The most valuable asset that any organization can be in possession of is the human resource of the organization. According to Jackson and Schuler (1990, p1), “human resource is a part of a strategic business planning.” There is therefore a necessity that there should be an organized procedure in obtaining and maintaining these valuable resources.
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The role of a Human Resource Manager whether in a profit making or a non-profit-making organization is to ensure that the acceptable chord of conduct is executed during the selection of the employees and that the working conditions are conducive to encourage the employees. The morale of an employee is also boosted if during their selection, there was transparency. An employee bribed his way into a job will always be haunted for as long as he serves the company.
To facilitate this, there should be a strong relationship and co-ordination between the Human Resource management and the recruiting authority. The expanse of the personnel’s responsibility will depend on the kind of business an organization is carrying out (Johns & Leatherbarrow 2005). The success of every organization depends on how well it manages its resources namely human, economic, and physical resources (Antwi, Analoui & Cusworth, 2007).
Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) focuses on the factors that can hinder the smooth process of employee selection. In particular, it addresses employee recruitment, the standard payment to be made, ways of promotion of the staff to higher ranks within the organization and ensuring good working environment. The influence of culture in a society, religious practices, race, ethnic diversity, sex as well as physical form some bases of discrimination in the selection of employees in an organization.
However, the principles behind a successful strategic human resource management are only applicable to developed nations and the implementation of these in third world countries may not be very efficient (Taylor 2005). For instance, the Human Resource Management principles in the United States do not advocate for collectiveness but rather emphasizes strongly on the theories of a free will.
Provision of equal opportunity is essential in ensuring smooth and fair selection of employees into an organization. The equal opportunity in this context would encompass a wide range of factors. Firstly, there is need that, excellent publicity be made and in the right time to allow every potential candidate be able to make application.
Giving very short deadlines for job application is a way of denying some individuals a chance and excluding those who may not have obtained the information at the right time. In effect, a potential applicant may be cut off the deadline forcing the organization or company to choose just from the available applicants. This is not only a disadvantage to the applicant locked out but also to the organization that would have obtained better services (Taylor, 2005).
Poor publicity has the same effect on the effective and unbiased selection of employees (Taylor, 2005). It includes use of a less popular means of communication in passing the information to the supposed recipients. In many cases, organizations have opted to use methods like internal advert probably to cut down the overall costs of selection of employees.
The effect is that such information will only be available among the current employees of the organization who will instead take advantage of it. They will only inform their close allies like relatives and friends. A company will therefore comprise a chain of relatives and friends right from the top management positions to the bottom implementers.
Such organizations have little or no development rates and in some instances that have been witnessed in the developing countries, they have been totally brought down to nothingness. A bank cashier whose father or uncle is the sales manager or branch manager in that branch may be reluctant to report on duty in time given the job security he has. A teacher in a learning institution whose friend or relative is the head of the institution may decide to boycott classes following little or know probable consequences.
Thus, even the people that these organizations serve suffer the consequences of poor publicity of the job information by the organization. It is thus worth noting, and these organizations need to get this clearly, that what seems to be cheap is always very expensive. A job advertised on a local daily newspaper will reach a relatively wider area than those posted on the companies’ websites especially in the developing countries. It would be better still if an opportunity were advertised over the radio.
Secondly, equal opportunity on selection of employees is achieved by defining clearly, the requirements of a particular job when making the advertisement (Gold, Thorpe and Mumford, 2010). Following strictly the minimum qualifications specified here will ensure that the best out of the best applicants actually secure the job.
However, a room has been always created to allow bribery and all sorts of corruption such that despite good publicity and subsequent receipt of qualified applications, the job ends up in the hands of less qualified individuals who would dance to the tunes of the recruiting authority. Unfortunately, in many developing countries in the world, this vice is not only experienced during the recruitment and selection of employees by an organization. It extends even to the selection of students into various programmes in various learning institutions.
The effect, as has been witnessed, is the passing into job market, graduates who are not capable of implementing the real life applications of the theoretical concepts learned in class. This will always be a threat to a country’s economic, political, and even social growth and development (Gold, Thorpe and Mumford, 2010).
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In ensuring fairness during the recruitment and subsequent selection of new employees, care need to be taken to avoid all forms of discriminations. As was asserted by Chan (n.d), a company or an “organization that sees the diversity of the workforce not as a liability but as an asset would indirectly help the organization positively in its stride some of the less aspects of the workforce diversity.”
