After the process of recruitment in an organization is completed successfully, in attracting enough number of applicants from the labor market, the process of selection takes place. Selection can be defined as a process of identifying the qualifications as well as characteristics of the applicant so as to determine the suitability for the job vacancy (Armstrong, 1999). In other words, selection is a process of choosing appropriate candidate to fill a job vacancy available in an organization. A good selection process necessitates a methodical approach to the issue of searching the best suited candidate for the job. In addition, a good selection process should be free, fair and transparent, and suitable applicants should only be selected based on merit.
Selection is also described as a process involving the collection and evaluation of information about an applicant in order to grant him or her employment offer. It is an integral part of the entire staffing process in an organization, which also include recruitment, human resource planning and retention activities (Dessler, 2008). Through human resource planning, the management of an organization is able to project the possible demand for human resource with specific knowledge, abilities and skills. Then, the management is able to compare such factors to the anticipated availability of such human resource in both internal and external labor markets. During the recruitment stage of staffing, the management of an organization endeavor to institute a good platform that ensures effective contact with possible job applicants through advertising to attract applicant from external sources, employee referrals, job postings the company among other methods. Normally, this depends on the nature of the job opportunity available.
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The major purpose of selection is to ensure that a right person is hired to the right job. This implies that, a selection process ensures that a person’s skills, knowledge and credentials align to the requirements of the available job. This is aimed at ensuring optimal performance in the accomplishment of organizational goals and objectives.
Selection process is initiated when an organization generate a pool of job applicants through recruitment efforts. The selection process provides a proper avenue through which the management of an organization decides which recruited applicants will be granted a position in the organization. Successful employee selection process is a vital component of any progressive organization. The management of an organization must be very vigilant during the selection process since the success of a company is determined by the nature of labor force (Dessler, 2013). In other words, organizational performance is normally determined by a person’s ability to perform a specific job, as well as the effort that an individual is willing to put forth in the execution of assigned tasks. Therefore, effective selection process enables an organization to maximize the probability of hired employees possessing abundant skills that are vital in the realization of organizational goals and objectives.
Employee selection process together with training and orientation are the basic ways that ensures that all employees are capable of executing the assigned tasks appropriately in the accomplishment of organizational goals.
Methods of Selection Used In Organizations
Application form is a vital selection tool used in an organization; it is an effective way of collecting written information regarding the academic qualifications, as well as work and non-work experiences of the applicant in the past and most current. In many cases, almost all organizations require applicants to fill an application form of a certain type. Many application forms require applicants to provide information regarding their address, education, previous work experience, last employer and other information relevant to employment such as the addresses and names of references (Torrington, 1998).
Application plays a critical role in employment since they serve as a guide in making interview decisions in an organization. Moreover, application forms are used in the process of short listing, sorting and for the verification of applicants information (Mathis, & Jackson, 2003). This play a vital role in enabling the management to determine if the selected applicants meet all the requirements for the advertised job vacancy.
Test of Ability, Skills and Aptitude
Testing is also one of the most vital selection tools used in the process of screening potential applicants on the basis of abilities, aptitudes and skills. Testing method can be classified as job sample tests or paper and pencil tests. These two types of tests are scored, and people involved in the selection process establish a minimum score to screen applicants. In this method, the minimum scores (Cut-off score) can be raised or lowered depending on the number of potential applicants. In most cases, when the ratio of selection is low, then the cut-off score can be increased, and this increase the chances of hiring employees who are well qualified (Berry, 2003). For testing to be successful, it should be selected after comprehensive and careful job analysis such as close examination of job descriptions.
Testing play a vital role in the selection process because it helps in uncovering skills, talents and qualifications, which may not be noticed using other methods of selection. In addition, testing is important in the selection because it ensures credibility of selection decisions. This is because the selection team is able to identify special skills and capabilities that an applicant possesses, which can be vital in the realization of organizational goals and objectives.
Generally, there are two common types of personality tests, which are use in the selection process. These include projective techniques and self-report personality tests. The two methods of selection are mostly used in the selection process involving potential candidates for managerial positions. In addition, these methods are also applied as part of centers for assessment, which are very famous methods of determining potential managerial talent, which may go unnoticed using other selection methods. In personality test, potential candidates are offered a realistic job preview and then requested to assess their own suitability for that job (Mondy, Noe & Gowan, 2005).
However, this selection method may not be very useful in some cases in the selection process due to various reasons. First, through personality test, it is difficult to show that various personality characteristics are important to the job at hand. Normally, job specifications concentrate on abilities and skills for the available job, but not personality traits. Furthermore, personality measures are mainly designed to measure particular personality aspects, which are in some cases not typical behavior patterns with regard to the available job. Secondly, personality tests are less reliable compared to ability tests. Even though a low ability on the side of the applicant can make an interviewer make a conclusion that a candidate cannot perform the available job, it is not appropriate to a person to make such a conclusion with regard to low personality measure score.
Improving the Selection Process in an Organization
For a selection process to be successful, it is imperative for the management of an organization to select the right individuals for the right job. This ensures alignment of individual skills and abilities with the goals and objectives of the company. In order to improve the selection process in an organization, there are some selection devices that help the management to predict which candidate will be successful in the accomplishment of organizational goals if hired (Evers, Anderson & Voskuijl, 2005). These devices should be valid and reliable. Validity can be described as a proof that the relationship between relevant job criterion and selection device exists. On the other hand, Reliability acts as a proof or an indicator that the selection devices measures similar thing constantly. Therefore, selection process in an organization can be improved through the following measures:
Improving Selection validity
Selection process in an organization can be improved by improving the selection validity. Validity can be described as a proper measure of assessing the effectiveness of a certain approach. A selection process in an organization can only be regarded as valid if it helps an organization to increase the odds of hiring the right person for the available job (Cook, 1998). In addition, selection validity enables management to evaluate hiring decisions based on the valued outcomes like low absenteeism, a good safety record, or high picking speed. A vital element of validity is reliability. With this regard, validity does not only represent the positive outcomes predicted by a selection approach, but also the consistency of selection approach. Therefore, selection can be improved by ensuring that employees are hired according to merit, and without discrimination.
Improving selection Reliability
Another vital method of improving the selection process in an organization is by improving the selection reliability. For any selection process to be regarded as valid, it must also be reliable. This implies that the selection process must be designed in a way that it can measure what it is designed to measure constantly over a period of time. Therefore, improving selection reliability enhances selection in an organization in the sense that, it enables employers to higher effective employees (Arthur, 2001).
Reliability can be measured in terms of on-the-job performance ratings, as well as selection scores. However, if any of these methods is not reliable, the selection process cannot be valid. Reliability in the selection process can be enhanced by ensuring that raters reduce inconsistencies and biases in evaluating the performance of workers. In addition, reliability can be improved by ensuring that the selection process in an organization reflects the job precisely.