HR Management Assignment Brief

Unit 21 HR Management Assignment Brief


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Diploma in Business

Unit 21 Human Resource Management


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Assignment title

Human Resource Management


You are a freelance human resource management practitioner running your own business under the name of “Spectre Services”.You divide your time between lecturing at the local college, presenting papers to conferences, and providing consultancy or interim management for Organisations.
You have a few particular projects over the next few weeks:

Project 1: (tasks 1-4 inclusive below)

You have agreed to present a paper at a national business conference on the topic of “Human Resource Management, yesterday, today and tomorrow”.  In order to be ready to present your paper to the national business conference you need to complete tasks 1-4 below:

Task 1: (Assessment criteria 1.1)

Provide a historical review of the development of personnel management 1850- 1980. As part of your discussion, comment on how the “Welfare tradition” has had a long-term impact on the nature of personnel work.

Task 2: (Assessment criteria 1.1 & 1.2)

  • Distinguish between personnel management and human resource management by reference to “old and new assumptions” (see Beer and Spector 1985)
  • Assess the functions of Human Resource Management

Task 3 (Assessment criteria 1.3 & 1.4)

Evaluate the role of the HRM practitioner in the context of the need to:

  • Manage increasing diversity in the workforce
  • Maintain employee engagement in a time of recession
  • Evaluate the responsibilities of line managers in relation to legal and regulatory frameworks.

Task 4 (Assessment 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 & 3.4)

  • Assess the link between motivational theory and reward
  • Evaluate the importance of investors in people (IIP)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of appraisals, feedback, SMART targets (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time constrained)
  • Assess different reward methods and their effectiveness within an organisation

Project 2

Secondly, You have a request from a local company, Fizzical for assistance. They are having problems in relation to HRM planning.
Fizzical is a manufacturer of sports drinks, vitamins and supplements the company has 1500 staff and a turnover of £10 million per year. The company operates in a highly complex, competitive and fast changing environment. For example in the last few years a whole new market has emerged in vitamins and supplements for pets and domestic animals. It is apparent that the future growth of the business may well depend upon greater creativity, innovation, and the use of more flexible working practices
The HR function in this organisation operates largely on a centralised basis. However, despite this, there has been little systematic HR planning at organisation level. A number of difficulties have arisen:
Firstly, considering the overall workforce, the last few years seem to have  seen wasteful and expensive cycles of high recruitment when orders are high, and redundancies when orders fall. In addition, there have been particular shortages or surpluses of staff within key sectors of the workforce.
Secondly, the current age profile of the workforce is such that there is a high proportion of older workers aged over 50.This has created a situation where promotions are blocked for younger workers, and there will be a rush of retirements in about five years’ time.
Thirdly, there is a problem with graduate management trainees. The training programme seems to largely consist of them spending pre-determined amounts of time in particular departments. The managers of those departments do not always know what to do with the trainees, and some of them have left due to boredom and frustration. Moreover, the focus of the training programme seems to place a heavy emphasis on business knowledge whilst neglecting management skills.
The Managing Director of this company has called you in to ask for your advice on HRM planning matters.

Task 5 (2.1, 2.2)

  • Analyse why there is a need for HR planning in this organisation.
  • Identify the type of information required to support the HR planning process in this organisation.
  • In the form of a flow diagram with brief supporting text outline the required stages in the HR planning process for this organisation.

Project 3:

In your consultancy role you have been asked to conside two organisations based in Yorkshire who are engaged in the provision of financial services. Both organisations are in direct competition for staff. They both have a regular need to recruit graduates and train them for management or professional posts.  They engage in the following practices for the recruitment and selection of Graduates:

Recurtiment Practics

One uses local papers, recruitment consultants, and colleges or universities within the Yorkshire region.  Applicants are required to submit a standard application form filled in by hand.
And other one uses professional journals, supported by advertising within/visits to the traditional universities founded before the 1970’s.The company HRM department has produced a glossy brochure for graduates which emphasises fringe benefits, recreational facilities within the company, and the prestige of the organisation Applicants are always required to submit a Curriculum Vitae supported by a covering letter.

