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Decision Making Process of Human Resource Management - Microsoft


  • Unit No: 3
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 19 / Words 4783
  • Paper Type: Case Study
  • Course Code: Y/508/0487
  • Downloads: 761
Organization Selected : Microsoft


For every business concern, human resource is being regarded as one of the most crucial asset, as rising complexities and increasing size can easily be tackled with the intervention of this asset. Managing these resources is very significant as they can take the firm to greater heights. Speaking in relation with the “Human Resource Management”, it is related with the application and understanding the human resource in an organization. Through this function, the business can develop, train as well as manage the most crucial asset of the firm and can direct their efforts to achieve the organizational objectives (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). The present case study also deals with understanding as well as ability to apply the principles of effective human resource management by considering the case study of “Say it with Chocolate” and “Microsoft” respectively. The research is being divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the purpose and scope of human resource management in “Say it with Chocolate”, which deals in the tailored made chocolate-based greetings cards all around the UK. The firm is expanding and achieving growth rapidly and is based in North Yorkshire. The functioning of the firms is done by various teams such as marketing, human resource, finance and production. They all are engaged in designing and manufacturing of specialist gifts orders. Throwing light in regards with the owner of the firm, he is also expert in his work and lacks necessary experience in terms of staffing as well as management of the employees. Since, the firm is achieving success; there has been rise in the level of employee turnover. In addition to this, the feedback of many clients of the company depicts that they are not so much satisfied with quality of the product being offered to them. Additionally, increasing turnover rate is resulting in high number of vacancies in the administration as well as manufacturing department. Furthermore, for recruiting employees, the manager takes into consideration assessment test related to Mathematics and English. But, the applicants have problem with this test and were of the opinion that it is not fair enough. Pertaining to this, as a human resource office of the company, emphasis will be made on assessing the recruitment and selection methods and how further growth of the organization can be ensured.

The second part of the research report is related with the company “Microsoft”, which is offering numerous benefits to its employees and significantly creating things that help in changing the whole world. It will focus on employee performance, reward as well as development plus various factors that impact the decision-making process of Human Resource Management in Microsoft. The report will analyze flexible working practices being adopted by the company and developmental opportunities being available to the staff members. The final section of the research study will lay emphasis on employee engagement and its key approaches along with the pieces of employment legislation that significantly impacts the decision-making of human resource management.

TASK – 1

A. Purpose, importance, current problems and future plans of HR functions

Main Purpose of Human Resource Management

Focusing in relation with the human resource management, its main focus is on development and management of human asset of the organization by understanding their needs and wants (Dessler, 2007). With the help of HRM, the organization can train, develop and manage the most important capital of the firm and can achieve through them the firm’s objectives. In addition to this, the HR also performs the function wherein it needs to make sure that all the resources are effectively utilized with lower costs. Talking in reference with the case study of “Say it with chocolate”, the main purpose of HRM is related with the improvement of skills and competencies of the workforce so that organizational goals are achieved. HR function also helps in maintaining relationship as well as development of workers through strategic procedures, plans and methods.

Functions of HR

The human resource manager of “Say it with chocolate” carries out normal function which is being performed within each and every organization. Furthermore, for leading the firm to the path of success, numerous HR methods, as well as approaches, have been adopted for recruiting eligible as well as qualified applicant for fulfilling job vacancy (Aguinis, 2009). The main function of HRM in the company is being defined below:

  • Recruitment and selection – This is the most vital function of any organization. With this function in place, effective and competent employees can be placed within the firm performing numerous job tasks. “Say it with chocolate” adopts number of methods and techniques in regards with the selection and recruitment of employees like assessment test, referral, interview etc.
  • Training and development – Training and development functions helps in improving the abilities of employees and make them more competent by focusing on their negative aspects or weaknesses (Costen and Salazar, 2012). Areas which need more improvement are being identified by the HR of “Say it with chocolate” and accordingly training events are being developed.
  • Human resource planning – Through this function in place, the firm can forecast the future needs of the human resource and prior arrangement is made so that the operation of the firm is not disturbed and carried out effortlessly.
  • Compensation and benefits – This can be termed as a main aspect of motivation and because of which employee employs their best efforts day and night. Compensation and benefits should be provided effectively and aptly so that employees get paid as per their efforts and ability (Kirkpatrick, 2006).
  • Performance management – This function measures the performance of the employees through regular appraisal. The best performer gets recognition and performance with any flaws is also determined in order to take corrective action.

