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Human resource planning is concerned with making sure that the organisation has the right employees.

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Human resources in a business deals with the recruitment of people for jobs in an organisation or business. Their main roles are:




Human resource planning is concerned with making sure that the organisation has the right employees. They are also concerned with making sure that the employees are of the right quality.

  The main problems for human resource planner are skills shortages, competition for labour and labour turnover. The organisation tries to keep absenteeism and accidence to minimum.

 Organisations use effective health and safety policies and good occupational health services. Successful planning must make sure the organisation has the right number of the right type of employees.

      Succession planning must ensure the organisation has a steady supply of new management material available to fill posts left by resignation and retirement.

     HR must ensure as much flexibility and multi skilled as possible in the workforce in numerical, financial and functional areas.

      HR must create a competitive element to the work-place for the better long term future of the firm and the employee.






Human resource planning is important for the following reasons:

·         It encourages the employer to develop clear links between their business plans and their HR plans.

·         Effective control of number and cost of staff employed.

·         HR can build a skill profile for each employee to work where most value to the company.

·         Creates a profile of staff for Equal Opportunity policy implementation.

·         Ensures that Staff fully utilised for benefit of company, Staff work is challenging, motivating and stimulating, increased costs (overtime) kept to a minimum, Staffs are qualified to do job.




Recruitment involves the first stage in human resource and manpower management.  The following criteria will be adopted to ensure the best candidate is selected;

  • Job Analysis: This involves the study of the requirements of the job, skills and performance that are expected.
  • Job Description: This is a simple description of what the job involves.  It allows the candidates to know what is expected of them, while allowing the personnel managers to decide on the qualities that the successful candidate must have.
  • Person Specification: This is a profile of the type of person needed for a particular job. E.g. Mental and Physical requirements, skills, level of responsibility working environment.
  • Job Evaluation: This is a way in which a business can compare the different value of different jobs.  This includes evaluating different skills, knowledge, and amount of responsibility.  This will help determine levels of pay and other rewards.  However, this may be very subjective.


Marks and Spencer recruit staff for a variety of reasons.

These include:

  • The growth of the business
  • Changing job roles within the business
  • Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement or dismissal
  • Internal promotion


The growth of the business-If Marks and Spencer grow in size and opens new stores, then they will need more people to carry out jobs. These can be existing jobs which Marks and Spencer know how to recruit for but new jobs are opened if Marks and Spencer were to expand into Europe because different languages are spoken. When existing jobs are being expanded, human resources simply need to copy existing practice on a larger scale.


Changing job roles within the business-In recent years most businesses including Marks and Spencer have changed their job structure. In particular there has been a decline in many routine, standardised jobs. Increasingly, Marks and Spencer have sought to develop new jobs involving information and communications technology.


Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement or dismissal- In all organisations people moves on. They get older, they hand in their notice or they get dismissed. In most cases it is necessary to replace the employee. However, the manager responsible for recruitment has to decide whether Marks and Spencer want a carbon copy of the previous job- holder or whether the job has moved on, requiring new skills and competences.


Internal promotion- In any organisation including Marks and Spencer there will be opportunities for internal promotion. Internal promotion gives an employee something to aim for. When one person is promoted it is often necessary to replace him or her.




The recruitment process can be very costly. It takes a great deal of time to set up an effective recruitment process – involving deciding on what the jobs are to be recruited for will entail, advertising, looking through applications, checking which applications best meet the criteria set down for the post, interviewing candidates, and finally, selecting the best candidate for the post.


It is important for Marks and Spencer to recruit the correct person for the job first time. If they end up choosing an unsuitable candidate for the job, the company will suffer from having a poorly motivated person, who may make mischief within the company before walking out the job leaving Marks and Spencer having to go through the process yet again.




Marks and Spencer most valuable resource is its workers. Managers therefore need to give careful thought to the needs of the employees.

