SCENARIO

Superfit Shoes is a successful company, which sells sports shoes for outdoor leisure pursuits through mail order and through a small number of retail outlets. It is a privately-owned company, which has been in business for over 10 years. It remained small until six years ago. At that time, a Managing Director was recruited with the objective of expanding the company. Initially, the range of items available in its mail-order catalog was extended
and the company took over larger warehouse premises for stock and dispatch of goods. Four years ago, it opened its first retail outlet and, since then, has expanded the number of outlets to 10. There are proposals to open five more. Two years ago, it set up a website for customers to order its shoes online, and this aspect of its business continues to grow rapidly despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the appointment of the Managing Director, the workforce has increased from 10 to 50, as the business has
expanded and become more complex. The strong demand for specialist sports shoes and the expansion strategy continue to stretch staffing resources. The need for more staff has been identified right across the company.

Superfit Shoes has no dedicated human resource function. Store Managers recruit the staff they need and, have been delegated responsibility to determine their initial salary levels and pay rises. Salary administration is outsourced. Staff training is ad hoc. The finance manager issues employment contracts and deals with requests for special paid leave, such as maternity leave, and salary increases.

During this rapid growth, the company has focused on the delivery of services to its expanding customer base. Until now, employee relations in the company have generally been good. However, there was a realization that it is time to focus on the introduction of policies and procedures to allow for a more systematic approach to human resource issues.

At recent meetings of the company management team, the store managers have been voicing their concerns that they spend too much time on issues that could be dealt with by a human resource department if the company had one. The increasing number of employees has also resulted in the finance section spending too much time on staff-related issues and they feel out of their depth.

Also of concern to managers are the inconsistencies in job descriptions, recruitment and selection practices, and matters relating to employee pay and conditions. One member of the managerial staff recently attended a seminar on employment law. This has brought a realization of the complexities of the law in this area and the need for the company to be better informed to ensure fair employment practices.

TASKS

You are a Human Resource Management (HRM) consultant who has been brought in by the company’s Managing Director to give advice on current human resource best practices. Your role is to write a report of 3000 words in length on the following tasks:

1, Explain the meaning of human resource management and differentiate it from personnel management.

2. Describe four activities that the HRM function will need to undertake in Superfit Shoes in order to help the company succeed.

3. Give your recommendations to the Managing Director of Superfit Shoes on the structure of the human resource function with the use of a diagram and the duties and responsibilities of each function – you should include the number of staff you think should be employed in each of the function, the duties and responsibilities they will undertake and their reporting lines.

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