Aramex Human Resources Practices

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Aramex is a company whose business is headquartered in Dubai, UAE. Today, Aramex is a model for the strategic ambition of the region, which aims to increase the share of companies whose income does not depend on the sale of oil. Aramex is a logistics company that provides courier services worldwide. Its success is facilitated by its geographical location at the intersection of western and eastern trade routes. An equally important success factor for any business is a thoughtful strategic approach to recruiting and selecting employees that is consistent with the overall strategy.

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It must be admitted that Aramex represents a model of a normal, stable employer who demonstrates competence by submitting job descriptions on the company’s website. Front and back-office jobs can also be found online on popular job search platforms such as Indeed.com. The downside to most ads is that Aramex does not disclose salary expectations, and often other important details may not be provided, such as the job seeker’s educational level required. Equally important, Aramex does not use the application templates that would greatly simplify the information processing process. Compared to other companies that can be called a model of successful business, they usually do not make the mentioned mistakes. For example, DHL publishes more detailed job search advertisements and offers the option to fill out forms in some cases. Overall, it must be recognized that both companies could use HR tools more effectively to achieve their goals.

Literature Review

Dessler (2020) provides detailed explanations regarding recruitment and training practices and employee management in international global corporations. For example, the author explains that personnel planning and recruiting are carried out by companies following strategic objectives and within the framework of established procedures. As part of planning, the employing company estimates the company’s labor demand, using trend analysis, ratio analysis, or scatter plot techniques. The planning can be made in terms of forecasting the supply of the inside and outside candidates. Dessler (2020) also describes the recruitment process providing a theoretical framework for its optimization. The scholar states, that there are recruitment techniques for finding and hiring internal candidates, including job postings and qualifications skills inventories.

At the same time, the recruitment techniques for finding external candidates feature the hidden job market that uses mostly the word of mouth, the search of candidates through the Internet, and using recruitment software and AI, namely the Applicant tracking systems (ATS). The latter tool is highly applicable and resourceful, as it “helps employers attract, gather, screen, compile, and manage applicants” (Dessler, 2020, p. 143). Tools like Breezy.hr are also useful, as they allow replicating the job posting across job search platforms, and save time for HR managers. Then, the artificial intelligence systems are the bots that define proper candidates based on the previous choices made by the employer. Apparently, this tool has some significant drawbacks since live HR managers usually have a lot of flexibility when selecting a candidate, but if used correctly, such a system can dramatically speed up the selection process, especially if candidates are competing for positions that require certain skills or certifications.

Dessler (2020) presents some helpful insights on training and developing the employees. The scholar claims, that his process starts when the new employee comes to the workplace, and gets the employee orientation from the employer. This process includes “making the employee feeling welcome and part of the team, making sure the new employee has all the information to function effectively, helping the employee to understand the organization in the broad sense, and socializing the person into the firm’s culture and ways of doing things” (Dessler, 2020, p. 238). Then, the managers ensure that employee gets engaged in the process through training. Interestingly, Dessler (2020) presents the legal concept of negligent training, which puts the responsibility on the employer in case if an employee made a crucial mistake that had some serious consequences. One of the most important elements of the training is aligning it with strategy, which needs analysis of the company’s primary goals.

The new employees’ training also needs analysis from the perspective of the employee’s needs, which entails using the task analysis tool. At the same time, the current employee training entails using the performance analysis tool. The steps in designing the training program include the steps of setting learning objectives, creating a motivational learning environment, making the learning meaningful, making skills transfer easy, reinforcing the learning, and ensuring transfer of learning to the job. Finally, the implementation of the training program can be made in the form of on-the-job training, apprenticeship training, informal learning, job instruction training, lectures, programmed learning, behavior modeling, and even learning in the simulated video reality.

To analyze the performance of Aramex in the Middle East, some scholarly insights should be presented. Budhwar et al. (2019) conducted a study of the challenges faced by companies in Central Asia. According to scientists, “a variety of reasons can be identified for the poor economic performance of the region”, among which there are “lagging political reforms; dominant and underperforming public sectors; underdeveloped financial markets; high trade restrictiveness; and inappropriate exchange regimes” (Budhwar et al. 2019, par. 8). At the same time, the scholars admit, the UAE is distinct from the rest of the countries that were analyzed.

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Interestingly, Budhwar et al. (2019) also criticize the government systems prevailing in the region, namely the absolute monarchies, and sheikhdoms in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as autocratic and military regimes, which decrease the temps of economic growth. Another interesting observation provided by the authors is that many countries have introduced locals friendly policies due to the influx of labor migrants. One more distinct feature is the reluctance of many local workers to stay in the private sector due to multiple bonuses provided within the governmental employment.

Manuti and Giancaspro (2019) presented findings that prove the importance of healthy and motivated employees for the organization’s success. The scholars explain that the “planned development of employees’ subjective resources leads to improved organizational processes and results” (Manuti & Giancaspro, 2019, p. 1499). Waxin et al. (2018) return to the topic of workforce localization in the Gulf countries, in particular the UAE, where local employees are in fierce competition with overseas employees. The shortage or inability of local employees to meet market demands, according to scholars, is due to “a lack of the right education and skills, high expectations of remuneration, a lack of career and industry awareness, competition from other employers, considerations of sector and job matching, and expatriate resistance” (Waxin et al. 2018, par. 1). Finally, Kucharska and Kowalczyk (2018) add that “company reputation is a strong mediator of the CSR practice and company performance relationship, and the cultural dimension of long-term orientation has the greatest influence on CSR practice” (p. 453). In other words, when recruiting staff and hiring employees, HR managers should take into account the facts listed above.

