Human Resource Mba

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QUESTION 1
It is only companies that put extra effort and resources into developing, training and properly incentivising their workforce that will be able to retain their good staff. Critically discuss how Pfizer, with their biggest challenge being “the skills shortage and the retention of talented and skilled staff”, attempts to overcome this challenge.

1.1 Introduction

The twenty-first century is characterized by businesses that are evolving in a rapidly changing and competitive environment. Globalisation, increased competition and changes in consumer behaviour are resulting in important business restructuring all around the world. With fierce competition, companies are facing challenges such as labour productivity, global economy and skills shortages among others. However, all organisations have one thing in common; they must employ competent and motivated workers.

Pfizer is a major pharmaceutical company, which ranks number one in the world of sales. The biggest challenge that Pfizer is facing is skills shortage and retention of talented and skilled staff. . The term skills shortage is defined by (Anonymous 1, 2007) as the supply of workers not being sufficient to meet demand at current rates of pay. According to Phillips and Connell (2003:2), employee retention is defined as the percentage of employees remaining in an organisation.

To overcome this difficulty, Pfizer is putting extra effort and resources into developing, training and incentivising its workforce to retain their good staff.

1.2 Strategies adapted by Pfizer to overcome this challenge

1.2.1 E-recruit System

As the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer has implemented an e-recruit system. It is the online recruiting, via the intranet (internally) and the internet (externally) (Nel, Werner, Haasbroek, Poisat, Sono, and Schultz, 2008:227). E-recruitment is growing exceptionally fast as more people gain access to technology. Even those who do not possess their own computers are able to utilise this means for a job search by using the cyber-cafes.

The processes of e-recruitment consist of attracting, screening and tracking applicants, selecting, and offering jobs or rejecting candidates (Armstrong, 2006: 420).

Recruiting through the internet involves lower costs and with the use of special software, the human resource department can even carry out a preliminary selection of potential candidates. Electronic recruitment provides the efficiency of information management and reduces costs to the recruiters.

The e-recruitment system has brought about substantial improvements to Pfizer’s recruitment practices as it is a fast track method. Nel et al (2008: 227) recognise that aside from the lower advertising costs, recruiting via the internet provides benefits such as: • Unlimited exposure of advertisements for local, national and international markets • Vacancies are immediately accessible for 24 hours a day • Unlimited length of the advertising material

• Employer and candidate can interact by utilising online communication devices.

However e-recruitment has some social and economic disadvantages. It discriminates against certain class of people who cannot afford or access the technology and those who are still intimidated by technology. It can also disadvantage someone of the opportunity who might be in an area where the technology is not available at that particular point in time.

1.2.2 Talent Planning

Talent planning, also known as workforce planning or human resource planning, is a systematic, fully integrated organisational process that involves proactively planning ahead to avoid talent surpluses or shortages (Sullivan 2004: 46). It is based on the premise that a company can be staffed more efficiently if it forecasts its talent needs as well as the actual supply of talent that is or will be available. Workforce planning integrates the forecasting elements of all the functions that...
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