During 2010 the Australian economy was going through a rough time when the identified problem was found that the growth of International students fell terribly. It is because the international students who took admission in higher education had contributed around AUS$9.6 to the economy of Australia. There were several factors that concluded to this situation. These factors are categorized under external and internal influence. These factors not only led to a decrease in International students opting to study in Australia but also affected the labor profile of many Universities. They are more considered in a macro-level basis, they are changes in the general skilled program on migration and visa norms for International student.
The number of International students included a majority of Indian students and the total number of Indian students who enrolled for student Visa was 36326 which represented a decrease in 25 per cent (Hcindia-au.org, 2015). Apart from issues related to Visa, another significant issue was the rise in value of Australian Dollar which contributed in the decrease in Student applying to study in Australia. The Dollar value of Australia had an increase of 18.56% in Chinese currency, 4.9916% in UK Pounds and 4.26% increase in exchange rate with Indian Rupee (RAVIMOHAN, 2010). This increase in Dollar Price made Australia more expensive International visiting destination for travelers. This has made an effective impact because the rise in Dollar price made an expensive living for the International Students and moreover in order to pay the fee the amount they has to give has monetarily had also increased.
The existing competition for getting International Students in other countries like Asian countries, USA and UK had also been a major external factor for affecting International students to study in Australia. From 2000 to 2011 the top leading destinations for International market share for academic and educational Institutions are United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France followed by Australia in the fifth position (International Students, 2013). Thus Australian Universities was having a tough competition between other International Institutions.
At the beginning of 2010, there was an increase in crime and racial discrimination among the Australians and the non-Australian people which marked Australia as an unsafe place for living. The welfare and safety issues in Australia faced by many students from different countries had forced the Government for an Agenda of Public around May 2009. At that time thousands of students from the federation formed by the Indian students in Australia made a rally in Melbourne. An overabundance of community and Government response made design to ensure the international market about the safety of Students for studying in the Australian University (Mason, 2011). During that time only the Government of Australia introduced vital changes in a way that would help funding the Australian Universities. This was a part of funding system driven by demand along with use of other measures, and under its policy guidelines the university receives funds according to the availability of seats in the Universities for each disciplines based on industry and student demand. It was found that many students are opting for engineering, physical science, medicine, nursing and commerce degrees.
These were the main external factors as discussed but apart from these factors there are also several factors that affected the international students to study in Australia and affecting the labor profile of many universities including the one which is mentioned. There had been environmental factors such as an easily accessible and a friendly area where the student would feel comfortable to reside during the course of his or her study.
These were some of the external factors that affected Universities in Australia. It led the vice chancellor of an Eminent Australian University face a big challenge. The challenge was about the management and the workforce planning. The universities couldn’t maintain the present level of staffing to the long-term starting from the medium (Banfield and Kay, 2008). It was seen that the combination of administrative and academic staff were not proper. The university required a good management policy for having too many staff and for better management. In this situation the function of Human resource department came with a solution that suggested a scheme of Voluntary redundancy to the addressed problems.
When the discussed University was going through several issues relating to the staff and labor problems, the Human resource depart came with a plan for downsizing their workforce. Human resource planning is a moderately traditional discipline as with changing circumstances there has been several methods used by Human resources which are applicable for an organization. One of the significant roles of a Human resource department is to provide significant information to the decision makers. These information helps the decision makers to decide how effective can the necessary steps be in order to efficiently run the organization.
In order to determine the success of the University there is a sheer requirement of engaging the pan for workforce. This planning is set after a goal is set (Sekhri, 2010). The goal for the university here is to have a better management and presenting a long-term staffing. With effective tools the HR would be able to identify the problems. The purpose of this human resource planning tool is to identify the required problems.
What these tool performs is to provide information for specific fields so that they could be used in the decision making process of the management (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2011). They are, Organizational Structures, Work structures, staffing management plan, project organization chart, networking, text oriented format, compensation, HRIS, communications and surveys. With the help of these tools the HR identifies the problem and plans out for a proper solution.
The Organization charts provides the description of positions in a hierarchical format that helps to comprehend the individual work packages and ensuring that the members has a clear understanding about their roles and responsibilities (Steigenberger, 2013). It also helps to identify how many staffs’ fits for the role they are allocated. It also helps to provide the structure in a top to down arrangement. The Work structures are a breakdown of the structure of an organization which chiefly designs the existing teams, units and department’s packages and project allocation. They help to inform about the areas of responsibility and their required levels.
The plan for staffing management is a division of a project management plan which demonstrates how and when the human resource requirements will be fulfilled (Kirkby et al., 1998). It can be in informal as well as formal information. It can also be broad or detailed in respect to the project requirement. There is a need for continuous updating process in this tool. Hence it provides the updated information. The management of staffing plans generally includes required time frames for a project group activity for acquisition and its members. The chart of project organization also can be informal or formal and displays the reporting relationship and the project members in a graphical representation in relation to the requirement of the project. The text-oriented formats are basically the outlines which help the team members by providing responsibilities that needs detailed demonstration. With the help of these the HR can provide information about competencies of a worker, the authority that a person is holding, the roles and responsibilities and the qualifications. For an organization in order to redundant their employees it is very necessary to understand whom the organization is keeping and whom the organization is asking to leave. It is so because there are high possibilities of an efficient employee can leave the organization. It has happened with the Australian university also.
