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BUHRM5912 Human Resource Management in Woolworths: Assessment Task 1 Answer


Code: BUHRM5912

School / Faculty: Federation Business School

Assessment Task 1: Individual report 1.Assessment Details

Write an individual report on the following scenario within a 2000 word limit.

Today, the success of HR practitioners largely depends on how agile they are in responding to the emerging challenges occurring in the internal and external environment. Given this backdrop, with reference to the Environmental Influences Model (see figure 2.16 of the textbook), examine how major demographic changes are likely to affect future HR planning and job design in an organisation or industry you are familiar with. As an HR practitioner, suggest a set of justified recommendations for how top management or an industry peak body should respond to these demographic changes.

General advice:

To complete this individual assessment, you should refer to the textbook chapters of 2,  4 and 5 and find out relevant journal articles. You could choose any organisation or industry you are familiar with. This does not necessitate that you should be a current employee of an organisation/industry. If you are not current employee of any organisation, you may choose an organisation or industry you are familiar with by browsing their official website.

The following headings should be used to prepare your individual report.

  1. Introduction: Your introduction should briefly describe your chosen company or industry and the purpose and content of the report.
  2. Analysis of the potential impact of changing demography on the HR planning and job design of [for example, ABC company or industry]:

Using relevant HR related theories and concepts from the textbook and from any relevant HR journal articles or HR industry reports, you are required to examine the effects of changing demography on HR practices.

Recommendations to address the identified impacts:

Being an HR practitioner, propose a set of justified recommendation(s) for your peak industry body or top management utilising some aspects of your analyses  and findings from relevant research and reports.

Research and referencing requirements:

You MUST include a minimum of 8 references. This means you are allowed to use more than 8 references; however, 4 references should be peer-reviewed journal articles. Wikipedia is not peer-reviewed so should not be in your reference list, although you may obtain some useful references from Wikipedia. You should use the FedUni library database to download useful academic sources.

Referencing must be in APA format. In-text citations must be included, as well as a full reference list at the end of the report.

Length: 2000 words. Note: There are penalties in place for exceeding the recommended threshold word limit (5% above or below the given word limit is acceptable; references and appendices are not counted towards the total word count). Beyond the 5% threshold, 1 mark will be deducted for every 10% that you exceed the given word limit.

Due Date: This report is due on Monday of Week 5 by 11:59 PM at your local time. Late submission will attract penalty as per FedUni’s policies.

How to avoid plagiarism:

As per for the FedUni’s policies, academic dishonesty such as plagiarism and contract cheating have dire consequences that may lead the concerned student to be expelled from the program and/or the university. To avoid being penalised on the grounds of plagiarism for any submitted works, you are strongly recommended to paraphrase every single sentence in your assignment unless using any direct quotes. Direct quotes should be used sparingly. Too much reliance on direct quotes indicates that student has a limited capacity to paraphrase the core ideas obtained from the cited materials. You are allowed to submit your assignment as many times as you wish before the submission deadline via the Moodle Turnitin link. This multiple resubmission until the submission deadline will enable you to check the originality of your work and allow you to revise and upload the final work into the Moodle created Turnitin link. Furthermore, if a lecturer suspects a breach of academic integrity has occurred in the form of a contract cheating, i.e. the submitted work has not been produced by the student himself/herself, in this case, a thorough investigation will be carried out engaging the concerned student and penalty will be imposed as per the FedUni’s policies if evidence of breaching academic integrity is concluded. Finally, for both your in-text citations (i.e. within the texts of the report) and references list (at the end of the report), please, adhere to the APA referencing style. Detailed guidelines on how to use APA referencing are available on the FedUni’s website.






The largest supermarket chain in Australia is Woolworths. There are nearly 995 stores in Australia that employs 115,000 people. The organization is renowned for offering the best products to the customers. The delivery of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat makes it Australia's Fresh Food People (Woolworths Group, 2019). The organisation maintains and maximises shareholder values. It focuses on the employee training aspect to deliver the best to the organization. The Human Resource (HR) department of Woolworth is structured for ensuring that the best candidates are recruited and they can serve the customers. The present report would discuss the HR department of Woolworths. The report would shed light on the ways changing demography is impacting on HR planning and the job design. Based on the identified impact recommendations are offered so that Woolworth can select the best employees in future. 

