Sample of HR assignment: Selection procedures and Setting pay rates

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Table of contents

1.     Topic of HR planning in U-Coupon……………………………………………………………… 2

1.1       What is HR planning?………………………………………………………………………. 2

1.2       Why is HR planning important?………………………………………………………… 3

1.3       How does HR planning support U-Coupon’s business objectives?…………. 3

1.3.1       HR planning for alignment and change…………………………………….. 3

1.3.2       Job analysis and competency modeling…………………………………….. 4

1.3.3       Recruiting and retaining qualified employees……………………………. 4

1.3.4       Selecting employees to fit the job and the organization………………. 5

1.3.5       Training and developing a competitive work force…………………….. 6

2.     Topic of strategic recruitment in U-Coupon………………………………………………….. 7

2.1       What is strategic recruitment?…………………………………………………………… 7

2.2       Why is strategic recruitment important to U-Coupon?………………………….. 7

2.2.1       Help locate sources of talent to match strategy requirements………. 7

2.2.2       Help establish long-term ties with external sources of labor supply. 8

2.2.3       Help reconsider the basis of selection efforts…………………………….. 9

3.     Topic of selection procedures in U-Coupon…………………………………………………… 9

3.1       Normal selection procedures statement………………………………………………. 9

3.2       Selection procedures suggested for U-Coupon………………………………….. 11

3.2.1       Selection procedures suggested in senior positions…………………… 11

3.2.2       Selection procedures suggested in lower positions……………………. 12

4.     Topic of setting pay rates in U-Coupon………………………………………………………. 13

4.1       Introduction of pay rate setting methods………………………………………….. 13

4.2       Setting pay rates for U-Coupon……………………………………………………….. 14

4.2.1       Setting pay rates for sale positions…………………………………………. 14

4.2.2       Setting pay rates for technical positions………………………………….. 14

List of references…………………………………………………………………………………………… 16



1.        Topic of HR planning in U-Coupon


1.1    What is HR planning?


Human resource planning is the process of systematically reviewing HR requirements to ensure that the required number of people with the required knowledge, skills and abilities are available when in need (Stone 2011, p50). Human resource planning is a process, an ongoing activity with the purpose of aiding the organization in reaching its goals and objectives through having the right people in the right jobs at the right time. Next part of the study will check how the HR planning functions in helping the company, U-Coupon, an internet website that with its business concentrating on facilitating group purchases, to reach its goals and objectives


Figure 1 Generalized model of human resource planning process

Source: Caruth, Caruth & Pane 2009, p.119

1.2    Why is HR planning important?


In term of activities of HR planning, it mainly relates to the entry of employees into the organization (acquisition), the development of people skills (development) and the exit of people from the organization (departure) and it is believed that effective HR planning is of much strategic significant due to its role of aligning the organizational business objectives, HR objectives and the people requirements such as the employee motivation, job satisfaction, performance index and competence (Stone 2011, p50). And besides the role of coordination and alignment, HR planning also help to locate the available talents in the right position and at the same time controls the cost of labor and recruitment in a low level that strengthens the company’s strategic success.


1.3    How does HR planning support U-Coupon’s business objectives?


1.3.1            HR planning for alignment and change


As mentioned earlier human resource planning is the process of systematically reviewing HR requirements to ensure the timely satisfaction of the strategic HR needs, so that HR planning is more than a plan, and it involves the concept of process that requires continual efforts in alignment of relative tasks according to the changed situations. As claimed by Jackson, Schuler and Werner (2009, p.17) that an effective human resource management system requires planning and coordination as well as continual evaluation and readjustment with the changed external and organizational environments. As in the company of U-Coupon, IT industry is among one of the most apparent industries in which environmental changes happen constantly which includes major changes such as changing global labor market conditions, new customer preference, intensified competition and the raising of the new technologies, and accordingly the external environmental changes have significant implications to the company to undergo changes in term of changes in company culture, vision, company structure. And all these changes need to be done with the support from the employees in term of changes in their behaviors and beliefs. Alignments for the HR department include vertical alignment which involves the coordination between HRM and other environmental factors such as culture and strategy and horizontal alignments among the HRM systems.  And human resource planning could provide company U-Coupon with assistance to keep these two kinds of alignment.


