A Summary of Modern Practices in Employee Recruitment and Selection Methods

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A summary of modern practices in employee recruitment and selection methods

Business revolves around people. It’s the people in the business that run it so therefore it’s always important to have the best employee to do it. That is why selection is such an important aspect of any organisation, small time or bigger. It is fundamental to the performance of any business or establishment that the personnel that it employs are competent to fill the role, and enhance the companies overall performance. Because of the importance of selection, many different methods have been produced and tested throughout the years, ranging from the low key methods such as applications through to the most commonly used method today, the interview. The three most common methods, often referred to as the “classic trio” are the interview, reference and application forms. As mentioned, the interview is the most commonly used method currently but through the years, as business has modernised through the centuries, alternative methods of selection are becoming more prevalent. Methods such as psychometric testing and Biodata are increasingly being used in the workplace. The former involving personality and aptitude tests to general IQ and mental ability tests whereas Biodata is often collated by law enforcement agencies to assess suspect behaviour. The latter being used within companies is on the increase as they feel it gives more insight to the potential employee as a person compared to an interview situation. Some people are good at interviews and others aren’t so the interview environment isn’t always a true reflection of what the person is actually like. Other alternatives include peer assessment and work sample tests, which simply involves the potential employee to be put in a working environment to see how they would cope. These alternatives are new and many are still sceptical about their advantages as some as are not completely fallible so in order for them to work, they need to be used in conjunction with each other.

Selection methodsProportion of organisations surveyed using the method Interviews100
Application forms86
Curricula vitae68
Covering letter61
Psychometric tests41
Assessment centre34
Telephone screening18
Bio data14

Source: CIPD Recruitment Survey 2001.
As shown in the graph, modern selection methods are still down near the bottom half of the table, but as business grows then I believe that more and more organisations will turn to Biodata and psychometric testing because competition is so high that it’s hard to tell who would be a good employee and a bad one. “The logic (of Biodata) is that if candidates are matched with existing staff, people with similar interests can be found who are likely to be suitable for the job. The greatest value of the techniques is its ability to reduce staff turnover”.*1 The case study of ‘Nobble and Bozionelos, 2001’ gave the conclusion that research into a persons ability or personality was at a greatly lower level compared to those of managers. In all job vacancies the “trio” were used but that is the furthest any selection method went with regarding the lower grade jobs. As for the higher grade vacancies such as potential managers or senior manager, the selection methods used had much more variety, potential managers had interviews and psychometric tests to deal with (although the psychometric tests were only used to support interview decision) and senior managers had to deal with rigorous psychometric testing with emphasis on personality assessment. It’s also worth noting that psychometric tests were also used upon graduate trainees with a special emphasis on cognitive ability. There has been some research into the downsides of to Biodata, Harvey-Cook and Taffler list four reasons to be wary of Biodata. The validity of the content, theories such as primogeniture are considered suspicious. The stability of Biodata has also been questioned as it’s...
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