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15.9 Exercises

Ethical Dilemma

Your company is in the process of hiring a benefits specialist. As a future peer of the person to be hired, you will be one of the interviewers and will talk to all candidates. The company you are working for is a small organization that was acquired. The job advertisement for the position talks about the high level of autonomy that will be available to the job incumbent. Moreover, your manager wants you to sell the position by highlighting the opportunities that come from being a part of a Fortune 500, such as career growth and the opportunity to gain global expertise. The problem is that you do not believe being part of a larger company is such a benefit. In fact, since the company has been acquired by the Fortune 500, the way business is being conducted has changed dramatically. Now there are many rules and regulations that prevent employees from making important decisions autonomously. Moreover, no one from this branch was ever considered for a position in the headquarters or for any global openings. In other words, the picture being painted by the hiring managers and the company’s HR department in the job advertisements is inflated and not realistic. Your manager feels you should sell the job and the company because your competitors are doing the same thing, and being honest might mean losing great candidates. You know that you and your manager will interview several candidates together.

Is this unethical? Why or why not? What would you do before and during the interview to address this dilemma?

Individual Exercise

Impact of HR Practices on Organizational Culture

Below are scenarios of critical decisions you may need to make as a manager. Read each question and select one from each pair of statements. Then, think about the impact your choice would have on the company’s culture.

  1. You need to lay off 10 people. Would you

    1. lay off the newest 10 people?
    2. lay off the 10 people who have the lowest performance evaluations?
  2. You need to establish a dress code. Would you

    1. ask employees to use their best judgment?
    2. create a detailed dress code highlighting what is proper and improper?
  3. You need to monitor employees during work hours. Would you

    1. not monitor them because they are professionals and you trust them?
    2. install a program monitoring their Web usage to ensure that they are spending work hours actually doing work?
  4. You need to conduct performance appraisals. Would you

    1. evaluate people on the basis of their behaviors?
    2. evaluate people on the basis of their results (numerical sales figures and so on)?
  5. You need to promote individuals. Would you promote individuals based on

    1. seniority?
    2. objective performance?

Group Exercise

Recruiting Employees Who Fit the Culture

You are an employee of a local bookstore. The store currently employs 50 employees and is growing. This is a family-owned business, and employees feel a sense of belonging to this company. Business is conducted in an informal manner, there are not many rules, and people feel like they are part of a family. There are many friendships at work, and employees feel that they have a lot of autonomy regarding how they perform their jobs. Customer service is also very important in this company. Employees on the sales floor often chat with their customers about books and recommend readings they might like. Because the company is growing, they will need to hire several employees over the next months. They want to establish recruitment and selection practices so that they can hire people who have a high degree of fit with the current culture.

Working within groups, discuss the effectiveness of the following recruitment tools. Evaluate each recruitment source. Which ones would yield candidates with a high degree of fit with the company’s current culture?

  1. Newspaper advertisements
  2. Magazine advertisements
  3. Radio advertisements
  4. Hiring customers
  5. Hiring walk-ins
  6. Employee referrals
  7. Using the state unemployment agency

Next, create interview questions for a person who will work on the sales floor. What types of questions would you ask during the interview to assess person-organization fit? How would you conduct the interview (who would be involved in the interviewing process, where would you conduct the interview, and so on) to maximize the chances of someone with a high person-organization fit?