Human Resource Management By: Yusuf H. Shirazi


Personnel management concepts in Pakistan have developed well over the last five decades particularly in the industrial sector. Personnel management has recently undergone another transformation to Human Resource Management which was brought about by changing business conditions and ever increasing competition. This change in essence implies more or less the same responsibilities but with a different perspective of being a full partner in the business with responsibility for the short and the long term investment in Human Resource of the Company.


Multinational Companies have for long considered availability of quality human resource in the country an important factor for investmant consideration. The local entrepreneurs have also now recognised the importance of the available human resource for the success of the business. This important change in attitude has meant that progressive local entrepreneurs view their employees as indispensable family members of the organisation and hence are conducive to making appreciable investments in their development by sponsoring them to outside local & foreign courses, business school studies and job experience etc.

The fundamental problems of order, structure, motivation and leadership in the business enterprise have to be solved in managing of the managers. Managers are the basic resource of the business enterprise and its scarcest resource. Managers are the most expensive resource in most businesses and the one that depreciates fastest and needs the most constant replenishment. It takes years to build a management team; but it can be destroyed in a short period of misrule. How well managers are managed determines whether business goals will be reached.

A manager’s job is based on tasks to be performed in order to attain the company’s objectives. It is always a real job – one that makes a visible end, if possible, clearly measurable contribution to the success of the enterprise. It is the broadest rather than the narrowest scope and authority which matters; everything not expressly excluded should be deemed to be within the manager’s authority. Finally, the manager is directed and controlled by the objectives of performance rather than by the superiors.

It would be obvious from the above that for a successful business one would require to attract and retain high calibre people. It may be difficult to attract the right people. It is even more demanding a task to ensure that their capability and talents are fully and effectively utilised in the organisation. Quality and high potential staff usually looks for careers not jobs, hence to succeed it is imperative that proper management systems are in place.

Human Resource Management System

All Human Resource management systems are interlinked as shown below:-

In this article I will only briefly deal with two key processes from the above diagram which in my view are Performance Management and Job Evaluation.

Performance Management

Corporations expect all management activity and output to be directed towards overall Corporate Goals and consequently seek to ensure managerial motivation and capability on a continuous basis. In return, managers essentially expect fair rewards commensurate to their current contribution and inherently hold aspirations to improve and develop to higher levels of recognition – hierarchical and professional – It is necessary, therefore, that the needs of the organisation and those of its managers have to attain considerable identity to result in a successful corporation. A framework to achieve this is provided by a Performance Appraisal System.

  • To appraise the individual on a fair basis i.e. in terms of performance against previously agreed objectives related to those of the organisation as a whole. This necessarily includes an evaluation of personal competencies which influence professional effectiveness and in consequence have a bearing on overall managerial competence.
  • To use the information to guide and help the individual towards self development.
  • To establish a singificant, valid and fair input for the Company reward system.
  • To enable career development on a consistent basis
  • To assist the Company in directing managerial effort towards Corporate Goals and provide a basis for developing managerial competence on a continuing basis.

For the System to remain a “living” one, it is vital that all those appraised should be satisfied that their appraisals are fair and constructive, that a balanced view has been taken of their performance, that their performance has been discussed in an understanding manner and that their potential is being probed and encouraged. Equally important is the methodology of setting and agreeing objectives which provide the basic reference for performance and its evaluation.


Objective Setting can be defined as an exercise to analyse and break-up a managerial job in terms of its major parts in which results are required, and consequently defining the standard (Level) of result required in each area. A statement of the major result areas of a job together with the definition of the standard of result required in each for a particular year can be said to be the objective of the particular job. In most jobs normally there may be no more than 6 or 7 objectives:

To sharpen the reality of objectives the determination of standards required may be done in the context of reasonable assumptions and predictions on circumstances expected and resources available during the year in which performance is measured. Equally important would be the consideration that meaningful objectives must have an element of “STRETCH” – they may be developmental in nature, stretching managers to newer and higher horizons of performance involving implicitly the management of constraints and obstacles in order to do so.

As far as possible standard requirements may be stated in measurable terms and wherever not possible, in terms of the most specific description.

The above is a basic guide to objective setting and help to a large extent.


Assessment of performance may be a realistic comparison between standards agreed and those achieved in the light of the following considerations:

  1. Unanticipated constraints – not predictable at the beginning of the year when standards were agreed – which may be beyond the control of the individual.

