Topic:Resourcing and Talent Management

Volume: 1 page

Type: Report

Format: Other


This assessment covers the following Learning Outcomes:

3. Manage recruitment, selection and induction activities effectively, efficiently, lawfully and professionally.

5. Gather, analyse and use information on employee turnover as the basis for developing robust staff retention strategies.

6. Manage retirement, redundancy and dismissal practices fairly, efficiently and in accordance with the expectations of the law, ethical and professional practice

Assessment brief

Northport-on-Sea is a coastal resort town which has struggled to attract visitors in recent years. Fifty years ago the town was a popular holiday destination which was also able to attract large numbers of day trippers on summer weekends and bank holidays. Now fewer and fewer come each year. Things may soon improve thanks to Northport council’s success in attracting grants to build a new purpose-built, state-of-the art conference centre with its planned 3000 seat auditorium, but this announcement has come too late for Barry Plummit and his hotel group, Northport Nights Ltd. After years of declining sales and decreasing profits in all three of his hotels in the town, Barry has had to admit defeat and has put his company into receivership.

You work as an HR officer for a company in the leisure industry that operates visitor attractions around the UK and which has an established share of the fast-growing online gambling business through its Gibraltar-based operations. Your company is looking to expand and has cash available to buy Northport Nights Ltd from the receiver. The aim would be to invest substantial sums in upgrading the three hotels that make up the group, closing each in turn for a programme of refurbishment and re-opening them before the new conference centre opens in two years’ time.

You are asked by your managers to meet with the receiver’s representatives and to visit each of the hotels to talk to their general managers. Your brief is to establish what HR practices are currently in use in the hotels with a view to recommending what, in your view, needs to change if the proposed acquisition goes ahead. You spend a week in Northport-on-Sea during which time you establish the following:

• The three hotels are run by different general managers who have each reported separately to Barry Plummit. There are separate management teams and quite widely differing management systems in operation across the three hotels. Staff only work in one hotel, although some have moved jobs from one to another over the years.

• Each hotel employs around 30 permanent staff, many of whom work on a part-time basis. These teams are supplemented during the summer and at Christmas time by temporary staff.

• Barry Plummit has been managing the hotels on a very tight budget for the past five years spending no money at all on training, paying most of his staff at the hourly rate of the national minimum wage and only advertising any vacancies in the local job centre.

• Staff turnover levels among permanent staff are running at around 90%, but would be far higher if seasonal workers and temporary staff were included in the analysis. There are a handful of long-serving employees in each hotel, but the average length of service of current permanent staff is less than two years.

• Most of the current staff, including all three general managers, got their jobs by knocking on Barry’s door and asking directly if any vacancies were available. They did not have to compete with any others for the job, being appointed if Barry decided that they would fit in after a brief interview.

• No formal induction programmes are run in the hotels. Staff learn their roles on the job from colleagues and their line managers.

• Northport Nights Ltd has been named as the respondent in 25 separate employment tribunal cases over the past two years, all but a handful alleging unfair dismissal. All were settled by paying compensation to the claimants so as to avoid the need for a hearing.

• There are no benefits provided formally, no pension scheme for staff and no formal incentive schemes in place. Staff do, however, pool their tips and many are provided with live-in accommodation and food. Overtime is paid at time and a half rates, most staff working considerable amounts of overtime each year.

• Barry has always, as a matter of policy, mandatorily retired all staff on their 65th birthdays.

You have now been tasked with writing a briefing paper (report) for your manager which meets the following objectives:

1. Sets out what you consider to be the most important changes that would need to be made to the HR operating practices at the three Northport Nights hotels were your company to take the company over.

2. Justifies each of these changes with a good business case, taking full account of likely costs and benefits associated with your recommendations.

3. Covers recruitment, retention, retirement and dismissal issues, drawing on published research in each of these areas.

Prepare your 3000 word (+/- 10%) briefing paper. You should make reference to relevant academic research when justifying your key points.

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