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Important Factors In Selection Methods

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 5475 words Published: 5th Dec 2017

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The human resource planning is very important and necessary part of an organization. It plays important part in the long run success of an organization and there are several methods which are adopted by different organizations for selection of new employees so that the long term objectives of an organization could be achieved. The hiring process is not a easy task. Every organization has its own selection process according to its need. The selection procedure is very important effort to select right person for right job at right time. The various selection methods are used to obtain an assessment about the qualities of candidates. These selection methods are used to check overall personality, attitude, aptitude, knowledge, adoptability, confidence, communication skills, and managerial skills. If any organization wants to gain long term success in the marketplace, it must develop valuable selection techniques for recruiting new incumbents.

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The future job performance depends upon the selection of potential employee. It is very complicated and time consuming effort to find out desired talent in the pound of candidates. There are several types of Interviews and paper-pencil measures (tests) which are used at a time to analyse the future job performance of candidates. Sometimes a one organization uses more than one selection method; it all depends upon the nature & sensitivity of the job, organization size and number of applicants. Among all selection procedures, the Interview is the most frequent selection method to check oral responses regarding any particular inquiry. Interview is the essential part of selection procedure in most of organizations. Although paper pencil measures also in cycle to check different attributes of candidates but after examining the candidates by various selection methods, mostly organization use interview to finalize the candidate.

The validity of interview is often criticised but on this base the importance of interview can not be minimised. An organization also can not fully rely on the validity paper pencil measures. It is a complex process sometime both methods becomes essential and sometime only interview or test is enough for employee selection but it all depends upon requirement, number of candidates, organization size and financial condition of the organization. Interview is still most famous selection tool (Judge et al., 2000; Posthuma et al, 2002). Employment interview is the best selection method (Barclay, 1999; Garman & Lesowitz, 2005).

There are different important factors in selection methods which are considered by management of firms for getting right staff at right time. Organizations consider such factors like previous work experience, qualification, knowledge, abilities, skills, attitude, personality, and other characteristics. There are also some problems and issues which arise during selection process and these are very important to handle to make selection on merit. For example the perception of interviewer, biasness, discrimination regarding sex, age, racial, religion, disability, physical appearance etc. The selection method must be neat and clean of such prejudices.


The selection method is the process of gathering and analysing the information about a person for the purpose of offering new job.(Gatewood & Field 2001). There are two stages first is to define the requirement and objective of selection and the second stage is set up the selection method according to that requirement.(Guion, 1998; Patterson & Ferguson, 2007).The selection method for hiring new employee depends upon the nature of job, organizational structure, mode of business, and number of candidates etc. Organizations recruitment criteria also depend upon time, cost and need of potential employee. Selection is the final part of total staffing process of an organization. The human resource department takes three basic steps in employee selection process i.e. planning, recruitment and selection. First of all, the human resource department starts planning by projecting the demands of organization for new employees with particular skills and abilities. In the second step , the organization starts advertising to get in touch with potential external incumbent and posting internally to catch new employee within the organization In the third step, the organization finalised the new employee from the pool of candidates which are generated by recruitment process. The organization use different selection methods for hiring right person at right place and at right time. ( Kramar 2008)


In the context of selection, validity means meaningfulness, the appropriateness, and usefulness of the inferences made about applicants during the selection process.( Gatewood & Field 2001).What is the validity of selection method and how it can be determined? These are the basic questions which arise in mind when we examine the validity. Actually the validity deals with the issue that whether the actual performance of the applicant is according to the expected performance which we incurred during the selection method. If the actual and expected performance is very close to each other then we can say the selection method for hiring new employee is valid and if both performances have gaps then the selection method must be change. (Price 2007)


