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The purpose of this report is to study recruitment and selection best practices applied in organizations in different industries. The report describes advantages of successful implementation of e-recruitment strategies in organization and psychometric testing strategies as important selection methodology. These best practices are developed and followed as standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use. But at the same time not all best practices are suitable for all organizations and industries. The report, points out the differences in each of the scenarios discussed.
Recruitment is the process of hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organization) for a job vacancy, in a time and cost effective manner. The recruitment process includes analyzing the job requirements, attracting prospective employees to that job, screening and selecting applicants, and hiring the new employee to the organization.
Success of an organization begins with the attitudes and abilities of employees and their committed efforts. For this reason, organizations strive to attract and hire the best. Every corporation experiences staff turnover for various reasons such as career change, change in location, returning to education, a new opportunity elsewhere, or poor job performance. Recruitment and selection is very expensive and businesses try to keep staff turnover to a minimum. One way of doing this is to "choose wise". Hence, for a recruiter of a large or a small organization, it is critical to keep up with the latest best practices, approaches and strategies. Businesses are moving away from traditional recruiting practices and adopting new ones .This report will explore some contemporary recruitment practices incorporated in different organizations and industries. Where the focus will be on how successful these "best practices" have been in finding the- right fit for the right job.
Summary of articles reviewed
To learn about the recruitment & selection best practices in the industry a literature review was made on the following journals -
An Examination of HR Strategic Recruitment and Selection Approaches in China- HR practices in the east differ from that of the west in many ways, because of the culture, hierarchy, people believes. China still uses many HR practices of the western world. And this articles studies of what is currently practiced and where can there be improvements.
An analysis of the use and success of online recruitment methods in the UK selling & Sales Management in Action: Assessment Center Selection of Sales Representatives- this article studies the success of online recruitment amongst recruitment managers in several organizations in different industries.
'We recruit attitude': The selection and shaping of routine call centre labor"- This article talks about how a call centre company identifies its social competencies and decides to tackle them in terms of selection and recruitment process.
Current Recruitment and Selection Practices: A National Survey of Fortune 1000 firms. This study identifies the best selection and recruitment practices followed by the human resource departments in 151 top fortune 1000 companies.
Using literature review, the report discusses two different best practices towards recruitment, both of which aim towards recruiting the right people on a job.
According to Galanaki (2002), the use of online recruitment has increased globally as a result of technological facilitation of communication through official corporation website or job referral site. The term online recruitment implies the formal sourcing of job information online. This is a fairly new practice tool which can reduce costs significantly when compared to newspaper advertisements. Nike, the world's number one shoemaker claims that it has saved 54% of recruitment costs since it's online and reduced time to fill vacancies on an average has from 62 days to 42 (Strategy Human Resource Review, 2005). In the present day organizations, HR uses internet in several ways to aid recruitment. For instance, to advertise in e-job portals like monster.com or have a career site for one's own company, use of internet social media like facebook.com and twitter to reach out to prospective candidates. Or even have interviews on skype.com. In contrast to the conventional methods of using newspaper advertisements and word of mouth that are not continuous medium, technology database enables an electronic recruitment advertising to store and retrieve data, has a wider geographical reach, make the company more aware of the current trends in skill availability, and also attracts a passive job seeker (Zhou,2006).
Let us take an example(Brouat,2011)of Delloite- a service major in auditing, consulting, and financial advisory, was facing difficulty in recruiting in Netherland as at a given time about 10% of people are looking for a new job. Lennart Sloof the manager of online employer manager turned tables for the company. He took advantage of the fact that Holland is one of the most advanced countries in terms of social media. At a crisis situation, of hiring 1000 new recruits between years 2010 and 2011 in a labor tight market, the e-recruitment team came up with a new career website for the company, exclusive of Delloite corporation website carrying testimonials of current employees, profiles of recruitment staff with pictures, direct telephone numbers, a live chat to connect with recruiters online, and an employee blog. The team ran several contests in social media websites like Facebook and Hyves, twitter, linked-in and carried out some fun social activities.
These activities resulted not only in achieving a target of 1000 new hires in one year, but also a significant reduction in recruitment costs. As seen in the table below fig(i) .
Investment on external hiring agencies (*1000 Euros)
Investments on job boards(*1000 Euros)
Figure (i)- Investment in hiring activities in four consecutive years
What was different in Delloite's approach to e-recruitment was to use the internet to reach out to people, spread brand awareness through social media and divert traffic to its career website, which was fun filled and had a human touch. Direct hires through Social Media represent only 2% of delloit's hires but the indirect benefits of Social Media are far better in creating benefits.
