What are the different Activities of Personal Department?

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They are as follows:

Recruitment of Personnel

The world of trade and industry is a world of competition and if a firm wants to survive, it must reduce the cost of production by employing fewer and efficient workers. An efficient worker will naturally help to increase the production.

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The right person should be selected for the right job. All qualities of human beings cannot be measured. Measurable qualities inherent in human beings can be tested, and their abilities as to the suitability to a specified work can also be decided.

Before the recruitment of the workers, the personnel department must have detailed information regarding the description of the job for which selection is to be done. Faulty method of selection will affect production.

Recruitment of staff involves selection of the source from which staff is to be recruited, selecting the most suitable candidates through interviews and various forms of tests and the actual appointment of the staff through letters of appointment, service agreements, etc.

But before taking steps for the recruitment of staff, the office manager must obtain accurate and detailed information regarding the contents of the jobs to enable him to determine what qualities and abilities to look for in the staff to be recruited.

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Thus it is important to understand the meaning of the term ‘job’ and other connected terms. Let us discuss these various aspects.

Job Grading

The system of job-grading is followed both in selecting the workers and at the promotional stages. In dealing with the selection of workers it is necessary to measure the relative values of different jobs. All types of jobs are paid according to their relative difficulties and the basic purpose of job evaluation.

Job evaluation is a system of which each job is rated and its relative worth determined as per the procedure laid down. When recruitment is done, the requirement of the job is thoroughly considered-educational qualifications, special training, experience, etc., laid down for the smooth functioning of the job.

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Arrangement of job-grading is done from the simplest job to the highest job or vice- versa. Thus jobs are graded in the ascending or descending order. This is done along with job description. Job description gives detailed information pertaining to a job.

According to Denyer, “Job grading consists of a scientific study of all jobs and then the placing of these jobs into broad categories called job grades. It is fundamentally a technique of determining the differences between jobs and rationalizing the rates of pay in large organizations.”

Job grading is the classification and analysis of each type of job being performed in an organisation. As a matter of fact, job grading can be made in various manners, such as, skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled or Grade A, Grade B and Grade C or Grade I, Grade II and Grade III etc.

Job grading is done after undertaking job analysis, job description and job specification for each job. It is done by studying the essential characteristics of each job. These characteristics are:

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1. The experience required;

2. The skill needed;

3. The initiative required;

4. The level of responsibility entailed; and

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5. The level of supervision needed for the job.

Advantages of Job Grading

1. Salary can be paid on the basis of graded job, which is proper and justifiable.

2. Able worker gets the chances of promotion. Ability rather than seniority is to be given consideration.

3. Improvement in the morale of the employees and good relationship between the management and the employees can be maintained.

4. The right man can be given the right job; right salary is paid and thus wage- disputes are avoided.

5. It increases output and improves the morale of employees.

6. It reduces labour turnover.

7. It is a valuable guidance in work simplification.

The institute of Office Management, London has suggested the following grading system for office work:

Grade A: Simple tasks allotted to be done under close supervision.

Grade B: Simple copying and making entries from original documents; tasks require the knowledge of a limited number of well-defined rules. Simple operations requiring manual dexterity. Measure of responsibility small, work mostly checked and closely supervised.

Grade C: Work of a routine character but where the responsibility is somewhat greater than grade B. Checking Grade B Work.

Grade D: Work calling for the exercise of some initiatives. Daily routine varying. Little supervision given.

Grade E: More important clerical work with a degree of control over the sequence of jobs or over the work of small groups of staff. Work demands special knowledge or involves individual responsibility without supervision.

Grade F: Supervision of sections and responsibility for the efficient execution of a complete division of the work. Regular contact with the management and administration. Work demanding knowledge of a special character for example, legal, accounting, engineering etc.

Job Description

A job description is a written statement outlining the purpose and the Principal duties and responsibilities of a job. A specimen of job description is given below:

Clerk (in mail department) 18 to 25 years Male or female Matriculate, preferably graduate Rs. 3,000-50-5,000 plus Rs. 1800 per month Sorting out letters handling of mail opening machine, handling of the opened letters to the section-head, writing of addresses on the envelopes and minor clerical jobs Punctuality in morning hours is essential. Honesty is required, (for cheques, drafts, etc., are received) Pleasing habit, co-operative nature, accuracy, good appearance etc.