There are various factors i.e. education, job experience, cognitive ability tests, integrity test, personality tests, IQ tests, interview, references. (Dipboye, 1992; Randall and Randall, 1990). “Effective selection requirements should be blueprinted, either by gaining expert views (e.g. Janis & Hatef, 2008) or conducting an appropriate job analysis (Patterson et al., 2000; Patterson et al., 2008).”The organization takes two considerations in order to select new employee. Firstly analyse the individual differences between applicants by comparing their knowledge, skills and abilities and secondly decide the most appropriate selection method. (Gatewood & Field 2001)The knowledge, skills, abilities are very important to determine potential candidate as well as previous job experience also matter. The responsibilities and duties of previous work and qualification can help a lot in understanding new work environment. The other characteristics like personality, attitude and intelligence as well as physical examination are also very important factors. Some organization also considers previous background and criminal records in their hiring process.


There are several stages of employee selection. First of all knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) of applicant are determined, secondly highlight the contents of job and to determine whether the existing employee’s skills are appropriate to job nature or not? This procedure is called job analysis. After job analysis the duties and responsibilities are described according to nature of job in documentary form call job description and then what type of human resource is required for that particular job called job specification. (Dessler 2011).The necessary skills, knowledge and abilities which are necessary to perform the job are called job requirements. These can be qualification, experience, training, aptitudes and abilities. (Gatewood & Field 2001)The knowledge, skills and abilities ( KSAs) are the basic important factor which is specially examined in the applicant in recruitment process. There are also other two important factors i.e. previous work experience and other characteristics.

Example: 1 (JAPANESE AUTOMOBILE) Japanese automobile companies generally consider organization dedication, social need and skills, and attention in work.( www.fbe.hku.hk/Programme/Undergraduate/doc/courses/2008-2009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011)

Example: 2 (TOYOTA USA ) The selection process of Toyota (USA) takes minimum eighteen hours which consists of a “general knowledge exam, attitude test, interpersonal skills, assessment centre, an extensive personal interview, and a physical exam”. (www.fbe.hku.hk/Programme/Undergraduate/doc/courses/2008-009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011) Article accessed on 29/01/2011)


The duties and responsibilities handled by previous jobs are very important to understand the work criteria and requirements. The experienced persons knowledge and skills are the great assets for organization and it is the main benefit of knowledgeable persons. Organizations take advantages of their developed personal relations due to previous job works so it is very beneficial for future growth of the organization.( Price-2007)

Example: 3 (BERNARD HOLDANE ASSOCIATION) The chairman of Bernard Holdane Associates, Jerry Weinger, says candidates should have strong record of distinctions and success in a challenging environment like down economies. (Price-2007 ).


Qualification is very important factor for selection of new employees. Every organization seeks qualified persons for hiring. It verifies the educational claims of candidates. The job descriptions and specifications are set out according to qualification. (Kramar 2008)

Example: 4 (HRA INDUSTRIES ) Qualification is matched with requirement in selection process of HRA industrial. (www.hr-guide.com/data/016.htm accessed on 29/01/2011)


The other characteristics refer to different personality traits as well as his professional attitude. Many organizations examine personal attributes of candidates, his communication style, presentation skills, oral and written competency of language, confidence, behaviour adoptability etc. These all characteristics build up the personality of the candidate and organization has to seek best potential candidate who have good professional and personal attributes. ( Price 2007)

Example: 5 (TOYOTA) Toyota, a Japanese company give more importance to personal traits as compare to technical skills. (Price 2007).

Example: 6 (PRET A MANAGER) A famous Company ” Pret A Manager” which have 2800 employees on 118 shops, received 55000 application for 1500 places. According to recruitments strategy of Pret A Manger, the candidates have to show sociable personality, positive approach to life in interview.( Beardwell 2007).


Candidates are physically examined in process of hiring to discover the diseases and medical limitations for candidate. The future job performance can be affected by candidate’s health issues so it is necessary to check medical complications before hiring. (Price 2007)

Example: 7 (AFG INDUSTRIES)The hiring process of AFG Industries for factory workers includes screening formal resumes , personality testing, that suggest some plant jobs, panel interviews and a medical exam. www.fbe.hku.hk/ Programme/ Undergraduate/ doc/courses/2008-2009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011).


