Features of national and international employment markets from which organizations source staff
The current employment market in which organization is operating
The financial industry of Cyprus develops actively, and the employment market in which Windsor Brokers Ltd operates is related to the investment services market of the country. On the one hand, the number of investment firms located in Cyprus increases annually, resulting in the strengthened competition between investment services companies. On the other hand, the number of well-educated and high-skilled candidates who apply for positions in the company has also grown (Ministry of Finance 2016). The current employment market associated with the financial industry is characterized by the increased number of 25-30-year-old applicants who are non-Cypriots in comparison to the situation in the past years. Furthermore, the number of financial specialists, including analysts, traders, brokers, and risk managers, who have received their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in different European countries, also increased. As a result, the current labor market related to the discussed industry is rather competitive.
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Current and future demand for skills
Windsor Brokers is constantly seeking talented and skilled young professionals, who specialize not only in Business Administration, Finances, Analytics, and Management but also in IT, Marketing, and Statistics among other areas. For instance, currently, the company is seeking for candidates to take the position of Research Officer in the Research and Development department. As a result, the current demand for talented employees can be discussed as high. Furthermore, changes in the number of services, which Windsor Brokers proposes, and the number of customers can lead to changes in the future demand for skills. Therefore, it is possible to expect an increase in the number of open positions in the company.
Competitors in the employment market
There are many rivals in the investment services market of Cyprus and globally, and these competitors can also be discussed in the context of the employment market. Fidelis Capital Markets, United World Capital, TTCM Traders Trust Capital Markets Limited, and Blackwell Global are only some of them. Thus, while applying for a position in Windsor Brokers, candidates also choose among positions proposed by the listed companies.
Key employment market and demographic trends
The workforce of Cyprus is discussed as well-trained, and Cypriot specialists are characterized by high-level performance and productivity. The overall unemployment rate decreased by 2% in 2015-2016, and the number of young specialists working in financial companies has increased significantly (Ministry of Finance 2016). The financial industry is characterized by attracting not only well-educated Cypriots but also non-Cypriots, who are professionals in the sphere of investment and financial analytics.
Evaluation of resourcing and talent management strategies, diversity management, and flexible working initiatives.
How the organization remains competitive in the employment market
To remain competitive in the employment market, Windsor Brokers focuses on the constant improvement of Human Resource Management (HRM) programs and policies to address employees’ needs and expectations. First, while being a multicultural organization, the company has adopted the Equal Opportunity policy to avoid discrimination and promote diversity. Second, in addition to providing competitive salaries and promotion opportunities, the company is also interested in employees’ sharing of their ideas and visions of the organization with the help of the Suggestion Box. While respecting employees’ needs and interests, the company also cares for employees’ families and their well-being. The Career Development for Employees’ Children and the Study Leave is the program to support workers in their personal and professional development. Unique approaches to motivating employees also include the activities of the Entertainment Committee.
Evidence of work-life balance initiatives
Windsor Brokers is interested in providing employees with opportunities to improve their work-life balance, and the current initiatives and policies in this field are the following ones: a) flexible work schedule arrangements to change schedules for a reason; b) arrangements for employees with mobility problems and pregnant women; c) the provision of paid paternity, annual, and study leaves; d) the provision of opportunities for indoor and outdoor entertainments.
Evidence of setting terms and conditions for employees
Terms and conditions for employees are listed in their contracts. They are determined according to the principles of the company’s employment policy, Cyprus Labour Law, and European labor law adopted for the countries of the European Union. These contracts include the information regarding employees’ responsibilities, work time and breaks, the policy on confidentiality, grievance procedures, and the sexual harassment policy. Associated terms and conditions are also provided in the Disciplinary Code for employees.
Evidence of job analysis and design
Job analysis is an essential process in the HRM practice that is based on determining the content of jobs with the focus on activities and duties involved in their description. HR specialists identify not only activities to perform by employees in the context of this or that position but also attributes and qualities which employees should possess to perform these duties (Saif et al. 2013). HR specialists in Windsor Brokers also pay much attention to job analysis and design to guarantee that all job descriptions are formulated appropriately to reflect basic requirements and expectations regarding the education and professional levels of the applied candidates. The Job Description Template used by HR specialists was improved and structured to reflect job responsibilities, duties, qualifications, and performance measurements according to the results of job analysis.
Evidence of flexible working
In the context of the work-life balance program, Windsor Brokers provides its employees with opportunities to re-arrange their standard working hours according to their needs. Flexibility related to making work schedules is observed when employees have family, health, or academic reasons to change their standard schedule. When requests for arrangements are approved, employees can choose flexible hours to work only for three months in a year.
