Human Resource and Industrial Relations at Optiver
Human resource (HR) and Industrial relations (IR) have often been treated as separate disciplines but are in essence inseparable as far as the management of a company’s human resources is concerned. HR and IR are forever linked and there is no way of separating them in a real professional world. HR practices directly feed into IR outcomes and it can be inarguably expressed that good HR leads to good IR and poor HR leads to bad IR. This paper is a discussion on how HR is interlinked with IR and how failure to perform professional human resource practices could have negative IR implications. The discussion bases its focus on Optiver, an Australian algorithmic trading firm. In a bid to demonstrate the link between HR and IR, this paper will evaluate the HR practices at Optiver and how these could lead to the emergence of IR issues if done poorly.
Optiver is an algorithmic trading firm headquartered in Amsterdam and owned by a Dutchman named Rene van Zandwijk. The company began its operations in 1986 in Amsterdam and has with time accumulated a wealth of operating experience in financial markets. Through a deep understanding of factors that affect security and derivative prices, the company is able to use its innovative systems to swiftly respond to changes in the market. Optiver has grown to become one of the primary liquidity providers around the world. The company’s operations are mainly in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States, where it has branches. Optiver employs around 600 workers from four different continents.
Optiver’s HR management practices are considered top-notch and the company has not only managed to attract top talent but also to maintain admirable working conditions for its employees. The BRW Magazine ranked the company number one in 2013 as the best to work in Australia in the BRW 50 Best to Work With list (Smith, 2013). Good policies that meet human resource management standards are attributed to this position. Optiver has great interest in the welfare of its employees and this is addressed through reasonable measures taken to keep employees satisfied.