A Comprehensive Overview and An Analytical Insight Into Human Resource Management at Barclays Bank Plc
Length: 2725 words (7.8 double-spaced pages)
This report is being produced to fulfil the criteria required for unit
4 of the AVCE course in business. It gives a comprehensive overview
and an analytical insight into human resource management at Barclays
bank plc. The report particularly focuses on the possible conflict
between Recruitment and Selection and Training and Development. At
Barclays bank plc in view of current economic climate for banks of
My report is going to include the four following functions:
1. Human Resources Planning - this will include
; Responsibilities covered by the HR function in the business, the
importance of people to the business
; Internal staffing information and external labour market information
to plan HR within the business
; Relevant labour market information and my comparison with how my
chosen business has used labour market
; An analysis of how relevant labour market trends relate to ongoing
HR planning of the business
2. Recruitment and selection - this will include
; Staff records, Human resources department will keep a record of
every employee - past and present. This usually kept on a computer
database. The record will include details of the employee's name and
address, date of birth, current job title and salary, starting and
leaving date, qualifications and experience and works number.
It is important for the department to have all personnel records
confidential, especially comments on attendance, punctuality and
; Identification of the features of key recruitment documents and the
factors to be considered in planning to fill a vacancy and carrying
; An analysis of the key recruitment documents and an evaluation on
the quality of information in relation to the purpose of each document
; All organisations regularly need new staff - either to replace those
who are leaving or to fill in new vacancies if the company is
expanding. This is where personnel department comes in.
It has a
standardised set of procedures that are regularly evaluated and
One toughest job for human resources manager is to deal with
redundancies, when the company finds that it has too many employees
for the work available. Redundancy occurs when the company stops
trading altogether, so that everyone is out of work. In addition, when
the company continues to trade but no longer requires the services of
some of its employees because the need for their particular job has
3. Training and development - this will include
It is sensible for any organisation to encourage its staff to take
further qualifications or to participate in training programmes. This
will mean that they will be capable of taking on different types of
work or doing their existing job more efficiently.
The necessity of training will enable junior employees to develop
their skills and obtain higher-level qualification. Also the existing
employees will be able to cope with the change the their jobs, e.g.
the introduction of computers and word processing.
; Identification of the key aspects of the business's training and
development programme and an explanation of the importance of those to
the performance of the business
; Identification and analysis of the relationship between the
business's training and development programme and its management of
performance and an explanation of how these two functions ors may be
influenced by different theories of motivation
4. Performance management - this will include
; Knowledge of purpose of performance management and a description on
how business's approach may be influenced by motivational theory.
; Industrial relations
It is the job of the human resources department to negotiate with
The human resources managers of an organisation will liase with shop
stewards and/or local union officials, at either branch or district
level, over issues with which the union would be concerned.
5. Possible conflicts - this will be included with the performance
; Identification of any possible areas of conflict between the HR
; Exploration of one HR function in depth with effective examples of
how the work is carried out and how it is evaluated in terms of its
contribution to the activities of the business
; A Critical understanding of the contribution that effective HR
management can make to improving the competitiveness of the business
; An evaluation of the potential conflicts between different HR
management activities within the business
After I have covered all the points above I will then at the end will
draw up a conclusion about the whole assignment and put my opinion
forward on what I thought of this assignment.
Human resources also known as personnel management are the most
important resource in any organisation and there is direct connection
between the quality of the workforce and commercial success.
If an organisation has staff who are committed to meeting its aims and
objectives, equipped to do so by adequate training and motivated by
management to achieve their potential then that firm is likely to
It is the job of the human resources management to recruit, develop
and retain quality staff. In a small business with perhaps one or two
employees, responsibilities for human resources will lie with the
owner or with the partners, while small companies may have one person
whose job is to look after issues relating to staff.
On the other hand large organisations with many employees will have a
whole section devoted to personnel and, in this case my chosen
business relates to it.
Personnel department was set up originally to look up after the
welfare of employees and the day-to-day administration of policies
affecting them. Gradually the idea developed that a specialist
understanding of issues such as recruitment, training, welfare,
payment and employment law was important for business performance.
However for some years not all businesses were convinced, some
companies believed that personnel department was unnecessary.
Human resources are concerned with the employees who work for the
organisations. Wise organisations regard staff as the most important
resource. This department involves jobs like recruitment, involvement
with selection, and the employment of staff. The department keeps all
personnel records and is usually responsible for the training and
development of staff, staff welfare, security, health and safety
monitoring, relations with trade unions, and manpower planning,
redundancy, severance and discipline.
