Human resources management



It is accepted all over the world that people in any organization are the most valued assets and that; employee potential should be nurtured by continuous involvement, empowerment, learning and evaluation. HRM practices play a very important role in achieving the strategic goal of the company. It is believed that diversity and fair treatment of people in the organization can bring around enormous value addition. Managing human resource can be regarded as a function which concentrates on recruitment, selection, training and development, compensation, benefits, workforce management, performance management, safety and motivation of employees.


In this case we analyze as how BBC has been successful by applying the concepts of human resource management with respect to their strategic objectives. Critical analysis will be done on the Recruitment and selection, Performance Management, Compensation and Benefits as explained conventionally and as executed by BBC. Due to restriction on word count only critical parameters are considered for analysis. BBCs long term objective is to enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain. The main objective of the assignment is to analyze the above topics at BBC. Identify possible loopholes in the practices and suggest recommendations for improvement.


BBC- British Broadcasting Corporation is the world's first leading television, radio and online broadcaster which is publicly owned and was established by royal charter in 1927. BBC is funded by the license fee which is paid by the households in UK. They have 8 national TV channels, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and a website and are mainly in the business of media where they provide news, information and entertainment believing in the slogan" National shall speak peace unto nation" . The company employs around 10000 employees with a mission to enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain. They are independent body governed by BBC trust which was formed in 2007 headed by Sir Michael Lyons and trustees are appointed by British monarch in consultation with government.BBC generates revenue from various sources such as license fees, commercial businesses, government grants and miscellaneous. They have production centers in Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Bristol. BBC has also been one of the most innovative companies where they have a website from where one can listen to latest music using the BBC I player in association with Apple ITunes, Red Button Interactive TV, BBC HD and many more. Practically BBC is penetrated into every aspect of entertainment and information such as news, movies, music, documentaries, animations, live shows, sports, history and etc. The main competition to BBC is from Independent television, Channel4, SKY and other broadcast TV stations; but BBC is not lost its essence and influences very strongly on British culture. Their revenue for the first time crossed the milestone of 1 billion GBP even during recession. BBC is a brand within itself.


According to Writz (2007), the old adage, "People are your most important asset," is wrong. The right people are your most important asset. By all means recruitment plays a very important role in meeting organizational goals as it demands to identify, attract, and recruit potential employees suitable for the job. In today's world of globalization where attrition rate is very high competition at its peak it is a challenge to recruit and retain the quality employees in the organization. Success of any organization merely depends on the quality of its employees.


At BBC whenever a post opens to be filled, it is done in two ways:

  • Internal Recruitment from within organization
  • External Recruitment from outside.
  1. Internal Recruitment Policy of BBC
    • At BBC they follow the policy of ATTACHMENTS according to which the staff is free to work in another job at BBC for an agreed period of time after which they have to return back to their original job, this offers hands on experience and exposure to knowledge and skills of another department.
    • Attachments are advertised within the organization when a post opens up with regard to the policy procedures of BBC recruitment.
    • This is followed by applications from the interested & eligible candidates along with managers consent to release the employee for another job and its advantages and disadvantages to BBC and to the employee. If any employee considers that he is denied of the opportunity for any reason he can apply for a grievance.
    • After receiving the applications from various departments it is scrutinized carefully and a handful of eligible applicants are shortlisted and called for the interview, successful candidates are offered with the post. Benefits under the scheme are defined with mutual discussions and terms & conditions.
    • At the end of the attachment an extension or renewal can be requested with the consent of the parent department otherwise it stands termed as on agreed date. As and when position opens a candidate already on attachment can apply for it and will be considered as a transfer
    • Performance review will be done at the end of the attachment and achievements made during the attachment will be quoted. A copy of same will be placed on the employee's personal file.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal Recruitment

    • Such a scheme caters as an add-on and acts as motivational driver for employee's involvement.
    • Organization saves an ample amount of time and money which was otherwise to be invested in training and assessing the new candidate
    • Possible risk and threat of an outsider can be nullified.
    • Attrition rate reduces as employees will be interested to work in different roles than to stick-on to one.

