HRM 11101: Contemporary Human Resource Management

HRM 11101: Contemporary Human Resource Management

Trimester 1


Teaching team:

Dr Rowan Steele (Module Leader) room 2/37

Dr Andrew Bratton


RS - Rowan Steele

AB � Andrew Bratton

1 Discussions on LM and HRM are throughout the book but Chapter 1 provides some background

Teaching and Class Structure (online)

There is a 3 hour class which will be undertaken fully online. This class follows the lecture plan above. Please note that you are expected to attend every lecture, having prepared by reading the required chapters from the main text and the case study information contained on moodle. To accommodate online learning some changes have been made to the class structure. All learning materials are contained on your moodle site, please keep up to date with this and access the site regularly. All assessments will be submitted via moodle through the requisite Turnitin box. All lectures will be pre-recorded using Panopto and uploaded prior to the lecture session for that week.

The first hour of the lecture slot you will be expected to be present and watching the pre- recorded lecture (this will be approx. 1 hour long in total). Please also log into the webex session via the link given underneath the lecture. The lecturer responsible for that lecture session will be also present and available during the first hour and you are encouraged to ask questions (using the chat function) as the lecture is taking place. However, to further facilitate your learning, the first 20 minutes after the lecture has ended, you will participate in a focussed discussion on the lecture content. The remainder of the lecture slot will then focus upon undertaking a case study exercise where you will be broken into breakout groups to discuss the case study in depth. There will be no time to read the case study in class so please read the�case�study�in�advance.

Please also note that your learning will be supplemented by 2 touchpoint sessions. These sessions will be led by the Module Leader and will be targeted at answering specific questions on both the poster and the assignment. Please see the touchpoint section on moodle.


Please refer to the Leganto reading list on moodle for a full account of all recommended literature.

The main text is:

Redman & Wilkinson (2017) Contemporary Human Resource Management (Fifth

Edition), FT/Prentice Hall which is available in the library and online.

Additional references to relevant journal articles and websites will also be provided for some weeks, and links to these will be provided on Moodle.

The reading list and other resources made available via Moodle are designed to help you in gathering together relevant information to assist your learning. However, you should view the reading list as a �skeleton� on which you will build. You have to ensure that you read widely across all of the lecture areas. At postgraduate level there is an expectation that you will conduct your own independent literature searches to deepen the learning provided in class.

Where reading is required to be done in preparation for the class this will be highlighted on Moodle.


The module is assessed entirely by coursework. Component 1 comprises of the development of a poster. The poster comprises 30% of the overall mark.

The development of the poster will be in response to a specific research question. These questions are given below. You will be assigned a research question and this research question is non- transferable. The purpose is for you to research an area of HRM that is significant to the role of HR in organsations.

Poster Development Research Questions

Line Managers and HRM: What are the advantages and the disadvantages of the HR Business Partner Model (Ulrich) and how does each role impact upon HR�s relationship with the front line business of the organisation?

Training and Development: What aspects of T&D are most likely to impact upon organisational performance and how can organisations use T&D to achieve their performance targets?

HRM 11101  C1: Poster Assessment

Student Name:

Matriculation Number:


General Guidelines Poster Development

1.  The poster should been designed using word and then put into a PDF format for discussion. There is no specific font you should use but try to find something that the audience can easily read.

2.  The number of words should be between 300-500 (plus diagrams/charts).

3.  You are focussing upon a general audience so you should assume the audience has no prior knowledge of the area you are researching, so:

a.  avoid jargon

b.  basic descriptions only

c.   assume no familiarity with the discipline or the subject area

4.  When formatting be consistent � same font and size for heading and paragraph contents. Good mix between words and visual supports (charts, pictures etc- see examples on moodle). Use APA referencing throughout.

5.  When designing the layout try to remember that the person viewing the poster needs to easily understand the sequence of the information (see Figure 1 below and again examples on moodle).

6.  You can design your poster in either portrait or landscape.

7.  Choose a colour scheme and try to use only 2-3 different colours, plus black, which is always better for the smaller text.

8.  Finally, check your poster before having it printed. Print it on A4 first preferably in colour, this will help you to see how it might look when you are ready to print the final version.

Figure 1: Poster sequence

Component 2 - Report

This report is due to be submitted by 11th December 2020 at 17.00. It should be submitted via turnitin and will account for 70% of the module grade. It will be marked online and the marks will be released within 3 weeks of the submission date (NB. All marks are subject to confirmation at the appropriate board). The report should be approximately 3,500 words +/-

10%. Please note that appendices will not be included in the word count nor illustrative material used within the main body of the report. As this is a report please note that it should have a clear introduction, main body and conclusion and sub-headings are expected. Please ensure you answer all the questions.

Changing recruitment at Meriva Supermarkets

Meriva�s HR strategy is: �to provide improved capability to become the best retail HR function and make Meriva�s a great place to work�. New HR processes were introduced in 2008, which meant that many of the functions involved in recruitment and selection were centralised in the �HR Shared Service Centre�. This was rolled out in Scotland but is not yet operationalised throughout the whole of the UK.

Previously there were issues with in-store recruitment processes because staff were dealing with a large number of CVs and application forms and this was time-consuming and expensive. The number of applications at peak recruitment times, for example before Christmas, could be overwhelming, and this made them difficult to track on the old system. It was also recognised that the application screening process was not always robust, as department managers sometimes had to interview candidates who were not really suitable and this was not the best use of their time. Problems also existed in keeping up with the applicants� references. Eddie Pitt, the grocery manager in the Fenwick store, raised the subject regularly in the weekly meeting of the departmental managers.