The importance of human resources department varies from one
organisation to another. In some companies, it may be large department
with highly qualified staff. In others, it may be much smaller, which
often indicates the importance the company attaches to its staff.
The term human resource management (HRM) first appeared in the 1980s.
Now personnel has shifted from being a servicing department to one
linked with business strategy. The emphasis is now on actively helping
the business pursue its goals by creating and maintaining an
appropriate workforce, but there is still a good deal of routine
administration and record keeping going on.
Today HRM uses a number of sophisticated techniques such as
psychological tests (used in recruitment and promotion) and systems
for staff appraisal and performance management.
Human Resources Planning
It is vital for businesses to plan carefully to ensure that they have
the right number of employees for their needs. In order to do this the
business will need to understand:
; The long-term aims of their business
; The sort of workforce they need in order to achieve these aims
; The labour market in the area in which they operate
To achieve the best workforce businesses will need to look at the
availability of the supply of labour. This means being aware of:
; Internal information = the staff they currently have, how many years
of service left before they retire, how likely are they to leave, what
skill they possess and their potential for acquiring new skills
; The external labour market from which new staff will be recruited.
This depends on the type of work, skills needed and the size of the
The company may just look at the local labour market, or might want to
look at the national and even the international labour market.
HR planning attempts to anticipate demand for staff and to match this
to the supply. It is important to get this right because if the
organisation has too many staff it will be inefficient and on the
other hand if it has too few staff it will not be effective.
What are our plans the future?
To consider all these stages in HR planning it can be planned out
systematically such as:
In Barclays Bank people are particularly important because they serve
in a competitive environment and several banks are surrounding them.
To ensure that they are ahead of the competitors and do not lose any
of their customers, Barclays staff deal with their customers promptly
and make sure that the customers are served as soon as possible.
Barclays does offer services that are highly labour intensive. Despite
the widespread of IT, jobs in the service sector are rising rapidly.
Barclays are open only 5 days a week and it always closes at 5 p.m. so
most of the time Barclays is packed with customers, especially during
lunch hours. To prevent their customers waiting in the queue for hours
and hours Barclay's employ particular staff just for customer service
that are always in cashiers desk making sure that all customers are
served in no more then 5 minutes.
With skills, which are scarce in the labour market, this would cost a
lot of money because you would then be training lots of employees. But
on the other hand if your workers are better skilled then your
competitors this would mean it would get your work done more
efficiently and better then your competitors and would help Barclays
to keep on gaining the largest market share. But they would have to
then increase the wage of higher skilled workers as they would be
fully trained and can be poached by other large firms who pay salaries
that are more attractive.
There are fewer graduates as figures show 1 in 3 people leave
education at the age of 16. This means they are hardly any graduates
this means they are hardly any skilled people in the labour market.
What I think the government could do to stop this is to increase the
compulsory education age to 18. This would then give the average
person a chance to gain more skills or the other options would be to
make further education look more attractive more appealing to
youngsters so they stay on. What large firms can do is cut down their
wages to school leavers. I mean cut them down a lot as this would act
as a deterrent to school leavers and all peoples who think about
The branch I am reporting on is the one in Upton Park in Newham
borough. Therefore, in this branch not many highly skilled or
qualified workers are required as they give full training to all new
staff, and because of all branches of Barclays that branch is one of
the smallest branches, but people do need to have at least six G.C.S.E
passes in any subjects. Therefore, everytime they want to recruit new
staff it is not too difficult to find.
Barclay's staffs are told that they are on the right track as long as
they have good communication and listening skills, with good skills of
handling money and know basic maths.
It is easy for Barclays to find the sort of people they want because
they start recruiting people every year between July and August
because this is when students finish school or college and, from whom
some decide to look for full-time job and stop their education.
Since Barclays bank opened all the staff that are now managers and
supervisors or directors all once used to be just cashiers and they
built their way up to those positions. So most of the employees are
not graduates but there are few that are because all the systems have
been modernised and only fully educated and graduates would know how
to operate the systems. Therefore, the level of education is mixed.
They have people that started to work for them after they finished
their G.C.S.E's, people that just finished their A Levels and people
with degrees, who are obviously in the higher level then the G.C.S.E.
People that worked for Barclays when it first opened are still working
for them because they are now familiar with the bank in every way they
are very comfortable and believe that they won't get a better job then
However, people that worked for Barclays in recent years have been
leaving rapidly and this occurs for many reasons.
People think they can work for a better company or the working
environment does not suit them or perhaps even the wage did not
satisfy them. Although everybody that did leave were not aware that
the longer you work for them the higher you pay rises.
It is a good sign for businesses if staff stay for long time, however
problems do arise for the businesses because of the long time workers.
