Human Resources Planning / Writing Assignment
Read HRM Incidents 1 and 2 below and answer the questions accompanying each incident.
Acceptable length: Short answer–one paragraph for each part of each question. To get a top score, your work should: be error-free, include strong content material, conform to formatting requirements, and be submitted on time.
HRM Incident 1: A Degree for Meter Readers
Judy Anderson was assigned as a recruiter for South Illinois Electric Company (SIE), a small supplier of natural gas and electricity for Cairo, Illinois, and the surrounding area. The company has expanded rapidly during the last half of the 1990s, and this growth was expected to continue. In January 2003, SIE purchased the utilities system serving neighboring Mitchell County. This expansion concerned Judy. The company workforce had increased by 30 percent the previous year, and Judy had found it a struggle to recruit enough qualified job applicants. She knew that new expansion would intensify the problem.
Judy is particularly concerned about meter readers. The tasks required in meter reading are relatively simple. A person drives to homes served by the company, finds the gas or electric meter, and records its current reading. If the meter has been tampered with, it is reported. Otherwise, no decision-making of any consequence is associated with the job. The reader performs no calculations. The pay was $8.00 per hour, high for unskilled work in the area. Even so, Judy had been having considerable difficulty keeping the 37 meter reader positions filled.
Judy was thinking about how to attract more job applicants when she received a call from the human resource director, Sam McCord. “Judy,” Sam said, “I’m unhappy with the job specification calling for only a high school education for meter readers. In planning for the future, we need better-educated people in the company. I’ve decided to change the education requirement for the meter reader job from a high school diploma to a college degree.”
“But, Mr. McCord,” protested Judy, “the company is growing rapidly. If we are to have enough people to fill those jobs we just can’t insist on finding college applicants to perform such basic tasks. I don’t see how we can meet our future needs for this job with such an unrealistic job qualification.”
Sam terminated the conversation abruptly by saying, “No, I don’t agree. We need to upgrade all the people in or organization. This is just part of a general effort to do that. Anyway, I cleared this with the president before I decided to do it.”
Based on the incident #1 above, answer the following questions:
- Should there be a minimum education requirement for the meter reader job? Discuss.
What is your opinion of Sam’s efforts to upgrade people in the organization?
What legal ramifications, if any, should Sam have considered?
HRM Incident 2: Strategic HR?
Brian Charles, the vice president of marketing for Sharpco Manufacturing, commented at the weekly executive directors’ meeting, “I have good news. We can get the large contract with Medord Corporation. All we have to do is complete the project in one year instead of two. I told them we could do it.”
Charmagne Powell, vice president of human resources, brought Brian back to reality by reminding him, “Remember the strategic plan we were involved in developing and we all agreed to? Our present workers do not have the expertise required to produce the quality that Medord’s particular specifications require. Under the two-year project timetable, we planned to retrain our present workers gradually. With this new time schedule, we will have to go into the job market and recruit workers who are already experienced in this process. We all need to study your proposal further. Human resource costs will rise considerably if we attempt to complete the project in one year instead of two. Sure, Brian, we can do it, but with these constraints, will the project be cost-effective?”
Based on the incident #2 above, answer the following questions:
- Was Charmagne considering the strategic nature of human resource planning when she challenged Brian’s “good news” forecast? Discuss.
How did the involvement in developing the corporate strategic plan assist Charmagne in challenging Brian?
RESOURCES TO CONSIDER:
•Internet references located under External Links .
•The Wall Street Journal .
•Business magazines .