‘Added value’ and ‘business partnership’ with Relation to the HR Resourcing and Development Role
Human Resource Management has evolved over the years. Organizations and learning institutions have realized the importance of managing human resources. Anyim, Ekwoaba and Ideh (2012) refer to employees as the most valuable assets in an organization. The overall performance of an organization is largely determined by the expertise, competence and the commitment of the employees (Anyim et al.2012). Human resource management is beyond selecting and recruiting the most capable personnel. It involves resourcing, development and overseeing everything that concerns an organization’s employees.
Pilbeam and Corbridge (2006) define personnel resourcing as the section of human resource management which deals with the recruitment and dismissal of employees from an organization, overseeing their performance and their potential while working for the organization. Armstrong (2012) contends that the performance and ability of resourcing in a company is, for the most part, dependent on employees. Resourcing in relation to human resource management is therefore a key factor in enhancing the performance of a company. Armstrong (2009) note that resourcing plays a key role in ensuring the success of an organization. For instance, it is through sourcing that an organization is able to examine the most effective ways to attract applicants and at the same time make use of recruitment partners. It is also through resourcing that an organization is able to oversee employees performance through the use of different performance appraisals and other strategies to makes sure the company realizes its organizational and HR department goals.
Development is also crucial in enabling an organization attain its goals. Armstrong (2012) states that learning and development practices help people in a firm to acquire and develop knowledge, skills and competencies required for them to perform their duties in an effective manner and for them to also benefit themselves and the organization through the advancement of their careers. Development concerns training and educating employees through interactive forums and programmes. In addition, it helps employees to keep up with new trends of working in the market place. At this juncture, it would be in order to say that both human resourcing and development are essential processes for the overall attainment of organizational goals.
Added Value’ and Business Partnership in Relation to HR Resourcing and Development Role
This paper aims at analyzing how value is added to an organization through human resourcing and development and also how business partnership is achieved through the same. Moreover, the resourcing and development aspect will be explored in detail for clear understanding.
Every employee has a responsibility which is always tied to adding value to the organization. The question here is, how do employees add value to an organization? When a company adopts a productive human resource management approach, this gives it a competitive advantage in the market via various unique elements such as the human resources techniques and culture (Rees and Smith 2014). This approach has proven to be successful because it enables employees to add value to an organization. Moreover, the shift in personnel management from imposing rules and regulations to the integration of employees with the organizational structure is also a major contributor to employee performance. This is an aspect of business partnership.
For employees to be meeting their end of the bargain, the organization should also lay its part. According to Rees and Smith (2014, p.105) the role of the personnel department in the past was transactional. They state that the tasks were transactional because they involved salary administration, absence management, recruitment and the role of administration required to enable the firm to hire people. They also state that the department was viewed as a cost centre rather than a resource. This view has notably changed with employee focus improving. A few decades ago for instance, the department handling employees for example was referred to as the personnel department, it is currently referred to as the human resource department. This shows that organizations have realized the importance of the workforce from being a mere ‘worker’ to a company’s resource. With this shift in focus to employee wellbeing, the organizations in return expect much from them. The personnel are expected to add value to the company and also assist the company to achieve a competitive advantage over its competitors.
The adding value concept is closely tied to the personnel resourcing function. Armstrong (2012) argues that managing human resources comprises of work force planning, recruitment and selection, attracting and retaining people, managing employee turnover, absence management and talent management. The first step to adding value begins with the organization. According to Sudhamsetti and Raju (2014) the selection function is preceded by recruitment. They add that recruitment includes finding, developing and attracting prospective employees to apply for jobs in an organization while selection involves finding the most capable and suitable candidate for a position. Recruitment and selection processes should be both effective in getting candidates that are of appropriate quality and quantity and also differentiating between those suitable and those unsuitable for the position (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). A recruitment process is beyond just filling a vacancy. It is more of filling a position with a competent and capable individual. A firm should therefore have a person specification beforehand to know the ideal person for that position (Acas 2013).
