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Basic Concept of Personnel Management

Personnel management can be defined as obtaining, using and maintaining a satisfied workforce. It is a significant part of management concerned with employees at work and with their relationship within the organization.

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According to Flippo, “Personnel management is the planning, organizing, compensation, integration and maintainance of people for the purpose of contributing to organizational, individual and societal goals.”

According to Brech, “Personnel Management is that part which is primarily concerned with human resource of organization.”

Nature of Personnel Management

  1. Personnel management includes the function of employment, development and compensation- These functions are performed primarily by the personnel management in consultation with other departments.
  2. Personnel management is an extension to general management. It is concerned with promoting and stimulating competent work force to make their fullest contribution to the concern.
  3. Personnel management exists to advice and assists the line managers in personnel matters. Therefore, personnel department is a staff department of an organization.
  4. Personnel management lays emphasize on action rather than making lengthy schedules, plans and work methods. The problems and grievances of people at work can be solved more effectively through rationale personnel policies.
  5. It is based on human orientation. It tries to help the workers to develop their potential fully to the concern.
  6. It also motivates the employees through its effective incentive plans so that the employees provide fullest co-operation.
  7. Personnel management deals with human resources of a concern. In context to human resources, it manages both individual as well as blue- collar workers.

Role of Personnel Manager

Personnel manager is the head of personnel department. He performs both managerial and operative functions of management. His role can be summarized as :

  1. Personnel manager provides assistance to top management- The top management are the people who decide and frame the primary policies of the concern. All kinds of policies related to personnel or workforce can be framed out effectively by the personnel manager.
  2. He advices the line manager as a staff specialist- Personnel manager acts like a staff advisor and assists the line managers in dealing with various personnel matters.
  3. As a counselor- As a counselor, personnel manager attends problems and grievances of employees and guides them. He tries to solve them in best of his capacity.
  4. Personnel manager acts as a mediator- He is a linking pin between management and workers.
  5. He acts as a spokesman- Since he is in direct contact with the employees, he is required to act as representative of organization in committees appointed by government. He represents company in training programmes.

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Functions of Personnel Management

Following are the four functions of Personnel Management:

  • A. Manpower Planning

Manpower Planning which is also called as Human Resource Planning consists of putting right number of people, right kind of people at the right place, right time, doing the right things for which they are suited for the achievement of goals of the organization. Human Resource Planning has got an important place in the arena of industrialization. Human Resource Planning has to be a systems approach and is carried out in a set procedure. The procedure is as follows:

  • a. Analyzing the current manpower inventory

Before a manager makes forecast of future manpower, the current manpower status has to be analyzed. For this the following things have to be noted-

  • Type of organization
  • Number of departments
  • Number and quantity of such departments
  • Employees in these work units

Once these factors are registered by a manager, he goes for the future forecasting.

  • b. Making future manpower forecasts

Once the factors affecting the future manpower forecasts are known, planning can be done for the future manpower requirements in several work units.

The Manpower forecasting techniques commonly employed by the organizations are as follows:

Expert Forecasts: This includes informal decisions, formal expert surveys and Delphi technique.

Trend Analysis: Manpower needs can be projected through extrapolation (projecting past trends), indexation (using base year as basis), and statistical analysis (central tendency measure).

Work Load Analysis: It is dependent upon the nature of work load in a department, in a branch or in a division.

Work Force Analysis: Whenever production and time period has to be analysed, due allowances have to be made for getting net manpower requirements.

Other methods: Several Mathematical models, with the aid of computers are used to forecast manpower needs, like budget and planning analysis, regression, new venture analysis.

  • c. Developing employment programmes

Once the current inventory is compared with future forecasts, the employment programmes can be framed and developed accordingly, which will include recruitment, selection procedures and placement plans.

  • d. Design training programmes

These will be based upon extent of diversification, expansion plans, development programmes,etc. Training programmes depend upon the extent of improvement in technology and advancement to take place. It is also done to improve upon the skills, capabilities, knowledge of the workers.

Need of Manpower Planning

Manpower Planning is a two-phased process because manpower planning not only analyzes the current human resources but also makes manpower forecasts and thereby draw employment programmes. Manpower Planning is advantageous to firm in following manner:

  • Shortages and surpluses can be identified so that quick action can be taken wherever required.
  • All the recruitment and selection programmes are based on manpower planning.
  • It also helps to reduce the labour cost as excess staff can be identified and thereby over staffing can be avoided.
  • It also helps to identify the available talents in a concern and accordingly training programmes can be chalked out to develop those talents.
  • It helps in growth and diversification of business. Through manpower planning, human resources can be readily available and they can be utilized in best manner.
  • It helps the organization to realize the importance of manpower management which ultimately helps in the stability of a concern.