1.3.2            Job analysis and competency modeling


A job analysis is the process used to collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job (Brown 2009, p.28). A competency model is a set of competencies that are necessary for effective performance, and they typically cover a broader range of jobs than traditional job analysis (Pynes 2008). Job analysis and competency modeling are important approaches used in the human resource planning, and they are procedures for systematically understanding the work to be finished in an organization. The critical usefulness of the job analysis and competency modeling is that it sets the foundations based on which an internally and externally coordination and consistency of the company’s systems and operations could be ensured.


1.3.3            Recruiting and retaining qualified employees


According to a survey by Rodriguez, Green and Ree (2003), 55 percent of companies’ employees had planned or had the thought of leaving before hitting the three year mark with one single company. And also other studies have also provide similar results though there may not be exact of percent provided, these studies also show that the young employees, namely as the Generation X, could not easily be retained especially for those qualified and experienced workers because they are no longer live for work but rather work for live. Tulgan (1996) gave a simple but powerful suggestion to the managers to recruiting and retaining qualified employees which is to “invest in their employees”. And here the usage of the human resource planning in term of establishing links between traditional a career planning and the human resource management plans, policies and practices and the company’s overall strategic planning. Below is a typical traditional way to career planning, performance appraisals, reward management and employee development, and these standalone functions of human resource management should be coordinated and re-appraised in light of the just mentioned human resource management plans, policies and practices and the company’s overall strategic planning. The human resource planning by the usage of the human resource investment initiatives for individuals could help companies in different business phases, growth or maturity, to help with the recruiting and retaining qualified employees.


Figure 2 Human resource development and performance

Source: Reddy, Krishna, Reddy, & Kishore 2005, p.258


1.3.4            Selecting employees to fit the job and the organization


Human resource planning would include traditional human resource activities and functions such as recruitment, selecting, training, performance appraisal, compensation setting and termination, and selecting the best employees to fit empty positions is what all human resource departments would every now and then. But the traditional function of personnel selection is no more than “job fit” rather than “organizational fit” (Rowley & Benson 2005, p.178) which is considered to be more effective in the long run than just finding the candidates with the skills needed currently. This could be understood in two folds: Firstly, recruitment on person based organizational fit rather than person job fit will recruit and select those who seem to be able to fit in to organizational culture and will be more effective than solely fitting the job needs by focusing on the skills that fit a particular position (Price 2007, p.193); secondly as said earlier, in human resource planning, the recruitment and selection procedures not only consider the required skills mastered by the candidates but also other skills and the potential of the candidates which could be demanded by the firm in a longer term with the consideration of the future strategic needs. In the U-Coupon, because the company is planning to expanding its business largely, it is very necessary for the company to select those with high potential in term of leadership potential for instance, will help the company to be more long term oriented by meeting the future human resource demand especially the demands in the higher management positions.


1.3.5            Training and developing a competitive work force


Without an effective training and development program, organizations can quickly fall behind in acquiring the skill sets and knowledge required for a competitive work force (Buhler 2002, p.142). We can see that it is rather a routine and constant challenge for companies to upgrade the skills of their work forces through training and development efforts. One of the major mistakes of traditional separated training program that could result in ineffectiveness of the training programs is the lack of strategic consideration in the training programs. With a good human resource planning, two major feature of the strategic oriented training and development of the human resource could avoid such disadvantages. Firstly, the company could train the employees with the skills needed by the employees with strategic importance rather than simply equipping with them all the skills that could be found in the school boos; secondly, human resource planning will also manage the training and development program in such a manner that it focuses on the timing of the start and end of the program to make better use of the training results and help reinforce the new knowledge and skills timely.