Current problem faced by HR functions

  • The HR management of “Say it with chocolate” is not efficient enough and because of this they are not able to manage the increasing workforce
  • High rate of turnover of workers
  • Recruitment and selection methods are not so good
  • Assessment test being adopted by the manager is improper and issue related to fairness is rising (Sajid, 2003)

Future plans for HR functions 

The human resource management in “Say it with chocolate” is making plan in regards with the better management of their workforce through introducing numerous strategies in relation with motivation, retention and teamwork. In addition to this, they are also making plans for arranging training and development events to cater with current problem being faced by the firm. There is also a need of change in the staffing process and thus, methods should be adopted that are fairer such as written test (Uen and Chien, 2004).

B. HR officer’s roles as well as responsibilities

  • HR initiatives and system development and their implementation within the firm
  • Planning related to recruitment and selection process in “Say it with chocolate”
  • Helping the management is solving problems related to employees
  • Making drew up plans for the needs of the employees in the coming future
  • Keeping the record of workers and many other legitimate requirements (Brown, 2009)

C. Selection methods-Advantages and disadvantages

Selection techniques



Assessment test

One of the most important benefit of this method is that there will be availability of qualified, competent and skillful employees for the required job vacancy in “Say it with chocolate”

However, assessment test might be unreliable and there are chances that through this test skills and competencies are not analyzed in an effective manner 


References is considered as the best method as it helps in weeding out those employees who have shown unpleasant and unfair behavior in his or her previous jobs

This method has some disadvantage as well. References are backed by the problem of legality. There are many places and regions which have specified some laws for asking questions to references and this can lead to some sort of fraud (Bruck, 2014).

Informal interview

Informal interview is flexible as well as comfortable method in comparison with other structured interview method. “Say it with chocolate” can understand the candidate in an effective way

Informal interview is sometimes time consuming and misleading. This pertains to the fact, in such type of interviews, situation may arise when both the interviewer and interviewee is averted from the main point.

All these methods described above are being adopted by “Say it with chocolate” for selecting the best candidate for the required job position. However, there are many other methods as well such as panel interview, selection board and written test that can be utilized for better results. Speaking about panel interview, it involves the presence of two or more interviewers in the room and conducts interview (Mondy and Noe, 2005). With this method, different opinion from different interviewers about the candidate can be gathered which helps in fostering unbiased and better decisions. In addition to this, in the written test method the applicants are compelled to show their knowledge, understanding, thought process and thinking. Consequently, it can be said that selection methods described here are far more better and reliable in comparison with those being used by “Say it with chocolate”

D. Possible Improvements in the selection methods of “Say it with chocolate”

Presently, the firm has adopted methods such as assessment test, references and informal interview. All these techniques are backed by certain negative as well as positive aspects. In addition to this, there are many candidates who are not satisfied with the current methods and doubt on its fairness. Concerning this, it is very much essential to change or improve current methods being adopted by the company (Shepherd and Matthews, 2000). It is important to replace the existing assessment test of mathematics to aptitude, personality and psychometric test. With these methods in place, the HR department can make judgment in regards with the personality and behavior of the applicant. Other than this, during the course of interview, behavioral questions should be asked for comprehending the thinking of the applicant and analyzing the choices being made by them at that point of time.

TASK – 2

A. Person specification for the role of Receptionist

As per the case study of “Say it with chocolate”, the company has adopted on the jobs board outside of the main site and circulation within the organization for placing advertisement of the vacancies. But, the HR manager of the concern is of the view that this method or approach is not desirable and appropriate and thus, both the methods should be changed (Kumari, 2018). Concerning the vacancy for Receptionist in the firm, the most suitable and apt method is print media. “Say it with chocolate” can make use of newspaper, magazine and radio for publishing the vacancy. Print media is growing tremendously in most of the firms these days because of its easiness. Seeking help from this method, awareness about the vacancy will communicate easily. Furthermore, the team can also maintain their budget as well as expense as it provides the option of selecting own space for advertisement.

C. Pros and Cons of the previous methods of advertising



If the internal recruitment is done than the existing employees feel motivated

Placing an advertisement within the firm will be deprived of innovation, diversity and uniqueness

If the employees are selected via internal mean, the functions are not affected and continuity is sustained (Milkovich and Newman, 2005)

New ideas will not be generated because the same workforce is being selected for the new job role

These methods involves less amount of paper work because paper work has already been done before

There are more chances of discord between the workers in such type of advertising

D. Interview questions

During the course of interview, there are numerous questions that can be asked from the applicants for the required job position. However, it is important to note that only questions that can help in making decisions regarding the selection of the applicant should be included. In addition to this, questions should be framed and asked by bearing in mind the roles, target market, culture, responsibilities and type of job (Mathis and Jackson, 2004). Some of the questions for improving the selection decision making are as follows:

  1. What qualities are required in this competitive and fast paced business environment?
  2. How you manage your daily work schedule?
  3. What are the ways to manage customer who is not satisfied with the services of the firm?
  4. Will you work more when time demands?
  5. Tell me something about your past job experience?
  6. How many and types of people you interacted on a daily basis?