The discriminations could be based on age, gender, religion, physical disability, race, ethics and cultural beliefs and practices. The recruiting authority should understand that no society in the world, however small, exhibits homogenous characteristics. They should be aware of the diversity observed in religious beliefs, age, color, and culture. The presence of a minority group like the physically challenged should not be overlooked.
Hofstede (2000) defined the culture of a particular community as “the collective mental programming that these people have in common: a programming that is different from that of other groups or nations.” In this context, the culture of a particular community or group is hard to alter particularly because it has been adopted by not an individual but a collection of people.
Therefore, there should be flexibility to allow room for accommodating all types of culture to ensure fairness in the recruitment process. However, this should not be to the extent that it violates the current moral standards required in work place.
The requirements like office etiquette have to be met in every office environment. It may not be a discrimination to deny a traditionalist tied to putting on skin clothes a chance to work in an international office serving a global interest. If absorbed into the organization, the new employee would be forced to quit his culture, at least during the working hours.
It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that the employees are conversant with the current personnel policies and principles of a potential employee (McNamara n.d). In the current business environment, the recruiting managers are faced with this challenge, some of which have resulted from a mixture of two or more cultures.
The culture of a group of people greatly influences those people’s religious beliefs and practices. The managers then need to be aware of the religious requirement of the people that are viable to be absorbed. Denying a Christian an opportunity in an organization run by Muslims simply due to the religious divide is unethical discrimination.
However, in the event that allowing recruitment of such a person would be contrary to the nature of the job like the working days, then it would not be a discrimination to deny him the chance. This will be valid only to the extent that there were no other alternatives like working in shifts. Provision of such systems by the management ensures that the objectivity and fairness is achieved as early as the time of selection.
The wise men had observed that disability is not inability. The managers, in designing their programs, should bear in mind the presence of different forms of disabilities that can be encountered in the region. As far as possible, these minority groups should not be exempted from these opportunities from as early as the time of issuing advert.
Unless the nature of the job does not allow a particular kind of disability, the management should ensure that these people receive the information in the right and in the right medium through which it can be perceived well. A teaching job can be performed by those having various disabilities like blindness, deafness, lameness since there are possible mechanisms that can be used to aid them in performing their duties.
Again, here, the organization needs to expand its resource to be able to accommodate these people. However, there jobs that require a lot of work force and which can only be performed by those that are physically fit. Exclusion of the crippled from such jobs should not appear as discrimination but rather a respect of one’s personality and status.
Knowledge of existence of diversity in the language spoken by a group of people in a given society is an essential management tool to ensure that there is no bias in selection of employees. In a society that has more than one official language, publicity should be made in all the languages that are available. The management may even be required to use the local language to advertise a job that requires unskilled and semi-skilled labor.
For instance, a Sugar Production Company located in the rural area may be required to use the local language to reach potential casual laborers. On the other hand, a job that is more official may only require the use of the official languages partly as a recruitment procedure. Unfortunately, the knowledge of diversity of language has been misused by many management authorities that have used it as a base for tribal and racial discrimination.
The ages of people in a given society is yet another variant factor that the management should use as tool to avoid biasness. Depending on the nature of the jobs to be performed, the valid age limits starts from 18 years and above. The age of a person may determine his ability to perform a duty.
For instance, those falling in the age bracket of the youth have potential to perform more tedious duties than the elderly does. Having the knowledge of age diversity helps the management determine the age requirement for each of the available jobs. The management will thus be able to balance the jobs verses the ages to ensure equal distribution. However, the concept is also misused in some instances to form the basis of discrimination.
The gender of an employee may determine the kind of job one is capable of performing. The management may use this to determine certain jobs that can be reserved to a particular gender to have some balance. The gender influences the area of interest of an individual. The feminine side is particularly taken to be weaker and can perform lighter duties compared to their masculine counterpart.
As search, considering this diversity enables the management to distribute the available jobs among the sexes to avoid gender bias in the recruitment and selection process. Some companies and organizations have jobs that are reserved for a particular gender, and even for those jobs that gender was not specified, the selection criteria could employ gender balance.
In general, it is the responsibility of the people Resourcing personnel to ensure fairness and objectivity by contributing to the “recruitment, selection, deployment and development of the employees who themselves add value to the organization individually and collectively” (Anon. n.d). The team should ensure communication for the success is as a fast as possible. In other words, they should maintain good relations even with the unsuccessful applicants
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Jackson, S. E. and Schuler, R.S., 1990. Human resource planning: challenges for industrial/organizational psychologists. American Psychologist, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 223-239.
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