The criminal records and background checking depends upon the nature and type of organization. This is not a common practice of all the organizations. It is very time consuming and costly. There are several jobs like police jobs, security concern jobs, teaching jobs and sensitive nature jobs where criminal records and background verification is very necessary.

Example: 8 ( AMERICAN COMPANIES) The professional back ground companies are getting space in almost 80 percent of American companies due to importance of background checking and necessity of verification of criminal records of candidates.. “(www.articlesbase.com/human-resources-articles/pre-employment-background-screening-company-a-reliable-hiring-outsource-for-human-resource-departments-3414302 accessed on 30/01/ 2011)”


After identifying the skills and abilities the organization have to take decision about the choice of selection methods. The organization can develop its own selection method to assess the applicant or can adopt selection method of other organizations. The most important test include exercise of assessment centres, cognitive ability testing, integrity testing which are used to assess job performance (Campion et al”. 1994; Howard, 1997; Randall, 1990; Salgado and Moscoso, 2002; Wright et al., 1989).So there are various employee selection methods utilizing by different organizations but the most famous selection method is job interview. The other methods could be aptitude test, personality test, reference, assessment centres, background checking, cognitive ability test, drugs test etc. All these methods are used to assess the applicant’s skills and abilities and to determine any situation which is becoming the root cause of performance failure. The selection method must be appropriate to nature of job and it must be accurate as much as possible in providing the information. The accuracy of selection method depends upon reliability and validity of selection method.


The organizations use various selection methods according to nature of job, size of organization and number of candidates. The organization can use one or more selection methods; it depends upon the reliable and valid so that expected performance of employee could be achieved. (Price 2007)

Example: 9 ( MAZDA) In USA, the famous company Mazda is recruiting new employees by assessment of several selection methods. The methods include application forms, aptitude test, group problem solving, personal interview, and previous job experience. (Price 2007)

“The important methods can be described as:

Application Forms and CVs

Online Screening and Short Listing

Psychometric Testing

Ability and Aptitude Tests

Personality Profiling


Group exercises

Assessment centres



(Anderson & Cunningham-Snell 2000)


The application forms mostly use in public sectors. The application forms are prescribed in a formulated way which helps to know about important information of incumbents and this information can be examined during other tests and interviews. The main problem is that sometime the application forms are so lengthy and complicated. CVs are commonly used in private sector to gain initial and necessary information about the candidate’s qualification, previous job experiences and other distinctions but the problem with CVs is that CVs are presented by applicant in way to which he consider himself more fit for the job. So it is difficult for employer to judge the candidate only by CV. (Anderson & Cunningham-Snell 2000)

Example: 10 (GOVT INSTITUTIONS) In Pakistan, almost all the Govt institutions require the application and CV from candidates for hiring and selection of candidates for positions. ( personal experience)


The Online screening is the quick procedure to filter potential incumbents among the huge number of applicants. Generally there are two criterions to short list the candidate by online screening, one is applicant’s experience and other is qualification. In this method scores are set according to criterions and candidates are shortlisted on the base of those scores. This is very useful method to save valuable time by short listing the applicants in very short time but costly in a sense of implementation of software and uploading of online information for screening applicants. Sometime potential candidate missed the chance of getting opportunity of that required job due to inappropriate key words during search. (Anderson & Cunningham-Snell 2000)

Example: 11 ( WOOLWORTH) The one of the largest retailer in the market “Woolworth” is using web-based recruitment policy to hire new employees. Woolworth have 2800 staff in its 800 stores and used online screening method very successfully. (Beardwell 2007).

