Article Reviews

Human Resources Managemnt Essay

Posted on

Explain what HR management is how it relates to the management process? Human Resource management is all about the people needs of the business and the personal needs of the employees. To object is to place the people with the necessary qualifications and abilities in the appropriate positions within the organisation to maximise their usefulness to the enterprise while also considering the employees needs and their career path. Chapter 4 1. What items are typically included in the job description? What items are not shown?

A job description is a written statement of what the jobholder actually does, how he or she does it, and under what conditions the job is performed. There is no standard format for writing job descriptions, but most descriptions include sections on: •job identification •job summary •relationships, responsibilities, and duties •authority of incumbent •standards of performance •working conditions •job specifications 2. What is job analysis? How can you make use of the information it provides? Job analysis is the procedure through which you determine the duties and nature of the jobs and the kinds of people who should be hired for them.

You can utilize the information it provides to write job descriptions and job specifications, which are utilized in recruitment and selection, compensation, performance appraisal, and training. 3. We discussed several methods for collecting job analysis data—questionnaires, the position analysis questionnaire, and so on. Compare and contrast these methods, explaining what each is useful for and listing the pros and cons of each. Interviews are probably the most widely used method of collecting information for job analysis.

The interview allows the incumbent to report activities that might not otherwise come to light (mental activities and activities that occur only occasionally). Observation is useful for jobs that consist mainly of physical activity that is clearly observable. Questionnaires are a quick and efficient way of obtaining information from a large number of employees; however, development cost can be high. Participant diary logs can provide a comprehensive picture of a job, especially when supplemented with interviews, however, many employees do not respond well to the request to record all their daily activities.

Quantitative job analysis techniques, such as PAQ, DOL, and Functional Job Analysis are more appropriate when the aim is to assign a quantitative value to each job so that jobs can be compared for pay purposes. 4. Describe the types of information typically found in a job specification. It should include a list of the human traits and experience needed to perform the job. These might include education, skills, behaviors, personality traits, work experience, sensory skills, etc. 5. Explain how you would conduct a job analysis.

There are six major steps in a well-conducted job analysis: 1) Determine how the job analysis information will be used and how to collect the necessary information; 2) Collect background information such as organization charts, process charts, and job descriptions; 3) Select representative positions to be analyzed; 4) Collect job analysis information; 5) Review the information with the participants; 6) Develop job descriptions and job specifications. 6. Do you think companies can really do without detailed job descriptions? Why or why not?

Either side is an acceptable position to take. The key to grading this answer is the quality of the “why or why not” explanations. Look for students to clearly explain their position in terms of the effects of the lack of job descriptions on the performance, motivation, and capabilities of the people doing the job. 7. In a company with only 25 employees, is there less need for job descriptions? Why or why not? It is clearly more difficult to write job descriptions for positions that may have broad responsibilities because of the organization’s size.

This does not, however, mean that it is less important. Look for sound arguments and reasoning. Chapter 5 1. What are the pros and con of five sources of job candidates? The text lists several sources of job candidates, both internal and external. The student should clearly identify the differences as well as comparative strengths and weaknesses of each. There are at least the following sources to choose from: advertising, employment agencies, executive recruiters, state job services, college recruiting, referrals, employee database, internal, and talent searches. . What are the four main types of information application forms provide? The application form is a good means of quickly collecting verifiable, and therefore potentially accurate, historical data from the candidate. It usually includes information on education, prior work history, and other experience related to the job The application form can provide four types of information: 1. substantive matters (such as education and experience); 2. applicant’s previous progress and growth; 3. stability based on previous work history; 4. prediction of job success. 3.

How, specifically, do equal employment laws apply to personnel planning and recruiting activities. The student should be able to discuss the areas in which the laws and regulations covered in Chapter 2 apply to the issues of planning and recruiting. This would include constraints on sources used for candidates (i. e. not excessive reliance on referrals), the wording of questions asked on application forms or in interviews, and planning decisions that must not be overly detrimental to a protected group. 4. What are five things employers should keep in mind when using internet sites to find job candidates?

Keyword searches, don’t recycle your newspaper ads, give quick feedback, ensure privacy, applicant tracking, etc. 5. What are the five main things you would do to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce? The student should first be able to identify groups that would create a diverse workforce. Examples found in the text are: single parents, older workers, minorities and women, welfare recipients, and global candidates. In order to retain these employees, students would first need to understand the needs of each group, and then create plans and programs that accommodate these specific needs.