In person specification, the firm should know the competencies that the candidate should acquire. Vorgelegt (2008) cited by Alsabbah & Ibrahim define competencies as, “attributes, specific constellation of an individual’s characteristics such as knowledge, skills, motives, traits, behavior, aspects of one’s self-image or social role, or attitudes that gives someone the potential for effective task performance” (n.d.). An effective recruitment and selecting process helps a firm to employ competent employees who will contribute in adding value to the organization. Adding value in the aspect of creative and innovative ideas, team work, and other factors lead to the overall improvement of the performance of a firm. Once candidates are selected among other applicants and hired by a firm, candidate has a responsibility of performing their duties accordingly. However, the human resource department also has a responsibility of ensuring that the employees working conditions and environment are conducive. Normally the new employees are inducted into their departments and work stations.
Training should be a regular basis practice, it should cease at induction (Failte Ireland 2013). Learning and development involves training, developing and educating employees. Armstrong (2012) argues that learning and training are different processes. Learning is defined as; “the process by which a person constructs new knowledge, skills and capabilities while training is one of the several responses an organization can undertake to promote learning (Reynolds 2002 cited in Armstrong 2012 p, 274). Pilbeam and Corbridge (2012) indicate that training and development is a systematic approach that is focused to achieving specified goals. they continue to state that the approach comprises of four stages namely; identifying and analyzing learning needs, design of learning activities, delivery of learning interventions and training and learning evaluation. For learning and training to be effective, there should be a strong link between the organization’s overall objectives and its human resources strategies. Learning and development is essential as it is a contributing factor to the attainment of a firm’s goals (Armstrong 2012). Training and development adds value to employees. This employee value addition in return also makes a company achieve a competitive advantage because the employees gain more skills and learn innovative ways of working.
A link exists between the well-being of employees and their output. The well-being of an employee constitutes health and safety at work. Pilbeam and Corbridg 2010) argue that health and safety issues are a major distraction to employee quality concerns. They continue to state that lack of health and safety measures in the work place may lead to injuries and absence which may affect the organizations performance. According to the Institute of Health Equity (2013) certain work conditions lead to stress and poor health of employees. These work conditions include; very high demands from employer, high effort put by employee yet the reward is received is low, unfair treatment by employer among others. With such working conditions, the employees’ performance often deteriorates leading to redundancy and finally the employee being dismissed. This however can be prevented through providing good working conditions, having frequent forums with employees for them to air their problems, putting in place a fair rewarding system, and motivating employees through incentives.
All businesses are founded with a firm objective of maximizing shareholder value. Shareholder value is achieved through setting long term and short term goals. Therefore, the employees of a firm should always strive to work towards attaining these goals. There exist a partnership between the human resource department and other departments. The department participates in planning of strategies to assist the organization in attaining its present and future goals. This means that the department’s duties do not only revolve around salaries, benefits, allowances and employee relations. The department also seeks to add value through training, advancement, coaching and mentoring employees. The human resource department should therefore align its goals with the overall firm’s strategies. In addition, Armstrong (2009 cited by Anyim et al. 2012) indicates that the human resource department may influence the strategies of an organization by proposing methods in which personnel can be developed and stationed in an effective way to heighten the attainment of the goals of an organization. This means that a partnership between the human resource departments can be created to enhance the achievement of the overall company’s goals.
3 Examples of Areas that could make a Real Difference to a Workplace
Human resource department plays integral roles and for these reasons, business partnering is deemed very essential in as far as the success of a company is concerned. Value is created by the HR when a better understanding of objectives and goals are the most important business stakeholders is realized in addition to being able to produce positive results. As major assets of any organization, employees are vital in regard to the function of value addition. For example, effective attraction, retention and deployment of talent are key sources of HR value creation, in reference to three areas that make a real difference to a workplace that I have some knowledge of; examples are drawn from Recruitment and Selection, Wellbeing and Absence Management and development about Coaching and Mentoring.
