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You are hired as the HR Director for The Sports Board Unlimited (fictitious) which manufactures and sells sporting equipment for the consumer market. Their products includ

Case Overview

You are hired as the HR Director for The Sports Board Unlimited (fictitious) which manufactures and sells sporting equipment for the consumer market. Their products include paddle boards (new through an acquisition), surf boards, wake boards, knee boards, snow boards, skate boards, water skis, and snow skis. They sell through distributors but are also developing a growing on-line presence so consumers can buy direct.

The sporting goods industry is highly competitive and the company historically followed a market penetration strategy (using greater marketing efforts to increase market share in its current markets). Now, they are looking to expand their products and just acquired a firm making paddle boards. While continuing to improve current products and develop/acquire new products to be a market leader (product development strategy), they emphasize growth, innovation, and the development/modification of new products. To respond to the competitive market and meet customer changing demands, they must be flexible, and have a flat, and more decentralized organizational structure.

The Sports Board is located 45 miles from a more major metropolitan city with a couple two-year colleges, a trade school and one university. Given their type of product portfolio, they are close to a large inland lake. The current unemployment rate is 12.1%. The issue of the pandemic is a major contributor to the area high unemployment rate. Even with the pandemic, sales for most products remain strong as consumers use the outdoor sports as a way to safely move beyond some restrictions.

The owner and President is committed to keeping the organization local and more family oriented. The Sports Board has either mainly hired friends or promoted within, many of which are unskilled workers and not trained for their positions. However the situation is changing. As the infection rate rises, many employees are not able to come to work. For production, working from home is not an option. This has resulted in the need to remake the work environment to ensure safe working conditions. Also, as technology changes, many workers need to develop new skills to support new production methods as well as some managerial/administrative workers being able to work from home.

Several local companies including The Sports Board have experienced recent labor issues. The racial demographic makeup of The Sports Board is 78% white, while the local labor market population is approximately 41% minority. Promotions to management have been based on seniority/tenure. There is a growing minority population that has not been accepted into the community. The President and four managers are white males. The only female supervisor works in the customer service department. All other management positions are filled by white males. Lately, The Sports Board has been hiring more millennials resulting in three generations (millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers) with differing values and motivators. This has resulted in communication issues, conflict between the employees of different generations and between management and these employees. This has resulted in lower job satisfaction, productivity and increased turnover even in these demanding times. To add to this, The Sports Board only offers the legally required benefits, which millennials feel is inadequate.

Given the current situation, production workers are demanding premium pay and safer working conditions based on their fear of contracting COVID 19.

The Sports Board currently employs 241 employees, not including HR but does include employees from the acquisition. Prior to the acquisition the workforce totaled 176. Due to increased product demand and the addition of some new products, output needs to be increased by 37%. New product development must be accelerated to maintain a competitive advantage. Marketing (including new product development) and Sales continues to sell products to an expanding market, but the effort has been mostly through sales professionals. All of the employees in manufacturing (including quality control), customer service, and operations (responsible for shipping and receiving – distribution, including raw materials, components parts and finished goods inventory; and maintenance and cleaning) have a minimum of a high school education or GED. Some skills training courses are provided by the company. Refer to the organizational chart (Figure 1) for more details.

Refer to the organizational chart (Figure 1) for more details:

·  President

·  HR Director (?)

·  Finance and accounting – 2 manager plus 8 professionals and 4 hourly (include payroll)

·  Manufacturing – 3 managers (120 workers)

·  Qualify control – 8 workers

·  Operations – 3 managers (54 workers) – Maintenance and cleaning (2 leaders, 6 employees)

·  Customer service – inbound only – 16 CSR and 1 female supervisor

·  Marketing/Sales – 2 managers and 15 sales professionals

The recent acquisition has resulted in some duplication of functions, most notably in the areas of HR, accounting/finance, marketing and production. While some individuals and their skills would need to be retained, the redundancy needs to be addressed. In addition, the sale of knee boards has plummeted as consumer interests have shifted resulting in the dropping of this product.

Please answer the following:

Developing the talent acquisition and retention plan. Given the increase in demand, how many people will you need to hire and in what functional areas (manufacturing, operations, customer service, marketing and sales, finance/accounting, and HR).

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