Evidence of diversity
Diversity is a characteristic feature of the company’s team as Windsor Brokers is a multicultural organization, and it employs representatives of more than twenty nationalities and cultures. Furthermore, the company also respects age and gender diversity. Moreover, Windsor Brokers follows the diversity policy in the context of the Equal Opportunity program to prevent any cases of discriminating against people of different races and persons with disabilities. When an employee experiences discrimination, he or she is expected to fill in a form and contact the HR team to resolve the issue. The company guarantees the protection for victims of discrimination and the penalty for those persons who are guilty. Windsor Brokers also participates in celebrating the International Cultural Diversity Day to promote the principles of equality and diversity in the company.
Examples of ethical working practices with evidence
Ethical working practices which are expected to be followed by employees in Windsor Brokers are the professional conduct with co-workers with the focus on avoiding sexual harassment and bullying; the smart personal appearance to demonstrate respect for customers and professionalism; the professional relationships with employees without having financial relations with stakeholders. Furthermore, much attention is paid to protecting the confidential information related to the company’s activities and clients, as well as protecting employees’ private information. Employees are also expected to demonstrate their professional conduct, respect for colleagues, and honesty while interacting with each other as a team.
How the organization manages skill shortages
To manage skill shortages, the Human Resource Department of Windsor Brokers performs the following steps:
- monitors changes in employees’ turnover intentions;
- controls the recruitment process;
- provides regular training for employees from all departments;
- focuses on cross-training.
Recruitment, selection, and induction activities
The methods used to recruit and select people in organization
The HR department of Windsor Brokers follows a certain recruitment procedure to attract and select the most promising candidates to take positions in the company. First, a job advertisement is located on the company’s website. Candidates have an opportunity to submit the information about them using the provided application form. In response to the application, candidates receive e-mails that notify them that their applications will be reviewed by HR specialists. After assessing candidates’ qualifications, HR specialists provide them with an e-mail to invite applicants to participate in an interview. The first interview is conducted by an HR specialist in the presence of the director of a certain department. After the first interview, HR specialists decide on candidates to invite for the second interview. During the second interview, applicants are assessed in terms of their specific professional and interpersonal skills. HR specialists and directors are present. After two weeks, candidates are informed about the company’s decision.
Selection criteria used by HR specialists include qualifications of applicants, their educational and professional backgrounds with the focus on fields of Economics, Finance, Risk Management, and Mathematics, and personal characteristics of candidates with the focus on their integrity, resourcefulness, and creativity.
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Evidence of recruitment administration
The process of recruiting and selecting employees is based on several steps which include the screening of application forms, curriculum vitae, cover letters, and resumes; selection interviewing; the evaluation of candidates’ qualifications and attributes to take a certain position. All these procedures are properly administered and based on the use of HR documentation and protocols.
Evidence of advertising
Job advertisements that are related to different departments and which include the job-specific information are located on the company’s website (Windsor Brokers 2017). A job advertisement usually follows a certain model.
Evidence of use of employment agencies
There are situations when Windsor Brokers refers to the assistance of several reputable recruitment agencies located in Cyprus to search for high-quality professionals. Professional recruiters assist in searching and contacting candidates who have unique qualifications or specialize in concrete fields of knowledge.
Evidence of selection interviewing, use of tests
To select the most appropriate candidates for the advertised positions, HR specialists conduct two interviews and complete evaluation forms after each interview to document data for the further assessment and the final decision. Interview questions differ in terms of focusing on the professional and personal qualities of candidates, as well as on their abilities to work in teams.
How the reliability and validity of selection methods are ensured
To guarantee reliability and validity of selection approaches and interview protocols, it was important to avoid including inappropriate questions in interview forms. While referring to the literature in the field and additional training, efficient interview protocols were developed. According to Jyrkinen (2014) and Marr and Cable (2014), interview questions should not be related to gender issues, marital status, nationality, culture, language, age, religion, and health. Thus, interview questions should not be discriminating, and the focus is on determining the qualifications, skills, personal attributes, and motivation of candidates.
Educational liaison the organization undertakes
Windsor Brokers cooperates with Cyprus International Institute of Management to provide employees with scholarships and participation in educational programs related to their professional area and qualifications. The focus is on providing scholarship opportunities to join courses in Business Administration, Management, Human Resource Management, and Financial Services.
The use of assessment centers
HR specialists in Windsor Brokers refer to the materials provided by assessment centers when it is necessary to improve the currently used assessment or evaluation procedure and change approaches to the performance appraisal. In these cases, the company’s Human Resource Department contacts specialists from assessment centers to provide the required material or conduct training for HR managers.
