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) â€“ Read the following scenario and answer the
questions at the end â€“ Please explain your answers fully
Online RÃ©sumÃ©s Are Here to Stay
The trend at many organizations is toward using computer software to match
candidatesâ€™ qualifications to current job openings. How does it work? Instead of mailing
an 8 Â½
-by 11-inch paper rÃ©sumÃ© to a hiring manager or human resource representative,
job seekers are now asked to visit the company website to type in their rÃ©sumÃ© online.
After that, the rÃ©sumÃ© is screened and evaluated by a computer program on such factors
as 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
â€œWhat is your level of education?â€ as they are completing the online application. If their
education level doesnâ€™t match the requirements of the posted job, then the candidateâ€™s
application is immediately â€œ knocked outâ€ of the process. RÃ©sumÃ©s are even screened for
other reasons. For example, estimates indicate that up to 20 percent of online rÃ©sumÃ©s are
knocked out of consideration due to excessive job hopping and/ or the rÃ©sumÃ© contains
typos and grammatical errors.
What types of companies are using these rÃ©sumÃ© screening software programs?
Companies like Home Depot, BellSouth, Walgreens, United Parcel Service, Blockbuster,
and Target all claim that online rÃ©sumÃ© technology saves their hiring managers a lot of
time and money, and the promising rÃ©sumÃ©s are instantly available to company
personnel. This makes the hiring process much more efficient.
Another benefit of the online rÃ©sumÃ© posting process has to do with the geographic
reach the company can have with regard to candidates. At General Electric, every job
opening 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 company
website and can attract applicants from around the world. Currently, GE receives
approximately 15,000 rÃ©sumÃ©s monthly, roughly half of which are submitted via the
online company website. GE managers believe that some candidates, even though they do
not live in the immediate location of the hiring unit, would be willing to relocate if they
found the right job at GE.
Some organizations, in addition to screening rÃ©sumÃ©s on their own company
websites, pay to post jobs on popular online recruiting websites. The largest online
recruiting web-sites include monster. com, careerbuilders. com, and hotjobs. com.
What does all of this mean for job seekers? The rules of the rÃ©sumÃ© submission
process are changing. Job seekers need to modify their rÃ©sumÃ©s so that they contain
relevant keywords that are more likely to be identified by these online rÃ©sumÃ© screening
software programs. Now more than ever, rÃ©sumÃ©s have to be typo-free and written with
excellent grammar. Also, job seekers need to practice submitting their rÃ©sumÃ©s online.
Perhaps they should start off by submitting their rÃ©sumÃ©s to a smaller online recruiting
website. After that, they can submit their rÃ©sumÃ© to the large boards ( monster. com, etc.)
and to specific company websites.
QUESTIONS â€“ Please Explain Your Answers Fully
Why are so many companies shifting to online rÃ©sumÃ© screening programs to
sift through applicantsâ€™ rÃ©sumÃ©s?
Can you think of any disadvantages associated with the use of online rÃ©sumÃ©
screening? From the companyâ€™s perspective? The candidateâ€™s perspective?
What can job seekers do to improve their chances of making it through the
online rÃ©sumÃ© screening process and getting an interview?
Essay Question 2 (75 Possible Points) â€“ Read the following scenario and answer the
questions at the end â€“ Please explain your answers fully
The Politics of Performance Appraisal
Every Friday, Max Steadman, Jim Cobun, Lynne Sims, and Tom Hamilton meet at
Charleyâ€™s Food Place after work for refreshments. The four friends work as managers at
Eckel Industries, a manufacturer of arc welding equipment in Minneapolis. The one-
plant company employs about 2,000 people. The four managers work in the
manufacturing division. Max, 35, manages the companyâ€™s 25 quality control inspectors.
Lynne, 33, works as a supervisor in inventory management. Jim, 34, is a first-line
supervisor in the metal coating department. Tom, 28, supervises a team of assemblers.
The four managersâ€™ tenures at Eckel Industries range from 1 year ( Tom) to 12 years (
Max).The group is close-knit: Lynne, Jim, and Maxâ€™s friendship stems from their years as
undergraduate 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 Charleyâ€™s have become a comfortable habit for the group and
provide an opportunity to relax, exchange the latest gossip heard around the plant, and
give and receive advice about problems encountered on the job.
This weekâ€™s topic of discussion: performance appraisal, specifically the companyâ€™s
annual review process, which the plantâ€™s management conducted in the last week. Each
of the four managers completed evaluation forms ( graphic rating scale format) on each
of his or her subordinates and met with each subordinate to discuss the appraisal.
This was the first time Iâ€™ve appraised my people, and I dreaded it. For me, itâ€™s
been the worst week of the year. Evaluating is difficult; itâ€™s highly subjective
and inexact. Your emotions creep into the process. I got angry at one of my
assembly workers last week, and I still felt the anger when I was filling out the
evaluation forms. Donâ€™t tell me that my frustration with the guy didnâ€™t bias
my appraisal. I think it did. And I think the technique is flawed. Tell meâ€”
whatâ€™s the difference between a five and a six on â€œ cooperationâ€?
The scales are a problem. So is memory. Remember our course in human
resource management in college? Phillips said that, according to research,
when we sit down to evaluate someoneâ€™s performance in the past year, we will
be able to actively recall and use only 15 percent of the performance we
Lynne I think political considerations are always a part of the process. I know I
consider many other factors besides a personâ€™s actual performance when I
Lynne Like the appraisal will become part of the permanent written record that
affects his career. Like the person I evaluate today, I have to work with
tomorrow. Given that, the difference between a five and a six on cooperation
isnâ€™t that relevant, because frankly, if a five makes him mad, and heâ€™s happy
with a six. . . .
