The Human Resources Department (HRD) is responsible for Human Resources Planning at ‘Alstom’ and most other big businesses. This means they have a number of main responsibilities to make sure that the business is planned and running well. At ‘Alstom’ the HRD have to plan ahead and make sure they have the correct number of suitable employees for the business. In order to do this ‘Alstom’ set out to fully understand the demand on the labour market in their area. The main things ‘Alstom’ look at are:
> Availability of labour
> Competition for employment and placements
> Local employment trends
> Skills shortages
These are all very important as they highlight what is going on in the labour market and what may affect the running of ‘Alstom’. Availability of labour shows just how many people there are on offer for employment in ‘Alstom’s’ area, which reveals to them how many people there are to choose from when recruiting. Competition for employees shows whether demand for labour is increasing because competitors are expanding or whether demand is dropping because competitors are having to make redundancies. This also can affect wage rates when recruiting, because as demand increases salary rates are caused to rise. This is because it is harder to recruit the right sort of employees and so companies have to offer better pay conditions in order to attract the right candidates to their business.
Local employment trends imply how much labour is available and suggest whether it will be easy or difficult to recruit. It also shows if a local competitor is discarding labour and so provides an advantage for ‘Alstom’ as they can employ these who have been made redundant, as they will have the skills and the experience needed. Skill shortages are very important statistics to ‘Alstom’ as they reveal when the skills needed in their industry are dropping in the labour market, which can be very costly to the business when it comes to recruiting. If the skills they need such as degrees in manufacturing and engineering begin to fall, then wage rates will rise and the competition between ‘Alstom’ and other companies to recruit these graduates will become quite fierce. However, to help this problem ‘Alstom’ are quite fortunate as they have already set up their own training scheme to make sure they are achieving the skills they need.
At ‘Alstom’ they also review how labour is progressing within the business. They calculate:
> Sickness rates
> Accident rates
> Skills & training
> Wastage rate – labour turnover
This is very important because by using and understanding these factors and statistics it can be seen where ‘Alstom’ may need improving and where things may have to change. For example, if accident rates are high, they may look into why people are so many accidents and what from, etc. By doing this they see if there is anything they can do to help this situation and prevent this from happening as much. ‘Alstom’ can also make better decisions about their staffing from these statistics and can analyze the success of the HRP and improve where it is needed.
Recruitment & Selection
At ‘Alstom’ it is the HRD’s responsibility to recruit and select employees into the business. At ‘Alstom’ they have four main objectives when recruiting staff, which are all very important. They are important because these objectives outline the essentials that are needed in recruitment and selection to structure a solid foundation for the business. These objectives are:
> Helping the growth of ‘Alstom’
> Improving by changing job roles within ‘Alstom’
> Improving by employee internal promotion within ‘Alstom’
> Filling resignation, retirement or dismissal vacancies within ‘Alstom’
When additional or replacement personnel are required, here are what the main responsibilities are throughout this process:
> The Recruiting Manager (RM) will complete a Personnel Requisition (job family model, profile & job description).
> It is returned to HRD for action.
> The Human Resources Officer (HRO) advises the RM on the Personnel Requisition and will consult with them regarding sourcing the vacancy.
> The post is advertised internally prior to/parallel with external recruitment procedures (managers are not permitted to contact any external agencies directly without prior agreement from the HRD).
> Internal applicants should complete an ‘Application for Internal Appointment’ form – applicant’s manager must authorize. External applicants complete an ‘Application for External Appointment’ form or submit a CV.
> Internal applicants are screened by the HRO and forwarded to the RM. Selected applicant interviews are then arranged via HRD. Internal candidates not selected for interviews are notified by HRD. Successful internal candidates have their current manager informed by the HRD and are formally offered the job via their manager. They then have 10 days to accept and the two managers agree on a release date.
> External applicants are screened by HRD and suitable applicants are forwarded to the RM for selection. Interviews are then arranged via HRD for short-listed candidates. The successful candidate is issued the ‘New Starter Advice’ by the HRD, in liaison with the RM. The candidate is then offered a placement subject to a pre-employment medical examination and at least one previous employers reference and evidence of qualifications. The candidate then has 10 days to accept after which time the offer becomes invalid.
This process is very important to ‘Alstom’ as it makes sure that recruiting and selecting is done accurately and fairly. If this was not done appropriately then the business could suffer as the wrong recruit for ‘Alstom’ may be selected due to the process being carried out inappropriately and poorly. The candidates may also complain if they feel that the process was not carried out professionally and fairly, which would obviously not benefit anyone.
At ‘Alstom’ they have several ways of measuring and managing the performance of their employees, all of which are very important. They are important because they enable managers to oversee and supervise the performance of employees and make sure they are working to their full potential and so therefore see whether they are benefiting ‘Alstom’ and doing their part to ensure the business operates to its full potential. It also helps ‘Alstom’ to see which employees may need help and what they may need help with. Many of the ways are connected to the training. These are the methods they use:
> Standards – At ‘Alstom’ there are set standards for each job role that have to be met in order for the work to be regarded as high performance. There are four sets of standards for different levels. These levels are:
Senior Manager (operations)
Senior manager (strategic)
These standards for each level are to be met and are used to assess the skills and the effectiveness of the employee as well as to assess whether they are working efficiently enough for ‘Alstom’. These results are then reviewed and worked through in an individual appraisal discussion.
> Objectives – At ‘Alstom’ objectives are set and defined and help employers to ensure that employee’s are working to a good standard. Setting objectives also helps the employees by stating the important guidelines, which need to be followed in order for them to do their job well. There are ten objectives, arranged in two groups. Technical Objectives and Business & Personal Objectives. Here is an example of a
B4 = Personal Skills
To be able to operate effectively in a group endeavor
> Self-assessment – At ‘Alstom’ they ask employees to carry out their own self-assessment after reading and understanding the standards. They are given a suggested method and have guidance along the way. This helps both the employer and the employee. It helps the employer to understand what the employee’s own personal opinion of their performance is, where they may feel insecure and want some help, how confident they are within themselves, etc. Self-assessment helps the employee by allowing them to input their own thoughts of their performance, shows where they may need to put most of their effort, assess how they are coping meeting the job’s criteria, etc. Therefore, it helps both the employer and the employee to assess and manage individual performance.
> Measuring production – At ‘Alstom’ they also carry out some measurements of production. An example of this is ‘Graduate Retention’. This is an important method of performance management as it shows clearly what ‘Alstom’s’ internal statistics are and helps the business realize and assess where improvement may need to made and which areas are struggling to run well. For example, if graduate retention is increasing then they will need to make changes and improvements to bring this statistic down and therefore benefit the business.
Training and development
At ‘Alstom’ they have a process for Training and Development (shown on next page). The main responsibility of HRD is to make sure that this process is carried out and that it is fully introduced and explained. Training and Development is very important to ‘Alstom’ as it ensures that employees learn the right skills for the job and it makes sure that they can do their job well and efficiently. It helps employees to earn the skills, qualifications and experience that they want/need and it benefits ‘Alstom’ as it enables them to run better and to a fuller potential and efficiency because their workers are well trained and developed.