METHODS OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RECRUITMENT.

METHODS OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RECRUITMENT.

  1. JOB POSTING AND BIDDING:

This is an internal method of recruitment in which notices of available jobs are posted in central locations throughout the organization and employees are given a specified length of time to apply for the available jobs. Other methods used in publicizing jobs include memos to supervisors and listings in employee publications.

Normally the job notice specifies the job title, rates of pay and necessary qualifications. A successful job posting and bidding programme requires the development of specific implementation policies.

Some suggestions include the following

  • Both promotions and transfers should be posted
  • Openings should be posted for a specified time period before internal recruitment begins
  • Eligibility rules for the job posting system need to be developed and communicated e.g. that no employee can apply for a posted position unless he/she has been in his/her present position for a period of not less than 6 months
  • Specific standards for selection should be included in the notice
  • Job bidders should be required to list their qualifications and reasons requesting a transfer or promotion.

In unionised organizations, job posting and bidding procedures are usually spelled out in collective Bargaining Agreement.

 

 

METHODS OF EXTERNAL RECRUITMENT.

External recruiting is needed in organizations that are growing rapidly or have a large demand for technical, skilled or managerial employees. The pool of talent in the external sources is much larger than anywhere else.

 

The following are some of the methods used for external recruitment.

 

  1. Recommendations by present employees, also termed, employee referrals are used especially to fill low cadre vacancies-the semi skilled and unskilled jobs.

 

  1. Unsolicited Applications-These are job applications received from candidates without a vacancy existing in the company. The candidates may send their details to the company as a general enquiry.

 

  • Direct Link-Happens where an organization has an established relationship with a training school or university. The institutions liase with the recruiting organization and provide details of suitable candidates. The organization may be involved with the institution through provision of education material or even scholarships.

 

  1. Campus Recruiting: Such activities are co-coordinated by the university placement centre. Organizations send some recruiters to the campus and the most promising recruits are then invited to visit the office or plant before a final employment decision is made. A related method of tapping the products of institution of higher learning is through Co-operating work programmes.

 

  1. Co-operative Work Programmes: Through these programmes, students may work part-time and go to school part-time, or they may go to school and work at different times of the year. Such programmes are attractive as they offer opportunities for both a formal education and work experience.

 

  1. This newest recruitment source offers an inexpensive way to advertise available positions to a national and global audience. The Internet has various advantages, including a vast pool of potential candidates, extensive search capabilities, reduced paperwork, and the ability to update information as often as necessary.

 

  • Retiree job Banks. Company retires who are already familiar with the company’s culture are a great resource for filling short-term and part-time positions
  • Professional Recruiting Firms: These are Human Resource consultants who provide employee recruitment services. They include Manpower Services, Hawkins and Associates and so on.
  1. Temporary Help Agencies & Employee Leasing Companies: One of the fastest growing areas of recruitment is temporary help hired through employment agencies. The agency pays the salary and benefits of the temporary help; the organization pays the employment agency an agreed-upon figure for the services of the temporary help.

Unlike temporary help agencies, which place people on short-term jobs at various companies, employee-leasing companies provide permanent staff to client company’s issue the workers’ pay checks and provide various employment benefits. This borders on the outsourcing by the client company.

 

  1. Government Employment Agencies: These recruit on behalf of the government and include the TSC and the Public Service Commission.
  2. Employment Agencies: These are brokers who bring employers and employees together. They specialize in specific e.g. accountants, technicians etc. Professional bodies may also be found here offering placement services for its members e.g. ICPAK, IPM etc
  • Executive Search Firms/Head Hunters: These employment agencies seek candidates for high salaried positions e.g. CEO’s. They believe that the best candidates are not those who respond to adverts or look for new jobs in other ways but those who are successful in their present jobs and are not thinking of moving elsewhere.

The term head-hunter apparently comes with the concept of hiring a replacement head of an organization. Customers of such agencies seek to fill high-level vacancies.

Headhunting specifics.

Advantages           

  • Saves administrative and advertising costs
  • Ability to reach the best in the market
  • Confidentiality
  • Gets best fitting candidate for the job
  • Preserves anonymity of recruiting firm

 

Disadvantages                                                   

  • Disruptive to companies that lose their managers
  • Head-hunters may be bribed to recommend someone
  • It may mislead potential candidates
  • May not be lawful

 

  • Hiring at the Gate: This is suitable when employing casual labourers who present themselves at the firm’s gates waiting for an employment opportunity.

 

  • Advertising: This is one of the most widely used methods of recruitment. Person specification and job descriptions form the basis of every job advert. Advertising is a crucial part of the recruitment process.

 

Advertising is intended to reach out into the labour market with an attractive offer for employment aimed at producing an adequate response in terms of:

  • Enquiries/requests for details
  • Numbers of suitable applications submitted.

The main sources of job advertising outside the organization are; local newspapers, national newspapers, technical/professional journals, via the Internet, via job centres, via other agencies, posters at the factory gates.

The effectiveness of an advertisement for a job vacancy can be judged by: –

 

  • Number of inquiries it stimulates
  • Number of applications submitted
  • Suitability of the applicants.

 

An effective job advertisement is one which: –

 

  • Identifies the organization/industry with a few preferences
  • Provides brief details about the features of the job
  • Summarizes all the essential personal features required of the job holder
  • Refers briefly to any desirable personal features
  • States the main conditions of employment, including salary, of the job.
  • States how and to whom the enquiry or application is made
  • Presents all the above points in a clear and attractive manner
  • Conforms to legal requirements
  • Attracts sufficient numbers of suitable applicants.

