Boundless Business: "Chapter 12, Section 7: Recruitment: Selecting the Right People"

This article explains how compiling a common set of information about applicants can help HRM avoid unintentional prejudice. Businesses can obtain this data through behavioral and situational interviews, selection tests, and background checks.

Selecting the Right People

Having a common set of information about applicants can help hiring managers avoid prejudices.

Learning Objective: List the various interview styles employers use to hire efficiently.

Key Points

    • Many companies screen job candidates with several rounds of interviews to discover additional facets of the applicant's attitude or skill, and develop a more well-rounded opinion of the applicant from diverse perspectives.
    • Two common interviewing techniques are behavioral and situational interviews.
    • The purpose of a behavioral interview is to find links between a job requirement and the applicant's experience and past behaviors.
    • A situational interview requires the applicant to explain how he or she would respond to a series of hypothetical situations. Situational-based questions evaluate the applicant's judgment, ability, and knowledge.

Definitions: A job interview is a formal in-person or face-to-face meeting, where a hiring manager assesses the qualifications of a job candidate or applicant.

Examples

    • A situational interview question: Let's say you are working with a colleague to complete a project, but your colleague fails to do the portion of the work they had agreed to do before the project deadline. What would you do?
    • Behavioral interview questions: Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation. How did you handle the situation? Give me an example of when you showed initiative and assumed a leadership role?

Having a common set of information about applicants, to compare them after all the interviews have been conducted helps hiring managers avoid prejudices. This also ensures all of the candidates receive a fair chance (G. Smith). Many companies use several rounds of screening with different interviewers to discover additional facets of the applicant's attitude or skill and develop a more well-rounded opinion of the applicant from diverse perspectives. Involving senior management in the interview process offers a signal to applicants about the company culture by demonstrating the business values each new hire. There are two common types of interviews: behavioral and situational.

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Behavioral Interview

In a behavioral interview, the interviewer asks the applicant to reflect on his or her past experiences (Janz, 1982). After the business determines the skills the job candidate needs to succeed in the position, the interviewer asks questions to learn whether the candidate possesses these requisite skills. The purpose of behavioral interviewing is to find links between the job requirements and the applicant's past experience and behaviors.

Examples of behavioral interview questions:

  • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation.
  • How did you handle the situation?
  • Give me an example of when you showed initiative and assumed a leadership role.
Situational Interview

A situational interview requires a job applicant to explain how they would act in a series of hypothetical situation. Situational-based questions evaluate the applicant's judgment, ability, and knowledge (Latham & Saari, 1984). Before administering this type of interview, the hiring manager should consider possible responses and develop a scoring key to evaluate them.

Examples of situational interview questions:

  • Let's say you are working with a colleague to complete a project, but your colleague fails to do the portion of the work they had agreed to do before the project deadline. What would you do?
  • A client says they have not received a payment that you believe your office sent to them five days ago. They are angry. What would you do?

Selection Tests

When making a hiring decision, it is critical to understand the applicant's personality style, values, and motivations (G. Smith). Many argue that employees can learn new technical skills, but it can be more difficult to change interpersonal work attitudes (Schaefer). Hiring managers can learn how individuals will interact with their coworkers, customers, and supervisors though behavioral assessments and personality profiles (Smith G.). Many businesses use profile assessment tools, such as the Myers Briggs and DISC (dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness), to predict an applicant's attitudes and interpersonal skills. Other hiring selection tests include cognitive tests, which measure general intelligence, tests where applicants demonstrate their ability to perform specific job duties, and integrity tests, which measure honesty (Kulik, 2004).

Background Checks

Employers conduct background checks to verify whether the information applicants provide in their resumes and applications is accurate. This may involve reviewing employment history, education, credit reports, driving records, and criminal records. Employers must obtain written consent from the applicant before conducting a background check and the information gathered should be relevant to the job.

Evaluation

Many employers use a combination of the screening methods to predict future job performance. Companies should use metrics to assess the effectiveness of their hiring selection process: to provide a benchmark for future performance and evaluate the success rate of certain methods. Companies can improve their selection practices to ensure they choose employees who will successfully accomplish the job requirements and fit into the organizational culture. Companies that have ineffective hiring practices risk fostering high turnover, low employee morale, and decreased productivity.

Research shows that the "degree of cultural fit and value congruence between job applicants and their organizations significantly predicts both subsequent turnover and job performance" (Pfeffer & Viega, Putting People First for Organizational Success, 1998). Companies need to assess their hiring practices in terms of technical success and cultural fit. Evaluating the hiring process will help ensure continuing success: human capital is usually a company's most important asset.

Source: Boundless. “Selecting the Right People.” Boundless Business, May 26, 2016.

Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2019, 3:56 PM