Ever since its establishment in 1974, British Airways has been one of the most successful airline companies in the world. This is despite the disappointing business experiences that characterized the activities of the company in 1990s. Human resource department at British Airways has been tasked with the role providing the company with the best strategies on how its employees can work towards the realization of company objectives (Sisson 2000, p. 146). The recruitment and selection process, which forms part of the responsibilities of the department, is considered as one of the most crucial determinants of the quality and number of employees that can work in identified vacancies (Cowling & Mailer 2013, p. 23). The main objective of this paper is to describe human resource management issues in British Airways. This will be realized through a discussion on employee relations, employment laws in on service industries business.
The role and purpose of human resource management in British Airways
British Airways has over the years been listed among the largest and the most progressive companies in terms of provision of quality services in the world with its services dedicated to Europe and countries in North America. The effective nature of human resource department is in its ability to recruit, select, train and engage in promotional activities (Sisson 2000, p. 146). In its recruitment process, human resource management in the company in conjunction with the concerned departments plays the role of ensuring that those qualified and shortlisted for interviews meet the academic and experience requirements of the company (Cowling & Mailer 2013, p. 24). The process of selecting the most appropriate employees for the available positions is considered as core in the definition of the roles of human resource department in British Airways. This is because through this process the company will be employing individual who have demonstrated their ability to work in the company’s environment and are willing to realize organizational goals (Sisson 2000, p. 147). The organization therefore looks up to the existing and established systems to ensure that the company generates one of the most outstanding and highly qualified personnel in accordance with the law and the core values that define operations in the company (Inman et al 2014, P.70).
Justify British Airways human resource plan based on an analysis of supply and demand
Strategic planning in human resource department includes assessing prevailing and future requirement of the company. This from the perspective of British Airways plays a role in defining the recruitment and selection process (Garner 2007, p. 23). Through the human resource strategic plan, the recruitment and section process operates based on continuous control and monitoring of the levels of efficiency and effectiveness of each department (Tyson 2014, p. 79). Through these processes, it is possible for the management to identify the ability of its employees to address customer related complications in relation to the presence of qualified and competent staff (Garner 2007, p. 23). The process of developing human resource plan is often based on the prevailing conditions in relation to demand and supply of labor. The human resource plan under which the company operates is therefore defined by among other factors the existing strategic plans of the company, the resourcing strategy, retention of employees, levels of flexibility and demand-supply forecasting (Sisson 2000, p. 148). For human resource department at British Airways, the strategic plan that defines the recruitment and selection process is not only defied by the prevailing laws but by the desire to ensure that the prevailing nature of demands is in agreement with the ability of the company to ensure sufficient supply of services (Garner 2007, p. 25).
Assess the current state of employment relations in British Airways
The relationship between human resource management and the employees is defined by organizational and legal requirements of unionized workforce. The decision on matters related to employee welfare such as the recruitments and selection process, identifying work-life balance, and a reward system are often considerd to be essential in the definition of employment relation in British Airways (Sisson 2000, p. 150). The power of collective bargain for instance has continued to be a platform for the workforce unions to advocate for the interest of the employees through the department of human resource (Tyson 2014, p. 79). Continued efforts by the organization to incorporate the interest of the employees with those of the organization have been considered as to be increasing the level of risk in organizational budgets (Inman et al 2014, P.80). In the current workplace environment, the human resource management at British Airways is continuously working with the unions to ensure that any changes in the selection and recruitment process are aimed at the realization of organizational goals and objectives (Cowling & Mailer 2013, p. 27).
Discuss how employment law affects the management of human resources at British Airways
According to the employment laws in UK, it is illegal for any corporation or agency operation within the border of the country to engage in any form of discrimination in the process of recruiting and selecting employees (Garner 2007, p. 27). This means that it is the responsibility of every corporation to ensure that its strategies and policies are directed towards the provision of equal opportunities to every citizen in the UK (Boxall & Purcell 2014, p. 46). These forms of discrimination that are banned in UK include religious discrimination, gender bias and any other form of segregation in relation to race (Inman et al 2014, P.80). The foundation of these laws is based on the understanding that the promotion of equality at all levels in the country will help in determining whether the said country realizes political, economic and socio-cultural progression. While operating in relation to these laws, British Airways has often been considered as one of the corporations that promote equality at all levels in the process of recruiting, selecting and promoting its employees (Garner 2007, p. 27). The organization has often faced challenges on matters related to religious discrimination. However, with the help of its legal experts, the organization has often found ways of realigning its human resource strategies with the requirements of the law (Sisson 2000, p. 155).
