Selection is the process of putting right men on the right job. It is a procedure of matching organisational requirements with the skills and qualifications of people. Effective selection can be done only when there is effective matching. By selecting best candidate for the required job, the organisation will get quality performance of employees.

According to Dale Yoder, “hiring (selection) process is one or many ‘go’ on no-‘go’ gangs. Candidates are screened by the application of these gangs. Qualified applicants go on to the next hurdle, while in qualified are eliminated”.

Thus, a systematic selection should be done in the organization to avoid wrong candidate’s selection and loss of time and money incurred on this process. Wrong selection also leads to absenteeism and retrenchment. Selection is the process of carefully screening the candidates who offer themselves for appointment so as choose the most suitable persons for the jobs that are to be filled. It is the process of weeding out unsuitable candidates.

Learn about:- 1. Meaning and Definitions of Selection 2. Need for Selection 3. Important Qualities 4. Factors Influencing 5. Significance 6. Role 7. Tests 8. Steps 9. Traditional Methods 10. Benefits 11. Types of Errors 12. Recent Trends.

Selection Process in HRM: Meaning, Definitions, Need, Factors Influencing, Significance, Tests, Steps, Traditional Methods and More…


  1. Meaning and Definitions of Selection
  2. Need for Selection
  3. Important Qualities of Selection
  4. Factors Influencing Selection
  5. Significance of Selection
  6. Role of Selection
  7. Selection Tests
  8. Steps of Selection
  9. Traditional Methods of Selection
  10. Benefits of Selection
  11. Types of Errors in Selection
  12. Recent Trends of Selection

Selection Process in HRM – Meaning and Definitions

Selection is the process of putting right men on the right job. It is a procedure of matching organisational requirements with the skills and qualifications of people. Effective selection can be done only when there is effective matching. By selecting best candidate for the required job, the organisation will get quality performance of employees.


Moreover, organisation will face less of absenteeism and employee turnover problems. By selecting right candidate for the required job, organisation will also save time and money. Proper screening of candidates takes place during selection procedure. All the potential candidates who apply for the given job are tested.

But selection must be differentiated from recruitment, though these are two phases of employment process. Recruitment is considered to be a positive process as it motivates more of candidates to apply for the job. It creates a pool of applicants. It is just sourcing of data. While selection is a negative process as the inappropriate candidates are rejected here. Recruitment precedes selection in staffing process. Selection involves choosing the best candidate with best abilities, skills and knowledge for the required job.

Once an adequate number of applicants have been sourced, the process of selection begins. Selection is the second step in the staffing process. This process involves choosing the candidates who best meet the qualification and have the greatest aptitude for the job. The main objective of this process is to match individual characteristics such as ability, experience and so on with the requirements of the job.


Thus, a systematic selection should be done in the organization to avoid wrong candidate’s selection and loss of time and money incurred on this process. Wrong selection also leads to absenteeism and retrenchment. Selection is the process of carefully screening the candidates who offer themselves for appointment so as choose the most suitable persons for the jobs that are to be filled. It is the process of weeding out unsuitable candidates.

The following two definitions further clear the idea of recruitment:

According to Dale Yoder, “hiring (selection) process is one or many ‘go’ on no-‘go’ gangs. Candidates are screened by the application of these gangs. Qualified applicants go on to the next hurdle, while in qualified are eliminated”. According to Thomas H. Stone, “selection is the process of differentiate between applicants in order to identify (and hire) those with a greater likelihood of success in a job”.

According to Thomas H. Stone, ” Selection is the process of differentiating between applicants in order to identify (and hire) those with a greater likelihood of success in a job.”

Selection Process in HRM – Need: Reduce Margin of Errors, Minimize Cost of Personnel and Meet Environmental Requirements

Selection, being the most crucial phase of human resource management, should be systematic and scientific, based on certain pre-determined criteria. Traditional methods of selection, though may provide base for judging the suitability of a candidate, do not provide satisfactory fit between the candidates and jobs.


