The costs of different HR processes

Organisations show an increasing awareness, in this current economic climate, of the costs of different HR processes. Discuss how organisations can attempt to balance the requirements of cost constraints with the need to develop effective, valid and reliable selection processes. “Selection processes are when an organisation chooses an applicant for a post from a pool of applicants”i.

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During this current economic climate employers are trying to reduce operating costs, the review of selection processes, has been seen by many to be one way of reducing cost, however when recruiting, employers need to ensure their selection processes select the most appropriate person. CIPD (2009) reported that the average cost of recruitment and selection of an employee is i?? 7,750 (including induction, training, time and resources)ii

Kline (1993) stated ‘reliability’ and ‘validity’ are key for selection methods to be technically sound as a measure of both immediate suitability of a candidate and also of prediction of his/her future performanceiii. Reliability can be defined as “the consistency of your measurement” e. g. if a candidate was given the same test paper twice, they should achieve a similar score. Validity is defined as “the strength/effectiveness of a tool and the conclusion of what it measures” e. g. measure of accuracyiv.

Reliable selection processes are not necessarily 100% accurate in all instances, but offer a cost effective process when selecting applicants. In my opinion reliability and validity go hand in hand and are often both interlinked. It could be argued validity is vital because if you are using a tool that does not measure accuracy, what is the point in conducting it. I would conclude both are of importance, but the degree of importance of each will largely be dependent on the type of job. Selection processes could be less expensive if employers used application forms and potentially be less reliant on CV’s.

The impact would be that all applicants provide the relevant details in a consistent way, and reduce costs in respect of time and resources. This should not be the only form of selection as they do not provide enough information to the employer. Boyatzis (1982) stated competency based frameworks are “a capacity that exists in a person that leads to behaviour that meets the job demands within the parameters of the organizational environment, which in turn brings about desired results”v. The employer can see skills, abilities, attitudes and behaviour of candidates through a series of competency based questions and problem solving scenarios.

Competency based interviews (CBI) can be used effectively where there may not be any particular academic or vocational qualification required to perform a job role. Within the public sector there may not be a specific requirement for an academic or vocational qualification, in those instances CBI may be used. In other instances academic or vocational qualifications may be required to fulfil a job role, in those instances the applicant’s possession of the qualification becomes more important than proxy measures of suitability demonstrated through CBI.

In some jobs it will be more appropriate to select a candidate based on CBI and also the qualifications they hold e. g. HR professional – experience, qualifications, CIPD status are often a pre-requisite for employment, however employers may also use CBI as part of the selection in order to establish the difference in candidates and to select the most appropriate. A problem with CBI is the interviewer is often making a judgement based on what the individual is saying which tends to be a reflection of the candidates perception of themselves.

CIPD reported (2007) that competency frameworks are becoming more popular as 60% of organisations use themvi. I believe CBI provide a structured and systematic process to explore the candidates competencies, however this can be time consuming, lack flexibility and doesn’t always offer opportunities for open questions. This could offer cost savings as the consistent structure enables every candidate to be tested fairly, the scoring offers a reliable measure of suitability for the role.

However you cannot always be sure that the individual will perform satisfactorily, this could potentially cost an employer e. g. additional selection. Employers often use this method because they can make an assessment of a candidate’s skills, particularly their soft skills, such as communication, teamwork etc. Pilbeam&Carbridge (2002) state these types of interviews show 0. 6 predictive validityvii. Harel et al (2003) reported that interviews that are structured and job related increase fairness and standardisation; this improves the validity and reliability, unstructured interviews are more social and personality based. I agree with this statement because everyone should be treated fairly and also for the procedure to remain consistent for all.