If the worker proves worthy, he may be taken in the accounts department on a higher scale In the words of Bethel, “The job description is a ‘boiled down’ statement of the job analysis and serves to indentify the job for consideration by other job analysts.”

That is, it is an abstract of information gained from the job analysis report. It describes the work performed, the responsibilities involved, the skill or training required, the conditions under which the job is done, and the type of the personnel required for the job.

Sources of Recruitment

Personnel officer will have to take decision as to the source from where workers can be recruited. There are many sources.

1. Advertisement

The post may be advertised in local or national newspapers which have enough circulation. Advertisement can also be done in trade journals.

Sometimes blind type of advertisement is also done by giving box number, so as to keep the firm’s name unknown to the applicants. This is done so, because recommendations can be avoided. The full information of the post must be given in the advertisement, so that the applicant may not have any doubt. Through advertisement the best candidate can be selected with advantage.

2. Employment Exchange

Government has set up a department to provide the required staff to any concern. The employment exchange will be informed of all the description of the job, so that they can send proper candidates for the job. Usually it sends local persons. In such a case a proper selection is not possible.

The merit is that the post can be filled in very soon, without any expenditure for advertisement. Moreover, when most of the candidates are from local area, travelling expenses need not be paid.

3. Professional Organization

Institute of Clattered Accountants, Institute of Cost and Works Accountants, Institute of Company Sect Varies, etc., can be contacted in order to get trained and qualified candidates. They recommend the names of candidates along with full particulars to the needed firm.

They always keep a register having such information. There is an advantage that a qualified accountant or secretary can be selected.

4. Colleges and Universities

Generally, Universities maintain a register of employment bureaux in order to help the students. A firm that has vacancies can inform such bodies in order to get information of suitable candidates.

One has to inform the bureaux along with the description of jobs. This is the easiest way of filling vacancies. But the drawback is that a good selection is not possible.

5. Ex-employees, Job-seekers, Friends, etc.

Job-seekers may sometimes apply directly. Old employee of the concern can also suggest names of candidates to be selected. The vacancy can also be informed to the friends, who may suggest candidates.

6. Appliance Companies

Office appliance companies have trained persons to operate on new machines. Such companies may be informed of the vacancy so that trained candidates can be had. One can be selected out of the batch.

7. Circular Letters

It is also seen that sometimes the management writes circular letters or places the information on the notice board of the firm, inviting applications. Through the workers of the firm, the news goes out and they bring candidates to personnel department.

Interview

After advertisement of the posts, the firm may receive applications for the required post. Generally, a formal application is called for, in order to send out prescribed application forms duly printed, and this form has to be filled in by the candidate. By sending such prescribed forms, it is easy for the management to obtain the required information of the applicant.

When the firm has received many applications, scrutiny of the applications will be done in order to select proper and qualified applicants. When the applications are rejected, the applicants may be informed of the fact with regret. There must be a good system in selecting candidates.

For the selected applicants, interview may be conducted in order to assess the personality and the ability of the applicants.

The candidates will be informed of the time and date of interview. When the candidate comes for the interview, let a personal and friendly treatment be given. Questions should not be asked just to confuse the applicant. The interview may be done in a friendly and informal manner.

He will be given a cordial welcome. There must be congenial atmosphere to enable the applicant to express himself freely. The interview will be carried out in a separate room with proper seating arrangement and without any external disturbances.

Test

Occupational test can be conducted in the case of a typist, steno, accountant, etc. Such tests must be simple to conduct and easy to evaluate. The candidates may be informed of these tests in advance, so that they may come ready for the tests.

Quality-rating tests are conducted on the basis of the description of the job after grouping the applicants in different categories in relative degree of importance. The assessment of the qualities is rated in the form of grades through numbers or average, above average, poor etc.

