This article throws light upon the ten main steps involved in the selection process of candidates. The steps are: 1. Scrutiny of Applications Received 2. Preliminary Interview 3. Application Blanks 4. Testing 5. Interviews 6. Checking References 7. Medical Examination 8. Final Selection 9. Training 10. Placement and Orientation.
Step # 1. Scrutiny of Applications Received:
In response to the requisitions received from the various departments (line) those responsible for recruitment invite application. Applications so received are properly and closely screened so that those applicants who do not possess the requisite qualifications are kept out of the list of candidates for further processing.
Some firms follow the policy of sending a printed card or letter informing such applicants that as they do not possess the minimum basic qualifications stipulated so their applications will not be considered for further processing.
Step # 2. Preliminary Interview:
The first interview may be conducted by an assistant of the personnel department. Its purpose is to find out if the applicant is apparently suitable for the kind of job for which vacancies exist. In case he is found to be a likely choice he is given an application blank.
Preliminary interview seeks to get answers to the most important and definitive questions about the job or jobs for which vacancies are to be filled up. Generally it is brief. Usually it does not probe deeply into the special qualifications, interests and experience of the applicant.
In such an interview questions covering points such as applicant’s place of residence, age, educational qualifications, experience, marital status whether married or unmarried may be asked in rapid succession, one after another.
Preliminary interview is the first barrier for an applicant along the path to employment. It can be used economically to prevent further processing of rather hopeless cases.
Step # 3. Application Blanks:
The candidates who are found apparently meeting the minimum requirements of the job or jobs are supplied with application blanks. These application blanks are to be filled up by the candidates. The form of application blank varies according to the variance in job-specifications.
However, to be effective in eliciting full information about the candidates, application blanks should conform to the following pattern:
(i) They should be as brief as possible in keeping with the need of adequacy and efficiency. This will help even candidates not accustomed to much writing in answering all the questions fully.
(ii) They should cover only those points in definite terms which have the established relationships with the job-success.
Obviously it is advisable for each firm to develop its own form for application blank.
Following advantages or merits are claimed from the use of properly designed application blank:
1. It tests the ability of the candidate to spell, to write in legible hand, and to answer rapidly and accurately factual questions.
2. Some candidates who are not quick in finding answers to questions at the time of interview, may be able to give answers through this method.
3. Candidates develop a feeling that their offer to serve and some of their qualifications are already on the record of the firm.
4. The employment officer has already some information about the candidate before the more important employment interview commences.
5. It can serve as a guide for interviews and a record where waiting lists are kept.
Step # 4. Testing:
In the selection of employees, use of employment testing is a well-established practice. A large number of “tailor-made tests”, i.e., standardised tests are available for this purpose. If properly administered and interpreted these tests not only save time but also help in improving the accuracy and effectively of proper selection of candidates as measured by the success of such candidates on the job or jobs.
There are many types of such tests.
More important of them are:
These are used to measure and discover the knowledge and skill of the applicant pertaining to the job. These are closely related to performance test. Some of them actually involve the performance of simple operations requiring specialised skill.
Performance tests indicate the capability of the applicants to show actual performance on specific jobs. They test the achievements and proficiency of the applicants. Examples are those of testing the applicant’s skill in operating and adding on calculating machine, testing the speed and accuracy of a typist clerk or steno (shorthand typist), etc.
The principle of individual differences has prompted industrial psychologists to devise certain tests to measure the psychological test in an objective measure of a sample of human behaviour. It is taken by giving to the applicant a task which is like the job for which he is being considered. His performance on that task is compared with the performance of other applicants for the same job. Different types of psychological tests have been developed.
More important of them are briefly mentioned here:
(i) Intelligence Tests:
Intelligence tests are for appraisal of intelligence of mental alertness. According to Yoder these tests are designed to measure the memory, ability to reason, to think, to comprehend and in some cases to measure social intelligence, i.e., the ability to get along and co-operate with others.
(ii) Aptitude Tests:
These tests measure an applicant’s capacity, his potential for development. The most widely used aptitude tests are for the appraisal of clerical aptitude, mechanical aptitude or manual aptitude.
(iii) Interest Tests:
These tests are designed to discover the patterns of interest of individual applicants so that the most appropriate type of work assignment may be suggested to ensure maximum job-satisfaction.
(iv) Tests of Emotional Reactions and Adjustments:
These tests are designed to measure the extent of emotional stability of the applicant. They help to gauge his characteristic mood and overall attitude towards his status and association.
(v) Attitude Tests:
These are designed to get the point of view of the “set of mind” of the individual applicant so that his feelings about the values held important by the work organisation could be discovered.
(vi) Dexterity Tests:
These tests are used to measure the capacity of the applicant to use his fingers and hands in the industrial work.
(vi) Achievement Tests:
These tests are designed to appraise the knowledge and proficiency in any particular trade already achieved by the applicant.
(vii) Personality Test:
These tests are meant to measure the emotional balance, maturity, temperamental oscillations in individual’s behaviour in the group, etc.
Step # 5. Interviews:
Interview is the selection tool of major importance for nearly all jobs. In many companies interview is the only tool used in selecting new employees. This is particularly found in filling skilled and technical jobs. In all companies it is an essential step in the recruitment and selection procedures.
The widespread utilisation of interviews and the heavy reliance on them as selection tool owe their importance to the belief that “the interview is invaluable as a means of evaluating such factors as poise or an appearance”, establishment of friendly relationship between applicants and the firm, and obtaining additional information or getting clarification on information already on the application blank.