It must be remembered that all management positions primarily exist to manage constraints. Consequently differentiation must be made between:

  • Obstacles and constraints already predicted at the time of setting objectives the management of which would therefore be expected, including those which may not have been predicted but considered manageable by the individual,
  • And those not predicted and/or out of the individuals control.

The former should not bear significantly on performance assessment as they have already been taken into account. The latter however, would require careful consideration.

  1. Initiative shown or otherwise.
  2. The complexities of the objectives and the challenge implied in the agreed standards easy or highly demanding.
  3. The individual work load – high, average or low.

These four considerations by no means constitute a comprehensive list but can be the major ones. Further depending upon individual cases only some of them or even more may be applicable.

Personal Competencies is an assessment of personal qualities displayed by the individual in the course of his performance/achievement of objectives. To facilitate reference and sharpen assessment a range of personal competencies, considered relevant to managerial jobs may be defined. An individual may be assessed in each competency in relation to his job.

Subsequent to evaluation, areas requiring development/attention either in the context of the current job being done or in the context of long term career development, may be indicated. Commentary on such individual personal competencies as require recognition or attention can be most useul if made against the relevant assessment.

Having completed assessment of both aspects the picture would now be complete in its various elements, as follows:

What now remains to be done is the determation of the overall managerial competence level of the individual in the context of the Corporate Organisation.


A job evaluation system ensures that management jobs

  • are accurately placed relative to one another in the hierarchy of the Company.
  • and are fairly and justly rewarded in relation to one another.

Hay Job Evaluation System has the following to offer:

The Hay Job Evaluation System has been developed over a period of years by a Group of International Consultants known as the Hay Management Services Limited on the basis of their experience as Management Consultants all over the world. By virtue of this it is an International system and has been used by a large number of Corporations all over the world. In Pakistan it has been used by Multinationals like ICI Pakistan, Pakistan Tobacco and Engro etc.

The scheme, in brief, determines, correlates and evaluates the input or output of a job. Input is measured in terms of the knowledge and skills professional, managerial and human relations – required of the job holder in order to achieve optimum performance. Output, both direct and indirect, is measured in terms of the problems, he is required to solve and his relationship to financial results achieved, having regard to the constraints necessarily present on an individual’s freedom to think and act. Evaluation takes place, therefore,under three headings viz Know-How, Problem Solving and Accountability. This measures the size of a job relative to other jobs in the overall context of the Organisation and how it works. The three factors assessed are considered to be the most relevant and credible in determining the relative weight of different jobs in an Organisation.

In particular it has the following specific qualities:

  1. i)The Hay System is highly developed and has a universal application.
  2. ii)Since it is a fairly universal system it is also being used by other Corporations in Pakistan. This system would increase the validity of job to job comparison between us and other companies with whom we may compare terms and conditions for the purpose of emoluments review.

iii) Jobs are analyzed and evaluated in terms of the input or output of the job. Various factors analysed and evaluated are determined and correlated very systematically and logically.

  1. iv)Job descriptions are written in a concise and precise manner with the help of an expert, so that, it enables Job Holders to obtain a clearer picture of the essential purpose of the job and its principle accountabilities. This approach fits in well with the objectives setting system.

The data collected through job analysis in the Hay format is concise and inherently provides an opportunity to the management in the communication of the organization’s purpose and objectives to all employees at all levels of the organization. It assists in the most appropriate design of jobs and the relationships between jobs; contributes to the definition of people required for jobs, in terms of knowledge, skills, attributes and competencies for successful achievement of the organization’s purpose. It helps to focus employees on producing most appropriate outcomes from jobs, particularly if used in conjunction with a performance management program. The system ensures employees go through the process by participating in their job analysis which helps clarify and design the job. It provides key input to the foundation data used in other human resource management processes, such as, job evaluation, objective setting and reward for performance. It enhances their personal contribution and satisfaction by knowing exactly what is expected of them in their jobs.


One has to learn to disperse power so self discipline can largely replace imposed discipline. That immerses us in the area of culture, replacing bureaucracy with aspirations, values and vision.

For effective learning to take place at individual level it is essential to foster an enviroment where individuals are encouraged to take risks and experiment, where mistakes are tolerated but where means exist for those involved to learn from their experience:

(Perfection leads to endearment!)

May 5, 2004