Thursday, 22 December 2011

08: Human Resources Management and Selection

People are the most important asset in the management. Maintaining accounts of the valuable human asset is sometime referred as “Human Resource Accounting”

Definition of Staffing

Staffing is defined as filling and keeping filled positions in the organization structure. This is done by identifying workforce requirements, inventorying the people available, and recruiting, selecting, placing, promoting, apprising, planning the careers of, compensating, and training or otherwise developing both candidates and current jobholders so that they can accomplish their task effectively and efficiently. Staffing is closely linked to organizing.
Staffing is identified as a separate managerial function because,
1. The staffing of organizational roles includes knowledge and approaches
2. It emphasizes on the human element in selection, appraisal, and career planning and manager development.
3. Knowledge and experience has been developed in the area of staffing.
4. Staffing is manager’s responsibility.

The Systems Approach to Human Resource Management: An overview of the Staffing Function

Specifically, enterprise plans becomes the basis for organization plans, which are necessary to achieve enterprise objectives. The present and projected organization structure determines the number and kind of managers required. Other essential aspects of staffing are appraisal, career strategy, and training and development of mangers. Staffing also affects leading and controlling. Well trained managers create an environment in which people working together in groups, can achieve enterprise objectives and at the same time accomplish personal goals. Thus proper staffing facilitates leading. Similarly, selecting quality managers affects controlling. Lack of well trained, well educated and highly skilled managers may prevent an enterprise.

Factors Affecting the Number and Kinds of Managers Required

The number of managers needed in an enterprise depends not only on its size but also on the complexity of the organization structure, the plans for expansion, and the rate of turnover of managerial personnel. Apart from numbers, qualifications for individual positions must be identified so that the best-suited managers can be chosen.

Determination of Available Managerial Resources:

The Management Inventory

It is common to keep an inventory of raw materials and goods in hand to enable it to carry on its operation. Keeping abreast of the management potential within a firm can be done by the use of an inventory chart, which is simply an organization chart of a unit with managerial positions indicated and keyed as to the promotability of each incumbent.

Analysis of the Need for Managers: External and Internal Information Sources

The need for managers is determined by enterprise and organizational plans and by an analysis of the number of managers required and the number available as identified through the management inventory. But there are other factors, internal and external, that influences the demand for and supply of mangers. The external factors include economic, technological, social, political, legal factors and trends in the labor market. Data about the need for and the availability of personnel give rise to four demand and supply situations.
Low Demand and Low Supply: Training and development if change in demand is expected in the future.
Low Demand and High Supply: Outplacement, Layoffs, Demotions, Early Retirement.
High Demand and Low Supply: Internal Training and development, Compensation, External Recruitment.
High Demand and High Supply: Selection, Placement and Promotion

Other Important Aspects in the Systems Approach to Staffing

Recruitment involves attracting qualified candidates to fill the organizational roles. The aim is to place people in positions that allow them to utilize their personal strengths and, perhaps, overcome their weaknesses by getting experience or training in those skills in which they need improvement. Finally, placing a manger in a new position within the enterprise often result in promotion.

Situational Factors Affecting Staffing

External Factors and Environment

External Factors affecting staffing can be grouped into educational (the level of education), socio-culture (the prevailing attitude in society), legal-political (many laws and regulations) and economic constraints or opportunities. Equal Employment Opportunity, Women in Management and staffing for International Environment, these are few other topics included in External Factors.

Internal Factors and Environment

These include organizational goal, tasks, technology, organization structure, the kind of people employed by the enterprise, the demand for and supply of managers within the enterprise, the reward system and various kinds of policies.

1. Promotion from Within: Employees overwhelmingly favor a policy of promotion from within. This feeling is present at all levels of the organization, largely because of jealously or because of rivalry for promotion. Top managers are often inclined to choose the easy way and avoid problems by selecting an outsider. This not only has positive values relating to morale, employees’ long-run commitment to the company, and the firm’s reputation but also permits taking advantage of the presence of potentially fine managers among the firm’s employees. However executives should not be blind to the dangers of either overemphasizing this source or relying on it exclusively. Fact is that enterprises often need people from the outside to introduce new ideas and practices. Consequently, there is a good reason to avoid a policy of exclusive promotion from within.

