Helsinki School of Economics

C. Randall Powell, Ph.D.

Professor of Business Administration

Kelley School of Business, Indiana University



Human Resource Management deals with the wide range of activities by which organizations (both profit and nonprofit) acquire, maintain, and utilize their workforces. This function has traditionally been referred to as Personnel Management, but Human Resource Management (HRM) is the current term of choice. It is designed for students planning careers either as staff human resource specialists or in general management.


The course has one major overall objective:  to help prepare students for careers in general management or in the specialized staff function known as human resource management. There are several sub‑objectives:

1.      Developing an understanding of the HRM function and how it relates to other organizational functions.

2.      Learning the managerial skills involved in acquiring and maintaining a workforce that is both productive and high on maintenance factors such as loyalty and cohesiveness.

3.      Showing how such important functions as human resource planning, job requirements, recruitment, selection, training, managerial development, career planning, performance appraisal, and compensation can be utilized in attaining organizational goals.

4.      Preparing the individual student in some important personal career planning activities.

5.      Enhancing sensitivity to HRM issues so the student will be able to identify problem areas more readily and resolve them more effectively, both as a manager and as an individual working on personal career development concerns.


Books and Materials

The textbook that will be used in the course is:

Human Resource Management, 13th edition
Bohlander, Snell, and Sherman
Southwestern Publishing Co.

You must read ten chapters of the textbook, and quizzes/examinations will be based on chapters 1 through 10 (you need only scan Chapter 2), plus 16. You need to scan the EOE and Benefit chapters as well. It is very important that you read this text. Any subsequent work or courses that you do in human resources will definitely assume that you have learned this basic work.

Supplementary materials will be provided to you on the HRM course website. One set of materials is excerpts from Career Planning Strategies (CPS), 5th edition, C. Randall Powell. While these materials will be extremely important to you in the projects and future job searching, you will not be tested on these materials.

Other materials will be provided on an “as needed” basis. You will receive many samples and examples to use as guides in preparing course documents. You will be expected to read these on the World Wide Web (WWW), or web for short. The web will be an integral part of the course.

Office Hours

You can visit with the instructor, Dr. C. Randall Powell, before class and about one hour after class each day. Other times generally are by appointment, but you are welcome to stop by his office anytime. This will aide the instructor in his attempt to get to know you well.

Class Grading

This class consists of multiple grading events. Each grading event is designed to take about one to two hours of outside class reading, studying, and writing time. A comparable time is spent on the in‑class grading events that consist of class lecture, discussion, class participation, quizzes, etc. All grading events are graded on an A, B, C, D, F scale and converted to a numerical score. If a grading event is missed or not turned in when done, your score will be recorded as a zero unless an alternative is negotiated ahead of time.


Assignments are due immediately after class. LATE assignments will lose one letter grade for each class day that it is late.

Plus and minus letter grades will be given for each grading event. That letter grade will be converted to a 10-point scale based on the following formula:

A+ = 10.0

B+ = 8.8

C+ = 7.8

D+ = 6.8

A = 9.5

B = 8.5

C = 7.5

D = 6.5

A- = 9.0

B- = 8.0

C- = 7.0

D- = 6.0

Each grading event is worth a maximum of 10 points.


The daily textbook reading of about 30 pages should take about 2 hours per day. The case will probably consume 1-2 hours per day. Therefore, please plan on 4-6+ hours of outside class work each day.

Peer grading may be required on several grading events. As a manager, you will be asked to conduct multiple face‑to‑face evaluations where you must justify your judgments. Like any supervisor, the instructor can override any appraisal but this is not often done. Your peer evaluations must be honest, fair, and equitable, and yet accurately reflect reality.

At the end of the term, all grading events will be added and divided by the number of events actually assigned to you. You will receive a zero if you did not do the event when scheduled. 

Your final grade will reflect this average plus the instructor's subjective opinion on effort, learning retention, and class participation.

The grading is designed to encourage everyone to do extremely well in this course if they do the required assignments and tests on a quality level. Research suggests that learning and retention is greatly enhanced when a thoughtful written assignment is demanded. The amount of writing in short narratives is comparable to the type of internal communication required in a successful enterprise and should be brief and to the point in an accurate manner. The projects are indicative of what you will be asked to do in your work environment.

Projects must be submitted via email to the instructor. If there are any special instructions, they will be given in the project assignment outline or in class.

Class Participation

All students are expected to participate in class discussions. These will include your general questions in class and your answers to questions posed by the instructor and other students. Class participation will constitute more than five grading events in calculation of your final grade. The instructor will be as objective as possible in recording the subjective grades and do his best to remember people who contribute in class each day.


The “quality” is just as important as the “frequency” of your contribution. You must ask questions and participate in discussion and team events. Your peers in the class will also evaluate your participation.

Discussion Questions

Please read your textbook each day. Do not get behind; it will hurt your grade. You should read assignments (text, articles, web, etc.) before each class. The instructor will deliver a summary of the high points covered in the textbook and other assignments for emphasis and elaboration. The instructor will focus on those important points during the lecture time each day.

Much of the material will be covered in team assignments.  Members of the class will prepare that material based upon the case, web, textbook, etc.

