Human resource is the practice which involves managing the people in order enhance the performance. The organisation in this report is Say it with Chocolate which deals in tailor made greeting card in UK. The company is facing problems relating to increased staff turnover and the poor quality in products.
- Purpose and function of HRM
- concept of employee engagement and key employment legislations
- selection approaches and its advantages and disadvantages.
- Nature of job role, target market and person specification.
Within an organization there are different types of departments that work with an aim to reach their goals and objectives. In each department, there are workers who need to have certain set of skills and capabilities. In situations where employees fail to perform their roles, then it affects the business in negative manner. In this context, Human Resource Management is essential to understand problems that are faced and also considering strategies that can be applied to raise performance level. This report is based on ‘Say it with Chocolate’ that provide customers with tailor made chocolate-based greetings card and presents across UK. The assignment covers roles and responsibilities of Human Resource Officer. Further, it covers advantages and disadvantages of methods that are used by the company for jobs advertising. Lastly, it also includes benefits of the approach Microsoft has taken in respect of flexible working practices.
a) Purpose of HR function and its importance to Say it with Chocolate
There are different types of HR functions that are followed at ‘Say it with Chocolate’. In this context, it includes recruitment, motivating employees, retaining workers, training and development, etc. All these functions help Say it with Chocolate and main purpose of these are as follows:
Attaining goals and objectives: There are certain set of objectives and goals that are set by the cited firm.
Support from workers: Many activities are required to be performed by workers and by use of proper HR functions, the purpose of functions enables workers to put on their full efforts in performing the set of goals and objectives of cited firm (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014).
Attaining competitive advantages: There are different types of companies that deliver their customers with similar types of products and services. Through HR functions, it enables to make business to attain competitive advantages.
In accordance with current problems that are faced at ‘Say it with Chocolate’, it can be stated that there is an issue faced by customers related with satisfaction (Beer, Boselie and Brewster, 2015). This issue is due to unskilled workers. This is a type of problem that has negative impact over business.
Future plans for further growth
In order to overcome current conditions, cited firm needs to focus on improving their recruitment process so that skilled workers can be hired. Workers with strong skills set and capabilities help the business to improve their quality of products, services and in raising satisfaction level.
b) Roles and responsibilities as a Human Resource Officer
The major roles of a Human resource officer are as follows:
Recruiting, training and developing staff- The Human Resource Officer carries out function of recruiting candidates for vacant job position in organization by scrutinizing applicants. Then they provide training and development to employees who are newly recruited to the existing staff.
Ensures that the staff gets paid on time- HR officer makes sure that the employees of organization gets their salary or wages on fixed time and date. They also make sure that the pay is accurate and deals with any disputes if occurred.
Provides health, safety and welfare of all employees- It is the function of HR department to protect staff from any dangers or risks (Björkman and et.al., 2014). The HR officer ensures health and safety of employees in organization by rendering services or measures to safeguard their welfare.
Monitoring performance- HR officer evaluates the performance of employees and staff in organization by monitoring their work. They do this to rank the employees and also to understand level of working of employees in respective field.
Approving job descriptions and advertisements- HR officer approves the job descriptions of particular job positions and advertises job posting to reach out external candidates.
The responsibilities of HR officer include the following:
- HR Officer works closely with the various departments in the organization, assists managers to understand procedures and policies etc.
- They promote equality and diversity as it is a part of culture of organization (Bratton and Gold, 2017).
- HR officer administers payroll and maintains records of employees
- They develop and implement policies on several issues like performance management, working conditions, equal opportunities, procedures of discipline etc.
c) Advantages and disadvantages of current selection methods used by Say it with Chocolate and comparison with other approaches of selection methods
Say it with Chocolate has developed two types of assessment tests for selection of employees which are mentioned below with their advantages and disadvantages. Those applicants who pass and achieve 50% marks for both tests would be called for an interview after their reference checking.
Cognitive Ability Test- Say it with Chocolate uses this method for initial screening of applicants which measures an individual's logic, reasoning, reading comprehension and mathematical abilities (DeNisi,Wilson and Biteman, 2014). This test provides Say it with Chocolate with valuable insights for highly skilled positions such as accounting, engineering, technology etc.
- Predicts performance of job for complex positions or designations
- Test taker cannot easily manipulate
- It is cost effective for large number of test takers. Reduces average cost of recruiting time.
- Needs to spend some money initially to save more time and efforts
- Ability difference between gender may affect negatively
- Different races scoring standard deviation adversely affects use of scores used in selection process
Integrity tests- Say it with Chocolate uses this test to ask questions about an individual's past experience relating to ethics and honesty or provide scenarios where they must choose the best ethical decision.
