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Human Resource Management at the Bank Alfalah Report

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Introduction

The expression used to refer to human resource management has substituted the conventional phrase for personnel management. The management of human resources is a more tactical and rational approach in the administration of individuals than personnel management.

It entails selection, recruitment, training, development and compensation of human resources (Storey, 1998: 20). Human resource is responsible for managing the labor force as the most important asset in the organization. The aim of human resource management is to empower workers to work effectively to achieve the organizations objectives. Human resources use continuing strategies to develop the workforce in an organization.

Human Resource Management is an indispensable element in the performance of a corporate organization and works together with other departments to achieve the organization’s goals. The tasks of the human resource consultant are centralized on the advancement of the labor force in a corporate organization. His strategies should be in line with the needs of the organization. Today, HR practitioners are the strategic partners to an organization.

They assist in the improvement of strategies used to realize the organization’s arrangements and aims. Their responsibilities include: selection and recruitment, recognition and rewarding, development of performance contracts and appraisal, employee development and succession planning. This paper gives a description of the human resource activities at Alfalah Bank in Pakistan, explores the major issues faced by the organization, gives a discussion of the implication of the issues, and possible solutions for the issues.

Alfalah Bank’s HRM Practices

Recruitment

This can be defined as the process of searching for applicants and encouraging them to apply for vacant positions in a firm. There are mainly two types of recruitment process: internal and external. Internal staffing is the sealing of vacant positions by choosing from existing employees in a corporate organization where as exterior staffing is the filling of job vacancies by receiving applications from outside the organization (Armstrong, 2006:53).

At bank Alfalah, recruitment is made by filling three kinds of job categories for growth and expansion, these are: trainee officers, contractual employees, and top managerial staff.

Recruitment is based on the level of requirement needed in each job category. For top managerial posts, the HR officials use either the internal or external sources based on experience and qualification. Trainee officers are recruited through external sources as well as the contractual employees. For both the internal and external recruitment, the organization uses, newspapers, website, and direct application as sources for recruitment (Akber, 2009:20).

The recruitment process is normally carried out through the following sources

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Website
  • Training and development of present employees
  • Retired persons

One of the major parts of the process is the online recruitment. It is fast and efficient for both organizations and the applicant. On the website, the registration function is posted together with the available posts. It also gives a lot of information on the roles of the successful candidate and the cultural values and ethics of the organization. Almost half of the total workforce in Pakistan is recruited through the website.

Selection

Selection is the process of establishing the ideal candidate to fill a certain post. During this process the human resources management looks for recruits who not only are suitable for an immediate post but also for the organization’s development. Standard documentations are used by majority of human resource managers.

This documentation compares the job roles to the qualities and skills of the recruits (Bohlander & Snell, 2009:6). After the selection process, the successful applicants are notified of their appointment and an induction and training process commences (Compton, & Nankervis, 2009:3).

At Alfalah Bank, the selection procedure is conducted by the HR officials. For a candidate to qualify for a vacancy in the bank, he must be, a citizen of Pakistan, possess the required qualification having a post-graduate degree or a bachelor’s degree and be aged between 18 and 35 years.

After receiving the application forms, candidates with the right requirements are short listed for a written interview. Those who pass the written interview are called for an oral interview where each candidate is given a topic to debate on. Those who pass this test are called for a panel interview. The panel interview is conducted by the president of Alfalah Bank at the head office. Successful candidates are offered the post and training commences (Akber, 2009:25).

Issues

Human Resource Planning

The major issue at Alfalah Bank is Human resource planning. This is the establishment of approaches that are to be used in matching the workforce skills to the needs of an organization. It is the procedure that is used in recruitment, employee retention, and optimization of human resources employment that is needed to achieve organization goal. Human resource planning involves analysis of skills of current workforce, forecasting manpower, and being responsive of customers demand (Holland & De Cieri, 2006:102).

Human resource planning is important in every organization because it helps the top management to view HR practices in relation to business decision. The lack of it makes Human resources expensive because HRM can not foresee future problems in order to solve them before they become uncontrollable. It should therefore be incorporated because it guarantees that the relevant individuals are absorbed, in the right position and at the precise time (Harris, et al., 2003:46).

Information needed in human resource planning include: identification of the different departments in the organization, analysis of HRM changes in implementation of its strategies, and recruitment and selection procedures used to address these changes (Smith & Mazin, 2004:49).

Rate of Redundancy

The other issue is the ever increasing rate of redundancy. Redundancy is a situation where a business requirement of employee’s specific responsibilities is expected to cease or have already ceased. It occurs when a business relocates, changes it technology, becomes mechanized or launches new services and products. The selection criterion for redundancy is based on: the number of employees involved in the redundancy, the skills and experience of employees, and reasons for the redundancy (Ferris, et al, 1995:6).

Different organizations use different selection criteria for redundancy. At Alfalah Bank, the redundancy procedure is conducted by the HR practitioners. Employee information regarding performance, attendance as reflected in the attendance record, contribution to the organization, experience, skills, and qualifications is gathered. Before selection for redundancy commences, the organization consults the line managers and HR department on matters relevant to the legislation (Holland, et al, 2007:74).

The selection process then commences with guidance from the supporting management under the prevailing circumstances. The number of redundancies necessary is established keeping in mind the skills needed to meet the organizations future goals. (Hammonds, 2003:15). The increase in the number of redundancies at Alfalah Bank has reduced production and customer’s trust for the services offered at the Bank.

