Strategic And Organizational Human Resource Management
Strategic And Organizational Human Resource Management
The backbone of any organization is formed by the people it engages in the day to day of its key activities. According to Armstrong (2003) people engaged in the day to day organizational activities need to be strategically placed so as create a coherent organizational culture that can propel an organization into the right path towards the quest for success and realization of the set goals and objectives. As such, the element of strategic and organizational human resource management (HRM) in an organization is multifaceted. It encompasses the sound recruitment, training, allocation, motivation, and development of employees in a bid to achieve both the short and long term organizational goals and objectives. In extension, how an organization through its HRM department juggles these independent yet complimentary people management tasks greatly determines its overall success as none is more special than the others. This paper covers the HRM task of recruiting. To achieve this, the paper uses the case of Wyessjay, a prosperous enterprise based on the outskirts of the York that is at the verge of expansion. As expected, the company needs to recruit new workers to fill the newly created vacancies in its HRM department who can positively contribute toward the achievement of the newly restructured organizational goals and objectives. Precisely, the paper will address among other things, the job roles, person specifications, job description, and advertisement for roles. These hiring practices will be laced with relevant recruitment theories so as to bring out well supported arguments through out the paper. It will be argued that identifying and testing potential employees’ competency and preparedness to carryout organizational tasks encompasses a gamut of rigorous exercises such as interviews, team games, and individual questionnaires that are aimed at eliciting candidates’ deep seated emotions, skills, knowledge, and attitudes.
The Case Study
Wyessjay is a rapidly expanding business enterprise that is located at the outskirts of the York. At the moment the company is contemplating expanding its business activities to the next level. Apparently, to achieve this feat the company requires new human capital, precisely a HRM officer to assist the overall HR manager in the smooth discharge of HRM responsibilities. Therefore, this scenario calls for the immediate hiring of skilled and visionary person who will play the key roles of coordinating the other organizational resources, discerning and correcting organizational anomalies as well as contributing to the overall creation of goods and services (Hannagan, 2002; Bratton and Gold, 2003, pp.9-12). As such, the organization needs to carryout a rigorous hiring process that capable of identifying and subjecting to test potential candidates who can assist in the realization of the new expansionist goals (Cheatle, 2001). Given that the firm is in the process of expanding its business activities, the demand for new and reliable HRM officer who can work under minimal and extreme pressure while in both group and individual situations cannot be overemphasized (Mabey, Soloman and Storey, 1999). Needless to say these sound recruitment procedures should completely test the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of the potential candidate. Furthermore, the evaluation of these three core facets of knowledge, skills, and attitude should be extensively carried out as they carry with them many smaller workplace specific qualities such, intelligence, preparedness, experience, social skills, academic qualification and many more others that are equally important and therefore need to be checked to ascertain the magnitude of their manifestation in the potential candidates (Hall and Taylor, 2002). For instance, candidate needs to be given small instructions about key job tasks that they will be expected to carry out once they are fully engaged. Their understanding of the instructions should then be tested before new instructions are issued out so as to test the magnitude of their comprehension and how they can fair in following a series of set instructions (Bratton and Gold, 2007). Candidates should also be challenged to test their response to sensitive and mind boggling instructions as well as their overall preparedness in absorbing pressure. In a nutshell, competency of potential candidates should not be compromised as employees who possess exceptional skills, knowledge, and attitudes are not capable of discerning at taking appropriate actions on critical organizational situations but are better positioned to heavily invest in improving and broadening their skills and therefore are capable of remaining relevant in the face of dynamic organizational tasks. In essence subjecting candidates to rigorous recruitment procedures goes a long way in identifying these human capital prerequisite traits (Losey, 1999, 100).
The Recruitment Exercise in a Brief
Drawing from the notion that that organizations’ should endeavor to create strong employee foundations so as to guarantee a bright future, the structuring of the HR officer job specifications were a true reflection of Wyessjay’s future expansionist goals (Torrington and Hall, 1998). In extension, this notion also played a key role in shaping the overall hiring process which comprised a number procedures starting from development of the job descriptions through preparation of job adverts, to placement of such adverts in the media, checking of applications forms, sending interview invitations to shortlisted candidates, arranging interviews venues, conducting interviews and the assessment centers, selecting qualified candidates and informing them of their success. Multiple testing instruments were used to test these multiple qualities, they included verbal and written interviews, psychometric tests, as well as team exercises were all employed. The multiple testing was meant to predict the future job performance of the individual candidates as they created almost similar job situations. For instance, the candidates were tested on their overall responsiveness, emotional stability, the ability to relate with strangers, how they made decisions on relatively sensitive and urgent issues, how they handled workplace stress, their overall assessment capabilities on workplace emergencies, as well as their ability to pick out constructive discussions with colleagues at workplace (Bratton and Gold, 2007). Apart from providing the best opportunity to gauge what the candidates were capable of doing relative to what they said they could do, these several testing instruments also created friendly environments capable of enhancing maximum candidate interactions. Such friendly interactions enhanced the candidates’ opportunities for sharing knowledge, and reinforcing positive advancement of worthwhile skills and knowledge toward the achievement of key recruitment tasks. As a matter of fact, Armstrong (2003) opines that, employees tend to learn and shape their behaviors traits based on their immediate social environment.
