Human Resource Management Summary Essay

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Modern businesses of the 21st century are rarely just black or white, therefore the ability to manage the paradoxes and live with uncertainty are critical.

Most executives find they need to balance between two almost equally good choices and follow-up accordingly. For example: compete or collaborate, teamwork with individual achievement, and firmness with compassion. The ability to change and adapt to the rapidly changing business environment is a difficult task.Paradox is an event or phenomenon involving apparent contradictory, mutually exclusive elements that are both valid and operate simultaneously.

Putting this in other words this event or phenomenon containing opposite ideas that make it seem absurd or unlikely although it is or may be true in fact. Fundamentally paradox is a mental construct.This list represents some examples of paradoxes:* Conscientiousness increases performance but discourages creativity and innovation.* Intelligence leads to higher performance, but greater boredom and dissatisfaction. (Training)* Learning a task increases performance of that task but lessens the performance of other tasks. (training)* A specific goal leads to higher performance but leads to a neglect of other important goals.

* Rewards for performance increases performance but decreases performance on tasks not rewarded* It often happens that not the candidate who scored highest points during testing is offered the position, but someone, who fits the company culture, and organisation and the actual team best* The management should consider the trade-off between recruiting employee with high level of experience and advanced skills or recruiting employee with relatively low skills and investing into training and development.Some of them and other paradoxes are going to be discussed in details in this paper.Human resource management should emphasise the importance of people not only as workforce, but as competitive force in the broadest possible sense of the word. One important lever is to consider employees as experts in their jobs and reap the benefits of their knowledge and experience.The competent human resource management directly influences on the results of the company activities. As separate area of management, HR has achieved but thus primary activities of HR departments was practically dissolved in different types of classifications, systems, estimations, procedures, etc.

Paradox: HR function is perfect on the organization, but absolutely useless as a matter of fact. The researches conducted among company’s top management have identified common trend that HRM employees are far from business activities (Dikanova, 2004). For this reason recently many companies began to refuse to do routine functions of HR, and some transferred a part of personnel management to external advisers.

People-Power Paradox

Many of the firms believed that although their competitive advantage depended on the quality of their people, personnel management was of only secondary importance. This phenomenon is called ‘the people-power paradox’: the failure of organisations to use their people-power despite realising the importance of so doing.

The people-power paradox, then, is one that needs to be solved. An assessment of the value of the people in an organisation is important, but is also at the centre of the paradox. Put another way, the paradox couples the belief managers have that people are the power in an organisation with an inability to tap this power to any meaningful extent.People make the difference, and that is why the HR function is prominent within most organisations. But to what extent has HR succeeded in using the potential power of people? But too often, companies have found that the benefits of each initiative are not sustained, or are marginal, or the bottom-line effects are unconvincing.

HR is essential in many ways for company operation and maintenance, but it has not really solved the problem of unleashing the potential of a company’s employees. Some management gurus, in attempting to understand the people-power paradox, have even suggested it is impossible for management use the real power of employees. Instead, ‘chaos’ is seen as an essential ingredient for the emergence of many aspects of worker potential. This phenomenon has drawn attention of scientific society.

For example, in his books on complexity and chaos in management, Professor Ralph Stacey (Professor of Management and Director of the Complexity and Management Centre at the Business School of the University of Hertfordshire in the UK) proposes that intangibles such as ‘knowledge’, ‘strategy’, ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’ cannot be managed: they emerge as a result of powerful informal and chaotic processes.Much of Stacey’s analysis may be correct as far as the informal and intangible aspects of business goes, but this does not mean that these soft aspects of business cannot be managed. Companies can change the potential of individuals. But whereas early HR initiatives have concentrated on the organisation, managing the people-power paradox requires a refocusing on the individual. This means that managers need to change the focus from aspects of environment within the organisation and the way work is designed to transforming the way the people perceive themselves, their work and the organisation. Managers require tools that can provide both a rigorous evaluation of the value and utilisation of human capital within an organisation, and methods for improving that capital.

Recruitment and selection is a matchmaking process, in the steps of which the right person is found for the right position. However, several pairs of dilemmas can rise during the process. The options one may make can be equally good, but awareness is important to handle outcomes of the choice.The very first dilemma in recruitment and selection, whether it should be carried out in-house or should be outsourced.

Both of them can be equally good, with different advantages and disadvantages.Outsourcing recruitment can provide free time for other HR functions, such as HR consultancy within the firm, but external professionals may not know the needs of the company enough. While the in-house recruitment is time-consuming, with lots of administration duties, but the number of candidates is larger and organisational recruiters know the needs of the company better.The second paradox in recruitment and selection can be seen when setting the criteria-levels for candidates. This means a company has the option to hire somebody who still needs to improve his/her skills, gain more experience in order to be productive or hire somebody who already possesses the skills and experience to excel in the given job. Both of them are appropriate, but until in the first case the company provides space for improvement and on-the-job learning possibility for the employee, thus motivating him/her and retaining her, in the second option the company can expect that the employee may leave soon, because he/she will soon be appropriate for a higher position.

Another side of the coin, hiring somebody with less experience, knowledge, skills is cheaper for the company, but the company has to invest in training and developing that employee (invest not only is the sense of nominations for trainings, but also coaching/mentoring activity from the side of the supervisor). The hire a more experienced person is obviously more expensive, who can quickly add profits to the business, and can quickly be promoted or may leave the company, which is a loss, because it generates another recruitment project.Paradox in the selection phase of the recruitment process in the use of assessment methods: recruiters usually use those assessment methods first, which are less reliable. During the phase in which the candidate pool is the most reduces.

This means, that the pool of candidates is largely downsized with the help of such assessment methods, which are less reliable and less objective, than those which are used in a later phase, when anyway the pool is already smaller. This means in practice that resume pre-screening is a less reliable form of candidate assessment than psychological tests, and still the first preceeds the latter. This however, may also be, because of the cost of reliable and objective assessment methods, such as phychological test, handwriting analysis, etc.The greatest dilemma in recruitment is which candidate to select among the best? It often happens that not the candidate who scored highest points in tests is offered the position, but someone, who fits the company culture, and organisation and the actual team best.

This is because, even tough somebody performs excellent on intelligence tests and can make a very good impression with his/her work sample, but if this person’s personality does not fit in with the team and company, he can even destruct others in his/her environment. Learn the difference between scientific management and administrative management

IT Skills versus Experience

Many companies, especially the ones in IT business, are facing the “IT skills versus experience” paradox when recruiting new work force. No matter what is the company’s main operation it has to use advanced IT tools in order to stay competitive. IT systems play an important role of the company’s every day operations therefore even a little flaw in the system can cause serious inefficiency problems. For this reason the people responsible for the IT systems have lots of responsibility.

Positions with bigger responsibilities require more experience. However, those people who have the necessary skills (like young people) do not have the required working experience. On the other hand people with enough corporate working experience do not have the necessary IT skills. The situation is even worse when you consider a company whose main operation is involved with IT technologies. Most of the positions at those kind of companies require some degree of IT knowledge that the older generation employees might lack.

This is a common trade off (skills – experience) that HR managers have to face when recruiting.

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