Changing Demography in Australia 

Like all other western countries, the population of Australia is ageing. The main drivers for such a situation are the low fertility rate and the increasing ageing population. The representation for older people has increased for the last 100 years, which is 4% in 1901 to 14% in 2010. The percentage of the population aged 15 years has declined from 35% in 1901 to 19% in 2007-10. These two groups are the dependent population of the country, as in most cases; they do not possess the capability of earning by themselves. As per the prediction of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the percentage of the older people will account for 23-25% and the younger group will make up 15%-18%. The increasing ageing population creates an impact on the economic and social factors (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019). 

Demography also involves the family size, education and migration of the people. The family size is decreasing with one or two children. This means that the financial burden of the family is decreasing and the focus on the children are increasing. The children are getting a better education, and their opportunity for pursuing higher education is increasing, thereby making them more competitive for seeking the job. However, the competition in the job market is growing as the recruiters are getting a more full pool of talents from which they can select their best candidates.

Furthermore, migration in the country has increased. The migration from Asian countries has increased from 18% to 42% (McDonald, 2016). Some migrants have permanently settled in the country, and the Asian-born population seems to be younger than the native population. The indigenous people of Australia account for six per cent of the total population. The government of the country has taken steps to improve their condition and ensure that they get equal opportunities in job and are treated equitably. All these have increased competition in the recruitment field.

Impact of demographic changes on HR planning and job design of Woolworths 

The changes in the demography have created a far-reaching effect on the HR departments globally. The labour force market is becoming comprehensive for which the organisations are altering the process of recruitment and people management strategies. Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart & Wright (2017) commented that HR planning is the assessment of the demand for the labour in a company and then arranging the ways to meet them. The HR department of Woolworths needs to plan and design their job effectively so that they can get the best employees to serve the customers. The prime issues that are identified in Woolworth associated with recruitment are high employee turnover. The reason for the same is manifold. Presently, the demands of the different generations are different, and companies have to respond to them accordingly.    

In Australia, the ageing has increased, and this is creating an impact on the selection of the perfect employee for Woolworths. The number of older people in the workforce is increasing. The accesses to the younger population who can best serve the companies are decreased.  Woolworth has turned out to be a customer-centric organization for which it needs employees who can help them and hence the need of the younger employees. The distribution and home delivery of the products have increased with an online presence, and all these require the participation of the younger employees. The older employees hold a different perspective for which the company has to focus on motivation so that they keep working for the enterprise (Bendell, 2016). With the increase in older people, the HR department has to emphasize more on occupational health and employee benefits. The ageing population also affects the job design. Daniels et al. (2017) defined job design as the arrangement of the work for attaining the objectives of the firm. The older people with different perspective and strength prefers different sort of working as compared to the younger generation. Woolworths has to recruit people for serving the customer, home delivery, strategic marketing tactics and others. The younger employees would be able to serve all these purposes. However, the older people would prefer a job that is without target and travelling and hence HR department of Woolworth has to plan accordingly. 

Reduction in the number of family members and increased focus on single or two children have increased the educational opportunities, and hence, their job preferences have also changed. Woolworths has to design their job accordingly so that it can satisfy the job needs of the candidates. Work flexibility has become an essential concern for the organization as this would increase the retainment and help them to deliver the best service to the customers. Furthermore, the current rich cultural diversity is creating an impact on the work structure (Woolworths Group, 2019). Presently, the organization has to employ people from different background, ethnicity and country and hence, HR should ensure that it creates a positive environment that fosters learning and growth. Woolworth encounters challenges in terms of maintaining equality, inclusion and the HR professionals should be adequately trained and culturally aware for preventing any sort of mismanagement.