2.        Topic of strategic recruitment in U-Coupon


2.1    What is strategic recruitment?


The term recruitment refers to the activities that an organization undertakes to define its job needs and attract candidates to fill job vacancies (Baker & McKenzie 2008, p.207). And strategic recruitment, by definition, means the process that identifies the real recruitment needs of the organization and fulfills those needs that are tied to the overall strategic business plan (Rothwell 1998). The concept of strategic recruitment corresponds with the view that talented people are one of the major sources from which companies gain their core competitiveness. In the nowadays business environment, the pressures of competition, cost saving, downsizing and global skill shortages have all together lead to the scarcity of talents that in return intensifies the competition for recruitment of the skilled workers (Stone 2011, p194). This could also be found in the IT industry in which U-Coupon, the company that we will be focusing on in this assignment operates. The important meaning of the strategic recruitment to U-Coupon’s business success will be elaborated below in form of several points.


2.2    Why is strategic recruitment important to U-Coupon?


2.2.1            Help locate sources of talent to match strategy requirements


As the figure below illustrates, strategic recruitment through performing strategic-oriented job analysis and job analysis and HR forecasts could help identify the suppliers that can meet future rather than just present HR needs (Rothwell & Kazanas 2003, p.350). When the company collects the need information in term of both quantitative and qualitative results in term of what skills are needed and what are the job titles and so on, and after the obtainment of such recruitment information, the company could compared the needed human resource with the internal labor suppliers to see whether the such needs could be met by promotion from within or need to be gain from external sources. This means that strategic recruitment could be helpful in locating sources of talent to match strategy requirements.

  Strategic business objectives




                   What is to be achieved and how.


   Human resource planning




         Job analysis



        Job description

     Job specification











Figure 3 Strategic recruitment process


Source: Adapted from Stone 2011, p.196

2.2.2            Help establish long-term ties with external sources of labor supply


Though the external market seems to have a large pool of talents for any company to find out talents the individual company wants, but some disadvantages of the external sources of labor supply have kept the usage of the external source of less reliable. The first disadvantages as said just now is the high competition for the skilled worker which causes the fact that it is not that easy for the company to get enough of qualified talents because all the competitors would headhunt such talents when they become available in the labor market; and the second disadvantage is that because the company does not know very well of the candidates there is risk of hiring a candidate who does not live up to the apparent high potential displayed during the selection process (Sims 2002, p.118). The company U-Coupon can use strategic recruitment to build up long term partnership relationship with the major research institutes and universities in order to obtain stable and reliable external human resource.


2.2.3            Help reconsider the basis of selection efforts


Employee selection refers to the process of choosing the candidate who best meets the selection criteria, by this definition we can see that among the selection efforts the setting of the selection criteria is the most important factor to be identified. Rather than focusing on the current job description and needed skills, strategic recruitment also take into consideration of the future job changes and individual potential that may not be focused currently but could bring great help to company U-Coupon’s business expansion oversea as the recruited talents fit in the company’s future needs when the strategy is being executed. And because of the strategy orientation thinking about the recruitment, strategic recruitment could help reconsider the basis of selection efforts with the changes of the business strategies and directions.


3.        Topic of selection procedures in U-Coupon


3.1    Normal selection procedures statement


A valid selection procedure is the process that accurately measures the actual requirements of the job in a fair and reliable way (Biddle 2005, p.25). And in term of length, selection is a long process starting from the preliminary interview of the candidates followed by a number of tests, interviews and examination of any forms by human resource departments, the position relative departments and even the senior management.


Figure 4 Normal selection process

Source: Adapted from Mondy & Noe III 1981, p.406


The figure above illustrates a normally used selection process that include nine parts among which six parts are the core processes that will reject some of the candidates and playing the role of selection. And in practical cases, the process differs among organizations and between two different jobs within the same organization (Aswathappa 2005, p.158). In other words, there is no best selection process that could be used in the selection of any jobs. And in the case of U-Coupon, with the expected strong demand for new recruitments in all levels of positions with the unfolding of the big expansion strategy in the near future, the human resource department would have to design different selection process for different jobs. The general principle is that, the selection procedure for senior positions such as managers and key core staffs will be long drawn and rigorous and the selection procedure for the short term hiring or general clerk could be less strict and simple.