For example, to attract and keep single mothers, employers could give employees schedule flexibility, and train the supervisors to have an increased awareness of and sensitivity to the challenges single parents face Chapter 6 1. What is the difference between reliability and validity? In what respects are they similar? Reliability is the consistency of scores obtained by the same persons when retested with identical tests or with an equivalent form of a test. It is a measure of internal consistency of the instrument. Validity is the degree to which a test measures what it is purported to measure. It is a measure of external consistency.

They are similar in that both are concerned with aspects of consistency of the instrument, and that reliability is a necessary condition for validity. 2. Explain how you would go about validating a test. How can this information be useful to a manager? The validation process consists of five steps: job analysis, selecting a test, administering a test, relating the test scores and the criteria, and cross validation and revalidation. Using valid selection devices will enable the manager to develop objective information in the selection process and should result in more effective selection decisions. . Explain why you think a certified psychologist who is specially trained in test construction should (or should not) always be used by a small business that needs a test battery. Due to the complex and legal nature of this activity, the use of a certified psychologist may be the only safe way to accomplish your objectives. However, because of the high salary and limited job scope of such a specialist, a definite drawback to this approach is the cost involved. Perhaps more “direct” tests can be developed which require less sophistication: motor and physical abilities ests (many state employment agencies provide this service), on-job knowledge tests, and work sampling. This chapter also presents some alternative testing tools that are relatively easy to administer and low in cost that are reasonable choices for small employers to use. 4. Give some examples of how interest inventories could be used to improve employee selection. In doing so, suggest several examples of occupational interests that you believe might predict success in various occupations including college professor, accountant, and computer programmer.

Interest inventories can improve employee selection by identifying individuals with similar interests to those reported by a substantial percentage of successful incumbents in an occupation. This should clearly increase the likelihood that the applicants will be successful in their new jobs. Interests that one might expect: accountant: math, reading, music; college professor: public speaking, teaching, counseling; computer programmer: math, music, computers. 5. Why is it important to conduct pre-employment background investigations?

How would you go about doing so? Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. It is important to gain as much information as possible about past behavior to understand what kinds of behavior one can expect in the future. Knowledge about attendance problems, insubordination issues, theft, or other behavioral problems can certainly help one avoid hiring someone who is likely to repeat those behaviors. The section on background investigations and reference checks has some excellent guidelines for background checks. 6.

Explain how you would get around the problem of former employers being unwilling to give bad references on their former employees? Since many companies have strict policies regarding the release of information about former employees, it may not be possible to get information at all, good or bad. However, conducting a thorough reference audit by contacting at least two superiors, two peers, and two subordinates will help increase the chance that you will find someone who is willing to give you the information you need. Also, making the contacts by phone rather than in writing will ncrease their belief that the information may not be traced back to them. Using the additional technique of asking references for the name of someone else who might be familiar with the applicant’s performance will also increase the possibility of getting more information. Chapter 7 7. How can employers protect themselves against negligent hiring claims? There is a list of ways employers can protect themselves against negligent hiring claims discussed in the section on why careful selection is important at the beginning of the chapter. 1. Explain the four basic ways in which interviews can be classified.

Interviews can be classified according to: (1) degree of structure. This is the extent to which interviews are, or are not, structure with previously designed questions so that each candidate must answer the same things. (2) purpose. Interviews may be designed to accomplish several purposes, including selection, performance appraisal feedback, etc. (3) content. The content of the questions may be situational, job-related, or psychological. (4) the way the interview is administered. Interviews might be conducted by a panel of interviewers, sequentially or all at once, computerized, or personally. (page 216) 2.

Briefly describe each of the following possible types of interviews: unstructured panel interviews; structured sequential interviews; job-related structured interviews. In the unstructured panel interview, the panel of interviewers asks questions as they come to mind. They do not have a list of questions or points that need to be covered, but may follow many different directions. The structured sequential interview consists of the candidate interviewing one by one with several different interviewers. Each interviewer conducts a structured interview which consists of pre-determined questions and a structured evaluation form to complete.

The job-related structured interview consists of pre-determined questions, all of which are designed to asses the applicant’s past behaviors for job-related information. (pages 220-222) 3. For What sorts of jobs do you think computerized interviews are most appropriate? Why? The computerized interview can be used as a screening device for virtually any type of position which may generate a large number of applicants. It is less likely to be used for managerial positions. However, if there are large numbers of applicants, it could certainly be just a useful there as in skilled, professional, and unskilled positions. page 222) 4. Why do you think “. . . situational interviews yield a higher mean validity than do job related or behavioral interviews, which in turn yield a higher mean validity than do psychological interviews? ” The situational interview allows the candidate to answer situational questions based on past experiences in which he or she might have made mistakes, but learned from them. The job-related (or behavioral) interview focuses primarily on past situations, but does not allow for changes in the candidate due to the lessons that he or she might have learned from those experiences.