- Informs test takers about the importance of ethics in Say it with Chocolate
- Manually or electronically administered
- Reliable, cross cultural consideration and valid
- Applicants can easily manipulate results by answering favourably
- Time consuming for large number of candidates
- Individuals may react negatively to being evaluated on moral grounds.
Other than these tests, Say it with Chocolate can follow and implement several other approaches or methods of employee selection, which can help the organization, recruits the best candidate for desired profiles. Job Knowledge tests evaluate technical or professional expertise related to a particular job or profession.
Cognitive Ability Tests
Job Knowledge tests
These test places questions designed to estimate potential of applicants to use mental processes to solve work related problems or acquire new job knowledge (Gould-Williams and Mohamed, 2010).
This test assesses applicant's tendency to be honest, trustworthy and dependability using personality based and overt tests by asking questions to test takers.
This test assesses technical or professional expertise in specific knowledge areas. This is an evaluation of applicants and is done at the time of test through designed questions.
Job Knowledge Test is a suitable method or approach that can be implemented by Say it with Chocolate to recruit talented and knowledgeable candidates. This test uses multiple choice or essay type questions to evaluate knowledge and expertise of a test taker. It helps in measuring performance using job cognition degree mastered by a candidate.
d) Potential improvements that could be made to the current selection methods
Modifications and alterations made to selection methods by Human Resources Department of Say it with Chocolate can assist them in recruiting the right candidates. Recruiting, hiring and retaining right candidates for all positions are necessary to build a workplace culture that attracts contingent employees (Hendry, 2012) Therefore, to bring in the best workers making potential improvements in the recruitment and selection process makes the entire process finer.
Some of the ideas which Say it with Chocolate can make in their selection methods of Cognitive Ability Test, Integrity test and interview are as follows:
- Establishing a timeline for hiring process – A proper time frame set for recruiting the candidates helps HR department plan and select processes which eases activities.
- Asking straightforward and relevant questions- Hiring managers must avoid asking hypothetical or off the wall questions that may distract and negatively affect applicants; instead focusing on knowing the candidate's experience, knowledge, work ethics and behaviour could be implemented by Say it with Chocolate.
- Measuring effectiveness- Say it with Chocolate must monitor the hiring process to understand working, which will show efficiency and effectiveness that may help in making changes as required.
- Developing a selection committee- Say it with Chocolate may choose a department manager and knowledgeable staff with whom the candidates can interact while on interview. This helps in ensuring the basic skills of applicants to jump right in to the job role without specialized training or classes.
a) Person specification for the role
SAY IT WITH CHOCOLATE
27th July, 2018
Job title / Designation: Receptionist/ Administrator
Grade: Scale ½
Job Ref: DCC/07/0562
The post holder must be able to demonstrate the following core competencies to a high level and uses these to the fullest at work. This is more important than having direct experience of the job content. We will be looking for evidence of all the competencies during selection process if you are shortlisted.
Organisational systems and processes
Ability to work without supervision
Although, we are keeping direct experience or knowledge requirements to minimum at Say it with Chocolate; it needs you to submit a cover letter to demonstrate your capabilities in relation to each area outlined below. Where relevant please illustrate how competencies have helped you to achieve positive results. This will give you possible chances of being shortlisted.
ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
Ability to work on self initiative and as part of the team
Note taking skills
Working with general public, face to face and on telephone
Working within a team
Coping with multiple tasks and prioritising own workload
Working with computers
Filing and record keeping
Previous reception experience
Experience of working within social / healthcare service
Use of computerized booking systems or database
An ability to express tolerance, patience and a caring attitude
Ability to work with initiative and flexibility
Ability to work well under pressure
An understanding of importance of good confidentiality practice
An ability to apply equal opportunities to service delivery
b) Rationale for a suitable medium for placing the advertisement
A job advertisement is a print or electronic notification intended to hire someone to perform specific work at designation in an organisation or company. Employers use this to request applications from public or targeted candidates. This uses sections, which gives an overview of essential information about job. There are several mediums or channels through which a job advertisement can be posted where traditional method of news paper advertising are adopted by Say it with Chocolate. This medium still dominion supreme which provides a several benefits than the TV, radio and internet (Hollenbeck and et.al., 2018).
Advantages and reasons for choosing newspaper advertising for job advertisement by Say it with Chocolate is as follows:
It offers better targeting- This medium can target specific demographics, which is difficult by other channels. Smaller audiences can also be effectively reached by Say it with Chocolate in particular geographic area.
Newspaper advertising is more flexible- newspaper advertising offers more flexibility than other mediums as Say it with Chocolate chooses the exact location, size and design of the advertisement. These also let direct control over the final ad by directly working with staff of the newspaper.
Affordable- Newspaper advertising is cost less than any other mediums like TV, radio, Internet etc. where there are no additional costs. They can also be customised to meet any budgets as Say it with Chocolate have less competition for ad space than other mediums.
