Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
In these turbulent times of today, organizations are faced with numerous challenges and difficulties that affect their day-to-day operations, competitiveness, growth and expansion. Although many organizations are able to identify and exploit new opportunities for growth and success that may arise due to changes in environmental factors such as technological advancement, increased access to capital, ability to identify and exploit core business competencies, formulation and implementation of supportive laws and regulations by the federal and state governments, many organizations are still faced with the problem of proper management of human resources. For instance, most organizations are not able to recruit and retain a pool of highly qualified and skilled workers.
Human Resource Management
Human resource management (HRM) refers to the process of organizing, controlling and coordinating the workforce of an organization. The main functions of human resource management are attraction of potential workers, selection and recruitment, training and appraisal of works in an organization (Mondy & Mondy, 2010). Human resource management also encompasses the provision of appropriate rewards and benefits to employees. The workforce or human resources are core components of any organization. Thus, it is necessary for organizations to develop appropriate strategies for their human resources. This calls for proper management of workers through human resource management. Mondy, Noe and Gowan (2008) also affirm that human resource management plays an integral part in contributing to the success and growth of an organization. Some of the major activities in human resource management include human resource planning, recruitment and job design.
Human Resource Planning
Human resource planning refers to the process of finding out the current and future human resource needs that are needed by an organization to enable it achieve its goals and objectives (Armstrong & Armstrong, 2011). Human resource planning is a continuous process of systematic planning that aims at optimizing the use of human capital or resources in an organization. According to Mathis and Jackson (2010), human resource planning involves setting strategies, policies and procedures for effective management of human capital in an organization. Proper human resource planning also facilitates decision-making processes in an organization.
Employee recruitment refers to the process of finding and hiring the best qualified candidate for a given job position in an organization (Brown, 2011). Recruitment should be conducted in a timely and cost-effective manner. Employee recruitment requires detailed analysis and assessment of organizational needs. It also deals with proper attracting of potential workers to a job position, selecting and screening applicants in order to hire the most qualified candidate for the post, and training newly employed workers. Employee recruitment is the process of acquiring suitable workers who are qualified and well skilled to work for an organization (Arthur, 2011). Employee recruitment also involves discovering the qualifications and capabilities of potential employees in order to determine their suitability for various positions in an organization.
In my view, recruitment of employees is one the most critical activities in management of organizations. This is because organizations require the best workers that are capable of meeting the needs of an organization at the workplace in order to succeed. Therefore, an organization should recruit only people, which it believes have the potential to drive success and growth in the organization. Proper recruitment of workers in an organization would enable an organization to create a pool of skilled workers and increase its knowledge base. This leads to greater performance and competence.
Job design refers to the process of systematically organizing or categorizing related tasks, responsibilities, functions and duties for a given job position in an organization. According to Fried (2012), job design is a continuous process of integrating related tasks and duties of a job in order to achieve certain objectives. Job design is an arrangement of work that is aimed at reducing or overcoming job dissatisfaction and employee alienation in an organization which would be caused by performing repetitive and mechanistic tasks. Fried (2012) defines job design as the process of putting together various elements to form a job. Job design also enables organizations to increase levels of productivity by offering non-monetary rewards to the workers. According to Cooper (2007), job designs are usually created to facilitate achievement of high level of job satisfaction among workers. The needs of an organization and requirements of workers are some of the major factors that are considered during a job design. According to Fried (2012), employers have a direct impact on job design strategies. Employers are responsible for identifying the favorable qualities, characteristics, behaviors and attributes of potential employees needed by an organization. This impacts the types of candidates that are recruited for different roles in a company. In the same way, employers are also responsible for choosing the most suitable candidates for vacant positions in an organization. This directly impacts the quality of workers in an organization.
Challenges in Integrating and Maintaining the Above Human Resource Practices in the Australian Agricultural Company
Australian Agricultural Company Limited is a public corporation based in Australia that specializes in beef farming and processing of beef products. The Australian Agricultural Company Limited was founded in 1824 through an Act of the British Parliament (Dun & Bradstreet, 2009). The company is headquartered at Brisbane.