Therefore, there is a need for developing scientific methods for selection. A scientific method uses well-established, reliable, and valid tools for selection.

These tools are based on a fit among three categories of variables:

1. Candidate’s own personality predispositions and characteristics such as need patterns, tolerance for ambiguity, locus of control, work ethic, values, abilities, and skills;


2. Characteristics of the job such as the amount of challenge it offers, the skills used in performing the job, and the like; and

3. Characteristics of facilitating structures at the workplace such as work layout, reward systems, extent of training and development facilities offered, and organizational culture and values.

The need for a fit between the candidate and other variables arises to ensure the following features in the selection:

1. To Reduce Margin of Errors:

No matter whatever method of selection is used, some margin of errors will always prevail. Scientific selection tries to reduce this margin though it cannot remove it completely at selecting those who will, by and large, perform well in the organization and reject those who will not. However, in doing so, some errors invariably occur.


Based on the combination of two criteria — performance criteria and selection criteria, candidates may be divided into four categories:

A- refers to those who were not selected on the selection criteria cut-off but who have been successful had they been selected. This error is known as false negative.

B- refers to those who were rejected; had they been selected, their performance would not have been positive. In this case, there is no error and the situation is known as true negative.

C- refers to those who have been selected and whose performance would be positive. The situation is true positive; there is no error.


D- refers to those who have been selected on the selection cut-off criteria but their performance is not positive. This error is known as false positive.

Scientific selection aims at increasing the size of rectangles B and C and, consequently, decreasing the size of rectangles A and D by using proper tools and techniques of selection.

2. To Minimize Cost of Personnel:

A wrong selection results in enormous cost to the organization as well as to the society. For the organization, cost of a wrong selection is in two forms. First, it will have to pay higher remuneration to the person wrongly selected in comparison to his contributions to the organization thereby affecting organizational effectiveness adversely. Second, selection of a wrong person has a telling effect on the morale of existing personnel in the organization.

It may send a wrong signal and the personnel may feel that nepotism is the way of life in the organization. From the social point of view, a wrong selection means the wastage of precious human resources of the society. By scientific selection, such costs can be minimized.

3. To Meet Environmental Requirements:


No organization operates in isolation but it operates in the context of a given set of environmental factors. Therefore, it has to abide by socio-cultural norms and one of the norms is that every organization will treat all people fairly. This applies in the context of employment of people.

In fact, our Constitution has very clearly laid down the guiding principles for opportunity in public employment for all citizens that:

“There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or opportunity to any office under the State (Article 16-1). No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be uneligible for or discriminated against in respect of employment or office under the State (Article 16-2).”

Though these are applicable to the employment in Government agencies, these are equally true for other organizations too as a matter of their social responsibility. An organization may enhance its prestige by fair and equitable solution which demands a fit between the candidates, jobs, and organization. This can be achieved to a great extent by scientific selection.

Selection Process in HRM – 2 Important Qualities of Selection Instrument (Validity and Reliability)

Once the criteria or objectives of selection have been decided, one should look for an instrument that can be used to discriminate and distinguish between candidates possessing those characteristics and those who do not. In other words an instrument, e.g., a test, an interview, or a certificate of high educational qualification could be used to make selection if its administration yield different results for different candidates. This instrument or the device is called selection device.

A chosen selection instrument must have two very important qualities:


1. It should be valid and

2. It should be reliable.

1. Validity:

A valid selection device would be one that when administered on a group of candidates generates results that are related well with the specific criteria or objectives of selection. Example – If the criterion of selection of a hotel manager is his/her ability to work with room boys, then we can use a behavioural test to select a hotel manager only if behavioural test scores of a group of hotel managers are correlated well with their measured ability to work with the room boys.

If a hotel’s objective is to select a manager with aptitude to work with room boys, then obviously it cannot use a meter stick to make the choice as there is no proven relation between the height of a manager and his/her ability to work with room boys!

In the context of strategic selection, the issue of validity assumes special significance. This is because many of the strategy-related skill requirements for a key manager are based on inadequate analysis and incomplete information. Many a time these requirements are presented based on what worked in another organization and/or in another time in the same organization without considering their current relevance.

