Know the customer - Essay Example

All these questions are important and the answers will depend on the single institutions mission and strategy. Three extremely important things emerge from mapping. First of all, you cannot do it without involving the staff. Secondly it cannot be done if the staff does not relate to the mission and strategy, and thirdly it will make it possible to integrate new qualifications into the workplace in a productive manner. In the end it should turn out to be a cost – effective instrument (Leif Kajberg). When unemployment levels are high, employers can rather easily hire people who have the competencies needed to perform well in a job.

But during labor shortages, hiring qualified new people becomes much more difficult. Instead, employers must help current employees develop the competencies needed by the company. By providing them with training, employers can help employees overcome their limitations and increase their productive capacities. By providing them with opportunities for development, employers can help employees attain the competencies needed to advance their careers. Most people would not be satisfied to continue to do the same job year after year. They want to grow and move into new and better jobs.

The intent of development programs is to improve an employee’s competencies in preparation for future jobs. A link can be made between people and gaining a competitive edge. Anthony Shewan [Head of Corporate Development], Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications, Australia said, “Strategic Human Resource Management reinforced my previously held view that people are the source of ongoing competitive advantage. ” Jeremy Klein (The Generics Group, Cambridge, UK) wrote, “Competitive advantage is at the heart of a firm’s performance in competitive markets Today the importance of competitive advantage could hardly be greater.

Firms throughout the world face slower growth as well as domestic and global competitors that are no longer acting as if the expanding pie were big enough for all. ” Competitive advantage grows fundamentally out of the value a firm is able to create for its buyers that exceeds the firm’s cost of creating it; hence competitive advantage is somehow correlated with value added. One model of competition is of a universal and a historical process, in which case the search for competitive advantage is a matter of better understanding the essentially invariant nature of competition, and then exploiting that better understanding.

(Porter, 1985) A firm has a competitive advantage when all or part of the market prefers its goods and/or services. Companies seek ways to complete that can last a long time and cannot easily be imitated by competitors. As part of their strategies, some firms use their approaches to managing human resources to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. To gain sustainable competitive advantage through HRM, three conditions must be met: The value of an organization’s employees doesn’t appear on a balance sheet.

Yet, intangibles such as the knowledge that employees have and the way that employees feel and behave can be used to predict financial performance. To be a source of sustainable competitive advantage, the competencies of an organization’s human resources must also be rare. If competitors can easily access the same pool of talent, that talent provides no advantage against competitors. Business practices that are easy for competitors to copy don’t provide sources of sustained competitive advantage. Approaches to HRM that have evolved over a long period of time to meet the specific needs of an organization are the most difficult to copy.

Estimating the dollar value of investments in human resource activities (e. g. , training programs and changes in organizational culture) is a topic of increasing interest to financial analysis and accountants. Until objective evaluation rules are developed, however, investors and shareholders must relay on their own judgments of how well a company manages its people. The financial consequences of how organizations manage human resources have received a great deal of attention in recent years, but these consequences are not the only ones that matter.

During an era of seemingly constant restructuring and downsizing, many people have become aware of the social consequences of different approaches to managing human resources. That is why Employee Selection must play an important role in gaining a competitive edge in an organization. METHODOLOGY: DATA COLLECTION After we defined the issue we intended to research, we had to then decide the best method of data collection that would award us the information we sought. It was decide that it was best to conduct exploratory research. Exploratory research is usually conducted during the initial stage of the research process.

The purpose of the exploratory research process is a progressive narrowing of the scope of the research topic and a transformation of the discovered problems into defined ones incorporating specific research objectives (Zikmund, 2000). This was achieved by doing the literature review, which is a method of secondary data analysis or is data previously collected and assembled for some project other than the one at hand. The literature review was done using published articles, books discussing theories, past empirical studies and the Internet.

The research design which is a master plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information was then developed. It was a plan for conducting research so that we could determine whether A. S. Brydens & Sons (Barbados) Limited felt that selection in strategic human resource planning was a source for gaining a competitive edge. The objective of the research was identified so that the information to be collected would have been appropriate as well as the sources from which we would have gathered the information, the design technique and the sampling methodology.

The sources from which information would have been gathered from were the Human Resource manager and the employees. The design technique was a survey. A survey is a research technique in which information is gathered from a sample of people by use of a questionnaire (Zikmund, 2000). We decided to use a sample size of 25 persons. Next we were on to the data collection. To fully utilise the survey method, direct participation was also required by the respondent.

We decided it was best to have a pretest phase, that is using a small sub sample, to determine if questions were phrased correctly and or layout of the questions (question wording and sequence) and to determine other errors such as confusing instructions, length of questionnaire (if it was to long or short). We used convenience sampling where the sampling procedure used to obtain those units or people most conveniently available (Zikmund, 2000). All levels of persons within the company were in the sample. PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS Human Resource Manager We found that at A. S.

Brydens& Sons (Barbados) Limited, they did see the role of selection in strategic human resource management as a source for gaining a competitive advantage. According to the Human Resource manager, Ms. Garcia, “Generating the right people for the job helps us to achieve the profit we desire as well as command the majority share in a competitive market place. Selection is evermore important as trade liberalization and globalization has and is becoming a dictative state in the world economy. The nature of the business conducted by A. S. Brydens & Sons (Barbados) Limited is that of wholesale distribution.

Their mission statement is ‘Know the customer; Serve the market; Grow the business. ‘ Since they do not aggressively market their products through the different mediums or it is very low-keyed, it was said that the only way they will achieve success as a company, is if they all play their parts as individuals in their daily tasks. The objectives and goals are to adapt and innovate, building upon the pillars of the successful past: integrity and reliability, to meet the challenges of the changing world. For this to be achieved Brydens has developed a new culture which is not only spoken of but written.