Recruitment and Performance Management as Key Elements of Success

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The success of every organization depends on the ability of its human resource management to recruit, select and continuously ensure that it enhances the performance of its staff. There are different principles involved when recruiting, selecting, and conducting employee appraisals to determine their performance. All these principles and practices are geared towards ensuring that the recruited staff help an organization attain its objectives.

Marks and Spencer is a British organization that deals with the sales of clothing and food. Its success in dealing with these products has been credited to its ability to recruit and retain competent staff. It is one of the organizations that have established different principles and practices that are used when recruiting, selecting, and conducting performance management for its staff (Appelbaum & Fewster 2002, pp. 66-75). Some of the principles used when recruiting and selecting its staff include commitment, planning, action, and evaluation.

On the other hand, to ensure that it has effectively conducted its performance management, the company follows various established principles which include performing analysis on methods of enhancing performance management, being specific and conducting performance measurement concerning established standards, and delivering positive results.

Some of the practices used by Marks and Spencer in its performance management include coming with methods of helping staff improve their performance, conducting numerous employee appraisals to determine their performance, training managers on how to conduct staffs appraisal to determine their performance as well as giving feedback on the appraisal results (Appelbaum & Fewster 2002, pp. 76-80). This report aims at analyzing some of the principles and practices used by this organization in its selection, recruitment, and performance management processes.

Recruitment and selection principles


In its selection and recruitment process, the board of directors emphasizes its commitment to the exercise by ensuring that it has explained the importance of the process to the organization. This reflects its commitment to following a specific strategic approach in its recruitment and selection process. The board of directors understands the numerous benefits accrued from recruiting staff with diverse skills. As a result, it emphasizes the need by recruiting teams to ensure that they have selected staff with diverse ambitions and experience (Boselie, Paauwe & Jansen 2001, pp. 1107-1125).

On the other hand, Marks and Spencer’s company ensures that is committed to a free and fair recruitment process. This is by establishing policies and regulations to be followed when conducting its recruitment and selection exercise. The management requires the recruiting team to regularly brief it with the approach it is using in recruiting staff to determine whether it keeps to the established policies. It is with this respect that the company has been able to recruit skilled and ambitious staff as most of them are willing to participate in its recruitment process since they believe that the company ensures that there is a fair recruitment exercise.


Before embarking on its recruitment process, the company ensures that it has clear knowledge of its objectives. This helps it determine the kind of staff it requires. This makes the organization set specific targets on the kind of staff required. Having a clear idea of its target objectives helps the company come up with priorities to follow when recruiting and selecting its staff. The company can reflect on how its different recruitment approaches help it achieve its objectives. This helps in ensuring that everyone who participates in the process is satisfied with the exercise despite not being selected.


In its recruitment exercise, Marks and Spencer ensure that staff is recruited and selected based on the established approach. This is by ensuring that the right people are selected for every position within the company. The company refers to the recently selected staff as well as those who did not qualify during the selection to determine f the process was free and fair (Brethower 1972, p. 87). This helps the company correct areas found to be against its strategic approach to recruitment and selection. To ensure that it recruits the right staff, Mark and Spencer communicate its recruitment exercise in advance. All staffs responsible for recruiting and selecting staff within the organization have the required skills.


The Board of directors in Marks and Spencer understands the benefits of effectively recruiting and selecting skilled staff (Caligiuri & Stroh 1995, pp. 494-507). The board regularly evaluates its performance and reminds its recruitment team of the importance of ensuring that it conducts a free and fair recruitment process. The board informs its recruitment team about the benefits it has accrued from its past recruitment processes hence encouraging them on the need of ensuring that it has ensured that it responsibly conduct its recruitment exercise.

Practices of selection and recruitment

Recruitment practice

Marks and Spencer understand that recruitment of qualified staff is paramount to its success. The knows that based on its recruitment process, recruited staffs may decide to accept the job offer as well as make the decision on if they will remain in the company. Failure by organizations to come up with effective recruitment practices leads to them experiencing high employee turnover as well as poor job motivation (Deshopande & Golhar 1994, pp. 45-61).

