There cannot be a uniform selection procedure for all types of organisations. Every organisation will design a selection procedure which suits its requirements.
Normally the organisations follow the procedure listed as follows: 1. Preliminary Interview 2. Receipt of Applications 3. Screening of Applications 4. Employment Tests 5. Interview 6. Medical Examination 7. Background Investigation 8. Final Selection.
Stage # 1. Preliminary Interview:
The selection programme begins with this. It is generally very brief. The object of this is to eliminate the totally unsuitable candidates. This is conducted across the counter in the organisations employment office. It may consist of a short exchange information with respect to organisations interest in hiring and by attending the candidate’s enquiry.
This is a crude way of screening the applicant. It should be quite brief just to have an idea of general education, experience, training, appearance, personality etc.; of the candidates and to obtain his salary requirements. If the applicant appears to have some chance of being selected, he is given the application Blank to fill in.
Stage # 2. Receipt of Application:
A blank application form is the next important weeding out device in the selection procedure. The successful candidates in the preliminary interview are provided with blank applications. This is divided into various sections and specifies personal information, academic career, experience, expected salary and allowances, extra-curricular activities and other necessary information.
This data base provided by prospective candidates helps the management in screening out the undesirable candidates and also in maintaining records for the future.
Stage # 3. Screening of Applications:
After receiving the applications they are screened by the screening committee and a list of probable candidates to be inter-viewed are prepared. They follow certain criteria for calling candidates. The number of candidates finalised is normally five to seven times the number of posts to be filled up. Based on the list the call letters for various tests are dispatched.
Stage # 4. Employment Tests:
Formal testing of candidates is a popular method in selection and it acts as a supplement to direct personal interview. Various selection tests have been developed for potential employees. These tests help in matching the characteristics of individuals with the vacant jobs so as to employ the right type of personnel. The tests bring out the potentials of prospective employees which cannot be known by any other device. They also predict the future behaviour of individuals.
Each individual differ from one another and these individual differences can be judged by the use of different types of selection tests.
The tests can be classified broadly into two categories:
(a) Trade Tests
(b) Psychological Tests.
(a) Trade Tests:
These tests are designed to measure proficiency and skills already acquired by the candidate through training and experience. These are also known as proficiency tests or performance tests. Some jobs require the demonstration of specialised skills by undergoing the trade test. Example- driving, typing and stenography. These tests are used for the selection of clerical, supervisory, managerial and technical personnel.
(b) Psychological Tests:
These tests are the best Judges of the psychological behaviour in selecting an employee. This is considered as superior to the traditional interview procedure. It helps the management in selecting a candidate to a technical position.
These tests may further be classified under the following heads:
(i) Intelligence Tests
(ii) Aptitude Tests
(iii) Interest Tests
(iv) Personality Tests
(v) Achievement Tests
(vi) Dexterity Tests.
(i) Intelligence Tests:
These tests are used to judge the mental capacity of the applicant. To evaluate the ability of an individual to understand instructions and make decisions. Intelligence is defined as a general trait, a capacity for comprehension and reasoning. This is described as an adjustment of an individual in a given situation by means which come from within.
In this test simple questions are asked pertaining to reasoning, common sense, arithmetic, analogies vocabulary, similarity, opposites and number extensions. There are verbal and non-verbal, general and group intelligence tests.
This test enables the organisation to collect more information regarding the potentials of an individual than any other type of test. This is used in the selection of various kinds of jobs from the unskilled to the highly skilled administrative and professional jobs.
(ii) Aptitude Tests:
Aptitude means the potential which an individual has for learning the skills required for efficient performance. This test measures an applicant’s capacity and his potential for development. These tests are designed to assess whether an individual has the capacity or ability to learn a given task if proper facilities for training are provided.
It is the most promising indicator for predicting the success of an employee. This is more advisable when the applicant has little or no experience of the job. This is generally applicable for selecting a candidate for clerical position.
(iii) Interest Tests:
These tests are designed to discover the patterns to individual interest so that he may be placed in a suitable job that satisfies him. These tests enable the organisation to know what type of work an employee can do. In this test, the methodology adopted is to know the likes and dislikes of employees and this is recorded in the form of a questionnaire and analysed to discover the interests of the applicant. The basic idea of the test is that a person who has interest in the job will perform it much better than a person who is not interested in the job. These types of tests are more commonly used in ‘vocational guidance’.
(iv) Personality Test:
A prospective employee may possess the necessary intelligence the required aptitude interest and experience for performing a job but fails in getting and motivating other people. Such person is not fit for selection for administrative jobs. So personality tests probe the qualities of the personality as a whole, the combination of aptitude, interest, usual mood and temperament.
These tests indicate the basic temperament of the candidate and what may be described as his characteristic mood. It seeks to indicate what the candidate will do to evaluate his motivation and drive. Personality refers to those traits of the individual or those aspects of behaviour that have emotional, motivational or moral connotations such as stability, extraversion, perseverance and honesty.
(v) Achievement Test:
Achievement test is concerned with what one has accomplished or achieved. These tests attempt to measure what he has learnt or how well he knows it.
(vi) Dexterity Test:
This test is conducted to identify the ability to use different parts of the body in a co-ordinated manner. This test is useful in identifying accident prone candidates for certain manufacturing jobs which are risky in nature.
The psychological tests are used in assessing the different traits of an individual for different purposes in selection process.
Merits of selection tests are:
(a) A useful device in identifying the candidate’s suitability for the job.
(b) Tests are used to verify the claims made by the candidate regarding his qualification and experience.
(c) Tests are helpful in establishing standards for job performance.
(d) Tests try to minimise subjectivity and bias in screening candidates.
The limitations of the tests are:
(a) Tests are not complete indicators of a candidate’s skill and ability.
