General advice and information
The word count includes words on your CV, covering letter, visual aids, supporting notes and responses to the questions. The word count does not include header page, index, appendix, reference list, diagrams and tables.
- Please use the APA style of referencing.
- High quality sources should be used wherever possible. This often means using peer-reviewed journals and subject-specific publications rather than online sources such as commercial websites or media articles.
- Detailed A to Z guidance on referencing is available in the Academic Development Resources on ELE.
- You may include relevant figures/tables/images in your report, referenced within the text.
- You can use video clips where appropriate if you wish. If you do, please make sure these can be easily accessed.
- Plagiarism is not tolerated. Suspected instances willbe reported to the Business School’s Quality Assurance team for further investigation.
Value of assessment
This assignment is worth 50% of the marks for this HR Skills module. Marking guidance for the assignment is shown in Appendix 2 and 3.
How to submit your work
Please submit via the system. You will need to submit one pdf document which includes all parts to the assignment. Details of how to do this will be available on the ELE and will also be emailed to you closer to the assignment handin date.
Assessment Brief: Garner Job Application.
The purpose of this assignment is to help you increase your self-awareness and produce a workable plan to enhance your skills during your MSc.
The assignment is a simulation of a complete job recruitment and selection process that we want you to imagine you are going through. The position we want you to imagine that you are applying for is a HR Business Partner (HRBP) for a fictitious company called Garner Engineering Ltd. Further details about the company and role are provided below.
For the assignment you are required to submit a collection of relevant materials that you compile together into one pdf document. This will simulate you applying and being interviewed for the HRBP role. You are asked to compile a) a CV and covering letter; b) material for two presentations; c) notes in preparation for an interview for the position.
The complete collection of documents needs to be a maximum of 6,000 words in length. This covers the six areas detailed below, and it is up to you to divide the word count between the six areas in whatever way you wish. To add strength and credibility to you argument it is important where appropriate to draw on relevant sources including academic journal articles in your response.
In your application you need to demonstrate how you meet the 8 sets of skills laid out in Appendix 1. These skills sets are all linked to the module’s learning outcomes.
The advertised post
|Human Resources Business Partner Garner Engineering Ltd. is a successful multinational manufacturing organisation with Head Office in London (UK), and with bases in Leeds (UK), Milan (Italy) and Warsaw (Poland). We are a people and values orientated business; guiding by 4 P’s: People – the source of our competitive advantage;Purpose – focusing on both the organisation’s and individuals’ purpose;Productivity – looking to improve this at every opportunity;Planet – respecting, caring for and improving the natural environment. Our values are: Positivity;Humility;Responsibility;Honesty and Integrity We want to identify three people who are currently studying HR at post-graduate level, to join our inclusive HR team when they graduate. On joining us, the successful candidates will support senior leaders and HR staff in each of our locations. Candidates should expect to be busy, hands-on and autonomous. By the time you join Garner you will need all of the skills laid out in Appendix 1. You will have outstanding people management skills and cultural intelligence. You will be an effective leader and also be able to work effectively in a variety of multi-cultural teams. You will have the ability to communicate through a range of media types and develop effective and inclusive working relationships with a diverse range of staff. The posts require people with strong: business acumen; awareness of diversity and inclusion; IT and financial skills; ability to interpret complex information and make informed decisions to develop and enhance our reward and remuneration policy and practices. Self-motivated and highly organised, the post-holders will work flexibly, acting as a HR Business Partner on a range of projects with different managers and across different parts of the business. Relevant experience is helpful although we believe potential and passion for learning is even more important. You are not expected to have all the business skills we require at the moment, but you must satisfy us that you have the desire and passion to learn, the capability, and the plans to acquire these skills by the time you complete your MSc. The posts require people with honesty and integrity, strategic thinking, skills in critical analysis, evaluation and quick decision-making. To be successful you will need to show a clear, comprehensive, stretching and practical plan for your personal and professional development during your masters studies at university.|
As the first step in applying for one of these posts you will need:
- A realistic CV and covering letter. Each of these should be a maximum of two pages in length.
Assume now that you have got through to the second stage of selection. The start of this second stage requires two short presentations from you. For this simulation you are not required to actually deliver these presentations, but we want you to prepare the presentations and submit the documents detailed below as part of your assessment pack.
- You should submit the visual aids and supporting notes for the first presentation. This presentation should last less than five minutes. In this we want you to show the strategic level review you have undertaken on the extent to which you have the 8 skill sets in Appendix 1. This presentation must show an honest and accurate appraisal of your skills and experiences that can be evidenced. You might draw on feedback from others to support this review and help you achieve an accurate picture. The presentation is not a sales pitch and inflating your skills does not earn you additional marks. Your presentation needs to be sufficiently detailed to be understood by the reader. If you wish to submit this as a video or other electronic format, please ensure that it can be easily accessed.
