job and team itself or not.  The search of a perfect selection method continues. More attention is paid to the cost of the poor selection.

It should be noted that in recruitment agencies are often used as they provide expert advice on how advertisements should be worded and where placed which tend to be very much expensive. There are direct costs of working with external agencies. Direct advertising cost, as local press, corporate website, specialist journals the costly as well. These are very real costs to the employers Administration costs that are sending out job information, letters, arranging selection events, etc. Manager’s time that is short listing, interviewing, selection, taking up references Training cost in order to ensure everyone has the necessary skills to recruit. Administration costs of new employee that is payroll, pensions, etc Recruiting from overseas that is employers looking for overseas staff and then by giving selected employees work visa and arrangements for their travel. After that their accommodation cost can be very much expensive.

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4. Analyse the strategies a business can use to retain its staff

Answer: Employee motivation and performance management depend on good systems that offer both financial and non-financial rewards (non-monetary rewards). In reality, despite the views of Herzberg that monetary methods of motivation have little value, firms still use money as a major incentive. There are a variety of payment systems that a business could use to motivate its employees. Some of the Financial rewards are: Share ownership: This is a common incentive for senior managers who are given shares in the company rather than a straight forward bonus or membership of a profit sharing scheme. It means that some staff is also shareholders. Because of share ownership the employees will work harder as they have a stake in the company, just like a shareholder has. Workers are less likely to leave the firm. Performance-related pay: This is paid to those employees who meet certain targets. The targets are often evaluated and reviewed in regular appraisals with managers. It is system that is being increasingly used in businesses in the UK. It is easier for managers to monitor and control their staff. It reduces the amount of time spent on industrial relations (negotiations with trade unions). Fringe Benefits: These are often known as ‘perks’ and are items an employee receives in addition to their normal wage or salary e.g. company car, private health insurance, free meals. It encourages loyalty to a company so employees may stay for longer and also it helps meet workers human and social needs. Piece-rate is paying a worker per item they produce in a certain period of time. It was recommended by the motivation theorist Taylor and had close links with working on production lines. It tends to increases speed of work and therefore productivity.

Some of the Non financial rewards are: Job enrichment means giving workers more interesting, challenging and complex tasks. Workers should also be given the opportunity to complete a whole unit of work rather than individual separate tasks. This is motivating for several reasons as it gives workers the chance to test themselves and use their full range of ability it is more motivating as it increases the complexity or challenge involved in the task, rather than just simply providing more variety to the work. Workers should be able to obtain a greater sense of achievement and possibly more praise or recognition of their work when they have successfully completed a tougher task. Job enlargement means simply giving workers more tasks to do of a similar nature or complexity. This will reduce the monotony or repetition involved in a person’s work but over time this will not increase a person’s satisfaction or sense of achievement. Team working is where employees work in groups or teams. This can meet a worker’s social needs as a person can more easily build friendships and feel a sense of belonging to a unit or group and hopefully to the business as a whole. This applies in much the same way as being a member of a sports team or any other team representing a school or college. A business can create a number of different types of team; examples include production teams (often known as cells), quality circles and management teams. Team working has other advantages to a firm over and above improving motivation. It can lead to greater flexibility of production, as employees are likely to be multi-skilled (able to do more than one persons job) as they have learnt from other team members or undertaken formal job rotation. This means they can cover any absences and can quickly adapt to a new production technique. Empowerment is like delegation. It is when power or authority is given to employees so they can make their own decisions regarding their working life. For instance workers have control over how to use their time and deciding the priority of tasks that need to be done. They are encouraged to consider problems they face and come up with some solutions. For empowerment to be successful, workers must have adequate training and/or good skill levels in order to be trusted to make the correct decisions. If they do not, then expensive mistakes can be made that could affect the whole business. It is the manager’s job to judge whether a subordinate can cope with more authority and decision-making power. It should be noted however, that even if managers pass down authority to their subordinates, they are still responsible for the work that is done by them.

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Essay: 

5.  ‘Modern Organisations operate in increasingly dynamic and uncertain business   environments’ Does this reduce or increase the need for human resource planning?  Justify. (Word limit 1000 – 1500 words)

Answer:  Modern Organisations operate in increasingly dynamic and uncertain business   environments this increases the need for human resource planning. Human resource planning has traditionally been used by organisations to ensure that the right person is in the right job at the right time. Due to Increase in environmental instability the need for Human resource planning in leading organisations has increased. It is the process by which management determines how the organisation should move from its current manpower position to its desired position. Through planning, management strives to have the right number and the right kinds of people, at the right places, at the right time, doing things which result in both the organisation and the individual receiving maximum long-run benefits. Currently human resource planning occurs within the broad perspective of organisational and strategic business planning. It involves forecasting the organisation’s future human needs and planning for how those needs will be met. It includes establishing objectives and then developing and implementing programmes to ensure that people are available with appropriate characteristics and skills when and where the organisation needs them. It may also involve developing and implementing programmes to improve employee performance or to increase employee satisfaction and involvement in order to boost organisational productivity, quality, or innovation (Mills, 1 985b). Finally, human resource planning includes gathering data that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of ongoing programs and inform planners when revisions in their forecasts and programmes are needed. In other words, Human resource planning is directly and closely associated with the development and success of an organisation. If an organisation is desperate to be dominant in its industry, compared with other rivals, it should pay more attention to the function of Human resource planning and apply it scientifically.