As a result many a time, some of the strategy-related selection objectives that are used for making selection may turn out to be faulty at a later date. It is because of such doubts and potential faux pass that some authors and practicing managers believe that there is no need for a strategic selection at all or at least in the entry career stages of managers.

Human quality and character­istics are flexible and adaptable enough to meet any future requirements provided one is committed to the organization and the organizational environment is supportive enough to take the trouble.

2. Reliability:

Through the process of selection, the selection committee members try to assess those qualities and characteristics of a candidate that are normally not visible from the objective information provided by him/her. Many of these qualities and characteristics are intangible in nature and their assessments are open to varying degree of subjective errors.

Naturally, the application of a device may yield results that depend on other extraneous factors, e.g., who administered it, at what time it was administered, or how it was administered. Unless an instrument gives results that are stable both over time and over different administrators, it cannot be very useful and acceptable to an organization. Sometimes, the use of an instalment of low reliability may invite legal sanction for being unfair and discriminatory.

Thus, the reliability of a selection device is another important characteristic which indicates consistency in results from its application on the same group of candidates at different times or from the administration by different administrators on the same group of candidates.

Selection Process in HRM – Factors Affecting the Process of Selection:- Profile Matching Factor, Organizational and Social Environmental Factor and a lot More..

A number of factors affect the process of selection as Yoder has rightly observed “recruitment is positive process where as selection is negative.”

The important factors affecting the process of selection are given below:

1. Profile Matching Factor:

The most important factor that affects on selection is profile of the candidate and job specification. The profile of the candidate should match with job specification. For this purpose scores secured by the candidates in various tests are taken as a standard and success or failure of the candidate is decided at each stage of selection. Scores secured in the test, performance in the interview are taken to match the candidate bio-data with the job specification.

2. Organizational and Social Environmental Factor:

Organizational and Social factors also influence the selection process. Candidates who are able and efficient may fail to work in a type of organization located in a place which is not conducive to work. For some candidates hot environment may be problem for others cool environment may be hardship. Therefore, while selecting the candidates, the prevailing environment, the capacity and suitability of the candidate to work in that environment should also be considered.

3. Successive Hurdles:

There are number of hurdles in the process of selection which a candidate has to pass through successfully to get an appointment. These hurdles may be interview, test, group discussion, reference enquiry etc. All these hurdles influence on the selection process and need to be considered at the time of selection.

4. Multiple Co-Relations:

Multiple co-relations are yet another factor that influences on the process of selection. Multiple co-relation means relation between two or more factors. It is based on the assumption that deficiency in one aspect can be counter balanced by an excess amount of another. A candidate who is poor in communication may be extra-ordinary good in book keeping and accounting. Now multiple co-relation factors may be applied and candidate may be selected.

Selection Process in HRM – the Process of getting Potential Employees

Recruitment has been described as the process of getting potential employees wellness to apply for a Job or Jobs in the organization. If recruitment is successful several candidates will apply and out of these, the more suitable candidates may be selected. But selection is not an easier process. It is a problem of man to the job. Thus, selection involves choosing of individuals who possess the necessary skill, abilities and personality to fill specific jobs in the organization.

Therefore, a well devised selection procedure is of great significance for the organization. The purpose of selection process is to determine whether a candidate is suitable for employment in the organization or not.

To select means to choose. Selection is a process by which the qualified personnel can be chosen from the applicants by obtaining and assessing pertinent information about them. It is “the process in which candidates for employment are divided into two classes – those who will be offered employment and those who will not (i.e. those who will be rejected). Since more candidates may be turned away than hired, selection is frequently described as a negative process, in contrast with the positive programme of recruitment”.

Thus, unlike recruitment, selection is a negative process as it seeks to eliminate the least promising candidates and to discover those that appear most likely to succeed. This process essentially aims at matching the applicants with the job requirements and picking up the most suitable candidates. The choices are made by elimination of the unsuitable candidates at successive stages of the selection process.

