Leading and Managing People

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1.0 Introduction

It is the intention of this paper to critically analyse the effects of Human Resource Management (HRM) intervention policies in the areas of recruitment, retention and career development of an organisation’s human resources. The nature and intention of the psychological contract which is of prime importance in the recruitment, retention and career development will be discussed. It will also be demonstrated that continued intervention and interaction of HRM will contribute to the effectiveness of the workforce and thus, to the efficiency and productivity of an organisation. Additionally, it will be shown that human resource is a complex and evolving entity, with changing aspirations and expectations and HRM has a vital role to play in matching the companies profile to the employees’ psyche and work ethos. Global Assessment Trends Report 2011 on Top Human Resource Priorities in Table 1 indicates that Succession Planning, External Recruiting and Hiring, Career Development and Internal Promotion/Placement round out the top five priorities. HRM policies of recruitment, retention and career development will be looked at in detail.

Table 1: Top Human Resources Priorities: 2009 – 2011

Source: Global Assessment Trends 2011 Report

2.1 Human Resource Management

In recent years Human Resource Management (HRM) in the workplace has become an essential tool for organisational growth (BQF, 1998; Marchington and Wilkinson, 1997; Philips 1997) and is recognised by such terms as ‘people are our most important asset’ (Accenture 2001). Armstrong (1995) defined HRM as “a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s most valued asset – the employees, who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business.” Beer (1997) identified HRM as those decisions that embrace employee and employer relationships. Storey (1993) stated that, by using a diverse range of approaches, the employer will benefit from a highly committed and talented workforce. An illustration of Towers Watson’s HRM framework is shown in Figure 1 which encompasses key HR function of recruitment, retention and career development (Towers Watson, 2011).

Figure 1: Human Resource Management Framework

Source: Towers Watson, 2011

2.2 Talent Management

Development Dimension International, DDI (2009) identifies talent management as being vital to the employer to obtain the right mix of quality and quantity of work force to meet future growth requirements. The process is ‘kicked-in’ when the organization selects the right talent and continues as their performance is aligned with strategic goals and with an effective performance management system.

2.3 Psychological Contracts

Psychological contracts play a vital role in HRM policies of recruitment, retention and career development. Researchers have categorised psychological contracts into two forms: transactional and relational contracts (Rousseau and McLean Parks 1993; Robinson, Kraatz and Rousseau 1994; Shore and Tetrick 1994). Transactional contracts relate to precise rewards over short periods and they include fast-track promotion and reward payments (Robinson, Kraatz and Rousseau 1994). Conversely relational contracts offer long term job security, career development, training and development opportunities, and personal support (Robinson, Kraatz and Rousseau 1994). More recently however, there is a view that these concepts are not mutually exclusive and that an employment contract may develop within both frameworks (Coyle-Shapiro and Kessler, 2000).

2.0 Recruitment and Selection Policies

Recruitment “includes those practices and activities carried out by the organisation with the primary purpose of identifying and attracting potential employees” (Breaugh and Starke, 2000) thus having a vital role in HRM for “performing the essential function of drawing an important resource – human capital – into...
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