A candidate is selected after interview and other tests. An appointment order will be issued and the candidate has to fill in certain service agreement. Where the post is of an important nature involving secret processes, technical process, serving for fixed period; etc., the service agreement must be, in writing in order to avoid dispute in future.

Training

Training follows the recruitment of workers. A job may be simplest one, but guidance is necessary in order to have efficiency in the work. That is, in all types of posts, a little training is essential, to instruct as to how a particular job is performed. Even the simplest job like telephone handling, dispatch of letters etc. requires some training for its efficient performance.

The basic purpose of training is to guide and direct the learning of employees so that they may perform their duties as efficiently as possible. Any good training programme lays down the procedure by which people gain knowledge and skill for a definite purpose.

According to little field, “Training is the process of increasing the skills and knowledge of personnel for the purpose of improving individual and organisational performance.” It is the duty of the personnel department to suggest training programme for the new-comers.

The skill and aptitude can be increased by training. Training is not only necessary for new entrants, but also for the old workers, whenever new technological development has been brought into work because the old workers may not possess knowledge to work upon the new technique. Therefore, training programme is a must to achieve a given aim.

Need For Training

1. Training makes the new employees efficient.

2. Training helps to provide mastery in new methods and new machines.

3. Training is needed to prevent industrial accidents.

4. When workers with little or no training selected, they need training for efficient performance of work.

5. Training reduces the need for supervision to the minimum.

Hints for Conducting Tests and Interviews

1. Plan a tests programme.

2. Devise tests that may be easy to value.

3. Prepare a list of candidates to be tested.

4. Decide upon the knowledge required.

5. Test must consume normal time.

6. Fix the place of Interview.

7. Inform the applicants.

8. Provide proper waiting place.

9. Fix the members of the interviewing board

10. Decide how to make the final selection.

The Method of Training

1. Oriental training

When a new man is appointed, a little training is being given to him so that he may understand the nature of the work and adjust himself to his job. He will also be informed of the rules and regulations of the firm and the working conditions in which he has to work. It has a short duration followed by lectures, film shows, tours, etc.

2. Training on the job

This method is suitable and effective as the employee is given training on the job itself either within the organisation or outside. The worker works along with other experienced workmen, during the course of training. Generally, the newcomer will be put under an expert or a specialist, who is in care of the training apprenticeship.

The period of training may vary from firm to firm or from job to job. The advantage is that the applicant gets an adequate knowledge of his work.

3. Training in outside schools

When necessary technical education is imparted outside the firm, the trainees can be sent there to get they trained. The fees for the training will be paid by the firm. The existing employees can also attend it before or after the working-hours. Therefore, it is convenient for the firm to send the trainees instead of managing training programmes.

Sometimes, an organization may run a school to impart instruction to its workers. There will be no fee to attend the classes, but the employee has to attend it. Trained teachers are appointed. The day and time of the training are fixed and the trainee has to attend it. The trainee can have a good knowledge of his job.

Benefits of Training

1. Training results in higher quantity and quality of output.

2. Training builds self-confidence in the employees.

3. Proper training reduces the accident rate.

4. Well trained employees make better use of machine and materials.

5. Trained employees show less resistance to change.

6. Rate of spoilage or wastage of materials is reduced.

7. Maintenance cost of machines is reduced and cost of production per unit is also reduced.

8. More skill and accurate work can be expected.

9. An organization with trained personnel can introduce the latest technology in order to reduce costs of production.

10. Trained employees are self-dependent and can perform routine work independently.

11. An enterprise having a pool of trained personnel can maintain its effectiveness despite the loss of key personnel.

12. It increases the chance of promotion.

13. In the initial stage it is expensive; but in the long run cost of production can be reduced.

14. Trained workers need less supervision, thus there is economy.

15. Training gives a worker higher responsibility and his ego is satisfied.

Drawbacks of Training

1. Initial expenses are high and all the firms may not afford it.

2. If there are no chances of promotion, workers may seek for better chances elsewhere, so the amount spent on their training is a waste to the firm.

