5RST UK And Australian Labour Markets And Importance Of Loose Labour Market Assessment Answer

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Question :

Title of unit/sResourcing and Talent Planning
Unit No/s5RST
Level5
Credit value6
Assessment method(s)Written answers and appropriate evidence of activity as specified in the questions
Learning outcomes:
  • Understand key contemporary labour market trends and their significance for workforce planning.
  • Be able to undertake talent planning and recruitment activities
  • Understand how to maximise employee retention
  • Know how to manage dismissal, redundancy and retirement effectively and lawfully.
Assessment brief/activity
You are required to provide written responses to each of the following seven
questions:
Question 1
Your organisation is based in two different countries (the UK and another
country of your choice). Write a short account which briefly assesses the
labour market trends in each country. In your account, briefly explain the
significance of tight and loose labour market conditions and how organisations
position themselves strategically in competitive labour markets.
Question 2
Give a brief description of the role of government, employers and trade unions
in ensuring future skills needs are met.
Question 3
Briefly describe the main principles of effective workforce planning and give
some examples of any tools that may be used for this.
Question 4
1. Develop and provide a basic succession and career development plan
2. Provide evidence to show your contribution to plans for downsizing an
organisation
3. Provide evidence to show your contribution to the development of job
descriptions, person specifications and competency frameworks.
Question 5
Explain some of the main legal requirements in relation to recruitment and
selection and briefly assess the strengths and weaknesses of at least two
different methods of recruitment and selection.
Question 6
Briefly explain briefly why people leave or remain with organisations and
provide a summary of some of the costs associated with dysfunctional
employee turnover. Go on to assess the strengths and weaknesses of at least
two different approaches to retaining talent.
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Answer :

Resourcing and Talent Planning

Introduction

The project report focuses on the present condition of UK and Australian labour markets and provides the importance of loose labour market as opposed to tight condition. In the case of a competitive labour market, the strategic position of organizations is also mentioned in the report. Skill development as supported by the trade unions, government and employers are also discussed briefly. It also includes measures that can be taken to develop an efficient work force planning with examples of tools used by HR managers. The basics of career development and contribution of the researcher are included in the report along with the legal requirements of recruitment methods. Furthermore, the reasons employers tend to stay or leave organizations, as well as recommendation for dismissal, retirement and redundancy management, has been discussed in the project report.

Question 1

UK and Australian Labour Market Conditions

The labour market trends of the UK and Australia as of 2019 has been assessed below.

Present Condition of UK Labour Market

Presently the employment rate of the UK is around 76.1%, which is higher than that of last years, which was around 75.3%. The unemployment rate is also at an all-time low at about 3.9%, which is the lowest since 1975 (CIPD 2019b). Additionally, the economic inactivity rate of the country is at 20.7%, which is the lowest to date. The weekly earnings of employees in the UK have increased by 3.4%, excluding bonuses. However, when adjusted for inflation, the increase in weekly earnings is only 1.4% higher than the previous year. As of April, 2019, the minimum wage rate for labour above the age of 25 is £8.21 per hour. The trends in the UK labour market looks promising with an increased amount of employment rates and weekly earnings.

Present Condition of the Australian Labour Market

The unemployment rate in Australia is at 5% despite the numerous jobs created in the last 15 years. The weekly wage growth of the country has also increased by a small margin only with only 33% of the labour force getting a raise. The labour force has, however, increased significantly due to the population growth from overseas migration, although, this has also resulted in the slow wage growth. The labour force participation rate is currently at 65.6%, which is the highest since 2012 (CIPD 2019b). The present national minimum wage in Australia is $18.93 per hour with a total of 38-hour of work every week. Therefore, it can be said that although the wage growth is low, the Australian economy is still functioning in context to labour market trends.