Definition Quizzes

It is very important that you understand and remember the terminology used in the HRM profession. In each assigned chapter in the HRM text, there is a list of some of the important terms. After reading the chapter concepts, you should understand the appropriate definitions used for the most important topics. Most terminology on tests will be covered in the online PowerPoint lectures.

Terminology is equivalent to learning a new language. You must know the “jargon” as you communicate with your HRM colleagues and other managers.

When the chapter lecture is completed, a short quiz will be administered in class. It will consist of objective matching of terms with appropriate definitions, true/false, or multiple-choice questions. Even though it appears to be very easy, you must have read the assigned materials to do well.  You will turn in a one-page set of correct answers. These will be scored and grades returned quickly.

The results of these quizzes will count as one grading event per assigned chapter. Thus, there will be one grading event for each of the assigned chapters.

Reading Assignments

The syllabus assigns a reading assignment each day. You are required to read the assigned material the day before it is to be covered in class.


During the class, you will be asked at random to discuss certain elements of the assigned reading. When you give your classroom discussion, it is expected that you will repeatedly draw upon the material that you have just read and integrate it with your own opinions based upon your prior work experiences, previous classes, and leadership activities. The questions that you ask the team presenters and the professor should reflect your knowledge of that day’s assignment.


Absences at any time during the entire class period will NEGATIVELY affect your grade.  On time attendance is part of your discussion grade each day.

Participation in the Final Presentation is absolutely required. You will receive ten negative points plus lack of participation points if you do not participate.




The first five minutes of a job interview often determine the final outcome of the interview. Judgments often get made much too soon. As a job interviewee, you must recognize this concern and address it by quickly stating your goals, skills, and talents. You must convince quickly.

As an HR professional, you will be taught to withhold your judgment until you collect a complete set of appropriate facts and job related criteria. The HRM course covers these techniques.

To get a feel for interviewing, each student is asked to prepare a three‑minute description of his or her background and interests. This is commonly referred to as a “cocktail interview” because you often get it at informal receptions throughout your career. Write down your comments, but you will not turn these in or use them as you make your presentation to the class or the instructor.

As time permits, everyone will be asked to make a brief “Career Minute” presentation. It is intended to be a surprise casual event. Since there will be little time to prepare, the instructor will basically interview candidates at random. The questions will relate to the following points:

·        What is your academic background?

·        What courses interest you most and why?

·        In what areas of the world have you studied or worked?

·        Describe your most significant prior work experience.

·        What are your long-term career goals? Are your goals consistent with your past?

·        What type of job would you like to get upon graduation?

·        Why do you feel you would be highly successful?

·        Describe the skills that you learned in your most significant past work experience.

·        What specific skills do you expect to get here?

·        Give me some examples of your leadership skills.

·        What activities in your past illustrate your management abilities?  How?

·        What events in your past illustrate your responsibility and reliability level?

·        Describe any travel abroad activities you have had.

·        What activity or recognition are you most proud of?

·        Why did you choose to study in an international program?

·        Give me some examples where you dealt with pressure, stress, and conflict.

·        How effectively do you handle stressful situations? Cite some previous illustrations.

Other questions will be selected from the CPS textbook. For the few that get “surprised” during the first few days, no grade points will be deducted for lack of preparation. After the first Wednesday, deductions will be made for lack of preparation.

You will not be critically graded on your responses to these questions. You are welcome to side‑step the question if the answer might embarrass you. The goals of this exercise, which continues throughout the term, are:

·        To give you interview experience; especially using behavioral strategies.

·        To put you in a typical stressful situation often faced by human resource (or line manager) professionals.

·        To help you gain some “presentation” skills.

·        To help specify your career goals.

·        To see how difficult interviewing is for both the candidate and interviewer.

·        To allow the instructor to get to know you better.

Please be prepared at any time to respond to your “Career Minute” with an intellectually responsive reply for 2‑3 minutes without much prompting. Students will be selected randomly and asked to respond to questions similar to the above. This will be part of your participation grade in the course if you are selected to do this. Write an outline of key points on a 3x5 card to help you remember what you want to say. This will have no negative impact on your grade if you are not selected to participate.


One of the best ways to learn the HRM topics is to actually do many HR projects. This is one of the few courses where you can actually put yourself into the activity. Most of the projects are fairly short but the learning impact is often very high. Each project will be treated as a grading event.

Projects are due at the beginning of class but will not be considered late until thirty minutes past the end of the class period on the date due. You need to submit your projects via email to the instructor. If there are special instructions, they will be outlined in the project description or given in class. The projects are listed below.


You are provided excerpts from CPS textbook, the Resume Preparation Guide, and other web-based publications; use these tools for ideas on how to best present your resume. Your “American style” resume or international CV should reflect the ideas gained from reading these publications. Click on Resume Preparation Guide to get further instructions, ideas, and samples that former Finnish and HRM students have submitted. You will find samples of former resumes in the Appendix A.

Your resume should be composed using the latest version of MS Word, and be no more than two pages, but it must fill at least one full page. This is equivalent to two grading events (preliminary and final) and it will be assigned a letter grade with improvement suggestions.

Initial.  The instructor requested that you email him an initial draft of your resume prior to his arrival in Finland. If you did so, this version will not be graded; but it will be “marked up” with some editing ideas and returned to you at the end of the first class day. Please email your CV to powellc@indiana.edu before class begins.

