Performance appraisal form
In order to measure the performance of a support technician and send the potential performers for appraisal, Support technician performance form would be developed, which has been given below:
Evaluation Period: …………………………………………
Title: ………………………………………… Date: ……………………………………
Performance Planning & Results
First of all, a current job description should be used for addressing the candidates. After this, the level of performance of the candidate should be measured and rated with certain definitions that are provided below. Every factor of performance that is useful in the evaluation of the technician’s performance should be discussed and reviewed with them. Finally, an overall rating should be given to them in the provided space in the form, considering the definitions that are given below.
Performance rating definitions
Certain performance ratings should be used in order to make sure that there is a commonality of language and continuity in the overall ratings.
Outstanding - Continuous superior performance
Excellent - Performance above the requirements of job routinely
Good - Performance dependable and competent on a regular basis
Satisfactory - Performance unable to meet the job requirements consistently
Poor - Performance unacceptable consistently.
Supporting comments should be provided for the justification of the ratings of Poor, Satisfactory and Outstanding.
Now, the various factors which would be primarily considered during the performance appraisal would be taken into consideration. These factors are explained below:
- Performance factors – These factors would include aspects of a support technician such as administration, knowledge of work, teamwork, communication, expense management, decision making and problem solving, independent action, human resource management, leadership, job knowledge, change management and relevant improvement, consumer responsiveness, dependability, personal appearance, data analysis, responsiveness and safety (Ochoti, Maronga, Muathe, Nyabwanga & Ronoh, 2012).
- Employee accomplishments and strengths – Here, the core strengths and achievements of the technician should be recorded, such as efficient data analysis or problem-solving skills, etc. that would be in relation with the aspects of behavior and performance of the employee which are appreciated by the employer in the performance record (Pichler, 2012).
- Improvement in the relevant performance areas – In this area, information regarding those areas would be recorded where there is scope for improvement in the technician’s work. For instance, if a technician needs to improve upon his communication and practical experience application skills, he should first record them here.
- Action plan for performance improvement – In this factor, the plan of action that should be taken by the IT assistant in the opinion of the employer should be provided in details. The relevant plan of improving the technician’s performance should be taken.
- Employee comments – This section would include any other comments or feedback provided by the technician’s employer.
- Review section for the job description – a) During the evaluation of this factor, the review of the complete job description of an IT assistant is done, assuming that no alternations are made to the description of the job during this procedure (Brown, Hyatt & Benson, 2010).
- b) Another assumption is that the review of the job description is done, assuming that changes are made to the description of the job. The so altered job description is attached to the evaluation.
Support Technician - Date -
Evaluated by - Date –
Reviewed by - Date –
Performance appraisal methods
There are various methods and techniques that can be used for the performance appraisal of a support technician. These methods are explained as below:
Management by Objectives
One of the best methods for judging an IT assistant’s work is the management by objectives method. Here, specific objectives and goals are set by their managers, and the performances of the technicians is measured accordingly. In case of goal achievement, significant rewards are given to them (Aggarwal & Thakur, 2013). This method focuses of the achievement of the goal rather than the way it is achieved. Collection, organization and maintenance of all the problems and finding solutions to them can lead the technician to achieve the objectives.
In such a method, the negative as well as positive behavioral performances is noted down by the technician’s manager. A final report of the performance is submitted in the form of his assessment which is carried out throughout the whole period of performance (Thurston Jr & McNall, 2010). This report can contain information such as if prompt participation of the technician in application redesigning, collection of solution and diagnosis to communication and other technical problems, etc. are implemented by the technician or not. Such a method helps the employers in managing the technician’s performance as well as improving their work quality.
Behaviorally anchored rating scales
It is used for describing an employee’s performance rating that emphasizes on the particular behavior in the form of indicators of ineffective as well as effective performances (De Andres, García-Lapresta & González-Pachón, 2010). It is a combination of the two methods known as the critical incident and rating scale method. Performance of a support technician can be greatly affected by his behavior. For example, if people in an organization are finding difficulties in communicating electronically, the support technician should interact with them personally and find out their problems, after which the potential solution can be found.
Behavioral observation scales
This method is known as the critical incidents’ frequency rating that is performed by the assistants during a particular period of time in the organization (Lunenburg, 2012). Such a technique was developed since the techniques like Behaviorally anchored rating scales and graphic rating scales are dependent upon indefinite judgements made by the technical supervisors. The performance of a support technician can be judged indefinitely by his seniors, like, a senior technician in his feedback for a junior might be that the latter is unable to provide adequate and significant amount of training and advice to the users of systems that find difficulties or problems in those systems.
