INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NOTES

COURSE SYLLABUS

 

INTRODUCTION

This module unit is designed to equip trainee with knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable him/her to understand the Foundations of Human Resource Management.

 

GENERAL OBJECTIVE

By the end of this module unit, the trainee should be able to:

  1. Understand the human resource policies in an organization
  2. Appreciate job analysis, recruitment and selection process
  3. Familiarize himself/herself with emerging issues and trends in job analysis, human resource records, recruitment and selection

 

TOPIC SUB-TOPIC HRS
 INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT -Definition of Human Resource Management

-Evolution of Human Resource Management

-Differences between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management

-Unique features of Human Resource Management

18
ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCE FUNCTION IN AN ORGANIZATION The structure of Human Resource Department

Functions of Human Resource Department in an organization

Role of Human Resource Practitioner in an organization.

18
HUMAN RESOURCE POLICIES – Meaning of Human Resource policy

-Importance of Human Resource policies

-Areas covered by Human Resource policies

16
HUMAN RESOURCE RECORDS – Uses of Human Resource records

-Type of Human Resource records

-Computerized Human Resource records

-Importance of Human Resource information systems

-Identification of emerging issues and trends in human resource records

21
JOB ANALYSIS

THEORY

– CAT

-Meaning of job analysis

-Importance of job analysis

-Process of job analysis

-Techniques for collecting data for job analysis

-Content of job description and job specification

26
HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING

THEORY

 -Importance of human resources planning

-Factors considered in forecasting human resource requirements

-Human Resource Planning process

18

 

 

 RECRUITMENT

THEORY

– Meaning of recruitment

-Components of a recruitment policy

-Sources of candidates

-Recruitment process

-Emerging issues and trends in recruitment

21
SELECTION

THEORY

Meaning of selection

-Selection process

-Selection methods

-Emerging issues and trends in selection

18
PLACEMENT AND INDUCTUON THEORY Meaning of placement

Importance of appropriate employee placement

Meaning of employee induction

Importance of employee induction

Steps in induction process

Components of employee induction program

24

 

 

ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE

CAT …………………………….30%

End Term Exams……………….70%

 

TOPIC 1

INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. explain the meaning of human resource management
  2. describe the evolution of human resource management
  3. differentiate between personnel management and human resource management
  4. explain the unique features of human resource management

1.1Meaning of Human Resource Management

Human resource management is defined as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s most valued assets – the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of its objectives.

Storey (1989) believes that HRM can be regarded as a ‘set of interrelated policies with an ideological and philosophical underpinning’. He suggests four aspects that constitute the meaningful version of HRM which are:

  1. a particular group of beliefs and assumptions;
  2. a strategic thrust informing decisions about people management;
  3. the central involvement of line managers; and
  4. reliance upon a set of ‘levers’ to shape the employment relationship

 

Aims of HRM

The overall purpose of human resource management is to ensure that the organization is able to achieve success through people. ‘HRM systems can be the source of organizational capabilities that allow firms to learn and capitalize on new opportunities.’ Specifically, HRM is concerned with achieving objectives in the following areas.

Organizational effectiveness

Distinctive human resource practices shape the core competencies that determine how firms compete. HRM strategies aim to support programmes for improving organizational effectiveness by developing policies in such areas as knowledge management, talent management and generally creating ‘a great place to work’. This is the ‘big idea’ as described by Purcell et al (2003), which consists of a ‘clear vision and a set of integrated values’. HR strategies can be concerned with the development of continuous improvement and customer relations policies.

Human capital management

Human capital can be regarded as the prime asset of an organization and businesses need to invest in that asset to ensure their survival and growth. HRM aims to ensure that the organization obtains and retains the skilled, committed and well-motivated workforce it needs. This means taking steps to assess and satisfy future people needs and to enhance and develop the inherent capacities of people – their contributions, potential and employability – by providing learning and continuous development opportunities. It involves the operation of ‘rigorous recruitment and selection procedures, performance- dependent incentive compensation systems, and management development and training activities linked to the needs of the businesses. It also means engaging in talent management – the process of acquiring and nurturing talent, wherever it is and wherever it is needed, by using a number of interdependent

Knowledge management

Knowledge management is ‘any process or practice of creating, acquiring, capturing, sharing and using knowledge, wherever it resides, to enhance learning and performance in organizations’ .HRM aims to support the development of firm-specific knowledge and skills that are the result of organizational learning processes.

Reward management

HRM aims to enhance motivation, job engagement and commitment by introducing policies and processes that ensure that people are valued and rewarded for what they do and achieve and for the levels of skill and competence they reach.

Employee relations

The aim is to create a climate in which productive and harmonious relationships can be maintained through partnerships between management and employees and their trade unions.

Meeting diverse needs

HRM aims to develop and implement policies that balance and adapt to the needs of its stakeholders and provide for the management of a diverse workforce, taking into account individual and group differences in employment, personal needs, work style and aspirations and the provision of equal opportunities for all.

Bridging the gap between rhetoric and reality

The research conducted has found that there was generally a wide gap between the sort of rhetoric and reality. Managements may start with good intentions to do some or all of these things but the realization of them is often very difficult. This arises because of contextual and process problems: other business priorities, short-termism, limited support from line managers, an inadequate infrastructure of supporting processes, lack of resources, resistance to change and lack of trust. An overarching aim of HRM is to bridge this gap by making every attempt to ensure that aspirations are translated into sustained and effective action.

1.2 Evolution of HRM

The history of HRM can be divided into six distinct stages namely the welfare stage, personnel administration stage, personnel management stage, personnel management maturity stage, personnel management maturity stage, personnel management entrepreneurial stage and human resource management stage.

  1. a) The welfare stage

This covers the period 1900-1920 during which workers in Europe formed individual welfare groups which were concerned with their needs at work. These groups fought for the improvement in working conditions. During the First World War (1914-1918), many organizations were faced with acute shortage of labour but there was need to increase productivity. Governments in USA and Europe therefore encouraged systematic study of employee and employer relationships.

  1. b) Personnel administration stage (1920-1929)

During this period, neo-classical theorists carried out studies that improved the employee-employer relationship. The main contributors were Abraham Maslow, Elton Mayo, Douglas Macgregor. The services that were provided to workers during this period included transport facilities, canteens, sporting facilities etc. Systematic procedures relating to personnel such as recruitment and training also began during this period.

  1. c) Personnel management stage (1940-1950)

During this stage, the procedures introduced in the earlier stage were refined and other activities related to employees were introduced. These include salary scales and administration, industrial relations, training and development etc.

  1. d) Personnel management maturity stage (1950-1970)

Specialization developed during this period and personnel department was recognized as a unit that was independent from the others in an organization. There was also a continuous introduction of systematic training programmes, performance appraisal etc.

  1. e) Personnel management entrepreneurial stage (1970-1980)

During this period, there was intense business competition. This made many organizations introduce new management techniques. HR managers were therefore expected to be entrepreneurial in their approach to business. More studies were carried out in HR with the aim of giving an organization a competitive advantage over others. Employees became highly valued resource and were considered as the most strategic asset in an organization.

f)Human Resource Management stage (1980-date)

In this period, there was more involvement of HR specialists in management of an organization. The HR manager began to be involved in making top level decisions relating to employee and formulation of corporate strategy

1.3 Differences between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management

A debate about the differences, between HRM and personnel management went on for some time but has died down recently, especially as the terms HRM and HR are now in general use both in their own right and as synonyms for personnel management. But understanding of the concept of HRM is enhanced by analyzing what the differences are and how traditional approaches to personnel management have evolved to become the present day practices of HRM.

Some commentators have highlighted the revolutionary nature of HRM. Others have denied that there is any significant difference in the concepts of personnel management and HRM. Personnel management has grown through assimilating a number of additional emphases to produce an even richer combination of experience. HRM is no revolution but a further dimension to a multi-faceted role.

The conclusion based on interviews with HR and personnel directors is that HRM is regarded by some personnel managers as just a set of initials or old wine in new bottles. It could indeed be no more and no less than another name for personnel management, but it has the virtue of emphasizing the treatment of people as a key resource, the management of which is the direct concern of top management as part of the strategic planning processes of the enterprise. Although there is nothing new in the idea, insufficient attention has been paid to it in many organizations.

 

The similarities between HRM and personnel management are summarized below;

  1. Personnel management strategies, like HRM strategies, flow from the business fit and integration.
  2. Personnel management, like HRM, recognizes that line managers are responsible for managing people. The personnel function provides the necessary advice and support services to enable managers to carry out their responsibilities

iii. The values of personnel management and at least the ‘soft’ version of HRM are identical with regard to ‘respect for the individual, balancing organizational and individual needs, and developing people to achieve their maximum level of competence both for their own satisfaction and to facilitate the achievement of organizational objectives.

  1. Both personnel management and HRM recognize that one of their most essential functions is that of matching people to ever changing organizational requirements i.e. placing and developing the right people in or for the right jobs.
  2. The same range of selection, competence, analysis, performance management, training, management development, and reward management techniques are used.
  3. Personnel management, like the ‘soft’ version of HRM, attaches importance to the processes of communication and participation within an employee relations system.

 

The differences between personnel management and HRM are:

  1. HRM places more emphasis on strategic fit and integration
  2. HRM is based on a management and business orientated philosophy.
  3. HRM attaches more importance to the management of culture and the achievement of commitment (mutuality).
  4. HRM places greater emphasis on the role of line managers as the implementers HR policies.
  5. HRM is a holistic approach concerned with the total interests of the business; the interests of members of the organization are recognized but subordinated to those of the enterprise.
  6. HR specialists are expected to be business partners rather than personnel administrators
  7. HRM treats employees as assets not costs.

 

1.4 Unique features of human resource management

Generally, HRM possesses the following unique features;

a)It is a diverse field

The characteristics of HRM are by no means universal. There are many models and practices within different organizations are diverse, often only corresponding to the conceptual version of HRM in a few respects. A distinction is made between the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ versions of HRM.

The hard version of HRM emphasizes that people are important resources through which organizations achieve competitive advantage. These resources have therefore to be acquired, developed and deployed in ways that will benefit the organization. The focus is on the quantitative, calculative and business-strategic aspects of managing human resources in as ‘rational’ a way as for any other economic factor The drive to adopt HRM is based on the business case of a need to respond to an external threat from increasing competition. It is a philosophy that appeals to managements who are striving to increase competitive advantage and appreciate that to do this they must invest in human resources as well as new technology.

The soft version of HRM traces its roots to the human-relations school; it emphasizes communication, motivation and leadership. It involves ‘treating employees as valued assets, a source of competitive advantage through their commitment, adaptability and high quality (of skills, performance and so on)’. It therefore views employees, as means rather than objects.

The soft approach to HRM stresses the need to gain the commitment – the ‘hearts and minds’ – of employees through involvement, communications and other methods of developing a high-commitment, high-trust organization. Attention is also drawn to the key role of organizational culture.

  1. b) It’s strategic in nature

Perhaps the most significant feature of HRM is the importance attached to strategic integration, which flows from top management’s vision and leadership, and which requires the full commitment of people to it. Scholars believe that this is a key policy goal for HRM, which is concerned with the ability of the organization to integrate HRM issues into its strategic plans, to ensure that the various aspects of HRM cohere, and to encourage line managers to incorporate an HRM perspective into their decision-making.’

  1. c) HRM is commitment-oriented

HRM model is composed of policies that promote mutuality – mutual goals, mutual influence, mutual respect, mutual rewards, and mutual responsibility. The theory is that policies of mutuality will elicit commitment, which in turn will yield both better economic performance and greater human development. HRM attempts to create behavioural commitment to pursue agreed goals, and attitudinal commitment reflected in a strong identification with the enterprise’. It is believed  that human resources may be tapped most effectively by mutually consistent policies that promote commitment and which, as a consequence, foster a willingness in employees to act flexibly in the interests of the “adaptive organization’s” pursuit of excellence’.

  1. d) People are regarded as ‘human capital’

The notion that people should be regarded as assets rather than variable costs, in other words, treated as human capital, was originally advanced by Beer et al (1984). People and their collective skills, abilities and experience, coupled with their ability to deploy these in the interests of the employing organization, are now recognized as making a significant contribution to organizational success and as constituting a significant source of competitive advantage.

  1. e) Applies unitary philosophy

The HRM approach to employee relations is basically unitary – it is believed that employees share the same interests as employers. This contrasts with what could be regarded as the more realistic pluralist view, which says that all organizations contain a number of interest groups and that the interests of employers and employees do not necessarily coincide.

  1. f) It is Individualistic

HRM is individualistic in that it emphasizes the importance of maintaining links between the organization and individual employees in preference to operating through group and representative systems.

  1. g) HRM is a management-driven activity

HRM can be described as a central, senior management-driven strategic activity that is developed, owned and delivered by management as a whole to promote the interests of the organization that they serve. The adoption of HRM is both a product of and a cause of a significant concentration of power in the hands of management’, while the widespread use ‘of the language of HRM, if not its practice, is a combination of its intuitive appeal to managers and, more importantly, a response to the turbulence of product and financial markets’. HRM is about the rediscovery of management. HRM policies and practices are applied within a firm as a break from the past and are often associated with words such as commitment, competence, empowerment, flexibility, culture, performance, assessment, reward, teamwork, involvement, cooperation, harmonization, quality and learning.

  1. h) Focus on business values

The concept of HRM is largely based on a management and business-oriented philosophy. It is concerned with the total interests of the organization – the interests of the members of the organization are recognized but subordinated to those of the enterprise. Hence the importance attached to strategic integration and strong cultures, which flow from top management’s vision and leadership, and which require people who will be committed to the strategy

1.5 Review questions

  1. Define the term HRM
  2. Briefly discuss the history of HRM
  3. Explain four aims of HRM
  4. Explain the differences and similarities between HRM and Personnel management

 

 

TOPIC 2

2.0 ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCE FUNCTION IN AN ORGANIZATION

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:

-Explain the structure of human resource department

-Discuss the functions of human resource department in an organization

-Explain the role of the human resource practitioner in an organization

 

2.1 The Structure of Human Resource Department

The organization and staffing of the HR function clearly depends on the size of the business, the extent to which operations are decentralized, the type of work carried out, the kind of people employed and the role assigned to the HR function. There are, therefore, no absolute rules for organizing the HR function, but current practice suggests that the following guidelines should be taken into account:

  • the head of the function should report directly to the chief executive and should be on the board, or at least be a member of the senior management or leadership team, in order to contribute to the formulation of corporate strategies and play a full part in the formulation and integration of HR strategies and policies.
  • in a decentralized organization, subsidiary companies, divisions, or operational units should be responsible for their own HR management affairs within the framework of broad strategic and policy guidelines from the Centre.
  • The central HR function in a decentralized organization should be slimmed down to the minimum required to develop group human resource strategies and policies.
  • The HR function has to be capable of delivering the level of advice and services required by the organization. Delivery may be achieved by the direct provision of services but may be outsourced.
  • The HR department is organized in accordance with the level of support and services it is required to give and the range of activities that need to be catered for, which could include resourcing, management development, training, reward management, employee relations, knowledge management and HR services in such areas as health and safety, welfare, HR information systems and employment matters generally. In a large department, each of these areas may be provided for separately, but they can be combined in various ways.
  • The organization and staffing of the HR department needs to take account of its role in formulating HR strategies and policies and intervening and innovating as required. But the department also has to provide efficient and cost-effective services.
  • The HR department should design to fit the needs of the business which results to considerable variations in in HR departments in various organizations.

The following figure illustrates the various sections that may be in a simple HR department as well as some responsibilities of those sections

Functions of Human Resource Department in an Organization

One of the first HRM concepts called the matching model of HRM made by the Michigan School argues that HR systems and the organization structure should be managed in a way that is congruent with organizational strategy (hence the name ‘matching model’). They further explained that there is a human resource cycle, which consists of four generic processes or functions that are performed in all organizations. These are:

  1. Selection – matching available human resources to jobs;
  2. Appraisal – performance management;
  3. rewards – ‘the reward system is one of the most under-utilized and mishandled managerial tools for driving organizational performance’; it must reward short as well as long-term achievements, bearing in mind that ‘business must perform in the present to succeed in the future’;
  4. Development – developing high quality employees.