The following significance can be obtained by the organization if selection is made carefully:

i. Unsuitable and unqualified persons can be weeded out.

ii. Suitable persons are selected means decreasing the level of absenteeism and labour turn over.

iii. Good selection increases the efficiency of the organization.

iv. Good selection reduces the wastage of time, energy and money by selecting the suitable candidates.

v. Sound selection of executives can build up the strong managerial structure of the enterprise.

vi. Proper selection is very helpful in building up a suitable work­force.

vii. The productivity of the organization can be improved by good selection.

Selection Process in HRM – Involves choosing between Applicants for jobs and Eliminating unsuitable Applicants

Selection involves choosing between applicants for jobs, eliminating unsuitable applicants. Selection of applicants depends on the basis of educational qualifications, skills, experience and aptitude of the applicant which suits the best for job description.

To select the best candidate, an intensive research for the job should be conducted in order to determine the attributes needed for the job and by the applicant.

In other words an effective selection policy must assert, “why and what” aspects of organizational objectives. Selection is the process of choosing the best of those recruited. It can be a negative process as it rejects a large number of applicants to identify the few who are suitable for the job. It is an important function as no organisation can achieve its goals without selecting the right candidate.

After the receipt of appropriate number of applications through various sources of recruitment selection process starts. It is concerned with securing relevant information about the applicants. The purpose of the selection process is to determine whether a candidate is suitable for employment in the organization or not. All persons who have applied may not be suitable.

Moreover, the number of applicants will be much more than the positions vacant. It becomes all the more important to scrutinize applicants properly so that those who are found unsuitable at first instance should not be called for tests or interviews. This will save time and money of the enterprises as well as the candidates.

The procedure to be followed for selecting an employee may be different for various jobs. If the job is not very important than a simple procedure may be followed. For employing unskilled workers, personnel manager may select them after a brief interview.

If skilled and unskilled persons are to be selected then foremen may interview them and also test their experience by asking them to work on jobs. When the position to be filled is important than a number of steps may be followed before a person is finally selected.

The selection process also serves the purpose of selling the organization to the candidate. During the selection process, the candidates come in continuous contact with the organization through its representatives. While the candidate is being evaluated, he tries to assess the company and its culture, apart from the job.

So, the representatives of the company have to take care to project the company in the best possible way. The job is also to be sold to the candidate. However, providing wrong information and incorrect details might back fire as an unsuitable candidate might give his acceptance and eventually get hired.

It is the responsibility of the selectors to balance the two purposes of selecting the candidate and creating a good image of the organization and the job for the candidate. Stress interviews and other similar selection procedure cannot appeal to a candidate and might put him off.

More and more organizations are trying to simplify and modify their selection procedures so as to ensure the right selection without antagonizing the candidate. It is a fact that the organization needs a right candidate as much as a candidate needs the right job.

Following points should be considered for selection of candidates:

(i) There should be sufficient number of applicants.

(ii) There should be free flow of communication as to understand each other better.

(iii) The method of selection should be sound.

(iv) Some standards should be fixed by which applicants could be rated.

(v) Authority should be competent and expert on that particular field to select a right candidate.

Selection Process in HRM – Selection Tests

Selection tests are of various types. Some of them have been discussed below. Recruiters may use one or more of such tests depending upon the kind of job for which they are selecting the candidates.

1. Ability/Achievement/Trade Tests:

The ability tests measure how well the Tests candidate can perform the tasks in a particular job. In other words, it is a proficiency test of a candidate. Ability test may also be called achievement tests or trade tests. The composition of such tests shall differ from job to job however all such tests shall be directed at confirming the candidate regarding his/her ability.

2. Aptitude Tests:

All apples are not ripe when they are plucked. Similarly all candidates do not come with prior experience or proven track-record of their abilities. In such cases aptitude tests prove to be very effective. Aptitude tests attempt to find out the latent potential of a candidate towards a particular job; not only in terms of performing it in the future but also learning the same.

