2.1 Expansion of organization
In the business world today there are more small organizations than the large ones. In a small organization various managerial functions are performed by the same individual. A single manager may be looking after the activities of marketing, sales, general administration and human resources. A production manager may be involved in production, packaging and dispatch of goods. A finance manager may be responsible for finance as well as purchase. There are fewer problems in small organizations and are dealt with easily. But when an organization grows in size, the tasks become numerous and it is just not possible for a single manager to handle different activities, and handle them effectively. At this stage, the need arises for specialist managers in order to look after the various departments.
2.1.1 Reasons why HR manager is essential
While the employees in a small organization get used to sudden changes or interacting with a single manager for various decisions pertaining to their jobs, it becomes very difficult to maintain contact with managers of various departments for day-to-day functioning. When an organization grows into a large one, the activities increase in size and complexity. Since human resource is a common factor across all departments, the activities of the HR department are multifarious and complex. Hence it is necessary at this stage to have a full-fledged HR department headed by a competent and effective HR manager.
2.2 HR or manpower planning
The activity of ‘human resource planning’ or ‘manpower planning’ is quite complex and can be summarized as follows:
“It is a strategy for the acquisition, utilization, improvement and retention of an organization’s human resources.”
In practice, the activity of manpower planning is concerned with forecasting and estimating the future demand for labour by an organization. This activity is concerned with making policies and plans to ensure that the correct number and type of employees are available and trained as per need. We can say that it is concerned with the following:
There are four categories of employees that are important in manpower planning. Each requires different decisions to be made as detailed below:
Decisions to be taken regarding:
Education and training
Promotion and career development
Recruitment – sources and methods
Terms of employment
On-the-job and additional training
Recruitment – sources and methods
Dismissal for inadequate performance, etc.
HR or manpower planning is not a simple or short-term task. It is usually done for long-term such as for a period of five years. During this period several factors may affect the forecast made by the HR department. In view of this, HR executives should have the flexibility to modify their plans. The changes that might affect HR forecast may be some or all of the following:
The first step in manpower planning requires a study of all levels of the existing workforce. This will show where and how manpower is being used, and where there are excesses or shortfalls. This process requires the carrying out of an ‘organizational and manpower needs’ analysis based on the operational requirements taken from the corporate plan. In the next stage, a “manpower model” is produced for the estimated future needs. This model is then compared with the actual business situation. This comparison is made to identify the changes required with regard to the following:
Based on the data obtained after this analysis, the forecasts for future expansion or otherwise can be made. Though the forecasts cannot be made with absolute certainty, reasonable estimates for future requirements can be made.
2.3 Self-regulatory manpower control
Manpower levels and costs can be regulated if employees themselves are made responsible for this activity. For this purpose, “rewards” may be offered to employees, and these rewards can be linked to departmental costs and performance levels. Under this system, rewards may be given to employees in proportion to improvement in cost and savings. This can work only when personnel concerned are allowed to participate in the cost management of a particular department. Some of the suggestions which can come from the employees could include the following:
2.4 Problems caused by expansion of organization
When the process of expansion starts in an organization, the importance of HR manager is quite often neglected by the top management. Before the expansion, this executive might have been involved in several activities, but in the changed circumstances, it might not be possible for him/her to give full attention to HR functions. This may lead to the following problems:
In order to overcome these problems the following steps are to be taken:
2.5 Scientific management
Before management became a profession, many workers performed a variety of tasks. This system wasted a lot of time and quite often led to inefficiency in the performance of some of the assigned tasks. In order to bring improvement in this system and to increase efficiency, skilled management started re-organizing work in such a manner that each worker performed a single task. It was found that the workers became more proficient at performing the single task assigned to them, and the time taken by each worker to perform his task was greatly reduced.
