The selection process consists of a series of stages and at every stage the candidates who are identified as unqualified or unfit are eliminated to select the best candidates among the pool of applicants.
Selection process begins after completion of the recruitment process. In other words, after an adequate number of persons have responded to the organization’s request to present themselves for interview and test to determine their suitability for the job on offer.
There is, and can be, no standard procedure to select employees for jobs in an organization. Selection procedure may differ from job to job, and from organization to organization.
In some cases, the selection procedure may be as simple as taking the applicant to the supervisor or foreman, who has vacancy in his section, and asking a few questions about the task to be assigned to the selected applicant, and his giving or not giving nod to suitability of the candidate.
However, in case of filling vacancy at relatively senior levels, the selection procedure may involve a series of interviews and tests.
The selection process involves the following steps:- 1. Scrutiny of Applications 2. Preliminary Verbal Tests 3. Blank Application Forms 4. Tests 5. Interview 6. Checking References 7. Medical Examination 8. Background Investigation 9. Final Selection 10. Appointment Letter 11. Placement and Orientation.
Selection Process: Steps, Stages and Procedure
Selection Process – Stages of Selection Procedure
Selection process begins after completion of the recruitment process. In other words, after an adequate number of persons have responded to the organization’s request to present themselves for interview and test to determine their suitability for the job on offer.
Selection involves a careful screening and testing of persons who have applied for a job in the organization. This is necessary for two reasons- One, many applicants may not answer the requirements for the job. This is not uncommon given the poor quality of education and training imparted in most educational institutions where one can pass an examination by offering illegal gratification or putting knife or pistol at the head of the examiner.
The other reason is that even if the applicants meet all requirements for the job, the organization may not have vacancies to absorb them all.
Recruitment is a positive function—it seeks to induce as many persons as possible to apply for the job on offer. On this score, selection may be described as a negative function, in the sense that it aims at eliminating or weeding out applicants who do not meet the required standards of knowledge and skills. A business organization exists to serve society by production of quality goods and services at competitive price—it does not run charity of giving jobs to whoever approaches it.
There is, and can be, no standard procedure to select employees for jobs in an organization. Selection procedure may differ from job to job, and from organization to organization. In some cases, the selection procedure may be as simple as taking the applicant to the supervisor or foreman, who has vacancy in his section, and asking a few questions about the task to be assigned to the selected applicant, and his giving or not giving nod to suitability of the candidate. However, in case of filling vacancy at relatively senior levels, the selection procedure may involve a series of interviews and tests.
Broadly, the selection procedure consists of several stages, important among which are as follows:
1. Scrutiny of Applications
2. Preliminary Verbal Tests
3. Requiring the applicants to fill up Blank Application Forms
4. Formal Tests
6. Checking of References
7. Preliminary and Final Selection
8. Medical Examination
An organization may set certain standards as regards institutions where the applicant has studied or the employers under whom he is working or has worked. Thanks to privatization of education sector, there are even medical, engineering and management institutions which claim official recognition but do not possess minimum basic facilities and equipment to impart quality education.
Recall Vyapam scandal of Madhya Pradesh which has caused and is causing loss of lives of scamsters and those who fell victim to it.
The organization should only consider applications from applicants who have qualified from good institutions and who also meet the criteria for qualifying to the next stage of selection.
However, propriety demands that the applicants excluded from the list are shown the courtesy of being informed about the reasons for their exclusion.
The object of preliminary interview is to observe the facial expression and body language of a candidate to see whether he gives the impression of being eligible for consideration for the job in question. Questions put to him during the preliminary interview are of a general nature, dealing mainly with his qualifications, experience, hobbies, etc.
If a candidate passes the preliminary interview, he is given a blank application form which is designed to obtain all necessary information about him. If a candidate is finally selected for the job, the information provided by him in the application form will serve as reference material.
Each job calls for different qualifications and skill sets. So there are different application forms for different jobs. But to serve as matter of record, it should require the candidate to write brief and pointed replies to the queries therein. In any case, it should not require him to write essay-type answers for which he may not be prepared. The queries in the form should only seek information that is relevant to the job in question.
(a) Instant Test Device – The applicant is required to find quick and brief answers to the queries in the application form. This tests his ability to do quick thinking and write precisely and legibly.
(b) Helpful for Shy and Slow Candidates – Some candidates, because of their shyness or inability to do quick thinking, may find it difficult to provide the required information in a face-to-face meeting with the employer. However, while filling an application form, they face no such problem.
(c) Strategy to Make Candidate Feel Important – When asked to fill in the application form, the applicant gets the impression that the organization has a mind to offer him the job in question. Naturally, this feeling boosts his confidence level.
(d) Reference Material for the Main Interview – Particulars provided in his application form will help interviewers in framing their questions during the main interview.
(e) Aid to Preparation of Waiting List – Candidates, who are otherwise found fit for a job during the interview but not employed immediately because of absence of immediate vacancies, are placed on the waiting list. Application forms filled by such candidates help in preparing the waiting list.
Tests serve as an important aid in the process of selection. They seek to measure the skill and abilities of candidates to perform the jobs to be assigned to them.
Tests are of two types, viz:
B. Aptitude tests
A. Proficiency Tests:
Proficiency tests seek to measure the existing skills and abilities of a candidate. The purpose of a proficiency test is to see if the claims made by the candidate in his application form about his ability and skills are true.
For example, to test him for the job of finance advisor, it is necessary to know through suitable proficiency tests whether he has knowledge about how banks and financial institutions operate and what tax laws they need to comply with. Relevant proficiency tests for this purpose will be Trade tests, or Achievement tests, and Dexterity tests.
(i) Trade or Achievement Test – It aims at measuring the knowledge and proficiency which the candidate already possesses in the relevant field, such as operation of computers and other related machines.
(ii) Dexterity Test – The object of dexterity test is to know how quickly and efficiently the candidate uses his hands and fingers to perform the assigned job, such as shorthand, typing, etc.
