Please read the below excerpts and answer the questions at the end of each.READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY, THEN THINK ABOUT YOUR ANSWER.Essay Question 1 (75 Possible Points) – Read the following scenario and answer thequestions at the end – Please explain your answers fullyOnline Résumés Are Here to StayThe trend at many organizations is toward using computer software to matchcandidates’ qualifications to current job openings. How does it work? Instead of mailingan 8 ½-by 11-inch paper résumé to a hiring manager or human resource representative,job seekers are now asked to visit the company website to type in their résumé online.After that, the résumé is screened and evaluated by a computer program on such factorsas relevant keywords, past experience, and education. For example, NuView software,which costs between $ 6 and $ 15 per month per user, asks candidates questions such as“What is your level of education?” as they are completing the online application. If theireducation level doesn’t match the requirements of the posted job, then the candidate’sapplication is immediately “ knocked out” of the process. Résumés are even screened forother reasons. For example, estimates indicate that up to 20 percent of online résumés areknocked out of consideration due to excessive job hopping and/ or the résumé containstypos and grammatical errors.What types of companies are using these résumé screening software programs?Companies like Home Depot, BellSouth, Walgreens, United Parcel Service, Blockbuster,and Target all claim that online résumé technology saves their hiring managers a lot oftime and money, and the promising résumés are instantly available to companypersonnel. This makes the hiring process much more efficient.Another benefit of the online résumé posting process has to do with the geographicreach the company can have with regard to candidates. At General Electric, every jobopening is posted on the internal career website. If the hiring unit decides that it wants to?advertise the ad outside of the company, then the job opening is posted on the companywebsite and can attract applicants from around the world. Currently, GE receivesapproximately 15,000 résumés monthly, roughly half of which are submitted via theonline company website. GE managers believe that some candidates, even though they donot live in the immediate location of the hiring unit, would be willing to relocate if theyfound the right job at GE.Some organizations, in addition to screening résumés on their own companywebsites, pay to post jobs on popular online recruiting websites. The largest onlinerecruiting web-sites include monster. com, careerbuilders. com, and hotjobs. com.What does all of this mean for job seekers? The rules of the résumé submissionprocess are changing. Job seekers need to modify their résumés so that they containrelevant keywords that are more likely to be identified by these online résumé screeningsoftware programs. Now more than ever, résumés have to be typo-free and written withexcellent grammar. Also, job seekers need to practice submitting their résumés online.Perhaps they should start off by submitting their résumés to a smaller online recruitingwebsite. After that, they can submit their résumé to the large boards ( monster. com, etc.)and to specific company websites.QUESTIONS – Please Explain Your Answers FullyA.Why are so many companies shifting to online résumé screening programs tosift through applicants’ résumés?B.Can you think of any disadvantages associated with the use of online résuméscreening? From the company’s perspective? The candidate’s perspective?C.What can job seekers do to improve their chances of making it through theonline résumé screening process and getting an interview?Essay Question 2 (75 Possible Points) – Read the following scenario and answer thequestions at the end – Please explain your answers fullyThe Politics of Performance AppraisalEvery Friday, Max Steadman, Jim Cobun, Lynne Sims, and Tom Hamilton meet atCharley’s Food Place after work for refreshments. The four friends work as managers atEckel Industries, a manufacturer of arc welding equipment in Minneapolis. The one-plant company employs about 2,000 people. The four managers work in themanufacturing division. Max, 35, manages the company’s 25 quality control inspectors.Lynne, 33, works as a supervisor in inventory management. Jim, 34, is a first-linesupervisor in the metal coating department. Tom, 28, supervises a team of assemblers.The four managers’ tenures at Eckel Industries range from 1 year ( Tom) to 12 years (Max).The group is close-knit: Lynne, Jim, and Max’s friendship stems from their years asundergraduate business students at the University of Minnesota. Tom, the newcomer,joined the group after meeting the three at an Eckel management seminar last year.Weekly get-togethers at Charley’s have become a comfortable habit for the group andprovide an opportunity to relax, exchange the latest gossip heard around the plant, andgive and receive advice about problems encountered on the job.This week’s topic of discussion: performance appraisal, specifically the company’sannual review process, which the plant’s management conducted in the last week. Eachof the four managers completed evaluation forms ( graphic rating scale format) on eachof his or her subordinates and met with each subordinate to discuss the appraisal.TomThis was the first time I’ve appraised my people, and I dreaded it. For me, it’sbeen the worst week of the year. Evaluating is difficult; it’s highly subjectiveand inexact. Your emotions creep into the process. I got angry at one of myassembly workers last week, and I still felt the anger when I was filling out theevaluation forms. Don’t tell me that my frustration with the guy didn’t biasmy appraisal. I think it did. And I think the technique is flawed. Tell me—what’s the difference between a five and a six on “ cooperation”?JimThe scales are a problem. So is memory. Remember our course in humanresource management in college? Phillips said that, according to research,when we sit down to evaluate someone’s performance in the past year, we willbe able to actively recall and use only 15 percent of the performance weobserved.Lynne I think political considerations are always a part of the process. I know Iconsider many other factors besides a person’s actual performance when Iappraise him.TomLike what?Lynne Like the appraisal will become part of the permanent written record thataffects his career. Like the person I evaluate today, I have to work withtomorrow. Given that, the difference between a five and a six on