2.5.1 Division of labour
As the process of each worker performing a single task continued, it was generally known as ‘specialization of labour’ or ‘division of labour.’ A complicated task was broken down into manageable individual tasks on which individual workers or groups of workers could specialize. It has been found that as a ‘job’ of work is made up of number of ‘tasks,’ the fewer tasks a worker does in his job, the more skilled and efficient he becomes in performing these tasks. The most well-known example of this specialization is in the automobile industry where each worker attends to an individual special task, and the various parts of motor vehicles are passed along an “assembly line” of workers so that each worker can perform his/her specific task on that part before it is passed on to the next worker who performs his/her specific task. Today specialization is practised in almost every organization. To carry out this specialization, and to update it periodically, a team of experts might be engaged to perform certain studies.
2.6 Organization and Method Studies (O & MStudies)
It is a systematic examination of an organization’s structure, procedures and methods, and management and control, from the lowest to the highest. Its objective is to assess their comparative efficiency in achieving defined organizational aims.
O & M concerns itself mainly with administrative procedures and employs techniques such as operations research, work study, and systems analysis. It is basically the systematic examination of activities in order to improve the effective use of human and other material resources. Essentially it is a specialist function that has a primary objective of improving an organization’s efficiency and control. In this way, it can be seen as an essential function that should be part of the makeup of any organization. For example, O & M Study might be undertaken to simplify office work and reduce costs. It may be to reduce paper work and eliminate unnecessary activity, or eliminating duplication of time or effort. For this it may find solution in recommending the system of internal e-mail and posting of information on the organization’s network rather than sending out printed paper.
O & M Study can provide a basis for the approach to almost any project. The basic steps that have to be followed can be summarized as follows:
The term “recruitment” refers to the first stages in the process of filling of vacancies in an organization. These vacancies may arise on account of the following:
2.8 Policy of recruitment
Recruitment process may be initiated in several ways.
2.8.1 Internal recruitment
A vacancy may be filled by a person who is already working in the organization in another position, section, or department. This may provide an opportunity for transfer or promotion to an existing employee who might be interested in this position. The advantages of such internal transfer or promotion are:
However, there might be certain disadvantages of internal recruitment such as:
In order to overcome these disadvantages the management must ensure that:
2.8.2 External recruitment
This involves the filling of a vacancy from a source outside the organization. These sources may include the following:
2.8.3 Introduction by existing employees
This is a mixture of internal and external sources. The existing employees may be asked to recommend their friends and relatives who could be suitable for a specific job. However, care should be taken that this process is followed in a fair manner so that no employee feels resentment.
2.9 Recruitment process
Before a decision about recruitment is made, it is necessary to ensure that the various aspects of a potential recruitment have been considered. For this purpose, various steps will have to be taken.
2.9.1 Job analysis
Job analysis is the process by means of which a description is developed of the present methods and procedures of doing a job, physical conditions in which the job is done, relation of the job to other jobs and other conditions of employment. Job analysis is intended to reveal what is actually done as opposed to what should be done. Therefore, if an employee is found doing some activity not required of that job, it should still form part of the job analysis.
The nature of job changes over a period of time. New developments take place. New personnel are employed. All this necessitates that jobs are reviewed and analyzed to suit the changed circumstances.
Any job comprises a number of tasks. Some of these require special skill, knowledge, and training. Other tasks might be easier. In order to describe a job it is necessary first to analyze it. This is done to find out the following things about the job:
The purpose of job analysis is not to describe an ideal but show the management how at the moment the constituent parts of its business are being carried out. Job analysis enables the HR department to compare different jobs. This will provide information about the status of various jobs as well as for job evaluation and in training. The information concerning the job can be obtained from a number of sources such as observation of workers, interviews, questionnaire responses, bulletins etc., knowledge of the materials of work and actual performance of work. It has been found that questionnaire is well suited for clerical workers and interviewing is suited for shop-floor workers. Working conditions and hazards are better described when viewed by the analyst.