Wider reach- Though with the advancements of technology there is a decline in readership but average issue of a daily or Sunday newspaper reaches more adults (Kim and Bae, 2017).
c) Advantages and disadvantages of previous methods of advertising jobs in Say it with Chocolate
The advertisement methods used previously by Say it with Chocolate was medium of Mobile phones. Handheld, smart phones and other wireless devices were used to advertise the job vacancies.
The advantages and disadvantages of this method are as follows:
Accessibility- Because of technological advancements, most people today uses mobile phones and is easy to reach them wherever they are. Mobile advertising used by Say it with Chocolate follows people and do not depend on any single location.
Time relevance- People keeps their phones with them throughout the day which helps to reach them without delay. Sensitive messages, notifications of sales and special events can be sent anytime and customers will read them at their convenience during the day.
Cost- This type of advertising incurs costs of what TV and radio advertisements renders. This makes Say it with Chocolate to reach more people for less money. Sending repeated messages or new ones to remind customers of offerings can easily be afforded (Kuvaas and Dysvik, 2010).
Intimacy- Mobile technology and internet have helped Say it with Chocolate develop strong relationship with customers to help in businesses. Maintaining sense of friendliness and focusing on low-pressure ad pitches were followed by Say it with Chocolate.
Too diverse platforms- Mobile technology lacks particular standard as compared to Computers and laptops. They are available in many shapes and sizes where the screen size is never constant. Mobile phone platforms use different operating systems and browsers, which makes issues in creating one campaign.
Privacy issues- Say it with Chocolate needs to understand this factor and respect the fact that users need their privacy. So they should be offered by clear instructions for choosing marketing communications whether the customer wants it or not.
d) Questions that could be asked at interview for the Receptionist
Receptionist should have strong organizational and communicational skills with good personality and ability of multi-tasking, customer services etc. Due to technological advancements, knowledge of technical skills must also be possessed by a receptionist.
Say it with Chocolate requires a receptionist or administrator who can perform the front desk activities smoothly and for this, they are conducting recruitment and selection processes to find potential candidate.
- What do you know about Say it with Chocolate and their services?
- Explain roles and responsibilities of a receptionist and admin work?
- What motivates you to work as a receptionist and mention the skills required for this role?
- Describe the challenges that a receptionist might face over time?
- Explain how can you handle annoyed visitor or client?
How can you add value to Say it with Chocolate?
a) Benefits of apprenticeship and training to employees and organization by Microsoft
Employees of Microsoft must be provided with proper training and apprenticeship for developing their skills and abilities which helps in career development and increases firm's productivity. Apprenticeship is a system of on the job and classroom training where the workers earn while learning a particular trade or work (Mandip, 2012).
The benefits of apprenticeship and training provided by Microsoft to employees are:
- The employee or worker receives supervision, instruction and trainings combined with related technical knowledge both practically and theoretically.
- Helps in personal development and acquire new skills. Also successful completion leads to nationally recognising qualification
- Wider understanding of particular role and their impact on Microsoft
- Improves soft skills like communication, team working and problem solving
- Increases job satisfaction by having right skills, knowledge and behaviours to fulfil duties and responsibilities
The benefits to Microsoft of providing apprenticeship and training to employees:
- It helps Microsoft in improving retention and revitalise business of Microsoft
- Microsoft's productivity gets increased with works of skilled and knowledgable employees. It raises operational excellence and creates competent workforce
- The organizational culture gets diversified, increases morale and motivation
- The trained staff or apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeships which reduces staff turnover
b) Developmental opportunities available to staff
Microsoft places a high value on career and professional development by investing heavily in employee advancements. They are committed to helping all staff acquire, transfer and use knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be successful in their respective jobs at Microsoft. Being permanent employee of Microsoft enables one with several benefits, growth and developmental opportunities which can render them a successful career and personal life. Some of the benefits are as follows:
Employee rights: A permanent employee of Microsoft is eligible for rights and privileges which are set by the law and order of the government (Pilbeam and Corbridge, 2010). They will be benefited with several benefits like health, leaves, minimum wages etc.
Career developing opportunities: Working for Microsoft lets an individual advance their career in a permanent position which includes skill development as well as other trainings enhances knowledge and experiences. This helps in taking greater responsibilities which again can gain further experience and gains.
Job security: Getting permanent in a specific job role or designation makes an employee's job secure. Long term security of job can only be attained after being a permanent employee of Microsoft which is a weight off one's mind and lets plan about future.
c) Benefits of flexible working practices approach of Microsoft
Flexible working practices are rendering employees flexibility on duration, location and time they work. It gives staff access flexible working through human resources policies which needs supervisory approval. Microsoft follows this approach which allows employees a certain degree of freedom in deciding how the work will be done and coordinated with their schedules to that of other workers. Below are the different benefits of this approach:
- Flexibility to meet family needs- This approach of Microsoft helps the employees meet their personal obligations and life responsibilities conveniently. It gives them the chance to be with their family, do hobbies that they love etc. after work or when not at work (Spencer, 2013).
