The different procedural steps involved in the selection process are:- 1. Job Description 2. Application Forms 3. Employment Tests 4. Interviewing 5. Physical Examination 6. Induction and Orientation.
Step # 1. Job Description:
i. The first important step of any selection process is to develop job descriptions for the positions to be advertised and filled.
ii. A job description is a combination of short statements that describe both the work to be performed and the essential requirements of the particular job.
iii. The job description includes:
(i) Job title.
(ii) Department in which the job exists.
(iii) Work to be performed by the new employee.
(iv) Job responsibilities, e.g., care and maintenance of machine tools.
(v) Job Knowledge, i.e., ability to read from job instructions and blue print.
(vi) Mental concentration.
(vii) Dexterity and accuracy.
(viii) Machines, tools and processes to be handled.
(ix) Relation with other jobs.
(x) Qualification and experience required.
(xi) Amount of supervision.
(xii) Physical activities.
(xiii) Working (environment) conditions, i.e., whether hazardous or safe.
The job description of personnel officer may look like:
Responsible for all personnel management functions involving industrial relations, personnel administration, manpower planning, selection, training and development, labour laws, welfare services, etc. will advise the management regarding labour disputes, grievance handling, disciplinary action, bipartite negotiations on a day-to-day basis and also coordinate with Government departments. Should be graduate having post-graduate qualification in Personnel Management or Industrial Relations in the age group of 30-40 with a minimum of 5/8 years’ similar experience.
Step # 2. Application Forms:
An application blank or form is the most universal mechanism used to screen the applicants to be called for interview and other tests for selection purposes. The contents of an application form can discourage unsuitable applicants and its design can, reflect a firm’s dignity, reduce to a minimum the time required to fill it out and simplify its review.
The application form may be used to get from the applicant, the information such as his age, marital status, previous education and training, previous work experience, including nature of duties, salary, length of time on the job, reasons for leaving, etc. A duly filled application form helps determine which applicants meet the job requirements, because an application form elicits sufficient accurate information that the least likely applicants can be eliminated by simply reviewing the contents of the filled application forms.
An application form tests an applicant’s ability to write, to organise his thoughts and to present facts clearly and succinctly. An application form tells whether the candidate has consistently progressed to better jobs and whether his education, training and experience have been logically patterned.
For assessing and screening purposes, the various questions listed in the application form may be weighted and scored according to their predictive value. Such scores are then matched against the scores of company employees with good tenure and performance records. An application form should be made simple, easy to fill and easy to check.
Step # 3. Employment Tests:
Very often considerable training money is expended upon an employee when it is discovered that he is unsuited to do the job for which he was employed. For this reason and in order to avoid the re-occurrence of such a situation, employment tests are, sometimes considered an essential part of the selection programme.
Tests are conducted as a means of scaling applicants in terms of their innate abilities. Tests are conducted as a means of scaling applicants in terms of their innate abilities. Tests are helpful in determining a minimum below which the candidate has little or no chance for reasonable success.
A test is a rapid method of obtaining samples of behaviour to help the interviewer form a judgment to hire or not to hire a given applicant. An employment test measures selected psychological factors such as ability to reason, capacity for learning, temperament, specific aptitudes, physical or motor abilities (e.g., manual dexterity or eye-hand coordination), etc.
Characteristics of good employment tests:
(i) A test should be designed on the basis of a sound job analysis programme.
(ii) The test should be reliable. i.e., an applicant if tested even second or third time under same condition should achieve the same score.
(iii) The test should be valid, i.e. highly specific to the objective it intends to measure and to the particular business situation.
Advantages of a good test:
(i) A good test eliminates the possibility that the prejudice of interviewer will govern the selection decisions.
(ii) It uncovers the hidden talents of an applicant which might have been otherwise overlooked in the selection process.
(iii) A number of candidates can be tested at one time and a good amount of information about each applicant can be obtained in a relatively small duration of time.
(iv) Test score of an applicant is a positive point (reason) to accept him or to reject him.
(v) Tests tend to lower the cost of selection because a number of candidates can be tested simultaneously.
Types of employment tests:
A simple classification of tests used in selection would distinguish the following main types:
(a) Achievement tests or performance tests:
When an applicant claims to know something, an achieving or performance test is given in order to given him a chance to demonstrate his ability and thus to measure what the applicant knows about a particular job or what is his degree of proficiency in doing that job. Prospective stenographers are asked to take dictation and then type it out, a welder is asked to weld two metal pieces together, a machinist is asked to prepare a job involving many different machining operations, etc.
