MANAGING THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP
I. Introduction to the Employment Relationship
1. What is “strategic human resources management?” (HRM)
- Linking of HRM with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business
performance and develop an organizational culture that fosters innovation and
- Managing employee attraction, hiring, training, assessment, rewarding, and
- leading employees and establishing culture – engage, motivate, encourage development
- and ensuring compliance with employment and labour laws
- Provide services - effective planning, apply measurement tools (HR Information
- quality and extent of skills and knowledge possessed by employees
2. What are the elements of the HRM balance sheet and how do they relate to achieving good
business results? Explain how HRM can contribute to the success of a company.
- Maximize Value Creation of Employees + Minimize Costs, Risks, Losses
- Increase productivity, morale, synergy, teamwork, harmony, job satisfaction, commitment,
engagement, cost effectiveness, time efficient, creativity
- Decrease absences, turnovers
- Flexibility and adaptability of workforce
- Effective HRM = Higher ROI
3. What are the three major contexts of the employment relationship?
- Human Resources Management
- Employment Relations Law
- Collective Bargaining and Trade Unionism
4. Who is responsible for HRM?
1 - All managers
o HR staff – Set policies/standards; advise line managers on workplace issues
o Line Managers– implement, decide who to hire, discipline, interview
5. What environmental conditions & developments affect HRM?
Explain how internal and external environmental conditions affect HRM within a firm?
Differentiate between internal and external environmental conditions in your answer.
- Internal: organizational culture, climate
- External – Labour market issues, demographic trends, workplace diversity,
technology government legislation, globalization
o unemployment, labour costs of production
o International, cultural, time zone boundaries
o Product market demand, inflation, exchange rate, capital flows
o Economy, recession
- Affects who you staff, how well they fit into your firm
6. What are the key employment trends affecting HRM and explain why it is important that firms
take them into consideration?
- Shift from manufacturing to service
- Primary (extraction), Secondary (manufacturing), tertiary (service)
- Not capital or technology but knowledge and education (human capital) – New ideas,
7. How can HRM practices contribute to an employer’s effort to gain a sustained competitive
- Acquire and develop high quality human resources; encourage to use
- Attract best qualified applicants, engage employees (skills, abilities), maximize
contributions (productivity, effectiveness), retain employees
- Emphasize price, quality, innovation, or service
- HR Balance Sheet – maximize employee contribution to value, minimizing costs and
o If employer creates high commitment, can reduce turnover and associated costs
2 8. Other than offering job security, what other measures could businesses take to “boost profits
through people?” Explain how specific human resource practices can improve organizational
- Hire strategically, use self-managed teams, compensate well, train appropriately,
reduce status differences, share information
- Maximize workforce performance – improving employee recruitment and selection,
investment in workforce training and development, enhancing employee involvement,
retain talented employees
• Some firms view training as an unnecessary frill. Why are some employers rethinking their
position on training?
- “hire for fit, train for skill” – easier to train hard skills than soft skills (work ethic, etc)
- Enhance employee involvement, retain employees
II. Legal Regulation of the Employment Relationship
1. What are the various “legal authorities” affecting the employment relationship?
- Employment Standards Act - minimums
- Common Law - dismissals
- Human Rights Code – discrimination (Fed/Prov)
- Privacy Laws – confidentiality, security (Fed/Prov)
- Worker’s Compensation, Occupational Health & Safety Acts – illness/accidents
- Labour Relations Code – unions
- Collective Bargaining Agreement – working conditions
- Employment Equity Act – federally regulated employers, over $200,000 – 4 groups
2. What are the variations in “jurisdiction” or coverage of the different legal authorities?
- Canadian Federal jurisdiction (civil, Crown, communications and transportation, banking)
and provincial jurisdictions
3. Which agencies or “adjudicators” are responsible for applying & resolving disputes in each
4. What are the underlying public policy objectives of each of the legal authorities?
- (see chart)
3 5. What employee rights and employer obligations are created by health and safety legislation?
