This essay focuses on human resource management at JetBlue Airline as a startup company. It explores employment opportunity laws that may affect the company, recruitment method, selection process, appraisal, compensation, and discretionary (voluntary) benefits at JetBlue.
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Three national equal employment opportunity laws that impact JetBlue’s hiring practices
Ann Rhoades must observe national equal employment opportunity laws in its hiring processes in order to protect the company against legal issues and attract best employees. First, Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination on employees’ compensation. Moreover, the Act prohibits unequal pay that arises from sex discrimination. JetBlue must recognize that equal pay relates to all types of employee compensation, including bonuses, allowances, incentives, benefits, and overtime among others.
Second, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ensures that employers adhere to Civil Rights Act and Fair Employment Act in hiring processes. On this note, JetBlue would not discriminate potential employees on any other grounds other than individual qualifications. Prohibited discrimination covers cases based on color, race, sex, religious practices, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, arrest record, memberships and affiliations, and unfair testing among others. Finally, the company must also consider the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA aims to protect employees’ rights on a minimum wage and maximum working hours. The Act strived to introduce fair pay for fair work for all men and women in employment. In addition, it also protects workers against working in poor conditions by ensuring general well-being, welfare, providing minimum conditions for living, health, and eliminating the use of substandard labor (Equal Employment Laws, n.d).
In addition, the company should also comply with other national laws like Rehabilitation Act, Immigration Reform and Control Act, and American with Disabilities Act. Compliance with these laws would ensure that the company maintains the law and conducts transparent hiring processes with integrity. Hence, JetBlue would be able to protect itself and potential employees.
Internal recruitment method that JetBlue uses
Ann Rhoades can utilize internal recruitment method to get new staff for the growing JetBlue operations. Filling these positions internally at JetBlue would motivate employees to stay and grow with the company because of its rapid expansion (Mathis and Jackson, 2011). This would reduce employee attrition, attract, and retain the best talent in the airline industry. While several methods of internal recruitment exist, the HR department uses job posting.
Job posting and bidding entail the provision of current job openings in the company and employees respond to specific openings. The method allows employees to know current jobs available within the organization. The process also involves formal bidding for jobs as required in the labor agreement. The ultimate goal of job posting and bidding is to provide opportunities for current employees to grow with JetBlue.
External recruitment method that JetBlue uses
JetBlue also uses external recruitment strategies to attract the best talents. In other words, the company turns to outside sources for potential employees. Although there are several external methods, which are available to JetBlue human resource manager, the company uses poaching from other firms. This allows it to recruit the best candidates in the industry.
JetBlue has successfully used employee poaching from other airline companies. In fact, senior management team consists of employees from other airline firms.
Effects of these methods on JetBlue’s recruitment efforts
Both internal and external recruitment strategies present significant advantages to the company. For instance, the company externally recruited the best senior executives in the industry. In addition, the company sources employees from different geographical locations to reflect market dynamics. It hires the best employees externally to fill vacant positions. As a result, the company has been able to develop a team for growth.
Internal recruitment has ensured that the company retains the best talent and helps employees to grow their careers internally. This enhances employee motivation and performance standards. Overall, the company has used both external and internal recruitment methods to build the best HR department and people-centric organization based on previous experiences.
Personnel selection interview process for mechanics and pilots at JetBlue
The company relies on structured and targeted selection process for all mechanics and pilots. JetBlue looks for mechanics and pilots who have knowledge in computer usages and software. In addition, these potential mechanics and pilots must reflect the potential to fit in the intended JetBlue culture. The company incorporates five values in hiring and selection processes of all pilots and mechanics. Moreover, these are the core principles, which all mechanics and pilots must observe at the course of their duties. These five core values include caring, integrity, safety, fun, and passion.
The company selected the best attributes it wanted to all its employees to possess. These attributes guided the entire selection of pilots and mechanics. The company translated these values in interviews and applied them to select the best pilots and mechanics. Potential recruits would provide their responses on how they would benefit the company once hired. JetBlue HR department has made selection and hiring of employees the most important part of organizational development because they want selected employees to align with the company’s culture and reflect the desired five core values.
JetBlue’s goals in utilizing this personnel interview process for mechanics and pilots
The company wanted to select the right people and leverage on its human resources in order to create value for customers. The company’s recruitment process involved testing candidates on core values. For instance, a mechanic had to identify when integrity was a problem in his previous place of employment. Employees who identified such core values correctly met the company’s goals of hiring the right personnel. On the other hand, JetBlue did not hire a potential pilot who was arrogant.
