Selection involves screening or evaluation of applicants to identify those who are best suited to perform the jobs. Under it, the qualifications and experience of every candidate are compared with job requirements and with those of the other candidates. The basic purpose of selection is to choose the right type of candidates to fill up various positions or vacancies in the organisation. It involves the matching of the qualities of candidates with the requirements of a job. The exact procedure of selection may vary according to the size of the organisation and the type of personnel to be selected. But usually the following sequence of steps are followed:-
The process may begin with a preliminary interview. It involves a short exchange of information relating to the organisation and the candidate. Its purpose is to determine whether it is worthwhile for the candidate to fill in an application blank. It is generally brief and is held to eliminate the totally unsuitable candidates. It is thus beneficial to both the organisation and the applicants.
It is a brief resume of the name, age, qualifications, experience, etc of the candidate. It is used to obtain relevant information about the applicant in his/her own handwriting. It reflects the candidate's personality and helps to identify his suitability to the job. A variety of application blanks are used in practice but there is a high degree of similarity between the application blanks of different organisations because the basic information required is similar in all cases. Most of the application forms in big organisations are designed in such a manner so as to enable the organisation to plan training programmes, special assignments or promotions, once the employee is hired for the organisation.
Employment tests have become a popular screening device in employee selection. The test is designed to measure selected aspects of the candidate's personality and to predict how well the applicant is likely to perform on the job. Several types of employment tests may be used:-
- Intelligence tests: are used to judge the mental capacity of an applicant.
- Aptitude tests: measure an applicant's capacity and potential for development.
- Personality tests: probe for the qualities of the personality as a whole, the combination of aptitude, interest and usual mood and temperament.
- Proficiency tests: are those which are designed to measure the skills already acquired by the individuals.
- Interest tests: identify patterns of interest i.e. the areas in which the individuals show special talent and involvement.
Personal or face-to-face interview is the most popular step in selection procedure. It provides additional information about the candidate. It helps in judging the suitability of the candidate and serves as a check on the information obtained through application blank and tests. It may be used to give a detailed information about the job and the organisation.
Some organisations ask for a certificate of physical fitness from a medical expert while others insist on a medical examination of the candidate by their own panel of doctors. A proper medical examination will ensure high standards of health and physical fitness of employees and will reduce the rates of accidents, absenteeism and labour turnover.
A candidate who has crossed all the hurdles in the selection procedure is formally appointed by issuing an appointment letter or by entering into a service agreement with him.
The selected candidates are put on or posted in appropriate jobs. This is known as placement. Every new employee is given a particular job to perform on the basis of his abilities, aptitude, skills, etc. Generally, the candidates are not appointed on a permanent basis because it is considered better to try them for a few months during the probation period for the job. This is because no selection procedure is complete in itself to find out the whole picture of the personality and qualities of the selected candidate. It is to be noted that a proper placement of employees will go a long way towards building a stable work force and eventually reducing labour costs. When selected personnel are correctly placed, it improves their efficiency and job satisfaction. It also increases their productivity