Interviewing as a tool of selecting employees, also known as personal interview, employment interview or determinate interview help in finding out the physical appearance and mental alertness of candidates. From interviews in which a group of experts examines the candidate benefit of pooled judgement of all the experts is available.
However, those taking interviews (interviewers) should bear in mind the following points:
(i) It is rather difficult to make a complete and dependable diagnosis of to person’s character and capabilities in one brief interview.
(ii) Mention of special benefits offered by the company to exceptionally qualified and experienced employee should not be used to impress upon the candidate because such “overselling” of the job or the company proves the basis of disappointment for an average new employee.
(iii) Relevant points relating to the requirements of job and the firm should not be omitted or carelessly described.
(iv) The personal likes and dislikes of the interviewer about mannerism of the candidates being interviewed should not be allowed to influence the interview.
(v) Throughout the period of interview candidates must be received with courtesy.
(vi) No interviewer should overweight his judgement ignoring other evidence of proven qualities of the candidate.
Step # 6. Checking References:
Usually applicants are requested to give some references. References, If unbiased, may prove useful as source of information regarding the character and reputation of the candidate. So are the letters of recommendation. However, many companies make little use of the references.
Experience shows that references are not unbiased in giving their opinions often only the good points about the candidate are mentioned. Neither secrecy is maintained nor much importance is attached by the firm in taking its decision about final selection.
To check reference one may use the telephone, postal service or a personal visit to the referee. While checking a reference it should be seen as to if the referee knows the kind of information required and if he is willing to divulge all the information about the candidate.
Step # 7. Medical Examination:
It is the general practice with most of the undertakings to select candidates subject to their physical fitness. Physical fitness of the candidates is checked up through the medical examination. All the candidates who successfully cross the barriers of various stages of selection mentioned above are required to undergo medical examination.
It should be noted that the basic purpose of physical and medical examination is to determine the job for which candidates are fittest and not to eliminate them altogether.
Step # 8. Final Selection:
It should be noted that the final authority for selection lies with the line management. The underlying principle is that he, who is held responsible for results, must be given the authority to choose his subordinates
Therefore, candidates who are found suitable for the various jobs (for which requisitions have been received) after all the screening discussed so far are sent to the managers for final selection. Usually, at this stage, no candidate is rejected summarily.
Instead, he is tried for a week or so on job, if he is not found suitable, he is tried on another and thus he is approved for one of the jobs for which he is found suitable. Thus a candidate is finally selected after he has been tried by the line manager for a week or two.
Step # 9. Training:
After final approval every candidate has to go through a period of training. This period varies depending upon the nature of the job, size of the enterprise etc. For example, in banking organisations a newly appointed employee is required to work at different counters for a short period, till he is found to have got sufficient knowledge of the important types of work.
Subsequently, he/she is placed on a particular counter. Employees in the offices of industrial concerns are sent for a year from one section to another for a month or so. They are required to work as assistant to position under an experienced clerk or officer.
Thus a sort of job-on-training method is used, till he is finally entrusted with an independent file or a particular type of responsibility. In case of technical work a period of apprenticeship training is the usual practice.
For example, fresh engineering graduates or diploma holders are moved from workshop to workshop to work with the seniors, before they are placed on a particular job. This period varies from six months to one year.
Step # 10. Placement and Orientation:
The process of recruitment and selection is not over with the final selection of candidate. Candidates so selected are to be placed on a job. Every selected employee is to be introduced to his fellow-employees and supervisor. He is assisted in making personal adjustments so essential for his effective performance as a member of the work-team. Thus placement and induction is the final phase in the selection procedure.
Benefits/Merits of Orientation:
Orientation provides important socialisation for the employee and produces the following benefits to management and the organisation:
1. Helps in reducing the anxiety level experienced by the new employee. Most of the anxiety first experienced by an employee is fear of failing and not being able to do the job adequately. But orientation can reduce this counter productive anxiety.
2. Helps in reducing initial training costs for the new recruit. Initial worker inefficiency is due to lack of knowledge regarding all that the job requires, how to do it, how the organisation works, and where the authority and informational sources are.
3. Many companies experience low turnover during the first few weeks of the break-in period because employees perceive themselves to be unwanted, unimportant or unable to handle the job or environment. Effective orientations can resolve many of these costly problems.
4. Saves time for managers and fellow employees. Managers and co-workers must help a new worker to get the job done. The better oriented the employee, the more time is saved by everyone in breaking in and reaching standard.
5. Fosters great organisational loyalty, positive attitudes and job satisfaction via realistic job expectations. Employees must learn what expectations management has of them and begin to experience job satisfaction fairly soon or become demoralised.
Management must seek to integrate the goals of the organisation with those of the individual employees rapidly otherwise, poor attitude and work patterns quickly develop. Orientation is the best strategy for accomplishing this purpose.
Guidelines for Effective Orientation:
1. It should begin with the most relevant and immediate kinds of information and then proceed to more general company policies.
2. The most significant part of orientation is the human side, given new employees knowledge of what supervisors and co-workers are liked, telling them how long it should take to reach standards of effective work, and encouraging them to seek help and advice when needed.
3. The new employees should be “sponsored” or directed by an experienced worker or supervisor in the immediate environment who can respond to questions and keep in close touch during the induction period.
4. The new employees should be gradually introduced to the people with whom, they will work rather than give a superficial introduction to all of them on the first day. The object should be to help them get to know their co-workers and supervisors.
5. The new employees should be allowed sufficient time to get their feet on the ground before demands on them is increased.