Caselet on Recruitment and Selection
Selection and Recruitment: HAL Organisational Setting HAL is a multisited corporation, with its head office in Milton Keyes. HAL is involved in the manufacture and distribution of data transmission devices (for example, minicomputers and work stations). It has developed from its origins in the 1920s as a small family firm which manufactured telephone handsets, to a major conglomerate employing over 10,000 people. Data transmission is a rapidly changing market with many competitors, two of which control over 65% of the present market.
Background to the Case The selection procedure was originally designed by a consultant with broad xperience in computing requirements, but who has long since left the company. Various elements of the HR policy have developed as the company has grown. For some years now, the company has found difficulty both in recruiting and retaining graduates. In common with many companies recruiting graduates, HAL’s policy is to attract bright, flexible young people who exhibit qualities of leadership and who have a high level of motivation. The selection procedure has grown with the company.
HAL advertise in the national press, and take part in the university recruitment round every year. About 3000 applications are received each year for between 20 and 1 50 posts in management, technical support or sales. Candidates for all posts are asked to complete a standard application form which is used for initial screening. After two junior personnel staff has read the application forms, between 600 and 700 candidates are invited to the first interview. HAL asks its more experienced personnel and line manager to conduct the first interviews.
Inevitably managers have to fit this into a busy schedule, and they may be poorly prepared and therefore likely to fall back on ‘stock questions to get them through the interview. The interviews take place either at the head office, or at one of the 20 universities visited by HAL during the spring. Based on first interview performance as rated by interviewers, about 300 candidates are invited to a second interview at which a line manager and a personnel manager see the potential recruits individually for half an hour.
A graduate employee, recruited in the previous year, shows candidates around the plant and answers questions. Candidates are then asked to take two psychological tests: the Computer Programmer Aptitude Battery (CPAB) developed as a measure of rogramming aptitude; and the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices, first developed in 1941, but revised in 1962, which provides a measure of general intelligence. Candidates also complete a group leadership exercise based on providing the best solution to an army field maneuver.
The assessment of the first and second round interviewers and the graduate host, the total test scores and group leadership scores are taken to a panel drawn from a sample of line and personnel managers, who have taken part in the process. The panel produces a rating ranging from ‘must employ at all cost’ and ‘acceptable’, through ‘would mploy if no alternative available’ to ‘do not employ under any circumstances’. The about salary, and then issues a letter of appointment or of rejection.