3. Temporary dislocation of work, during the period of training, will decrease the output.

Job

Otis and Leukart defined a job as “A group of position involving substantially the same duties, skills, knowledge and responsibilities.” The job is impersonal. The position is personal. Each job or sub-division of a job must have an unambiguous name or title to avoid confusion.

A job is a collection of task, duties and responsibilities which as a whole is regarded as the regular assignment to individual employees.

Job Analysis (Job Study)

According to Harry L. Wylie, “Job analysis deals with anatomy of the job. This is the complete study of the job (or position) embodying every known and determinable factor including the duties and responsibilities involved in its performance; the conditions under which performance is carried on, the nature of the task; the qualifications required in the worker, and the conditions of employment, such as pay, hours, opportunities and privileges.”

Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities of the specific job. Job analysis is based on job description, job specification and job classification.

According to Terry, “Job analysis is the process of critically examining the components of a job, both separately and in relation to the whole, in order to determine all the operations and duties.”

Job analysis has two aspects (a) Job-aspect – description of features of the work and (b) man aspect consisting of the detailed description of the necessary physical, mental and personal characteristics of the worker.

Job Specification

Job specification is a statement of the minimum acceptable human qualities necessary to perform a job properly. It is a product of job analysis and description.

While job description describes the duties and responsibilities of a particular job, specification specifies the personnel qualities required for the performance of a job-formal education, experience, aptitude and attitude etc. That is, a job description is a study of the job, while a specification is a study of the qualities required for the performance of a job.

Job Standardisation

Job standardisation includes the establishment of specifications for tools, equipment, working conditions and methods. These specifications are arrived at by scientific analysis, Standards of performance cannot be maintained unless conditions of work, systems and personnel are standardised.

Job Classification

This branch of job study refers to comparative study of jobs. It embodies the comparison of individual jobs and the determination of identical duties and qualifications so as to achieve the objective of grouping similar jobs into classes so that identical and consistent titles may be assigned.

Job Evaluation

Job evaluation is the rating of each job or work according to a particular procedure in order to determine its relative worth. It is the system by which each job is rated in relation to other jobs of the firm. The purpose of job evaluation is that each job is paid according to the relative difficulties in performing it. One will not accept a job when he is not satisfied with the salary offered.

In the words of Dale Yoder, “Job evaluation is a practice, which seeks to provide a degree of objectivity in measuring the comparative value of jobs within an organisation and among similar organisations. It is essentially a job rating process, not unlike the rating of employees.”

According to B. H. Walley, “Job evaluation is a systematic of the value of a range of jobs, so that ultimately wages or salary payment scale is produced for them.”

According to Brech, “Job evaluation is the method of determining the relative worth of jobs on some scale, usually by an analysis of the contents of jobs under classified headings.”

The basic purpose of job evaluation is to determine the relative worth of each job so that proper remuneration can be fixed for different categories of jobs. Proper job evaluation helps in devising a wage structure which is acceptable to the workers as well as the organisation.

The salary or the wages must well compensate a worker in accordance with the expected skill and labour to be expanded on his job. Employees feel dissatisfied and discontent when the salary is low, on the other hand, if the salary is too high it will be disastrous to the firm.

Therefore, a systematic salary structure should be accepted for the common well-being of both the management and the employees and it is possible only through the job evaluation methods. For a proper job evaluation the following factors are to be considered:-

1. Skill and labour required to perform a particular job.

2. Effort and responsibility to be undertaken for a job.

3. Physical requirements needed for a job.

4. Working conditions of a job.

Benefits of Job Evaluation

Job evaluation offers many advantages, more important of which are as follows:

1. Proper and rational salary and wage structure can be formulated.

2. When job evaluation is practiced, wage rates can be reviewed with ease.

3. Job evaluation helps in evolving uniform standards to be applied to all jobs in the organization.

4. Settlement of grievances and disputes regarding individual wage rates is greatly facilitated.

5. Job evaluation helps in the maintenance of harmonious relations between employer and employee.

6. Job evaluation allows for simplification of wage administration because it brings about uniformity in wage rates.

7. Job evaluation helps in the elimination of personal prejudice in establishing rates by putting the rate structure on an objective basis.

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