Human Resource Management Definitions 3 Soft and hard human resource management

Human Resource Management Definitions 3Soft and hard human resource management

Table of Contents
Task 1a Briefing 2
Task 1b Briefing. 2
Human Resource Management Definitions 3
Soft and hard human resource management 3
Hard HRM 4
Soft HRM 4
Which is best? Soft or Hard HRM? 5
Work Force Planning 5
Unreliable Data Need Not Apply 6
Employee turnover and retention 6
Employee turnover 6
Retention 7
When does employee turnover become problematic? 7
Improving employee retention 8
Task 1b 9
Methods of recruitment 9
Internal Sourcing 9
External Sourcing 10
Third-Party Sourcing 10
Selection Methods 10
Interview Methods 11
Behavioural-Based Interviews 11
Case questions 11
Knowledge based interview 11
Types of Interviews 11
In-Person (Traditional) 11
Phone Interview 11
Group or Panel Interview 11
Barriers to effective selection: 11
Task 1a Briefing
You can start your assignment with few definitions of HRM. There are plenty of them on internet, make sure that you used proper Harvard referencing system.

After definitions, explain Hard HRM and Soft HRM. You need to do the research on internet to find these approached to HRM.

In today’s world, the biggest cost for the businesses is their employees. On average the employee cost business 35% of their total costs of running a business. Here
you will need to explain what do you mean by workforce planning and why it is important.

Here you can explain that hiring new staff costs money and they need to be trained to do the job. In short, recruitment and training is the cost that can be minimised
by reducing employee turnover. You should explain here what does staff turnover, stability and retention mean and why it is important for the business.

The legal and regulatory framework impacts everything that businesses do. Here you should explain and give few examples of the impact of legal and regulatory framework
on HRM. Keep it brief, it does not need to be written in detail. The same applies to the technology, explain and give some examples of the impact of technology on HRM.

To achieve M1.
You must access the functions of HRM, there is no need to access the definitions of HRM. The impacts of legal and technology can be put under positives or negatives to
achieve M1.

Task 1b Briefing.
This task is about the recruitment, selection and induction plan. Before you can make a plan you need to know about different options you have and what are their
advantages and disadvantages.

Remember there is a difference between recruitment and selection.
There are three main options when it comes to recruitment
Internal recruitment, external recruitment and third party services “Agency”. Briefly explain all three of them and then move on to selection.

Explain selection and the stages of the selection briefly. They are:
Shortlisting stage
Assessment stage
Telephonic interview
Job offer

Once you have explained different choices you have for recruitment and selection then you can create a plan. Your plan should be brief and you do not have to explain
the choices you have made. You will end this task by including a brief plan for on-boarding.
To achieve M2 you must EVALUATE the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to recruitment and selection and here you will have an opportunity to justify your
plan. (M2)
CRITICALLY EVALUATE the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to recruitment and selection, supported by specific examples. (D1)
Human Resource Management Definitions
The process an organization undergoes to manage people in order to achieve its goal.

Every organization has a goal; its manager job is to create wealth for business owners.

The objective of human resource department is to make sure the company has and retains people with the skills necessary to accomplish the company’s goals.

Soft and hard human resource management
There are a variety of ways to approach the management of HR in a business. The business textbooks like to describe two broad approaches to HRM which are explained
further below:
• “Hard” HR
• “Soft” HR
However, it is important to remember that, in reality, these two approaches are somewhat academic in nature. In real businesses, an HR department or manager would be
likely to adopt elements of both soft and hard HR, and in many cases would not be interested in the slightest in the distinction!
The key features of the hard and soft approach to HR can be summarized as follows:
Hard HRM
Treats employees simply as a resource of the business (like machinery & buildings). Strong link with corporate business planning – what resources do we need, how do we
get them and how much will they cost.
Focus of HRM: identify workforce needs of the business and recruit & manage accordingly (hiring, moving and firing).
Key features
Short-term changes in employee numbers (recruitment, redundancy)
Minimal communication, from the top down
Pay – enough to recruit and retain enough staff (e.g. minimum wage)
Little empowerment or delegation
Appraisal systems focused on making judgments (good and bad) about staff
Bureaucratic leadership style
Soft HRM
Treats employees as the most important resource in the business and a source of competitive advantage. Employees are treated as individuals and their needs are planned
Focus of HRM: concentrate on the needs of employees – their roles, rewards, motivation etc.
Key features
Strategic focus on longer-term workforce planning
Strong and regular two-way communication
Competitive pay structure, with suitable performance-related rewards (e.g. profit share, share options)
Employees are empowered and encouraged to seek delegation and take responsibility
Appraisal systems focused on identifying and addressing training and other employee development needs
Democratic leadership style