Aptitude tests measure the latent skills and abilities which the candidate has the potential to develop later. In other words, these tests assess his potential for performing a certain job in future. The main aim here is to see if he has the capacity and aptitude to acquire the necessary abilities and skills to handle his job well. “Intelligence tests”, “personality tests” and “interest tests” are some of the examples of aptitude tests.
Aptitude tests may be classified as follows:
(a) Intelligence Test:
It seeks to measure a variety of mental functions, such as verbal comprehension, memory, reasoning, problem-solving ability, etc. It consists of a long list of questions that are required to be answered and problems to be solved within a specified time.
The number of questions which are correctly answered within a specified time indicates the candidate’s IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which is calculated as follows:
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) = Mental age divided by Actual age, and multiplied by 100.
A higher IQ indicates a higher level of intelligence and lower IQ lower level of intelligence. It is not possible easily to ascertain the levels of IQ required for performing a given job; in fact there is controversy about what exactly constitutes intelligence and what mental abilities represent intelligence.
There are also questions about whether intelligence is an inherited characteristic or acquired through experience and socio-economic background of a person. Be that as it may, for our purpose it is enough to know that intelligence tests indicate dependable levels of alertness, ability and creativity of a candidate.
(b) Personality, Character or Attitude Test:
It studies the behavioural pattern of candidate, that is to say, does he interact positively with people around him, and is he able to motivate people to do anything?
Personality tests bring out significant characteristics present in a candidate, such as courage, cowardice, initiative, bad temper, likes, dislikes, and so on. The object of these tests is to ascertain whether the candidate has necessary temperamental and emotional make-up to handle the job assigned to him. For example, a person who is indifferent to the suffering of others cannot be a good doctor. A person who hates meeting people cannot be a good salesman.
Question to test a candidate on this ground may be as follows – “If you see a thief running away with a lady’s purse, would you –
(i) Chase the thief?
(ii) Shout for help?
(iii) Look the other way and move on? or
(iv) Advise the lady not to carry purse when going out?
(c) Movement Test:
It seeks to measure the speed and precision of movement of the candidate, e.g., how quickly and carefully he moves from one place to another inside the office/factory.
(d) Interest Test:
Interest test measures the extent of a candidate’s level of interest in performing a particular kind of work. The idea behind it is to assign the selected candidate a job for which he has the maximum liking and thus provide him job satisfaction besides increasing worker productivity. .
Properly designed and correctly administered tests are dependable means to measure a candidate’s suitability for a given job.
Tests are a sure means to verify the claims made by the candidate in the application form about his qualifications, experience, etc. They will immediately disclose any false information about these.
Properly and impartially administered tests eliminate the possibility of any personal preference or prejudice in respect of any candidate. They present an objective assessment of his suitability for the job in question.
Tests help in establishing standards of job performance. The job itself determines the standard of proficiency and aptitude required to perform it.
Tests cannot be absolutely reliable indicator of the skills and. ability of a candidate. Their reliability will depend on the character of the candidate and impartiality of the person conducting the test. There are instances where candidate topping in the science stream may not be able to even name the subjects studied by him.
Dishonesty on the part of persons conducting a test may produce misleading results. Highly qualified and experienced candidates may be rejected, and less qualified persons selected.
Candidates belonging to socially or economically backward sections of society may not be able to face a test as confidently and successfully as those belonging to the privileged sections. A candidate with urban background will perform better than his counterpart who has never visited a town, nor a city. This means the tests may not give fair and impartial results in all cases.
Even qualified and proficient persons may not like to face tests to determine their suitability for any job. They consider it below their dignity to be given tests. They seem to say their performance at the job will itself reveal their proficiency and aptitude levels.
In any selection process, interview takes place in two phases—preliminary and final.
I. Preliminary Interview:
Preliminary interview is done to identify and remove candidates who, for reasons of ill-health, old age, lack of required qualifications, training, or experience, are found unsuitable for employment.
The final interview is generally held in two stages. During the first phase of interview, an official of the personnel department evaluates the candidates in respect of their qualifications, proficiency, aptitude, experience, etc. Those passing this stage are sent to face the second stage where the line (functional) department manager, who had made the request for appointment of additional hands, makes final evaluation of the candidate(s).
During this interview, the candidate(s) may be asked to prove his skills by working on the machines, tools, etc. He may also be questioned on how he will handle socio-psychological issues that may arise during the course of work. Only the candidate(s) clearing the second stage of interview is cleared for employment.
There may be various ways to conduct an interview. There may be a direct interview, in which the interviewer and the candidate have a face-to-face question-answer session. The interviewer may be a single person or a panel of interviewers, each with different specialization. The questions put to the candidate may be framed in advance or just asked randomly. Given the time-limitation, a direct interview may not fully evaluate the candidate’s ability, job skills and socio-psychological skills.
In an indirect interview, there are no direct or straight questions put to the candidate; instead, he is asked to express his views on any topic of his choice. The purpose is to know which issues he considers fit for discussion and what opinion he holds about the organization and the job on offer. The interviewer only listens patiently, neither interrupting the candidate, nor being judgmental.
The purpose of stress interview is to see how a candidate will react to stressful situations faced on the job—whether he cracks under pressure, remains calm, or continues working as in a stress-free manner.
Thus, the interviewer deliberately creates situations that would:
(a) Offend the candidate (Example- Smoking and sitting with legs spread on the table, staring at the roof or wall while the candidate keeps standing before him);
(b) Shame him (Example- Why were you thrown out of the last job?);
(c) Frighten him (Example- Be prepared to be kicked around if you ever do anything wrong here);
(d) Irritate him (Example- Repeating the same question again and again);
(e) Heckle him (Example- Interrupting him by shooting questions one after another without waiting for him to complete answering any question);
(f) Mock him (Example- Bluntly telling him he does not know the answer); or
(g) Make facial or bodily gestures to suggest he is not suitable for the job.
If the candidate keeps his cool and tries to answer questions in the time allowed by the interviewer, he deserves to be selected. If he loses his emotional balance and is rattled, he may forfeit his claim to the job in question.
