Personal and Organizational Development
Recruitment is the process of filling in vacancies in an organization through a well thought out process. It usually involves several techniques which are used to identify the skills, knowledge attributes of the interviewees as well as their personality (Compton & Nankervis, 2009 ). Graduate recruitment aims at selecting students who are about to graduate or have recently graduated from colleges and universities (Kandola, Wood, & Dholakia, 2001 ). Various selection methods are used by employers in recruitment processes and they include interviews, aptitude tests, group assessments, presentation among others.
These techniques are applied by the organization in such a way that allows them to develop their organization’s needs and identify the best candidate for the job. They also help in gathering information about the candidate and inform the candidate about the job and the organization in general. (a) Psychometric Tests Employers recruiting graduates normally use psychometric tests to evaluate the candidates and identify their suitability to the job in question.
Psychometric tests are procedures that are used to make inferences about the candidate in terms of their ability to act, react, their experiences and their ability to order their thoughts and behave in a particular manner (Roberts, 1997). Psychometric tests involve
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Employers normally look for certain qualities in their employees when recruiting that will help them carry out the job effectively. These tests help to determine whether candidates have the competencies that the employers are looking for and identify the ideal employee (Amos, 2004 ). The performance of the candidates is set to a certain standard which may not necessarily be the highest score in these tests. With these tests, employers are able to select the best candidates who satisfy the needs of the organization.
(b) Interviews Interviews are one of the common techniques that are used by employers to select candidates that are suitable for the job. They are normally used in any kind of recruitment exercise including the graduate recruitment process. They help the employers to obtain information from the candidates and assess it properly (Roberts, 1997). They also help to validate the information given in the job application. Interviews are face to face meetings between the employer and the potential employees.
During the interview, the employer assesses different aspects of the candidate such as the appearance, competencies, personality and the communication skills of the applicant. Questions that are asked normally try to expand and discuss the formal details of the applicant that are already recorded on the application form. Candidates normally prefer interviews since they are a two way evaluation process between the employer and the employee. They give the candidates an opportunity to sell themselves (Kandola, Wood, & Dholakia, 2001 ).
There are different types of interviews that are used by employers. Structured interviews are more commonly used over other types of interviews (Compton & Nankervis, 2009 ). In structured interviews, a list of specific questions is used during the interview by the employer. The questions help to point out certain areas about the candidate such as the work history, education and training and the personality, motivation and character of the person. This kind of interview is preferred since it has several advantages which include the fact that it can be used to suit different individuals.
It is also preferred since it helps develop the interview as it offers a guideline for the employers on the kind of questions that will help in knowing the candidate better. It also offers a guide to employers who may not be very experienced in carrying out interviews. However, the main advantage of the structured interviews is the consistency it brings in the recruitment process (Compton & Nankervis, 2009 ). In a graduate recruitment which involves very many candidates being interviewed, the candidates are asked the same kind of questions and they are all treated in the same manner.
This gives them an equal opportunity and chance to make an impression to the employers. The method is also time efficient and reliable for the employer. The structured interview process however is not flexible enough as it does not allow the employers to ask additional questions that are beyond the areas that are given in the list of questions. This does not give the employers a chance to deliberate further on the responses given by the candidates to reveal more information. Unstructured interviews on the other hand are interviews that are unplanned and non-directive (Compton & Nankervis, 2009 ).
These kinds of interviews are mostly focused on the applicant doing most of the talking. The questions that the employers ask the candidates normally are normally as a result of the leads that the employees give to the employers. This method allows the candidate to be more relaxed and respond effectively to all the questions asked. The employer however needs to be fully qualified and experienced to ask questions that will help identify the most important details of the candidate that are relevant to the job. Graduate employers who use this kind of interview methods also have a hard time comparing the different candidates.
(c) Application Forms Most employers who recruit graduates normally ask the graduates to fill in job application forms that they normally design depending on the job vacancy that they want filled. The application form is usually designed in a way that allows the employers to collect the information that they deem relevant for the job being applied and in accordance to the needs of the organization (Compton & Nankervis, 2009 ). Information that may be included in the application form may include biographical data about the candidates, work history and experiences of the candidate.
The application forms enable the employers to screen the applicants easily and they also provide records that the employer can use for future vacancies. The organizational needs vary from one organization to another. The application forms are designed to fit in with the different needs and structure of the organizations. Organizations may develop different application forms for the different types of employees that exist within the company such as part time employees, salaried employees or even employees that receive wages (Roberts, 1997). (d) Assessment Centers
Employers who are recruiting graduate employees also use assessment centers to satisfy the organization’s development needs. Assessment centers are also known as development centers. They are events or processes that involve a series of activities that assess the business skills of potential employees and their competencies during the recruitment process (Secord, 2003 ). They include group problem solving exercises, case studies, in-tray exercises or presentations. The assessment centers for any organization are usually designed according to the needs of the organization in the specific job vacancy.
