More Similarities Than Differences Between Personnel And Hr Commerce Essay


The view that there are more similarities than differences between personnel and HR management is shared by a number of authors. Legge, for instance, is tempted to say that are "not a lot'' (1989:27) differences between the two approaches, but nevertheless manages to detect some diverging aspects. These however cannot be qualified as substantial differences, but are rather a matter of emphasis and meaning (Legge 1995: 74). Torrington personnel management as a continuing process of evolution and growth, in which more and more fields of expertise are acquired and assimilated. Within this evolutionary process HRM is only adding "a further dimension to a multi-faceted role'' (1989:66), and is not at all a revolutionary concept. However, the effect of HRM should not be underestimated. Armstrong (1987:34) maintains that although the procedures and techniques strongly resemble those of personnel management, the strategic and philosophical context of HRM makes them appear more purposeful, relevant, and consequently, more effective.

The role of HRM:

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Human Resource Management International Digest (HRMID) aims to keep human resource managers up to date with the very latest in HR concepts. As a unique service, we scan through the best 400 management journals in the world and distil the most topical human resource management issues and relevant implications for HR personnel out of the cutting-edge research. We regularly present case studies of the implementation of human resource strategies in organizations of varying sizes.

Task and activities of HRM:

Developing HRM strategies; employment law; managing employees in mergers and acquisitions; recruitment policies; employee retention strategies; managing employees during times of change; promoting leadership and succession planning; and employee development strategies.

• Save valuable management time by accessing the best management research through easy-to-digest reviews.

• Keep up to date with employment legislation.

• Read the current ideas from some of the best HR thinkers today.

The role and responsibilities of line managers in human resource practices:

Line managers and HR professionals must work together to ensure that the benefits and services offered support the organization's strategic objectives, fit the external environment, and are consistent with other HR practices. Seeking and using the input of all employees is an important responsibility of line managers. They are also responsible for giving employees the tools they need to make good choices. Line managers need to know the details of the benefits and services offered to employees, because they often determine how managers should treat their employees. For example, under what conditions are employees allowed to take sick unemployment compensation programs is determined by both the location of the employer and the employer's history of layoffs and dismissals. Employees with historically more employees drawing from the fund pay higher unemployment insurance premiums.

Human resource planning:

Human resource planning has traditionally been used by organizations to ensure that the right person is in the right job at the right time. Under past conditions of relative environmental certainty and stability, human resource planning focused on the short term and was dictated largely by line management concerns. Increasing environmental instability, demographic shifts, changes in technology, and heightened international competition are changing the need for and the nature of human resource

Planning in leading organizations. Planning is increasingly the product of the interaction between line management and planners. In addition, organizations are realizing that in order to adequately address human resource concerns, they must develop long-term as well as short term solutions. As human resource planners involve themselves in more programs to serve the needs of the business, and even influence the direction of the business, they face new and increased responsibilities and challenges. In an early treatment of Vetter (1967) defined

Human resource planning as the process by which management determines how the organization should move from its current manpower position to its desired position. Through planning, management strives to have the right number and the right kinds of people, at the right places, at the right time, doing things which result in both the organization and the individual receiving maximum long-run benefits.

Recruitment and selection strategies:

Better recruitment and selection strategies result in improved organizational outcomes. The more effectively organizations recruit and select candidates, the more likely they are to hire and retain satisfied employees.

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Organizations were asked what strategies they use to recruit both managerial/professional and non management candidates.

For recruiting managerial/professional candidates, the Internet is the most popular advertising medium, used by 76 percent of the organizations surveyed.

Organizations regularly utilize internal resources

(e.g., internal job postings and employee referrals) when recruiting both internal and external candidates.

Different kinds of agencies are used to recruit for positions at different levels.

- Temporary and government agencies are used mainly to recruit non-management candidates.

- Employment agencies, colleges, and professional organizations are used more often to recruit managerial/professional candidates.

However, organizations plan to increase their use of applicant testing and assessment in the future. These structured approaches to assess skills, abilities, and knowledge can significantly reduce the candidate pool by eliminating those who fail to meet the minimum job qualifications.

Selection techniques:

Evidence-based best practice for three of the most commonly used selection techniques is outlined below.