360-degree performance appraisal
Such a method is a system where instances of performance feedback is received by the technicians that are kept confidential from other ones (Espinilla, de Andrés, Martínez & Martínez, 2013). The conduct of the procedure is done by the junior technicians as well as the managers who determine specific factors which include the competence and behavior, skills like problem-solving, data analysis, communication, customer service, teamwork and leadership skills.
Checklist and weighted checklist method
This method constitutes a list of statements and objectives regarding the technician’s behavior (Bernardin & Wiatrowski, 2013). For instance, timely delivery, leadership skills, innovation, customer service, etc. If the appraiser thinks that the required traits that are mentioned in the list are possessed by the assistant, a tick is put by him in front of that particular trait. And the traits which are not possessed by him, its space is left black by the appraiser. A variation to this method where every question is allotted with one value is known as the weighted checklist. Tasks such as supervising of other fellow support technicians by one technician, providing internet and network support to the users finding difficulties in the same, etc. would be analyzed by the employer if they are done properly or not and should be given a check mark if done properly.
Recruitment is a process of finding prospective candidates to fill up the vacant positions in an organization. It is the process of analyzing the job requirements and finding candidates who possess the abilities that are required in achieving organizational objectives (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). Recruiting a User Support Technician also comprises of a systematic procedure starting from gathering the sources to shortlisting them, conducting interviews and finally selection of the best IT professional out of the rest.
Recruitment planning is the first step in recruitment of the right candidate where vacant job positions are analyzed, and a proper description is given to them. While planning to hire a User Support Technician, it is necessary to prepare the job specifications for the job position, the key responsibilities, the skills, the educational background and qualifications required, and the core competencies the candidate possesses. It is also necessary to decide on the number of candidates to be recruited for the position. The candidates are to be recruited for the IT Department for the position of User Support Technicians and the candidate requires to perform certain listed duties.
Job analysis is a process to identify and determine the duties and responsibilities, and skills needed for a specific job role and establish job relatedness of carrying out further employment procedures. Analyzing a job involves recording of the specified job information, providing accurate job information, generating a job description for the job, identifying the knowledge and skills required for the job (Tooksoon, 2011). For a user technician support job, a candidate needs to have a college degree in computer science, computer programming or either network administration. It also requires an additional certification from outside. The job description document will highlight the responsibilities of the candidate for the job position. The job specification document will focus on the specifications of the hiring candidate.
Recruitment Strategy Development
Recruitment strategy is the second important step in recruitment process where strategies are prepared to select the right candidate for the job profile. At this stage, the recruiter can either select skilled Support technician candidates or train people for the role after recruitment. The company must decide on the methods of recruitment of employees (Boxall& Purcell, 2011). The last step is to select on the sources of recruitment of candidates which may be an internal source or external source. In case of hiring of a User Support technician, recruiting a skilled candidate will be suitable. They can be hired either internally or from external sources.
Searching the right candidates
Searching is the process where job seekers are attracted to apply for the vacancy posted by the company. Before advertising a vacancy for a User Support Technician, companies must look for the right sources to attract potential candidates. In this way, companies will know where to direct their efforts. There are various methods that are employed by organizations to advertise for their vacancies. Word of mouth proves to be the best way to advertise about a vacancy. There are numerous job seekers who can be approached by company representatives. Job vacancy for a User Support technician who are good at providing solutions to the problems by using their technical skills can be posted on job websites. Job postings can be done on various job sites and company website. Posting on print media also helps in getting the attention of candidates. Internal recruitment is also a good way to hire candidates within the organization. Internal job postings can be given, employee referrals and previous applicants can also apply for the vacancy.
Screening refers to shortlisting the applications of the desired candidates for further process of selection. Screening is an important part of the recruitment process even when hiring a skilled User Support Technician. At this stage, the skills, competencies and personality of the candidate is evaluated and checked if they do justice to the job and its description. The first step is to do a preliminary screening of the all the shortlisted IT candidates which includes reviewing their resumes and evaluating their educational background, work experience and overall profile. For a support technician, a college degree in computer science and relevant work experience is expected. The next step is calling the candidates over phone or video call to verify their identity and if they are available for interviews. This helps in checking their communication skills and attitude towards the job profile. The final step is the identification of the top candidates to be recruited for the job. In this process, the hiring managers shortlist the best suitable candidates which helps them to select the right candidates (Pieper, 2012). For recruitment of an IT professional, the candidate needs to provide business systems and internet support to users facing difficulty. The best candidate also needs to proactive in identifying the problems and providing relevant solutions for them. The candidate should also be efficient in maintaining a log for all the issues and solutions provided. It will also be expected from the candidate to work with other support workers in the group and supervise them if needed.
