Choosing the best person for a position is a vital factor in ensuring effective workers as well as high-performance management. Thorough recruitment and selection procedures are an important part of high-performance management. Performance management has been defined (Armstrong and Baron, 1998) as ‘a strategic and integrated approach to delivering sustained success to organizations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors’.
In this era of fast changing business circumstances, businesses need effective management and recruitment and selection procedures in order to be successful. In this paper I will compare and discuss some of our more modern recruitment/selection methods, psychometric testing and online recruitment with traditional methods.
Let me start off my defining the terms. selection is the process of discriminating between the pool of candidates which have been recruited. This can be in the form of references, interviews, tests and assessment centers. On the other hand, recruitment is essentially a pre-requisite of selection; it involves the searching for candidates for job vacancies. This involves communicating with actual or potential job seekers, and motivating them to apply. Hence, the objective is to attract the right candidates in the right number.
Internet recruitment advertises jobs and serves as a place to locate job applicants. For example, all major employers have online recruitment methods where candidates complete application forms on the company website. The similarities between online recruitment and traditional methods such as placing adverts in local and national newspapers are that they both incur a cost to the employer and are external in nature. Both methods involve analyzing the job in order to provide a description of the vacancy. The employer will have to provide a good job description in the newspaper advert or online advert, in order to attract the right candidate. Another obvious similarity is that they both incur a cost to the employer; placing an advert in the local newspaper involves a monthly charge and online recruitment agencies also charge for adverts. However, online recruitment involving application forms on the company website can entail cost savings in the long run.
A lot of internet recruitment websites have a built in psychometric testing system. Psychometric testing is very similar to graphology. Graphology is the study of handwriting, especially when employed as a means of analyzing personality and character. Graphologists believe such details can reveal as much about a person as astrology, palm reading, psychometrics or the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator. In this sense, it is similar to psychometric testing, as it attempts to disclose the psychological traits of a candidate. However there are differences in style, psychometric tests do not analyze a candidate’s handwriting, but analyses their responses to certain questions in order to assess their cognitive ability and personality (Carrol, 2003).
In terms of accuracy, psychometric testing solves the problems of interviews and references. During an interview, the interviewer must rely on the candidate’s honesty in answering certain questions, also many line mangers can write inaccurate references. In cognitive ability tests, mental ability can be measured accurately as the candidate cannot lie about anything. When it comes to solving interview bias, psychometric testing has been criticised for its effectiveness. According to Bach and Sissons (2002), black males do not do as well as others in cognitive tests. As a result, the tests do have an element of discrimination. Also, the premise that personality tests provide a profile of a candidate’s personality in order to assess their suitability for the job, results in stereotyping. This does not help solve the problems inherent in interviews.
Online recruitment has been described as the new era in terms of recruiting employees. “There is a war for talent; there are skill shortages; and there is no doubt that, used correctly, Internet-based recruitment solutions produce more accurate, faster and more cost-effective processes,” says Roy Davis, head of communications at SHL, occupational psychologists and psychometric test developers. From this quote, we can now assess how Internet recruitment can solve the problems inherent in traditional methods (IRS Employment Review, 2002).
In my opinion online recruitment can obstruct diversity in companies. Although the Internet is changing the way people look for jobs, companies must ensure people will not be disadvantaged by going to a one-size-fits-all system. Someone with dyslexia might be disadvantaged if they have to read things within time limits, and there’s still a long way to go on disability(People Management, 2004).” Also, the U.S Bureau of the Census reported particularly African American and Hispanics have had a dramatic increase in Internet usage. However, their use rates remain below the national average. From the information given, it can be argued that online recruitment restricts the diversity of applicants and can be inaccessible, as not everyone owns a computer. In this regard, the innovative technique has not been successful at overcoming the problems in traditional recruitment.
To conclude, online recruitment has not completely helped overcome the problems in traditional recruitment. However, one can say that online recruitment is faster in nature compared to traditional methods. More employers are using some sort of electronic recruitment method, be it online application forms or resumes being emailed. The traditional methods do have their advantages in being less complicated compared to online recruitment. However, in the long run, having installed an online recruitment system, the benefits will outweigh the disadvantages. It is important to note, that each company must use the recruitment method best suited to them. Unfortunately, no selection method can perfectly predict later job success.
Armstrong, M. and Baron, A. Performance management: the new realities. London: Institute of Personnel and Development. 1998. Web.
Bach S. and Sisson K. “Personnel Management: A comprehensive guide to Theory and Practice, Blackwell, UK. 2000
Carrol.T. “The Sceptics Dictionary”, USA. 2003
Industrial Relations Services. “The allure of online”, IRS People Management, July 29 2004, Vol 10, Issue 15, pp10-15.
Industrial Relations Services. “Recruitment and Retention”, IRS Employment Review 755, July 2002. pp37-40.
Personnel Today, “What is Psychometric Testing and why do organisations use it?” 6/10/2003, p20, 1p
U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, December 1998 and August 2000. Web. http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/divisions/longman/long_rude_techedit_3/docs/teA11.1.rtf .