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Human Resources Management Essay

2413 words - 10 pages

Human Resources Management

This paper will examine human resource strategies, policies and practices and how they relate to the JetBlue Airways case: Starting from Scratch, by Jody Hoffer Gittell and Charles O’Reilly, 2001. We will identify national equal employment opportunity laws that impact JetBlue's hiring practices. We will take a look at their internal and external recruitment methods, personnel selection process’, and their use of the 360-degree feedback evaluation as a performance appraisal method. Lastly, we will discuss discretionary employee benefits and how JetBlue incorporated at least three discretionary employee benefits in their start-up and ramping up process.

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In their 10th edition of Human Resource Management in 2008, R. Wayne Mondy discussed how all of the laws affecting the hiring practices of today sprang from this nearly 150 year old legislation.

One of the National Equal Employment Opportunities that affected the hiring practices of JetBlue was the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This law prohibits an employer from paying an employee of one gender less money that an employee of the opposite gender, if both employees do work that is substantially the same. (Mondy, 2008 p. 59)

In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that was amended in 1972, and was an applicable piece of legislation during JetBlue’s start-up. Under this act it is illegal for an employer to discriminate in hiring, firing, promoting, compensating or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. It also forbad any retaliatory practices against employees who participated in an investigation, proceeding or hearing. (Mondy, 2008 p. 60).

Thirdly, the Age Discrimination in Employment act of 1967, amended in 1978 and 1986 was in force during Jet Blues time. Although the 1967 act was drawn to protect 40 to 65 year olds, it became broader by 1986 to protect anyone 40 years or older, making it illegal to discriminate against any age. In the case of Jet Blue, age could be considered as a “bona fide” occupational qualification since the FAA imposed a forced retirement on all pilots at age 60. This age qualification continued until President Bush signed a bill in 2007 that changed the age to 65. (Mondy, 2008 p. 63).

Recruitment Efforts of JetBlue

In JetBlue’s initial days, Ann Rhoades, Executive Vice President for People, helped the airline grow from its’ original 10 people to almost 1000 employees. To accomplish this, she used both external and internal recruitments methods. One external recruitment method she used was a simple ad for reservation agents. In fact, based on a single local advertisement for reservation agents in a Salt Lake City newspaper, Rhoades reported that they currently had a waiting list of 2,500 interested applicants. Another external recruitment strategy that was used by JetBlue was unique bonuses that were offered for some of the fight attendants such as, “medical coverage, plus $500 per month additional pay, in lieu of other benefits, to help them afford to live in Manhattan.” (Gittell and O’Reilly, 2001 p.11).

Internal recruitment methods include job bidding and posting, employee referrals and enlistment. For this, JetBlue tapped into the already well-established pilot network, in his words Dave Barger, COO said:

They paid careful attention to cultural fit. In his view, this practice had paid off because happy pilots were a great source for recruiting their friends from competing airlines. Barger underscored the importance of cultural fit by noting that unlike most airlines, JetBlue covered the cost of...

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