2. Promotion from Within in Large Companies: Large companies usually have so many qualified people that promotion from within actually approaches a condition similar to an open-competition policy.

3. The Policy of Open Completion: There are clear-cut reasons for implementing the principle of open competition by opening vacant positions to the best-qualified persons available, whether inside or outside the enterprise. It counters the shortcomings of a policy of exclusive promotion from within. A policy of open competition is a better and more honest means of ensuring managerial competence in comparison to an obligatory promotion from within. If moral is to be protected in applying an open-competition policy, the enterprise must have fair and objective methods of apprising and selecting its people. It should also do everything possible to help people develop so that they can qualify for promotions.

4. Responsibility for Staffing: The ultimate responsibility is with the chief executive officer and the policy-making group of top executives. They have the duty of developing a policy, assigning its execution to subordinates, and ensuring its proper application.

Selection: Matching the Person with the Job

Selection of managers is one of the most critical steps in the entire process of managing. Selection is the process of choosing from among candidates, from within the organization or from the outside, the most suitable person for the current position or for future positions.

Systems Approach to Selection: An Overview

Since qualified managers are critical to the success of an enterprise, a systematic approach is essential to select a manager and to the assessment of present and future needs for managerial personnel. The managerial requirements plan is based on the firm’s objectives, forecast, plans, and strategies. This plan is translated into position and job design requirements that are matched with such individual characteristics as intelligence, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experience. To meet the organizational requirements, managers recruit, select, place and promote people. This, of course, must be done with due consideration for the internal environment and the external environment (discussed above). After people have been selected and placed in positions, they must be introduced to the new job. This orientation involves learning about the company, its operation, and its social aspects. The newly placed managers then carry out their managerial and non managerial functions, resulting in managerial performance, which eventually determines enterprise performance. Subsequently, managerial performance is appraised, and mangers are rewarded. On the basis of this evaluation, manager and organization development is initiated. Finally, appraisal may also become the basis for promotion, demotion, replacement and retirement decisions.

Position Requirement and Job Design

An objective analysis of position requirements must be made, and, as far as possible, the job must be designed to meet the organizational and individual needs.
Identifying Job Requirements
This must answers questions such as: What has o be done in this job? How is it done? What background knowledge, attitudes and skills are required? Additional question are, can job be done differently? If so what is the requirements? This can be done thru observation, interviews, questionnaires, or even a systems analysis. Many firms also include objectives and expected results in job descriptions.

Appropriate Scope of the Job

A job too narrowly defined provides no challenge, no opportunity for growth, and no sense of accomplishment. Consequently good managers will be bored and dissatisfied. On the other hand, a job must not be so brad that it cannot be effectively handled. The result will be stress, frustration, and loss of control.

Managerial Skills Required by Job Designs

Job design should start with the tasks to be accomplished. Also job is to be designed to fit the leadership style of a particular person. The job description, then, must provide a clear idea of the performance requirements for a person in a particular position but must also allow some flexibility so hat the employer can take advantage of individual characteristics and abilities. In stable organization environment, a position may be described in relatively specific terms whereas in a dynamic organization, a job description may have to be more general and most likely will have to be reviewed more frequently.

Design of Jobs for Individual and Work Teams

The focus of job design can be on the individual position or on work groups.
First, individual job can be enriched by grouping tasks into natural work units.
Second related approach is to combine several tasks into one job.
A third way of enriching the job is to establish direct relationships with the customer or client.
Fourth, prompt and specific feedback should be built into the system whenever appropriate.
Fifth, individual job can be enriched through vertical job loading, which is increasing individuals’ responsibility for planning, doing, and controlling their job.
Same is applicable for team. Moreover, teams may be given authority and freedom to decide how well the job shall be preformed. Within the team, individuals can often be trained so that they can rotate to different jobs within the group. Finally rewards may be administered on the basis of group performance.

