In any organization gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage is of critical importance in how successful and profitable the organization is or can be. A competitive advantage according to Michael Porter (1985) “is the extent to which an organization is able to create a defensible position over its competitors” In that regard, in order for organizations to facilitate the gaining and sustaining of a competitive advantage, they must ensure that all of their resources are effectively and efficiently managed.
However with the constant changes in the environment of business, organizations can no longer depend n just having the best equipment or the closet proximity to customers, but this is where having competent human resources becomes essential. According to the Oxford University Press dictionary of Human Resource Management (2001 ) human resource management “is a means through which an organization can gain a competitive advantage.
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The employees are one of the key factors in an organization, and through carefully developing and managing them; they will ultimately be the critical factors that distinguish successful organization from unsuccessful organization. ” Armstrong and Baron (2002) defines employee resounding as “one of the key strategic human resource management functions”, they also state that employee resounding focuses on matching resources to the needs of the organization while ensuring the proper utilization of these resources.
However before any organization can match human resources to their organizations there must be some level of planning involved. Hence human resource planning according to Decency and Robbins (1989) “is the process by which any organization ensures that it has the right number and right kind of people, at he right place, at the right time, capable of effectively completing those tasks that will help the organization achieve its overall objectives. To illustrate the relevance of human resource planning as a root of effective employee resources in order to maintain and sustain a competitive advantage Company X is used as an example. This company is a newly opened telecommunication company that is located in Barbados that provides services for many Barbarians. However, because of the dynamic and rapid changes in technology Company X needs to be able to survive as well as get ahead of its competitors, this can only be done by being flexible ND easily adapting to the changes in its environment.
As a new company survival, expansion and development are its primary objectives, as it aims to have a sustainable competitive advantage. Within Company X human resource planning would have implications on job analysis, recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and performance management, as planning sets the foundation of human resource management to perform all these functions. To first demonstrate how human resource planning in Company X can be the root of effective employee resounding is by providing information for the HER manager of the company to iris find the appropriate resounding.
According to Desire (2009) a job analysis “is the procedure for determining the duties and skill requirement of a job and the kind of person who should be hired for it. ” For instance if Company X needs technicians, from human resource planning the manager of Company X will know the demand of technicians needed and supply of technicians the organization has, and from that information is able to determine the number of technicians to be hired whether it be internally or externally. This clearly shows how important human resource planning is hen it comes to analyzing jobs.
At this stage, the job analysis is completed and the next step is for Company X is to start recruiting and selecting technicians. Recruitment is finding or attracting applicants for an employers opened position while selection is the selecting of the best applicant for the job (Desire, 2009). The link between recruitment, selection and job analysis is clear, as the core selection criteria gathered from job analysis is what will assist the human resource manager of Company X in recruiting and selecting the most suitable individual for the job of technician.
As a competitive advantage is determined by how effective and efficient employees are managed, human resource planning and job analysis is then assisting Company X to achieve this competitive advantage by giving managers information such as demand and supply of new suitable employees, job description, job specification and job competencies that will aid them in using to right recruitment method to attract the right type of persons therefore creating pool of applicants for the job.
In addition, this information then allows the organization to choose to right person, at the right time in the right lace, who will work hard to achieve organizational objectives and ultimately a sustainable competitive advantage. Having done a proper job analysis and recruited and selected the most appropriate individuals who best fit the organization. Company X has the difficult task of keeping these employees highly competent and satisfied to maintain the competitive advantage it gained, training and development is how they would do this.
Employees would have come into Company X with different type of knowledge, skills and abilities but like the organization that has to adapt and change to suit the environment, their employees also need to improve and adapt. The first stage of human resource planning is environmental scanning at this stage the environment that Company X operates in is scrutinized to located the needs within the market and it is from the examining of these needs that the human resource manager can decide how much training employees may need to keep up to date with the constantly changing of the environment.
Additionally, to keep employees satisfied compensation is vital; according to Charta et al (2001) compensation is defined as “any reward or payment given to a person for services performed. Moreover, Snell et al, (201 1) claims that employees can receive the best training, numerous growth opportunities, and be completely satisfied with their work and the environment, but they will not show up for work if there is no paycheck in return. Hence the reason compensation is so important, and beneficial to an organization success and ultimately its competitive advantage.
Here again human resource planning is involved, and organizations like Company X would put a lot of planning into how they would compensate they employees to keep them motivate but still keep operation cost to a minimum. A highly trained and competent, along with a highly motivated and satisfied workforce whose aim to achieve organizational goals and objectives would ultimately gains and maintains a competitive advantage. An important phrase of human resource management is motivation and under motivation performance management is found.
Performance management according to Desire (2009) is a “process that consolidates goal setting, performance appraisal, and development into a single, common system, the aim of which is to ensure that the employee’s performance is supporting the company’s strategic aims. ” Performance management is essential to the smooth running of Company X as they would need to evaluate how effectively and efficiently employees are performing to ensure that organizational goals are meet.
An therefore it is known that in order to gain a sustainable competitive advantage that Company X must be operating effectively and efficient and meeting organizational objectives. Like any other phrase or function of human resource management where human resource planning is the foundation performance management is not different. It is clear to see that job analysis which gains its information from unman resource planning is what is most important in conducting performance management.
This is because a job analysis is what provides the human resource manager of Company X with the job description, job specification and job competencies which is the best measure that can be used to see how efficiently employees are performing their jobs. Each function and phrase that human resource management performs and has builds on information provided by human resource planning. Because as the foundation it sets the pace for how effectively the others functions are or even how they work together.
Human resource management is like a tree, where at the root of the tree you would find planning this is because before any actions can be put into place in Company X the root must be strong in order for the tree to grow. Job analysis cannot be done with human resource planning and recruitment and selection cannot be done without job analysis, and no company can function successfully once the employees are not effectively and efficiently managed. Hence the evidence is clear that human resource planning is the root of effective human resounding in any organization.