On the contrast, an article by (Parry& Tyson, 2008) carries out a survey on the success of online recruitment methods in organizations in UK. The survey was carried out for online recruitment activity conducted over a period of six years in organizations. Online recruitment activities include use of corporate website, use of online job boards, online advertisements in the past six months. To facilitate the survey an interview was conducted with senior HR managers and resourcing managers from range of organization in different industries and asked for their opinions on whether their use of online recruitment had been successful or unsuccessful. Majority of the interviewees agreed to the reduction of costs and increase in efficiency. Over six years of this study, their use on online sources had increased slightly over time. However, interviewee's response to the success of online recruiting was mixed. Some said that it helps to promote the employer brand and provide better service to candidate but for some influx of irrelevant application went very high which implied extra time and effort. Some recruiters still perceive that this practice of recruitment is suitable for young graduates or are effective for technology based organizations and not manufacturing. While a number of interviewees had been able to attract good-quality applicants using Internet, but this was not true for all. Some respondents felt a lack of personal touch in online job boards. Out of the total interviewees, 59% had stopped online recruitment process because of large number of unsuitable responses and 52% of them received no or very low number of responses. Most of the people surveyed expressed that the online recruitment method is not suitable for blue-collar jobs or high management jobs although works well for knowledge workers or mid management levels.
Psychometrics refers to the study and measurement of personality traits, attitudes, knowledge and abilities. Psychometric testing is the process of assessing a candidate's relevant strengths and weaknesses with an aim to gain clarity on the candidate's cognitive abilities, personality and behavioral style. This technique is primarily employed to check if the candidate fits the Company's Organizational culture. (Source: Psychometric Testing Guide > What is Psychometric Testing )
Candidates are usually assessed based on both cognitive tests and personality assessments. In Psychometric tests, candidates are assessed based on the following six main cognitive
Abstract / conceptual reasoning - These tests are intended to assess as to how quickly and accurately a candidate can learn complex information to aid in problem solving processes.
Verbal reasoning aptitude - These tests assess a candidate's ability to grasp and communicate business related information in verbal format. It tests the candidate on his or her writing and communication skills as to how effectively he or she interprets the given information and ideas to build accurate conclusions.
Numerical reasoning aptitude - These tests evaluate candidates based on their ability to analyze numerical data or graphs to establish accurate conclusions (Source: Psychometric Testing Guide > What is Psychometric Testing | http://www.psychpress.com.au).
Mechanical reasoning tests - Evaluate candidates based on their ability to recognize and understand the kinetic properties of visual bodies.
Spatial reasoning tests- concentrate on the candidates ability to perceive and build on visual objects in differing contexts (Source: Psychometric Testing Guide > What is Psychometric Testing).
Emotional Intelligence reasoning - This looks at how the candidates can handle emotional components. This plays an integral part in assessing a candidate when it comes to roles such as human resources, customer services, sales roles and team work.
In addition to being tested for specific abilities, candidates are also assessed based on their personality traits for job suitability. The five traits that usually relate people's personality to their behavior are Extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism and openness to experience (Barrick, M. R., Mount, M. K., & LI, N. 2013). There are many commercially available tests that evaluate potential candidates on these grounds. These questionnaires may also be customized to be made occupation specific, for example customer services, sales jobs etc.
Research conducted by Schmidt and Hunter (1998) confirmed that the resumes or application letters were least effective for predicting future job performance of the applicants. On the other hand, Psychometric tests, especially cognitive ability tests, topped the chart in this research. It was found that adding cognitive ability tests to existing selection procedures in job interviews increased the ability of predicting the future work performance and productivity by 24% (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). In contrast to resume screening, online psychometric tests helps gain access by efficient means to the applicant's true personality and other behavior factors in a matter of seconds - which may not be present in the resume of the applicant (Source : Schmidt and Hunter Research Summary. (Psychometric Testing & Employee Surveys -Onetest) Simple pricing models make psychometric tests very affordable and thus many organizations are encouraged to use online psychometric tests as one of the best practices to screen their applicants in their recruitment and selection process. These tests help in improving an organizational performance by better matching the candidates to jobs and improving the employee retention.
For example, Callaghan and Thompson (2002) did a research on a call centre recruitment and found that the key job requirements were 'Good communication skills and personality traits along with a less emphasis on technical skills'. In this case, the company's main challenge was to find employees who would have a good attitude towards customers. This was understood by the recruitment and selection managers of the company as one of the factors that stem from an individual's personality.
There is a plethora of evidence of that cognitive tests are very good predictors of candidates' performance across a wide range of jobs. However, the validity of personality testing in predicting performance is more controversial. Some researchers have commented that the prediction correlations in this field could be of a very little value or even entirely false (Blinkhorn & Johnson, 1990).
Recruitment and selection is one of the major functions of human resources. A resource manager or recruiter would benefit immensely by making himself or herself aware of the best practices and strategies in leading organizations. Recruiting practices such as psychometric testing and e-recruitment are comparatively new but highly effective in evaluations. Personality testing and online recruitment is slowly gaining popularity in various organizations. While on one hand it is useful to know these techniques, a recruitment manager must evaluate the effectiveness of these with respect to the organizational business and culture fit. Best practices in recruitment employed in one industry might turn out to be a night mare in terms of cost and effort in another. Although a right mix of different practices could be a key to solving recruitment and selection dilemmas in modern day organizations.