Human Resource Management in a time of recession

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Human Resource Management is one of the most essential responsibilities of each and every manager in an organization. It purely involves people for getting things done through them in an organized manner. This comprises a list of activities and one important factor among them would be placing right person for the right job, recruiting and training them in their specialization and also assisting employees for benefits, rewards and other policies.

During recession HR managers downsized the employees to a larger rate and at present when almost countries are coming out of recession it's time for the HR Managers to move on and take important and proper decisions keeping the both employees and organization in mind and of course managers are facing a lot of issues due to the current market conditions. The task is all about bearing in mind all issues the organizations face and how the HR managers will handle the situations while coming out of recession.


Performance Appraisal is top-down assessment which usually take place once or twice a year that depends on the organization for rating the individuals based on their performance. Nowadays appraisals are mainly concentrating only on what went wrong and does not look forward to future improvement of the organization. Performance Appraisal 'a dishonest annual ritual '(Armstrong and Murlis, 1998). Once appraisals are conducted by the managers and in some cases they do find lack of skills in the employees and that will make the employees demotivated and they could not put their heart and soul into work as like they were working before.

Now keeping the current scenario in mind appraisals must be in such a way that it should not affect and hurt employees in any case but it should help them in improving the skills and correcting their mistakes which they were committing before. During performance appraisals the HR managers have some types of rating scales to judge the individuals performance and that should be in favor of the employees even if they are under-performed they should be given proper training to perform well in the future. Now in the current global market as the organizations are slowly coming out of recession the following can be done to improve the appraisals and make employees come out of demotivation, a proper training which helps the employees to learn what when wrong and where. Peer reviews are the best way to achieve consistency in performance from other fellow mates by sharing the knowledge of each other's performance and it helps them to improve a lot. While dealing with the under-performers first we have to identify their problems and find the reason for the shortfall, decide what action to be done, resource the action and finally monitor them and give feedback.

These can be suggested to the organization which is slowly coming out of recession to retain their employees and to get good outputs from them.


In the current scenario from a HR perspective recruitment and selection plays an essential part which helps the organizations to slowly come out of recession. Recruitment mainly involves bringing in the required number and quality of employees to cater to the needs of the organization. Now the organizations are roaring out of recession and in this scenario they have plans to increase the production to a large scale in order to survive and compete with the other competitors in the industry so they have to start recruiting people according to the requirements right from now to move on further. While recruiting some of the important points that should be remembered is that candidate should be best in technical competencies, behavioral competencies, qualifications and experience. The source of candidates are mainly from advertisements, internet and through consultancies or agencies.

HR Managers in all organizations must make sure that they recruit the right people to deliver the required outputs so that it helps in the development of the organization. Organizations are ready to spend much of money in advertising and outsourcing to agencies to get the right people. In this current market if an organization is looking for a candidate to fit in some required position in advertisement it should be made clear that they require only the experienced candidates in that particular discipline so that after recruiting it will be easy for the organization to just give some basic information on what they are doing. This will help in reduction of money which is spent for training in some of the organization. It is suggested to follow these points while recruiting so that to it prevents the organization from future down fall.


The improvement and effectiveness of an organization is mostly dependent on the business strategy which is being implemented by the HR managers. The main issue faced by the organization is that they follow the poor strategy and there is no proper strategic management to improve the business. During recession many organizations failed only because of this reason and still in the current situation when the organizations wanted to come out of recession it is must to change their strategy according to the changing world. Most of the senior managers use different strategies and now are preparing their companies towards success after slowly coming out from recession. There are many approaches to strategic HRM which will make it much better than before and they are high-commitment management, high-performance management and high-involvement management. Every approach has its own style in improving the strategic HRM.

Likewise there are approaches for the development of HR strategy they are best fit, best practice and configurational approach. Adopting the best practice approach in an organization may lead to the superior performance in what they do and each organization are following different and distinctive practices and that will really help to compete with others. The best fit method deals with mainly the external environment and operational practices that comes under the circumstances of an organization. Implementation of HR strategies is more important and that should be handled very carefully by the managers. There are some barriers to the implementation of strategies such as poor understanding towards strategic needs of business, improper assessment and other environmental factors.

Overcoming these barriers will include proper ground work before the start, dealing with action plan, managing and implementing, following and finally evaluating the progress and if anything goes wrong immediate remedial actions must be taken. Even if there may be another recession coming down HR strategy should be in such a way that the organization should survive. It can be suggested to keep in mind the different approaches while developing the business strategy for an organization which will really improve the strategy of an organization.