 

A well written advert should contain: the job title, benefits and incentives, training, company name, to whom they should apply, telephone numbers, closing date for applications.  Its should have a catchy headline and design that will attract candidates, an interesting and catchy content that makes the applicants to keep reading on and an unambiguous text about the job.

 

An obvious and important query for Human Resources personnel is which method of recruitment supplies the best talent pool. One method proposed for increasing the effectiveness of all recruiting methods is the use of Realistic Job Previews (RJP), which provide complete job information, both positive and negative to the job applicant-a departure from the early attempts to sell the organization and job by making it look good. The RJP has been found to reduce new employee turnover.

 

Organizational Inducements in Recruitment.

 

Recruitment seeks to attract a large pool of qualified personnel for the job opening. Organizational inducements are all the positive features and benefits the organization offers to attract job applicants.

 

Three of the most popular inducements are: –

  1. Compensation systems: Starting salaries, frequency of pay raises, incentives and the nature of the organizations fringe benefits can all influence the number of people attracted via a recruitment process.

 

  1. Career opportunities: Organizations that have a reputation for providing employees with career opportunities also attract large pools of qualified candidates via a recruitment process. These include employee and management development opportunities, assisting current employees in career planning shows the firm cares, and also serves to attract or as an inducement to potential employees.

 

  • Organizational reputation: The organization’s reputation is also a great inducement to potential workers.

 

Factors that affect reputation include: –

 

  • The organizations general treatment of workers
  • Nature & quality of its products and services
  • Participation in worthwhile social endeavours.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION POLICY.

A recruitment policy of an organisation establishes the general guidelines for the staffing process.  It specifies the objectives of recruitment and provides a framework of implementation through well-established procedures.

Recruitment policy involves a commitment to broad principles such as filling vacancies with the best-qualified individuals.  It may embrace several issues such as the extent of promotion from within, attitude of the enterprise in recruiting its old employees, friends, relatives, handicaps, minority groups, women employees and relatives of present employees.  It may also involve the organisations systems and procedures to be followed for implementing a recruiting programme.

Elements of a Recruitment Programme.

A good recruitment policy has the following elements:

 

  1. Organisations objectives both in the short run and long run must be taken into consideration as basic parameters for recruitment decisions.
  2. Identification of the recruitment needs. The recruiting staff must make decisions regarding the balance of qualitative dimensions of the persons to be recruited.  They should prepare a profile of each category of workers and accordingly work out the recruits specifications, decide the selections, departments or branches where they should be placed and identify the particular responsibilities to be immediately assigned to them.
  • Preferred sources of recruitment, which could be tapped by the organisation – internal and external sources, should be identified.
  1. Identification of selection criteria. A good selection criterion capable of meeting the organisations staffing needs should be decided upon by the management.
  2. Cost of recruitment should be estimated. Cost of recruitment involved should be considered by comparing the sources and methods of recruitment.

 

TASK

o    Describe the relationship among job analysis, personnel planning, recruitment and selection.

o    What are some of the Government of Kenya Labour regulations that impact on recruitment?

 

 

EMPLOYEE SELECTION:

INTRODUCTION

Once the organization’s recruitment activities have succeeded in attracting sufficient members of relevant applications from the external labour market, the aim of subsequent selection activities is to identify the most suitable applicants and persuade the to join the organization.

 

The process of recruitment ends once a company has successfully managed to attract a fair number of replies to a vacancy posting.

 

SELECTION TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES.

  1. Preliminary Interviews
  2. Filling Application Blanks/Forms
  • Selection Interview
  1. Psychometric tests /Employment tests
  2. Assessment Centres
  3. Medical Examination
  • Reference Check
  • Final Selection by the officer in charge.
  1. PRELIMINARY INTERVIEWS

The preliminary interviews to job applicants is usually conducted by a special interviewer at the employment office. It is essentially a sorting process in which the interviewer compares the applicants’ qualifications with the job requirements.

Assessment Centre

 

  1. APPLICATION BLANKS.

This is one of the most common methods used for collecting information from applicants. Application blanks are meant to secure desired factual information from an applicant in a format convenient for evaluating the applicant’s qualifications.

Application blanks set out the information on candidates in a standardized format the application blank serves the following purposes:

  • They provide the candidates first formal introduction to the company.
  • They generate data in uniform formats and hence make it easy to make cross comparisons of the applicants.
  • They generate data that can serve as a basis to initiate a dialogue in the interview.
  • Data in the application blank can be used for purposes of analysis and research in personnel. The data collected may be stored for subsequent use-development of a databank.

 

Most application blanks seem to contain the following kinds of information:

 

  • Personal data
  • Marital data
  • Physical data
  • Educational data
  • Employment data
  • Extra-curricular data
  • References

 

Normally a member of the human resources department reviews the information on the application form to determine the applicants’ qualifications in relation to the requirements of current available jobs.

 

Another screening procedure is the use of weighted application forms. These forms assign different weights to different questions.

 

Sorting Applications.

Applications are usually sorted out by dividing them into three categories: –

 

  • Clearly suitable
  • Possibles
  • Unsuitable

 

Clearly suitable applicants are invited for interviews, possible contenders are held temporarily in reserve, while unsuitable applicants are rejected.

Once the shortlist has been drawn up and the candidates invited for interviews, the application form and/or CV takes on a different role, that of aiding the interviewer in the next interactive stage of the selection process: the interview.

SELECTION METHODS.

The main selection methods are the interview, assessment centres and psychological tests.

An interview is a formal exchange of facts, impressions and viewpoints between a [prospective employer and a prospective employee with a view to their mutual selection or parting. the most common interview options are: –

  • One interviewer
  • Two interviewers
  • A panel of interviewers

Individual Interviews.

