When Herbert Chong and wife Michelle, founders of Honey Bun, purchased a small bakery in Spanish Court, New Kingston in 1982, their vision was opportunity, growth and family.
29 years later the philosophy still holds true, and is the foundation which has characterised the company’s operation. This has enabled Honey Bun to develop into an immensely valued, recognized and loved Jamaican brand, known for freshly baked, premium quality products.
Having outgrown a number of locations, the Chong’s identified a larger manufacturing space on East Street, redirecting their focus and strategies to serving the mass market. The effort resulted in the development of a comprehensive line of packaged snacks, ranging from donuts and cupcakes to cinnamon rolls, and the brand being recognised as a Jamaican household staple.
By 2005, it was clear that Honey Bun had the potential to become one of the leading brands in the market, and the Chong’s were again on the move, this time to the company’s present location at 26 Retirement Crescent to meet the growing demand. With a modern factory space, retro-fitted with upgraded bakery equipment and a highly specialised team, the company expanded their portfolio with the introduction of another brand, Buccaneer Jamaica. Product development was also a major focus, with Honey Bun being widely recognized as driving the trend for innovative specialty value-added products such as cheese and raisin breads.
What had been a small retail bakery with a handful of staff, had evolved into a vibrant 24-hour, 7-day a week wholesale bakery, employing over 200 Jamaicans delivering the brand daily, practicing world class standards throughout its operation.
Honey Bun’s commitment does not end on its production floor, but extends to its strong socially responsible initiatives which include investments in education through its annual School Dayz Campaign, athletic sponsorships and consistent support of the indigent and less fortunate with scheduled meal support.
Today the brand is still synonymous with superior quality, superior convenience and superior value. It is widely regarded as Jamaica’s number one for taste in baked snack products, as is evidenced by the company being chosen for the National Quality Awards in both 2007 and 2008. With distribution spanning key supermarkets chains, gas stations and small retail outlets locally, and select outlets in the Caribbean, North America and Europe, the company is destined for international growth having been awarded the Jamaica Exporter’s Association coveted Chairman’s Award for Growing Exporters in 2008. Honey Bun is ultimately known in the baked goods market as “a little love in every bite” and recognized locally and internationally as an example of a strong, world class, brand of Jamaica.
Over the last 29 years, Honey Bun has been challenged, and in every situation has risen to the occasion through tremendous growth.
Selection of an individual for a given role is not an easy task. It does not only consist of the communication skills or technical expertise of an individual but a lot of many other parameters such as relevant experience, cultural fitment, personality traits of an individual, education and industry background and etc. After a certain level in an organizational hierarchy companies stop experimenting with people possessing irrelevant or unwanted skills and experiences. At that level, one cannot go and ask for, “just one chance” or say, “if given a chance I can do it”. Getting a wrong person in that level can cost an organization much more than the total salary paid to that particular individual. Hence, one must be very careful in selecting an individual and letting him or her cross organizational borders.
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In this article, we are trying to discuss various factors that affect the selection process. We have tried to cover as many factors as possible but we are afraid that we might not have covered all parameters. Most of the factors and parameters discussed in this article are relevant for experienced professionals and for middle and senior level positions in mid-size to large size local or multi-national and multi-cultured organizations. We have not covered domain specific and industry specific factors and to that extent this article is generic in nature and can be applied across various industries, domains and professions with little modification.
Glossary of Key terms
Human Resource, Business, Employment, Recruitment, Selection, Assessment.
1. The personnel of a business or organization, esp. when regarded as a significant asset.
2. The department of a business or organization that deals with the administration, management, and training of personnel.
1. a person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade.
2. An activity that someone is engaged in.
the act or practice of employing something for a particular purpose
The act of getting recruits; enlisting people for the army (or for a job or a cause etc.).
1. The action or fact of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable.
2. A number of carefully chosen things.
The evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality, or ability of someone or something: “the assessment of educational needs”.
Factors that influence the Selection Process
Relevant work experience is likely the most important factor that influences the HR selection method. The relevant work experience required by an employer depends largely on the available job position and the level of skills required to carry out the duties of the position. HR personnel initially look at job candidates’ relevant work experience by reviewing their resumes. Applicants without relevant work experience are typically eliminated from the job-selection process. Employers desire to hire candidates with relevant experience because it saves the company time and money in training an employee. Employers also seek to reduce employee turnover by hiring qualified applicants.