Success of a business does not hinge only on the efforts but it is hugely depends on the employees. One of the most serious issues the organizations are now facing is that the employers are downsizing the benefits of the employees as there is a downfall in the global economy. So the employees get affected in mostly in all sorts of organization due to improper benefits and that demotivates them in most of the cases and the employees are not much committed and loyal towards their work. This scenario has to be changed immediately because it is affecting the organization's growth in all terms.

Benefits may be improved by conducting meeting between the benefit counselor and each employee to know what is expected from them and the managers can act according to that. The other ways may be by changing the benefit packages of the organization once in a year so that employees can enjoy some different benefits and they can feel happy for that and deliver good outputs for the organization and in some cases employee-paid voluntary benefits can be given to make it much better for the employees. Employees should understand and appreciate the benefits provided by the employers as it is very much important for the business. If there arises any serious issue between employer and employee the relationship will lead to unhappy moments and in turn huge loss in the organization.

Some of the best practices that can be applied to enhance the employer-employee relation are providing them solid workplace which may result in retaining employees to that organization and employees will work for their employers if they understand their needs. Employees must be given clear job descriptions so that they can work accordingly and it consists of tasks, schedules, talent, experience and expectations. These all points can be suggested to improve employee relations and benefits in an organization.


Job design defines the specification of the particular job in detail and the processes related to it. It is aiming to satisfy both the requirements of the organization and needs of the individuals. The organizations are facing some issues with the job design as well and some issues are mainly due to the purpose and demand of the organization, technology of the organization, processes that are to be carried out in the organization and structure of the organization. In some organizations the employees are trained in some discipline and they work in an entirely different department may be because of increasing demand in that particular department and this is only due to poor job design. To enhance the individual performance in an organization there are some approaches to be followed and they are job enrichment, job rotation and job enlargement.

From a HR perspective in this current scenario while designing a job make the characteristics of job structure clear which should properly contain all details about the main tasks and interrelated elements. Providing intrinsic motivation and proper use of abilities can be helpful in order to make the employees self-motivated and committed to carry out and perform the job effectively. In the current global market as the organizations are looking for people to get into their business the managers should be very careful in setting the proper job design and some suggestions are made above that may be helpful in enhancing the job design.


Most of the employees across the world reported that they had hard time during the recession as they were working more than the scheduled time and even in weekends due to work pressure. Working beyond scheduled hours will lead to decline in the organization's performance as the employees are under self-imposed pressure and this is one of the very serious issues for the organization which is slowly coming out of recession. The issues with the employees is that even if they work more than the scheduled time they don't get paid for the extra hours worked as the organizations are facing problems due to poor economy around the world. Only if the employees are satisfied they will work with their full concentration and they will be motivated towards work to give better outputs so that managers should favor them by allowing them for flexible working.

As a manager the remedial action for this may be creating flexibility in contract such as full time or part time according to the requirements and time flexibility which concentrates in setting many ranges of working time and additional benefits can also be given according to the flexible hours so that the employees will be satisfied and motivated. Flexibility in location may also help the employees choose their workplace based on the activities and organization also can bring flexibility in changing the business functions. Flexible working will enhance the performance of both the organization and the individual. The above points may be suggested in order to improve the workplace and growth of an organization.


Most of the organizations are aiming at achieving high levels of performance through their employees and this can be done only by motivating the individuals with rewards and incentives. During recession and in the current situation when organizations are coming out of recession in a slower manner they don't actually encourage people to achieve. Lack of motivation in employees will not improve organization's business in any way. Motivation can be either intrinsic which is self-generated that will influence the employees or extrinsic which is all about rewards, promotion and so on.

As a HR manager now the organizations can better focus on the extrinsic motivation which includes increased pay, promotion and paid leave and so on. Once the employees are motivated in this way automatically they will get motivated intrinsically and they will deliver good outputs. Some of the approaches are involved in motivation theory and they are content theory and process theory which deals with the process of motivation. Content theory deals with satisfying the needs of people and the process theory is mainly concerned with people's perception. It is suggested for the managers to go by the process theory which is very useful for them to motivate employees and it may lead to the further growth of the organization.


Most of the organizations are spending millions of money in training their employees every year and IT sector tops the list in training process. The major issue with training is that organizations give rigorous training in some discipline and due to the changing demands of the organization the employee will be put in the some other discipline which they are not aware of and this leads to train them again in that particular discipline which is almost waste of time and resources of the organization. HR managers are very much responsible to make their employees skilled and aware of the new technology which is being adopted in the organization.

This may be rectified by analyzing employee's efficiency and then allocating them to respective departments. Managing talents is very important and this may lead to improved performance of the organization. As organizations are slowly coming up it is suggested to recruit and train only the required amount of people with skills and managers should make sure that the employees are benefited with training and they are well prepared to take up the task in future.