How Personal Perceptions Influence Human Resource Management Decisions?
How Personal Perceptions Influence HR Management Decisions?
“No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking (Benedict, 1934)” It frequently happens that we form our personal perceptions and tend to categorize the world because it serves our need for cognitive efficiency in that it saves processing time, satisfies our need to understand, and predicts our social world. In our lives these things are omnipresent even though we may not be conscious of it. Within an organization, when Human Resource (HR) managers engage themselves in the responsibilities of their position (i.e., employee selection, training, and evaluation), it becomes easy for them to succumb to their personal perceptions and thus make wrongful decisions. In this essay, we will discuss three aspects of HR management activities, namely employee selection, performance appraisals and employees promotions, and give examples of how discriminations are at times driven by an HR individual’s subconscious perceptions. Organizations, out of necessity, make decisions through the employee selection process as to whom will be chosen to fill particular job openings. In this process, there are many factors that influence an employer’s decision. One important factor is to consider the personal perceptions of the individuals performing the selection process. These unconscious perceptions come into play and affect the entire process, which inevitably includes the screening of applications, the interviews, and eventually the selection of the final candidates. Stereotyping is generally not a conscious decision in an HR environment. Nonetheless, it is commonly found within the concept of perceptual error. It is the tendency to judge someone unknowingly yet solely on the basis of the perception of a group to which that person belongs (Kreitner, Kinicki, Cole & Digby, 2010, p. 29). It is illegal to require certain particulars of personal information on an employment application, such as sex, ethnicity and age; however, the name of an applicant can still reveal their sex and sometimes even their ethnicity. Quite predictably, there can be an innate reaction by the HR participant to an applicant’s name and/or accent which may preclude favorable judgments of the individual’s substantiated attributes (Sharon L., 2006). An applicant with an ethnic name may be viewed less positively by recruiters than applicants with non-ethnic names. Stereotypically, Asian applicants may not be capable of communicating efficiently; therefore, some HR management teams may weed out those applications during the screening process, even though their resumes communicate compelling talents and qualifications. The eye-opening article “right resume, wrong name” from the Globe and Mail newspaper, asserts that the recent immigrants from Asia are having a difficult time finding gainful employment within their specialty and probably due to this stereotyping. Applicants with surnames which have an ethnic sound will experience a dramatically decreased chance of obtaining even an interview (Jimenez, 2009). Another article “why do skilled immigrants struggle in the labor market?” states that even those second generation immigrants, fluent in English and with a Canadian education, also have a difficult time finding employment for the same reasons. According to the study and the conclusions of Dr. Oreopolous (2009): Applicants with English-sounding names and a Canadian education and experience received callbacks 40 percent more often than did applicants with Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani names. It is duly noted, however, that conditional on listing four to six years’ Canadian experience, being foreign educated (whether at a highly ranked school or not) did not affect callback rates substantially. Adding more language credentials, additional Canadian...
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