An Analytical Report on Human Resources at HSBC Group Plc.


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Terms of reference:

This report is being produced to fulfil the criteria required for Unit
four of the Advance Vocational Certificate of Education (AVCE) course
in Business Studies. It will give a comprehensive overview of the
way's in which the human resources function(s)', within businesses are
organised and managed and how they operate, and an analytical insight
into the human resource management team, of the business that I' am
focusing on, which is HSBC Group Plc. The report will specifically
focus on the possible conflicts of interest between employees or
individuals, the way's which human resources planning procedures take
place, the recruitment and selection process, training and development
programmes and performance management at HSBC Group Plc, in view of
the current economic climate for retailing/banking.

An Introduction to the Report:

In this assignment, I have been asked to structure an analytical
approach, about human resources and its effects, on one business, and
to file all of my information in one simple, but sophisticatedly
structured report. The report will therefore contain the following
topics, as of mentioned in the first paragraph (terms of reference),
and are as follows:

Human Resources Planning:

This section involves information regarding human resources planning -
that would include information creating a strategic plan, in having
the right number of employees for a businesses specific needs, which
will also include information on the labour market and how they
operate, within HSBC, and the effects that the following factors will
have on the labour market:

* Employment trends;

* Any sort of skill shortages;

* If there is any forms of competition between employees;

* And the availability of labour (both internally and externally
which the business (HSBC) can use, as an additional resource.

In relation to this section of human resources planning, It would also
involve me gathering information on how HSBC organises its labour
duties, and several other factors of a wide range of information

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regarding the process of decision making - in relation to internal
staffing, such as information on:

* Labour turnover (stability index, wastage rate, etc.);

* Sickness and accidents;

* Age, skills and training needs;

* And succession.

As well to interpreting statistical information, relating to human
resources planning (as this will also have a great significance and
will contribute a lot, in analysing how the human resource department
plans some of their basic activities).

Recruitment and Selection:

This section will make me cover and gain a sound understanding, of how
recruitment and selection is carried out and maintained, throughout
one business, and it will involve me in finding out information, on
how and why the decision to recruit staff are made, such factors would
include:

· The growth of the business;

* Changing job roles within the business;

* Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement, dismissal,
etc;

* And internal promotion.

This section will also help me gain a good coherent understanding, of
just how costly recruiting and the selection of employees can be, in
terms of resources devoted to the recruitment process and any other
costs that are associated with recruiting poor performing staff, and
the reasons for it being important to HSBC to accurately select the
appropriate individuals for an interview, which is carried out, in
order of searching and selecting the right person, and or in other
terms of information and the following examples on:

* The preparation of personal specifications and job descriptions;

* The careful planning of how, where and when to advertise these
document or vacancies;

* The identifications of the strengths and weaknesses of job
applications, is obliged too - and the key implications for
recruitment on the following legislations: - Race Relations Act
1976, Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the
Disability Discrimination Act 1995;

* The identification of the appropriate use of different methods of
assessment such as psychometric and aptitude testing are carried
out;

* The identification of good interview skills;

* And identifying the criteria for evaluating the recruitment
process.

I will also have to discuss information on how important it is to HSBC
to recruit and maintain a flexible workforce, if they are to remain
competitive, and information on the different bases for recruiting
people for a flexible workforce, which should include information on
such factors, such as:

* The different modes of employment used;

* Different terms and conditions;

* Core employees;

* And part-time, temporary and contract labour.

And finally relating to this section, I would have to understand, how
contracts of employment help HSBC achieve a flexible workforce and how
they are put together, and the key implications that seek to protect
the rights of employees relating to contracts of employment.

Training and Development:

I would also need to find the differences and to distinguish between
on- the- job training and off- the- job training and transferable and
non-transferable skills, which arise from training programmes. And the
need for me to understand how nationally recognised
qualifications/-training structures, such as Investors in People and
Individual Learning Accounts, contribute to how HSBC trains and
develops it employees.

Performance management:

In this section, it would involve me to put information regarding
'performance management', and some examples of the following methods
that HSBC uses to manage the performance of its employees:

* Performance reviews including appraisals;

* Self evaluation;

* Peer evaluation;

* Target setting for individuals and groups;

* Measuring individual and group output/production.

And to find information on just how important training and development
is to HSBC, in terms of enhancing the performance of individuals and
groups of employees, and the need of being aware for competitive
businesses to link performance reviews and evaluations to appropriate
training and development needs of individuals.

