The rapid rate of globalization has come in hand with many challenges for most companies such that they have to fight their way so as to cope with the highly competitive and changing world. Among the challenging sectors in any organisation is the human resource.
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Most employers in a bid to evade these challenges have resulted to automation of their systems so as to completely do away with the human resource. However, because of the fact that it is not possible to replace all human operations, human beings still become an important part of the company. This paper is an analysis of the process of selecting and recruiting by the Standard Life Company.
The Human Resource Strategies applied by Standard Life in its practices
Each and every organisation is required to strategize its human resource section so as to ensure sustainability of the entire organization (Adiele, 2009, p.1). The organizations are therefore required to set plans on how to ensure the achievement of the six main strategic themes which include;
- Attracting and recruiting
- Engagement of staff
- Reward and Recognition
- Learning and development
- Leadership and management development
- Management of performance
In all the aforementioned strategic themes the organisation is aimed at maximising the potential and talents of the staff (Adiele, 2009, p.1). The Standard Life Company is no exception as it is trying to apply the above strategic themes in its selection and recruitment procedures.
Attracting and Recruiting
To begin with is the fact that Standard Life is recognised globally for its excellence in the human resource operations. This makes many job-seekers want to be associated with such a company hence attracted to it (Hardy, 2002, p.1). In addition to this, as way of encouraging recruits, the company staffs move to various leading universities and other education institutions in a bid to distribute leaflets, brochures and application forms that the willing applicants will use to get more information about the company as well as make applications.
Engagement of Staff
Engaging staff is some of the operations and decisions of an organisation is another important human resource strategy (Graziano and Woehr, 2001, p.20). In Standard Life Company, this is achieved when the potential recruits share a luncheon with the company directors and managers. This is done to see if they are in a position to handle the situation and the small talk which in turn depicts the individuals’ ability to communicate and relate with others.
Reward and Recognition
It is important that all organisations recognise and reward their human resources once they have done recommendable work. This could take the form of salaries, bonuses and promotions just to mention but a few (Hardy, 2002, p.1).
In a bid to apply this human resource strategy, Standard Life Company offers the successful recruits a package of £ 10, 000. It also achieves recognition by ensuring that there transparency and fairness in the recruitment process by incorporating a recruitment consultants to perform the exercise hence preventing bias.
Learning and Development
This is another strategy that the company adopts in its human resource department by giving the applicants the responsibility of leading a session which could be a problem-solving exercise or a business game (Heathfield, 2000, p.1). This ensures that the successful candidates will have achieved the desired learning required by the company hence achieving its objectives.
Leadership and management development
The development of leadership and management is of essence to any business enterprise that is concerned of its progress and future (Graziano and Woehr, 2001, p.20). An organisation ensures this by properly planning for succession and career progression.
The Standard Life company makes this use of this strategy through the interview procedure which entails looking at certain qualities such s communication skills, problem-solving, leadership creativity and courage among others. By examining these qualities in the individuals, it ensures that the qualified recruits are those that will ensure the progress and success of the company.
Management of performance
This strategy is achieved through the integration of all the other strategic themes whereby in the long run the company will use the talents of the recruits to upgrade its performance (Heathfield, 2000, p.1). The company does this by recruiting individuals who they know will contribute to the overall success of the company.
The actual Standard’s life strategy
From the above, it is seen that the company practised the major human resource strategies in its selection and recruitment process. In the real situation, Standard Life Company has a very effective human resource strategy. The company ensures that its staffs are aware and make use of the operating principles therefore applying them during internal meetings.
It also ensures competence in its leadership development and succession management. The strategic plans established in their human resource are such that each part of the HR is in the alignment of the business practices and objectives. Last but not least, the human resource strategic plan also ensures that it focuses on the changing culture and future by creation of additional ways of dealing with change.
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Standard’s Life approach to workforce diversity
Diversity in the workforce has been of concern in most business enterprises operating in the current global environment (McInnes, 1999, p.1). Workforce diversity essentially means putting together people who are from different cultural, racial, age groups, sex and other differences so that they work under the same conditions and environment (McInnes, 1999, p.1). Companies that practise workforce diversity are known to be able to retain their employees for long time while giving them job satisfaction.
Therefore workforce diversity is a recommendable approach by any organisation that cares about its social responsibility (Hauenstein, 2005, p.3). From the case study Standards Life company is depicted to practise workforce diversity. This is achieved when the company officials distribute application forms and brochures to all universities despite their location (Özbilgin and Tatli, 2008, p.132).
