Human Resources Management Process5th April 2021
Step 1. Recruitment, Selection and Placement:
Recruitment and selection of a new employee is an important personnel function. The selection involves two basic steps:
- The tapping of sources of supply
- The interviewing or picking out from among potential candidates. The sources of supply for procuring manpower are present and former employees, friends and colleagues, public and private employment agencies, advertising schools and colleges and casual applicants.
The establishment of the National Employment Service in 1945 has helped in improving the methods of recruitment. Employment Exchanges have been set up under this service. All fresh employments in Government, Quasi-Government and Local Bodies, as also private enterprise are required to make use of these Exchanges.
After a prospective candidate appears for employment, the second step, in selection by “sizing up” the candidate is taken by interviewing him and by reference to testimonials and recommendations, if any. Every interview should be conducted frankly in a straight forward manner. This applies to both parties. It should not be hurried, but should be sufficient in length to put the candidate at his ease, so that he may reveal himself in his natural state by talking of himself and his previous employment, if any.
Sometimes a second interview may be necessary to properly appraise a candidate. The interview should also supply information about the job and the company for which the applicant is to work.
The interview will be followed by certain mental and trade tests for placing the worker in the organisation. The tests which have been used with profit for this purpose are- Intelligence Tests for measuring intelligence or scholastic aptitudes; Interest tests for finding out the candidate’s likes and dislikes for different occupations; Aptitude tests, designed to measure a number of native abilities not concerned with “intelligence”; and Personality tests which relate to the subject’s social life, relations with his family, emotional reactions, etc.
A word of caution is called for. Too much reliance in selection should not be placed on psychological techniques and tests which seem to be fast growing; and the majority of which are of questionable value. It is not intended to imply that all the methods are useless, but they must not be regarded as anything like a complete and fool proof solution to the problem of selection. After a person is selected, he should be sent for medical examination. Medical examination is beneficial both to the employee and the employer.
It is axiomatic that selection should be on the basis of merit without any other consideration, but a number of pressures are often applied from within and outside the organisation. The task of matching the man to the requirements of the job becomes very difficult.
The fundamental principle of selection that we must fit a man to the job and not the job to the man has been ignored. Very often, because of certain pressures, a man is appointed but then no one knows what to do with him. Perhaps a job is created or modified to fit him.
Another aspect of selection is the extent of participation of the Personnel and Line Officers in the selection procedure. It varies from organisation to organisation. The line officer may assess the suitability of the candidate from the functional angle. The personnel man plays a more important role to see that the person selected will fit in the group in which he is expected to work, has the ability to get along with others and to ensure that the rules and regulations prescribing the standards for recruitment are uniformly and meticulously observed.
- Guidance and Placement:
Selection of right men for given tasks is only the first step in securing an efficient working force. After employment the new employee should be courteously and intelligently dealt with in the matter of placement. He has to be helped and guided in deciding what he can do best of all possible chances open to him.
Modern industry is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of placing on every job an individual who is not only able to do the job well but who, in addition, is temperamentally adapted to the job in question. An individual is best adapted and is usually most satisfied, when he has found an outlet for whatever energy, drive and ability he may possess.
Each position should be filled by one who wants it. One who knows he is “better off” in it than in any other place he can find. Misfit and dissatisfied men are burdens. It is better to have each position filled by a man who is barely competent to fill it than to have it filled by a man who should have a much better position.
Step 2. Training and Development:
Training is a corner-stone of sound management. Employees must be systematically trained if they are to do their jobs well. New workers must be taught to do the job correctly from the outset; channels ought to exist to teach old employees new methods as they are developed. A training programme gives management an opportunity to explain carefully and clearly its policies, rules and regulations.
Tangible results of a training programme include reduction in labour turnover, less spoiled work, less damage to materials and equipment, and improvement in quality and quantity. Above all good will is generated, as in the final analysis, training programme is a reflection of management attitudes.
There are two general approaches to instruction:
- The Absorption Method, and
- Intentional Method.
- Instruction by absorption leaves men on their own to sink or swim. Sometimes an older employee may be assigned to take an interest in the new employee, but usually left to learn himself by trial and error, by watching others and asking questions.
- Instruction by intention is the planned method of training new men. In the ideal situation every step in learning the job by the new employee has been planned in advance. The learner is given every opportunity to develop as rapidly as possible and is encouraged at every step.
The following training methods have enjoyed widespread use namely:
- On-the-job training.
- Off-the job or training centre training.
- Apprenticeship training.
