Human resource management is a key aspect that drives businesses across the globe. This function deals in managing the employees of the organization. This includes recruiting and selecting the right employees of the business, defining their jobs, roles and responsibilities, evaluating their performances, ensuring and managing their appraisals, promotions, addressing their grievances and planning their compensations as well as fairly rewarding their performance (Hendry, 2012). Human resource management strategies adopted by companies have changed over a period of time. The advent of strategic human resources has ensured that the business does not has either dearth or a surplus of employees at any given point of time (Foster, 2014). This is important to ensure efficiency in using resources. This report throws light on the ongoing trends and challenges that companies face while resourcing employees. The case study in consideration is Tesco and the report explains recruiting, training and inducting employees at Tesco.
Trends and challenges in people resourcing
The human resource management scene is consistently changing owing to increasing globalization and digitization of the world. The recent trends observed and challenges faced by TESCO and other organizations are as below:
Social media recruiting has been adopted by a large number of firms due to the widespread reach of social media platforms. Every leading company finds it largely beneficial to publicize the available job vacancies on their Facebook and twitter pages. This has helped companies in reaching out to a large audience and has led to a higher number of applications. Social media has also made an employee profile transparent and hence has made it easier for businesses to gather professional information about their potential candidates (Gibbs, MacDonald & MacKay, 2015).
Another growing trend is the presence of a globalized workforce in organizations. Globalization has made it comparatively easier for businesses to break geographical barriers and establish presence in international markets. This has led to creation of a global workforce in organizations (Vance & Paik, 2015).
Globalized workforce comes with various advantages like increased competency and enhanced innovation but along with that the presence of a global workforce poses a challenge of cross cultural differences in organizations. This may lead to conflicts and adversely impact the working environment in the business (Kooij, Lange & Heijden, 2015). TESCO works in 12 countries of the world and it is often difficult to increase an understanding of different cultures and create cooperation among employees.
The advancement of communication and free flow of information has led to employee poaching. This refers to competent employees being lured to join another organization by competing firms (Kim, 2014). This largely affects organizations is one of the major challenges faced by people today.
The increasing demands of competent employees has also made them largely expensive and hence the people resourcing now requires deeper efforts and higher costs. The large presence of job portals, career consultants and social media jobs have presented a plethora of jobs to candidates to select from.
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment refers to the act of hiring more employees into the business. They are selected through a guided procedure. This is an important part of the business as effective recruitment practices result in competent employees working in the organization (Shackleton, 2015). Vacancies are created in the business every time the company plans to expand its operations, changes its process or its employees are either promoted to different responsibilities or they voluntarily move to other organizations (Chaneta, 2014). In order to attract candidates for vacant positions (both store based and non-store) in the firm, TESCO does internal as well as external recruitments. Important aspects of TESCO’s recruitment and selection policies are as given below:
TESCO does workforce planning and ensures that at any point of time, the company does not face a shortage or excess of employees. TESCO uses a workforce planning table to that they are able to analyze the likely demand for new staff in the near future. This process of planning the workforce begins every year in the last week of February. This month has been decided upon because TESCO conducts quarterly reviews in May, August and November. The company aims to fulfill most of its positions internally. This helps in ensuring that employees are already familiar with the job culture and people of the business.
Job description and person specification
Once the workforce planning has been done, TESCO targets to attract candidates for vacant positions. The decision makers of the business clarify job descriptions so that candidates have clarity of job while applying for the position. The job descriptions clarify the following details (Breaugh, 2017):
- Title of the job
- Reporting manager of the job holder
- People for whom the job holder is responsible
- Description of roles and responsibilities.
The clarity about these details assists candidates in knowing their responsibilities and allows employers to set the right expectations while hiring a candidate. Person specification are also an important part of the recruiting process. These specifications include skills, competencies and characteristics of the candidate as well as their brief working history and details of previous employments.
At TESCO the job description as well as the person specifications are combined in a document and it helps the firm attract suitable employees and setting targets for them. AS example of a job description and person specification document is as given below
In order to attract candidates, TESCO places ads in their store vacancy boards, TESCO website, television and magazines. In order to ensure that the suitable candidates apply for job, TESCO has also provided a job type match model on their website to guide candidates in their application process.
Once a number of candidates have applied for the position, the right candidate needs to be selected who is most suited for the job. In the first stage of screening, employee’s CV is browsed and analyzed. People whose skills, competencies and prior work experiences suit those required by TESCO are then promoted to the next level of screening.
Candidates to clear the CV screening are then asked to attend assessment centers. These assessments take place in stores and are run by store managers. In this process, applicants are given various activities to perform. Through the entire course they are tested upon different areas like communication, decision making and team building. The shortlisted candidates then move on to their interview rounds.