The individual interview is the most familiar method of selection. It involves face-to-face discussion and provides the best opportunity for the establishment of close contact and rapport between the interviewer and the candidate.

Interview Panels.

This consists of two or more people gathered together to interview one candidate. More often than not this consists of a manager (personnel) and the line manager.

Selection Boards.

Selection boards are more formal and usually larger interviewing panels convened due to a large number of parties interested in the selection. They enable a number of different people to have a look at the applicants and compare notes on the spot. However; they may waste time due to unplanned questions. Candidates are not allowed to expand their arguments.

 

  1. SELECTION INTERVIEW

This includes questions designed to test achievement or aptitude and is at present the most commonly used method of personality assessment.

 

Interviews: A selection procedure designed to predict future job performance on the basis of applicants’ oral responses to oral inquiries.

 

The selection interview is to obtain and assess information about a candidate, which will enable a valid prediction to be made of his, or her future performance in the job in comparison with the predictions made for any other candidate.

 

Advantages of Interviews

  • Provide opportunities for interviewers to ask probing questions about the candidates’ experiences and explore the extent to which the candidates’ competences match those specified for the job.
  • Enable interviewers to describe the job and organization in greater detail.
  • Provide opportunities for candidates to ask questions about the job and clarify any issues they may have e.g. those concerning training, career prospects, the organization, terms and conditions of employment.
  • Enables a face-to-face encounter so that the interviewer can make an assessment of the candidate.
  • Gives the candidate the same opportunity to assess the organization, the interviewer and the job.
  • Useful for determining if the applicant has requisite communicative or social skills which may be necessary for the job
  • Interviewer can obtain supplementary information
  • Used to appraise candidates’ verbal fluency
  • Can assess the applicant’s job knowledge
  • Can be used for selection among equally qualified applicants
  • Enables the supervisor and/or co-workers to determine if there is compatibility between the applicant and the employees
  • Allows the applicant to ask questions that may reveal additional information useful for making a selection decision
  • The interview may be modified as needed to gather important information

 

Disadvantages

  • Can lack validity as a means of making sound predictions of performance and lack reliability in the sense of measuring the same things for different candidates.
  • Rely on the skill of the interviewer.
  • Do not necessarily assess competence in meeting the demands of the particular job.
  • Can lead to biased and subjective judgments by interviewers.
  • Subjective evaluations are made
  • Decisions tend to be made within the first few minutes of the interview with the remainder of the interview used to validate or justify the original decision
  • Interviewers form stereotypes concerning the characteristics required for success on the job
  • Research has shown disproportionate rates of selection between minority and non-minority members using interviews
  • Negative information seems to be given more weight
  • Not much evidence of validity of the selection procedure
  • Not as reliable as tests

 

INTERVIEWING ARRANGEMENTS

The following is a general pattern of interview arrangements.

 

  • Candidate should be contacted well in advance and told where and when to come and whom to ask for.
  • Applicants should have somewhere quiet and comfortable in which to wait for the interview.
  • Interviewers must have been fully briefed and trained on interviewing and the programme.
  • Identify private and comfortable rooms for the interview.
  • Allow time for the candidate to be told about the company and job and conditions of employment.
  • Tell candidates what will be the next step after the interview.
  • People who are to conduct the interview must be properly briefed on the job and procedures they will use. Training in interviewing techniques is important here for all the panellists.  The legal requirements on recruitment and selection must be well understood.
  • Careful preparation is essential and this means a careful study of the person specifications and the candidates’ application form / CV. Three fundamental questions need to be answered at this stage.
  • What are the criteria to be used in selecting the candidate? (Experience, qualifications, competence and skills etc)
  • What else needs to be known to ensure the candidate meets the selection criteria?
  • What further information is needed from the interview for an accurate picture of how well the candidate meets the criteria?
  • The interviewer must ensure that the interview will not be interrupted through visitors, telephone calls etc.
  • There should be no desks for interviewees to sit behind as this creates a psychological barrier. Interviewing across a desk that is cluttered up with filling trays, telephones, ornaments and other objects should be avoided as this adds to the psychological barrier.
  • The candidate should be placed on one side of the desk or two chairs with a low table in between may be used.

 

Train Interviewers.

Improve the interpersonal skills of the interviewer and the interviewer’s ability to make decisions without influence from non-job related information.

 

Interviewers should be trained to:

 

  • Avoid asking questions unrelated to the job
  • Avoid making quick decisions about an applicant
  • Avoid stereotyping applicants
  • Avoid giving too much weight to a few characteristics.
  • Try to put the applicant at ease during the interview
  • Communicate clearly with the applicant
  • Maintain consistency in the questions asked

 

Conducting the Interview.

 

Generally, an interview can be divided into five sections:

 

  1. The welcome and introductory remarks.
  2. The major part – Obtaining information about the candidate to assess against the person specification.
  • Provision of information to candidates about the organization and the job.
  1. Answering questions from the candidate.
  2. Closing the interview with an indication of the next step

 

Most experienced interviewers begin an interview session with a few remarks and questions designed to welcome and set the candidate at ease.

When framing questions, the following should be adhered to:

 

  • Questions should not suggest their own answers
  • The meaning of questions should be clear and expressed in a way appropriate to the candidate’s experience and education.
  • Probing questions – those that begin with “how, why” should be asked.
  • Irrelevant questions should be avoided.
  • Inappropriate selection criteria MUST be avoided, particularly the “halo effect” – Interviewers assume that one desirable characteristic in an applicant necessarily means that the candidate is equally worthy in other respects, e.g. an attractive physique does not imply that the applicant for a secretary’s job will be a good typist.
  • Record all facts of the interview immediately after the interview.

