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J/601/1756 Human Resource Management - British Airways

University: UK College of Business and Computing

  • Unit No: 18
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 17 / Words 4267
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: J/601/1756
  • Downloads: 1012
Question :

This assessment will cover the following questions:

  • Explain Human resource management.
  • Provide the appropriate employee relation and services given in British Airways.
  • Elaborate on various recruitment and selection process.
  • What are the effective training and business management systems in British Airways?
Answer :
Organization Selected : British Airways


In today's era, airline industry has become highly competitive in which management of human resources is of utmost importance. With increase in the level of competition, airline firms have adopted a cost rational approach for human resource management (HRM) with an objective to have reduction in operating costs and to get rise in the productivity (Eaton, 2017). In the present report, as per given scenario, British Airways (BA), UK has been chosen with reference to which various concepts related to HRM will be discussed along with understanding the effect of employee relations and employment law on airline sector. Further, recruitment and selection processes of BA and Transport for London will be compared in addition with explaining the contribution of training and development in businesses of airline industry.


1.1 The role and purpose of HRM in British Airways

In British Airways, human resource management plays a significant role and done for fulfilling various purposes like:

Role of HRM in British Airways

  • Motivate employees - Major role played by human resource management in BA is to keep employees motivated so that new agreement gained by company will continue its success i.e. flights to Madeira from Heathrow for which high cooperation from workforce is needed. Their motivation can be increased with the help of HR measures like rewards and recognition that increases their morale as well as they feel values (Santana, Valle and Galan, 2018).
  • Increase commitment - To gain a strong position in market and increase scope of business by effectually working in new agreement, it is important for British Airways to increase commitment of employees so that they can realise their responsibilities that can be done by effective HRM practices only like remuneration scheme. These practices make the employees feel recognized and they put their efforts for the attainment of common goal (Bailey and et.al., 2018).
  • Developing quality and quantity - The most vital role played by HRM in BA is to develop their quality and quantity of employees that means to increase the number of staff by attracting more by creating high goodwill in the market and with enhancement in the skills of existing one through providing effective training and development programmes.

Purpose of HRM in British Airways

  • To reduce cost - Main purpose behind HRM in British Airways is that of reducing cost of operations as with rapid increase in cost of fuel, company is already facing a lot of expenses. Thus, with effective HRM, company can make its employees understand the importance to use available resources effectively and efficiently (Bratton and Gold, 2017).
  • To create healthy environment - As human resource management increases the motivation level of employees, its purpose is to create a healthy and positive working atmosphere at workplace so that operations can be run smoothly and deadlines will be achieved on time (Vatankhah, Javid and Raoofi, 2017). In order to continue the success of new agreement, it is crucial for firm to maintain a healthy working environment so that operations and services will not get hampered in any way.
  • To improve coordination - BA is focusing on HRM in order to increase coordination among employees with the help of improving training and development so that they would be able to share the best practices and lead firm to increase profits with gaining growth at a high pace (Kuvaas and Dysvik, 2017). For the new agreement for flights to Madeira from Heathrow, BA requires coordination in between staff working at different locations.

1.2 HR plan based on an analysis of supply and demand

HR plan is a continuous process which is being run to attain the optimum use of an organisation's human resources which are the most valuable assets with systematic planning. Major aim behind HRP is ensure that there will be proper balance in between the employees and jobs they are performing. Another objective behind HR plan is to avoid the situation of manpower shortages or surpluses. For analysing the need of number of staffs required, their roles and hours of work, HR plan in British Airways is required to be prepared for new agreement for flights to Madeira from Heathrow on the basis of demand and supply.

It is difficult to produce an accurate HR plan in case of Madeira services because there is fluctuation in its demand and so, the number of staff required can never be accurately estimated. Supply and demand of labour refers to the HR inventory available in the firm. The demand for more employees that are to be hired is forecasted and then sources from which they can be recruited are assessed like internal, external or third party agencies. At this stage, it is the responsibility of HR department of BA to match the skills required for jobs in new agreement with that of their job description and person specification. HR planning gets affected through demand and supply as there are some legislations designed for aviation industry which regulate hiring practices of companies operating within this sector.

