Recruitment and Selection Research Paper

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¶ … Continental Airlines Human Resources Plan

Human resources represent the most valuable resource a company owns, a resource that must be properly managed in order to help the company develop and achieve its goals and objectives. There are many factors that influence a company's human resources situation in a positive or a negative manner. The recruitment and selection process can be the solution to a company's human resources problems, or it can represent the root of the problems of the company in case.

In other words, if the recruitment and selection process is properly implemented and is a suitable one for the company in case, it can help build the basis for a medium term and long-term strong, performing, and loyal human resource. But if the recruitment and the selection of personnel do not reflect the situation and the necessities of the company in case, it will fail to attract and to retain the suitable employees for the company in case.

Human Resources Issues at Continental Airlines

As a transnational company, Continental Airlines must face a series if issues regarding the company's human resources situation. Currently, aside from regular issues that any company has to deal with, especially in these times of financial and economic crisis, Continental Airlines' most important and most visible problem is represented by the low percentage of minority representation within the company's personnel.

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This problem is reflected by the fact that there are no minority representatives in the company's corporate and leadership structures. Given the global context in which the company activates, such a situation is rarely met, especially where companies of this size are concerned.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Recruitment and Selection Assignment

There are several explanations for this situation. This could mean that the percentage of minorities within Continental Airlines' personnel is more reduced than it should be, given the minorities percentage within the country's population, which may mean that minorities are being denied certain rights. This is connected with the recruitment and selection process.

Also, their professional performance average is probably similar with that of the majority, which means that from a professional point-of-view there is no reason for which minorities should not have representatives at top management level where Continental Airlines is concerned. This means that somewhere in the line of their careers, minorities are prevented from advancing to top management positions.

International Human Resource Management Improvement Plan

There are several differences between a company's domestic HR strategy and the international one. Operating in different countries, sometimes on different continents, with people of different nationalities and cultures determines the complexity of IHRM activities (Dowling, Festing & Engle).

As a consequence, Continental Airlines must deal with more HR activities in comparison with national companies. The company must also think and act in a larger perspective that should incorporate all the factors that influence the company's HR situation. In order to benefit from personnel's full potential, the company must actively involve in employees' personal lives, in order to help certain categories of personnel, like minorities, to overcome problems that might emerge from such situations, like cultural differences.

A particular aspect that must be implemented by Continental Airlines refers to the fact that the percentage between expatriates and local employees may vary in time, which means the company must adapt its emphasis as this situation changes. The fact that there are no minorities representatives at top management level means that Continental Airlines failed to adapt this principle of IHRM.

In order to build a strong, loyal employee base that the company can count on for a medium term or a long-term, the company's HR professionals must first take into consideration the factors that inhibit performance in a multinational context, and to integrate solutions to these problems in the IHR strategy.

One of these factors is the inability to adjust to a foreign culture. There was a myth that said that individuals can adapt to any kind of culture, in any country. Practice, however, has debunked this myth. Many foreigners, students or employees, have failed to adapt in a different country, especially in cases where cultural and religious dimensions where opposite.

The recruitment and selection process in any company, whether it is a national, multinational, or transnational one, must begin with assessing the company's personnel necessities for the period and the situation in case. In order to ensure success, or even to survive, the company must first find solutions for the following problems: identifying the required skills and knowledge and selecting the candidates that best fit the requirements of the jobs in case, regardless of their race, or cultural background; identifying and attracting competitive candidates, using adequate methods, sources, or environments for recruitment; respecting the legal requirements in the field (Halloran, 1986).

The company must think about strategic recruitment needs, which respond to long-term requirements. This means creating new positions, restructuring existing ones. The HRM plan must also respond to temporary emergencies and temporary situations generated by internal movement of personnel.

Given the size and the current situation in which Continental Airlines finds itself, personnel recruitment must have a permanent and systematic character. There are cases in which personnel recruitment is performed on a temporary basis, in order to cover a limited number of positions. But Continental Airlines is a company that is permanently expanding and developing itself, and the recruitment and selection process must be oriented towards developing a talent pool that is intended to satisfy the company's long-term HR needs (Milkovich & Boudreau, 1991).

When developing the recruitment and selection strategy, Continental Airlines must take into consideration the factors that influence the workforce in each region the company activates. For example, the company must take into consideration the capacity of the human resources training and development systems and educational models that have a great impact on the recruitment process. The company must also think about the characteristics of the geographical area in case and about any additional benefits.

One of the most important factors that have a great impact on the success of the recruitment and selection process and on the company's HR strategy is represented by the personnel recruitment sources. The company can select its employees from internal or from external sources.

Most companies use both sources in their recruitment and selection process, and Continental Airlines should make no exception. Internal recruitment is suitable in certain csituations for certain types of jobs, while external recruitment is best used for different types of jobs.

For example, when a job becomes vacant, it should be offered to existing employees that qualify for the job, employees that find such a promotion quite motivating (Byars & Rue, 1987).

However, there are cases in which internal recruitment does not apply. If the company is developing and expanding rapidly, there is the risk that existing employees may not be able to face the situation.

The HRM plan should start with staffing estimates (Heneman et al., 1989). For each Continental Airlines branch, the company must determine the number of required staff. It is also necessary to determine the duration of personnel requirement, because of the fact that there are cases in which certain positions have only been developed for a temporary period. The source of staff must be clearly determined for each position.

In the case of temporary collaborations, or projects and activities that require consultants, such employees should be recruited from external sources, because they are already trained and specialized in the professional field in case.

The schedule for the arrival and the departure of the required staff must be determined from the beginning, in order for the financial department to estimate the costs of the activity or project in case.

The estimated number of staff and the new positions that are to be created must be determined by the manager of each department, because they confront with the personnel shortage everyday, and know the personnel necessities for each department. This activity cannot be centralized.

Furthermore, each department manager, in collaboration with the HR department must establish the recruitment sources (Fisher et al., 1996). It is recommended that for management positions internal recruitment should be applied. This is because existing employees already know the situation, are familiar with it, and know how to handle it (Gibson et al., 1988). Also, this motivating for the employee in case, but for other employees also, employees that take such cases as an example.

For new or lower positions, it is recommended that the company recruits its staff from external sources (Klatt et al., 1985). New employees are a breath of fresh air for any company, they bring new ideas and initiatives, and are very motivated to proving their professional value at their new job (Lloyd, 1987).

After testing and selecting the most suitable candidates for each job, the company's HR department must develop the training and development of these employees. Motivation is a very important part of the HRM plan, and must be developed in accordance with the needs of each position (Cherrington, 1991).

Regarding the minorities situation, it is recommended that minorities' representation reflects the demographics of the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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