By doing this, the company ensures that the applications are made from a diverse range of individuals. In addition, the selection process is not limited to factors like age, sex, race or other discriminating factors thus incorporating all groups of people with the only factor considered being related to academic achievement (Scott, 2007, p.67).
Similarly, during the interviews there are times when the recruits are put in groups where eight applicants are invited per session, this is done to bring together the applicants so that they can learn to work in teams. In the last part of the interview, the company leads the successful applicants to a boardroom where they have lunch collectively with the company managers and directors. All this is done to enhance workforce diversity even at the early stages of the job recruitment (Özbilgin and Tatli, 2008, p.132).
The extent of interview predictability expected for Standard’s Life Approach
Interviews form the major part of the selection and recruitment processes of most companies and organizations (Adiele, 2009, p.1). This is because interviews are able to provide both past and future performance of a candidate (Coach, 2010, p.1). Interviews also provide the candidate with an opportunity to ask about the job and organisation that has been offered.
In Standard Life, the applicants are conducted through a criterion-based interview that looks at eight qualities such as problem-solving, leadership, interpersonal skills adaptability and flexibility. The aim of this criterion-based interview is to assess personal qualities combined with behaviour and knowledge (Coach, 2010, p.1).
Despite its important role in the selection and recruitment process, the interview of Standard Life has a poor predictive ability. This type of interview is only based on the eight qualities hence the information gathered after the interview does not indicate the candidate’s performance on the job.
Instead, it would be appropriate is the panel interview is used where the candidates and interviewers are put in one on one discussion where the questions asked review the job description. This helps the interviewers know the right candidates for the position.
The standards’ Life company interview does not provide the candidates with an opportunity to ask questions about the company, something that is very essential in any conducted interview (Coach, 2010, p.1). Supplementary question are also not asked during the interview hence limiting the questions to the work oriented qualities while ignoring testing on the social capabilities of the candidates. This is of essence as it helps the employers gauge if the candidate is able to work comfortably in teams.
It can therefore be concluded that an effective interview is one that is able to efficiently predict the performance of the successful applicant through the short discussion that the employer will have with the candidate (Coach, 2010, p.1). It is important to ensure that the right candidates are selected to avoid underperformance which could also make the company go back to the drawing board and organise another recruitment exercise a decision that is time and cost involving.
The Impact of the recruitment and selection process at Standard Life on a candidate’s view of the organization
The section and recruitment process of any organisation or company is the first instance of the employee relationship management. This is because it provides the candidate with an opportunity to know the company better unlike before (Hauenstein, 2005, p.3). It is due to this fact that the selection and recruitment process creates an impact on the candidates’ (whether successful or failed) view on the culture and perception of the organisation.
In the case of Standard Life Company it has both negative and positive impact on the candidate’s view of the company. The fact that the company staffs moves to places while attracting applicants to apply for the graduate trainee scheme is an indication that the company cares about its society through corporate social responsibility (Hausknecht, 2010, p.4). This makes the candidates have a positive impact regarding the company’s intuition on the applications.
The demanding questions to be filled in the application form show how strict and efficient the company is with regard to acquiring employees. The successful applicants are therefore gauge themselves and rank themselves high after meeting the requirements of the application (Hausknecht, 2010, p.4). This therefore has a positive impact on the successful applicants making them have the feeling of great performance which hence gives them the determination to undertake the consequent interviews and tests.
Also the fact that the company invites a firm of recruitment consultant to handle the selection exercise indicates that the company wants transparency in their selection system. This will have a positive impact on the successful candidates because they will be able to develop trust with the company.
On the other hand, the unsuccessful candidates will be able to accept the fact that they have not met the required qualifications but not disqualified under malice. The criterion-based interview together with the psychological test show how detailed the company can be detailed in its operations. Some of the applicants may view this as a way of brainstorming tem which is very healthy for any career while others will see it as way of testing them hence have a negative attitude towards the company (Hausknecht, 2010, p.4).
The involvement of the candidates in the luncheon with the company directors and managers make the candidates feel wanted and not discriminated hence having a positive thinking towards the company. However, in the whole selection and recruitment process, the candidates view has a greater weight in the determination of the type of impact created in each stage of the process.
From the above discussion it can be concluded that organisations should practise strategic human resource so as to retain their employees and have a good reputation. Similarly, they should ensure that their selection and recruitment process is up to date so as to acquire the best employees for the post and also since this process has a great impact on the way the candidates view the company.
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