Figure 1.1: The human resource cycle

 

 

The general HR functions include;

  • Human resource planning
  • Training and development
  • Reward management
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Termination
  • Succession planning
  • Maintaining personnel records and statistics concerning employees
  • Preparation of job description and job specifications

 

2.3 Role of Human Resource Practitioner in an Organization.

This section is concerned with what HR professionals do and how they do it, recognizes that ‘HRM does not belong to HR specialists’. HRM belongs to line managers and the people they manage. The section analyses the basic roles and activities of HR professionals. However, in playing their role, HR practitioner are affected by issues such as; achieving comprise in  gaining support and commitment, role ambiguity, role conflict, ethics, and professionalism.

The roles of HR practitioners vary widely according to the extent to which they are generalist (e.g., HR director or HR manager), or specialist (e.g., head of learning and development, head of talent management, or head of reward), the level at which they work (strategic, executive or administrative), the needs of the organization, the context within which they work and their own capabilities.

 

The role of human resource practitioner in an organization

The roles can be proactive, reactive or a mixture of both. At a strategic level, HR people take on a proactive role since they are to be involved in strategic decision-making processes and are most likely to be found in workplaces within which sophisticated methods and techniques have been adopted. As such, they act as business partners, develop integrated HR strategies, intervene, innovate, and operate as internal consultants and volunteer guidance on matters concerning upholding core values, ethical principles and the achievement of consistency. They focus on business issues and working with line managers to deliver performance targets. In some situations they play a mainly reactive role. They spend much of their time doing what they are told or asked to do. They provide the administrative systems required by management. This is what is referred to as the non-interventionary role, in which HR people merely provide a service to meet the demands of management and front-line managers. The various roles are described in more detail below.

a)Service provision

The basic role of HR specialists is that of providing services to internal customers. These include management, line managers, team leaders and employees. The services may be general, covering all aspects of HRM: human resource planning, recruitment and selection, employee development, employee reward, employee relations, health and safety management and welfare. Alternatively, services may only be provided in one or two of these areas by specialists. The focus may be on the requirements of management (e.g., resourcing), or it may extend to all employees (e.g., health and safety). The aims are to provide effective services that meet the needs of the business, its management and its employees and to administer them efficiently.

  1. b) Guidance and advice

HR practitioners provide guidance and advice to management. At the highest level, this will include recommendations on HR strategies that have been developed by processes of analysis and diagnosis to address strategic issues arising from business needs and human, organizational or environmental factors.

They also provide advice on issues concerning culture change and approaches to the improvement of process capability – the ability of the organization to get things done through people. Guidance is given to managers to ensure that consistent decisions are made on such matters as performance ratings, pay increases and disciplinary actions. Guidance may be provided on HR policies and procedures and the implications of employment legislation to ensure that legal requirements are met.

c)The business partner role

HR practitioners as business partners share responsibility with their line management colleagues for the success of the enterprise and get involved with them in running the business. They must have the capacity to identify business opportunities, to see the broad picture and to understand how their HR role can help to achieve the company’s business objectives.

HR professionals integrate their activities closely with management and ensure that they serve a long-term strategic purpose. This is one of the key roles assigned to HR by Ulrich (1998), who stated that HR should become a partner with senior and line managers in strategy execution and that HR executives should impel and guide serious discussion of how the company should be organized to carry out its strategy.

d)The strategist role

As strategists, HR professionals address major long-term organizational issues concerning the management and development of people and the employment relationship. They are guided by the business plans of the organization but they also contribute to the formulation of those business plans. This is achieved by ensuring that top managers focus on the human resource implications of the plans. HR strategists persuade top managers that they must develop business strategies that make the best use of the core competences of the organization’s human resources. They emphasize, that people are a strategic resource for the achievement of competitive advantage.

  1. e) The innovation and change agent role

In their proactive role, HR practitioners are well placed to observe and analyze what is happening in and to their organizations as it affects the employment of people, and intervene accordingly. Following this analysis, they produce diagnoses that identify opportunities and threats and the causes of problems. They propose innovations in the light of these diagnoses that may be concerned with organizational processes such as interaction between departments and people, teamwork, structural change and the impact of new technology and methods of working, or HR processes such as resourcing, employee development or reward. As innovators they have to be experts in change management.

HR change is categorized in four dimensions: Transformational change – a major change that has a dramatic effect on HR policy and practice across the whole organization, Incremental change – gradual adjustments of HR policy and practices that affect single activities or multiple functions, HR vision – a set of values and beliefs that affirm the legitimacy of the HR function as strategic business partner and HR expertise – the knowledge and skills that define the unique contribution the HR professional can make to effective people management.Across these dimensions, the change agent roles that can be carried out by HR professionals are those of change champions, change adapters, change consultants and change synergists.

  1. f) The internal consultancy role

As internal consultants, HR practitioners function like external management consultants, working alongside their colleagues – their clients – in analyzing problems, diagnosing issues and proposing solutions. They will be involved in the development of HR processes or systems and in process consulting such as organization, team building and objective setting

g)The monitoring role

As monitors of the application of HR policies and procedures and the extent to which the organization’s values relating to people management are upheld, HR practitioners have a delicate, indeed a difficult, role to play. They are not there to ‘police’ what line managers do but it is still necessary to ensure that the policies and procedures are implemented with a reasonable degree of consistency. This role can mean that HR specialists can act as ‘regulators’ who are involved in formulating and monitoring employment rules. The monitoring role is particularly important with regard to employment legislation. HR practitioners have to ensure that policies and procedures comply with the legislation and that they are implemented correctly by line managers.

h)The guardian of values role

HR practitioners may act as the guardians of the organization’s values concerning people. They point out when behaviour conflicts with those values or where proposed actions would be inconsistent with them. In a sense, their roles require them to act as the ‘conscience’ of management – a necessary role but not an easy one to play.

 

The competencies required by HR professionals

A successful HR professional should have the following competencies / skills;

  • Personal drive and effectiveness; The existence of a positive ‘can do’ mentality, anxious to find ways round obstacles and willing to exploit all the available resources to accomplish objectives
  • People management and leadership; The motivation of others (whether subordinates, seniors or project team members) towards the achievement of shared goals, not through the application of formal authority but rather by personal role modeling, the establishment of professional credibility, and the creation of reciprocal trust.
  • Professional competence. Possession of the professional skills and technical capabilities associated with successful achievement in personnel and development.
  • Adding value through people. A desire not only to concentrate on tasks, but rather to select meaningful outputs which will produce added-value outcomes for the organization, or eliminate/reduce the existence of performance inhibitors, whilst simultaneously complying with all legal and ethical considerations.
  • Continuing learning. Commitment to continuous improvement and change by the application of self-managed learning techniques, supplemented where appropriate by deliberate planned exposure to external learning sources (mentoring, coaching, etc).
  • ‘Customer’ focused. Concern for the perceptions of personnel’s customers, including (principally) the central directorate of the organization, a willingness to solicit and act upon ‘customer’ feedback as one of the foundations for performance improvement.
  • Strategic capability. The capacity to create an achievable vision for the future, to foresee longer-term developments, to envisage options (and their probable consequences), to select sound courses of action, to rise above the day-to-day detail, to challenge the status quo.
  • Influencing and interpersonal skills. The ability to transmit information to others, especially in written (report) form, both persuasively and cogently; display of listening, comprehension and understanding skills, plus sensitivity to the emotional, attitudinal and political aspects of corporate life.

 

2.4 Review questions

  1. Briefly explain the structure of Human Resource Department in an organization
  2. Discuss the role of HR practitioners in an organization
  3. Outline five general functions of HRM
  4. Explain five competencies of a HR practitioner

 

TOPIC 3

3.0 HUMAN RESOURCE POLICIES

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:

Explain the meaning of human resource policy

Discuss the importance of human resource policies

Explain the areas covered by human resource policies

 

3.1 Meaning Of Human Resource Policy

Definition of HR policy

HR policies can be defined as broad stated statements that guide an organization when making decisions in managing their people. They define the philosophies and values of the organization on how people should be treated, and from these are derived the principles upon which managers are expected to act when dealing with HR matters. HR policies therefore serve as reference points when employment practices are being developed, and when decisions are being made about people. They help to define ‘the way things are done around the organization’.

HR policies should be distinguished from procedures. A policy provides generalized guidance on the approach adopted by the organization, and therefore its employees, concerning various aspects of employment. A procedure spells out precisely what action should be taken in line with the policy.

Characteristics of a good HR policy

A good HR policy should be;

  1. a) Based on objectives: they should assist in attainment of the organizational objectives.
  2. b) Clear; should not give room for misinterpretation
  3. c) Expressed in written form to assist in compliance, training and future reference.
  4. d) Based on careful consideration of the resources available and environment of the organization
  5. e) Revised regularly but stable
  6. f) Communicated to concerned persons so that they understand and implement the policy. This can be done by conducting regular meetings to give information on the policies, immediate giving oral instructions, use of booklets and bulletins, conferences and seminars etc.
  7. g) It must conform to the norms of behavior and ethical standards
  8. h) Should be uniformly applied to all members in an organization to avoid discrimination.

 

Types of policies

  1. a) Organizational and functional policies

Organizational policies are overall policies for an organization which are formulated by the top management. Functional policies are made for specific functions or departments.

  1. b) Originated or appealed or imposed policies

Originated policies are formulated by top management on their own initiative to guide the actions of the subordinates and then put in writing in form of a policy manual. Appealed policies are formulated by the management on appeal/ request by their employee while imposed policies are formulated because factors imposed on the organization by external forces.

  1. c) General and specific policies

General policies are stated in broad terms and they give freedom to departments to make decisions based on those broad terms. Specific policies are defined and limit freedom of action.

  1. d) Written and implied policy

Written policies are those that are documented while implied policies are got from the behavior and conduct of the members of the organization especially those in the top management.

 

Sources of HR policies

There are many sources from which an organization may get policies from. These sources include;

  • Past practices of the organization
  • Competitors
  • Knowledge and experiences from day to day personnel problems
  • Employees suggestions and complaints
  • State/ government requirements
  • Economic and social changes in a country
  • Extent of influence of trade unions
  • Objectives of the organization
  • Ethical standards / social responsibility

 

Human resource principles applied in formulating HR policies

A principle is a statement of basic fact that has been tested through experiment or experience. When preparing policies, The HR principles below are applied;

  1. The incentive principle: states that to increase productivity of the workers, incentives should be given whether in monetary or non-monetary terms.
  2. Workers should be given a chance to participate or be involved in decision making.
  3. Principle of communication; Employee must be given appropriate information regarding activities, objectives, immediate and future plans of the organization.
  4. Principle of compensation; states that workers should be paid a reasonable, equitable and fair amount of wages depending on nature of work, level of education, management policy, government regulations.
  5. Principle of team work (Espirit de corps); states that efforts should be made to develop team work and cooperation among workers
  6. Principle of right conditions of work; Workers should be provided with right tools and equipment to make the work easier, increase production as well as productivity.
  7. Principle of self-development; means giving employees an opportunity to improve themselves through career guidance and training programmes.
  8. Principle of dignity of labour; All jobs should be treated with dignity because they contribute to achievement of organizational objectives.
  9. Principle of security; All jobs must have a degree of security and stability.

3.2 Importance of Human Resource Policies

HR policies are important in an organization because;

  • HR or employment policies help to ensure that when dealing with matters concerning people, an approach in line with corporate values is adopted throughout the organization.
  • They serve as the basis for enacting values i.e. converting espoused values into values in use.
  • They provide frameworks within which consistent decisions are made, and promote equity in the way in which people are treated.
  • Because they provide guidance on what managers should do in particular circumstances they facilitate empowerment, devolution and delegation.
  • They assist in long term survival of an organization
  • Helps demonstrate both internally and externally that the organization meets requirements for diversity; ethics and commitment as well as compliance with legal frame work of the country and cooperate governance.
  • They also help to shape organizational culture.

 

3.3 Areas Covered By Human Resource Policies

HR policies can be expressed as overall statements of the values of the organization. The main points that can be included in an overall policy statement and specific policy areas are set out below.

a)Overall policy

The overall policy defines how the organization fulfills its social responsibilities for its employees and sets out its attitudes towards them. It is an expression of its values or beliefs about how people should be treated. The formation of an institution is marked by the making of value commitments, that is, choices which fix the assumptions of policy makers as to the nature of the enterprise, its distinctive aims, methods and roles.’

The values expressed in an overall statement of HR policies may explicitly or implicitly refer to the following areas:

  • Equity: treating employees fairly and justly by adopting an ‘even handed’ approach. This includes protecting individuals from any unfair decisions made by their managers, providing equal opportunities for employment and promotion, and operating an equitable payment system.
  • Consideration: taking account of individual circumstances when making decisions that affect the prospects, security or self-respect of employees.
  • Organizational learning: a belief in the need to promote the learning and development of all the members of the organization by providing the processes and support required.
  • Performance through people: the importance attached to developing a performance culture and to continuous improvement; the significance of performance management as a means of defining and agreeing mutual expectations; the provision of fair feedback to people on how well they are performing.
  • Work-life balance: striving to provide employment practices that enable people to balance their work and personal obligations.
  • Quality of working life: consciously and continually aiming to improve the quality of working life. This involves increasing the sense of satisfaction people obtain from their work by, so far as possible, reducing monotony, increasing variety, autonomy and responsibility, and avoiding placing people under too much stress.
  • Working conditions: providing healthy, safe and so far as practicable pleasant working conditions.

One of the dilemmas facing all those who formulate HR policies is how to pursue business-led policies focusing on business success, and also fulfill the obligations to employees in such terms as equity, consideration, work-life balance, quality of working life and working conditions. It may be difficult to express these policies in anything but generalized terms, but employers increasingly have to recognize that they are subject to external as well as internal pressures.

 

  1. b) Specific policies

The specific policies should cover the following areas: equal opportunity, managing diversity, age and employment, promotion, work-life balance, employee development, reward, involvement and participation, employee relations, new technology, health and safety, discipline, grievances, redundancy, sexual harassment, bullying, substance abuse, smoking, AIDS, and e-mails.

i)Equal opportunity

The equal opportunity policy should spell out the organization’s determination to give equal opportunities to all, irrespective of sex, race, creed, disability, age or marital status. The policy should also deal with the extent to which the organization wants to take ‘affirmative action’ to redress imbalances between numbers employed according to sex or race, or to differences in the levels of qualifications and skills they have achieved.

ii)Managing diversity

A policy on managing diversity recognizes that there are differences among employees and that these differences, if properly managed, will enable work to be done more efficiently and effectively. It does not focus exclusively on issues of discrimination, but instead concentrates on recognizing the differences between people. the concept of managing diversity ‘is founded on the premise that harnessing these differences will create a productive environment in which everyone will feel valued, where their talents are fully utilized, and in which organizational goals are met’.

Managing diversity is a concept that recognizes the benefits to be gained from differences. It differs from equal opportunity, which aims to legislate against discrimination, assumes that people should be assimilated into the organization, and often relies on affirmative action.

A management of diversity policy could:

  • acknowledge cultural and individual differences in the workplace;
  • state that the organization values the different qualities people bring to their jobs;
  • emphasize the need to eliminate bias in such areas as selection, promotion, performance assessment, pay and learning opportunities;
  • focus attention on individual differences rather than group differences.

iii)Age and employment

The policy on age and employment should take into account the following facts:

  • Age is a poor predictor of job performance.
  • It is misleading to equate physical and mental ability with age.
  • More of the population are living active, healthy lives as they get older.

The policy should define the approach the organization adopts to engaging, promoting and training older employees. It should emphasize that the only criterion for selection or promotion should be ability to do the job; and for training, the belief that the employee will benefit, irrespective of age. The policy should also state that age requirements should not be set out in external or internal job advertisements.

  1. iv) Promotion

A promotion policy could state the organization’s intention to promote from within wherever this is appropriate as a means of satisfying its requirements for high quality staff. The policy could, however, recognize that there will be occasions when the organization’s present and future needs can only be met by recruitment from outside. The point could be made that a vigorous organization needs infusions of fresh blood from time to time if it is not to stagnate. In addition, the policy might state that employees will be encouraged to apply for internally advertised jobs, and will not be held back from promotion by their managers, however reluctant the latter may be to lose them.

