The notion of a competitive advantage has become rather popular in business sciences. According to Porter, competitive advantages in the market happen to appear when customers are provided with production which is of the higher value but at the same cost or of the same value but at a lower cost. The first one is called broad differentiation strategy. The second one is called broad cost leadership strategy. This work aims to consider the concept of the broad differentiation strategy in staffing, including staffing models and staffing strategies, apply it to HR planning, staffing planning, and diversity planning, choose a substantive assessment method, and discuss what should be done to maximize its reliability and validity.
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Notion of the Broad Differentiation Strategy
The broad differentiation strategy can be defined as a strategy which is based on the external competitive advantage. This advantage is acknowledged to rely on the company’s marketing know-how, its particular ability to elicit and satisfy the expectations of customers who prove to be discontent with the existing products and services. Companies who have chosen this strategy tend to be directed to supply products and services which appear to be more attractive in the eyes of clients than the production of the rival organization. The differentiation implies an accent on the creation of a product which might be considered as something unique by the customer. It is important to underline that, in this context, the work “product” stands for the aggregate of material and non-material trappings. The uniqueness might lie in some constructive peculiarities, operational characteristics, maintenance service, or the name of the brand. It is stated that each producer is supposed to decide how to position the production: as cheaper, or as more useful, original and high-quality. It is necessary to note that the two strategies mentioned in the introduction do not prove possible of combining into one (Hiriyappa, 2013).
Hence, in the differentiation, the major focus is assumed to be on the uniqueness of the product. However, the product should be differentiated not only by its distinctive quality. It is crucial to use other strategies to ensure the customer that the product is unique so that the customer gets ready to pay a higher price for the product than the price of the rival company. Therefore, the essence of the broad differentiation strategy implies finding ways to the only one to offer customers additional characteristics of the product which are desirable and preserve this advantage on a regular basis (Hiriyappa, 2013).
Broad Differentiation Strategy in Staffing
The broad differentiation strategy in staffing is acknowledged to imply the focus on the personnel that can accomplish their functions more successfully than the personnel that is employed by the rival organization. Generally, the differentiation in staffing is frequently used in the services sector. It is supposed to be obvious that the personnel that can evoke confidence, create an impression of reliable, responsible, and communicative specialists, and appear to be competent in their segment are not an easy task to fulfill and goal to attain. It proves to take much time, effort and means to train the staff. So, the broad differentiation strategy in staffing means employing and training personnel that may execute their duties in the course of the cooperation with clients more effectively than the staff that is employed by a competitive company. Well trained personnel might be characterized by competence, friendliness, and fairness. Under the present-day conditions, differentiation in staffing happens to play a notable role in the competitiveness of enterprises for customers. Clients are more likely to apply for products and services to the same company again if they have been satisfied with the service quality from the personnel’s part (Heneman, Judge, & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2014).
Staffing models can be defined as administration instruments which contain data related to reserves, operations, goods, and clients. These models assist in managing the personnel and operations to achieve their purpose connected with goods and clients. Staffing models can be applied to attract more clients and retain them, increase productivity and profits, use reserves in the best way and make business predictions. When it comes to staffing quantity, the broad differentiation strategy requires having a complete establishment of employees. As for staffing quality, since the strategy is based on the uniqueness, it is necessary to provide very particular job descriptions and employ people who possess all the necessary qualifications and qualities, as well as a capacity to be trained and a high level of motivation to be better than the employees of the rival company (Heneman et al., 2014).
A staffing strategy can be described as a definite priority direction of actions which takes into account the company’s strategic plans and resource possibilities which are necessary to achieve the purpose of forming a solid, highly professional, responsible staff. It is likely to assist in forming the motivation system, psychological aims, and personnel management system. In the framework of the broad differentiation strategy, it is important to keep in mind the focus on the uniqueness of the provided services. It implies hiring the personnel on a permanent basis to train them and instruct how to work. Since initial training requires time, effort, and funds it should pay back. So, the staffing strategy should rely on a long-term employment of specialists who are ready to study. Thus, talents are subject to development. Apart from that, it might be reasonable to hire people who possess skills which the company could require in the future. These people can contribute to the organization’s progress in the market. As for outsourcing, it does not seem suitable in the context of unique production. However, it can be wise to cooperate with other companies to share experience, provided the organization’s secrets are not revealed. Besides, it is necessary to take into account any corrections to the overall strategy of the company and comply with it in the course of staffing strategy implementation (Heneman et al., 2014).
