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Powermat, Inc. Cases (Recruitment) sample essay

Powermat, Inc. has encountered difficulty over the last few years in filling its middle-management positions. The company, which manufactures and sells complex machinery, is organised into six semi-autonomous manufacturing departments. Top management believes that it is necessary for these departmental managers to know the product lines and the manufacturing process, because many managerial decisions must be made at that level. Therefore, the company originally recruited employees from within. However, they soon found that employees elevated to the middle-management level often lack the skills necessary to discharge their new duties. A decision then was made to recruit from outside, particularly from educational institutes with good industrial management programmes. Through the services of a professional recruiter, the company was provided with a pool of well qualified management graduates. Some of them were hired and placed in lower management positions as preparation for advancement to the middle-management jobs. They all left the company, however, within two years of their recruitment. Management reverted to its former policy of promoting employees from within and experienced basically the same results as before. Faced with the imminent retirement of employees in several key middle management positions, the company decided d to call in a consultant who could suggest solutions.

Discussion Questions

1. What is the problem of recruiting in this company?
2. If you were the consultant, what would you recommend?

HRM Planning and Staffing

2.1 Introduction

Human resource planning and staffing is one of the toughest task, an organization has before it. Selecting the right man for the right job at the right time is main task of the HR department. The main task is to ensure that the staff of the organization does not leave the organization and ensure that they are satisfied and that the work of the organization is not affected by the absence of the employee and so on.

2.2 Objectives

After reading this chapter, the student will understand the process and problems of HR Planning, job analysis, its process, job description, etc.

2.2 Process and Problems of Human Resource Planning.

HRP Process

Company Objectives & Strategic Plans

Market Forecast Production Objectives/Process Capital/Financial Plans Plans

Time Horizon (Short/Long Term) 1

Human Resources Demand Forecast
N Number
R Category
S Skills

Action Plans

Monitoring and Control

Factors affecting HRP

Type and strategy of organization
Organizational growth cycles and planning
Environmental uncertainties
Time horizons
Type and quality of forecasting information
Nature of jobs being filled and
Off-loading the work

Type and strategy of organization
The type of organization is an important consideration because it determines the production processes involved, number and type of staff needed, and the supervisory and managerial personnel required. Manufacturing organizations are more complex in this respect than those that render services. The strategic plan of the organization defines the organization’s HR needs. E.g. A Strategy of internal growth means that additional employees must be hired. Acquisitions or mergers, on the other hand, probably mean that the organization will need to plan for layoffs, since mergers tend to create, duplicate or overlapping positions that can be handled more efficiently with fewer employees. Primarily, the organization decides either to be proactive or reactive in HRP. It can either decide to carefully anticipate the needs and systematically plan them to fill them in advance, or it can simply react to needs as they arise. The above diagram summaries the 5 choices faced by the organizations in strategic HRP. An organization will often tend to be to the left or right on some and to the right on the other, although there could be exceptions. A company could be at one end of the extreme on some plan characteristics and at the other end on other.

B. Organization Growth Cycle and Planning

The stage of an organization’s growth can have considerable influence on HRP. Small organizations in the embryonic stage may not have personnel planning. Need for planning is felt when the organization enters the growth stage. HR forecasting becomes essential. Internal development of people also begins to receive attention in order to keep up with the growth. A mature organization experiences less flexibility and variability. Growth slows down. The workforce becomes old as few younger people are hired. Planning becomes more formalized and less flexible and innovative. Issues like retirement and possible retrenchment dominate planning. Finally, in the declining stage, HRP takes a different focus. Planning is done for layoff, retrenchment and retirement. Since decisions are often made after serious financial and sales shocks are experienced by the organization, planning is often reactive in nature.

C. Environmental Uncertainties

HR managers rarely have the privilege of operating in a stable and predictable environment. Political, social and economic changes affect all organizations. Personnel planners deal with environmental uncertainties by carefully formulating recruitment, selection and training and development policies and programmes. Balancing mechanisms are built into the HRM programme through succession planning, promotion channels, layoffs, flexitime, job sharing, retirement, VRS and other personnel related arrangements.

D. Time Horizons

Since there are long and short term plans spanning from six months to twenty years, the exact time span depends on the degree of uncertainty prevailing in an organization’s environment. Plans for companies operating in an unstable environment, computers for example, must be for a short period. Plans for others where environment is fairly stable, for example a university plan, maybe long-term. In general, the greater the uncertainty, the shorter the plan’s time horizon and vice-versa.

