Unit 21 Human Resource Management

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This unit provides an introduction to the concepts and practices of human  resource management within the United Kingdom and focuses on the  management of recruitment, retention and employment cessation.

Unit abstract

Recruiting and retaining staff of the right caliber contributes to the achievement  of organisational purposes. Staff must make a valued contribution to the work  of the organisation. Eventually they will leave, more often than not because  they find alternative employment or retire. Occasionally, however, employment  has to be terminated. This unit considers how human resource management  deals with these aspects of working. However, the focus of human resource  management has moved beyond personnel management towards a more  proactive approach that, in addition to the traditional roles associated with staff  management, also considers how to get the best people and the best out of  people so that they work in roles and ways that are closely aligned to  organisational objectives. This often leads to the assertion by many senior  managers that ‘Our employees are our most valuable resource’.  Human resource management takes place against a background of  organisational needs, policies and procedures that are themselves shaped by  legal and regulatory requirements. The unit therefore gives consideration to the  national and European legislation that has, for example, seen the introduction  of a range of anti-discriminatory legislation, the significance of which can be  seen regularly in high profile and often very expensive court cases.  Organisations with effective human resource management policies, processes  and practices will have committed, skilled employees who contribute effectively  to the organisation. In competitive business contexts this is a significant  contribution to maintaining a competitive advantage.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand the difference between personnel management and human  resource management

Personnel management and human resource management:development of  personnel management; change in contexts leading to human resource  management
Human resource management function: tasks (selection, recruitment, payroll  administration, employee motivation, reward management, employment  termination); training and development; performance management (planning,  monitoring, recording, actioning); employee relations; working in partnership  with functional areas; involvement of line managers (selection, recruitment,  training, coaching, mentoring, appraisal, grievance, discipline, termination);  ethical issues; equality of opportunity
Employment legislation: Sex Discrimination Act 1995/97; Race Relations Act  1992; Race Relations Amendment Act 2000; Equal Pay Act 1970; Disability  Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005; European Working Time Directive;  Employment Act 2008; Employment Relations Act 2004; Work and Families Act  2006; national minimum wage; Data Protection Act 1998; employment tribunals

2 Understand how to recruit employees

Human resource planning: definition, links (organisational purposes,  organisational strategy, senior management); purpose (increased volume of  business, changes to the required skills sets, employee turnover; labour cost  control); time horizon (short term, medium term, long term); internal planning  factors (organisational needs, demand for products and services, new products  and services, new markets, technological change, location of production);  workforce profiles (age, gender, ethnicity, ability, skills); external planning  factors (supply and demand for labour (local, national international);  government policy; labour market competition; changing nature of work;  impact of technology
Recruitment and selection: recruitment policies, recruitment procedures, aims  and objectives of the selection process; job analysis, job description (e.g.  purpose, standard formats, responsibilities, scope of post, education and  qualifications, experience); person specification (purpose, standard formats, job  title, location in management line; essential and desirable attributes);  recruitment methods (advertising vacancies, application methods including webbased methods, agencies, head hunters); interviews; assessment centres; tests  (psychological, psychometric, aptitude, practical); resumés (CV); letters of application; references

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

Motivation: theories of motivation e.g. F Taylor, E Mayo, A Maslow, F Herzberg,  D McGregor, D McClelland, V Vroom; relationship between motivation theories and reward; employee involvement techniques; membership of work groups  board, works councils, quality circles, intra-organisational groups (transnational,  national, site specific); devolved authority and responsibility; open communications; organisational culture (ethos, values, mission); national  accreditation (Investors in People (IIP), Charter Mark, International Standards  Organisation (ISO)
Monitoring: probation; appraisal, feedback; performance indicators  (achievement against targets); goal theory; SMART (specific, measurable,  achievable, realistic, time-constrained) targets (sales, growth, financial, waiting  times, pass rates, punctuality, attendance); benchmarking
Reward management: job evaluation; factors determining pay, reward systems;  pay; performance-related pay; pension schemes; profit sharing; employee  share options; mortgage subsidies; relocation fees; bonuses; company vehicles;  loans/advances; child care; school fees; corporate clothes; staff discounts;  flexible working; leave; health care; extended parental leave, career breaks;  cafeteria incentive schemes; salary sacrifice schemes; contracts of employment

4 Know the mechanisms for the cessation of employment

Reasons: dismissal (wrongful, unfair, justified); termination of employment  (resignation, retirement, termination of contract); redundancy; redeployment;  retraining
Management of exit: procedures (retirement, resignation, dismissal,  redundancy); legal and regulatory framework; counselling, training;  employment tribunals (role, composition, powers and procedures)


Essential resources

Access to business HR documentation, speakers and relevant legislation will be required.

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