 

 

INTERVIEW SKILLS

 

Among the most frequently suggested skills for interviewing are the following:

 

  • The ability to prepare adequately.
  • Ability to listen, including picking up points implied in the candidate’s responses.
  • Questioning skills-asking relevant questions at the right time.
  • Ability to analyse the picture of the candidate as is emerging during the interview
  • Ability to summarize and make notes on the candidate’s performance
  • Ability to supply relevant information to the candidate, without boring him
  • Skill in building and maintaining a relationship/rapport with the candidate
  • Ability to control the interview with tact, diplomacy and firmness

 

THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF INTERVIEWING.

 

DO

  • Prepare job related questions pertaining to the application & resume.
  • Take brief notes
  • Listen carefully
  • Build rapport
  • Demonstrate respect for the candidate
  • Be friendly, yet businesslike
  • Set the agenda
  • Hide your personnel feelings
  • Manage the interview
  • Remain as objective as possible
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Be silent after asking a question
  • Follow up any answers that appear to be evasive and keep track
  • Close interview by stating sequence of events and time frames
  • Jot down notes and your impressions of the candidates. Evaluate each candidate after the interview is concluded.

 

DO NOT

  • Do not lose eye contact for long periods of time by taking extensive notes.
  • Do not make judgments on one trait without considering all traits. Avoid stereotyping the candidate.
  • Do not overdo it by being too friendly or too stern
  • Do not let the applicant see that you favour or disfavour him.
  • Avoid questions that only allow a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
  • Do not accept general questions. Probe for more specific information.
  • Do not continue to talk just because the applicant does not reply quickly.
  • Do not let yourself become lost or fail to listen carefully to everything being said.
  • Do not use leading, multiple or loaded questions.
  • Do not coach the candidate about the job and requirements before asking your planned question.
  • Do not dominate the interview.

 

Summary of Interviews

In general, interviews have the following weaknesses:

  • Validity of the interview is relatively low
  • Reliability of the interview is also low
  • Stereotyping by interviewers, in general, may lead to adverse impact against minorities
  • The subjective nature of this procedure may allow bias such as favouritism and politics to enter into the selection process
  • This procedure is not standardized.
  • Not useful when large numbers of applicants must be evaluated and/or selected
What are the possible consequences of not training and briefing the interviewer, before an interview exercise commences.

 

TYPES OF INTERVIEWS

  1. Patterned/Structured Interviews
  2. Free/Unstructured Interviews
  • Semi-Structured Interviews
  1. Stress Interviews
  2. Behaviour Description Interviews
  3. Situational Interviews
  • Group/Discussion Interviews
  • Oral Interview Boards

 

PATTERNED/STRUCTURED INTERVIEW

This is the most common method of interviewing.  It involves working out in advance the questions to be asked, the kind of information to be sought, how the interview is to be conducted and how much time is to be allotted to it.  Questions are asked in a particular order with very little or no deviations at all.  If an applicant wants to discuss something else, he is quickly guided back to the prepared questions.  Pattered interviews are of two types: –

 

  • Comprehensive Structured interviews
  • Structured behavioural interviews.

Comprehensive Structured Interviews Candidates are asked questions pertaining to how they would handle job-related situations, job knowledge, worker requirements, and how the candidate would perform various job simulations.

Structured behavioural interviews. This technique involves asking all interviewee’s standardized questions about how they handled past situations that were similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviewer may also ask discretionary probing questions for details of the situations, the interviewee’s behaviour in the situation and the outcome. The interviewee’s responses are then scored with behaviourally anchored rating scales.

 

FREE/UNSTRUCTURED INTERVIEWS.

This involves a procedure where different questions may be asked of different applicants.  The term refers to unstructured and relatively unplanned type of interview.  In such an interview, the applicant is asked some general questions and he may reply to them for a considerable length of time.  Generally, the interview is conducted in a free atmosphere and the candidate is encouraged to express himself on a variety of subjects such as his expectations, motivation, interests etc.  Interviewee is allowed to express himself fully allowing assessment by the employer.

 

SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS

Here, the interviewer utilizes questions in key areas, which are prepared in advance.

 

STRESS INTERVIEWS

In this type of interview, the interviewer assumes a hostile role towards the applicant.  He deliberately asks questions or makes comments, which are meant to frustrate the interviewee.  Usually, the interviewer in such circumstances asks questions rapidly, criticizes the interviewee’s answers, interrupts frequently etc.

 

The purpose is to find out how the candidate behaves in a stressful environment – whether he loses temper, gets confused or frightened.

 

BEHAVIOUR DESCRIPTION INTERVIEWS

Behaviour Description Interviews Candidates are asked what actions they have taken in prior job situations that are similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviews are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.

 

SITUATIONAL INTERVIEWS

Situational Interview Candidates are interviewed about what actions they would take in various job-related situations. The job-related situations are usually identified using the critical incidents job analysis technique. The interviews are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.

 

GROUP/DISCUSSION INTERVIEWS

Groups rather than individuals are interviewed.  The interviewees are given certain problems and are asked to reach a decision within a specified time limit.  The assumption underlying this type of interview is that behaviour displayed during problem solving is related to the potential success of the job.

 

The objective is to see how well individuals perform on a particular task or particular situation.  These interviews are held for top managerial positions.