Networking is a kind of interpersonal, constructive and informal tool for Human resource planning that, impacts on the effectiveness of diverse options of staffing management. Informal conversations, lunch and informal parties meetings and proactive correspondence are considered as a part of networking activities. The compensation policies of an organization helps to determine the efficiency of the employee an accordingly determine their productivity. Compensation also helps to have annual and ongoing activity recognition for volunteers (Chalofsky, 2014). The surveys like interview based and quantitative based helps to have access over various information. The quantitative methods of survey help to identify the labor turnover ratio and the surplus and gap of employment in the organization. Quantitative surveys gives a detailed report on which not only helps in decision making but also helps in identifying the need of the implementation of Human resource strategy. The interview based survey helps to find out why the employee is leaving or what problems and issues the employee is having in the course of his employment.
This process was hugely informative and was helpful for the decision makers because they found out a way for providing a voluntary amount to which the person will be paid if he or she would take leave according to his own will. This actually led many people leave the organization. Some people left the organization because they want to take a year leave but still it was found that they got very insufficient leave application. So they called for retrenchment and termination. The only thing the management failed to see is that not only they can lose efficient employees but their efficient work will be handled by a person who is already into his task. This means that the existing employees had to work for double task in the same amount of pay.
With the help of communication and HRIS the human resource can identify immediate details about employees and through communication they can convince the employees to leave or remain in the University (Tohidi, 2011). The Information system of Human resource also known as HRIS is an intersection of information technology and human resources through the help of an application. It is an electronic process of operation that helps digitally keep the data related to employees. A HRIS performs innumerous tasks that help to avail solutions. Some of these solutions include the solution for training, human resource, recruiting, compliance and payroll. Most of the quality HRIS process includes flexible designs which comprise databases that are incorporated with a variety of available features (Machado and Davim, 2014). HRIS helps organizations employees to exchange information easily.
Presently the notion of downsizing of the existing employees in the Universities required information which the mentioned tools could provide under the supervision of the Human Resource. With the help of these it could provide better information compared to abrupt information they already followed.
The notion of downsizing was an effective tool according to the decision makers. The human resource department after consulting with the stakeholders they chalked out a plan for voluntary redundancy scheme. This scheme explained that the staff can nominate themselves for ending their course of employment with the university and in return they would receive some amount o compensation for their job loss. It was agreed by the higher authorities as the only best option that the university can choose. Along with advantages there were some significant problems like losing a good number of valuable staffs (Daft, Murphy and Willmott, 2014). Many efficient employees opted for better opportunity at other institutes which was easier for them to get. When this scheme did not act accordingly, the director of the university started targeted redundancy. This also made a negative impact on the employees. The impact was not only about the employees who are leaving but also about the employees who thought that they had to do more task as the distribution of task will be more for one person. Some employees were demotivated with the fact that their hard works are not considered. This situation required a good amount of emphasis so that the HR as well as the decision maker can analyze which is affecting most, the negative or the positive impacts.
The advantages of Downsizing is cost saving, ability to eliminate low productive employees and updating. The initiative of the University was to face the challenges of the external environment created issues. With the contracting of members, the university could not sustain their present level of staffing. So keeping in mind her, downsizing their employees would help them reduce the number of employees to be compensated and provided salary and saving the money in order to have a good circulation and sustenance of the University (Sitlington and Marshall, 2011).
Cost saving is one of the biggest advantage of downsizing. If more work is allotted to less number of people, then there will be a possibility to save cost. With that saved money the University can focus more on the other infrastructural improvements. Once the University achieves it desired goals then the University will be able to hire or rehire more staffs. Downsizing also helps in increasing the productivity of the existing employees (Hodgetts and Hegar, 2004). The fear of retrenchment and downsizing make the existing people more productive in their work. Many people take their job for grunted no matter whatever work they does. This brings a reluctant feeling among certain employees and they don’t perform their best. Indirectly their individual performance results in bad impression for the organization. Suppose a faculty of the University is always late and most of the time remains absent in his or her period then the student will have a complaint that even after paying fees the faculty is not doing his job properly. This might extend to students who might give a thought to take admission to the University. That faculty in this case definitely needs to be terminated, but instead the university is offering him voluntarily leaving the University to which he will be provided with compensation (Daft and Marcic, 2014). There is a type of hiring on the basis of reference; in that case there are chances of poor recruitment quality. If they are hired and later they find out that the employee is not appropriate for the profile then they can downsize the number of employees.
There are also many disadvantages of downsizing that the university is presently confronting. These disadvantages are, fail in the creativity and productivity of the staff, reduction in general disquiet and job satisfaction among employees, and effect on the public image for the University.
In the eye of the public Downsizing can mar the image of the University, this hampers the reputation of the university. A university should be known for its effective teaching, the increase in potentiality of the student and its work culture. Retrenching a good number of people might result in people making negative comments about the university (Child, n.d.). The existing employees might lose their interest of working thinking that he might be the next victim of downsizing. Thus the creativity and the productivity of the employee would lose to a great extent. There is also a fear of losing efficient and potential employee in downsizing. Hence it can be stated that downsizing affects the university to a great extent and in order to overcome these negative impact, there has to be a better Human Resource Strategy.
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Dinsmore, P. and Cabanis-Brewin, J. (2011). The AMA handbook of project management. New York: American Management Association.
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Mason, G. (2011). Naming the 'R' word in racial victimization: Violence against Indian students in Australia. International Review of Victimology, 18(1), pp.39-56.
Oecd.org, (2015). OECD.org - OECD. [online] Available at: https://www.oecd.org/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2015].
RAVIMOHAN, A. (2010). Appreciation of Australia’s real exchange rate: causes and effects. 1st ed. [ebook] South Wales: https://www.rba.gov.au/, p.11. Available at: https://www.rba.gov.au/econ-compet/2010/pdf/first-year.pdf [Accessed 7 Mar. 2015].
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