Human resource management

The industry revolution has brought a significant propagation to human resource management over the last century(Ref). Most organisations have tended to focus intensively on effective procedures in order to manage large numbers of employees while the employees have increased demands for satisfying all their needs. Human resource development accepted a compromise between organisations and employees and then changed the concept of vertical relationship to horizontal relationship and also downward communication to upward communication.

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At the beginning the development, recruitment and selection method had developed in order to acquire the people to operate the organisation (Strauss and Sayles, 1972). The employees are an asset which grows over time and their potentials can be improved. This contrasts sharply with machines which can be depreciated day by day (Pigors, Myers and Malm, 1969). It is widely recognised that the organisational success can be foreseen by a competence of people in the workplace. Recruitment and selection is the first key to reach those potential employees. Development and achievement of the theories

At present, in many cases, various experts try to improve the existing recruitment and selection theories by using multimodal procedure for reasons of validity and reliability. (Ref) It is rare that a good theory works well in practice. In an ideal world, these theories are perfectly effective but in the real world, where the business can be affected by both internal and external factors, it seems far from that. The core concepts of existing theories include job analysis, job description, personnel specification, recruitment, choosing selection methods, utility and establishing the accuracy of selection (Smith and Robertson, 1989).

The best known and the most widely used methods are the seven-point plan (Roger, 1952) and its later adaptation by Fraser (1996) in the form of the five-point plan. These describe and categorise the principal features required for any job (Marchington and Wilkinson, 1996: 113). In Rodger’s Seven Point Plan, there are seven criteria: Physical make-up is concerned with the physical attributes which are considered essential or desirable for achievement of the task. Attainments include educational/professional qualifications, licences, and work experience.

General intelligence involves the ability to define and solve problems. Special aptitudes the highlights specific skills, abilities or competences deemed necessary or desirable for performing a job. Interests refer both to work-related and leisure pursuits which may be relevant to the performance of the job. Disposition deals with attitudes to work and to other people. Circumstances involve domestic commitments, mobility, family support, ability to work on certain days of the week or for long hours.

Munro Fraser’s five-point plan is composed of: Impact on others covers much the same sort of area as ‘Physical make-up’, but slightly different in conception, relating specifically to impact upon other employees and customers. Acquired knowledge and qualifications covers much the same areas as Rodger’s second category. Innate abilities cover much the same areas as Rodger’s category ‘General intelligence’. Motivation refers to a person’s desire to succeed in particular areas and his or her commitment to doing so.

Adjustment involves characteristics which are related specifically to the job. Validity and reliability of the recruitment and selection method can be measured in theory. General criteria may be appropriately utilised as a screening method, for instance, a performance test, an intelligence test and a personality test (Strauss and Sayles, 1972). According to the testing procedure, the organisation can practically measure characteristics of the applicants and evaluate the relationship between job performance and test results.

In the real situation, this screening method does not always prove the competence of the applicants. An organisational decision making process directly influences applicants in terms of the corporation size, personal decision, time limitation, organisational culture. In theory, these influences can be restrained and eliminated. Moreover, immediate bias decision and low-cost selecting process can lead the interviewer to reject or accept applicants. Management policy frequently changes depending on the management team’s consideration.

Therefore, theory itself seems to work but in practice it does not. Outside factors which compose mainly of improvement in science and technology, trend in corporation, global organisation and so forth have the capability of helping the organisational management team decide in which direction the organisation should go to gain the suitable employee. In theory, every outside factor seems to remain stable and identical in all circumstances, actually movement occurs all the time. Human resource management theory cannot conquer a dilemma when it works in reality.

During the process of recruitment and selection, job analysis is a very important part; therefore, there has been great development in job analysis techniques. Generally speaking, “job analysis systems divide into: job oriented, worker oriented and attribute oriented. ” (Cook, 1993) In details, there are various ways of doing job analysis, for example, Critical Incident Technique, Repertory Grid Technique, Position Analysis Questionnaire, Occupational Analysis Inventory, Job coefficients, Job components Inventory, Physical Abilities Analysis (Ref).

Although many techniques already exist, we still have a dilemma when we try to measure the validity for each job analysis method. If the results are similar to common sense, they will be considered as redundant and be discharged; if the results disagree with common sense, they will be dispelled easily. Hence, even though the theory has developed, it cannot overcome the dilemma. Each HRM theory is derived from practice, therefore the theory is likely to fall behind the practice.

Therefore, in reality, theory can not completely guide what we should do. The typical example is the process of interview in practice and its corresponding theories. The statement can be understood in two ways (Ref). One is that all the theories in recruitment and selection differ. Some of them may be incompatible with each other, which makes it hard for a company to choose the proper theory used in practice. Secondly, because the world is so diverse, there could be more than one theory that could be applied to a particular situation.