Humanresource management is an integral process in any organization. Thisis due to the fact that personnel are the ones responsible with thedaily operations of the organization. For an organization to succeedor fail it largely depends on how well its human resource is beingmanaged. Therefore emphasis should be enforced on human resourcemanagement to ensure the policies and strategies that are beingformulated in this regard are ones which will foster efficiency andthus lead to the organization’s success. That notwithstanding themanagement of personnel in an organization is not a one shot affairit requires a series of critical decision making before a formidablehuman resource plan or strategy is implemented, because any singlemistake that may be made will subject the whole organization intobusiness failure.
Workforceplanning is one of the core processes of human resource managementthat is shaped by organisational strategies. That ensures the rightnumbers of people with the right skills, are in the right place atthe right time to deliver both short and long term organisationalobjectives. Reilly (1996) defined workforce planning as a process inwhich an organisation planned and approximate the demand for manpowerand assess the needed size, nature and the resources, which will beessential to meet that demand.
Workforceplanning can be used interchangeably with other terms like humanresource planning, succession planning and building bench strength.It was formerly known as ‘manpower planning’ that then shiftedaway from the parent term due to its gender-unequal implication andit also implied a mechanistic quantitative approach to rationalityabout the workforce (Reilly, 1996). In general, manpower planning isrelated with a rather integrated, number chomping type of process. Inlayman term, workforce planning is defined as “the right number ofpeople with the right skills, experiences, and competencies in theright jobs at the right time.’’ In short, the definition coversan extensive process that provides mangers with a structure formaking recruitment decisions strictly based on the organisation’sgoals, mission and vision, strategic plan, available resources and aset of skilled and desired workforce know-hows. In mostorganizations, be it public or private, have each developed modelsfor workforce planning and in most case the processes are all verymuch the same.
Inhuman resource, workforce planning provides tools for categorizingcapabilities required for recruiting, developing, training,retraining, or placing employees to build the workforce of thefuture. Workforce planning is beneficial to the managers as itprovides manager with a tactical basis to decision making, allowingthem to foresee changes and be prepared rather than being surprisedby unexpected events. It allows managers to focus on components suchas workforce demographics, retirement projections, and successionplanning, delivering more sophisticated knowledge on changes to beexpected, the capabilities that retirements and other hystericalactions will take from the workforce, and key positions that may needto be occupied. This allows managers to plan replacements or changesin workforce competencies if needed.
Agood workforce planning has multiple positive impacts on theorganisation and the business. Some of the most significant factorsare Eliminating Surprises – Should be prepared and able to foreseeupcoming problems and are able to solve it within a short period oftime. Example, Rapidtalent replacement:Ableto figure out vacant positions due to sudden or inevitableturnover so that production or services will not be disrupted.Levelling out business cycles – Developing processes that goesaround talent inventory and work effectively throughout both good andbad times. Example: Having the right people at the right place at theright time. No delays in production and hence able to meet goals byemploying the right number of employees that are equipped with theright skills to speed up work productivity and efficiency. Identifythe problems early – Able to notice problem in stage one and notlet it escalates even further into major problems. Preventingproblems – Having to fix a problem is definitely costly hence it’simportant to prevent such problems from occurring with a goodworkforce planning. Example: It’s costly and time consuming tore-employee trainees and arranged training systems to get themstarted. Hence, a good workforce planning can help reduce turnoverrates labour cost and also prevents layoffs. This is achievable bymaking the employees enjoy coming to work and lastly ImprovingOrganisation’s Business Image – to win against competitors andmake more profits and show that you have a strong HR department.Example: With a good workforce planning, there will be lower turnoverrates and higher productivity levels. These show that the company iswell disciplined and are making profits. This will in result attractstakeholders and investors to invest in your business, making it evenmore successful than it has been.
However,in the past, workforce plans have failed because they have been tooover-ambitious and have tried to achieve more than they could produce(Sullivan, 2002). The planning strategies in the past workedaccordingly to the straight-line growth and tried to define a singlebull’s-eye for a target which is lack of flexibility to adapt intoa situation (Sullivan, 2002). But, recent changes have shown that thebusiness world often fails to follow historical patterns and thatorganisational plans need to be more flexible in order to besuccessful (Sullivan, 2002).
Strategicplanning is a process of formulating major organizational objectivesand developing a comprehensive plan to accomplish them. It is anactivity carried out by a higher level manager in an organization whoinvolve in decision making that will significantly affect the companyin achieving strategic goals. These decisions include organizationalgoals, its structure, strategies, policies and contributions ofvarious resources. The future needs of HRM of an organization couldbe forecasted from strategic HR planning, after evaluating itscurrent human resources, future HR environment, and external labourmarket (Rothwell& Kazanas (1988).
