XYZ Trinkets Case Problem Analysis
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XYZ Trinkets Case Problem Analysis


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You are the Manager of People and Places (MPP) for XYZ Trinkets. As MPP you are responsible for human resources and the facilities in your organization. XYZ Trinkets manufactures novelty items like pens, bags, travel mugs, etc. The company is fairly small at this time, approximately 250 employees, but is expecting a rapid expansion due to the introduction of a new product line. Approximately 225 of your employees are categorized as 'physical' and the others exempt and managerial. Of your physical workforce, about 75% of the workforce is unionized and the others (mainly custodial and building maintenance) are non-union The following items are in your in basket today:

1. Your department has taken over the responsibilities for maintaining the grounds (mowing, trimming, landscaping) from Operations, which formerly contracted it out. One of the problems Operations experienced with a contractor was that they didn’t care about what kind of job they did. The company president likes neat grounds so she told you to take it over and do it in house. Unless you convince her otherwise, you’re going to have to hire someone with the title of Groundskeeper to perform this job. First, provide the pros and cons of doing this inhouse rather than continuing to contract it, but in the event she’s not convinced. However, it sounds like she’s pretty keen to do it in house so describe how you will go about performing a job analysis for the position of Groundskeeper, including where and how you will get information on the position. Write a sample job description for the position of Groundskeeper.

2. XYZ Trinkets has just come out with a new product that is way ahead of the competition; a combination GPS navigation system that is built into a travel mug. With it, drivers will be able to see where they’re going with every slurp! However, since this product is in the design stages, the organization needs to get 25 highly skilled IT people within the next three months to ramp up and begin manufacturing the product to meet expected demand. Discuss the various methods you could use to go about recruiting people with the necessary skills in that time and then provide the one best method to accomplish this. Explain why you would choose that method.

3. You receive a call from the company president telling you she thinks that in order to compete effectively the organization’s compensation plan needs to be better aligned with individual and company performance. At the present time all salaried and non-union physical employees receive annual COLA salary increases and any other increases are based on merit evaluations. Hourly union employees receive the negotiated for annual hourly increases in the contract. She’s particularly concerned that everyone in the organization work together and have a stake in the success of the new GPS mug. She wants you to provide her a memo with a list of alternatives for changing the way employees are compensated in the organization, including the relative advantages and disadvantages for each.

4. You receive an email today from an employee in the Imprint department. She complains that she is being sexually harassed by one of her co-workers. She says that they had gone out on a couple of dates several months ago but she was never serious about the relationship. However, the co-worker has continually asked her to go out with him and is constantly bothering her at work. She claims that he makes sexual innuendo remarks and has touched her inappropriately on several occasions. She said that since her supervisor doesn’t seem to care, she is ready to quit and get an attorney. She says she only emailed you as a last resort. Describe the steps you’ll take to respond to this email. After dealing with this immediate problem you have some more work to do. Prepare an email to be sent to the company president outlining your recommendations to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.

5. You get another call from the president. When she was talking to you about compensation it got her wondering if your benefit programs are getting in the way of attracting and keeping good employees. As of now, you provide healthcare and dental coverage through group plans, and a defined benefit pension plan. You provide one week vacation for the first 2 years, with bumps every so many years to a maximum of 4 weeks. You also provide sick pay that is tied to seniority, providing sick pay according to the same formula as vacation, i.e., one week for the first 2 years, increasing up to a maximum of 4 weeks sick pay. The president noted that this might be a bit too generous since it seems that employees are using quite a bit of their sick pay each year! You also provide 11 paid holidays. Coincidentally these are benefits that your union negotiated for and you subsequently gave to all of your non-union employees as well. She would like you to send her a memo with your recommendations for the latest cutting edge ideas and benefits proposals for attracting and retaining employees to keep the company competitive.

6. You’ve heard that some of your supervisors have been asking some highly inappropriate questions during job interviews and that you are perilously close to being sued for discrimination in hiring. You have been asked to conduct a one hour training session for supervisors in how to conduct unbiased, non-discriminatory interviews. Put together an outline of what you would cover in that training session.

It looks like it’s going to be a long day! The good news is you will be done in time for the holidays when you finish! Your assignment is to respond to five of these items. Pick five of the six questions (Only five please, if you do more than that I’ll only grade the first five) and respond thoroughly to them. Provide at least two references to each question. Your annual evaluation (and merit increase!) will be based on how you respond to these questions, (20 points each for a total of 100 points) so be sure to be thorough, yet concise and to the point. Remember, we use the comparative approach so your work will be compared to other MPP’s in the course.


Answer 1

As an MPP of the XYZ Trinkets, it becomes my responsibility to manage the administrative as well as human resource operations of the organization. In view of the recent groundkeeper needs owing to the poor comprehension of work ethics in the previous recruit, a change is in the order. The organization has reflected upon the relevance of an in-house hire as opposed to an outsourced hiring with respect to the recruit proximity, comprehension of the core values, and improved organizational fit (Haider, Samdani, Ali and Kamran, 2016). While, it cannot be denied that an in-house recruit provides multi-level care to the company, it also limits the provision of expertise to a specific job title, owing to the diverse interest and responsibilities of the recruit (Dogerlioglu, 2012). However, in the face of the past experience, and improved supervision and 'fit' attributes following sample job description has been shared for an in-house recruitment:

'An in-house position for Groundskeeper at XTZ Tinkers has been opened. The Groundskeeper will be responsible for providing professional landscaping services and routine maintenance at our entire facility. Candidates with landscaping interests, or backgrounds with a strong attention to detail are requested to apply for the position to their department heads'


Answer 2

In the present case, there is a need to facilitate an effective strategic recruitment process within the organization as the focus is towards enabling a framework of specialized staff that provides quicker and specific operational results. For this purpose, internal hiring will be the first step, where the focus will be chosen to make critical and speed based recruitment decisions (Brazeel, 2010). Other measures as options will be candidate focused approach where the experience of the candidates, will be aligned to the job selection criteria (Coulson-Thomas, 2012).

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