Discuss a job description and person specification for British Airways
Airline cabin crew
In terms of job description, a member of an airline cabin crew also plays the role of a flight attendant. The main responsibility of this individual is to ensure the comfort and safety of the passengers throughout the flight. This can be realized by accomplishing specific responsibilities, which include attending a briefing of the flight and the schedule, finding out the needs and special requirements of passengers and ensuring high standards of hygiene in the aircraft. In addition, the flight attendant must also ensure the availability of equipment for any form of emergency. This will also require the attendant to possess the capacity of demonstrating how to use the emergency equipment. The attendant also has the responsibility of ensuring that passengers listen and understand the safety procedures and demonstrations before the flight begins.
For an individual to qualify in the recruitment and selection process as a cabin crewmember, he must possess certain personal attributes and these include being tactful and assertive especially while dealing with difficult situations (Cowling & Mailer 2013, p. 24). In addition, the individual must be a team player, sensitive, reassuring, confident, understanding foreign languages and the ability to work in a flexible but effect manner. It is also important to possess excellent personal and interpersonal skills, which will determine the level of diplomacy that is inherent in an individual.
In terms of academic qualifications, cabin crewmembers must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management. In addition, these individual must also possess additional training in fields such as immigration, customer service and safety procedures. These skills are often meant to ensure that the said individuals have the capacity to demonstrate understanding in different fields that are used in the definition of activities in the airline industry (Inman et al 2014, P.90). It is also important for the potential employees to have undergone through other preliminary training courses. These are those that introduce the said individual to skills and recruitment process. Despite the necessity of the said skills, they are not sufficient to guarantee entry into the airline profession (Cowling & Mailer 2013, p. 26).
Compare the selection process of different service industries businesses
The selection process of the hotel and airline service industries are largely defined by the intention of the industries towards their customers. The selection process in both hotel and airline industries for instance are defined by the ability of the individual to work in accordance with the requirements of the organizations (Inman et al 2014, P.100). Being part of the service industry, both hotel and service industries consider customers as the most essential part of their businesses. This means that these industries will be seeking the services of individuals with the ability of delivering exemplary services to their clients. In addition, the selection process in these industries also require the services of the human resource management in conjunction with experts from other departments who will help in the provision of expert opinion concerning the qualities that are most desirable in the execution responsibilities and in the delivery of expected responsibilities (Sisson 2000, p. 157).
There are also similarities in relation to the ability of potential employees to deliver expected results. For instance, the selection process in both sectors is defined by different stages. These include selection by a panel of experts based on proficiency and the ability to answer questions. In other instances, the selection process is defined by technical interviews (Inman et al 2014, P.101). This process often involves those employment opportunities that require the potential employees to demonstrate their ability to work from a practical perspective. In this form of interview, the potential employees are presented with different responsibilities and a panel of experts is charged with the role of evaluating their levels of expertise to determine their qualification (Banfield 2011, p. 1989). In the airline industries, the selection process of pilots will not only be determined by their experience but also by their ability to successfully operate an aircraft. In the hotel industry, the selection process of a Chef will be determined by their level of expertise and their ability to prepare cuisines that define food and health in a hotel.
Assess the contribution of training and development activities to the effective operation of the British Airlines
Training and development activities at British airways are often aimed at modifying on the attitudes, improvement of knowledge and skills and the realization of effective performance in different range of activities that define the operations of the organization (Boxall & Purcell 2014, p. 45). The purpose of training and development in any working situation within the airline company develops the abilities of different employees to develop the capacity of satisfying the prevailing and future demands of the organization (Banfield 2011, p. 1990).
In terms of professional development, training is perceived as a motivation strategy through which the company ensure that it retains its employees and improves on their levels of expertise. This to the organization is a way of boosting and maintains high levels of competitive advantage in the airline industry (Banfield 2011, p. 1991).
Training and development at British Airways is also a way through which the company ensures that it delegates responsibilities to different individuals. This is perceived as a way of preparing employees for future responsibilities and increases the possibility that the company will ensure continuity in terms of the levels of expertise among its employees (Nickson 2013, p. 89).
Human resource department at British Airways has been charged with the role providing the company with the best strategies on how its employees can work towards the realization of company objectives. The process of recruiting and selecting staff is often based on the desire to develop an effective workforce dedicated towards the realization of company goals and objectives. This is not exclusive to the human resource management but it is also part of the responsibility of the workers union and other levels of management. The process is also often motivated by the desire to act in accordance to the laws of UK, which require the provision of equal employment opportunities for all qualified citizens.
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