Preliminary.  This version will be graded on effort and content thoroughness, but not yet on “points of enhancement” that your materials suggest. The PRELIMINARY RESUME is due by the end of the second day of class; but it will not be counted as late until after 6:00 p.m. Submitting it on time will allow the instructor to adequately critique and enhance it, as well as make suggestions.

Due Date:

End of Second Class Session


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Prelim Resume/(your last name)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All projects are electronically filed using Outlook “rules.”  It is IMPERATIVE that you use the EXACT WORDING (as shown above) in the SUBJECT of your email to the professor! Not doing so could bring about your project not being graded.

Final. This version is expected to be “perfect” and will be graded on a rigorous scale. It must be information packed and will be graded on the basis of thoroughness of content, completeness, and its ability to tell about values, interests, personal qualities, and skills. The FINAL VERSION is due at the end of the third class session.

You will not be graded on honesty or ethics. Please realize that a potential employer has some ability to verify facts so this may not be the resume that you should “upload” to a job search website when you are really in the market.

Due Date:

End of Third Class Session


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Final Resume/(your last name)


Write a newspaper or professional journal advertisement for the job description that you will write for the next class. Include position title, brief description, qualifications, salary range, and contact information.  You might want to follow the layout given in the text but feel free to be creative with logos, descriptions, and other eye-catching items. You will see real examples in the Helsinki Sanomat, Wall Street Journal, in magazines, on the web, etc.

The source of information for both your “advertisement” and “job description” is the local newspapers and the web. Listed in the Career Resources part of the course website are several websites that list jobs and brief job descriptions. You will also find sample job descriptions at SHRM Online (www.shrm.org) under “HR Tools” and at www.careeronestop.org.

You are asked to read and/or surf to locate 3‑5 jobs for which you will be qualified after you complete your degree. Copy each of these ads. Look for ads that give rather complete descriptions of job and the qualifications for these jobs. Do not turn in that copy!  The project requires “content” in the ads, not just “image ads”. You must consolidate ideas from multiple sources before creating your ad.

The names of the individual and contact address are not important, although a name should be in the ad that you submit. Review 3-6 ads to be able to consolidate them so that you can create an ad that also contains enough information to allow candidates to self-select themselves (and qualifications) for the job. Make your ads very thorough and borrow ideas and text generously from the ads that you review. Use creative examples written by the pros as you construct your ad.


You must be qualified to do this job, even if it is a management trainee job. Structure the advertisement to fit your credentials after you complete your degree here. Your next project asks you to write a job description for this position. Additional suggested websites:
















This one-page, nicely formatted and typed ad will count as one grading event. Try to be creative. Look at various employment ads in large newspapers for ideas.

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Job Ad/(your last name)


The textbook, lectures, HRM website, and supplementary readings suggest a basic format for a job description. Using that format, write a very thorough two-page job description. Use the job or position that you expect to obtain within twelve months after graduation. Review the samples at www.shrm.org.

This project must be 1-2 pages typed. Start major activities, specific duties, and responsibilities with a verb. Follow examples in the textbook and materials distributed in class; review the Indiana University Human Resources website for additional ideas. Look at the ads and job descriptions under Articles on HRM website:  Job Requirements.

The text and many websites give excellent examples of detailed job ads and often accompanying job descriptions and job specifications. However, you are expected to follow the format below (and that given in most HRM texts):

1.      Job Title: (Limit to four words or less)

2.      Job Summary: (Limit to two to four sentences)

3.      Job Duties and Responsibilities:

·        List at least ten specific duties, tasks, and/or responsibilities.

·        Start each line with a verb. Use bullet points.

·        Be specific.

·        Get resources about jobs from texts, HRM website, web, etc.

·        Do not create your own “hypothetical job.”

·        Use a real existing job possibility in your field.

·        Limit to one to two sentences per bullet point.

4.      Job Qualifications and Specifications:

·        Degree levels required.

·        Type of academic major field studied.

·        Technical background.

·        Experience required.

·        Travel requirements.

·        Relocation requirements.

·        Types of experiences performed.

·        Specify salary range (minimum acceptable and maximum possible).

This should be the “perfect job” for you. Review the chapters in CPS if you are unsure of the job possibilities for someone with your credentials. The Wetfeet.com and Vault.com websites will give you additional ideas. Also review the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) on the web. Review the career objective statements. Limit this to two pages maximum. Additional links can be found on a portion of the HRM website titled Career Resources.

There are similar links in other Career Services offices in Europe that might be helpful. In addition to HSE Career Services, see London Business School, Rotterdam School of Management and INSEAD. The Society for Human Resource Management has a spot for “job descriptions.” Also check out stepstones.com and www.jobdescriptions.com (FEE BASED site that will give many free examples as well as write these for you for a fee). Our Lectures and Articles part of HRM website (Job Requirements) have additional examples.

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Job Description/(your last name)


One of the main tasks of a professional business manager is to interview people for two purposes: hiring the best job candidate and counseling people for career development purposes. A written analysis of each candidate is important for comparison between seemingly very similar and equally qualified candidates. The text and reading materials describe several methods of evaluating candidates. There are several evaluation forms in use.

You have now written a resume, job description, and job advertisement. Using these as the basis, you are required to pair up with another student in the class. You may select any partner of your choice. If there is an odd number, the instructor will serve as the partner for one lucky student! Or you can convince one colleague to do two interviews. You will require your partner’s cover letter, resume, job ad, and job description to prepare your questions in advance.