Recruitment and Selection
Both are major processes within an organization and in regards to adding value. This is because organizations depend heavily on these two elements for them to be successful. Naveen and Raju (2014), notes that recruitment is the process of an organization to search for prospective employees for the available job positions in an organization. Conversely, selection entails the process of carrying interviews and evaluations to measure whether the potential candidates have the required skills and competencies for the current job position. According to Anyim et al. (2012), “the formation of a positive psychological contract with employees provides the basis for a positive outcome in terms of organizational commitment and motivation. Recruitment and selection processes also form part of employee’s contract expectations.” (p.7). The implication made is that recruitment and selection is very vital part of human resource and it entails a partnership where a psychological contract is entered between the employee and the employer. For example, skilled employees have more value to an organization as they act as an asset rather than a liability. Thus, when an organization is not staffed with qualified and skilled employees, then selection and recruitment becomes a very costly venture to the organizations.
A good example of recruiting and selection of employees is to recruit and select qualified employees from different cultures to ensure inclusive workplace with the aim of maximizing productivity, increasing employee commitment and attract new talent. Moreover, attracting and retaining the best talent, an organization can achieve a commercial advantage. It is imperative to note that a diverse workforce reduces tension in the workplace and disharmony, promotes increased productivity, and reduces costs of operations (Anyim et al. 2012). Therefore, recruiting competent and skilled employees ensures its success. Human resources recruitment is vital to make as it ensures that the human capital of the company contributes to an overall sustainable competitive advantage for the company. Therefore, this process is crucial to make sure that the goals operate a diversified workforce.
Employees are considerably part of the main internal market and for this reason, they have to be well rewarded to add value to the firm. Basically, they provide an organization with a competitive edge by bringing about greater commitment, dependent skills, an increased acceptance of responsibility, and an increased motivation (Anyim et al., 2012). When such employees are recruited, they become part of a company’s center workforce. Therefore, attention is focused on the skills and knowledge of the employees during the initial screening which is part of the selection and recruitment process. Thus, a lot of attention is usually paid to the possession of required skills and expertise. Anyim et al. (2012), note that “employees might be recruited and selected by cheaper methods but must be aligned to organizational strategy via specification of required competencies” (p.70). The meaning of the statement is that despite the method used in the recruitment of employees, what matters most to the organization is usually the competencies of the employees which should be aligned to the objectives of the organization. Such an alignment plays a key role in adding value to the organization. As such, HR focuses on the skills and the competencies of the employees most because it is the skills and the competencies of the employees which matter in value creation and value addition.
In relation to recruitment and selection Alsabbah and Ibrahim (2013), have opined that there is a close relationship between the success of an organization and employees competencies which are usually considered during recruitment and selection process. They note that “An organization that uses a proper process to recruit and select skilled candidates will experience a higher level of job success” (Alsabbah and Ibrahim, 2013, p. 85). This means that consideration is put while selecting and recruiting employees to make sure that employee with necessary competencies are selected and recruited by the HR during outsourcing. This is supported by Anyim et al. (2012) observations that value is added to an organization by selecting and recruiting competent and skilled employees, which ensures its success. Maloney (n.d.) adds that skills have to be considered during recruitment and selection process for an organization to be successful.
Wellbeing and Absence Management
One of the challenges that organizations deal with on a day in day out basis are the wellbeing of employees and absenteeism. Baker-McClearn et al. (2010) note that absenteeism has become a major subject of study, especially ion ways to manage it and the potential harm it has to an organizational success and competitiveness in the market. Thus, “optimizing workforce health, the prevention of work- and lifestyle-related illness and managing absenteeism are issues that have grown significantly in importance over the past few years and are identified as public health and economic priorities” (Baker-McClearn et al., 2010, P. 311). The implication is that organizations have to optimize workforce health, prevent of work- and lifestyle-related illness and manage absenteeism so that the economic and financial challenges are avoided.
To achieve these, absence management by HR is employed in the workplace. This is because absenteeism is considered as one of the single and largest source of lost productivity which reduces value to an organization and businesses. However, absent management and ensuring the wellbeing of employees is the role of HR and for this reason, when employees remain well and absenteeism is minimized, then value is added to an organization. Some of the major ways which are used by the HR to add value to an organization is to monitor absence and support health and well-being of the employees. This is because lowering employees’ levels improves employees’ productivity and in return adds value to the organization. For this reason, Baker-McClearn et al. (2010) in their study established that most employees “perceived that their organization’s sickness absence policies and procedures compelled attendance at work, especially where sick pay was withdrawn, or there was a threat of disciplinary action or dismissal” (p. 319). This implies that absenteeism is reduced when organization have policies which threaten to discipline employees or threaten to withdrawn sick pay.
