How to conduct the employee evaluation process

The applicant candidate evaluation process helps ensure the best possible employees are hired. This process identifies candidates with the needed qualities.
New Hire Candidate Evaluation Forms

Table of Contents

Candidate Evaluation Form and Process

Candidate Evaluation Form

The applicant candidate evaluation process is important in order to ensure that the best possible employees are hired. This process can help to identify which candidate has the skills and qualities that are needed for the job.

It can also help to identify any red flags that may indicate that an applicant is not a good fit for the company or for a specific position. To remain objective, information is usually recorded on a candidate evaluation form.

The Candidate Evaluation Form is usually a multi-question form that can be applied equally to each candidate. Each question usually has a score from 1 to 5 indicating how well each question is addressed by the applicant. At the end of the evaluation process, the total score is added up. The total score is used as a filter to sort out which candidate should progress to the next step of the hiring process. A Candidate Evaluation Form can be generic or it can be job specific.

This process can help to identify which candidates have the skills and qualities that are needed for specific jobs. It can also help to identify any red flags that may indicate that a candidate is not a good fit for the company or that management will need to provide additional training opportunities in areas where a candidate scored low on but otherwise was a good fit for the company.

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The Candidate Evaluation Process

The Candidate Evaluation Process can be done in a number of ways, but common practices typically include an initial screening, followed by an interview. During COVID, initial screenings were often conducted by zoom video conference or by phone.

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New Hire Evaluation Form

The interview is perhaps the most important part of the evaluation process, as it allows Human Resource Managers and Department Managers to get to know the candidate on a personal level, to access their interpersonal skills, inquire about their technical skills, ask about their past work experience and to assess their skills and qualifications.

Feedback, 360 Degree Candidate Evaluation Form and Process

During the interview, different members of the employer’s staff may ask a variety of questions, including questions about the applicant’s work experience, education, personal interests and their impression of the company.

They may also ask behavioral questions in order to get a sense of how the applicant would handle certain situations that may arise on the job. After the interview, employers will typically review the candidate evaluation form and make a hiring decision based on all of the information gathered during the evaluation process.

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The Evaluation Process is Important

The evaluation process is important in order to ensure that qualified candidates are hired for different jobs. By taking the time to interview applicants and to assess candidate’s skills and qualifications for the position, employers can make sure that they are making the best possible choice for their company.

Many times, a candidate will drop out at this stage if the evaluation process takes too long.

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New Hires Need Coaching and Mentoring to be Successful

Remember “only the best possible employees were hired. Once a person is hired for the position, they will need on going coaching and mentoring to remain successful in their jobs.

Performance” is a rather vague term. It’s hard to pin down to any actual meaning, highly subjective, exists only in the eye of the beholder, and is mostly impossible to measure. This makes it a perfect measurement for some business situations.

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It’s a Yearly Event

The evaluation process is a yearly event where department managers evaluate an employee’s job performance in order to help them improve.

Yearly Employee evaluations are important in order to measure an employee’s progress and performance within a company.

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What are Three Types of Employee Evaluations

There are three types of employee evaluations: self-evaluation, peer evaluation, and manager evaluation.

The evaluation process is important in order to ensure that employees are performing at their best and to help them set goals for improvement. By taking the time to review job performance and to set goals, both managers and employees can benefit from this process.

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Be Aware of Potential Abuses

When conducting an employee evaluation, it is important to be aware of the potential for abuse and to take steps to prevent it. Some companies require that managers undergo training on how to properly conduct an evaluation.

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Take Steps to Prevent Abuse

Additionally, companies may want to consider having multiple people involved in the process in order to help ensure fairness. Employees should be made aware of their rights during the evaluation process and should know where they can go if they feel that they have been treated unfairly.

One way is to have a third-party present during the evaluation process. This could be another manager, an HR representative, or even an outside consultant. On the Employee’s side, they could ask for a union representative to be present.