Importanceof strategic planning
Promotestable workforce cost-saving, and improved industrial relation.Arnold and Pulich (2007) described that strategic human resource (HR)planning is important for an organization because right number ofright person employed at the right time at the right cost canincreases service quality, productivity, and profitability, and thus,promotes stable workforce. Stable workforce would be achieved whenthe supply and demand for labour force match with the demand forservices.
Stableworkforce enhances morale, commitment and motivation of employees,and reduces time in selecting and training new employees. Whenemployees are well-trained and have more experiences, it can reducethe turnover cost and delivers highest quality services with higherproductivity. Besides, proper HR planning and stable workforce bringpositive impacts on organizational climate, which include positiveattitudes of employees towards managers and organizations, reducedlayoffs, increased employee commitment, job satisfaction andperformance, etc.
Fromthe article (James 2010), the research analysed that health careorganizations with lower turnover rates of nurses resulted in lowerrisk-adjusted death rates and length-of-stay. However, organizationswith highest nurse turnover rates resulting in the averagelength-of-stay is 1.2 days longer than those organizations withlowest turnover rates. This might indicate that higher nurse turnoverrates might be one of the causes for decreasing in efficiency andproductivity which will directly affect patient care. Moreover, costsaving would be achieved from low turnover rates, because layoff costis higher than hiring cost which involves training cost. Claridge andEdlund (1995) analysed that many HR departments do not viewed as costcentres by organizations. In fact, use of technology and humanresource has lead organizations to a strategic direction. Createcompetitive advantage and alignment of organizational goals withstrategic HR planning. With regards to Ulrich (1986), strategic HRplanning not only plays an important role in organizational success,but also making an organization more effective and efficient so as tobecome more competitive. Thus, organizations should carry outstrategic HR planning by understanding the dynamic external HRMenvironments which involves company values and cultures, the economy,changes in the labour market and customers’ preferences. Throughthis, HR professionals would be able to discover the best ways tomeet organizational needs and make sure HR functions align with theneeds of organizations and therefore forecast and respond to changesin HR functions.
Ulrich(1986) suggested that a competitive HR plan should remain simple bykept it to two pages because an over 70 pages long HR plan normallyomitted by line managers. Therefore, it is pointless fororganizations to create a HR plan. This might also one of the reasonswhy some organizations could not achieve organizational success. Asimple HR plan should identify the critical components in simpleterms in a direct way so as to followed by line managers. Inaddition, competitive HR plans are important to organizations sinceinformation is provided to decision makers on what human resourcepractices to add, delete, or modify to accomplish strategicorganizational goals (Ulrich 1986). As such, it is clearly stated theimpacts of HR for business success and it allows strategic planningto set up a competitive organization. From the case studies,Colgate-Palmolive and Eastman Kodak, it stated that the HR planningprocess is important in ensuring that an organization has theessential capabilities which fit with strategic intent andrequirements of customers for the business, in order to be morecompetitive in long term basis (Smith, Boroski, Davis 1992). Besides,business competitiveness also has been highlighted through moreeffective of HR plans and allocation of resources (Rothwell& Kazanas (1988).
Managingtalent is one of the fundamental tasks of a Human Resource officer.The importance of this task is widely recognized in the long run.Managing talent in our words is talent review in an organization. Inany organization we strive to achieve the best of our employees. Inother words, the organization hires a person to ensure their talentcan contribute to the organizational goals. This can only be achievedby Managing Talent in the organization from the beginning. To do thisevery company needs to first understand the learning curve. Thelearning curve will identify the reason why talent needs to bedeveloped. After understanding the reason for the need of thisdevelopment the report will further elaborate why methods such astraining and motivation is significant in managing talent.
Ifyou take a child from birth to adulthood you see remarkabledifferences in them. With the proper nurturing that child grows to beable to speak, write and walk. The learning Curve represents all thepotential in every human being. There is a certain level we can allreach. That level differs in every person. In the context of aworking environment although we may have achieved a certainqualification to enter into the organization our potential to grow isvery large. This potential needs to be recognized by an HR officer soas to achieve the person’s level best in contribution to theorganization. With age and proper training, this employee the companyputs resources and time into, can succeed maximum potential of theirtalent. This in turn ensures that worker is able to better contributeto the organization thus guaranteeing the success of theorganizations’ goals.
Whyis training an important segment of an organization? This is mainlydue to the ever changing internal and external environment of anorganization. What we learn today may not be relevant in 10 years.That is the reality of work. Human Resource Management over the yearshave changed the scope of the job countless of times. This is due tothe changing nature of the environment internally and externally. Toreach the organizational goals a company has to grow with the changesin these environments.
Onecase of a changing nature is the success of the organization inachieving its goals. This contributes to the need for new goals to beformed. This is an important process of organizational development.As such when an organizational goal changes with time differenttalents are essential to achieve this goals. With this changingnature internally the employees need the proper training to reachthese goals. With consistent training Talent is managed by the Humanresource department to make certain the achievement is met.