The candidate should know who is to interview him, when and where. Keeping him in the dark about this will not leave a good impression on him about the organization. He may not share his reaction with the interviewer but he will surely convey it to others.
Before interviewing a candidate, it is advisable to fully know the requirements of the job for which the interview is being held. Next, the resume submitted by the candidate should be studied—it will not help to go through the resume right after the candidate has seated himself to face the interview.
For most candidates, facing an interview creates considerable mental and emotional strain. To relieve him of tension, the interviewer should make him feel at ease; he should begin by telling the candidate what is expected of the person selected for the job. The interview should be a private question-answer session between him and the candidate; there shouldn’t be anyone else present in the room except in case there is a panel of interviewers.
After asking job-related questions, the interviewer should hear the candidate patiently. And yes, he should not interrupt the candidate or heckle him every now and then. Let the candidate complete answering one question and then only the next question should be asked.
And, of course, it would be rude to tell him he has not answered any question correctly or that he has not done his homework before presenting himself for the interview, or to mock him through facial expressions and bodily gestures—rolling of eyes, movement of the tongue, shrinking of lips, playing with paperweight, etc.
His effort all through should be to see how well the candidate knows the subjects that he has prepared for the interview, and not to highlight his ignorance on topics he has not studied.
Just as it is right for the interviewer to know all about the candidate, the candidate too is entitled to know about the organization he would be working for, if selected. His questions should not be laughed away but answered as satisfactorily as possible to make the interview a win-win affair for both.
An interview should conclude on a friendly note with mutual thanks-giving. After the candidate has left the room, the interviewer should quickly go through his notes and record his judgment about suitability of the candidate. Ranking the candidates on the scale of 10, or giving A, B, C based on their performance with A+ for very good performance and C- for poor will help in selecting the best candidate.
A person applying for a job in an organization is usually required to provide some references, e.g., persons who know the applicant and can attest to the claims made by the candidate about his educational qualifications, skills, experience, character, etc. A letter of recommendation or statement of the qualifications and qualities of the candidate given by someone familiar to him is also called a reference.
It is necessary to cross-check a candidate’s claim in his application form about his educational and professional achievements, experience, previous employer(s), salary last drawn and the reason why he quit or wants to change his employer.
However, as it happens, many organizations are indifferent to making inquiries with the references given by the candidate. One reason for this is that they know that no applicant will ever give the names of referees who might not speak favourably about him. Another reason is that referees with whom the candidate has worked earlier, or is currently working but wishes to quit, are either too generous or too critical in their comments on the candidate.
Despite the reservations about checking with referees, it is advisable for the organization to seek their opinion about the candidate to be employed by it.
Up to the stage of checking of references given by a candidate, the preliminary selection process is handled by staff executives. From there onwards, the respective line managers take over. As the request for additional hands in their departments is made by line executives and because it is their responsibility to direct and control performance of their subordinates, it is only proper that they should have authority to make the final selection.
If the line manager is a supervisor or foreman, he will select a candidate after watching his on-the-job performance. If any candidate does not pass the performance test, he may be retained as an apprentice or probationer until he achieves the required performance level. If he is found unsuitable for one job, he may be transferred to another and, if he is found unfit there too, to yet another. But usually a candidate is not rejected at this stage.
For jobs that prescribe certain physical standards as to height, weight, eyesight, hearing, etc., it becomes necessary to have a medical check-up prior to the placement of a candidate. Selection in armed forces or civil services, for example, is subject to the candidate clearing the medical examination. In most private organizations too, candidates otherwise found suitable are required to clear the medical examination.
What if an otherwise healthy candidate clears the educational and skills tests, but fails the medical test, say his eyesight test does not pass the prescribed standard? Strictly speaking, he is liable to rejection but an organization may still employ him until his poor eyesight becomes seriously hazardous for him and the organization’s working.
Even after final selection of a candidate, the curtains are still not drawn on the selection process. The last act in the process is placing him on the job and orienting him to the organization environment, i.e., introducing him to his co-workers and taking him round the workplace.
He may be given a copy of the Organization Manual, if any, that contains all relevant details about the organization—policies and programs relating to employees, goods and services produced by the organization, places from where it operates, markets to which it has access, the scope of rights and duties of employees at each level, and location of canteen, washrooms, regular and emergency exit gates, etc. He will also need to be briefed about the exact duties to be performed by him, and his superiors and subordinates.
Most organizations run orientation programs for this purpose. New employees are taken round the offices and plant, provided literature giving necessary information about the organization. They are also given lectures or shown films to add to their knowledge about the activities and schemes undertaken by the organization. Some organizations adopt the simple practice of attaching new employees to their senior colleagues for briefing on these matters.
Selection Process – 8 Step Process: Preliminary Interview, Application Bank, Employment Tests, Employment Interviews, Reference Checks and a Few Other Steps
The steps are explained in the following points:
Step # 1. Preliminary Interview:
Involves scrutinizing the applications and eliminating the unqualified candidates in the first round. If done effectively and carefully, this step could save a lot of time and money of the organization in later stages. Preliminary- interview is a sorting process and helps to determine whether it is worthwhile for a candidate to fill up the application form or not. Scrutiny at the very early stage of the selection process enables the HR manager to reject the unqualified job seekers.
Step # 2. Application Blank and Scrutiny of Applications:
Represent the second stage of the selection procedure. Candidates who pass the preliminary screening are required to fill the application blank, which asks for information, such as applicant’s name, educational qualifications, age, and experience. An application blank identifies the applicant who fulfils the minimum necessary condition for the job. An ideal application blank must extract or collect the information of employees on particular topics.
For instance, if a doctorate degree is essential for a candidate applying for a lecturer’s position in a university, a candidate who does not hold this qualification will be rejected at this stage itself. The HR manager then reviews the screened applications, after which letters for tests and interviews are dispatched to the screened candidates.