E. Type and Quality of Information

The information used to forecast personnel needs originates form a multitude of sources. A major issue in personnel planning is the type of information which should be used in making forecasts. Closely related to the type of information is the quality of data used. The quality and accuracy of information depend upon the clarity with which the organizational decision makers have defined their strategy, organizational structure, budgets, production schedules and so on. In addition, the HR department must maintain well-developed job-analysis information and HR information systems that provide accurate and timely data. Generally speaking, organizations operating in stable environments are in a better position to obtain comprehensive, timely and accurate information because of longer planning horizons, clearer definitions of strategy and objectives, and fewer disruptions.

F. Nature of Jobs being filled

Personnel planners must consider the nature of jobs being filled in the organization. Job vacancies arise because of separations, promotions and expansion strategies. It is easy to employ shop-floor workers, but a lot of sourcing is necessary for hiring managerial personnel. It is, therefore, necessary for the personnel department to anticipate vacancies, as far in advance as possible, to provide sufficient lead time to ensure that suitable candidates are recruited.

G. Outsourcing

Several organizations outsource part of their work to outside parties either in the form of sub-contracting or ancillarisation. Outsourcing is a regular feature both in private and public sectors. Most organizations have surplus labour and they do not want to worsen the problem by hiring more people. Hence, the need for off-loading.

Competence Analysis.

Every person in the organization need not have all the competence to do the desired work. The HR department identifies the competence of the individual employee and maps the same with the jobs in the organization. If an employee is capable of doing a particular job, to increase his efficiency, the HR department gives training to improve his competence in doing that job more skillfully and even more effectively and efficiently.

Job Analysis and Design

Job Analysis is the process by which data, with regard to each job, is systematically observed and noted. It provides information about the nature of the job and the characteristics or qualifications that are desirable in the job holder. Job analysis provides precisely what the duties, responsibilities, working environment and other requirements of a job are and to present these in a clear, concise and systematic way

Job Analysis study attempts to provide information in seven basic areas:

Job Identification or its title, including the code number, if any. Distinctive or significant characteristics of the job, its location setting, supervision, union jurisdiction and hazards and discomforts, if any. What the typical worker does: specific operations and tasks that make up the assignment and their relative timing and importance; the simplicity, the routine or complexity of tasks, responsibility for others, for property, or for funds. What materials and equipment the worker uses: Metals, plastics, grain, yarns; and lathes, milling machines, electronic ignition testers, corn huskers, punch presses and micrometers are illustrative. How the job is performed: the emphasis here is on the nature of operations and may specify such operations as handling, feeding, removing, drilling, driving, setting up and many others. Required personnel attributes: Experience, training apprenticeship, physical strength, coordination or dexterity, physical demands, mental capabilities, aptitudes, and social skills are some attributes. The conditions under which the work is performed: Working conditions and work environments is a major contributing factor in the performance of the job, and the satisfaction of the employee.

Job Analysis: Process

To be meaningful and useful for personnel related decision-making, job analysis must be carried more at frequent intervals. Jobs in the past were considered to be static and were designed on the basis that they would not change. People working on these jobs were different, the jobs remained unchanged. For higher efficiency and productivity, jobs must change according to the employees who carry them out. Some of the major reasons leading such changes are: Technological Change: The pace of change in technology necessitates changes in the nature of job as well as the skills required. E.g. Word processing has drastically changed the nature of secretarial jobs. Union-Management Agreements: The agreements entered between management and the union can bring about change in the nature of job, duties and responsibilities. For example, under employees participation scheme, the workers are encouraged to accept wider responsibilities. People: Each employee brings with him his own strengths and weaknesses, his own style of handling a job and his own aptitude.

Steps in Job Analysis Process

Organization Analysis: The first step is to get an overall view of various jobs in the organization with a view to examine the linkages between jobs and the organizational objectives, interrelationships among the jobs and the contribution of various jobs towards achieving organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The organization chart and the work flow or process charts constitute an important source of information for the purpose. Use of Job Analysis Information: Depending on organizational priorities and constraints, it is desirable to develop clarity regarding the possible uses of the information pertaining to job analysis. It is important to focus on a few priority activities in which the job analysis information could be used. Selection of Jobs for Analysis: Carrying out job analysis is a time-consuming and costly process. It is therefore, desirable to select a representative sample of jobs for purposes of analysis

Collection of Data:
Data will be collected on the characteristics of the job, the required behaviour and personal attributes needed to do the job effectively. Several techniques for job analysis are available. Care needs to be taken to use only such techniques, which are acceptable and reliable in the existing situation within the organization. Preparation of Job Description: The information collected in the previous step is used in preparing the job description for the job highlighting major tasks, duties and responsibilities for effective job performance Preparation of Job Specification: Likewise, the information gathered in the “Collection of Data” is also used to prepare the job specification for a job highlighting the personal attributes in terms of education, training, aptitude and experience to fulfill the job description. Job Analysis thus carried out provides basic inputs to the design of jobs so that it is able to meet the requirements of both the organization (in terms of efficiency and productivity) as well as the employees (in terms of job satisfaction and fulfillment).