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B. Recruitment

  • Internal Recruitment
  • a. Transfers
  • b. Promotions(through Internal Job Postings)
  • c. Re-employment of ex-employees - Re-employment of ex-employees is one of the internal sources of recruitment in which employees can be invited and appointed to fill vacancies in the concern. There are situations when ex-employees provide unsolicited applications also.
  • External Recruitment

External Recruitment– External sources of recruitment have to be solicited from outside the organization. External sources are external to a concern. But it involves lot of time and money .The external sources of recruitment include – Employment at factory gate, advertisements, employment exchanges, employment agencies, educational institutes,labour contractors, recommendations etc.

  • a. Employment at Factory Level – This a source of external recruitment in which the applications for vacancies are presented on bulletin boards outside the Factory or at the Gate. This kind of recruitment is applicable generally where factory workers are to be appointed. There are people who keep on soliciting jobs from one place to another. These applicants are called as unsolicited applicants. These types of workers apply on their own for their job. For this kind of recruitment workers have a tendency to shift from one factory to another and therefore they are called as “badli” workers.
  • b. Advertisement – It is an external source which has got an important place in recruitment procedure. The biggest advantage of advertisement is that it covers a wide area of market and scattered applicants can get information from advertisements. Medium used is Newspapers and Television.
  • c. Employment Exchanges – There are certain Employment exchanges which are run by government. Most of the government undertakings and concerns employ people through such exchanges. Now-a-days recruitment in government agencies has become compulsory through employment exchange.
  • d. Employment Agencies – There are certain professional organizations which look towards recruitment and employment of people, i.e. these private agencies run by private individuals supply required manpower to needy concerns.
  • e. Educational Institutions – There are certain professional Institutions which serve as an external source for recruiting fresh graduates from these institutes. This kind of recruitment done through such educational institutions is called as Campus Recruitment. They have a special recruitment cell which helps in providing jobs to fresh candidates.
  • f. Recommendations – There are certain people who have experience in a particular area. They enjoy goodwill and a stand in the company. There are certain vacancies which are filled by recommendations of such people. The biggest drawback of this source is that the company has to rely totally on such people which can later on prove to be inefficient.
  • g. Labour Contractors – These are the specialist people who supply manpower to the Factory or Manufacturing plants. Through these contractors, workers are appointed on contract basis, i.e. for a particular time period. Under conditions when these contractors leave the organization, such people who are appointed have to also leave the concern.

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C. Employee Selection

Employee Selection is the process of putting right men on right job. It is a procedure of matching organizational requirements with the skills and qualifications of people.

The Employee selection Process takes place in following order-

  • a. Preliminary Interviews- It is used to eliminate those candidates who do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria laid down by the organization. The skills, academic and family background, competencies and interests of the candidate are examined during preliminary interview. Preliminary interviews are less formalized and planned than the final interviews. The candidates are given a brief up about the company and the job profile; and it is also examined how much the candidate knows about the company. Preliminary interviews are also called screening interviews.
  • b. Application blanks- The candidates who clear the preliminary interview are required to fill application blank. It contains data record of the candidates such as details about age, qualifications, reason for leaving previous job, experience, etc.
  • c. Written Tests- Various written tests conducted during selection procedure are aptitude test, intelligence test, reasoning test, personality test, etc. These tests are used to objectively assess the potential candidate. They should not be biased.
  • d. Employment Interviews- It is a one to one interaction between the interviewer and the potential candidate. It is used to find whether the candidate is best suited for the required job or not. But such interviews consume time and money both. Moreover the competencies of the candidate cannot be judged. Such interviews may be biased at times. Such interviews should be conducted properly. No distractions should be there in room. There should be an honest communication between candidate and interviewer.
  • f. Medical examination- Medical tests are conducted to ensure physical fitness of the potential employee. It will decrease chances of employee absenteeism.
  • g. Appointment Letter- A reference check is made about the candidate selected and then finally he is appointed by giving a formal appointment letter.