Comparing the Loose Labour Market as Opposed to Tight Market Conditions

Whenever a labour market economy is close to its full capacity of employment it is considered as a tight labour market and employers cannot hire more workers easily as the pool of available workers is also very low. This increases the aggregate demand for labour due to the increased demand for products. This scarcity of employees steadily increases the workers' wages as they have higher bargaining power in the market condition(Seth's Blog 2019). On the other hand, during a loose labour market condition, the availability of workers is higher than there is demand and employers has the bargaining power which enables him to hire as many workers as necessary without the need to increase wage rate.Presently the Australian labour market is a loose labour market due to the large number of overseas migrations which strengthens the workforce of the country. The UK labour market on the other hand is a tight labour market as with a ageing population, the country does not have adequate number available leaders which allows the workers to ask for more wages from the employers.

Tight Labour Market Graph

Image 1: Tight Labour Market Graph

(Source:Faragher 2012)

Strategic Positioning of Organizations for Competitive advantage in Labour Market

During a competitive labour market, organizations need to take certain strategic positioning that would help recruit the desired candidates and meet the needs of the existing employees. One of the best options is to create a better experience for the candidate where both successful and unsuccessful candidates are asked for their feedback to keep the selection process thorough, engaging and appropriate for the job purpose (Seth's Blog 2019). As most candidates are attracted by the culture and value of the organization, communicating them clearly to the candidates would make them focused on the values and also improve the quality of customer experience. The organizations should also focus more on their career growth opportunities as it matters the most to workers and employees (Faragher 2012). The pay and benefits of the organization also need to be reviewed so that it is appropriate with the rate of inflation and appeal to new joiners. The recruitment and retention practices pursued by the organization also needs to be evaluated and reviewed to recruit the most deserving candidates and retain as many of them as possible in a competitive labour market.

Question 2

Development of Skills as Supported by Trade Unions, Government and Employers

The government, employers and trade unions each play a distinctive role in skill development of employees which has been discussed below.

Role of Government

As the centre of economic structure in the nation, the government has a vital role in skill development of employees working in various organizations. One of the basic steps towards proving skills to people is maintained global teaching standards in every school provided with capable teachers so that people are able to acquire skill from a very young age and also build the mindset to acquire new skills when working in professional life. The UK and Australian government should also maintain educational equality for people from different economic backgrounds so that every person has the equal opportunity to acquire basic education and skill which would later help them in their professional life (Martindale 2011). The government of these countries, should also implement a robust structure for the curriculum so that the students have a well-rounded experience and knowledge about workforce preparation. The government and trade unions should also work collaboratively to solve problems of workers, and effective cooperation can lead to better skill development.

Role of Employers

The employers also play an essential role in developing the skills of employees and workers in every organization. It is the responsibility of the employer to attract and retain valuable employees for the organization as deserving candidates creates a culture of acquiring skills for other new recruitments. In UK and Australia, implementing skill development programmes in the organization also makes workers loyal and creates a strong workforce for the organization. The employer should also help out employees by catering to their needs so that they remain engaged motivated in the workplace. Providing learning programmes for employees helps them to develop their skills through which they can add value to the organization and a higher productivity and output level in the office is essential for skill development of other workers as well.

Role of Trade Unions

Trade unions helps in skill development through training programmes in the workplace and encouraging employees to develop their individual skills and abilities. In context to skill development, trade unions can only provide training sessions that help and support workers acquire new skill and knowledge and develop their existing skills through workshops arranged by the trade unions (Martindale 2011). Trade unions in UK and Australia often work collaboratively with the government and employers of organizations to cater to the skill requirement of employees and help them improve it over time.Trade unions also act as a collective entity for the labours working in Australia and UK and bargain on behalf of the workers with the employers in case, they need development of skill.

Question 3

Measures for Developing Efficient Work Force Planning and HR Tools used for It

Workforce planning can be defined as a process used by organizations across the world to develop and prepare human resources for its present and future performance. Identifying the present and future personnel needs and developing the most cost effective and efficient way to recruit and retain individuals is the sole purpose of workforce planning. Organizations in countries like Australia and UK always maintain a workforce plan to remain sustainable and successful. The Walton and Burgoyne model for HR planning is the most prevalent practice used by leading organizations like Sainsbury’s and Woolworths in UK and Australia.

