Human Resource Management Literature Review


Human resource management (HRM) is the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization's most valued assets - the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the business. It is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training.


Client analysis and analysis of needs provide the key for successful recruitment.

It is a comprehensive analysis of vacancy in company, in which we review the requirements and qualifications for the position in question. This analysis can include drawing up a personal profile and a recommended search method that is the most efficient way of finding the right candidates: search, advertising or skills database.


A job analysis is the process used to collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job.

The job analysis may include these activities:

  • Reviewing the job responsibilities of current employees,
  • Doing Internet research and viewing sample job descriptions online or offline highlighting similar jobs,
  • Analyzing the work duties, tasks, and responsibilities that need to be accomplished by the employee filling the position,
  • Researching and sharing with other companies that have similar jobs, and
  • Articulation of the most important outcomes or contributions needed from the position.

Job analysis provides important inputs to the recruiting function in two ways. First, job analysis provides job specifications, the personal requirements deemed necessary to perform each job in an organization. This tells planners and recruiters exactly what skills, abilities, experience, and other physical characteristics will be needed for certain jobs. Second, complete and accurate job descriptions are essential for the preparation of recruiting materials, which convey information to potential applicants about the nature of the job.



Recruitment is an important part of an organization's human resource planning and their competitive strength. Competent human resources at the right positions in the organization are a vital resource and can be a core competency or a strategic advantage for it.

Recruitment refers to the process of screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm, or for a vacancy in a volunteer-based organization or community group.


  • To obtain the number and quality of employees that can be selected in order to help the organization to achieve its goals and objectives
  • To create a pool of prospective employees for the organization so that the management can select the right candidate for the right job from this pool.
  • To facilitate the selection of the best candidates for the organization.

In this is competitive global world and increasing flexibility in the labor market, recruitment is becoming more and more important in every business. Therefore, recruitment serves as the first step in fulfilling the needs of organizations for a competitive, motivated and flexible human resource that can help achieve its objectives.

Sources of Recruitment

All the sources of recruitment can be broadly classified into two types. They are external and internal sources.

Internal sources: these includes filling up of vacancy using a person who is already in the company's payroll. The vacancy is advertised within the company and on the basis of responses within the company, a selection is made.

This includes:

  1. Transfer: The employees are transferred from one department to another according to their efficiency and experience.
  2. Promotions: The employees are promoted from one department to another with more benefits and greater responsibility based on efficiency and experience.
  3. Upgrading: Others are Upgrading and Demotion of present employees according to their performance.
  4. Retired employees or Retrenched employees: Retired and Retrenched employees may also be recruited once again in case of shortage of qualified personnel or increase in load of work. Recruitment such people save time and costs of the organizations as the people are already aware of the organizational culture and the policies and procedures.
  5. The dependents and relatives of Deceased employees and Disabled employees are also done by many companies so that the members of the family do not become dependent on the mercy of others.
  6. Employee referrals: some companies also encourage their current employees to refer their friends or acquaintances for positions in the organization. This system has the advantage that the new employees have also had a fair idea about the organization and its culture. The downside is that this system tends to create nepotism and allow cliques of friends and relatives to form in an organization.


  • The company is able to obtain accurate information about the candidate as he has already been working with them.
  • It boosts the morale of the workforce who sees that the company is able to provide them with the opportunity for future growth.
  • The cost of recruitment is relatively less.
  • The employees being acquainted with the company already do not require job training.


  • The choice of candidate is greatly limited.
  • Selection of candidate over others results ill feeling among those who were not chosen.
  • The selection of candidate involves great deal of subjectivity amongst the superior and hence they may not always be transparent.

External sources

The external sources are those sources of recruitment that are found outside the employment.