The recruits had to meet knowledge level in computer usages and cultural fit that JetBlue wanted. The company also wanted to ensure that it found the right pilots and mechanics who would fit within JetBlue culture. Cost of training such pilots was high, and the company had to get it right the first time. As a result, high rates of attrition could prove costly.
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The company conducted an interview process in front of many executives. This ensured that all executives agreed on the candidate’s qualifications, experiences, and their goals and aspirations through a consensus before hiring decision. This process ensured that the company found the perfect fit for its strategy. JetBlue was looking for employees with great attitude. Overall, JetBlue’s selection process ensures that the company has the right employees, who would drive its growth strategy as a startup.
Three factors that influence a performance appraisal system
Performance appraisal is the strategy that organizations use to evaluate performances of employees and provide feedback about performance expectations (Mathis and Jackson, 2011). Performance appraisal provides developmental information for JetBlue on how it can improve future training, skill gaps, employee relations, and other areas related to performance. However, some factors have the ability to influence performance appraisal.
First, JetBlue is a relatively new company. As a result, it may lack a formal documented process of performance appraisal. Effective performance appraisal requires a formal documented process, which provides standardized method of assessing employees’ performances. A documented performance appraisal leads to consistency. This allows an organization to review and compare performances against targets in order identify areas of strengths and areas that require improvement. The ease of conducting performance appraisal affects its outcome and effectiveness.
General biases may also affect performance appraisal outcomes. Managers have abilities to skew any assessment. For instance, some supervisors may deviate from the norms of evaluation and provide extreme scores. Others would rate employees based on personal influences or provide highly fair scores. This could be due to leniency, an attempt to avoid confrontation with employees or simply out of a desire to please employees.
The supervisor may also base the process on recent performances, which leads to recency bias in the process. In addition, there are also opportunity biases, which may result in high or poor ratings. These are mainly factors beyond employees’ control. For instance, an economic downturn or poor products may affect sales performance of a salesperson.
Finally, teamwork may also affect performance appraisal. Employees who are not team players may score poorly on overall rating. On the other hand, employees who assist their colleagues could score high and get rewards for their team efforts and contributions. Teamwork may also be responsible for good rating among employees who have not demonstrated exceptional performances. JetBlue is a people-centric organization. Hence, teamwork is a critical part of performance appraisal.
360-degree feedback evaluation
Three advantages of using 360-degree feedback evaluation as a performance appraisal method
Ann Rhoades wanted to create a people-centric organization that focused on cost-effective services, fun, healthy working environment, and a productive workforce. The executive team wanted to maintain an organization that reflected customer value and in which employees would hold their autonomy. On this note, 360-degree was the best method for JetBlue evaluation and feedback tool (Williams, 2001). One critical advantage is that the 360-degree tool would provide feedback and opportunities for continuous improvement and process advancement. This is important for JetBlue as a startup that strives to change the airline industry.
A 360-degree evaluation can assess subjective aspects of employee functions, which may include teamwork, leadership abilities, and character. One must recognize that JetBlue executive team consists of a virtual team. Hence, teamwork and feedback are critical components of management that a 360-degree strategy would address effectively. The executive team would understand behaviors and competencies of all employees through a 360-degree tool.
A 360-degree evaluation provides outcomes, which the company would use to set its expansion plan, performance objectives, and training requirements.
A rationale for JetBlue utilizing 360-degree feedback evaluation as a performance appraisal method
A 360-degree feedback evaluation tool would help JetBlue to identify strengths and weaknesses inherent in performance and formulate methods of improving them. Effective assessment through 360-degree as a development tool can yield positive outcomes for the company. In a people-centric organization like JetBlue with a virtual executive team, employees have opportunities to provide their anonymous feedback about colleagues. Feedback is critical in providing insights for employees. Such insights can help employees to improve their performances, behaviors, and develop required skills for job success.
A 360-degree evaluation tool would also provide feedback on employee performance. However, it is not simple to structure the 360-degree tool to measure performance because the tool focuses on behaviors and skills than other aspects of management, such as job requirements and performance objectives. While managers and supervisors can appropriately address issues of employee performance during annual reviews, a 360-degree feedback tool can incorporate them as a part of management process.
However, there must be a clear communication on how employees would utilize 360-degree feedback. A clear communication would facilitate feedback among agents who are based at homes. A 360-degree feedback tool can facilitate communication in a flexible firm like JetBlue in which employees have customized HR practices and can choose their preferred benefits.
The company also favored a 360-degree feedback evaluation because it wanted to eliminate metric-oriented strategies of evaluation. As a result, it would be able to improve on customer services by using flexible approaches. Frequent visits facilitated feedback and communication in the organization.