The information of understanding the environment which HSBC attempts
to manage the performance of their employees, in particular therefore,
I would need to understand the key aspects of legislations affecting
factors, such as the maximum number of hours employees can work in a
week, etc, the regulations governing leave arrangements (including
maternity and paternity leave) and minimum wage rates.

And finally within this section I would need to acquire the knowledge
of just how employee motivation and the significance of both financial
and non-financial factors in terms of motivation, and the
identification of the influence that the following motivation
theories/ideas have had, on the way's in which HSBC manages its
employees:

* Frederick Taylor's principles of scientific management;

* Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs;

* Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Y;

* Frederick Herzberg's two-factor theory.

I would also have to cover the responsibilities that are covered by
the human resources function at HSBC, and the importance of these
resources to HSBC. I would also need to understand how internal
staffing information and external labour market information can help
plan human resources at HSBC and how they will use this information. I
would also need to understand how any possible conflicts of interest
between the human resource functions that would take place, and how
they will affect the business.

And finally I would need to acquire information based on, the purpose
of performance management and HSBC's approach to motivational theory,
and information on one human resources job role, with examples of how
the work is carried out and how it is evaluated in terms of its
contribution to the business.

Introduction to Human Resources (Personnel Department).

Introduction to & the Definition of Human Resources:

The human resource department (personnel department), or as it is
formerly known as 'human resources management (HRM)', and what this
department is mainly concerned with and significantly contributes to
the human side of managing enterprises and employees' relations within
the business itself. However the main purpose of human resources, is
quite simply to ensure that the employees of the business, or company,
for example the human resources, are adequately and appropriately used
in such a way that their employer would obtain the greatest possible
benefit from the employees full ability and the employees would
therefore obtain both material (financial pay, fringe benefits,
bonuses, etc) and psychological rewards from the work that they carry
out.

Therefore human resources management is mostly situated on the
findings of work psychology and it will then use these techniques and
procedures that is collectively known as 'personnel management', and
such an example is where the human resource department is involved
with staffing the enterprise/or business, which would determine and
satisfy the needs of people at work that would include obliging
practically to rules, regulations and procedures, which govern the
relationships between employees, employers and the organisation.

In relation to the definition of human resources and the affects that
it can have upon one business, is quite dramatic, regarding to being
responsible in looking after employees, for example lets say that
everyone within a business - working in the same department has
control over others, then they would also share in human resources
management; however that does not necessarily mean that this is a
function which that individual manager/person can avoid and leave to
people who are more specialised within that particular field. But this
does not exactly mean that human resources are easy to manage, no! In
fact these resources are much more difficult to keep under control and
manage at the same time, partly due to there being conflicts of
interest between both the employers and employees' wishes, or other
specific needs and partly due, to an increase to the extent, which
employees try to share in making decisions about the environment in
which they work in.

As Ihave mention in the above paragraphs, human resources in
theoretical terms is not necessarily part of the personnel management
system; this is partly due to, although this part of management is
concerned with people at work and with the relationships that they
have within an enterprise. It aims to bring together and develop into
an effective organisation, and that it can with ease overcome its
competitors, the men and women who are employed make up the
organisation as a whole and, having regard for the well-being of
individuals, to dramatically play a vital role and to make their best
contribution to the organisations success.

Reflecting the point(s) that I have just made, the personnel
department mainly focuses among the development and application of the
policies that govern:

* Human resources planning, recruitment & selection, and so on;

* The preparation of both accurate and precise job
descriptions/personal specifications and any other recruitment
aids;

* Education and training; career development;

* The maintenance of management training, development and succession
planning among the workforce;

* The terms of employment, the methods and standards of
remuneration;

* 'Incentivating', e.g. a method of compiling together a system, to
try and simulate workers into work at an enhanced effort/level and
to be efficient;

* Working conditions and employee services;

* Formal and informal communication methods and consultation both
through the representatives of both employers and employees
throughout all the levels of the enterprise;

* The negotiation and application of agreements on wages/salaries
and working conditions; such as procedures for the avoidance and
settlement of disputes;

* Conducting research among local wage levels to ensure and to try
and maintain a competitive reward system is competitive with
those, in relation to other companies within the industry;

* The administration of superannuation schemes and to offer words of
advise to a firms employees about such schemes, e.g. pension
schemes and other entitlements;

* The human and social implications of change internally, within the
organisation and the methods of working, and of any economic
and/or social changes that take place in the community, all of
which have been regulated, or modified by the government;

* The implementation of health and safety regulations and any other
security procedures that have been made, to prevent or help those
who have, or have not had any forms of accident;

* The responsibility of maintaining personnel records and
statistics;

* The means of employee communications, the transmitting of
information of interest to employees via through newsletters,
notices, etc throughout the entire workforce.

