Work Plan Memo




To: The CEO, Dell Inc.


Subject: Analysis of career’s offered by Dell and the Company’s humanresource practices


Increasedcompetition and better human resource management practices by ourmain rivals

Rapidtechnological development over the past two decades has seen anincrease in the number of players in the personal computer industry. This means that competition has become stiffer and that companieshave been forced to re-strategize in a bid to remain influential inthe market. The sharp drop in profit margins from 35% in the pastyears to between 5 and 10 percent today’s PC market means that keyplayers in the industry have to work extra hard to sell highervolumes and at a minimal cost. Most organizations have realized thepotential impact that proper human resource management has on gaininga competitive advantage and are now employing different strategies toattract, retain and motivate employees. To gain a competitiveadvantage, the company should re-evaluate its career offerings andhuman resource management practices in order to identify what shouldbe retained and what should be changed.

Purposeand Scope

Careersoffered at Dell

Thereport will analyze the different careers that the company offers andthe incentives that the company has in place to ensure that itattracts the best workforce. Additionally, the report will look athow globalization has impacted the company’s career offerings andwhat the company is doing to ensure that those seeking jobs wouldprefer the company to rival organizations

Humanresource management and competitive advantage

Thereport will investigate how various human resource managementpractices help organizations gain a competitive advantage. We willinvestigate how the current human resource practices have helped Dellas a company to gain a competitive advantage over its maincompetitors.

Comparisonof the company’s HR practices to that of one competitor

Wewill investigate what HP, one of our main competitors, is doing interms of human resource management practices. This investigation aimsat finding out whether their HR practices are better than Dell’sand identifying the main areas that the company needs to improve onin order to attract, develop and retain its people and gain acompetitive advantage over its rivals.

Recommendationson what to keep and what to change

Thefinal item on the report will be recommendations based on thecomparison made between the company’s HR practices and that of itsmain rivals. The report will identify the key areas that the companyneeds to improve on and identify the HR practices that need to bemodified.

Sourcesand Methods of Data Collection

Secondaryresearch will be used to collect information about the company’scompetitors and their HR practices. This will involve reviewing ofthe companies websites and other published materials that highlightthe companies’ human resource management practices. To identifyDell’s current HR practices, primary research involving a survey ofboth the managers and employees will be conducted.


ThePreliminary outline for this study is as follows:

  1. What careers are offered by Dell?

  1. Are the careers wide in terms of scope and variety?

  2. Does the company offer any incentives to encourage people to apply for these jobs?

  3. What factors influence the company’s employment decisions?

  1. What impact does human resource management practices have on competition?

  1. How competitive is the PC market?

  2. What human resource management practices have proved to be successful in gaining a competitive advantage?

  1. What are the human resource practices that Dell is currently using?

  1. Why has the company adopted these HRM practices?

  2. Are these HRM practices effective or not

  1. How do the company’s HR practices compare to those of HP?

  1. Are there any similarities and differences in the company’s HP practices?

  2. In what ways are the HRM practices employed by HP better off or worse than those of Dell?

  1. What should the company keep and what should it change?

  1. Should the company adopt some of the practices employed by HP?

  2. What practices should be modified or introduced?

DellInc. Human resource management

Thesuccess of any company largely depends on how it makes use of itshuman resources. This is because the people within the organizationare the one responsible for the most of the activities within theorganization. The responsibility for organizing the people lies withthe management as well as HR professionals (Mondy, Noe &amp Gowan,2005). Most companies, including Dell, have realized the importanceof treating their human resources as an asset. As a result, Dell Inc.has put in place various measures to ensure that its human resourcesare well managed and utilized. Some of the HR practices adopted bythe company include career management, job analysis and design,selection, recruitment, placement, training and development as wellas rewarding. This report examines the careers offered by thecompany and compares the company’s human resource managementpractices to one of its main competitors.

CareersOffered At Dell Inc.