 

ORAL INTERVIEW BOARDS

Oral Interview Boards This technique entails the job candidate giving oral responses to job-related questions asked by a panel of interviewers. Each member of the panel then rates each interviewee on such dimensions as work history, motivation, creative thinking, and presentation. The scoring procedure for oral interview boards has typically been subjective; thus, it would be subject to personal biases of those individuals sitting on the board. This technique may not be feasible for jobs in which there are a large number of applicants that must be interviewed.

 

  1. PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS/EMPLOYMENT TESTS

 

The term Psychometric Tests is used to refer to tests of personality, motivation and psychological make-up.  The three most important tests conducted during the selection process are: –

 

  1. Aptitude or Intelligence Tests
  2. Work Sample/performance/Achievement Tests
  3. Personality Tests

 

  1. a) Aptitude Tests or Intelligence Tests

 

These tests are used to measure intellectual ability of an individual candidate.  They focus attention on a particular type of talent e.g. learning and reasoning.

 

Cognitive Abilities Tests. These are Paper and pencil or individualized assessment measures of an individual’s general mental ability or intelligence. They are intended to measure the general intelligence (IQ) of a job candidate.

 

Ability tests measure job related characteristics such as number, verbal, perceptual or mechanical ability.

 

Aptitude Tests are job specific tests designed to predict the potential an individual has to perform tasks within a job.

 

Examples of such tests include;

  • The 16 PF Test – assumes 16 clusters of behaviour, relating to excitability, assertiveness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, extrovert, introvert, cheerfulness, depression.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – seeks to categorize test subjects under four main headings; objective/intuitive, logical/emotional, decisive/hesitant, introvert/extrovert.
  • DISC Test – aims to identify the extents of Dominance, or Inducement, Submission or Steadiness and Compliance in test-subjects personalities.

 

Advantages of Psychometric Tests.

  • Easy and cheap to administer.
  • Assists make distinctions among candidates with same academic qualifications and work experience.
  • Assists other selection procedures
  • Assists weed out mentally incapable candidates.
  • People with less education but genuine intellectual abilities are identifiable.
  • Highly reliable
  • Verbal reasoning and numerical tests have shown high validity for a wide range of jobs
  • The validity rises with increasing complexity of the job
  • Combinations of aptitude tests have higher validities than individual tests alone
  • May be administered in group settings where many applicants can be tested at the same time
  • Scoring of the tests may be completed by computer scanning equipment
  • Lower cost than personality tests

 

Disadvantages of psychometric tests.

  • May turnout in unfairness
  • May lead to poor allocation of roles
  • Persons may practice so well to pass tests.
  • Persons’ state of mind, may affect results.
  • Persons worth depends on so many other factors
  • Makes people feel nervous and fearful – leading to loss of self-confidence and poor performance.
  • Differences between males and females in abilities (e.g., knowledge of mathematics) may negatively impact the scores of female applicants

Examples of Cognitive Ability Tests

  • Employee Aptitude Survey a battery of employment tests designed to meet the practical requirements of a personnel office. Consists of 10 cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor ability tests. Nine of the 10 tests have 5-minute time limits.  Such tests seek to understand; verbal comprehension, numerical ability, visual pursuit, visual speed, space visualization, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, word fluency, manual speed and accuracy and, symbolic reasoning.
  • Progressive matrices. A nonverbal test designed for use as an aid in assessing mental ability. Requires the examinee to solve problems presented in abstract figures and designs.
  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Brief individually administered measure of verbal and nonverbal intelligence for people aged 4-90. Developed specifically for screening purposes and for those situations where it would be difficult to do a more in-depth assessment.
  • Short-term Memory Tests A form of cognitive ability test that are exemplified by short-term memory tasks such as forward digit span and serial rote learning, which do not require mental manipulation of inputs in order to provide an output. Short-term memory tests lack face validity in predicting job performance.
  • Information Processing Tests Selection tests that have the same information processing requirements that occur on the job. In other words, the tests are tailored for each particular job. There is some evidence that adverse impact is reduced

 

Work Sample/performance/Achievement Tests

These tests measure an individual’s current achievement at the time of testing and thus they check on the practical ability that the job applicant claims to have on a specific job.

 

Work sample tests measure ones range and depth of knowledge of a subject and the individuals grasp of basic principles which are acquired as a result of education, training or on the job experience.  Achievement tests are of two types;

 

  1. Tests for measuring job knowledge, which may be oral or written.  These tests are administered to determine the proficiency of a candidate in performing a particular job activity.
  2. Work sample tests – which requires the actual performance of a job as a means of testing what the individual is capable of achieving.

 

Work Sample tests are based on the premise that the best predictor of future behaviour is observed behaviour under similar situations. These tests require the examinee to perform tasks that are similar to those that are performed on the job.

 

Personality tests include the following types of tests; self-report, projective tests, self-assessment, group discussions, physical indications and situational tests.

 

Advantages

  • High reliability as it exposes candidates’ true abilities.
  • Directly relevant to the work to be done.
  • High content validity since work samples are a sample of the actual work performed on the job
  • Low adverse impact
  • Because of their relationship to the job, these tests are typically viewed more favourable by examinees than aptitude or personality tests
  • Difficult for applicants to fake job proficiency which helps to increase the relationship between score on the test and performance on the job
  • Work Sample tests use equipment that is the same or substantially similar to the actual equipment used on the job

 

Disadvantages

  • Covers only part of the duties of the vacant job.
  • Tests conditions (Nervousness, fear, stress) may give poor results.
  • Those who have done similar tests before may fair better.
  • Candidates who pass may think they know everything.
  • Internal candidates who fail may suffer loss of confidence
  • Access to education and training is a disadvantage.
  • High-test scores is no guarantee for good performance.
  • Tests do not evaluate the entire person.
  • Costly to administer; often can only be administered to one applicant at a time
  • Although useful for jobs where tasks and duties can be completed in a short period of time, these tests have less ability to predict performance on jobs where tasks may take days or weeks to complete
  • Less able to measure aptitudes of an applicant thus restricting the test to measuring ability to perform the work sample and not more difficult tasks that may be encountered on the job

 

Types of Work Sample Tests

Work-Sample Tests of Trainability. These are tests through a period of instruction when the applicant is expected to learn tasks involved in a work sample. The work-sample tests of trainability are suitable for untrained applicants with no previous job experience.