The purpose of this SIMULATION is to prepare you to be a manager who must hire college-trained talent. You will likely be conducting and doing this activity shortly after you have been working for several months.

This simulation will produce four separate projects, with EACH receiving a grade. They each have specific due dates per the Schedule. The cover letter, the interviewer’s questions, anticipated replies, and completed evaluation forms will all be graded. They will each be a grading event.

You will alternatively reverse the roles of interviewer and interviewee. This is a very fun and educational role-playing exercise. You are required to do the following:


Write a one-page cover letter requesting a job interview for the position used in your earlier job description. This is counted as a grading event. Follow the examples shown in the CPS materials and in the website URLs. The CPS text gives several cover letter illustrations. Read the cover letter chapter. There are some excellent websites that offer help on cover letter design; CareerJournal.com is an excellent source. The CPS textbook is on this website. The CPS text and many websites give many ideas on cover letter construction. Review these. Your cover letter will be graded based on the following:

·        Opening paragraph must state WHY you are writing.

·        Body must state your credentials.

·        Body must add information “beyond the resume”.

·        Use body to support and prove you should be interviewed.

·        Use “action verbs”.

·        Use “jargon” from your career field.

·        Ask for a specific time for appointment day(s) in the closing paragraph.

·        Indicate your future follow-up action. You must do more than wait for them to ignore your request for an appointment.

·        Be confident and qualified in your tone.

·        One-page limit.

·        Bullet points are acceptable as are bulleted phrases.

·        Avoid resume repetition frequently.

·        Integrate description personal qualifier adjectives into the body that would leave the inference that “you” possess the adjectives/qualifier (VIPs) that you are ascribing to work activities, classroom experiences, outside achievements, etc.

Illustrations may be found under Articles on HRM website:  Selection.  Specific sample ideas are located under various titles.

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Cover Letter/(your last name)


Using the reading materials as a guide, you need to prepare a set of six interview questions to ask the applicant.  Base your questions on the interviewee's resume and job description. Carefully choose your questions from the evaluation factors. This has a 3-page limit and will be one grading event. Put two questions per page and leave room to make rough notes as you get the applicant’s responses.

Have your partner email a copy of their ad, cover letter, and resume before you write your questions so they can be targeted to the candidate. Make your questions very specific to the candidate's qualifications for the specific job opening. Use the textbook questions as general guidelines. Your questions should focus on WILL‑DO factors, not CAN‑DO factors. Assume that the person is skill‑based qualified. Force them to discuss factors that reveal leadership, motivation, management skills, responsibility, academic excellence, team spirit, enthusiasm, verbal communication skills, interests, ambition, etc.

Make your questions open‑ended and designed to elicit behavioral experiences base on their past history of activities. Ask follow-up questions that delve further into the topic they brought up. Force the applicant to give you answers using examples from their past. Questions that permit a yes/no reply are unacceptable. You should ask “probing” questions. Read about behavioral questions and the S.T.A.R. technique.

Make sure that when you submit this project that you specify that you are the “interviewer” (the recruiter).

Your questions must be targeted to the background of your applicant. You will receive a lower grade if your questions appear to be “textbook” questions. You are welcome to give a 1‑ to 2-sentence preface to your question if it is “general” so the applicant will know to apply it to his/her specific background in replying to it. Rarely would you want to ask a “blunt” question without some appropriate lead into the topic. Make the question specific to your partner’s background. Your questions should be situational and behavioral that probe the applicant’s past work and educational background.

You must elicit enough concrete info from a “subjective” part of their background to adequately justify turning down this applicant. You will always have multiple well-qualified candidates for every job that you (as a manager) have available. You must have enough “subjective” data to use in rejecting candidates who, on the surface, appear to be well qualified.

You must write notes to help you recall what the candidate said. You will analyze your notes in recommending to your superior the rationale that you used in “rejecting” this specific candidate. Your superior can see that the candidate is qualified based on resume CAN‑DO factors. Why are you turning down a candidate who, on paper, seems to be a great future employee? Yet, you had ten “qualified” applicants. Your task is to select the “best” and explain why (to your superior) you did not select this candidate and why you did select another candidate.

Make sure that you obtain all the needed data from your partner so you can best formulate the perfect questions. Submit your questions with your name prominently on the “List of Questions to Ask.”

Please make sure your reasons are legally justifiable and job related.

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Interviewer Questions/(your last name)


Prepare a set of six interview questions that you “expect” your interviewer will ask you. Anticipate the specific questions that will be asked.  Under each question, identify 3‑6 bullet point items from your background that you will use in replying to your interviewer’s questions. Write one sentence for each bullet.

Avoid using your CAN‑DO replies by focusing on your WILL‑DO qualities. Expand on your resume; don't just recite it. Be very specific about SITUATIONS, TASKS, ACTIONS, and RESULTS (STAR) that you plan to use in your interview to support your credentials. Write your questions so the interviewee can give you a STAR formatted answer. The various evaluation forms as well as the “E. Bauer College Interview” under Articles: Selection will give you examples of questions recruiters typically ask and show you what recruiters seek so your questions must obtain answers that can be used to write-up the evaluation fairly.

Email your job description, ad, cover letter, and resume to your partner.

