A case study to complete a through, thoughtful, and objective analysis of the company’s performance appraisal system; identify strengths and areas that may need improvement; and make recommendations based on the present conclusions and some recommended readings in this area.
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 1 Performance Appraisal System at Infojobs S.A. PA practices in a Spanish corporation. Infojobs case in practice. Hristo B. Kolev1 AUBG2, EMBA3 program1 Corresponding Author – contact: firstname.lastname@example.org American University in Bulgaria3 Executive Master of Business Administration
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 2 AbstractPurpose:A case study to complete a through, thoughtful, and objective analysis of thecompany’s performance appraisal system; identify strengths and areas that may needimprovement; and make recommendations based on the present conclusions and somerecommended readings in this area.Methodology/approach:The paper is based on a personal interviews (with Joan Pau Fisas, Manager of PeopleDevelopment Department4 at Infojobs, and Irene Molins, employee in Infojobs), theInternational Journal of Human and Social Science’s article “Performance AppraisalSystem using Multifactorial Evaluation Model” by Yee, C. C. and Chen, Y. Y.; andthe California State University Business School work study “Designing EffectivePerformance Appraisal Systems” by Boice, D.F. and Kleiner, B. H.Findings:The paper finds that Infojobs has a well-established and good working formalPerformance Apprisal System5. Both managers and employees are satisfied andsupport the actual technique to evaluate their performance, they believe that PAShelps them to: • create a motivated and committed work-place environment • and to translate organizational goals and objectives into personalized employee specific objectives.4 PDD abbreviation will be used further down in the present paper5 PAS abbreviation will be used further down in the present paper
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 3 However, the actual system needs some minor improvements/adjustments inalmost all performance appraisal areas: training; frequency of appraisal; maintainingrecords; measuring system; and conduction process. Infojobs’ PDD managers areaware of some of the mentioned flaws and are already taking actions. Introduction Henderson, R.I. (1984) in his work “Practical Guide to Performance Appraisal”states that developing an appraisal system that accurately reflects employeeperformance is a difficult task, and there are no generic or easily passed systems fromone company to another; their design and administration must be tailor-made to matchemployee and organizational characteristics and qualities. PAS could be defined as a communication system between employee and hissupervisor, the conclusions of which permits to identify areas of improvement,training, development, etc. The lack of such communication system may be viewedby the employee as approval of their current work habits and performance. Building awell-working PAS begins with determining the organization’s goals and objectives,clarifying job roles, job description and responsibilities. One of the most importantgoals for this process is to make to employees understand how their personal jobperformance contributes to the overall performance of the company. Infojobs S.A. Infojobs S.A. is a Spanish company established in 1998 in Barcelona. Its businessis to optimize selection and recruitment process for B2B clients through its onlineplatform. Infojobs is the bridge between the two parts of the market labor force –Demand (unemployed or looking for new employment people) with Supply
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 4 (companies that offer jobs). The service is free for the Demand and pay-per-offer for the Supply. Since 2009 Infojobs is part of the Norwegian media conglomerate Schibsted (94%), still, its initial investors - Spanish-based company Grupo Intercom owns the rest of the shares (6%). The company has divisions in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. Spanish division is of about 200 people with headquarters in Barcelona, and branch offices in other 8 major Spanish cities. Infojobs’ Performance Appraisal System Infojobs calls its PAS - EPD (Evolución Por Desempeño). The system was designed and introduced in 2004 by the company’s PDD. EPD system is applied to all employees in the organization, and meets all crucial recommendations for a complete PAS given by Boice, D. F. and Kleiner, B. H. in their work “Designing Effective Performance Appraisal Systems”: Figure 1 Maintaining Mesurement records system Conducting the Frequency of appraisal appraisal system Pay for Training performance Organizational Performance and employee Appraisal Legal issues objectives System Source: Hristo Kolev, interpretation of Boice, D.F. and Kleiner, B. H. article “Designing Effective Performance Appraisal Systems”
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 5 Organizational and Employee Objectives: An appraisal process pretends first todetermine the organization’s objectives, next steps are to clarify job role, jobdescription and responsibilities, determining how the role and responsibilitiescontribute to wider goals, determining: why individual and team performance isimportant; and what is expected within the current planning period. The mostimportant point of the process is to ensure that the employee understands how his/herjob performance contributes to the overall performance of the company. Further in thispaper we will see how Infojobs measures the acceptance of its core values (PAS formapplied to all employees) and how goals are clearly transmitted to sales agents (RACform). Training: Infojobs trains both parties of the process (managers and employees).Mangers are provided with a specific approach and rating criteria and employees aretrained how to set objectives and give accurate feedback. However in this respect thecompany needs to improve its system by: • Perform periodic refreshing courses. The last training course for manager in evaluating criteria was 2 years ago, thus many of the new managers in the company have never performed it. • Raters (in the case of Infojobs-the managers) should be evaluated on how they conduct performance appraisals in order to make sure that the criteria are consistent throughout all the organization. Frequency of Appraisal: PAS is conducted in the organization on a yearly bases.This is another flaw in the Inforjobs’ system, because makes it difficult to monitor theAction Plan improvements (please consult point 4 of the PAS system further down).Infojobs’ managers are aware of this problem, and have already decided to performPAS on quarterly bases, starting from Q1 in 2013.