Because the business needs continues growth and in order to do that
they need new skills that needs to be added to the jobs, which will
improve the service more, and the long time workers have very few
skills which by then will be quite weak for the business and not all
workers are willing to learn new skills. This could have a big affect
on the business.
People that stay for short time also bring problems to the business in
the financial way. Everybody that qualifies to work for Barclays have
a one week training, which does costs the business a lot and when
people leave they leave with good training qualification but brought
very few profit to the business so it's a waste of the banks money. In
order to make up the number of people that left they will need to
recruit more staff that will cost them even more. Even then, they will
not know after the training how long the person is going to stay but
because of the company's laws and rules they have to recruit and train
staffs before they can start working for Barclays bank.
A firm can measure labour turnover by using these formulas:
Number of leavers in a period
Wastage rate =
-------------------------------------------------------- x 100
Average number of employees in the period
(Employees at the start of period +
Employees at the end of the period)
Average number ---------------------------------------------
of employees = 2
Number of employees with one or more years of service
index = Number of employees at the start of the years
These percentages are normally calculated on a yearly basis. It may be
used to measure the turnover of a whole organisation or of groups,
e.g. departments, within an organisation.
Barclays bank sickness rate amongst staffs are very low, according to
them their staff are rarely sick due to the working conditions.
Barclays bank have air conditioners fitted all around the areas where
their staffs are going to be operating and as soon as the room
temperature rises above the normal room temperature the conditioner
switches on automatically. The system is equally same during winter
the automatic radiator switches on as soon as the room temperature
falls below the average temperature however, if staffs feel too hot
they can lower the meter down manually.
The working areas are always clean and all staff must comply with the
health and safety rules for their own safety and for others.
A high sickness rate would indicate about the firm is that the working
area is not safe or clean to work in. This might mean the firm is
breaching the health and safety rules and employees can take legal
action against the firm.
A high injury rate gives an indication that the firm is not a safe
area to work in. Although many accidents are caused by lack of common
sense and consideration. If common sense is used then common injuries
can be prevents, such as poor lifting habits, avoiding on slippery
floors. However, by their very nature, some jobs are more dangerous
than others and the likelihood of accidents is higher. Management must
be aware of this when drawing up the human resources plan.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is able to bring criminal
charges against employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act
Barclays bank injury rate is very low, this is one of the reason why
long time workers are very reluctant of leaving their job because they
feel safe working there.
The average wage rate for Barclays is Â£9000 to Â£13495 per annum. The
wage rate in that particular sector is Â£4.50 an hour.
The labour market is a very competitive market. This is mainly because
the unemployment figures have dropped, they have been the lowest with
figures coming below a million people being unemployed compared to in
1992 when the figure had reached 3 million people unemployed. This
basically means that firms have fewer choices of who they can employ.
Firms that are looking to employ a vast amount of people (lets say
Barclays decides to open another branch where ever) they would not
have the flexibility to look at a variety of people, only a limited
amount of people will be available, as the employment figures have
dropped, fewer people are looking for work. This then makes the market
a very competitive market as large firms like Barclays would like to
employ the best skilled workers they can find and so would other
competitors of Barclays.
In general, all businesses are becoming more flexible. If labours are
inflexible then businesses will have difficulties on retaining their
employees. If they are not flexible then employees are prepared to
quit their job. Once an employee quits a job and has particular
experiences, they can easily get another job but if an organisation
loses an employee, it takes time for them to find a person that is
suitable for the job role and it also costs them more money and takes
up a lot of their time. Due to the lack of staff the business can come
to a halt then the business will lose money and during that time, the
competitors can take advantage and be able to steal all the customers
The labour problem firms could have if it has peaks and troughs in
demand for its product or services is that there might not be enough
staff to meet the demands. The staff might not want to do the extra
work. The job might require special or new skills that not all
employees might have.
The skill shortage can lead to:
o Higher wages
o Increased efforts by individual firms to attract staff, e.g. better
reward packages, more fringe benefits
o Retraining of existing staff
o Greater effort to retain staff
Quarterly unemployment rates, 1993-2000: Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Inner and Greater London
This is the unemployment rate in UK. By looking at this I am able to
say that in future it will be harder for Barclays to find employees
that are suitable for their firm, as the numbers are decreasing day by
Similarly in future Barclays will find it hard to recruit suitable
workers for their firm because in Newham the educational world is not
looking good either. Barclays can recruit people but they will need
effective training unlike if they recruited qualified people with high
qualification who already know things about the business very well,
which would benefit Barclays a lot.
Newham GCSE Results 1992 - 2003
5+ A* - C Grades
1+ A - G Grades