Evidence of staff induction
According to Salau, Falola, and Akinbode (2014), staff induction procedures are important to help new employees or those employees who have changed their responsibilities to adapt to new duties and environments. The appropriate staff induction allows new employees to understand their responsibilities as professionals and team members, as well as all associated processes, in the most efficient manner. The staff induction in Windsor Brokers is a well-organized process, and it includes the workplace introduction, the introduction to departments and other areas in the building, the introduction to team members and other colleagues, the description of main job responsibilities, and the introduction to the Intranet used in the company. Employees are also informed regarding working schedules, grievance procedures, confidentiality and non-disclosure information policies, the sexual harassment policy, and principles of employee assessment and evaluation among other policies. The information regarding safety principles, safe working procedures, emergencies, incidents, and possible hazards is also provided. When the induction process is completed, a new employee and an HR specialist sign an induction checklist.
Long and short term talent planning and succession planning exercises
Evidence of workforce planning and succession planning
Workforce planning and succession planning are important strategies in the context of talent management realized in companies because the focus should be on collecting reliable information about employees regarding their performance, successes, and leadership qualities to plan the further promotion to upper positions or other departments (Brooks 2014). In Windsor Brokers, employees are regularly informed about open positions in the company’s departments and encouraged to apply. HR specialists also contact those employees who are viewed as good candidates for a certain position personally and with the help of e-mail. Those employees who demonstrate leadership abilities, the perfect performance, or successes in their work with customers are encouraged to take higher positions in their departments. If employees do not apply for the promoted positions within two weeks after being informed or if they do not accept propositions, a vacancy becomes open to candidates outside the company.
Evidence of skills analysis
To guarantee that all employees in Windsor Brokers take appropriate positions and perform their duties successfully, HR specialists conduct regular performance appraisals which include the skill analysis. Performance appraisals are conducted twice a year, and they are based on certain protocols that are developed to determine the particular level of employees’ skills to conclude about the possible promotion, reward, or training.
Examples of outsourcing and the use of external consultants
External consultants are used by Windsor Brokers to improve HR strategies and implement new procedures that require additional training and assistance. For instance, the company’s HR specialists referred to external consultants while planning the implementation of a new Performance Appraisal form. External consultants were involved in the work of the Human Resource Management department to provide the assessment of the company’s directors on behalf of Windsor Brokers’ CEO. The invited consultants worked for such agencies as “The Advanced Institute” and “Let’s Talk” in Cyprus. After being instructed by the company’s HR specialists on the purpose of assessment, consultants provided directors with Performance Appraisal forms and collected the data for the CEO’s further consideration.
Information on employee turnover as a basis for developing robust staff retention strategies.
Evidence of turnover data and use of it
The Human Resource Department monthly documents changes in the number of employees and calculates the turnover rate to analyze the employment situation and improve recruitment and retention strategies.
Evidence of actions taken to reduce employee turnover
According to Hancock et al. (2013), high levels of employee turnover are usually a result of a negative impact of the financial pressure, occupational pressure, and psychological pressure. If employees work in uncomfortable environments, suffer from high levels of stress and burnout, and experience frequent conflicts with their co-workers, their turnover intentions develop proportionally to the decreasing job satisfaction (Katsikea, Theodosiou & Morgan 2015; Mathieu et al. 2016). To increase employees’ job satisfaction and address turnover, HR specialists provide employees with opportunities to share their views regarding stress levels, occupational safety, and teamwork, as well as to participate in activities oriented to decreasing the psychological pressure and improving their work-life balance.
Retirement, redundancy, and dismissal practices
Evidence of dealing with redundancy, retirement, dismissal
Termination or dismissal of employees, as well as redundancies, are challenging processes for both the company and employees, and they require to be properly regulated according to the policies to guarantee the protection of employees’ rights and accentuation of their needs (Whyman & Petrescu 2015). When the company terminates the employment of a certain person because of redundancy or dismissal for some reason, the notice is provided. The length of an employee’s service with the company influences a period during which the notice should be provided. Windsor Brokers also follows a practice of the “garden leave” (Storey 2014). During this period, employees usually do not attend their workplace, but they are treated as workers of a certain company until the end of the notice period (Qin, Nembhard & Barnes 2015).
In Windsor Brokers, male and female employees retire at the age of 65 years according to the Contract of Employment and local retirement policies. HR specialists notify retiring employees regarding their specific retirement date in advance.
Evidence of dealing with a severance payment
A severance package is important to provide terminated or retired employees with all required payments (Strandholm, Schatzel & Callahan 2013). The amount of the severance payment depends on the information uploaded by HR specialists on paid and non-paid monthly wages, bonuses, the 13th salary, and any other payments, including leave and overtime payments.
Evidence of pre-retirement training and planning
Windsor Brokers does not provide specific pre-retirement training for its employees, and all associated training sessions are proposed in the context of a general education and adaptation plan. Strict norms regarding the retirement age and associated HR procedures are presented in the Staff Manual used by the Human Resource Department.
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