HRM Strategies and Practice

Aramex has a modern and ethical culture that fosters diversity in its workforce. The company encourages employees to develop talents and skills and work to provide innovative solutions. Aramex declares that by accepting employees into the team, they become “members of the global family of successful people” (“Our culture,” par. 1). Therefore, Aramex guarantees development and training opportunities that will help advance the careers of employees. As a Type C Corporation, Aramex applies the Standard Casual Model of HRM to implement HR practices in their company. This model is a chain of interdependent steps that lead to the expected result – the success of the company, with actions within HR being the key elements of the chain. Therefore, following this HR model, the strategy becomes an element of the business strategy (Vulpen, 2021). Using this approach, Aramex successfully implements its HR practices following business objectives.

Aramex employs a variety of training methods and techniques with varying degrees of success. For example, according to an open survey on Indeed.com, 63% of survey participants are completely satisfied with their training at the company, and 16% are completely unhappy. Then, 19% rate their managers as average, 19% as good, 29% as excellent, 12% as below average, and 21% as bad (“Professional development at Aramex,” 2021). It is noteworthy that 42% of the respondents said that they feel belonging to their company, and 21% said that they do not feel such belonging, another 21% said they had a neutral attitude. The layoff rate is also important: 46% quit due to lack of career growth, 56% due to low salaries, and 41% due to poor management. This is an alarming indicator that shows the need for changes in the designated areas.

Interestingly, given that the questions for this survey were provided by Aramex, the results can be used to calculate HR metrics. Aramex likely uses traditional metrics to measure the organization’s performance, such as revenue per employee, cost per hire, employee and new employee turnover, employee productivity rate, diversity, and inclusion, pay equity, and other metrics.

Challenges

At the moment, the organization must be facing some challenges regarding the internal HRM and business culture, considering the high levels of dissatisfaction among the current and former employees. As it was stated above, organizational performance cannot be achieved without good psychological climate and sound practices, especially educational and training practices for employees. It is equally important to provide employees with the opportunity for development and career growth, as declared in the company’s intentions. Therefore, an organization should measure the effectiveness of its HR strategy using the Standard Casual Model of HRM, and measure the effectiveness of its practices through metrics.

Recommendations

Given the above, there are several important steps a company should take to make a difference. Particular attention should be paid to improving management on a local scale and creating adequate career opportunities. For example, a company offers jobs in the front office and back office, but there are not always enough career opportunities for the front office. At the same time, not all back-office employees can be satisfied with their work in the company if managers pay them insufficient attention. The survey also showed a rather low rate of employees who feel they belong to the company, which suggests the need to develop strategies that could provide that sense of belonging. Dressler (2020) notes that the belonging or psychological comfort that employees experience in the workplace can be created if a business culture is aligned with employee values. Employees also feel like they are part of a larger process when they receive feedback and appreciation.

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Another important element of a positive psychological climate is employee education. Even though Aramex has a high level of positive feedback on their educational practices, they still have a lot to strive for. Notably, DHL implements employee training practices that have received international recognition and therefore can be safely used in Aramex. DHL implements the Certified International Specialist training program that helps employees become true professionals. As part of DHL’s international shipping and business strategy training, employees are trained by their managers who act as facilitators and trainers, which strengthen team relationships (Willis, 2020). As an international company, DHL has also translated the program into 42 languages to improve relationships with its employees around the world.

Conclusion

Thus, the HRM practices in Aramex were analyzed and critically evaluated. Aramex’s hiring and selection practices are broadly in line with the company’s business strategy. Employees also respond positively to training practices, which speaks of their effectiveness. At the same time, Aramex is probably not doing well enough practices related to creating a positive psychological climate, since most of the employees do not feel they belong. Managers’ performance also needs to be improved to increase retention rates and reduce turnover. Aramex can address the challenges described by leveraging similar expertise from DHL, which provides training while encouraging greater communication between managers and employees. By adopting this approach in day-to-day practice, Aramex can significantly improve its organizational culture and performance, and ensure that its business goals and strategy include an element of HR management.

References

Budhwar, P., Pereira, V., Mellahi, K., & Singh, S. K. (2019). The state of HRM in the Middle East: Challenges and future research agenda. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 36(4), 905-933.

Dessler G. (2020). Human resources management, 16th ed. Pearson.

Kucharska, W., & Kowalczyk, R. (2019). How to achieve sustainability?—Employee’s point of view on company’s culture and CSR practice. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26(2), 453-467.

Manuti, A., & Giancaspro, M. L. (2019). People make the difference: An explorative study on the relationship between organizational practices, employees’ resources, and organizational behavior enhancing the psychology of sustainability and sustainable development. Sustainability, 11(5), 1499.

Our culture. (2021). Aramex.

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Professional development at Aramex. (2021).

Vulpen, E. (2021). 5 human resources models every HR practitioner should know.

Waxin, M. F., Lindsay, V., Belkhodja, O., & Zhao, F. (2018). Workforce localization in the UAE: recruitment and selection challenges and practices in private and public organizations. The Journal of Developing Areas, 52(4), 99-113.

Willis, S. (2020). DHL’s radically simple approach to employee training.

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