�I am wasting so much of my time seeing people who just don�t have what it takes to work here. I am not an HR manager and I�ve got bigger priorities than looking at application forms and preparing for interviews that turn out to be a waste of my time and theirs. Some of them have no common sense and no interest in working for the company. We need to get more colleagues who have a real desire to work with us and who are going to help our customers�

Now applications are made online only and not on paper. This means that stores no longer accept or receive paper application forms and do not write advertisements to display in the store. Application forms are no longer scored manually. Offer letters and contracts are produced centrally.

For the company, this is an attempt to have a consistent recruitment brand and experience for applicants. It is hoped that �prospect pools� for specialist and hard-to-recruit roles can be developed and thereby assist HR planning and induction training. The centralised system will also facilitate the production of management information, for example recruitment reports and statistics.

The process begins with the store identifying the need to recruit; then it seeks authority to do this. The store then loads vacancy details onto the system, including interview slots and pay. Applicants browse the corporate website then apply for a specific vacancy and do a test. The vacancy automatically closes when a predetermined number of applicants have been successfully screened. The system then forwards the applicants to HR Shared Services, who arrange interviews directly with the applicants and then confirm the details. Eddie Pitt likes the new system so far, but it has taken a bit of time for him to learn how to put his vacancies on the website. �I am more confident now that I have put three vacancies on. I had help and coaching from the store HR manager at first, but I did the last one myself�.

From the store�s perspective, it holds interviews at agreed times and returns notes to Shared Services, though the store ranks applicants and makes the decision. Eddie�s colleague, the bakery manager, Jenny Jackson, was a bit unsure about setting aside interview times on a computer system. Her experience of her first interview arrangements has been positive:

�I was a bit cynical about how it would work when you are dealing with people a couple of hundred miles away. I thought I would prefer to keep the old system. The applicants turned up for my interviews and seemed to know a bit about the job and the company. I had to plan my time to fit in the interview but it was worth it. It is hard to find qualified bakers, so if this is going to help me get people more quickly, then it will be a good thing�

HR Services makes a verbal offer, then sends out a contract and invitation to induction. It also sends for references when necessary. It means that department managers have to ensure that their department has the right skills and should plan ahead with vacancy requirements. They are also responsible for making sure that interviews take place at the planned time. An additional function of stores is that they can contact a �prospect pool�, or those applicants who have expressed a desire to work in specific skilled roles, like the bakery, then advise them to apply online. They can also identify applicants with �on hold� status who were successful but who weren�t offered a role. Stores can contact them and arrange a meeting to discuss a new vacancy. Jenny Jackson offered a job to a baker who was �on hold� because he was the second choice at the Paisley store.

�This saved me so much time. I was able to get an offer made and start the new baker within a week. Peter was well impressed how quickly we got him started � he decided to come to us and turn down another job that he has been waiting to hear from for three weeks�

A key objective is to improve the applicant�s experience. The applicant browses the site for suitable opportunities. Those wishing to apply then create a user account. If there are no suitable vacancies, they can register interest in certain roles. In order to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, applicants with special needs are referred directly to Shared Services for assistance with their application.

Applicants normally apply online for vacancies and enter their details. They then complete a job-specific screening test online. If successful, they are contacted by Shared Services to arrange an interview and then attend interview.

The challenges of implementing this change to existing practice from the store�s perspective have been about communicating the change to all relevant staff (including customer service staff, who can provide some information to applicants in store), training people who are directly involved in the process on the new system, and providing ongoing coaching support. Jean is a customer service adviser. In the past, she kept a supply of application forms at the desk, but now she has to refer all those who enquire to the company website.

�At first, I felt that I could not really help people asking about jobs, but the briefing I was at in the store explained the new system to me. I now understand what they have to do and I know where to get more help for them if they need it�

This e-recruitment strategy is being monitored closely to determine its effectiveness from the point of view of the organisation. Measures are being taken of, for instance, the number of candidates registered, calls received, and average call handling time at the Shared Service Centre, offers made, percentage of references processed, and average time taken to fill a vacancy from advert to verbal offer.

While the experiences in one branch have been positive, the pilot study in another small store has highlighted some issues. There are only five user names and passwords allocated to staff and this means that not all managers can be authorised to use the system. Inevitably, there are problems of uploading vacancies, arranging interviews and making appointments.

It is too early to assess the impact on candidates, but there have been some success stories like Peter. Managers are still adapting to the new approach. Eddie Pitt is keeping an open mind, but his experience so far is that the system is, �letting me concentrate on managing the people I have already � and spending less time on interviewing people who don�t want to be part of Meriva�.


1   What do you think were the main drivers for the company to develop its e-recruitment strategy?

2   Is e-recruitment appropriate for all types of vacancies in a retail store?

3   What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?

4   Which other methods would you suggest?

5   How would you design a research project to evaluate one aspect of the effectiveness of this example of e-recruitment from the point of view of the applicant?

6   To what extent has this new strategy �improved capability to become the best retail HR

function and make Meriva a great place to work�?

7   The head of HR Shared Services has also suggested screening applicants through looking at their pages in social networking sites (where applicants have these).  If you were a manager in Meriva would you recommend taking up this suggestion? What are the reasons for your decision?

In the report it is important that you use relevant literature to provide evidence to support your arguments. This must be referenced correctly, using a standard format consistently throughout (APA), and a bibliography provided. The assignment should be presented in basic report style. This means in appropriate academic writing style, with contents page, sections and subsections, a clear introduction and conclusion and a bibliography. Please note that at postgraduate level the expectation is that you will cite and read at least 10 good quality references.

Component 2 Marking Criteria

NB: the percentages above are shown as indications of the relative importance of each section and should not be taken as a precise indication of the marking scheme.