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4.11 References

References can be useful, but they do have some limitations: no one would supply the name of a referee who was likely to give a bad reference. However, it is always a good idea to request them of the candidates who have been shortlisted (but, as we have already said, bear in mind that some candidates may not want their employers approached until they have actually been offered a job). It is helpful for referees if you enclose all the information sent out to the prospective candidate and point
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4.10 Shortlisting

It is common to shortlist up to six applicants per position, but the exact number may reflect the time you have available for interviewing and the strength of the applicants. The important point is to ensure that as far as possible you finish up with the best possible candidates on the shortlist. This can best be achieved by approaching the task systematically. In other words, the systematic use of criteria as detailed in the job specification should be preferred to reliance on intuition. It
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4.9 Further particulars, application forms and dealing with paperwork

One way of offering more information than can be put into an advertisement is to send further particulars to people who respond. These could explain, for example, current and future developments within the organisation. If your organisation already has a standard application form, you will almost certainly use that. Otherwise, you could ask applicants to write a letter of application, possibly accompanied by a CV. It is also useful to ask for details of referees at this stage, but bear in min
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4.8 Advertising

If you are managing the recruitment process by a traditional route you will now need to consider advertising the vacancy. Your organisation may have a specific policy or rules governing advertising. The cost of advertising can constitute a significant proportion of any recruitment expenditure and you need to ensure you get an effective response at the least possible cost. The important factors are:

  • the content of the advertisement (key elements of the
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4.7 Attracting applicants

You have now established the criteria for recruiting the kind of person you are looking for; the next step is to find someone who meets these criteria. Obviously, you must make it known to people that a vacancy exists. Before placing an expensive advertisement in a newspaper or professional journal you should consider alternatives. There are a variety of methods of publicising recruitment in addition to the traditional media advertisement (see Author(s): The Open University

4.6 Recruiting and selecting internal candidates

Where an existing member of staff is applying for a post, you will already have knowledge of their personality, skills, fit with the organisation and so on. However, whether the job they are applying for is very similar to or different from the one they are doing currently, you need to ensure that they receive the same treatment as other candidates. Being an internal candidate is not easy. It can be both an advantage and a disadvantage to be known! Maintaining our theme of objectivity, the re
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4.5 Person specification

Once the job and organisational analyses and the job description have been completed (see Figure 1), the next stage is to write a specification of the kind of person needed to fill the job you have just described. It is important to be as precise as possible about the skills, knowledge, qualifications and at
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4.4 Job description

From your analysis of the job you can write a job description which will state what the job holder is responsible for and what they are required to do (see Example 1).

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4.3 Organisational analysis

The broader organisational requirements can be as important as the specific ones for the job itself. The organisation needs creativity, flexibility, the ability to work in a small team, and so on, from the job holder. In line with the person-organisation fit described earlier, it is important to think beyond the technical aspects of the job to the cultural aspects of the organisation.


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4.2 Job analysis

Job analysis involves examining a job systematically and in detail. There is no single way of doing this. Direct observation may be helpful if you are analysing repetitive manual jobs, for example. Discussion with the current job holder and supervisor or line manager is also a useful source of information. Another method of job analysis is to use the checklist approach illustrated in Author(s): The Open University

4.1 Initial assessment

To find the right person for the job, you need to have an accurate idea of the job itself and of the particular skills and attributes it demands. This can be carried out in a series of stages, as shown in Figure 1.

3.3 Person–organisation fit

This approach stresses that people's behaviour and performance are strongly influenced by the environment in which they find themselves. So being successful in a job in one organisation does not necessarily imply success in a similar job in another. In assessing the suitability of a job applicant a manager should explore the reasons why a person has performed well in their existing job and consider whether similar conditions apply in the new job. Advocates of the person-organisation fit appro
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2.6 Maintaining balance

Monitoring is also concerned with achieving a balance of the three dimensions of the project:

  • cost – the resources available;

  • time – the schedule;

  • quality – the scope and appropriateness of the outputs or outcomes.

Many of the difficulties in implementing a project are caused by poor time management. This will have a direct effect on the costs of the project, as well as on the quality of what is
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2.5 Project meetings schedule

You need to decide early on what meetings are essential to the monitoring process. All your stakeholders will expect to receive reports at regular intervals, whether formally or informally. So you need to ask yourself:

  • Who needs to be informed?

  • About what?

    How often?

  • By what means?

Effective communication involves giving information, collecting information and listening to people. To ensure the
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2.2.1 Craft manufacturing

Craft manufacturing describes the process by which skilled craftspeople produce goods in low volume, with a high degree of variety, to meet the requirements of their individual customers. Over the centuries, skills have been transmitted from masters to apprentices and journeymen, and controlled by guilds. Craftspeople usually worked at home or in small workshops. Such a system worked well for small-scale local production, with low levels of competition. Some industries, such as furniture manu
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2.2 The historical development of operations management

Operations in some form has been around as long as human endeavour itself but, in manufacturing at least, it has changed dramatically over time, and there are three major phases - craft manufacturing, mass production and the modern period. Let's look at each of these briefly in turn.


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2.1 Operations, operations management and operations managers

Every organisation has an operations function, whether or not it is called ‘operations’. The goal or purpose of most organisations involves the production of goods and/or services. To do this, they have to procure resources, convert them into outputs and distribute them to their intended users. The term operations embraces all the activities required to create and deliver an organisation's goods or services to its customers or clients.

Within large and complex organisations operatio
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1 Understanding operations management

Consider the ingredients of your breakfast this morning. Unless you live on a farm and produced them yourself, they passed through a number of different processing steps between the farmer and your table and were handled by several different organisations. Similarly, your morning newspaper was created and delivered to you through the interactions of a number of different organisations.

Every day, you use a multitude of physical objects and a variety of services. Most of the physical obj
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Learning outcomes

After studying this Unit you should be able to:

  • define ‘operations’ and ‘operations management’

  • identify the roles and responsibilities of operations managers in different organisational contexts

  • identify the operations management aspects of your own work

  • apply the ‘transformation model’ to identify the inputs, transformation processes and outputs of an organisation

  • identify the operational and administrativ
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Introduction

This Unit is designed to provide you with a basic framework for understanding operations management and its organisational and managerial context. It begins with a brief history of the changing nature of operations in a manufacturing context, but emphasises that the operations function is significant in all types of organisation, whether they produce goods or provide services, and whether they are in the private, public or voluntary sectors.

This Unit presents a process model of operati
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