Since individuals are requested to work together within organisations and corporations, the needs for organisations to create a human resources management department to manage their human capital became ineluctably necessary. From the past until nowadays, human resources management use its classical administrative function which is human resources planning to achieve its goal.
Various authors and schools have different definitions of human resource planning. Vetter (1967) defined human resource planning as a process by which management determines how the organization should move from its current manpower position to its desired position. Through planning, managers strive to have the right number and the right kind of people, at the right places, at the right time, doing things which results in both the organization and the individual receiving maximum long-run benefits. (p.15). More recently, Shaun Tyson (2006) agreed that in practice, HR planning is concerned with the demand and supply of labour and problems arising from the process of reconciling these factors. Any system has to be based on analyses of demand and supply and the plans and decisions which follow these analyses (p.110). In fact, employees are companies’ essential asset, so the changes in the global economy, the changes in social, political, technological as well as environmental factors required human resource planning to be dealt carefully in organisations or companies if they want to ensure their business competitive advantage as well as if they want to achieve their organisation’s goals. Human resource management thus plays an important role within each business to achieve its goals, straightforward, it’s clear that it is necessary for small or large companies to have a strong and clear understanding of what is human resource planning and how does it contribute in achieving an organisation’s goals?
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International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) also known as “big blue” is a multinational computer technology and consulting corporation based in New York, USA. The company founded in 1911 manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, infrastructure services, hosting services and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM offers a broad range of middleware for collaboration, predictive analytics, software development and the world’s most advanced servers and supercomputers. Utilizing its business consulting, technology and R&D expertise, IB helps clients around the world become “smarter” as the planet becomes more digitally interconnected. That includes working with organizations and governments to build systems that improve traffic congestion, food safety, the availability of clean water, and health and safety populations. IBM has pioneered the corporate operating model for 21st century changing from a classic “multinational” to a global integrated company with a highly skilled global workforce managed by a common set of values. (LinkedIn 2011)
IBM is the world largest information technology employer with more than 400000 employees including engineers and consultants serving about 170 countries in the world. Since 2003, IBM corporation main values are:
dedication to every client’s success,
innovation that matters, for our company and for the world,
trust and personal responsibility in all relationships
In our work, we will underline how IBM Corporation define human resource planning and how does it helps the company to meet its strategic goals.
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PLANNING
As recruitment and selection planning of employees are highly correlated with each organisation’s human resource planning, it is relevant to know that human resource managers are those who organise and are responsible for the work of employees and thus set up the relationships between employees within their organisations key of their performance. Managers use human resource planning to fulfil their obligations within their organisation. In the next paragraph, we will underline the importance of human resource planning before getting in the recruitment and selection step, to better understand how IBM Corporation proceeds for its recruitment strategies.
Human resource planning, essential function of human resource management is not always implemented by many organisations, because critics believe that is mostly a matter of common sense than a complex equation to deal with by organisation’s planners. It shows that, the main purpose of human resource planning is not totally understood. It’s known that companies are using their material, financial and human resources to generate revenues or profits. We also know that investing in a business is always attached with a risk; therefore planning the use of resources is how managers target to reduce this risk, achieve their goals and make profit for the company survival. But all the companies will always plan for their financial and material resources either long or short term plans because of the uncertainty environment of each business. Why planning for the most essential resource (human resource) still a matter of discussion?
IBM Corporation leader in innovation invest huge amount of money more than $6 billion a year in its R&D unit to improve company’s performance. The company’s R&D department is associated with some universities in USA and Europe. Therefore, IBM using the results of many studies and research improve its core management and corporate’s goals. Today with changing nature of public sector workforce, IBM emphasise its workforce planning to meet the company’s human capital requirement. Workforce planning tells an organization what types of skills are needed to get the job done. In doing so, workforce planning should drive all human capital strategies. Workforce planning is about aligning an organization’s human capital-its people-with its business plan to achieve its mission. It helps ensure that the organization has the right people with the right skills in the right job at the right time. Workforce planning tells an organization what types of skills are needed to get the job done. In doing so, workforce planning should drive all human capital strategies. Workforce planning is about aligning an organization’s human capital-its people-with its business plan to achieve its mission. It helps ensure that the organization has the right people with the right skills in the right job at the right time. (Ann Cotten, 2007. P4) Therefore, IBM uses the seven-step workforce planning model as a framework. The seven-step workforce planning has been set-up mainly by public sector organisations particularly in USA.