Example: 12 (CADBURY SCHWEPPS) The Cadbury Schweppes have introduced online verbal and numerical reason tests for its recruitment process and received about 4000 applications for just 20 places.( Beardwell 2007)


Psychometric testing refers to mental measurement. It helps in testing of ability and aptitude as well as personality profiling. Trained and qualified staff is necessary to arrange psychometric testing. Many organizations use these tests with the interview method as a part of selection process. (Beardwell 2007).There must be a proper staff for suitable psychometric testing. The psychometric testing can be divided by two parts. In first par only ability and aptitude is checked and in second part personality is judged. It is essential that candidate are offered feedback and the candidate must know that how information is worked during test.

Example: 13 (MORGAN & BANKS) The Morgan &Banks recruitment consultancy conducted about 10 to 15 psychometric tests in selection procedure of hiring new employees. (Kramar 2007)

Example: 14 (BT COMPANY) BT company always consider psychometric test as important tool for hiring new employees. ( Kramar 2007)

Example: 15 (AFR COMPANY) AFR a famous organization is also conduction psychometric tests for its recruitment. (Kramar 2007)


The ability and aptitude tests are very useful to analyse general intelligence, spatial ability, verbal ability, sensory and motor abilities, clerical ability, numerical ability, mechanical ability, diagrammatical ability. The logical reasoning and mental performance is checked by these tests because these tests are designed very comprehensively. It include multiple question which are to be answered in a strictly time. For example if the questions are thirty ,the time would be 30 minutes. ( Gomez-Majla 2010)

Example: 16 (USA) In USA ability test is conducted for entry level jobs and Govt. Is saving almost $15 billion per year. ( Gomez-Majla 2010)

Example: 17 ( TOYOTA USA ) The selection process of Toyota (USA) takes minimum eighteen hours which consists of a “general knowledge exam, attitude test, interpersonal skills, assessment centre, an extensive personal interview, and a physical exam”. (www.fbe.hku.hk/Programme/Undergraduate/doc/courses/2008-009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011) Article accessed on 29/01/2011)


Personality profiling is also very important for acquiring of good job. Sometime personality of person is not suitable to job so it’s difficult to handle that job for such a person. But if the individual can shift himself according to job criterion and suitability then it can be possible to get particular job.The relative importance of different selection factors; The personality and appearance of characteristics that are observed in an interview and rated as important include being energetic, confident, honest, organised, and verbally fluent (Spina et al. (2000).

Example: 18 (ALLIED SIGNUAL) Personality tests are very important selection measure. It is used by companies such as Allied Signal, 3M.and Apple as selection criteria. (www.fbe.hku.hk/Programme/Undergraduate/doc/courses/2008-009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011) Article accessed on 29/01/2011)

Example. 19 ( AT&T, Honeywell, Citicorp, ) AT&T, Honeywell and Citicorp are also used personality test as selection criteria. (www.fbe.hku.hk/Programme/ Undergraduate/ doc/courses/2008-009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011)

Example: 20 (HAYS) HAYS human resource management department specially focus on candidate’s personality and character profiling. (Human Resource Management (Kramar 2007)

Example 21 (AFG INDUSTRIES) “The hiring process of AFG Industries for factory workers includes screening formal resumes (not job applications), personality testing, pre-employment training that simulates some plant jobs, interviews with panels of manager s and/or employees, and a medical exam.”(www.fbe.hku.hk/ Programme/ Undergraduate/ doc/courses/2008-009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011)


In senior level jobs the selection method of presentation is widely used. A topic is given to the candidate and within a time frame he has to deliver a presentation. Sometime candidate receive presentation topic with interview letter and sometime on the spot topic is given. Candidate may have to deliver presentation on power point or overhead projector. (Kramar 2007)


This selection method is used to filter a potential candidate among the group of applicants. The candidates have to debate on a topic or play a given role to show their knowledge, skills and abilities about the given topic. The observers give scores to candidates according to set criterion. (Price 2007).

Example: 22 ( MAZDA) In USA, the famous company Mazda is recruiting new employees by assessment of several selection methods. The methods include application forms, aptitude test, group problem solving, personal interview, and previous job experience. (Price 2007).


