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Human Resource Management Essay On Attracting & Retaining Staff In Construction Industry


Task: You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in Australia in your selected sector (one sector from a choice of construction, health or retail).
Your essay will draw on at least five themes from Week 1 to Week 11 of this unit, being those most relevant to your selected industry sector.
Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the articles from ‘Reviewing the Literature’ you developed for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector.
You must cite at least ten (10) relevant peer reviewed journal articles, and 3 chapters from the Nankervis et al textbook. You can cite other academic references such as books, conference papers, and book chapters but these will NOT be counted as part of the 10 journal articles.


The proposed human resource management essay examines the various aspects of construction industry which is the most significant growing sector in the nation with an 8% contribution to the overall GDP. Presently there are 1.1 million people involved in the industry engaged in different capacities. In Australia, in the construction industry, the labourers are surplus and the competition to retain and attract of highly skilled employees into the construction is also increasing with time. As the commercial construction work rises the employment is expected to grow at a steady rate. Despite the progress the construction industry is being ravaged by internal and external issues which need to be resolved via strategic methods. The current human resource management essay explores the various themes which are salient to the construction industry. The control and effective management for optimal utilisation of human resources is elaborated. Strongly linked with trade, retail and manufacturing the industry requires focus in certain aspects to overcome the stagnancy it is experiencing currently. The decreased output value can be combated through it. The residential sector is expanding at a rapid rate and to take advantage the strategic management of human resources is mandatory through the adoption of industry best practises.

Industrial relations Frameworks and Practises
The link between industrial relations and the HRM is often weak leading to disruptions at work. In Australia the construction industry abides by the Fair Works Act of 2009. The rate of involvement is however lamentably low. There are about 41% businesses in the sector of construction and building that face difficulties in complying with the laws of workplace relations.  According to the investigation carried on this human resource management essay, there are only about 75% employers in the construction industry tendering correct pay rates to the workers. The employers maintaining the accurate records and issuing appropriate pay slips were measured to be 77% (Peccei & Van De Voorde , 2019). The figures are encouraging but need ample improvement to ensure that workers are not deprived of their rightful wages. Inaccurate pay rates can incur debts of large figures which are capable of delaying the timeline of projects. The construction industry explored in the segments of human resource management essay is gathering momentum regarding the handling of pay slips and need to consider vital points to ensure strict legal compliance. The maintenance of records and the compliances of pay slips is a vital step. It is also mandated to check on the conditions of the apprentices. If they are receiving the right tool allowance, training leaves and reimbursements of training must be monitored. It is also imperative to monitor the conditions of the workers operating under contract. If the arrangements of contracting are legal should be assessed based on the defined standards and improvements need to be infused accordingly. The National Standards pertaining to employment is an able body of literature for determining if the workers in the construction industry are being provided with sufficient leaves. The adherence to termination conditions and severances are aspects which need critical attention.

The construction industry in Australia is facing a fair challenge as explored within this human resource management essay since some companies are using the new code to change the codes of enterprise agreements. For instance casual labour is being restricted without bothering to inform the unions. This is causing severe resentments among unions since permanent hiring is being ignored in favour of casual labours in recent projects. The thwarting of the collective bargaining process is hurting the daily operations of the industry. The industry needs to engage in open discussions to overcome these issues. Collective bargaining is a crucial tool for ensuring the satisfaction of workers.

What is the impact of HR planning in a changing environment in the present case of human resource management essay?
The strategic planning of human resources is necessary to ascertain that a company can sustain itself despite the dynamic changes in the global environment. The detailed scrutiny of external and internal environment is required to determine the demand and supply in the labour market. The human resources planning entail the considerations of the facets which are changing outside and within the organisation. The manpower planning is done accordingly. In this case the construction industry in Australia is in a tentative position since the work of one civil project is different from that of the other. The HR department takes the state-of-the-art solutions towards the HR planning in this changing nature of the construction industry (Macke & Genari, 2019). Each project requires different planning reliant upon the urgency of the client and the immediate resources which are available. A vital mistake committed by the industry as mentioned within this human resource management essay is the non-maintenance of score cards for contractors and suppliers. It is not possible to determine the quality of the suppliers because of this. The presence of incomplete information as stated earlier is a severe discrepancy mitigating the strength of the strategic planning if the company. There is no proper definition of parameters for capturing the performance of the employees or the suppliers. The productivity of projects is intrinsically reduced as a result of this.