 

Simulation of an Event. These tests present the candidate with a picture of an incident along with quotations from those involved. The candidates then respond to a series of questions in which they write down the decisions they would make. The test is scored by subject matter experts.

 

Low Fidelity Simulations These tests present applicants with descriptions of work situations and five alternative responses for each situation. Applicants choose the responses they would most likely and least likely make in each situation.

 

Work-samples Applicants perform observable, job-related behaviours as predictors of criterion performance. It is not feasible to adapt certain work behaviours for testing. Work samples often are not conducive to group administration and, therefore, were dropped from consideration because of concerns regarding test security.

Personality Tests

These aim at measuring those basic characteristics of an individual, which are non-intellectual in nature.  They probe deeply to discover clues about an individual’s value system, emotional reactions, maturity, motivation, interests, ability to adjust to the stress of everyday life and capacity for interpersonal relations and self-image.

 

Personality Tests refer to the selection procedure that measures the personality characteristics of applicants that are related to future job performance. Personality tests typically measure one or more of five personality dimensions: extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

 

Advantages

  • Can result in lower turnover due if applicants are selected for traits that are highly correlated with employees who have high longevity within the organization
  • Can reveal more information about applicant’s abilities and interests
  • Can identify interpersonal traits that may be needed for certain jobs

 

  • Disadvantages
  • Difficult to measure personality traits that may not be well defined
  • Applicant’s training and experience may have greater impact on job performance than applicant’s personality
  • Responses by applicant may be altered by applicant’s desire to respond in a way they feel would result in their selection especially where there is awareness of being examined.  Applicants are likely to display only desired personality traits.
  • Lack of diversity if all selected applicants have same personality traits
  • They ignore the average behaviour of the individual.
  • Likelihood of different personality descriptions by different assessors.
  • Cost may be prohibitive for both the test and interpretation of results
  • Lack of evidence to support validity of use of personality tests

 

The techniques for personality testing include;

 

  • Projective tests – describing the meaning of objects and shapes.
  • Assessment of contribution to a leaderless group discussion
  • Self analysis sessions – candidates assess their own behaviour and motivations
  • Physical indications tests
  • Situational tests for personality.
  • Physical Abilities Tests
  • Physical Abilities Tests: Tests typically test applicants on some physical requirement such as lifting strength, rope climbing, or obstacle course completion.

 

Advantages

  • Can identify individuals who are physically unable to perform the essential functions of a job without risking injury to themselves or others
  • Can result in decreased costs related to disability/medical claims, insurance, and workers compensation
  • Decreased absenteeism

 

Disadvantages

  • Costly to administer
  • Requirements must be shown to be job related through a thorough job analysis.
  • May have age based disparate impact against older applicants

Self-Assessments

This technique involves applicants generating self-ratings on relevant performance over time; self-assessments can be useful to clarify job performance expectations between employees and supervisors.

 

Problems with this approach:

  • Self-ratings show greater leniency, less variability, more bias, and less agreement with the judgments of others
  • The predictive validity of this technique is questionable the predictors related to self-assessments and supervisors ratings may show a lack of congruence.
  • Research suggests that applicants may not honestly respond to this type of technique
  • Self-assessment scores tend to be inflated
  • Evidence suggests there is low face validity and perceived fairness associated with using this technique to promote law enforcement personnel.
  • The evidence suggests low accuracy compared to objective measures.
  • Self-assessments may not correspond to ratings from other sources (e.g., peers) due to a lack of congruence on which specific job dimensions are to be assessed and the relative importance of specific job dimensions.
  • Congruency in ratings between supervisors and employees may be affected by the decision of supervisors to agree with the self-assessments of employees to avoid potential employee relation conflicts.

 

OTHER EMPLOYEE SELECTION TESTS

Biographical Inventories

Techniques for scoring application forms or biographical questionnaires to be used for selection of applicants.

 

Advantages

  • Useful for jobs where a large number of employees are performing the same or similar job
  • Useful for jobs where there are a large number of applicants relative to the number of openings

 

Future Autobiographies

A candidate is asked to write a future autobiography stating what he/she would be doing in five years. The autobiographies are then scored by two judges for differentiation, demand, and agency. Agency is defined as the extent to which a person sees himself/herself as the prime agent in determining the course of his/her future life. Demand is defined as the extent to which an individual portrays his/her life as a long-term, continuing effort on his/her part. Differentiation is defined as the extent to which an individual has created a complex, detailed mapping of his/her future.

 

Problems with this technique:

  • This test does not measure any of the KSA’s that were identified through the job analysis.
  • There is no evidence that this method would reduce adverse impact.
; What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the CV in the selection process?

; What is a self-report questionnaire and how exactly does it work?

 

SELECTION TECHNIQUES: ASSESSMENT CENTRES.

An Assessment Centre consists of a standardized evaluation of behaviour based on multiple evaluations including: job-related simulations, interviews, and/or psychological tests. Job Simulations are used to evaluate candidates on behaviours relevant to the most critical aspects (or competencies) of the job.

