Roles in the Company
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For any organization to grow and become more efficient in its chosen core business, it has to rely on its workforce and staff. The saying a chain is only as strong as its weakest link applies in the business world too: the overall profitability of the organization will depend on the input made by each of its workers and how this input is consolidated together towards the common goal of growth and increasing profitability of the business (Klein, 2008). It is the responsibility of the human resource management to source and recruit the workforce and therefore by extension ensure that the staff of the organization is made up of people best suited to working in the company and increasing the efficiency of the business.
The HR department therefore is tasked with this job of attracting and hiring the people best suited for different roles in the company. They have to do this in a manner that is both thorough: ensuring that they get the best qualified people, but still efficient in the use of resources and cost effective. This task looks like a basic one at face value: simply selecting candidates from the potential workforce, however, a lot must go into the process in order to ensure the best results (Gravenhorst, 2003). There are various guidelines and procedures that can be enlisted in this selection process and even after the task has been completed and the best workers have been chosen, the HR department must ensure that the conditions of the workers are kept good so that they can be retained in the organization and not leave to go into the service of other organizations: including potential competitors.
The process of selection and recruitment begins with the evaluation of the job vacancy and the definition of the type of person that would be ideal to take over the responsibilities of the task at hand. After the job description has been defined and the job advertised using various media such as the internet or print media many candidates will have applied for the position: the process of evaluating which particular candidates are most suitable for the position can now begin. Over years of study and research on the field of human resource, there have been many tools and strategies that have come up that can help a HR executive to better evaluate and asses a potential recruited into the company (French, 1998). These selection tools have been put in place in order to ease the process of evaluation and to make sure that all the areas that are relevant in the determination of the suitability of a person in terms of their present qualifications and also taking into consideration their future potential and growth in relation to their responsibilities at the organization. These selection tools have been necessitated by the complexity of the research and findings that were previously (and to some extent even presently) in place for HR managers to use. The research and papers on this field are strewn with technical jargon and complex data on the subject as very many areas of study contribute to the process such as business psychology and social-economic research: many of these findings cannot be put into practice easily without compromising the efficiency or cost effectiveness of the process. These tools therefore make it possible to bridge the gap between the theory aspect of selection of workers and the practical aspect of the task (Boeker, 1997). Some of these tools are the cognitive ability test that measures the mental abilities of the candidates, the job knowledge tests, a background biographical analysis of the candidates, work samples and experience, integrity tests, references and referrals, situational judgment tests, conscientiousness and many other different types of assessments and tests. There is no one “right” tool to use and is up to the judgment of the HR officer to determine how each of the scores on the tests determines suitability. The test scores can all be weighted differently in order to contribute to the overall assessment of the candidates. The choice as to which specific tools to employ is decided by the HR department after considering the cost and suitability if the different tests.
Some issues that may arise in the application of these tools are for example the suitability of the tool to the specific job description or situation. If the position required is an entry level position, the experience tests will not add much value to the selection process since the candidates will most probably not have had much work experience. Another problem is that putting a tool that has not been well refined and developed might end up reducing the effectiveness of the selection process. The person in charge of the selection process must be well versed with the tools and strategies so as to interpret the results in a manner that will provide the best candidate (Brenda et al, 2006). The combination of the tools is also another factor that might compromise the process. Different candidates might have different responses and results in different tests and it is up to the HR officer to determine which combination of tools and scores to use in judging the suitability of the candidates. There are also many other issues that may arise in the process mainly due to the situational conditions of the time and business such as the demographic of the applicants and as a result the balance of gender age and other social criteria. The recruitment should ensure that it does not lean towards prejudice or favoritism in any context.
The needs of the applicant should also be put into consideration during the selection process. The various tools applied must be user friendly for the HR management team and the applicants themselves, a selection process that is too complicated or impractically rigorous may only serve to turn off many potential candidates that would otherwise be good choices for the position.