The main aim of testing is to choose the most appropriate candidate for a job profile so that the employee can be a successful performer. The individuals who have the maximum KSAO must be selected for a given job. Based on the requirements of the job role of a user support technician, a series of tests need to be conducted before the selection of a suitable candidate. The person who wants to work for the user support technician must pass a psychological test which will critically test the ability and the aptitude of the individual.
The ability test will see how far one candidate differs from the other in terms of their capability to carry out a particular work. The skills and proficiency of the person in handling the problems of the computer users, providing them technical support, communicating electronically, etc. will be tested in the ability test (Ayas & Sak, 2014). Furthermore, the person will have to pass an aptitude test because the after assessing the skills of a person and finding his/ her interest in the work, the productivity or performance standard of the individual can be judged. Now a very important part of this entire testing process is the test of the cognitive abilities of the person (Serper, et.al, 2014) which determines how intelligently the person can handle the tasks. The intellectual ability or the IQ level of the individual is also very important here for the support technicians’ job profile. The individual has to be proficient in computer programming and also network administration. This skill is needed so that the employee can identify, understand and solve the problem which the computer user is facing. In case of extreme difficulties the users need to be provided training for resolving the problems. This work has to be done by the user support technician. They must be able to maintain records of all the problems that are arising and their solutions for technical analysis in future. The work sample and simulations are other methods of testing that the individual needs to clear before getting recruited to the job position of a user support technician. In the simulation method there will be some samples of work provided to the individual under certain controlled situations. Under these conditions the individual has to give a demo of the future job role that he/ she will be carrying out. After conducting these tests the intelligence as well as the psychological inclination of a candidate towards carrying out this job role suitably can be analyzed. Besides the intellectual ability this job profile also needs patience and honesty of an individual towards the work. This is because when the disturbed and confused user connects with the user support technician for help they expect proper customer care service. At this stage the technician has to be patient and supportive. This can be possible only when the employee has a high aptitude towards the job besides only high ability of carrying out the work (Carlson, Geisinger & Jonson, 2014). The customers or users must not be misguided by the technician and so they must possess complete knowledge of the programming and business system procedures. The manual guides must be known entirely so that they can support their users referring to the guides. The candidate who is finally recruited must have the ability to be a part of the redesigning programs for various applications. Therefore, cognitive ability as well as aptitude tests must be passed by the individuals.
The pre-requisite skills of an IT assistant is managing time very efficiently, multitasking for handling many tasks at the same time, possessing relevant information, providing sensible support, understanding the significance of matters and prioritizing the work accordingly, etc. Through these ability and aptitude tests these skills and qualities of the IT assistant will be evaluated before recruitment.
Yes, I would use interviews for the selection of the candidates. It is one of the crucial steps in the selection procedure of employees as it helps in connecting together the employer with the job seekers or the candidates. Interviews help an employee to select the appropriate candidate that fits the best for a particular job position in their company. The candidates also benefit by interviews as they are able to present their skills and competence in front of the employers in a better form and are able to accomplish their desired job position on the basis of their merit. There are several benefits of conducting an interview. They help in providing all the required information regarding the job seeker to the employer. The blanks of a job application are supplemented with the help of an interview. They help in selecting the correct person for the correct job and gather the necessary information that might be useful for future purposes. Good interviews help in increasing the goodwill of a company as well as of an employer as it is an essential relationship building tool. They also assist an employer in the matters of promotions and transfers of the employees. There are numerous benefits for the job seekers as well. Interviews help in developing confidence within the candidates, provides them with employment opportunities. It also helps them to accept or reject a particular job and finally, it increases the contacts of a job seeker.
Interview questionnaire for support technician
- How did you get into technical support?
- Why did you decide upon our company only?
- Do you think you are qualified for this job? If yes, what makes you think so?
- What is your procedure of troubleshooting?
- Can you recollect about the time when you might have gone beyond and above for helping a customer?
- What is more important according to you, customer service or technical knowledge?
- Five year down the line, where do you see yourself?
Structured interview KSAO
KSAO stands for Knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics. KSAOs help in recruiting the right candidate and the skills they need to have for vacancy in an organization (Brannick, Cadle& Levine,2012).
