1. Introduction I am a HR Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Introduction

I
am a HR Assistant at Deloitte Consultancy firm, reporting to the Senior HR
Manager and working alongside a strong HR team of twelve other employees. My role
is to understand and construe strategies and policies regarding several
different forms of employee absence and leaver processes, including most of the
recruitment process. My role also includes administrative support to our
Partners. (Deloitte, 2016). However, my role responsibilities change is subject
to change at the discretion of management. 
My changing role has afforded me a broad experience across many Human
Resources functions.

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I
was initially hired on a twelve-month contract basis in an administration capacity,
before being successful in obtaining my current HR position. My administration
position was very broad, and allowed me to interact with people of all levels
within the firm.

 

This
report is expected to demonstrate the extent of my work within the
organisation, the experience I have gained working within HR, which includes my
background of recruitment and administration which has lead me to the position
I currently hold. I will also identify areas in which I need further education
in. (Morgan Hunt, 2015)

 

2. Role and impact of the HR Professional (1.1)

CIPD
Research Associate Louisa Baczor states that there is a huge challenge when it
comes to defining the professionalism of HR. It can be interpreted in a few
ways either a result of credentials and experience or perhaps integrity and
credibility. (Baczor, 2015)

 

CIPD’s Profession Map (1.1)

The
CIPD’s professional map is split into four groups of professional aptitude
which define the stages of professionals within every step of their HR career.
These are four bands which include;

·        
Delivering
fundamentals

·        
Adviser,
issues-led

·        
Consultant,
cooperative partner

 

·        
Leadership
colleague, client confidante and coach.

Included
are the eight behaviors as well as ten professional areas below in figure 1.

 

Figure 1: The CIPD Profession Map

(CIPD, 2017)

 

Ulrich’s HR Roles (1.1)

Dave
Ulrich categorised Human Resources into four roles, ‘the Strategic Positioner’,
‘the Credible Activist’, ‘the Capacity Builder’ and the ‘Change Champion’.  They also explain that these roles are
governed by two backing functions: ‘Innovation’ and ‘Technology’. (Ulrich, 2012)

 

Strategic Positioner (1.1)

As
well as receiving CV’s from recruitment agents sourcing them followed by
forwarding them to management, I am also attentive in learning information on
job market trends from recruitment agents. 
As they are dealing in the market constantly, they can provide insights
which allows our HR team (and sometimes the firm in general) to anticipate
future recruitment trends. My engagement with recruitment consultants combined
with regular studies of salary surveys, allows our HR team to be more strategic
in terms of future recruitment.

 

Capacity Builder (1.1)

A
candidate can request to see interview notes written by interviewers during the
hiring process. Presently, I am involved in the sorting and storage of these
notes (both physical and digital copies). I am also involved in the destruction
of the notes once the legal storage requirement has been filled.  I was involved in the original construction
of the physical cabinets/storage system, and the purchase of the recruitment
system which stores the notes digitally.

 

Change Champion (1.1)

In
my role, my main interaction with change is through communications. I am often
involved in communicating changes in policy/practices to staff. An example of
this can be seen below when the new interview format is discussed.

 

Credible Activist (1.1)

I
am often required to produce headcount reports in different formats, as
required by the firm. Often, these reports are required when our firm is
submitting tenders for new business. I must be adaptable, and arrange my
reports as per the description required in the tender.

 

3. Provide examples of where you have used at least two
project management techniques within an HR context (2.1)

The
British Standard for Project Management defined project management as:

‘The
planning, monitoring and control of all aspects of a project and the motivation
of all those involved in it to achieve the project objectives on time and to
the specified cost, quality and performance’ (British Standard, 1996)

 

Identifying and analysing
suitable vendors for a new recruitment system (2.1)

Shortly
after I was successful in obtaining the HR role that I desired at Deloitte, my
manager gave me the opportunity to work on a project which involved identifying
and analysing the suitability of new recruitment systems. I was selected for
this project because of my previous experience working as a recruitment
consultant, and my experience in scheduling and coordinating interview time
slots while working in the administration role at Deloitte.  

 

My
manager explained the rationale behind purchasing a new recruitment system, the
reason why I was selected for the group, and the rationale behind the project
overall.  She taught me the importance of
understanding ‘why’ I was going to engage in the work. This correlates with
Brown et al. (2013) who maintain that if a person does not know why they are
doing a project, the chances of the project goals being accomplished are
lessened.

 

Before
I met with representatives from different recruitment system providers, I was
tasked with devising a plan of action. After I established the key functions
that the ideal recruitment system should be able to do, I identified August Wysocki, R K’s ‘adaptive’ project management framework as the most suitable to
select the correct system. Correlating with the theories presented by Wysocki:
I identified what the key users would need from the system, and identified
potential obstacles (For example some functions may be over-budget). (Wysocki’s,
2003)

 

The
identification of potential obstacles to be avoided, also correlates with work
by Halvorson (2014) who include the importance of identifying these barriers.

