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Strategies for successful e-recruiting HR Recruiting applications

-- Anjana Srikanth

(Avoid disaster! Find out whom you are hiring)

Dr. Carl Jung, defined Psychological Types in 1921. Since then adjective-based tests that determine the suitability of people to various kinds of jobs have become the norm.

"Put your best foot forward and move up the ladder", the philosophy in any career-driven individual since time immemorial. And acquiring the best feet or rather the best minds for the job is any employer's dream. But definitely not an easy task.

Recruiting and tracking prospective and past applicants, assessing them based on certain criteria and then generating reports that can be reused across the organization is a mammoth task indeed.

Can we look at a solution - an easier method of handling all of the above? What are the standard ways in which any candidate is interviewed and assessed? And how can new generation web tools add value here? This is what we are going to address in this article. We are talking about a web-enabled solution that endeavors to decrease the burden of human resources and tracks and organizes employee-related duties.

Now, are we talking to the Human Resources industry alone? Agreed that the most common and obvious use for such an application is in the recruitment field, but even performance appraisals and mentoring activities within organizations can be executed easily with this tool. In other words, the scope of this application falls under a broader spectrum, a range of applications called employee relationship management tools. Before we describe the features of such an application, lets digress for a moment and talk about people and work-related issues.

It's an understood fact that career development encompasses personal development too. And balancing work requirements with other life factors makes for a more balanced and contented employee. Entry-level measurements and performance measurements necessitate continual assessment of knowledge levels, skills, motivations and attitudes. Some of the essential prerequisites for specific professions can be factors like leadership, people management, time management, problem solving and persuasive skills.

Online testing software that measure an individual based on selection criteria and prepare customized reports that show how prospective employees are likely to behave and perform are very much in need today. Specialized reports about management, sales or executive or customer support candidates can be configured and delivered to all the concerned people within the organization. A manager or recruiter can select from a wish list of type of reports and decide what kind of a (customized) report he wants to view. For example, the communication skills report of X who had taken the online test 8 months ago or the reports for all sales applicants in the past 3 months or the role-play result of Y that was conducted on a certain date.

When an employer or recruiter makes a bad choice…

Research shows that interview techniques alone, even when well structured and well performed, only have about 50% chance of selecting the right person for the job. The cost of a poor appointment causes under-performance in the job and a waste of time and money spent on training and managing this poor choice.

A good choice contributes to productivity and profitability and aids the organization's strategic capability by providing a pool of skilled and committed people from which future managers are chosen.

How does online testing prevent a 'bad choice'?

Online testing diagnoses areas of direct relevance to the duties involved in the job and the reports provide valuable data about the applicant. Candidates can be assessed with the qualities sought and the standards desired. And, even if the candidate doesn't fit the requirements to a T, sometimes, compromises can be made and the candidate can be trained to be equipped with those necessary qualities.

A brief history lesson on Psychometrics

Psychometrics or the measurement of human characteristics is the field of genesis of intelligence testing, personality testing and vocational testing and has also contributed to the emergence of novel measurements of psychological testing based on the demands of society and new technology. Testing is a widespread occurrence and is employed in schools, organizations, government and even the military. The impact of testing on our culture makes it important that the tests are created and administered in a standard manner.

Job analyses, personnel selection procedures, consumer surveys and market research are some of the areas that psychometrics plays a significant role.The human resources department is witness to the proliferation of this science. Many factors play a role in the kind of tests that may be administered. The kind of job and it's related personality requirements are taken into account before creating a test. These tests form an integral part of the selection process as they add value to the decision-making and are also excellent measures of future performance.

What does a testing application do?

When selecting sales personnel, an employer looks for an achiever, a seeker, and a go-getter. In effect, a verbal competitor! A creative salesperson that looks for bigger and better opportunities, an ideas person is a big plus in this role. When an applicant takes a test, his thinking skills, expected remuneration, ambition and independence levels are measured. Day-to-day complexities of professional selling require someone who can cope with the stress and analyze problems and think them through.

Testing will reveal these characteristics along with any problem traits that need to be watched out for. After all, no human being is perfect. Insensitivity to the feelings and needs of others, which may be a plus where aggressive selling is concerned, may sometimes fail miserably when the person at the other end values relationships and kinder interaction.

A person's work style qualities like conscientiousness, or persistency, organization and self-dependency are also revealed here. Conflict management skills, people orientation, problem solving skills and personal values can be assessed in a competent and well-organized manner.

In addition to narrative reports like the above, graphic reports that give a visual picture of the same characteristics in a comparative manner aid in faster decision making. On the whole, these reports reveal the person within and solve the mystery to some extent. Agreed that many factors like the psychological conditions prevalent when the person was taking the test, their attention spans etc, can change the results to some extent, but most results don't vary too much. The tests have been measured for reliability and validated to a major extent.

Now, you might disagree and say that administering these tests through paper is too strenuous and time-consuming, while getting these tests online and implementing them on the web can work out to be too expensive. You might want to rely on the "gut instinct" and test your candidates in that manner, but when you weigh the pros and cons of e-recruiting, you will realize that any recruiting done over the web immediately widens your candidate base. You are expanding the reach of your company to a wider audience and this implies that you can literally pick and choose your dream candidate. The ideal match!

Assessments of the online kind form a kind of screening process after which you can interview your dream candidate and expose him to the reality of the job through a personal interview. What I am trying to say is that a combination of testing methods and personal interaction are important for complete success.

The right fit: An ERM solution

Performance appraisal
These testing profiles also facilitate structured performance appraisal systems within an organization. The results enable managers to identify people who are motivated by different ideals and also identify the best ways to reward and motivate individual staff.

Team building methodologies and organizational culture studies
With the emphasis on team development and cohesive bond building in the workplace, these tests can help identify what types of tasks and roles are best suited to different members within a team. The executive culture within an organization can be defined clearly and any fresh recruit can be made to fit in easily with it. Sub cultures for division like manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution and different locations can then be defined and easily understood.

Mentoring within the organization can be initiated and training and development needs can be identified, candidates can be trained and counseled. These profiles when used as guidance for mentoring can reveal possible strengths and weaknesses that can be addressed in career planning for the future.

A combination of testing methods
360 degree profiling is perception based and participants must be willing to hear a less than positive profile about them and also be willing to address the ambiguous causes. The normal reaction is to not accept the data and say that since it is people-based, personal bias could have played a major role in the results.

Whereas assessment profiles of an individual's natural tendencies, talents and strengths result in self-reports that focus on factors like work styles, traits and personality factors. These tools can be a perfect complement to a 360o type assessment.

Now, any organization needs to decide whether they want to use these assessment tools in combination with their existing methods of recruiting. A current assessment project and its success can depend on factors like costs, staff time and effort against potential increases in productivity.

Summary of benefits:

  1. Models world wide best practices.
  2. Easy to use and understand.
  3. Minimal training required.
  4. Benchmarks applied, validation and reliability studies conducted.
  5. Accurate and low cost

Professionally developed tests that conduct personal assessment can be of many types:

  • Mental and physical ability tests: Verbal, quantitative and spatial abilities. These tests predict success in jobs.
  • General tests: Verbal, Mathematical, reasoning that give an idea of the user's reading, computing and communicating skills.
  • Specific ability tests: These tests monitor reaction time, written comprehension, mathematical reasoning and mechanical ability.
  • Achievement tests: Proficiency, work sample and knowledge tests.

 

 

 


 
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