Qualification - Higher National Diploma in Business (RQF)

Unit Name - Human Resource Management

Unit Level - Level 5

Unit Number - Unit 3

Assignment Title - Human Resource Management

Learning Outcome 1: Explain the purpose and scope of Human Resource Management in terms of resourcing an organisation with talent and skills appropriate to fulfil business objectives.

Learning Outcome 2: Evaluate the effectiveness of the key elements of Human Resource Management in an organisation.

Learning Outcome 3: Analyse internal and external factors that affect Human Resource Management decision-making, including employment legislation.

Learning Outcome 4: Apply Human Resource Management practices in a work-related context.

Assignment Brief: An increasing number of workers working for a multinational company see themselves as overworked, underpaid and just fed up with the way their employer is treating them. They are having to work longer hours for less pay. The job security they enjoy just 10 or 15 years ago seems like a distant memory. The workplace that used to be ‘one big happy family' is now the scene of stressed-out workers who fear for their jobs. Most of the mid-level managers and technical staff are recruited from outside instead of resourcing internally. There is no clear-cut career path for managers.

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In order to better pursue the goals and objectives of the report, Amazon, Inc. has been chosen as the company for the same. As already understood from the case scenario, the firm in question has been engaged in layoffs, which has led to the employees being dissatisfied with their jobs. In fact, the workplace climate is such that there is excessive stress and the workers are fed up with their employers. Thus, there is a need to ensure that Amazon, Inc.can create a better work environment and make arrangements for accommodating flexible working practices and other elements that are being demanded by the employees. This report has thus been written for the understanding of the best HRM practices that can help with understanding how they are relevant to the successful functioning of an organisation, along with a focus on how the company should also adhere to the various employee legislations for creating a more relaxing and considerate workplace.

This will be presented as a report to the CEO and should include the following:

Selection practices: An organization's selection practices will determine who gets hired. If properly designed, they will identify competent candidates and accurately match them to the job.

Purpose and scope of human resource management

2.1 Purpose and functions of HRM as applicable to workforce planning and resourcing
The HRM of an organisation takes care of the recruitment, hiring, selection, training and management of the workers, with the aim of maximising their performance and consequently, the organisational productivity (Christopher, 2019). In this regard, the HRM has numerous purposes, such as:
• Effective and appropriate usage of the available resources - i.e., the employees at the organisation
• Training and development of the workforce for better engagement of the employees
• Promotion of the company culture for better job satisfaction and low turnover
• Maintenance of compliance with the policies and ensuring employee satisfaction
• Finalisation of rules and practices related to compensation and rewards.
Similarly, the functions of the HRM can be listed as below:
• Recruitment and training of the manpower for fulfilment of the objectives
• Career development of the employees for making them more responsible
• Job evaluation, performance appraisal and work scheduling for managing the employees
• Maintenance of workplace safety and other aspects.

2.2 Strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to recruitment and selection

The HRMat Amazon Inc.typically needs to consider two kinds of recruitment approaches - internal and external - which are then followed by the various selection and hiring processes. These different methods all have their distinct benefits and drawbacks, which have been listed in the table below:

Table 1: Strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to selection and recruitment

Process / Approach



Internal recruitment

It is cost-effective and saves a considerable amount of time (Muscalu, 2015)

Limited in scope, since there is no possibility of hiring candidates with a different perspective

Employee referral

Time-effective, and improves employee morale (Acikgoz, 2019)

Has the possibility of increasing animosity within the workforce


Allows the employees to be tested effectively at once

Can be time-intensive and thus, not possible for all situations

External recruitment

Exposes the organisation to a diverse range of applicants with varying skillsets

Extremely resource-intensive and requires a lot of time and other investments


Better scope of examining the candidates and being acquainted with them

Expensive and time-consuming


Saves time and allows access to specialist candidates

Long-term implications are many, such as being not very cost-efficient


Easy access to qualified candidates for an important job post (Richman, 2014)

Cost of hiring is usually very high

Since the company hires most of its workers externally without having any definite path for the appointment of the managers from within the workforce, it can be stated that the firm has the chance of cutting down on costs in this regard by considering an internal recruitment. This would also bring about an improvement in the motivation of the workforce as they would understand that there is a scope for their appraisal and promotion within the organisation. While the choice to outsource much of the work has been adopted due to the added flexibility it brings, it might prove to be expensive in the long run, since the company would have very little control over the costs as well as the performance of the workers.

2.3 Provision of talent and skills by HRM for fulfilling business objectives
The HRM at Amazon, Inc.is responsible for the recruitment of the right kind of employees to ensure that the business objectives are being fulfilled. This is done by the selection of those workers who would be able to fulfil the mission and vision of the company. In order to ensure that the business objectives are been adequately met, there is a need to bring about extensive changes in the employee handling and management, as can be understood from the current situation at the firm. The provision of appropriate training and development programmes can enable the workers to have a better chance of sharpening their skills, while an option for flexible working can greatly help them become a little relaxed and consequently improve their productivity (Shahzadi, et al., 2014). Furthermore, the nurturing of the talents and skills of the employees would consequently help Amazon, Inc., as they would be able to have access to a workforce that is not only motivated but also equipped with the knowledge to meet the business objectives and goals.