Which is best? Soft or Hard HRM?
Which of the two approaches is better? The answer is – it depends!
The “hard” approach to HR might be expected to result in a more cost-effective workforce where decision-making is quicker and focused on senior managers. However, such
an approach pays relatively little attention to the needs of employees and a business adopting a genuinely “hard” approach might expect to suffer from higher
absenteeism and staff turnover and less successful recruitment.
The “soft” approach will certainly appeal to the “touchy-feely” amongst us who like to see people being treated nicely! And you can also make a good business case for
an approach that rewards employee performance and motivates staff more effectively. However, the danger of taking too “soft” an approach is that when all the employee
benefits are added up, the cost of the workforce leaves a business at a competitive disadvantage.

Work Force Planning

Systematic identification and analysis of what an organization is going to need in terms of the size, type, and quality of workforce to achieve its objectives. It
determines what mix of experience, knowledge, and skills are required, and it sequences steps to get the right number of right people in the right place at the right

In the war for top talent, workforce planning is the War Room of HR. As the cornerstone of strategic human resources, the workforce plan certifies that human capital
and talent management strategies run parallel to the business goals. As workforce plans hinge on effective forecasting, analysis and preparation, the failure to craft
and implement an effective one will almost certainly deliver an adverse impact to a company’s ability to acquire, inspire and retain talent

Unreliable Data Need Not Apply
If high paced and high growth describe your work environment, your ability to readily access and analyze data is not only essential to assessing the status quo, but it
is critical to forecasting future needs. For workforce planning to hit the mark, companies must have access to robust quantitative and qualitative data.
• Sourced most often from HR information and payroll systems, quantitative data includes workforce demographics (age, gender, location), salaries and benefits,
employment tenure, and history of roles and experience.
• Usually sourced from talent management systems, qualitative data includes competency and performance ratings, training and development history, successional
status, mobility preferences, flight-risk ratings and career plans.
This data combination affords insights that cast light on the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s current workforce. It also highlights capability gaps and future
leadership bench strength. The challenge for most organizations is that a growing workforce comes with increasingly disparate and complex data that requires a
dedicated focus to maintain its integrity and reliability. Even with state-of-the-art HR technology in place to capture, track and mine the data, very few
organizations possess the analytical and interpretive skills necessary to transform this into meaningful outputs. Without meaningful outputs, business managers cannot
hope to use the information to make strategic workforce decisions.

Employee turnover and retention

Employee turnover

Employee turnover refers to the proportion of employees who leave an organisation over a set period (often on a year-on-year basis), expressed as a percentage of total
workforce numbers.

At its broadest, the term is used to encompass all leavers, both voluntary and involuntary, including those who resign, retire or are made redundant, in which case it
may be described as ‘overall’ or ‘crude’ employee turnover. It’s also possible to calculate more specific breakdowns of turnover data, such as redundancy-related
turnover or resignation levels, with the latter particularly useful for employers in assessing the effectiveness of people management in their organisations.


Retention relates to the extent to which an employer retains its employees and may be measured as the proportion of employees with a specified length of service
(typically one year or more) expressed as a percentage of overall workforce numbers.

