Developing an organization structure results in jobs that have to be staffed. Job analysis is the procedure through which you find out
- What the job entails;
- What type of people should be hired for the job. It involves six steps
- Determine the use of the job analysis information
- What kind of people should be hired for the job
- Select the position to be analyzed
- Collect job analysis data
- Review information with participants
- Develop a job description and job specification
- There are five basic techniques that can be adopted to gather job analysis data: interviews, direct observation, questionnaires, participant logs and the US civil service procedure. These are good for developing job descriptions and specifications. The Department of Labor, functional job analysis and PAQ approaches result in quantitative ratings of each job and are therefore useful for classifying jobs for pay purposes.
- The job descriptions should portray the work of the position so well that the duties are clear without reference to other job descriptions. One check is to see if any new employee will understand what the job involves simply by reading the job description.
- The job specification answers the specific question what human traits and experience are required to do this job well. It says what kind of person should be recruited and what skills should be tested. Job specifications are usually based on the educated guesses of managers; however a more accurate statistical approach to developing job specifications can also be used.
- Job analysis is in many ways the first personnel activity that affects commitment. Most people can’t perform the job when they don’t have the ability and skills to perform the job. It is through job analysis that you determine what the job entails and what skills and abilities you should look for in job candidates.
- Use the ‘Dictionary of Occupational Titles’ to help write job descriptions and to specify duties to be included.
- De-jobbing is ultimately a product of the rapid changes taking place in the business world today. As firms try to speed decision making by taking steps like re-engineering, individual jobs are becoming broader and much less specialized. Increasingly firms do not want employees to be limited by specific set of responsibilities like those listed in a job description. As a result more employers are de-emphasizing detailed job descriptions, often substituting brief job summaries, perhaps combined with summaries of the skills required for the position.
Personnel planning and recruitment
- Developing personnel plans requires three forecasts: one for personnel requirements, one for the supply of outside candidates, and for the supply of inside candidates. To predict the need for personnel, first project the demand for the product or service. Net project the volume of production required to meet these estimates. Finally, relate personnel needs to these production estimates.
- Once personnel needs are projected, the next step is to build up a pool of qualified applicants. We discussed several sources of candidates, including internal sources (or promotion from within), advertising, employment agencies, executive recruiters, college recruiting, the internet, referrals and walk-ins. Remember that it is unlawful to discriminate against any individual with respect to employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or age.
- The initial selection screening in most organizations begins with an application form. Most managers use these just to obtain background data. However, you can use application form data to make predictions about the applicants future performance. For example application forms have been used to predict job tenure, job success, and employee theft.
- Personnel planning and recruiting directly affect employee commitment because commitment depends on hiring employees who have the potential to develop. An the more qualified applicants you have, the higher your selection standards can be. Selection usually begins with effective testing and interviewing.
Employee testing and selection
Selection and testing of prospective employees is of great importance. There are three main reasons why the process of selection and testing is crucial:
- Performance. Employees with the right level of performance should be selected for the job. Employees who don’t have the right level of skills or who are abrasive or obstructionist will not perform effectively.
- Cost. Effective screening is important because it is costly to recruit and hire employees. It is estimated that for an executive who earns $60,000 a year the cost of recruitment is $47,000. This takes into consideration the cost of search fees; interviewing time, reference checking, and travel and moving expenses. The cost of hiring non-executive employees where not as proportionally high is quite significant.
- Legal implications and negligent hiring. Although still not an issue in many countries – in the more litigant societies candidates who feel that they have been treated unfairly in the selection process regularly seek damages from offending companies. Further, equal employment legislation, guidelines, court rulings require that employment selection procedures ensure that women, minorities, the elderly and the handicapped are not unfairly discriminated against.
Concepts of validity and reliability
Validity refers to the accuracy with which the test, interview etc measures what it is supposed to measure or fulfills the function that it was designed to achieve. Criterion validity – a type of validity based on showing that scores on the test (predictors) are related to job performance (criterion). Content validity – a test that is content valid is one in which the test contains a fair sample of the tasks and skills actually needed for the job in question.
`Reliability’ refers to the characteristics that refer to the consistency of scores, obtained by the same person; when retested with the identical or equivalent test. If a person scored 90 on an intelligence test on Monday but on Thursday scored 130 then this test is said to be unreliable
Test validation techniques
- Analyze the job. The first task would be to analyze the job and write a job description and job specification. Here list the human traits and skills that are required for job performance. For example, should the employee be aggressive? Is shorthand required? Will the candidate be required to assemble small, detailed components? Their requirements are the predictors of job performance.
- Choose the test. Choose the tests that measure the attributes (predictors) important for job success. This choice is usually based on experience, previous research and `rules of the thumb’ and usually more than one test will be used, as a test battery aimed at measuring a variety of possible predictors such as extroversion, aggressiveness, and numerical ability.
- Administer test. Next administer the selected tests to employees. Two techniques can then be used. First test it on the existing employees on the job and compare their test scores with their current performance; this is called concurrent validation. The disadvantage is that current employees might not be representative of new applicants.
Predictive validation is the more dependable way to validate a test. Here the test is performed before they are hired. However only existing techniques are used in evaluation of the prospective employees suitability – not the tests being validated.
Testing guidelines – best practices
- Use tests as supplements. Do not use test as the only selection techniques use them as supplements to interviews and background checks. Tests are not infallible and in certain cases do not account for even 25% of the overall weight given in an applicants true ability to perform successfully on the job.