Knowledge refers to the information that is formally organized comprising of facts and procedures. The knowledge on a topic decides the job role and candidature of an individual. Knowledge needs to be in-depth and proper display of knowledge should be done by the candidates. For instance, a support technician will require knowledge on computers, computer applications and networking solutions.
Skills involve the required abilities with regards to manual, mental and verbal processing of information and data. Candidates may display their skills when applying for a job. For instance, a support technician can show his/her skills for a User Support Technician position. But, the candidate has to explain about his/her previous work and how they have accomplished the work by using their skills.
Ability is the capacity of engaging oneself in any activity. For instance, User Support Technicians can show their skills of using particular software or working on various CRMSs that can be shown as an ability to apply for the required job profile. It is also important for candidates to mention the software they have used and use their ability to get the work done.
These are the attributes which does not come under knowledge, skills, and abilities but are considered important. There are attributes such as a polite nature, trustworthiness, good observation and listening skills, courtesy and humbleness. These attributes help in assessing the characteristics of a candidate and select the best candidate. Although A User Support Technician would require to be someone who is aware of the work he/she has done, they should possess good characteristics of a human being.
While taking the final decision about the candidate who will be chosen for the job profile, there might be many problems with the selection process. For instance, there might be insufficient number of candidates applying for the job profile; there could be time constraints, etc. There are times when the selector makes a wrong decision due to his/ her gut feelings, personal biases, false intuition, etc. To avoid the selection and finally the recruitment of a wrong or inappropriate for a particular job profile, the selector needs to take a proper firm decision. For decision making the approach which has been selected here is the multiple hurdle approach. In this approach the process or stages through which the candidate will proceed towards the final stage of selection is determined (Levin, 2014). There are various stages in the multiple hurdle approach. After passing or qualifying one step the candidate will move to the next step which they have to clear to proceed further. Failure at any one step can lead to the elimination of the candidate from the entire selection process. Every stage in this approach is like a threshold which one has to cross or overcome to reach the next stage (Annell, Lindfors & Sverke, 2015). As the name rightly suggests, every step in this approach is a hurdle which is seen in any hurdle race. The candidates who get selected finally are those who have been consistent performers throughout the entire process of selection.
The first stage of the decision making is collecting the relevant information about the candidates. First of all the selector needs to go through the resumes, application forms, etc. After this the resumes must be given 50 percent weightage while the rest will be given to the test results of the ability and aptitude tests. Not only the previous experience and the acquired degree but also the performance of the candidate in the tests needs to be considered. The reason for this is that many times very experienced candidates fail to deliver the expected work of a particular job profile; hence first hand testing is important.
The multiple hurdle approach is appropriate for the job profile because the candidate who has failed to clear the ability test and the aptitude test need not be tested for the next round of interview. This is so because the candidate who does not have the ability to carry out a particular task, or fails in the work sample and simulation stage and has low aptitude towards the work that he/ she will be dealing with after recruitment will fail in his/ her performance after being given the job responsibility. In this job profile the technical knowledge is very important. Thus one who lacks technical knowledge and required skills for the job position must not be interviewed as this will also save time. The multiple hurdle approach will also give scope for profile interpretation so that after going through the data collected about the candidate the selector can use his/ her experience and some judgmental manners for final recruitment. A person who is statistically the best option for recruitment may not be suitable after the interview. Therefore some scope for judgment is also needed.
The preferred way of taking the final decision will be group based. This is effective because when many people take a decision together they are able to take an unbiased decision. The knowledge and experience of many selectors will be implemented while selecting a candidate. Moreover there will be no room for personal preference or partiality in selection. The decision can avoid a lot of errors as the aspects which one person will or may overlook will definitely catch the attention of the rest of the selectors. As half of the weightage will be given to the test scores a proper and standard cut off needs to be set for the candidates. Those who score above the cut off level will be considered for interview and for the final recruitment. The candidates with a standard score in the tests, a good work experience or skill, along with a fairly good performance at the interview stage will be finally selected for the job profile of a user support technician.
The IT professional who is to be chosen for the job profile, must have a good grip over the IT process of planning, designing, regulating, organising and helping the clients. The IT assistant must be able to fix the troubleshooting problems. The students must be supported in their setting and handling processes by the IT assistant. The IT assistant who is selected must be given the tasks of setting up the LCD projector, connecting the sound systems, resetting the passwords for accounts, etc. The most suitable candidate who can handle all these responsibilities must be finally chosen.
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