Training and development programs and compensation: Training programs can affect work behaviour in two ways. The most obvious is by directly improving the skills necessary for the employee to successfully complete his or her work job. A second benefit from training is that it increases an employee's self-efficacy. A major goal of performance evaluation is to assess accurately an individual's performance contribution as a basis for making reward allocation decisions.

3. Effectiveness of the key elements of human resource management

3.1 Benefits of HRM practices for employer and employee
HRM practices range from various functions such as workforce planning and employee engagement to the training and development of the employees. The decisions pertaining to these practices have numerous implications, and can benefit both the firm and the employees when practised with discretion.

Table 2: Benefits of HRM practices for employer and employee


Benefit for employer

Benefit for employee

Workforce planning

Better fulfilment of organisational objectives and goals

Better clarity regarding their tasks and job roles

Employee engagement

Improved innovation and flow of creative ideas (Hoque, Gwadabe and Rahman, 2017)

Increased opportunity for discussion of new ideas

Training and development

Improvement in overall organisational output and productivity

Scope for personal development and growth

Rewards and recognition

Increase in productivity and engagement

Improvement in morale and motivation (Akafo and Boateng, 2015)

• At Amazon, Inc., employee engagement is pursued through appropriate communication means, which enables them to be invested in improving their workplace while enhancing employee experience (Amazon, 2020a).
• More than 100,000 warehouse workers are also being trained and developed through machine learning programmes (Scott, 2019).

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3.2 Effectiveness of different HRM practices in raising profit and productivity
The different HRM practices as discussed so far can be equally effective in terms of raising profit and productivity within Amazon, Inc. This can be pursued by ensuring that the roles and responsibilities by the HRM are fulfilled with due care and diligence.
• The recruitment and selection processes can be utilised for selecting the right candidates through thorough examination and consideration. This will ensure that only the best applicants are selected, as Amazon, Inc.already has difficulties in retaining a larger workforce. This will ensure that the workers can be given due value for their contribution, thereby improving their motivation and consequently, their performance.
• The workforce planning should be conducted in such a way as to enable the fulfilment of all the necessary tasks in an efficient manner, while also eliminating all instances of doubt among the employees. The allocation of the work in an appropriate manner would allow the workers to be aware of theirresponsibilities, which would enable them to fulfil them better (De Bruecker, et al., 2015).
• The talent management practices should be directed towards rewarding those employees who perform better, which would keep them motivated and interested in their work. Furthermore, the provision of flexible working practices can also make the workers have a sense of contentment with their work and improve their contribution in the long run.
• The employee engagement practice as described by Amazon (2020a) makes it easier to communicate with the employees since they are provided with a forum to express their concerns. The company can utilise this feedback to improve their existing processes, thereby resulting in the reduction of their turnover.
• The training and development programme as described by Scott (2019) will ensure that the warehouse workers can become the engineers of tomorrow, by allowing them to be skilled at various IT fields and emerging technologies.

3.3 Different methods used in HRM practices and critical evaluation
As can be understood from the situation as presented forth by the case scenario, the methods as currently deployed within Amazon, Inc.are reflecting dire consequences, primarily in the form of poor employee loyalty and lack employee retention, leading to a dissatisfied workforce and a high rate of turnover(Romano, 2020; Wong, 2020).
• There is no definite rewards and recognition programme, and instead, the workers are being laid off and the work is being managed through outsourcing and the recruitment of part-time workers. While this is turning out be a highly flexible means of managing the work, it has been affecting the morale of the workers and interfering with their workplace satisfaction and motivation.
• The employees are not being given any opportunity to develop their skills, and are being overworked without being given the due compensation. This lack of an appropriate compensation policy, together with the absence of a training and development programme has been affecting Amazon, Inc.negatively, as the workers continue to be dissatisfied with their work.

Labour-management interface: The existence of a union in an organization adds another variable in their search to explain and predict employee behaviour. In addition, the formal norms that union cohesiveness fosters can encourage or discourage high productivity, organizational commitment and morale.

4. Analysis of the internal and external factors affecting HRM

4.1 Importance of employee relations with respect to HRM decision-making
Employee relations can enable Amazon, Inc. establish a strong foundation and build an everlasting relationship with their employees, when correctly implemented by the HRM. Employee relations can basically help with the improvement of overall productivity and help create a positive relationship with the workers (Tansel and Gazîoglu, 2014).

Employee relations can make it easier for Amazon, Inc.to reduce the turnover by improving the workplace motivation and consequently, the job satisfaction. This would bring about a betterment of the workplace dynamics and reduce the chances of the employees leaving due to dissatisfaction. Reducing this employee turnover can in turn help in reducing the HR costs of the firm and lead to the mitigation of any employee issues in a hassle-free and mature manner (Zhang, 2016).