    A few disadvantages would be:

    • This leads to conflicts and politics amongst employees and also the managers where a factor of bias can be included.
    • The department wouldn't want to lose an employee who is performing extremely well at the current position, but it actually happens so, that the best performers tend to move in search of better challenges and diverse roles.
    • The position has to be filled by someone else which is hectic procedure within itself.
  2. External Recruitment Policy of BBC

External Recruitment involves different stages such as:

Job analysis and description: when a vacancy arises at first job analysis is done to determine the true requirements of the position which also defines the job title, whom to report, responsibility, roles and duties involved are described. This is done to decide whether the company has to undertake internal recruitment drive or external, what are the training needs, level of skill required, what benefits the employee should get, performance evaluation procedures and etc. This helps in laying down all the terms on conditions of employment and set a budget of the drive.

Advertising the vacancy: At BBC they follow a very systematic recruitment procedure where they advertise job details and criteria to be met. This is usually done through 2 channels one being consultancies and jobsites for specific posts and for most of the jobs they advertise on website and invite applications online where eligible candidates can register themselves by filling in an application form. They also have an online portal where a candidate once registered can receive notifications of any future jobs.

Application processing: Once the deadline to apply is reached the received application are scrutinized very carefully with respect to the job analysis parameters such as the eligibility and criteria matching, past experience, skills and interests. The references are also evaluated. Once all these parameters meet the job requirements the shortlisted applicants are invited for an interview. Those who do not match the required criteria are informed about their insufficiency to fill the job and are not invited for the interview.

Selection Procedure: The shortlisted candidates are scheduled for an interview and also for different roles they are expected to complete the online questionnaire which takes approximately 30-40 minutes. They are evaluated by putting them into various work situation simulations. Various personality and intelligence tests are being conducted. To cut down the cost of recruitment drive usually major part of process is executed online and at times the location for the interviewing process is selected very much near to the interviewing panel where all the documentation needs are taken care of.

Job Offer and Contract: For those candidates who don't clear the selection process are given a feedback on their performance and shortfalls to fill the job. However for those who made it so far successfully are offered a job. Those who accept the offer are tested for their references, previous experience and their credentials for their accuracy and genuine. All the terms and conditions are explained and the contract is signed to direct towards induction, training and development processes.

Under contracting BBC undertakes 3 kinds of contracts depending upon the position and role in the organization.

  1. Continuing Contracts
  2. Fixed Term contracts
  3. Flexi Contracts.

For newly joining employees who have no idea of the organization are signed under probation for 6 months period. All contracts include information about the salary, pension, and hours of work, holidays, notice, retirement plans, notice and legal information.

Advantage of an external recruitment drive is that it opens the door to fresh talents, ideas and skills into the organization. But this also proves more costly to the company and at times end up with a candidate not suitable for the position.

Analysis of BBC's Recruitment and Selection Procedures

BBC has a very robust recruitment selection process where a meaningful insight is provided to internal selection and external selection is given. Although there are many other ways in which one can conduct recruitments BBC has covered all the recruitment requirements in providing the organization with the best manpower. People today who work at BBC are mainly from Cambridge and Stanford universities which have lead BBC to excel in its operations.


According to Armstrong and baron (1998) "Performance management is a process which is designed to improve organizational, team and individual performance which is owned and driven by line managers"

It can be regarded as one of the most important functions of HRM which concentrates on extracting the best out of each individual and in the long run is very advantageous to both the employees and the organization. Performance management directly or indirectly leads to growth in sales, cuts down the cost, in pace with goals of the organization, effective change management, motivation at the employee's end, more transparency in terms of benefits and the future of employee in the organization, increases the confidence and leads to professional development; as said by (W. Edwards Deming) it is a function of total quality management variables such as training, communication, tools and supervision of the organization, it also leads to effective management where mandatory audit requirements is to be complied.

Performance is very clearly a difference between actual results and expected results; in case of actual results being lower than expected will lead to performance improvement. Process of evaluation happens in a 3 stage cycle constituting of Performance planning, performance coaching and performance evaluation and appraisal. The employer decides as what should be the parameters to measure the performance; it can be based on the competency, quality, quantity, actual duties, and to an extent the objectives are achieved.

There are various tools such as graphic rating scale, alternation ranking method, forced distribution method, BARS, MBO, critical incident method, and internet based methods. With these laid down standards and methods of evaluation comes the problems such as personal bias, unregulated standards, halo effect, leniency or strictness problems and central tendency.


At BBC they follow a much generalized procedure of performance evaluation where the employees are expected to meet their deadline in time with minimal supervision, initiation towards new projects is observed, playing sport and being a team entity rather than individualism, build a rapport with various departments and also network. However they have laid down the principles where they more concentrate on employee improvement where the performance is poor. They incorporate a concept of "capability" in performance evaluation.

