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There is no doubt that the success of any company and the degree to which its products and services satisfy target customers are inextricably connected with the way that staff members’ work is organized. In addition, defining the outcomes of the collaboration with any company for its customers, it is important to consider such factors as the level of employee happiness and the number of long-standing employees.
As for the role of long-standing employees, their vast experience and knowledge of their companies’ history allow them to teach new colleagues and avoid repeating mistakes that have caused problems with customers in the past. Unfortunately, as is clear from the reports presented by HR specialists working in our company, we are experiencing issues related to the resourcing of staff in managerial and reception roles.
According to various opinions, the resourcing problems influencing our position in the market of hotel services occur due to the necessity of specialists filling these positions to work unsociable hours paired with the extensive responsibility peculiar to these roles in our company. Due to the shortage of staff that may deal a heavy blow to our established working practices, many employees have to work extra shifts. Obviously, many employees find it extremely difficult to work in such conditions, and this is why many staff members (especially those having family problems and certain medical conditions) have to leave our company in spite of financial and employee benefits that they receive for the extra work.
Importantly, due to unsolved discrimination cases, many female employees are leaving these positions, and we are experiencing the lack of female specialists. The current report focuses on the current labor market and new employee selection and retention practices aimed at decreasing staff turnover and improving employee happiness in the company.
Current Employment Market: Trends and Changes
Obviously, the ability of our company to find and employ the most suitable candidates is highly influenced by current trends that are related to the national and international employee market. The rhythm of life and the key values of the population may change in the course of time, and it has a direct influence on people’s choice of their future professions. Apart from that, the company’s ability to find enough staff members depends on its own social image and reputation in the country where it is based and abroad.
Being based in the United Kingdom, our budget hotel chain pays close attention to providing basic services to clients who do not have large incomes and, therefore, have a very limited choice of places to stay. Despite the average income level of our target customers, we never try to cut corners on the quality of our services, and this is why we appreciate the work of our long-standing employees who know the internal structure of our company very well.
As for the current condition of the employee market in the United Kingdom, it needs to be said that the latter is gradually changing in connection with the global economic situation. The United Kingdom is believed to be one of the most popular employment performers, attracting a lot of specialists from other countries due to appropriate working conditions and relatively high wage levels in various sectors. Despite the attractiveness of the country’s labor market, our company has a lack of specialists, which is mainly attributed to the use of ineffective practices aimed at the retention of employees.
Continuing on the topic of the employment market, official statistical reports describing the current employment market in the United Kingdom claim that average labor costs and wage costs per hour have increased by more than one percent in the first half of the current year (Index of UK labor costs per hour, experimental: April to June 2017 2017). More than that, as is clear from the dynamics of labor costs in the United Kingdom, the situation is much more stable for the private sector.
The attention is to be paid to changes in labor costs associated with the particular industry – according to the discussed source, average labor costs related to accommodation services provided in the United Kingdom have increased by more than two percent during the present year. As for other tendencies peculiar to the labor market in the United Kingdom, the most recent statistical data approved by the government indicates that the number of people who are employed has increased since the beginning of the year, whereas the number of economically inactive citizens (those who do not want to work or cannot work) has reduced (UK labor market: September 2017 2017).
Another important tendency related to the national employment market lies in the fact that the employment rate has exceeded seventy-five percent of the able-bodied population of the United Kingdom. As the report indicates, the number of unemployed people seeking jobs does not grow anymore. Instead, it is gradually decreasing, and this fact demonstrates that more companies in the country have become able to provide appropriate working conditions and create enough jobs.
Speaking about the current employment rates in the country in connection with sex, it is important to note that the share of employed men is nine percent greater than that of employed women of working age. The document also indicates that these tendencies (increasing share of employed women) can stem from the retirement age for women that has been changed. The number of women working part-time is great if compared to the situation with men, which is due to additional household duties that are fulfilled by wives in the majority of cases.
Another topic that needs to be covered in order to solve the most urgent problems of our company is presented by trends in the international labor market. Speaking about the latter, it is important to note that the tendencies related to the international market are definitely heterogeneous due to specific situations with the workforce in other countries. Thus, the level of competition continues to grow, and there is a steady flow of English-speaking specialists from countries with lower quality of life coming to the United Kingdom in order to apply their skills.
Discussing our hotel chain and staff-related problems that may be detrimental to its business performance, it is important to note that additional measures aimed at attracting foreign specialists can improve the situation. In fact, the United Kingdom belongs to the number of the most popular destinations for people planning journeys and business trips. Therefore, the presence of foreign specialists speaking different languages such as Chinese, Spanish, or Arabic would help to improve the quality of service for foreign customers and increase employee diversity.