Step # 3. Employment Tests:
Refer to various tests, such as interest tests, aptitude tests, personality tests, and achievement tests, which are used by the organizations to select the right person for the right job. These tests try to obtain information that is not available from application blanks. In addition, these tests provide key information about a candidate’s personality, emotional intelligence, and ability to work under stress. For instance, Wipro uses psychometric tests to examine the interpersonal skills, communication skills, and analytical capabilities of the candidates before hiring them on senior jobs.
Step # 4. Employment Interviews:
Provide more information about the candidate. An employment interview provides an opportunity to the organization to meet the potential employees face to face and crosscheck the information previously collected from the candidates. An organization can obtain information of candidates on various aspects, such as knowledge, attitude, and communication ability, by means of interview.
The main purpose of the interview is to find out the suitability of the candidates for the job and give them details about the terms and conditions of their employment, the organization, and the HR policies. The employment interviews used for the selection procedure can be structured or unstructured.
In structured interviews, the questions that have to be asked in the interview are prepared well in advance. On the other hand, non-directive or unstructured interviews do not have a specific format or sequence in which questions would be asked. There are various types of interviews, such as situational, behavioral, personal, sequential, or board.
Situational interviews involve giving the candidates a hypothetical or real situation they might encounter on the job and then asking them what actions they would take to handle the situation. Behavioral interviews require a candidate to elaborate an actual problematic situation that they had encountered in the past and describe how they dealt with the situation. Stress interviews assess the candidate’s stress tolerance level. In this, a stressful situation is given to them and they are asked to respond accordingly.
Personal interviews refer to one to one interviews where the interviewer and the interviewee are the only two participants. Sequential interviews follow a sequence or process, where each member of the interview panel takes the interview of each candidate separately one after the other before taking the final decision. Board interviews involve a panel or board of interviewers, who interview a single candidate in a group. The interviewers arrive at final decision by combining the scores of all the interviewers.
An interview should be conducted in a proper atmosphere, where there is no noise or disturbance to the candidates, so that they feel mentally relaxed.
Step # 5. Reference Checks:
Provide useful and reliable information to the organization. Most application forms require a candidate to provide names of two or three referees whom the organization can contact to verify the information given by the candidate. These references may be work related or personal, including family or friends.
The basic purpose of reference checks is to verify the factual information provided by the candidate and crosscheck if the applicant has hidden any information, such as a criminal record. A limitation of this step is that the candidates may give names of only those referees who they feel would speak in their favor.
Step # 6. Physical Examination:
Discloses the physical characteristics of candidates that are significant from the point of view of their efficient performance on the job. This test ensures medical fitness of the candidates for the job. The potential employees are required to submit a medical certificate when they start working. It protects the organization against false claims under Workmen Compensation Act for any injury. For instance, those willing to join police services or army must meet the criteria of minimum required height.
Step # 7. Appointment Letter:
Signifies the process of offering a job to the selected candidates through an appointment letter. When the candidates have cleared all the rounds of the selection procedure, they are formally appointed by issuing an appointment letter. The appointment letter notifies that now they have become the employees of the organization. It mainly includes the date by which the employees must join the job.
An organization must provide appropriate time to the selected candidates to relocate, if required. In addition, if the selected candidates are already working with some organizations; they should be given sufficient time to serve the notice period and obtain the relieving certificates from the present employers.
Step # 8. Final Selection:
Constitutes the last step of the selection process. When the selected candidates accept the job offer and sign the joining agreement, they are placed on the job. It is the responsibility of the organization to introduce the newly joined employee with the organization and its culture.
At the initial level, the selected candidates may be kept on a probation period, say for three or six months. After the completion of probation period, they are confirmed as permanent employees if they are found suitable for the job. On the contrary, if the candidates are found unsuitable during their probation period, they may be transferred to some other job or department, given training to improve, or may be terminated from the organization.
There is no guarantee that the selected candidate who is offered a job will definitely accept it. Sometimes, the selected candidates refuse to accept the job offer and the organization perceives this as a serious issue of concern, as the selection process involves lots of money, time, and efforts of the organization. Researches conducted by various academicians and researchers have shown that the main reason for their refusal is their dissatisfaction related to one or more aspects of the job.
Selection Process – Complete Sequential Process: From Preliminary Screening to Contract of Employment
Selection is the second step of staffing process. It is the process followed to identify and choose the best person from the number of prospective candidates who apply for the job. It may involve conducting series of tests and interviews. Each stage of selection process aims to eliminate the candidates with lesser potential and finally select the right candidate. The process of elimination starts at the screening stage and ends with appointment of the chosen person.
Some Definitions of Selection as a Staffing Process:
Selection is the process of choosing from among the candidates from within the organisation or from the outside, the most suitable person for the current position or for the future position. – Dale Yoder
Selection is a managerial decision making process as to predict which job applicants will be successful if hired. – David and Robbins
Selection is the process of differentiating between applicants in order to identify and hire those with a greater likelihood of success in a job. – Stone
The selection process involves the following steps:
1. Preliminary Screening:
At this stage, the manager scrutinizes all the applications received for a job and eliminates the applications of unqualified or unfit candidates. The preliminary interviews further eliminate the candidates for reasons which may not be evident in the application form.
2. Selection Tests:
After the preliminary interview, the selected candidates need to go through the employment tests so that their aptitude, intelligence and personality can be measured.
An organisation may conduct different types of selection tests namely:
i. Intelligence Test – Intelligence test measures the level of intelligence quotient and indicates the candidate’s ability to learn, take decisions d make judgements.
ii. Aptitude Test – Aptitude test measures the ability to learn new skills. It indicates candidate’s capacity to develop.
iii. Personality Test – Personality test aims to measure the overall personality of a candidate in terms of emotions, reactions, maturity, value systems etc.
iv. Trade Test – Trade test aims to measure the candidate’s existing level of knowledge and proficiency.
v. Interest Test – Interest test aims to understand the pattern of interest or the area of involvement of person.
3. Employment Interview:
Once the candidate clears the basic screening and written tests, the selected candidates go through the formal interview process. It is the in-depth conversation between interviewer and interviewee where interviewer may seek information from interviewee and the interviewee is expected to provide the same. The interviewee may also seek information from the interviewer about the prospective job and the company.