Recruiting individuals to fill particular posts in Marks and Spencer can be done:

  • Internally, by recruiting within the business
  • Externally, by recruiting people from outside.



·         Considerable savings can be made. Individuals who are familiar with the Marks and Spencer operations will need shorter periods of training and time for adjusting.

·            Marks and Spencer is unlikely to be disrupted by someone who is not used to working with other in the firm.

·          Internal promotion acts as an incentive to all staff to work harder within Marks and Spencer.

·          From Marks and Spencer’s point of view, the personnel staff should already have been able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an insider. There is always a risk attached to employing an outsider who may prove to be desirable on paper only.



·         Marks and Spencer will have to replace the person that has been promoted

·         An insider may be less likely to make the essential criticisms required to get the company working more effectively.

·         Promotion of one person n a company may upset another.




  • The firm can appoint someone they really want for a particular job.
  • The external candidate can bring in new ideas and experience gained in other jobs and organisations.
  • It may avoid jealousy that might exist between rival internal candidates.




There are a number of ways Marks and Spencer can recruit externally and some of these ways are listed below:

  • PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES: These are companies that specialise in the recruitment and selection of candidates.
  • JOB CENTRES: This is a government agency that links employers with the unemployed.
  • ADVERTISING AGENCIES: They provide specialist staffs that will advice on the appropriate advertising media, layout, and time of advertisement.
  • EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS:  Many firms have links with universities, colleges and schools.
  • HEADHUNTING: This involves executive agencies who approach particular individuals with a high reputation or expertise with offers of employment.
  • INFORMAL NETWORKS: This involves informal links such as the old boy network.


The recruitment process provides the potential for conflict within Marks and Spencer. If the human resources department decide to recruit externally for a particular job vacancy, existing Marks and Spencer employees may be disheartened at the fact that they were not given the opportunity to apply for the position first.






From the human resource management department’s point of view, the purpose of recruitment is to buy in and retain the best available human resources to meet the needs of Marks and Spencer. Hence the first requirement is to define and set out what is involved in particular jobs.

This can be done by carrying out a job analysis, which leads on to an outline job description. A job description could be used as a job indicator for applicants. Alternatively, it could be used as a guideline for an employee and/or line manager as to his or her role and responsibility within Marks and Spencer.  Job descriptions can be used by Marks and Spencer to provide information for use in drafting a situations vacant advertisement and for briefing interviewers.




One of the most important parts of a job description is the job title. The job title should give a good description of what the job entails.

When looking through job advertisements the first thing job applicants look for will be the job title.




A job description will often establish where an individual stands in the organisational chart in Marks and Spencer. This will mean that it can be clearly set out who the post-holder is accountable to, and who is accountable to him or her.

The position within Marks and Spencer will also give a clear idea of responsibilities. Job applicants will be interest to locate their position in order to ascertain whether their previous experience will be extensive enough and to assess the kind of commitment they will be expected to make to Marks and Spencer




A further important aspect of the job description will be that which sets out the duties and responsibilities of job holders. Prior to setting out a job description an organisation may carry out an analysis of the tasks that need to be performed by a job holder, and of the skills and qualities required.




A job specification often goes beyond a simple description of the job by specifying the mental and physical attributes required of the job holder.

The personnel department may therefore set out, for its own use, a ‘person specification’, using a layout similar to the one shown.


Summary of Job




How identified










Special knowledge


Personal circumstances




Practical and intellectual skills





The person specification can be used to:

·          Make sure a job advertisement conveys the qualities prospective candidates should have.

·         Check candidates for the job have the right qualities.



Question 3: Explore the recruitment practices and procedures in your chosen organisation.





 The main advantage of the use of application forms is that all applicants have to give details in a standardised way which makes the selection process and short listing easier. The information will include details such as personal details, qualifications, job experience, interests and hobbies, and references.