Broad Differentiation Strategy Application
It is stated that HR planning stands for the operation which connects the strategic plan of the company to its demand for human resources. The purpose is to employ qualified and competent personnel to comply with the company’s perspectives. Apart from that, it aims to maintain a stable team and avoid many cases of workers quitting their jobs. Also, HR planning struggles to prevent the company from being either overstaffed or understaffed. There exist two ways of staff recruitment: employment and promotion. Besides, positions may be divided into typical and exclusive. Typical ones happen to appear vacant in the company from time to time. It is less difficult to find an employee for a typical position, as there is a searching algorithm. As for an exclusive position, promotion can be considered as a good way to fill it (Hiriyappa, 2013).
Staffing planning determines the qualitative and quantitative demand for human resources of various categories to attain the company’s tactical and strategic aims. Staffing planning should answer the following questions: 1) how many employees are needed, when and where they are needed, what their qualification is; 2) how to attract the necessary staff or make excessive personnel redundant; 3) how to use employees in accordance with the abilities; 4) how to improve the personnel’s qualifications to comply with the market development; 5) how to motivate the staff; 6) how much the planning staff arrangements require (Hiriyappa, 2013). The staffing planning should base on the staffing models and staffing strategies which are described above.
Diversity implies approving, comprehending, and appreciating dissimilarities in people. Diversity at the working place is crucial, as a range of experiences and cultures proves to introduce novelties and provide various views. From the viewpoint of broad differentiation strategy, diversity seems important. Different people have different ideas, and this fact can contribute to a positive development of the company. Therefore, diversity planning should be implemented in the way to ensure the necessary level of diversity in the company’s personnel to comply with the strategy (Hiriyappa, 2013). Besides, a fresh idea connected the diversity can become unique for the company.
Substantive Assessment Method
In the framework of this paper, it is possible to outline five substantive assessment methods. They are personality tests, ability tests, performance tests and work samples, integrity tests, and a structured interview. From the viewpoint of the broad differentiation strategy, ability tests seem the most appropriate one to choose. The reasons are as follows. First, ability tests prove to show the strengths and weakness of a candidate, which appears to be rather important when it comes to uniqueness and diversity. For instance, the company can employ specialists with various strengths to add to each other. Second, ability tests tend to reveal practical skills rather than theoretical knowledge. It is crucial if the candidate’s potential is supposed to be evaluated. Besides, tests may demonstrate acquired competencies. Finally, ability tests happen to check the reaction. This might be useful if the focus is on confidence and friendliness which are valuable qualities in the eyes of customers (Phillips & Gully, 2015).
In order to maximize the reliability and validity of ability tests, it is necessary to choose tests which check strengths and weaknesses which might appear critical for the job. Besides, the tests should be oriented to reveal the skills which are considered necessary and reactions which are considered appropriate for the position. So, before making tests, it is reasonable to formulate the expectations which the employer has in relation to the candidate. Once the expectations are enlisted, tests are supposed to be chosen or composed to be tried out. Apart from that, different positions might require various abilities, so different tasks are to be used. To ensure the reliability, it is necessary to ensure that the candidate does not have a chance to cheat during the test (Phillips & Gully, 2015).
In conclusion, it is necessary to point out that this work has considered the concept of the broad differentiation strategy in staffing, including staffing models and staffing strategies. Besides, it has applied it to HR planning, staffing planning, and diversity planning. Finally, it has chosen a substantive assessment method and discussed what should be done to maximize the reliability and validity.
Heneman, H. G. III, Judge, T. A., & Kammeyer-Mueller, J. (2014). Staffing organizations. Mishawaka, IN: McGraw Hill Education.
Hiriyappa, B. (2013). Corporate strategy: Managing the business. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
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Phillips, J. M., & Gully, S. M. (2015). Strategic staffing. Boston, MA: Elsevier.