Unit 6: Human Resource Management
"Business – real business – isn't about money. It's about people. You have to know and understand people."
The late André Meyer was a financier who collaborated with corporations in countries around the world. He served as an advisor to leaders of state and worked as the head of the investment-banking firm Lazard Frères. Despite the fact that his career was entirely focused on raising capital and profits, Meyer saw people, including the employees of a company, as the most important aspect of business success. Meyer's belief still resonates in today's business world. Indeed, knowing how to implement effective and strategic human resource management is a crucial skill for any manager.
Human resource management (HRM) exists in many forms. We often think about Human Resources as the company department that handles paychecks and benefits, or the office an employee visits when he or she encounters a problem such as harassment or discrimination. However, HRM oversees many more responsibilities than these traditional tasks. Perhaps the most important change in the practice of HRM has occurred within the recruiting of top-quality employees for a firm. Historically, HR staff, rather than company managers, have recruited and sifted through applications to find candidates to interview for positions at a company. But HR department staff often lack the knowledge necessary to effectively screen for many newer, more technical positions – a situation in which a manager's expertise and input greatly benefit the hiring process.
In the 21st century, as companies work harder to attract and recruit talent, modern HRM is developing a more strategic nature. For example, a top HR executive today will most likely report directly to the CEO and play an integral role in executing a company's strategy. To stay competitive, today's managers must also work in conjunction with HR to be able to quickly and reliably identify the skill sets and personal characteristics that are needed to increase productivity in a company's present and future workforce.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 18 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- list the steps in the recruitment and employee-selection process;
- identify ways to attract, hire, and retain high-quality employees;
- discuss methods of employee compensation and benefits and their impact on employee motivation; and
- explain the importance of hiring and retaining the right employees.
6.1: Recruitment and Selection
6.1.1: Where Are the Right People?
Read this article and consider the performance culture in your own organization, or an organization you are familiar with. Are employees in this organization made to feel that they are part of a team? Are high-achieving employees treated differently from employees who display average performance? Is there an appropriate level of pressure placed on employees to perform well? Does the corporate culture recognize that accomplishments take time to achieve, or does it encourage workplace shortcuts as the norm?
Read this chapter, which includes detailed information on recruitment strategies and how to manage the recruiting process. Be sure to complete all the activity worksheets within the text. These exercises will help you delve into the recruitment process from the perspective of an individual seeking employment as well as from the perspective of an organization seeking employees.
Read this chapter, which discusses how companies choose the criteria from which they will select employees, including pre-selection strategies and how candidates are evaluated. Be sure to complete all the activity worksheets within the text. These exercises will help you delve into the pre-selection process from the perspective of an individual seeking employment as well as from the perspective of an organization seeking employees.
Read this chapter, which focuses on the last phase of the employee selection process, including the interview process, selection strategies, and making an offer. Be sure to complete all the activity worksheets within the text. These exercises will help you delve into the selection process from the perspective of an individual seeking employment as well as from the perspective of an organization choosing employees and making job offers.
6.1.2: Recruiting and Keeping Quality Employees
Read the introduction and section 7.1, which introduces you to strategies for employee recruitment, motivation, and retention. In today's world of doing more with less, managers at all levels of an organization have the responsibility of knowing how to implement foundational human resource concepts successfully.
Read this section, which introduces you to three major concepts as they are applied within the framework of human resources: diversity; training and development; and new employee orientation. Globalization in the 20th and 21st centuries has produced a multicultural and varied workforce. Age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and other factors have created a broad workforce landscape. It is very important to understand these elements, as no manager can achieve organizational success without fully utilizing employee capital. As you read, be sure to pay close attention to the sections of the text that discuss the mutual benefits of formal and informal on-the-job training.
Reflect on the article you have just read about training and the development of employees. Often, employees feel that job training is ineffective or unnecessary. What experiences have you had with employee training that were beneficial, or, in contrast of little value?
Share your thoughts on this question in the course discussion forum. Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.