Your “bullet points” will help you remember the specific situations from your background and resume that uniquely qualifies you for the job description. You must draw upon specific circumstances from your past that will illustrate several “will‑do” factors that you suspect are important to the recruiter. Point out accomplishments, not just past duties. Your bullet points must include examples from your background that will convince the “Recruiter” that you are qualified based on the facts (skills) and soft qualities (your VIP credentials).

This will be one grading event. Limit to three pages maximum. This will be a rehearsal outline of points that you will “sell” in the interview. Be bold, confident, and proud appearing in your outline. Put your name prominently on the TOP of the outline.

This is a VERY IMPORTANT project.  Please use ideas from the lectures!

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Interview Answers/(your last name)


            Mock Interview‑‑Simulation Instructions

Select a partner.  Email your cover letter, resume, advertisement, and job description to that partner. The interviewer must review this “packet”, but no grade will be given on it as it has already been graded.

Copy and modify the Candidate Evaluation Form (CEF) to fit the unique professional job type that your partner is.  Print out a copy to allow for your notes during the interview.

After you have completed the above, schedule a 60-minute time frame to conduct the interview simulation. You will use your questions as a guideline and for writing an evaluation of the applicant as you conduct the 30‑minute interview. Make notes on an evaluation form or your “Recruiter Questions.” Later, transfer these to the evaluation form that you plan to submit.


The interview will be done outside of class time. Perhaps it can occur outdoors, in a classroom, or at a lounge, a bar or restaurant. Try to make it “formal.” This must be done in a very serious manner with a high degree of professionalism. It is not unusual for the interview to initially be conducted outside of the employer’s office, but simulate what you think would happen in a real office.

To complete the project, you will need to submit the evaluation form as well as the “packet” of information you received from your partner.

Due Date:

Conducted outside of class. See Schedule (no grade for the actual interview. The CEF, filled out, will be graded on the basis of thoroughness.).


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Candidate Evaluation/(your last name)

            Candidate Evaluations

From the HRM website, you can download and print the Candidate Evaluation Form (CEF). It is based on one from the CPS text. It is a forced key word evaluation. You typically use another form to record the gist of the candidate’s qualifications and replies to your line of questions. Several are linked under Articles: Selection.  You can make notes on these as you conduct the interview.

After the interview, you review your notes from any of the evaluation forms under Articles: Selection. You then step back and use your interview notes, the cover letter, resume recommendations, and any test results and evaluate the candidate. You then must copy the CEF, paste into Word, edit, and submit it, but you can use any other form for your personal notes.

Please submit the CEF on the candidate. Make sure that you cover enough points in your evaluation so that a third person (your boss or someone in the HR office) can interpret why you made the decision about this candidate that you did.

Goal: Avoid “gut feel” reactions in the interview. You need concrete evidence for accepting and rejecting applicants. You must be able to support your judgment and decisions with facts!

There are three aspects to this evaluation. You must submit only a summary.

Write your interview notes on any “form” of your choosing that is on the HRM website under Selection.

Base your evaluation and assessment of this candidate using the CEF. Copy from website and complete. Use these words in your “free form” evaluation below.

Using your CEF as a guide, identify 3-5 critical selection factors for this job. For each selection factor, write 3-5 sentences describing these applicants’ credentials as it relates to that criterion. Based upon your notes on the CEF, submit these paragraphs as a one-page description of this person’s credentials. Again, try to use mostly subjective factors, not simple “can do” factors. Give pluses and minuses.

Prepare a one-page, typewritten statement of why you are REJECTING this applicant. You will need to submit this file (on a confidential basis) to the instructor, who is your “boss.” Be complete and convincing! Justify your decisions.

You will find many references on websites to “Behavioral Interview” evaluation styles and approaches. These articles can be very useful in your future supervisory responsibilities. See Articles: Selection.

Complete the interview evaluation form with your recommendations. Be very critical as to why you cannot hire this person. Explain problems and limitations in a constructive way. Be prepared to “counsel” the person on how to improve the next time.

Explain that you have many well-qualified candidates for your boss and file. Don’t criticize candidate. You simply advise them that you: “Found a candidate whose total background better fit our needs”. You never reveal “why,” even when asked. As an employer, your role is not to counsel.

Use the document titled CEF. Copy it, paste to MS WORD and then edit it with your comments and checks. Always give some personal “description” in the “comments” areas of each trait evaluated.

The applicant must give you items 2‑5. You are the Recruiter mentioned in the Ad and Cover Letter. Make certain that you write notes on the form (and attach a separate memo email) about why you are rejecting this candidate.


Due Date:

See Schedule


Assemble the files for the instructor to review if he requests it:

1.      Candidate Evaluation Form (CEF) (Completed in previous assignment.)

2.      Job Description (Applicant’s version)

3.      Job Advertisement (For which interviewed)

4.      Cover Letter (Applicant’s)

5.      Resume (Applicant’s)

6.      Decision Memo (must include one page for your EVALUATION and one page for the REJECTION decision justification)

Email ONLY the DECISION MEMO on why you rejected the candidate and the completed CEF. Your grade will be based on the completed CEF form and memo.

