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Human Resources – Employing and maintaining staff Essay

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Human resources is a department which is a key component for any size business as it’s responsibilities affect the whole business

The main responsibilities of the Human resources department can be split into 4 areas, Employing and maintaining staff, Training for new employees, Procedures, laws and legislation and Providing a safe working environment.

The recruitment process is important: because it ensures that everyone in the business follows the same procedure . The best possible candidate is hired and reduces the risk of hiring a unsuitable candidate , saves further recruitment costs . Makes sure money and time are being used efficiently and effectively .

The Recruitment process : the steps involved in finding and appointing new employees

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A vacancy arises Vacancies occur in a business because of maternity/paternity, death, retirement , dismissal , promotion , expansion .

A job description is written or revised based on the job analysis . Job analysis – to see if it’s necessary or can be shared by other employees . it allows HR to become ware to any changes that many need to be made in the job description . They do this by reviewing the job . This is important because it makes sure the job description is correct and includes all the responsibilities/tasks , so you can get the best possible candidate .

A person specification or job profile is written Person specification – skills/attributes of the person (eg communication, the ability to work as a team , hold a driving license ) / Educational and vocational qualifications , such as GCSES and NVQS . This is to eliminate people that wouldn’t be suitable for the job , this saves money and time . it is important because it makes sure you don’t get the wrong candidate , ensures you get the best possible candidate . Serves as a measure which the applicants can be judged against . It helps to design the advert , select in interviews and short list .

A decision is made about whether to recruit internally or externally Internally in large business – notice boards , emails , website – intranet , memos , appraisals , meetings and newsletters .

Externally – local and national newspapers , Job recruitment agency , radio advert , company website , trade journals – specialist magazines , job centres , social media –twitter and Facebook .

You need to consider these factors when deciding whether to recruit externally or internally : cost , target audience and how quickly you need them . This is important as you need to know if the job can be completed within the business by being spread out over employees , even though you would have to pay them for the extra hours they are doing . It would save money as you do not have to pay for the advert , you could send around an email or put a notice on the notice board . You could do 1 on 1 interviews rather than panel interviews . In panel interviews there is more staff , that are not doing their job because they are interviewing so replacement have to paid for .

Advertisements are drawn up and placed in appropriate media Design job advert – includes job title and hours , skills/qualifications required , key duties , where the job is , how to apply and where to send the application . All of this information is important because they may have a busy lifestyle and be unable to do flexible hours , lack certain skills and qualifications . When the candidates view the advert they can decide for themselves if the job is unsuitable for them , this lowers the recruitment costs and the business does not have to waste time and money interviewing and sorting though the candidates application . The key duties, location , how to apply and where to send application are stated because on the candidate needs to be able to do these duties , reach the location and apply .

Application forms are issued and/or cvs and letters of application are requested . The applicants will need to complete an application form / letter of application and cv . They are sent out to the applicants and the applicants return to them to the correct business within the business . This helps with short listing . The job description and person specification are compared against to check for correct qualifications . The application form is the best to judge against , as they all have the same layout so this makes them quicker to judge against . There is also no discrimination as all candidates are given the same questions .

Short listing takes place Short listing – selecting the candidates who best meet the qualities , qualifications and experiences requested on the job description . Primark and other large companies make applicants take an aptitude test and selection questions as this saves time and money .

Interviews are held and assessment and testing takes place Factors to consider before the interview : Who will interview the candidates? Most likely the supervisor of the member / staff responsible for them/ store manager / HR manager . Is it going to be a One to one or panel interview . Panel interview is more fair as it is less biased . Where will you interview the candidates ? Make sure here is no interruptions , quiet and accessible for disabled candidates . What questions will be asked . All the candidates get asked the same questions , reduces discrimination . Judged on all the same questions , easy to compare . Need to cater to all , eg Deaf people . How to ensure fairness in the interview? What tests will you run , aptitude and psychometric tests? This is important because in the application form a candidate could lie and say they are confident as they are sitting in front of a computer screen . Many mistakes are made in the interview and it is easily to judge the candidate and tell when they are lying .

Selection takes place and someone is appointed You should seek references from previous posts , to ensure that the candidates have been honest throughout , and not omitted to inform prospective employer of any issues that many effect his/her ability to do the job . This isn’t done at the beginning as the candidate may have a current job and wouldn’t want their employer knowing unless they have an interview .

This is important as if the candidate is not chosen they can call up and ask why they were not chosen , to ensure there is no discrimination against the candidate and there a valid reason for the selection .

Contract of employment – rates of employment , hours to be worked , holiday entitlement , sick pay procedures , duties

Letter of appointment : offer , job title , pay , start date , where to report to and other relevant information.

