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HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING AND JOB ANALYSIS
The chapters begins by describing the intensive succession-plan for the new CEO at Quest Diagnostics. The process of human resource planning, and its connection to overall strategic organizational planning is described. Next, key notions are that a firm must know its mission and goals, and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Then human resources must describe jobs that will perform tasks necessary to meet the goals. Factors to consider, such as the skills of current employees, available tools, and management information systems, are presented in the discussion on how labor supply and demand are matched. Job analysis, which is used to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities required for each job, is described, and the importance of job analysis for almost all HRM activities is emphasized. Finally, current issues in human resource planning, which today must deal with downsizing and rightsizing, are presented.
Additional Features of this Chapter
Exhibit 5-2 is s sample replacement chart.
Examples from various job analysis techniques are provided and Exhibit 5-4 outlines the steps in a job analysis.
Exhibit 5-9 gives a sample job description for a benefits manager.
“Ethical Issues in HRM” discusses various competitive intelligence activities and the difference between ethical vs. legal.
ADDITIONAL LECTURE OR ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS
Environmental Scanning: Bring to class (or have students bring to class) news articles about general trends in your community and region, as well as national and world-wide. These should not necessarily be directly related to HR topics. Ask students in small groups to review the articles and discuss how the information in them could be used by strategic human resource planners. Articles might cover, for example, information on the cost of living, on community political or educational issues, or on new technologies that may impact business. An adaptation of this activity is obtaining clips of news broadcasts concerning business trends.
Small Business human resource planning: Discuss how even small businesses can strategically plan to meet their human resource needs. Students probably have good examples from their own experiences as customers and employees that illustrate effective and ineffective planning by local organizations; for example, long waits in restaurants which are understaffed; having to work consistent overtime; having to train unqualified coworkers. Choose a well-known small business (e.g., McDonalds) or one of their examples and ask students to provide specific suggestions on what the owner/manager should do to effectively plan for HR needs. What information & data should be utilized? Who, if anyone, should participate in planning with the manager or owner?
CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE SUGGESTIONS
Human resource planning is a process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number and kinds of people, at the right place, at the right time, capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that will help the organization achieve its overall strategic objectives.
Human resource planning is linked to the organization’s overall strategy and planning to compete domestically and globally. Overall plans and objectives must be translated into the number and types of workers needed.
Senior HRM professionals need to lead top management in planning for HRM issues.
An Organizational Framework
A mission statement defines what business the organization is in, including why it exists and who its customers are.
Set by senior management to establish targets for the organization to achieve.
Generally defined for the next 5-20 years.
Gap or SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis determines what is needed to meet objectives.
Strengths and weaknesses and core competencies are identified.
HRM determines what knowledge, skills and abilities are needed by the organization’s human resources.
Linking Organizational Strategy to Human Resource Planning
Ensures that people are available to meet the requirements set during strategic planning.
Assessing current human resources
A human resources inventory report summarizes information on current workers and their skills.
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) are increasingly popular computerized databases that contain important information abut employees.
Succession planning includes the development of replacement charts which portray middle-to-upper level management positions that may become vacant in the near future and lists information about individuals who might qualify to fill the positions (see Exhibit 5-2).
Determining the Demand for Labor
A human resource inventory can be developed to project year-by-year estimates of future HRM needs for every significant job level and type.
Forecasts must be made of the need for specific KSAs.
Predicting the Future Labor Supply
Labor supply comes from internal AND external sources.
A unit’s supply of human resources comes from new hires, contingent workers, transfers-in or individuals returning from leaves. Predicting these can range from simple to complex. Transfers are more difficult to predict since they depend on actions in other units.
Decreases in internal supply come about through retirements, dismissals, transfers-out, lay-offs, voluntary quits, sabbaticals, prolonged illnesses, or deaths. Retirements are the easiest to forecast; other factors are much more difficult to project. Dismissals, transfers, lay-offs, and sabbaticals are more easily controlled by management.
