Chapter One - The Concept of Human Resources
1.1. Foundations of Human Resources
1.1.1. Defining Human Resources Management
1.1.2. The Origins and Evolution of the Human Resources Function
1.2. The Significance of Human Resources
1.3. Human Resources Management in Poland
Chapter Two - The Recruitment Process
2.1. Recruitment methods overview
2.2. Describing stages of a recruitment process
2.2.1. Establishing a Vacancy
2.2.2. Preparing a job description
2.2.3. Preparing selection criteria
2.2.4. Planning the Recruitment and Selection Process
2.2.5. Job advertisements
Chapter Three - Selecting the Best Applicant
3.1. The Curriculum Vitae as a Basic Document
3.2. Application Forms Used in the Selection Process
3.3. A Job Interview
3.4. Biographical Questionnaires - Biodata
3.5. Selection Tests
3.5.1. Psychological Tests
3.5.2. Personality Tests
3.6. Assessment Centres
3.7. Checking Applicants’ Background
The significance of various resources of an organisation has always been of interest to both management theoreticians as well as experienced experts. Following a period of fascination with access to information and formerly with material factors of production, such as land or capital, the Human Resources (HR) concept is much appreciated in today’s modern world. Its scope of activity involves recruitment and selection, training and development, employee retention programmes, and compensation and benefits policies. No wonder the human factor is put in parallel with the most significant assets of a modern organisation, regardless of its geographic location.
The HR philosophy, discussed in Chapter One, is not a new concept in the field of management in Poland; however it is still not perceived by all businesses in the same way. This concept can be very well observed in the area of HR dealing with recruitment and employee selection, which in today’s human resources management (HRM) definitely plays the most significant role. Both applicants and HR staff need to be aware that the company’s recruitment and selection processes are dependent not only upon its organisational structure, its size, and business activity, but most of all upon the type of a vacancy.
Regardless of its human resources (HR) policies, the search for a new workforce is a crucial element for all organisations as all employers would like to hire the most qualified candidate who will not only possess the most suitable knowledge, experience, and qualities, but will also fit into the company’s organisational structure. The process also ensures that the best candidates have been selected for the positions offered by an organisation that aims to expand and has concrete sales targets to fulfil.
By applying the right methods of employee selection, businesses do not only have an opportunity to achieve their desired results but also to avoid the job mismatch issues leading to enormous costs of staff turnover. The term, which is commonly used to describe the entire employee search process in a company, is wrongly referred to as ‘recruitment’. In reality however, the term reflects the process only to a certain degree since recruitment is merely one of the stages of the entire process. To be precise, the process involves finding the most suitable employee on the employment market. During this stage the employer’s responsibility is to encourage the best candidates to apply for a position in its company. Therefore, Chapter Two aims to discuss a variety of methods used to attract the best and most suited candidates for an organisation. These involve defining a position, preparing a job description, planning the recruitment and selection processes, and placing job advertisements.
Chapter Three defines ‘selection’ which is the next crucial stage of employee search. For an employer, this is the stage during which a decision concerning the most suitable candidate needs to be taken. The selection process is varied. The process can be short and restricted to reviewing and thoroughly examining application documents. Selection can also be a longer process involving a job interview as well as other techniques, such as psychological testing, knowledge testing, and assessment centres, all aiming to select the best and most suited candidates for a company.
The Conclusion contains a general overview of the main points and issues of the project, as well as a final summary. This work emphasises the significance of the human resources concept, and more importantly the recruitment and selection processes as factors giving a competitive advantage over other companies.
Chapter One The Concept of Human Resources
Human resource management (HRM) is the basis of all management activity, but it is not the basis of all business activity. A business may depend fundamentally on having a unique product, like the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or on obtaining the necessary funding, like the London bid to stage the Olympic Games, or on identifying a previously unnoticed market niche, like Saga Services. The basis of management is always the same: getting the people of the business to make things happen in a productive way, so that the business prospers and the people thrive (Torrington--Hall--Taylor 2006: 4).
All organizations, such as widely understood business sector, educational or Governmental are basically social system - the people run them. The functioning of these organizations depends on how people work or behave in the organization because human behavior is highly unpredictable. People in organizations need to lead in directions that accomplish organizational goals successfully. The human resources of an organization constitute its entire work force. Human resources management is responsible for identifying, selecting and inducting the competent people, train them, facilitating and motivating them to perform at the high level of efficiency and providing mechanism to ensure that they maintain their affiliation with their organization.
