This article throws light upon the nine main steps involved in the selection process of a candidate. The steps are: 1. Job Specification 2. Application Form 3. Preliminary Interview 4. Work-Related Tests 5. Cross Checking 6. Interview 7. Medical Examination 8. Employment Decision 9. Job Offer.
Step # 1. Job Specification:
It describes the job in terms of knowledge, experience and specialisation required of individuals who will be considered for the job. It helps in screening applications found suitable in meeting the job standards. Since it is a negative process of screening applications, job specification sets standards of applications which will be considered for further selection process.
Step # 2. Application Form:
Candidates fill the application form which contains information about candidate’s age, qualification, achievements, experience, skills etc. Personal details like nationality, family size are generally not asked in the application form. This form provides a written record of the candidate’s profile.
It also indicates his desire to work at the post for which he has applied. It helps to screen the candidates and ask them questions related to their professional profile.
Malthis and Jackson describe three functions of application form:
(a) It represents the applicant’s desire to work at the job.
(b) It helps to ask questions related to his professional profile.
(c) If the employee is selected, the application form acts as a record of his profile which can be used by management for future reference.
Step # 3. Preliminary Interview:
After screening the application forms, manager calls the selected candidates for preliminary interview. It is a brief interaction between manager and candidates where manager (interviewer) asks simple questions like candidates’ expectations from the job, expected salary, willingness to accept frequent touring etc. and also tells them about positive and negative aspects of the job.
It gives an overview about the candidate’s physical and mental desire to work on the job and whether he will fit into the culture of the organisation. It helps the candidate make his mind about whether or not he wants to accept the job and the interviewer decide whether or not the candidate is suitable for the job. If he is found suitable, further steps in the selection process are taken.
Step # 4. Work-related Tests:
After screening the candidates through preliminary interview, they go through a written test. These tests help in screening candidates by testing their skills and aptitude on the job. The tests supplement the information given in the application forms as information not given in the forms can be traced through selection tests. Individuals differ with respect to their intelligence, aptitude, personality and performance.
These can be judged through employment tests so that managers find the most suitable candidate for the job. The tests, thus, help in screening the applications further by predicting future job performance of the candidates.
Step # 5. Cross Checking:
After clearing pre-employment tests, managers verify candidates’ professional background by cross references or cross checking. They ask the candidate to provide a list of referees who can be contacted to obtain information about his/her character. It also helps in knowing whether the information given by the candidate is true or not.
The referees can be people who know the candidate, for example, his previous employers, or people from his educational institutes who can be asked about his nature, way of working, professional ethics etc. References are, thus, important if they provide informative data about the candidate’s past record.
This also helps in verifying the contents given in the application form. Unless the cross references had bad experience with the candidate being considered for the job, they present positive picture about his professional background.
References may also have the following limitations:
1. The applicant shall give names of referees who will give positive assessment about him. He is unlikely to provide names who will provide negative assessment.
2. Opinion of references is generally biased about the candidate. They are often hesitant to put negative views on record.
In extreme situations, references agree to present a fair picture if their identities remain confidential.
Step # 6. Interview:
After receiving positive response from cross references about suitability for the job, interview is held with the candidates. Interview is face-to-face interaction between the selection committee and candidates where the committee gets to know the candidates’ personality, knowledge, skills and competence on the job.
They give complete picture about the organisation and job structure to the candidates and expect the candidates to give them complete picture of their professional profile. Interview helps in deciding whether the candidate can relate himself to the organisation and his colleagues positively.
Step # 7. Medical Examination:
Candidates found suitable after interview undergo medical examination to ensure that they are physically and mentally fit to perform the job for which they are selected. It also avoids selecting candidates suffering from any contagious disease as the disease can spread in the organisation.
Step # 8. Employment decision:
Managers express their intention to offer jobs to candidates found suitable after medical examination. Candidates also express their intention to join or not join the job.
Step # 9. Job Offer:
After the candidate accepts the job, he is offered the appointment letter. The letter contains information about salary, working hours, leave benefits, retirement benefits etc. The candidate is assumed to have accepted the offer according to organisation’s rules. The job is initially offered on probation (generally one year). If the candidate is found suitable during probation period, his job is made permanent after the probation period.
The sequence of steps in the selection process may not necessarily be followed in this order for all selections. Medical examination may follow job offer in some cases and preliminary interview may precede the application form.
Physical examination may be carried in the end of the selection process where intensive physical fitness is not the demand of the job. For example, physical fitness is very important for jobs like driving, flying etc. but it may be comparatively delayed in teaching professions. In facts, some jobs are reserved for physically handicapped candidates in which case intensive medical examination is not conducted.
Preliminary interview usually precedes the application form where mass-scale applications are received. To avoid processing huge applications, preliminary interview is conducted to short list the candidates who are eligible for further processing.