Factor Influencing Job Design

In the job design, the requirements of the enterprise have to be taken into account. But other factors must be considered in order to realize maximum benefits; they include individual difference, the technology involved, the costs associated with restructuring the jobs, the organization structure, and the internal climate. The cost of changing to new job designs must also be considered. It makes a great deal of difference whether a plant is newly designed or an old plant has to be redesigned and changed to accommodate new job design concepts. The organizational structure must also be taken into account. Individual jobs must fit the overall structure. Groups may function well in an atmosphere that encourages participation, job enrichment and autonomous work.

Skills and Personal Characteristics Nodded by Managers

Analytical and problem-Solving Abilities

Managers must be able to identify problems, analyze complex situations, and by solving the problems encountered, exploit the opportunities presented. They must scan the environment and identify, through a rational process, those factors that stand in the way of opportunities. But problem identification and analysis are not enough. Managers also need the will to implement the solutions; they must recognize the emotions, needs, and motivations of the people involved in initiating the required change as well as of those who resist change.

Personal Characteristics Needed by Managers

Desire to Manage: The successful manager has a strong desire to manage, to influence others, and to get results through team efforts of subordinates. The desire to manage requires effort, time, energy and usually long hours of work.

Communication Skills and Empathy: Communication demands clarity, but even more, it demands empathy. This is the ability to understand the feelings of another person and to deal with the emotional aspects of communication. Communication skills are important for an effective intragroup communication (communication with people in the same organization unit) As one move in the organization, however, intergroup communication becomes increasingly important.

Integrity and Honesty: Managers must be morally sound and worthy of trust. Integrity in managers includes honesty in money matters and in dealing with others, effort to keep superiors informed, adherence to the full truth, strength of character, and behavior in accordance with ethical standards.

Past performance as a Manager: Past accomplishments are important consideration in the selection of middle and upper level managers.

Matching Qualifications with Position Requirements

Two Sources of managerial personnel: One, people from within the enterprise may be promoted or transferred. Second, managers may be hired from the outside. For internal promotions, a computerized information system may help to identify qualified candidates. It can be used in conjunction with a comprehensive human resource plan. There are several external sources available, like, executive recruiters, professional associations, educational institutions, referrals from people within the enterprise.

Recruitment of Mangers

Before the recruiting process begins, the position’s requirements – which relate directly to the task – must be clearly identified. This makes it easier to recruit suitable candidate from outside.

Selection, Placement, and Promotion

Selecting a manger is choosing from among the candidates the one who best meets the positions requirements. Since the selection may be for a specific job opening or for future managerial requirements. Two approaches of filling position, Selection Approach, applicants are sought to fill a position with rather specific requirements; in the Placement Approach, the strength and weakness of the individual are evaluated, and a suitable position is found or even designed.

 is a change within the organization to a higher position that has greater responsibilities and requires more advanced skills. It usually involves higher status and an increase in pay. Promotion may be rewarded for past performance, but only if there is an evidence of potential competency.

The Peter Principle
It says, managers tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence. Peter Principle can serve as a warning not to take the selection and promotion process lightly.

Selection Process, Techniques and Instruments

For good selection, the information about the applicant should be both valid and reliable. Validity is the degree to which the data predict the candidate’s success as a manager. The information should also have a high degree of reliability, a term that refers to the accuracy and consistency of the measurement.

The Selection Process

1. Selection criteria are established, usually on the basis of current, and sometimes future, job requirements. These criteria include such items as education, knowledge, skills, and experience.
2. The candidate is requested to complete an application form.
3. A screening interview is conducted to identify the more promising candidates.
4. Additional information may be obtained by testing the candidate’s qualifications for the position.
5. Formal interviews are conducted by the manager, his or her superior, and other persons within the organization.
6. The information provided by the candidate is checked and verified.
7. Physical examination may be required.
8. On the basis of the results of previous steps the candidate is either offered the job or informed that he or she has not been sleeted for the position.


Despite its general use, the interview is considerably distrusted as a reliable and valid means for selecting the managers. Interviewers often do not ask the right questions. They may be influenced by the interviewee’s general appearance, which may have little bearing on the job performance. They also frequently make up their mind early in the interview, before they have all the information necessary to make a fair judgment.

