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BMA HR Management
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4. Workforce Planning, Employment Equity & Recruitment
workforce planning, employment equity & recruitment
Workforce Planning, Employment Equity and Recruitment
HRM_Learning Unit 4_Recruitment.pdf
Recruitment is arguably one of the most important functions of HRM. If
achieve organisational goals – finding and employing the right people in the first place precedes organisational success.
As Jim Collins states in his book “Good to great” successful recruitment strategies are about getting the right people on the bus and ushering them to the right seats.
In this Learning Unit we will be looking at an overview of recruitment – but no overview would be complete without considering the task of Workforce Planning. Workforce planning seeks to provide answers to the questions; why are we recruiting, for whom or what purpose and by when?
Finally, no study of recruitment in the South African context would be complete without considering the influence of employment equity and the legislative requirements placed on organisations by the Employment Equity Act (EEA) (No. 55 of 1998).
The above three themes intersect where recruitment materializes in the organisation – in the plans that are developed, in the policies that are implemented and the people that are ultimately recruited.
Workforce Planning & Strategic Planning
If we look at the diagram, as offered by Nel
(2007) it is clear that areas concerning HR Planning and Organisational Planning influence and are influenced by the Vision, Mission, Objectives and Goals of an organisation.
This in turn influences the HR and Organisational Strategies that when implemented should achieve organisational goals. Workforce planning, then, forms part of the HR planning function in the above diagram.
In other words, our workforce planning must speak to and answer the needs of the Organisation insofar that when implemented will lead to organisational success. What people, skills, knowledge and experience will be needed to achieve the goals we set.
Internal and External Factors
In a simplified example; let’s say that we are going to start-up an IT business. An IT business needs people with IT skills. So after careful consideration we discover that in order to achieve our goals as an IT business we will need at least five employees with different levels of IT skills.
How easy is it going to be to recruit these five people?
What salaries are we going to have to pay these five people?
Where/by what means are we going to find these five people?
When we have these people, what skills specific to our needs will they need to have?
When will we need these people by?
How will these people be managed and to whom will they report?
The above are just a few questions that must be considered as part of the workforce planning process and represent some of the broader
that will influence our workforce plan.
1-3 represent factors
to the organisation; specifically labour market issues. Is there a ready supply of the sills required in the labour market at present?
Factors that influence this are the state of skills development in the country, the state of the
and the supply and
demand of labour
as a whole. Some companies spend a great deal of money and effort trying to recruit the right candidates due to skills shortages. Sometimes even having to pay higher and higher salaries to attract the desired candidates. Other strategies may include recruiting graduates with lesser work experience or even offering bursaries to develop the skills required.
Let’s assume IT skills are not in shortage. What of the socio-political requirements of the country we live in; specifically the
Employment Equity Act
? We can’t very well just employ the first five capable candidates that walk through the door – we need to consider our workforce profile, affirmative action and finding suitably qualified black candidates. What about
will certainly influence our workforce plans and our recruitment strategies if we are concerned with being a socially responsible organisation; (or if we want to avoid hefty fines from the department of labour in the future).
So with the above in mind – when do we need these people by? A resounding “yesterday” is the most common answer given by line and operational managers! Well that might not help the situation we do need to consider the operational implications of not finding the right skills and find solutions that will find the balance between meeting organisational goals without compromising our well developed plans.
What is Employment Equity?
Equity = Fair. So it has to do with fairness, fairness in employment practices.
When we recruit and select a person from a pool of candidates (or promote from within the organisation) employment equity requires that our practices are fair to all candidates, that we do not discriminate against characteristics that are
not relevant to the job
In class discussions we spoke about how we are all guilty of stereotyping and making generalisations about people – often unknowingly and innocently. Chen, a Chinese citizen, proved this for us when he told us about how diverse China’s people are; too most of our surprise there are in fact thousands of dialects of the Chinese language which can differ from one town or village in China to the next. Culturally too one will find major differences from one area to the next and to the Chinese people they are different and unique. So the presumption that “All Chinese people are the same” is hugely incorrect and could even be very offensive.