(b) There are chances for misusing of the test by the dishonest employees.
The test in an organisation is to be conducted with utmost care and it is worthwhile considering the following points:
(a) It is a supplementary device only and not the sole criteria for selecting candidates.
(b) The degree of objectivity is to be pre-determined by experts well in advance.
(c) The conduct of tests should be properly administered.
(d) The scores of the test should be analysed and compared with the criteria established well in advance before taking decision about the candidate’s performances.
To improve the objectivity of the test and to make it effective it has to satisfy the following candidates:
A good test should facilitate the successful prediction about the candidates potential for specific jobs. Then only the test is meaningful.
A test is considered as a valid one when it is capable of measuring what it is supposed to measure.
This hinges on two important aspects:
(i) The questions in the test should relate to the subject-matter which is subject to measurement.
(ii) Secondly, the test score should relate to performance on the job.
A test is said to be reliable only when it yields consistent results irrespective number of times it has been repeated.
It should be appropriate to the nature of the candidate to whom it is to be given. It should be examinee focussed.
This involves two aspects.
(i) In administering the test follow only standardised methods and procedures.
(ii) For analysing and interpreting the test scores follow standardised methods and procedures.
Stage # 5. Interview:
This is the most important screening device in the selection process. Personnel management insists on the individual development of personnel and this device evaluates the individual differences to facilitate in projecting the future development programmes.
The main objects of an interview are as follows:
a. To find out the suitability of the candidate.
b. To seek more information about the candidate.
c. To inform the candidate about the job and the details of terms and conditions and some idea about the organisation policies.
Various Methods of Interview:
The interview techniques can be classified under the following categories:
(a) Patterned interview
(b) Directed interview
(c) Non-directed interview
(d) Stress interview
(e) Group interview
(f) Board interview
(g) Exit interview.
(a) Patterned Interview:
Other name- Guided interview. The technique adopted in this interview is- A list of questions to be asked by the interviewer is prepared in advance on the basis of analysis of job specification. The ideal answers are also well determined. The candidate’s answer to questions is to be compared with standard answers to decide the candidates suitability for the jobs. The main object of this interview is fact finding. It tries to measure personality motivation and interest.
This interview is helpful to an untrained interviewer. It guards against faulty conclusions. It makes the best use of valuable interviewing time.
(b) Directed Interview:
It is a straight forward, face-to-face question and answer situation. Questions are based on job duties and other facts including the candidate’s background information. It measures job knowledge and provides an opportunity to know personal characteristics, attitude and motivation of employees.
(c) Non-Directed Interview:
Other names- Unguided or unstructured interview.
In this type of interview the candidate is asked to speak about himself. The object of this interview is to find out the feelings, desires and problems of the candidate. He is asked questions of general nature and he is asked to express freely. This interview is more suitable for counseling, processing of grievances and exit interviews.
(d) Stress Interview:
In this interview strain is placed purposely on the candidate. The interviewers may try to provoke the candidate by frequent interruptions, criticism of candidate’s opinion and maintaining silence for longer duration. This is attempted to assess the emotional strain of a candidate where he is considered for such jobs.
(e) Group Interview:
A problem is given to a group of candidates for discussion. The interviewer sits in the background and watches the process. He observes the proceedings to know whether somebody assumes leadership or not and whether this is accepted by others or not.
This is conducted where leadership ability is an important factor. This is needed for management positions and this may be used objectively in the selection of management personnel.
(f) Board Interview:
This is the opposite of group interview. The candidate is subject to interview by a group of interviewers who are specialists in their respective areas. They call upon the candidates one by one to assess their potentials.
(g) Exit Interview:
This interview is conducted generally at the time when an employee is leaving the organisation. A questionnaire is given to him and he is asked to express freely about the job and the organisation. This is done with the object of improving the organisation. In case his written explanation is not intelligible then exit interview is conducted.
Personal interview is perhaps the most widely used method for selecting personnel.
It has certain limitations. They are:
(i) It can test only the personality of the candidate and not his skills and ability for the job.
(ii) This relies too much on personal judgement which may not always be accurate. That is why the various tests are given before calling the candidates for final interview.
Stage # 6. Medical Examination:
Pre-employment physical examination or medical test is a step in selection procedure. Normally this is conducted after the final decision is made to select the candidate.
It has the following objectives:
(a) It helps to ascertain the applicant’s physical capabilities to meet the job requirements.
(b) It protects the organisation against unwarranted claims under the Workmen’s Compensation Act or against law suits for damages.
(c) It helps to prevent communicate diseases entering the organisation.
(d) It ensures the organisation a higher standard of health and physical fitness of employees which will minimise accidents, labour turnover and absenteeism.
The organisation appoints a qualified medical expert for this examination and he has to certify regarding physical fitness of the candidate for the job.
Stage # 7. Background Investigation:
The prospective employer normally makes an investigation on the references supplied by the applicant. This investigation is taken regarding the candidate’s past employment, education, personal reputation, financial condition, police record etc. The referee is asked to give his opinion frankly by persuading him to do so by giving an assurance that all information will be treated as strictly confidential.
Stage # 8. Final Selection:
A candidate who has cleared all the hurdles in the selection procedure is formally appointed by issuing him an appointment letter. The letter contains the terms and conditions of employment and pay scale and other benefits associated with the job.
The steps in selection procedure are not rigid. This may vary from organisation to organisation or in the same organisation from job to job. The organisation may follow the arrangement of steps or steps may be disregarded or steps may be reduced and some other new steps may be added based on requirements.
Normally in deciding the steps the factors to be considered are:
a. Size of the organisation,
b. Nature of the job,
c. Job description and
d. Objectives of the organisation.