The general sources of recruitment are:

  1. Advertisement: This is the common method of recruitment. The advertisements usually appear in newspaper, website or magazine. It is important that the company pays attention to how the advertisement drafted. For the advertisement to draw the right candidates, it has to be drafted properly with clarity and should present the favorable picture of the company and the working culture.
  2. Campus recruitment: These are some cases where recruiters contact educational institutions such as colleges and universities for a list of prospective candidate. The campus recruitment has the advantage of meeting all the candidate at a single place and hence saves time and effort.
  3. Unsolicited applicants: Many candidates send these resume without any explicit request. Companies usually file these resumes and refer to them when the need for a position arises.
  4. Web sites: with the advent of internet, searching for candidate has acquired a whole new dimension. Web portals dedicated to finding jobs has been setup. The candidate keys in their details and post their resumes. Employer have to just browse through these resume or use the site search engine to list out people with specific skills.
  5. Placement agencies: Placement agencies maintain database of resumes from prospective candidate. Companies in need of personnel contact these agencies with their profile. The agencies provide them with the list of potential candidates. The placement agencies can also assist in the recruitment process.
  6. Employment Exchanges: There are certain Employment exchanges which are run by government. Most of the government undertakings and concerns employ people through such exchanges. Now-a-days recruitment in government agencies has become compulsory through employment exchange.
  7. Head hunting: A "headhunter" is industry term for a third-party recruiter who seeks out candidates, often when normal recruitment efforts have failed. Headhunters are generally considered more aggressive than in-house recruiters or may have preexisting industry experience and contacts. They may use advanced sales techniques, such as initially posing as clients to gather employee contacts, as well as visiting candidate offices. They may also purchase expensive lists of names and job titles, but more often will generate their own lists. They may prepare a candidate for the interview, help negotiate the salary, and conduct closure to the search. They are frequently members in good standing of industry trade groups and associations. Headhunters will often attend trade shows and other meetings nationally or even internationally that may be attended by potential candidates and hiring managers.


  • New blood brings new perspective.
  • Cheaper and faster training professionals.
  • Fewer groups of the political supporters in the organization.
  • May bring new industry inside.


  • May not select someone who will "fit" the job or organization.
  • May cause the morale problems for the internal candidate not selected.
  • Longer adjustment or orientation time.


  1. Identify vacancy
  2. Prepare job description and person specification
  3. Advertising the vacancy through internal and external sources
  4. Managing the response
  5. Short-listing
  6. Arrange interviews
  7. Conducting interview and decision making

The recruitment process is immediately followed by the selection process i.e. the final interviews and the decision making, conveying the decision and the appointment formalities.


Need to recruit

  • The need for any recruitment activities should be evaluations in the context to the business overall resource requirements;
  • This should include both short, mid and long term plans and requirements for your business and consider both likely resource level requirements (numbers of staff) and business skill requirements (capability of staff) in order to best decide first if recruitment is required at all, and if so what skills and experience you need to bring into the business.

Carefully defining the vacancy pays dividends

  • Start with a description of the job - its responsibilities and deliverables;
  • the necessary skills, experience and competencies required by the job holder to fulfill the required responsibilities;
  • Plus the ideal qualities to be a successful contribution to the business.

Creating a talent pool by attracting the right candidates

  • Think carefully about your internal sources of candidates: seek candidates from inside the business via internal job boards, succession plans etc; identify staff for whom it would be a sensible career development move;
  • Think about the different sources of external sources of candidates: Advertise the vacancy (online or print); your internet career page; search generalist and specialist job boards; speak to the local job centre; encourage existing employees to make contacts for you; make contact with universities and colleges; use a recruitment agency or head hunter;

Focus on collecting all relevant information on candidates

Collect the information necessary to make a selection decision

  • Applications form;
  • CV's
  • Interview data (including behavioral interviews);
  • Psychometrics
  • References.

Create a short list and then arrange interviews and other selection processes

  • Review applications and short list
  • your shortlist down to a small number for interview
  • Consider telephone interviews as an effective way to screen applicants

Making the decision to appoint

  • Consider relative importance of the different requirements before trying to evaluate the candidates so that you do not get caught up in the moment
  • When judging the importance of a shortfall in the candidate think about what can be learned as opposed to what comes more naturally or key competencies
  • Consider both the risks and the benefits of appointing a particular candidate
  • Make simple notes of your decisions in terms of why you selected and why you did not select these will not only help you remember but can be useful for giving feedback
  • Agree terms and conditions of employment
  • Make the offer.

Giving feedback

This needs to be considered for three groups:

  • Successful candidates
  • Unsuccessful internal candidates'
  • Unsuccessful external candidates

Producing an induction plan

This is a critical step and should include both induction and early development needs.

It can make the difference between a successful hire and an unsuccessful one.

  • The new recruit quickly getting up to speed and making a valued contribution.
  • Reducing the disruption to the work of the other members of the team.
  • Ensuring a safe working environment.
  • Demonstration to the new recruit that they are valued.
  • Increasing your ability to keep the employee.