In general, employee markets in a large number of countries do not provide qualified specialists with an opportunity to get well-paid jobs as travel industries in their countries are not developed enough. People living and working in the United Kingdom have more opportunities to find other jobs in the travel industry, and, due to growing industry rivalry, there are many companies that can lure away those specialists who have worked for our organization, providing a more appropriate schedule of work.
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Therefore, our company has to focus on current trends peculiar to the international employment market (a substantial number of people from less developed countries who would like to work in the UK and earn more) and the national market (decreased unemployment, a significant gender gap in employment rates) in order to develop new recruitment and retention strategies.
Recruitment, Selection, and Induction of Candidates
Unfortunately, there is a high staff turnover in both managerial and reception roles in our company that significantly reduces the competitive advantage of our hotel chain. In general, there are two important factors that may cause increased staff turnover and a shortage of employees: weaknesses related to recruitment strategies utilized by human resource managers in our organization and the need to improve approaches to employee retention.
The process of talent acquisition connected with managerial positions in our company should become more focused on the use of multiple search directions. Even though our hotel chain is known in the United Kingdom and other countries, it is important to think about the additional channels helping to disseminate information concerning vacancies for managers. Among the channels that our company can use to attract a range of suitable job applicants, there are websites for job seekers, recommended recruitment agencies, and social networks.
Importantly, our HR managers can introduce a new practice allowing us to motivate long-standing employees and search for new applicants for managerial positions. Thus, it is possible to use the so-called “member gets member” practice (Trost 2014).
In reference to the proposed practice, it encourages employees to disseminate information about available job positions among people they know to attract more qualified specialists. Suppose applicants turn out to be the perfect candidates, employees who have invited them to get bonuses for their contribution. In fact, the practice can be called effective as it makes interpersonal ties of employees contribute to the success of the entire company. At the same time, HR managers should not rely only on this practice as increased attention to MGM may cause competition between employees and reduce collaboration.
Recruitment, selection, and induction practices appropriate for managerial positions should be chosen in accordance with the primary value that our hotel chain supports: high-quality services. Therefore, among the requirements that appropriate candidates for managerial positions must meet, there are an increased responsibility, well-developed communication skills, a degree in business administration, and professional experience in the field.
More than that, considering that these positions are inextricably connected with changing circumstances and unexpected situations, suitable candidates should be encouraged to demonstrate their creativity during job interviews. When it comes to recruitment practices that will help HR managers from our company to make all the necessary preparations, they have to conduct a job analysis in order to correct and improve job descriptions that are available to applicants.
Importantly, considering the great degree of responsibility related to managerial positions in our company, job descriptions should contain a list of spheres/aspects of the working process that new employees will have to control.
Considering that our company is not experiencing its best times, our specialists have to prepare job descriptions that would be attractive and discuss all work-related details that may cause problems after successful job interviews. In other words, it would be inappropriate to be reticent about the real position of our company as it would definitely increase staff turnover even more and have a negative impact on our social image.
Preparing accurate job descriptions, employers, and specialists who help them are supposed to provide all essential elements such as the list of responsibilities and the list of required skills and competencies for the job. As for the latter, it would be a great mistake to provide inflated requirements and, therefore, be unable to find such specialists. Instead, all the identified requirements should be divided into two groups. The first group would include qualities and competencies that any suitable candidate should have to be able to perform the discussed duties; for instance, the degree in management and at least two years of experience are the key requirements.
At the same time, the employer is able to set a range of additional requirements that can raise applicants’ chances to be chosen. These requirements can be different based on the additional tasks that managers will have to fulfill. Some employers prefer to choose managers speaking foreign languages, whereas others lean toward specialists who know a lot about human psychology and, therefore, can manipulate other people and establish effective relationships. In the given case, all managerial positions are to be analyzed in a thorough manner in order to single out additional qualities and skills that will make specialists more effective.
Having defined the key requirements and fair wages for managerial positions, our company should pay more attention to advertising (using the channels and practices that have been listed). In reference to both managers and receptionists, it is necessary to utilize a combination of channels that are commonly used (for instance, social networks or websites for job seekers) and measures aimed at motivating employees to provide HR managers with good recommendations (the so-called “member gets member” practice). In order to improve the social image of our company and attract those candidates who really want to obtain sustainable employment and contribute to the common goal, it can be important to design a new system of bonuses for employees.
Employee selection practices for the two positions in question will be basically the same, but HR managers will have to utilize different tests when conducting job interviews and making final decisions. Having chosen those applicants who possess all the necessary qualifications, it is necessary to conduct preliminary interviews to understand whether the chosen people can be invited to interviews with their potential employers.
During the next stage, applicants may be asked to fulfill certain tasks to demonstrate their skills. For instance, in the case with potential managers, such applicants can be asked to share their opinions on the further development of our hotel chain or solve a few hypothetical management problems. When it comes to receptionists, as it was previously stated, it would be a good idea to attract more specialists speaking other languages apart from English.