1. Curriculum vitaes / résumés and written applications

A curriculum vitae (CV) / résumé provide valuable information relating to a person's professional qualifications and experience. All information in the CV should be verified where appropriate (e.g., asking applicants to explain gaps in employment history). Requesting job applicants to address specific selection criteria (i.e., essential and desirable) can improve the efficiency of reviewing CVs.

2. Conducting interviews

Structured interviews are recommended. A structured interview involves asking each candidate the same set of questions and assessing their responses on the basis of pre-determined criteria. Questions and assessment criteria should be based on accurate, updated job descriptions. It is also helpful to develop criteria to categorise responses (e.g., as excellent, good, average and unsatisfactory). An interview panel consisting of a representative selection of people may also be helpful. Two common types of structured interview questions are:

• Situational questions which ask candidates about hypothetical scenarios that may be

Encountered in the job and how they would respond in that situation

• Experienced-based questions which focus on specific examples of the candidate's prior

Work experiences and their responses to past situations that are relevant to the job in question.

3. Reference checks

Referees are useful for identifying past employment problems and clarifying the accuracy of

Information presented in an interview or CV. Only a small percentage of all reference checks are negative, therefore, it is often difficult to differentiate between candidates on the basis of reference checks alone.

Selection Practices and procedures:

Organizations were asked to indicate how extensively they use several selection practices and how much they anticipate using them in the future.

Most organizations make extensive use of applications (89 percent), manual resume screening (80 percent), and reference checks (75 percent) in their selection systems.

- Nearly half (48 percent) of the organizations plan to increase their use of computerized resume screening in the future. New technology allows organizations to screen literally thousands of resumes in a fraction of the time it takes to screen them manually.

Although nearly all (97 percent) the organizations already use behaviour-based interviews to some extent when selecting employees, nearly half (49 percent) plan to use them more frequently in the future. This type of structured interview can be used to validly predict future behaviour in dimensions (or competencies) critical to job success.

Less than 20 percent of organizations currently use testing or assessment methods extensively in their selection process. However, organizations plan to increase their use of applicant testing and assessment in the future. These structured approaches to assess skills, abilities, and knowledge can significantly reduce the candidate pool by eliminating those who fail to meet the minimum job qualifications.

Best Practices

Organizations with the most effective selection systems were 15 to 22 percent more likely to use the following practices:

- Behaviour- based interviews.

- Training and experience evaluations.

- Ability tests.

- Biographical data.

- Motivational fit inventories.

Organizations with highly effective selection systems experienced higher business outcomes (i.e., financial performance, quality of products and services, productivity, and customer satisfaction) and employee outcomes (i.e., employee satisfaction and retention of quality employees) than those with ineffective selection systems.

the process of job evaluation:

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Job Evaluation is a technique to rank jobs in an organization on the basis of the duties and responsibilities assigned to the job. The job evaluation process results in a job being assigned to a pay grade. The pay grade is associated with a pay range that is defined by a minimum and a maximum pay rate.

Table 1 Examples of Job Evaluation Factors




Mental Effort


Problem Solving





Working Conditions

Financial Responsibility

Mental Demand


Physical Effort

Freedom to Act

Visual Demand


Contacts with others

Operational Latitude

Table 2 Point Value of Each Factor

















Problem Solving










Physical Effort





Table 3 Evaluation of a Job

Job Title



Problem Solving


Physical Effort

Total Points

Field Assistant







Reward systems:

Employees don't work for free. Most businesses are not volunteer services, so you have to compensate them in some way for their time and effort. What used to be called "pay" and then became "remuneration" is today often termed "reward". It refers to all of the monetary, non-monetary, and psychological payments that an organisation provides for its employees

How can you put all this together? There is no magic, one-size-fits-all solution: it should vary in different organisations. Here we shall go through a few of the key concepts, to help you make sense of this complicated area.

Types of reward: Many managers believe that people only work for money. However, we must remember that there are two basic types of reward.

There are extrinsic rewards, which cover the basic needs of income to survive (to pay bills), a feeling of stability and consistency (the job is secure), and recognition (my workplace values my skills). In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, these are at the lower end. We could also call these the financial rewards.

On the other hand, there are intrinsic rewards, the most important of which is probably job satisfaction, a feeling of completing challenges competently, enjoyment, and even perhaps the social interactions which arise from the workplace. These are at the upper, self-efficacy end of the need hierarchy. We could also call these psychological rewards.

