Processes of Employee Selection and Performance Appraisal

Even though many laws have been passed to safeguard the rights of employees, the concept of fairness in the process of selection, hiring, promotions and dismissal of staff is almost universally accepted. The cost of acquiring and maintaining efficient and effective employees has been steadily increasing over the years. With enough legal restrictions, application of technology and the unpredictability of the employment market, the process of hiring staffers becomes very critical demanding utmost dexterity from the human resource departments of most firms and corporations. In this paper, I evaluate the process of employee selection and performance appraisal applied in my department.
The first step in hiring begins with the definition of the job or availability of a vacancy. For any business or organization to succeed, it is of paramount importance that the employees to whom specific duties and responsibilities have been delegated are fully able to perform them to perfection. The human resource department makes an outline of what the position entails, the amount of time the successful candidate or candidates will have to put in, that is if the job will be on a full time or a part time basis, the duty station (where the successful candidates will be performing his or her duties) and to whom they will be responsible to (Arthur, 2001). Further decisions have to be made concerning the appropriate and feasible remuneration and compensation package, the educational level and background and the extent of work experience if necessary. For example, while hiring a production engineer, it becomes necessary to make sure that the candidates must have an academic background in the relevant engineering discipline and have on-the-job experience required for efficient oversight of the department. Age could also be a factor as some positions demand extensive interpersonal skills and well developed leadership traits to execute efficiently, for example in human resource management.
After the job description and the necessary qualifications have been decided and outlined, the department advertises through dailies and on the firms website calling for suitably qualified candidates to forward their Curriculum Vitae and job cover letters to the Human resource managers desk. If potential candidates had already sent in their profiles, it still is imperative to advertise the positions for openness and transparency, as long as to avoid the risk of leaving out more qualified candidates (Thoms, 2005).
After all interested potential candidates have submitted the required documents, that is a cover letter and a copy of their curriculum vitae, the candidate pool for the particular job is systematically narrowed down to just a handful of persons. This is done by first perusing the applications to eliminate unqualified applicants. Attention is also paid to well written resumes and cover letters that may be an indication that the applicant may possess the qualities desired for the job. After this preliminary elimination process is over, the department establishes communication with the remaining candidates and invites them to sit an aptitude test to gauge their suitability for the position. Further elimination happens leaving as eligible only those candidates that score above a pre-determined threshold in the aptitude test (Arthur, 2001). The candidates still remaining in contention for the position are then invited for a boardroom oral interview to further establish the ability of each and every one of them.
After the oral interviews, the employer then is at liberty to extend an offer to the candidate or candidates they favor as most able to fill the vacancy as per the description of the job. It is the practice to have also a list of alternative candidates to extend offers to in the event of the favorite candidate turning down the offer.

Concerning appraisal, there is a realization that the biggest single reason for underperformance of employees in the department is lack of appreciation. Under duress of demanding operational schedules, seniors may forget to compliment good performances and instead focus on what is erroneously done. The fact is that even when an employee is performing well in just one of many areas of responsibility, the desire to improve in the other areas he or she is involved in will be fuelled by complementation from their supervisor. This is the foundation of performance appraisal (Thoms, 2005). The essence of performance appraisal is to motivate staff, establish the rate of productivity and hence estimate the efficiency of the existent employee base.
The first step is selecting the performance data to base the appraisal on. Considered here is employee productivity, the personal traits he or she exhibits and finally the proficiency (the skill) the employee has shown while carrying out his or her duties and responsibilities. Productivity is measured in terms of quantifiable performance accomplishments (Rosenberg, 2000). Personal traits are attributes like motivation, teamwork, the ability to take initiative and personal appearance (the suitability of the dress code and levels of personal grooming). Proficiency analysis helps establish the areas of performance needing improvement and ingrain inside the employee the desire to overcome the shortcomings that hinder satisfactory input in the department.
After the determination of the areas to perform the appraisal, a decision is made on who will conduct the appraisal. This may be the employees themselves, their co-workers supervisors or professionals outsourced from outside the organization. The rating philosophy is then decided upon (Denisi, 2005). This involves the choosing between classifying employee data based on mutual comparison with their co-workers or whether the rating is to be against some pre-established standard.
After the selection of employees, performance appraisal is in my opinion the most effective human resource management tool. This is because after proper execution, appraisals can help in refining the present workforce and rewarding excellence (Arthur, 2006).
The transparency and rigorous selection applied in selecting candidates to fill vacant positions in the department severely diminishes any chance of picking an unqualified candidate to take on any responsibilities. There also is no room for patronage and corruption in the hiring process.
Performance appraisals and the evaluation of the resultant data provide ideas for refining operational procedures or deciding on whether to institute new ones. If, for example performance appraisal information indicates that a production supervisor had continuously been involved in interpersonal conflicts with his juniors in the department, it will indicate the need for exercising more caution by focusing on interpersonal capabilities while hiring for that office in the future (Rosenberg, 2000).
In addition, even though the motivation levels and the desire for professional betterment vary from employee to employee, it is important for employees to get a feedback on how they are performing their duties. The feedback provided by performance surveys actively engages the employee to better his or her performance. When presented in a positive perspective, employees become grateful for the hints on how they can be better in their capacities and this concentrates collective efforts towards thriving of the establishment


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