It is noted herein human resource management essay that the construction industry is proficient in conducting SWOT and PEST thus receiving adequate understanding of the factors affecting the environment. However, the strategic capability analysis which is vital for the utilisation of current human capital is blatantly ignored. The competency levels of the human resources supervising the work are low resulting in reduced productivity at work. Within the construction industry, the employees focus on leader-member exchange and the employers focus on employee-performance management (Audenaert et al., 2019). Thus even with pertinent information construction companies fail to formulate strategies which are capable of overcoming the issues of projects missing their timeline. The industry as compared to software and retail is not overtly concerned with rendering training to employees. The emphasis is more on projects being completed on time with human resources facing stress. Male workers are suffering from a lack of severe work-life balance and committing suicide (Milner et al. 2017).Forecasting models such as Delphi techniques are being used to predict the demand and supply for labour in the market. The common consensus achieved by questionnaires is taken to be final. Alternately there is the managerial process where separate labour targets are calculated for separate sections (Pham, Tuckova & Jabbour, 2019). The non-availability of skilled labour in the industry is a persistent issue obtained herein human resource management essay which is thwarting the HR Planning process. The rises in employment are restricted to sub- contract tradesman. Thus it can be derived that the middle management lacks skilled resources in the industry. Also the lack of assessment with respect to the performances of suppliers and staffs weakens the planning required for smooth execution of work.

Talent retention and development in construction industry
The foremost critical challenge in any industry observed in the context of human resource management essay remains the retention of staffs after recruitment. Development is necessary to ensure that staffs are able to meet the future job demands. The construction industry is somewhat dispersed in the procedure for imparting training and development to its employees. This can be attributed to the fact that most projects are temporary. Hence companies do not deem it fit to equip employees with the appropriate training techniques. Apart from development remains a serious issue in the sector. There are very few female employees working in the remote areas. Women also have limited options to proceed in the corporate ladder thus making their attribution rate high. The conditions are improving but at a glacial pace rendering the industry incapable to meet the rising demand in the real estate market.

The construction industry illustrated in the sections of human resource management essay is keen on delivering training to its workers as per the contemporary practises. These require the transferring of basic knowledge and skills to the employees via short term quasi-formal methods. Individual and organisational levels contribution is very important for the talent acquisition (Branicki, Steyer & Sullivan-Taylor, 2019). The industry is less focussed on the aspect of development of the human capital. This comprises of a long term process wherein deeper and more complicated competencies are infused through formal programs. Hence employees operating in the industry are unsure of their future prospects often switching jobs to attain the edge in their individual careers. The training programs have lesser emphasis on the big picture demoralising employees. The recruitment process needs to be up scaled attracting and hiring employees who possess the capability to lead teams in the future. The other flaw existing in the system is the high stress job environment. The industry has become exceedingly busy in the recent times inducing staffs to work overtime and often during the weekends. This has instigated workers to seek for contractual jobs instead of permanent ones. The contractual jobs tender employees with higher pay while also ensuring that there is work-life equilibrium (Pak et al., 2019). The findings obtained in the analysis on human resource management essay signifies that the high stress environment is resulting in emotional exhaustion with staffs opting for positions which require less hour and entails a more competitive compensation package. The rapid progress in the technology such as GPS and drones as well as their subsequent application in the construction business is breeding insecurity among workers. Fearful of being replaced by these developments there are switches in the industry. The autonomous equipment is quickly eliminating the need for physical labour leading to feelings of fear (Nankervis et al., 2016 (a)). 