You cannot teach a hen to dance like a peacock. Without sounding condescending in any way, the fact remains that someone with an aptitude can always be trained but not without that.

Aptitude test come in various types:

a. Intelligence Tests:

These tests try to measure the overall intelligence of the person to do the job and solve various problems that he/she might encounter while doing the job.

i. Verbal Ability Tests – These tests measure spelling, grammar, ability to understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions.

ii. Numeric Ability Tests – These tests measure basic arithmetic, number sequences, simple mathematics, and numerical critical reasoning questions.

iii. Abstract Reasoning Tests – These measure and identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution.

iv. Spatial Ability Tests – These measure ability to imagine shapes in two dimensions or to visualize three-dimensional objects presented as two-dimensional pictures.

v. Data Checking Tests – These measure how the speed and accuracy with which one can detect errors in data.

b. Mechanical Aptitude Tests:

They measure orientation of a person to perform a mechanical job.

c. Skill Tests:

Such tests attempt to determine whether the skill of the person in doing a particular job is at compilation (just acquired skill) or at automaticity (expertise) level.

3. Situation Tests:

Situational tests are thought to be very effective in selection process as they exhibit a candidate’s ability to think, ideate, his/her decision-making ability and many-a-times a reflection of their attitude and approach. In situation tests candidates are given scenarios that are close to real-life ones and then tested on how they react to the same.

Some examples of situation tests are:

a. Role Plays – In ‘role plays’ a group of candidates are provided a situation, usually a problem, which they have to enact and find solutions for the same.

b. Group Discussion – A group of candidates are provided a topic on which they are supposed to discuss, explore multiple perspectives and comment. In the process they are expected to develop solution or possible alternatives.

c. In-basket Exercises – A candidate is given a series of tasks that he/she has to complete in a fixed period of time, for example, issuing a warning letter, memo, writing to supplier, commenting on a new policy by the company, reviewing requests by some employees, etc. The speed and proficiency with which a candidate deals with each of such items in the basket are recorded and the data is used in selection process.

4. Interest Tests:

A candidate’s interest towards a particular career or occupation may a times be tested by the employers, since a genuine interest is seen as a precursor to someone doing a good job.

The more common career interest tests include:

a. SDS – Self Directed Search, also known as SCII – Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory – this is based in part on John L. Holland’s six personality types (also known as the Holland Codes).

b. Sll – Strong Interest Inventory. Based on the Holland Codes this test typically takes about 25 minutes to complete. It is widely used in for educational guidance in relation to career choice.

c. The Career Key – A career interest test, also based on the Holland Codes.

The ONET Interest Profiler (IP) is a self-assessment career exploration tool that can help clients discover the type of work activities and occupations that they would like and find exciting.

5. Personality Tests:

Most jobs demand a certain set of personality traits for example a sales person must be extrovert, gregarious, a BPO executive must be type B to avoid early burnout etc. Some employers use personality test to ensure a better candidate-job fitment.

6. General Awareness Test:

A candidate knowledge about the general economic, social, political and legal environment may be tested at times by the employers.

7. Projective Tests:

These tests are designed to test the interpretation that a candidate makes about photos or pictures that he/she is confronted with. It is a type Personality test designed to let a person respond to ambiguous stimuli, presumably revealing hidden emotions and internal conflicts.

Unlike an “objective test” in which responses are analysed according to a universal standard (for example, a multiple choice exam), the responses to a projective test are content analysed for meaning rather than being based on Pre-suppositions about meaning. There are a number of different types of projective tests.

Some of the best-known projective tests are:

a. The Rorschach Inkblot Test:

The Rorschach Inkblot was one of the first projective tests, and continues to be one of the best-known. Developed by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach in 1921, the test consists of 10 different cards that depict an ambiguous inkblot. The participant is shown one card at a time and asked to describe what he or she sees in the image.