And finally, you need to review the recruitment process

  • A review of the process itself should be undertaken - this will lead to process improvement and greater efficiency
  • A review of the hiring decision should also be undertaken - this will lead to greater recruitment effectiveness.

Factors Affecting Recruitment Process

A number of factors exert an influence over the kind of recruiting plan an organization enacts. These factors include (1) organizational policies regarding recruiting; (2) type of employee to be recruited; (3) conditions of the employee market; and (4) cost and time constraints.

Organizational Recruiting Policies

Organizations with a philosophy of developing their human resources and of providing opportunities for growth favor internal recruiting policies. Employees who desire the opportunity to advance in an organization generally prefer such a policy. Organizations with internal recruiting policies tend to spend relatively large sums on training and development programs so as to prepare employees for higher-level jobs.

Type of Employee to Be Recruited

It is important to clearly specify recruiting goals in terms of number and type of employee to be recruited. The type of employee to be recruited affects the scope of the recruiting effort. Each type of employee has its own employee market. Generally, employee markets are smaller in number for employee types that are highly specialized or that require higher levels of education and experience.

Conditions of the Employee Market

Employee market conditions also affect the nature of recruiting plans. Employee markets are local, regional, national, or international, depending on the geographical area in which the forces of supply and demand operate for a particular employee type. Jobs that require less highly skilled employee (such as clerical, sales, and service occupations) can usually be recruited from local labor markets, while jobs requiring more highly skilled employee (for example, water pollution specialists, computer programmers, and registered nurses) can be recruited from regional markets. Professionals and executives are generally recruited from national markets, while engineers and various scientific specialists such as astronomers, physicists, and chemists, enjoy international markets. The implications for recruiters are that different recruiting methods must be used to reach different types of employee.

Cost and Time Constraints

Cost and time constraints pose obvious limitations on recruiting efforts. For example, an organization with very little money budgeted for recruiting will not even consider hiring a graphic artist to design attractive recruiting materials. Rather than spend money to advertise openings, an organization with few cash resources for recruiting will often use a system of employee referrals in which potential applicants are referred to the organization by present employees. Such organizations may also make use of public employment agencies, which refer applicants to an organization at no cost.


This usually means whittling down the applicant pool by using the screening tools: test, assessment centers, and background and reference check. Then the prospective supervisor can interview likely candidates and decide who to hire.

Types of Selection Methods

Selection methods or screening devices include application blanks, employment interviews, aptitude tests, and personality test.

  • Application Forms

Application forms are a means of collecting written information about an applicant's education, work and non-work experiences, both past and present. Almost all organizations request applicants to complete an application form of some type. Application forms typically request information on an applicant's home address, last employer, previous work experience, education, military service, and other information pertinent to employment, such as names and addresses of references. The application form also serves as a guide for the employment interview.

  • Employment Interviews

The employment interview is a vehicle for information exchange between applicant and interviewer regarding an applicant's suitability and interest in a job the employer seeks to fill. Information provided in an applicant's application for employment can be probed more deeply in the interview and other information relevant to an applicant's qualifications can be elicited. Since interviews can be rather flexible, any missing pieces of information about an applicant can be collected at this time.

Interview problems

As a selection method, interviews are problematic. Research shows that interviews have good test-retest reliability (same interviewer twice) and good internal consistency reliability, but low inter-rater reliability (between different raters). The reason for low inter-rater reliability is that interviews are apt to be unstructured and subjective. A number of problems result from the unstructured nature of employment interviews. These include: (1) rater error; (2) talkative interviewer hampers collection of job-related information; (3) variance in questions asked of applicants during interview; 4) interviewer asks "trick" questions; (5) interviewer asks inappropriate questions relating to an applicant's race, religion, sex, national origin, and age.

Rater Error in Interviewing

Central tendency errors result in most applicants being rated as average. Leniency and strictness errors, on the other hand, result in most applicants being given either uniformly high or uniformly low ratings. The halo effect has the result of an applicant being seen as generally good or bad because one characteristic of the applicant overshadows all others. Contrast effects may occur if an average applicant is rated more highly than he or she deserves because he or she is interviewed after several poor applicants. Stereotyping is the tendency to compare applicants with one's stereotype of the "ideal" applicant.

