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An interview is an organised formal meeting of an interviewer (representative of the employer) and interviewee (job applicant) used to evaluate a potential employee for the purpose of employment at an organisation. Interviews are one of the most common recruitment and selection processes. Job interviews typically precede a hiring decision and often form part of the assessment centre process. Interviews can be conducted in several ways such as Face-to-Face interviews, telephonic interviews and interviews over the internet. Most job interviews last for about one hour, although telephone interviews and technical interviews are usually shorter.
Even though interviews are the most widely used employment technique, research has not been able to show that it has high predictive validity. An interview does not accurately assess the candidate’s ability at work, relevant experience and work skills. A further problem with interviews is that factors that are not related to the job influence the employment decision: clothing, colour, ethnic origin, gender, accent, physical features or a disability might be such factors. There is also evidence that interviewers make decisions very rapidly on little information and hence interviews are exposed to interviewer bias and failure of human judgement. This low validity of interviews is compounded by evidence of poor interviewer reliability leading to a lot of complexity in the selection process. There are potential pitfalls in using interviews as a selection process and it is advisable to choose supplementary techniques.
Therefore, being the Head of Personnel Management at Recovery Insurance Group, I would like to introduce supplementary techniques in order to increase the efficiency of recruitment and selection in the organisation. It is possible to complement information gained from interviews by different supplementary techniques and integrate additional measures into the selection and decision making process. These techniques can aid objective assessments of a candidate’s ability. However, the use of such techniques requires a high degree of skill and training and their use should be carefully monitored and controlled to ensure they are free of bias and that they do not inadvertently discriminate against disadvantaged groups. For example, special facilities may be required when testing disabled candidates.
Following are the supplementary techniques to improve the effectiveness of recruitment and selection process:
The use of assessment processes based upon tests and questionnaires is expanding. It reduces the risks of hiring and developing people who turn out to be unsuitable. The financial costs attached to wrong decisions on employment can be considerable. Tests can be a very useful tool in the recruitment and selection process as it can actually replicate certain parts of the job. Whereas, an interview can only indicate that the applicant has the ability to do the job. Certain types of common tests used in recruitment and selection are Psychological tests, Aptitude tests, Personality tests, Intelligence tests, Ability tests, Work sample, etc. A test requires the candidates to do something which will be done in the job and hence increases face validity, making it more acceptable by the candidates. Therefore, tests can be used in interviews as the basis for further investigation and questioning about an applicant’s abilities.
Most jobs involve working with others and so the selection process should involve an element of group work. A group exercise is an assessed discussion exercise that involves a small group of candidates (usually 8-10 people), following a question posed by a member of a company’s recruitment team. Group exercises allow plentiful possibilities for active working and interactions within the candidates. Interaction allows different experiences to be exchanged and applied to the subject. The candidates can be asked to complete a practical task or take part in a discussion and their ability to interact with people can be assessed. Group exercises help the recruitment team to identify leadership skills, responsibility, team working skills and a shared group dynamic. It supports role play and provides candidates with social feedback.
This method involves the construction and application of a procedure or task that simulates or models the work involved in the company. The simulation is designed to represent, as closely as possible, the actual job situation. Candidates try out their performance in the simulated activity and have it evaluated based on how much a task is accomplished. The candidates are provided certain objectives, play the game, and have their output monitored. Their performance can be documented and measured and the candidates with highest performance are generally short listed. Job simulation is a very important supplementary technique for selection and recruitment of complex job profiles.
Organisations use a variety of recruitment sources to attract applicants like direct applications, employee referrals, newspaper advertising, employment agencies, and executive search firms. Recruiting the right person to the right position is of crucial importance to the performance of every company. At the same time recruitments are expensive, difficult and time-consuming. Web based recruitment tools can be used to publish job postings, administrate applications, including spontaneous applications, and build up a CV Database.
This recruitment strategy includes identification of the right channels with a campaign that effectively summarizes the job requirements, company and community. A simple job posting in a publication or online career centre is no longer enough – the employer also needs to market itself as a place the candidate would want to work and its community as a place the candidate would want to live. Companies often adopt online systems because they believe e-recruiting is more likely than traditional recruitment sources to uncover individuals with unique talents and skills. The logic here is that online recruiting systems permit firms to cast a wide net across a broad labour market and, therefore, may be more likely to reach high quality applicants than other sources.
I would recommend the line managers of Recovery Insurance Group to opt for this system of e-recruitment as it is clear that job applicants are using online systems to search for jobs and gather information employment opportunities in organisations. Furthermore, e-recruiting may be particularly effective as we are searching for personnel assistant proficient with computer systems. Also, online systems can be used to attract passive job seekers who are currently employed, but are secretly searching for new and better employment opportunities.