Thecompany offers a lot of careers to job seekers. Some of the jobopenings listed on the company’s website include sales, marketing,information technology, finance, customer service and support as wellas manufacturing and logistics. The company states that it recognizesthat its strength lies in the people and that it is focused onencouraging its employees to work together as a team. The companylists a number of reasons as to why aspiring employees should chooseto work at Dell. These reasons include the company’s commitment tointegrity and responsibility, numerous opportunities across the globeas well as numerous challenges and rewards. The company’smanagement understands the fact that the people play an importantrole in the process of implementing and achieving the strategic goalsand objectives.

Asa result of globalization, people from different social and culturalbackgrounds now work together in the same organizations. To ensurethat employees from different backgrounds work in harmony, Dell has adiversity and equal employment opportunity policy. The companyrecognizes the fact that inclusiveness, diversity and respect for allemployees is essential to the company’s success. The companyunderstands that each individual’s contribution is crucial to thecompany’s success. Therefore, the management values each uniquecontribution made by individual employees. Dell is committed tooffering all qualified job seekers with equal employment opportunity.Similarly, the company has shown that it is committed to ensuringthat its current pool of employees works in a job environment that isfree from discrimination and harassment.

Accordingto Dell’s website, all its employment decisions are based on anumber of factors including business needs, individual qualificationas well as job requirements. The company pays very little attentionto factors such as race, religion, health status, gender,nationality, physical appearance among other personal factors whenrelating with its employees or when reviewing job applications frominterested parties (Dell, 2015). The company has zero tolerance forany discrimination or harassment based on the mentioned factors. As aresult, Dell has been able to attract many workers from differentcultural and social backgrounds. The company’s non-discriminationand equal employment policy applies to both the upper and lowerlevels of employees. Basically, the company requires all the peopleinvolved in the company’s operations to respect each other andavoid any incidences of harassing or discriminating against fellowemployees. Due to this policy and other human resource managementpractices, the company now employs more than 100,000 people aroundthe globe. The company’s commitment to its workforce has seen itemerge among the top global companies in the world. The company hasconsistently appeared on the Fortune top 500 companies and was evenlisted as the 5thmost admired company in 2010.

Competitionin the PC market and the role of Human Resource Management

Rapidtechnological development over the past two decades has seen anincrease in the number of players in the personal computer industry. This means that competition has become stiffer and that companieshave been forced to re-strategize in a bid to remain influential inthe market. Dell is one of the leading companies in the PC market.However, the company is facing stiff competition from companies suchas HP and Apple and other new entrants such as Lenovo. The sharp dropin profit margins from 35% in the past years to between 5 and 10percent today’s PC market means that key players in the industryhave to work extra hard to sell higher volumes and at a minimal cost.Dell has been able to maintain high-profit margins by selling itsproducts directly to consumers. By selling directly to consumers, the company is able to avoid passing profits to re-sellers. However,other companies such as HP and Apple are also using a similarstrategy, which has enabled them to remain relevant in the market. This means that competition in the PC market is likely to be drivenby other factors apart from price and selling strategies. Thesefactors include the firms’ customer and public relations, design aswell as the companies’ relationship with their human resources.

Gaininga competitive advantage is important to the prosperity and growth ofany organization. Most organizations, including Dell, have realizedthe potential impact that proper human resource management has ongaining a competitive advantage. Companies are employing differentstrategies to attract, retain and motivate employees. Fortechnological companies such as Dell where innovation is crucial tothe success, attracting and retaining the most skilled and talentedemployees are very important to the success of the company. Everyaspect of a company’s operation requires input from the humanresources. The people play an important role in the designing,manufacturing, marketing and even selling of the final products.Proper human resource management practices ensure that anorganization employs and is able to retain the best pool of employeefor each task within and without the organization. A company that isable to manage its human resources effectively is able to attract andretain the right type of employees who will be motivated to performto the best level they can. Some of the benefits of having effectivehuman management practices include low employee turn-over, quickeracceptance and implementation of the company’s strategies, higherquality products as well as low production costs.