Do you think that you are a master of your profession and can do anything within the preview of that domain? I am sorry but you are wrong in your interpretation. Earlier in this article we mentioned about various roles that falls under the umbrella of HR profession. Let me take one example from that. XYZ which is a multi-national IT company is looking for a HR – Manager (Generalist) and they are looking for someone with at least 7 years of experience in the same role of which at least 2 years of experience at the same level and within the industry of their operation. You have 12 years of experience. Three years in Recruitment, before completing your MBA. Post MBA you worked in the training and development department of ABC Company, which is a BPO, for 6 years before moving into the role of employee relations with a mid-size telecom company and you are in this role for the last 3 years. Though you have more experience than the required experience for the role, but neither do you have relevant experience nor you belong to the same industry.
Although you are a qualified HR professional but that doesn’t mean you can handle every role and job that fall within the preview of this profession. Requirement of relevant experience is not only a critical requirement for HR profession but in every profession and role. There is little doubt that given a chance you might be able to handle the role of HR-Generalist but no one likes to take any risk or gamble for such a senior role. It will be wastage of time and money, both for you as well as the company. From the company’s perspective, they do not like to take any risk and will only hire a person with
Educational achievements also play a role in a company’s hiring decisions. Some job positions require certain industry knowledge that is often obtained through the completion of a degree program. For example, a company desiring to hire a registered nurse will most likely require that candidates possess a nursing degree for employment consideration by the HR department. Educational achievement not only acts as a factor in making hiring decisions, but for some employers, the mode of education is also a factor. Some companies prefer to hire candidates who graduated from certain top-ranking institutions, or a company may prefer not to hire candidates who earned degrees through online-degree.
In countries like India and China, education plays an important role in the selection process for all types of white and blue collar jobs. In addition to that, as one moves up in the organizational hierarchy, relevant education, type and mode of education and relevant certifications becomes critical in the selection process. Many people are of the view that although right type of education is required for any role but the type and mode of education is irrelevant. They also feel that companies are discriminating and rejecting their candidature purely for the reason that they earned their degree or diploma through distance mode of education.
People also argued that those who have done their MBA through regular mode of education are less experienced or knowledgeable than their counterparts with Distance Mode of Education, who obtained their qualifications in spite of working full-time.
Let us expand this argument and provide a logical explanation. In this fast paced world and cut throat competition, no company likes to take any chance or experiment with the required skills, experience level and competence. The order of preference that is followed in many companies at the time of sourcing and screening is as follows:
ƒ˜ Full Time MBA’s from top 10 institutes in the country or top 25 institutes in the world and with good CGPA and relevant experience.
ƒ˜ Full Time MBA’s from next 50 ranked institutes in the country but with good CGPA and slightly more experience.
ƒ˜ Executive MBA or Part-time MBA (evening classes or weekend classes) from top 25 institutes in the country supported by relevant experience.
ƒ˜ Lastly, correspondence MBA or MBA obtained by distance mode of education with good CGPA supported by relevant experience.
Secondly, here I am making an attempt to clarify as to why regular (full-time) education gets more value than distance or correspondence mode of education. Obtaining relevant qualification is not about gaining knowledge. It is about grooming you for the right type of role and installing skills that are required for getting success in your profession. It is about, programs.
One of the factors that influence the selection process for the human resource department is the geographical location of the job candidate. Most employees prefer to hire employees living in the local area. Employers prefer to hire local candidates because it hastens the hiring process and saves the employer money on the interviewing process and on relocation fees. Although most employers look to hire local candidates to save time and money, some employers choose to make the application process open to individuals living in other states. If local candidates fail to meet the employer’s qualifications for the job, HR typically seeks regional candidates next before widening the search to national and global candidates.
Whenever there is an open position in any company, the company prefer to source candidates and applicants from the local market. This is done for simple reasons such as;
1. Fasten the selection process and will facilitate face-to-face interviews
2. An individual who is already settled in that particular place, city or state will not face any difficulty in joining the company
3. This saves the company a few extra costs such as excessive interview cost (getting the individual to travel to company site for interview), relocation cost and etc and thereby will minimize the cost per hire, and
4. This also defuses any anxiety or fear in an individual.
On the contrary, if a company plans to source an applicant from another city in a state or country, they might need to make arrangements for the following:
1. Travel and hotel arrangements for candidates or selection panel to facilitate face-to-face interview(s);
2. Travel and hotel arrangements for selected candidate (s) to facilitate their relocation;
3. Provide them with suitable relocation cost
4. Process their work permits (if applicable)
5. Assist them in assimilating with new location and culture
Hence, hiring a person from the local market surely saves the time and money of the company. But, we are in a global market where the talent market is very volatile yet competitive and hence any company that decides to compromise with skills and talent may lag in the competition. Having the right people available for the right role at a right place and time is not leisure or matter of choice but a perquisite and need to be competitive in the market not only to win the competition but to survive in the competition. Hence, these days’ companies are open to search for suitable talent in the global talent market.