- You should submit the visual aids and supporting notes for a second presentation. Again the presentation should be less than five minutes. In this presentation you need to summarise your development plan for four specific skills taken from within the skill set headings. The areas you plan to develop need to be ones that you think are both the most important for you and are currently your weakest. Your plan must show very specific details of what you are going to do to acquire these skills by the time you graduate including:
- Specific activities you will undertake;
- Specific dates for when you will work on these activities;
- Measures you will use to monitor your progress with your development plan and establish when you have been successful.
- Details of rewards you will give yourself when you have achieved your plan.
These presentations would then be followed by an interview which would probe your presentation, and ask the questions detailed below. For this simulation and your assignment submission you need to submit written responses to these questions.
- Which of the eight skill sets would you claim to be your strongest? How will this skill set be of particular benefit to you during the remainder of your Master’s studies? You will need to justify your response with reference to the specific evidence you have used to make this decision.
- What does the research evidence suggest with regards to whether writing a specific plan for development is beneficial or not? You will need to justify your response with reference to relevant academic sources.
- In relation to requirement 3) iv. above, do you think rewards are a necessary part to a development plan or not? Again you will need to justify your response with reference to relevant academic sources.
In tasks 2), 3) and 4) only refer to skills.
For task 3), your development plan can include any area of your academic, personal and professional life, so think creatively. This might include:
- Your time on the MSc course. Different modules will provide you with many different skills development opportunities. Look ahead in the course and be specific about this – which module, which skill, how will the module develop that skill etc. We will work on some specific skills as part of the HR Skills module, but many of your skills will be developed in other modules. Module handbooks will help you in this planning;
- Workplace experiences (if you are working at present);
- Extra-curricular activities such as university societies;
- Your personal life outside the university.
Appendix 1 – The Eight Skill Sets
Skill set 1 – Managing yourself
Self-awareness; dimensions of personality and individual differences; time management; personal organising skills; stress management; principles of continuous professional development; professional and ethical approaches to self-management at work.
Skill set 2 – Interpersonal relationships in a professional context
Characteristics of effective teams and team-building; assertiveness; interpersonal communication; effective negotiation; handling emotion and conflict; written, verbal and non-verbal communication; networking; negotiating; organisational politics and the need to act in a politically astute and ethical manner to secure HR objectives; liaising with customers.
Skill set 3 – Making sound and justifiable decisions and solving problems
Systematic and evidence-based decision-making; testing ideas; creative and team-based decision-making; evaluating evidence and options; ethical decision-making; communicating and justifying decisions; proactive approaches to problem-solving; consulting skills.
Skill set 4 – Leading and influencing others
Effective supervision and team leadership; coaching and mentoring; effective delegation; resolving conflict between team members; positively motivating others to raise their level of performance; chairing meetings and co-ordinating discussions; leading and facilitating change; providing direction; influencing thinking and decision-making on the part of others.
Skill set 5 – Interpret financial information and manage financial resources
Structure, content and interpretation of simple balance sheets, profit and loss accounts and trading statements; ratio analysis; basic costing concepts and techniques; cash flow and cash budgets; budgetary planning and control.
Skill set 6 – IT proficiency
Information-handling skills; commonly used IT applications and software packages; statistical techniques and the presentation of statistical data.
Skill set 7 – People management skills
Selection interviewing; appraisal interviewing; disciplinary interviewing; delivering training; making presentations; project management; managing poor performance (including absence, lateness and incompetence).
Skill set 8 – Postgraduate study skills
Accessing and evaluating published research evidence; critical thinking; developing and justifying original arguments; referencing the work of others; effective essay and report-writing; effective revision and examination preparation.