Achievement tests prove to be very useful in selecting employees at the lower levels, e.g., a welder, a typist, a driver, etc. Performance tests are highly acceptable to both management and applicants because of their evident close relationship to the job in question. Trade Tests measuring an applicant’s (e.g., a welder’s or turners) trade knowledge and skill are a type of achievement tests. Trade tests may be oral, written, picture or performance type. In general, performance tests achieve high validity when the tasks to be evaluated are representative and when the rating system is objective and uses appropriate standards.
(b) Aptitude tests:
An aptitude test explores inborn tendencies of an applicant to perform well in a particular field. An aptitude test determines whether an applicant has the capacity or hidden ability to learn a given work if he is given proper training. Examples of aptitude tests are: mechanical, clerical, musical, and motor capacity tests such as finger dexterity, eye hand coordination, etc. An aptitude test is used to measure the job proficiency (from production records) and job training of an employee.
(c) Intelligence tests:
Intelligence tests give an idea of mental quickness or quickness of perception and general knowledge of an applicant. An intelligence test is probably the most widely administered standardized test in industry.
An intelligence test explores:
i. Quick learning,
iii. Comprehension, and
Judgment making qualities of an applicant and his ability to deal with abstract symbols, ideas, words, number and so forth. Questions in intelligence tests are practical, job oriented and abstract type. Generally many industries make use of short, paper-and-pencil tests which give a rough approximation of the I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) of the applicants. Intelligence tests can be employed by an organization for selecting all levels of employees taking from workers to managers.
An example of an intelligence test is as follows:
Fill in the blank space:
(d) Interest tests:
A person interested in a job will do it much better than the one who is uninterested. Interest is a main factor which contributes to the success on the job. Interest tests discover the patterns of an applicant’s interests and thus suggest what types of work may be satisfying to the prospective employee. Interest tests measure an applicant’s preferences for certain activities of either a vocational or a vocational nature.
Most widely used interest tests are:
(i) Strong Vocational Interests Blank for men and women. The applicant is asked if he likes, dislikes or is indifferent to many examples of school/college subjects, amusements, occupations, particular activities, etc. and then his interests are compared with the interests of successful personnel in specific professions and occupations.
(ii) Ruder Preference Record.
The test deals with more basic interest groupings. These areas are mechanical, scientific, computational, musical, social service, etc.
Interest tests are very useful in counselling situations where a person is in need of help and is willing to cooperate fully.
(e) Dexterity tests:
They discover an applicant’s cleverness to work with his hands and fingers when the job requires the skillful use of one’s hands and body, e.g., assembling operations.
(f) Personality tests:
An applicant may possess intelligence, aptitude, interest and what not, but if he lacks in personality, he may not be able to get along with and motivate other persons in the organization.
A personality test measures an applicant’s:
(i) Self-action or knowledge of other people’s behaviour.
(ii) Social or unsocial tendencies.
(iii) Emotional adjustment and instability.
(iv) Vocational interest.
(vi) Motives and basis needs.
(vii) Self-confidence and decisiveness.
(viii) Capacity for interpersonal relations.
(ix) Optimism, Patience etc.
A few examples of personality tests are:
(i) Do you ever feel that people are staring at and laughing at you: Yes/No.
(a) Do you frequently wake up in a cold sweat: Yes/No.
Personality tests are very useful in counselling and in selecting salesmen, supervisors, etc.
Step # 4. Interviewing:
An interview is a conversation (directed to a definite purpose) between an applicant and the interviewer and much of the interaction between these two is carried on by gestures, postures, facial expressions and other communicative behaviour. It is in the interview that both the prospective employee and the employer get the chance to learn and know about each other. The interview is a commonly used method of human evaluation and it is also probably the oldest. If an organization is asked to pick up a single method for selecting employees, it would choose interviewing most frequently.
Purpose of employment interview:
(1) It measures all relevant attributes and integrates and clarifies all other information about the applicant.
a. An interview helps studding the impact of personality of the applicant upon others.
b. An interview helps exploring the innate abilities, e.g., quickness in the uptake, of the applicant.
c. An interview helps studying the motivation and emotional adjustment of an applicant.
(2) It helps the employer to view the total individual (i.e., applicant) and to appraise the person and his behaviour directly.