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 6 Maintaining Records: Infojobs starts each PAS with the conclusion (results) of theprevious year evaluation. Crane, J.G. (1991) in his work “Getting the performance youwant” states that carefully maintained data establish patterns in an employee’sbehavior that may be difficult to spot by typical incident-by-incident supervision. IfInfojobs wants to go further in this respect, they should let employees be themselvesresponsible for part of the process of record-keeping: this would help reinforce the factthat a major part of the process is devoted to employee development and employeesthemselves are responsible for their own development. Measurement System: Infojobs’ system is based on 3 different techniques –managers’ subjective opinion (criteria-based) about an employee; employee’sfeedback on managers’ opinion; and rating scales (details further down in Infojobs’PAS (EPD) System). As outlined in the Yee, C. C. and Chen, Y.Y. (2010) article“Performance Appraisal System using Multifactorial Evaluation Model”, it isessential to understand that different organizations might use different techniques inassessing staff performance. Infojobs uses other techniques like 360º, 180º and RAQ(Results Activity Quality – Appendix 1), but they are not directly linked directly to thePAS. The company should integrate all those techniques to the PAS in future. Conducting the Appraisal System: In this respect Infojobs should improve insome respects. In the actual system employees are evaluated only by their directmanagers, while analyst consider that in flat organizations (like Infojobs) multiplerater systems should be used, where the input of all supervisors is required to completea thorough performance review. Another improvement in this respects comes fromGoff, S.J. and Longenecher, C.O. (1990) article “Why Performance Appraisals StillFail”, they suggest that employee should be encouraged to self-appraisal, this helpsthe employee to be less defensive and passive in the appraisal review. The self-
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 7employee appraisal problem is solved with the 180º and 360º, however these still needto be integrated in the company’s PAS. Pay for Performance: Only the sales agents in the company have part of theirpayrolls linked to their performance and it is out of PAS. In Infojobs Pay forPerformance is measured by the RAQ form (Appendix 1) and is not integrated in thePAS. This is exactly what Boice, D.F. and Kleiner, B.H. recommend in their work“Designing Effective Performance Appraisal Systems” – stating that the link betweenpayment and performance is often unsatisfactorily established and even less oftenmaintained to the satisfaction of employees and supervisor/organization. Legal Issues: theory says that there is a legal reason for the PAS, meaning that, forexample, failure to conduct appraisal “properly” may result in employees taking legalactions. However in Spanish (thus Infojobs) environment this is not that straightforward. Infojobs’ PAS (EPD) System in details Infojobs PAS evaluation is conducted once a year, using a 5 stages form (originalform is available in Appendix 2). The main aspects of the form are as follows: 1. Previous Period o Evaluation results from previous period: keeping records ensures the effectiveness of the system. Well-maintained records are essential if the need arises to discipline, demote or dismiss an employee. o Employee comments: gives feedback of the employee, this section is the proof that the employee understands and accepts the PAS results, and its further action plan. 2. Infojobs’ Values (present period)
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 8 o The company has 7 core values6 and the employee is ranked in an even scale of 4 possible ranks - low; middle; high; and excellent: this scale is a solution to the “average rating problem”, forcing the managers to rate employees on one side of the central point. o Employee comments: proves that the employee is aware of the possible gaps between corporate values and his/her performance. 3. Competencies (present period) o Strengths and Improvement area: From one hand the manager points out the strengths of the employee and from other hand suggests which competencies the employee should improve for the next year. o Employee comments: proves that the employee is aware of which areas his manager expects him/her to improve in future. 4. Action Plan o Schedules a list of actions in order to develop needed competencies (detected in point 3). o Employee comments: proves that the employee accepts and is engaged to the action plan. 5. Professional Career o Employee expectation regarding his career in the organization o Manager’s opinion o Recommendations6 Sincerity, Generosity, Humility, Effort, Ambition, Common Sense, and Joy