The analysis conducted on the human resource management essay reveals the necessity of a flexible work arrangement to retain skilled workforce in the construction industry. There is an urgent need to reduce work related anxiety. The construction industry is ravaged by deadlines which can impact the mental well-being of workers going so far as to reduce the quality of their performances. The development of learning experiences needs to be imparted in a simple and interesting manner to assure that employees are able to absorb the core knowledge required for their responsibilities. The definition of customised career paths and the analysis of employees incite the process of retention. Construction industries need deeper involvement with the employees to mitigate turnover.

Managing of performances in construction industry
Performance review is a relentless process which can increase the productivity of an industry. Performance management encompasses coaching, rectifying activities and termination. Effective performance management requires the deep analysis of relevant data. There is no dearth of data collection methods and subsequent analysis in the construction industry. However the next phase involving the training, assessment and termination is flawed. The research on the case scenario of human resource management essay illustrates that the basic issue pertaining to performance management is the lack of defining the parameters and targets which are able to capture the quality of the human capital (Galanaki, Lazazzara & Parry, 2019). The projects in the industry are handled in an informal manner owing to their sporadic inflow. The resources involved may have different levels of responsibilities with respect to the nature of the project. Hence there is no set uniform method to comprehend the output of employees resulting in mitigated outcomes. Managers fail to control or realise the individual contributions of employees.

Another weakness identifies in in the human resource management essay is the rewards systems of the construction companies. While the compensation packages are competitive there is very less recognition for the contribution of each person. Team efforts are rewarded often making employees feel demoralised or ignored in the long run. Moreover the construction industry has failed to embrace the contemporary paradigm which does not rely on annual performance reviews (Nankervis et al., 2016 (c)). The procedure is out-dated since it requires the managers and subordinates to set annual goals which become invalid after a few months. Employees feel demotivated since the process is not relevant to them. While the strategic goals of the companies are fulfilled the individual involvements of the employees are ignored thwarting the overall process. According to Ferraris et al., (2018), in recent times, global marketers have been increasing the ambidextrous strategies so that they can manage the employee performance. Hence, it can be stated in this segment of human resource management essay that the entire annual review is a time consuming process with poor scope of actually assessing the employees. The lack of coaching to navigate projects and activities in the proper direction leaves workers in the industry with an unsure mindset.

Construction industries need to perform revies on the basis of projects to assure employees that their contributions are being acknowledged. Rather than pay package there needs to be public recognition of the efforts to inspire employees to engage their whole hearted efforts. Micro learning systems integrated with the daily activities should be introduced to ensure that employees are able to apply the knowledge in a more pragmatic aspect. The primary aim of performance management discussed in this section of human resource management essay is to develop an employee and the work environment such that an employee is able to perform as per his best abilities. The construction industry is bearing the brunt due to the lack of a well-designed training program and review system. Metrics are not clearly set creating ambiguity among subordinates and managers. Clear channels of communication need to be established in order to overcome such issues and elicit competent performances from employees. Also the lack of training leads to a reduction of competency at the supervisor level (Pak et al., 2019). Thus the system requires a thorough upheaval to manage the workforce.

Managing workplace health and safety
The present human resource management essay signifies that a healthy work environment is conducive to productivity. Employees not only feel safe due to the environment there is a tangible cost savings in terms of preventing potential accidents and injuries. Employee turnover is greatly reduced owing to workplace safety establishment (Nankervis et al., 2016 (b)). The construction industry of the nation has remained resilient following the WHS Act and Safe Work Act. The companies have been careful of using ergonomic equipment which will inflict minimum physical harm upon the workers. The industry being more prone to hazardous situation has maintained strict code of conducts with respect to physical hazards. There is however less emphasis on the chemical hazards which are equally important. Construction industries often also commit a major error by not executing audits in projects which are delegated to contractors. According to Morello et al., (2016), the statistics depict that among 401 workers succumbing to accidents on-site 42 were caused as falls from ladders, stairways and scaffoldings. This clearly shows that the grip used by the workers on-site was not strong enough.