Where Will We Find Workers
Migration into a community, recent graduates, individuals returning from military service, increases in the number of unemployed and employed individuals seeking other opportunities, either part-time or full-time, affect the external labor supply.
The potential labor supply can be expanded by formal or on-the-job training.
Matching Labor Demand and Supply
Employment planning compares forecasts for demand and supply of workers.
Special attention should be paid to current and future shortages and overstaffing.
Decruitment or downsizing may be used to reduce supply and balance demand.
Rightsizing involves linking staffing levels to organizational goals.
A systematic exploration of the activities within a job; it defines and documents the duties, responsibilities and accountabilities of a job and the conditions under which a job is performed.
Job Analysis Methods
Observation method – job analyst watches employees directly or reviews film of workers on the job.
Individual interview method – a team of job incumbents is selected and extensively interviewed.
Group interview method – a number of job incumbents are interviewed simultaneously.
Structured questionnaire method – workers complete a specifically designed questionnaire.
Technical conference method – uses supervisors with an extensive knowledge of the job (subject matter experts).
Diary method – job incumbents record their daily activities.
The best results are usually achieved with some combination of methods.
Structured Job Analysis Techniques
Department of Labor’s Job Analysis Process:
Information from observations and interviews is used to classify jobs by their involvement with data, people and things.
Information on thousands of titles available on O*Net OnLine which is the Department of Labor’s replacement for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
Exhibit 5-6 involves excerpts from a DOL job narrative.
Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)(developed at Purdue University)
Jobs are rated on 194 elements, grouped in six major divisions and 28 sections.
The elements represent requirements that are applicable to all types of jobs.
This type of quantitative questionnaire allows many different jobs to be compared with each other, however, it appears to be more applicable to higher-level professional jobs.
See Exhibit 5-8.
Purpose of Job Analysis: A job analysis results in three outcomes: job descriptions, job specifications and job evaluations.
Written statement of what jobholder does, how it is done, under what conditions and why.
Common format: title; duties; distinguishing characteristics; environmental conditions; authority and responsibilities.
Used to describe the job to applicants, to guide new employees, and to evaluate employees.
Identification of essential job functions is needed to assure compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act.
States minimum acceptable qualifications.
Used to select employees who have the essential qualifications.
Specify relative value of each job in the organization.
Used to design equitable compensation program.
The Multi-faceted Nature of Job Analysis
Almost all HRM activities are tied to job analysis.
Job analysis is the starting point for sound HRM.
Job Analysis and the Changing World of Work
Globalization, quality initiatives, telecommuting, and teams require adjustments to the components of a job.
Today’s jobs often require not only technical skills but interpersonal skills and communication skills as well.
DEMONSTRATING COMPREHENSION: Questions for Review
Define human resource planning. Why is it important to organizations?
Strategic human resource planning is the process by which an organization ensures that it has the right number and kinds of people, capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that are in direct support of the company's mission.
What is involved in the human resource planning process?
Human resource planning is based on the strategic planning process for the organization, which determines the organizational mission, goals and objectives. Human resource planning includes assessing current human resources, estimating the supplies and demand for labor, and matching demand with current supplies of labor. Outcomes of this process include recruitment, decruitment, rightsizing, reassignment of employees, or even adjustment in the organization’s objectives, based on availability of human resources.
How can an organization increase its human resources supply?
External sources of human resources include recent school graduates, returning military personnel, reentering workers (such as house wives or retirees), or workers laid off or caught in downsizing actions of other organizations. Internal sources of workers include transfers or promotions, or people available through downsizing in other areas of the organization.
What is a job analysis?
Job analysis is a systematic exploration of the activities within a job. It defines the job’s duties, responsibilities, and accountability and the conditions under which they must be performed. It is the process used to document job requirements, and provides HR systems the information on which to base selection, performance appraisal, training, compensation and discipline.
Identify the advantages and disadvantages of the observation, structured questionnaire, and diary job analysis methods.
Advantages of the observation method are that the analyst can collect firsthand information quickly, and can assimilate that data easily with other data. Behaviors can be accurately described. The observer has the advantage of a dispassionate, impartial opinion about the job. Disadvantages are that workers may act differently if they are observed. The analyst may be watching the wrong thing or typical events may not occur in the time period watched.