At BBC performance evaluation happens in 2 ways:

  • Informal Action: In the normal context the managers discuss with their employees about their performance and provide them with a feedback. They are expected to set realistic goals, provide required training, guidance and opportunity to perform well and achieve those goals. Any under performance is discussed amongst the employee and the manager at the first stage before initiating the formal procedure. Ample amount of time and opportunity is provided to raise the performance level. If the informal action doesn't work to be a strategy success then formal procedure will be implemented and the same will be confirmed in writing.
  • Formal Procedure: In this procedure BBC undertakes 4 capability meetings.
  1. First capability meeting: when a concern over any employee's performance arises the manager writes to the employee to meet and discuss the same. In the meeting the managers discuss with employee and try to invent the reason for unsatisfactory performance. After the meeting the manager under his discretion if needed issues a written improvement note which concentrates on the areas to be concentrated for improvement and improvement plan will be initialized. This plan includes all the objectives to lift the employee's performance. Performance report will be reviewed regularly. Lot of training, guidance, advice will be provided. The length of the improvement plan is decided by the manager depending on the level of performance, nature of role and improvement required.
  2. Usually the duration of the improvement plan will be for 3 months and an interim review will be scheduled where the performance will be evaluated and suitable feedback and support is provided depending upon the progress made. If the progress towards the objectives are satisfactory then it will be observed and encouraged else the employee will be pushed for further improvement and required support is provided.

  3. Second Capability Meeting: At the end of the improvement plan the second capability meeting will be held to review the performance. The possible outcomes of the meeting can be no further action or extension of the improvement plan depending on the level performance. If the employee is performing at the required standards the goal is reached and no further action is taken else if the satisfactory level has been achieved but not at expected level then improvement plan extension will be recommended. The length of plan depends on need of performance improvement. A written note will be sent about the same. If still the performance in under expectancy and the manager still feels that it can be rectified then final written warning and improvement plan will be issued.
  4. Third capability meeting: This happens at the end of the improvement plan extension and the possible outcomes here could be either dismissal or redeployment or no further action depending upon the level of the performance. When the dismissal has to happen this will be consulted with higher authorities and notified with a notice to the employee.
  5. Right to appeal: The employees under such a situation have rights to make an appeal under the grounds of BBC appeals policy.

Analysis of Performance management at BBC

BBC has a good performance system with tools such as formal, informal procedures, and capability meetings but however one can notice that there are many more innovative tools such as graphic rating scale, alternation ranking method, forced distribution method, BARS, MBO, critical incident method which can be implemented effectively to evaluate the performance, but also since BBC is a media company where journalism is primary concern, evaluation parameters remain variables. Hence set guidelines cannot be implemented. Performance evaluation is more concentrated towards improvisation of under performance and not to motivate the best performing employees which can create problems in the long run.


Compensation can be regarded as the monetary advantage given to the employees in return to the service provided and that the benefits can be various compensations provided to employees other than the salary such as fringe benefits, perquisites, retirement, housing, and etc.

3 types of benefits are recognized as

  1. Flexible benefits: Under this scheme where employees can decide as how a portion of their pre-tax salary is paid in exchange for luxuries such as car and holiday. Research shows that through these benefits employee involvement can be achieved successfully.
  2. Voluntary Benefits: These benefits include vouchers such as Sodexho, Accor, busy bees, fidelity and more. These are actually the discount schemes opted by the employees, it is usually given away as perks by the organization and is run by external benefits consultant.
  3. Core benefits: Holidays, sick pays, flexible hours of working are few core benefits which are provided to almost all the employees in the organization.

Salary is an active part of compensation and is considered as the cost of running the operation in any organization, as shown in fig 1 it comprises of direct and indirect compensation.

Compensation is directly related to the objectives, culture, mission, and philosophies which establishes pay-for-performance standard in the organization and motivation amongst employees. According to motivation theory employees relate the input to outcomes of the job and it to that of their peers; they get motivated with a perception that compensation given is worth the amount of work undertaken. According to expectancy theory the employees should exhibit more effort in order to achieve a good performance reward. Compensation is decided on the basis of type of work such as part time/full time, wage, piece work, contract, hourly work and salary based. Companies select the compensation strategy very carefully where it is to be in comparison with the competitor's, worth of a job and relative worth of an employee. It also depends upon the abilities of the organization to pay profitably which depends upon labor market conditions and standard rates. Compensation structure when formulated standard of living is also considered.