EMAIL SUBJECT:  Reject Memo/(your last name)


At the end of the two role-playing interviews, you will be asked to share your evaluation with each other. Write both the “interviewer” and “interviewee” name on the Evaluation Form and your critical notes. Your feedback to the applicant is very important, especially the WILL‑DO factor judgments that you had to make. What you share with the professor is confidential. This review portion of the project is optional.

            Interview Simulation Summary

In the hiring process, the HR employment manager reviews hundreds of resumes and cover letters. Most of these result from a job description that is used to write a job advertisement. Both applicant and interviewer must prepare for the all important job interview by anticipating questions and answers. This culminates in a formal written evaluation by the HR recruiter or manager.

This simulation of the process has resulted in the following four grading events:  cover letter, interviewer’s questions, interviewer's answers, and candidate evaluation with rejection criteria listed. The mock interview resulted from these activities.

The purpose of this total integrated exercise is to allow you to see the entire employment process in action. By actively participating, you will have a high probability of recalling the materials studied in the HRM class for a long period of time.

This sequence and process is very common for both the HRM professionals and all hiring managers. Your career as a manager is headed toward being both an interviewer as well as an interviewee. Your immersion and involvement in this course should prove to be extremely valuable to your future.


Read the textbook materials on psychological- and skill-based test interpretation. Read the materials on the HRM website about the Holland SDS instrument and Merkler test on the web. Please take this test outside of the classroom setting and score it per the instructions. From the website, our plan is to use the “MERKLER” instrument as a substitute for the SDS. When an address is requested, put in 1309 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405.

Describe the results of the test and critique them. Do the results accurately reflect your opinions about yourself? Take the results and your own opinions and write a one-page summary about yourself using the six Holland Orientations and the words used to describe these orientations. Explanatory information can be found in several locations on the web, including Career Resources.

As a human resource manager, how would you use such an instrument in your next job? Give both pros and cons of its technique. Be as critical as you wish.

This project is one grading event. Attach your results to your 2-page analysis and critique.

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Merkler/(your last name)


You will be given a “personality test” to take outside of class. It is a self‑scorable instrument on the web. Please follow all the administration and scoring instructions. Our plan is to take a “look-alike” of the MBTI test called www.humanmetrics.com.

Read all of the meanings of the various “personality types” given in the reading materials (see Articles) regarding this test. This will be discussed in class. Read the textbook materials (CPS, HRM, and supplemental reading) on psychological- and skill-based test interpretation. Read all of the descriptions on the web. There are several websites that will help in our interpretation of the results and rather than give you specific sites, you should surf for info. On of the best descriptions is a www.typelogic.com.  Use this in your own assignment after you get your letter codes.


Describe how the test portrays you in a short 2‑ to 3-page, double-spaced, typed summary. Identify situations and events in your life that would confirm the results of the test. Conversely, identify situations (if possible) in your life that would refute the results of this test.

This part of the project should be no more than three typed pages. Your grade will depend solely upon how well you complete the assignment, not the results of the test. Cover each of the four “types” separately.

After reviewing the results and comparing that to your self‑perception on these same variables, please write a description of the results as they pertain to you based upon the test results. Using this material, how would you respond to an interview question? How could you incorporate these results into a behavioral-based reply that would give a recruiter a better and more realistic perception of you?


The instructor is quite concerned about the potential cultural bias associated with this test. Based upon your self‑perception and what others have shared with you about your personal profile, write an additional one- to five-paragraph critique of confirmation events regarding the results.

Discuss why you feel this way. Most HR Search Firms and top firms in Finland use a similar one page maximum personality test. If you were ever asked to administer the test, how would you introduce it to the applicant?

If you were an employer, when would you administer a personality test? How would you use it? Limit this to one page only.


You are asked to read the supporting documentation about the MBTI and to discuss your views of the following:

            Use. When and where could such a test be used in a work setting in which you are doing?

            Purpose. Give some purposes for administering a test like this.

            Opinions. Describe and justify your opinion on the use of such a test.

            Limitations. What are some of the limitations in using such a test for hiring purposes?

The purpose of this test is for you to participate in a modern testing instrument and observe what is being evaluated. Please answer every question. Keep this part of the project to no more than two pages. These questions are intended only as idea generating concerns. Your candid and honest opinions are needed; write how you “feel” about this. You will face similar tests in your job search. Be prepared, but not defensive. You will likely administer such tests as a manager. Learn how to deal with the results. This project teaches you how to objectively evaluate test results as one part of a set of selection tools by actually doing it.

In your write‑up, you are expected to address each question. In total, the project, double-spaced, should be about 2 pages. Your grade is determined by your ability to critically evaluate a selection product, assess its potential in a specific setting for a specific purpose, and make appropriate conclusions and recommendations.

Please attach a copy of your results. These pages are not part of your page limitations. This is one grading event.

Due Date:

See Schedule


Email the files to the instructor: results, bias, and selections tool
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Myers Briggs/ (your last name)


This project will be fully described in class.


CareerLeader-College™ is a business career self-assessment program, developed by Dr. Timothy Butler, Director of MBA Career Development Programs at Harvard Business School, and Dr. James Waldroop, his associate at HBS for 18 years. The self-assessment test will help you to uncover your business-related interests, values, and abilities. You will get essential information about your unique profile, which will help you to find your best business career path. Later elements of CareerLeader-College™ will help you to "test drive" major business careers, understand your interest in being an entrepreneur, see how you match up with corporate cultures, and more.


