China Southern Airlines have been undertaking tremendous growth in the recent past. Therefore, there is a need to have employees who can handle challenges that come with growth and diversity. One of the policies of the company is to have a wining team that is able to adapt to the changing technological needs. As a business in the airline industry, it must develop the kind of employees that can adapt to different customers of all divide. They are also keen to have employees that have good knowledge of the language and those people that blend in with their corporate culture of innovation, loyalty, harmony, and responsibility.
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Customers are key elements of the company and most valuable assets, therefore, the human resource management policies and practices are centred on customer service. It is also important to note that employees form a basis for competition in the Chinese market. The appraisal is more centred on the ability of the employee to communicate and keep customers coming. However, with the advent in technology and expansion to new markets, China Southern Airlines has had to adjust its policies to accommodate the changes. This has led to the adoption of TOEIC tests to ensure language proficiency and specifically the English language. This is meant to ensure that the employees in important positions of communication are valuable for the company in the present and in the future.
Since China Southern Airlines is faced with these challenges in human resource management, there has been an increased search for Australian and Dutch employees in the company. This method has heavily relied on the internet to reach the target employees. The company is also labour intensive and has to diversify to the internet. Although China Southern Airlines has not wholly adopted social media as a form of recruitment, there have been incidences of using recruiter box and LinkedIn to spot on potential employees.
Social media is a new concept in the modern world and especially in terms of being used to recruit employees. In particular, there is little literature focusing on China and Chinese companies. However, due to the changes that occur in modern companies in the new era of technology, the firms have had to adopt social media to search for employees. The most common media for recruiting is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Skype. In fact, Skype has been used to carry out interviews (English, 2011).
Getting employees through social networks has the advantage of saving time. Given the increased need to work in a short span of time, the conventional methods of listing, advertising, and calling employees for two days or three days are long gone. In addition, these sites are more appropriate for social networking. It is easier to identify and spot on the talents and educational backgrounds of the latest employees. The process of going through resume has been reduced tremendously.
Getting employees through social media enables the employers to get more information that they would not have accessed through resumes and formal interviews. They reveal the characters of people better than in the formal process. A lot of information exposed about the employee enhances decision-making. However, it is unethical to access so much information about a potential employee especially if it is protected information. The class of protected information reveals issues of gender, sex, and even race. This goes against the ethics of hiring persons. Other scholars argue that this process is even more time consuming when you compare different candidates. In addition, candidates may adjust and change information that they display or use especially if they know they are being watched. This is synonymous to limiting the amount of information they can talk to their friends or families which can be a way of setting the wrong precedent. In addition, this is a very informal method of getting a candidate.
Recruitment through the social networks helps not only the employer but also the employee (Al-Anzi, 2009). An increase in this method has created more opportunities for job seekers than ever before. Again, they do not have to go through the whole process of applying for numerous job openings without getting any feedback. The candidates can get immediate response and get opportunity to choose the right job. Additionally, companies on social media say a lot about themselves, therefore, the employee can choose whether they can fit in that setting or not. On the other hand, the company can create a pool of candidates suitable for their requirements to enhance recruiting efficiency (Harper, 2012).
Many scholars have argued that this remains an unethical procedure for recruiting. First, the candidates are likely to change their profiles or information when someone is watching. It is not an authentic method of recruiting and it does not conform to the formalities. People are likely to be biased and subjective when using social media. A previous survey has shown that provocative photos are highly used to solicit for employment. It is important for a company using social networks for recruitment to come up with a policy that will address discrimination and privacy violation. In general, there is a wide acceptance of social media for recruiting even among governments.
The ethical and legal considerations in the case study
China Southern Airlines have not formally adopted social media as a form of hiring employees. However, there are few cases when they have applied the method especially when looking for employees outside the Chinese market. The company has also adopted this method to spot on candidates with the required English proficiency. Given the earlier literature, the company can be predisposed to selecting candidates based on subjectivity. There may be instances where the protected information of candidate is accessed to ascertain the authenticity of their performances in schools.
It is also possible that the focus of the recruiter will be on the appearance of the potential employees rather than on their ability. In addition, the company can be predisposed to false information since individuals are more likely to change their information when they know an employer will be visiting their profiles (Vilcox, & Mohan, 2007). In China, there has been marginalisation of women pilots and therefore, social sites may reveal information about the gender and race of the potential leading to discrimination against persons. There is also a possibility that employees in this company can be fired following their online misconduct even if it does not concern the company specifically, which is an interference to private life.
Strategies that could be used to improve HRM practices in social media recruitment
Despite that there are weaknesses touching on the use of social networks for recruiting, there can also be great benefits for the company adopting the method. The company can also avoid shortcomings and ethical and legal issues related to social media specifically biasness, discrimination and privacy.
In some countries, violation of people’s privacy is a legal issue. The company should institute a policy to prevent the occurrence of this incidence. For instance, they can delegate this function to an expert with knowledge of how to address legal and ethical issues (Zielinski, 2012, p.54). Alternatively, they can put a policy that is against visiting personal information of the applicant that would not have been assessed using a resume.
It is also possible that dismissing employees based on their online activity is illegal in some nations and a violation of their labour laws. It is important to revisit labour laws and ensure that there are no restrictions to discharge someone based on misconduct even on the social media (Zielinski, 2012, p.55). In addition, employees may feel too exposed when employers can easily access their social networks. The company can allow employees to create separate accounts different from their personal accounts especially if they are meant for internet marketing (Tiffany, 2010).
Conclusions and recommendations
Despite the popular beliefs and arguments against using social sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, they can also have positive effects on the recruitment process of a company. Through social media, the potential employee can clearly understand the nature and values of the company they are going to work for and therefore, be prepared to work in that setting. In addition, social networks are more likely to reveal the real aspects of individuals. The way people express themselves can determine their language proficiency. The company needs to adopt appropriate measures to address the limitations of privacy, discrimination, and bias.
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Al-Anzi, M. (2009), Workplace Environment and Its Impact on Productivity. Web.
English, D. M. (2011). Social Recruiting. California CPA, 80(3), 10-13.
Harper, J. (2012), China Turns To Social Media to Recruit Staff. Web.
Tiffany, B. (2010). How to Use Social Media as a Recruiting Tool. Web.
Vilcox, M.& Mohan, T. (2007). Contemporary Issues in Business Ethics.Science Pub., Nova.
Zielinski, D. (2012). Find Social Media’s Value. HR Magazine, 57(8), 53-55.