BBC believes that the benefits offered, make significant to the employees overall package. Any employee's choice at first place in the industry is to be BBC. They make provisions for holidays, sick leaves and medical bill waiver. At BBC it is believed that the concern towards the well being of the employees such as good work life balance, maternity/paternity leave, flexible working hours, child care and etc keep them attracted towards the job and organization; and BBC has one of the best pension schemes in UK. At BBc they follow tiered compensation structure.BBC other than competitive and attractive salary packages also provide with various benefits to its employees such as:

  • Core Benefits:

BBC pension schemes are very robust, they have a Career average benefits schemes under which benefits add up year on year and directs to a defined income in retirement which is flexible and provides with a backup in the form of life assurance and inability and dependant security. Every year members contribute pension equal to 1.67% of the pensionable salary of the year. For the employees on contract there is group personal pension scheme

Personal development plan allows an employee to concentrate on own self development to improve in the position and progress in career. There are lot of lunchtime seminars and learning material provided along with online courses which are more technical depending upon the job profile. Online and face to face learning, Mentoring and coaching, forms part of personal development.

Holidays entitled to employees are 25 days/year and public holiday along with Christmas. These are paid holidays.

  • Flexible working:

Under this policy BBC ensures that its employees should feel comfortable, secure, friendly and loyal to the company. Various options such as personal counseling services, legal advice, financial advice, parental leave and special leaves are provided as benefits. Nurseries are one latest innovative benefit provided which helps mothers to concentrate on their job during which their kids are taken care of at certain BBC workplaces.

  • Flexible Benefits:

Lot of flexible benefits makes BBC one of the most sought after companies to work in across UK. Following are few very attractive flexible benefits.

Contract have been signed with BUPA in order to provide employees with private medical cover, Dental cover and Eye care with David clulow who provide spectacles, lenses and eye tests.

BBC club and fitness centers are run which incorporates special interests such as flying, sailing, diving, adventures and gym membership facilities. Lot other benefits such as car schemes, travel insurance, holidays to America, travel benefits, accident benefit scheme, accident insurance, provided to employees make BBC a dream company to many of media corporate.

Analysis of Compensation and Benefits at BBC

BBC has the best compensation and benefits structure which concentrates and aligns with the strategic goals of the organization. Their tiered compensation structure is very effective from the employee's and organization's perspective. They have done well by attracting and retaining the best employees in the industry to remain at the top. This is one of the reasons why even today BBC is the dream company for new graduates and the media specimens.


This assignment was undertaken to make a critical analysis on the Human Resources Management Practices at BBC. A detail study of HRM practices at BBC was made in the direction of

  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Performance Management
  • Compensation and Benefits

Following conclusions are drawn from the study.

It is observed from the study that the Human Resources Management department at BBC is very organized and well structured. All the policies are laid down wit respect to law and are followed accordingly. BBC is a media organization which makes it very important for them to have right people and hence procedures working for them, however in any organization there is always a scope for improvements so does at BBC.

  • Recruitment and Selection: In executing these tasks there are many more than one way of doing it. However BBC follows a very robust system where they initially exploit their internal talents to fill a position and then look out for external resources. Internal recruitment procedures are perfectly placed and require no more changes, but the external recruitment drive can be more sophisticated. BBC advertises on their site to fill a position else they don't have much reach to fresh and external talents which should also be diverse. Hence it is suggested to expand their recruitment drive to management and job consultancies, international recruitments to cover cultural shortfalls. They should also recruit through personal recommendations from an insider which helps finding an employee who fits in achieving the strategic goals of the company.
  • Performance Management: Directly relates to the motivation of the employees and is very important factor in achieving the strategic objectives of BBC. At BBC performance evaluation is much generalized and is more of a concern for under performers than to normal employees with tools such as capability schemes. It is recommended to implement more tools such as graphic rating scale, alternation ranking method, forced distribution method, BARS, MBO, critical incident method, and internet based methods and innovative Employee appraisals. Since BBC is a media company they require very specialized skills in sound and digital engineering, such skills are very scarce and should be retained with carefully chosen performance evaluation techniques.
  • Compensation and Benefits:

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