- Validate the tests. Both legal requirements (not in many countries) and good practices demand that tests be validated before they are used in evaluating a prospects ability to perform well on the job. The fact that similar test have proven successful in the same industry is not adequate.
- Analyze your current hiring and promotion standards. Issues such as the number of minority community applicants being rejected, gender bias, use of specific standards etc should all be reviewed to ensure that the selection and testing process is fair.
- Keep accurate records. It is important to keep accurate record of why each applicant was rejected. Detailed records of why each applicant was rejected should be held to assist in research on the trends in recruitment and appraise the performance of the recruitment process.
- Begin validation program. Preferably use predictive validation study of the test to develop test specifically for the type of job and the industry in which the company operates. After establishing the validity of the tests; administer the test, hire employees without referring to their test scores and at a later date correlate their test scores with their performance on the job.
- Test conditions should be consistent. Administer the tests in areas that are reasonably quiet, private, well ventilated, well lighted, and make sure that all applicants take the tests under the same test conditions. Once completed the test results should be held in the strictest confidence and given only to the individuals who have a legitimate need for the scores.
Assessing Managerial Competencies Required for the Job
A major issue in the recruitment and selection of staff has been concerned with the process of identifying relevant qualities that are required of existing and potential applicants that will enable an appropriate match to occur between person and job. The tool traditionally used to identify these qualities has been job analysis. Job analysis can be categorized into task oriented and person oriented methodologies. Task oriented methodologies generate a list of the activities that are required of the jobholder as derived from research of the job. Recent developments such as flexibility, teamwork, and multi-skilling also limit the usefulness of such task-oriented approaches. As a consequence person-oriented techniques such as critical incident technique, and repertory grid and behavioural event interviews have grown in importance as a means of directly identifying requirement for a particular job.
Job analysis is carried out so as to arrive at a job description (the job context, its associated tasks, responsibilities and duties) and the person specification. Conventional job analysis assumes that there is such a thing as `the job’ that can be defined in terms of discrete tasks. Conventional job analysis relies heavily on historical data therefore procedures may be backward looking rather than forward looking and strategic. Job competency has been defined as `an underlying characteristic of a person which results in effective and/or superior performance on the job.’ Occupational competence is defined as the ability to perform the activities within an occupation to the standards expected in employment.
Four criticisms exists against generic competence models:
- The conceptual ambiguity underlying the term since it sometimes seem to refer to behaviour and actions sometimes to the abilities and characteristics underlying behaviour and sometimes to the outcomes or results of the actions.
- Off the shelf nature of existing competency models – argument is that particular industries, sectors and even strategies require specific inventory of skills.
- Many competency models are present or past oriented – the need for companies is future oriented competency models such as strategic job analysis.
- Competency models also do not give sufficient emphasis to skills like creativity and sensitivity that are very difficult to measure.
Psychometric Model of Testing
Selection and assessment research centers have heavily relied on psychometric testing where other types of test were inadequate. The model assumes that the job can be divided into discrete tasks and that each task can be graded on the competence, knowledge, attitude etc that is required for the job and that these factors will predict job performance. Further the model seem to value individualism (individual values taken to predict individual performance), managerialism, and utility -though other factors (such as bias, intolerance of minorities) too are also taken into account
More recently research has been carried out into the emerging social process model – this focuses on impact and process, and considers the selection process as a social process as well as the impact of selection and assessment process on candidates. A model has been presented showing that the impact of selection and assessment processes on individuals, arguing that both the selection decision and the candidates attitude to the selection process are likes to have an effect on a variety of psychological processes, including organizational and career attitudes, self efficacy, self esteem and other psychological states, and that these are likely to lead to such behaviours as job and career withdrawal. The impact of such processes is likely to be moderated by a variety of factors such as candidate’s individual differences, prior information and explanations, feature of the assessment process such as the quality, quantity and the timing and feedback, and contextual variables such as organizational and social support provided to the candidates.
- There are several basic types of interviews: situational, non-directive, structured, sequential, panel stress and appraisal interviews. All interviews can be classified according to content, structure, purpose and method of administration.
- Several factors and problems can undermine the usefulness of an interview. These are making premature decisions, letting unfavourable information predominate, not knowing the requirements of the job, being under pressure to hire, not allowing for the candidate order effect, and sending visual cues to telegraph enthusiasm.
- The five steps in the interview include: plan, establish rapport, question the candidate, close the interview and review the data.
- Guidelines for interviewers include: use a structured guide, know the requirements of the job, focus on traits that you can more accurately evaluate (like motivation), let the interviewee do most of the talking, delay your ecision until after the interview
- The steps in a structured or situational interview are: job analysis, evaluate the job duty information, develop interview questions with critical incidents, develop benchmark answers, appoint an interview committee and implement.
- As an interviewee keep in mind that interviewers tend to make premature decisions and let unfavourable information predominate; your appearance and enthusiasm are important; you should get the interviewer to talk; it is important to prepare before walking in – get to know the job and the problems the interviewer wants solved; and you should stress your enthusiasm and motivation to work and how your accomplishments match your interviewers needs.
- A quick procedure for conducting an interview is to develop behavioral specifications; determine the basic intellectual, motivation, personality and experience factors to probe for; use an interview plan; and then match the individual to the job. The procedure is especially useful for small firms with HR groups, but can be used in large firms as well.
- Value based hiring can contribute to building employee commitment. It assumes that management has clarified the values it cherishes, spends adequate time in the selection process, and provides for realistic previews.