The salary requirements of a job candidate influence the HR employment-selection process. Employers typically set a maximum salary for an open job position. Candidates who require a salary greater than what the employer offers are typically eliminated from the selection process. Some companies choose to negotiate the salary with attractive candidates because they desire to retain their talents and skills. HR managers also consider the present salary of a job candidate. If the candidate’s current or previous salary is not competitive enough, an employer may not consider the candidate for the job.
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Among all the factors that you may consider while accepting or rejecting an offer is the compensation and benefits package in offering. You look for a CTC package that is higher than your current package. But what increase is acceptable to you? Is it 10% or 25% or 50% or 100% or 200% or even more? Have you ever wondered that many times, in spite of having right skills and competence and having performed well in the selection process, they reject your candidature because your present salary is not competitive enough to get you the salary in offering? Although sad and shocking but this is a fact. This is applicable in those job markets where companies hire from the local talent market. However, when hiring nationals of other countries there are many other factors that plays an important role such as cost-of-living, tax structure and etc (we will discuss about those factors at another place and in a different article). Offering substantial increase over the current package or offering a package lesser than the approved salary-band disturbs the internal equity of the company and effects retention strategies of the company.
Factors that influence the Recruitment Process
Factors Affecting Recruitment
General factors that affect recruitment in an organization:
A company can avoid having to hire new employees by monitoring the skill sets of existing employees. For example, if you are opening a new sales division that focuses on a new family of products, then you may be able to utilize your current sales staff to provide the startup sales professionals the new group will need. The success of the new department will necessitate the need for recruiting outside representatives at some point in the future, but you can save on startup costs by utilizing existing personnel.
The concept of outsourcing activities that are not a company’s core competency is an internal business practice that affects recruiting. For example, an food processing company would hire an outside IT firm to install and administer the company’s computer network because computers are not the food processing company’s core competency. When companies outsource, that reduces the need for recruiting new employees. The human resources department will have to shift resources away from recruiting for the outsourced functions, and focus on supplying employment candidates for the company’s core business units.
A company reaches into its local community to satisfy employment recruiting needs. If the local talent pool changes, then the company may find it more difficult to recruit qualified candidates. For example, if other businesses start to leave the region, then the availability of jobs drops and qualified candidates begin looking for work in other parts of the country. The company is then faced with decisions that involve paying to relocate new employees or opening new locations to access new talent pools.
Companies within the same industry are competing for qualified candidates to ensure future growth. There is competition in the recruiting end of your business just as there is in selling products. You need to analyze what your competition is offering new employees, and try to develop a competitive package to lure in the talent that you need.
Strategies to reduce the cost of Honey Bun’s Human Resource
First priority Honey Bun could use to cut costs on its human resource, though it is somewhat of a new development for many managers and HR staff personnel, particularly if they had seen laying off staff as the only feasible means to cut cost on human resource would be, is reducing turnover. Turnover is very burdensome on the financial resources of any given company, and if management does not have sound knowledge of the actual cost of turnover, the organization may be in a situation where it is inescapable to reduce it.
Another way Honey Bun could improve their human resource management and to cut cost on labour is to ensure that the HR manager designated for recruitment is efficiently trained and certified with the necessary experience in a similar scope of position in a similar company model. A database of CV’s of prospective employees could be kept thus ensuring that the HR Manager spends a portion of his or her time on a weekly basis emailing prospective candidates from the searchable CV databases available on job boards. The searchable databases are what HR managers and job recruiters use every day.
The company could also institute a referral / finder’s fee asking their own workers of prospective employees, in the manner as job agencies do. Another strategy they could utilize is to pay key staff 15% above market rates to their star employee this is a nominal strategy seeing that replacing them is 40-50% of their annual salary if you include agency fees – possible lost days in training and the employee who has contributed heavily to the overall development of the company walking through the door, probably to the competition.
The company could also Reduce Healthcare Costs. Of course, the most intuitive method of reducing healthcare costs involves shopping around for healthcare insurance. For example if they are using an old fashioned broker for years, the current provider of such services will be costly compared to a newer less expensive healthcare company.
Before the company cuts down on healthcare offerings for its employees, they must first consider eliminating dental and vision plans. Then after they have right healthcare provider for the company, they can make adjustments to their plan to minimize costs. They should ask direct and concise information that will in turn pose to be beneficial to the company.
Switching to a higher deductible health plan is not always the most popular plan amongst the company’s employees – but striking the right balance between deductible cost and premiums can save the company money while satisfying the needs of its employees without any lost on both parties; Honey Bun on whole should analyze who they are covering under their medical plans especially if the company is providing full insurance coverage for spouses and family members this might just be saving such expenses from competitors and driving a hole in the companies pockets by taking in unnecessary expenses of their own.