cooperationisn’t that relevant, because frankly, if a five makes him mad, and he’s happywith a six. . . .MaxThen you give him the six. Accuracy is important, but I’ll admit it— accuracyisn’t my primary objective when I evaluate my workers. My objective is tomotivate and reward them so they’ll perform better. I use the review processto do what’s best for my people and my department. If that means fine-tuningthe evaluations to do that, I will.TomWhat’s an example of fine-tuning?MaxJim, do you remember three years ago when the company lowered the ceilingon merit raises? The top merit increase that any employee could get was 4percent. I boosted the ratings of my folks to get the best merit increases forthem. The year before that, the ceiling was 8 percent. The best they could getwas less than what most of them received the year before. I felt they deservedthe 4 percent, so I gave the marks that got them what I felt they deserved.Lynne I’ve inflated ratings to encourage someone who is having personal problemsbut is normally a good employee. A couple of years ago, one of my betterpeople was going through a painful divorce, and it was showing in her work. Idon’t think it’s fair to kick people when they’re down.TomOr make her complacent.Lynne No, I don’t think so. I felt she realized her work was suffering. I wanted togive her encouragement; it was my way of telling her she had some supportand that she wasn’t in danger of losing her job.JimThere’s another situation where I think fine-tuning is merited— whensomeone’s work has been mediocre or even poor for most of the year, but itimproves substantially in the last two, three months or so. If I think the guy isreally trying and is doing much better, I’d give him a rating that’s higher thanhis work over the whole year deserves. It encourages him to keep improving.If I give him a mediocre rating, what does that tell him?TomWhat if he’s really working hard, but not doing so great?JimIf I think he has what it takes, I’d boost the rating to motivate him to keeptrying until he gets there.MaxI know of one or two managers who’ve inflated ratings to get rid of a pain inthe neck, some young guy who’s transferred in and thinks he’ll be there ashort time. He’s not good, but thinks he is, and creates all sorts of problems.Or his performance is okay, but he just doesn’t fit in with the rest of thedepartment. A year or two of good ratings is a sure trick for getting rid of him.TomYes, but you’re passing the problem on to someone else.MaxTrue, but it’s no longer my problem.TomAll the examples you’ve talked about involve inflating evaluations. Whatabout deflating them, giving someone less than you really think he deserves?Is that justified?Lynne I’d hesitate to do that because it can create problems. It can backfire.MaxBut it does happen. You can lower a guy’s ratings to shock him, to jolt himinto performing better. Sometimes, you can work with people, coach them, tryto help them improve, and it just doesn’t work. A basement-level rating cantell someone you mean business. You can say that isn’t fair, and for the timebeing, it isn’t. But what if you feel that if the guy doesn’t shape up, he facesbeing fired in a year or two, and putting him in the cellar, ratings-wise, willsolve his problem? It’s fair in the long run if the effect is that he improves hiswork and keeps his job.JimSometimes, you get someone who’s a real rebel, who always questions you,sometimes even oversteps his bounds. I think deflating his evaluation ismerited just to remind him who’s the boss.Lynne I’d consider lowering the true rating if someone had a long record of ratherquestionable performance, and I think the best alternative for the person is toconsider another job with another company. A low appraisal sends him amessage to consider quitting and start looking for another job.MaxWhat if you believe the situation is hopeless, and you’ve made up your mindthat you’re going to fire the guy as soon as you’ve found a suitablereplacement? The courts have chipped away at management’s right to fire.Today, when you fire someone, you must have a strong case. I think once amanager decides to fire, appraisals become very negative. Anything good thatyou say about the subordinate can be used later against you. Deflating theratings protects you from being sued and sometimes speeds up the terminationprocess.TomI understand your point, but I still believe that accuracy is the top priority inperformance appraisal. Let me play devil’s advocate for a minute. First, Jim,you complained about our memory limitations introducing a bias intoappraisal. Doesn’t introducing politics into the process further distort the truthby introducing yet another bias? Even more important, most would agree thatone key to motivating people is providing true feedback— the facts about howthey’re doing so they know where they stand. Then you talk with them abouthow to improve their performance. When you distort an evaluation— howeverslightly— are you providing this kind of feedback?MaxI think you’re overstating the degree of fine-tuning.TomDistortion, you mean.MaxNo, fine-tuning. I’m not talking about giving a guy a seven when he deservesa two or vice versa. It’s not that extreme. I’m talking about making slightchanges in the ratings when you think that the change can make a bigdifference in terms of achieving what you think is best for the person and foryour department.TomBut when you fine-tune, you’re manipulating your people. Why not givethem the most accurate evaluation, and let the chips fall where they may?Give them the facts, and let them decide.MaxBecause most of good managing is psychology— understanding people, theirstrengths and shortcomings; knowing how to motivate, reward, and act to dowhat’s in their and your department’s best interest. And sometimes totalaccuracy is not the best path.JimAll this discussion raises a question. What’s the difference between fine-tuning and significant distortion? Where do you draw the line?Lynne That’s about as easy a question as what’s the difference between a five andsix. On the form, I mean.QUESTIONS – Please Explain Your Answers FullyA.In your opinion, and from an HRM perspective, what are the objectives ofemployee performance evaluation?B.On the basis of these objectives, evaluate the perspectives about performanceappraisal presented by the managers.C.Assume you are the vice president of HRM at Eckel Industries and that you areaware that fine-tuning evaluations is a prevalent practice among Eckelmanagers. If you disagree with this perspective, what steps would you take toreduce the practice?
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