Improving employment interviews

The value of the employment interview as a selection method will increase if these guidelines are followed:

  1. A structured interview guide containing questions for applicants should be used to increase the reliability of interviews.
  2. Interviewers should be given complete job descriptions and job specifications for each job for which they are interviewing. This tends to reduce interviewer bias because actual requirements are spelled out in detail.
  3. Interviewers should be trained in interviewing and know how to avoid errors such as talking too much and making hasty judgments.
  4. Interviewers should be trained to deal with all applicants, regardless of level of qualifications, since the interview is also a public relations vehicle.
  5. Interviewers should receive special instructions in properly and legally interviewing women and minorities.
  • Tests of Abilities, Aptitudes, and Skills

Tests used for screening applicants on the basis of skills, abilities, and aptitudes can be classified as either paper and pencil tests or job sample tests. Both kinds are scored, and minimum scores are established to screen applicants. The "cut-off" score can be raised or lowered depending on the number of applicants. If selection ratios are low, the cut-off score can be raised, thereby increasing the odds of hiring well-qualified employees.

Tests should be selected only after thorough and careful job analysis. For example, examination of a job description for an auto mechanic would probably show that manipulation of parts and pieces relative to one another and the ability to perceive geometric relationships between physical objects were required. These abilities are a part of a construct called mechanical aptitude. Various parts of mechanical aptitude can be measured using both paper and pencil or job sample tests.

Job sample tests, which require applicants to demonstrate specific job duties, can also be used to measure mechanical ability. For example, applicants for a mechanic's job could be asked to locate and fix a number of things wrong with a car or truck. Organizations can develop their own job sample tests. Closely related to job sample tests are job simulation exercises that place an applicant in a simulated job situation to see how well he or she can cope.

  • Personality Test

People often believe that certain jobs require unique personalities or temperaments. For example, an accountant may be thought of as conservative, meticulous, and quiet, while a used-car salesman may be pictured as aggressive, flashy, and smooth talking. While it is probably true that some "types" of people occupy certain jobs, there is little evidence that people must have a specific personality type to be successful at a particular type of job. It is more common that the job itself shapes the job holder's behavior, and people stereotype others by their job behavior.

Nonetheless, there are two general types of personality test which are sometimes used in selection decisions. These are self-report personality tests and projective techniques. These personality measures have been used most often in the selection of candidates for managerial positions. They are also frequently used as part of assessment centers, which are a popular method of identifying potential managerial talent.

Personality measures are not likely to be useful selection instruments for a number of reasons. First, it is difficult to demonstrate that personality characteristics are job relevant. Job specifications usually focus on skills and abilities needed for a job rather than on personality traits. Personality measures are designed to measure specific personality constructs, not typical behavior patterns associated with a job. Second, personality tests are generally less reliable than ability tests. Although an applicant's low ability may allow an interviewer to conclude with certainty that the applicant could not perform a job, one can almost never reach such a conclusion based on a low score on a personality measure.

Factors Affecting the Importance of Selection

Effective selection methods and procedures can result in fewer selection errors and their associated costs, and increased levels of performance and productivity due to hiring highly qualified applicants. The selection function takes on increased importance: (1) when a job's base rate of success is low; (2) when a job has greater importance to an organization; and (3) when the selection ratio for a job is low.

Base Rate of Success.

Generally, the selection function is more important when a job's base rate of success is low. A low base rate of success indicates that relatively few employees reach an acceptable level of performance in a job. Improved selection procedures can raise base rates of success, thereby reducing costs associated with selection errors.

Job's Value to the Organization

The more important a job is to organizational effectiveness, the more important the selection function is. Selection errors are far more costly for important jobs than for jobs of lesser importance. One measure of a job's value to the organization is the standard deviation of job performance for a job (SDe). The SDe of job performance is a measure of the potential range, or variation, of the dollar value of job performance. For some jobs, differences in performance extremes (excellent to incompetent) have little effect in terms of dollar value to an organization. For example, variability in performance for a clerk/typist job is relatively insignificant compared with the effects of performance variability for the job of marketing manager.

Selection Ratios

A selection ratio is the proportion of applicants selected and placed to the number of job applicants for a job. The selection function increases in importance when the selection ratio is low enough so that meaningful differentiations can be made between job applicants. However, since there are costs associated with processing applicants, very low selection ratios may not be cost-effective for an organization.