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 9 Once these 5 stages are completed, PDD staff elaborates a quadrant, which is thefinal result of the PAS, where Y-axis represents the Nº of areas to improve (or Alerts)and the X-axis represents the performance level (low if it is “–“ and high if it is “+”). Figure 2 Source: Hristo Kolev, based on interview with Joan Pau Fisas and Irene Molins (PDD at Infojobs) The company’s objective is to have 100% of its employees in the Quadrant 4 (Q4).The worst situation is when an employee is in Q2, meaning that employees in thiatquadrant have a lot of areas to improve (Alerts) and low performance at the same time.These employees are put under closer monitoring during next year, and must changetheir performance, and reduce their areas of improvement, if not are dismissed. Actualemployee distribution is Q1= 2%; Q2= 5%; Q3= 7%; and Q4= 86%. Conclusions For Infojobs people development is a core company value. Top managementbelieves that in times of global competition we are living at, people in organizationsare resource of competitive advantages, and the company can not afford unmotivated
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 10and uncommitted. This is why PDD of the company has direct representation in theBoard of Directors (PDD manager Joan Pau Fisas is a board member). According tothe results of the Granfield-ESADE, (2000) research “Gestión Estratégica deRecursos Humanos¨, less that 15% of HR managers participate in the board ofdirectors in Spanish organizations. This fact provides a linkage between employeeperformance and organizational goals, making the PAS completely effective. Other proof of the effective Performance Appraisal System in Infojobs is the award“Best Place to Work” in Spain for 2011. PAS is a dynamic process and needs to be improved with the pass of the time.Infojobs’ PAS has some minor flaws in terms of training; frequency of appraisal;maintaining records; measuring system; and conduction process, that need to beaddressed in the short turn. However, I believe that company’s managers will be ableto correct those flaws in the near future and Infojobs will be again in top positions ofthe Best Place to Work in Spain’s rankings.References:Fisas Suriol, J.P. (24.10.2012) Infojobs PDD Manager interviewMolins, I. (25.10.2012) Ifojobs PDD employee interviewBoice, D.F. and Kleiner, B.H. (1997) “Designing Effective Performance AppraisalSystems”Henderson, R.I. (1984) “Practical Guide to Performance Appraisal”Crane, J.G. (1991) “Getting the performance you want”
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 11Yee, C.C. and Chen, Y.Y. (2010) “Performance Appraisal System UsingMultifactorial Evaluation Model”Granfield-ESADE (2000) research “Gestión Estratégica de Recursos Humanos
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 12 Appendix 1 RAC DE INFOJOBS NOMBRE: [Escribe aqui] MES: [Escribe aqui] MANAGER: [Escribe aqui] Parte 1: CIFRAS CLAVE VENTAS: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) Mercado Objetivo: Resultado: Logro: GE #DIV/0! ! ACTIVIDAD: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) Objetivo: Resultado: Logro: " 0 0 #DIV/0! # (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial, casos a destacar). KOs, anticipos, $ SITUACIONES RELEVANTES retrasos, casos relevantes, … Mercado (GE) Empresa A Destacar (ko, anticipo, retraso, …) % & Observaciones del comercial: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) " [Escribe aqui] ( ) RESUMEN DEL MES ANTERIOR * ¿Qué he hecho bien? (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) ( [Escribe aqui] ¿Qué voy debo cambiar o mejorar para el siguiente? (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) [Escribe aqui] VENTAS: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) Mercado Objetivo: Previsión: Logro: ! GE #DIV/0! " ACTIVIDAD: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) # Objetivo: Previsión: Logro: 0 0 #DIV/0! $ % SITUACIONES RELEVANTES (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial, casos a destacar). KOs, anticipos, retrasos, casos relevantes, … + Mercado (GE) Empresa A Destacar (ko, anticipo, retraso, …) , % Observaciones del comercial: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial) - [Escribe aqui] Parte 2: SATISFACCION SEGUIMIENTO CUALITATIVO# Cualitativo definido para el Qx (Definido previamente por el manager)% [Escribe aqui]) Estado actual (Definido previamente por el manager)# [Escribe aqui]. &% Nivel de satisf. del comercial: (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial)+ [Escribe Aqui]+)/ Parte 3: COMPROMISOS Seguimiento COMPROMISOS mes anterior (a cumplimentar previamente por el comercial)+ [Escribe aqui]* )! # Compromisos para el mes próximo0 (durante la reunión) * Descripción Tarea Objetivo Deadline( "#$%&()*%+,-%./%0*-*1.2%+/.-).%3 !!! #*! Parte 4: VALORACIÓN FINAL MANAGER (ventas, actividad, [Escribe aqui]1 !% + %- ) &* / %( & 2% $ "
PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM AT INFOJOBS S.A. 13 Appendix 2 EPDIndicaciones: Cuando escribáis en los recuadros cambiará el formato del documento, no ospreocupéis, intentar adaptarlo según este modelo una vez este cumplimentado.A rellenar por el evaluadoNombre: Periodo evaluado:Posición Actual: Fecha evaluación:Evaluador:Evaluación periodo anterior:Comentarios del evaluado:Valores Infojobs: (demostrados en el periodo) Bajo Medio Alto SobresaleSinceridadGenerosidadHumildadEsfuerzoAmbiciónSentido ComúnAlegríaComentarios del evaluado:Competencias: (demostradas en el periodo) Fortalezas A desarrollar (en el próximo año)- -- -Comentarios del evaluado:Acciones de mejora: (a desarrollar en el próximo año) Competencia Acción Fechas Responsable184.108.40.206.Futuro profesional:Expectativas del evaluado:Opinión Manager:Recomendaciones: