Human Resource Management

To ensure the best possible person is selected to do the job it is important to choose how you select that person very carefully. Mrs dribble is unsure of the effectiveness of interviews, below are ways to improve interviewing and also there are other techniques that she can use to help back up the interviewing process. Interview This is by far the most popular selection method ( as shown in fig 1 in appendix 1) and is described as a ‘controlled conversation with a purpose’ ( Torrington and Hall 1995).

This is a process which happens face to face, so Mrs Dribble can see and speak to the candidate in person and assess them herself, although some organisations use telephone interviews as part of their selection process. However, the use of the interview is a very problematic method as it has many faults: 1. Interviewers tend to be bias towards one person because they don’t like the way they look or what school they went too etc.

This can cause a whole host of problems, firstly it leaves the swimming pool open for legal action, secondly a manager’s personal opinion about a candidate should never cloud their judgement on whether or not that person can do the job, as this happens most of the time and as everybody has opinion’s and bias’s etc, it would be hard to overcome this. 2. In an interview situation the interviewer has 30 – 60 minutes to decide whether or not that person is suitable for the job.

They will be forced into making a snap decision which will normally occur 5 minutes into the interview and will be based on their biases and how they stereotype that person. 3. If the interviewer is unprepared or not adequately trained to do interviews, this can lead to the wrong information being taken, discrimination taking place and the wrong person being selected Interviewers must be prepared, so the best advice for Mrs Dribble is to practice them and to use the same questions for every applicant so to ensure consistency and fairness.

Under law the business must keep records for 12 months, they can be used in the future if anyone makes a claim for discrimination in an interview. The main thing for Mrs Dribble to do to overcome these problems and to eradicate them is to practice interviews and maybe to go on a course to show effective interviewing etc. The take up of HRM has done little to affect the popularity of the interview as a selection technique; the last 15 years have witnessed and increasing use of more sophisticated methods such as psychometric tests and assessment centre techniques, but these have been in addition to, rather than instead of, interviews.

There are many other techniques Mrs Dribble could use to help with the selection of the best person for the job, they include: Tests – The main type of tests used for selection are attainment tests, aptitude tests, intelligence tests and personality questionnaires. Armstrong (1991) lists 4 characteristics of a good test: 1. It is a sensitive measuring instrument which discriminates well between subjects 2. It has been standardised. 3. It is reliable in the sense that it always measures the same thing. 4.

It is valid in the sense that it measures the characteristics which the test is intended to measure. An IRS survey (1991) found that 58% of employers used personality tests for at least some type of vacancy and 48% used ability and aptitude tests. Assessment Centres – This is a process which consists of a small group of candidates who undertake a series of tests and exercises under observation, with a view to the assessment of their skills and competencies, their suitability for particular roles and their potential for development.

Mrs Dribble could ask to see how the applicants perform as lifeguards, a sort of work sampling to see how good they are. References – These are used to obtain additional information about the candidates from previous employers, academic tutors or someone who knows them. Mrs Dribble can use references to find out about the candidates work ethic e. g. were they ever late, how often were they off sick and what was there attitude like to their job. All this information will assist her when she selects the person for the job.

Other Methods – Some of the more unconventional methods of selection can include physiognomy ( the idea that personal characteristics are reflected in facial features or body shape), phrenology(‘reading bumps on the head), etc, their use in the UK are limited and there is no evidence of a link to HRM style initiatives. * Induction (Final stage) The new employee is introduced to the organisation via a induction day were they are able to meet the staff and settle in. This ensures he/she will start with an enthusiastic attitude and will hopefully settle down quickly into there new job.

Mrs Dribble will do will well to adhere to some of these techniques such as interviews and also others like tests, assessment centres and references. All of them combined will help her in the arduous task of selecting the correct person for the job and anything which can help make that process easier must be listen to and if relevant used to the best of the managements ability to achieve the best suited person for that job.


Ian Beardwell et al 1997 Human Resource Management Prentice Hall, London Heinemann 1994