Employee Selection is the process of putting right men on right job. It is a procedure of matching organizational requirements with the skills and qualifications of people. Effective selection can be done only when there is effective matching. By selecting best candidate for the required job, the organization will get quality performance of employees. Moreover, organization will face less of absenteeism and employee turnover problems. By selecting right candidate for the required job, organization will also save time and money. Proper screening of candidates takes place during selection procedure. All the potential candidates who apply for the given job are tested.

But selection must be differentiated from recruitment, though these are two phases of employment process. Recruitment is considered to be a positive process as it motivates more of candidates to apply for the job. It creates a pool of applicants. It is just sourcing of data. While selection is a negative process as the inappropriate candidates are rejected here. Recruitment precedes selection in staffing process. Selection involves choosing the best candidate with best abilities, skills and knowledge for the required job.

The Employee selection Process takes place in following order-

  1. Preliminary Interviews- It is used to eliminate those candidates who do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria laid down by the organization. The skills, academic and family background, competencies and interests of the candidate are examined during preliminary interview. Preliminary interviews are less formalized and planned than the final interviews. The candidates are given a brief up about the company and the job profile; and it is also examined how much the candidate knows about the company. Preliminary interviews are also called screening interviews.
  2. Application blanks- The candidates who clear the preliminary interview are required to fill application blank. It contains data record of the candidates such as details about age, qualifications, reason for leaving previous job, experience, etc.
  3. Written Tests- Various written tests conducted during selection procedure are aptitude test, intelligence test, reasoning test, personality test, etc. These tests are used to objectively assess the potential candidate. They should not be biased.
  4. Employment Interviews- It is a one to one interaction between the interviewer and the potential candidate. It is used to find whether the candidate is best suited for the required job or not. But such interviews consume time and money both. Moreover the competencies of the candidate cannot be judged. Such interviews may be biased at times. Such interviews should be conducted properly. No distractions should be there in room. There should be an honest communication between candidate and interviewer.
  5. Medical examination- Medical tests are conducted to ensure physical fitness of the potential employee. It will decrease chances of employee absenteeism.
  6. Appointment Letter- A reference check is made about the candidate selected and then finally he is appointed by giving a formal appointment letter.


Once You Have Selected A Candidate..

Reference Checks

It is strongly recommended that the hiring department conduct reference checks prior to extending an offer of employment. Recruiting Consultants are available to provide guidance to hiring managers in obtaining references.

Internal Candidate Reference Checks

  • When considering a current University employee as a final candidate for a campus position, the hiring manager should advise the employee prior to contacting the candidate's supervisor to obtain information regarding the employee's work performance.
  • Hiring managers are also encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources for the purpose of obtaining information regarding the employee's performance record as contained in the personnel file. This information may be reviewed with a representative from the Office of Human Resources upon request.

Notify Human Resources of Hiring Decision

When a candidate has been selected, the hiring manager should notify the Recruiting Consultant of the decision prior to making the offer of employment. This step will ensure that a Notre Dame Employment Application is on file and that all details such as salary, starting date, eligibility of benefits, moving expenses, and other pertinent issues are finalized prior to employment.

Initiate Pre-Employment Checks

Upon finalizing the employment offer, you may make the employment offer contingent upon the candidate successfully completing several pre-employment checks.

Send Job Offer Letter

After the candidate accepts the employment offer, the department sends an "Offer Letter" to the candidate. This letter should outline the details of the offer including salary, start date, and pre-employment drug/background testing requirements.

After the Candidate Has Been Approved for Hire...

Complete New Hire Paperwork

Before the candidate begins employment, the following forms must be completed and submitted to the Office of Human Resources, 200 Grace Hall. A candidate may not begin working until these forms have been completed.

  • Staff Personnel Action Form
  • Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and original supporting documents proving work eligibility must be presented in person at Human Resources.
  • C. Federal and State Withholding Tax Forms
  • Direct Deposit Form

Notify Recruiting Consultant of necessary candidate notification letters.

All candidates interviewed but not selected for a specific opening should be notified of the outcome of the search by the department. Notification letters will routinely be provided by the Office of Human Resources, unless the hiring department chooses to notify non-selected candidates.

Schedule Orientation

New regular, full-time employees should be scheduled to attend the University Orientation Program. Please contact the Office of Human Resources at 1-5900 to schedule an orientation.