We also spoke about how other Asian nations (Koreans, Japanese etc) are assumed to be Chinese based on looks alone! Or how we generally judge people on their looks – preferring or being drawn to people who may be better looking or more well spoken etc.
These types of stereotyping or generalising are very dangerous in the realm or recruitment because race, gender, looks, religious beliefs, political beliefs are generally irrelevant to the job and making recruitment decisions based on these factors would be unfair or
There are, however, some instances where the above factors can be fairly used though – can you think of a few examples?
Employment Equity is concerned with preventing or eliminating unfair discrimination in the workplace; ensuring that people are given equal opportunity to employment opportunities (recruitment, selection and promotions) and are treated fairly in the workplace with respect to pay and benefits and working conditions.
Affirmative action (AA) is concerned with
specifically in the workplace. You will find that AA was actually first implemented in the United States with the aim of advancing minority groups (African American, Hispanic etc) given that past inequalities had left these groups out in the cold and present “discrimination” in the workplace further hindered there progress.
In South Africa apartheid excluded everyone but white men (and women to a lesser extent) from the best possible education, employment opportunities and the wealth of the country. Today, we still find that White males dominate most of corporate South African management positions.
Affirmative action is the process by which we actively change the above status quo by
to employment equity and giving
to designated groups with the aim of achieving a workforce
of the demographics of the country.
So in other words we achieve a situation where occupations are equally represented by both males and females and that top, senior and middle management positions represent South African demographics (see below table).
Of course there are many challenges to implementing AA. Some question its (un)fairness – that it is “reverse discrimination” against whites. In some instances you may not be “black enough” when being considered for a job and the whole thing, really, still gives the perception that we are all still being divided and processed by race and gender all over again.
But regardless of the debates and personal opinions on the matter it is law – the Employment Equity Act – and companies are obliged to implement AA especially if they are going to achieve the goals of the Employment Equity Act.
The Employment Equity Act
Requirements of the
Employment Equity Act
Employment Equity Act - Summary.pdf
Have a read though the summary of the Act and get a feel for its overall objectives. Pay attention to “who the act is talking too or about” in the various sections and think about how we would see this act being followed in the workplace:
Prohibition of discrimination – what is deemed discrimination?
Affirmative action – who are the “designated groups”?
Five steps to employment equity – the process of implementing EE.
Employment equity plan – what are the requirements?
Reporting – Who must report and what?
Monitoring – role of the Department of Labour,Equity Commission, fines?
Designated employers – when do you become a designated employer?
How would the Employment Equity Act influence a company’s recruitment policy?
click here to see an example of a recruitment policy document.
Now that we have considered workforce planning; let’s have a look at the practice of recruitment.
What are the factors that influence recruitment?
Remember the diagram for workforce planning? Well many of the same internal and external factors apply.
Some new considerations include the image of the company. How much easier would it be to recruit (attract) candidates for a large, “blue-chip” company with (perceived) superior benefits and pay structures and employment opportunities? An organisation’s image or brand plays a major role in the recruitment of candidates.
So too do the socio-political factors influence recruitment; like employment equity and the role of government policy – which in turn influence recruitment policies of organisations.
Internal vs External Recruitment Sources and Methods
Have a look at these popular online recruitment resources
Current and future trends in recruitment
Has the role of a creditors clerk changed from 20 years ago?
Has technology changed the way we work?
What will the workplace of the future look like?
What kinds of skills will we need in the future?
Some jobs today didn’t even exist a few years ago – that is a fact. So how will we recruit in the future and where are we headed?
Contingent workers – temporary workers, independent contractors and consultants.
Flexitime – flexible work time arrangements.
Job Sharing – 2 part-time workers in place of one full-time.
Compressed workweeks – shorter work weeks
Telecommuting – working from home, increased use of technology
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