  1. V) Work-life balance

Work-life balance policies define how the organization intends to allow employees greater flexibility in their working patterns so that they can balance what they do at work with the responsibilities and interests they have outside work. The policy will indicate how flexible work practices can be developed and implemented. It will emphasize that the numbers of hours worked must not be treated as a criterion for assessing performance. It will set out guidelines on specific arrangements that can be made, such as flexible hours, compressed working week, term-time working contracts, working at home, and special leave for parents, career breaks and various kinds of child care.

  1. vi) Employee development

The employee development policy could express the organization’s commitment to the continuous development of the skills and abilities of employees in order to maximize their contribution and to give them the opportunity to enhance their skills, realize their potential, advance their careers and increase their employability both within and outside the organization.

vii) Reward

The reward policy could cover such matters as:

  • providing an equitable pay system;
  • Equal pay for work of equal value;
  • paying for performance, competence, skill or contribution;
  • sharing in the success of the organization (gain sharing or profit sharing);
  • The relationship between levels of pay in the organization and market rates;
  • The provision of employee benefits, including flexible benefits if appropriate;
  • The importance attached to the non-financial rewards resulting from recognition, accomplishment, autonomy, and the opportunity to develop.

vii) Involvement and participation

The involvement and participation (employee voice policy) should spell out the organization’s belief in giving employees an opportunity to have a say in matters that affect them. It should define the mechanisms for employee voice, such as joint consultation and suggestion schemes.

viii) Employee relations

The employee relations policy will set out the organization’s approach to the rights of employees to have their interests represented to management through trade unions, staff associations or some other form of representative system. It will also cover the basis upon which the organization works with trade unions, for example, emphasizing that this should be regarded as a partnership.

  1. ix) New technology

A new technology policy statement could state that there will be consultation about the introduction of new technology, and the steps that would be taken by the organization to minimize the risk of compulsory redundancy or adversely affect other terms and conditions or working arrangements.

  1. x) Health and safety

Health and safety policies cover how the organization intends to provide healthy and safe places and systems of work.

  1. xi) Discipline

The disciplinary policy should state that employees have the right to know what is expected of them and what could happen if they infringe the organization’s rules. It would also make the point that, in handling disciplinary cases, the organization will treat employees in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

Xii) Grievances

The policy on grievances could state that employees have the right to raise their grievances with their manager, to be accompanied by a representative if they so wish, and to appeal to a higher level if they feel that their grievance has not been resolved satisfactorily.

xii) Redundancy

The redundancy policy could state that it is the organization’s intention to use its best endeavors to avoid involuntary redundancy through its redeployment and retraining procedures. However, if redundancy is unavoidable those affected will be given fair and equitable treatment, the maximum amount of warning, and every help that can be provided by the organization to obtain suitable alternative work.

Xiii) Sexual harassment

The sexual harassment policy should state that:

  • Sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
  • Employees subjected to sexual harassment will be given advice, support and counselling as required.
  • Every attempt will be made to resolve the problem informally with the person complained against.
  • Assistance will be given to the employee to complain formally if informal discussions fail.
  • A special process will be available for hearing complaints about sexual harassment. This will provide for employees to bring their complaint to someone of their own sex if they so wish
  • Complaints will be handled sensitively and with due respect for the rights of both the complainant and the accused.
  • Sexual harassment is regarded as gross industrial misconduct and, if proved, makes the individual liable for instant dismissal. Less severe penalties may be reserved for minor cases but there will always be a warning that repetition will result in dismissal.

xiv) Bullying

An anti-bullying policy will state that bullying will not be tolerated by the organization and that those who persist in bullying their staff will be subject to disciplinary action, which could be severe in particularly bad cases. The policy will make it clear that individuals who are being bullied should have the rights to discuss the problem with a management representative or a member of the HR function, and to make a complaint. The policy should emphasize that if a complaint is received it will be thoroughly investigated.

  1. xv) Substance abuse

A substance abuse policy could include assurances that:

  • Employees identified as having substance abuse problems will be offered advice and help.
  • Any reasonable absence from work necessary to receive treatment will be granted under the organization’s sickness scheme provided that there is full cooperation from the employee.
  • An opportunity will be given to the employee to discuss the matter once it has become evident or suspected that work performance is being affected by substance-related problems.
  • The employee has the right to be accompanied by a friend or employee representative in any such discussion.
  • Agencies will be recommended to which the employee can go for help if necessary.
  • Employment rights will be safeguarded during any reasonable period of treatment.

xvi) Smoking

The smoking policy would define no-smoking rules including where, if at all, smoking is permitted.

Xvii) AIDS

An AIDS policy could include the following points:

  • The risks of infection in most workplaces are negligible.
  • Where the occupation involves blood contact, as in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and laboratories, the special precautions advised by the Health and Safety Commission will be implemented.
  •  Employees who know that they are infected with AIDS will not be obliged to disclose the fact to the company, but if they do, the fact will remain completely confidential.
  • There will be no discrimination against anyone with or at risk of acquiring AIDS.
  • Employees infected by HIV or suffering from AIDS will be treated no differently from anyone else suffering a severe illness.

xviii) E-mails

The policy on e-mails could state that the sending or downloading of offensive emails is prohibited, and that those sending or downloading such messages will be subject to normal disciplinary procedures. They may also prohibit any browsing or downloading of material not related to the business, although this can be difficult to enforce. Some companies have always believed that reasonable use of the telephone is acceptable, and that policy may be extended to e-mails. If it is decided that employees’ e-mails should be monitored to check on excessive or unacceptable use, then this should be included in an e-mail policy which would therefore be part of the contractual arrangements. A policy statement could be included to the effect that ‘The company reserves the right to access and monitor all email messages created, sent, received or stored on the company’s system’.

 

Formulation HR policies

The following steps should be taken to formulate and implement HR policies:

  1. i) Define the policy area: the area covered by policy to be made should be decided keeping in mind the needs and objectives of the organization. This involves Gain understanding of the corporate culture and its core values, analyzing existing policies whether written and unwritten, implicit or formally expressed, analyzing external influences such employment legislation and codes of practice issued by relevant professional institutions,  Assessing any areas where new policies are needed or existing policies are inadequate.
  2. ii) Identifying alternative policies: various alternative policies are developed according to data concerning internal and external environment of the enterprise. This can be done by taking the views of managers about HR policies and where they think they could be improved, Seeking the views of employees about the HR policies, especially the extent to which they are inherently fair and equitable and are implemented fairly and consistently which can be done through an attitude survey in addition to seeking the views of union representatives. The information obtained in these two steps is then analyzed and draft policies prepared.

iii) Evaluating the alternatives: the policies developed are evaluated in relation to contribution they will make in achieving organizational objectives. This is done by Consulting, discussing and agreeing with management and union representatives.

iv)Selection of the policy: The most appropriate or the best policy is selected from the alternatives evaluated.

  1. v) Communicating the policy: The policy is communicated and explained to those affected by it. The policy should be communicated together with guidance notes on their implementation as required which should be as self-explanatory as possible. This communication may be supplemented with training.
  2. vi) Review the policy from time.

 

3.4 Review questions

  1. Define the term HR policy
  2. State five sources of a HR policy
  3. Discuss the importance of HR policy in an organization
  4. Identify the steps involved in formulating of HR policies
  5. Explain five characteristics of a HR policy

 

TOPIC 4

4.0 HUMAN RESOURCE RECORDS

explain the uses of human resource records  By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:

  1. discuss the types of human resource records
  2. discuss computerized human resource records
  3. explain the importance of human resource information systems
  4. identify emerging issues and trends in human resource records management

 

 

Introduction

Human Resource (HR) records or Personnel Records are records pertaining to employees of an organization. These records are accumulated with factual and comprehensive information related to employees in the organization and is kept in a systematic order. Such records are helpful to a manager in various decision-making areas. Every employer maintains personnel records to document the employment relationship with employees. Personnel records range from employee recognition letters to job applications to personnel files. Personnel records provide a paper trail of an employee’s background, experiences, history, accomplishments, goals, feedback, disciplinary action (if any), recognition, and promotions, to name just a few personnel records.

4.1 Uses of Human Resource Records

HR records are used to preserve information either in soft copy or hard copy. The main uses of these records in an organization include;

  1. a) It helps to supply crucial information to managers regarding the employees.
  2. b) To keep an update record of leaves, lockouts, transfers, turnover, etc. of the employees.
  3. c) It helps the managers in framing various training and development programmes on the basis of present scenario.
  4. d) It helps the government organizations to gather data in respect to rate of turnover, rate of absenteeism and other personnel matters.
  5. e) It helps the managers to make salary revisions, allowances and other benefits related to salaries.
  6. f) It also helps the researchers to carry in- depth study with respect to industrial relations and goodwill of the firm in the market.
  7. g) It helps managers in HR planning, recruitment and monitoring performance.
  8. h) They are evidence of compliance with the labour laws relating to keeping of re

4.2 Types of Personnel Records

Commonly, personnel records include:

  1. a) Personal Records

These contain all relevant personal records of an employee. An employee personnel record is an employers’ saved documentation of the history and status of the entire employment relationship with an individual employee and may contain documents such as appointment letter, application letter, testimonials, job description, staff appraisal results, salaries and wages details, application of absence from duty, training undertaken, leaves etc.

  1. b) Statistical records

These are also called non-employee specific records and can be organized by activity or topic e.g procedural or policy files. They are filed at a central point or at departmental level in such a way that they are easy to understand and be compared. They usually contain information that is eternally demanded by different organizations and may include statistics on wages and salaries, employee deductions, grade of employees, labour turnover, age, gender etc. non-employee-specific personnel files (organized by activity or topic) e.g. procedural or policy files

  1. c) Computerized records

These are available in different ways ranging from small desktop systems that deal with basic personnel records to main frame computers which are integrated systems to produce information on labour costs, manpower management, and compensation trends etc.

The information contained in the above records may be classified into;

  1. i) Wages and salaries records which contain pay roll records, methods of wages and salaries, leave records, turnover records and other benefit records.
  2. ii) Training and development which contains appraisal reports, transfer cases, training schedule, training methods.

iii) Health and safety records which include sickness reports, safety provisions, medical history, insurance reports, etc.

  1. iv) Service Records are the essential records containing bio-data, residential and family information, academic qualifications, marital status, past address and employment records.

 

Management of personnel records

Effective and efficient management of personnel records can be achieved by:

  1. a) Establishing policies and procedures for managing personnel records in accordance with the organization’s regulatory framework. It is good management practice for an organization to understand the regulatory framework it is subject to for personnel records, and to establish policies and procedures to communicate requirements to relevant action officers, supervisors and managers.
  2. b) Designing or implementing personnel recordkeeping systems so that records with short retention periods can be destroyed while records with long retention periods are retained for as long as required. An organization’s regulatory framework includes legislation and government or industry policies and procedures regarding employee records, and will vary according to the organization. Elements of the framework may include the privacy and personal information protection and guidelines issued under the laws of the country, which establishes principles for the management of private and personal information within personnel records
  3. c) Designing or implementing personnel recordkeeping systems so that sensitive records can be kept secure and protected to meet privacy management obligations. Records created to support the management of employees often contain information of a sensitive or personal nature. Organizations should ensure that such records are managed securely and that access to the records is restricted to authorized users e.g. Access levels and security arrangements should be documented. Controlled access should apply for as long as the records are required to be retained, and records should be destroyed promptly when minimum retention periods have expired.
  4. d) Creating and maintaining adequate summary records of employees. Creating adequate summary records of employment and service can make the management of personnel records more efficient and effective. Summary records are records that summarize the content of other records. Many organizations have kept summary records in the past, such as staff service cards. Increasingly, organizations are using human resource management databases or other automated systems that can provide a similar summary record of employment and service history.

4.3 Computerized Human Resource Records

The type of HR data collected, where the data are stored, how the data are used, and the type of system used has changed over time, but the need to collect information relating to hiring, promoting, and firing employees has not changed. These records were traditionally kept on paper, creating issues with storage, the ability to locate records and longevity. However, changing over to HR technology has helped resolve some of these issues. HR technology is increasingly being used by small, medium, and large employers to meet the needs of its stakeholders. Among the technologies used to keep HR records is the computerized system which involves keeping track of all employee records in a computer system. The advantages and disadvantages of this system are as below;

Advantages of computerized HR records

a)Space

Keeping paper records takes up a lot of space. The more employees a company has, the more space it needs to store all of the records, especially if the company keeps records for past employees. A computerized system allows a company to transfer paper documents into digital form, which only takes up the space for the computer. Most computers have plenty of hard drive space to store all of the required employee records. A company is then free to use the former storage space for the paper records for another office or some other type of storage.

  1. b) Accessibility

Paper records, no matter how well they are filed, can take several minutes to search through. For any particular information, the file for the correct employee should be found, which is usually easy as long as the files are kept in good alphabetical order, but can still take time depending on how many filing cabinets you must walk among to get to it. After that you still must locate the particular document you need, which can take time, especially if the employee’s file is thick. However, if the personnel system is stored on a computer, it is a matter of seconds to search for the information you are looking for through the computer’s search features. Employers can view files from multiple computers, and even offices located in multiple cities, as well.

 

 

  1. c) Time

In addition to saving time when searching for specific documents within paper files, employers can save time in other ways. If an employer requires someone’s paper file due to disciplinary action or for a performance review, she would have to wait for someone to locate the file and deliver it to her. When the system is computerized, she can simply look up the information on her computer without having to wait. Filing away documents is also done more quickly, saving time on filing.

  1. d) Statistics

When personnel records are computerized, an employer can instruct the computer to gather specific statistics, such as output levels, absences or turnover rates, to find ways to improve the company. These statistics can give an employer a wealth of important information. If upper management requests these statistics, the computer makes it easy to compile the information and can quickly create a graph to better illustrate the statistics.

  1. e) Identifying trends

Some employees exhibit trends in their work habits that can clue an employer in on potential issues. For example, an employee may have a habit of calling in sick once every couple of weeks on the exact same day of the week. Some employees choose Monday or Friday to extend a weekend, while others choose a more discreet route by using a day in the middle of the week. A computerized personnel system can help an employer identify trends such as this more easily than relying on paper records and memory.

 

Disadvantages of a computerized Human Resource record System

  1. a) Access control

When an organization collects personal data about its employees in a computer, certain security risks may arise. An organization spends funds to keep employee private information secure against internal and external threats. One disadvantage of a computerized system is that an organization must collect information about who accesses employee private information. This data requires follow up with an audit process, which could result in disciplining or prosecuting an employee who accesses employee data without authorization or without an official purpose.

  1. b) Specialized Knowledge

The need for data control is another potential disadvantage of a computerized system. This data control extends beyond unauthorized access of employee private information. An organization using this system must employ its own set of technical staff to program, troubleshoot, update and support the system. While the system may help an organization reduce the cost of HR personnel, it could increase the requirements for technical staff with knowledge specific to the HRMS solution.

  1. c) Data Entry Errors

A computer system is only as good as its human programmers and end users. People with high-level access, such as people who update an HR file, may enter the wrong information deliberately or in error. If data is improperly updated, changed or lost, an organization can face government fines and other costs associated with inaccurate HR records.

  1. d) Loss of information

A lot of information can be lost if the computer is stolen or the computer system collapses. A computer system cannot therefore operate without a manual system as a back up to mitigate against such problems.

4.4 Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

Human resource information system (HRIS) or human resource management system (HRMS), is basically an intersection of human resources and information technology through HR software. This allows HR activities and processes to occur electronically. HRIS may be viewed as a way, through software, for businesses big and small to take care of a number of activities, including those related to human resources, accounting, management, and payroll In most situations, a HRIS will also lead to increases in efficiency when it comes to making decisions in HR. The decisions made should also increase in quality—and as a result, the productivity of both employees and manages should increase and become more effective.

