Challenges Facing Human Resource Managers at UPS – Talent Sourcing and Management

Another human resource management challenge in the modern day is hiring and ensuring that good talent in the company is not poached by competitors. Having a sound process for hiring of employees, improving individual and team performance, and discovering and nurturing leadership skills in the organization is a main method of creating a leading organization (Hedger, 2007). For UPS, many of its employees “begin their career … as part-time package handlers or drivers” (UPS 2010a). The corporation, however, often hires personnel for varied “full-time positions ranging from business development, supply chain & logistics, information technologists, to industrial engineers” (UPS 2010a). For a corporation whose human resource requirements are huge, establishing prudent programs to hire the best persons for the job presents a core challenge for the human resource department.

One way through which UPS hires its personnel is through applications submitted via its corporate website (UPS 2010). Such a process creates avenues for many people apply for the jobs that the corporation offers. Nevertheless, this system presents the challenge of reviewing all the applications. Moreover, the success of attracting capable workforce to respond to online job advertisements relies on how applicants perceive the organization and their  belief that the recruiting entity will review their applications. As such, strategies such as acknowledging receipt of the application, although at times done through automated systems, may help assure the applicants that the entity will review their applications.

To enhance the outreach and efficiency of recruitment processes, companies are  turning to outsourcing some of the steps in the recruitment process to agencies. In a European survey, for instance, it was observed that firms were working in partnership with recruitment agencies for 81 percent and 78 percent for their temporary and permanent workforce requirements, respectively (CIPD 2007, pp. 2-3). The advantage of this is that it enables the companies increase the pool of interviewees for the posts whereas saving time for the HR personnel that would have otherwise gone towards outsourced recruitment activities (StraightSource 2006). In these arrangements, the recruitment agencies provide services such as advertising the jobs offered by the entity and making preliminary interviews of applicants to reduce the number of  candidates who are interviewed by the hiring firm’s resourcing personnel (StraightSource 2006).  For any individual firm, however, the cost-benefit  analysis between outsourced and in-house recruitment would offer a guide to the best approach to adopt. For example, firms that have well-staffed HR departments may find hiring an agency to be an unnecessary additional cost.

In addition to hiring process, managing existing talents has become an important consideration to entities (Wilson 2008). One of the advantages of effective management of talents is that it avoids excessive turnover at the organization saving the organization the resources it would use to hire and train fresh employees. Further, corporations could face a difficult in recruiting fresh-rightful persons for workforce needs in organizations making it necessary to provide additional training to existing employees to enable their promotion (CIPD 2007). In their employee philosophy ‘What Brown Will Do For You’, UPS identifies offering employees ‘opportunities for personal and career growth’ at the core of the philosophy (UPS 2010a). In addition to hiring employees, organizations are faced with a challenge of establishing employee training and development programs. With growth of organizations and the increasing trend for many more organizations to expand into global markets, modern firms are always operating in an increasingly networked environment (Schuler, 2000). Such a higher level of interconnection in the business environment implies that employees have alternatives to shift to organizations that provide a better chance of progression. In the perspectives of Ashton and Felstead (1995) to ensure organizations retain their workforce, there needs to be as much focus on establishing ways to train and develop existing staff as there is on hiring the right person for the job (p. 245). To ensure that employees do not cross-over to the competitors, organizations are therefore required to constantly evaluate and reform their employee training and development programs to retain the competitive advantage for the firm (Ferris et al., 1999; Stavrou-Costea 2005). In this respect UPS advances that its annual expenditure on employee training and progress throughout its expansive global market exceeds $400 million (UPS 2010b).

Organizations have however traditionally based their training programs on in-house training and job related experiences (Dowling, Welch & Schuler 1999). With the diverse nature of global business environments however, the in-training approach may no longer hold much benefit for the expanding entities. It was in fact recognized earlier that the competitiveness that globalization has brought to the business world is the main cause of many organizations intensifying their training programs (Holden1997). This is argued to result from the realization among employers that, after much transformation in technological and organizational aspects, their entities success lies on improved employee skills and abilities (Stavrou-Costea 2005). However, as Stavrou-Costea (2005, p. 115) argues training should not be provided “as a fringe benefit or as a reward for management or as a last resort at times of crises.” Training, rather, and as noted by Schuler (2000), should be an integral part into an organization’s strategic plan through which it wishes to establish its success. This can be exemplified by the large amounts that UPS has dedicated to its employees training and development programs annually (UPS 2010b).

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