3.2    Selection procedures suggested for U-Coupon


3.2.1            Selection procedures suggested in senior positions


In designing the selection process for the senior positions which the U-coupon should be very scrutiny to deal with and should use a very comprehensive set of selection procedures to make sure that every possible side of the candidates is examined in detail. The selection process for the senior positions or key staffs should contain the below procedures:


  • Ø  Preliminary interview
  • Ø  Selection test
  • Ø  Employment interview
  • Ø  Reference and background analysis
  • Ø  Interview by higher management
  • Ø  Selection Decision
  • Ø  Physical examination
  • Ø  Job offer
  • Ø  Employment contact
  • Ø  Evaluation
  • Ø   

This selection process not only include all the stated procedures in the figure of the normal section process above, but it also add another procedure, the “Interview by higher management” following the Reference and background analysis, to make the selection more perfect. In other words, here we actually prolong the selection process by adding another selection procedure which is the Interview by higher management and the reasons of such arrangement are given as following: firstly, all the seemingly less important procedures before the candidates could meet the higher management such as the Preliminary interview and Selection test is very effective to exclude a large proportion of the candidates who are obviously not qualified and meet the requirements such as the length of the relative working and management experience in the given industry; secondly, although the employment interview which is a formal, in-depth conversation held to evaluate the applicants’ acceptability and it is normally held by human resource manager and direct manager of the particular position in form of one to one interview after the reference and background check, the absence of reliability and lack of validity make another higher level interview by higher management after the reference check necessary; thirdly, the higher management is supposed to know better the job requirement and what kind of people they need in term of personal characterizes and working and leadership styles.


3.2.2            Selection procedures suggested in lower positions


In designing the selection process for the lower positions which the U-coupon would in need for a large numbers in the future, the principle of fairness and cost control should be adhered. And procedures suggested are listed below in sequence:


  • Ø  Preliminary interview
  • Ø  Selection test
  • Ø  Employment interview
  • Ø  Selection Decision
  • Ø  Job offer
  • Ø  Employment contact
  • Ø  Evaluation


Please take note that the preliminary interview will be done through two major forms: telephone interview and internet interview to save up time. And in term of the length of the selection in the lower level positions, it should be finished within three working days to speed up the recruitment efficiency and shorten the recruitment circles. There is also removal of some selection procedures and the reasons are given in following. The reason why we have removed the higher management interview is because the large number of the candidates in needed and there is not a necessity for managers to spend a lot of time in selecting lower level employees; the reason why we have removed the physical check is due to the cost control consideration; and the reason why we have removed the reference check is that the focus of the selecting the lower level employees will be to targeting the appropriate candidates with the needed skills, and the company U-Coupon could have monitoring the employees in the actual work.


4.        Topic of setting pay rates in U-Coupon


4.1    Introduction of pay rate setting methods


Two major methods of pay rate setting are used pay for performance and skill-based pay. Pay for performance is normally defined as a reward for employees according to their perceived merit, rather than for their length of service, qualification or other attributes (Wragg, E. C., Wragg, C. M., Haynes & Chamberlin 2004, p.8). There are different pay for performance plans but with the common target to increase the employee productivity and work efficiency (Sidlow & Henschen 2009, p.308). Another pay rate setting method is the skill-based pay which provides employees with a direct connection between their pay progression and the skills they have acquired and can use effectively (Armstrong 2002, p.314). Skill-based pay is also known as knowledge-based pay and it encourage the employees to learn the work relative skills identified by the company through linking pay to such skill holders.