The five most important principles of effective workforce planning have been discussed for understanding the benefits of those principles on the workforce of an organization in UK and Australia and some of the tools to implement this has been discussed briefly.

Setting a Strategic Planning

This is the first step that the management of the organizations should take for effective workforce planning. Gathering all the relevant information for the workforce planning process and exploring them to develop a strategic plan based on the annual report and business plan from the executive team is ideal for the process (Philpott 2009). The duration of employee engagement and overall onboarding goals should be discussed with project leaders to set the strategic plan that should be pursued by the organization.

Analysing Workplace Profile

This principle involves the analysis of the current staffing of the organization where areas or departments of understaffing might occur. Identifying the reason for large employee turnover rate would help to find the root cause, which can then be rectified to retain the desired number of employees required in a project.

Developing an Action Plan

The action plan helps to identify any gaps left out in the strategic planning and tracking employee productivity accurately is also necessary for this process. Identifying specific issues within the organization and restructuring and outsourcing prudent solutions can be developed in the action plan (CIPD 2019d). In most cases, the problems and issues are found in certain teams, and action plan that includes additional recruitment, in-depth training and technological investments tends to resolve the issues.

Implementing the Action Plan

The action plan to resolve the issues can be brought to life by working with the various departments and teams that require improvement. The allotted budget should be discussed with the accounts department and coordinating with the executive team, IT staff and middle managers helps to implement the action plan smoothly in the workforce (Philpott 2009).

Monitoring, Evaluating and Revising the Action Plan

Once the action plan is implemented in the workplace, continuous monitoring is necessary to determine its effectiveness and also identify the weaknesses of the areas which require further improvement. This helps in making adjustments that would improve the results of the workforce planning project.

Workforce Planning Cycle

Image 2: Workforce Planning Cycle

(Source: Homburget al.2014)

To implement effective workforce planning, company management and HR department uses some tools like the analysis of compensation and benefits, HR dashboarding, 9-box grid, strategic workforce planning map and scenario planning. The use of these tools makes it easier to implement strategic workforce planning in the organization.

Considering the downsizing of an organisation, it may be stated that HR plays an intensive and crucial role in facilitating the same. It is to be taken into account that Human Resource has the best knowledge or idea regarding the performance as well as the capabilities of the employees. In addition to that, HR also associates and participates with external counsel as well as in-house counsel in order to determine the retention of specific deserving employees, during the process of downsizing (Raeder, 2019). 

Question 4

Creating a Basic Succession Planning and Career Pathing

Succession planning is an employee-driven business process that focuses on the identification and nurturing of talented individuals for filling up anticipated critical positions in an organization. In simple terms, the employer must make sure that a highly skilled and talented pool of candidates is available for replacing the departing employees. Career development plan, on the other hand, is employee driven and gives the employee autonomy and control of charting their own career choices. The basic steps for developing a succession plan and career development plan for organizations in the UK and Australia are as follows.

Basic Succession Planning

Future Needs

  • It requires time to prepare a promising candidate for a leadership role in an organization. This is why being proactive with succession planning is important even if a replacement is not necessary for the near future. Carrying out a process of prepping a promising individual for a critical role in the business creates an invaluable safety net for the organization.
  • Implementing a trial run of the succession plan is important to figure out the flaws and issues in the plan and also test the potential candidates in made up scenarios on how they would perform in the future.
  • The succession plan can be used to develop a hiring strategy for the organization as it sorts out potential candidates for future critical positions right at the beginning of the recruitment process and sorting out later becomes easier.

Linking Current Staff to Future Roles

  • The vision of the organization should be known to all potential individual to prepare a promising candidate in the future. This is why including potential managers in strategy conversations would help them to acquire leadership and planning skills and also understand the broad vision objectives of the organization. This step of succession planning can be discussed and shared with human resources and board of directors to gain valuable insights on the planning process (Homburget al. 2014).
  • The peak performers in the organizations should be sorted out and offering them mentoring, and training is essential to develop and improve their skills even more and prepare them for future critical positions in the organization (Whiddett et al. 2003).