Recommendations for Woolworths

The change in the demography in Australia has affected the demand and the supply of the labours. The organization has to anticipate the demand and supply for  the future business plans. Considering the changing demography, Woolworth has to plan its recruitment accordingly and design the job so that it can attract the best employees. The suitable recommendations of the organizations are listed below:

  1. Stock Taking: The first stage of successful HR planning would be stock taking. The main objective of labour stock is to assess the number of the staffs the company has after deducting the number of the staffs left the company and the quality of staffs, which is available to the company. Woolworths can make use of job analysis and performance review as well as the skill audit to evaluate the skills and the qualifications of the employees’ required in the organization (Momin & Mishra, 2015). The HR department of Woolworths needs to assess the eligibility of the candidate’s specific to the retail industry. Woolworths needs to determine the skills and the capabilities of the existing employees to understand what sort of training is required and how many new candidates should be recruited. Understanding the workforce is essential for proper HR planning. The different tools would enable the organization to attain the objectives of selecting the best candidates. 
  2. Human Resource Supply Forecast: This is a crucial stage of HR planning in which the organization carries out an analysis of the type, and the number of staffs would be required for the organization. Presently, Woolworths is focused on serving customers through different services. Hence, they would need employees who prefer learning and can easily develop skills and carry out prompt actions (Karikari, Boateng & Ocansey, 2015). Woolworth needs to organize a labour market analysis for better understanding the profile of the labour market and state of the economy in the recruitment perspective. The employment rate in Australia is quite high, and hence attracting the right candidates from the talent pool require the development of the effective strategies. Thus, making supply forecast would provide an idea to the organization about the sources from the candidates can be drawn. Moreover, it would also offer an idea regarding the number of employees needed in different segments of the organization. 
  3. Forecasting the demand of Employees: The demand for the employees needs to be analysed so that the requirement of the employees in the retail sector can be understood. The retail sector requires employees not only for sales but for several other factors like distribution, customer services, delivery, marketing and other operational activities. With the increasing number of the ageing population, Woolworth needs to segregate the job of the younger and the ageing population (Brusset & Teller, 2017). The older and the experienced people can be used in the management team for offering and developing leadership skills so that the organization can attain success. The development of the required skills is the prime focus of the organization for delivering its strategy. Currently, in Woolworths, the number of employees who are trained by the seniors with the help of Leadership, Trainee Programs and Skills Program has increased (Brusset & Teller, 2017). The HR management of Woolworths has been successful in training people effectively.
  4. Development of Policy and retention of employees: The changing demography has created increasing cultural diversity. Woolworths has to develop policies for monitoring the staffing policies of the organization. Furthermore, the increased number of qualified and skilled candidates in Australia, as well as all around the globe, has made it crucial for the organizations for creating competitive human resource policies for creating a competitive edge in the market (Haider et al. 2015). This includes working environments, the expectation of staffs, rewards and benefits and Woolworths need to develop strategies accordingly. The HR department of Woolworths should create policies that would keep all the staffs from different culture, ethnic background and skills and capabilities comfortable. The retaining of the staffs for a more extended period would help to reduce the cost of the organization and enhance the efficiency of the business. Aruna & Anitha (2015) commented that employee retention is quite essential for creating goodwill and increasing the profitability of the organization. This can be attained through the identification of the needs of the staffs based on which the HR department of Woolworth can develop policies for addressing the requirements of every stakeholder. 
  5. Performance management: This is an important part of job design and HR planning. The increasing number of aged people within the organization has made it essential to create proper rules and regulations that would help the employees to work accordingly. The performance strategy can influence the employees of different age, background, culture and education qualification and skills to remain focused on their work and attain the goals or the targets. Buckingham & Goodall (2015) commented that the performance of the employees is directly influenced by their attitudes and perspectives towards the work. To ensure that all the employees contribute equally towards the organization as per their capability and skills, Woolworths has to set a work target. For this, the HR department of Woolworths needs to gather data based on which measurements can be done for determining the performance of the staffs. Then, it can be used for preparing statistics that can be used as future references for measuring the performances of the staffs (Buckingham & Goodall, 2015). The digital technology has made it easier to measure and record the performances of the staffs.   


The present report provided an overview of the HR planning and job design in Woolworths due to the impact of the changing demography in Australia. The population of Australia is ageingThe family size is decreasing with one or two children. The children are getting a better education, and their opportunity for pursuing higher education is increasing, thereby making them more competitive for pursuing the jobThe changes in the demography have created a far-reaching effect on the HR departments. The labour force market is becoming comprehensive for which the organisations are altering the process of recruitment and people management strategiesThe older employees hold a different perspective for which the company has to focus on motivation so that they keep working for the enterprise.

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