4.2    Setting pay rates for U-Coupon


4.2.1            Setting pay rates for sale positions


In the sale positions of U-Coupon, their work is to upsell the product, the union sale and discount group purchase, to both the customers and the retailers. So that their performance could be measured by number of sales and also the size of sale (such as the size of the retailers) and pay for performance is advisable to U-Coupon to adopt in the sale positions. And this is also common practice in most sale jobs. Under such incentive arrangement, a contract will be clearly signed, with pay increases allocated on the basis of sale (Heneman & Werner 2005, p.36). One important issue that usually surrounds the sale job is that short term behaviors driven by the sale bonus such as cheating and misleading. For example, some sale staffs may give verbal promises to the retailers which are in contradiction with the company’s policy to attract the retailers to join the sale union, then the sale staffs could get the sale bonus, but later when the retailers find out that the promises could not be delivered, there would certainly be a lot of complaints which is least expected by the company. And to reduce such behaviors, the company actually could hold back a proportion which should be given to the sale staffs for another one or two months, if no further complaints happen then the bonus will be provided to the sale staffs.


4.2.2            Setting pay rates for technical positions


And in the technical positions of U-Coupon, employees’ work will focus on technical issues and keep the systems and website working without faulty and do maintenance with the website, and also design the website with the most innovative ideas to make it more attractive to the customers. And because the work of the technicians are not to sell products and instead their work need to be supported by the most recent knowledge and skills in computer technologies, we advise that U-Coupon use the skill-based pay to the technical positions to keep the company leading in work relative knowledge learning.

List of references


Armstrong, M. 2002, Employee reward. London: CIDP, p.314


Aswathappa, K. 2005, Human Resource And Personnel Management, 4 edition, New Delhi: Tata McGraw – Hill Publishing Company Limited. p.158


Baker & McKenzie, 2008, Australian master human resources guide, 5th edn, Australia: CCH Australia, p.207


Biddle, D. 2005, Adverse impact and test validation: a practitioner’s guide to valid and defensible employment testing, Aldershot Hants: Gower Publishing Limited. p.25


Brown, R. 2009, Careergonomics: A Practical Guide for Mastering Personal Development and Employment Success in the 21st Century. Bloomington, IN: Author House, p.28


Buhler, P. 2002, Human Resources Management: All the Information You Need to Manage Your Staff and Meet Your Business Objectives, Avon, MA: F+W Publications, Inc. p.142


Caruth, D. L., Caruth, G. D. & Pane, S. S. 2009, Staffing the Contemporary Organization: A Guide to Planning, Recruiting, and Selecting for Human Resource professionals, 3rd edn, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc, p.119


Heneman, R. L. & Werner, J. M. 2005, Merit pay: linking pay to performance in a changing world. New York: Information Age Publishing Inc. p.36


Jackson, S. E., Schuler, R. S. & Werner, S. Managing Human Resources, 2009, Mason: Cengage Learning, p.17


Mondy, R. W. & Noe III, R. M. 1981, Personnel: The Management of Human Resources, Allyn and Bacon, 1981, p.406


Price, A. 2007, Human Resource Management in a Business Context, 3rd edition, Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Education. p.193


Pynes, J. E. 2008, Human Resources Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Reddy, M. S., Krishna, P. M., Reddy, K. R. & Kishore, L. 2005, Human Resource Planning, New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House. p.258


Rodriguez, R. O., Green, M. T., Ree, M. J. 2003. Leading generation X: Do the old rules apply. Journal of leadership & organizational studies.


Rothwell, W. J. 1998, Linking HRD programs with organizational strategy: twelve cases studies from the real world of training, Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training & Development.


Rothwell, W. J. & Kazanas, H. C. 2003, Planning and managing human resources: strategic planning for personnel management, 2nd edition, Amherst: Human Resource Development Press, Inc. p.350


Rowley, C. & Benson, J. 2005, The Management of Human Resources in the Asia Pacific region: convergence reconsidered. London: Frank Cass Publishers. p.178


Sidlow, E. & Henschen, B. 2009, America at Odds. 6 edition, Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, p.308


Sims, R. R. 2002, Organizational success through effective human resources management. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. p.118


Stone, R. 2011, Human Resource Management, 7th edition, Milton Old: John Wiley & Sons Austraila, Ltd, p194


Tulgan, B. 1996. Managing Generation X. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Wragg, E. C., Wragg, C. M., Haynes & Chamberlin 2004, Performance Pay for Teachers. London: Routledge Falmer. p.8

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