Competencies & Skills

  • Keeping an open mind for every employee in the organization regardless of their present position is important as skills and talent is essential for a critical position. So, instead of assuming the individual second in command to a critical position would be the only succession candidate is not ideal for an organization.
  • Offering regular feedback to promising employees who have shown high-quality performance and achievement is essential for sorting out potential employees for a managerial position. Keeping track of employee performance and their achievements in the organization should be a diligent practice to offer critical job positions to them in the future.

Career Development Planning

Methods

  • Employees must carry out self-assessment tests to identify their individual abilities, career aspirations, interests and goals. This might also include their current skills and experience, which can be further explored and expanded for identifying future potential roles in various organizations.
  • Employees should map out multiple career option so that self-evaluation can be done on career plan development based on both short-term and long-term goals (Whiddett et al. 2003).

Goal Setting

  • As employees focus more on their experience in a present organization, prioritizing flexibility in career pathing is also essential to look for other job roles with the same experience acquired over the years.
  • Employees might also require career counselling from professionals to ensure their goals are realistic and effective career plan is developed based on their expertise and goals.

Pathways

  • Organizations must also encourage and empower their employees by recommending them appropriate career paths, providing job enhancement opportunities, job vacancies and job rotations based on their goals, skills and aspirations (Taylor 2010).

The, Job Description, Person Specification and Competency Framework has been attached to appendices. Refer to Appendix 1, Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 for further details. It is to be noted that a job description aids in the development of comprehensive knowledge with respect to the clarity of job roles. Furthermore, person specification establishes the basis for an interview as we provides basis for developing the advertisement for the same position (Cook, 2016). However, it is important that the selection criteria within the job description and person specification is justified, specific, and measurable and does not discriminate the candidates. 

Job Description

Job TitlePersonal Assistant
Reporting toName of Employer
LocationThe home address of the candidate
Nature of Job RoleTasks and activities specific to the job
Main DutiesPersonal/ Domestic/ Social Duties
Hours of WorkFixed or Flexible hours of work as required
Rate of Pay£ 8.00 per hour for weekdays/ £ 38.00 for sleepovers


Person Specification

Qualifications and ExperienceGraduate degree in any field.
Past experience as personal assistant
Knowledge in using computer and taking short hand notes.
Experience in letter writing, formal mailing, and management of personal documents.


Question 5

Legal Policies Pursued for Recruiting and Selecting Candidates and Pros and Cons of Various Recruitment Methods

The legal policies followed by organizations in the UK and Australia for recruiting and selecting candidates consist of legislative acts that organizations should always abide by. Additionally, having specific policies for the recruitment and selection process is also essential to make the process fair in the eyes of the law (Harvard Business Review 2019). They are discussed below.

There are four basic laws that should be followed during the hiring process in an organization.

Equality Act 2010 that makes it unlawful to discriminate among people when employing them based on these features.

  • Applicant’s Age (Should include All Working Age and Age Range)
  • Any specific Disability of the Applicant
  • Identification of Different Gender
  • Civic and Marital Relationship
  • Biological Responsibility like maternity or pregnancy
  • Discrimination on the basis of Race, skin colour, ethnic background and nationality
  • Applicant’s association to any Religion
  • Discriminating payment on the basis of Sex
  • Applicant’s Sexual orientation like heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual

Asylum and Immigration Act 2006, that makes it a criminal offence to employ individuals without the permit to stay and work in the UK and Australia. Organizations must ask for documents like a birth certificate or passport as evidence of their approval to work in the UK and Australia.

Police Act 1997, that makes it mandatory to run a background check from the Criminal Records Bureau of the applicants with working experience involving children and should be conducted before offering them a position in the organization (Bloomgarden-Smoke 2012).

Data Protection Act 2003, which prevents the organizations from disclosing the information and details of the individual other than using them for recruitment assessment and selection process.

