The Role of Human Resources
By Zigmund Sepanski, Power Business Associates Inc.
Published in American Chamber of Commerce Journal
Rapid changes are happening in the personnel and human resource fields in
. Social, political and economic pressures are forcing employees and employers alike to reassess their working patterns and behaviors. These changing dynamics are taxing the fledgling human resource professionals who in many cases are quite new to the field of employee relations, which itself is only in the infancy stage here.
What should human resource people do anyway? This question depends on how progressive a company is in the field of employee development. As a company matures it realizes that its success depends largely on low employee turnover, high employee morale, continuous training and constant employee motivation. One thing is for sure; the role of Human Resource departments is to contribute to the bottom line by better hiring practices, reduction of turnover and increased productivity.
The following is designed to be a guideline for Human Resource department responsibility with the assumption that top management wants full Human Resource involvement.
There are six major areas of Human Resource responsibility. These are:
Even though the final job offer will probably be made by the line manager, the Human Resource department has many responsibilities prior to and during the selection process. These include:
This is not a job description, but rather three separate documents that identify:
1.) Needs and responsibilities of the position;
2.) Abilities and skills needed;
3.) Expected types of goals and performance
This document is compiled with the direct line managers input and becomes the basis for future performance reviews and promotions. It is the foundation for the selection of the right individual and a key to retention.
“Describe how you follow-up on customers who inquire about your product line.”
One of the worst sins of hiring is not being prepared for the candidate. Never interview candidates without having a prepared list of questions and a scoring sheet. You should ask two kinds of questions,
Behavioral and informational. Behavioral questions are designed to determine what the candidate can really do and whether the candidate has the knowledge to do the job right. An example of this type of question is, “Describe how you follow-up on customers who inquire about your product line.”
“Why did you leave your last job?”
Information questions tell you more about the candidate himself. An example is:
“Why did you leave your last job?”
It is the Human Resource department’s responsibility to compile sets of questions and train line supervisors how to ask these questions consistently and record the answers on an objective form where real scores will indicate the top candidates.
It is definitely the responsibility of Human Resources to keep an on-going resource file of potential candidates both within and outside the company. A successful Human Resource department will have the qualification code so that when a manager requests a position to be filled, all the Human Resource people will have to do is punch in the qualifications, or look them up on a candidate qualification filing system and a pool of candidate names appear. A good Human Resource department always looks for future candidates and keeps track of them even though there is not a current position opening.
The recruiting process also includes media and/or recruiting agency selection relations, ad copy and advertising budget.
One of the important functions of this department is preparing a manpower plan for the next 12 months or more and a timetable for recruitment, labor costs, fringe benefit cost and government entitlements. This takes time, but is a vital step in the preparation process for a healthy company. Your
Planning, recruiting and budgeting will then revolve around the manpower planning schedule.
As you can see, we’ve spent this entire section talking only about the recruiting function and we have barely scratched the surface.
Most Human Resource professionals realize that employee turnover costs companies millions of dollars annually. The cost of hiring, retaining and lost business is tremendous. If the Human Resource department succeeds in lowering the employee turnover rate in the company then it will be significantly contributing to the bottom line.
Retaining employees is one of the most important functions of Human Resources. Unfortunately one of the biggest obstacles are old style authoritative managers. We will continue this article in the next edition of the magazine so be sure to watch for the rest of employee retention through motivation.
PowerBusiness Associates specializes in management consulting, strategic planning and employee training in Central and Eastern Europe and the
. Zigmund Sepanski, senior director