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HRM210 Research Skills Guide: Understand your task

Understanding the task

identify imageIt is important to break down the requirements of your assessment task before you start searching for information so that you can plan your approach.

At this first stage, you need to work out:

  • what the assessment is asking you to do
  • how you are going to search for answers to the question

The best place to find this information is your Subject Outline. You should carefully read all elements of the assessment information available including:

  1. the task description,
  2. the rationale, and
  3. the marking rubric.

Reading through each element will highlight key terms or concepts you are expected to demonstrate your knowledge of, and will also identify the types of information, or information sources, you are expected to use.

At first you may feel a little overwhelmed by all of the requirements. However, with some thought and planning, you can come up with a research plan that will suit your assessment tasks.

If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, ask your lecturer or tutor who will be happy to talk it through with you.

Assessment 2 | Report: Human Resource Management Plan (HRMP)

In Assessment 2 you are asked to choose any organisation and:

1. Perform a strategic organisational analysis: Examine the strategic and business plan including the vision, mission, values and challenges facing the organisation and conduct a PEST and SWOT analysis. Consider how HR practices contribute to this. These ideas will form the basis of your report. 

2. Identify and explain three (3) HR functions being performed in the organisation (such as recruitment, selection, performance management etc.), critique how these are managed (i.e., jointly with other managers or in isolation etc.) and offer commentary on any ethical considerations.

3. Building on the results of Step 2, prioritise and examine at least three (3) HR techniques, procedures and/or systems challenges affecting the organisation.

4. Draw up the HRM Plan: The HRM plan is to be formulated for the three (3) prioritised HR challenges outlined in Step 3. Each HRM challenge should include objectives, implementation strategies, responsibility and KPIs.

Topic analysis

Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic (watch the topic analysis video for assistance); and then
  • Brainstorm as many synonyms and similar terms/phrases as you can.

This is a useful exercise because the language used to describe your topic may vary from source to source, and you don't want to miss out on a good source because it uses a different term to the one you are searching on.

From Assessment two some of the key concepts include:

  • HR functions such as recruitment, selection, performance management
  • ethical considerations
  • HR procedures
  • HR techniques

Remember you will also need to search for information to support your discussion of the identified challenges facing your chosen organistion.

Find additional keywords

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias can help you to find additional keywords and get an overview of the concept.

Oxford Reference Online is a huge repository of subject-specific dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and other reference-type material.

Useful Resources