The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Strategic Hrm Models. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.
The Strategic HRM Diagnostic Model (Stone, 2002:26) attempts to provide Human Resource Managers with an analytical framework designed to assist in the prediction and prevention of possible problems. The approach encourages HR managers to be pro-active, and to consider the nature of the internal and external environments before pursuing a particular course of action (Stone, 2002:25). The influences of the environments span all activities of Human Resource Management and this essay explores those that have significance for two HR activities in particular.
The two of which are employee recruitment and employee selection. An organisation has extremely little, to no, control over its external environment, the aspects of which are too numerous to list. The external environment influences HRM practices, thus influencing HR activities, both directly and indirectly. In other words, an aspect of the organisation’s external environment may directly affect the processes of employee recruitment and selection through influencing HRM practices, but at the same time it will influence the organisation’s internal environment, hence affecting the processes through strategic alignment.
One major external environmental influence may be politics. The state of politics may affect the processes of employee recruitment and selection in various ways. For example, political instability has had a dramatic influence on the practices of employee recruitment in Algeria (Mellahi & Wood, 1996). This study addresses the impact the civil war has had on recruitment practices, among other things. An interesting discovery was that the lengthy political crisis led small and medium sized firms away from ‘rationalistic’, strategically driven practices and forced them into, what is referred to as, a ‘coping mode’.
Selection Strategies In Hrm
The ‘coping mode’ is reactive, as apposed to pro-active, fostering a ‘stay alive’ strategy; hence greatly affecting the management of human resources both directly and indirectly. Laws and regulations may also influence the HR activities of employee recruitment and selection. Changes in legislation could be seen as an indirect influence, in that an organisation’s objectives and strategy may have to be reconsidered due to restricting business opportunities or increasing competition as a result of the changes (Stone, 2002:17).
Laws and regulations regarding equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, sexual harassment, privacy and terminations, however, prove to have a more direct influence, in that they have facilitated the creation of new jobs such as sex equity expert, gender bias officer and harassment facilitator (Lehn, 1997). The creation of new jobs requires the recruitment and selection of new employees, whether they are from outside or within the organisation; hence the direct influence.
The process of employee selection is influenced in particular by equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action (AA) legislation (Sullivan, 1998), which require fair treatment for all members of the community and the elimination of discrimination. These factors play a major role in shaping the selection criteria and although they remain the same with respect to time, unlike other aspects of the external environment, they must still be considered a direct influence. The environmental influence of the labour market may also affect employee recruitment and selection.
According to Doverspike, Taylor, Shultz and McKay (2002) “U. S. employers say they simply cannot find enough employees, let alone skilled employees”. This is due to the growth of the U. S. economy and the decrease of unemployment. This study explores various contributing factors of the shortage of job applicants in the U. S. , which is a significant problem for both private and public sectors. One such contributing factor is the changing demographic makeup of the workforce. Doverspike et al. 2002) explains that it is necessary to focus recruiting methods on the characteristics of certain ‘untraditional employee’ groups, so as to attract them amid the changing demographic makeup. Untraditional employee groups, for example, are Baby-Boomers, generation Xers, minority groups and any other group that requires special consideration when recruitment and selection processes are implemented. The state of economy can also have a more direct influence on the recruiting process, in that, the value or effectiveness of particular recruiting methods depends greatly on the state of economy (Teigen, 2002).
For instance, high unemployment usually infers that unsolicited applications are more frequent and of better quality than they are when the labour market is tight. Also, in a situation of full employment several recruiting methods may need to be used simultaneously in order to generate even a few qualified candidates (Stone, 2002:180). Finally, technological advancement and the rate of technological change can influence employee recruitment and selection. In fact, a study was carried out by Byrne (2000) on the affect technological advancement has had on the management of the company, General Motors.
Byrne (2000) states that “new technology, particularly the internet, is causing radical transformation that is nothing less than a new industrial revolution”. Thus, to survive and thrive in this century, managerial practices must change; hence influencing HR activities. These are only a small portion of the potential influences on HR activities from the external environment. Many more have significance to employee recruitment and selection, but it is important to remember that political, legal, environmental, economical and technological aspects of the external environment, as well as other aspects, affect HRM and HR activities periodically.