Four employee-related factors that are essential in determining financial compensation
A number of factors are critical in determining financial compensation for employees in the airline industry. However, a focus on employee-related factors could help an organization to concentrate on important financial compensation factors. First, job performance remains a critical factor in determining employees’ compensation in all industries. Through compensating best performers in an organization, the company will retain the best talent and experience an increase in performance as other employees strive to receive good pay based on their performances. Higher performance pay could be in terms of performance merit pay, a percentage of the base pay, bonus, gift cards, and performance certificates. Some organizations prefer spot cash compensation strategy.
A second method that organizations use to determine employee financial compensation is based on qualification and skills. Skill based financial compensation offers best pay for highly qualified employees. This ensures that the company attracts the best talent and leverages on its employees to create competitive advantage (Beardwell, Holden and Claydon, 2004).
Third, competency based compensation relates closely with skill based financial compensation. Employees develop their competency levels with time as they acquire new skills from their job functions.
Fourth, seniority and experience are also factors that organizations use to determine financial compensation for employees. For instance, some organizations would consider the number of years that an employee has put in the company to determine their pay and promotion. Experiences among employees also determine financial compensation. However, JetBlue did not believe in associating pay with employee seniority.
In addition to the above employee-related factors that determine financial compensation, organizations also have distinct categories of compensations for trainees or fresh graduates, who may only bring fresh ideas, but not experience or competency to the company.
Discretionary (voluntary) employee benefits
Three discretionary employee benefits
The company is not under any obligation to provide discretionary benefits to employees, and it has the power to provide or not to provide such benefits to employees. Organizations may customize their discretionary benefits to meet their organization and industry unique attributes. However, the paper only covers few cases, which may be applicable in the case of JetBlue.
First, there is the 401K contribution plan. This is a popular contribution scheme among many organizations and employees. However, today, employees have absolute control over their retirement plans. Hence, the company no longer controls or has such responsibilities. Second, companies also provide stock option plan for employees as a way of retaining, attracting, compensating, and rallying employees to support organizational goals. However, JetBlue does not have this option just yet. Third, there is also profit sharing option as a discretionary benefit. Companies use profit sharing in the same manner as stock option plans. Some organizations may relate profit sharing to individual performances. This implies that only employees who meet a given performance standard may qualify for such benefits. Fourth, some organizations also offer high compensations than the industry averages.
Some forms of discretionary benefits also include childcare, financial services, emergency funds, scholarship, education benefits, and training benefits. These are benefits, which enhance employees’ lives, but they remain optional.
There is also high pay above the industry standards. However, this does not account for overtime because the law requires all employers to compensate for overtime. Employees may also receive benefits based on the nature of their occupations. For instance, employees who work in extremely risky environments may receive compensation. All these are discretionary benefits to improve employees working conditions.
How JetBlue, if at all, has incorporated the three discretionary employee benefits
JetBlue also provides discretionary benefits to its employees. For instance, the company has profit sharing options. This is a strategy of attracting, retaining, and motivating employees to improve performance. The company has also incorporated 401K plan for its staff.
The company offers medical benefits to all employees, including some part-timers in the outlying airports. It also provides double pay for all employees who work during holidays. JetBlue also covers costs of training its employees after hiring. Overall, the company has included many benefits in its compensation structure in order to attract, retain, and motivate employees. This reduces high employee attrition rate, which is common in the airline industry.
The essay has explored equal employment laws and their impacts on hiring. It also covers employment selection processes, especially for core roles like mechanics and pilots. It shows that structured selection and recruitment process can result in the best team for driving the growth of a startup. Organizations should also conduct performance appraisal and use effective feedback mechanisms in order to improve their processes. JetBlue uses HR strategies, which ensure that it attracts, recruits, and retains the best talents in the airline industry.
Human resource management at JetBlue shows that practices and employee management have changed over the last few decades. For instance, JetBlue has introduced several discretionary benefits to attract, hire, and retain best talents. This strategy reduces staff attrition in the company. It has also introduced flexible practices or customized HR practices to allow employees to have a wide range of choices in benefits.
The success of HR management in JetBlue shows that best practices and procedures in the HR department can result in rapid organizational growth. Hence, HR department becomes an integral part of strategic objective in the organization, particularly with regard to performance management and improvement.
Beardwell, I., Holden, L., and Claydon, T. (2004). Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach, (4th ed.). London: Pearson Education Limited.
Equal Employment Laws. (n.d). 2013. Web.
Mathis, L. R. and Jackson, H. J. (2011). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Williams, A. (2001). Maximizing the Value of 360-degree Feedback. International Journal of Manpower, 22(7), 664 – 674.