While companies have taken strategic steps to maintain the safety of workplaces there is less emphasis on the equipment (gloves, goggles and helmets) used by workers. Thus the lack of a proper grip leads to most accidents. According to Chih et al., (2016), psychological contract breaching leads to lack of motivation in construction industry. Construction companies abide by the norms of WHS to have arrangements for first aid treatments on-site. However, proper training has not been imparted to employees leading to unanticipated events. A large chunk of the accidents are caused by electrocution, vehicle collisions, being hit by objects or being trapped in equipment. These incidents examined herein human resource management essay demonstrate a lack of proper knowledge on the workers operating in the site. Construction companies thus need to comprehensive training programs which can safeguard employees’ against jeopardising situations. Proper signage is essential to define the sites which are not open to access during the course of construction. Electrical and chemical safety must be maintained sites. Additionally there needs to be proper channels of communication between supervisors and workers operating on the site for relaying of strategic information.  Latest technologies must be deployed to ensure fast and effective communication between the desired points. Co-operation along with proper coordination is necessary to sustain the health and safety of the workplace.

To conclude this human resource management essay, in construction industry, HR department is important to retain maximum numbers of employees through providing health and safety and talent management policies. There is also inadequate time for planning due to the sporadic nature of the jobs with projects being awarded at relatively short notice compared to other industries. There is long work hours coupled with dangers at sites making the retaining of skilled workers tangibly difficult. Also a huge number of legal criteria need to be fulfilled. Managing workforce and health and safety is the most important in construction industry and the HR department of the construction industry does the work of providing all necessities. From the overall analysis done within the human resource management essay clarifies that human resources require sensitive and intense management in construction industry.

Reference List
Audenaert, M., Decramer, A., George, B., Verschuere, B., & Van Waeyenberg, T. (2019). When employee performance management affects individual innovation in public organizations: The role of consistency and LMX. Human resource management essay The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(5), 815-834. []

Branicki, L., Steyer, V., & Sullivan-Taylor, B. (2019). Why resilience managers aren’t resilient, and what human resource management can do about it. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(8), 1261-1286. []

Chih, Y. Y., Kiazad, K., Zhou, L., Capezio, A., Li, M., & D. Restubog, S. L. (2016). Investigating employee turnover in the construction industry: A psychological contract perspective. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 142(6), 04016006. []

Ferraris, A., Erhardt, N. & Bresciani, S., (2019). Ambidextrous work in smart city project alliances: unpacking the role of human resource management systems. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(4), pp.680-701. []

Galanaki, E., Lazazzara, A., & Parry, E. (2019). A cross-national analysis of e-HRM configurations: integrating the information technology and HRM perspectives. In Organizing for Digital Innovation (pp. 261-276). Springer, Cham. []

Macke, J., & Genari, D. (2019). Systematic literature review on sustainable human resource management. Human resource management essay Journal of cleaner production, 208, 806-815. []

Morello, A., Issa, R. R., & Franz, B. (2018). Exploratory study of recruitment and retention of women in the construction industry. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 144(2), 0401. [/]

a. Nankervis, A. R., Baird, M., Coffey, J., & Shields, J. (2016). HR Planning in a changing environment. Human resource management essay Human resource management: strategy and practice. Cengage AU.

b. Nankervis, A. R., Baird, M., Coffey, J., & Shields, J. (2016). Talent attraction and selection. Human resource management: strategy and practice. Cengage AU.

c. Nankervis, A. R., Baird, M., Coffey, J., & Shields, J. (2016). Managing of performances. Human resource management: strategy and practice. Cengage AU.

Pak, K., Kooij, D. T., De Lange, A. H., & Van Veldhoven, M. J. (2019). Human Resource Management and the ability, motivation and opportunity to continue working: A review of quantitative studies. Human Resource Management Review, 29(3), 336-352. []

Peccei, R., & Van De Voorde, K. (2019). The application of the multilevel paradigm in human resource management–outcomes research: Taking stock and going forward. Journal of Management, 45(2), 786-818. []

Pham, N. T., Tu?ková, Z., & Jabbour, C. J. C. (2019). Greening the hospitality industry: How do green human resource management practices influence organizational citizenship behavior in hotels? A mixed-methods study. Human resource management essay Tourism Management, 72, 386-399. []

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