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Lecture 10

GEB 4455 Lecture 10: Ch 11 learnsmart

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Florida State University
GEB 4455
William A Christiansen

Ch 11 learnsmart Human resource management (HRM) is the process of determining human resource needs and then recruiting, selecting, developing, motivating, evaluating, compensating, and scheduling employees to achieve organizational goals (see Figure 11.1). For many years, human resource management was called “personnel” and involved clerical functions such as screening applications, keeping records, processing the payroll, and finding new employees when necessary. The roles and responsibilities of HRM have evolved primarily because of two key factors: (1) organizations’ recognition of employees as their ultimate resource and (2) changes in the law that rewrote many traditional practices One reason human resource management is receiving increased attention now is that the U.S. economy has experienced a major shift—from traditional manufacturing industries to service and high-tech manufacturing industries that require highly technical job skills. This shift means that many workers must be retrained for new, more challenging jobs. They truly are the ultimate resource. People develop the ideas that eventually become products to satisfy consumers’ wants and needs. Take away their creative minds, and leading firms such as Disney, Apple, Procter & Gamble, Google, Facebook, and General Electric would be nothing. Until the 1930s, the U.S. government had little to do with human resource decisions. Since then, legislation and legal decisions have greatly affected all areas of human resource management, from hiring to training to monitoring working conditions (see Figure 11.2). These laws were passed because many businesses did not exercise fair labor practices voluntarily. Perhaps the most controversial policy enforced by the EEOC involved affirmative action, designed to “right past wrongs” by increasing opportunities for minorities and women. Interpretation of the affirmative action law led employers to actively recruit, and in some cases give preference to, women and minority group members. Questions persist about the legality of affirmative action and the effect it may have in creating a sort of reverse discrimination in the workplace. Reverse discrimination has been defined as discriminating against members of a dominant or majority group (e.g., whites or males) usually as a result of policies designed to correct previous discrimination. The issue has generated heated debate as well as many lawsuits. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires employers to give applicants with physical or mental disabilities the same consideration for employment as people without disabilities. The ADA also protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. The ADA requires making “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities, such as modifying equipment or widening doorways. Most companies have no trouble making structural changes to be accommodating. However, at times such changes can be difficult for some small businesses. 7Employers used to think that being fair meant treating everyone the same, but accommodation in fact means treating people according to their specific needs. That can include putting up barriers to isolate people readily distracted by noise, reassigning workers to new tasks, and making changes in supervisors’ management styles. Accommodations are not always expensive; an inexpensive headset can allow someone with cerebral palsy to talk on the phone. All management, including human resource management, begins with planning. The five steps in the human resource planning process are: 1. Preparing a human resource inventory of the organization’s employees. This inventory should include ages, names, education, capabilities, training, specialized skills, and other relevant information (such as languages Page 306 spoken). It reveals whether the labor 10 force is technically up-to-date and thoroughly trained. 2. Preparing a job analysis. A job analysis is a study of what employees do who hold various job titles. It’s necessary in order to recruit and train employees with the necessary skills to do the job. The results of job analysis are two written statements: job descriptions and job specifications. Ajob description specifies the objectives of the job, the type of work, the responsibilities and duties, working conditions, and the job’s relationship to other functions. Job specifications are a written summary of the minimal education and skills to do a particular job. In short, job descriptions are about the job, and job specifications are about the person who does the job. Visit the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) for detailed information about job analyses and job descriptions. See Figure 11.3 for a hypothetical job description and job specifications. 3. Assessing future human resource demand. Because technology changes rapidly, effective human resource managers are proactive; that is, they forecast the organization’s requirements and train people ahead of time or ensure trained people are available when needed. 4. Assessing future labor supply. The labor force is constantly shifting: getting older, becoming more technically oriented, becoming more diverse. Some workers will be scarcer in the future, like biomedical engineers and robotic repair workers, and others will be oversupplied, like assembly-line workers. 