The psychological interview tends to be more speculative regarding traits which are difficult to really measure. (pages 220-221) 5. Similarly, how do you explain the fact that structured interviews, regardless of content, are more valid than unstructured interviews for predicting job performance? The structured interview helps to keep the interviewer focused on the types of behaviors, traits, or answers that are desired and have been determined to be predictors of job performance.

Unstructured interviews allow interviewers to become sidetracked with things like common interests and other items that are not predictors of job success. (page 219) 6. Briefly discuss and give examples of at least five common interviewing mistakes. What recommendations would you give for avoiding these interviewing mistakes? Snap Judgments: This is where the interviewer jumps to a conclusion about the candidate during the first few minutes of the interview. Using a structured interview is one way to help avoid this, as well as training of the interviewers. page 224) Negative Emphasis: When an interviewer has received negative information about the candidate, through references or other sources, he or she will almost always view the candidate negatively. The best way to avoid this is to keep references or other information from the interviewer. If possible, have different people do the reference checks and the interviews and not share the information until afterwards. (page 225) Misunderstanding the Job: When interviewers do not have a good understanding of the job requirements, they do not make good selections of candidates.

All interviewers should clearly understand the jobs and know what is needed for success in those jobs. (page 225) Pressure to Hire: Anytime an interviewer is told that they must hire a certain number of people within a short time frame, poor selection decisions may be made. This type of pressure should be avoided whenever possible. (page 226) Candidate-Order (Contrast) Error: When an adequate candidate is preceded by either an outstanding, or a poor candidate, by contrast he or she looks either less satisfactory or much better.

This can be countered through interviewer training, allowing time between interviews, and structured interviews with structured rating forms. (page 226) Influence of Nonverbal Behavior: Candidates who exhibit stronger non-verbal behavior such as eye contact and energy level are perceived as stronger by the interviewers. This can be minimized through interviewer training and structured interviews. (page 226) Telegraphing: An interviewer might “give” the right answers to candidates they hope to hire. This can be combated through structured interview questions, multiple interviewers, and interviewer training. page 228) Too Much / Too Little Talking: On either end of these extremes, the interviewer may not gather all the information that is really needed to make an appropriate selection decision. Structured interviews help keep this from happening. (page 228) Playing District Attorney or Psychologist: Some interviewers misuse their power by turning the interview into a game of “gotcha” or by probing for hidden meanings in everything the applicants say. Structured interviews help keep this from happening. (page 228) 7.

Explain why you think that it is (or is not) important to select candidates based on their values, as well as the usual selection criteria such as skills and experience. The responses here may well fall into two groups: some may think it is important and other may not think it is appropriate. Those who support using values in the selection criteria should point to issues such as: each organization has values, so it is important to find candidates who support those organizational values, some values are important to the welfare of the organization (honesty, etc. ).

Those who do not support it will likely point to issues such as: values are a gray area and difficult to accurately measure, using values can easily lead to adverse impact against some protected groups. (pages 236-238) Chapter 8 1. “A well-thought-out orientation program is especially important for employees (like recent graduates) who have had little or no work experience. ” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement. New employees can suffer from a significant amount of anxiety during the first few days on the job as they find themselves in an environment and culture that they are not acquainted with.

Those with little job experience may find it especially difficult without orientation since they have little other experience on which to base their expectations. A well developed orientation program will socialize new employees into important organizational values, whereby their chances of easing smoothly into the organization are improved. (page 249) 2. You’re the supervisor of a group of employees whose task it is to assemble tuning devices that go into radios.

You find that quality is not what it should be and that many of your group’s tuning devices have to be brought back and reworked; your own boss says that “You’d better start doing a better job of training your workers. ” (a) What are some of the “staffing” factors that could be contributing to this problem? The problem could be related to inadequate training. Other staffing factors that could be contributing to this problem are improper selection criteria resulting in the wrong type of people being selected for the jobs. Performance criteria may be unclear or unenforced.

The climate or the values may be non-productive for any number of reasons. (page 254) (b) Explain how you would go about assessing whether it is in fact a training problem. Use performance analysis to appraise the performance of current employees while determining if training could reduce performance problems; if so, training is the place to start. Several steps are recommended in the text for accomplishing the performance analysis. In the process, you will learn whether it is a “can’t do” or “won’t do” situation. Other factors in the motivation model would also need to be assessed, including the working conditions and quality of supervision. page 257) 3. Explain how you would apply our principles of learning in developing a lecture, say, on orientation and training. Student answers should reflect the issues identified in the guidelines on page 260. As an exercise, you might have students develop and deliver a lecture (perhaps on one section of this chapter). Then ask the students to critique each other based on the guidelines summarized on page 260. 4. John Santos is an undergraduate business student majoring in accounting. He has just failed the first accounting course, Accounting 101, and is understandably upset.