TASK – 3

A. Benefits of apprenticeship and graduate training to organization and workers

In each and every firm, successful management of human resource is being performed by undertaking practices and methods. In this case, example of Microsoft is being taken under consideration, which is an American multinational technology company focused on providing manufacturing, developmental, support and other services to many parts of the world. The main aim of the firm is to make the world to achieve more (Zheng and Kleiner, 2001). Consequently, the human resource department of the company is engaged in devising various policies, plans and practices such as performance management, training and development events, flexible working practices and recruitment and selection. Other than these, there are two main practices i.e. apprenticeship and graduate training schemes are very popular and successful for Microsoft. Apprenticeship is a process through which new generation and professional gets the training while working in the same company. Its duration is 3 to 7 years and on the completion of the training, individual get certification. On contrary to this, graduate training scheme is also very famous wherein graduates with impressive academic ability are employed in the firm. With this method, gap can be removed and necessary skills are being offered to graduates who can become a great leader in coming future (Jardine and Amig, 2001).

Benefits of apprenticeship

Benefits of graduate training scheme

Through this employees can gain knowledge, abilities as well as competence to achieve success in every aspects

Training and developmental opportunities

People gets an opportunity to place or make use of their skills into real life situations

Opportunity to rotate in numerous department and functions of the firm

Helps in reduction in employee turnover rate as well as number of absentees

Best candidate can be selected from group of graduates

Improvement in the employee relationship and higher amount of productivity 

Effective and skillful people can be employed at reasonable salaries (Parker and Wright, 2000)

B. Opportunities for development in a permanent job role

Talking in relation with the developmental opportunities, it is nothing but a chance being offered to the employees for the purpose of augmenting their skills, abilities, competence and acquaintance by varied training and development events. The staffing need of Microsoft is being fulfilled by apprenticeship and graduate training schemes. Apprenticeship involves training while working for 3 to7 years and in graduate training schemes; students perform their duties in different departments for more than 2 years. As soon as the period of both the trainings is completed, they get permanent in the firm and become eligible for numerous benefits and opportunities. Once they are fixed employees, they get perks and various monetary benefits other than their compensation package (Bernadin and Russel, 2013). They get security of their job and advancement opportunities in the same field. Based on their performance and commitment towards the work, employees are offered promotion and higher job responsibilities. The permanent employees are being regarded as a long term investment by Microsoft and thus, there needs are of utmost priority.

C. Flexible working practices – benefits

Microsoft has adopted flexible work practices for satisfying as well as motivating their staff members. It generally means providing suppleness to the staff members on place of work, time of work and process of carrying out work. The company has adopted various practices from time to time like work from home, compressed hours, part time working, and variable hours in order to maintain work life balance. Some of the benefits of these practices are being described underneath:

  • Accessibility – With these flexible practices in place, companies can satisfy their employee and make them motivated for longer period of time. Because of the introduction of advancing technologies such as Google apps etc. employees can perform collaborative work with their customers at any place (Anthony, Kacmar and Perrewe, 2002). They can even access their mails, contact files and many other options while they travel from one place to another in a single touch.
  • Rise in productivity – These practices enable the workers to feel comfortable and helps in relieving their stress. Consequently, they work even better and gets motivated for higher work performance.
  • Employee retention – It is quite logical thing that if the employees are working hard day and night to achieve the objectives of the organization, organization on the other hand is required to satisfy and motivate them. With Flexible work practices, Microsoft can retain their employees for longer period of time (Chew and Chan, 2008).

D. Job design and systems of reward as a source of motivation

Speaking in regards with the motivation, it is defined as a process through which behavior of the workers are impacted to achieve the goals of the firm. Microsoft has utilized and executed numerous techniques in this regards. The most vital was job design and systems of reward. The company is focused towards offering equal opportunities to each and every employee irrespective of their income, age, class, caste and sex. If they are good performers, they will be rewarded by the firm for the same. The firm gives them stock options for their great level of commitment towards the work and the organization. In addition to this, the employees are also offered equal incentives and rewards like food availability, transportation facility, incentive linked to performance level, discounts, family dine coupons etc. All these methods have helped the firm in motivating their employees (Jamil, 2005). Furthermore, Microsoft has also created new workplace as well as creative job design for curtailing the HR issues. They have clustered the workers on the basis of their roles and created a strong team. This has helped in gaining confidence and trust amongst each other.

