KIA Motors America Inc. and the state the state of its human resource management system will be the focus of this paper. As a brief background, KIA Motors America Inc. is an international, world class automobile and automobile parts manufacturing company. It is currently one of the most popular car manufacturers in terms of design and fuel-efficiency, thanks to the lightweight characteristic of its products. KIA Motors America Inc., just like any other company, has its own pool of employees and relies on Human Resources professionals to manage the considerably large number of employees it has. KIA Motors America Inc. has been known as a company that employs some hundreds of thousands of people in just one country (Crush, 2009). The possible implications and the validity of KIA Motors America Inc.’s decision to hire an unusually (for a modern car manufacturing company) large number of employees will be analyzed in this case study paper.
Strategic Recruitment Planning and Operational Efforts
One controversial issue about KIA Motors Inc. is the way how it hires its employees. KIA Motors Inc. usually hires a large number of new workers whenever there are slots available. The company has to or it could mean fewer profits for the business. It is common among big companies like KIA Motors Inc. to mass hire employees especially if they needed to replenish their workforce—they need this to maintain the level of productivity of their factories. The question is, does KIA Motors Inc. employ methods how to strategically employ new workers into the company? Did the company conduct the necessary research and planning methods before leaping into a risky decision of hiring a large number of employees? Lastly, does the company know the possible implications and effects (both negative and positive) of hiring a certain number of employees?
Car manufacturing consists of a series of processes. Stamping, welding, painting, engine manufacturing, assembly, upholstering, inspection, and sales and transportation are some of the key processes involved in car manufacturing. These processes could only be performed by two entities: human car factory workers and mechanical robots. These two are typically only the options that car manufacturers such as KIA Motors America Inc. can consider in manufacturing their cars.
Each one from these two groups have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that, in relation to Human Resource Management, almost always boils down to the idea that by using mechanical robots, the demand for a larger workforce could be dramatically minimized. Either way, the company will still be required to hire and maintain a certain number of employees or there would be no one left to operate the machines.
Even with the presence of mechanical robots in the automobile industry, KIA Motors America Inc. still could not neglect the fact that there are phases in the car manufacturing process that only a human can perform. Meaning, human factory workers and mechanical robots are actually destined to work hand in hand. The whole process would be tedious and time-consuming if KIA Motors America Inc. will not consider adding mechanical robots to their manufacturing lines. On the other end, the whole process could be faulty if only mechanical robots (because of their efficiency) will be left to work inside the factory. In the end, KIA Motors America Inc. still has to hire a considerably large number of employees if they want to increase their manufacturing rate while trying to keep the product quality under control. Therefore, if KIA Motors America Inc. would want to retain the current quality of their factory outputs, they have to be consistent in hiring large numbers of employees.
With this information in hand, it is essential that KIA Motors Inc. knows how to strategically recruit employees. The company should know exactly what the organization needs. The number of employees, their individual quality and the specialized skills that each of them has are some of the key factors that KIA Motors Inc. has to consider. Do they need more? Or is the current amount of manpower the company has already sufficient? These are some of the questions that KIA Motors Inc. often has to ask before they engage in any large-scale recruitment process.
Of course there are other strategic recruiting variables that KIA Motors Inc. could consider. Identification of these variables is shall help them gain a more positive outcome out of their recruiting efforts. Some of those variables are the current developments in the automobile industry, current stability of the economy, skill gaps between the company’s current line of employees, the number of regular overtime employees, and the frequency of employee termination, dismissal and retirement.
Strategic planning is also an important part of KIA Motors Inc.’s recruitment process. Does the company aim for an expansion or does it only wish to maintain its factories’ current level of productivity? These are some of the questions that KIA Motors Inc. administrators have to know if ever they are planning to recruit a new batch of employees. An organization that is planning to expand will definitely need to recruit more employees than an organization that only plans to maintain its current productivity levels.
In an interview conducted by Peter Crush, Gary Tomlinson, a Human Resource Director at KIA stated that "I decided leadership had a bigger impact than the power of our brand," he says. "At a practical level, this meant looking again at manager/line manager and staff relationships, and at a behavioral level, preventing the wrong sort of cultures from continuing.” (Crush, 2009). This only shows how eager KIA Motors Inc. is in maintaining not only high car quality standards but also strong leadership and relationship standards with its employees. KIA Motors America Inc. indeed knows how to value its employees and executives. In fact, KIA Motors America Inc. was able to sustain an 89% employee satisfaction value in 2009—a significantly higher value compared to other companies in the automobile industry. As a result, the company now has one of the largest dealership networks in the U.K. and in the U.S (Crush, 2009).
Smaller firms will not be able to sustain a large number of employees like what KIA Motors Inc. did. Smaller firms do not enjoy a large number of dealership and manufacturing sales like KIA. They will quickly run out of resources and may even be obliged to declare bankruptcy if they have failed to strategically plan their employment methods. Smaller firms should instead rely on a smaller number of employees as much as possible. Until smaller firms experience a significant increase in sales or demand for products, they should remain in that state.
The Use of the Internet
The internet houses a lot of opportunities for a company such as KIA Motors America Inc. to mass hire employees. By simply posting a job post on the company’s website or any other job-search websites, the company could dramatically increase the number of employees they can hire within a period of time. Compared to the traditional way of hiring—that is, without relying on the internet, there sure are a lot of differences. With the use of the internet, employers could have a practically limitless amount of options. They could easily monitor the number of applicants and then short-list them immediately for further screening. Upon visiting KIA Motor Inc.’s website, guests could already see a dedicated page for career opportunities that qualified applicants may enjoy with KIA. It saves both the employees and the employer the time just to know and pass the amount of information written in those pages respectively. At least by visiting the web page, the aspiring employees already have a gist of what the position the are applying for would look like and a general idea about the jobs. To sum it all up, Internet indeed is a great option that both employers and employees can consider in looking for a job. Most importantly, KIA’s efforts in hiring large quantities of employees could easily be achieved, thanks to the internet.
O’Brien, M. (2009). HR’s Take on the Office. Human Resource Executive.
Crush, P. (2009). Interview with Gary Tomlinson HR Director at KIA. HRMAGAZINE.