- Reduces consumption of employee travel and cost of fuel- Some fields commutes of time may be high where letting those workers work from home can lower time , gas and wear and tear on the road.
- Increases feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment by determining them on their own
- Lowers the employee burnouts due to overload that flexibility approach of Microsoft
- Increases morale of employees, engagement and commitment to Microsoft
- Reduces leaves , absenteeism and tiredness
- Flexibility work schedule reduces turnover of valued staff and develops image as an employer of choice
a) Employee engagement
It is refers to a condition or situation where workers are engaged in their work and no time available for spread rumours and gossip. It can relate to retaining all the employees in their job in the best possible manner (Vickers and Fox, 2010). In this context, an observation occurred that an employee engaged in his or her work and tend to deflect fighting with other employees. In other words the employee engagement is something that occurs if employees are committed to help to their employers in order to achieve all their objectives and goals.
In addition to this, the management can improve their labour engagement by recognising employee's hard work, invest in professional development, pursue their projects and fix their flexible schedule. It is comes from understanding the employees values and maintain a work life balance. A worker who is satisfied with his work would often think for the organisation and he or she stays away from doing bad work for the management. It is also describes the level of enthusiasm and commitment to do work. They care about their work and increase it with better performance.
b) Employee engagement an integral strategy of employee relations
Employment engagement is a difficult to find in the present economic state where many of the organisation have to cut back on headcount and it turns into increasing work load. It is the degree where employees feel passionate about their work and devote themselves in their work. They go for the extra mile to contribute to the success of the company. It takes committed and motivate worker for the next level. Engaged workers concentrate on the goals of company and on the results of organisational work. Employee relations knows as industrial relations and it concerned with the emotional, physical, contractual and practical relationship between employer and worker. It offers mutual appreciation, respect, fear, trust and lack of transparency (Paik and et.al., 2011). It also refers to the attempts that a business makes, typically an HR department to succeed the relationships between employees and managers.
Labour relationship is an important thing in any business firm and it depends on the four pillars that are recognition, communication, invest and feedback. In this context, management can improve employee relations with their engagement. In this context, management of Microsoft should make sure about the major duties and responsibilities of a particular employee match with his/her specialization and interests. Further, it is important that the workers do not deal with their work as a hard work or burden as well as look forward to going to the work place daily. In such case employee engagement is helpful for their better relation.
c) Approaches to engaging workers and importance of improving communication at workplace
Employee engagement is the process of bringing people on board which is an intrinsic attitude which denotes an employee's enthusiasm for job (Armstrong, and Taylor, 2014). It is the property of relationship between Microsoft and its staff where an emotional connection makes the employee feel towards the employment.
Some of the approaches to employee engagement are as follows:
Bottom up Approach- Employees are the main element of Microsoft's success. For engaging the employees following this method can be helpful. Where all the staff can communicate with the supervisors and top management without following any hierarchy.
Get to know them- Spending time with employees and getting to know them is an easy and effective way to engage employees.
Providing tools for success- Rendering employees with proper training and development programmes can be helpful to make them proficient in the respective field. This makes them the feeling of career development that eventually will allow them engaged in the job.
Communication is an essential factor in any organization which allows smooth functioning of the operations and makes a systematic work processes. Workplace communication allows Microsoft in being productive and operate effectively. The employees experiences increase in morale, productivity and commitment. Some of the importance are as follows:
- It improves productivity of staff or employee as there is effective and lateral work group communication.
- This helps in job satisfaction of employee. Upward communication makes them empowered and also downward communication makes them happy.
d) Employment legislation in UK and their influence on human resource decision making
Employment legislations are the types of employment protection measures, legislation, court rules, collective bargained conditions and customary practices. It is the law which governs employment within the workplace with all employees who works. Employment legislation law of UK regulates the relationship between employers and employees that influences human resources decision making in Microsoft. Federal legislations of UK has its own employment law regulations affecting areas like labour relations, records retention, employee criminal records etc. Human resources practices involves rights and activities protected by employment laws that confer employee rights and imposes legal responsibilities on employers. Common rights of employee under employment laws include non discrimination, equal employment opportunities, freedom to join unions, wage and hour, leave provisions, medical and disability etc.
From this report on HRM in practice it can be concluded that the Human resources department has a crucial role in an organization's operations and functioning. In this report the various purposes of HR functions and their importance to organization has been discussed. The roles and responsibilities of an Human resource officer is also described. Later on the assignment examines the benefits of apprenticeship and training for employees and organization. It also studied several approaches of flexible working practices and employee engagement process of an organization