Aramex is an organization that operates on internal express transportation of goods and services, delivery of mails and logistics services; it is based in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Evidence available has suggested that it is an organization that has been listed on the Arab based stock exchange, it has over 13,800 employees who are distributed throughout the world, and specifically in 54 countries that comprises the network of companies with Aramex as the parent.
It has been established that the establishment values the multiplicity of their employees, and believe that the more diverse the staff are, the better the services and contributions that the human resources bring to the aims and objects of the firm (Aramex, 2016). In fact, when the employees have diverse skills and knowledge then they are more equipped to deliver the objectives of the company. According to the management at Aramex, they consider their human resource personnel as the most fundamental asset of the organization (Aramex, 2016). This research paper will therefore examine, analyze and evaluate the strategies that are employed by the company in recruiting and retaining their employees.
The paper will provide an overview of the recruitment and retention strategies that the company engages in its human resource practices, and to emphasize on the importance of other human resource strategies the paper will provide a summary of the current practices that are employed by Aramex. This will help in providing evidence on the impacts that the strategies have on productivity and contributions, this will help in pinning down staffing issues.
The paper will also seek to discover the underlying roles that are played by good human resource practices for the overall success of the organization. Human resource experts have pronounced that employees are the most important aspect of the organization, once recruited they need to be motivated and retained for the survival of the organization. It has been ascertained that due to the current business practices, inequalities in income, different working conditions that exist in organizations, retaining employees has been an uphill task for most organizations and that studies are needed to provide valuable knowledge on how such employees can be retained in the organization. Recommendations will then be put forward to highlight on the strategies that can be used or how improvements can be made to the existing stratagem.
This establishment was co-founded by Fadi Ghandour with his business partner Bill Kingson after attaining his bachelor of arts in political science (Aramex, 2016). Initially, it was called the Arab American Express and intended to grow into the first courier corporation in the Middle East. At the time the business had no international carrier companies based in the region because of logistical and rigid encounters instigated by civil wars and multifaceted political relations that existed in different countries. It has been established that the first international business activity carried out by the company was the delivery of a document for the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance based in Jordan to New York City, later the name of the company was reduced to Aramex.
The company later expanded its operation to more than 33 countries in an operation to merge the markets that existed in the Middle East and Southeast Asia by 2001. The strategy for the growth was characterized by high populace and the liberalization of the economies in the different places that made the company go public on the Dubai Financial Market in February 2005 because of the increase in profit by 23 percent (Aramex, 2016). According to a columnist Thomas Friedman, he attributed the growth and expansion of Aramex to the leveling of the world by providing a level ground for economic activities and the elimination of trade barriers to enhance global collaboration between countries. Due to the massive growth it has been ascertained that it became the first company in the UAE to release an annual report in 2006.
Today, it is the provider of international and domestic express package delivery, freight forwarding, logistics and other conveyance services chiefly to, from and within the Middle East and South Asia and has even extended its presence in Europe. It has been opined that it prides itself by providing complete transportation solution to its customers because of the range of services and customer customized products it delivers. According to their business activities, express shipment consists of small parcels, typically ranging in weight from 0.1 to 50 kilograms, with time conscious delivery arrangements, this is offered to both retail and wholesale express accounts and offers its customers the ability to track their shipments on the internet through the website of the company.
It has been pronounced that retail express delivery customers include trading companies, pharmaceutical companies, banks, service and information companies, manufacturing and regional distribution companies, and are not concentrated in any one industry while wholesale express delivery customers consist primarily of members of the Global Distribution Alliance. In addition, the organization offers diversity of merchandise advancing services including air, land and ocean transport to its clienteles worldwide (Aramex, 2016).
It is a fact that the world cup that is likely to be held in Qatar and the Expo 2020 will be attracting more talents while creating more jobs in the region. However, it has been a an uphill task in finding the right individuals with the right skills and knowledge, especially this has been a problem in stimulating markets of the Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar (Aramex, 2016).
Grounded theory in recruitment and retention
This research uses grounded theory to ascertain the recruitment and retention strategies used by the organization, it is helpful as it will aid in expanding the existing knowledge and theories that have been put forward. Theorists have affirmed that there is need to develop new theories that when combined with the existing can increase knowledge repository (Chan et al, 2008). This research is based on grounded theory and will provide greater insights that Aramex and other organizations can use in recruiting and retaining their employees. For instance, the company can build its image and reach the community through corporate responsibility in order to attract new personnel.
Application of the theory will aid in following a path provided by the examination, rather than that of past research. It has been asserted that it is a method that encourages investigators to think outside recognized theories and deliberate unidentified ideas as a means to elucidate the incidences. Nonetheless, this theory can expand research to unforeseen ends; it can assist researchers to answer the most burning questions asked by human resource practitioners and also build substantial theories to better understand recruitments and retention strategies in organizations (Chartered Management Institute, 2004).
Findings and analysis
This research discovered that professionals are looking for job on the social media yet the employers are not present in such platforms. It has been established that today social networks are the leading podium that job seekers are using when observing for chances and investigating a company before applying for a job. Unfortunately, companies and employers in the UAE including Aramex have not embraced the use of social networks in recruiting.
It was also established that a gap exists between the skills that the professionals have and the ones that the management at Aramex are looking for, for instance, the company considers analytical skills, technical expertise, creativity and openness to other cultures are what the company is looking for before recruiting personnel. This is because it has been a notion and culture to consider strong analytical skills, relevant education background and effective time management in the UAE; therefore the companies recruiting have carried forward this belief.