Human resources management is also an art of developing people and their potentialities for their personnel and the growth of the organization. It is the process of integrating the HR and organization together to ensure that their individual and collective goals are closely aligned. People have always been considered as critical factor in an organizational set up. Unlike other resources, such as technology, finance, materials, this can be purchased, human resources are critical and it needs to be handled with care. Often, organizations are concerned not only about the employees’ productivity but also about the employee commitment and nurturing their capabilities for the maximum utilization and growth.
The concept and practice of employee-employer relationships have also undergone a change over the last decade. In the globally competitive economy, efforts to boost productivity and quality are a continuous process. To be more responsive, the businesses are increasingly adopting the new approaches to HRM that emphasize on the redistribution of power, greater participation by the individuals, and team work.
Therefore, the establishing practices of HRM must also be able to understand and apply innovative techniques successfully in managing human resources. In the years ahead, the importance of HRM will become more crucial.
1.1. Foundations of Human Resources
Modern organizational setting is characterized by constant changing relation to environmental factors and human resources. As regard to the environmental factors, people find changes in the operating organizational structure, the network of the working procedures, customs on norms and the economic, political and the social patterns in which organizations exist. Moreover, there is a constant change in human resources, the individuals are employed daily with new creativity, ideas and experiences, while the existing workforce is also continuously changing their ideas, attitudes and even values. According to Mahapatro (2010), the author of Human Resource Management, the above mentioned two dimensions reveal the following trends:
- Increased complexity of the organizations, employment and a clear hierarchy of owners, managers and workers.
- Increased the number of employers, self-employed and enlarged size of workforce.
- Enhance the need of training in view of increased requirements of specialized skills.
- Enhanced training and development of managers and professionalization of management education.
- Possibility of employment explosion in view of ever increasing size of workforce.
- Rising the formal level of education of rank and file employees who becoming increasingly critical of management malpractice and errors.
- Rank and file employees rapidly growing demands in different employment situations.
- Recognizing of close relationships between profits and earnings and ability to manage human resources (Mahapatro 2010: 1).
Indeed these trends manifest themselves in problem areas as often identified by the managers in organizational settings. Although the change may provide solutions to some problems, it may create several new ones. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand these problems, anticipate them and to find solutions to them. The responsibility of finding them lies with every manager who was prepared to deal with different changes effectively through educational and developmental programs. Obviously, every manager is responsible for management of human resources, with the advice and help of personnel department. Management of human resources is the essence of being manager who has to get things done through the people without whom he can be a technician but not a manager. Thus, every manager has to develop and maintain his competency in managing human resources, which have assumed great significance in modern organizations. Accordingly, Lipiec (2001)points out that:
At the turn of the century, human resources managers will have to face new challenges. World economy and markets are different from those of a decade ago. As paradigms have changed, the characteristics affecting human resources management must be also revised. The focus on changes in human resources doesn’t seem to be taken up frequently. Until the 90s, very little research on HRM was undertaken (Lipiec 2001: 137).
It should also be understood, that all changes concerning HRM must be consistent with its mission. And the mission of HRM is to support the achievement of organizational goals and to develop workers.
1.1.1. Defining Human Resources Management
People are at the core of every organization. Without staff, organizations cannot exist. It is therefore vital that organizations do not take their staff for granted. The term that is often used in connection with the topic of this thesis is ‘human resource management’; it can be split into such basic notions, nevertheless so core-important to the idea of managing the human resources:
- Human(s) - people with their experience, skills, knowledge and personal qualities.
- Human resource - the people, and the policies and practices that affect them in the workplace.
- Human resource management (HRM) - the management of the people and the staff policies and practice that enable an organization to carry out its work. 7
This affects staff from the moment an individual contacts the organization in
response to a job advertisement, to the time they leave the organization. Human resource management is about enabling staff to use their qualities in order to fulfill their role and contribute to the organization’s mission and purpose (ATG Educational 2008: 3).
- Good human resource management is essential if organizations want to attract and retain good staff. If people see that an organization values its staff, they are more likely to apply for a job with the organization and more likely to stay once they are recruited. Secondly, it means that an organization reduces risk to its staff and reputation. It can do this by considering issues such as employment law, child protection and health and safety(ATG Educational 2008: 3-4).
