Storey (1989) argues that hard HRM concentrates majorly on the resource side of human resources. This approach stresses on costs in the form of headcounts and puts the management in control (Budhwar 2001). He argues that the management has a responsibility to manage numbers efficiently as well as to keep the workforce closely matched with the needs of the organization as far as bodies and behavior is concerned. As opposed to the hard HRM, the soft HRM emphasizes on the human aspects of management. It puts more weight on communication and motivation, here, storey argues that the management should lead people as opposed to managing them (Budhwar 2001).
The old HR approach was largely based on hard HRM since it placed the manager in control. The HR manager is said to have been heavily involved in recruiting new staff and is also said to have been engaged in "fire fighting" as well as responding to employee and managers needs. The manager is also said to have been involved in administration and payroll issues to the extent of lacking time for forward planning and development. This clearly shows that the manager was put in control as even the line managers are said to have been viewing the HR responsibilities as the preserve of the HR manager. Another evidence of hard HRM in the old approach is the manager's effort to recruit workers whose skills match the needs of the organization. Employee engagement and communication are said to have been given a back seat hence a sign of hard HRM in play. The old HR also managed employees as opposed to leading them hence an evidence of hard HRM.
The new approach on the other hand is seen to value soft HRM which argues that people should be led as opposed to being managed. This is evident as the HR is said to move from a policing organ to an advisory one, providing support , guidance and advise to line managers. Another evidence of soft HRM in the new approach is the emphasis given to communication and employee involvement. The new management also use soft HRM by focusing on human aspects as opposed to resources through ensuring talent management, employee involvement, compensation and benefits unlike the earlier approach which focused on resources.
Devolving HR activities to line managers is very good for any organization as the line managers are closer to the employees hence they have a better daily knowledge of their performance as well as gaps in staffing than the HR manager. They also have a more direct working relationship with the employees hence can act as a good conduit for employee involvement (Kamoche 2001). Data pertaining HR activities in terms of performance and staffing needs in an organization is also likely to be more accurate when it comes from line managers since they work directly with workers (Kamoche 2001).
However, this devolution at the same time presents a number of shortcomings. For instance, their deadlines are usually more immediate hence they may not have time to deal effectively with complex performance appraisal paperwork (Sparrow 2004). This devolution would be very positive for café co since it would give the HR manager adequate time to concentrate on forward planning and project development on top of the other advantages given above which come with it (Briscoe 2004).
Strategic partner:- the HR management and business partners should align the organization's activities as well as its initiatives with the global business strategy (Briscoe 2004). Such partnerships enable each of the involved partners to focus on their area of comparative advantage. When an organization concentrates only on the activities which match its capabilities, its profit margins are bound to increase (Tayeb 2005). This would enable café co take to the market a wider range of products. Café co should therefore identify a partner whose capability is different from her capability so that they can complement each other. This means that café co would focus on the products it can produce best while the rest are produced by the partner. At the end of the day, they would take to the market a wide range of products at a low production cost. Café co would also learn from the partner and consequently develop expertise which can be exploited elsewhere. Additionally, an organization in a partnership stands to benefit from access to additional financial as well as human resources as well as enhancing its corporate image and reputation. Café co should therefore identify the current leader in its line of production as strategic partner. Through this collaboration, café co would inherit the good reputation of her partner. Through this, the company will be able to learn new strategies which would enable the management turn around the deteriorating performance.
Change agent:- human resources has a responsibility to support change activities as well as the transition of the organization especially in human capital in the organization (Tayeb 2005). Good change agents should be good leaders with the capacity to motivate workers. This is quite important for café co which is said to have demotivated employees. The change agent should be sensitive to changes in areas such as key personnel, top management perceptions as well as market conditions (Tyson 2006). He/ she should also be keen on the likely impact the change may have on the organization. The agent should set goals which are realistic and easy to comprehend. He/she she should also be flexible in reacting to changes (Tyson 2006). The agent should have good team building abilities so as to be able to bring together the various stake holders and define their responsibilities well. He/she should also have good networking skills as well as tolerance of any environment. Good communication skills are also essential for the agent to be effective in his work. Good interpersonal skills, negotiation ability and management kills also come in handy (Jihhua 2005).