In such instances employee performance is found to be low while most staffs claim not to be satisfied with their responsibilities within the organization. The process of recruiting new staff within the company starts when the company identifies positions that need to be filled or when there arise new responsibilities within the company. The company establishes the form of employment to be followed. The company ensures that it has clear information on the job description.

This helps it in recruiting the most relevant staff for the job. It also ensures that it has informed the potential candidates on the required skills and experience for the job. This is by giving a clear job description in its advertisements. After determining the job specification and the required skills and experience, the recruiting team then comes up with specifications for the relevant staff (Harris 2000, pp. 31-46). The specification outlines the selection procedure that will be employed by the team in getting its staff.

Selection process

To ensure that the company selects the most qualified staff, the recruitment team advertises the vacancy where it clearly outlines the job specification and the required skills and qualifications. For a free and fair election process, the recruiting team ensures that it respects the rights of every applicant (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler 1997, pp. 171-188). No canvassing is allowed in the selection process. All applicants are expected to send their curriculum vitae detailing their skills and experience. Once these resumes or curriculum vitae are received, members of the recruiting team work on them identifying some of the applicants to interview. The selected staff are shortlisted and the interview date is communicated to them in advance so as they prepare themselves.

The team ensures that all applicants’ names are not leaked to other staff within the organization who are not involved in the recruitment process. This is to ensure that the process is not influenced by these staff (Institute for Corporate Productivity 2007, para. 2-4). The process of selecting staff entails a formal interview where every staff is expected to participate in the interview. If more applicants are qualifying that the available positions, the recruiting team goes on and asks the qualified staff to prove their competence by demonstrating their experience in specific activities associated with the posts applied for. It comes a time when the team is forced to conduct a second interview to ensure that it has finally ended up selecting the most qualified staff.

After the interview, the team embarks on deciding on applicants to select. Applicants are graded based on how they demonstrated their experience during the interview. The recruiting team tries to ensure that it has collectively made decisions on people to employ.


Before the material day of staff selection, the team responsible for staff recruitment and selection within the company ought to meet and come up with the procedure to be followed in selecting staff from the applicants. This is to help the company select the most experienced staff hence helping it effectively attain its objectives.

Principles used in performance management

Marks and Spencer give significant value to performance management. The company regularly conduct performance appraisal to determine if its staffs are working towards achieving organization objectives. To ensure that it has enhanced its performance management, Marks and Spencer has come up with varied principles. These are conducting performance enhancement analysis, measuring staff performance, being specific, and giving feedback on the appraisal conducted to staff (Kloot & Martin 2000, pp. 231-251).

Performance improvement analysis

Before making performance changes within the company, the management team in the company analysis employee behavior and their results to the organization. The analysis may be conducted on a specific job category or different departments within the company. It is from the analysis that the company can determine the current performance with the company and base them with the set standards (McLean 2006, pp. 132-154).

The management can determine the potential benefit that may be gotten by improving the performance as well as outline some of the performance changes to be made within the organization based on their benefits to the company. From here, the management identifies some of the performance management approaches that can be used and determine their effectiveness in bringing the expected changes within the company.

Being specific

To effectively ensure that it has achieved its performance management, Marks and Spencer management team ensures that it has successfully informed its staff about the desired performance within the company. It comes up with measurable standards for evaluating staff performance. The management has also established events that are used to alert them on the need for performance changes within different departments (Paladino 2007, p. 231).

Failure to effectively communicate, train, or support staff in event of performance management leads to organizations failing to achieve their desired changes in performance management. As a result, Marks and Spencer management staff ensures that they avoid cases of ambiguity in introducing changes in performance management by ensuring that they are specific in their training, evaluating employee performance, and establishing procedures to be followed in realizing the desired changes.