The placement of the HR officer’s job specifications in the media was done in consultation with the contemporary HRM trends. The job specifications encompassed a wide range of responsibilities pertinent with these changing HR tasks; for instance, the potential candidate was required to possess some basics in finance as well as a gamut of other HRM emerging issues. As a matter of fact, the wisdom to prepare the job specifications brief was advised by the conventional notion that HRM practices of the yesteryears have greatly been eroded by the constantly emerging issue. As a matter of fact, there have been significant changes in the method of hiring and organizing employees in the UK. These new changes are greatly superior to the existing ones and form the contemporary public policy on Personnel management in the UK (Bratton and Gold, 2007). As such, employers’ need to fulfill some of these demands so as to be seen to be cultivating and upholding the welfare of the employees (Blyton and Turnbull, 1992; Hannagan, 2002). From a different perspective these policy changes also affected the side of employees. For instance, the labor market became very competitive as each employers struggled to get the best qualified in terms of academic and workplace experiences, ultimately high levels of academic and work-related experiences became the flagship of any recruitment exercises more those in the HRM department. For example, a HR Officer who will be called upon to perform key HRM tasks such assisting the overall HR manager in creating job specifications and hiring procedures requires persons with high academic qualification, great experience, as well as high intelligence. In fact, due to the sensitive nature of the HRM in organizations, the position of the HR manager has been subject to both labor market trends and policy changes in the recent years. Furthermore, it is true that many organizations have realized the need of having strong HRM departments that can successfully absorb the concerted pressures labor organizing blocs (Bratton and Gold, 2007, p.9).
It is understandable that the ability to grasp instructions and carryout the respective responsibilities is determined by the level of intelligence quotient (IQ) of an individual. Whereas factors such as drilling as well as individualized instructional experiences may assist in increasing the ability to perfect on given tasks, individuals tend to work within the dictates of their IQ. As such, it is only fair to assert that all people cannot perform in similar ways, they cannot absorb stress in similar capacities, and that they can only deliver tasks that are within their mental capabilities. The acknowledgement of IQ limitations and/or generosity is a key facet of HRM as it determines the extent which individuals or even group of employees existing skills, knowledge and attitudes should be improved or even modified so as to suit the given organizational tasks. Moreover, during the hiring process candidates should be taken through a series of recruitment procedures to ensure that every detail of their IQ capabilities is determined and respective decisions made regarding who can fit in what position, and who cannot. As a matter of fact, the deliberate use of a series of tests and exercises in the assessment centers was meant to accord every candidate ample time acquaint themselves with the job specifications and react to the m accordingly (Losey, 1999).
Moreover the tests were organized in a systematic manner so as to capture the candidates’ competencies in a gradual and ascending manner begging with easy but objective test-questions that were meant to capture the general attention of the candidates and proceeding to more complex test-questions meant to test the finer details of the candidates’ competencies. This was meant to eliminate potential biasness among the candidates given that some had higher IQ than others. In extension, the graduated test procedure provided the opportunity to test important organizational virtues such as the patience of the candidates as well as their ability to apply clues to solving complex HRM tasks. Given that most HRM tasks involves direct and strategic placement of persons there was need to test the experience part of the candidates. Furthermore, basing on the conventional wisdom that job-specific experience goes beyond the outright intelligence and education capabilities which candidates may boast of (Holden and Claydon, 2004), it was indeed very crucial to ascertain the candidates level of handling sensitive HRM tasks such solving workplace interpersonal conflicts in a practical manner. On the other hand, in to order to get a detailed view of the candidates’ capabilities it was deemed necessary to test the candidates academic qualifications by cross checking their academic documents and subjecting them a few oral questions about their former schools such what leadership roles they held, why they chose to pursue business related courses, etc. This part of the testing procedure served to ascertain the authenticity of the candidates’ academic qualifications as well as their attitude towards the HRM profession. Conclusively, owing to the fact that employee competency at the HRM level is a wide facet with a wide flagship these seemingly rigorous hiring procedures were justified. As a matter of fact, in HRM circles, competency overrides the intelligence quotient, academic qualifications, and the workplace specific experiences that potential candidates may possess – it encompasses the sum total of a persons intelligence, education, as well as experience and therefore, an academically qualified person may still not be fit to feel an HRM position particularly at the HRM Officer level (Losey, 1999, p. 100-101).