Thehuman resource management practices that different companies use togain a competitive advantage of other companies include benefits andservices, total compensation as well as unionization. Laborunions offer employees a platform to bond and create a collectiveforce to negotiate with the employer on various issues that directlyaffect the employees. Labor unions may provide a number of challengesto the human resource department (Mathis and Jackson, 2003). However,effective utilization and collaboration between the labor unions andthe human resource departments is usually beneficial to both theemployees and the organization (Noe,2006).To sustain a productive and engaged workforce, it is important forboth the HR and the labor union to work together. Unionization of anorganization has several advantages the first one being that itimproves employee satisfaction. By allowing employees to create andparticipate in the activities of labor unions, employers contributeto the satisfaction of the employees. Through the labor unions, theirwage and benefits demands can be met. Additionally, labor unionsoffer a direct and simple channel through which the employers andemployees can negotiate and agree on certain issues. Labor unionsalso contribute to low levels of turnover. However, these benefitscan only be attained when the labor unions work in closecollaboration with the human resource department (Raynor,2011).

Today’sbusiness environment is highly competitive. It has become quitechallenging for firms to attract and retain the best employees.Employees are not only interested in salaries, but they are alsoconcerned about the benefits and services that the organizations theywork in are willing to offer. Therefore, a firm’s benefits andservices program is important to efficient and effective humanresource management. Benefits are non-wage compensation that anorganization provides to its employees (Raynor,2011).This compensation is optional and includes disability insurance,group insurance, education funding, sick leave and maternity leave.Benefits are meant to aid the employees in covering the cost of someneeds they would otherwise have difficulties covering. On the otherhand, employee services include all the services that an employersees necessary to provide to the employees as a perk. The primarygoal of offering employee services is to motivate and instill loyaltyamong employees. There is a wide range of services that a firm canoffer to its employees (Noe,2006).The services include transportation, cafeteria and coffee shops.Services offered by an employer are more of a convenience whilebenefits are more of necessities. The benefits and services programthat a firm chooses to implement has a direct impact on theorganizational culture.

Totalcompensation includes all forms of payment, benefits and servicesthat an organization offers its employees. Organizations offerdifferent forms of benefits in their total compensation programs. Thecommon benefits include base salary and bonuses, paid time off,insurance and organization support. Many organizations spend a bigportion of their revenues on compensating employees. The planning andexecution of compensation programs require careful considerationsince the expenses incurred as a result of compensating employeesaffects both the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization(Raynor,2011).For an organization to achieve the effects it desires, thecompensation needs to be well organized, planned and executed. Theplanning and control of employee compensation has to be aligned withthe organization’s goals and objectives. The decisions that themanagement makes about compensation has a direct impact on theperformance and efficiency of employees (Noe,2006).Fair and adequate compensation of employees leads to higher levels ofmotivation. On the other hand, employees who are inadequatelycompensated have lower levels of motivation and are less efficient.

Dell’sHRM Practices

Toattract, retain and motivate its employees, Dell has adopted severalHRM practices. These practices include training and development,benefits and compensation, recruitment and selection as well asinternal career opportunities. Most employees look at the salary andbenefits a company has to offer when looking for a job opportunity.As a company, Dell provides market-related salaries as well asnumerous benefits to its employees. This is aimed at attracting themost talented and qualified employees and ensuring that the employeesare motivated and continue working for the company. Apart from that,the company maintains a very close relationship with its employees.Frequent assessment of employee satisfaction is usually conductedduring which employees are allowed to air their opinion about thework environment. The company conducts a climate survey twice everyyear. During these climate surveys, the employees are able to ratetheir supervisors and managers as well as the company’s benefitsand culture (Dell, 2015).

Interms of benefits and salaries, the company is committed to providinga comprehensive benefits package to all of its employees. Thebenefits packages offered by the company are quite competitive whencompared to other players in the industry. Some of the benefits andperks that the company offers its employees include vacation policy,insurance benefits as well as retirement benefits. The salaries andbenefits offered by the company vary from one region to another andfrom one job to another. Dell also provides Employee AssistanceProgram. The company provides the program to all the employees andtheir dependents for free. Benefits and salaries provide an overviewof how a company rewards its employees (Dell, 2015).

