This week we examine the most effective methods used to identify and select employees during the recruitment process.
It is the de facto approach - advertise job vacancy, receive a CV and covering letter from each applicant, sift through the supplied information and then decide who to progress to the next stage.
Aside from the time costs, when used alone, this approach relies heavily on trusting subjective, rather than objective information. Read on to find out what the most useful methods used by recruiters are....
When it comes to obtaining a rounded and full picture of a group of candidates, assessment centres have been proved to be un-matchable.
An assessment centre is not necessarily an actual place, it is often a process, whereby candidate aptitude and likely job performance are assessed using various aptitude and personality diagnostic measurements.
By assessing job related abilities or placing applicants in certain scenarios and evaluating their performance over time, in relation to competencies required within the role, recruiters are able to build up a reliable prediction of potential performance.
In order to accurately judge a candidate's general ability in a particular area related to the role, 75% of FTSE 100 companies use ability or aptitude tests.
For example, a lawyer would be expected to display above average verbal reasoning and critical thinking ability, whereas an accountant would be required to exhibit a high level of numerical reasoning expertise.
The tests are usually timed and can be conducted online to enable all volumes of candidates to be tested - the key point to remember is that the results are objective.
In other words, you are not relying on information provided by the candidate (such as school or university attended or grades achieved) when making a decision to either sift out or progress the application.
In order to be able to accurately compare applicants' interview performance, the commonly used procedure is to use a structured interview.
This is when candidates are all asked the same set of questions and in the same order, to ensure that responses can be reliably amalgamated and a fair depiction of their performance can be arrived at.
The CV, despite its reliability on subjective information, still acts as an effective initial signposting of candidate qualifications and experience.
Submitting a CV remains the definitive first act when entering a recruitment process.
It gives recruiters an insight into the achievements, attention to detail, creativity and background of applicants.
In recent times, the structure of the CV has become more flexible, with candidates, in an effort to stand out from the competition, producing their resumé in a variety of media formats, including video and magazine.
Self report questionnaires are often used by recruiters to help them build up an idea of candidates' likely fit to the role or company.
By answering covert questions (when reading the question doesn't reveal what it is measuring), recruiters can reveal candidates' personality, behaviours, traits or values.
Personality assessments differ to ability tests in that there are no correct or incorrect answers. The tests are also not timed.
The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology; Schmidt & Hunter; 1998
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