Thirdly, human resource management can also reduce costs for an organization. For example, good recruitment policies and processes mean that organizations can efficiently recruit people who will carry out their jobs effectively. Finally, good systems for performance management mean that organizations can ensure that they are getting the best from their staff.
Apart from the general assumptions, as presented above, the Human Resources Management idea was broadly described and explained from scientific point of view. Throughout this sub-point the author will quote extensively, while the original definitions and expressions give the actual ‘flavor’ of the meaning, better than any summary, and partly due to the fact that the given authors simply put better what they had to say.
As the introductory definition, the one proposed by Encyclop æ dia Britannica that states that Human Resources Management is: [t]he management of the people in working organizations. It is also frequently called personnel management, industrial relations, employee relations, manpower management, and personnel administration. It represents a major subcategory of general management, focusing exclusively on the management of human resources, as distinguished from financial or material resources. The term may be used to refer to selected specific functions or activities assigned to specialized personnel officers or departments. It is also used to identify the entire scope of management policies and programs in the recruitment, allocation, leadership, and direction of employees (Encyclopædia Britannica 2010 digital).
Similarly, the Online Business Dictionary defines the isolated word ‘management’ as “organisation and coordination of the activities of an enterprise in compliance with certain policies and procedures in order to achieve clearly pre-defined objectives” (Online Business Dictionary 2010: online). Management is often included as a factor of production alongside machines, materials, and money. The secondary entry in the Dictionary describes management as a group of directors and managers who hold the power and responsibility for making decisions directed to managing a given organisation. The size of management can range from one person in a small company to hundreds or even thousands of managers in large multinationals (Ibid.).
While, as it is constantly mentioned above, the people, the reliable force providing companies with success are in the main scope of the HRM idea, therefore, as Storey points out: “HRM is a distinctive approach to employment management whose aim is to achieve competitive advantage through the strategic deployment of a highly committed and capable workforce, using an integrated array of cultural, structural, and personnel techniques” (Storey 1995: 5). The same direction of explanation provides Mahapatro (2010) who states that HRM is nothing more but:
[…] a process of bringing people and organizations together so that the goals of each are met. It is part of the management process which is concerned with the management of human resources in an organization. It tries to secure the best from people by winning their wholehearted cooperation. In short, it may be defined as the art of procuring, developing and maintaining competent workforce to achieve the goals of an organization in an effective and efficient manner (Mahapatro 2010: 3).
Human resources management begins with the definition of the required quantities of people possessing particular skills to carry out specific tasks. Thereafter, job candidates must be found, recruited, and selected. After hiring, the employees must be trained or retrained, negotiated with, counseled, evaluated, directed, rewarded, transferred, promoted, and finally released or retired. In many of these relations, managers deal directly with their associates. Britannica enumerates also current practice which shows wide variation in the range of responsibilities assigned to human resource or industrial-relations departments. Personnel responsibilities typically include:
a) Organizing - devising and revising organizational structures of authority and functional responsibility and facilitating two-way, reciprocal, vertical, and horizontal communication;
b) planning - forecasting personnel requirements in terms of numbers and special qualifications, scheduling inputs, and anticipating the need for appropriate managerial policies and programs;
c) staffing, or manning - analyzing jobs, developing job descriptions and specifications, appraising and maintaining an inventory of available capabilities, recruiting, selecting, placing, transferring, promoting, and thus assuring qualified manpower when and where it is needed;
d) training and development - assisting team members in their continuing personal growth, from pre-employment, preparatory job training to executive development programs;
e) negotiating - discussing agreements and following through in day-to-day administration;
f) rewarding - providing financial and nonfinancial incentives for individual commitment and contribution;
g) general administration - developing appropriate styles and patterns of leadership throughout the organization;
h) auditing, reviewing, and researching - evaluating current performance and procedures in order to facilitate control and improve future practice (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010: digital).
Pinnington, Macklin and Campbell (2007) stress that individual human resource or personnel departments may be assigned varying degrees of responsibility in a few, many, or all of these areas. In areas assigned to them, personnel departments exercise various levels of authority - some officers and departments create policies and make major decisions and determinations, while others make less significant contributions. The person in charge of human resources may be a member of a company’s executive board; if so, he or she may be expected to lead and assume responsibility for all manpower management policy and programs. Other personnel departments are essentially ‘staff’, or advisory; their activities are restricted to recommending, consulting, and providing such specified technical and professional services as are requested by operating managers (Pinnington--Macklin--Campbell 2007: 1).