Solutions

Job Evaluation

One way of ensuring that human resources are planned properly is through job evaluations. This is an organized grading of jobs according to other jobs in the organization. Job evaluation or classification is normally done when a job position becomes vacant and need to be filled by recruiting a person for the correct level based on the responsibilities (Ulrich, 1996:230). It can also be done when the responsibilities of a job changes. Different organizations use different job evaluation systems depending on their employee groups.

Job evaluation system requires the use of job description, occupational standards or guidelines and job category (Legge, 2004:10). There exist four mainly used work assessment methods these are: categorization, positioning, the point method, and factor evaluation. Classification is a method in job evaluation where jobs are categorized according to their class description such as clerical job, managerial jobs, the list is endless (Bratton & Gold, 2001:72).

This method is commonly used in the service sector where job are classified by comparison with other job classes. After the process of job classification is over, a pay grade is matched with the job. Ranking of job is a line of job appraisal where jobs are graded from highest to the lowest (taking into consideration their value to the business culture).

Point evaluation method is a quantitative kind of approach where jobs are assigned points according to their compensable factors. The points allocated to each job are then weighted and their total points tabulated. The total points determine the value of the job to the organization and its pay. Factor comparison appraisal is based on the compensable factors e.g. experience, responsibilities among others. Jobs are ranked on the basis of their value to the organization. Job salaries are determined by the pay rate of these compensable factors (Swamson, 2009:52).

Motivational Theory and Reward

Remuneration and reward of employees are some of the ways that can be used to retain employees. By reward we mean that the efforts of the employee are recognized. Singling out and rewarding workers inspires them to look for ways of undertaking their tasks effectively and lack of it can completely dishearten them.

A reward system has to be effective and be able to instill the desired behavior for efficient performance (Boudreau & Ramstad, 2007:60). The reward system can either use financial mechanism or non-financial. People need to be encouraged and appreciated in order to achieve their mission and that of others.

Abraham Maslow (a researcher), explored the connection between reward and motivation and came up with a theory called Maslow’s hierarchy of need. Maslow discovered that human beings have different types of needs that they want to be met. They include; basic needs security, self esteem, self actualization and group needs. To fulfill these needs, sets of motivating rewards have to be used.

Some of the basic needs can be fulfilled through provision of good standards of living by means of honest pay structures (Anon. “Human needs and rewards” 2010:1). Provision of secure working environment coupled with training on safety and health issues can assist in meeting the security needs of the employees. On the other hand, reward systems on job promotion based on employee’s efforts, skills, and experience can help in raising their self esteem and meet the needs that come with it.

Employees’ team working groups that are well structured with good communication help in fulfilling the group needs. Self actualization needs can be fulfilled by encouraging employee developments by use of appraisal tool where employees gauge their performance (McNamara, 2010:2).

According to Wilkinson (1988:50), the HRM should use a reward system that helps in meeting most of employees’ needs. This will encourage employees and motivate them to work harder to achieve the organizations goals and objectives which in turn will lead to increased production and consequently lower the redundancy rate (Stone, 2008:20).

Reference List

Akber, Naila, 2009, Human Resource Management (Bank Alfalah HRM Report) Web.

Anon. 2010, Human needs and rewards Web.

Armstrong, Michael 2006, A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice (10th ed.). London, Kogan.

Bohlander, George & Snell, Scott. 2009, Managing Human Resources. London, Cengage Learning.

Boudreau, J.W. & Ramstad, P.M. 2007, Beyond HR: The new science of human capital. Boston, Harvard Business School Press.

Bratton, John & Gold, Jeffrey. 2001, Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. London, Routledge.

Compton, R. L. & Nankervis, Alan. 2009, Effective recruitment & selection practice. CCH Australia Limited.

Ferris, Gerald. et al, 1995, Handbook of human resource management. Blackwell HRM series, Blackwell human resource management series. New York, Wiley-Blackwell.

Hammonds, S. Engelke., 2003, Redundancy. Legal essentials Law at work. London, CIPD Publishing.

Harris, Hillary et al., 2003, International human resource management. London, CIPD Publishing.

Holland, P. & De Cieri, H. (Eds.) 2006, Contemporary issues in human resource development, Pearson Education, Sydney.

Holland, P., et al, 2007, Contemporary Issues and Challenges in HRM, Prahran. Tilde University Press.

Legge, Karen. 2004, Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities (Anniversary Ed.). Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

McNamara, Carter, 2010, Web.

Smith, A. Shawn & Mazin, A. Rebecca. 2004, The HR answer book: an indispensable guide for managers and human resources professionals. New York, Amacom Div American Mgmt Assn.

Stone, Raymond J. 2008, Human Resource Management, John Wiley & Sons, Australia, 6th Edition.

Storey, John. 1998, New perspectives on human resource management. London, Cengage Learning EMEA.

Swamson, Richard. 2009, Foundations of Human Resource Development: Easy read Large Edition. San Francisco, ReadHowYouWant.com.

Ulrich, Dave 1996, Human Resource Champions. The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Boston, Mass, Harvard Business School Press.

Wilkinson, A. 1988, “Empowerment: theory and practice”. Personnel Review 27 (1): 40–56.

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