Authority and Staff Essay

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¶ … authority and staff authority. What type of authority do human resource managers have?

Line authority is basically a kind of authority which is exercised over line personnel in an organization. With line authority, a supervisor can give orders to subordinate employees. More importantly, line managers have the responsibility to ensure that their subordinates achieve their goals. In this way, line authority can be described as authority within a chain of command, and is the type of authority that one would expect a direct supervisor to assert (Erven, 2009). Line positions are those involved in day-to-day operations and are occupied by line personnel and line managers, and line authority flows down the chain of command. Staff authority differs from line authority in that staff personnel do not engage in the day-to-day business of the company. Instead, staff personnel engage in support work. Staff authority means that one has the duty to assist, counsel, and advise those with line authority. Staff managers are not part of the direct chain of command, though they do have authority over personnel. The human resource department is part of the staff positions; though not involved in the day-to-day production in a company, the human resources department provides vital assistance so that the line personnel and managers can perform their jobs. Therefore, human resource managers have staff authority (Avameg, 2007).

2. Employment law increasingly affects the decisions of human resource managers. Name three types of laws and explain the purpose of each one.

One law that impacts the decisions of human resource managers is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA protects disabled individuals from job discrimination. Though not all employers are subject to the ADA's qualifications, those companies that have more than 15 employees need to be ADA compliant. Employers must make reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals. Moreover, an employer may not refuse to hire or promote someone on the basis of a disability. An employer cannot offer different pay scales for protected groups. Finally, an employer cannot indirectly discriminate against protected individuals through the use of pre-employment medical examinations or job descriptions which would discriminate against protected individuals (Findlaw, 2008).

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age-based discrimination against people over the age of 40 in employment, hiring, promotion, and firing decisions. The result of that law is that age, and with it attendant seniority that may mean greater salaries, cannot play a pivotal role in hiring/firing decisions. However, the ADEA does allow employers to establish seniority systems and does allow employers to consider age if age is a bona fide occupational qualification (Findlaw, 2008).

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows certain workers (generally those considered full-time employees) to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave each year for a variety of health-related reasons including: personal health conditions, caring for family members with serious health conditions, and the birth or adoption of a child (Findlaw, 2008).

3. Explain the difference between a vision and a mission. Are both necessary for organizations?

A mission describes the company's reason for existence. It does this by describing the nature of its business and its customers. The mission basically describes the day-to-day operations of the company, not internally, but how the company interacts with its customers and what it provides to its customers. A good mission will describe the positive impact that the company's day-to-day operations have on third parties. A mission talks about what the business does and how the company was the best-suited to do it. A vision describes how the company hopes to impact a group of people by successfully performing its mission. The vision describes what the company hopes to become and how the company hopes to impact the world. It also discusses the strategic direction that the company wants to take.

Organizations need both a vision and a mission statement, because they serve two different purposes. The mission statement talks about the company's current position, while the vision statement talks about where the company wants to go. A company that has a combined mission statement and vision statement is a company that has no plans for change and growth. Therefore, a company that wants to evolve does not want to have a combined vision and mission statement.

4. How is a functional job analysis different from the Department of Labor Procedure?

A functional job analysis is basically a job description which: identifies purposes, goals, and objectives; identifies and describes tasks; analyzes tasks; develops performance standards; and develops training content. A functional job analysis measures work activity and can be broken down into the tasks performed as part of the job. A functional job analysis can assist in job design, employee selection, employee training, and job performance evaluation. The Department of Labor Procedure encompasses a functional job analysis, but also contains additional information. The Department of Labor Procedure includes five different types of descriptors. First, it discusses worker functions, which is the relationship that the worker has to data, people and things. Second, it discusses work fields, which refers to the techniques used to complete the job and can incorporate a functional job analysis. The work fields category also refers to any tools or equipment used to complete the task. Third, it discusses what is produced by the job. Fourth, it discusses worker traits, which include the skills, education, training, and personality traits that workers need to complete the job. Finally, it discusses the job's physical requirements (Atchison, Belcher, & Thomsen, 2004). Therefore, the Department of Labor Procedure provides a more complete description of the job, detailing not only the tasks that make up the job, but how the job relates to the overall product, what type of workers are needed to perform the job, and the other resources needed for successful completion of the job.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an employee referral campaign for recruitment purposes?

Employee referral campaigns for the recruitment of new employees can provide employers with advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is that high-quality workers are likely to refer other high-quality workers for the position. The employer has the ability to gauge the work of the referring worker, and, therefore can judge that worker's recommendation more easily than random business recommendations for completely unknown applicants. However, having a high-quality pool of applicants has its own disadvantages. First, these applicants are probably going to demand a higher starting wage, which can be difficult for the employer. Second, high-quality applicants are more likely to have intense competition for positions, so that the employer may be dealing with a vacant position for a longer period of time. In fact, the length of time associated with the sole us of an employee referral campaign may be its biggest disadvantage. Traditional job advertising generally yields a large number of responses, and while none of the applicants may be an absolutely appropriate fit for the job, the likelihood is that someone will be able to perform the job's essential functions. An employee referral campaign will most likely yield a much smaller applicant field than open advertising, but the person making the hiring decision will be faced with fewer nonsense resumes and have a more viable applicant pool.

6. Why is it important to select the right employees for a position?

There are several reasons why it is important to select the right employee for a position. The most obvious reason is that an employee has to have the necessary qualifications, including skills, educational background, and personality, to be able to perform a job. An employee lacking those qualifications will be unable to perform the job, leaving both the employee and the employer frustrated, and leading to eventual attrition, either through the employee quitting or the employee being terminated. Companies want to avoid that scenario because they want the position filled by someone who can actually perform the job. In addition, companies want to avoid attrition because it is a very expensive proposition. Every job vacancy requires recruitment, interviewing, and candidate selection, which uses up valuable company resources. Moreover, most new hires are given at least some job training, which uses up additional company resources. In addition, most jobs have an expected learning curve, which means that supervisors are probably going to spend more time than necessary evaluating new employees, even when they are clearly not a good fit for the job. Every time that a company hires an employee who does not appropriately fit into a position, it wastes these resources on that employee and delays having the position filled by an appropriate worker. Finally, when a company hires the right employee, but for the wrong position, the company risks losing a valuable employee through job dissatisfaction, and gaining a reputation as a bad employer, which can make it more difficult to recruit talent in the future.

7. How can an employer protect itself from charges of discrimination in its interview process?

Employers are vulnerable to charges of discrimination in its interview process… [END OF PREVIEW]

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