Human Resources Functions at Next Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Next is one of the UKs largest fashion and home retailers. Their ongoing success is built upon a passion for the Next brand that is shared by the whole organisation. This involves a commitment to providing excellent product in well run stores and through an attractive Directory. Head Office Located in an award-winning complex near Leicester, their Head Office in Enderby is home to a multi-skilled population. There youll find a comprehensive infrastructure including Product, Sales and Marketing, Finance, IT and HR teams.


At Next they have over 340 stores spread throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Over 20,000 people work in these stores which are heavily supported by their Head Office and a network of warehouses. These stores range from stand-alone units to much larger flagship stores offering the full Next range.

Next Directory

The Next Directory provides a facility for people to shop from home and has over I million customers and 1,000 employees. The Next Directory customer services call centre is situated at two sites close to Leicester City Centre.


Next warehouses are among the most modem in Europe and employ around 2,200 people. Located principally in West York and distribute stock to stores and Directory customers right across the United Kingdom and Ireland.


* Human Resources Planning:

At Next they undertake human resource planning to determine a course of action which helps them to function more efficiently by having the right labour, in the right place, at the right time and cost. This requires accurate forecasting: organisations need to forecast their manpower needs, both in terms of the number of employees needed and the types of skills and qualities required.

It is also important for them to monitor and assess the productivity of the existing and available workforce and recognise the impact of technological change on the way in which jobs are carried out. Human resource planning at Next takes place over different time frames, though for simplicity they can consider is two time horizons: there is planning to meet short-term needs and planning to satisfy long-term intentions. Short-term plans are referred to as tactical plans and usually contain precise, detailed, measurable objectives. Short-term planning is carried out at lower levels in an organisation like Next, at middle manager and supervisor levels.

Long-term plans are not as detailed or measured as short-term plans. The longer the time horizon of the plan, the less certain managers can be about outcomes. They are usually made at higher levels of management Long-term plans are also known as strategic plans.

Next has to plan carefully to ensure they have the right number of suitable employees for their needs. To do this Next need a good understanding of the labour market in the areas where they operate.

Next need to be able to consider the effects of the following labour market factors for human resources planning in a business:

* Employment trends

* Skills shortages

* Competition for employees

* Availability of labour (internal and external; to the business).

HR palnning also involves looking at how labour is organised within the business.

You need to understand the need for businesses to take account of a arrange of factors when making decisions about their internal staffing. Such factors include:

* Labour turnover (stability index, Wastage rate)

* Sickness and accident rates

* Age, skills and training

* Succession.

You need to know how to use statistics to analyse these factors when appropriate.

* Recruitment and Selection:

Nexts human resource planning team also needs to be able to identify and analyse the factors influencing and shaping the labour markets from which the organisation recruits staff to satisfy its manpower needs. Human resource specialists have to work in Next within these labour markets to acquire sufficient resources to meet the productive needs of the organisation.

At Next Head Office youll find an environment, where each employees personnel contribution is encouraged. They believe strongly that, although qualifications can give you a head start, its initiative and self determination is what makes all the difference. This is why they dont always insist on degree qualifications.

If you can show that you have good experience and great potential in a relevant discipline, youll be considered. People do well at Next and seize the opportunities presented to them. This is why they look for motivated graduates with drive, commercial acumen and a passion for fashion.

Individuals who will thrive in an open and creative environment where teamwork is valued. It is a fast-paced environment and it can be demanding. But the people that work there at Next take real pride in their work, and its their commitment that has made them what they are today. In return, they offer generous rewards and bonuses.

For e.g. Staff Shop access and cut price clothing. Not to mention training and development.

Businesses such as Next recruit staff for a variety of reasons. The reasons for why and how they recruit staff are:

* The growth of the business

* Changing job roles withtin the business

* Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement, dismissal

* Temperorary staff holidays

* Internal promotion

The recruitment process can be very costly, in terms of resources devoted to the recruitment process and costs associated with recruiting poorly performing staff, due to the lack of motivation. It is important therefore to accurately select the right candidates for the interview or you could lose the right one before even the first process. Next are often straight to he point and make it very clear about the requirements of the job and about the person they are looking for.

The way in which they do this is through:

* The preparation of personal specifications and job descriptions

* Carefully planning how, where and when to advertise

* Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of job applications curriculum vitae and letters of application

* Shortlisitng candidates.

* Training and Development:

To join Next as a Trainee Buyer, youll need either a fashion/clothing/textile/design related degree or HND. They prefer relevant retail experience with strong evidence of fashion awareness.

For Trainee Merchandisers, youll need a business related or numerically biased degree/FIND or relevant retail experience as a Trainee Fabric Technologist or Trainee Garment Technologist, youll also need a relevant degree or an HND in textiles, fashion or clothing design. It is important to have these qualifications due to the demanding customers Next have.

Computers have become an integral part of modem day life and are becoming increasingly important as teaching and training tools. In the work place and many other educational institutes computers and networks have become commonplace. This allows companies such as Next and educational establishments to utilise many possible computer training and education techniques.

Today the use of computer based training and education covers a very broad spectrum of uses. Many companies now use computers in staff training and education. Computers are used as both a resource to present information and as a tool to develop practical expertise in staff. Computers can be used as a resource to present information because of presentation programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint. This presentation package can be used for basic training such as an employee induction; the presentation could give information about the company and what the employees will be doing.

Computers can also be used as tools because they can help develop employees practical skills e.g. an employee who would be working with the companies database would probably be trained on a dummy database this would allow the employee to build up practical skills. Among the many benefits of computer-based training the major benefit to an employer is the reduced cost. As they do not have to send people away on courses which mean they dont have to pay for travel or accommodation.

So the investment in a suitable training scheme often pays for itself, as the computers are already available. The only drawback is that the computer based training courses can be impersonal and the employee may have to be a computer literate to do the course. One of the other advantages is that staff can train when they like at there own desks on the computer. The downside to this is that they are being taught by a computer, which cannot explain to the employee what they did wrong when they make a mistake, although some training packages may be able to do this to an extent.

The major benefit to the people being trained close to Next is the convenience as they do not have to travel away and can learn in there own time. They can also get immediate feedback on how well they are doing. The only real disadvantage to using computer-based training is the impersonal touch of being taught by a computer.

* Performance Management:

A need to manage the performance of its employees effectively if Next is to remain competitive. This means that they must use effective management control exercised at both individual and organisational level.

A range of processes and techniques need to be in place which allow individual employees to know how well they are doing and for managers to be able to monitor how well their subordinates are performing.

At Next they monitor their employees whilst they are working. For e.g. they monitor your call with a customer if you are working in the directory and they observe you when you are serving customers on the shop floor.

They do this because they wish to maintain the high standards people think they are at and their value in the market would increase.

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