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Organizations that embrace the fundamentals of HRD realize the importance of their human resources and focus their efforts on providing employee security; choosing, hiring, training and retaining the right people for the right tasks; rewarding and valuing employee effort; providing fringe benefits, salary raises, bonuses and the like; and providing a degree of employment security. Employees whose basic personal and development needs are met are committed employees, who translate the positive effects of HRD efforts into improved productivity. (Gilani, n.d.)
Patricia McLagan in the book “Models for HRD Practice,” defines HRD as “the integrated use of training and development, career development and organizational development to improve individual and organizational effectiveness.” According to this and similar definitions, the main focus of human resource development lies in training and enhancing the capabilities of employees. Organizations that strongly focus on training and improving the skills, values, attitudes, perspectives, and knowledge of their workforce are more likely to retain employees that utilize their full potential and contribute it to the benefit of the organization. According to Swart et al. in the book “Human Resource Development: Strategy and Tactics,” HRD activities decreases staff turnover by 7.05 percent annually. (Gilani, n.d.)
According to C. S. Lakshmi in the book “Human Resource Development In Public Enterprises,” human resource development improves organizational effectiveness. Trained and talented employees contribute directly to the effectiveness of an organization. HRD focuses on continually motivating and improving the competencies, dynamism, and effectiveness of its employees; developing positive attitudes and problem-solving skills; upgrading individual and collective experience, knowledge and perceptions; and enhancing their competitive skills. These and similar activities fine-tune employees to align and integrate their personal goals with organizational goals. (Gilani, n.d.)
Recruiting and hiring new staff members is fraught with challenges. Which candidate has the right combination of skills for the job? Will she fit in with her new team members? Can he actually do the things he says he can? These questions are fundamental to effective hiring, but they don’t begin to consider the legal risks associated with the hiring process. Employers face risk throughout recruitment and hiring, including conducting negligent reference checks, discriminatory job ads, and interviews, failing to offer accommodation to candidates based on prohibited grounds of discrimination, for example, disability, religion, family status.
Employers must understand the employment-related legislation and regulations in their jurisdiction to avoid fines, penalties, and legal challenges. Violating employment standards, human rights or privacy law may cause unexpected repercussions within the organization and expose the employer to significant financial penalties. Moreover, employers should remember that the recruitment process is the starting point for all other aspects of human resources administration.
Employment law is broad and places many obligations on employers when it comes to hiring. Failure to comply can result in a disgruntled applicant or employee seeking restitution through agencies, boards, tribunals or the courts that handle complaints on behalf of applicants and employees.
Knowing the law and staying up to date are substantial challenges that many employers prefer to do on an “as-needed” basis. When the need arises, the Internet is always nearby to provide answers, but searching the web for accurate, current and relevant information—the specific information you need—can be as challenging as finding the right person for a job: lots of candidates but who’s qualified? Moreover, you often have to look at several online sources to find everything you’re looking for.
Alternatively, employers can use an authoritative reference like The Human Resources Advisor, published by First Reference, for a clear, comprehensive and always current overview of your legal obligations in the hiring process.
Knowing the law is one thing, but applying it is something else entirely. Clearly written and legally compliant policies and procedures covering recruitment and hiring will ensure you dot all the I’s and cross all the Ts.
Hiring policies can’t ensure you hire the right person for the job, but they can reduce the risk that you’ll have trouble managing the employment relationship. They’ll also demonstrate your due diligence and help protect you in the event the employment relationship sours.
Employers may not discriminate against job candidates or employees based on various prohibited grounds at any stage of the recruitment or hiring process. Consult the human rights legislation for your jurisdiction (or The Human Resources Advisor) for details on prohibited grounds of discrimination.
Human rights legislation limits what information employers can request on application forms, in the pre-screening process, interviews and medical inquiries. Under the employer’s duty to accommodate persons with disabilities, human rights legislation even places statutory limits on the right to hire an employee who is fit to perform the essential duties of the job.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) outlines specific new requirements for employers in Ontario with respect to hiring. Manitoba has a similar law, but regulations are pending. In provinces without such legislation, employers can look at the requirements in the AODA as best practices. These include preparing policies and procedures for establishing individual accommodation plans where barriers cannot be removed proactively. notifying employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in their recruitment, selection and hiring processes providing accessibility for persons with disabilities throughout the employment life cycle. example, recruitment, selection, retention and etc. In general, employers can comply with human rights legislation by assessing candidates based on the relevant aspects of the job, and not extraneous factors that could overlap with prohibited grounds of discrimination. This is the case when asking questions on the job application, during interviews, or when making final hiring decisions. It is important to document the reasons why a candidate was or was not preferred during the selection process, citing reasons that do not have anything to do with the prohibited grounds of discrimination.
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