 

An effective HRIS provides information on just about anything the company needs to track and analyze about employees, former employees, and applicants. HRIS is made up of a number of subsystems, and data can be stored, maintained, and generated from the system. These data can be used to create information that will serve different purposes for many different stakeholders. The key functions of an HRIS are;

  1. i) Creating, analysis and maintaining employee records e.g. applications, payroll, benefits administration etc.
  2. ii) Ensuring legal compliance

iii) Enabling managers to forecast and plan future HR requirements

  1. iv) Providing information to managers and HR so they can manage knowledge and manage talent (career and succession planning)
  2. v) Providing information to enable HR plans and activities to align more effectively with the organization’s strategic plan
  3. vi) Assisting managers with decision making by providing relevant data so they can make more effective and informed decisions

 

Elements (subsystems) of HRIS

Many organizations have gone beyond the traditional functions and developed human resource management information systems, which support recruitment, selection, hiring, job placement, performance appraisals, employee benefit analysis, health, safety and security .A HRIS have enabled enterprises to automate many aspects of human resource management which operate as modules / subsystems. Currently Human Resource Management Systems have the following key modules:

Organization

The Organization module is organization structure such as company, location, department, designations, employee group and organization change such as resignation, termination, transfer, promotion.

Payroll

The payroll module automates the pay process by gathering data on employee time and attendance, calculating various deductions and taxes, and generating periodic pay cheques and employee tax reports. Data is generally fed from the human resources and time keeping modules to calculate automatic deposit and manual cheque writing capabilities. This module can encompass all employee-related transactions as well as integrate with existing financial management systems.

 

Time and Attendance

The Time and Attendance Module automates time tracking related processes and enhances the organization’s performance by eliminating paperwork and manual processes associated with time and attendance needs. The sophisticated module helps to efficiently organize labor data, improve the workforce management and minimize errors in enforcement of company’s attendance policies.

Benefits Administration

The benefits administration module provides a system for organizations to administer and track employee participation in benefits programs. These typically encompass insurance, compensation, profit sharing and retirement.

HR Management

The HR management module is a component covering many other HR aspects from application to retirement. The system records basic demographic and address data, selection, training and development, capabilities and skills management ,compensation planning records and other related activities. Leading edge systems provide the ability to “read” applications and enter relevant data to applicable database fields, notify employers and provide position management and position control not in use. Human resource management function involves the recruitment, placement, evaluation, compensation and development of the employees of an organization.

Recruiting

Online recruiting has become one of the primary methods employed by HR departments to garner potential candidates for available positions within an organization. Talent Management systems typically encompass:

  • analyzing personnel usage within an organization
  • identifying potential applicants
  • recruiting through company-facing listings
  • Recruiting through online recruiting sites or publications that market to both recruiters and applicants.

The significant cost incurred in maintaining an organized recruitment effort, cross-posting within and across general or industry-specific job boards and maintaining a competitive exposure of availabilities has given rise to the development of a dedicated Applicant Tracking System, or ‘ATS’, module.

Training

The training module provides a system for organizations to administer and track employee training and development efforts. The system, normally called a Learning Management System if a standalone product, allows HR to track education, qualifications and skills of the employees, as well as outlining what training courses, books, CDs, web based learning or materials are available to develop which skills. Courses can then be offered in date specific sessions, with delegates and training resources being mapped and managed within the same system. Sophisticated LMS allow managers to approve training, budgets and calendars alongside performance management and appraisal metrics.

Employee Self-Service

The Employee Self-Service module allows employees to query HR related data and perform some HR transactions over the system. Employees may query their attendance record from the system without asking the information from HR personnel. The module also lets supervisors approve Overtime requests from their subordinates through the system without overloading the task on HR department.

Reports

The Reports Module provides customized reporting according to employee’s individual needs. Any number of reports can be defined by selecting from a range of search criteria and report fields. Report definitions can be saved to avoid repeating this task. Once the report definition is saved the report can be generated by providing the required criteria data.

4.5 Emerging Isssues in HR Records

  1. a) E-HRM

E-HRM is the (planning, implementation) application of information technology for both networking and supporting at least two individual or collective actors in their shared performing of HR activities. E-HRM is defined as a network-based structure built on partnerships and typically mediated by information technologies to help the organization acquire, develop, and deploy intellectual capital. It is in essence the devolution of HR functions to management and employees.

There are three tiers of E-HRM which are; Operational, Relational and Transformational. Operational E-HRM is concerned with administrative functions e.g. payroll and employee personal data. Relational E-HRM is concerned with supporting business processes by means of training, recruitment, performance management and so forth.  Transformational E-HRM is concerned with strategic HR activities such as knowledge management, strategic re-orientation.

  1. b) Employee Self-Service

Employee self-service (ESS) systems enable employees to access and manage their personal information directly, without having to go through their HR departments or their managers. ESS systems are set up so that employees can sign onto their company system via the Internet and be immediately authenticated and verified HR departments can set up employee access to HR services. Access can also be provided through interactive voice response (IVR). An interactive voice response (IVR) system is a telephone technology in which a touch-tone phone is used to interact with a database to acquire information from it or enter data into it. For example, employees can call in to report their attendance by entering a specific code.

  1. c) Web-Based Technology

For the most part, the HR department continues to be the owner and custodian of HR information but others have begun to recognize the value of this information to the business. The reports that HR is able to produce have become more sophisticated. At this point, the majority of systems are still not Web-based, but some leading-edge organizations have embraced this technology. The technology of the future will be about speedy access to accurate current information, and the ability to access this information via multiple systems will give organizations a strategic edge. HR is expected to relinquish its role as sole owner of HR information, so that managers and employees can use this information to solve their own problems using Web-based systems.

 

4.6 Review questions

  1. Explain three types of HR records
  2. State and explain five uses of HR records
  3. Explain the advantages of using computerized HR records in an organization
  4. Outline the key functions of HRIS in an organization

 

TOPIC 5

5.0 JOB ANALYSIS THEORY

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to;

– explain the meaning of analysis

– explain the importance of job analysis

– describe the process of job analysis

– discuss the techniques/ methods for collecting data for job analysis

– explain the content of job description and job specification

 

 

Introduction

A job is a collection of duties, tasks, responsibilities which are regarded as regular assignments to an individual employee. Job analysis is therefore important to identify the tasks, duties and responsibilities of any particular job. This helps in giving a reflection of the work flow and employers expectation from individual employees.

5.1 Meaning of Job Analysis

Job Analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. It can also ba defined as the procedure through which you determine the duties and nature of the jobs and the kinds of people who should be hired for them. The information obtained is used to write job descriptions and job specifications, which are utilized in recruitment and selection, compensation, performance appraisal, and training.  An important concept of Job Analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the Job, not the person. While Job Analysis data may be collected from incumbents through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, not a description of the person.

 

Aims of job analysis

Job analysis aims answer questions such as:

  • Why does the job exist?
  • What physical and mental activities does the worker undertake?
  • When is the job to be performed?
  • Where is the job to be performed?
  • How does the worker do the job?
  • What qualifications are needed to perform the job?
  • What tools are employed?
  • What skills, qualifications and abilities are needed?
  • Which are the hazards encountered?
  • How is it related to other jobs?
  • How will performance be measured? etc.

The job analysis may therefore activities such as: reviewing the job responsibilities of current employees, doing Internet research and viewing sample job descriptions online or offline highlighting similar jobs, analyzing the work duties, tasks, and responsibilities that need to be accomplished by the employee filling the position, researching and sharing with other companies that have similar jobs, and articulation of the most important outcomes or contributions needed from the position.

5.2 Importance of Job Analysis

One of the main purposes of conducting job analysis is to prepare job descriptions and a job specification which in turn helps hire the right quality of workforce into an organization. The general purpose of job analysis is to document the requirements of a job and the work performed. Job and task analysis is performed as a basis for later improvements, including: definition of a job domain; description of a job; development of performance appraisals, personnel selection, selection systems, promotion criteria, training needs assessment, legal defense of selection processes, and compensation plans. The human performance improvement industry uses job analysis to make sure training and development activities are focused and effective. In the fields of human resources (HR) and industrial psychology, job analysis is often used to gather information for use in personnel selection, training, classification, and/or compensation.

Industrial Psychologists use job analysis to determine the physical requirements of a job to determine whether an individual who has suffered some diminished capacity is capable of performing the job with, or without, some accommodation. Professionals developing certification exams use job analysis (often called something slightly different, such as “task analysis” or “work analysis”) to determine the elements of the domain which must be sampled in order to create a content valid exam. When a job analysis is conducted for the purpose of valuing the job (i.e., determining the appropriate compensation for incumbents) this is called “job evaluation.”

 

Uses of job analysis

Job analysis helps to prepare sound human resource practice and policies. Because  job analysis provides a deeper understanding of the behavioral requirements of the job, it plays a vital role in the defense of employment practices. Following are the main uses of job analysis:

  1. HR Planning

Job analysis provides useful information for human resource planning. It is the foundation for forecasting demand for and supply of human resources in an organization. It is also necessary for preparing HR inventory and HR information system in the organization.

  1. Recruitment and Selection

Job analysis provides necessary information for conducting recruitment and selection of employees in the organization. Recruitment generates a pool of candidates who are willing to perform in the organization, whereas selection selects the best suited candidate out of the available candidates who are supposed to perform well in the organization. Job analysis provides information about what the job entails and what human characteristics are required in order to perform these activities. This information, in the form of job descriptions and specifications, helps management officials decide what sort of people they need to recruit and hire and select.

  1. Training and Development

Up-to-date description and specification statements help to ensure the requirement of training and development needs in the organization. By comparing knowledge and skill of current employees with the expected level of performance, the need of training and development requirement can be assessed. In addition, job analysis helps in identifying / developing, training content, assessment tests to measure effectiveness of training, equipment to be used in delivering the training and methods of training.

  1. Compensation Management

Job analysis provides necessary information for managing compensation of employees. Job Analysis can be used in compensation to identify or determine skill levels, compensable job factors, work environment (e.g., hazards; attention; physical effort)  responsibilities (e.g., fiscal; supervisory)  and required level of education which is indirectly related to salary level). therefore It helps to rank the job in order to make compensation decisions.

  1. Performance Appraisal

Job analysis helps to appraise the performance of employees by providing clear cut standards of performance for each job. It compares each employee’s actual performance with the predetermined standards. A performance appraisal compares each employee’s actual performance with his or her performance standards. Managers use job analysis to determine the job’s specific activities and performance standards.

  1. Information of Duties

Job analysis provides valuable information regarding the duties and responsibilities of an incumbent through job description statement. It also provides the content and skill requirement

  1. Health and Safety

In course of job analysis, certain unsafe environmental and operational conditions or personal habits are discovered and thus, that may lead to safety improvements.

  1. Job Re-engineering

Job analysis provides valuable information data relating to the content and skill requirement of jobs which help to bring about improvements in the engineering design of jobs.

  1. Employee Counseling

Vocational guidance and rehabilitation counseling is possible through comprehensive job description and specification statements.

  1. Discovering Unassigned Duties

Job Analysis can also help reveal unassigned duties. For example, a company’s production manager says an employee is responsible for ten duties, such as production scheduling and raw material purchasing. Missing, however, is any reference to managing raw material inventories. On further study, it is revealed that none of the other manufacturing employees are responsible for inventory management, either. From review of other jobs like these, it is clear that someone should be managing raw material inventories. Therefore, an essential unassigned duty has been revealed.

 

Approaches job analysis

Since the purpose of job analysis is to combine the task demands of a job with our human attributes and produce a theory of behavior for the job in question. There are two ways to approach building that theory, meaning there are two different approaches to job analysis which are;

  1. a) Task-oriented

Task-oriented procedures also referred to as task analysis; focus on the actual activities involved in performing work. This procedure takes into consideration work duties, responsibilities, and functions. The job analyst then develops task statements which clearly state the tasks that are performed with great detail. After creating task statements, job analysts rate the tasks on scales indicating importance, difficulty, frequency, and consequences of error. Based on these ratings, a greater sense of understanding of a job can be attained.

  1. b) Worker-oriented

Worker-oriented procedures aim to examine the human attributes needed to perform the job successfully. These human attributes have been commonly classified into four categories: knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAO). Knowledge is the information people need in order to perform the job. Skills are the proficiencies needed to perform each task. Abilities are the attributes that are relatively stable over time. Other characteristics are all other attributes, usually personality factors. The KSAOs required for a job are inferred from the most frequently-occurring, important tasks. In a worker-oriented job analysis, the skills are inferred from tasks and the skills are rated directly in terms of importance of frequency.

Job analysis methods have evolved using both task-oriented and worker-oriented approaches. Since the end result of both approaches is a statement of KSAOs, neither can be considered the “correct” way to conduct job analysis. Because worker-oriented job analyses tend to provide more generalized human behavior and behavior patterns and are less tied to the technological parts of a job, they produce data more useful for developing training programs and giving feedback to employees in the form of performance appraisal information. Also, the volatility that exists in the typical workplace of today can make specific task statements less valuable in isolation. For these reasons, employers are significantly more likely to use worker-oriented approaches to job analysis today than they were in the past.

5.3

Process of Job Analysis Process

Job analysis is a process of collecting information related to various aspects of the job. It collects and analyses the information associated with job description and specifications. The process involves several steps which include;

  1. Information Collection

This is the first step of job analysis under which required information related to various aspects of jobs are collected. Information is obtained through different methods such as interview, observation, questionnaire; critical incidents etc. It is associated with preparation of plans and programs and assignment of responsibilities to the concerned person. According to Terry “the make-up of a job, its relation to other jobs and its requirements for competent performance are essential information needed for a job evaluation.” Two types of information are collected information regarding job such as its physical environment, its social environment, financial conditions etc. and (b) information relating to qualities of persons holding the job.

  1. Review Background Information

This is the second step of job analysis process under which the previously collected information is reviewed to design organizational charts, current position descriptions and specifications, procedures, manuals and process charts. These help in detailed assessment of job.

  1. Selection of Representative Position To Be Analyzed

Analyzing all jobs at a time is complex and costly affair. So, only a representative sample of jobs is selected for the purpose of detailed analysis. Under it, the job analyst investigates to determine which organization managers or employees require job analysis. He should also determine for what purpose the job must be analyzed.

 

 

  1. Data collection

Under this step of job analysis process, a job analyst obtains the data and information related to the selected jobs. The information is collected on the job activities, required employee behaviors, working conditions, human traits and qualities, abilities of performing the job and other various dimension of the job. Data can be collected either through questionnaire, observation or interviews.

  1. Develop Job Description

In this step of job analysis, a job description schedule is developed through the information collected in the above step. This is the written statement which describes the prominent characteristics of job along with duties, location and degree of risk involved in each job.

  1. Develop Job Specification

Developing the job specification is the last step of job analysis process under which a detailed specification statement is prepared showing minimum requirement of each job (job specification). A job specification summarizes the personal qualities, traits, skills, knowledge, and background required to perform specific task. It also involves the physical and psychological attributes of the incumbent.  Such statement is used in selecting a person matching with the job.

  1. Preparation of Report and approval

The job analyst prepares a report mentioning the analysis of various activities on the job and the qualities of the individual to be placed on the job. The report is revised in the light of the suggestions given by the supervisor or the personnel manager. The complete report is then submitted to the top executive for approval. The office bearers of the trade unions may also be taken into confidence before approving the report. The final report should be approved by the top executive who is responsible for making final decision on the matter.

It should however be noted that some of these steps may be combined resulting to as few as five steps.

 

5.4 Techniques for Collecting Data for Job Analysis

An HR specialist (an HR specialist, job analyst, or consultant), a worker, and the worker’s supervisor usually work together in conducting the job analysis. A variety of methods are used to collect information about jobs. None of them, however, is perfect. In actual practice, therefore, a combination of several methods is used for obtaining job analysis data. These are discussed below.

  1. a) Job performance

In this method the job analyst actually performs the job in question. The analyst, thus, receives firsthand experience of contextual factors on the job including physical hazards, social demands, emotional pressures and mental requirements. This method is useful for jobs that can be easily learned. It is not suitable for jobs that are hazardous (e.g., fire fighters) or for jobs that require extensive training (e.g., doctors, pharmacists).

  1. b) Personal observation

The analyst observes the worker(s) doing the job. The tasks performed, the pace at which activities are done, the working conditions, etc., are observed during a complete work cycle. During observation, certain precautions should be taken

  • The analyst must observe average workers during average conditions.
  • The analyst should observe without getting directly involved in the job.
  • The analyst must make note of the specific job needs and not the behaviors specific to particular workers.
  • The analyst must make sure that he obtains a proper sample for generalization.

