CASE STUDY: MANPOWER PLANNING AND VIRTUAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Just a few years ago, computer technology offered a revolutionary change in human resource management. Organizations experimented with computerized skills inventories, pay and benefits administration and applicant tracking systems. Today, the revolution continues but is undergoing fundamental changes as computer technology and the Internet grow at unprecedented rates. Human resource management is moving away from a mainframe technology to the world of virtual reality, with the Internet at its core. Although many forces drive this change, one of the most important is the globalization of business. As organizations spread ...view middle of the document...
com. This software automatically searches millions of individual Web pages looking for resumes that meet any need that Humana may have. While setup costs are relatively large (a one time fee of $50,000 for licensing and configuration in addition to a $2,000 per month lease), organizations such as Humana find that the costs are well worth the efforts. Humana, for examples, estimates that it previously spent an average of $128 in advertising to find a single qualified applicant’s resume. Today, they estimate that the cost is approximately $.0.6. For Humana, that translates into an annual savings of $8.3 million.
The Internet is also helping revolutionize a number of other manpower planning activities for many organizations. Citibank, for example, has a single global HRIS that maintains a detailed skill inventory, compensation database and HR practices for 98 countries and 10,000 managerial personnel worldwide. Numerous other global employers have created employee self-service compensation and benefits systems that allow employees at Shell Oil Company manage their retirement plans, maintain and/or change health care coverage, and track other personally relevant information all through an automated, self-services system.
Use of the Internet in these kinds of manpower planning activities is not, however, without danger. The ease of access to so much information always has the potential to create both legal and ethical abuse, both by employees and by hackers, or unauthorized users of the system. Organizations must take all necessary precautions to safeguard the privacy and integrity of these virtual human resource systems. The challenges are immense, but both the organizational consequences can be invaluable.
Consider Manpower Planning and Virtual Human Resource Management case study. Then, answer the following questions:
1. How has the emergence of the Internet changed the way that organizations plan and manage their human resource needs?
2. What kinds of future human resource activities might we see developed over the next several years?
3. What are the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of the Internet by individual employees for human resource activities? Are...