Interviewing is a process of face to face interaction between the candidate and the employer. The line managers are involved in the process as they are the ones who would be directly working with the candidate. Interview process helps employers gain a deeper insight about the candidates and their competencies and skills. Similarly, this conversation also allows candidates to ask any questions and clarify any doubts as they arise in order to build the right expectation setting with the organization (Foster, 2017). Salary negotiations may also take place in the interviewing process. After this process, the candidates who are shortlisted are finally offered a job with the firm.
Every time a new employee joins the organization, it is the role and responsibility of the organization to ensure that the employee gets accustomed to the organizational history, culture, processes and people. This process of enabling employees to get familiar with the organization is called induction (Hudson, 2016). This is an important part in the tenure of every employee. Inductions enables in breaking the ice between the employee and the firm. This process is planned with an aim to provide a platform of free information flow for the employees as well as addressing their doubts and inhibitions regarding the firm.
Induction process has various advantages as listed below:
- Acts as an ice breaker in the initial days of work. Employees are often nervous and shy in their initial days of work. Induction program familiarizes employees and acts as an ice breaker between the new and existing employees.
- Accustoms the new joined employee with the company policies, procedure and history. These details eventually helps the employee in following protocol and reduces chances of error (Srimannarayana, 2016).
- At the time of joining, an employee has various queries and doubts, these issues and questions are addressed during the induction program.
- Clarify roles and responsibilities to the employee.
- Leads to integration of employee in the new organization (El-Shamy, 2016)
The process of induction must be well planned and effectively executed so as to ensure maximum benefit from the same. There are various challenges that may be faced due to inefficacy of the induction program offered to new employees by the company:
- Ineffectively planned induction programs can lead to wrong expectation setting between the employee and the employer.
- It has been often observed, that employees do not take induction programs seriously
- Induction programs often provide only theoretical knowledge about the company and lacks a practical approach
- Induction programs become ineffective if they are not followed up. This makes it difficult for firms to analyze if the new employees are comfortable with the company policies or not.
- A lack of participation from the new employees makes the induction program a one sided communication which makes it boring and does not fulfill its aim.
Training programs are important in every business. These programs are required every time an employee is promoted to a higher role or responsibility or when a new employee joins the firm. These training programs are meant to accustom these new employees with their changed roles in the business. Trainings are crucial to the employee as they lead to improved performance from the employees and better business understanding (Dhar, 2015). The importance of training programs are as given below:
- The primary idea of a training program is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the employees that they are expected to fulfill.
- Training sessions are meant to accustom the employee with the procedures and pathways that must be adopted to fulfill those responsibilities.
- An effective training session eventually reduces chances of errors and leads to effective performance of employees in the business.
- Training sessions are taken to improve the skills and competencies of the employees. These sessions also help in addressing employees’ weaknesses and working upon improving them.
- Training sessions assist in enabling the growth and development of employees and hence leads to increased employee satisfaction in the business.
- Trainings also aim to align employee goals with the goals of the organization. This will in turn ensure that employee attrition is reduced (Lawson, 2015).
- Internal trainings given to existing employees also help in enhancing the competencies of employees and overall improving the company’s process and performance. For example, training on effective communication or professional email etiquette will help in the overall improvisation of company’s procedures.
The training programs are either conducted for new employees to increase their awareness and understanding of the job or they are conducted for existing employees to address their weaknesses and ensure better performance. However, there are various challenges that are faced by organizations while delivering these training sessions. These challenges are as below:
- Employees may be unable to deal with the change and hence they might not be able to make full use of the training program.
- Trainers may find it difficult to engage learners. Therefore it is largely recommended that professional trainers must be employed for this purpose.
- Trainings that lack follow up make it difficult for organizations to understand the effectiveness of the training program.
- It is often difficult to analyze the effectiveness of the training program and its impact on the employee performance.
- If the training material is not effectively delivered beforehand to employees it will be difficult for them to be prepared for the training course.
- The global workforce at various organizations may cause cultural differences and hence different training programs must be organized to avoid the same.
- Unequal employee participation will not help in reaping benefits of the training program.
Human resource management is highly crucial for the success of any organization and accomplishment of organizational goals. This involves recruiting employees, inducting them in the business, training them, evaluating their performance and aligning their goals with those of the organization. The case study referred in the report makes references to human resource management practices of TESCO which is UK based firm with operations in over 12 countries.
The report highlights upon the importance of effective recruitment practices in the business, innovative induction programs and efficient trainings. Such programs help in accustoming a new employee in the organization as well as helps the business set the right expectations for the employees as and when required. Communication also plays an important role in every organization and such programs instil a transparency in business communication and helps in building an environment of trust.
It is largely recommended that every organization must put desired efforts in increasing the efficacy of their recruitment practices, organizing efficient training programs and finely inducting employees into the business. This will lead to improved performance of the employee as well as growth and development of the business.
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