Once the candidates are selected for the required job, they have to be fitted as per the qualifications. Placement is said to be the process of fitting the selected person at the right job or place, i.e. fitting square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes. Once he is fitted into the job, he is given the activities he has to perform and also told about his duties. The freshly appointed candidates are then given orientation in order to familiarize and introduce the company to him. Generally the information given during the orientation programme includes-

  • Employee's layout
  • Type of organizational structure
  • Departmental goals
  • Organizational layout
  • General rules and regulations
  • Standing Orders
  • Grievance system or procedure

In short, during Orientation employees are made aware about the mission and vision of the organization, the nature of operation of the organization, policies and programmes of the organization.

The main aim of conducting Orientation is to build up confidence, morale and trust of the employee in the new organization, so that he becomes a productive and an efficient employee of the organization and contributes to the organizational success.

The nature of Orientation program varies with the organizational size, i.e., smaller the organization the more informal is the Orientation and larger the organization more formalized is the Orientation programme.

Proper Placement of employees will lower the chances of employee's absenteeism. The employees will be more satisfied and contended with their work.

Sourcing Candidates: They adopt both external and internal sources for recruitment. Internal sources are more preferred. Employee referral is most common tool for recruitment here as they need not to check for the background and it saves time also.

Internally vacancy is promoted through word of mouth. And externally it is promoted on job portals, placement companies as well as on its own website.

For agent level opportunities are more focused rather that qualification of the candidates.

For different level of vacancy there is different process of sourcing.

Management level: Head hunting, Promotions, Upgrading.

Executive Level: Through job portals, Employee Referrals, outsourcing.


T Team: Job portal (, employee referral.

Agent level: Job portal (, employee referral, placement company is hired.

CV's and letter received: pools of prospective candidate are formed and primary screenings is done.

Screening on criterion: They are very specific on the geographical basis, work experience, qualification, and age. And rest is depending on the requirement.

Candidate short listing: Once we have a reasonable pool of candidates, we'll phone screen the best, and experience level and communication skills is check

over phone and present a short list of best candidates. And rests of the candidates who are not short listed are informed.

Technical Screening: Technical screening is done on the basis of certain technical test and structured interview which is focused on technical areas. If the candidate passes this screening well he will be consider for the different positions.

Primary Interview: This is done by the HR. This is semi- structured and some times depend on the reply of candidate. Generally based on psychometric test of candidate. If the candidate passes this screening well he will be consider for the different positions. And rests of the candidates who are not short listed are informed.

Secondary Interview: This is done by the top management. This is done basically when the candidate is hired for the management level. This is basically unstructured. Terms and conditions of employment and salary package are discussed. If the candidate passes this screening well he will be consider for the different positions. And rests of the candidates who are not short listed are informed.

Offer of Employment: The selected candidates get offer from the company. And joining form and documentation process are completed.

Contract: Documents of ID prove, Qualification proves and last work experiences of the candidate were taken by the company. Contract between the company and the selected candidates are made.

Induction: Selected candidates go trough induction programme where they get aware about the norms and policy as well as goals and objective of the company.


Performance appraisal may be defined as a structured formal interaction between a subordinate and supervisor, that usually takes the form of a periodic interview (annual or semi-annual), in which the work performance of the subordinate is examined and discussed, with a view to identifying weaknesses and strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and skills development.

In many organizations - but not all - appraisal results are used, either directly or indirectly, to help determine reward outcomes. That is, the appraisal results are used to identify the better performing employees who should get the majority of available merit pay increases, bonuses, and promotions.

By the same token, appraisal results are used to identify the poorer performers who may require some form of counseling, or in extreme cases, demotion, dismissal or decreases in pay. (Organizations need to be aware of laws in their country that might restrict their capacity to dismiss employees or decrease pay).

The Performance Appraisal System (PAS) is designed to improve overall organizational performance by encouraging a higher level of involvement and motivation and increased staff participation in the planning, delivery and evaluation of work. The system establishes a process for achieving responsibility and accountability in the execution of programmes approved by the General Assembly. It is based on linking individual work plans with those of departments and offices and entails setting goals, planning work in advance and providing ongoing feedback. An important function of the PAS is to promote communication between staff members and supervisors on the goals to be achieved and the basis on which individual performance will be assessed, encouraging teamwork in the process.