Maintaining staff

Staff retention

It is important for a business to keep it’s staff because this will minimise disruption to other employees , as other employees will have to pick up the duties of that job whilst the recruitment process is being done . The new employees will not be trained so this can cause the customers to get annoyed at the bad customer service . The trained employees will have to be constantly looking over the new employees this can decrease productivity .

The recruitment process is costly and time consuming , on average it costs £2000 to recruit per person. It is costly because of the training costs and other factors . The longer the employees are there , the more familiar they will become with the businesses policies and the better they will get with the customers .

A business such as Primark can encourage staff retention by having monetary rewards which will include discounts or a pay rise linked to them achieving a target / an appraisal . They can have flexible working schemes which allow staff to start and finish work later/earlier. The business needs to make sure the business has a safe and suitable working environment that is not detrimental to physical or mental health . Staff should be praised upon and recognised , they can be valued within the employee of the month . All staff should receive a fair pay with opportunities for promotion .

If the staff retention is bad the labour turnover is high so this may put off future candidates from applying because they can see the labour turnover so will wonder so many people are leaving . They will assume the business isn’t that good as there are many problems making the employees leave so the business will not get the best candidates for the job . The recruitment process is expensive and is done in the certain steps to ensure the best candidate is chosen , this would make this process a waste of time . If employees are covering roles there is less time to spend with customers so this will affect the customer service .

Appraisals

Appraisals can also be done , this is an examination of an employees performance over a period of time , this is carried out by the employees line manager . An appraisal report will include the strengths of an employees , the development needs of an employee , a report on the achievement of objectives set at the previous appraisal and an action plan using the weaknesses to identify training needs.

Labour Turnover

HR measure how successful they are retaining staff by looking at the labour turnover for each year . Labour turnover is the proportion of employees leaving a business over a period of time . HR will analyse the results and look at the trends to decide on what action they think will be appropriate . This is important as the business needs to know if their staff retention is good or bad , as this affects the money in the business . High levels of labour turnover will indicate a problem within the business , HR will look at the main issues and take steps to address them . Low levels of labour turnover will indicate that the business is keeping it’s employees satisfied or that unemployment is high so fewer people are leaving for other jobs . To identify issues HR will carry our exit interviews so they discuss with the employee why they have left the business , and if HR can do anything to make them stay or improve the business for the future so this does not reoccur .

Grievance

HR must design and set up this the grievance procedure , they must ensure the process allows complaints to be dealt with quickly and fairly . This must ensure all staff have access to this . This is important so both the employer and employee are satisfied .

Ensuring employees are trained as necessary in accordance with job role and business procedures

The importance of training

It is important for a business to train all its staff so the employees know how to operate in house systems such as operating tills. Also to make sure the business is remaining competitive and keeping up with customer requirements such as learning how new styles and cross selling. The staff need to be aware of the companies polices affecting legalisation , and health and safety . This also motivates staff as they can now operate efficiently. They will also have the same training as the rest of staff so they won’t feel left out and unmotivated . If the employees are motivated , they will give better customer service . This makes the business more competitive as the customers would go to their business over a competitor with bad customer service . This would allow the business to make higher quality goods and sell for higher prices . The more training an employee gets the more productive and efficient the employee can be , therefore there are lower costs for the business and more profit being made . So they can charge lower prices and attract more customers .

Induction training

The main aim of induction training is to make sure the employee feels motivated as soon as they join the business , and become familiar with their position to increase productivity . In induction training there are many things that need to be covered including aims and objectives and the history of the business. They will need to met key staff so when they start actually working there they will know who everyone is and where to go if they have problems . This is important because the employee is less likely to remember all the rules and policies if they put in a room and made to listen to them for the first day . Employees that do not get induction training will be unable to integrate into the team easily . They will fail to perform to their highest , have low morale and reduced productivity .

All the information is broken down into different sections , each should be delivered by a different member of staff . A brief introduction into the business’s history allows senior management to be introduced to the new employee . Future plans for the business could be explained here , the idea of working at a focused , determined and fast-moving business is very motivating . Shortly after administration will step in and go through the contract of employment , this will include disciplinary / grievance/ sick pay procedures , what to do if you are unable to attend work , hours of work , rates of employment ,holiday entitlement and duties. Staff handbooks are given out , pension schemes and uniform requirements are explained.

On the job training

This training is given whilst the employee is doing their regular duties . It is done on a normal working day in the normal work place .

A demonstration can be done this is working alongside an experienced employee and showing them what to do and what standard the work needs to be done to.

Job shadowing is similar , the employee will watch an experienced member of staff perform the duties . The employee will have to watch carefully so when they are their own they can perform the tasks to the same standard

. Observation is where the employee will perform their tasks are usual whilst being watched and then they are given feedback at the end . Coaching is where the employee learns new skills and have the chance to practice the skills with a coach before actually doing them at the workplace . The coach will watch them perform the skills and give feedback till the employee can perform the skill to a high standard .