4. Reference and Background Checks:
After clearing the personal interview, employer may request for names, addresses and telephone numbers of references which may include previous employers or any known persons who can act as references. References are used either to verify the information provided or seek additional information about the candidate.
5. Selection Decision:
Once the process of interviews and verifications are complete, the panel who conducted the selection process and the manager responsible for the performance of the new employee take the final decision regarding selection or rejection of the candidate.
6. Medical Examination:
After final selection, the candidate is required to undergo a medical fitness test to ensure that the candidate selected is medically fit.
7. Job Offer:
The organisation gives job offer to those candidates who successfully clear all stages of selection process. The job offer is made through a letter of appointment which if accepted by the candidate confirms the appointment. The job offer gives all the details about the job, joining date etc.
8. Contract of Employment:
Once the candidate is selected and he/she accepts the offer, the candidate and the organisation sign the legal document called ‘Contract of Employment’. It is the formal document which clearly describes the nature of job, responsibilities and duties, date of appointment, financial emoluments, working hours, types and number of leaves, grievance procedure, disciplinary procedure, termination procedure and general rules and regulations of the organisation. Contract of employment binds the employee and the employer by the stated rules and regulations.
Selection Process – 7 Main Steps Involved in the Selection Procedure
There cannot be a rigid procedure of selection suitable for all types of organizations. The number of steps in the selection procedure and the sequence of steps vary from organization to organization. For instance, some organizations do not hold preliminary interview, test or screening, whereas in other organizations such as commercial banks, preliminary tests are given to eliminate a large number of unsuitable applicants.
Similarly, in some cases, medical examination is given before final selection and in others, medical check-up follows final selection. Thus, every organization designs a selection procedure which suits its requirements.
However, the main steps which could be incorporated in the selection procedure are discussed below:
Step # 1. Preliminary Interview:
In most of the organizations, the selection programme begins with preliminary interview or screening. The preliminary interview is generally brief and does the job of eliminating the totally unsuitable candidates. The preliminary interview offers advantages not only to the organization, but also to the applicants. If an applicant is eliminated at this stage, the organization will be saved from the expenses of processing him through the remaining steps of the selection procedure and the unsuitable candidate will be saved from the trouble of passing through the long procedure.
Preliminary interview may take place across the counter in the organization’s employment office. It may consist of a short exchange of information with respect to organization’s interest in hiring and the candidate’s enquiry. It may serve primarily to determine whether it is worthwhile for the applicant to fill in an application blank. Candidates who pass this crude screening are usually asked to fill in the application blank.
Step # 2. Receipt of Applications:
Whenever there is a vacancy, it is advertised or enquiries are made from the suitable sources, and applications are received from the candidates. Standard application forms may be drawn up for all jobs and supplied to the candidates on request. The application form is useful for several reasons.
It gives a preliminary idea of the candidate to the interviewer and helps him in formulating the questions to be asked from the candidate. The written information about age, qualifications, experience, etc., may prove to be of great value to the interviewers. Forms make the processing of application very easy since there is uniformity of filling the data in the application form.
Step # 3. Screening of Applications:
After the applications are received, they are screened by the screening committee and a list is prepared of the candidates to be interviewed. Applicants may be called for interview on some specific criteria like gender, desired age group, experience and qualifications. The number of candidates to be called for interview is normally five to seven times the number of posts to the filled up.
Step # 4. Employment Tests:
Employment tests are used to select persons for various jobs. They help in matching the characteristics of individuals with the vacant jobs so as to employ right kinds of personnel.
The following types of tests have gained popularity these days:
(a) Intelligence Tests:
Intelligence tests are used to judge the mental capacity of the applicant. They evaluate the ability of an individual to understand instructions and make decisions. They are widely used in all types of organizations for the purpose of proper selection.
(b) Aptitude Tests:
Aptitude means the potential which an individual has for learning the skills required to do a job efficiently. Aptitude tests measure an applicant’s capacity and his potential of development. Aptitude tests are the most promising indices for predicting a worker’s success.
(c) Proficiency Tests:
Proficiency tests are designed to measure the skills already acquired by the individuals. They are also known as performance, occupational or trade tests. They are used to test the level of knowledge and proficiency acquired by an applicant. A trade test takes a sample of individual’s behaviour which is designed as replica of the actual work situation such as typing. A trade test should be differentiated from the aptitude test. An aptitude test measures the potentials of the applicant to learn skills required on a job.
(d) Interest Tests:
Interest tests identify patterns of interest in those areas in which the individual shows special concern, fascination and involvement. These tests suggest what types of jobs may be satisfying to the employees. Interest tests are more often used for vocational guidance. They help the individuals in selecting occupations of their interest.
(e) Personality Tests:
Personality tests probe for the qualities of the personality as a whole, the combination of aptitude, interest and usual mood and temperature. It is very difficult to devise and use personality tests because they are concerned with discovering clues to an individual’s value system, his emotional reactions, maturity, etc.
Although application blank and employment tests provide a lot of valuable information about the candidate, yet they do not provide the complete set of information required about the applicant. Hence, interview may be used to secure more information about the candidate.
The main purposes of an employment interview are:
(i) To find out the suitability of the candidate,
(ii) To seek more information about the candidate, and
(iii) To give him an accurate picture of the job with details of terms and conditions and some idea of organization’s policies.
The actual data of the applicant given in the application form may also be checked and more information may be taken from the candidate. This occasion is also utilized for testing the capability and personality of the applicant. Thus, interview affords an opportunity to develop a clear picture of the candidate.
It is customary to have an interview in several stages especially for senior positions. There may be a preliminary interview by the head of the department. The final interview is taken by the interview or selection committee consisting of chairman of the organization, head of department, personnel manager and may be some outside experts. During the interview, the members of the selection committee appraise each candidate according to merits.
At the end of interview of each candidate, the chairman consults the members and after a brief discussion finalizes the grading of the candidate. After the completion of interview of all the candidates, a panel is prepared. The number of persons in the panel is generally about two to three times the number of vacancies to be filled up.
