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Concordia University
MANA 298

SELECTION Selection may be defined as the process of choosing individuals who have relevant qualifications to fill existing or projected job openings. Importance of Employee Selection To obtain and retain the best qualified candidate. Selection is the process of choosing from a group of applicants the best suited individual for a significant impact on the quality of the selection decisions. An organisation that invests in high quality employees reap substantial returns in terms of better productivity and greater profit. A bad hire can affect the morale of the whole workforce, especially in a situation where teamwork is essential. The hiring process, itself, can be complicated, time consuming and costly to an employer. Selecting the wrong person for any job can be even more costly to the firm and may cause irreparable damage. 1 Factors influencing selection decision (i) Internal Environmental Factors Internal Environmental factors which influence selection decisions include: • The size of the organisation: the bigger the organisation, the more formal the selection process. • The type of the organisation: Greater complexity requires more sophiscated selection. • The nature of social pressure: Such pressure may emerge from ethnic groups, social and religious groups, trade unions and even legislation. • Speed of decision making: A slow selection decision-making process may bring production to a standstill. • Selection methods: Those selection methods which are determined by a number of factors including the abilities of the staff involved in the selection process, the cost of various selection assessment and the complexities of the administration. (ii) External Environmental Factors External Environmental factors which impact on selection decisions include: • The nature of the labour market: in the instance there are few individuals with the skills required, the selection process would be unsophisticated and short. • Trade unions: where employees who belong to a trade union can make certain demands. • Social groups: employees of a particular social group can put pressure to have their members be selected to fill certain vacancies • Government regulations: where legislation may affect the manner in which the selection process is executed. Labour legislation has a significant impact on the manner in which organisations conduct selection activities. Indeed, the legislation stipulates that an organisation that either directly or indirectly discriminates against a job applicant will be regarded to have committed an unfair labour practice. 2 The Selection Process 3 1. Provisional selection interview The provisional selection interview usually lasts for about ten minutes and is used to determine whether the applicant meets the minimum requirements. Also, this initial screening of applicants is to eliminate those who obviously do not meet the position’s requirements. 2. Evaluation of Application Form(s) Application forms set out the information on a candidate in a fair number of replies that have been received. It is important to sift the application forms. Astandard acknowledgement letter has to be sent to each applicant. If the application has been done electronically, the applicant may be asked to complete and return an application form. Compare the applications with the key criteria in the job specification and sort them into three categories: possible, marginal and unsuitable. Scrutinise the possible again and draw up a short list for interview. 3. Selection Methods During this phase of the selection phase of the selection process, various selection methods are applied including selection tests, interviews, biodata, group methods, in trays, presentation, work simulations, personality assessment, assessment centres, reference and background checks and medical examination. 4 a) Selection Tests The selection tests are conducted to assess the individual’s potential for success and his/her analytical mind. In many organisations, written examinations are conducted to assess the individual’s potential, whereas assessment tests can also be in the form of IQ tests or technical tests. The main objective of these tests as a screening method will aim at testing the potentials of candidates and thus eliminate all those who are not to the expected standards. b) Interviews It is important that the interviewers are well trained and be conversant with the objectives of the interview so as to get the relevant information following the interview. It is equally important for interviewers to know the questions that should not be asked during the interview stage of employee selection. It is illegal to discriminate against anyone based on race, national origin, religion, sex, colour or marital status.  Face to Face Interview The most common interview is the face to face communication which allows the interviewers to gain considerable information about the applicant’s background, experience, attitude, value and interest. It also gives the interviewers the opportunity to observe the non verbal cues and dress code of the applicant. 5 It is an opportunity for job applicant to find out more about the job and the organisation.  Telephone Interview Organisation are always struggling to reduce selection costs. Telephone interviews, which is not a new method, lacks the advantage of face to face contact. Nevertherless, the telephone may be the most economically feasible way to exchange information with applicants in distant locations. In addition, an employer can screen a larger number of candidates using this method. Types of Interview There are different types of interviews that may be carried out by the employer and latter needs to consider which type of interview will be more appropriate. The different types of interview include:  Structured Interview The structured interview is a guided conversation with specific themes and pre-planned questions. Interviews are standardised and all candidates are asked the same questions in the same order. In structured interview, the objective is to have consistency in the questions asked to all applicants thus, the ability to compare the answers of the different candidates. 6  Unstructured Interview In unstructured interview, open ended and probing questions are asked. The objective of unstructured interview is to direct the conversation towards the potentials and capabilities of the employee. Through the unstructured interview, more information may be obtained about the candidates. However, unstructured interview has some drawbacks. It is criticised for being over subjective, prone to the interviewer’s bias and time consuming.  Semi-Structured Interview The semi-structured interview is a combination of structured and unstructured interviews, that is, it is partly structured and partly unstructured. This type of interview is conducted with a fairly open framework which allows for focused, conversational, two way communication. Not all questions are designed and phrased ahead of time. The majority of
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