* And many other relative aspects are also governed, or are the
responsibility of the personnel department - in relation to
employees, recruiting and selecting, training, developing,
managing, planning, maintaining,etc;

Background Information on HSBC.

The Foundation & Growth of HSBC:

As you may have already read, or noticed from the previous pages, the
business/or enterprise that I have judged, carried out research and in
the end decided, to base my in - depth analytical report/approach on
the following business: that is HSBC. As an establishment HSBC is a
business, which is surrounded with an extraordinary and amazing
past/history, from the moment of time, of when the enterprise first
opened its doors - up to the present day! The reason for why I say
this is solely due, or partly due to the fact that HSBC, was founded
by one man's inspiration during the late 19th century. A Scottish man
named 'Thomas Sunderland', who

worked in Hong Kong - during the late 19th century at the Hong Kong
Superintendent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation
company, and from those many years of work, this one man soon came to
realise the considerable demand that there was for local banking
facilities, within Hong Kong and Chinese territories, and since these
difficult periods of time, this man helped 'as I said' establish HSBC
of which at that time it was named and known as: "The Hong Kong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited", and both the headquarters and
the first branch opened, in the year of 1865.

Ever since the year of 1865, when the first headquarters and branch
were established, throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, the institute/company took its first opportunity to grow,
even further; expanding the business by establishing a sophisticatedly
structured network of agencies and branches, throughout Asia and by
also representing many other countries (Europe, the west and so on) in
which many of these branches were at that time the pioneers, or
leaders in practicing modern banking.

But however there was a set back, for the bank, which came during the
time of when the Second World War began, in which the business was
therefore forced to close down several of branches, and had to
temporarily move its headquarters to London. But as well as to this
being a disadvantage to the organisation, it also ended up becoming a
great advantage; a way of expanding the business by far imaginable,
then the bank first imagined. I say this because from the moment of
when the Second World War ended, the bank played a key role in the
reconstruction of the Hong Kong economy, then the bank set about to
even further diversify the geographical growth and spread of the bank.

What type of a business is HSBC?

Well as you may be aware that in which ever local borough you go to,
visit or pass by, you are most certainly going to see a local HSBC
branch, within that particular location, this is solely due to fact
that HSBC is the most/first largest financial institute within the
United Kingdom, not only to mention that this organisation is the
world's most second largest banking and financial service provider in
the world! With a well-established business throughout the world,
providing a wide variety of services, to those who seek help;
financially, such services include: personal financial services (which
include current and savings account, mortgages, insurance, credit
cards, loans, pensions and investments), consumer finance (credit
cards, consumer loans, vehicle finance, etc), commercial banking (this
is aimed at small or medium-size enterprises), corporate, investment
banking and markets and private banking, is all part of the lines of
business HSBC operates in.

What is the approximate size of HSBC, including the number of people
who are employed throughout the enterprise?

As an enterprise, HSBC is an organisation that is capable of bringing
in, a vast amount of money/income to the business, and this therefore
adds an even greater sense of just how big HSBC really is; comprising
over 9,500 offices worldwide. In conclusion to this point, based on
precise and up-to-date information on their financial statistics -
regarding the total assets that was gained by the business, is simply
unique in its very own way, and from the fact sheet, which I have
obtained, it states that the business gained an impressive £595
billion at 30th of June 2003, of which in simple terms this can lead
us, to see the type of scale this firm operates on - in relation to
the amount of customers who obtain services/financial support from
HSBC, which consists of a very large amount of people, ranging from
almost 100 million customers worldwide, with an even further total
e-customer base of 11 million. As a result of these figures, it's not
to mention that in order for HSBC to have such/or to even gaining such
an amount of both customers and revenue at the same time, can be in
some terms relate to the levels or to the number of people who are
employed at HSBC, which is quite a considerable amount of 218,000
employees in 79 countries and territories worldwide, all of which play
a vital part in ensuring the success of HSBC.


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