           A firm may use testing in its selection process and may include:


v  APTITUDE TESTS: This measure how candidates can cope with particular problems.

v  ATTAINMENT TESTS: This measures how a candidate’s ability to use skills already acquired.

v  PERSONALITY TESTS: These examine the candidate’s personality traits to see if the candidate has the ideal personality for the job.

v  INTELLIGENCE TESTS: These measure the candidate’s overall mental ability such as literacy or numeric skills.





This is the process where the information provided by applicant is matched against the recruitment criteria or profile.  This is a way of reducing the number of candidates for the interview process.




Interviews will vary from firm to firm and will depend on the type of job. They will vary from a short formal session to a period of several days to include the use of selection tests to measure aptitudes and attitudes.  The object of the interview is to collect additional information from candidates, and allow the business to give the candidate full details about the job and organisation.




JOB OFFERS: This will be usually a verbal agreement given at the interview, which will be confirmed later by a formal letter and contract of employment.




The contract of employment is a written statement which must be given to all new employees within 12 weeks of appointment as stated under the Employment Protection Act of 1978. This sets out the exact conditions of  service such as the job title, start of employment, rates of pay, working conditions, holidays, sickness and injury pay, length of notice, and discipline and grievance procedures.



Question 4: Describe and evaluate the legal obligation and ethical responsibilities which the candidate and interviewer should abide by the entire recruitment and selection process.




There are legal obligations and ethical responsibilities that the candidate and interviewer must respect throughout the recruitment process. All B6 employees are protected by a variety of laws which have been introduced in the last 25-30 years.


Examples are:


1.      1.     SEX DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975

 This law states that employers may not discriminate against candidates on the grounds of gender. The act makes it illegal for M&S to discriminate either sex when:

  • Advertising to fill job vacancies
  • Appointing people to fill those vacancies
  • Promoting existing staff into better job positions
  • Determining the terms and conditions of the job
  • Offering employees opportunities for training and developing


Exceptions to the act

·         Private clubs- some ‘Gentlemen’s clubs’ can and do refuse to admit women.

·         The armed forces- recruitment of women is restricted to specific areas

·         Acting roles


Recent additional rulings have meant that the law has been extended. Retirement age must now be the same for both sexes (65 years of age).





2.      2.     EQUAL PAY ACT 1970

The equal pay act requires employers to give the same rate of pay to men and women for doing the same job. Prior to the introduction of this act, women were often paid lower rates of pay than men for doing the same job. Because of ‘Loop Holes’ in this act, the government introduced the equal values amendment in 1983 which requires both men and women to be paid the same amount if women can prove that their jobs are of ‘equal value’ to a range of specifically named jobs held by men.


3.      3.     RACE RELATIONS ACT1976

This act makes discrimination on the grounds of race illegal in the same areas described in the sex discrimination act. Again there are a few exceptions to the act:

  • Ethnic restaurants can specify that they want waiters/ waitresses of a certain race in order to make it look more authentic
  • Social work departments can specify that they want to appoint staff of a particular race where they have to deal with problems of people of the same race
  • Acting roles



This relatively new act updates the protection for disabled people and put it on a similar basis as for other forms of discrimination. This act does not cover organisations, which employ less than 20 people. Employers must not discriminate against disabled people when:

·         Advertising jobs and inviting applications

·         Offering jobs after interviews have taken place

·         When determining the terms and conditions of the job


Once appointed, a disabled person has to be treated the same as everyone else who works for the company when training or promotion is concerned. Disabled persons cannot however expect preferential treatment. The employer must take steps to ensure that the disabled employees can work on the premises. These steps may include:

  • Modifying the building with lifts or ramps etc.
  • Changing working hours to suit the person in question
  • Allowing time off for treatment and or rehabilitation
  • Allowing extra training so the disabled person can carry out the job
  • Providing an interpreter


Employers only have to do what is reasonable. If the modifications were to be extremely expensive, it would be deemed unreasonable.




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