On completion of the selection process the HR manager should now evaluate the results of the different candidates and consider which ones are the most suitable (Leopold et al, 2005). The people best qualified for the job, taking into consideration all the factors, can now be enlisted into the employment of the organization.
After the selection of the candidates to fill in the vacant position has been completed, the company now has quality staff that is ready to work in the business in order to make it more efficient and profitable. The employees that have been chosen are the ones that have shown a combination of already established qualification needed to fulfil their duties to the standards that will be required and the potential for growth in terms of skills development and service to the organization. This retention is crucial in that it ensures that there is continuity in the running of the company and since the selection process made sure that the employees that have been chosen are the best suited to the job: the company is assured of having a top notch workforce for a long time (Neal, 2010). The longer good employees stay, the more success the company will accrue as a result of improved customer service, better workplace relationships, increased productivity that comes with experience and it also makes it easier to plan and implement processes that will contribute to an increase in productivity. The time and resources that go into training an employee are also deemed as lost whenever the employee leaves the company and it also means that the whole process of recruiting and training an employee will have to start again: wasting valuable time and money as well as other resources.
There are many factors that contribute to an employee feeling comfortable in their position in the company such as the pay and salary, the fringe benefits that come with working in the company, work environment and job satisfaction as well as many other personal and corporate reasons (Mabey et al, 1998). It is the job of the HR department to ensure that the employees of the organization are loyal to the company and have a will to stay in the company and continue providing positive impact to the company.
Some of the things that a HR officer can do to ensure that the company has a high rate of employee retention are: orienting the employees well, enlisting the use of employee reward programs and performance based bonuses, career development programs, increased employee involvement in decision making, increased responsibilities and many others (Mendenhal et al, 1987). The main point of these programs and strategies is to make the employee feel that they are working in conditions that enable them to maximize their potential as well as motivating them to put more effort in their work not only for the immediate gratification through bonus but also motivating them too put effort in order to gain a sense of self-worth and a personal feeling of achievement.
The employee retention strategies can be divided into these two main categories. Those that make the employee want to stay at the company and those that motivate the employee to increase their efforts and productivity. These two are in many ways similar but they differ slightly in the execution. The former appeals mainly to the employees’ want for reward as a result of the achievements that they have had. These achievements may be as a result of increase in productivity or even seemingly passive achievements such as long service awards or loyalty bonuses (Parks, 2001). These together with other strategies such as team building and recreational activities, make the employee feel appreciated and therefore a part of the company. They do not think of leaving the company as a result of discontentment or harsh working conditions. The second type of retention strategies are geared towards ensuring that the employees do not become complacent and in time reduce their motivation and work efficiency. These strategies seek to motivate the employees to actively try and become better workers and as a result increase the overall productivity of the organization. Performance based bonuses and rewards as well as promotions and career development schemes that are given to employees make them feel motivated to stay at the company and do better in their specific tasks (Boeker, 1997). The competitive nature of the staff is also put into play as they will want to do better in order to be recognized and rewarded.
However in the retention of employees, problems and issues are not unheard of. There are many situations and occurrences that can happen that will make the HR’s efforts at retaining employees hard. Some of these factors cannot be avoided such as age resulting in retirement or death of an employee: or any other thing that can render them physically unable to continue in their service to the company. In such cases the human resource department can do little but to start the process of finding a replacement for the employee (Kim, 1999). Other issues that may arise are complacency over time: employees that have stayed at the organization for a long period of time might begin to feel too secure and confident about their positions, this leads to reduced effort and self-drive and as a result efficiency and productivity suffers. In-house conflicts and politics can also affect the retention of employees as they affect the overall morale and if left unchecked may cause some people to feel that they are unable to undertake their duties.
Generally the HR department should strive to ensure that the employees that are in the company stay motivated and find reason to stay in the organization and not just stagnate in terms of productivity but instead try to better themselves. Well motivated and content employees are more likely to stay at the company and strive to increase growth.
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