Although personal interview is perhaps the most widely used method for selecting the personnel, it has certain limitations too. Firstly, it can test only the personality of the candidate and not his skills and ability for the job.
Secondly, it depends too much on the personal judgement of the interviewer which may not always be accurate. That is why, in most of the organizations, occupational and other tests are given to the candidates before they are called for the final interview.
Step # 5. Medical Examination:
The pre-employment physical examination or medical test of a candidate is an important step in the selection procedure. Though in the suggested selection procedure, medical test is located near the end, but this sequence need not be rigid. The organizations may place the medical examination relatively early in the process so as to avoid time and expenditure to be incurred on the selection of medically unfit persons.
Some organizations either place the examination relatively early in the selection procedure or they advise the candidates to get themselves examined by a medical expert so as to avoid disappointment at the end.
The objectives of physical examination are:
(i) To ascertain the applicant’s physical capabilities to meet the job requirements;
(ii) To protect the organization against the unwarranted claims under the Workmen’s Compensation Act or against law suits for damages; and
(iii) To prevent communicable diseases entering the organization.
The physical examination should disclose the physical characteristics of the individual that are significant from the standpoint of his efficient performance of the job he may be assigned or of those jobs to which he may reasonable be expected to be transferred or promoted.
A qualified medical expert appointed by the organization should certify whether the candidate is physically fit to the requirements of a job. A proper medical examination will ensure higher standards of health and physical fitness of the employees and will reduce the rates of accident, labour turnover and absenteeism.
Step # 6. Background Investigation:
A referee is potentially an important source of information about the candidate’s ability and personality if he holds a responsible position in some organization or has been the boss or employer of the candidate. Prior to final selection, the prospective employer normally makes an investigation on the references supplied by the applicant and undertakes more or less a thorough search into the candidate’s past employment, education, personal reputation, financial condition, police record, etc.
However, it is often difficult to persuade a referee to give his opinion frankly. The organization may persuade him to do so by giving an assurance that all information will be treated as strictly confidential.
Step # 7. Final Selection:
After a candidate has cleared all the hurdles in the selection procedure, he is formally appointed by issuing him an appointment letter or by concluding with him a service agreement. The appointment letter contains the terms and conditions of employment and pay scale and other benefits associated with the job.
Selection Process – 8 Step Process: From Sourcing of Candidates to Extending an Employment Offer
Selection is a long and tedious process. Every candidate has to pass through several hurdles before he/she can get selected for job.
Selection process involves the following steps:
1. Sourcing Candidates:
This is the first step in the selection process. Sourcing candidates means your employment specialist is using a variety of methods to find suitable candidates for job vacancies. Sourcing can be done via online advertising on job and career sites or professional networking and participation in trade associations. Another creative sourcing technique is monitoring employment changes at industry competitors to recruit applicants familiar with the same type of business you are operating.
2. Tracking Applicants:
The next step in the recruitment and selection process is tracking applicants and applications and reviewing resumes. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are becoming extremely helpful to employers, and this technology aids in the management of job vacancies and applications for every open position.
3. Preliminary Phone Interview:
Conducting a preliminary phone interview is essential for obtaining information about the applicant’s background, work history and experience. When your employment specialist conducts a preliminary interview, the objective is to determine whether or not the applicant has the requisite skills and qualifications for the job vacancy. Consistent with widely accepted human resources practices, the Texas Association of Counties recommends.
4. Face-to-Face Interview and Selection:
In this stage of the recruitment and selection process, the hiring manager reviews the applications and resumes the employment specialist forwarded to her/him. The hiring manager invites the applicant to interview face-to-face; communication about the interview and scheduling is generally handled by the employment specialist. This ensures that all qualified applicants receive the same information.
5. Checking of Reference:
Usually two to three references are taken with complete address, contact number and e-mail address. Companies are now making efforts to cross check information by communicating with references.
6. Medical Tests:
Medical tests relating to all health parameters are required to be undertaken by the candidate selected. Mostly, the medical tests are to be done at the Government hospitals. The reports are required to be mailed directly to the company so that no fudging is possible.
7. Final Selection:
Only after the medical test and checking with the references, the final selection of candidate is made.
8. Extending an Employment Offer:
Once the hiring manager decides which candidate is most suitable for the job vacancy, he/she informs the candidate of pre-employment matters, such as background inquiries, medical tests and, if applicable, licensing information. When recruiting for positions there is a need to negotiate the terms of employment, compensation and benefits, and other issues, a draft employment offer may change hands from the candidate to the employer until the parties reach an agreement.
Selection Process – Step by Step Process
The selection process consists of a series of stages and at every stage the candidates who are identified as unqualified or unfit are eliminated to select the best candidates among the pool of applicants.
The series of steps involved in the process of selection are described below:
Process # 1. Scrutinizing the Application/Initial Screening:
This is the very first elimination step in selection process. A relatively large number of applications are carefully scrutinized and the unqualified and untalented applicants are filtered. The potential applicants get a chance to go through the other selection processes. This process reduces unwanted workload and cost.
Process # 2. Application Blank:
Application Blank is an application in blank given by the recruiter on behalf of the employer to the applicants at the initial stage of selection process. This is the second step in selection process. This application blank is specifically designed to cater to the needs of the job vacancy to be filled. As the Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume received from the applicant along with the job application may not be in the same structure, it becomes very difficult for the selector to categorize or classify the applicants and it is also time consuming.
Hence, the application blank is given to make it uniform and concise to make the selection process easier and unbiased by uniformly obtaining relevant necessary information such as biographical, educational, work experience, scale of pay, extracurricular and references from the applicant.
Process # 3. Selection Tests:
Several tests are being conducted in the process of selection to determine whether the applicant possesses the necessary qualities to fit into the interested position in the organization. According to Milton M. Blum, “a test is a sample of an aspect of individual’s behaviour, performance and attitude”. Lee J. Cronbach defines test as “a systematic procedure for comparing the behaviour of two or more persons”. Selection is nothing but extracting the best among the available human resources applied for the job.