1.1.2. The Origins and Evolution of the Human Resources Function
Business ethics, as a field of study and as an issue has grown considerably in recent years. As Pinnington, Macklin and Campbell (2010) suggest: “this interest has been increased by a series of corporate scandals that have stimulated a small explosion in academic publications on corporate governance” (2). Human resources as the business aspect, as well as an inseparable part of any business, have long history. According to Torrington, Hall and Taylor (2005):
- The origins of personnel management lie in the nineteenth century, deriving from the work of social reformers such as Lord Shaftesbury and Robert Owen. Their criticisms of the free enterprise system and the hardship created by the exploitation of workers by factory owners enabled the first personnel managers to be appointed and provided the first frame of reference in which they worked: to ameliorate the lot of the workers. Such concerns are not obsolete (Torrington- -Hall---Taylor 2006: 11).
Michael Losey (2010) hazards even the statement that “One could argue that the HR field dates back to the first working arrangements between master craftspeople and their apprentices.” Indeed, before the industrial Revolution, working arrangements involved close relationships between mentors and apprentices dedicated to learning a particular trade. The usefulness of this relationship came to an abrupt end with the advent of the Industrial Age. The introduction of the assembly line brought a need for low-skilled employees capable of performing repetitive tasks. Management philosophy at the turn of the century was epitomized by Henry Ford, who often wondered why workers brought their heads to work when all he really needed was their hands and feet (Derks 2000: 168).
Having spent over ten years putting together material in sum, Adam Smith’s 1776 Wealth of Nations had an enormous impact among the rising bourgeois of Europe and the freshly independent United States of America (Smith 1937: 11). Smith proposed that work could be made more efficient through specialization and he suggested that work should be broken down into simple tasks such as:
- the development of skills
- time saving
- the possibility of using specialized tools.
This masterpiece of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher pointed that free market economies are more productive and beneficial to their societies. What is interesting, the book, written for the educated, is considered to be the foundation of modern economic theory.
In 1832, Charles Babbage examined and expanded upon the division of labour and in his work, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers. In this book Babbage offered, as an advantage to the division of labour, that the amount of skill needed to undertake a specialized task was only the skill the necessary to complete the task.
By the late 1800s, people problems were a very real concern in the workplace. For the average blue-collar worker, most jobs were low-paying, monotonous and unsafe. Some industries experienced difficulty recruiting and retaining employees because of the poor working conditions workers were exposed to. As the means of production continued to shift from farmlands and guilds to city factories, concerns grew about wages, safety, child-labour and 12-hour workdays. Interestingly, no one else but Dickens, in 1850, in “A Walk in a Workhouse,” described what he found:
Groves of babies in arms; groves of mothers and other sick women in bed; groves of lunatics; jungles of men in stone-paved downstairs day- rooms, waiting for their dinners; longer and longer groves of old people, in upstairs infirmary wards, wearing out life, God knows how - this was the scenery through which the walk lay, for two hours (Dickens 1850: 238-239).
When workers began to band together in unions to protect their interests and improve living standards, government stepped in to provide basic rights and protections for workers. Moreover, the forward-thinking employers recognized that productivity was connected to worker satisfaction and involvement and realized they could not meet production schedules with bands of disgruntled employees. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the personnel profession that grew out of concerns about employee absenteeism and high turnover attempted to solve worker problems with such basic personnel management functions as employee selection, training and compensation.
As far as United States are concerned, it is believed that the first personnel management department began at the National Cash Register Co. NCR faced a major strike at the turn of the century but eventually defeated the union after a lockout in 1901. After this difficult union battle, company President John H. Patterson decided to improve worker relations by organizing a personnel department to handle grievances, discharges, safety and other employee issues (Losey 2010: online). NCR was not alone in its efforts to address employee grievances.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries some of the larger employers with a paternalist outlook began to appoint welfare officers to manage a series of new initiatives designed to make life less harsh for their employees.