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Employee Self-Evaluation

Self-evaluation is when the employee completes a written assessment of their own job performance. This assessment is then reviewed by the employee’s manager.

The self-evaluation form allows the employee to reflect on their own performance and to give their manager an idea of what they feel they need to work on. I need training in “X”‘ may be something the employee lists on their development shopping cart.

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The Evaluation Process can be Abused

Employee Self-Evaluation can be abused however. Employees expect to learn new skills in any job and sometimes, without management intervention, they may have exhausted all possible ways to learn new skills in their current role.

On their self-evaluation form they may ask for a new role or some kind of new training or learning materials or even new equipment. Managers are graded on how well they control their department budgets. Any funds they don’t have to spend on training and employee development, will directly translate to better manager performance and a potential raise for the manager.

It’s short sighted and poor leadership, but denying employees needed training and development happens.

Employees may try to game the system by inflating their own ratings or by sucking up to their managers.

In the case of power harassment, if management ignores these employee requests for personal development, it may force the employee into a situation of poor performance due to a lack of positive action or leadership on the part of management.

Due to the employee’s poor or stunted performance, the manager can then give the employee a poor performance rating and use that as grounds to deny the employee a pay raise or as grounds for dismissal.

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Employee Peer Evaluation

Peer evaluation is when members of the employees work group are asked to assess the job performance of their colleagues. This is sometimes called 180-degree or 360-degree evaluations.

This can be done through a written assessment or through more informal discussion between the department manager and the employee’s co-workers. Peer evaluation can be helpful in identifying areas where an employee may need improvement.

Peer evaluation can be abused when it becomes an us vs them situation. Otherwise, productive employees of say a historically outcaste group may be targeted by members of the historically privileged group and may give the outcaste employee a poor evaluation in order to purge that employee from the company in order to “keep them in their place.

Management needs to be aware of these caste dynamics and take appropriate steps to prevent these practices from happening. Of course, if management is a member of the historically privileged group themselves, then this abuse will be hard to detect.

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Manager Employee Evaluations

There is no substitute for getting to know your people. Not every company uses employee evaluations. When companies are growing and times are good, generous raises and bonuses are the usual trends.

However, Employee Evaluations are usually introduced during business downturn trends and are a good indicator of “Trouble Ahead“. For the most part, employee evaluations are used to build cases against targeted employees in order to justify a dismissal.

Remember “only the best possible employees were hired so what happened? Why did the best and brightest the market has to offer suddenly become the worst possible employee on the planet?

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What is the Manager Employee Evaluation?

Manager evaluation is when the employee’s manager completes a written assessment of the employee’s job performance. This assessment is typically more detailed than a Self-evaluation or a Peer evaluation.

The evaluation process is best conducted in person with the employee and their direct manager. To be consistent between employees a candidate evaluation form is typically used. The evaluation form includes questions about the employee’s job performance, manager-employee relationship, overall impression, and goals for the upcoming year.

The evaluation should be a time for honest feedback between the manager and employee to help improve future job performance.

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Manager – Employee Evaluation Process

The direct manager first fills out the evaluation form and they will review it with the employee.

Again, it’s open to abuse and power harassment or manipulation. It’s a one-way street and the employee has little to no input or opportunity to change what the manager has written on the evaluation form.

Managers may be tempted to give inflated ratings to favored employees in order to avoid difficult conversations.

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To Improve Overall Business Results

If orders come down from headquarters that 10% of your people have to be cut, then 10% of your employees will then receive a poor evaluation regardless of their actual performance, remember it’s all subjective and the manager can still decide to award a generous raise even though they gave someone a poor performance rating.

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Collusion with the HR Department

However, during a business downturn, if there is collusion with the HR department, it is possible to push a recalcitrant employee out of a job using poor performance as the “For Cause Excuse“.

If this is the case, the employee may have legal options available to them. Employees should always consult with an attorney or their local labor union representative if they feel they have been treated unfairly in the evaluation process.