Other organizations use bonuses and incentives to reduce absenteeism in the workplace, and for this reason, these motivation tools compel employees to stay in the workplace and avoid incidents of absenteeism. ACAS (n.d.) support the view by noting that the wellbeing at work can easily be realized through the use of return to work strategies and policies. Some of these returns to work strategies are based on the concept of ensuring health and wellbeing of employees to make sure that they are not prone to sickness and other physical and psychological issues which can result to health problems.
Coaching and Mentoring
The above two development tools play significant roles in ensuring the success of organizations (Connor & Pokora, 2012). According to the CIPD, coaching is used to target high performance and employees’ improvement in the workplace and its major focus on the goals and skills as well as the attributes such as confidence and social interaction. On the other hand, mentoring entails the process of providing support to junior employees by more experienced employees (Western, 2012). The CIPD notes the more experienced and knowledgeable employees use their understanding and knowledge on the work to provide development support to the inexperienced member of the staff (CIPD 2013). Deans, Oakley, James and Wrigley (2007) have stated that ‘Coaching and mentoring are two personal development methods that nurture a person’s own abilities in order to improve behavior and performance. In this context, having a coaching and mentoring programmes in an organization are some of the examples in which value can be added. By nurturing employees’ person’s own abilities, behavior and performance of the employees are employed. Therefore, coaching and mentoring make a change in the workplace when applied to people as they aid develop some skills, improve capabilities, and enable learning and development.
The processes of coaching and mentoring are similar insofar as they are both a series of conversations (spoken or written) between two individuals” (p.4). The implication made is that these two development tools when employed make sure that the behaviors and the performance of employees and other staff are improved. These in return add value to the organization because the high better the performance the higher the productivity. The major roles played by mentoring are helping and supporting people in the workplace to manage their personal learning with the aim of optimizing on their potential as well as developing skills and improving performance and aiding their achieve their professional goals (Deans et al., 2007). On the other hand, coaching when employed by HR it enables learning and development, which in turn, improve that individual’s performance. In addition, coaching can be used by an organization to develop a particular competence. Therefore, coaching and mentoring can make a difference in the workplace when employed to people in the sense that they aid develop some skills, improve competencies, and enable learning and development. Such skills and competencies are significant in value addition to an organization.
One of the roles that HR plays is to effectively understand the career objectives of employees and align them to the objectives and goals of the organization. This is achieved through coaching and mentoring. Notably, Mentoring serve as a base for organizations to talk about career goals while providing development opportunities as well as guidance to employees who are eager to move forward professionally. In addition, it also acts as a HR tool that promotes the quality of leadership among some people in an organization (Connor & Pokora, 2012). One of the ways in which organizations use to add value is to encourage a learning culture through mentoring. Thus, organizations go to the extent to actively increasing their knowledge and best practices all the way through their organization.
Collaborative mentoring develops personal and interpersonal association between persons, which in turn, increases engagement. In this line of though, when employed in organizations, mentoring is beneficial in developing both career development and leadership development which assist employees acquire new skills and feel more attached within the organization (Connor & Pokora, 2012). Therefore, both mentoring and coaching when employed in the work place result to happier employees and at the same time ensure better retention rate, which consequently result to productivity and more satisfaction, hence value addition.
The ability of the HR department to form an effective partnership with the rest of the organization work is a clear indication of the HR’s value added role. Employees add value to an organization by combining various distinct factors such as organizational structure, culture and personnel techniques. On the other hand, business partnership entails integrating employees with the organizational structure with a view to enhancing their performance. In sum, the three areas which have been chosen are recruitment and selection, wellbeing and absent management, and coaching and mentoring. These three set of activities play an important role in value addition when employed by the HR. Coaching and mentoring are important for the success of a firm. For instance, mentoring develops career development and leadership development which help employees get new skills and feel part of the organization. Coaching develops skills and competence. In addition, coaching enables learning and development, which in turn, improve that individual’s performance. Absenteeism can be reduced by monitoring absence and supporting health and well-being of the employees.
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