This method allows for a deep understanding of job duties. It is appropriate for manual, short period job activities. On the negative side, the methods fail to take note of the mental aspects of jobs.

  1. c) Critical incidents

The critical incident technique (CIT) is a qualitative approach to job analysis used to obtain specific, behaviorally focused descriptions of work or other activities. Here the job holders are asked to describe several incidents based on their past experience. The incidents so collected are analyzed and classified according to the job areas they describe. The job requirements will become clear once the analyst draws the line between effective and ineffective behaviors of workers on the job. The critical incidents are recorded after the events have already taken place – both routine and non-routine. The process of collecting a fairly good number of incidents is a lengthy one. Since, incidents of behavior can be quite dissimilar, the process of classifying data into usable job descriptions can be difficult. The analysts overseeing the work must have analytical skills and ability to translate the content of descriptions into meaningful statements.

d)Interview

The interview method consists of asking questions to both incumbents and supervisors in either an individual or a group setting. The reason behind the use of this method is that job holders are most familiar with the job and can supplement the information obtained through observation. Workers know the specific duties of the job and supervisors are aware of the job’s relationship to the rest of the organization.

Due diligence must be exercised while using the interview method. The interviewer must be trained in proper interviewing techniques. It is advisable to use a standard format so as to focus the interview to the purpose of analyst. The advantages of using an interview are that it is: simple, quick, and more comprehensive because the interviewer can unearth activities that may never appear in written form.

Although the interview method provides opportunities to elicit information sometimes not available through other methods, it has limitations. First, it is time consuming and hence costly. Second, the value of data is primarily dependent on the interviewer’s skills and may be faulty if they put ambiguous questions to workers. Last, interviewees may be suspicious about the motives and may distort the information they provide. If seen as an opportunity to improve their positions such as to increase their wages, workers may exaggerate their job duties to add greater weight to their positions. The following interview guidelines may be used to mitigate against these limitation: a) the job analyst and supervisor should identify the workers who know the job best and would be objective; b) establish a rapport with the interviewee; c) follow a structured guide or checklist; d) ask worker to list duties in order of importance and frequency of occurrence; and e) review and verify the data.

e)Questionnaire method

The questionnaire is a widely used method of analyzing jobs and work. Here the job holders are given a properly designed questionnaire aimed at eliciting relevant job-related information. After completion, the questionnaires are handed over to supervisors. The supervisors can seek further clarifications on various items by talking to the job holders directly. After everything is finalized, the data is given to the job analyst.

The success of the method depends on various factors. The structured questionnaire must cover all job related tasks and behaviors. Each task or behavior should be described in terms of features such as importance, difficulty, frequency, and relationship to overall performance. The job holders should be asked to properly rate the various job factors and communicate the same on paper. The ratings thus collected are then put to close examination with a view to find out the actual job requirements.

Questionnaire method is highly economical as it covers a large number of job holders at a time. The collected data can be quantified and processed through a computer. The participants can complete the items leisurely. Designing questionnaires, however, is not an easy task. Proper care must be taken to see that the respondents do not misinterpret the questions. Further, it is difficult to motivate the participants to complete the questionnaires truthfully and to return them.

  1. f)   Log records/Daily Diary

Companies can ask employees to maintain log records or daily diary and job analysis can be done on the basis of information collected from the record. A log record is a book in which employee records /writes all the activities performed by him on the job. The records are extensive as well as exhausted in nature and provide a fair idea about the duties and responsibilities in any job. In this method worker actually does the work himself and idea of the skill required, the difficulty level of the job, the efforts required can be known easily.

  1. g) Human resource department records

Records of every employee are maintained by HR department. The record contain details about educational qualification, name of the job, number of years of experience, duties handled, any mistakes committed in the past and actions taken, number of promotions received, area of work, core competency  area, etc. based on these records job analysis can be done.

 

 Aspects of a job are analyzed

Job Analysis should collect information on the following areas:

  • Duties and Tasks the basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. Information to be collected about these items may include: frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards, etc.
  • Environment This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job. The work environment may include unpleasant conditions such as offensive odors and temperature extremes. There may also be definite risks to the incumbent such as noxious fumes, radioactive substances, hostile and aggressive people, and dangerous explosives.
  • Tools and Equipment some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. Equipment may include protective clothing. These items need to be specified in a Job Analysis.
  • Relationships Supervision given and received. Relationships with internal or external people.
  • Requirements The knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) required when performing the job. While an incumbent may have higher KSA’s than those required for the job, a Job Analysis typically only states the minimum requirements to perform the job.

 

5.5 Contents of Job Description and Job Specification

  1. a) Contents of job description

A job description is a formal document defining what an employee is supposed to do on a certain job. It summarizes the tasks, responsibilities and duties of a position holder; hence it describes the job not the job holder. It is used by three key stakeholders: the human resources department, the employee or potential employee, and the employee’s supervisor or manager. It is an important tool in recruitment. The manager uses it initially to gain approval and budget to recruit someone for the role. It is then used as part of the advertising program to attract candidates. Once someone has been recruited, the job description is used as the basis for performance management and identifying training and development needs. Although job descriptions vary in structure and form, they all contain three main elements which are; – job identification, job summary and duties and responsibilities. However, other contents such as relation to others, supervision, working conditions etc. may be included.

Job identification or organization position: This includes the job title, alternative title, department, division and plant and code number of the job. The job title identifies and designates the job properly. The department, division etc. indicate the name of department, where it is situated and the location given by the name of the place.

Job summary: this serves two important purposes. First it gives additional identification information when the job title is not adequate; and secondly it gives a summary about that particular job.

Job duties and responsibilities;- This gives a total listing of duties together with some indication of the frequency of occurrence or percentage of the time allocated to each major duty.

Relation to others: – this gives helps the person to locate the job in the organization by indicating the job immediately below or above it in the job hierarchy.

Supervision: – This will give an idea of the number of person to be supervised along with their job titles and the extent of supervision.

Machine: – These will give information about the tools, machines and equipment to be used.

Working conditions: It gives information about the environment in which a job holder must work.

Hazards:it gives the nature of risks of life and their possibilities of occurrence.

Additional Information:-In addition to the above components, most employers’ direct candidates and employees to relevant organizational information such as the company’s vision and values. While the main sections of the job description might be used to determine eligibility for a role, both the job candidate and the employer should consider the organization’s culture and ethics to determine if they are a good fit.

 

Characteristics of a good job description

A good job description should have the following qualities;-

  1. a) The job description should indicate the scope and nature of work including important relationships.
  2. b) The job description should be clear regarding the work of the position, duties, etc.
  3. c) More specific words should be selected to show;-
  4. i) The kind of work
  5. ii) The degree of complexity

iii) The extent to which problems are standardized

  1. iv) The degree of skills required
  2. v) The extent of worker’s responsibility for each phase of the work.

 

Limitations of job descriptions

Prescriptive job descriptions may be seen as a hindrance in certain circumstances:

  • Job descriptions may not be suitable for some senior managers as they should have the freedom to take the initiative and find fruitful new directions;
  • Job descriptions may be too inflexible in a rapidly-changing organization, for instance in an area subject to rapid technological change;
  • Other changes in job content may lead to the job description being out of date;
  • The process that an organization uses to create job descriptions may not be optimal.

 

  1. Contents of job specifications

Job specification is also referred to as man specification and is a statement of minimum acceptable human qualities needed for the job. It gives the knowledge, background and experience that a person should have to perform the work efficiently hence it helps to ‘look’ for the right person for the job. Its main components are

  • Knowledge is an organized body of information that a person mentally possesses as a result of formal education, training, or personal experience.
  • Skill requirements: skills include on the job skills and any specialized competencies.
  • Experience: describe minimum experience required to perform job satisfactorily; may include preferred/desired experience).
  • Abilities: Ability includes physical ability, metal ability, aptitudes.

 

5.6 Review questions

  1. Define the term job analysis
  2. Explain ten uses of job analysis in an organization
  3. Discuss the process of job analysis
  4. Discuss five techniques applied in collecting data for job analysis
  5. Outline the contents of a job description

TOPIC 6

LEARNING OBJECTIVE6.0 HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING

By the of this topic, the trainee should be able to;

– explain the importance of human resource planning

– explain the factors considered in forecasting human resource requirements

– describe the human resource planning process

 

 

Planning is a  basic management function involving formulation of one or more plans to achieve optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources. The planning process  identifies the goals or objectives to be achieved,  formulates strategies to achieve them,  arranges or creates the means required, and  implements, directs, and monitors all steps in their proper sequence. The planning processes of most organizations therefore define what will be accomplished within a given time frame, along with the numbers and types of resources that will be needed to achieve the defined business goals.

6.1 Importance of human Resource Planning

Meaning of human resource planning

Human Resource Planning is the process of systematically forecasting the future demand and supply for employees and the deployment of their skills within the strategic objectives of the organization. Human resources planning is a process that identifies current and future human resources needs for an organization to achieve its goals. It responds to the importance of business strategy and planning in order to ensure the availability and supply of people both in number and quality. Human resources planning serve as a link between human resources management and the overall strategic plan of an organization. The key points are;

  • Identifying the organizational goals and competencies employees need to achieve those goals. Competency-based management supports the integration of human resources planning with business planning by allowing organizations to assess the current human resource capacity based on employees’ current skills and abilities. These skills and abilities are measured against those needed to achieve the vision, mission and business goals of the organization. If the available people lack necessary competencies, the organization plans how it will develop them.
  • Making a plan either to develop necessary competencies from within the organization, or hire new people who have them. Targeted human resource strategies, plans, and programs to address gaps in the organization’s workforce are designed, developed and implemented to close the gaps. Plans and programs can include: targeted hiring/staffing, employee learning and education, career development, succession management
  • Continually evaluating the plans and strategies for fulfilling Human Resource needs. These strategies and programs are monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that they are moving the organization in the desired direction, including closing employee competency gaps. Corrections are then made as needed.

Human Resources planning can also be defined as the process of assessing an organization’s human resources needs in the light of organizational goals and changing condition and making plans to ensure that a competent, stable workforce is employed. The actual planning process will vary a great deal from organization to organization.

 

Importance of human resource planning

Human resource planning aims at fulfilling the objectives of manpower requirement. It helps to mobilize the recruited resources for the productive activities. The human resource planning is and important process aiming to link business strategy and its operation. The importance of human resource planning is as follows:

  1. Future Manpower Needs

Human resource planning ensures that people are available to provide the continued smooth operation of an organization. It means, human resource planning is regarded as a tool to assure the future availability of manpower to carry on the organizational activities. It determines the future needs of manpower in terms of number and kind.

  1. Coping with Change

Human resource planning is important to cope with the change associated with the external environmental factors. It helps assess the current human resources through HR inventory and adapts it to changing technological, political, socio-cultural, and economic forces. Changes in political environment may include new governments taking over, new laws being introduced by government etc. economic changes may include changes in interest rates ,transport systems etc. while changes in social cultural environment may be inform of changes in customs, traditions, religion etc. technological changes may include changes in methods of production. A good Human Resource Planning must respond appropriately to the rapid changing in the society and must go beyond forecasting to all aspect of HR Management.

  1. Recruitment of Talented Personnel

Another purpose of HR planning is to recruit and select the most capable personnel to fill job vacancies. It determines human resource needs, assesses the available HR inventory level and finally recruits the personnel needed to perform the job. It therefore helps the organization to tap efficiently talents which will help to integrate both the individual and organizational goal. This will consequently minimize some of the problem associated with low productivity absenteeism and labour turn over.

  1. Development of Human Resources

Human resource planning identifies the skill requirements for various levels of jobs. Then it organizes various training and development campaigns to impart the required skill and ability in employees to perform the task efficiently and effectively.

  1. Proper Utilization of Human Resources

Human resource planning measures that the organization acquires and utilizes the manpower effectively to achieve objectives. Human resource planning helps in assessing and recruiting skilled human resource. It focuses on the optimum utilization of human resource to minimize the overall cost of production.

  1. Uncertainty Reduction

This is associated with reducing the impact of uncertainty which are brought by sudden changes in processes and procedures of human resource management in the organization which may lead to a labour crisis.

 

Advantages of human resource planning

Human resource planning takes a proactive approach to meeting the company’s needs, an advantage to the organization. With a proactive approach, the company anticipates future needs, evaluates the company’s current workforce and determines what actions to take to prepare for the future. The human resource department enjoys the ability to consider all aspects and the potential implications of different actions before acting. Organizations without human resource planning react to employee needs without allowing enough time to consider all the options. Another advantage of human resource planning involves employee development. As the human resource department identifies potential employees to move into future management positions, it can implement actions that will develop those employees’ management skills. Human resource planning allows the company to review performance appraisals to see what skills an employee lacks and provide training opportunities to that employee.

 

An organization that does not plan may have labour shortages or may be forced to lay-off employees when there is a surplus. It may also suffer from management succession crises when some managers retire or resign from their positions. Hence HR planning helps an organization avoid such labour crisis. Another advantage of HR planning is that it enables an organization to achieve pre-determined corporate objectives in an ever changing business environment. This is because HR planning assists management to make appropriate HR decisions and efficiently and effectively utilizes the available human resources.

 

Disadvantages of human resource planning

Human resource planning suffers from the following limitations:

  1. human resource planning relates to the current cultural thinking of the employees. Many employees work in the same manner they were originally trained. These employees learn to perform their work efficiently and take pride in their ability. When human resource management decides to take a new approach and implement human resource planning, these employees feel threatened and resist because they fear that their current skills may not transfer to the new processes and the employee would need to learn a new system.
  2. Reliable data and information about the economy, trends in human resources, industries, and labor market are not easily available and there are inadequacies of information system which is a disadvantage to the organization. Some plans are also made using unreliable records or poorly kept employee records which may make them irrelevant.
  3. It is very difficult to ascertain the future manpower requirements of an organization, as the future is always uncertain. As such the predictions are bound to go wrong.
  4. Human Resource Planning is more relevant in countries that face scarcity of human resource. In a country, Human Resource Planning is of little assistance since manpower is available in abundance.
  5. Human Resource planning is a time-consuming and costly process. The recruitment and selection process is time-consuming and requires the services of experts. This can all add to the cost.
  6. Human Resource Planning is beneficial in organizations that adopt a professional approach and at the same time are conscious about the changing environment. Traditional business houses often adopt very indifferent approaches towards environmental changes. This limits the scope of Human Resource Planning.
  7. Human Resource Planning are beneficial where adequate skilled manpower is available. In cases where skilled manpower is not easily available, Human Resource Planning serves no purpose.
  8. Human Resource Planning is also made difficult in organizations that have a very high labour turnover. In such organizations, estimating the manpower requirements is a Herculean task. While predicting the retirement is easier, it is difficult to determine voluntary quits, prolonged illness and death. This restricts the scope of Human Resource Planning.

6.2 Factors Considered In Forecasting Human Resource Requirements

The most carefully laid human resource plans can be affected by internal and external change anytime, so forecasting and flexibility are essential for effective planning and adapting as required. In order to do this, HR managers must be aware of what’s going on within the company, the industry and the wider market in relation to the factors that influence change.

 

Internal factors to consider in human resource planning

An organization’s internal policies, however, directly impact how it staffs its workforce and are controllable. Human resources planning consider these internal factors to ensure that the business gets the most talented employees at the right time. Aligning planning decisions with strategic goals helps the company maintain productivity. The internal factors that influence HR planning include;

a)Mission

A company’s mission summarizes its purpose, values and vision. The business sets a definitive direction by establishing clear goals and objectives. Then, when the HR department goes to fill staff positions, it can recruit, interview and hire individuals who possess similar values. For example, a company that wants to adopt sustainable business practices to protect the environment should seek individuals with similar interests.

b)Culture

Organizational culture defines how employees interact with each other. Small businesses with one location usually expect personnel to work in the office. Larger companies may permit employees to work at home. Therefore, new employees at this bigger business must be comfortable attending virtual meetings and dealing with co-workers over the telephone. In general, human resources planning needs to take into account the amount of flexibility in terms of hours, dress code and formality tolerated by the company. Additionally, it ensures staff coverage during all working hours defined by company operational policies. For example, if the company promises customer support 24 hours a day, human resources planning anticipates scheduling workers throughout the day.