Selection Practices

They requires all candidates for graduate posts to attend a single “Panel” interview, attended by Human Resources Manager, the head of the department where the vacancy is based, and other interested parties. After this interview, the candidate is required to make a 15 minute presentation on an issue. All offers of employment are made “subject to satisfactory references” Reference requests are made in the form of a letter which is sent to two referees who are invited to comment as they see fit
Litt require candidates to attend two interviews. The first with the Human Resources Manager, and the second with a senior member of their staff from the department where there is a vacancy. After the interview the candidate must complete pen and paper tests of personality and intelligence. All offers of employment are made subject to the successful completion of a probationary period. References are pursued during this period, and the reference request is a standard form with a list of questions for the referee to answer. This form is sent to sufficient referees to cover the last five years of the candidate’s record

Task 6: (2.3 & 2.4)

Use a table to present the practices of these organisations side by side. Write a commentary underneath this table which will:
a) Critically evaluate the various recruitment practices adopted by these two organisations, comparing them to “best practice” (2.3 & 2.4)
b) Critically evaluate the various selection practices adopted by these two organisations, comparing them to “best practice” (2.3 & 2.4)

Project 4:

In your consultancy role you have also been asked to consider Construct Limited and Bilden Limited.  Construct and Bilden are two organisations engaged in the development of new housing. Construct has recently completed a successful takeover of Bilden. Senior management now wish to ensure that there are common staffing practices in both organisations, which also fit with “best practice”
There are clearly some differences in “Exit Procedures” between the two organisations, which are summarised below:

Contruct Limited

Resignation –Employees who resign will always be required to work the period of notice as specified in their contract of employment. An exit interview will always be conducted by the employee’s head of department
Retirement -Construct has a fixed retirement policy i.e. all employees are required to retire at an age specified by the Company, which is designated as 65.
Redundancy -As regards selection criteria for compulsory redundancy, Construct follows the Last in, First Out” Approach, i.e. newcomers would be dismissed before long-serving employees. All employees chosen for redundancy will be offered counselling support.

Bildem Limited

Resignation –Employees will normally be required to period of notice as specified in their contract of employment. However, where individuals need to take up a post elsewhere immediately, pays in lieu of notice may be offered. A leaving report on the employee will always be produced by their head of department
Retirement -Bilden has a flexible retirement policy. This company has a minimum age at which contracts of employment can be ended for retirement purposes (60).Employees are permitted to continue working after this age for as long as they are judged to be fit and capable.
Redundancy -As regards selection criteria for compulsory redundancy, this company basically looks to retain staff on merit. This being the case, the company compares the records of individuals by reference to their  attendance, capability  and experience There is no points system attached to these criteria, and no indication of weighting between those criteria. All employees chosen for redundancy will be offered help through outplacement services.

Task 7: (4.1, 4,2 & 4.3)

Use a table format to present their procedures side by side. Add a commentary underneath the table which critically evaluates the procedures used by these two organisations, and which also compares each of these procedures to best practice.
Note – In relation to redundancy, you need to analyse the selection criteria given from the point of view of:
i) Are they appropriate? ii) Would they ensure that no employee could claim unfair selection for redundancy?     

LO1 Understand the difference between personnel management and human resource management

1.1, Distinguish between  “personnel management” and  “human resource management”
1.2 Assess the function of human resource management in contributing to organisational purpose
1.3 Evaluate the role and Responsibilities of line managers in HRM practices
1.4 Analyse the impact of the legal and regulatory framework on human resource management

LO2 Understand how to recruit employees

2.1 Analyse the reasons (need) for HR planning in organisations
2.2 Outline the stages involved in planning human resource requirements
2.3 Compare the recruitment and selection process in two organisations
2.4 Evaluate the effectiveness of the recruitment and selection techniques in two organisations

LO3 Understand how to reward employees in order to motivate and retain them

3.1 Assess the link between motivational theory and reward
3.2 Evaluate the process of job evaluation and other factors determining pay
3.3 Assess the effectiveness of reward systems in different contexts
3.4 Examine the methods organisations use to monitor employee performance

LO4 Know the mechanisms for the cessation of employment Assessment Criteria Covered to achieve a Pass:

4.1 Identify the reasons for cessation of employment with an organisation
4.2 Describe the employment exist procedure used by two organisations
4.3 Consider the impact of the legal and regulatory framework on employment cessation arrangements