Virgin Atlantic is the second largest long haul airline in the UK and the third largest European carrier over the North Atlantic. Since Virgin Atlantic Airways was founded in 1984, it has become Britain’s second largest carrier serving the world’s major cities. Now based at both London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, it operates long haul services to thirty destinations world-wide as far apart as Las Vegas and Shanghai. Its route network has grown rapidly to include destinations in the US, Caribbean, Far East, India and Africa, and they have won virtually every award the travel industry has to offer. Virgin Atlantic has enjoyed huge popularity, winning top business, consumer and trade awards from around the world. The airline has pioneered a range of innovations setting new standards of service, which its competitors have subsequently sought to follow. Despite Virgin Atlantic’s growth the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation. Virgin Atlantic has carried around 53m passengers since it began operations and now employs almost 9000 people worldwide. Human Resource planning plays an important role in Virgin Atlantic Airways. The future in any country is uncertain i.e. there are political, cultural, technological changes taking place every day. This effects the employment situation. Accordingly Virgin Atlantic Airways may have to appoint or remove people. Therefore Human Resource Planning can only be a guiding factor. If Virgin Atlantic Airways does not plan for the future they have less opportunity to survive the competition ahead with a lot of competitors like British Airways, Bmi, British midland, American Airlines, Continental and Delta. Without the process of human resource planning if Virgin Atlantic Airlines will not be able to find out how many people will be required in future they will have expansion problems. In case of recession if Virgin Atlantic Airlines wants to undergo retrenchment, without human resource planning it will be difficult for the business to decide which department’s cost should be cut down, which department’s workers should be fired and how many people should be laid off. Therefore major issues of a business such as expansion, diversification, technological change, should be backed up by the availability of human resources. As it suggest modification in the plan when the expected manpower is not available. Virgin Atlantic Airlines will not be able to take further actions. The company will not be able to identify the number of jobs which will become vacant in the near future.

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Without Human resource planning Virgin Atlantic Airlines will not be able to offset uncertainty and change. Sometime the organisationmay have machines and money but not men and consequently the production cannot be started. The individual needs of the employees for the promotions transfers, salary enhancement, better benefits will not be provided if business is unaware of human resource planning, therefore employees will suffer from financial and non financial rewards and will lose the interest in the business resulting in absence and risk for business in long term. Without human resource planning business will be unable to anticipate the cost of salary, benefits and all the cost of human resources facilitating the formulation of budgets in a society. Virgin Atlantic Airlines will not be able to provide required working conditions in a business. As according to Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, also referred to as HASAW or HSW, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment. Workplace health and safety is an important issue for every business. Every employee needs to be aware of the importance of these issues in the workplace and the best way to improve staff awareness of these issues is by providing access to a health and safety course. Without human resource planning Virgin Atlantic Airlines will not be able to closely know what important safety measures should be taken into an account as well how staff awareness of importance of these issues can be improved. Resulting in a lot of unhealthy activities as well harmful incidents for workers.

To summarise an effective HR planning helps the company to prepare ahead of time for these vacancies rather than acting in a reactionary manner when an employee resigns unexpectedly. Another benefit of having a recruiting plan in place is that the recruiters know where to target theirjob searchto find the best candidates. Successful recruiters plan ahead and know what skill sets are essential for the right candidates, and they know how to interview effectively. Companies that include HR planning are prepared for future open positions that result frombusinessgrowth and expansion. Another benefit of HR planning is having career-development procedures, which consist of identifying future company leaders and helping them grow. This means that when an executive or manager leaves or retires, there is already someone ready to promote into the position.Successful HR planning includes training models and procedures. This training includes new-hire training to teach new employees about the company culture, internaldatabases, software, and the skill sets necessary for specific positions. The benefit of this type of training is that all employees are taught the same thing in the same manner, which creates consistency and accuracy in daily work. Effective HR planning incorporates aspects of employee management, such asperformancereviews and disciplinary procedures. Companies benefit from having these systems in place because they help managers do their jobs and prevent potential lawsuits. Standardized performance reviews help managers look for key items when reviewing and ranking subordinates and ensure that everyone is reviewed on the same scale. Therefore without Human resource planning business will not be able to survive in short term. As Human resource planning is a backbone of a business survival.

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