For instance, based on Fletcher (1986), interviews are a form of practical interaction between the employers and the potential employees as they accord each party an opportunity to physically learn and discern salient features about each other. Most importantly they give the employer a physical impression of the candidates’ capabilities in initiating verbal conversations and reacting stimulus. Furthermore, based on empirical data it has been advanced that about 55 percent of impressions during first time encounters are based on the physical appearance and behavior, about 38 percent of first encounters impressions are based on what is spoken, with a paltry seven percent impressions being made from what is said. Therefore subjecting candidates to concerted interview drills was meant expose their internal and true “selves” (Corfield, 2002). On the other hand, the use of team games was very crucial as it offered the candidates an opportunity to learn about each others capabilities relative to the overall job specifications. This enabled them to critically evaluate themselves and adjust accordingly to the next interview stages and hence improving their opportunities of achieving excellence at the long run. Moreover, the team games gave the interviewers the opportunity to closely monitor the candidates’ general behavior codes in typical organizational situations while with their colleagues. The team game together with the oral and written interviews comprised the organizational benchmark that was used to scale down the number of the candidates to a smaller figure to proceed to the next stage (Jago, 1996). As a matter of fact, since it has been evidentially pointed out that candidates may be tempted to give out untrue answers or even use guesswork in answering interview questions, these two procedures that in essence were the hallmarks of this seemingly rigorous hiring procedure served as a barometer for detecting candidates who may have tried to use false information to paint a good picture about their capabilities. The answers given to all the verbal and written questions were compiled together and juxtaposed against the group game results to determine which candidates were honest and consistent with their answers and which one were not (Torrington and Hall, 1998).
It can be argued with commanding confidence that there it was very important to expose the candidates to typical organizational experiences so as to test their ability to fit into Wyessjay’s multifaceted HRM department. Going by the job specifications for the post of the HR Officer as outlined in the job role and job specifications documents it was clear that the targeted HR officer should be a person with multiple skills and the capability to successfully juggle HRM tasks with other organizational tasks as may be required (Graham and Bennet, 1998). However, from a different point of view it can be argued that the grilling candidates was not only beneficial to the company but also it prepared the candidates on diverse workplace operations and hence improving their chances of ascending along the organizational ladders and ultimately. Most importantly, it was necessary in reducing potential employee discontent as a result of them being assigned tasks that did not fit their career goals. In the long run, this practice would reduce employee turnover as there will be increase labor mobility and hence no cases of job stagnation (Hall and Taylor, 2002). From a workplace perspective, it can be boldly asserted that part of the duties of the HR officers involves interpreting and key employment legislations and their effects on the organizational activities. As such, there was need to indulge the candidates in more concerted interview procedures to that they gained a general idea of the workplace issues that they will be dealing with in the field. For instance, based on the Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974, it is assumed that every staff member is supposed to ensure their security and safety all the time. Moreover, the legislation requires individuals to exercise great care and corner when at the workplace by ensuring that even the health of the others is directly determined by their actions. Ultimately employees are expected to collaborate with each other so as to ensure that workplace environments are kept secure and peacefully to live all the time.
Weaknesses of the Hiring Procedures
During the hiring process some of the procedures did not roll out well as expected as a result of a number of reasons from both the part of the candidates and the interviewers. For instance, though assessment centers were arranged for several candidates the turnout was relatively low and hence a repeat assessment center was necessary. It was also observed that some candidates were not participative as it should have been and hence the assessment consumed less time than was scheduled. These glaring drawbacks were compounded with the expected disadvantages of using assessment centers as the main instrument in conducting job interviews. Needless to say the overall organization and facilitation of the assessment centers consumed a lot of time and money. Rooms had to be hired given that Wyessjay has limited amount of conference rooms to accommodate such involving group activities. There were cases of abnormal build up of anxiety among the candidates, a thing that affected the general individual- presentations by the candidates during the interviews and group activities. Nonetheless, the greatest drawback experienced was the apparent apathy on some candidates who only contribute very little toward the general interview activities for reasons that could not be easily diagnosed. Lastly, there was no practical proof on the authenticity of personal information collected as the candidates might have been tempted to exaggerate their capabilities in achieving certain feats. Some these drawbacks were occasioned by the lack of proper preparations and planning on the part of the interviewers particularly on the areas of group activities where it was not noted that the candidates experienced a lot challenges in determining the expected behavior changes and the best way to pursue such behaviors.
There is no doubt that sound HRM practices can turn a non-performing organization into a profit making machine. The opposite is also very true, that organizations whose performances are on a nose dive may be experiencing low employee morale or even the employees lack the prerequisites skills, knowledge, and attitudes to carry out key organizational tasks. In order to form strong HRM teams there is need to engage highly competent persons capable of juggling an organization’s human capital with other types of resources with the aim of creating goods and services in an efficient and effective manner. Strong HRM teams should be made up of highly qualified and ready persons who regularly trained, motivated, and strategically positioned persons who can take up any HRM responsibility and deliver accordingly. Apparently, to achieve this seemingly “easy” endeavor organizations’ must initiate and strive to uphold the core employment cycle procedures. For instance, new employees need to be fully trained and oriented to enhance their ability to understand and subscribe to the unique organizational cultures as well as to develop the sense of patriotism and longevity. However, this cannot be achieved if an organization is not wiling to invest heavily into enhancing a smooth flow of all these important procedures. Conclusively, strategic HRM demands that organizations should work toward the building of strong HRM teams which then can enhance the overall organizing and juggling of the human capital with other key resources in an organization. As such, it is hereby advanced that HRM snap checks needs to be conducted regularly so as to determine the overall employee morale and preparedness.
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