The important tests are discussed below:
i. Ability Tests:
The ability tests are conducted to test the subject/job knowledge, required skill sets, capabilities and capacity of the candidate to do the assigned job most effectively and efficiently. These tests are primarily done to identify and categorize the high, moderate and low performers among the candidates interested to take up the job. Obviously, the high performers will have an edge over the rest of the competitors.
Some of the ability tests are explained hereunder:
a. Aptitude Tests:
Aptitude tests are devised to test the ability and skills of the applicant. It tests various traits of the candidate and analyses for further development of the same when experience is added. In fact, the new entrants will have lesser or no experience but it is their ability to learn the tricks of the trade as quick as possible to outplay the rest and prove themselves which is important. It also enables to assess the candidates’ potential for further development and trainability.
b. Achievement Tests:
Achievement tests measures the candidates’ capacity to achieve in a given field or job. These tests are also known as occupational or trade, performance and proficiency tests. The previous performance or achievements of the candidate are considered for future potential of achievement in certain other fields.
c. Judgement Tests:
These tests are conducted to tests the presence of mind, tact and reasoning capacity to assess the situation and find solution for a problem.
ii. Personality Tests:
Personality tests such as Interest tests, Personality inventory tests, Attitude tests and Projective tests are conducted to study the overall picture of the candidate’s personality.
a. Interest Tests:
These tests will enable discovery of a person’s area of interest and accordingly provide a job that would give him greater job satisfaction. The most widely used interest test is Kuder Preference Record. It consists of three forms to measure different interests of the candidates. It enables to measure the candidates’ likes and dislikes in relation to work.
b. Personality Inventory Tests:
These tests are administered to measure the various personality traits of the candidates. They are also called ‘personality inventories’. Personality tests are conducted to test the personal characteristics of an applicant. Personality inventories or traits include interpersonal rapport, dominance, introversions, extroversions, submission, self-confidence, leadership quality, ambition, etc. These tests enable assessment of the reliability and character of the applicant.
c. Attitude Tests:
Attitude tests help to identify the applicant’s tendencies towards people, situation, action and such related things. Test of employee morale, social responsibility and study of value are well-known examples of attitude tests.
d. Projective Tests:
These tests are employed to learn the candidate’s values, motives, attitude, apprehensions, personality etc., from the interpretations or narrations he/she has made on the given ambiguous pictures, figures, etc.
iii. Emerging Tests:
The level of individual performance determines productivity and ultimately organizational growth and development. But, the level of performance varies from person to person due to different proportionate combination of the level of IQ, EQ, PQ and SQ. In fact every individual is a culmination of the four quotients.
These four quotients are explained below:
a. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests:
IQ tests come in many forms. Some tests use a single type of item or question while others use several different subtests. Most tests yield both an overall score and individual subtest scores. Most IQ tests include items from various domains, such as short-term memory, verbal knowledge, spatial visualization, numerical ability and perceptual speed.
IQ is a number used to indicate a person’s intelligence. A person’s IQ is based on a comparison of his or her score in an intelligence test with the scores of others in the same test. The simplest definition proposed is that intelligence is whatever intelligence tests measure. This constant ratio of mental age divided by chronological age is given the name ‘Intelligence Quotient’.
b. Emotional Quotient (EQ) Tests:
EQ tests or Emotional Intelligence tests are employed to test the emotional balance of the applicants especially when their emotional mind is at work. In the words of Arockiyasamy A, “Well-constructed EQ test will give an understanding of their level of EQ and the emotional competencies they need to concentrate or acquire. EQ test will help to handle stress, recognize job satisfaction and will stimulate innovative and creative ideas.
EQ test will help the tester to understand the candidates’ ability; to identify his or her emotional range and others, to facilitate thoughts, to understand emotions, to regulate the thinking process, speech and to take right decision in time, to build better interpersonal relationship and resolving conflicts, to make empathetic hearing, interaction and communication, to manage emotions more effectively”.
c. Physical Quotient (PQ) Tests:
PQ tests are administered on candidates in selection process to identify their ability to diagnose physical environment, ailments and finding the ways and means to address them appropriately.
The physical health is important for good performance of an individual because all other quotients rest on it. Arockiysamy A, defines physical quotient or intelligence as “recognizing and sensing any inconvenience or ailment in one’s body and to reason out and to take precautionary action to avoid disturbances and sufferings. Physical intelligence improves concentration and memory and reduces risk of back pain, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and depression.
Mental states influence the physical actions as much as physical actions influence the minds and moods. There are various ways, means and methods of determining the physical quotient. Common techniques are followed by organizations to define, rate, analyze and develop the physical attributes of their human resource”.
d. Spiritual Quotient (SQ) Tests:
SQ tests measure the candidate’s capacity to relate himself/herself with supernatural power, fellow human beings and other living and non-living organisms. Ingredients of SQ are values such as courage, integrity, intuition, compassion, empathy and knowing the limits of one’s knowledge.
SQ can also mean unlearning what others have taught; questioning life issues; thinking laterally or outside the box; seeing situations and issues differently; having a greater understanding of all possibilities. Spirituality is an essential component of a holistic approach to life, it finds an expression in creativity and all art forms and is the bit that adheres together conscious intellectual and intelligent action.
Spirituality sustains and gives hope when all others fail and it allows an individual to dream, aspire and raise oneself up. There are standardized questionnaires available to test the level of spiritual quotient of the candidates.
Steps in Designing Test Programme:
1. Objectives – The objectives of the test to be carried out should be well defined and specific whether it is to be done to hire workforce or for promotion or for counseling.
2. Job analysis – The two important documents which facilitate selection, the job description and job specification are the outcome of the job analysis. Hence, job analysis must be done before designing the tests.
3. Choice of test(s) – The choice of the right test relies on the objectives of conducting it. The reliability, validity, criteria, cost, ease of administration should be considered while selecting the test to be employed.