The Seven-Step workforce planning is to:
1- Define the organisation’s strategic direction
2- Scan the internal and external environments
3- Model the current workforce
4- Assess future workforce needs and project future workforce supply
5- Identify gaps and develop gap-closing strategies
6- Implement gap-closing strategies
7- Evaluate the effectiveness of gap-closing strategies and revise strategies as needed
In fact human resource planning should be a process and also and outcome, because of the unpredictable changes in both external and internal environment. It is not have to be a fixed system, it has to remain dynamic. Each company should adapt the component of human resource planning model according to its one circumstance, there is not a model of human resource planning enable to fit all companies at the same times. From these definitions one might get the impression that workforce planning is a rigid “system” that must be implemented agency-wide in order to do it “right” and reap the benefits. While many organizations follow a systematic approach, there is no one size- fits-all workforce planning program. (Ann. Cotton, 2007, p13). A good human resource planning allows managers to measure recruitment and selection, employees’ retention, training and development and manage employees’ performance.
Recruitment and selection planning
Recruitment can be defined as a process of identifying and hiring the best qualified individual ( from within or outside of an organisation) for a given vacancy, in a most timely and cost effective manner.
Experts believe that recruitment is a very sensitive and important part of human resource management function within an organisation because its business survival relies on its employees. Organizations recruit their triumphs and disasters, their creativity, sustainability, and growth. (Shaun Tyson, 2006)
Recruitment main stages can be shaped as:
Identify and define the requirements for organisation
Main tools used here are Job descriptions and job specifications. Two important models are mostly used by companies or organisations. The seven point plan and the fivefold grading system.
The seven-point plan (Rodger, 1973)
Attainments: skills knowledge
Intelligence: specifics abilities
Interests: personal interests
Disposition: self-reliance, drive, initiative
Circumstances: personal circumstances as commitment, mobility.
The seven-point plan model underlines both emotional intelligence as well as Intellectual quotient (IQ).
The Fivefold grading system (Munro Fraser, 1966)
Can be described by:
Impact on others: appearance
Qualification: work experience
Innate abilities: aptitude to learn
Adjustment: relationships with others
The Fivefold grading system underlines Intellectual quotient (IQ)
Attract potential employees
Select and employ the appropriate people from the job applicants
These are the main stages involved in the recruitment and selection procedures which is a continuous process, as internal or external factors can affect the business at any time, managers should be able to take and appropriate decision to tackle issues or opportunities occurring like: staff resignation or retirement, changes in business itself (market penetration or new market entrance), changes in business location or promotion. Therefore, recruitment is a dynamic process.
Main factors describing recruitment and selection procedures can be summarise as follow:
Characteristic of the job,
Characteristics of applicants
Characteristics of recruiters
Let us focus in recruiting policies that creates an environment in which each business will operate. Organisation’s policies lead the business direction and main vision. All corporations should comply with laws regulations and procedures. Legal rules and requirements can be different from one country to another, but the market globalisation tends to promotes similar rules for each corporation all over the world. The laws relating to discrimination in employment are generally accepted worldwide. Shaun Tyson, 2006 clarify the importance of laws in recruitment policies: The legal framework covers racial, gender, religious, age and disability discrimination, as well as rules regarding ex-offenders, and references among other areas. This affects choices of recruitment methods, advertisements and the processes used. IBM recruitment policies are well known, since its creation, the company underlines is willing to promote respect for individual. The managers give more importance to their people than to company’s products. Tom Watson IBM’s founder said in 1957 “there are many things I would like IBM to be known for, but no matter how big we become, I want this company to be known as the company which has the greatest respect for the individual.” The value place on IBM employees was codified in one of their three fundamental principles (mentioned in our introduction). In 1926, IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson, told employees that:” They say a man is known for the company he keeps. We say in our business that a company is known by he men it keeps.” IBM corporate implemented also implemented programs policies and practices to respect its employees. For example its “open door” policy, the Speak! up program, comprehensive employees opinions surveys and so one. By doing that, IBM acquires and retains quality people need for its business’s success.
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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT POLICIES
In today’s increasing competition in the market, companies are looking to increase their benefits, their productivity and also to boost their employees’ performance. Training and development programs are tools use by most of the companies to reach their target and enhance their corporate’s culture. Although some companies don’t give such importance to training and development matter because for them it is better to invest to acquire material asset than to improve their workforce skill. IBM always focus on its employees improvement even its recruitment policy focus on qualified workforce, they still need to implement its training programs. IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, said “there is no saturation point in education”. The benefits of training programs can be resuming as:
Increased productivity and performance improvement
Reduced server loads and bandwidth costs
Stricter adherence to corporate policies
Improved customer satisfaction
Increased employee morale and retention
The reason why most of companies don’t apply training and development program is that they assume that the cost of this function doesn’t worth enough to be taken on board within their organisation. In the opposite way, Gartner, 2007 said “Untrained or poorly trained users will cost significantly more to support than well-trained workers. Untrained traveling workers who spend a significant portion of their time away from the office, and who often have networking questions from multiple remote locations, are generally more expensive to support, regardless of the types of devices they’re using.”