Employee turnover becomes problematic when it starts to have a negative impact on an organisation’s performance. By understanding the reasons behind employee turnover,
employers can devise recruitment and retention initiatives that reduce turnover and increase retention.
Employers need to be aware of employee turnover rates in their organisation, and understand how these affect the organisation’s performance and ability to achieve its
strategic goals. Depending on the size of the business, an appreciation of the levels of turnover across occupations, locations and particular groups of employees
(such as identified high performers) can help inform a comprehensive resourcing strategy.

Tools such as confidential exit surveys and staff attitude surveys can help managers understand why people leave the business, and enable appropriate action to be
taken. Ensuring that new joiners have realistic expectations of their job and receive sufficient induction training will help to minimise the number of people leaving
the organisation within the first six months of employment.

Measuring the levels and costs of employee turnover is vital in building the business case for effective recruitment and retention initiatives. These costings can be a
powerful tool for winning line manager and board-level support for resourcing activities.

When does employee turnover become problematic?

There is no set level at which point employee turnover starts to have a negative impact on an organisation’s performance. Much depends on the type of labour markets in
which the organisation competes.

Where skills are relatively scarce, where recruitment is costly or where it takes several weeks to fill a vacancy, turnover is likely to be problematic for the
organisation. The more valuable the employees in question are – for instance where individuals have specialist skills or where they have developed strong relationships
with customers – the more damaging the resignation, particularly when they move on to work for competitors.

By contrast, where it’s relatively easy to find and train new employees quickly and at reasonably low cost (that is where the labour market is loose), it’s possible to
sustain high quality levels of service provision despite having a high turnover rate.

Some employee turnover positively benefits organisations, for example when a poor performer is replaced by a more productive employee.

Moderate levels of staff turnover can also help to reduce staff costs in organisations where business levels are unpredictable month-on-month. When business is slack,
it may be possible to hold off filling vacancies for some weeks.

Improving employee retention
The first steps when developing an employee retention strategy are to establish:

why employees are leaving
the impact that employee turnover has on the organisation, including the associated costs.
This data can be used to develop a costed retention strategy that focuses on the particular issues and causes of turnover specific to the organisation.

It’s worth considering the following elements, all of which have been shown to play a positive role in improving retention:

Job previews – Give prospective employees a realistic job preview at the recruitment stage.

Career development and progression – Maximise opportunities for employees to develop skills and move on in their careers. Understand and manage people’s career
expectations. Where promotions are not feasible, look for sideways moves that vary experience and make the work more interesting.

Consult employees – Ensure that employees have a ‘voice’ through consultative bodies, regular appraisals, attitude surveys and grievance systems. Where there is no
opportunity to voice dissatisfaction, resigning may be the only option. See more in our employee voice factsheet.

Be flexible – Wherever possible, accommodate individual preferences on working hours and times.

Avoid a culture of ‘presenteeism’ where people feel obliged to work longer hours than are necessary to impress management. Find out more on presenteeism in our 2016
Absence management survey report.

Treat people fairly – A perception of unfairness, whatever the management view of the issue, is a major cause of voluntary resignations. For example, perceived
unfairness in the distribution of rewards is very likely to lead to resignations.

Defend your organisation against penetration by head-hunters and others seeking to attract your staff, for example by refusing to do business with agents who have
poached staff in the past.

Task 1b
This task is about making good decision and choices in terms of recruiting and selection. You can only make an effective decision when you know all the options that
are available to you.

Recruitment Selection
1. Recruitment refers to the process of identifying and encouraging prospective employees to apply for jobs.

2. Recruitment is said to be positive in its approach as it seeks to attract as many candidates as possible. 1. Selection is concerned with picking up the right
candidates from a pool of applicants.

2. Selection on the other hand is negative in its approach as it seeks to eliminate as many unqualified applicants as possible in order to identify the right
Methods of recruitment
Business can use different types of recruitment and selection methods. In human resources’ jargon, recruiting or advertising for new employees is sometimes referred to
as “sourcing,” meaning using different sources to find said employee candidates. Once a number of candidates are found, you must qualify each and determine if they are
a good fit.