To
complete this project, we adapted a thought process similar to ‘Murphys Law’ as
presented by Forsyth (2010, p.9): “If something can go wrong or turn out
inconveniently it will”.

 

After
fees had been agreed, the new recruitment system was installed onto the IT
systems in Deloitte.  This meant that
both recruitment agencies and direct applicants could log into a portal, and
submit CV’s directly to the internal recruiter who was looking after each
respective role. Following a brief screening by the internal recruiter, the CV
would then be transferred (within the system) to the hiring manager.  

 

As
the HR division that was tasked with introducing the system, we engaged in
project management methodology of ‘Waterfall’ (See Appendix 1). This meant that
a plan was devised, and one item had to be completed before another item began.
I have listed the elements of this methodology presented by Winston W. Royce,
below, along with items relevant to this project.

1.      Analysis – This was discussed within 2.1

2.      Design – The systems we chose was tailored to suit our needs.

3.      Implementation- Our IT system engineers installed the
recruitment system on our machines.

4.      Testing – The system was tested with sample CV’s etc.

5.      Deployment – All hiring managers were given login details
and trained.

6.      Implementation – All CV’s were pushed through this new
system.

(Winston W. Royce, 1970)

 

4. Problem Solving (2.2)

 

Creating a more social
interaction in the workplace (2.2)

After
approximately one year in my current Human Resource role, I was part of a team
whose goal was to create more social interaction in the office. 

HR
was tasked with solving the problem of workers not interacting with each other
in a social capacity. Many employees only knew the people they worked directly
with, and there were little opportunities to mingle with people on other teams.
This was identified as a problem by senior management.

 

Using the Sternberg (1994) model, we followed steps to
attempt to rectify this problem.

1.      Problem Identification: This problem was identified for
us by management. HR then conducted surveys on employee’s perceptions of the
problem, to evaluate the scale of the issue.

2.      Definition of problem: This was defined prior to this
exercise. As discussed, the scale of the issue was identified at Stage. 1

3.      Conducting a strategy for problem solving: We devised
steps and efforts to solve the issue. For example: More social nights.

4.      Organising information about the problem: I was involved
in the administration

5.      Allocation of resources: 
We secured funding for more social events

6.      Monitoring problem solving: We made efforts to make sure
that social events were run smoothly

7.      Evaluating problem solving: We conducted further surveys
to see if employee’s perceptions of social interaction with peers had
increased.

 

Designing and implementing a
new interview format (2.2)

The
Deliotte office that I work in receives large quantities of applications each
year.  This means there are large numbers
of interviews. One of the problems identified approximately a year ago, was the
inability to give impartial and fair interviews to all candidates. Different
interviewers often asked different questions, which resulted in candidates
being marked on different parameters.

 

I
was part of a project team whose task was to harmonies the interview format,
and harmonies the ‘interview feedback forms’ in order to increase fairness
between candidates. As I have some experience in recruitment, I
had come across this problem before in a previous role.  Therefore, I was able to use the ‘Analogical
problem solving’ technique presented by (Gick & Holyoak 1980). Stating that
it is the utilisation of information that a person already knows, by applying
it to a present problem to solve it.

 

I
correlated the similarities and the differences between the company, the
candidates and the roles respectively.  I
was able to come up with tailored questions and interview styles and present
them to my manager.  Some of my
suggestions were implemented.

The
new interview format was communicated to staff, and justified with business
benefits that are similar to those presented by CIPD (2015) (1). If I take CIPD
(2015) (1) into consideration, I believe our communication was triumphant as it
had support from senior management and was justified with the strategy of the
business.

 

5. Group Dynamics within the business (1.2)

Lewin
(1947) used the term ‘group dynamics’ to describe both the potentially good and
bad outcomes that can arise from groups of people.

 

High Performing Teams (1.2)

Although
most of my time as a HR Assistant has been pretty generalised (getting broad
experience in recruitment, learning and development, HR systems, Data and
employee relations), I was seconded to the Learning and Development division
for 3 months where I worked on a functionalised L project.  

 

I
worked with senior HR employees, to identify the steps that HR should take for
HR to be conducive towards creating a high-performing workforce.

The
fact that our roles consisted in identifying these suitable tasks, correlates
with Macaulay and Cook’s (2013) view that there is no consensus on how L&D
should operate to create a high performing organisation. 

The
influence that our HR department had on creating a high performing organisation
may have been strong.

