Public Personnel Administration

"Public Personnel administration" involves,
the management of all an agency's human resources in a manner that assures the best output with the least costly input, while protecting and enhancing the welfare of the workers (Hanlon & Pickett, 1984).

Public personnel administration is the establishment and application of policies and procedures for the procurement, deployment and maintenance of a public organization's work force (Siegel & Myrtle, 1985)

Public personnel administration, simply stated, involves acquiring the best folks you can find, paying them the least you can get away with, and matching the strongest skills to your public organization's priorities.


1. Recruiting, selecting, and advancing employees on the basis of their relative ability, knowledge and skills
2, equitable and adequate compensation
3. Training employees as needed to assure high quality performance
4  Retaining employees on the basis of the adequacy of their performance, correcting inadequate performance, and separating employees, whose poor performance cannot be corrected
5  Assuring fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to political affiliation, race, color, national origin, sex or religious creed.
6. Assuring that employees are protected against coercion for partisan political purposes and are prohibited from using their official authority for the purpose of interfering with an election,

Position classification.

The clustering of government jobs according to "their nature, qualifications required, duties performed, and responsibilities assumed." Position classification is used to provide equal pay for equal work for government employees.

Job description

A list of tasks required in an individual position. From a job description, a position is classified in terms of its duties and responsibilities, but not in terms of the person filling the position. Job description information is of three basic kinds:

Information concerning the duties of the position, including the tasks ordinarily assigned to the incumbent.
Information concerning the responsibilities of the position, including the degree of supervision under which the work of the position is performed and;
The extent to which the exercise of the knowledge, skill, and ability necessary for adequate performance of the duties of the position.


The process that ensures that adequate number of qualified persons will apply for vacant positions in organizations. Recruitment is understood to include application, examination, and placementas components of the overall government recruitment process.

Recruitment may also include shifting an employee from one position to another' within an agency or between two different agencies. The modern approach to public personnel recruitment includes procedures commonly used in the private sector, such as:


The essence of the selection procedure is to determine whether a given applicant is suited for the job in terms of training, experience, and aptitude. Three basic sources of information can be used ;

The question of who makes the final employment selection from among the screening candidates is critical. Despite all the techniques, the selection is an inexact science.

Job Evaluation

Job evaluation is the formalized system for determining relative value of all jobs within an organization. All jobs are analyzed on the' basis of previously prepared job descriptions. Each job is rated through the use of a job evaluation plan with the purpose of establishing either specific rates of pay for each job or a specific wage range or salary grade for each job.

Performance appraisal

Evaluation of an employee's progress or lack of progress. Measured in terms of job effectiveness. There are two primary reasons performance appraisal systems are used in modern personnel administration in both the public and private sectors:

Evaluations help clarify what is expected of the employee and, used properly, strengthen and improve employee performance; and
Evaluations aid the personnel administrator in refining and validating personnel methods and techniques, and they help '

Establish an objective basis for personnel decisions.

Types of performance appraisals include

Progressive discipline

A concept referring to the initial use of the least severe measure of disciplinary action needed to correct unacceptable behavior. Progressive discipline provides for an increase in the penalty with each subsequent offense. Some first offenses are. Severe enough to curtail this process and result in an application of the most severe form of discipline available.

Affirmative Action

A policy that advocates special efforts to hire minorities, women, and members of other disadvantaged groups as a way of compensating for the discriminatory practices of the past. Affirmative action is based 0n the civil rights act of 1964. This act prohibited job discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, and physical disability. The latter two categories being amendments to the original act. The act also established the equal employment opportunity commission (eeoc) to administer the law. In 1965, executive order 11246 required public and private employers to establish affirmative action programs.

The EEOC may investigate charges and follow up its investigations by bringing suit against the offenders. When investigating, the EEOC concentrates on 'adverse impact' since "intent to discriminate" and "unequal treatment" are difficult to define