4. Administration of tests – The test should be administered as it ought to be, without any deviation.
5. Test results and evaluation – The outcome of the test should be recorded and should be kept confidential till the final result of the selection is declared after evaluation.
Advantages of Testing:
i. Selection test enables to assess the candidates’ potential for further development.
ii. It is time saving and cost effective when administered on a group of candidates.
iii. It is a method of diagnosis of personal, professional and situational qualities.
iv. It is an unbiased tool in the selection process.
v. It helps to know the hidden talents and behavioural pattern of the candidates.
vi. It facilitates scientific and statistical analysis.
Process # 4. Conducting Interviews:
An interview is a face-to-face interaction between the interviewee and the interviewer. It provides an opportunity to both the interviewer and the interviewee to meet in person and learn about their requirements. The interviewer asks the interviewee necessary questions to study his aptitude and attitude.
The important interviews are discussed here under:
i. Preliminary Interviews:
The first interview is conducted to know the general suitability of the candidate’s interested to take up a job. A team of professionals conduct an interview primarily to eliminate the candidates who are unqualified and unfit. This is to eliminate the unsuitable candidates initially and cut cost and time in the selection process. If the interviewers find that the candidates may be fit for the job then they will be allowed to go through further process of selection.
ii. Structured Interview:
This interview is structured based on the series of questions to be asked to all the interviewees. The questions are predetermined and structured well in advance and the same questions are asked to all the applicants attending the interview, interchangeably. At the end of the structured interview, the interviewees are ranked based on the score they have achieved in the interview. The series of questions asked in structured questions will vary according to the nature of jobs.
iii. Unstructured Interview:
By the terminology used one can understand that the interview is not structured, rather it is done at random. It is contrary to the structured interview. Unlike the structured interview, several indefinite and dissimilar set of questions are asked to the interviewee, creating an atmosphere for free interaction in learning the intensity of subject knowledge. It is the interviewer who decides upon the fitness for the job based on the interviewees responses to the random questions asked in the interview.
iv. Stress Interview:
Stress interviews are conducted in the selection process to study the temperament and emotional balance of the interviewee. The interviewer creates stressful situations by asking and doing irrational and irritating questions and activities in the interview and observes the way in which the interviewee reacts to the situation. Stress interview is conducted to select candidates for the position responsible for enhancing customer relations and public relations.
v. In-Depth Interview:
This interview is conducted to test the level of knowledge of the interviewee in particular field(s) intensively and extensively. It is to test the depth of knowledge which the interviewee possesses on a specific subject. This enables the interviewer to learn about the interviewee’s expertise and practical exposure with regard to his field of specialization. It is time consuming but it covers all elements of the interviewee, exhaustively.
vi. Panel Interview:
When group of people interview the interviewee, it is called panel interview. As we generally understand that two heads are better than one, all the panel members ask different subject questions of their own understanding- and experience in their areas of specialization. Every panel member awards marks to the interviewee, exclusively. At the end, the aggregation of all the panel members score is done and the candidates are ranked accordingly.
This eliminates a biased scoring and elimination of deserving candidates on other unethical and illegal ground. It also ensures more reliability in selection of candidates if it is properly done.
vii. Telephonic Interview:
Telephonic interviews are conducted when the candidate lives in a faraway place and finds it difficult to attend the preliminary interview for various reasons. Not wasting time and money on either side, some organizations conduct telephonic interviews as a screening process to eliminate the unqualified and unfit candidates at the earlier stage of selection process.
viii. Online Interview:
These days, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have enabled online interviews. Internet and computer technologies connect people irrespective of distance between them to interact and conduct interviews. Nowadays, video conferencing method is also used to interview candidates living in faraway places.
Prerequisites for Successful Interview:
i. The day, time and venue of interview should be scheduled in convenience to both the interviewer and the interviewee.
ii. All the relevant information with regards to the interview should be revealed to the parties concerned well in advance.
iii. Proper guidelines must be given to the interviewer for ready reference.
iv. A copy of Profile / CV / Resume of the interviewee should be provided to the interviewer before the start of the interview.
v. Interview must be reciprocal, ensuring a sense of satisfaction to both the parties.
vi. Interview should not be done hurriedly or end abruptly.
vii. Interview should be comprehensive, unbiased, unambiguous and complete.
Process # 5. Physical Examination:
Physical/Medical examination is a test of physical fitness of the candidate. As the saying goes ‘sound mind is in sound body’, it is the physique that determines the mental, emotional and spiritual state of a person. This will enable the selector to know whether the candidate is suffering from any ailment or dreaded diseases which may hamper his normal functioning at his workplace.
It also checks the soundness of all the sensory organs which are mostly used on the shop floor. Nowadays, the candidates are asked to undergo physical examination under a specific physical examiner and obtain physical fitness certification before claiming the appointment order. This practice eliminates fake certification to get a job.
Medical examination is important for the following reasons:
i. To determine the physical fitness of the candidate to take up a job.
ii. To record the candidate’s disabilities at the time of selection.
iii. To prevent people suffering from contagious diseases.
iv. To identity the candidates who are suitable to different jobs.
v. To provide job offer to differently-abled people as required by the Governments.
Process # 6. Reference Check:
A reference check is the penultimate step in selection process before making an offer. Referees will be people who have previously supervised the applicant in a professional capacity. It has been a wide spread practice to know the reliability and trustworthiness of the chosen candidates from the previous employer.
The selector has to ensure dependability in obtaining information about of the chosen candidates. As the referees are given by the candidates, they must be close to the interviewee and it will lead to a biased opinion about the candidate. Therefore, it calls for prudence and shrewdness in assessing the feedback received from the referees. This should be done in confidence to avoid misconception.
Process # 7. Final Selection:
The successful candidate who proves to be the best candidate for a job by passing through selection stages is offered a formal, written appointment order or letter stating the necessary salary details and rules and regulations of the company. Appointment letter reveals to the candidates the post, the rank, the salary grade, the date of joining and other terms and conditions in brief. It is to be counter signed by the candidate on acceptance of his appointment.