Developing appropriate job design is then the outcome of the job analysis process.


Data collected for job analysis provides the basis for preparing job description. It refers to the job contents and the expectations that an organization has from its employees. Job descriptions usually outline the minimum requirements of jobs for many reasons: First, despite all the attempts, a perfect and fully inclusive job description is not possible. In fact, as one moves up in the hierarchy of an organization, a detailed job description becomes very difficult. Secondly, most organizations would prefer not to describe the job fully, if it is possible, because employees would then stick to what has been described and would not do anything beyond it. Thirdly, if a job were fully described, supervision would automatically be taken care of by the duties performed, making some of the duties of the supervisory staff redundant. Fourthly, technology is ~hanging fast and hence the nature of job is also chang¬ing. Unless an organization continuously updates the job description, it would be difficult to monitor
the performance of the employees.


A primary output or result of job analysis is job description. Information obtained by job analysis is shifted and recorded concisely, clearly and fully in the job description. The job description must assemble all the important elements of a job, such as essential tasks, responsibilities, qualifications required and the functional relation of the job to other jobs. There is no universally accepted standard format for job descriptions for the reason that the form and structure of the job descriptions must depend on the kind of work being analyzed and the job evaluation plan being used. For example, if the job evaluation form comprises factors such as physical and intellectual effort, knowledge, skills, and responsibilities and working conditions, it follows that job description should be structured to reflect these factors so as to facilitate factor by factor comparison and evaluation of the jobs. With non- analytical methods, job description may be more flexible and simpler but most specify the title of the job and its position in the organization, summarizes the tasks performed and list the skills and abilities required. It is helpful to follow the following guidelines when writing a job description:

I. Always be accurate about what is expressed.

Omit expressions which are attributes- such as uninteresting, distasteful, etc. Personal pronouns should be avoided- if it is necessary to refer to the worker, the word” operator” may be used. Do not describe only one phase of the job and give the impression that all phases are covered. Generalized or ambiguous expressions, such as ‘prepare’, ‘assist’, ‘handle’ etc. should be omitted unless supported by data that will clarify them. All statements should be clearly defined and simply set down- promiscuous use of adjectives only reflects one’s own opinion. Describe the job as is being done, by the majority of workers holding the designation.

Write in simple language– explain unusual technical terms. Description of a job, which is part of teamwork, should establish the team relationship. The length of description is immaterial; it is not expected even with printed form!: that all job descriptions should be of equal length but write concisely. When the job analyst finds that the data he has to work with is insufficient, s/he should stop until sufficient data is available. Put the date of completion of each description and revise it as often as changes in jobs and occupation require. Job description should have the concurrence of the concerned supervisor. Description should contain the initials of the persons who compile them.


Apart from being a basis for job evaluation, the job descriptions can be put to many uses. They are as under:

Supervisor- Employee Communication:

The information contained in the job description outlines the work, which the incumbent is expected to perform. Hence, it is an extremely useful document for both the supervisor and the subordinate for purposes of communication. Furthermore, it helps employees to understand just what work their associates are expected to perform, thus, facilitating integration of efforts at the work site by the employees themselves. Recruitment, Selection, Promotion, Transfer: Information pertaining to the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the work to an acceptable standard, can be used as a sound basis on which to base standards are procedures for recruitment, selection, promotion and transfer. Work Performance Appraisal: To be sound and objective, a performance appraisal system must be rooted in the work performed by the employee; such . work is indicated by the duties in the job description. In such an approach, using each duty as the basis for discussion, the employee and the supervisor agree on work performance goals for the period to be covered by the subsequent evaluation report; they also agree on the criteria to be used to determine the extent to which the goals have been attained.