One of the greatest challenges faced by the Australian Agricultural Company in integrating and maintaining human resource planning within its operations is lack of proper integration and implementation strategies. For example, the company does not have adequate human resource management plans for linking job performance with payment of workers. For example, the Australian Agricultural Company has failed to fulfill its roles during recruitment of workers. This has led to a rate of employee turnover in the company. This has negatively impacted the operations of the company. High employee turnover at the company has also led to an increase in operational costs and total expenditures incurred by the organization because of high costs of recruiting and training of new workers. The company has also not been able to develop appropriate human resource plans that would lead to an increased motivation of its workers. Other serious challenges faced by the Australian Agricultural Company during recruitment of employees include the inability to attract potential employees, inability to ascertain whether job applicants have the right skills and capabilities needed for various positions in the organization, and inability to retain workers. In my view, effective human resource planning would help in improving the performance of workers in the organization; hence, resulting in an increased productivity.
Another difficult challenge faced by the Australian Agricultural Company during the integration of human resource management practices with the organization is lack of proper leadership. In my opinion, proper leadership is necessary for effective development and implementation of suitable policies and strategies for managing human capital in the organization. For example, the organization should adopt participative and democratic leadership styles which would facilitate involvement or active participation of workers in the decision-making processes. This would highly motivate the workers by giving them a feeling of recognition, value and importance in the company.
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The Australian Agricultural Company has also been faced with numerous challenges during the recruitment of workers. During recruitment processes, the company has been incurring very high costs and wasting a lot of time before a suitable candidate would be selected to fill the vacant position in the company. The recruitment process is usually costly and expensive. It also consumes a lot of time. Another challenge faced by the organization during recruitment is the provision of appropriate trainings to new employees in order to enable them to adapt to and embrace the culture of the organization. Other activities relating to recruitment of workers that have posed challenges to the organization are the development and implementation of appropriate employee reward systems which involves deciding upon appropriate remuneration strategies and benefits packages for workers, discrimination of potential workers during the selection process and improper selection of workers which has led to selection of wrong candidates and running away from the right candidates. In my view, the Australian Agricultural Company should set clear strategies for recruiting workers. This is because recruitment of employees is one of the most critical and important activities carried out by the human resource managers; hence, should be conducted by great care. The company should avoid prejudices and unwarranted discriminations that would deny the most suitable workers. Although promotional campaign within the organization may help in reducing costs of recruitment and facilitate retention of workers at the company, it should also be conducted with great care because it may deprive the company new perspectives, ideas and skills from external job applicants.
In my view, the organization can overcome the challenges it faces during the recruitment of employees by adopting suitable recruitment strategies such as not recruiting only when necessary and employee development strategies such as provision of adequate training opportunities that would help the organization to retain its workers. In my opinion, the search for new employees should be a continuous and ongoing process. Thus, great employees can be recruited by the organization not only when a vacancy arises but rather when a potentially good worker is spotted. Challenges faced during recruitment of employees can also be avoided by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the needs of the organization and the appropriate skills and behaviors that would meet those needs. Creation of a suitable working environment would also help in retaining more workers hence help in minimizing recruitment costs.
Major challenges faced by the Australian Agricultural Company during job design include improper definition of the scope of a job, organizational requirements, likes and dislikes of individual employees, bureaucratic organizational structure and poor control systems. In my view, a job design must be devised in accordance with the requirements of the organization. Rapid changes in technology have also impacted job design processes in the company. As Fried (2012) asserts, the level of technology adopted by an organization also affects job design, for example, organization with high levels of technology would have different job designs from organizations with low levels of technology. Therefore, technology has posed challenges to effective integration of job design as a human resource management practice at the Australian Agricultural Company. In my view, a good job design must allow inputs from the employee as well as give employees a sense of success or accomplishment. A good job design should also include training requirements in order to enable workers know what tasks to do and how to do them (Fried, 2012). The provision of feedback is also a major component of job design which should be integrated and maintained in organizational processes. Similarly, a good job design must also provide good work and rest schedules.
The development and integration of proper human resource management practices can greatly affect the ability of an organization to achieve its target goals and objectives. This is because human capital or labor is the most valuable asset and driving force that determines the success of an organization. Therefore, it is important for an organization to develop and implement appropriate strategies that would facilitate proper human resource planning, recruitment and retention of workers, and would integrate suitable human resource management practices with other operations of an organization. Proper human resource management should outline suitable plans or strategies for maximizing human resources in an organization. Proper human resource management would provide a company with a competitive edge in the industry. Apposite human resource management is highly essential and would be beneficial to both the organization and employees. Therefore, organizations should not lose sight of the crucial value and importance of employees in an organization.