The responses are recorded verbatim by the tester. Gestures, tone of voice, and other reactions are also noted. The results of the test can vary depending on which scoring system the examiner uses, of which many different systems exist.

b. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT):

In the Thematic Apperception Test, an individual is asked to look at a series of ambiguous scenes. The participant is then asked to tell a story describing the scene, including what is happening, how the characters are feeling and how the story will end. The examiner then scores the test based on the needs, motivations and anxieties of the main character as well as how the story eventually turns out.

8. Graphology Test:

Graphology test is essentially a test of a person’s handwriting. The term graphology was first used by a Frenchman Michon in 1875 and has been derived from the Greek words ‘grapho’ meaning ‘I write’ and ‘logos’ meaning ‘theory’. Graphology test can tell a lot about the person his emotions, his ego, his idiosyncrasies, his attitude, perception etc.

The choice of selection test/tests to be employed by the employer in the selection process shall depend upon need, applicability, feasibility and cost to be incurred in administering a test.

Selection Process in HRM – the Following Steps are generally followed by the Organizations while Selecting its Employees

There is no standardized selection procedure to be used in all organizations or for all jobs. The steps or procedure differ from job to job or even position to position and firm to firm. These steps are series of successive hurdles or barriers which an applicant must cross. These are designed to eliminate an un-qualified and un-desirable candidate from the selection process.

However, the following steps are generally followed by the organizations while selecting its employees:

1. Scrutiny of application

2. Preliminary Interview

3. Application Blank

4. Selection Test and Group Discussion

5. Interview

6. Medical Examination

7. Checking References

8. Final Approval, Placement and Induction.

Step # 1. Scrutiny of Applications:

The first and foremost step in the process of selection is receipt of applications and scrutiny or screening of applications received just to ensure that applicants possess requisite qualification and fulfill all the conditions required and whether application is complete in all respect etc. Incomplete applications are kept out of the list and applications complete in all respect and applicants who fulfill all the conditions are called for preliminary interview.

Step # 2. Preliminary Interview:

Preliminary interview is generally conducted by a junior executive or assistant of the personnel department. Preliminary interview is conducted to know about the candidate, his or her qualification, skill knowledge, experience salary expected etc., and also to give information about the company, nature of the job, method of performing job etc.

Preliminary interview saves time and effort of company and candidates as it helps to determine whether job to be offered suits to the candidates and candidate is fit to do a job. Due to overage, physical unfitness, lack of required education and experience, some of the job seekers may be unsuitable. Therefore, to test the suitability and employability of the candidate preliminary interview is conducted.

Step # 3. Application Blank:

Those who have crossed the hurdle of preliminary interview will be given application blank. It is a device of collecting information from the candidates. Generally big firms use different printed application forms for different job that will be issued to the candidates for collecting information.

Generally application blank or form contains the following information:

(i) Name, address, telephone number etc.

(ii) Personal information like age, sex, marital status, place of birth etc.

(iii) Education and family background.

(iv) Physical characteristics like height, weight etc.

(v) Extracurricular activities like games and sports, hobbies, membership of professional bodies, personal achievements like prizes won, medals received etc.

(vi) Experience in different organizations if any and salary drawn and salary expected etc.

Step # 4. Selection Test:

Use of tests in the process of selection of an employee has become very much common now. Standardised tests are available in order to judge the attitude, behavior, ability, interest and aptitude of the candidates. For this purpose, aptitude test, intelligence test, skill test, knowledge test, personality test, interest test etc., are conducted depending upon the nature and type of job.

Tests help in understanding the abilities and weakness of the candidates and are helpful in matching the job with candidates. Test is one of the best devices for selecting the candidates when applicants are in large number. Thus, tests help to reduce bias in selection by serving as a supplementary screening device.

Group Discussion:

Group discussion is a device or means of judging the leadership ability and social traits of candidates. In this technique, candidates are brought together and small group consisting of 5 to 8 members is formed and problem is given for discussion. The group has to analyse, discuss and find solution for the given problem. The selection panel will observe their discussion and even guide the group.

The initiative, leadership qualities, behavior and judgment of every member can be judged on the basis of their participation and co-operation given in the discussion. Thus, group discussion is a useful device for selecting a candidate when job requires co-operation of several persons and involves group effort.