The reports resulting from this methodology minimize subjectivity by focusing attention on the job, as distinct from the personality traits, habits or practices of the employee. As a conse¬quence, the results are more factual; valid and defensible than is the case in other types of systems. Manpower Planning, Training and Development: These three processes are closely interrelated. The job description showing, in specific terms, the knowledge, skill and ability requirements for effective performance of the duties, is a sound and rational basis for each of these processes. Analysis of various types of jobs at progressively more senior levels will indicate logical sources of supply for more senior posts, as part of manpower planning. It will also indicate the gap to be bridged in terms of knowledge, skill and ability, thus providing a sound basis for preparingj0b- related training and development programmes. Industrial Relations: Frequently, issues arise in the industrial relations field, which have their origin in the work to be undertaken. In these instances the job description may be used to form a factual basis for discussion and problem resolution. Organization and Procedure Analysis- The duties and responsibilities outlined in the job description may be used to a great advantage by management in analyzing organisation and procedures, because they reveal how the work is organized, how the procedure operate and how authority and responsibility are appointed.

A Job Description should include a:

I. Job Title: It represents a summary statement of what the job entails. Job Objective or Overall Purpose Statement: This statement is generally a summary designed to orient the reader to the general nature, level, purpose and objective of the job. The summary should describe the broad function and scope of the position and be no longer than three to four sentences. List of Duties or Tasks Performed: The list contains an item-by-item list of principal duties, continuing responsibilities and accountability of the occupant of the position. The list should contain each and every essential job duty or respon¬sibility that is critical to the successful performance of the job. The list should begin with the most important functional and relational responsibilities and continue down in order of significance. Each duty or responsibility that comprises at least five percent of the incumbent’s time should be included in the list. Description of the Relationships and Roles: the occupant of the position holds’ within the company, including any supervisory positions, subordinating roles and/or other working relationships.


Workload analysis helps in identifying the minimum qualification needed to perform a particular job. These may include academic qualifications, professional qualifications, age, years of experience, relevance and nature of previous experience, and other skills and attitudes. They form the minimum eligibility requirements, which the candidate must have, for the appointment to a job. A clear indication of specifications helps in generating eligible applications, because of self-selection. The candidates who do not possess those qualifications do not apply. On the other hand, lack of clear- cut specifications may generate a large number of applications, leading to high costs, in terms of man-hours, in processing them.

There is a great deal of disagreement with regard to developing complete and correct job specification unlike the job description, which provides more objective assessment of job requirements. The decision to specify minimum human requirements for ajob is a difficult one as it involves considerable degree of subjectivity. There is a general feeling that organisations generally tend to establish relatively high requirements for formal education and training, resulting in a situation where highly qualified people end up doing jobs of routine nature. Particularly, in India, highly qualified personnel are recruited for jobs where their abilities, skills and knowledge are under- utilized. Despite these problems, however, minimally acceptable human requirements need to be specified for various jobs and category of jobs. The format for job specification should include the following items:

• Position Title
• Education/ Training
• Experience
• Knowledge
• Abilities
• Skills
• Aptitude
• Desirable Attributes
• Contra-indicators, if any any.

From job analysis to jobless world

Job enrichment means redefining in a way that increases the opportunities for workers to experience building of responsibility, achievement, growth and recognition by doing job well.

Analysing together the job

Establishing client recognition

Vertical loading


Flexible job doing pattern etc.

Open feedback channels.

Whether specialised, enlarged or enriched, workers skill generally likes to have specific job to do and the job require job descriptions. But in the emerging organisation today jobs are becoming more amorphous and more difficult to define. In other “words’ the trend is towards “do-jobbing in many modern organisation. Given this general description of organisation, roles that are clearly defined play a significant part in accomplishing the goals of the organisation. Roles can be seen in a variety of ways.

Role and Role Dynamics

A role is a set of expectations associated with a job or a position. When roles are unclear or complicated performance problem can occur. Role ambiguity occurs when someone is uncertain about what is expected of him or her. To do any job; the people need know what is expected of them. Role clarity is important for every member of the group, but that is more important for new members. Role ambiguity creates problems and the whole efforts is either wasted or of appreciated. Expecting too much or too little may create problem. Role overload occurs when too much is expected and individual feels overloaded with work/responsibility. Role underload occurs when too little is expected and the individual feels underutilized therefore, a balanced and realistic role load is expected. Role conflict occurs when a person is unable to meet the expectations of others. The individual understands what needs to be done but for some reasons can not comply.

The resulting tension can reduce job satisfaction, affects both work performance and the relationship with other groups members. The Common forms of role conflict are: intra sender role-conflicting which occurs when the same person sends conflicting expectations. inter sender role-conflict occurs when different people send conflicting expecta¬tions. Person-Job-conflict-occurs when one’s personal values & needs come into conflict with role expectations. inter role conflict occurs when the expectations of two or more roles held by the same individual becomes incompatible-such as conflict between work & family demands. One way of managing role-dynamics in any group or work setting is the role¬negotiation. This is the process through which individual negotiate to clarify the role expectation each holds for the other.


