Employee Selection

5 May 2017

Describe the different employee selection methods and specify which work best for different Jobs. Employees form the basis of a successful organisation and the abilities and behavior of employees can vary the performance of an organisation significantly. Due to the fact that respective Jobs require specific sets of skills or attributes, selections are essential in ensuring that the most suitable candidates are hired.

Selection refers to the process of assessing candidates by various means and making a choice followed by an offer of employment (Graham, 1998, p. 206). It is often thought of as an integral art of human resource management within an organization, which allows firms to gain a competitive advantage in the wider market. An innumerable number of selection methods are used for recruitment and promotional purposes in a global context, and both reliability and validity must be taken into consideration in determining the viability of such strategies.

Validity can be defined as the extent to which something measures what it claims to measure; while reliability refers to the degree to which interviews, tests and other selection procedures yield comparable data over a period of time, and the degree to which two or more methods yield imilar results or are consistent (Hartel, Fujimoto, Strybosch & Fitzpatrick, 2007, p. 287). This essay aims to expound on the most commonly used selection methods, namely application forms and subsequent reference checks, interviews and performance simulation tests.

In doing so, it also examines the broader implications of the adoption of such techniques and the suitability of respective Jobs with various methods. Application forms are the first step in the employee selection process, and are often used in conjunction with background checks. Application forms require a prospective mployee to submit relevant information, such as personal details and prior Job experience to the organisation as part of the hiring procedure.

These are usually adapted to align with the specific requirements and objectives of a firm, thereby reducing the applicant pool, while simultaneously allowing increased efficiency in terms of the total amount of time and fiscal resources spent during recruitment (Boella, 1996; Roberts, 1999). Furthermore, Cole states that the standardization of organizational structures in application forms can also be highly advantageous to employers, as it allows for convenient comparison between applicants and Job riteria (Cole, 2002).

Hence, application forms should be regarded as appropriate for a large majority of Job types, as the Job-specific nature of each questionnaire deems it relevant to employment in most industries. Although the use of application forms is a significant stage in narrowing the field in terms of Job applicants, certain administrative problems may arise for employers due to the illegibility of applicants’ handwriting (Nicholas C. Burkholder, Preston J. Edwards, Libby Sartain – On Staffing).

However, the proliferation of technology and online services could signify a egarded as an alternative solution to application forms and involve the submission of similar information pertaining to the prerequisites of the Job. Resumes lack an element of legality, and tend to be based on positive attributes, while failing to take employee weaknesses into consideration. Thus, reference checks are an essential supplement in screening Job applicants to avoid incidences of employment fraud.

Reference checks are brief statements made by a third party; usually the candidate’s superior in order to confirm the accuracy of information supplied by an applicant (Cole, 2002). Background checks are performed to corroborate with facts supplied by applicants, and confirm that candidates possess no derogatory information such as prior criminal activity that could harm a company’s image (Green & Reibstein, 1992). Extensive reference checks are vital in ensuring the circumvention of negligent hiring suits that are increasingly seen in civil court cases (Seymour, 1993).

From an economic perspective, the subsequent costs of occupational fraud include a reduction of stock prices and loss of employment. These economic costs are exemplified by the 5% of revenue lost per annum from every average Canadian rganisation as a result of employment fraud (Koletar, 2003). According to Herman, a positive correlation exists between the degree to which a candidate could be in a position to cause harm to others, colleagues, or the organisation and that of a reference check (Herman, 1993).

For example, public servants and Jobs that necessitate the handling of inordinate amounts of money would warrant a background check, as the risk of financial losses or damage to government organization reputations are higher. Interviews remain a widely used selection technique in contemporary industries espite the relative unreliability of this method. Dipboye reports that approximately 70% of organizations in the United States utilize interviews as the main selection strategy in both promotion and recruitment ( Dipboye, 1992).