Explain how you would use performance analysis to identify what, if any, are John’s training needs. The first thing that needs to be determined is if this is a “can’t do” or a “won’t do” situation. It is possible that as a first-year student, John has spent more time socializing and not enough time studying. This would indicate a need for training on studying skills and prioritization. It is also possible that John really does not have the necessary basic skills that he needs in order to be successful in this course. This could be determined through some testing to see if he has the prerequisite knowledge and skills.

If it is a problem, remedial training or courses would be appropriate. A third possibility is that John simply does not really have the interest or natural inclinations that would make him successful in the accounting area. This could be determined through some testing and career interest surveys. If this is the case, training is not appropriate, but rather John should be counseled to change majors. (page 254) 5. What are some typical on-the-job training techniques? What do you think are some of the main drawbacks of relying on informal on-the-job training for breaking new employees into their jobs?

The most common is the understudy or coaching technique. Others include apprenticeship training and job rotation. There are several possible drawbacks to OJT: (1) not every employee will get the same basic information, in fact, some may not get basic, fundamental information; (2) the quality of the training is highly dependent on the training skills of the employee who supervises the OJT… and that person’s skills and training are usually not in the area of training; (3) the new employee may get false information or detrimental inculturation depending on the employees that they conduct their OJT with. page 257) 6. This chapter points out that one reason for implementing special global training programs is the need to avoid lost business “. . . due to cultural insensitivity. ” What sort of cultural insensitivity do you think is referred to and how might that translate into lost business? The cultural insensitivities would include cross-cultural values, assumptions concerning communication, identity issues, etiquette, lifestyles, style of dress, etc. Any of these can result in unintentional insults or offending people which can easily make those people reluctant to do business with you. (page 269)

What sort of training program would you recommend to avoid such cultural insensitivity? There are a wide variety of programs and consultants that specialize in these areas. It is important to have someone who is knowledgeable in these areas conduct the training to assure that the correct information and guidance is given. (page 269) 7. This chapter presents several examples of how diversity training can backfire, such as “the possibility of post-training participant discomfort. ” How serious do you think potential negative outcomes like these are and what would you do as an HR manager to avoid them?

If the training is not properly conceived and conducted, these negative outcomes can be very serious. They can lead to resignations of members of under- represented groups, lawsuits, and poor morale and productivity. It is important that these outcomes be avoided by utilizing experts in diversity for developing the training program, and only using people who have been thoroughly trained and are culturally aware and sensitive to conduct the training. 8. How does the involvement approach to attitude surveys differ from simply administering surveys and returning the results to top management?

Please note: This question should not be used as the text does not address this issue. 9. Compare and contrast three organizational development techniques. Please note: This question should be in Chapter 8, but due to an editing error, ended up in this chapter. Chapter 8 identifies OD techniques as: sensitivity training, team building, confrontation meetings, survey research, technostructural interventions, action research, and strategic interventions. 10. Describe the pros and cons of five management development methods. Job rotation: broadens experience and helps the candidate find what he or she prefers.

Coaching/Understudy: works directly with the person he or she will replace, helps assure trained managers are ready to assume key positions. Action Learning: allows special projects to be handled. Case Study Method: classroom oriented, gives real-life situations, allows analysis and reflection. Management Games: learn by getting involved, competition, emphasizes the need for planning, problem-solving skills, teamwork. Outside Seminars: CEUs, developed by experts, time away from pressures of work. University-Related Programs: certifications and degrees, theoretical knowledge, sharing with students from other industries.

Role Playing: opportunity to work through probable situations, negative views of role-playing. Behavior Modeling: effective, learning and skill development, reinforces decisions immediately. In-House Development Centers: tailored to the needs of the company, expensive. Students should be able to come up with additional pros and cons for each method. 11. Discuss the key alternatives in a typical off-the-job management development program. Basically, companies or employees will have choices of case-study, management games, outside seminars, university-related programs, role playing, or behavior modeling.

Choosing which one will be dependent on the types of skills or knowledge needed. Accounting may be best learned in a university-related program, while interpersonal skills might be better learned through role playing. 12. Do you think job rotation is a good method to use for developing management trainees? Why or why not? Most students will probably support job rotation for management trainees. It gives the trainee the opportunity to experience several areas and to develop cross-departmental skills and cooperation. It also give the trainee the chance to experience different areas to see what he or she likes.