Figure 1: Human Resource Planning Process

  1. Objective behind human resource planning - Main objective behind human resource planning in British Airways is to assess the number of staffs required for new agreement as per the roles that are to be played like pilots, cabin crew, engineers, admin staff, etc. and duration in which they will be needed. As per this agreement, BA will be having four flights from Heathrow and four from Madeira each week in summers when there is peak load. (Holloway, 2017). Thus, number of employees will be required accordingly. However, when there is off peak season, number of flights will be three from both the destinations.
  2. Identifying the current HR inventory - After assessing the objective i.e. number of staff required as per the roles and hours they need to serve, next step is to identify the human resources available currently within the firm who can be assigned with their new duties
  3. (Karami, 2017). The current HR inventory is identified here through assessing stored information with British Airways in respect to their skills, experience, proficiencies, etc. based on job description and person specification.
  4. Making forecast on HR demand and supply - Then the demand and supply of workforce required is estimated which is based on peak and off peak season (Analoui, 2017). At the time of peak season, staff required will be more in number in comparison to off peak season. In peak season, there will be 1 pilot and 1 co-pilot as well as 6 cabin crew members. 8 engineers will be required with admin staff up to 10. Also, the duration of flight will be four hours that has to be kept in mind by assigning duties of respective members. While, for rest of the seasons, when there is off peak season, number of flights will be three from both the destinations and staff required will be 1 pilot and 1 co-pilot, 4 cabin crew members, 6 engineers and admin staff up to 7 members.
  5. Analysing the manpower gap - When demand and supply of required number of manpower is forecasted, then the gap is analysed as well as evaluated. In case if BA will find that demand of manpower is more than the supply then it will have to hire more employees as there will be deficit. On the other hand, if demand is less than the supply then situation of surplus will arise where some employees will have to be removed by the organisation which are no longer useful for business by ways like retirement, transfer, termination, etc. to save their costs.
  6. Fulfilling the HR requirement - This is the step where plan decided is to be implemented and perform in action for fulfilling the HR requirements in British Airways (Kaufman, 2018). In case if there will be deficit, firm will do recruitments, interdepartmental transfers, training, etc. while, in case of surplus, methods like layoff, voluntary retirement and redeployment will be used.
  7. Training and development - British Airways will have to organise training and development sessions then for new as well as existing employees so that their skills and knowledge can be update for the new agreement as per requirement of performing jobs (Wang and Seifert, 2017).
  8. Follow up - In the last step of HR plan, feedback will be taken by BA with regard to the success of plan and in case if any deviations will be found, corrective measures will be taken to meet the set standards.


2.1 Current state of employment relations in the airline industry

Employment relations is all about healthy terms in between staff members with respect to their understanding and cooperation. In British Airways, relations between employer and employees are good leading to maintain a healthy working environment with avoiding conflicts and confusion (Taylor, 2017). It is resulting in making high contribution in the attainment of set targets. The current state of employment relations in airline industry is good as per the efforts made by World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) that came into force in 1945 with an objective to bring the trade unions across world in harmony (Bailey and et.al., 2018). The international trade union i.e. The Trade Union International of Workers in Tourism and Hotels (HOTOUR) was also established that was affiliated to WFTU having main purpose to protect the interest of employees with fulfilling all safety standards and providing high benefits in terms of compensation and working conditions to them (Brewster, 2017). In British Airways, to maintain healthy employment relations, some factors on which high consideration is given are:

  • Reconciliation and Consultation - If any conflict arises in between staff members at the workplace, process of settlement and discussion is used by the organisation through support of associations like Citizen Advisory Bureau, Advisory and Arbitration Service (ACAS), Conciliation, etc.
  • Employee Participation and Empowerment - British Airways is allowing it employees to participate in the planning process as well as decision making with other organizational activities which is leading the firm to have less conflicts and grievances with healthy employment relations (Collings, Wood and Szamosi, 2018). Also, staff is provided with empowerment as management assigns responsibilities related to the satisfaction of customers.
  • Collective Bargaining and Negotiation - Collective bargaining is the procedure followed by British Airways in which its members of trade union and employer perform negotiation upon the issues or scope of employment relationship. At this airline company, staff is making voluntary agreements on the basis of wages they are paid with, promotions other employment terms for the purpose of solving conflicts (Guest, 2017).

2.2 The way employment law affects HRM within British Airways

Employment laws imposed by the government of UK for service industry are all being followed by British Airways that put a direct impact on its human resource management. Non-compliance of same may lead the firm in facing serious consequences. Thus, to avoid the same, some employment laws followed by BA and their impact on its human resource management are:

  • Employment Act 2008 - This is related to all labour laws in service industry and so, British Airways cannot violate its terms like paying minimum wages as per set by UK government for service industry and following employment agency standards (Rees and Smith, 2017). In case if it will not apply this law in organisation and would not follow the same, business many have to face severe penalties. Impact of this law on HRM of BA is that workers feel protected and they work with feeling of security at workplace.
  • Equality Act 2010 - As per this law, BA is not allowed to make any kind of discrimination with employees working there on the basis of their sex, race, disability, religion, marriage or age. It makes the organisation liable to treat all employees with equality (Delery and Roumpi, 2017). Further, for employees with disability, BA is responsible for making reasonable adjustments under this law to make them work comfortably. This enhances morale and trust of employees on organisation and they work effectively for achieving the common goal.
  • Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) - It is a UK independent body, funded by government that provides conciliation services to the parties that are in some conflict and thus, involved in employment tribunal. BA come under this and so in any conflict situation, it takes guidance and advice from ACAS to resolve issues in between staff and employer (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), 2018). This proves to be effective in satisfying the employees and get rid of conflict situation easily.


