The selection process is a series of steps through which applicants pass.
1. Preliminary Reception: Selection starts with a visit to the HRM office or with a written request for an application. If an applicant appears in person, an impromptu preliminary interview may be granted as a courtesy, simply as a matter of good public relations.
2. Employment Tests: Employment tests are devices that assess the probable match between applicants and job requirements. When tests are used for these positions,
however, they often are a simulation of real-life situations.
i. Test Validation : For a test to be relied upon, it should be valid. Validity means
that the test scores have a significant correlation to job performance or to
some other relevant criterion.
ii. Testing Tools : There is a wide variety of employment tests. But each type of test has only limited usefulness. The exact purpose of a test, its design, its direction for administration and its applications are recorded in the test manual, which should be reviewed before a test is used.
Basic Testing Concepts
Another important decision in the selection process involves applicant testing and the kinds of tests to use. A test is a standardised, objective measure of a person’s behaviour, performance or attitude. It is standardised because the way the test is carried out, the environment in which the test is administered and the way the individual scores are calculated – are uniformly applied. It is objective in that it tries to measure individual differences in a scientific way, giving very little room for individual bias and interpretation. Over the years, employment tests have not only gained importance but also a certain amount of inevitability in employment decisions. Since they try to objectively determine how well an applicant meets job requirements, most companies do not hesitate to invest their time and money in selection testing in a big way. Some of the commonly used
Types of Test
1. Intelligence tests: These are mental ability tests. They measure the incumbent’s learning ability and also the ability to understand instructions and make judgements. The basic objective of intelligence tests is to pick up employees who are alert and quick at learning things so that they can be offered adequate training to improve their skills for the benefit of the organisation. Intelligence tests do not measure any single trait, but rather several abilities such as memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency, numerical ability, perception, spatial visualisation, etc., Stanford-Binet test, Binet- Simon test, The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are examples of standard
intelligence tests. Some of these tests are increasingly used in competitive examinations while recruiting graduates and post-graduates at entry level management positions in Banking, Insurance and other Financial Services sectors.
2. Aptitude tests: Aptitude tests measure an individual’s potential to learn certain skills – clerical, mechanical, mathematical, etc. These tests indicate whether or not employment tests may be stated thus: an individual has the ability to learn a given job quickly and efficiently. In order to
recruit efficient office staff, aptitude tests are necessary. Clerical tests, for example, may measure the incumbent’s ability to take notes, perceive things correctly and quickly locate things, ensure proper movement of files, etc. Aptitude tests, unfortunately, do not measure on-the-job motivation. That is why the aptitude test is administered in combination with other tests, like intelligence and personality tests.
Personality tests: Of all the tests required for selection, personality tests have generated lot of heat and controversy. The definition of personality, methods of
measuring personality factors and the relationship between personality factors and
actual job criteria have been the subject of much discussion. Researchers have
also questioned whether applicants answer all the items truthfully or whether they
try to respond in a socially desirable manner. Regardless of these objections, many people still consider personality as an important component of job success. Personality tests are used to measure basic aspects of an applicant’s personality such as motivation, emotional balance, self-confidence, interpersonal behaviour, introversion, etc. The most frequently used tests are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPL), the California Psychological Inventory, the Manifest Anxiety Scale, Edwards Personal Performance Schedule, etc. Some of the items
in personality inventory run thus:
i. Projective tests: These tests expect the candidates to interpret problems or situations based on their own motives, attitudes, values, etc. Many personality tests are projective in nature. A picture is presented to the person taking the test who is then asked to interpret or react to it. Since the pictures are clouded, the person’s interpretation must come from inside – and thus get projected. The person supposedly projects into the picture his or her own emotional
attitudes, motives, frustrations, aspirations and ideas about life. Standard tests are also frequently used to assess the personality of the testee. For example, in the Thematic Appreciation Test, the testee is shown a picture and is asked to make up a story based on the picture. The responses are analysed and a profile of personality is developed. However, projective tests have been under attack since they are unscientific and often reveal the bias of the test evaluator, particularly if he is not properly trained.
ii. Interest tests: These are meant to find how a person in tests compare with the interests of successful people in a specific job. These tests show the areas of work in which a person is most interested. The basic idea behind the use of interests tests is that people are most likely to be successful in jobs they like. These tests could be used as effective selections tools. Obviously if
you can select people whose interests are roughly the same as those of successful investments by using, say the Strong-Campbell inventory, in the jobs for which you are recruiting, it is more likely that the applicants will be more successful in their new jobs. The chief problem with using the interest tests for selection purposes is that responses to the questions are not always
Preference tests: These tests try to compare employee preferences with the job and organisational requirements. The job diagnostic survey developed by Hackman and Oldham, is an example of a preference test. This test shows how people differ in their preferences for achievement, meaningfulness, discretion etc., in their jobs.
4. Achievement tests: These are designed to measure what the applicant can do on the job currently, i.e., whether the testee actually knows what he or she claims to know. A typing test shows typing proficiency, a shorthand test measures the testee’s ability to take dictation and transcribe, etc. Such proficiency tests are also known as work sampling tests. Work sampling is a selection test wherein the job applicant’s ability to do a small portion of the job is tested. These tests are of two types; Motor, involving physical manipulation of things (e.g., trade tests for carpenters, plumbers, electricians) or Verbal, involving problem situations that are primarily languageoriented or people-oriented (e.g., situational tests for supervisory jobs). Since work samples are miniature replicas of actual job requirements, they are difficult to fake. They offer concrete evidence of the proficiency of an applicant as against his ability to do the job. However, work-sample tests are not cost effective, as each candidate has to be tested individually. It is not easy to develop work samples for each job. Moreover, it is not applicable to all levels of the organisation. For managerial jobs it is often not possible to develop a work sample test that can
take one of all the full range of managerial abilities.
5. Simulation tests: Simulation exercise is a test which duplicates many of the activities and problems an employee faces while at work. Such exercises are commonly used for hiring managers at various levels in an organisation. To assess the potential of a candidate for managerial positions, assessment centres are commonly used.
6. Assessment centre: An assessment centre is an extended work sample. It uses procedures that incorporate group and individual exercises. These exercises are designed to simulate the type of work which the candidate will be expected to do. Initially a small batch of applicants come to the assessment centre (a separate room). Their performance in the situational exercises is observed and evaluated by a team of 6 to 8 trained assessors. The assessors’ judgements on each exercise are compiled and combined to have a summary rating for each candidate being
assessed. The assessment centre approach, thus, evaluates a candidate's potential for management on the basis of multiple assessment techniques, standardised methods of making inferences from such techniques, and pooled judgements from multiple assessors.

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