Well-written role descriptions define the work of the organisation and its reasons for existence as an employer of human resources. Moreover, they define and help quantify the relative importance of work, what each position contributes to a process and the organisation as a whole. This definition illustrates an important point regarding role descriptions. Used in today’s work environment, they describe not only what the role is all about but also how it contributes to the work of the organisation. They describe the nature of the work to be done by stating the purpose and main responsibilities. They may also include information on the type of person who is best suited to perform the job. Role descriptions are a valuable resource. They have the potential to be useful organisational tools; however, to realize their potential they must be properly monitored. There are two main types of role descriptions, the generic or general and the specific or individual.


Recruitment is the development and maintenance of adequate manpower sources. It involves the creation of a pool of available human resources from-which the organisation can draw when it needs additional employees. Recruiting is the process of attracting applicants with certain skills, abilities; and other personal characteristics to job vacancies in an organisation. According to Denerley and Plumblay (1969), recruitment is concerned with both engaging the required number of people, and measuring their quality. It is not only a matter of satisfying a company’s needs, it•is also an activity which influences the shape of the company’s future. The need for recruitment may arise out of: (i) vacancies due to promotion, transfer, termination, retirement, permanent disability, or death; (ii) creation. of vacancies due to business expansion, diversification, growth, and soon. Recruitment has been regarded as the most important function of personnel administration. Unless the right types of people are hired, even the best plans, organisation charts and control systems will be of no avail. A company cannot prosper; grow, or even survive without adequate human resources. Need for trained manpower in recent years has created a pressure on some organisations to establish an efficient recruitment function.


The general purpose of recruitment is to provide a pool of potentially qualified candidates to meet organizational need. Its specific purposes are to: Determine the present and future requirements of the organisation in conjunction with the personnel planning and job analysis activities. Increase the pool of job candidates with minimum cost.

Help increase the success rate of the selection process by reducing the number of under qualified or overqualified job applicants. Help reduce the probability that job applicants, once recruited and selected, will leave the organisation only after a short period of time. Meet the organisation’s legal and social obligations regarding the composition of’ its workforce.? Start identifying and preparing potential job applicants who will be appropriate candidates.? Increase organisational and individual effectiveness in the short and long term.? Evaluate the effectiveness of various recruiting. techniques and sources for all types of job applicants.?

Recruitment policy may involve a commitment to broad principles such as filling vacancies with the best qualified individuals. It may embrace several issues such as extent of promotion from within, attitudes of enterprise in recruiting its old employees, handicaps, minority groups, women employees, part-time employees, friends and relatives of present employees. It may also involve the organisation system to be developed for implementing recruitment programme and procedures. A well considered and pre-planned recruitment policy, based on corporate goals, study of environment and the corporate needs, may avoid hasty or ill-considered decisions and may go a “long way to man the organisation with the right type of personnel. A good recruitment policy must contain the following elements: Organisation’s objectives – both short term and long term.? Identification of the recruitment needs.?

Preferred sources of recruitment.?
Criteria of selection and preferences.?
The cost of recruitment and financial implications of the same.?

A recruitment policy in its broadest sense involves a commitment by the employer to (i) find the best qualified persons for each job; (ii) retain the best and most promising of those hired; (iii) offer promising opportunities for life-time working careers; and (iv) provide programmes and facilities for personal growth on the job.


To be successful, the recruitment process must follow a number of steps. These are: Defining the job?
Establishing the person profile?
Making the vacancy known?
Receiving and documenting applications?
Designing and using the application form?
Notification and final checks?


Once the job analysis is completed and the job specification or behavioural competencies are identified, the next stage is to consider how to attract people who meet the requirements. A key decision is about whether to recruit internally or externally. Before an organisation actively begins recruiting applicants, it should have a knowledge of the sources of supply and methods of tapping them. The sources of supply do not remain constant but vary from time to time. The sources of supply of manpower can be divided into two groups – internal and external sources. Internal sources relate to the existing working force of an enterprise while external sources relate to the employment exchanges, colleges, institutes, and universities. The particular sources and means by which workers are recruited vary greatly. It depends upon management policy, the types of jobs involved, the supply of labour relative to demand, and labour market. In deciding which recruitment source to use, consider (a) the nature and size of the company; (b) the level of vacancies to be filled up; (c) the number of vacancies to be filled up; (d) budget allocation; and (e) the time period to fill the vacancy.

Internal Sources: Internal sources are the most obvious sources. These include personnel already on the pay-roll of an organisation, i.e., its present working force.

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