3.1 Discussion on job description and person specification for Airport Operations Manager, BA

Job description is basically a document which describes all duties, roles and responsibilities as well as general tasks that are required to be performed by a person at specific position. Also, the reporting authority, specifications and qualifications and skills required by the candidate are mentioned in same. On the other hand, person specification is all about personal attributes that a person must have to perform the tasks along with personal qualifications and knowledge (Eaton, 2017). It is based on the job description of specific position only and derived from same with more specifications.

As per the job description of Airport Operations Manager - Band 2, BA for the London City as per provided in brief, it can be said that the position, band and department are clearly mentioned which will help the candidate to have an idea about his designation and unit to which he belongs. Further, purpose of job is clearly mentioned like at the position of Airport Operations Manager, candidate must have complete idea regarding customer and operational performance, safety and security conformance as well as he needs to report to the Head of Customer Airside Operations (Santana, Valle and Galan, 2018). Also, he is accountable to maintain safety and security operations, influencing multiple stakeholders along with managing and developing the team. There are many other purposes mentioned which give candidate a clear idea of what they are supposed to do in their job in terms of their responsibilities and accountabilities like ensuring team to comply with operational decision making and performing an active role in operational decision making in HMC.

As per the person specification provided for Airport Operations Manager, BA, it can be said that the person who will be selected for this position needs to have a lot of skills and perform different behaviours to work effectually like being collaborative and having excellent resilience and skill at understanding the processes. Also, he must be good at coping well with pressure and at motivating team and other colleagues (Bratton and Gold, 2017). Also, some basic behaviours and attitude that person working at the position of Airport Operations Manager in BA require are like he should be flexible and agile with being always ready to adapt when things do not go as per the plan. He is required to be the ambassador for BA and its team. Further, there are some key enablers for the Airport Operations Manager like it is crucial for him to work closely with the Network Operations Control Centre with maintaining clarity in between the respective roles. Particularly with the zonal managers and all key operational players, he needs to be in direct communication.

Further, person specification for Airport Operations Manager shows the requirement of experience needed for getting hired for the specific position. It is significant for Airport Operations Manager to possess are like he must be capable enough to monitor the performance of suppliers and operations being conducted. He must be good at decision making and in people management (Vatankhah, Javid and Raoofi, 2017). Operational excellence has to be there in him as well with effective leadership and influencing power. The key performance indicators at the position of Airport Operations Manager in BA are Service Hallmark targets, safety and security targets, deliver business plan, customer NPS, etc. Overall, it can be said that BA requires an Airport Operations Manager to be well versed with visible leadership, customer focused and clear expectations who must be advocate to Heathrow T5 customer and operational needs within overall network plan.

The roles, criteria and responsibilities provided in job description and person specification are based on what is required at the position of Airport Operations Manager, BA. Only after matching the skills, abilities, competencies, experience, etc. of candidate against these documents, selection is done if management finds him to be suitable for the position. These documents play a significant role in helping the employer to select a right candidate as applicants are compared against the same and the one who possesses maximum similar requirements is being selected.

3.2 A comparison of the selection processes of British Airways and Transport for London

British Airways (BA) is one of the largest airlines of UK as well as a flag carrier in terms of passengers it carries while, on the other hand, Transport for London (TfL) is based in Greater London, England that is dealing with the transport system of city being a local government body. Both the firms have their own selection processes which are different from each other depending on the industries in which they are operating as well as nature of position for which hiring is to be done.

In case of BA, if selection of Cabin Crew is to be done then the procedure which they follow is like at first, an application form is given on the BA careers webpage which applicant is supposed to fill with answering all online questions. Then in the next step, an interest form is to be filled by the candidate in case if he/she says ‘yes' for all questions asked. If the candidate will meet all basic requirements of the position then a log-in id will be provided to him as per which series of online psychometric tests are to be completed by him/her (Airlines Industry - Human Resource Management, 2014). After that, whosoever successfully completes all the tests are invited for the assessment day by firm in which they are asked with multiple choice questions, presentation, case study, work related and group exercises as well as role plays and interview. Candidates who get selected in this round are referred for their background and medical check and those who will clear this stage successfully are offered with a training place where safety course for around six weeks are provided to them after which cabin crew position is started followed by the success of training program (Airlines Industry - Human Resource Management, 2014).