Objectives for performance appraisal policy can best be understood in terms of potential benefits

  • Increase motivation to perform effectively.
  • Increase staff self-esteem.
  • Gain new insight into staff and supervisors.
  • Better clarify and define job functions and responsibilities.
  • Develop valuable communication among appraisal participants.
  • Encourage increased self-understanding among staff as well as insight into the kind of development activities that are of value.
  • Distribute rewards on a fair and credible basis.
  • Clarify organizational goals so they can be more readily accepted.
  • Improve institutional/departmental manpower planning, test validation, and development of training programs.



Performance appraisal can be viewed as the process of assessing and recording staff performance for the purpose of making judgments about staff that lead to decisions. Performance appraisal should also be viewed as a system of highly interactive processes which involve personnel at all levels in differing degrees in determining job expectations, writing job descriptions, selecting relevant appraisal criteria, developing assessment tools and procedures, and collecting interpreting, and reporting results.

Objectives for performance appraisal policy can best be understood in terms of potential benefits

  • Increase motivation to perform effectively
  • Increase staff self-esteem
  • Gain new insight into staff and supervisors
  • Better clarify and define job functions and responsibilities
  • Develop valuable communication among appraisal participants
  • Encourage increased self-understanding among staff as well as insight into the kind of development activities that are of value
  • Distribute rewards on a fair and credible basis
  • Clarify organizational goals so they can be more readily accepted
  • Improve institutional/departmental manpower planning, test validation, and development of training programs

Appraisal System Attributes:

Clarity, Openness, and Fairness

The performance appraisal system must possess the attributes of clarity, openness, and fairness. These attributes are related to the historic values of the student affairs profession. While specific implementation of these attributes may vary, the following should be represented in effective performance appraisal:

Ongoing Review of Position and Performance - Effective performance appraisal systems conduct ongoing evaluations of both the position and the staff member occupying it. With ongoing position analysis and performance appraisal, there are few surprises, and changes in the environment are quickly incorporated into the official appraisal system.

Job Descriptions - Job descriptions should be reliable, valid, understandable, and specific enough to provide direction for staff behavior. Job descriptions should focus on what the staff member does (e.g. advises the student government association) and what outcomes are expected. These outcomes should be clearly linked to departmental and institutional objectives and needs. Job descriptions should use action words such "plans" or "supervises" rather than "demonstrates initiative" or "is likable." Job descriptions should provide guidelines for staff so they know the specific behaviors expected to perform. The responsibilities of the staff member should be listed in order of importance and weighted relative to importance, if possible.

Participatory and Interactive Appraisal - Appraisal system processes should be designed in concert with all stakeholders and open to constant interaction with them. Plans made jointly by staff and administrators have a better chance of working than plans made independently by either party.

Workable Formats that Avoid Systemic Bias - Effective performance appraisal systems must include workable formats that avoid systematic biases. Checklists of performance criteria completed at the same time every year should be avoided. This type of approach simply fails to produce any useful information for individual or organizational improvement.

Other biases include giving preferential treatment to some but not all staff, rating all staff the same, being overly lenient or overly harsh toward some or all staff, and practicing conscious or unconscious racial or gender prejudice.

Adopting a format that includes the standards of clarity, openness, and fairness and that involves more than one appraiser may help to control some of these biases.

Key Element of Performance Appraisals system

There are four key elements in a good performance and appraisal system:

  1. Set objectives - decide what you want from employees and agree these objectives with them. If appropriate, set timescales for achieving them.
  2. Manage performance - give your employees the tools, resources and training they need to perform well. If appropriate, set timescales for achieving objectives.
  3. Carry out the appraisal - monitor and assess your employees' performance, discuss those assessments with them and agree on future objectives.
  4. Provide rewards/remedies - consider pay awards and/or promotion based on the appraisal and decide how to tackle poor performance. However, there can be dangers as well as benefits of linking rewards to performance.


180 Appraisal extends the traditional appraisal process to make the feedback process two-way. Feedback from team members can be provided to their line manager on a one-to-one basis during the individual's appraisal discussion, or it can be collated and presented as group feedback from all team members.

360 Appraisal involves capturing feedback about an individual from a range of people (respondents) including his or her line manager, colleagues and direct reports. The data is then compared with the individual's own assessment of their performance. In some models, external contacts and partners may also be involved.

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