The employee may file an appeal with the HR Department or file a grievance if they’re unhappy with the evaluation form result. But if there is pre-existing collusion between the department manager and the HR department, is an actual appeal really possible?

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Set goals

After the review, the manager and employee should set some goals for the upcoming year, this is another area where abuse can happen.

Goals should be realistic, achievable and within the employee’s scope of work so that both parties can feel satisfied with the results.

Setting goals however, is another area that can be abused by management. Goals might include something that is beyond an employee’s ability to control, beyond their scope of job responsibility, they might require the employee to work an uncompensated 16-hour day for months-on-end or they might include a new task that requires the employee take training that is being denied by management.

Goals might include development of a new technology that has never been invented before. In other words, the employee can be loaded up with a bunch of bogus goals where the manager knows beforehand that some or all of the goals are not achievable, once again giving management the option of giving the employee a poor performance rating at the manager’s convenience.

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Managers have discretion in determining the size of a raise

Managers have a great deal of discretion when it comes to determining the size of an employee’s raise. In most cases, the raise is based on the employee’s performance during the evaluation period. The manager will take into account several factors, including the quality of the work, productivity levels, and attendance record.

In some cases, raises may also be given for taking on additional responsibilities or completing special projects. Sometimes, a manager simply likes the employee and decides to give them a raise regardless of performance.

As a Way to Punish Employees

Managers may be tempted to use the evaluation process as a way to punish employees who have displeased them. Managers may give lower ratings to employees who have made mistakes or who they feel are not meeting expectations. This can lead to these employees receiving lower raises or bonuses, or even losing their jobs.

Evaluations are by their very nature subjective at best and can be just another way for the boss to show who’s boss. If you’re the boss, and you’re not happy with an employee, perhaps it’s something as simple as you don’t agree with their political view, their favorite sports team or their religion, so then you decide to give him or her a bad evaluation. This can result in the employee getting a lower raise, bonus, or even being fired.

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Manager Evaluations are Subjective

Manager Evaluations are subjective and open to abuse and power harassment. Some managers might try to play “long game attacks” against certain employees.

The employee’s manager may give the employee a poor performance rating on the employee evaluation form, but then very soon afterwards use their discretion to give the same employee a sizable raise as a way to avoid an appeal or grievance on the evaluations.

However, like a ticking time bomb, the poor performance evaluation remains on the employee record, long term. This may go on for a few years and is called a “Below the Radar Attack” against the employee.

Years later, these nicks and cuts in an employee’s record may be used against the employee in a performance review or during salary negotiations or for grounds for dismissal.

And of course, if the manager is ever called to testify in an unemployment hearing, he or she will have substantial documentation to back up their decision to deny the raise or to dismiss the “poor performing” employee.

It is important for employees to be aware of their rights and options if they feel they have been unfairly evaluated.

It is not unheard of for a new employer to ask for past performance reviews as part of the hiring process. If an employee has a negative review from a previous job, it may make it difficult for them to get hired elsewhere.

Employees should be aware of the potential long-term effects of a bad evaluation.

Documentation will magically disappear and everyone will have amnesia

If the employee no longer has their proof or documentation for a generous raise, during an unemployment hearing, no one will remember that the employee received generous raises for the past five years even though their performance ratings were consistently poor. In an employment hearing, the only evidence available will be management’s documentation supporting poor performance.

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What is a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

Typically when a manager puts an employee on a PIP plan there are other financial difficulties that a company is going through and a companywide downsizing is called for, maybe certain jobs have been targeted for offshoring and so certain but otherwise productive employees are singled out and targeted for dismissal.

Many times, companies offer employees a 30-and-out retirement package. But these are expensive long-term obligations some companies wish to avoid.

Senior employee who are starting to build up a retirement package may be targeted at a certain age for dismissal. One way to know if you are in one of these corporations is to look around. If you don’t see older employees and most workers are on the younger side, then most likely you may be working for one.