But in fact, the last changes operate among workforce shows that training can affects employees’ retention in a company. American Society for Training & Development demonstrates in 2003 that 41% of employees at companies with inadequate training programs plan to leave within a year versus 12% of employees at companies who provide excellent training and professional development programs.
The main value of training and development planning can also be defines as follow:
Revenues generation. The more a company invest in its training programs, the higher its revenues are.
Productivity and performance improvement. Skills and knowledge are ineluctably the essential keys factors in business survival.
Cost reduction. Companies can save huge amount of money in labour cost just by improving their employee’s skills.
Collateral saving. Companies that employ training programs would have a benefits form their product, but they may also see a unintended savings.
It is now sure that training and development programs and companies success is highly correlated. By providing more tools to its employees and using also training and development as a factor of decision-making can lead a company to achieve easily its corporate’s goals, retains its employees and maintains its competitive advantage among its competitors.
STAFF MOTIVATION AND APPRAISAL PLAN
The possibility for a business to growth depends on the quality human resources within the organisation. How a company can rewards its employees after their performance. First of all, we know that to reward employees most of the organisation use money as a value for their rewarding system. To set up a reward system, managers always evaluate their employees. Job as reward system should be clear and fair for each employee.
Talking about job evaluation, Shaun Tyson, 2006 said “Job evaluation is a term used in a general way for a number of techniques that are in different forms. These techniques entail analysing and assessing the content of jobs so that they may be classified in an order relating to one another and to the marketplace.” To have a fairly base, job evaluation need to have common features as far as possible to avoid inequalities among rewarding systems, it is necessary to set up at least general framework that fits in these different evaluation techniques. Common features of evaluation techniques are the following:
Job evaluation is concerned with differences in the work itself, not in differences that are found between people.
Reference is made to the ‘content’ of the job, i.e. what the work consists of, what is being done, what skills are deployed and the actions that are performed. This is normally discovered by job analysis.
There are predetermined criteria, or factors, against which each job is measured. These may be descriptions of the whole job, or of its component parts.
The practice of involving those who are to be subject to the job evaluation at an early stage helps to ensure both accuracy in job analysis and a commitment to the job evaluation scheme.
The outcome of a job evaluation should be wage and salary scales covering the range of evaluated jobs.
All systems need regular review and updating, and have to be flexible enough to be of use for different kinds of work, so that new jobs can be accommodated.
In fact many purposes are use to estimate employees salaries. It also correlated with government regulation laws and rules. We are not going to dig deeper in that area. One of the most important that companies need to take on board is looking their employees as individuals. The social aspect of each individual is dominated by its own expectations and needs. Ignoring this aspect of human, could leads sometimes in a failure of rewarding employees within a company.
Wage and promotion are not the only ways to reward employees, many organisations as IBM introduce in their corporate goals a strong culture of rewarding that make employees feel safe and secure and then improve their performance, their commitment and a strong willing to stay in the company as employees. IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson, Jr. 1970 said “Money and title alone are not enough to satisfy the kinds of people that make IBM great. What counts most of all is knowledge that individual contributions are recognized and valued. We all want to receive that sort of recognition and we must all be quick to give it, too. I believe you’ll find, in most cases that you give thoughtful care to your people, they can take care of the problems.” That is the perfect illustration of what sort of organisation is IBM. They put individuals first and then the success comes easily after making IBM the most successful IT Company in which every scientist or employee would like to work and perform well since the last decade.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In our work, we’ve tried to demonstrate the importance of recruitment and selection, training and development policies, motivation and appraisal of labour in the achievement of corporate’s goals. Human resource capital is obviously the main important asset of each organisation. Although experts believe that managing human resource is mostly a matter of common sense, the changing environment, the actual need of economic market trend, the increasing competition among businesses might lead each organisation to think efficiently to find how to use this asset to achieve its corporate’s goals and make profit from its business. Managing wisely its human capital is the key success of many corporations as IBM. In 1969, IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson, Jr. wrote to his management team: “Our basic belief is respect for the individual, for his rights and dignity. It follows from this principle that IBM should: help each employee to develop his potential and make the best use of his abilities; pay and promote on merit; and maintain two-way communications between manager and employee, with an opportunity for a fair hearing and equitable settlement of disagreements.” Human resource planning is therefore a powerful tool for each organisation to create a useful link between its labour and its corporate’s goals, without this link, a company can easily runs out of its business.
The main recommendation to all the companies willing to improve their performance is to use IBM corporate as a model if the want to survive in the present market that is highly competitive.
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