To access CareerLeader, go to their website at: http://www.careerleader.com/cf/univ/kelleyundergrad.html (username: kelleyundergrad / password: justify). You then select your name from the scroll-down list.


Due Date:

See schedule


EMAIL SUBJECT: CareerLeader/ (your last name)


LETTER OF REFERENCE (Optional Project)

Over several years, I have agreed to serve as a faculty reference for several students who have taken my HRM class. If you earn an “A” grade and get to know me reasonably well, I am willing to write a Letter of Reference on your behalf.

If you would like to have me do this, I am going to ask for you to assist by helping compose a “Rough Draft” of a “To Whom It May Concern” reference letter (email).

There are many paragraphs that are very common in a Letter of Reference. I have drafted several of those paragraphs and will use those to get the background for the reviewer. You may need this with an employer or further graduate study.

Please review the proposed Letter of Reference paragraphs listed on the form. Part of your job is to just fill in the blanks. But the larger challenge is for you to write 2-3 “glowing” but honest paragraphs about your background and what you did in the HRM class. I also need to see those special parts and accomplishments on your resume about which you are most proud.

You need to summarize some work experiences, accomplishments, leaderships, communication skills, technical abilities, etc.

Write these paragraphs as if you were me. Use some words that truthfully describe your best qualities, skills, and personal attributes that you have made clear to me in this course of instruction. I will rewrite it in my words later if we officially use it.

This project should be turned in on the last class day. I will not grade it but I will consider it in your class participation grade.

Please email the project to me before I calculate grades. If you do not want me to consider it in your grade, you can email it to me within 2-3 weeks after the class.  After 3 weeks, I do not do references due to my recall abilities.  Do it soon or not at all.

Due Date:

Last Day of Class (for consideration in class participation grade)


Email the file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Recommendation Letter/(your last name)


We have typically had guest speakers in this Human Resource Management course. It is important to draw upon senior operating managers from Finland to discuss the same topics that are covered in the textbook and HRM website.

These external lecturers add a great deal of credibility to the topics that we cover. The material is not just some interesting techniques that are covered in an academic program. The topics represent real-world activities and guest lecturers can effectively bring a fresh perspective into the classroom.

The speakers and where their schedules fit into the curriculum topics cannot be determined until just before classes begin, sometimes even after. Lecture notes are shared with the speaker who will then usually try to cover the concept in a practical way. The topics and date will be announced after classes begin. The quiz questions will come from the textbook regardless of whether or not they are covered by the instructor or a guest lecturer.


The executives at Nokia have asked our class to review their website ahead of our visit. We will have 15-20 minutes in class while at Nokia to bring up a specific website and tell why we like various features.

In other words, they want our HRM class to evaluate the current career portion of their website. Our visit date will be announced in class.

Listed below are several firms that recruit at Indiana University that have outstanding websites. I am asking you to select one of these websites to compare to www.Nokia.com.

Procter and Gamble


Eli Lilly


Cisco Systems

American Airlines


Cap Gemini

Hewlett Packard



Baxter Healthcare

McKinsey & Company

Ford Motor Co.



British Petroleum



Daimler Chrysler





In class, I will ask your team to select a company from above that they might have an interest in joining after finishing the degree. Please send me an email indicating which company your team will review. You will have 1-2 minutes at Nokia to give your analysis and comparisons. I will eliminate any duplication.

Please send me your choice 3 days before our visit. We will do a quick review by the team leaders in the Thursday class. They will be part of your team’s grade.


The learning vehicle used in the HRM class is an Integrated Progressive Case titled “The Case.” The “Case” was co-written by the professor and two HR executives at BP in Chicago; it is based upon a real situation. The oil company is investing profits in a real estate venture called “BP-CENTRO” and our class has been asked to create the HR Plan for the company.

The case is an “activity-based learning” exercise because you must draw on the content covered in the textbook and lectures to deal with a realistic situation. It is a team-based exercise with a twist. The 10 teams must constantly rethink initial presentations as the subsequent teams present. Decisions are “progressive” in that they may change as new information is learned and delivered by subsequent teams.

The process is integrative in that each team must draw up the content obtained from the textbook. This integration forces the case to be progressive as new info is learned.

The movement toward this “FINAL EXERCISE” involves cooperation and evaluation. Each individual is asked to participate in the evaluation of the teams, team managers, and the Final Presentation Exercise. The final exercise is designed to summarize most of the course content. Thus, there are two final projects that need to be submitted by every student: the Final Presentation Evaluation and the Peer Evaluation.


The Final Presentation Evaluations are designed to serve as a final exercise for this class that draws upon a high percentage of the information that one should know after taking a course in Human Resource Management. Did this project accomplish much of this mission?

The case was designed in such a way that everyone was required to participate in several ways. This was a team effort. Above all it was structured to force people to work together to achieve a common mission. The knowledge learned was extremely important but also the ability to work together under some significant time pressures was also very important. It is common in business to expect such team-oriented projects. These “Task Forces” often take an enormous investment in time. Teams can be frustrating but the final result is almost always worth the effort.

Print the Final Case/Course Evaluation Form from the HRM website prior to class.  The questions on the form are intended to get your evaluation thinking going. You do not have to answer them directly but you are welcome to follow them as your project outline.  The project will be written immediately after the Final Presentation and confidentially submitted via email.