Then you give him the six. Accuracy is important, but Iâ€™ll admit itâ€” accuracy
isnâ€™t my primary objective when I evaluate my workers. My objective is to
motivate and reward them so theyâ€™ll perform better. I use the review process
to do whatâ€™s best for my people and my department. If that means fine-tuning
the evaluations to do that, I will.
Whatâ€™s an example of fine-tuning?
Jim, do you remember three years ago when the company lowered the ceiling
on merit raises? The top merit increase that any employee could get was 4
percent. I boosted the ratings of my folks to get the best merit increases for
them. The year before that, the ceiling was 8 percent. The best they could get
was less than what most of them received the year before. I felt they deserved
the 4 percent, so I gave the marks that got them what I felt they deserved.
Lynne Iâ€™ve inflated ratings to encourage someone who is having personal problems
but is normally a good employee. A couple of years ago, one of my better
people was going through a painful divorce, and it was showing in her work. I
donâ€™t think itâ€™s fair to kick people when theyâ€™re down.
Or make her complacent.
Lynne No, I donâ€™t think so. I felt she realized her work was suffering. I wanted to
give her encouragement; it was my way of telling her she had some support
and that she wasnâ€™t in danger of losing her job.
Thereâ€™s another situation where I think fine-tuning is meritedâ€” when
someoneâ€™s work has been mediocre or even poor for most of the year, but it
improves substantially in the last two, three months or so. If I think the guy is
really trying and is doing much better, Iâ€™d give him a rating thatâ€™s higher than
his work over the whole year deserves. It encourages him to keep improving.
If I give him a mediocre rating, what does that tell him?
What if heâ€™s really working hard, but not doing so great?
If I think he has what it takes, Iâ€™d boost the rating to motivate him to keep
trying until he gets there.
I know of one or two managers whoâ€™ve inflated ratings to get rid of a pain in
the neck, some young guy whoâ€™s transferred in and thinks heâ€™ll be there a
short time. Heâ€™s not good, but thinks he is, and creates all sorts of problems.
Or his performance is okay, but he just doesnâ€™t fit in with the rest of the
department. A year or two of good ratings is a sure trick for getting rid of him.
Yes, but youâ€™re passing the problem on to someone else.
True, but itâ€™s no longer my problem.
All the examples youâ€™ve talked about involve inflating evaluations. What
about deflating them, giving someone less than you really think he deserves?
Is that justified?
Lynne Iâ€™d hesitate to do that because it can create problems. It can backfire.
But it does happen. You can lower a guyâ€™s ratings to shock him, to jolt him
into performing better. Sometimes, you can work with people, coach them, tryto help them improve, and it just doesnâ€™t work. A basement-level rating can
tell someone you mean business. You can say that isnâ€™t fair, and for the time
being, it isnâ€™t. But what if you feel that if the guy doesnâ€™t shape up, he faces
being fired in a year or two, and putting him in the cellar, ratings-wise, will
solve his problem? Itâ€™s fair in the long run if the effect is that he improves his
work and keeps his job.
Sometimes, you get someone whoâ€™s a real rebel, who always questions you,
sometimes even oversteps his bounds. I think deflating his evaluation is
merited just to remind him whoâ€™s the boss.
Lynne Iâ€™d consider lowering the true rating if someone had a long record of rather
questionable performance, and I think the best alternative for the person is to
consider another job with another company. A low appraisal sends him a
message to consider quitting and start looking for another job.
What if you believe the situation is hopeless, and youâ€™ve made up your mind
that youâ€™re going to fire the guy as soon as youâ€™ve found a suitable
replacement? The courts have chipped away at managementâ€™s right to fire.
Today, when you fire someone, you must have a strong case. I think once a
manager decides to fire, appraisals become very negative. Anything good that
you say about the subordinate can be used later against you. Deflating the
ratings protects you from being sued and sometimes speeds up the termination
I understand your point, but I still believe that accuracy is the top priority in
performance appraisal. Let me play devilâ€™s advocate for a minute. First, Jim,
you complained about our memory limitations introducing a bias into
appraisal. Doesnâ€™t introducing politics into the process further distort the truth
by introducing yet another bias? Even more important, most would agree that
one key to motivating people is providing true feedbackâ€” the facts about how
theyâ€™re doing so they know where they stand. Then you talk with them about
how to improve their performance. When you distort an evaluationâ€” however
slightlyâ€” are you providing this kind of feedback?
I think youâ€™re overstating the degree of fine-tuning.
Distortion, you mean.
No, fine-tuning. Iâ€™m not talking about giving a guy a seven when he deserves
a two or vice versa. Itâ€™s not that extreme. Iâ€™m talking about making slight
changes in the ratings when you think that the change can make a big
difference in terms of achieving what you think is best for the person and for
But when you fine-tune, youâ€™re manipulating your people. Why not give
them the most accurate evaluation, and let the chips fall where they may?
Give them the facts, and let them decide.
Because most of good managing is psychologyâ€” understanding people, their
strengths and shortcomings; knowing how to motivate, reward, and act to do
whatâ€™s in their and your departmentâ€™s best interest. And sometimes total
accuracy is not the best path.
All this discussion raises a question. Whatâ€™s the difference between fine-
tuning and significant distortion? Where do you draw the line?
Lynne Thatâ€™s about as easy a question as whatâ€™s the difference between a five and
six. On the form, I mean.
QUESTIONS â€“ Please Explain Your Answers Fully
In your opinion, and from an HRM perspective, what are the objectives of
employee performance evaluation?
On the basis of these objectives, evaluate the perspectives about performance
appraisal presented by the managers.
Assume you are the vice president of HRM at Eckel Industries and that you are
aware that fine-tuning evaluations is a prevalent practice among Eckel
managers. If you disagree with this perspective, what steps would you take to
reduce the practice?