Selecting Employees

Selection is the process of choosing from among available applicants the individuals who are most likely to successfully perform a job. The selection process normally entails a series of steps which include:-

  1. Completion of application form
  2. Preliminary Interview
  3. Employment Testing
  4. Reference Checking
  5. Final Selection Decision

1.Filling Application Form

Completing an application form is normally the first step in most selection procedures. The form provides basic employment information for use in later steps of the selection process.

2.Preliminary Interview

The preliminary interview is used to determine whether the applicant’s skills, abilities and job preferences match the available jobs in the organization. It is usually a brief, exploratory interview, normally conducted by a specialist from the HR department.

3.Employment/Formal Testing

Most organizations consider this step as the most important in the selection process.

All the questions asked at this level are job related. Many types of tests are available to organizations for use in the selection process. The tests which are most popularly used include: aptitude tests, job knowledge and proficiency tests, interests and personality tests.

Types of interview Methods

Several types of interviews are used e.g.

  • The structured Interview
  • Unstructured Interview
  • Stress Interviews

A structured interview is one in which

1.The source of the questions is a job analysis (job related)

2.All applicants are asked the same questions

3.There is a standardized scoring  key to evaluate each answer.

An unstructured interview is one in which;

Interviewers are free to ask anything they want.

Highly structured interviews are more valid and reliable than unstructured ones.

Problems with unstructured Interviews

  1. Poor intuitive ability

Interviewers using unstructured interviews often base their hiring decisions on gut reactions or intuition. Unfortunately human beings are not that good at using intuition to predict behavior. High rates of divorce are a good pointer.

  1. Lack of job relatedness

Research findings indicate that the most common questions asked in unstructured interviews are not related to the job being interviewed for. Research has further shown the kind of answers interviewers prefer for these questions but this does not predict job performance. In addition to not being related to the job, many of these questions are illegal e.g do you have any medical condition?, are you married?

  1. Primacy effect

Research indicates that information presented prior to the interview or early in the interview carries more weight than does information presented later in the interview. Furthermore, it has been observed that interviewers make decisions about a candidate within the first few minutes of the interview. To reduce the primacy effect, interviewers should make repeated judgments during the course of the interview rather than one judgment at the end of the interview. The applicant should be rated after each question.

  1. Contrast effect.

The contrast effect affects the interviews in that the interview performance of one applicant may affect the performance of the next applicant. If an average applicant follows a poor one, he/she is likely to be rated highly. An applicant’s performance is related in relations to the previous ones. It therefore becomes advantageous to be interviewed right after a poor candidate.

Stress Interviews

Stress interview is used to a limited extent. It is designed to place the interviewee under pressure. The interviewer assumes a hostile and antagonistic attitude towards the interviewee. Its main purpose is to detect the highly emotional person and to eliminate persons who cannot cope well in a stressful job.

4.Reference Checking

This can take place either before or after the second interview. Using the given list of references, the hr department will contact the most appropriate to get more information on the interviewee. The most often used source is previous employers.

5.The Final Selection Decision

The responsibility of making the final selection decision is assigned to different levels of management in different organizations. In many organizations, the human resource department handles the completion of application forms, conducts preliminary interviews and reference checking. The final decision and the follow up interview are usually left to the manager of the department with the job vacancy. In some organizations, the human resource department handles all the steps in the selection process. In small organizations, the owner makes all the decisions.

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