  1. c) Structure

Organizational structure impacts human resources planning. Functional, divisional or matrix structures require different staffing. In a functional structure, employees perform specialized tasks. In a divisional structure, each department has representation from each required function, such as sales, marketing, development and support. In a matrix structure, an employee reports to two different bosses, one represents her function and the other managing the division. In each case, effective HR planning ensures positions get filled to ensure productivity and adhere to company, local, state and federal regulations for safety and security.

 

  1. d) Funding

HR planning must occur within the budget allowed to maximize profitability. Seasonal demands for additional staff may impact hiring plans, so a business needs to anticipate this. The need for specialized skills may also impact planning. To meet short-term needs, companies may outsource non-core activities. Meeting long-term needs typically involves offering training and development opportunities to the workforce. Additionally, to maximize productivity, morale and loyalty, employers can plan events. If a business lacks the financial resources to offer comprehensive HR programs, it can provide lists of free resources related to professional development, workforce wellness and team-building. Adjusting to funding levels may make human resources plan challenging for a small business.

 

External factors affecting human resource planning

a)Political

From a shift in local public opinion to a change in government or even a new industrial world superpower entering the market, politics influence how much funding is available, how much tax must be paid, minimum wage rates, how markets are controlled and the quality and quantity of staff available for hire. When planning ahead, you need to consider likely changes to markets, budgets and availability of suitable applicants as a result of recent or anticipated political influences. For example, if a change of government is possible in the coming year, understand the new administration’s priorities in relation to markets, industries and businesses.

  1. b) Economic

How much money is available for salaries, training and equipment is the most immediate concern in human resource planning. However, external economics plays an equally critical role. For example, people don’t have as much money to spend in an economic downturn and tend to be much more selective in what they buy or services they use. This means some industries, such as those producing luxury items or non-essential services, sell less and may even have to lay off some staff. This, in turn, makes the local economy even more difficult. Building economic factors into the human resources plan helps to predict how many employees you will need and you can pay.

  1. c) Social

Several social factors may influence your HR planning, but you need to take into account equalities and diversity in particular. Where there is a clear discrepancy of one social group, it’s a good idea to build in ways of opening up new opportunities. For example, if there are few women people in your company compared to numbers in the wider community, determine why this is the case and what can be done to redress the balance.

  1. d) Technological

New technology brings new skills requirements, so companies always need to be aware of proficiencies and training needs when planning human resources. New products and services also may require recruiting highly skilled employees or training existing employees to meet the need. It is therefore important to make sure HR managers are aware of new equipment or knowledge be needed so they can build the required skills, and most likely salary enhancements, into the plan.

e)Legal

Employment law is the most significant sector of the legal system that affects human resource planning, and it changes all the time. In most cases, there is plenty to time to implement changes to policy, as the law can take a while to take effect Employment law changes must be reflected in company policy and implemented on the ground by supervisors and managers, so it is good to incorporate another training need into the human resources plan.

  1. f) Environmental

Environmental factors might include where a business is located in relation to finding sufficient appropriate staff or changes to the environment that mean a need for more or fewer employees. A simple example of environmental factors affecting human resource planning is the consideration of how employees get to work safely during night shifts in an area with high crime rates which may require an inclusion of employee transport arrangements for those in night shift.

6.3 HR Planning Process

Human resource planning is a systematic analysis of HR needs to ensure the availability of the correct number of employees with the necessary skills at the right time. It involves several steps which are forecasting, assessing the inventory, estimating future demand and supply of labour, matching demand and supply as well as implementation, monitoring and control as discussed below.

a)Forecasting

HR Planning requires that we gather data on the Organizational goals objectives. One should understand where the Organization wants to go and how it wants to get to that point. The needs of the employees are derived from the corporate objectives of the Organization. They range from shorter and medium term objectives and their conversion into action. Therefore, the HR Plan should have a mechanism to express planned Company strategies into planned results and budgets so that these can be converted in terms of numbers and skills required.

  1. Assessing Human Resources (Inventory)

After knowing what human resources are required in the Organization, the next step is to take stock of the current employees in the Organization. The HR inventory should not only relate to data concerning numbers, ages, and locations, but also an analysis of individuals and skills. Skills inventory provides valid information on professional and technical skills and other qualifications provided in the firm. It reveals what skills are immediately available when compared to the forecasted HR requirements.

The HR inventory analysis entails; Skill inventory, or keeping track of the number of employees, and the age, locations, qualifications, and skills of each employee to determine the specific role each employee would fill in the short term and long term ,Forecasting resignations and recruitment and understanding their impact on the skill inventory levels and Forecasting leaves, transfers, dismissals, sabbaticals, prolonged illness, and deaths of employees and their impact on inventory levels. The ways to forecast the internal supply of human resources include methods such as Markov analysis, transitional matrices, replacement schedules, succession planning, and the like.

  1. Estimation of demand and supply of labour

HR forecasting is the process of estimating demand for and supply of HR in an organization. Demand forecasting is a process of determining future needs for HR in terms of quantity and quality. It is done to meet the future personnel requirements of the organization to achieve the desired level of output. Future human resource needs can be estimated with the help of the organization’s current human resource situation and analysis of organizational plans and procedures. It will be necessary to perform a year-by-year analysis for every significant level and type. Supply is another side of human resource assessment. It is concerned with the estimation of supply of manpower given the analysis of current resource and future availability of human resource in the organization. It estimates the future sources of HR that are likely to be available from within and outside the organization. Internal source includes promotion, transfer, job enlargement and enrichment, whereas external source includes recruitment of fresh candidates who are capable of performing well in the organization.

  1. Matching Demand and Supply

The next step in HR Planning is developing action plans to bridge the gap between forecast and supply. . It is concerned with bringing the forecast of future demand and supply of HR. The matching process refers to bring demand and supply in an equilibrium position so that shortages and over staffing position will be solved. The various alternatives include to achieve this equilibrium is include developing strategies to recruit new employees, Retrenchment or downsizing strategy to shed excess workforce, Training and Development plans to right-size the workforce, Career Planning and Succession Planning to identify key personnel and making Changes in work regulations such as timings, overtime policy and the like. The basic considerations when undertaking the planning process is compliance and impact of labor legislation. Laws that govern overtime and retrenchment for instance can have a significant impact on the strategy adopted. The other consideration is the availability of resources such as financial, physical, and technical for implementation of the plans. Once approved, such plans become part of the company’s strategic objectives. Strategic HR Planning entails aligning such HR Plans with the overall strategic goals of the organization.

  1. Action Plan

The HR plan is then executed through the designation of different HR activities. The major activities which are required to execute the HR plan are recruitment, selection, placement, training and development, socialization etc. Finally, this step is followed by control and evaluation of performance of HR to check whether the HR planning matches the HR objectives and policies. This action plan should be updated according to change in time and conditions.

f)Monitoring and Control.

This is the last stage of HR planning in the Organization. Once the programme has been accepted and implementation launched, it has to be controlled. HR department has to make a follow up to see what is happening in terms of the available resources.  This ensures implementation proceeds in accordance with the plan and taking timely course corrections. Since the external and internal environment of an enterprise always remains in a state of flux and a good HR Plan incorporates mechanisms to make timely revisions in accordance with such changes.

6.4 Review questions

  1. State and explain the importance of human resource planning
  2. State five disadvantages of human resource planning
  3. Discuss the internal factors influencing human resource planning
  4. Describe the process of human resource planning
  5. Explain the meaning of human resource planning

 

References

1.Armstrong,M.,(2006), A Handbook of Human Resource Practice (10th Ed),Kogan page.London

  1. Dessler & Cole (2011), Human Resources Management in Canada (11th Ed) Pearson Canada Inc.

3.Joshi, M.,(2013) Human Resource Management (1st Ed), Manmohan. Bookboon.com

TOPIC 7

7.0 THEORY OF RECRUITMENT PROCESS

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to;LEARNIND OBJECTIVES

– explain the meaning of recruitment

– explain the components of a recruitment policy

– discuss the sources of candidates for recruitment

– discuss the recruitment process

– discuss the emerging issues and trends in recruitment

 

 

Theory of recruitment process describes the process of recruiting. This is especially important in today’s workplace due to the increasing competition for talent in today’s job market. Recruitment is the process of identifying that the organization needs to employ someone up to the point at which application forms for the post have arrived at the organization. Selection then consists of the processes involved in choosing from applicants a suitable candidate to fill a post. Training consists of a range of processes involved in making sure that job holders have the right skills, knowledge and attitudes required to help the organization to achieve its objectives.

7.1 Meaning of Recruitment

According to Edwin B. Flippo, “Recruitment is the process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization”. Recruitment is the activity that links the employers and the job seekers. A few definitions of recruitment are:

  • A process of finding and attracting capable applicants for employment. The process begins when new recruits are sought and ends when their applications are submitted. The result is a pool of applications from which new employees are selected.
  • It is the process to discover sources of manpower to meet the requirement of staffing schedule and to employ effective measures for attracting that manpower in adequate numbers to facilitate effective selection of an efficient working force.

 

Recruitment of candidates is the function preceding the selection, which helps create a pool of prospective employees for the organization so that the management can select the right candidate for the right job from this pool. The main objective of the recruitment process is to expedite the selection process. Recruitment is a continuous process whereby the firm attempts to develop a pool of qualified applicants for the future human resources needs even though specific vacancies do not exist. Usually, the recruitment process starts when a manger initiates an employee requisition for a specific vacancy or an anticipated vacancy. Recruitment needs are of three types: planned i.e. the needs arising from changes in organization and retirement policy, anticipated needs which are those movements in personnel that an organization can predict by studying trends in internal and external environment and unexpected which include resignation, deaths, accidents, illness give rise to unexpected needs.

 

 

Factors affecting recruitment policy

An organizations recruitment factor highly depends on;

  • Organizational objectives and image
  • Personnel policies of the organization and its competitors.
  • Government policies on reservations.
  • Preferred sources of recruitment.
  • Need of the organization.
  • Recruitment costs and implications.

 

Importance of recruitment

Recruitment is an essential process in that it;

  • Attract and encourage more and more candidates to apply in the organization.
  • Create a talent pool of candidates to enable the selection of best candidates for the organization.
  • Determine present and future requirements of the organization in conjunction with its personnel planning and job analysis activities.
  • Links the employers with the employees.
  • Increase the pool of job candidates at minimum cost.
  • Help increase the success rate of selection process by decreasing number of visibly under qualified or overqualified job applicants.
  • Help reduce the probability that job applicants once recruited and selected will leave the organization only after a short period of time.
  • Ensures the organizations legal and social obligations regarding the composition of its workforce.
  • Is the first step in identifying and preparing potential job applicants who will be appropriate candidates
  • Increase organization and individual effectiveness of various recruiting techniques and sources for all types of job applicants.

7.2 Components of the Recruitment Policy

A good recruitment policy should include;

  • The general recruitment policies and terms of the organization
  • Recruitment services of consultants where applicable
  • Recruitment of temporary
  • Unique recruitment situations
  • The selection process
  • The job descriptions
  • The terms and conditions of the employment

A recruitment policy of an organisation should be such that:

  • It should focus on recruiting the best potential people.
  • Ensures that every applicant and employee is treated equally with dignity and respect.
  • Based on an unbiased policy.
  • Aids and encourages employees in realizing their full potential.
  • Transparent, task oriented and merit based selection.
  • Weightage during selection given to factors that suit organization needs.
  • Optimization of manpower at the time of selection process.
  • Defines the competent authority to approve each selection.
  • Abides by relevant public policy and legislation on hiring and employment relationship.
  • Integrates employee needs with the organizational needs.

 

7.3 Sources of Candidates

External and internal sources

Recruiting individuals to fill particular posts within a business can be done either internally by recruitment within the firm, or externally by recruiting people from outside. The advantages of internal recruitment are that: Considerable savings can be made. Individuals with inside knowledge of how a business operates will need shorter periods of training and time for ‘fitting in’, The organization is unlikely to be greatly ‘disrupted’ by someone who is used to working with others in the organisation, Internal promotion acts as an incentive to all staff to work harder within the organisation and from the firm’s point of view, the strengths and weaknesses of an insider will have been assessed hence the employee is placed in the right job based on his skills and abilities. These sources are also economical in terms of time and money and there is always a risk attached to employing an outsider who may only be a success ‘on paper’.

 

The disadvantages of recruiting from within are that: inbreeding which limits the employers an opportunity to exercise wider choice by selecting within the person who has been promoted must be replaced, an insider may be less likely to make the essential criticisms required to get the company working more effectively and Promotion of one person in a company may upset someone else and It also reduces creativity and innovativeness as internal candidates may continue performing the same way they have done over a long time.

 

External recruitment is advantageous in that it makes it possible to draw upon a wider range of talent, and provides the opportunity to bring new experience and ideas in to the business. Disadvantages are that it is more costly and the company may end up with someone who proves to be less effective in practice than they did on paper and in the interview situation.

 

There are a number of stages, which can be used to define and set out the nature of particular jobs for recruitment purposes: Job analysis is the process of examining jobs in order to identify the key requirements of each job. A number of important questions need to be explored:

  • the title of the job
  • to whom the employee is responsible
  • for whom the employee is responsible
  • a simple description of the role and duties of the employee within the organisation.

Job analysis is used in order to: Choose employees either from the ranks of your existing staff or from the recruitment of new staff, Set out the training requirements of a particular job,  Provide information which will help in decision making about the type of equipment and materials to be employed with the job, Identify and profile the experiences of employees in their work tasks (information which can be used as evidence for staff development and promotion),  Identify areas of risk and danger at work and Help in setting rates of pay for job tasks. Job analysis can be carried out by direct observation of employees at work, by finding out information from interviewing job holders, or by referring to documents such as training manuals. Information can be gleaned directly from the person carrying out a task and/or from their supervisory staff. Some large organizations specifically employ ‘job analysts’. In most companies, however, job analysis is expected to be part of the general skills of a training or personnel officer.

 

Internal sources

This is where an organization gets or fills a position by recruiting from the current employees of the company. It may occur in the following ways;

a)Transfers

This is moving an employee from one place or position to another. It is used as a source of recruitment to meet personnel requirements and may be done as a new recruitment because of shortage of personnel. It may be done for reasons such as the fact that a transfer from one place to another does not necessarily affect the duties or pay of an employee and it does not affect the number of employees working in the company. Transfer of employee may be done on the following basis;

  • The need for rotation of employee from one department to another or one branch to another
  • Medical grounds
  • Promotion or demotion of employee
  • To provide more exposure to employee for the sake of their training and development
  • To rectify a faulty placement
  • Disciplinary cases

 

The advantages of transfers include; increasing productivity and effectiveness of an organization, it improves skills of an employee, results to greater satisfaction and motivation to an employee and it leads to development of an employee for future promotions. The disadvantages are that it leads to dissatisfaction especially when done unfairly, the company incurs extra costs when transferring an employee from one place to another and it may lead to decreased productivity and effectiveness especially when an employee is demoted.

A good transfer policy have the following characteristics; a clearly defined responsibility for recommending and approving transfers, should consider accurate job descriptions  of the job an employee is being transferred to, should ensure that transfers are only done when necessary e.g. due to surplus or shortages. The transfer policy should also consider how thee transfer will affect seniority of the person transferred and whether it will result to any changes in remuneration.

  1. b) Promotion

Promotion means appointing a person to a position of greater responsibility. It is a way of meeting organizations personnel demand without increasing the number of employees. Promotion may be based on; seniority or merit. Seniority promotion is due to the time an employee have worked in an organization while merit is based on qualification, experience and performance regardless of the number of years one have worked in an organization.

The advantages of seniority based promotions are; it is simple to operate. It creates a feeling of discipline and respect for senior personnel, gives senior personnel satisfaction through recognition and enables workers to know their future job prospects. On the other hand, the disadvantages are; it doesn’t recognize merit and competence, it fails to motivate competent employee and competent employee who are holding junior positions and are not promoted may leave the organization for better prospects i.e. it may increase labour turnover.