However, on the other hand, if Transport for London wants to recruit a person on a position like Customer Service Assistant in Victoria Coach Station then its selection process is not similar as that of BA. At first, firm gives ads for the vacancies on their website as well as some recruitment agencies are also there that give ads on the behalf of company. Applicants who are interested have to create a login and password then for the respective position on job vacancy page of TfL site (Holloway, 2017). Then they are supposed to fill the online application form after which an online situational judgement test is to be given by the candidates who all have met the basic requirements of application form. All those who successfully complete the test then invited by TfL for giving one more test i.e. a written assessment session. Further, the candidates who have passed the written test are then referred to role play exercise and interview which is conducted by usually an interview panel consisting of two persons (Kuvaas and Dysvik, 2017). One who get selected in this round is then referred for medical test through questionnaire and references are taken as well. If panel gets satisfied with the same, the person is selected for the position of Customer Service Assistant in Victoria Coach Station.

It can be said that the process used of British Airways is comparatively long and complex with what being used of Transport for London as TfL is using a less complicated procedure to hire a candidate. Being operating in airline industry where risk of life is there, selection in BA is needed to be done with due consideration which requires long time to get a candidate selected as he/she needs to cross various levels to prove their suitability. On the contrary, TfL cannot spend too much time on its selection process due to regular deliveries and so, it is quiet flexible and in short period of time, company hires a candidate for vacant positions so that running of operations would not get hampered (Karami, 2017). However, both the firms are ensuring to meet all legal requirements as well as industry standards in their selection processes.


4.1 Contribution of training and development activities to the effective operations of BA

In British Airways, there is high contribution of training and development activities in running of operations and rendering services effectually. Company's aim is to become a world-class learning organisation with increasing the knowledge and skills of their existing workers and to identify the new capable ones.

Different types of training given by BA

  • E-learning (off-the-job training method) - The firm is imparting training through e-learning programmes so that employees can easily grasp what they have been taught with in small duration. With this technique, BA is effectively amending the skills and knowledge of employees (Analoui, 2017).
  • Apprenticeship (on-the-job training method) - The purpose of apprenticeship in BA is to demonstrate the high standards to team with reference to safety awareness, personal responsibilities and technical awareness with excellence being at specific positions like Cabin Crew.

Difference between training and development at BA

  • Short term and long term - Training provided in BA is always for short period of time as it is for improving the present skills, knowledge and abilities of employees. While, development is for long term as it develops the personality of an employee for future to grab the upcoming opportunities.
  • Group and individual - Training in BA is always imparted in groups by organising courses and sessions based on some particular topic as to train each employee individually incurs a huge cost (Difference between Training and Development, 2017). Development on the other hand is often personalised and the emphasis is put on individuals working in organisation.

Benefits and effectiveness of training in BA

  • Motivated employees - Major benefit gained by British Airways through providing training is that it increases the motivation level of employees and thus, with increased proficiencies, they perform their tasks with high efficiency.
  • Healthy working environment - Another benefit is that when there comes equality in the level of knowledge and skills through training, employees feel confident enough and thus, chances of conflicts at workplace gets reduced (Wang and Seifert, 2017).

Role and need of training in BA

  • To run new agreement effectually - As BA is going to run its flights on new route i.e. from Heathrow to Madeira, it will hire new employees or will do interdepartmental transfers for the same that will require providing training to all so that they all can be understood on same parameters regarding what they exactly need to perform.
  • To increase productivity and profits - Major role and need of training in BA is to increase the productivity of employees and so as profits of business by enhancing their proficiencies for increasing the scope of business (Taylor, 2017).

Overall, it can be said that training and development in British Airways is playing a crucial role in making employees able to run the operations effectually and highly contributing in the success and growth of organisation. With effective training and development sessions, company can make its team prepared for the new agreement and will have advantage of increased profitability at reduced costs (Bailey and et.al., 2018). By getting the expertise BA needs in its team, it will be able to sustain in market with gaining a strong position and competitive edge over others. Are you worried about online essay help from expert writers? Contact our experts.

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From the above report, it can be concluded that airline sector of UK is highly competitive and safety sensitive with focusing on advanced techniques for which management of human resources plays a vital role. It has been assessed that British Airways is emphasizing on creating motivation as well as commitment of all employees through effective HRM policies so that they can lead firm to success by playing their major part effectually. Further, it can be articulated that training and development activities in BA are helping employees to boost their morale. Other than this, BA is making many efforts to support employees like encouraging share ownership and profit sharing which are leading company to gain high growth, success and competitive edge over others in the market.

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