Externallythere are many reasons for an organizations environment to change. Acase that affects managing talent is the external integration ofproduct development. Due to the demands of customers for more andbetter quality products, companies have to heavily invest in newtechnologies to ensure they meet these new goals. With a workforcewith no training to meet these new challenges, the company cannotexpect to meet these goals effectively and efficiently (Bandt &Haines2002).
Haveyou ever had a person in class whom consistently at every lesson askstons of questions to the lecturer? That person at the end graduatesas one of the top in the cohort. This person is able to do thatbecause this person is self-motivated. With motivation a person isable to reach their potential at a faster pace. To reach thispotential the organization needs to recognize the employees and helpby creating different methods to encourage motivation so as toinspire the hunger to succeed within their employees.
BNelson has written about 1501 ways to reward an employee to motivatethem to strive for better. Rewarding great performances is oneextremely effective way to ensure employees do better at work. Oneway to reward employees is through bonuses and additional benefits.Other means can simply be through recognition. By getting recognitionfor their work contribution in an organization, is a reward by itselffor many.
Recruitmentand selection is important as it helps companies achieve theirstrategic goals (Hsu and Leat 2000). Under the SHRM and StrategicSelection model, the recruitment process comes after the humanresource strategy plan and policies are set (Bratton and Gold 2012).Organisations should find the best fit at the first try. Having agood recruitment and selection strategy would save cost and time.Finding the best fit also means less training and development isneeded for that employee. Other the financial losses, the companywill lose out on opportunity costs (Armstrong & Armstrong,2011).Before the recruitment stage, the recruiter should first knowwhat they are looking for- analyse the job and define the jobdescriptions well. Recruiters should keep in mind the human resourceand recruitment strategy to find the perfect fit.
Thereare two ways to recruit- internal (staffing) and external. Theadvantage of staffing is it serves as a motivation for staff to workhard and be promoted. It also saves costs that go into recruitingexternally like orientation, training and advertising. However, thereare limitations that it entails. There might not be the expertiseavailable internally especially in small companies. Externalrecruitment is ideal when companies need fresh and new ideas. It isalso good when the company wants to change their existing corporateculture (Bratton and Gold 2012). The disadvantage for recruitingexternally is that it is not as cost efficient and it will take moretime compared to internal staffing. Before a company can recruit thebest people, they first have to attract the best people for the job(Burne 2005). Organisations can offer incentives and pay above themarket rate to attract the best pool of potential employees. In lightof the wave of technology advancements and the baby boomers fastapproaching the retirement age, organisations can recruit throughsocial media. This would enable them to reach out to more peopleespecially the younger generation who are tech savvy. The cost forrecruitment would be lower and this online job advertisement could beseen twenty-four hours a day, increasing exposure (Bratton and Gold2012).
Itis important to select the best people for the jobs as there is aturnover cost for every employee that leaves the company. Choosing anappropriate interviewer has an impact on the recruitment andselection also. These interviewers are the representatives of theorganisation and they are likelihood the only employee of theorganisation they will meet. Recruiters are often the main reasonthat a company is chosen over the other (Bratton and Gold 2012).Recruiters have to ask the right questions and asses the applicantaccurately to find the best fit. Some companies outsource theirrecruitment and selection function to agencies or hire consultants asit is their non-core function. The effectiveness of the assessmentsin the later stages of selection is affected directly by the methodused to attract applicants and the number of applicants. The secondstep is to identify the best qualified out of the pool of applicants(Carless 2007). Organisations should select employees who arecommitted to the company- who will stay long with the company. Oneway to hire the best people is through internships. According to Zhaoand Linden (2011), interns are an ‘ideal pool’ of job candidatesbecause they are more educated and are already familiar with theorganisation and the job. It is also more accurate as these internshave been monitored over a period of time. Another method is torecruit at educational institutions like universities. These studentswould need to find a job after graduating. They would also be able tofind highly qualified applicants and there is a lesser need fortraining (Lundy & Cowling, 1997).
Challengesin Recruitment and Selection
Recruitmentcan be challenging for a company in a new environment like a newcountry or when the labour market is tight. In a new venture to adifferent country, the culture will be different and since it is anuncharted environment, there would be more difficulties. Humanresource recruitment and selection is an import part of anorganisation. However, there might be other priorities ahead likefinances and sales. Because of time constraints, recruitment andselection might not be one of the top priorities in terms oforganisation strategies (Bhattacharyya, 2006).
Itis evident that personnel management is very crucial and involves alot of critical decision making before a suitable plan is arrived atfor implementation. A good human resource plan must involve all theelements and constraints pertaining to personnel management toeffectively serve its purpose otherwise it may address one issue andunfortunately fail on the rest. Thus to effectively come up with acomprehensive human resource plan and strategy the process should bea joint venture that involves all stakeholders so as to ensure eachgroup is equally represented and hence enabling rational policies tobe formulated with input from every angle. This will aid in theimplementation phase as the plan and strategies will be readilyembraced.
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