There has been increased volume of online applications because individuals often spend more time searching for jobs online as the process is simpler and faster than traditional systems. However, increasing the volume of applicants may also lead to increase in administrative burden in an organisation and increase overall transaction costs over time.
Furthermore, some analysts have argued that online systems allow employers to tailor their recruitment to specific labour markets through the use of specialised websites and job boards that target applicants with distinctive skills and backgrounds. Some candidates may be more receptive to e-recruiting and more likely to use the system than others. This is because candidates need to have an access to computers and have the skills needed to use the technology. As a result, online recruiting systems generally attract candidates who are well educated, have the ability to navigate the internet and are searching for relatively high level jobs. Online recruitment attracts individuals with higher achievement, drive, and persistence levels than traditional recruitment sources.
Effectiveness of Online Recruitment
Organisations use online recruitment systems for multiple purposes, including attracting candidates, communicating benefits about the organisation, and assessing applicants’ knowledge, skills, abilities and other personality requirements. Some companies now use software to scan applicants CVs for keywords and provide them immediate feedback whether they are qualified for the job. Other organisations use online aptitude tests, personality inventories or simulations to assess candidates’ critical thinking and decisions making skills. Many firms conduct online interviews or allow candidates to submit video clips as part of their application process.
The online recruitment system allows a large number of applicants to be screened quickly and efficiently. The growing use of these systems justify that the online assessment techniques may be much more objective and, therefore, less biased by non job related factors like age, race, gender, etc.
Online recruitment systems also allow companies to provide applicants with unique information about their company and give them a more realistic idea of what it is like to work for that organisation. Some organisations allow candidates to observe the firm’s activities through virtual systems, and others use highly creative means of providing applicants with realistic job previews. Applicants can collect more realistic information from the websites rather than traditional sources because websites allow flexibility in gathering data that were relevant to them. They choose jobs and organisations that fit with their personal values, beliefs and attitudes. As a result, many organisations emphasize information about their strategic goals and culture so that applicants can make informed decisions about whether they will be satisfied with the organisation. Another potential benefit of online recruitment systems is that websites can easily be used to communicate vacancy characteristics like pay, benefits, perquisites, and advantages of working with the company.
There has been a tremendous increase in the use of telephone interviewing for recruitment and selection. Many organisations conduct telephone interviews in the early stages of the recruiting and selection process because it can be a cost and time efficient way to short list candidates. This method of interviewing also offers valuable insight for positions that require phone communication skills.
Recruitment teams generally conduct face to face interviews before making a final hiring decision, but telephone interviews can help them select the best candidates to meet. Telephone interviews can be used to screen out unsuitable applicants or as an integral part of the selection process.
Telephone Interview for Screening:
Short, rigidly structured interviews based on criteria.
A competency-based screening interview, where candidates are asked a number of multiple choice questions to gauge suitability for the job role.
Telephone Interview for Selection:
A structured telephone role play when roles require advanced telephone communication skills.
A sales telephone interview when a candidate is asked to sell something to the interviewer over the phone.
An in depth semi-structured for senior or managerial positions where it is more difficult to capture experience and skills on paper.
An alternative to face to face interviews for people who are based overseas or unavailable for long periods of time.
Pros of Telephone Interviewing
Can be quicker to arrange and conduct than other conventional methods.
Can be cost effective as an initial screen.
Can maintain a degree of confidentiality of post as these details will only be provided once the initial screening is completed.
Acts as an ideal way to assess the candidate’s telephone manners.
There are fewer interpersonal distractions.
They provide little or no opportunity to discriminate on the grounds of race, disability, age or other non job related factors.
Cons of Telephone Interviewing
Candidates may be unfamiliar with the format or uncomfortable using the telephone, which could make them nervous and/or provoke uncharacteristic responses.
It is difficult to make a thorough assessment of a candidate over the telephone. Non-verbal behaviour or body language, both of which are important in forming an opinion of people, cannot be gauged over the telephone.
Telephone interview candidates learn less about your business than those who visit your premises and meet potential colleagues in person. The on-site experience helps candidates decide whether they wish to pursue the interviewing process. It is important to remember that the recruitment process works both ways, providing an opportunity for candidates to assess your business as it allows you to assess them.
Considering the pros and cons of telephone interviewing, I will not recommend Recovery Group to reply on this method as a selection tool for recruiting a Personnel Assistant. The skills and attributes expected from the potential employee cannot be effectively assessed over the telephone. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct a traditional face to face interview supplemented by other selection tools for the recruitment of an ideal candidate.
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