As of May, 2018, organizations in the UK that collect personal data of applicant of EU residents should follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will be responsible for the security and confidentiality of the data.

The two methods of recruitment and selection were chosen for the report are online job boards and websites and press advertising. The strengths and weakness of both these methods are described below.

Online Job Boards and Websites

StrengthsWeaknesses
Less expensive and faster recruitment process with streamline administration.Can result in receiving too many irrelevant applications if proper drafting, job description and person specification are not done.
Management of vacancies are done effectively and the processes are coordinated with the use of technology.Can be view as discriminatory if applicants are not computer literate.


Press Advertising

StrengthsWeaknesses
Helps to communicate recruitment messages and brand positively.High upfront expenses with minimal or no ROI and success (CIPD 2019a).
Helps to build brand awareness and reinforces the corporate message.Can be time consuming and slow when used through specialised press



Question 6

Reason for employee to remain or leave the organisation and the cost related with the dysfunctional employee turnover. Strength and weaknesses of the at least two employee retention approaches

Reasons behind the employee retention and turnovers

There are various factors related to employee retention as well as the turnovers that determine both of the aspects of an organisation. The factors that determine the possibilities of employee retention and turnover of a company such as employee satisfaction, working conditions, the pressure of the work, competition, and so on. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a good working environment in the workplace to encourage their employees to be in the company. It also helps the employees to achieve the maximum possible efficiency at work and increase the productivity and reason for a stay in the organisation. In order to understand the needs of the employees better, the organisation should develop a good communication system between the management and the employees in order to retain their employees and avoid the employee turnovers in the future (Cipd 2019a). High pressure of work can sometimes be difficult for the employees to handle. Employee motivation is also an important factor in the retention or turnover of employees. The poor motivational environment in the workplace can cause employee turnover in a company. A healthy complexion can build a productive environment at the workplace by encouraging the employees to face the challenges and improve themselves. But an uncomfortable high competition in the workplace sometimes can put stress in work. Thus the intensity of the competition at work can also determine the turnover of employees sometimes.

Costs associated with dysfunctional employee turnover

Dysfunctional employee turnover can affect the economy of the organisation badly as they lose the productive employees who cause a negative effect on productivity as well as the profitability of the organisation. In order to replace a higher performance employee and hire a new employee in that place, the company suffers a high expense as they have to prepare the new employee to reach the efficiency level of the replaced employee first to retain the workflow and productivity of the work. The report says that the percentage of dysfunctional employee turnover is 16% ( Ons.gov 2019). There are different kinds of costs regarding the replacement of a high performing employee such as the hiring costs, training costs and opportunity costs. The company has to bear the expenses related to the hiring process as well as the post-employment training of the new employees to attain the efficiency level of the older high skilled employee in order to retain the productivity of the work. The company has to go through the opportunity costs as well as they would lose certain opportunities due to the unavailability of required skilful employees to do the work.

Training and mentoring:

The training and mentoring policy is the most reliable technique to assess the strength and weakness of the employees. The training and mentoring policy help in developing the personal and professional knowledge of the employees within the organization (Taylor et al. 2016). 

Strengths:

  1. The organization can organize the Training program for providing structured and timely development and learning opportunity based on the employees’ specific needs and requirements.
  2. The training and mentoring policy help to improve the self-confidence level and self-esteem level of the employees. The training and mentoring program helps in improving the decision-making process among the employees.
  3. The training program organized by the organization helps in developing new ways of working and increases the motivation level of the employees.
  4. The training and mentoring facility help in improving the understanding level of the employees. It will help in retaining talented employees within the organization. The training and mentoring facility help in reducing the percentage of the employee’s turnover. 
  5. It will help in improving the skill and knowledge of the individual employees within the organization and provides them with an opportunity for further growth and promotion within the organization.

Weakness:

  1. The training and mentoring program become ineffective for the poor guidance of the senior employees. Then the training and mentoring program fails to guide the employees properly.
  2. The ineffective training and mentoring program create frustration among the employees if the employee cannot follow the guidance of the senior employees (Taylor et al. 2016).
  3. If the mentor of the training program playing an autocratic role, then it demotivates the employees. The ineffective training program fails to improve the skill and knowledge of the employees. It increases the percentage of the employee’s turnover.

