Based on Human Resource Management (4th Edition) by Alan Price -
published by Cengage
The purpose of this section is to:
In free market countries, the personnel profession has adopted a 'best practice'
model which fits the prevailing business ideology. This model prescribes a quest for
the 'right (best) person for the job'. To achieve this goal, criteria are used to rate
prospective applicants by means of selection techniques, including biographical data,
interviews, psychometric tests, group exercises, simulated work samples and even
handwriting analysis. The most definitive form of selection is likely to take place
within the context of assessment centres, which involve several assessors and a variety
of selection techniques. The 'best-person' or psychometric model has achieved the status
of orthodoxy in free market countries. Elsewhere different models of resourcing apply.
For example, in Japan there is a greater concern with personality and background than
presumed ability. Recruits are sought who will 'fit in' with the culture of the
corporation; who will be content to build a career within the organization; who will
absorb the goals of the organization.
- Evaluate the screening or preselection stage of employee resourcing.
- Introduce the concepts of validity and reliability in relation to different selection methods.
- Provide a critical overview of selection methods.
- Investigate the frequency of use of different selection methods.
After pre-selection screening, surviving applicants meet the formal decision-making procedure
termed ‘selection’. Biased selection processes can result in hiring unsuitable people
(false positives); or may lead to a failure to hire applicants who would have been suitable
for the job (false negatives).
Sophisticated selection methods are not common in small companies, most of which
continue to depend on informal methods for selection decisions - typically references
and one or two interviews - although more sophisticated methods such as work samples
can be effective (Wyatt et al., 2010). In contrast, large organizations have adopted a
range of methods to aid decision-making.
Practicality and Sensitivity
Selection methods must be practical within the timeframe, budget and circumstances prevailing.
They must also be able to distinguish between candidates on the basis of suitability - and, perhaps, potential and trainability.
Reliability and Validity
Methods must be consistent over time, consistent between selectors (inter-rater reliability) and show
consistency between items/questions intended to evaluate the same criterion. Validity takes three forms:
- Face validity - does the method evaluate what it is supposed to evaluate?
- Construct validity - does it evaluate a construct such as 'commitment'?
- Predictive validity - does it predict the suitability of a particular candidate?
The chapters on employee selection in Human Resource Management and
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management (Price, 2011) go into further detail and compare validities of
different selection methods.
Fairness is a further requirement: specifically, candidates’ perceptions of the equity of the
process. Good candidates are more likely to accept an offer if they consider that the procedure
has been fair, effective and considerate while rejected applicants will continue to have
a positive view of an organization’s employer brand if they feel they have been fairly treated.