On-the-job, training takes place in the department on the equipment where the employee will work. It is suited for teaching relatively simple production and clerical operations to new employees. It is also used when job methods are significantly changed or when an employee is transferred to a different job.
When employees are trained on the job they get the feel of actual production conditions and requirements. The trainees learn rules and regulations and procedures by observing their day-to-day application. The management can size up trainees.
- Off-the-Job or Training-Centre:
Off-the-job or Training-Centre training is providing by schools or centres (the Americans call the Vestibule Schools) established by the young persons in specified trades.
Training can also be provided by experienced fellow-workers. This type of training is particularly adaptable where experienced workmen need helpers. It fits in well also in departments where workmen advance through successive jobs to perform a series of operations.
Training by supervisors provides the trainees opportunities for getting acquainted with their bosses and the supervisors have good chances to judge the abilities and possibilities of trainees from the job performance point of view.
- Apprenticeship Training:
Apprenticeship training aims to develop all-round skilled craftsman. The major part of apprenticeship-training is done on the job doing productive work. Each apprentice is given a programme of assignment according to a pre-determined schedule. The well-balanced programmes provide for efficient training in trade skills and permits a sufficient amount of time for the training to the apprentice to mature as a responsible worker and then a supervisor.
Step 3. Job Evaluation:
Job evaluation is the rating of jobs according to specific planned procedure in order to determine the relative worth of each job. It is a systematic method of appraising the worth or value of each job in relation to other jobs in the company. Job evaluation rates the jobs, not mm, or women on the jobs, which is the task of employee rating. The principles of job evaluation can be applied to all kinds of employees, operatives as well as executives.
They can be applied to businesses of all sizes. The sole purpose of job evaluation is to divide up any given pay roll so that all jobs are paid according to their relative difficulties. For example, the job of a machinist and that of an electrician may appear to be quite different, but if they are of the same relative difficulty, requiring similar skill, effort and intelligence, both would be paid at the same rate.
Job evaluation is useful in many ways; and with a job evaluation plan in operation, inconsistency in rates is minimised and the entire wage structure becomes unified. According to Knowles and Thomson, job evaluation is useful in eliminating many of the evils to which nearly all systems of wage and salary payments are subject.
- Payment of high wages and salaries to persons who hold jobs and positions not requiring great amounts of skill, effort and responsibility
- Paying beginners less money than they are entitled to receive in terms of what is required of them
- Giving raises to persons whose performances do not justify them
- Deciding rates of pay and increases in pay on the basis of seniority rather than ability
- Payment of widely varied wages and salaries for the same or closely related jobs and positions
- The payment of unequal wages and salaries because of race, sex, religion, and political differences.
Step 4. Merit Rating and Promotions, Transfer and Demotion:
Merit rating are concerned with the relative worth of men; as measured by certain specific techniques. These techniques, which are formalised procedures for differentiating among or assessing workers, are usually referred to as merit rating plans, employee-rating plans or performance rating.
Merit rating may be defined as a systematic evaluation of an employee’s performance on the job in terms of the requirements of the job. The merit-rating systems are used by firms primarily because each supervisor must differentiate among his subordinates. He has to decide which employee to recommend for promotion, for layoff, for wage increases, or for special training. Thus, his job involves making judgments about people. A good supervisor bases his judgment on a systematic approach merit rating, rather than rely on rule of thumb, intuition and other less systematic procedures.
It is appropriate to recognise at the outset that employees are rated for a number of different reasons. Therefore, the subject of merit rating covers more than wage and salary administration. It is even regarded as a technique for improving communication and building esprit de corps. The specific uses of merit rating vary from firm to firm.
Merit rating is used for the following purposes and reasons:
- Merit rating is most commonly used to justify wage increases, but it has many other industrial-relations uses.
- It is used as a part of the selection process itself in deciding whether employees on probation are to be confirmed or not.
- It helps the supervisor in the task of job placement in line with the individual employee’s personal peculiarities.
- It helps in identifying employees who deserve promotion and those who should be transferred to some other job where he is likely to perform more efficiently.
- It acts as a criterion to be used by the employment office to judge the effectiveness of its own selection.
- It can be used as part of a seniority system for layoff purposes. Where ability and length of service are considered as a part of seniority, merit rating can be of great assistance.
- Merit rating is, thus, used to give employees an idea of how they are doing, identify promotable employees, award wage adjustments, improve supervision, discover training needs, guide selection and placement, and comply with union contracts.