Since they are senior employees with many years of productive service to the company, the company will need a good excuse to fire competent long-term employee so the PIP is used as the “For Cause” excuse, to dismiss the senior employee.

During a business downturn management needs to maintain profit levels or it will reflect badly upon them. This usually means cutting costs rather than growing sales. There will be a meeting and it will be decided that cutting x% of the payroll will solve the problem. Calls for Early Retirement and Buy-Outs will go out.

A few will take the deal but usually the x% cut in payroll will come up short. This means additional employees have to go and management will “Turn up the heat“.

As we said earlier, if there is collusion in the HR department, it is possible to push a recalcitrant employee out of a job using poor performance as the “For Cause” excuse.

However, management must first demonstrate that “they did everything they could and they gave the employee every possible chance to improve their poor performance through a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and the employee still was a total and complete failure. We had no choice but to dismiss the poor sad sack ‘For Cause‘ “.

The Performance Improvement Plan or PIP, is another employee abuse tactic known as the “catch and kill” policy.

The PIP puts an employee on a ninety-day probationary period in order to correct any deficiencies in their job performance. If the employee does not meet the sky-high standards set by the manager, they are terminated. The termination part is not usually explained to the employees in advance.

In order to “Help the employee“, some managers will coerce the employees to agree to certain goals that will be impossible to achieve.

The PIP is promoted as a fair employment process but the overarching goals of the PIP is to overload the targeted employee with an overwhelming amount of work that is impossible for the employee to accomplish either time wise or with work which is otherwise technically impossible to do, with work that may be outside the employees’ ability to influence, or for which the employee has no training or expertise in.

Other abuses known as a “shooting gallery” are to change the employee’s work times as well as change their workplace location requiring the employee to spend long times commuting or to a high-stress location where tools and other necessary resources simply are not available or are defective hobbling the employee’s ability to perform.

It is irrelevant whether the employee actually accomplishes the goals of the PIP or not. It’s just a sham process to begin with. At the end of the PIP evaluation period, the manager will flag the employee as a total failure and recommend the employee be dismissed.

The company needs to demonstrate that they gave the employee every possible chance to improve and it matters little what the employee has to say or has accomplished during the 90-day probationary period because “Who’s going to believe what the failed poor performing employee has to say” we have the documentation to back up our “for cause” dismissal.

The PIP is the out for the company. A few employees accept the PIP and move on and are soon working in a new job often at a higher salary.

However, these type of PIP dismissals usually result in very long drawn out, time consuming, career limiting, legal battles between the targeted employee, the company and the managers involved. Some otherwise quiet employees will defend their reputation and good name to the bitter end.

Labor unions are sometimes organized as a result of a single employee being put on a PIP plan.

There are never any winners, friends turn against friends, and many a manager all up and down the chain of command has lost their job or severly damaged their career due to a PIP battle going on somewhere in the corporation. Many a manager has moved on and they are still tied down with an ongoing unfair PIP battle at their previous corporation that they can not escape from.

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In conclusion

In conclusion, while managers have discretion when it comes to awarding raises, they should use this power wisely. They should make sure that the raise is based on performance and not given as a way to avoid an appeal, grievance or as part of a “Set up”.

Managers should be aware that their decisions may come back to haunt the employee down the road. Employees should also be aware that these kinds of abuses are possible at companies using the Employee Evaluation Forms process. Employees should be aware of their rights.

The evaluation process is an important yearly event in order to assess employee performance and determine if they are meeting the company’s standards. New hires need coaching and mentoring in order to be successful, and it is the responsibility of the manager to provide that support.

Although evaluations can be abused, with proper steps taken by both employees and management, this process can benefit both parties immensely. Managers have a great deal of discretion when it comes to setting goals for their direct reports and determining the size of a raise.

However, these decisions should not be based on personal biases or opinions but rather on factual evidence gathered during the evaluation period. Performance reviews are subjective by nature, but managers must take care to avoid any appearance of impropriety when conducting the Employee Evaluation Form and Review Process.

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Douglas Ayers

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