The skills and requirements that are analyzed are those that are required for the job in question. Different assessors are involved in an assessment center as they observe the candidates engaging in the activities provided and they then give feedback on the candidates’ performance on the task. The skills, strengths and weaknesses of the candidates are identified during the assessment exercise. (i) Case Study One of the common methods that are used by employers to assess potential employees especially the graduate employees is the case study technique.
The method involves choosing a realistic and relevant technical or business problem that fits the job vacancy on offer (Tolley & Wood, 2006 ). Case studies are usually more popular when there are a large number of candidates to be evaluated as they are used to generate a wide range of individual or group activities. The case study may be a real or imaginary problem that the employee of the organization in that position may be able to handle. It provides the assessors with an opportunity to get evidence of the oral and communication skills of the candidates as well as the team working skills.
The candidates are also evaluated in their ability to analyze issues, interpret data using various methods, come up with alternative solutions and produce a report which can either be oral or written and must include recommendations. (ii) In-Tray Exercises Employers may also use in-tray exercises to assess the candidates. In-tray exercises involve the candidates adopting a particular role of an employee in an organization which may be fictitious. They are then required to deal with the contents of an imaginary in-tray which may consist of internal memos, letters or emails (Parkinson, 2001 ).
The items in the in-tray usually vary in their importance, complexity and urgency. The items normally include tasks that need to be performed and a response given in writing for each item in the in-tray. Reasons need to be given for each response. The method is given a strong sense of reality by including a developing problem and expecting the candidate to resolve the issue while also dealing with the contents of the in-tray. The exercise may also be made more complex by the introduction of new items in the in tray such as an urgent fax.
The assessors try to assess the candidates’ ability to analyze and solve problems, organize themselves by prioritizing their tasks and managing their time properly. The candidates are also analyzed in the ability to read and respond quickly and efficiently as well as write effectively for different audiences (Tolley & Wood, 2006 ). The employers normally choose activities that are usually experienced within the work environment of the organization especially in the job in question. The candidates are then expected to encounter the situation and cope with the contingencies that arise in the in-tray items.
The employers are provided with first hand experiences on the abilities of the candidates and their abilities. (iii) Presentations When recruiting graduates or other levels of employees, the employers normally seek to recruit employees who have good oral communication skills (Tolley & Wood, 2006 ). Most of the jobs in organizations require the employees to make presentations to either the customers, management or even to their fellow colleagues or subordinates. They therefore need to have good oral communication and presentation skills. Employers may assess the candidates through a presentation.
The candidates may be in formed in advance to prepare and submit a presentation on a particular subject. Other times, the employer may ask the candidate to make a presentation on a topic with little or no time to prepare to test the ability of the candidate to think on their feet. The assessors are normally able to examine the ability of a candidate to think logically and structure the presentation in a clear manner. They also check on the ability of the candidate to use technical terms appropriately and handle stress and emotions while under pressure (Roberts, 1997).
The assessors may also ask questions to show the level of preparedness of the candidates and the knowledge of the subject matter. The candidates are given a particular time frame to present their work and they are required to present within the time frame given. (iv) Group Discussions Employers may also assess the candidates in groups especially where the job and the work environment requires the employees to work in teams. The groups may or may not have a leader. Employers use leaderless groups to ensure that the candidates are given the same brief (Parkinson, 2001 ).
They are then required to discuss a particular issue that concerns the organization or debate a controversial topic. The employers use this kind of group discussion to assess the candidates on their ability to organize their discussion and how they interact with each other. The candidates are also analyzed on their pattern of contributions and their role in the group. The assessors gather information about the group such as the spoken language, listening skills, persuasiveness, team work, initiative and their flexibility. Employers may also give the candidates roles in the group and a task that they are supposed to achieve.
Each candidate is given a role that they are supposed to act out and negotiate with the others. These roles may be similar to those that the candidate is seeking to fill in the organization. The employers then assess the candidates on the structure and quality of the argument that they give for undertaking a particular action or reason. Candidates may also be assessed on how well they support another candidate playing a different role in the group (Parkinson, 2001 ). The group tasks are highly structured with a specific time allocated to the group to undertake the task or problem defined.