The HRM decision-making is also another important aspect that needs to be taken into consideration. Since it is already clear that the employees would rather have a better work environment and a flexible working provision along with a management that understands their problems, it would be pointless to pursue a cost-cutting strategy so aggressively at the cost of Amazon, Inc.'sreputation and future.

4.2 Key elements of employment legislation and impact on HRM decision-making

The following employment legislations are highly relevant to the current scenario at the firm, as they have the capacity to impact the HRM decision-making -

Employment Rights Act 1996:This legislation ensures that the employees of any organisation cannot be dismissed unfairly without an appropriate procedure (Legislation.gov.uk., 2020).Amazon, Inc.thus needs to rethink its policies of laying off the employees that they perceive as laid back and unproductive.

National Minimum Wage Act 1998:This legislation prohibits businesses from exploiting the workers by paying them below the national minimum wage which changes every year in accordance with the economy. Amazon, Inc.thus cannot force its workers to work overtime without a proper compensation.

Working Time Directive 1999:As per this legislation, it is unfair for businesses to force their employees to work more than 48 hours on a weekly basis (Gov.uk, 2020). The HRM thus needs to balance out the workforce planning policies and make sure that the employees are not overworked.

HRM practices in work-related context: The objective of effective selection is to match individual characteristics (ability, experience and so on) with the requirements of the job. When management fails to get a proper match, both employee performance and satisfaction suffer. In this search to achieve the right individual - job fit, where does management begin? The answer is to assess the demands and requirements of the job.

Application of HRM practices in a work-related context

5.1 Illustration of the application of HRM practices
At Amazon, Inc., in-person interviews are usually conducted for choosing the managers, since a majority of the workers are hired from external sources instead of from within the existing workforce. As illustrated by Amazon (2020b), the interview process is rooted in exploring the leadership principles and the behavioural aspects of the candidates. The company further mentions the incorporation of role-specific exercises and assessments before the formal interview begins.

From the perspective of the effectiveness of this HRM practice, it can be said that the interview process for the managers is quite elaborate and thus thorough, which indicates that the best possible candidates can be chosen from any given list. This is because of Amazon Inc.'s inclination to test the leadership behaviour (Amazon, 2020b) of the applicants, along with a range of behavioural questions. This ensures that the candidates are being screened appropriately, and their skills are being assessed before being chosen so as to find the right fit for the managerial position.

5.2 Rationale for the application of specific HRM practices
The leadership development programme shall be fundamental in terms of enabling the workers develop their own skills and have the opportunity to make use of the appraisal and promotion opportunities, based on their qualifications and performance (Moldoveanu and Narayandas, 2019). This would motivate them to work harder, consequently improving the overall firm's productivity and also saving the unnecessary costs associated with external recruitment. Additionally, the motivational workshop would enable the organisation to rectify their mistake and make the employees understand that they are important assets to Amazon, Inc., and together with the provision of flexible working options, it would allow for the building of a more content workforce.

6. Conclusion
As can be concluded from this report, it is extremely necessary for the HRM department to bring about radical changes within Amazon, Inc.if they are to sustain the workforce and improve the productivity levels. The current situation is such that the workers are inclined towards leaving the organisation since they are being overworked and underpaid at the same time, which has been leaving them utterly dissatisfied, thereby reducing the loyalty they harbour towards the firm. The implementation of flexible working practices, together with initiatives to train and motivate the workforce to reduce the need for external hiring of the managers, can essentially help rectify this situation and also improve productivity while managing the overall expenses.







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Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:

Learning Outcome




LO1 Explain the purpose and scope of Human Resource Management in terms of resourcing an organisation with talent and skills appropriate to fulfil business objectives

P1 Explain the purpose and functions of HRM, applicable to workforce planning and resourcing an organisation.


P2 Explain the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to recruitment and selection.

M1 Assess how the functions of HRM can provide talent and skills appropriate to fulfil business objectives.


M2 Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to recruitment and selection.

D1 Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to recruitment and selection, supported by specific examples.

LO2 Evaluate the effectiveness of the key elements of Human Resource Management in an organisation.

P3 Explain the benefits of different HRM practices within an organisation for both the employer and the employee.


P4 Evaluate the effectiveness of different HRM practices in terms of raising organisational profit and productivity.

M3 Explore the different methods used in HRM practices, providing specific examples to support evaluation within an organisational context.

D2 Critically evaluate HRM practices and application within an organisational context, using a range of specific examples.

LO3 Analyse internal and external factors that affect Human Resource Management decision-making, including employment legislation.


P5 Analyse the importance of employee relations in respect to influencing HRM decision-making.


P6 Identify the key elements of employment legislation, and the impact it has upon HRM decision-making.

M4 Evaluate the key aspects of employee relations management and employment legislation that affect HRM decision-making in an organisational context.

LO3 & 4


D3 Critically evaluate employee relations and the application of HRM practices that inform and influence decision-making in an organisational context.

LO4 Apply Human Resource Management practices in a work-related context.

P7 Illustrate the application of HRM practices in a work-related context, using specific examples.

M5 Provide a rationale for the application of specific HRM practices in a work-related context.


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