The term “assessment centre” refers to a controlled environment used to predict the probable managerial success of individuals mainly on the basis of evaluation of their behaviour in a variety of simulated situations.

Assessment centres usually have some sort of in-basket exercise, which contains contents similar to those, which are found in the in-basket for the job, which is being tested.

Other possibilities include oral exercises, counselling simulations, problem analysis exercises, interview simulations, role-play exercises, written report/analysis exercises, and leaderless group exercises. Assessment centres allow candidates to demonstrate more of their skills through a number of job relevant situations.

Several trained observers and techniques are used. Judgments about behaviour are made and recorded. These judgments are pooled in a meeting among the assessors or by an averaging process. In discussion among assessors, comprehensive accounts of behaviour, often including ratings, are pooled. The discussion results in evaluations of the performance of the assessed on the dimensions or other variables.

 

An Assessment Centre can be defined as “a variety of testing techniques designed to allow candidates to demonstrate, under standardized conditions, the skills and abilities that are most essential for success in a given job”.

Assessment centres incorporate a range of assessment techniques and typically have the following features:

 

  • The focus of the centre is on behaviour.
  • Exercises are used to capture and simulate the key dimensions of the job.
  • Interviews and tests will be used in addition to group exercises.
  • Several candidates or participants are assessed together to allow interaction and to make the experience more open and participative.
  • Several assessors or observers are used in order to increase the objectivity of assessments.

Assessment centres provide good opportunities for indicating the extent to which the candidates match the culture of the organization. They give the candidates a better feel for the organization and its values so that they can decide for themselves whether or not they are likely to fit.

An assessment centre is a process, not a place that incorporates multiple forms of assessment-simulation exercises, in-tray exercises, psychological tests and interviews.

It is distinguished by its: –

  • Combination of assessment methods
  • The central role of simulation exercises
  • Groups of candidates assessed by groups of observers
  • Extended period of selection process

 

Advantages

  • Considerable data about the candidates can be collected
  • Candidates can display a range of knowledge and skills over the course of the half to one-and-a half days
  • If successful, can produce valid and reliable choices of candidates
  • Has the potential for use as a staff development tool as well as for selection purposes
  • Provides useful experience for assessors-testing own judgment against that of others.

 

Disadvantages

  • Complexities of putting an assessment centre together (selecting tests, devising simulations, organizing interviews and assessors etc)
  • Costliness of setting up and then running a centre.
  • Assessment centres cannot accurately measure tacit skills or capabilities.

ASSESSMENT CENTRE METHODS

Leaderless Group Discussion

The leaderless group discussion is a type of assessment centre exercise where groups of applicants meet as a group to discuss an actual job-related problem. As the meeting proceeds, the behaviour of the candidates is observed to see how they interact and what leadership and communications skills each person displays.

Problems with this technique:

  • This type of exercise was not feasible for selecting candidates from a potential applicant pool of 8000 individuals because of the time and cost involved with training the individuals rating the applicants.
  • Since every group would be different, individuals could argue that the process is biased or unfair.
  • The process is not standardized.

 

Role Playing

Role-playing is a type of assessment centre exercise where the candidate assumes the role of the incumbent of the position and must deal with another person in a job- related situation. A trained role player is used and responds “in character” to the actions of the candidate. Observing raters assesses performance.

 

Problems with this technique:

  • Since this technique is not conducive to group administration, test security would be an issue.
  • Job content areas identified in the job analysis were not as amenable to this type of exercise as they were to the selection techniques utilized in the final test

While assessment centres vary in the number and type of exercises included, two of the most common exercises are the in-basket and the oral exercise.

 

In a traditional in-basket exercise, candidates are given time to review the material and initiate in writing whatever actions they believe to be most appropriate in relation to each in-basket item. When time is called for the exercise, the in-basket materials and any notes, letters, memos, or other correspondence written by the candidate are collected for review by one or more assessors. Often the candidates are then interviewed to ensure that the assessor(s) understand actions taken by the candidate and the rationale for the actions. If an interview is not possible, it is also quite common to have the candidate complete a summary sheet (i.e., a questionnaire).

 

Like all assessment centre exercises, oral exercises can take many forms depending on the work behaviours or factors of the job being simulated. Common forms of oral exercises include press conference exercises, formal presentations, and informal presentations (briefing exercise).

In oral presentation exercises, candidates are given a brief period of time in which to plan/organize their thoughts, make notes, etc., for the presentation/briefing.

 

Traditionally, the audience is played by the assessor(s) who observes the presentation and makes ratings. Candidates may also be asked a series of questions following their briefing/presentation. The questions may or may not relate directly to the topic of the presentation.

  1. PHYSICAL AND MEDICAL EXAMINATION.

Physical and medical examination is conducted to determine whether a candidate is medically fit for certain types of jobs which may require unusual stamina, strength or tolerance of working conditions.

 

A physical or medical examination could therefore qualify an individual for a particular job if he is medically fit for the job.  Candidates are examined by the company’s doctor or by a doctor approved by the company.

 

The medical and physical examination is therefore resorted to by employers to;

 

  • Determine whether the applicant has the physical ability to carry on the duties and responsibilities of the job effectively.
  • Ascertain whether the applicant has a record of health problems, which can potentially affect his behaviour on the job adversely.
  • Know whether the applicant is more sensitive to certain aspects of workplace environment such as chemicals.
  1. REFERENCES OR BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION.

Before one is offered the job, a reference check is made.  This may include verification from past teachers, employers or public people and even police verification.

The main objective of this is to get background information of the job applicant regarding his working ability, cooperativeness, dependability etc.  It is meant to gather additional information about the mental faculties, behaviour and physical health.  It is sought to guard oneself against possible falsification by applicants.