Show appreciation via compensation and benefits

In order to retain the employees, the management of the company should support their employees through appreciating their work and efforts and encouraging them to improve their work further.Appreciating the employees properly for their work and efforts can increase the productivity of the work.  The management can use a different type of strategies to appreciate their employees, such as reward system, PTO, incentives, and so on (Taylor et al. 2016). The management needs to appreciate the work of the employees in order to properly motivating them to improve their efficiency and productivity at work in the future as well. 

These are some of the appreciation techniques that can be used to motivate the employees in an organisation.  In order to properly encourage the employees, the management should adopt suitable strategies. There are several employee appreciation strategies, as follows.

Compensation: Money can be an effective matter to encourage employees to work better. Thus, the management should occasionally provide compensations such as commission, tips and other monetary benefits to their employees to motivate them to work better and improve their efficiency level in order to increase the productivity of the organisation itself. 

Benefits: Benefits at work can be both monetary and non-monetary in nature. Monetary benefits at work include different insurances and high wage. Non-monetary benefits include good working environment, flexible timing and schedule of work, good motivation for work, medical leaves, PTO, and so on. These types of benefits at work can motivate the employees and increase productivity. 

Question 7

Future Recommendation for Organizations for Fair Management of Dismissals and Retirements including Redundancies

Role of HR

  • Emotionally Preparing Employees
  • Preparing for the Downsizing Announcement
  • Considering ways to help employees
  • Minimizing the effects of Downsizing
  • Communicating as early and often as possible
  • Accessible to the remaining employees
  • Act as a cheerleader for the remaining employees

Lawful Downsizing

Organizations should always have a proper set of rules and policies for managing a fair process of retirement, dismissals and redundancies. 

Dismissals

  • The five most potentially fair reasons for dismissal are Conduct/Misconduct, Capability/Performance, Redundancy, Illegality and SOSR.
  • The employee can be dismissed only based on legal complaint grounds, ethical evaluation and investigating proper disciplinary processes. For this, codes of practices like the ACAS are implemented by organizations to dismiss employees in case of any such situation.

Redundancy

  • Fair reasons of redundancy are if the employer requires fewer employees due to closing of business or requires fewer employees to complete the work, change in location, etc.
  • The fairground of redundancy can only occur after necessary consultation between the employer and employee and a minimum of 2 weeks' notice beforehand is important before dismissing.

Retirement

  • Presently there are no laws linked to retirement age that can dismiss a person based on his age alone.
  • The Equality Act should be strictly followed before retiring an employee so that they face no form of discrimination during the process.

General

  • This includes minor issues like poor timekeeping that might be solved by speaking informally with the employee.
  • Inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and the employee can be given a disciplinary warning before dismissing on the grounds of misconduct.
  • This includes employees unable to carry out job due to long-term illness and allowing them time to recover is necessary before dismissal (Fudge 2012).
  • Considering other options like other roles, flexible working hours and part-time work.
  • Activities in the workplace that is done by breaking the law is considered as illegal activities and employee can be dismissed based on such grounds.
  • However, it still requires formal dismissal procedures before dismissing the employee.
  • Dismissing temporary employees after the expiration of their contract is considered as a fair reason to dismiss employees.
  • If a client refuses to work with an employee, and there is no other work in the organization for the employee, under such circumstances, the employee can be dismissed (Taylor 2018).

Conclusion

The project report provides a conclusive view on the present labour market trends of UK and Australia while explaining the different labour market conditions. The role of different entities on skill development is also useful to understand the strategic positioning of companies based on the competitive labour market. The measures for planning the workforce and use of HR tools provide great insight on how to develop succession and career development plan and also the hiring process for the organization. The lawful and fair practices of organizations for managing dismissals including redundancies and make the project report complete and conclusive of all aspects related to workforce and organizational culture.

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