Giving feedback

The management team emphasizes the need for giving feedback on the performance appraisal conducted (Tsang 1998, pp. 87-94). This is to help the employees come up with corrective measures to ensure that they perform based on organization expectations. Information obtained in performance appraisal also helps the management staff establish the necessary measures to improve staff performance.

Performance management practices

Some of the practices employed by Marks and Spencer in its performance management include employee training and development. After the company conducts performance appraisal on its employees, it comes up with staff training and development strategies to help them align their performance with organizational goals (Samson & Terziovski 1999, pp. 393-409). The company regularly reviews staff performance based on the established goals.

This ensures that staff is always working towards achieving organizational goals. The practice helps the company identify changes in advance hence saving it from investing heavily in activities that deviate from its objectives. The effectiveness of performance appraisal depends on the level of knowledge by the managers on the performance qualities to be evaluated. As a result, Marks and Spencer conduct training on its managers on how to conduct performance appraisal. This helps in ensuring that managers consider all performance attributes that are vital to the success of the company. Most organizations conduct their performance appraisal once per year.

This leads to these companies not being able to identify performance management problems that may arise in course of organization operations. Marks and Spencer ensure that it has conducted performance appraisals twice per year (Sreenivas & Madar 2007, para. 4-7). This helps in updating employees on the required performance hence ensuring that they always act as per the organization’s objectives. By getting feedback on an appraisal conducted, staffs identify areas that need to be improved. This helps in motivating staff as they realize that the company acknowledges their performance.


The process of performance management within the company has helped it achieve its objectives. However, there is a need for the company to regularly organize staff coaching and training to remind them of the organization’s objectives and ways of achieving them. This will help in ensuring that staffs are always aware of what is expected of them by the company.


Marks and Spencer have greatly benefited from the above-discussed principles and practices. By ensuring that it has come up with proper principles and practices in staff recruitment and selection, the company has been able to recruit skilled personnel as well as retain most of them. This has saved it from expenses associated with employee turnover. Performance management practices have enhanced employee performance thus helping the company improve its efficiency.

Reference List

Appelbaum, S. H. & Fewster, B. M., 2002. Global aviation human resource management: contemporary recruitment and selection and diversity and equal opportunity practices. Equal Opportunities International, 21(7), pp. 66-80.

Boselie, P., Paauwe, J. & Jansen, P., 2001. Human resource management and performance: lessons from the Netherlands. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(7), pp. 1107-1125.

Brethower, D., 1972. Behavior Analysis in Business and Industry: A Total Performance System. Kalamazoo, MI: Behaviordelia Press.

Caligiuri, P. M. & Stroh, L. K., 1995. Multinational corporation management strategies and international human resources practices: bringing IHRM to the bottom line. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 6(3), pp. 494-507.

Deshopande, S. P. & Golhar, D. Y., 1994. HRM Practices in Large and Small Manufacturing Firms: A Comparative Study. Journal of Small Business Management, 32(3), pp. 45-61.

Harris, L., 2000. Issues of fairness in the recruitment process: A case study of local government practice. Local Government Studies, 26(1), pp. 31-46.

Huselid, M. A., Jackson, S. E. & Schuler, R. S., 1997. Technical and strategic human resource management effectiveness as determinants of firm performance. Academy of Management Journal, 40(1), pp. 171-188.

Institute for Corporate Productivity, 2007. Performance management-key practices. Web.

Kloot, L. & Martin, J., 2000. Strategic performance management: A balanced approach to performance management issues in local government. Management Accounting Research, 11(2), pp. 231-251.

McLean, G. N., 2006. National Human Resource Development: A Focused Study in Transitioning Societies in the Developing World. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 8(3), pp. 132-154.

Paladino, B., 2007. Five key principles of corporate performance management. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Samson, D. & Terziovski, M., 1999. The relationship between total quality management practices and operational performance. Journal of Operations Management, 17(4), pp. 393-409.

Sreenivas, M. & Madar, B., 2007. Principles of performance management. Web.

Tsang, A. H., 1998. A strategic approach to managing maintenance performance. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 4(2), pp. 87-94.

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