A strategy most companies are utilizing is they are beginning to demand higher employee contributions for the coverage of their family members who can receive general medical coverage from through the company. Another strategy the company could use is to have the employee pay the full premium for their spouse who can receive coverage at their place of work; this will go a long way to reduce healthcare expenses.
Health and Wellness programs are now becoming popular in various business organizations; today most medium and large size businesses with backgrounds in various sectors and employing between 50-85 workers are drifting towards this focus. Implementing the right wellness program for Honey Buns employees can increase employee health and happiness while decreasing costs on pending healthcare cost.
Most employers are now seeing the evidence of the success of wellness programs improving their employee’s happiness and productivity in the workplace and the favorable reduction in money wasted dealing with various health related sicknesses of their staff thus health insurance costs can be documented and proven.
Honey Bun can also reduce its cost on human resource by creating a healthy social atmosphere at the workplace as this strategy is shown to increase morale, camaraderie and increase the productivity of the employee. Many companies do this by hosting a number of social events where the employees come together to bask in each other’s company and share in various activities.
Hosting competitive events such as sports competitions for employees can be a defining tool. This allows employees to get to know each other and have a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities and have a deeper appreciation for each other’s welfare, a team building approach in the work environment, and overall a sense of loyalty for the company this will make them proud they work for a company that encourages its employees to have a friendly and collective approach to their work rather being individualistic in their work relations. This can be the key factor in determining whether an employee joins the company, stays grounded in a team oriented setting, or moving on the competitors company.
Improving the hiring practices of Honey Bun through the HR department can save the company much money and time. This would involve analyzing all CV’s for a particular candidate who will maximize his or her strengths for the overall development of the company, the first time around, the long-term relationship of the potential employee should be the most vital factor whether he or she is added to the staff at Honey Bun. A detailed, comprehensive job description should be drawn out to highlight the important aspects of the position, as well as all activities that will be under their auspices; add additional requirements for the post including activities not relevant to the post available in order to test the flexibility of the potential candidate . This will ensure that the potential employee is informed of all of their responsibilities before the interview is even conducted.
By working strategically at creating a well defined job listing that quantifies the scope of the position it will most definitely yield candidates with higher quality, and thus ensures a job skill match as well. Offering competitive salaries will inevitably draw in higher quality human resource and thus rids the company of the unskilled talents and the pending cost of replacing such.
Optimizing HR operations and company policies can reduce costs while increasing employee satisfaction. By offering flexible work schedules for its employees this will increase morale and productivity. If employees are working too many hours, their level of productivity will decrease throughout the day. Allowing them to switch up their hours and come in at different periods of the day will ensure that they are working at their optimum levels and are properly rested. They must be offered competitive salaries as well. If a salary offered is way below industry standards for the same level of responsibility, potential star employees will be lost to the competition. Honey Bun could also provide their employee’s incentives to boost productivity and encourage employees to take the extra step when trying to make a sale or ensuring quality in their work this will make every employee think twice before slacking off.
Another way Honey Bun could cut cost on its human resource is by integrating HR Technology this will save time and money by eliminating costly mistakes and introducing automation to manual processes. It is important to find competent, up to date, and fully integrated software to implement.
Implementing integrated time and attendance and employee scheduling software is low-hanging fruit in this department. Time and attendance software in particular has been shown to provide organizations with a significant return on investment (ROI).
Reducing the risk of expensive litigation can save Honey Bun’s financial assets in the long run. The last thing the company would need in a recession type climate is to be sued by a former employee.
The company should know the risks, and plan ahead to rid the company of legal pitfalls. Know all of the laws and regulations for the company’s industry and following them rigorously. A number of people will jump at the opportunity to sue the company for large amounts of money. To avoid lawsuits, documentation must be a key player in determining the company is caught in a litigation trap; record its defenses, such as warnings given to an employee or the fact that guidelines were given and broken one should not cite concerns, criticisms, or introspects on any particular employee.
Honey Bun could also reduce its cost on human resource by not allowing employees to work overtime. The workloads must be objectively and critically analyzed to evaluate the time that is required for tasks to be completed efficiently, identify streamlining opportunities, and improve proficiency amongst individual staff members.
Honey Bun could also adhere to a economical phenom most companies are familiarizing themselves with which is the use of contingent workers (people who are hired, as needed, to perform specific tasks, but are not employed by the company) in other words contracted staff, Honey Bun could utilize this as a means cutting cost on human resource seeing that the level of income being paid to contracted staff is way below the market value and at the same time contracted workers are not open to benefits as fulltime staff members.
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