One of the most important decisions comes when having to select an employee to fill a job vacancy. In the current labor market, highly qualified applicants are scarce and, among the existent ones, it is hard to spot the ideal candidate. Sometimes it is so urgent that a position be filled, that a person may win the job by default, or sloppy selection criteria may be applied. A "quick fix" may ease workload for a while, but it might prove lethal for the business viability itself in the long run. Therefore, a larger attention in the selection process can provide the business with employees who will finally produce the desired results.
The analysis of the employee selection process is a fairly new practice. During the 70's, any systematic attempt to sort out skills was often unpopular (Lee, 50). This began to change during the 80's and into the 90's, when an estimated 80% to 90% of companies used pre-employment testing (Brindow and Spencer, 80). As Chris Lee states, "we are returning to a focus on individual competence […] objective standards are coming back in both education and employment" (Lee, 49). Another survey by researchers Randall, Cooke and Smith established that 95% of employers who tried testing for screening sales candidates were still using it (Randall, 53). All the data shows the inclination of the modern businesses to highly stress on everything that will maximize the effectiveness of employee selection and, consequently, employee performance.
Processing an applicant for a job normally entails a series of steps, which are determined by the size of the organization, the types of jobs to be filled or the number of people to be hired. The selection stage should be backed up by an effective recruitment process, which greatly depends on job analysis and job description. Job analysis is "a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. Job Analysis is a process where judgements are made about data collected on a job" (HR - Guide). Its purpose is to establish and document the "job relatedness" of employment procedures such as recruitment, selection, training, compensation and performance appraisal through its product, the job description. During the selection process, the job description is used in creating an accurate advertisement for the job and attracts the proper candidates, that is, the persons that most probably will fit for the specific job. A realistic job preview, based on an accurate job description and specification (the qualifications demanded for the job), will help applicants understand what the job entails and make more informed decisions as to whether they want to apply for the job or not. According to Gregorio Billicopf of the University of California, "selected applicants who understand both the positive and negative sides of a job, are most likely to stay and succeed". (Billicopf, 18).
After the recruitment process has been concluded and the applicants have sent their resumes, the first step of the selection process should take place; screening the resumes. CV's provide basic information for use in the next step of the selection process and are used to screen out the unqualified applicants. For instance, if the position requires the ability to use a word processor, the resume provides a clear picture whether the person owns this ability or not. Resume screening is a standard procedure in most organizations during the selection process, despite their size, activity or culture.
After the resume screen - out, the remaining applicants will be invited for an interview, which is the most important step in the selection process. It supplements information obtained in other steps in the process to determine the suitability of an applicant for a specific opening. Organizations use several types of interviews. The structured interview is conducted using a predetermined outline that is based on the...
Cited: illikopf, Gregory. "Labor Management in Agriculture: Cultivating Personnel Productivity". University of California. 2003. p. 2-5, 18-23.
Brindow Peter, Spencer Leslie. "When Quotas Replace Merit, Everybody Suffers". Forbes. Feb 1993. p. 80.
Byars Lloyd, Rue Leslie. "Human Resource Management". 8th edition. Mc Graw - Hill. p. 141-144Job Analysis: An Overview. The HR - Guide. Oct 2002. May 2006.
< http://www.job-analysis.net/G000.htm>Lee, Chris. "Testing Makes a Comeback". Training Vol. 25. Dec 1988. p. 49-50.
M-Pathways Employment Steering Committee Sub-Group Report. "Conducting a Successful Employee Selection Process". University of Michigan. Apr 2001. p.20-35.
Randall, James. "A Successful Application Of The Assessment Center Concept To the Salesperson Selection Process". Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. May 1985. p. 53.
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