(3) It measures the applicant against the specific requirements of the job and helps deciding whether there will be a good “fit”.
(4) It helps finding the suitability of one or a few candidates from amongst the many.
(5) It gives the applicant a chance to learn the opportunities and job possibilities that exist in the organization.
Types of interviews:
(1) Guided, directed or patterned interview in which a list of questions (to be put up to the applicant) is prepared based on the analysis of the job specification.
i. A patterned interview measures the personality traits such as self-reliance, emotional stability, ability to get along with others, willingness to take up responsibility etc.
ii. The typical employment interview is guided, nonetheless, as its average length is 30 minutes for plant employees and 45 minutes for office employees.
(2) Unguided, non-directed or un-patterned interview as its name implies is not directed by the interviewer; instead the applicant talks about what he chooses.
Unguided interview is more often used in situations other than employment, e.g., counselling, handling grievances, etc.
Conducting the interview-procedure:
The typical sequences of functions that occur in the process of interviewing are as follows:
1. Preparation for the interview:
a. Spell out the specific objectives of the interview.
b. Select the appropriate type of interview i.e., guided or unguided.
c. Determine the number of interviewers.
d. Review all the information submitted by the applicant on the application form.
e. Decide the length of interview.
2. Setting for the interview:
a. Decide the place for interview. The place should be private, comfortable and free from all disturbances.
b. Mental setting will help the interviewee to feel at ease. Allow a little time to interviewee to get accustomed to you and your situation.
3. Conduct of interview:
a. Make interviewee feel that you have a basic liking and respect for people and you are interested in hearing the applicant.
b. Begin with simple questions and encourage the interviewee to talk.
c. Once you get into the main topic of interview, do everything to get interviewee talk freely with as little prodding from you as possible.
d. Listen the interviewee attentively, patiently and, if possible, protectively (i.e., by projecting one’s consciousness into that of another person).
e. Do not run the risk of letting the interview loose direction, keep control of interview.
4. Close the interview:
a. The interviewer should make some overt sign (e.g., laying his pencil down, pushing back the chair), to indicate the end of interview.
At the close of interview, watch for additional information in the casual remarks of interviewee.
b. Give to the interviewee some type of answer or indication of future action.
5. Evaluate the interview:
The interview provides much opportunity for inferences, sound and unsound.
The applicant may be finally assessed on the basis of:
(a) The Analytic Approach in which a rating sheet is used and the applicant is rated on the basis of a number of factors predictive of success.
(b) The Integrative Approach evaluates the applicant as a total integrated person, i.e., the applicant is assessed on the basis of overall fitness.
From the interview, the interviewer concludes whether the applicant is:
5. A hard worker.
6. Able to work under pressure.
7. Positively motivated.
8. Good in human relations.
9. A turn-over problem.
Step # 5. Physical Examination:
The physical examination as a step in the employment procedure is found in most businesses. Many jobs require unusual stamina, strength or tolerance in unpleasant conditions. The physical examination reveals whether or not an applicant is fit for a particular job.
A physical examination may include:
(i) Family medical history.
(ii) Personal history of previous illness.
(iii) Height, chest and weight measurements.
(iv) General physical examination of the skin and joints.
(v) Examination of eyes, nose, throat, teeth and ears.
(vi) Chest X-ray.
(vii) Check-up of heart and blood pressure.
(viii) Urine and blood test, etc.
Purpose of physical examination:
(i) To ascertain the physical capabilities of the applicant, i.e., can he work standing up? Can he lift heavy objects? etc.
Physical examination prevents employees from being assigned to jobs which are beyond their strength.
(ii) To find if the applicant has the general physical characteristics required for the job.
(iii) To find if the applicant is suffering from communicable diseases.
(iv) To determine the exact state of health of the applicant in order to protect the company against unwarranted claims under workmen’s compensation laws or against law suits for damages.
(v) The company’s general health programme is facilitated by initial physical examination. Later physical check-ups will indicate whether the employee’s general health is improving or deteriorating.
The physical examination may be conducted by the doctor of the industrial hospital or of a civil hospital.
Step # 6. Induction and Orientation:
It has been reported by many concerns that over half of the voluntary (employee) quits occur within the first six months on the job and a large portion of these is because workers are introduced to their jobs in a haphazard manner. Induction implies introducing or orienting a new employee to the organisation.