Strategies for successful e-recruiting
-- 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
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
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
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:
- Models world wide best practices.
- Easy to use and understand.
- Minimal training required.
- Benchmarks applied, validation and reliability studies conducted.
- 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.