 

References may be made through mail, telephone, personal contacts or completion of a reference form.

  1. FINAL SELECTION & APPROVAL BY THE MANAGER CONCERNED.
TASKS

 

; Discuss the importance of the Factories Act and the Trade Unions Act in the employee selection process.

; What is meant by the term screening?

; What is the purpose of screening and how well is it achieved?

; Which are the best methods of recruitment for positions below supervisory level?

Finally, after the candidates has undergone all the selection steps administered by the company including checking a reference check and the management is satisfied that the candidate is qualified, the manager concerned approves the appointment of this person and the employment letter containing the terms and conditions of employment and reporting date is sent to the qualified candidate.

 

PLACEMENT AND ORIENTATION OR INDUCTION

 

PLACEMENT

PLACEMENT refers to assigning rank and responsibility to an individual, identifying him with a particular job.  It is the determination of the job to which an accepted candidate is to be assigned and his assignments for that particular job.  It is a matching of what the supervisor has reason to think the candidate can do with the job demands (job requirements).

 

If the person adjusts himself to the job and continues to perform as per expectations, it might mean that the candidate is properly placed.  However, if the candidate is seen to have problems in adjusting himself to the job, the supervisor must find out whether the person is properly placed as per his aptitude and potential. Placement problems usually arise out of wrong selection or improper placement or both.  Cases of employees performing below expectation and potential, and employee related problems such as turnover, absenteeism, low morale, accidents etc may be related to placement problems.

 

ORIENTATION/INDUCTION

Induction is the process of receiving employees when they begin work, introducing them to the company and their colleagues and informing them of the activities, customs and traditions of the company.

 

Induction refers to the introduction of a new person to the job and the organisation. The purpose is to make this person feel at ease and develop a sense of pride in the organisation and a commitment to the job.  The process is supposed to indoctrinate, orient, acclimatize and acculturate the employee to the job and the organisation.  Induction may be regarded as the beginning of training or the final stage of the selection process.

 

Objectives of induction

A new employee in an organisation is a stranger to the people, the workplace and the work environment.  He may feel insecure, shy and nervous.  The first few days may be full of anxiety – caused by not being able to follow the new practices, procedures and lack of understanding of the new policies. If such a person is left unattended, he may develop discouragement, disillusion or even defensive behaviour.  Induction is therefore supposed to reduce this feeling to the most comfortable level possible.

 

The induction process provides new employees with basic background information they need to perform their jobs satisfactorily – a process that is part of the new employees socialization (socialization is the ongoing process of instilling in all employees the prevailing attitudes, standards, values and patterns of behaviour that are expected by the organisation and its departments.

 

Objectives of an induction programme therefore are:

  • Introduce the new employee to the new work procedures, rules and regulations.
  • Familiarize the new employee with his work environment, workmates and immediate supervisor or departmental head.
  • Set a new employee at ease with his new job and instil confidence in him.
  • Reduce fear and anxiety associated with working in new environments.  Feelings of insecurity, shyness and nervousness are therefore reduced.

 

Induction Procedure

An induction process consists of two stages; the introduction to the work group and introduction to the organisations background.

An organisation has an obligation to make integration of a new employee into its setup as smooth and as anxiety free as possible.  This is achieved through a formal and also informal induction process.  Such programmes depend on the size of the organisation and the complexity of individuals in the new environment.

Some organisations have developed formal orientation programmes; which include a detailed process of introduction to the work, the workplace and its environment and the organisation.

New employees usually get a handbook or printed materials that cover issues such as working hours, performance reviews, getting on the payroll, vacations and a tour of the facilities.  Other handbook information includes; personnel policies, the employees daily routine, company organisation and operations and safety and health measures and regulations.

Other organisations may utilize informal orientation programmes, which might include being assigned to a senior worker who will not only introduce the new worker to other members of staff but also show him other things of interest.  However, this must be done carefully as there are possible negative effects of an informal orientation programme.

 

; Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an informal staff orientation process

; What are the disadvantages of the formal staff orientation programmes?

 

 

 

 

Formal orientation programmes usually cover such things like introduction to the work itself; its processes, tasks, procedures and responsibilities and the terms and conditions of employment; compensation, benefits, personnel policies, employees’ daily routine, company organisation and operations, safety and health among other things. The supervisors may have a checklist of requirements for the induction process.

This may include;

  • Word of welcome.
  • Explanation of overall departmental organisation and its relationship to other activities of the company.
  • Explaining employee’s individual contributions to the objectives of the department and his broad terms.
  • Discussing job content with employee and give him a copy of the job description if available.
  • Explaining departmental training programmes and salary increase practices and procedures.
  • Discussing where the employee lives and transport facilities provided by the company.
  • Explaining working conditions.
  • Hours of work
  • Use of employee entrance and exit.
  • Lunch hours
  • Coffee breaks
  • Personal telephone calls and internet/e-mail usage.
  • Overtime policy and requirements.
  • Other issues – safety habits and security arrangements.
  • Requirement for continuance of employment – explaining company standards as regards the:
  • Performance of duties.
  • Attendance and punctuality.
  • Handling confidential information.
  • Behaviour
  • General appearance
  • Wearing of uniform (where applicable)
  • Introducing the new staff member to manager and other personnel and supervisors of the company.  Special attention should be paid to the staff member to whom the new employee will be assigned.
  • Releasing the new employee to his immediate supervisor who will then:
  • Introduce the new staff to fellow workers.
  • Familiarize the employee with his new workplace.
  • Begin the on the job training.
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