A selection interview can be broadly delineated as “a dialogue initiated by one or persons to gather information and evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for employment (Dipboye, 1992). ” The exclusion of other specific qualifications such as interpersonal skills, personal motivations and career objectives is apparent in this definition, yet these candidate attributes are very significant. Interviews can be categorized into four main types, namely situational interviews, Job-related interviews, psychological interviews and competency interviews.

Due to the fact that both the reliability and validity of unstructured interview types has been proven to be significantly lower, the enhancement of organization can be proposed as potential ways to improve the interview process. Results have proven that these preliminary actions have led to distinctly improved reliability and validity in the long-run (Michael A. Campion, Elliott D. Pursell, and Barbara K. Brown, 1988). The structural approach entails the use of a redetermined and standardized list of questions for each candidate (Intro to psychology).

Thus, structured questions are less susceptible to bias and result in higher levels of validity and reliability. Doyle contends that if a systematic and structured approach is adopted, structured interviews can be an invaluable recruitment tool (Doyle, 2003). Conversely, it should also be noted that an overly development of a rapport between employers and employees. In addition, computer- assisted interview techniques that require possible candidates to answer a pre- determined set of questions at a computer terminal may also be adopted.

These are viewed as highly impersonal and are used less often in the employment of executive positions (Intro to psychology). Several difficulties and disadvantages also arise during the interview process, and stem from poor interviewer practices and the nature of interaction between parties involved. Biased effects are the most notable implications of subjective interviewers, and comprise of the contrast effect of the sub-conscious comparison of employees, the presence of interviewer prejudice and the acquisition of prior knowledge pertaining to a candidate’s Job performance (Intro o psychology).

Interviews are most effective in the application for employment that requires a high level of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills such as public relations officers, as the success of the Job is highly dependent on the ability of candidates to develop strong relationships with clients, and maintain a company’s viability. Leadership positions such as managerial and executive positions should also consider the interview approach, as it allows employers to determine the extent to which candidates can tolerate high levels of stress or interact with other business artners.

Lastly, Performance simulation tests and written tests are an integral mechanism in ascertaining the cognitive, physical and technical abilities of applicants, and include work samples and assessment centers. Work sample tests are tests whereby the applicant performs a selected set of actual tasks that are physically or psychologically similar to those performed on the Job (Ployhart, Schneider, and Schmitt, 2006).

Since work sample tests require candidates to perform similar tasks that may be encountered in the Job, work sample tests are generally thought to have a high level f validity (Hunter & Hunter 1984: Schmidt & Hunter 1998). Work sample tests may be said to be more accurate in the prediction of overall Job performance of candidates of repetitive Jobs from a comparative viewpoint. An assessment center consists of a standardized evaluation of behavior based on multiple inputs where several trained observers and techniques are used.

Judgments about behavior are made largely from specifically developed assessment simulations Coiner, 2000). One of the major reasons why assessment centers have been increasingly used is that this method appears to be supported by previous literature and human resource iscourses that show a positive relation between assessment center scores and performance of employees as managers or supervisors (Thornton & Byham, 1982). In the assessment centers, assessors play an important role in observing, recording and classifying the behavior and rating upon behavior.

Therefore, it is crucial for assessors to focus on behavior because this can greatly avoid Judgmental statements and misinterpretation. In addition, the behavior that candidates exhibit is likely to be repeated in the future when they encounter similar situations, so it is more accurate in predicting future performance. However, the design and administration of assessment centers can be costly, which could deter firms from undertaking such selection procedures. This is the reason why assessment centers their overall performance and actions have a greater impact on the society or the performance of the organization.

In summary, there are myriad approaches and methods in the recruitment and employee selection process. There cannot be said to be a singular most effective procedure, as all the above methods have both positive attributes and drawbacks from a socio-economic perspective. Therefore, the selection process should be based n the category and pre-determined requisites of respective Jobs, in order to ensure optimal performance and the avoidance of incurring unnecessary costs for organizations, and overall, lower turnover costs for employers in the long-run.

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