2.9.2 Job descriptions
The results of job analysis are set down in job description. It defines a particular job. Writing job descriptions for production workers, clerical people and first line supervisors is a fairly established practice. The two types of job descriptions differ from each other in the following manner:
A job description describes a particular job. It states the purpose of a job and its relation with other jobs and people. A job description contains the following:
Job description gives detailed information about the job, and even enables a candidate to make a decision whether he/she wants to take up the job. It also prepares him/her to perform duties with full understanding and without any doubts.
2.9.3 Employee specifications
Employee specification gives details about the personal qualities desirable for a candidate to possess. It helps the organization to decide whether a particular candidate is suitable for the job. It seeks the following details:
Through employee specifications the HR department is able to decide whether the candidate is fit – physically, mentally, skill and qualification wise – for the job he/she has applied for. It will also show the candidate’s ability to work as a productive member of the team.
2.9.4 Attracting suitable applicants
After the relevant job analysis, job description and employee specification have been completed, the HR department is ready to take steps to attract suitable candidates to apply for the job. For this purpose, the advertisement has to be posted with all relevant details as given below:
2.9.5 Employment application forms
In most cases application forms are sent to applicants, or posted on the organization’s website for the applicants to fill in and mail to the organization. This is done to ensure that all the relevant information which the organization is looking for is provided. This enables the HR department to short-list the candidates without wasting time or effort, or sometimes rejecting some applicants for want of complete information. The application forms are designed in such a way as to elicit information in a sequential way. This helps the HR department in the selection process.
It might be necessary to design separate sets of application forms for different types of jobs. However, a standard application form has the following design to obtain information about the applicant:
2.9.6 Attachments to application forms – CV or Resume
Quite often applicants are asked to attach certain documents to their completed application forms. The most commonly asked for documents are the following:
Once the applications have been received, the information about the applicants is compared with the requirements for the position applications have been called for. The applicants who fulfill the criteria, are short-listed and invited to attend a personal interview.
2.10.1 Employment interviews
2.10.2 Selection tests
For some posts certain tests might be used to supplement – but not to replace – the interview. Some tests are fairly straightforward, such as:
After the selection has been made, the most suitable candidate (or candidates if there are more vacancies) should preferably be informed by telephone, and then a written confirmation is to be sent. This letter should contain all the relevant details such as post, date of joining, and the official to whom the candidate should report. The appointment letter should contain, or be accompanied by particulars of the ‘terms and conditions of employment,’ such as hours of work, starting salary, other benefits, and perhaps even a copy of the relevant job description.
The decision to appoint must be communicated as early as possible because a candidate might have accepted appointment elsewhere if there is a long time gap between the interview and the offer of appointment. Moreover, if the candidate, who is number one on the list, is not available, there is time to offer the post to the candidate next on the selected list.
2.10.4 Dealing with unsuccessful candidates
Candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview should be informed accordingly as early as possible by tactfully worded letters, which would ease disappointment and avoid upsetting the recipients.
However, although a candidate was not found the most suitable for a particular job, it might be that the person concerned could be suitable for a similar or another post in future. It is, therefore, useful to retain on the file applications (along with relevant interview notes etc.) of those candidates, so that if possibly suitable vacancies arise in the future, the relevant candidates can be contacted.
2.10.5 The trial or probationary period
It is quite common for people to be offered a post on condition that they will work an initial ‘trial period’ or ‘probationary period.’ This period might be one month, three months or even longer, depending on the seniority of the post or on the amount of training necessary so that the work can be performed to the required standard.
The probationary period allows the employer to assess whether the candidate selected is actually suitable in real-life work situation. At the same time, this period allows the new employee time in which to decide whether he/she will be happy working for the organization.
At the end of the probationary period the new employee might be called for a talk with the departmental or HR manager during which reports on progress made can be discussed. If both the parties are satisfied, the employee is ‘confirmed’ in the post, otherwise he/she needs to be informed and the employment can be terminated.