In fact, this will help to ensure diversity and improve the experience of our foreign guests who have difficulties when speaking English. Such applicants can be supposed to pass English tests and demonstrate the knowledge of other languages. In reference to other tests that can be used to encourage applicants for both positions to demonstrate their skills, it is possible to use creativity tests involving drawing and tests defining applicants’ implicit associations (Hilgard et al. 2014). The latter can be a great tool allowing HR managers to make conclusions concerning applicants’ key values. Final decisions related to the most suitable applicants are to be made based on the results of all tests and interviews.
Employee induction is the process that requires the concerted efforts of numerous specialists working with new employees. To ensure the successful integration of new specialists, it is necessary to design a new training program that would be focused on the following aspects: key values of the company, its structure, rules of professional conduct, communication with clients, and key problems that may occur during the work. To deliver the information on these aspects, it is necessary to use the appropriate format. Information can be illustrative if it is presented with the help of presentations, tables, graphs, or outlines. Apart from that, successful integration requires the help of coaches teaching new employees to solve specific problems.
Taking into account that there is high staff turnover in our company, the employee retention strategy that we utilize must be improved. In order to improve employee retention, our specialists are supposed to introduce a few important practices whose effectiveness is confirmed in many studies. The elements chosen for the strategy are claimed to be a part of an effective employee retention model used in educational institutions in Pakistan (Bai & Bhutto 2016). Among these elements, there is the use of a new system of employee bonuses, measures aimed at improving the social-psychological climate in the company, introduction of new training practices, and enabling employees to participate in important discussions.
To begin with, the development of an appropriate employee retention strategy remains one of the most important tasks for any company as its ineffectiveness may increase staff turnover and cause financial losses. The introduction of new performance bonuses encouraging employees to do their best can become a good decision as it decreases employee turnover (Terera & Ngirande 2014). In addition, the most effective specialists should be allowed to take additional days off work when employee shortage will be estranged.
Importantly, staff turnover tends to increase when employees feel that their opinions on problems and their possible solutions are not considered. To improve the situation, it is possible to organize weekly meetings for employees and their managers where the former will be able to voice their opinions on urgent problems related to their essential tasks.
The next measure to be implemented within the frame of the proposed employee retention strategy is the use of new training practices. In particular, considering an increased risk of occupational burnout due to unsociable hours, employees will have an opportunity to meet with specialists teaching them to mitigate work-related stress.
Staff turnout can also be attributed to the inappropriate social-psychological climate in the company. Therefore, it will be necessary to create special recreation rooms for employees where they will be able to relax and communicate. It often happens that people do not want to leave their companies because of their colleagues and the atmosphere of unity and collaboration. To encourage it, our managers can utilize various teambuilding techniques.
Diversity management is another important initiative that must be taken into consideration. Knowing that female managers are leaving our company, we have to prevent cases of gender discrimination. To do that, HR managers can conduct an anonymous survey to find out whether female managers are satisfied with their working conditions. In particular, it is necessary to pay attention to the possible use of gender stereotypes during task distribution and the presence of fair wages for specialists of both sexes. Some specialists can leave our company as they feel that their cultural identities are not respected.
Therefore, another measure aimed at reducing employee turnover is the use of diversity education programs for specialists in different units of our company. Considering one of the current problems of our hotel chain, the shortage of receptionists, there is a need for flexible working initiatives for employees. Thus, the number of part-time employees may need to be increased. This measure is especially important when it comes to employees who have small children or other relatives who need care.
In the end, as is clear from the specific problems peculiar to our hotel chain, our management should pay more attention to measures aimed at improving sourcing and retention strategies. As for the practices related to recruitment, selection, and induction of specialists who are ready to work as managers and receptionists, the proposed strategy involves the improvement of job descriptions and the use of multi-stage recruitment procedures.
More than that, among the tools that are proposed to be used to evaluate applicants and make final decisions, there are psychological tests, hypothetical management problems to be solved, and tests measuring the language competence of foreign specialists. When it comes to advertising, it is necessary to involve employees in the process of information dissemination; thus, the “member gets member” practice can be used. In terms of retention, the proposed strategy includes four important elements: employee training, employee value, psycho-social climate, and improved bonus system.
Bai, S & Bhutto, M 2016, ‘HRM practices in improving employee retention in Pakistan, where employee value as a focal point,’ Journal of Economics, Business and Management, vol. 4, no. 12, p. 677-682.
Hilgard, J, Bartholow, BD, Dickter, CL & Blanton, H 2014, ‘Characterizing switching and congruency effects in the Implicit Association Test as reactive and proactive cognitive control,’ Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 381-388.
Terra, SR & Ngirande, H 2014, ‘The impact of rewards on job satisfaction and employee retention,’ Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 481.
Trost, 2014, Talent relationship management: competitive recruiting strategies in times of talent shortage, Springer Science & Business, New York.
UK labour market: September 2017. 2017. Web.