Internal Sourcing
Internal sourcing is the practice of advertising a new or recently vacated position within a business to existing employees. More businesses have come to use internal
sourcing as a method to recruit employees upward or laterally within the company because little or no training is needed, and expenses that include advertising for a
new employee and running background checks are spared. It also fosters loyalty and parity among team members.
External Sourcing
External sourcing is a method of recruitment that conducts an employee candidate search through external recruitment tools, such as job boards, newspaper
advertisements and trade publication announcements. This method favors bringing in job candidates that may or may not have direct experience in your small business’
line of work; a candidate within a satellite field may offer a fresh, out-of-the-box perspective to the organization.

Third-Party Sourcing
Third-party sourcing involves using a placement agency or headhunter to find qualified job candidates. These third-party sources use various techniques and tools to
find appropriate job applicants, such as extending offers of improved salary compensation and more flexible benefits packages.

Selection Methods
Selection is the process of picking up individuals (out of the pool of job applicants) with requisite qualifications and competence to fill jobs in the organization. A
formal definition of Selection is as under

This section looks at the process of selecting candidates. A variety of methods are available and consideration needs to be given as to which are suitable for a
particular post. The methods described here are:
• Application forms and CVs
• Online screening and shortlisting
• Interviews
• Psychometric testing
• Ability and aptitude tests
• Personality profiling
• Presentations
• Group exercises
• Assessment centres
• References

Interview Methods
Interviewers choose from different styles and methods of interviewing. An interviewer wants to find out as much about a candidate as possible, including how they might
react to different situations. Different styles and methods of interviewing enable an interviewer to do just that.
Types of Methods
Behavioural-Based Interviews
Behavioural based interviews focus on a person’s specific past performances and experiences. Questions will predominately surround past work experiences that can
illustrate the candidate’s competence. For these types of interviews, the STAR system (Situation/Task, Action, and Result) may be useful for answering questions.

Case questions
Case Questions are most commonly used in consulting interviews. In this type of interview, the candidate is given a scenario and is tasked with working through the
details. These interviews highlight a candidate’s poise and analytical ability.
Knowledge based interview
Knowledge based interview focus on person’s technical knowledge, know how, Industry rules and standards. Example the knowledge of Head chef of different cuisine,
knowledge of cyber defence analyst.

Types of Interviews
In-Person (Traditional)
A staple of the job application process, the traditional in-person, one-on-one interview is your opportunity to understand an applicant as much as possible. It’s
important that you ask relevant and valid questions.
Phone Interview
Despite the fact that a phone interview is the least formal method of interviewing, phone interviews can be challenging because of a candidate’s inability to sense
subtle non-verbal cues, which would be otherwise obvious in an in-person setting.
Group or Panel Interview
A group or panel interview may be the most challenging type of interview.
Barriers to effective selection:
The main objective of selection is to hire people having competence and commitment. This objective is often defeated because of certain barriers. The impediments which
check effectiveness of selection are perception, fairness, validity, reliability, and pressure.
Our inability to understand others accurately is probably the most fundamental barrier to selecting right candidate. Selection demands an individual or a group to
assess and compare the respective competencies of others, with the aim of choosing the right persons for the jobs. But our views are highly personalized. We all
perceive the world differently. Our limited perceptual ability is obviously a stumbling block to the objective and rational selection of people.

Fairness in selection requires that no individual should be discriminated against on the basis of religion, region, race or gender.
VALIDITY: A test that helps predict job performance of an incumbent. A test that has been validated can differentiate between the employees who can perform well and
those who will not. However, a validated test does not predict job success accurately. It can only increase possibility of success.
RELIABILITY: A reliable method is one which will produce consistent results when repeated in similar situations. Like a validated test, a reliable test may fall to
predict job performance with precision.
PRESSURE: Pressure is brought on the selectors by politicians, bureaucrats, relatives, friends, and peers to select particular candidate. Candidates selected because
of compulsions are obviously not the right ones. Appointments to public sector undertakings generally take place under such pressure.

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