The advantages of merit based promotions are; it recognizes and rewards competence and merit, motivates competent employees to put more efforts and enables organisation to retain competent employees as well as leads to increased productivity. It disadvantages are; difficulties in developing systems to determine competence in an objective manner, leads to frustrations among seniors employee and workers are not certain who might be picked for promotion.

The characteristics of a good promotion policy are; promotions should be widely publicized and strictly followed, employees should be rotated from one job to another so that they can add their knowledge and experience, employees should be helped to increase their knowledge and skills through on the job training, holiday classes, seminars and conferences. In addition, promotions should be recommended by managers and employees should be given a right to complain against any cases of unfair promotions and all promotions must be done with employees consent.

  1. c) Current employees / referral

This a kind of internal recruitment in which a current employee’s recommend their friends or relatives when there is a vacancy. They usually recommend people they know but this method may encourage favoritism and nepotism. It may also deny workers who are capable a chance to be recruited if they do not have contacts in the organization. An organization may also fill the vacancy from its current temporary employee who has the right knowledge and skills for the job in question.

External sources

This is where employee is recruited outside the organization. It may be done through

a)Advertisement

This is where the organization advertises to the public that they have a vacancy. Vacancies that require less skill may be listed on notice boards at a convenience place while those that require higher skills may be advertised in national or international newspapers or magazines. Since advertisements attract many people who are competent, sometimes the company may not disclose its name and candidates may be required to post their applications through a given address.

An effective advertisement should include;

  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Contact address
  • Title of vacancy
  • Qualifications
  • Salary
  • Experience required
  • Closing date of the application
  • Name of the organization
  • Conform to legal requirements
  • Relationship between the job and others in the organization
  • Should be able to attract sufficient number of applicants
  • Brief details about various characteristics of the job
  • Other characteristics the applicant should possess e.g. interpersonal skills, results oriented, high integrity etc.
  1. b) Educational institutions

Some employers recruit candidates from institutions such as universities and colleges. Through this method, they are able to get employees at a lower cost since the candidates are readily available.

  1. c) Human resource consultants

Organizations usually use this method when they don’t have the time or resources to manage your employee recruiting internally. This will involve engaging a recruitment consultancy firm who receives their requests; advertise for the job on behalf of their client without disclosing the client’s name. They then receive the applications and screen, interview and select applicants and give recommendations to their client. In most cases they give more than one candidate to the client. The clients benefits by recruiting the best candidate for the job. There are two types of recruiting firms, Contingency firms, sometimes called headhunters, which try and place a candidate with the client and are only paid if they are successful. Retained search firms which are contracted with and are paid regardless of the results. Retained search firms are mostly used for executive positions.

  1. d) Professional bodies

These are organizations composed of members of a given profession e.g. Kenya medical practitioners association. They usually maintain a data of their members and can provide the information to prospective employers on request. These are suitable for jobs requiring highly skilled professionals like doctors, engineers etc.

  1. e) Public bodies / agencies

These are government bodies set up to provide information about vacancies to candidates and assisting the organization to find suitable candidates. Job seekers normally register and give their details to bodies like the Ministry of labour. This method applies mostly to lower levels jobs.

  1. f) Headhunting

This is done for highly skilled professionals and senior executives. Organizations usually request professional organizations to look for the best candidate for an executive position. A company may go for certain experienced and qualified employee working for another organization producing similar goods or services. This is the most effective way for recruiting in executive positions and for newly established organizations or for those expanding. The executives are usually enticed with an attractive salary and other benefits.

h)Internet

The technology revolution has changed communication worldwide. Many companies are using internet as a source of recruitment by advertising their vacancies through their websites or other recruitment sites and applicants send their applications through email. This method saves costs to both the prospective employee and employer

  1. i) Job Fairs

Job fairs can be a very economical source of candidates that can be part of your employee recruiting strategy. To use this method, it is important to look for job fairs that specialize in your industry or the types of individuals required or participle in local job fairs if the company recruiting is searching for local talent. Information about job fairs can be got from area chamber of commerce, the state employment development department and by scanning local newspaper for advertisements of upcoming job fairs.

7.4 Recruitment Process

A Recruitment Process is an organization-specific model of how the sourcing of new employees is undertaken. Typically the ownership of the recruitment process resides within the Human Resources function, although again this may differ depending on the specific organizational structure. A recruitment process can be broken down into respective parts. Whilst the naming and exact process steps are unique to an organization, a typical recruiting process may commence with the identification of a vacancy, then the preparation of a job description, database sourcing, role marketing, response management, short-listing, interviews, reference checking, and selection.

 

In situations where multiple new jobs are created and recruited for the first time, a job analysis and/or in some cases a task analysis might be undertaken to document the actual and intended requirements of the job. From these the relevant information is captured in such documents as job descriptions and job specifications. Often a company will already have job descriptions that represent a historical collection of tasks performed. Where already drawn up, these documents need to be reviewed or updated to reflect present day requirements. Prior to initiating the recruitment stages a person specification should be finalized to provide the recruiters commissioned with the requirements and objectives of the project.

 

The next step after job analysis is Sourcing. This is the use of one or more strategies to attract or identify candidates to fill job vacancies. It may involve internal and/or external advertising, using appropriate media, such as local or national newspapers, specialist recruitment media, professional publications, window advertisements, job centers, or in a variety of ways via the internet. Alternatively, employers may use recruitment consultancies or agencies to find otherwise scarce candidates who may be content in their current positions and are not actively looking to move companies. This initial research for so-called passive candidates, also called name generation, results in getting contact information of potential candidates who can then be contacted discreetly to be screened and approached.

 

Suitability for a job is typically assessed in a process called screening by looking for relevant skills, knowledge, aptitude, qualifications and educational or job related experience. These can be determined via: screening résumés (also known as CVs); applications. In many countries, employers are legally mandated to ensure their screening and selection processes meet equal opportunity and ethical standards.

7.5 Emerging issues and Trends in recruitment

The recruiting industry is growing and evolving.  Much of the structure of recruiting firms now mirrors the “look and feel” of a firm in 1975.  They have added PC’s, job boards, LinkedIn, etc., yet most still use the same tired structure and processes as the industry used decades ago.

On the other hand, some recruiters have gone one-hundred-eighty degrees the other way by attempting to do all their business via email, job boards, and LinkedIn without really trying to build deep personal relationships with their clients and candidates.

 

One the main trends in recruitment is the use of technology. Recruiters are using modern technologies such as e-mails, websites, Skype etc. to recruit candidates.  Outsourcing recruitment services has also significantly gone up because most organizations are trying to be strategically dealing with their co-functions/ objectives. Another emerging issue is that the generation Yare just entering the work force in largest quantities and these are mostly in their twenties and have different perspectives about the jobs. With majority being this generation, there are fewer generation X (30 years and above) in the job market resulting to shortages in of candidates in mid-management.

Technology for managing the recruitment process which is referred to as a tracking system is widely in use nowadays. The tracking systems are sites are linked to the careers section of a company website. When perusing the Internet, many job seekers prefer to learn more about the company first, before performing a job search through the careers section. An applicant tracking system is configured according to the employer needs. The simplest kinds merely collect basic information about the applicant and permit the applicant to cut and paste or upload a resume. More sophisticated systems match the resume qualifications to specific jobs in the database and suggest matches for which the applicant may want to consider. The recruiter can then access the applicant information, based on keyword searches and qualifications to determine which applicants would possibly qualify as candidates.

7.6 Review questions

  1. What is recruitment?
  2. Outline the importance of recruitment in an organization
  3. Explain five factors that influence recruitment policy in an organization
  4. Discuss the external and internal sources of recruitments candidates in an organization
  5. Discuss the impact of technology on recruitment

 

 

TOPIC 8

8.0 SELECTION THEORY

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to;LEARNING OBJECTIVES

– explain the meaning of selection

– describe the selection process

– discuss the selection methods

– identify emerging issues and trends in selection

 

 

Recruitment and selection are two important functions of human resources. Though linked together in what is generally called the employment discipline of human resources, they are two distinct functions. The recruitment phase is the initial step for all applicants–once the applicant presents the skills, knowledge base and qualifications, he/she moves into candidacy for a position and undergoes through the selection process..

 

8.1 Meaning of selection

Selection is the process of picking up individuals (out of the pool of job applicants) with requisite qualifications and competence to fill jobs in the organization. A formal definition of Selection is as under “Selection is the process of differentiating between applicants in order to identify and hire those with a greater likelihood of success in a job.” It can also be defined as the process of interviewing and evaluating candidates for a specific job and selecting an individual for employment based on certain criteria. Employee selection can range from a very simple process to a very complicated process depending on the firm hiring and the position. Certain employment laws such as anti-discrimination laws must be obeyed during employee selection.

 

Difference between recruitment and selection

Both recruitment and selection are the two phases of the employment process. The differences between the two are:

  1. Recruitment is the process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization whereas selection involves the series of steps by which the candidates are screened for choosing the most suitable persons for vacant posts.
  2. The basic purpose of recruitments is to create a talent pool of candidates to enable the selection of best candidates for the organization, by attracting more and more employees to apply in the organisation whereas the basic purpose of selection process is to choose the right candidate to fill the various positions in the organisation.
  3. Recruitment is a positive process i.e. encouraging more and more employees to apply whereas selection is a negative process as it involves rejection of the unsuitable candidates.
  4. Recruitment is concerned with tapping the sources of human resources whereas selection is concerned with selecting the most suitable candidate through various interviews and tests.
  5. There is no contract of recruitment established in recruitment whereas selection results in a contract of service between the employer and the selected employee

 

8.2 Selection Process

Selecting candidates involves two main processes: shortlisting, and assessing applicants to decide who should be made a job offer. It is a crucial stage in the overall recruitment process which is outlined in our recruitment factsheet. Candidates’ applications may arrive as curriculum vitae (CV) or an application form. Whatever form they are in, it is important to make sure that all of those who are involved in the selection process, from the shortlisting stage onwards, are aware of the need to avoid unfair discrimination and the potential risk to the organization’s reputation should a candidate make a legal claim. Electronic techniques are also being used to slim down the number of potential candidates. In particular, using online recruitment can mean employers receive large numbers of applications from unsuitable candidates, so it can be helpful also to use technology to help manage the application forms. A typical selection process involves the following steps;

i)Preliminary Interview

This is the first step in selection process.  The purpose of preliminary interviews is basically to identify whether the candidate is suitable to fill the application blank and eliminate unqualified applications based on information supplied in application forms. The basic objective is to reject misfits. On the other hands preliminary interviews is often called a courtesy interview and is a good public relations exercise. It may be inform of a brief interview conducted in the reception that involves exchange of information relating to the organization and the candidate.

  1. ii) Application blanks

These are forms that give information of candidates in summary form. They include age, gender, name, contacts, religion, and qualification etc., written in a candidate’s own handwriting. Their main purposes are for comparisons i.e. provide information to be compared with what the applicant had given in the application and also allow a candidate to demonstrate their suitability for the job. The forms should be simple but the questions need to be presented in a standard format and have a bearing to suitability of the candidate as well as   give information reflecting the personality of the candidate that is helpful during the interview

iii.    Selection Tests:

Jobseekers who pass the preliminary interviews are called for tests. There are various types of tests conducted depending upon the jobs and the company. These tests can be Aptitude Tests, , intelligence tests,  proficiency tests, Personality Tests, and Ability Tests and are conducted to judge how well an individual can perform tasks related to the job. Besides this there are some other tests also like Interest Tests (activity preferences), Graphology Test (Handwriting), Medical Tests, Psychometric Tests etc. The main problem of tests is that they are time consuming, expensive and expose job candidates to stigma.

  1. Employment Interview:

The next step in selection is employment interview. Interview is a formal, in-depth and controlled conversation with the applicant specifically set to obtain specific information from the job candidate. It is considered to be an excellent selection device. Interviews can be One-to-One, Panel Interview, or Sequential Interviews. Besides there can be Structured and Unstructured interviews, Behavioral Interviews, Stress Interviews.

Interviews are important because; they provide additional information about the applicant that cannot be given in an application letter, CV or other documents, they help in judging the suitability of a candidate, and they are used to explore candidate’s aptitudes and capability in addition to providing a candidate with an opportunity to ask questions about the organization and the job.

The limitations of interview are; they involve a lot of expenditure in terms of money and time, they normally test the personality of a person not the skills and abilities for the job, interviews are subject to personal judgments and bias of the interviewer. Sometimes, interviews do not have greater validity and meaning and when interviewers are not experts they may fail to get all the relevant information from the interviewee as has been seen in many parliamentary committees in Kenya.

 

Preparation of an interview

The success of an interview depends on the amount of preparation made by both the interviewer and interviewee who must take into consideration certain aspects of the interview. The interviewers must;

  • Ensure that the waiting room is  comfortable, attractive, neat and airy
  • Properly plan in terms of time to avoid candidates’ waiting for too long
  • Ensure there are no disturbances from visitors, other employees, traffic, telephone etc. in the interview room
  • Make the arrangement of the interview room comfortable and conducive
  • Have a copy of candidates application forms and other documents and familiarize him/ herself with the information provided
  • All members of interview panel should be experts in specific fields related to the job
  • Draft the questions to be asked in advance which saves time during the interview.

 

On the other hand, the interviewee should prepare as follows;

  • Find out as much as possible about the organization e.g. name of managing director and/ or chief executive officer, products and services of the organization, history of the organization, latest developments in the organization etc.
  • Being sure of interview details such as time, day, venue etc.
  • Be conversant with current affairs both nationally and internationally
  • Know your hobbies, interests, ambitions and other personal details that may be required.
  • Formulate possible questions in advance and try to answer them
  • Ensure that they are dressed appropriately
  1. Reference & Background Checks:

Reference checks and background checks are conducted to verify the information provided by the candidates. Reference is a brief statement about a candidate made by a third party usually the immediate supervisor. Reference checks are conducted to provide factual information about the candidate’s period of employment and gather opinions regarding candidate’s personal attributes such as honesty creativity etc. These are therefore important in that they encourage the candidate to tell the truth in the application forms and provides a backup in case of genuine attempt by a candidate to mislead prospective employers. Their disadvantages are that most of the referees are biased, applicants provide referees who are likely to favor them and it is costly in terms of time and money. Reference checks can be through formal letters, telephone conversations. However it is merely a formality and selections decisions are seldom affected by it.

  1. Selection Decision:

After obtaining all the information, the most critical step is the selection decision to be made. The final decision has to be made out of applicants who have passed preliminary interviews, tests, final interviews and reference checks. The views of line managers are considered generally because it is the line manager who is responsible for the performance of the new employee.

vii.    Physical / Medical Examination:

After the selection decision is made, the candidate is required to undergo a physical fitness test. A job offer is often contingent upon the candidate passing the physical examination.

viii.    Job Offer:

The next step in selection process is job offer to those applicants who have crossed all the previous hurdles. It is made by way of letter of appointment.

 

8.3 Selection Methods

It is a sad but indisputable fact that in any group of people who apply for a job, there will be a number who will not give accurate information about themselves. This may be because they do not understand what information it is that you need, or because they badly want the job, despite not being sufficiently qualified or experienced, and don’t consider the problems they may face should they get it. It is also true that businesses do not give accurate information for similar reasons. This means that your information gathering and giving process needs to be as accurate as possible. In order to obtain accurate information about candidates, more than one method should be used, in the same way that more than one method was used when preparing the original job criteria; multiple methods give greater accuracy in matching the person to the job. The following list is a range of different selection methods;

i)Screening

Once the pool of candidates has been got, the filtering process begins. If many applicants applied, they can be filtered by having them telephone and answer pertinent questions about their experience or educational qualifications. Screen can also be done after shortlisting if sufficiently good candidates were obtained, by asking them to telephone for a brief chat.

Other screening processes could include using the type of information already provided as part of the selection process. If, for instance, there is a group of good workers doing the same job, a profile can be constructed looking at education, experience, etc. and exclude anyone who didn’t fit. There are large companies that sell these sorts of profiles based on information from several organizations. This is called bio data and seems to be a good predictor of candidate performance.

