RECRUITMENT & SELECTION PROCESS
Human resource management plays a crucial role in the success of companies operating in the service and hospitality industry. By definition, human resource management (HRM) is composed of different tasks ranging from employees selection to recruitment, to human resource planning. As such, the aim of HRM is to employ, train and educate employees and where needed, discharge or discipline them. Training and development is carried out with a view to ensuring that employees are not only productive to the company, but also add value to it. This essay aims to provide a framework for a discussion on cabin crew and specifications for players in the airline industry. To facilitate this discussion and analysis, the essay shall make use of the case of British Airways (BA). The research will provide a comparison of the selection process of different service industries business. The paper also assesses the contribution of training and development activities towards the effective operation of the Airline industry.
a). Job description and person specification for a selected service industry job
BA is one of the largest airlines in the United Kingdom (UK). The company employs different employees for different roles and responsibilities. One of the common job specifications in the airline industry is the airline cabin crew (British Airways, 2014).
A job description provides information on how a specific staff will fit into the company. In addition, it sets out the title of the job, the responsibilities of the employee, and a description of their roles and duties. A job description spells out the responsibilities of an employee, and to whom he/she is answerable to (Business Case Studies 2010). Further, a job specification highlights the skills and competencies required for the position.
In reference to the case of BA, the airline cabin crew is responsible for ensuring the welfare, safety and comfort of passengers travelling in both international and domestic flights. One of the major roles of the cabin crew is to deliver exceptional customer service to passengers. In addition, the cabin crew guarantees the comfort and safety of passengers throughout the flight. Therefore, the cabin crew has to undergo training so that they can handle their work effectively. Another crucial role of the cabin crew is to ensure that all of the airline’s emergency equipment is in good condition before take-off (British Airways, 2014). The objective of the air cabin crew is to ensure that consumers have a flying experience and that they are all well attended to. Other roles and responsibilities of the cabin crew include giving first aid to passengers, selling duty free goods, ensuring that all seatbelts are functioning, encouraging passengers and ensuring that they follow appropriate safety measures in case of an emergency, and carrying out pre-flight duties. They also serve refreshments and meals (Prospects 2013).
The cabin crew is expected to ensure consistent delivery of high quality service to passengers throughout the flight. With regard to the individual specifications, employers in the airline industry such as British Airways look for cabin crews with the following skills as provided by Target Jobs (2014):
- Good communication skills
- Good hearing and colour vision
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Ability to remain composed during emergency situation such as emergency landing
- Ability to deal with difficult passengers
- High level of diplomacy and tact
- Mentally and physically fit
- High degree of assertiveness
Some of the other considerations that airlines look for when recruiting prospective cabin crew include a specific height and weight, proportionate bodyweight, and general neatness (British Airways, 2014).
b). Compare the selection process of different service industries businesses
In human resource management (HRM), the selection process ensures that only the competent and skilled employees have been selected for the existing job openings. According to Sudhamsetti and Raju (2014), the selection process comprises of interviews and evaluations that are normally conducted on prospective employees. This is necessary in order to assess whether the potential candidates have the required skills and competencies for the job in question. Alsabbah and Ibrahim (2013) note that selection of competent and skilled employees is vital in ensuring the success of organizations such as BA.
At British Airways, various techniques are used to ensure that the available job positions are filled. To begin with, the available jobs such as that of the cabin crew are advertised and potential candidates are requested to submit their applications (British Airways 2013). The next step involves telephone interviews. Managers normally conduct these so that they can analyse the skills of the applicants. After passing this phase, the candidate is then invited for numerical testing and work related exercises (British Airways 2013)
For purposes of comparing the recruitment process across industries, the tours and travellers services providers have been chosen to show the similarities and differences between this particular industry and the airline industry. In both scenarios, jobs are advertised and candidates with the required qualifications apply and wait to be invited for an interview.
c. Assess the contribution of training and development activities to the effective operation of a selected service industry business
Training and development is also part of the HRM practice. It varies from one organization to another. However, the benefits associated with both training and developments in the airline services are unparalleled. In the airline industry, training and development is meant to improve the performance of individuals and groups of individuals by enhancing their skills and competence (Montana & Charnov 2000). Some scholars refer to training and development as “human resource development” (Smith & Mazin 2004). At BA, the cabin crew undergoes training and development in order to enhance their skills and enable them provide better services to the passengers.
Training and development of the cabin crew is essential as it increases their sense of business ownership. In addition, it ensures that the employees are more productive, organised, and flexible. As noted in the Business Case Studies LLP (2012), training and development in the airline industry plays a major role in ensuring that the needs of the airline industry and those of customers are met. Other than improving competencies and skills, training and development also enables the cabin crew to improve their problem solving and decision making skills. Litvinov (2012) contends that training and development is vital for motivating cabin crews and other employees. In addition, it also imparts in them the skills and knowledge necessary for developing their careers and ensuring professionalism.
As part of HRM, training and development equips workers in the airline industry with the skills and experience needed to improve performance and service delivery (Torrington Hall & Taylor 2004; Pilbeam & Corbridg 2006). Training and development is normally conducted in the form of extensive and formalised training sessions that imparts in employees the basic skills required to improve their job performance (Tamkin 2006). At BA, training and development strategies are normally aligned with the airline’s business needs and the overall strategy of the company. In addition, training and development programs support performance management, which is an integral part of BA’s strategic goals and objectives.
In the airline industry, HRM plays a major role, especially during the processes of job selection and recruitment. In this case, HRM is actively involved in the processes of job description and job specifications. The cabin crew is one of the job positions within the airline sector. In terms of job description, the cabin crew in the airline industry are required to ensure that passengers receive better services while on flight, are comfortable, and get the required assistance in case of an emergency. Besides, the cabin crew is also supposed to provide refreshments to the passengers on flight. In terms of the personal description, the major skills required of a prospective candidate for the position of the cabin crew include an array of traits. They include good communication skills, good hearing and colour vision, excellent interpersonal skills, ability to remain composed even in emergency situations, ability to deal with difficult passengers, high level of diplomacy and tact, mental and physical fitness, and a high degree of assertiveness. Training and development are important in ensuring effective delivery of services so that the objectives of the organisation and the customers can be met. Through training and development, the cabin crew acquires core competencies, skills and knowledge required to perform different duties and responsibilities.
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