Motivation and reward:

Energy performance in office buildings is part art, part science. Too often, firms place particular emphasis on the "science" - replacing equipment, focusing on new technologies, and relying on sophisticated energy management systems. But the reality is that day-to-day decisions and operations by individuals have as much of an impact on energy performance as the equipment, if not more. Finding ways to motivate, acknowledge, and reward these individuals in a way that aligns their contributions with overall energy goals is critical to a successful effort.

Rewarding your employees will create a positive feedback loop, further reinforcing the motivation to succeed. Be consistent - energy management is iterative and continuous and requires people's long-term dedication. If staff knows they'll be compensated (or reprimanded) for their accomplishments (or for falling short of expectations) now and in the future, they will be more diligent about following through with energy management policies and building improvements. Set up incentives for both your employees and contractors, and follow through when they meet their energy targets. Secure senior management's involvement in formally recognizing employee achievements.

A performance monitoring:

A performance monitoring plan (PMP) is a tool USAID operating units use to plan and manage the collection of performance data. Sometimes the plan also includes plans for data analysis, reporting, and use.

Reengineering guidance requires operating units to prepare PMPs once their strategic plans are approved. At a minimum, PMPs should include:

a detailed definition of each performance indicator

the source, method, frequency and schedule of data collection, and

the office, team, or individual responsible for ensuring data are available on schedule

As part of the PMP process, it is also advisable (but not mandated) for operating units to plan for:

how the performance data will be analyzed, and

how it will be reported, reviewed, and used to inform decisions

While PMPs are required, they are for the operating unit's own use. Review by central or regional bureaus is not mandated, although some bureaus encourage sharing PMPs. PMPs should be updated as needed to ensure plans, schedules, and assignments remain current.

A performance monitoring plan is a critical tool for planning, managing, and documenting data collection. It contributes to the effectiveness of the performance monitoring system by assuring that comparable data will be collected on a regular and timely basis. These are essential to the operation of a credible and useful performance-based management approach. PMPs promote the collection of comparable data by sufficiently documenting indicator definitions, sources, and methods of data collection. This enables operating units to collect comparable data over time even when key personnel change. PMPs support timely collection of data by documenting the frequency and schedule of data collection as well as by assigning responsibilities. Operating units should also consider developing plans for data analysis, reporting, and review efforts as part of the PMP process.

Procedures on exit:

Exit procedures In CIGAR organisation: Conduct exit interviews with departing staff

Implement sign-off procedures for departing staff with respect to handover of Centre equipment and resources in their custody and research data for their projects

Employee exit procedures: An introduction to the legal framework on employment protection: dismissal - wrongful, unfair and justified, role of Industrial Tribunals

Termination of employment: retirement, resignation, termination of contract, exit interviews

Dealing with the human aspects of termination employment: procedure for dismissal, counselling, training, and notice of dismissal

Redundancy: definition, outline procedures for handling redundancy, selection for redundancy, out placement, redeployment, 'red circling', retraining.

The best exit procedures:

Tribunals: role, composition, powers and procedure

Dismissal: wrongful, unfair, and justified

Termination of employment: resignation, retirement, termination of contract

Redundancy: definition, procedures, selection, redeployment, retraining

Management of exit: procedures, notice, counselling, training

Selection Criteria:

The selection criteria used by the employer must be carefully and exactly defined so that they can be fairly and consistently applied to each employee.

The criteria must also be agreed by the employees' representatives.

The very first thing that the employer must do is make a clear statement identifying the pool of employees from which the redundancies are to be sought, for example, the marketing staff at head office, or the flap fitters at the Newtown Plant. The employer should consider whether any of the jobs are interchangeable and whether there are other groups of employees performing identical work.

Selection criteria for redundancy may include,

length of service, 'last in, first out', some kind of measure of skills, qualifications, aptitude, or performance, attendance or disciplinary records.

The following criteria are considered unfair and can give rise to claims under Unfair Dismissal or the relevant discrimination laws:

trade union reasons

carrying out duties relating to redundancy, as an elected representative of the employees

maternity grounds

sex, race or disability grounds

From June 1999 an employee must have worked for that employer for one year before he or she can claim for unfair dismissal.