The structured questionnaire, by using a specifically designed questionnaire, obtains consistent responses because the same questions are asked of all workers. The format is easy to analyze. Disadvantages of the technique are that the wrong questions may be asked and there is often no opportunity to ask follow-up questions.
The diary method requires job incumbents to record their daily activities. It is useful in gathering subtle, non routine or complex data about a job. It provides information that may not be obvious to the observer and allows the incumbent to record important job characteristics. Disadvantages with the diary method are that incumbents may record the wrong data or have vastly different ideas about the nature of their work. Their reports may be inaccurate, or duties considered more or less important than they actually are. Keeping a diary is time consuming as is the analysis of it once completed.
Explain the terms job description, job specification, and job evaluation.
Job descriptions are written statements of what the job holder does (duties and responsibilities); job specifications identify the personal characteristics required to perform successfully on the job; and job evaluation is the process of using job analysis information to establish a compensation system.
Describe the human resource planning implications when an organization is downsizing.
Organizations often do not do a good job of strategic employment planning when they are in retrenchment. Long range planning is extremely important at this time. Employees who have core competencies should be retained if at all possible. Retraining and/or reassigning strategic employees may be preferable to laying them off.
LINKING CONCEPTS TO PRACTICE: Discussion Questions
"More emphasis should be placed on the external supply of employees for meeting future needs because these employees bring new blood into an organization. This results in more innovative and creative ideas." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your response.
Agree. Outside employees are indeed needed to bring new ideas and a new perspective into an organization, particularly if an organization is a stable bureaucracy where innovation is not valued. For firms that value innovation and insight, bringing in outsiders is a good way to accomplish that goal.
Disagree. For organizations that do not want to rock the boat, and the organization's culture dictates that the way things have always been done is the best way to do them, new blood should not be (and usually is not) brought in above the entry level. During orientation, employees are taught to think the right way.
"Job analysis is just another burden placed on organizations through EEO legislation." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Defend your position.
Agree. Bureaucratic red tape is a bondage to organizations that hampers the ability to change and adapt.
Disagree. Organizations need to conduct job analyses. If they do not know the skills and abilities needed to perform jobs, the recruiting function is not deliberate or effective. Further, training is hampered without clearly defined behavioral objectives. When change does occur, an organization that has a clear sense of what it needs will be better able to cope with change than one without such knowledge.
"Although systematic in nature, a job description is still at best a subjective process." Build an argument for and against this statement.
Agree. The job description is based on the input of employees and the analysis of observers, both of whom may distort the facts with personal biases.
Disagree. It the job analysis process is systematic, and done with the proper evaluation techniques, much can be done to remove, or account for, subjective bias in the process. Multiple evaluation techniques help to triangulate, or isolate areas of bias from each individual process. Validating job descriptions with multiple measures helps reduce subjectivity.
“Permanent layoffs should occur only as a last resort. Cutting staff affects morale, and ultimately the organization falters more. Organizations also have a social responsibility to their employees and owe it to them to find alternative ways to cut costs.” Do you agree or disagree with the statement? Defend your position.
Agree. Retaining its human capital is a key element in an organization maintaining a strategic advantage. Training workers and developing their skills involves time and money. Permanent layoffs deplete that resource and when the company needs more employees again, they must start from scratch. Additionally, when permanent layoffs occur, remaining employees become apprehensive and may start looking for employment elsewhere.
CASE APPLICATION 5-A: MS WOES
Microsoft, once the only major player in software development, is facing competition for its people – quite a valuable resource. In the past, Microsoft’s HR planning was relatively simply due to the company’s dominance and success. Employees were easily retained and the best in the labor market eagerly filled any open positions. Changes to compensation and benefits, plus competition from companies like Google and e-bay, are making it difficult for Microsoft to meet demand for new employees.
Describe the human resource planning implications for Microsoft in terms of the SWOT analysis.
Encourage students to develop their own answers.