Read this section, which provides additional examples of employee motivation techniques. Earlier in this course, you were introduced to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This section expands on how Maslow's motivational theory can be applied in the workplace. Pay attention to the diagrams and the in-depth discussion of different motivational theories.
Read this section, which discusses how compensation and benefits help create a satisfying work environment for employees and how companies help their employees strike a balance between their jobs and personal lives. Because every employee requires a different work-life balance, companies must be creative in determining their work-life policies.
Read this section, which covers the topic of performance appraisals. Conducting employee performance reviews is a key part of a manager's job. The feedback a manager gives about an employee's work may or may not align with the organization's expectations for that employee; thus, a manager's input is highly influential in directing an employee's career at a company. This section discusses how a manager can correct poor performance and how a manager can work to retain valuable employees.
Read this section, which discusses labor unions. In some workplace environments, a manager may have to work with a labor union. There are foundational principles a manager should understand when dealing with unions and union activities. As you read, focus on collective bargaining, negotiation breakdowns, and unions' future in the United States, particularly in light of the decline in overall union membership.
Read this article, which explains various ways to recruit and select high-quality employees.
6.1.3: Not All Interviews Are Equal
Read this article and consider your own past interviewing experiences. How do they compare with this depiction of the interview process at Google? Which process do you prefer? Would you want to work at Google, given what you have read in this essay?
6.2: Strategic Human Resource Management (HRM)
6.2.1: Case Study: Kronos Uses Science to Find the Ideal Employee
Read the introduction and section 16.1, which discusses how the company Kronos Inc. has used technology to help screen potential candidates and reduce employee turnover. As you know from your coursework thus far, managers are charged with making strategic decisions that, in many cases, they have a minimal amount of time to respond to. This case study provides an example of a solution that one company created in order to improve decision-making among management.
6.2.2: Changing the Role of Human Resources
Read this section, which provides information on the strategic nature of human resources and the significance of a manager's need to focus on and support an organization's human capital. As a manager, the focus of all of your efforts should direct you towards achieving a particular outcome.
6.2.3: Talent Management
Read this section, which discusses how to attract and keep employee talent within your organization. There is a direct correlation between the concept of talent management and the financial performance of an organization.
6.2.4: Developing Effective Selection and Placement Strategies
Read this section, which provides examples of effective selection and placement strategies for human capital. Every company has its own personality and philosophy, and it is essential for companies to hire individuals whose needs and ethics match those of the organization.
6.2.5: How Management Uses Pay Structure and Pay for Performance
Read this section, which discusses the elements of a pay system from both an individual and a company perspective. How and at what level a manager sets pay for an employee is a critical component in creating incentives and communicating expectations for that employee's performance.
6.2.6: How Management Works To Develop a High-Performance Work System
Read this section, which discusses how to harness technology to improve performance. By creating workplace systems that increase the likelihood of great performance, companies can optimize and streamline many of their services. This section also discusses how to create and support succession plans, which are career tracks and advancement protocols that incentivize an organization's human capital.
6.2.7: Tying It All Together
Read this section, which discusses the balanced scorecard method and how it can be applied to HR. It also emphasizes the importance of measurement systems as a way to determine employee results.
6.2.8: Being Strategic within an Organization
Watch this video interview with Dick Beatty, a professor of human resource management at Rutgers University. Beatty explains how to identify the most important positions in your company and how to get your most talented employees into those positions.
6.2.9: Managers Should Understand Personnel Planning
Read this article and consider the idea that employees should be viewed in the same way that companies view supply-chain management principles. Do you think it is inevitable that employees will move from one company to another throughout their careers? Should companies cultivate more of their employees with the hope that good talent will stay with and will benefit the organization? If a company views employees as commodities, will such a view discourage workers from commitment and dedication to the organization?
Unit 6 Assessment
- Receive a grade
Take this assessment to see how well you understood this unit.
- This assessment does not count towards your grade. It is just for practice!
- You will see the correct answers when you submit your answers. Use this to help you study for the final exam!
- You can take this assessment as many times as you want, whenever you want.