  1. ii) Application forms

Inviting applications by CV makes things easier for applicants, but the resulting tidal wave can be horrendous; trying to sort through a pile of CVs, all with different formats and with widely varying levels of presentation, can be extremely time consuming and can make it difficult to spot key information.

Consequently, many organizations have designed their own standard application form. These generally are divided into a number of sections covering areas such as:

  • knowledge, skills and attitudes;
  • experience;
  • physical criteria; and,
  • Any other requirements.

iii)Interview

Many people dislike the interview process, both as an interviewee and an interviewer. Although the interview is the most popular form of selection, it is also the least useful in predicting the performance of candidates on the job. Much of the reason that interviews are such a bad predictor is because interviewers simply don’t like being in a face-to-face situation where people are asking them for something (in this instance a job!), or because they have a total misperception of the interview process.

Other problems include those people who were appointed to the post on the basis of ‘gut feeling’ and those who bring their unrecognized and recognized prejudices to the process of selection. Imagine someone who wouldn’t appoint short people (too pushy), bearded people (something to hide), people who wear suede shoes (unreliable), people who are too thin (personality problems) .Interviews are none the less an important method of exchanging information, but only if they are approached in the right way.

iv)Group selection methods

When working with other people is an important part of the selection process, it could be useful to consider a group selection method. This could involve asking a group of candidates to carry out a task and observing the ways in which they interact. The task need not be particularly complicated. It could, for instance, involve the group designing and delivering a presentation on the changing nature of the world of work.

The group can be observed and people who seem to demonstrate the sort of qualities that the job requires identified. It is important to tell people what sort of qualities required before starting such an exercise.

  1. v) Realistic job previews

Methods like this are time-consuming and there are serious issues of confidentiality, but if the shortlist can be narrowed down to two or three candidates, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t brought in and given a problem to handle. However, it is important to ensure that the problem has a clear solution; preferably, a problem that have already dealt with successfully. The benefits of realistic job previews are that they can involve more staff in the selection procedure and people tend to work well with candidates whom they have seen and had some say about.

  1. vi) References

Written references have some drawbacks; perhaps someone wants rid of an employee – they certainly won’t give a poor reference under those circumstances. Poor references could also turn out to be libelous, although one of the main problems is that people just don’t know what you’re asking for. The most accurate references may come from face-to-face or telephone interviews with someone who has had direct experience of the candidate’s work.

vii) Assessment centers

An assessment center puts candidates through a series of tests, exercises and perhaps interviews, lasting, typically, a day. Candidates are observed by a team of assessors, with others acting as facilitators. Tests and exercises are used which are designed to predict how candidates will perform in the workplace. Realistic job previews, lateral thinking exercises, psychometric tests and practical demonstrations are all popular events in an assessment center. Care must be given to select tests that will draw out appropriate skills, knowledge and ability, and assessment must be weighted so demonstration of more desirable attributes wins more ‘points’ than those that are ‘nice to have’ but not essential.

viii) Other methods

Perhaps the most popular of the other methods available is psychometric testing, which offers actual tests in areas such as intelligence and personality characteristics. These include Raymond Cattell’s Test, which broadly demonstrates candidates’ emotional stability. The Myers Briggs Test is reasonably user-friendly (it’s short) and purports to identify people by personality characteristics such as extrovert v. introvert and thinking vs feeling. Finally, there are selection methods which use samples of candidates’ handwriting (graphology), their star sign (astrology) or which select through palmistry. Little evidence exists to support these as adequate predictors of performance. What is important is to know what an organization needs and to use processes with which it feels comfortable with in order to select the best candidate.

 

8.4 Emerging Issues and Trends in Selection

a)Introduction of  Equal opportunity policies:

The purpose of the Equal Opportunity/Diversity policy implemented by many governments is to create a workplace which provides for equal opportunities for all staff and all potential staff and protects their dignity at all times.  It covers all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, dignity at work and conditions of employment. the employment equality policies prohibits discrimination on the following grounds: Marital Status, Family Status, Race, Religion, Age, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Gender, Membership of the minority Community has greatly influenced selection. The legislation provides that all persons should have equal access to job opportunities.  Thus an employer must not discriminate in any arrangements made for selecting the employee or specify entry requirements that could discriminate against potential applicants.

b)Succession Planning

Employers are setting up succession planning programs to aid in replacing those outgoing employees with new ones. This can be done in two ways—mentoring and recruiting from within or identifying outside resources or internships to fill your empty positions. More organizations are planning from within by implementing a good succession plan. Mentoring and identifying those within your company to replace the outgoing is beneficial, especially since these candidates are already familiar with your company’s goals and ideals.

  1. c) Increasing use of technology

Technology has continued to grow which has led to application of technology in employee selection and especially an increased use of on-line recruitment. Overall, technology has made finding candidates increasingly easy. The mobile platform has also emerged as a platform for recruitment and selection. This platform has excelled because prospects and candidates are willing to read and even respond at almost any time of day. Mobile phones have become the most powerful communications channel in recruiting and employer branding.

  1. d) Improvements in Interviews and assessment

The traditional interview was mostly based on behavioral aspects of the candidate. In the recent times, interviews have shifted and currently, the standard practice is the use   performance-based interviews (instead of behavioral interviews) to improve interviews and assessment.

8.5 Review questions

  1. Distinguish between selection and recruitment
  2. Briefly describe the steps the selection process
  3. Explain six selection methods that can be used by an organization

 

References

1.Armstrong,M.,(2006), A Handbook of Human Resource Practice (10th Ed),Kogan page.London

  1. Dessler & Cole (2011), Human Resources Management in Canada (11th Ed) Pearson Canada Inc.

3.Joshi, M., (2013),Human Resource Management (1st Ed), Manmohan. Bookboon.com

 

TOPIC 9

9.0 PLACEMENT AND INDUCTION

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

By the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to;

– Explain the meaning of placement

– Explain the importance of appropriate employee placement

– Explain the meaning of employee induction

– Explain the importance of employee induction

– Discuss the steps in induction process

– Outline the components of an employee induction program

 

 

9.1 Meaning of Placement

Placement is the allocation of people to the job. It is assignment or re-assignment of an employee to a new or different job. Placement includes initial assignment of new employees and promotion, transfer or demotion of present employees. Placement should be made with as little disruption to the employee and organization as possible. To this end new recruits must be oriented properly so that they become productive contributors. There should be conscious and determined effort to adapt the new recruit to the organization’s culture (the rules, jargon, customs and other traditions that clarify acceptable and unacceptable behavior in an organization) by conveying to the employees how things are done and what matters. When new employees know what is expected of them, they have better organizational performance and less frustration and uncertainty.

After a candidate has been selected, he should be placed on a suitable job. Placement is the actual posting of an employee to a specific job; it involves assigning a specific rank and responsibility to an employee. The placement decisions are taken by the line manager after matching the requirements of the job with the qualifications of a candidate. Most organizations put new recruits on probation for a given period of time after which their services are confirmed. During this period, the performance of the probation is closely monitored. If the new recruit fails to adjust himself to the job and turns out poor performance the organization may consider his name for placement elsewhere. Such second placement is called differential placement usually the employees’ supervisor in consultation with the higher levels of line management take decisions regarding the future placement of each employee.

Placement is an important human resource activity. If neglected it may create employees adjustment problems leading to absenteeism, turnover accidents poor performance etc. The employee will also suffer seriously. He may quit the organization in frustration complaining bitterly about everything. Proper placement is therefore important to both the employees and the organization.

 

Principles of placement

A few basic principles should be followed at the time of placement of a worker on the job. This is elaborated below:

  1. Man should be placed on the job according to the requirements of the job. The job should not be adjusted according to the qualifications or requirements of the man. Job first; man next, should be the principle of the placement.
  2. The job should be offered to the person according to his qualification. This should neither the higher nor the lower than the qualification.

iii. The employee should be made conversant with the working conditions prevailing in the organization and all things relating to the job. He should also be made aware of the penalties if he commits the wrong.

  1. While introducing the job to the new employees, an effort should be made to develop a sense of loyalty and cooperation in him so that he may realize his responsibility better towards the job and the organization.
  2. The placement should be ready before the joining date of the newly selected person.
  3. The placement in the initial period may be temporary as changes are likely after the completion of training. The employee may be later transferred to the job where he can do better.

 

9.2 Importance of Appropriate Employee Placement

The major benefits of having a proper employee placement programme are that it improves employees’ morale since he/ she does what he is skilled at. It also reduces labour turnover because the employee is likely to be satisfied with the job. Placement also reduces the rate of accidents and absenteeism as well as helps to improve quality of work since the worker is placed at the right job. The benefits of placement of an individual employee are that he is able to;  Show good results on the job, Get along with people easily,  Keep his spirits high, report for duty regularly, Avoid mistakes and accidents.

On the other hand, the main problem of placement arises when the recruiters look at the individuals but not the job. Often the individual does not work independent of the others. When employee are not properly placed, it may result to high labour turnover, lack of morale among employees, absenteeism of employees, poor performance and quality of work, decrease in output and accidents especially for workers dealing with machines if they are not well skilled.

 

9.3 Meaning of Employee Induction

Orientation or induction is the task of introducing the new employees to the organization and its policies, procedures and rules. A typical formal orientation program may last a day or less in most organizations. During this time, the new employee is provided with information about the company. Its history, current position, the benefits for which he is eligible, leave rules, rest periods etc. Also covered are the more routine things a newcomer must learn, such as the location of the rest rooms, break rooms, parking spaces cafeteria etc. In some organizations all this is done informally by attaching new employees to their seniors who provide guidance on the above matters. Lectures, handbooks, films, group seminars, are also provided to new employees so that they can settle down quickly and resume the work. Induction usually centers on corporate policies such as safety, security and anti-discrimination, which, although useful, may not be the most compelling information for new staff.

 

 

9.4 Importance of Employee an Induction

An induction programme is an important process for bringing staff into an organisation. It provides an introduction to the working environment and the set-up of the employee within the organisation.Many employers see induction as a waste of valuable time but this is a critical process when taking on a new employee. Induction gives a new employee an objective view of your company, organisational culture, and work ethic, which will allow the employee to better integrate into the workplace. The process will cover the employer and employee rights and the terms and conditions of employment. As a priority the induction programme must cover any legal and compliance requirements for working at the company and pay attention to the health and safety of the new employee. General a good employee induction programme is important in that;

  1. a) Induction can assist in cultural change

New staff members will be unfamiliar with the work environment and the processes of the organisation. Therefore, induction is the perfect opportunity for new employees to be ‘shaped’, potentially resulting in a cultural change, for example: encouraging new staff members to use the intranet as the primary source for information; and providing a holistic view of the organisation that may avoid organizational ‘silos’.

  1. b) Induction can assist with knowledge transfer

An induction programme is part of an organization’s knowledge management process and is intended to enable the new starter to become a useful, integrated member of the team, rather than being “thrown in at the deep end” without understanding how to do their job, or how their role fits in with the rest of the company. Companies which either formalize knowledge transfer, or provide a vigorous framework for informal transfers can assist new staff members to obtain the information they require. This allows them to perform their role more effectively.

  1. c) Induction helps build social networks

One of the biggest hurdles new staff members face is finding the right person to contact if they have an issue – especially in large organizations. Therefore, induction can be useful for introducing new staff to the key people within the company who will likely be of most use, such as HR and payroll.

  1. d) All business units should be involved

Induction isn’t exclusively the domain of the human resources department but rather, the process should be a collective effort involving all relevant business units such as security, IT or finance. Involving the relevant stakeholders in this process will ensure that new staff receive a complete picture of the organization and also promote relations between staff working in different departments..

  1. e) Reduces labour turnover

The benefits of a good induction to an employee are; the employee feels welcome into the organisation, respected and is made to feel more comfortable in the workplace. He therefore finds it easier to integrate into the workplace, the new employee also feels that he made the right decision to join that organisation; a good induction programme builds the new employee’s self-esteem, morale and sense of motivation; and assists him to establish good communication between the supervisor and the new employee from the very beginning.

 

 

Maximizing the organization’s investment through induction

There are three actions employers can take to ensure that new staff will be appropriately supported in their first few weeks. Being proactive and taking the initiative in integrating new employees into the way the company operates, will increase the likelihood that the person will stay with the company in the long term. To achieve this it is important to;

  1. i) Plan ahead

Before your new employee begins, make sure that all the necessary equipment and supplies are in place, and their workstation is ready for their first day. It’s not unusual for new employees turning up to their first day of work to find that they are under-equipped to perform their jobs due to the lack of foresight and planning. It might also be a good idea to assign a person to look after a new employee regarding the day-to-day operations so they can be adequately supported during the orientation period.

  1. ii) Communicate

Managers should take the time to meet new employees at the beginning of their first day, ensure that their calendar is planned ahead of time and that meetings are scheduled with key people within the organisation who may be important. Managers should also check-in with the new employee at the end of the week to gauge their thoughts on the role, while also using the opportunity to provide any pertinent feedback to the new employee as well.

iii) Put the role in context

Although the nature of the role would have been covered during the interview, it’s a useful exercise to reinforce the key accountabilities, relationships and objectives of the role. If an organisation sets out the key performance objectives from the start, it will ensure that the new employee has a clear understanding of what is expected, while also setting the framework for what constitutes success in the role.

 

9.5 Steps in Induction Process

Large cleaning companies may have a regular induction program that is conducted with each new intake of staff. This practice may not suit smaller cleaning companies that employ fewer cleaning staff at irregular intervals. The following steps should be followed in induction process:

Step 1: Create an induction checklist

The induction checklist could include:

  • an introduction to other staff
  • an introduction to the workplace, including a tour of the premises and its facilities
  • an introduction to the tasks and responsibilities of the job
  • working conditions such as dress code, uniforms, policies and procedures
  • instruction in internal communications procedures
  • security procedures
  • occupational health and safety information
  • Introduction to other staff and the team leader, supervisor or manager.

 

Step 2: Organise a schedule and venue

In order to fully benefit the company and employee, the induction programme should be planned in advance. A timetable should be prepared, detailing the induction activities for a set period of time (ideally at least a week) for the new employee, including a named member of staff who will be responsible for each activity. This plan should be circulated to everyone involved in the induction process, including the new starter. If possible it should be sent to the new starter in advance, if not co-created with the new starter

In preparation of induction schedule, it is important to identify what training needs to be done immediately before the new employee starts work, what training can be done as soon as they start work and what training can be done over a period of days or weeks once they have commenced work. In addition, decide where each item on your induction checklist will take place and who will be responsible for conducting that part of the induction. Information related to working conditions could be given by a manager in the company’s head office. Information related to cleaning tasks could be given by a team member in the cleaning workplace.

Step 3: Document the induction plan

Once the plan is outlined, you can draw up the induction program and then implement and evaluate as well as the program during and after implementation.

 

9.6 Components of Employee Induction Program

As a team leader, you may be required to conduct an induction for new employees as they join your team. If you are required to induct a new employee, you will need to decide:

  • What information to include in the induction program?
  • When the induction program will take place?
  • Where the induction will be given?
  • How the information will be given?
  • Who will give the information?

An effective induction program should take at least several months and involve many different aspects. It should comprise the following steps:

  • general introduction and welcome to the organization
  • Confirming the terms and conditions of employment and processing the necessary paperwork, etc.
  • generic ‘compliance’ training in areas such as equal opportunity and occupational health and safety
  • specific on-the-job training, which aims to assist the employee to attain proficiency in the job as soon as possible
  • providing evidence that reassures the employee that he/she has made a good choice of employer, as developing a positive attitude early on means the employee is more likely to stay
  • promoting self-confidence in the employee (through both job competency and acceptance by others) and commitment towards the organisation
  • Acquainting the employee with the organization culture — that is the various unwritten rules, behavioral standards, interactions etc. that determine how the organization runs day-to-day. This is a very important, but often overlooked, aspect of induction, and an area where many induction programs come unstuck.
  • Providing background information about the organization policies, procedures, employee benefits, etc. — but give careful thought to how you do this and avoid information overload.

 

9.7 Review questions

  1. Distinguish between employee placement and induction
  2. Outline the principles of placement
  3. Discuss the importance of employee induction in an organization
  4. Briefly explain the components of an employee induction problem
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