Techniques to improve the interviewing process and overcome some of the weakness
1. Interviewers should be trained so that they know what to look for.
2. Interviewers should be prepared to ask the right questions. In structured interview, the interviewer asks a set of prepared questions.
3. Conduct a multiple interviews utilizing different interviewers. Thus, several people can compare their evaluations and perceptions. However, not all interviewers should vote in selecting a candidate; rather, they should provide an additional information for the manager who will be responsible fro the final decision.
4. Interview should be supplemented by data from the application form, the results of various tests, and the information obtained from persons listed as references. As many people are reluctant to provide complete information.

TestsTests can be classified as follows:
1. Intelligence Tests: These are designed to measure mental capacity and to test memory speed of thought, and ability to see relationships in complex problem situations.
2. Proficiency and Aptitude Tests: These test are constructed to discover interests, existing skills and potential for acquiring skills.
3. Vocational Test: These are designed to show a candidate’s most suitable occupation or the areas in which the candidate’s interest match the interests of people working in those areas.
4. Personality Tests: These are designed to reveal candidate’s personal characteristics and the way candidates may interact with others.

Limitations of Test:

1. Psychologies agree that tests are not accurate enough to be used as the sole measure of candidate’s characteristics but must be interpreted in the light of each individual’s entire history.
2. The test user must know what tests do and what their limitations are. Psychologies are not highly confident those present-day tests are effective in measuring managerial abilities and potentials.
3. Before any test is widely used, it should be tried out.
4. It is also important that tests be administered and interpreted by experts in the field.
5. Test should not discriminate unfairly and should be consistent with laws and government guidelines.

Assessment Centers

Assessment Centers is a technique for selecting and promoting managers. This approach may be used in combination with training. Assessment Centers were first used for selecting and promoting lower-level supervisors, but now they are applied to middle-level managers as well. However they seem to be inappropriate for top executives. Intended to measure how a potential manager will act in typical managerial situations, the usual center approach is to have candidates take part in series of exercise. During this period they are observed and assessed by psychologist or experienced managers. Candidates are observed by their evaluators. At the end of the assessment center period, each assessor summarizes his or her appraisals of each candidate’s performance; then the assessors compare their evaluations, come to conclusions concerning each candidate’s managerial potential and write summary report on each candidate.

Evidence of the usefulness of the assessment center approach, although not conclusive, is encouraging. On the other hand, there is controversy as to whom, by whom, and under what circumstances this and other tests should be administered and as to who should receive the test results.

Problems of assessment centers are, first, they are costly in terms of time, especially since many effective programs extend over a five-day period. Second, training assessors is a problem, particularly in those companies that believe, with some justification, that the best assessors are likely to be experienced line managers rather than trained psychologists. Third, there is a question for being the best criteria for evaluation. Fourth, they may overlook the most important element in selecting the managers, especially those about to enter the managerial ranks for the first time. That element is motivation – whether or not a person truly wants to be a manger. Motivation is a difficult quality to evaluate.

Limitation of the Selection Process

The diversity of selection approaches and tests indicates that there is no one perfect way to select managers. Therefore, selection techniques and instruments are not a sure way to predict what people will do, even though they may have the ability to do it. Still other concerns in selection and hiring are the time and cost involved in making personnel decisions. E.g. advertising expense, agency fees, costs of test materials, time spent in interviewing candidates, cost for reference checks, medical exams, start-up time required for the new manager to get acquainted with the job, relocation, and orientation of the new employee.

Orienting and Socializing New Employees

The selection of the best person for the job is only the first step in building an effective management team. Even companies that make great efforts in the recruitment and selection process often ignore the needs of new mangers after they have been hired.

Orientation involves the introduction of new employees to the enterprise, its functions, tasks, and people. Large firms usually have a formal orientation program, which explains these features of the company: history, products and services, general polices and practices, organization, requirements for confidentiality and secrecy, safety and other regulations. The primary responsibility for orienting the new manger still rests with the superior.

The socialization of new managers is important concept. Organizational socialization is defined in several different ways. It includes three aspects: acquisition of work skills and abilities, adoption of appropriate role behaviors and adjustment to the norms and values of the work group.

Uncertainty can cause a great deal of anxiety for a new employee, especially a management trainee. Because the initial experience in an enterprise can be with the best superiors in the enterprise.

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