The assessment centres refers to multiple testing methods. It includes ability testing, group exercise, presentation, aptitude testing, personality profiling etc. This selection method gives the opportunity to the candidate to show his knowledge, skills and abilities and get higher marks irrespective of his previous academic background. This selection method must be fair and neutral.(Beardwell 2007)

Example: 23 ( GKN MANUFACTURING COMPANY) 22 GKN, the famous manufacturing company, having business in all over the world is using assessment centre selection method for recruiting new employees. It receive 1000 applications for just only 20 positions ( Beardwell 2007 )

Example: 24 (AT & T COMPANY) The American Telephone and telegraph Company (AT&T) recruits employees on the basis of Assessment centres. (Human Resource Management by Alan Price 3rd edition, ch 15, p 376).


References are also considered very important in selection process. It is difficult for candidate to get a reasonable job with substandard references especially in a private sector. (Gromes- Majla 2010). The basic objective of references is to get information about the applicant’s qualification, employment history, experience etc. Generally reference is taken from current and former employees. If candidate is not working then the personal reference is demanded. Most organization demand references in written either in form of unstructured letter or in form.

Example: 25 (US COURTS) 207 U.S Courts recruits new employees on the basis of reference check. The formal employer’s feedback is give high importance in selection procedure. ( Gromes-Majla 2010)


An interview is a process intended to get the information from a person through oral responses to oral techniques. ( Dessler 2011) A selection interview is a selection procedure designed to predict future job performance on the basis of applicant’s oral responses to oral enquires. ( Michael McDaniel et al.,1994 ).The validity of interview is often criticised but “still interview is interview is most famous selection tool” (Judge et al., 2000; Posthuma et al, 2002).”Still, practitioners continue to use the employment interview as their primary selection tool “(Barclay, 1999; Judge et al., 2000). “The non cognitive attributes of candidates are often assessed by interviews.” (Otero et al., 2006) According to Nayer about 99% of USA medical schools ,interviews are basic element of the admissions process (e.g. Johnson & Edwards, 1991).Interview is the procedure to assess the knowledge, skills and abilities of the candidates by his oral responses towards oral enquiries. Interview is good tool to analyse the confidence, knowledge, presentation, communication and managerial skills. Some critics question about the validity of interview but still interview is the most appropriate and most useful selection method for hiring new employees.

Example: 26 (SUN MICROSYSTEM) In the hiring process of Sun Microsystems , there are multiple interviews for hiring new Organization can use one or more than one selection method for recruitment according to job requirement. www.fbe.hku.hk/ Programme/ Undergraduate/doc/courses/2008-009/BUSI0075/Fit.pdf Article accessed on 29/01/2011) Article accessed on 29/01/2011)


The selection interview is can be classified by three heads i.e. structure, content and administers.





According to key requirements of job , the structured interview process is formulated and list of questions are set up. Each applicant have to face a group of interviewers and they score them on the basis of their performance. Recent studies of employment interviews have concluded that structured interviews offer greater predictive validity than unstructured interviews (Judge et al., 2000; Ployhart, 2006; Barclay, 1999). If selection system is challenged the structured interviews have more important regarding legal defensibility.(Posthuma et al., 2002)The preset standardised questions are set in the structured interview which is very helpful scrutiny of potential candidate from large number of candidates and gaining accurate results. The structured interviews are very useful and more comprehensive as compare to unstructured. “Structure in interviews is one of the generally vital arbiters of its achievement in the calculation of act (e.g. Huffcutt & Arthur, 1994). The structured interviews have higher foretelling and parallel validity than unstructured interviews (e.g. McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt, & Maurer, 1994; Wiesner & Cronshaw, 1988). The structured interviews were apparent positively and impartially. (Westwood et al. (2008)