This project will be graded based upon your ability to critically think through the project and offer constructive, even if negative, criticism. Evaluations of people and programs are an integral part of any manager’s, especially HR Manager’s, daily job responsibilities. We discussed evaluations at many points in this course. These projects touched upon goals, criteria, and other elements necessary in an evaluation.


Save the Final Case/Course Evaluation Form by clicking on File, Save As . . ., in a specific location. Use copy and paste into WORD document. Write your comments into this WORD document and email it as an attachment to the Professor.

This final presentation exercise will be one grading event.

Due Date:

Last Day of Class


Email the confidential file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Final Evaluation/(your last name)


One of the most important parts of a course in HRM is the learning of how to work together as part of a team. In management, business, industry, government, and other professional endeavors where groups must be organized, you will undoubtedly be part of a team and expected to lead such a team. The case was designed to introduce you to such a team effort.

Teams report to teams, not single individuals, so consensus is essential. As in the real world, your team was individually chosen or appointed to work with you and you may have found that personalities are often quite diverse. For better or worse, you had to perform in a group and participate. Now that the exercise is complete, you need to evaluate your role and that of others.

Every team will have leaders, followers, outsiders, and just observers who contribute very little. Your grade will not solely depend upon your evaluation of others. However, your learning will be aided by having to critically and yet constructively evaluate others.

You probably have a good idea of who contributed to your group. If this was a 100 percent effort, what percent did each member contribute? In a typical five-member team, rarely does each member contribute 20 percent equally. Some are at a 10 percent contribution level where maybe one person did 40 percent of the work. What was your situation?

The purpose of this PEER EVALUATION is not to penalize your colleagues. As a manager, you must gain experience in critically and fairly evaluating all people, even good friends, in a very objective manner, even when it feels subjective and personal. This is a forced scale evaluation designed to make you make distinguishable evaluations for every team member.

This procedure provides a means for each individual in a group to evaluate the participation of the other members of the group. Its primary purpose is to encourage all group members to fully participate in the completion of the project. This evaluation will be used to adjust downward the project grades of students whose contribution is significantly below the average of other team members. How your peers evaluate you may, therefore, result in your receiving a lower grade for the project than the project, itself, was awarded.

Inherent in the idea underlying Peer Evaluations, we expect that you will be fair in assessing the contributions of the other group members. We all have different sets of strengths and weaknesses. The question is “Has each individual tried his/her best?” Coasting is not acceptable as it hurts everyone, not just the individual.

In other words, submit realistic expectations of others; do not sugarcoat evaluations. Be fair to all! Yet, rarely will there be instances where every team member contributed equally to the project.

Having said this, it is certainly acceptable for you to expect that group members will attend all meetings (barring unusual circumstances) and will participate fully in all discussions and decisions. In other words, if you, as an individual, end up with primary responsibility for drafting the analysis, this does not mean that you have no responsibility for fully participating in the other phases of preparing and presenting the report.

Only if there were multiple evaluators indicating that a certain person was a weak contributor would their grade be affected; it would probably lower their grade by one letter grade on the all-important “Team Report” for the Final Presentation Exercise. Try to avoid the “Central Tendency Error” of assigning everyone an equal number of points (unless you felt strongly that this was a perfect team effort). That would be rare!

Use the Peer Evaluation Form on the HRM website.  This evaluation is confidential so do not talk about it with others. It will not be uploaded. Only the professor will read it and its contents will be held in the strictest confidence. The Team Project Report is not complete without all team members’ peer evaluations.

Keep your evaluation confidential.  This project should be no more than two typed pages. Follow the directions located on the form and email it to the Professor.

Due Date:

Last Day of Class


Email the confidential file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Peer Evaluation/(your last name)

The purpose of this free-form critical evaluation of your colleagues is to put you in a position in which you will find yourself as a manager. You will have to evaluate peers, colleagues, and subordinates in the workforce. This is similar to your Performance Appraisal and MBO materials. You have worked long hours with these colleagues. You need to put your objective and subjective comments in writing. Your grade on this assignment will relate to your frankness and supported critical, yet constructive, criticism.


The Final Presentation takes a considerable amount of everyone’s energy. If everyone pulls his or her fair share of effort, it goes well. If a team has one or two laggards, it throws extra work onto other people who feel obligated to perform for themselves and others outside the team.

Every member of every team was asked to contribute via time commitment, content, and material preparation. Some teams work together better than others just as individual team members vary in their contribution to the team. It is common to create competition among and between teams (Task Forces) to enhance the final product.

You are asked to be a judge of the team results. The team’s effort, like a task force, boils down to a few minutes of “high-impact presentation.” The initial presentation could be weak while the final effort could be very strong.

You are evaluating only the FINAL TEAM REPORT, not the preliminary. You cannot evaluate any team for which you were a member.  This is a forced distribution evaluation. You must rank order the performance of each team based on CONTENT and PRESENTATION. You cannot evaluate your own team. This will become part of your “PEER EVALUATION PROJECT” listed above.

Print the Team Member Evaluation Form from the HRM website prior to class.

Due Date:

Last Day of Class


Email the confidential file to the instructor
EMAIL SUBJECT:  Team Member Evaluation/(your last name)





















C. Randall Powell, Ph.D.
Professor of Business Administration
Kelley School
of Business, Indiana University