It has been established that this is an international company but it is still affected by nationalization in order to recruit. This assertion is supported by the fact that only 28 percent of employers in the UAE are targeting nationals. This is contrary to the statistics pointing out that 80 percent of Saudi companies are targeting the locals in their recruiting strategy, which puts these organizations in good relationships with government departments.
It has been proven through the research that employees are valued at Aramex more than anything, in fact the valuing of employees has been translated to their human resource strategies and polices as they seek to recruit and retain employees with the requisite skills. It has been established that employees are retrieved from different ages, nationalities, cultural backgrounds and academic orientations in most organizations alike (Chan et al, 2008). It was established that once recruited, the employees are empowered through training, group opportunities and a decision inclusive environment. Above all, the recruitment strategy at Aramex is based on merit, qualifications and ongoing assessment, and the company performs additional inclusive interviews to ensure that they find the right human resource persons with the requisite skills.
The study established that based on the nature their operation they rely on manual labor, and as such they rely on many male employees in their work force, mostly as operation members (Aramex, 2016). The company also offers equal remuneration for all the age groups of employees; they also strive to offer competitive compensation and benefits so as to retain employees. The study discovered that the company abides by the existing labor laws that take good care of employees’ benefits. They provide social insurance on diseases like cancer; abide by regulation governing special groups with disabilities and provision of leave and flexible working hours. In human resource practice all these are aimed at retaining employees and encouraging them to return to work (Arthur, 2004). Moreover, it was established that their human resource governance arrangement is founded from the United Nation’s International Labor Organization.
Figure showing composition of employees
Source: Aramex report, 2014
Figure showing composition of employees based on gender
Source: Aramex report, 2014
Figure showing composition of employees based on age
Source: Aramex report, 2014
The study has established that Aramex just like other companies in UAE has a recruitment process that comprises seeking resumes from applicants to ascertain their education background, intricate employment tests are conducted, and applicants are then invited for interviews, scrutiny of documents is done before issuing the applicants with employment letters. The recruitment strategies also involve a series of stages that encompass pre-shortlisting, shortlisting, testing, interviews and pre-employment checks (Torrington, 2009).
It was established that Aramex values their employees to the extent that they have put in place strategies to retain their valuable staff, first, the organization has become attractive to the local and in that case attracts a wide pool of talented employees as they are able to provide attractive opportunities for employment, growth and leadership in all regions of the business. This has been instrumental in enticing the local employees to seek employment opportunities in the company and therefore making retention an easy task for Aramex (Arthur, 2004).
Second, the company offers education and training to their employees, it is asserted that this is a highly effective technique for holding talent, this through provision of continuing educational prospects for the employees. Third, Aramex has been in the forefront in enhancing its own brand as an employer to retain its staff, this brand is aimed at creating a competitive environment that can attract potential employees. It is asserted that this strategy has greatly helped in attracting the best talent in many organizations through offering competitive compensation, attractive working conditions (Arthur, 2004).
The study established that the success of the organization is attributed to the fact that it has made it possible for managers to draw, develop, engage and support their employees who in the end feel a sense of belonging (Arthur, 2012). Lastly, the company has embraced corporate social responsibility as a way of retaining its employees, experts have alluded that such corporate activities comprise a legitimate and increasingly important way to attract and retain good employees. This is because corporate activities will reveal values of Aramex and depict the organization as a donor to society rather than as a unit concerned only with make the most of profits.
From the research findings and based on the analysis, the paper can put forward bold recommendations of the strategies and the human resource practices that can be employed by Aramex and other companies in UAE. Human resources are without question the most important assets and therefore there is the need to recruit and acquire the best personnel for companies (Chartered Management Institute, 2004). Recruitment will traditionally start with production of accurate advertisement with detailed and accurate job descriptions to increase the chances of getting qualified applicants (Torrington, 2009). The study has opined that employee retention is important in the long run since it has been confirmed that employee turnover, absenteeism, replacement and training costs can directly affect the profitability of an organization.
It has also been identified that failed employee retention efforts leads to loss in productivity during the interim period before replacement of staff, the cost of formal and informal training to get the new employee up to speed of operations also inflicts more cost to the company. In addition, when an organization fails to retain its employees there are additional costs that will be incurred that is, cost of advertising for the positions, referral bonuses, relocation expenses, and background checks of the prospective employees.
It is recommended that Aramex and other companies in the UAE should embrace and acknowledge the power of social media in recruiting and therefore a company should create its own Facebook, twitter and instagram pages in addition to developing social media team that will build content through posting opportunities that will help in attracting the right talent for the company.
On the difference in skills the employer is looking for, the company should first identify the most important skills and highlight them on the job descriptions, making it known to the applicants what skills are needed to fill vacant positions. A campaign should be sponsored that will seek to ask the employers what they are looking for, thereafter; they will be published for prospective employees in the country.
It is also recommended that Aramex and other companies should consider using expatriate recruitment to fill critical roles, it was established that it was a challenging task in finding the right employees and so organizations should cast their nets wide to reach professionals in other countries apart from the UAE.
Recruitment and retention is vital for the productivity of the company both in the short and long run, the research has established that apart from the employment of traditional methods of recruitment there is need to embrace the new methods of attracting candidates through the social media. Grounded theory is an important technique that has been employed in finding new knowledge on how the organization can initiate new strategies on recruiting and retaining new employees. The findings and recommendations will be used by other companies in UAE to improve on their staffing strategies and systems.
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