5. Establishing a strategic plan. The human resource strategic plan must address recruiting, selecting, training, developing, appraising, compensating, and scheduling the labor force. Because the first four steps lead up to this one, we’ll focus on them in the rest of the chapter. Recruitment is the set of activities for obtaining the right number of qualified people at the right time. Its purpose is to select those who best meet the needs of the organization. Human resource managers can turn to many sources for recruiting assistance (see Figure 11.4). Internal sources include current employees who can be transferred or promoted or who can recommend others to hire. Using internal sources is less expensive than recruiting from outside and helps maintain employee morale. However, it isn’t always possible to find qualified workers within the company, so human resource managers also use external sources such as advertisements, public and private employment agencies, college placement bureaus, management consultants, Internet sites, professional organizations, referrals, and online and walk-in applications. Selection is the process of gathering information and deciding who should be hired, under legal guidelines, to serve the best interests of the individual and the organization. A typical selection process has six steps: 1. Obtaining complete application forms. Although equal employment laws limit the kinds of questions that can appear, applications help reveal the applicant’s educational background, work experience, career objectives, and other qualifications directly related to the job. 2. Conducting initial and follow-up interviews. A staff member from the human resource department often screens applicants in a first interview. If the interviewer considers the applicant a potential hire, the manager who will supervise the new employee may interview the applicant as well. It’s important that managers prepare adequately for the interview to avoid selection decisions they may regret. 19 No matter how innocent the intention, missteps such as asking about pregnancy or child care could later be evidence if the applicant files discrimination charges. 3. Giving employment tests. Organizations often use tests to measure basic competency in specific job skills like welding or firefighting, and to help evaluate applicants’ personalities and interests. The tests should always be directly related to the job. Employment tests have been legally challenged as potential means of discrimination. 4. Conducting background investigations. Most organizations now investigate a candidate’s work record, school record, credit history, and references more carefully than in the past to help identify those most likely to succeed. It is simply too costly to hire, train, and motivate people only to lose them and have to start the process over. Services such as LexisNexis allow prospective employers not only to conduct speedy background checks of criminal records, driving records, and credit histories but also to verify work experience and professional and educational credentials. 5. Obtaining results from physical exams. There are obvious benefits to hiring physically and mentally healthy people. However, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, medical tests cannot be given just to screen out individuals. In some states, physical exams can be given only after an offer of employment has been accepted. In states that allow pre-employment physical exams, they must be given to everyone applying for the same position. Pre-employment testing to detect drug or alcohol abuse has been controversial, as has screening to detect carriers of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 6. Establishing trial (probationary) periods. Often an organization will hire an employee conditionally to let the person prove his or her value on the job. After a specified probationary period (perhaps six months or a year), the firm can either permanently hire or discharge that employee on the basis of supervisors’ evaluations. Although such systems make it easier to fire inefficient or problem employees, they do not eliminate the high cost of turnover. Contingent workers include part-time workers (anyone who works 1 to 34 hours per week), temporary workers (workers paid by temporary employment agencies), seasonal workers, independent contractors, interns, and co-op students. Companies may also hire contingent workers when full-timers are on some type of leave (such as maternity leave), when there is a peak demand for labor or products (like the holiday shopping season), or when quick service to customers is a priority. Contingent workers receive few benefits; they are rarely offered health insurance, vacation time, or company pensions. They also tend to earn less than permanent workers do. On the positive side, many on temporary assignments are eventually offered full-time positions. Managers see using temporary workers as a way of weeding out poor workers and finding good hires. Although exact numbers are difficult to gather, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are approximately 5.7 million contingent workers in the United States, with the majority under age 25. 22Experts say temps are filling openings in an increasingly broad range of jobs, from unskilled manufacturing and distribution positions to middle management. Increasing numbers of contingent workers are educated professionals such as accountants, attorneys, and engineers. As technology and other innovations change the workplace, companies must offer training programs that often are quite sophisticated. The term training and development includes all attempts to improve productivity by increasing an employee’s ability to perform. A well-designed training program often leads to higher retention rates, increased productivity, and greater job satisfaction. Employers in the United States generally find that money for training is well spent. Training focuses on short- term skills, whereas development focuses on long-term abilities. Both include three steps: (1) assessing organization needs and employee skills to determine Page 313training needs; (2) designing traini
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