In spite of its usefulness, merit rating is opposed by many employees. A part of this opposition arises from a basic distrust of anyone in authority, and a part of it arises from a sincere questioning of the ability of the supervisor to judge accurately the abilities and performance of the employees. For this reason managements go to great lengths to secure uniformity among the various raters as well as objectivity as far as possible. Certain forms and certain procedures aid in securing uniformity in evaluation.
Promotions and Transfers:
The fundamental principle of employment, which every employer should keep in mind, is to put on a job the best possible man obtainable for the money he is prepared to spend, no matter where he comes from. Very frequently, however, the knowledge of the firm and its methods possessed by “insiders” will make them more suitable for the higher posts than any outsider could be.
Therefore, every employer should make an efficient effort to produce his own skilled workers, and should plan to fill higher positions, as far as possible, by promotions and transfers. Undoubtedly, doors should not be barred to outsiders, who may bring valuable new ideas, and save the firm they join from going to sleep, but the “discards” of the other plants should be avoided.
Ordinarily, the demand made upon the outside labour market should be for beginners only, unless some specially qualified outsider fits better than any of the insiders. After all, ambitious employees are anxious for promotional opportunities.
A promotion is the transfer of an employee to a job that pays more money or one that enjoys some preferred status. The job evaluation, by means of analysis as to their requirements, and merit rating showing capacities of individual workers, will open natural lines of transfers and promotions. Transfers enable the management to check up its own mistakes in the selection or placement of workers.
Every man is good for something and the business of the employment department is to find what that something is. The proper remedy for a misfit is usually a transfer, and not a discharge. Transfers stimulate the labour force as much as promotions, for they are an evidence of regard for the individual worker. Promotions are transfers to higher pay and better work for the merit; the making of them stimulates employees to earn merit.
Promotions are the proper answer to the argument that an employee must not do his present work conspicuously well or he will always be held upon it. A promotion by leaving a position vacant creates an opportunity for a stimulating series of promotions below it. This acts as a satisfying recognition of the logical claim that the opportunities within an establishment belong to those who are members of its labour family rather than to outsiders.
To facilitate promotion, positions should be arranged like the steps of a stairway or the rungs of a ladder, so that each place is a preparation for the next higher one. It was Frank Gilbreth who conceived what he called the Three-Position Plan according to which all the positions throughout an establishment are to be placed together by functions of teaching and learning.
He described this plan thus “The three positions are as follows; first and lowest, the position that the man has last occupied in the organisation; second, the position that the man is occupying at present in the organisation; third, and highest, the position that the man will next occupy. In the first position the worker occupies the place of the teacher, this position being at the same time occupied by two other men, that is, by the worker doing the work who receives little or no instruction in the duties of that position except in an emergency, and by the worker below who is learning the work. In the second position the worker is actually in charge of the work, and is constantly also the teacher of the man next below him, who will next occupy the position. He is also, in emergencies, a learner of duties from the man above him. In the third position, the worker occupies the place of learner, and is being constantly instructed by the man in the duties of the position immediately above”.
It is, however, not enough to construct stairways or ladders; they must be kept open. “An officer who stagnates, blocks a line below him, and leaves a place above without a candidate in reserve”. Therefore, a promotion programme must be kept alive by promoting men for merit, and never for pull or favouritism.
Seniority may at times be given weight, but seniority alone is as bad a basis as pull or favouritism. Promotions based upon merit awaken ambition; and each promoted person becomes a symbol of what may be attained by another. In such a system each subordinate is a sort of standing challenge to his superior.
Opinions differ with regard to the demotion of an employee. Some managers hesitate to demote a man on the theory that he will not be satisfied to take the lower job and it is therefore better to discharge him than to have a disgruntled employee. This attitude is especially true with regard to executives.
There is some merit to this way of thinking; yet many a worker, especially an executive, would be only too happy to be removed from a job that he recognises he is unable to fill as it should be filled, provided that this can be done without too much shock to his personal pride. Often, such men should be transferred to another job or section, where he may be a success. The man, who has failed, is not always solely responsible for his failures. His superiors have erred in judgment as well as he.
If a man, who has reached a position, after successfully filling various positions over a period of 20 years, and finds himself incapable of handling the job fully successfully, he may ask to be permitted to revert to his old job; provided the situation is properly handled. Such adjustments require a high type of personnel administration. Discharge is the easy way but not necessarily the sound one.
The management should prepare the men for stepping down and not merely handle the occurrence as a matter of course. Demoted workers or supervisors have a psychological adjustment to make. Attention to this matter is a mark of real leadership and pays dividends in helping people when they really need it. You may not be able to avoid altogether some heartaches in demoting an employee, but you can minimise them.