TASK – 4

A. Employee engagement

Throwing light about employee engagement, it is defined as a workplace approach which results in offering right condition to the employees of the firm to give their best potential every day and are motivated and committed to achieve the goals and objectives of the firm. Employee engagement encompasses six elements that is trust, achievement, fit, caring, ownership and commitment. There are numerous ways through which employees can get engaged towards their work such as proper passing of information, accurate and timely appraisal of their performance, employee’s voice, comprehending learning styles of workers and many more. In addition to this, with these strategies in place, Microsoft can decrease employee turnover rate, achieve higher productivity, retain customers and employees and can earn high rate of return (Lawler, 2001).

B. Why is Employee engagement an integral strategy of employee relations?

Employee engagement is being regarded as an integral strategy of employee relation because of the following reason:

  • Involvement – Those workers who are not connected with their work, they always search other options to waste their productive time. Many a times, they involve in destructive work and break the harmony of the organization.
  • Hectic work schedule – If the work schedule of employees in the firm is quite hectic and busy, they are left with no time to gossip and spread rumors. Through this, the relations among the employees are good and healthy (Noe, 2007). 
  • Direct relationship – there exist a direct relationship between employee engagement and employee relation. This pertains to the fact that the more workers are betrothed in their work, better will be their relations.
  • Less interference – An employee who is engaged and busy in his or her work always remain away from nasty talks and politics. He does not want to involve or interfere in someone’s work as he just wants to concentrate on his piece of work.
  • Avoiding fights – The employees are so much engaged in their work that they prefer to work more and utilize the time rather than talking shit about anyone within the firm. They just try to avoid situations of fights and continue to work efficiently (Schuler, 2002).

C. Approaches of engaging workers and their importance

Other the remuneration, there are many other strategies through which employees can be engaged towards work for longer period of time. Commonly, there are three most important facets that help in engaging workers and these are realizing the workers about the meaning and importance of their work, making them feel that they are respected and trusted by the firm and making them self-confident and secure. Talking about summit, there are numerous strategies being discussed. One speaker was of the view that the firm which has great workplace culture treats their workers as their stakeholders (De Simone and Harris, 2008). They put their efforts in regards with concrete performance management, providing things being demanded by the workers, clarify the roles and expectation of the work and provide significant training and developmental opportunities to the employees. All this, helps the employees to work better and they stay connected with the firm for longer time duration. In addition to this, it was also discussed in the summit that through comprehending the opinions as well as feedback of the workers, employees can be engaged. There is a need on the part of firms to take their employees as bedrock which is the base for the whole firm. Staff members will feel trusted, engaged, respected, motivated and empowered, if organization considers their opinion (Employee Engagement Summit, 2018). Consequently, it can be attributed that employee engagement is a fundamental strategy for strong as well as affirmative employee relations.

D. Employment legislation in the UK influencing HRM decision making

  • Workplace equality act 2010 – This act is also passed by the parliament of UK and the main purpose of this act is to codify the complicated and varied arrays of acts as well as regulations which act as a basis of anti-discrimination law in Great Britain. It specifies that there should be equal treatment in relation to the employment irrespective of their society, age, culture, caste, creed, religion, belief, sex and disability (Nankruis, Comptun and Mc Carty, 2009).
  • Race relation act 1976 – The Race Relation act helps in preventing discrimination based on the race. It encompasses acumen on the grounds of color, religion, race, ethnic origin and nationality in terms of employment.
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – This act is also very important and directs the firm to provide cordial and healthy working environment to their workers. The instruments on which they perform their daily duties should be clean and safe. This will foster healthy relations among all.
  • Equal pay act 1970 – Equal pay act is also another act being passed by the parliament of UK and influences the decision making process of HRM as well. it supports in prohibiting unfavorable treatment between male and female in regards with the pay and conditions of the employment (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2011).

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As a result of the above discussion, it can be well attributed that effective management of human resource is very significant as they can take the firm to greater heights. With the help of HRM, the organization can train, develop and manage the most important capital of the firm and can achieve through them the firm’s objectives. Furthermore, it was realized that human resource management in “Say it with chocolate” should adopt such methods for recruitment and selection that are fairer and unbiased. In addition, varied approaches and practices of HRM has also supported Microsoft in attaining greater heights.


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