- Financial penalties imposed on employers if fail to maintain healthy and safe workplaces
- Protection from workplace illness and accidents
- Employers – filing accident reports and positing safety notice and legislative
- Employees – right to refuse unsafe work if reasonable cause; obligation to wear
protective clothing and equipment
6. What are the fundamental elements of the Employment Standards Act?
- Sets minimum working conditions – wage, holidays, vacation, meal break, minimum
notice, maternity leave, deductions from wages
7. What does “discrimination” mean and what are the “protected” categories or groups of
employees under the Human Rights Code? [Identify 5 prohibited grounds for discrimination
- Discrimination – a distinction, exclusion, or preference, based on one of the prohibited
grounds, that has the effect of nullifying or impairing the right of a person to full and equal
recognition and exercise of his or her human rights and freedoms.
- Race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family
status, pardoned conviction, disability and sexual orientation
8. What is the only circumstance under human rights legislation that an employer would be
permitted to discriminate?
- Bona Fide Occupational Requirement – safe and efficient operation of organization
9. What is the difference between pay equity and employment equity?
- Pay equity – equal pay of equal value for men and women
- Employment equity – federally regulated employers – contracts over $200,000
o 4 disadvantaged groups: Women, Aboriginals, Disabled, Visible Minorities
10. What are the main privacy law principles applying to employers?
- Protect securing of personal information
- Avoid collecting unnecessary information
- Maintain confidentiality and security of information about employees
- Right to protect its assets and intellectual property, maintain a safe workplace
• If an individual employee has a complaint about discrimination against a bank, which
jurisdiction would this complaint fall in? - Federal
4 • What are the implications of jurisdiction on the employment relationship?
• Explain how employment-related issues are regulated in Canada
• Explain where employees take their claims depending on the circumstance
III. Recruiting, Selecting & Developing Employees
1. What is “job analysis” and why is it so fundamental to staffing decisions?
- Identifying the content of a job in terms activities involved and attributes needed to
perform the work and identifies major job requirements.
- Job description (qualifications – skills/knowledge) and job specification (duties,
o Systematic analysis of job requirements, context and conditions
o effort required; working conditions; and supervision; impact of errors
- Allow managers to be more objective and consistent; defending decisions in hiring
and promotions in Human Rights Cases
- Important to employee retention
2. What are the essential elements of human resource planning?
- Necessary number of employees
- Employee KSA (knowledge, skills, abilities)
- Proactively address future labour shortages and surpluses
3. How is a human resource plan used, and what is its potential contribution to business
- Effective staffing and development activities, more satisfied and better employees
4. What is the connection between recruitment & selection and organizational performance?
- Recruitment Selection ( employment) Socialization
5. What is the nature and importance of “employer brand?”
- How you attract people, retain people?
- Satisfied and proud
- An employer’s positive brand image will help it recruit and retain better employees
6. What are variations on an employer’s “recruiting message” and the channels that may be
used to convey the message?
5 - Working conditions, job responsibilities tools and equipment necessary to perform the
job, relationships with other people
- Who you want to attract
7. Where does an employer go to recruit new employees?
- Employees – current, referrals from current, former
- Print advertisements, Internet advertising; career sites
- Employment and Temp Agencies
- Local, national, international labour markets
8. What should an employer look for in reviewing employment applications and resumes?
- Best candidate for position – KSA, Personality factors (Soft skills, Hard skills)
o Intellectual ability, personality, motivation
9. What are the key features of a job applicant’s background & experience that should be
- The selection criteria to be used depend on the KSAOs defined as necessary to perform
a particular job
10. What is the connection between job profiles & candidate characteristics?
- Job profiles define what KSAOs are needed to successfully perform a job and so, what
candidate characteristics should be used as selection criteria
- Reflection of who you are, candidate match description
11. How does human rights legislation regulate the hiring & selection process?
- No discrimination on any prohibited grounds
- Job duties should be clearly indentifi