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The unstructured conventional interviews assessed personality dimensions and social skills while the structured behavioral interview mainly assessed job knowledge, job experience, and situational judgment. (Salgado and Moscoso 2002). “Unstructured interviews do not use a standardised set of questions, do not have objective scoring protocols (Latif et al., 2004), and are often prone to biases that affect ratings (Patterson & Ferguson, 2007)”” Despite evidence of their low reliability and validity, unstructured interviews are still used for selection purposes. In a recent survey of pharmacy colleges in the US, only 13% of those that interviewed applicants used a pre-defined list of questions (Joyner et al., 2007).”In the unstructured interview there is not set format and manager asks question according to his mind and preferences. It is friendly conversation between interviewer and interviewee. “Courneya et al. (2005) compared structured with unstructured interviews, and reported that structured interviews put interviewees at ease and allowed them to express themselves more than unstructured interviews.”


The type of question which are asked in interview called interview content. There can be different categories of questions which can be situational, behavioural, job-related, and stress questions. These questions are used to determine attitude and decision powers of the candidate. There are series of question in which candidate’s overall reaction and behaviour is checked. If any satiation is given to candidate for response that interview is called situational interview and in some situations candidates are asked how he behaved in past called behavioural interview. In some situation interviewers intentionally ask such questions to candidate which create stress , such interviews are called stress interviews. Candidates are asked questions about past experience, responsibilities and duties, such interviews are named as job-related interviews. In all such interviews candidate’s overall behaviour, reaction, response, patience level and personality attributes are examined ( Dessler 2011)


Interviews are administered by employers by various ways i.e. face-to-face (one to one) or panel interview, sequentially or all at once and computerised or personally. (Dessler 2011) These interviews also can be telephone, online or video/web based interviews according to nature and circumstances. Organizations mostly use two types of interview; one to one and sequential. In one to one two persons meet and in sequential a series of questions are asked to candidate. Another one is panel interview in which a groups of interviewers meet each candidate with set of questions an score them according to their answers. There are also some other interviews like computerised interviews which are conducted due to distance and saving the precious time of organization. In the computerised interviews the applicant’s oral or/ and computerised replies are taken in response of computerised oral or visual or written questions. Some organization conduct telephone interviews to ease the applicant or due to distance problem. In this interview some questions are asked about the knowledge ,skills and abilities of the applicant and it gives more confidence to candidate as compare to face to face interview. The online or video/web based interviews are also conducted due to distance and easiness of both organization and applicant. Through video conference each candidate is asked a set of questions and employers examine their responses. (Dessler 2011)

Example: 27 ( MONITOR CONSULTING FIRM) Monitor is a famous consulting firm uses group interview as a selection method. Applicants are given a problem to solve and they are monitored by interviewers. (www.kelloggforum.org/top-10-consulting-firms accessed on 5/02/2010)



Interview is useful to find out important information about candidate and his/her attributes.

Employer can easily determine the communication and social skills of candidate.

The supplementary information can be determined by interview. The verbal fluency can also be checked.

It is helpful to find candidate’s job knowledge.

Interview is very useful to compare candidates having equal qualification.

Candidate also gets the opportunity to ask questions to interviewer if he/she has any confusion.


Personal liking and disliking can be major factor of biasness.

Usually interviewer made his mind about the selection of candidate in first few minutes and then remaining part of interview is just used to validate his decision.

There can be a great chance of prejudice as according to research it has been proved that minorities are ignored in interviews.

There can be a more weight to negative information.

Validity and reliability of interviews are always in questioned.

(www.hr-guide.com/data/G311.htm Accessed 0n 02/02/2011)


The main purpose of interview is to hire right person for right job but there are some issues which arise during the process of interview which may become hurdle in the neat and clean process of selection. These are the problems which are necessary to address. First of all the perception of the interviewer can affect the selection of the process. The interviewer’s inability to understand the candidate’s characteristics and attribute can become big barrier in the selection of potential candidate. Secondly the biased behaviour of the interviewer can also be the hurdle in selection of right applicant. The discrimination of sex, age, racial, relig


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