·        
We
identified that employees valued updates on company performance. This
correlates with the importance of regular communication to stakeholders from HR
as identified by Macaulay and Cook (2013).

·        
Team
discussions were also deemed important in our office, as also identified by
Macaulay and Cook (2013).

·        
Integration
between staff members was identified in our office as being conducive towards
employee performance, and further included by Macaulay and Cook (2013).

 

Intergroup dynamics (1.2)

The
benefits of ‘open plan offices’ have been highlighted within the literature
(Kim and de Dear, 2013). These offices allow different teams to mix, as they
walk past different teams on the way to their desks.  It is evident that the idea of introducing
such initiatives would be intertwined with the ideology of ‘intergroup
dynamics’. As per figure two below shows the benefits associated with open
plan. The principal of ‘open plan offices’ coupled with ‘intergroup dynamics’
was suggested as we were trying to solve the ‘social interaction’ problem
discussed earlier.  Unfortunately,
changing the physical office layout was not feasible at that time.

 

Figure 2. Harvard Business Review open
plan  

(Harvard Business Review, 2014)  

 

6. Conflict Resolution Methods (1.2)

 

Investigation Training for Human Resources team (1.2)

The
importance of re-training Human Resources at different periods has been
highlighted within the literature (Wexley, K.N. and Latham, 1991).

Ibec
can provide training to Human Resources professionals on how best to
investigate issues before they arise. Other institutions can also provide
similar courses. 

In
my experience, I have spoken with managers who have attended the Ibec course
and then conducted investigations at work. They maintained that the course was
beneficial.

 

Figure 3. Ibec Management Training

 

An ability to identify when Human Resources members
should get involved in the conflict (1.2)

From
my professional experience, I have grown a recognition for the importance of a HR
person knowing when to step in to resolve a situation. From my experience: HR
getting involved at the correct time (not too early or too late), can be
pivotal in resolving conflict as it arises.

This
correlates with SHRM (2015) who also recognise this importance, and include the
below three steps of when HR should get involved in conflict:

·        
“Employees
are threatening to quit”

·        
“Disagreements
are getting personal”

·        
“Conflicts
are affecting morale and organizational success”

 

7. Influencing, Negotiating and Selling as an HR
Professional (2.3, 1.2)

 

Influencing Hiring Managers on interview outcomes (2.3, 1.2)

It
is company policy that a member of the HR team interviews a candidate at some
stage before they are offered a role. Recently, I have been allowed the opportunity
to attend interviews along with the various managers from each respective team.

I
have been able to influence hiring managers with my opinions on the candidates
being interviewed, and have been able to use the interviews to assist me in
further recruiting for the role.

From
my experience in influencing hiring managers in this context, I understood the
importance of effective communication skills. It is paramount that I can
express my opinion clearly, so managers can understand my thought. as explained
by (Barker ,2010).

 

Negotiating with website providers/senior management for
external job posting slots (2.3, 1.2)

I
am lucky enough to be given the authority to liaise with our account managers
in our various job-posting advert sites that our firm uses. Basically, we are
given a number of slots on each website that we can update with different roles
as many times as we like.  This
responsibility I have been given, correlates with opinions expressed by Benfield
(2012): who include that correctly allocating increased responsibility, can
lead to creating a ‘winning team’.

 

As
payments are paid by annual subscription, renewal time can be a busy
occasion.   Strategically, we have
arranged that all our annual website subscriptions expire at around the same
time. This enables HR to get new fees approved by senior management quite
quickly, compared to having to meet with senior management on separate
occasions for different websites throughout the year.

 

There
have been occasions where I have had to sit down with the sales representatives
from the sites, and obtain as many slots as I can from the funds I have been
given.  My strategy towards obtaining the
best deal correlates with work included in the preface of (Templar 2012):
“It is better to negotiate a longer delivery time, than to let people
down”.  With external vendors,
sometimes it is cheaper to negotiate deals at times when job application
numbers are traditionally lower: For example: when the time for bonus payments
is approaching.

 

8. Conclusion

My
role varies week by week, there is one common denominator: I must serve
‘customers’ daily. I enjoy learning how to please these customers, and fulfilling
their needs while behaving in line with the overall strategy of the firm (Hirsh
et al, 2008)

I
am to continue to learn different Human Resources functions, and to stay in a
generalist capacity for as long as I can. Later in my career, I aim to focus on
an area within Human Resources. I am happy to be working at Deloitte, as I
believe there is genuine opportunities for career progression here.  I have included Appendix three as presented
by Deloitte in 2015 as an example of career development systems active in this
company.

 

I
have included my development plan within this document. This plan takes my
future career aspirations into consideration, while discussing my rationale for
those aspirations in line with reference to CIPD (2017).