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D. Training

Training is generally imparted in two ways:

  • a. On the job training- On the job training methods are those which are given to the employees within the everyday working of a concern. It is a simple and cost-effective training method. The in proficient as well as semi- proficient employees can be well trained by using such training method. The employees are trained in actual working scenario. The motto of such training is “learning by doing.” Instances of such on-job training methods are job-rotation, coaching, temporary promotions, etc.
  • b. Off the job training- Off the job training methods are those in which training is provided away from the actual working condition. It is generally used in case of new employees. Instances of off the job training methods are workshops, seminars, conferences, etc. Such method is costly and is effective if and only if large number of employees have to be trained within a short time period. Off the job training is also called as vestibule training, i.e. the employees are trained in a separate area (may be a hall, entrance, reception area, etc known as a vestibule) where the actual working conditions are duplicated.

Importance of Training

Training is crucial for organizational development and success. It is fruitful to both employers and employees of an organization. An employee will become more efficient and productive if he is trained well. Training is given on four basic grounds:

  • New candidates who join an organization are given training. This training familiarizes them with the organizational mission, vision, rules and regulations and the working conditions.
  • The existing employees are trained to refresh and enhance their knowledge.
  • If any updations and amendments take place in technology, training is given to cope up with those changes. For instance, purchasing a new equipment, changes in technique of production, computer impartment. The employees are trained about use of new equipments and work methods.
  • When promotion and career growth becomes important. Training is given so that employees are prepared to share the responsibilities of the higher level job.

The benefits of training can be summed up as:

  • Improves morale of employees- Training helps the employee to get job security and job satisfaction. The more satisfied the employee is and the greater is his morale, the more he will contribute to organizational success and the lesser will be employee absenteeism and turnover.
  • Less supervision- A well trained employee will be well acquainted with the job and will need less of supervision. Thus, there will be less wastage of time and efforts.
  • Fewer accidents- Errors are likely to occur if the employees lack knowledge and skills required for doing a particular job. The more trained an employee is, the less are the chances of committing accidents in job and the more proficient the employee becomes.
  • Chances of promotion- Employees acquire skills and efficiency during training. They become more eligible for promotion. They become an asset for the organization.
  • Increased productivity- Training improves efficiency and productivity of employees. Well trained employees show both quantity and quality performance. There is less wastage of time, money and resources if employees are properly trained.

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Differences between Personnel Management & Human Resource Management

  • Personnel mean employed persons of an organization. Management of these people is personnel management (PM). Human resource management (HRM) is the management of employees’ knowledge, aptitudes, abilities, talents, creative abilities and skills/competencies.
  • PM is traditional, routine, maintenance-oriented, administrative function whereas HRM is continuous, on-going development function aimed at improving human processes.
  • PM is an independent function with independent sub-functions. HRM follows the systems thinking approach. It is not considered in isolation from the larger organization and must take into account the linkages and interfaces.
  • PM is treated like a less important auxiliary function whereas HRM is considered a strategic management function.
  • PM is reactive, responding to demands as and when they arise. HRM is proactive, anticipating, planning and advancing continuously.
  • PM is the exclusive responsibility of the personnel department. HRM is a concern for all managers in the organization and aims at developing the capabilities of all line managers to carry out the human resource related functions.
  • The scope of PM is relatively narrow with a focus on administering people. The scope of HRM views the organization as a whole and lays emphasis on building a dynamic culture.
  • PM is primarily concerned with recruitment, selection and administration of manpower. HRM takes efforts to satisfy the human needs of the people at work that helps to motivate people to make their best contribution.
  • Important motivators in PM are compensation, rewards, job simplification and so on. HRM considers work groups, challenges and creativity on the job as motivators.
  • In PM improved satisfaction is considered to be the cause for improved performance but in HRM it is the other way round (performance is the cause and satisfaction is the result).
  • In PM, employee is treated as an economic unit as his services are exchanged for wages/salary. Employee in HRM is treated not only as economic unit but also a social and psychological entity.
  • PM treats employee as a commodity or a tool or like equipment that can be bought and used. Employee is treated as a resource and as a human being.
  • In PM employees are considered as cost centers and therefore, management controls the cost of labor. HRM treats employees as profit centers and therefore, the management invests in this capital through their development and better future utility.
  • PM’s angle is that employees should be used mostly for organizational benefits and profits. HRM angle emphasizes on the mutual benefits, both of employees and their families and also the company.
  • PM preserves information and maintains its secrecy. In HRM communication is one of its main tasks which take into account vertical, lateral and feedback type communication.

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