As this stage you probably know a bit about how a company can motivate and manage their workforce, but what methods are used to hire an employee in the first place?

Well to be honest there are a number of different ways to recruit someone. Good recruitment processes are important for ensuring an organisation is correctly staffed – obviously.

A company can choose to recruit someone either internally or externally. Recruiting external candidates can be positive and bring the organisation new ideas and experience from different organisations and industries; but has the disadvantages of a long and expensive recruitment process and will mean the successful candidate will need a longer induction period.

A key advantage of internal recruitment is that the employer has existing insights into the employee’s skills and abilities. The key disadvantage of using internal recruitment is that it limits the pool of candidates available to the business. That means that they could be missing out on the perfect candidate who is working outside of the business.

When you recruit internally there is also the issue that this employee will leave a vacancy in another department and it can cause tension within the workforce.

In the UK the most common way of selecting a candidate is through a formal interview.

It gives the employer a chance to meet the candidate face to face and assess whether the person is right for the job. It also gives the candidate the opportunity to find out more information about the job and the company in general.

Interviews are advantageous as they don’t cost a lot of money, and allow both the interviewer and the potential employee to exchange information and experience. However, as different people perform at different levels in interviews, they can be an unreliable method of selection.

For example, a well-qualified candidate may underperform in an interview, or a poorly-qualified candidate may perform well in an interview but then poorly once they begin their role.

Employers also use psychometric tests to reveal a job candidate’s personality traits.

The final stage of a recruitment and selection process is, you’ve guessed it – selecting the successful applicant. Once the successful candidate has been selected they can begin their induction period for their new job.

So that’s it you’ve been given a job.

Unfortunately the testing doesn’t stop there! In fact it’s common for businesses to carry out appraisals to assess an employee’s performance.

Assessing the performance of staff against yearly targets is referred to as an appraisal. A key task of human resource management is to identify how employees in the firm are performing.

During an appraisal an employee’s behaviour and performance will be analysed. Often encouragement and discussion can improve the quality of the appraisal because employees feel actively involved in the process and this encourages them to work through the points discussed in the meeting.

There are five key elements to performance appraisal: measurement, feedback, positive reinforcement, open exchange of views, and agreement.

It’s worth taking note though – it is not beneficial to reinforce seniority during and appraisal!

There are a few different types of appraisal that can occur. A 360 appraisal is when a staff member receives feedback from people whose views are considered helpful and relevant. This type of appraisal allows employees further down the hierarchy to appraise people above them – maybe their supervisor or line manager.

However, feedback may not be taken on-board if the person giving feedback is not a superior which is often one of the drawbacks to 360 appraisal.

Self-assessment appraisals occur when an employee takes ownership of their role/responsibilities and is able to reflect upon their overall performance. The process will involve the employee recording their progress for future reference and setting targets for the foreseeable future.

Employees can also experience peer assessments. This is when employees of a similar level of responsibility critically comment upon the performance of a co-worker and perhaps suggest methods of improvement. Peer assessment allows employees to learn from one another and share best practice. However the employees may not be honest with their peer which can be its downfall.

The most common type of appraisal is however a superior’s assessment. This will be two way communication between manager and employee to discuss performance and development. It also gives the employee an opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns and seek the support they may need in their role.

Unfortunately in some circumstances business appraisals can cause tension in the workplace.

The word appraisal often implies making a judgement about how well an employee is doing. However, the appraisal process needs to be more than simply scoring or judging past performance. It needs to look forward too.

In most instances appraisals are hugely beneficial to businesses as they allow the setting of agreed and achievable targets. Introducing appraisals is a huge part of human resource management and should be used to increase efficiency.

And in most instances in business, greater efficiency means more money!

So far here we have covered recruitment and appraisals, let’s touch on how employees are trained!

Good training and development should encourage employees to be engaged. Managing training correctly can help employees feel more engaged and involved in the organisation. It can make employees feel as though the business is investing in them and that it values them. This should encourage lower absenteeism and higher staff retention.

Off-the-job training can be bad for a company as it is firstly expensive, but secondly there is no benefit to the company whilst the employee is away and the company is left without workers.

However, the trainers are experts in their field therefore the training should be of a very high standard. This should have a positive impact on the trainees quality when they return to their workplace.

If you do on-the-job training you know that the employees will receive training specific to the job in hand. Typically this type of training is also easy to organise and low cost. This also allows the employee to become familiar with their working environment.

However, the negatives of this type of training are that no new ideas are brought into the business, bad habits can be taught, and neither worker is productive whilst the training is taking place.

Induction training is important as it enables a new recruit to become productive as quickly as possible. It can avoid costly mistakes by recruits not knowing the procedures or techniques of their new jobs.

Last but not least let’s look at how employees are managed.

Many of the tasks and roles that we have just covered would be taken on by human resource management (HRM). Companies can either adopt a hard or soft HRM stance.

In soft HRM managers believe that employees are the most important resource the organisation has. It favours empowerment and development of skills through coaching and encouragement.

Hard HRM sees employees as a resource like any other. It sees the workforce as lazy and only motivated by money. Appraisals are judgmental, and training is only for the benefit of the organisation, not the individual.