Dear members,
On one of the WA groups of HR, Administrator of the groups has raised a topic for discussion. Today's topic is on Difference Between HR Functions in Manufacturing and Service Sector. He has asked the following questions:
How are HR functions different in manufacturing or service industries?
Do candidates having worked in diversified industries make difference in getting miraculous results?
Why do the Talent acquisition teams or the recruiters insist to have a candidate from specified industry?
I have given replies to the questions. These are as below:
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Dear Rajaram,
The replies to the questions are as below:
Q. 1 How are HR functions different in manufacturing or service industries?
Reply: - Whether in manufacturing sector or in service industries, "Personnel Management" part of HR does not change much. Nevertheless, the benefit of working in manufacturing organisations is that the product has a physical form and measuring quality issues or inventory is easy. In contrast, the in services there is no product as such and perishability or under-utlisation of the capacities is important factor. Secondly, each services will have unique costs associated with the business. Understanding those costs is a challenge for HR.
Q. 2 Do candidates having worked in diversified industries make difference in getting miraculous results?
Reply: - Yes, working in diversified industries is always better as one develop's better understanding of how the business functions. Nevertheless, expecting "miraculous" results is bit exaggeration. Miracles by the staff also depend on their empowerment and the authority that they enjoy.
Q. 3 Why do the Talent acquisition teams or the recruiters insist to have a candidate from specified industry?
Reply: - Talent acquisition teams or the recruiters insist to have a candidate from specified industry because that is what they are told do. Leadership looks for the candidates from the same industry as the candidate is expected to know the dynamics of the particular industry. Over a period of time, business issues or issues related to the customer satisfaction get ingrained within the candidate. A candidate from the different industry might not understand the psychology of the people working in that industry. Going further, when the person works in the same industry, then he/she might attend industry-related seminar or the guest lectures and he/she comes to know more about the industry. Last but not the least, today most of the Managers and above are walking-talking placement agencies. They are expected to help HR in the recruitment of the right candidate. This is yet another advantage of hiring a person from the same industry.
Occasionally, HR or even leadership is too clannish. HR has builds a mental wall calling their industry to be different. Can you expect any non-IT HR to enter in IT company easily? No way! But then this is what happens across the industries. Worst still, let me give you example of my friend who is civil engineer and all along worked in real estate industry. However, once HR turned down his candidature because because he had built 15-storey buildings whereas their project had 25 storeys! With this kind of mindset, expect the clannishness only to flourish further rather than diminishing.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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Dear Rajaram,
I would like to share my views as follows:
1. Unlike manufacturing industry, the focus on customer is far sharper as bulk of the employees come day to day in direct contact with customers in service industry and building of distinguishable quality service offerings becomes very critical area of challenge to HR. The difference between HR function in mfg and service industry is in the emphasis and
not in kind.
Undoubtedly, the very survival and growth of service industry, depends upon attracting and retaining customer base through quality manpower andthe same should form entire pivot of HR policies.
2 . For this, service performance standards and their measurements have to be well defined and communicated to all service givers.
3.The candidates who have value-added experience in diversified industry , in my view , can certainly contribute better in comparison with others. However to make a blanket statement would be unfair.
4.The bias of recruiters in selecting person from same industry is prominently seen but this paradigm needs to be changed and some out of box thinking or experimentation is required in trying out person from diversified background.
Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR-Consultant

From India, Mumbai

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