The Role of the H.R. (Human Resource) Department
- Recruitment and selection: attracting and selecting the best candidates for job posts
- Wages and salaries: set wages and salaries that attract and retain employees as well as motivate them
- Industrial relations: there must be effective communication between management and workforce to solve complaints and disputes as well as discussing ideas and suggestions
- Training programmes: give employees training to increase their productivity and efficiency
- Health and safety: all laws on health and safety conditions in the workplace should be adhered to
- Redundancy and dismissal: the managers should dismiss any unsatisfactory/misbehaving employees and make them redundant if they are no longer needed by the business.
Job Analysis, Description and Specification
Recruitment is the process from identifying that the business needs to employ someone up to the point where applications have arrived at the business.
A vacancy arises when an employee resigns from a job or is dismissed by the management. When a vacancy arises, a job analysis has to be prepared. A job analysis identifies and records the tasks and responsibilities relating to the job. It will tell the managers what the job post is for.
Then a job description is prepared that outlines the responsibilities and duties to be carried out by someone employed to do the job. It will have information about the conditions of employment (salary, working hours, and pension scheme), training offered, opportunities for promotion etc. This is given to all prospective candidates so they know what exactly they will be required and expected to do.
Once this has been done, the H.R. department will draw up a job specification, a document that outlines the requirements, qualifications, expertise, skills, physical/personal characteristics etc. required by an employee to be able to take up the job.
Advertising the vacancy
Internal recruitment is when a vacancy is filled by an existing employee of the business.
- Saves time and money- no need for advertising and interviewing
- Person already known to business
- Person knows business’ ways of working
- Motivating for other employees to see their colleagues being promoted- urging them to work hard
- No new skills and experience coming into the business
- Jealousy among workers
External recruitment is when a vacancy is filled by someone who is not an existing employee and will be new to the business. External recruitment needs to be advertised, unlike internal recruitment. This can be done in local/national newspapers, specialist magazines and journals, job centres run by the government (where job vacancies are posted and given to interested people; usually for unskilled or semi-skilled jobs) or even recruitment agencies (who will recruit and send along candidates to the company when they request it).
When advertising a job, the business needs to decide what should be included in the advertisement, where it should be advertised, how much it will cost and whether it will be cost-effective.
When a person is interested in a job, they should apply for it by sending in a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, this will detail the person’s qualifications, experience, qualities and skills.The business will use these to see which candidates match the job specification. It will also include statements of why the candidate wants the job and why he/she feels they would be suitable for the job.
Applicants who are shortlisted will be interviewed by the H.R. manager. They will also call up the referee provided by the applicant (a referee could be the previous employer or colleagues who can give a confidential opinion about the applicant’s reliability, honesty and suitability for the job). Interviews will allow the manager to assess:
- the applicant’s ability to do the job
- personal qualities of the applicant
- character and personality of applicant
In addition to interviews, firms can conduct certain tests to select the best candidate. This could include skills tests (ability to do the job), aptitude tests (candidate’s potential to gain additional skills), personality tests (what kind of a personality the candidate has- will it be suitable for the job?), group situation tests (how they manage and work in teams) etc.
When a successful candidate has been selected the others must be sent a letter of rejection.
The contract of employment: a legal agreement between the employer and the employee listing the rights and responsibilities of workers. It will include:
- the name of employer and employee
- job title
- date when employment will begin
- hours to work
- rate of pay and other benefits
- when payment is made
- holiday entitlement
- the amount of notice to be given to terminate the employment that the employer or employee must give to end the employment etc.
Employment contracts can be part-time or full-time. Part-time employment is often considered to be between 1 and 30-35 hours a week whereas full-time employment will usually work 35 hours or more a week.
Advantages to employer of part-time employment (disadvantages of full-time employment to employer):
- more flexible hours of work
- easier to ask employees just to work at busy times
- easier to extend business opening/operating hours by working evenings or at weekends
- works lesser hours so employee is willing to accept lower pay
- less expensive than employing and paying full-time workers.
Disadvantages to employer of part-time employment (advantages of full-time employment to employers)
- less likely to be trained because the workers see the job as temporary
- takes longer to recruit two part-time workers than one full-time worker
- can be less committed to the business/ more likely to leave and go get another job
- less likely to be promoted because they will not have gained the skills and experience as full-time employees
- more difficult to communicate with part-time workers when they are not in work- all work at different times.
Training is important to a business as it will improve the worker’s skills and knowledge and help the business be more efficient and productive, especially when new processes and products are introduced. It will improve the workers’ chances at getting promoted and raise their morale.
The three types of training are:
- Induction training: an introduction given to a new employee, explaining the firm’s activities, customs and procedures and introducing them to their fellow workers.
- Helps new employees to settle into their job quickly
- May be a legal requirement to give health and safety training before the start of work
- Less likely to make mistakes
- Wages still have to be paid during training, even though they aren’t working
- Delays the state of the employee starting the job
- On-the-job training: occurs by watching a more experienced worker doing the job
- It ensures there is some production from worker whilst they are training
- It usually costs less than off-the-job training
- It is training to the specific needs of the business
- The trainer will lose some production time as they are taking some time to teach the new employee
- The trainer may have bad habits that can be passed onto the trainee
- It may not necessarily be recognised training qualifications outside the business
- Off-the-job training: involves being trained away from the workplace, usually by specialist trainers
- A broad range of skills can be taught using these techniques
- Employees may be taught a variety of skills and they may become multi-skilled that can allow them to do various jobs in the company when the need arises.
- Costs are high
- It means wages are paid but no work is being done by the worker
- The additional qualifications means it is easier for the employee to leave and find another job
Workforce Planning: the establishing of the workforce needed by the business for the foreseeable future in terms of the number and skills of employees required.
They may have to downsize (reduce the no. of employees) the workforce because of:
- Introduction of automation
- Falling demand for their products
- Factory/shop/office closure
- Relocating factory abroad
- A business has merged or been taken over and some jobs are no longer needed
They can downsize the workforce in two ways:
- Dismissal: where a worker is told to leave their job because their work or behaviour is unsatisfactory.
- Redundancy: when an employee is no longer needed and so loses their work, through not due to any fault of theirs. They may be given some money as compensation for the redundancy.
Worker could also resign (they are leaving because they have found another job) and retire (they are getting old and want to stop working).
Legal Controls over Employment Issues
There are lot so government laws that affect equal employment opportunities. These laws require businesses to treat their employees equally in the workplace and when being recruited and selected- there should be no discrimination based on age, gender, religion, race etc.
Employees are protected in many areas including
- against unfair discrimination
- health and safety at work (protection from dangerous machinery, safety clothing and equipment, hygiene conditions, medical aid etc.)
- against unfair dismissal
- wage protection (through the contract of employment since it will have listed the pay and conditions). Many countries have a legal minimum wage– the minimum wage an employer has to pay its employee. This avoids employers from exploiting its employees, and encourages more people to find work, but since costs are rising for the business, they may make many workers redundant- unemployment will rise.
An industrial tribunal is a legal meeting which considers workers’ complaints of unfair dismissal or discrimination at work. This will hear both sides of the case and may give the worker compensation if the dismissal was unfair.
Notes submitted by Lintha
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