HR planning at Microsoft may consider performing its own SWOT analysis to enhance higher-level analyses at the company. We should expect that the firm’s HR planning would include points such as :
Talented employees at the “top of their game” in the industry
Reputation as an industry leader
Conflict management )infighting)
Compensation and benefits are no longer perceived as competitive or favorable
More aggressive and focused recruiting efforts
Marketing existing compensation and benefits
Competitors, such as Google and e-bay.
New entries into the industry
In your opinion, could these dramatic resignations have been predicted by Microsoft management? Defend your position.
Expect and encourage a variety of answers. This question will require critical thinking and the formulation of an argument.
Students may want to consider:
History repeats itself. In other industries, the front-runners eventually faced competition in the marketplace for customers and resources, which includes human resources.
If Microsoft had solid communication mechanisms in place to field feedback from dissatisfied employees, management may have known about the pending exits.
Many companies experience turnover after benefits are reduced or changed.
Many companies experience turnover after “start-up” because employees who are successful at start-ups look for new opportunities once businesses are off-the-ground.
Without people, the structure has gaps. If the structure isn’t solid, the strategy doesn’t have the support it needs. Goals run the risk of not being met, making it difficult for the company to achieve its mission.
CASE APPLICATION 5-B: TEAM FUN!
Tony, the HR director, is experiencing his own “adaptation issues”. As a seasoned HR professional, he’s aware of all the areas that need attention, yet Kenny and Norton, the owners, have not yet realized all the changes needed to deal with the new issues inherent in the company’s rapid growth.
Help Tony write his job description.
Tony’s job description should tell what he does, how he does it and why. It should provide information on job content and conditions of employment. As to format, there should be a job title, the duties to be performed, the distinguishing characteristics of the job, environmental conditions, and the authority and responsibility of the jobholder.
What techniques should he use to gather data?
There are six basic techniques for gathering data: 1) observation method, 2) individual interview method, 3) group interview method, 4) structured questionnaire method, 5) technical conference method, and 6) diary method.
How should he conduct the job analysis?
There are several steps in conducting a job analysis. First, there should be an understanding of the purpose of the job analysis. Then there needs to be an understanding of the role of the job in the organization. Benchmark positions need to be identified along with determining which method(s) to use to collect the job analysis information. The job analyst should seek clarification of the information obtained, develop a draft, and review it with the job incumbent’s supervisor.
What should he say to Kenny and Norton to get their buy-in on this project?
Tony should explain to Kenny and Norton how most every function of HRM relies on job analysis information to provide necessary data for decision-making. A systematic job analysis approach will add strategic value to almost all HRM decisions.
How will job descriptions change the organization?
Good job descriptions will clarify individual roles and add more formal structure to the organization. Kenny and Norton should appreciate knowing who does what as long as having fun is still part of each person’s job!
Give Tony some pointers on software packages and HRIS.
Numerous software packages exist. Tony should assess them based on the ability to generate five categories of information: 1) basic nonconfidential information, 2) general nonconfidential information, 3) general information with salary, 4) confidential information with salary, and 5) extended confidential information with salary.
WORKING WITH A TEAM: JOB ANALYSIS INFORMATION
Directions for this exercise are also in the text. Students obtain information on the human resource manager’s job and then describe the technical, people, and conceptual knowledge or skills required, as well as relevant values.
Assign different students to examine the HR Manager’s job in different settings; e.g., large vs. small companies; HR Manager in corporation vs. manager of an employment service or leasing company; upper-level manager versus a first-level supervisor in HR.
Have students use the information they have obtained to write a job description. This can be assigned to small teams in class, where you can discuss the challenges of coming to consensus, choosing the right words, writing a useful description for a particular purpose, etc.
Students interested in an SHRM membership should consult the SHRM website for student membership opportunities.
Chapter 5 Human Resource Planning and Job Analysis
s look for new opportunities once businesses are off-the-ground.
There are several steps in conducting a job analysis. First, there should be an understanding of the purpose of the job analysis. Then there needs to be an understanding of the role of the job in the organization. Benchma