Mentoring is another option , the employee will be paired with an experienced member of staff and they can discuss the employee’s progress and problems. . On the job training is important because training occurs whilst you are doing day to day duties so training is less disruptive to productivity .

You can also do computer based training which is commonly used in health and safety training , it is training through a computerised program . This is relatively cheap and easy to organise . In-house training can be carried out by a member of staff, they will be given the task of training other employees , this could be linked to new legislation .This ensures everyone is aware of new policies .

There are disadvantages to this method they include employees not taking the training as seriously because they are just doing normal duties . Another member of staff may teach the employee a bad habit which they will pick up and do . The member of staff may not have received training on how to train effectively so their training could be a waste of time and ineffective. As the training is being done within the workplace there are more distractions so this could make the learning environment very difficult .

Off the job training

This training is usually done away from the normal workplace , they will not being doing their usual duties so they can focus their full attention onto the training . An external training agency can be brought in or an employee can carry out the training . As the employee is away from their normal work environment it is easier to focus and harder to get distracted .

The employee is given the opportunity to discuss ideas with employees from or outside the business , this allows them to bond better as a team. Although there are disadvantages which include the cost , the cost would be higher if you hired an external trainer , there is lost productivity . Even though the employee is being trained , they are not doing their usual duties .

HR must be able to identify training needs , not all employees need the same amount of training as they may have previous experiences . This is important as it reduces costs as the business will not have to pay for unnecessary training . New training is needed when there are new systems , new company policies , after illness periods , maternity , promotions and changes in the law/ health and safety .

Costs

The cost of on the job training includes that the employee will be less productive during the training period , if the trainer is a fellow employee they will not be doing their job and the training may disrupt other employees and decrease productivity over the whole department.

The cost of off the job training includes the cost of the course , travel expenses , loss of productivity whilst the employee is on the course , other members of staff may become resentful as they have not been sent on the course so there will be a decrease in efficiency. If the training is on going , the costs will keep getting higher .

Ensuring the business follows procedures, laws and legislation

HR is responsible for ensuring that the business is operating within the employment laws , this includes the equality act 2010 , employment rights act 1996 and the health and safety at work act 1974 . The employees must be trained on these policies and trained again when there are new changes in the law . HR needs to understand the implications of not following the law .This is important as the business can be prosecuted if they fail to do so and they can be involved in a tribunal . Also the business can get a bad reputation and limit the employees willing to join the business . Corporate social responsibility and ethics can lead to customers not thinking the business is ethical and there will be a loss in sales .

The employment rights act of 1996 sets out an employees basic rights , and includes the right to a contract of employment , holiday and maternity provision . The equality act of 2010 , tells employers that they may not discriminate on the grounds of race , age , religion , sexual orientation , sex, or disability against employees when recruiting , paying or promoting . The health and safety at work act of 1974 , sets out the requirements for keeping people safe in the working environment , this includes keeping accident books and recording visitors to a business.

HR needs to look at these acts when doing tasks . When creating grievance / disciplinary procedures , adverts , job description , person specifications and short listing , the equality act is needed to help . When doing interviews , short listing and adverts , the employment rights act should be looked at . The health and safety act helps when doing the interviews and risk assessments , such as Primark does , they use this to make sure younger / disabled employees are safe and not working over time.

Providing a safe working environment

It is important to provide a safe working environment so there are no injuries caused to anyone , this is Primark’s job . The employee needs to ensure it’s own safety by working and behaving safely in Primark . An unsafe working environment can lead to a bad reputation to customers , this will cause a sales loss . A bad reputation can also put off potential employees , the recruitment process is time consuming and expensive so it is necessary that Primark does not limit the candidates .

There is an accident book, which must be completed every time an injury occurs whether is it a minor or major injury .

Every time a visitor enters the business , they must log on a visitor book . In the case of an emergency such as a fire , everyone must be evacuated and the business needs to know if everyone is safely out the building . If a visitor did not log onto the book , the business would be completely unaware that there person was there. In a visitor book , there are a few sections to fill out , this can vary business to business . Most often your name , reason for being there and who you are there to see and proof of identification are required . This is important as it makes sure no one at the workplace is put into danger .

Fire safety is important when trying to make your workplace as safe as possible , this includes carrying out a fire risk assessment of the premises and reviewing it regularly , as well as telling staff of any risks you may find . Appropriate fire measures must be put in place and maintained , this includes a plan for emergency . All staff must receive fire safety instructions and training .

All staff must be trained on a certain type of equipment before they use it . This is important as this reduces injuries , and if they are taught how to use it correctly they can work faster compared having to figure it out by themselves.

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