Coping with expansion in workload but preparing for change - An exploration of the contemporary state of human resource management (HRM) in construction in the West Midlands

McCabe, S. and Birch, T. (2008) Coping with expansion in workload but preparing for change - An exploration of the contemporary state of human resource management (HRM) in construction in the West Midlands. In: Construction and Building Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, COBRA 2008, 4 September 2008 through 5 September 2008, Dublin, Ireland.

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Given that UK construction has, for the last decade, experienced a steadily increased workload, there has been an expectation that the supply of people with requisite skills and ability should match demand by organisations supplying products and services to clients. As a consequence, the role of managers responsible for training and development has become crucial. Such people, usually referred to as human resource (HR) managers have discovered that ensuring that there is a steady supply of people with capability and expertise is not easy. Their difficulty has been compounded by what is known as 'churn' in which employees with relevant experience move frequently to secure higher salaries. In order to cope with both higher workloads and deal with raised client expectations, HR managers have had to engage in practical solutions to developing the skill levels and expertise of the new entrants to construction. For example, non-cognate degree holders are being 'fast-tracked' (both in terms of training and education) and given high levels of responsibility. This strategy contains within it elements of risk which must be carefully managed by both line and HR managers. Increasingly, though, organisations are willing to consider creative and innovative solutions to their staff development. This paper will consider the contemporary role of HR managers in construction. Using data elicited from a number of individuals employed in the West Midlands region it will describe how construction organisations have coped with the expectations placed upon them. Importantly, it will examine how these individuals have managed skills requirements by their organisations and what how they believe matters will to alter in the futures should there be a slowdown in client demand caused by global economic uncertainty. © RICS.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date: 2008
Uncontrolled Keywords: Development, Organisational improvement, People, Recruitment, Training, Development, Global economics, Innovative solutions, Organisational improvement, People, Practical solutions, Products and services, Recruitment, Skill levels, Staff development, Training and education, UK construction, Human resource management, Management, Managers, Societies and institutions, Surveying, Wages, Personnel training
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
N600 Human Resource Management
Divisions: REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA17: Business and Management Studies
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School > Dept. Management, HR and Enterprise
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 15:52
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2017 15:52

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