Trainingand development as an HR practice ensures that an organization hasthe most skilled employees who can contribute both the dailyoperations of the businesses as well as in research and innovation.Some of the activities that Dell offers under training anddevelopment include orientation of new employees, professionaldevelopment, leadership training as well as job skill training. Thetraining and development activities equip new and existing employeeswith skills in their current positions as well as forcross-functional work. This in turn leads to an increase in theemployees’ value to the company (Dell, 2015). The companyrecognizes the fact the employees play an important role in thegrowth and success of the organization and offers the employers awide range of training programs aimed at improving the employees’skills both in the current and future roles. The career and personaldevelopment process at the company involves the organization,individual team members, mentors as well as leaders.

Anorganization’s missions, objective as well as culture play animportant role in determining the recruitment and selection process.At Dell, the recruitment and selection process is quite intensive andtakes place in three stages. The first stage is an aptitude test,which is then followed by a technical interview. The last stage inthe recruitment process is the HR interview. The general aptitudestage during the recruitment and selection process involvesadministering of a series of questions that seek to test the jobapplicants’ competency and skills. Conducting a three-stageselection and recruitment process ensures that the final pools ofemployees are competent and well skilled for the various positionsthey have applied. Assuring employees of the availability of internalcareer opportunities is important as it helps the organization retainthe best of its working force. Dell has numerous internal careeropportunities available to its employees. The company’s workforceis free to choose the careers that best suit their lifestyles, likesand wishes (Dell, 2015).

Comparisonof Dell’s HR practices to HP’s

Dellhas many competitors including Lenovo group, Samsung, Apple andHewlett-Packard (HP). This section will compare the company’s HRpractices to those of Hewlett-Packard, which has over the past fewyears emerged as one of the influential players in the industry. Justlike Dell, HP considers its employees to be an important part of thecompany’s success and gaining of competitive advantage in the PCmarket. The company engages in numerous HR activities which are aimedat ensuring that the company recruits, develops and retains the bestof the best. The company has a global workforce of over 350,000employees. The company is committed to providing the best workexperience to its employees thus, has numerous changes to its HRmanagement practices. These changes include higher rewards andbenefits, focus on building careers as well as encouraging globalinteraction among the employees (HP, 2015).

HPhas a number of employment policies that are aimed at improving itsemployees work experience. These policies include the best workenvironment policy, global citizenship policy, non-discriminationpolicy as well as an open door policy. The company has also set upmeasures to ensure that its workforce is an engaged one. The companyrecognizes the fact that an engaged workforce is crucial for betterperformance and promotion of the company’s brand. Unlike Dell, HPencourages its employees to interact freely with each other and shareideas through forums and networks. The HP sustainability network andthe employee resource groups are some of the forums and networksthrough which the company’s employees from different regions of theworld are able to interact with each other.

Justlike Dell, HP is also keen about what its workforce has to say aboutthe company’s performance, culture as well as rewards andcompensation. HP usually conducts an annual survey known as the voiceof the workforce global survey. The survey is confidential andemployees can easily access it online. Additionally, the survey isavailable in 26 different languages. The HP intranet Top of Mindfeature makes it possible for employees to have an open dialogue withthe company’s leadership. Additionally, the company maintains aclose relationship with its retired workforce. The company boasts ofover 85,000 retirees with which it maintains close ties with. Thecompany has also shown commitment to developing careers throughvarious activities such as mentoring, training as well as leadershipdevelopment (HP, 2015).

Recommendationson what to keep and what to change

BothDell and HP have competitive incentives aimed at attracting andretaining the best employees. The company should retain its selectionand recruitment criteria which is rigorous and ensures that onlythose candidates who are highly qualified and with the right skillsget to be part of the company. However, the company should come upwith forums and global networks that would allow its global pool ofemployees to interact easily and share ideas. Additionally, thecompany should take into consideration the benefits of engaging inthe redeployment of its workforce. Not only does redeployment help inmaximizing and developing talent, but it also gives the employees theability to adapt. Another area the company needs to improve on is jobsecurity. Compared to its competitors, the company scores poorly whenit comes to job security.


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