In other words, although these aspects are key influences on HRM, they are managed through the development of a long-term strategy (Stone, 2002:18). This strategy, which is often referred to as the ‘corporate strategy’ or ‘master strategy’, is selected in light of the organisation’s external opportunities and threats and internal strengths and weaknesses. It influences HRM from within the organisation because strategic HRM requires HRM objectives and strategies to be linked, as closely as possible, to the organisation’s objectives and strategies.
Thus, different types of organisational strategies produce a need for particular HR strategies (Stone, 2002:21). The successful integration of strategies, otherwise known as strategic alignment, has proven to improve an organisation’s environment for success (CCH, 1995). This is apparent in the case study of Colgate Palmolive’s development and implementation of their ‘global vision’ (Anfuso, 1995). Without successful integration, an organisation’s effectiveness would be substantially impaired (Grundy, 1998:50).
Other aspects of the organisation’s internal environment, aside from its objectives and strategy, include the organisation’s purpose or mission, its structure and its culture. The purpose of an organisation is influenced by external factors and greatly influences the objectives and strategy, as well as the culture of an organisation. It can be considered, along with the organisation’s culture, when assessing its influence on the activities of employee recruitment and selection because it is essentially the projection of an organisations culture to the community.
The purpose moulds the culture, thus potential employees deduce the values and beliefs of the organisation from its mission. The image of an organisation may affect the recruiting and selection processes by attracting or deterring potential applicants. According to Kristof (1996) “applicants are attracted to work environments that are compatible with their personal characteristics”. It is also important for management to foster a culture that promotes the achievement of the organisation’s strategic business objectives (Greene, 1995).
With this in mind, selection criteria may be based on personality and attitude rather than skill or knowledge. Organisations use this tactic in hope of reducing the possibility of consequences and undesirable behaviours (Stone, 2002:211). An example of organisational culture having a negative influence on HRM is the case of Australia’s four largest banks (Westpac, National Australia, ANZ and Commonwealth). These organisations foster cultures which are high on authority and low on warmth, teamwork, employee commitment and concern for performance.
Westpac’s culture, for example, is described as old-style ‘command and control’ and poses a dramatic influence on employee recruitment and selection through employee turnover, with the focus on women employees (Gray, 1997; Lyall, 1997). The structure of an organisation, as mentioned above, should be such that it helps achieve the organisation’s strategic objectives. The restructuring of an organisation to suit a selected strategy directly influences the activities of employee recruitment and selection.
Organisations with narrow spans of control that are hierarchical in structure, for example, tend to be authoritarian, rigid, formal, highly specialised and bureaucratic. Whereas, organisations with wide spans of control that are flat in structure tend to be more flexible, adaptable, informal, less specialised and more entrepreneurial. Each type of structure requires employees with particular qualities and skills; therefore, the recruitment and selection processes are influenced. Downsizings and the financial costs of maintaining a full-time work force may initiate a change in the structure of an organisation.
According to Burgess (1996) these factors have motivated employers to make greater use of independent contractors, temporary workers and executive leasing; hence, eliminating a number of jobs. Essentially, viewing employee recruitment and selection in a strategic light requires the HR manager to conduct each activity with top priority (HR Focus, 2000). This is because, for many organisations, competing for skilled employees is imperative as they are seen as a source of competitive advantage (Thomas, 2001; Way, 2000).
To reiterate, the implementation of strategic alignment encourages the activities of recruitment and selection to reflect the direction of the strategic HRM objectives, which again reflect the direction of the strategic business objectives. The external environment influences the activities of recruitment and selection both directly and indirectly. Their direct influence is periodical and ever-changing and their indirect influence is a result of their affect on the organisation’s internal environment, which then influences the strategic HRM objectives.
This essay is by no means a comprehensive study of all the possible influences of the Strategic HRM Diagnostic Model that have significance for employee recruitment and selection. Instead, it logically maps the influences of key aspects of an organisation’s internal and external environments, on the HR activities of employee recruitment and selection. Reference List- Anfuso, D. 1995. “Colgate aligns HR with its global vision”. Personnel Journal 74:1 Burgess, J. 1996. “Workforce casualisation in Australia”. Journal of International Employment Relations Review 2:33-54
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