The second phase marked the beginnings of a move away from a sole focus on welfare towards the meeting of various other organizational objectives. Personnel managers began to gain responsibilities in the areas of staffing, training and organization design. Influenced by social scientists such as F.W. Taylor and Henri Fayol personnel specialists started to look at management and administrative processes analytically, working out how organizational structures could be designed and labour deployed so as to maximize efficiency. Torrington, Hall and Taylor claim that:
The humane bureaucracy stage in the development of personnel thinking was also influenced by the Human Relations School, which sought to ameliorate the potential for industrial conflict and dehumanisation present in too rigid an application of these scientific management approaches. Following the ideas of thinkers such as Elton Mayo (1880-1949), the fostering of social relationships in the workplace and employee morale thus became equally important objectives for personnel professionals seeking to raise productivity levels (Torrington-- Hall--Taylor 2006: 12).
Personnel managers next added expertise in bargaining to their repertoire of skills. In the period of full employment following the Second World War labor became a scarce resource. This led to a growth in trade union membership and to what Allan Flanders, the leading industrial relations analyst of the 1960s, called ‘the challenge from below’. In the industries that were nationalized in the 1940s, employers were placed under a statutory duty to negotiate with unions representing employees. To help achieve this, the government encouraged the appointment of personnel officers and set up the first specialist courses for them in the universities. A personnel management advisory service was also set up at the Ministry of Labour, which still survives as the first A in ACAS - the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Ibid: 12-13).
The late 1960s saw a switch in focus among personnel specialists, away from dealing principally with the rank-and-file employee on behalf of management, towards dealing with management itself and the integration of managerial activity. This phase was characterized by the development of career paths and of opportunities within organizations for personal growth. This too remains a concern of personnel specialists today, with a significant portion of time and resources being devoted to the recruitment, development and retention of an elite core of people with specialist expertise on whom the business depends for its future. Personnel specialists developed techniques of manpower or workforce planning. Accordingly, Losey stresses that:
As the 1960s and 1970s unfolded, a more personable group of managers emerged, and their interests in people and feelings influenced all facets of business, including the growth of market research, communications and public relations. This group of managers emphasized the relationship between employers and employees, rather than scientific management. Programs to increase wages and fringe benefits continued to be developed. New studies linked greater productivity to management philosophies that encouraged worker ideas and initiatives (Losey 2010: online).
The role of HRM has gain more important in the year 1980. There was a complete shift from post war collectivism and towards individualism and changes in structure of economy. Some people thought that HRM was evolved to solve union problem as there is a demand to take care of employees of an organization as a whole it performs different function. In fact, ‘Human Resources Management’ as the term was used for the first time in the eighties when the personnel function grew to be very strategic for many organisations.
In modern business the Human Resources Management function is complex and as such as resulted in the formation of Human resource departments/divisions in companies to handle this function. The Human Resource function has become a wholly integrated part of the total corporate strategy. Unfortunately, the new conditions of the declining economies have forced organisations to implement so-called ‘lean management’ (Collin 2006: 154) and restructuring which was also referred to as ‘re- engineering’. In other words, for the past twenty years the radical changes have disturbed job stability, making great numbers of employees worldwide redundant.
The human resource profession has come a long way since the early days of Henry Ford and other industrial giants who believed they needed little more than able bodies to keep production lines running. In our new age of technology and rapid product innovation, unleashing the minds and creative souls of tomorrow’s workforce is the factor most likely to propel businesses and the HR profession into the future.
1.2. The Significance of Human Resources
Taking into account everything mentioned above, it is easy to conclude that Human Resources have never been more necessary. The competitive forces that markets face nowadays demand organizational excellence. To achieve this excellence means focusing on learning, quality, and teamwork, driven by the way organizations get things done and how employees are treated and all of these can be found in the work of Human Resources.
By designing an entirely new role and agenda that results in enriching the organization’s value to customers, investors and employees, HR can help deliver organizational excellence by becoming an expert in the way work is organized and executed, and they should be a representative for the employees. There is no doubt that the responsibility for transforming the role of HR belongs to the CEO and to every line manager. As Mahapatro claims: “HR’s role should be able to quickly turn strategy into action; to manage processes intelligently and efficiently; to maximize employee contribution and commitment; and to create the conditions for seamless change” (Pinnington--Macklin--Campbell 2007: 4).
According to Juchnowicz (2007) human resources comprises of personal qualities brought into workplace, general learning ability and motivation for information and knowledge sharing, and these consequently sub-detail into:
Table 1. Construction of Human Resources
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
The human resource management is inseparably associated with people, their abilities, knowledge, experience, and activities in an organisation.
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- MA Marta Zapała-Kraj (Author), 2012, Human Resources - Attracting the Best Candidate for Your Company, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/193078