Appendix 2 – Summary of marking guidance
|CV and covering letter||Appropriately tailored CV Good summary of capabilities, linked to the post Not just skills Not just a list of what you have done Engaging|
|Review of current skills||Covers the eight skill sets Reasonable depth Evidence based|
|Development Plan||Focuses on four specific areas from within the eight skill sets Focuses on your weakest areas Specific details of what you are going to do to acquire these skills by the time you graduate. The plan includes: activities, specific dates, measures to judge your success, and details of rewards you will give yourself when you have achieved your plan.|
|Strongest skill set||Identification of strongest skill set Clear evidence for supporting this Justified and clear argument as to how this will be of particular benefit to you now|
|Use of development plan||A clear and justified argument regarding use of individual development plans|
|Use of rewards||A clear and justified argument regarding use of rewards in development plans|
|General||Word count a maximum of 6000 words (±10%) Shows a good understanding of the assignment brief Clear and persuasive Well presented Drawing on a good range of relevant sources Appropriately referenced to the APA standard|
|Assessment Measure||0 – 39 Fail||40 – 49 Borderline Fail||50 – 59 Pass||60 – 69 Merit||70 + Distinction|
|Knowledge & Understanding of Subject||Demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the field. Demonstrates significant weaknesses in the knowledge base, and/or simply reproduces knowledge without evidence of understanding.||Demonstrates knowledge of the field and awareness of current evidence and issues, but with some notable weaknesses. Lacks knowledge and understanding of some key areas.||Demonstrates a sound knowledge and understanding of material.||Produces work with a well-defined focus. Demonstrates a systematic knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.||Produces work of exceptional standard, reflecting outstanding knowledge and understanding of material. Displays exceptional mastery of a complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills, with an exceptional critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the field.|
|Cognitive / Intellectual Skills||Very little or no critical ability. Poor, inconsistent analysis.||Some appropriate analysis, but some significant inconsistencies which affect the soundness of argument and/or conclusions. Demonstrates very limited critical ability.||Provides evidence of relevant and sound analysis, with some ability to evaluate critically. Is able to analyse complex issues and make appropriate judgements.||Is able to evaluate critically and, where appropriate, to propose new approaches. Is able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data.||Shows outstanding ability to evaluate critically and, where appropriate, to propose new approaches. Is able to deal with a range of complex issues both systematically and creatively, making excellent judgements in the absence of complete data.|
|Research Skills||Demonstrates little skill in techniques applicable to advanced scholarship. Lacks understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge. Failure to evidence or discuss/apply appropriate examples of literature relating to current advanced scholarship in the field. References to literature/ evidence and use of academic conventions are flawed, and/or inconsistent. Argument absent, or lacking any clarity and/or logic.||Demonstrates some skill in selected techniques applicable to advanced scholarship, but with significant areas of weakness. Lacks sufficient understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge. Can evidence and discuss/apply examples of literature relating to current research but lacks critical engagement. References to appropriate literature/ evidence and use of academic conventions are insufficient and/or inconsistent. Argument is attempted, but lacking in clarity and/or logic.||Demonstrates understanding of and skills in selected techniques applicable to advanced scholarship. Shows some originality in the application of knowledge, and some understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. Can evaluate critically examples of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the field. Makes consistently sound use of appropriate academic conventions and academic honesty. Able to communicate argument, evidence and conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences||Displays a comprehensive understanding of and skills in techniques applicable to advanced scholarship. Shows originality in the application of knowledge, together with a good understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. Is able to evaluate critically a range of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline. Makes consistently good use of appropriate academic conventions and academic honesty. Able to communicate very effectively arguments, evidence and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.||Employs advanced skills to conduct research and, where appropriate, advanced technical or professional activity, accepting accountability for related decision making. Displays an exceptional grasp of techniques applicable to advanced scholarship. Shows originality in application of knowledge, and excellent understanding of how established techniques of enquiry create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. Is able to evaluate critically, with exceptional insight, a range of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline. Makes consistently excellent use of appropriate academic conventions and academic honesty. Able to communicate at a very high level arguments, evidence and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.|
|Skills for Life and Professional Employment||Significant weaknesses evident in key areas such as communication, problem-solving and project management.||Demonstrates generally effective employability skills, including communication and problem-solving, but with some problematic areas of weakness.||Shows a consistently good level of employability skills, including project management, IT/computer literacy, creativity and flexibility. Demonstrates capabilities to support effective communication in a range of complex and specialised contexts. Shows consistent ability in tackling and solving demanding problems. Can plan and direct own learning. Demonstrates ability to advance own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills. Demonstrates the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.||Shows a high level of employability skills, including project management, IT/computer literacy, creativity and flexibility. Demonstrates very effective communication in a range of complex and specialised contexts. Demonstrates self-direction and some originality in tackling and solving demanding problems. Can act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level. Demonstrates the skills and attitudes needed to advance own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills. Demonstrates the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.||Shows a very high level of employability skills, including project management, IT/computer literacy, creativity and flexibility. Demonstrates very high level communication skills in a range of complex contexts, and ability to write at publishable standard. Demonstrates autonomy and notable originality in tackling and solving demanding problems. Shows a high level of consistency and autonomy in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level. Demonstrates skills and attitudes needed to advance own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level. Demonstrates the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.|
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