Administrative expert:- such an expert should ensure the organization provides the best quality service but at the lowest possible cost (Scott 1998).
Employee champion:- the HR should know what the employees need and also protect them against adverse effects of the change process (Scott 1998). Café co is said to have an high degree of employee turn over hence the HR should investigate the causes of this. HR should therefore advocate for the needs of the employees to bring to an end this turn over.
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The first recruitment mistake the company makes is the media they use to advertise the vacancy. Use of a local newspaper is quite expensive as opposed to the use of the company's website where it would advertise the vacancy as well as its products. The use of a newspaper is therefore not economical for the company. Website use would also ensure more details about the vacancy and the qualifications required are given (Brewster 2000). When a website is used, the information stays there for very long as opposed to a newspaper. Chances are also high that many people with the qualifications the company desires would not buy the newspaper that day. This means that the company fails to capture better talents out there. Failing to capture the talents already within the organization is another recruitment mistake the company is committing. This ends up eating into the employee moral and spirit since the HR has bypassed them yet they have the desired qualifications (Ewert 1996).
The company is said to consider only a good experience in the service sector, not too old, and a good education at one of the better local schools, a well presented CV and an interest in food and drink. Limiting themselves to these qualifications may see the company fail to capture good innovative brains which may not necessarily be experienced but can bring very good ideas which can propel the company.
Failure to make use of external recruiting agencies is another mistake they commit. Such agencies do bring in new thoughts from other business sectors. This would correct the recruiting anomalies associated with the practices and conventions of the organization (Ewert 1996). The store managers who conduct interviews are said to have received no follow up training as a result of lack of interest from managers. As a matter of fact, training in café co is not taken seriously and this could be another cause of the company failure.
Employee recruitment can be done with the assistance of employment service offices. They help employers to fill vacancies in their organization in real time as well as with highly qualified personnel (Anthony 1988). The employer should first come up with the job specifications and the skills, knowledge as well as qualifications that a successful candidate must have to procure the job. The employer, through the human resource management department then gives these requirements and specifications to the employment service offices (Anthony 1988). The offices post the jobs on the internet without necessarily revealing the identity of the employer after which they screen all the applications on behalf of the employer and pick the best candidates (Forbes 1991). Recruitment can also be done by placing vacancies in the organization's website after which the human resource department screens the applications to select the best. The human resource department may also decide to visit curriculum vitae data banks and short list from there (Forbes 1991). TV commercials can also be effective. Recruitment can either be internal or external. After short listing applicants who meet the given requirement, the human recourse department then carries out an interview (Cooke 2003).
Employee training can either be on the job or off the job. Employee training and development is quite important for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it ensures availability of replacements in the event of transfers or promotions of personnel. Secondly, it ensures the company stays up-to-date with technology since it gives a sufficiently skilled personnel (Howitt 2001). Additionally, training of employees ensures a more efficient, effective as well as motivated work force which in turn ensures the organization keeps a competitive position. Employee training also ensures availability of relevant personnel needed for the company to introduce new programs. Training of employees as a core role of the human resource department has been linked to several benefits to the company. These include: increased productivity, increased employee motivation, reduced employee turnover as well as increased efficiency which leads to profit explosions (Stewart 2002).
To measure the success of the recruitment and selection process, its wise to first evaluate the success of the advertisement used. For instance, in the case of TV commercials, evaluation can be done via consumer surveys, industry awards and television ratings (Stewart 2002). Effectiveness of print adverts can be measured by looking at the numbers marked by readers to request for additional information. To measure the success of the recruitment, new employee turn over, and employee satisfaction metrics may be used. These measurement standards should be tracked over time to get a clear picture of the success of the recruitment and selection process (Kaponya 1991). The return rate of the applications dispensed can also be used as an indicator of the success of the recruitment process. Other measures are: the number of candidates who turn up for selection, retention rate and the performance of those selected as well as the cost of the recruitment process. The company should therefore calculate the overall cost incurred in the selection and recruitment process. Such costs include: advertising costs, HR personnel time, signing bonuses and reimbursements for moving costs. The company should then ensure that the costs are translating to quality employee candidates. Effective spending helps the company focus on the right kind of employee candidates (Kaponya 1991).
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