Step # 5. Interview:

Interview is a widely and commonly used technique of selecting an employee in almost all the organizations. Though rest of the steps is not followed by all the organizations, interview is compulsorily conducted by all the organizations before selecting its employees. It is a conversation between two persons which involves a personal, observational and face to face appraisal of candidates for employment.

Depending upon the nature of the job, different types of interviews are conducted. Interview may be formal interview, informal interview, structured or unstructured interview, depth interview, group interview, stress interview, panel interview etc. Interview helps to cross-check the information collected through application and test helps to judge whether candidate is really suitable for the post for which he has applied and whether the candidate really possesses all the qualities claimed in the application.

Thus, interview is a tool through which information about the candidate is collected, information about the company is given and suitability of the candidate for a particular job is judged.

Step # 6. Medical Examination:

Those who have successfully completed the above process of selection are subject to medical examination by the medical officers appointed or recognized by the company. Physical fitness of the candidate is checked through medical examination. The main objective of conducting medical examination is to ensure that candidate is physically fit to handle the job and to offer his services.

Those who are physically unfit to handle the job or those who are physically handicapped or those who are suffering from contagious diseases are kept out of the list and are not finally selected and those who are physically fit are only selected to perform the job.

Step # 7. Checking References:

Checking reference is another important step in the process of selection. Here references given by the candidate in their application about their status is checked by the organization before offering the job. Generally applicant is asked to mention in his application form the names and addresses of at least two persons whom he knows well.

The organization contacts such persons through mail or telephone and collects the information about the candidate who has applied for the job. The information so collected is kept confidential and is useful in judging the behavior and character of the candidates. However information supplied by the referees is not fully reliable as they may be biased or favorable to the candidates.

Step # 8. Final Approval, Placement and Induction:

If a candidate qualifies in the process of selection, he is finally selected and an appointment letter may be given to him mentioning the post for which he is selected, terms of appointment, pay scales, the date by which the candidate should join etc. Initial appointment will be on temporary basis.

On successful completion of his probationary period of one or two years, employee will be confirmed in the job on permanent basis. When candidate joins the organization by giving joining report, the personnel manager receives him and places him in a job for which he is selected and introduces him to the company, his job and colleagues.

Selection Process in HRM – 3 Traditional Methods for Personnel Selection: Phrenology, Physiognomy and Graphology

Selection of personnel has been in practice since long though criteria and principles used were not systematic. The history of personnel selection suggests that formerly stereotyped impressions of personality and characteristics were used as a basis for selection such as soldiers in the army to be selected from families whose members used to be in the army; administrators to be selected from families whose members were in the administrative service, and so on.

The nineteenth century, particularly, saw the growth of some ‘pseudo-scientific’ methods like phrenology, physiognomy, and graphology for personnel selection. Let us have a brief look at these and the way they used to contribute to find a right person.

1. Phrenology:

One of the most popular techniques for personnel selection during nineteenth century was phrenology which is concerned with identification of mental faculties supposed to be located in various parts of the skull and investigable by feeling the bumps on the outside of the head. Based on these bumps, the mental faculties and propensities of a person like combativeness, sentiment, perception, conduct, character, etc. were used to be judged.

However, the users of this technique could not explain how these bumps were related with the personality dispositions of a person. In the context of the present-day personnel selection process, phrenology does not have any role. Indeed, it has been rightly observed by someone that “the bumps on a man’s skull tell more about his wife’s character than his own.”

2. Physiognomy:

Physiognomy is the art of judging character from appearance specially the face. It is based on the assumption that face is an index of mind. In nineteenth century, Lavater published ‘Essays on Physiognomy’ which suggested a definite correlation between facial features and psychological functions and behaviour.

He indicated the facial features to be reflective of personality traits and characteristics. For example, thin lips indicated determination, broad jaws indicated tenacity, and so on. However, various studies have negated such a correlation.

3. Graphology:

Graphology is the art of estimating a person’s character, etc. from his handwriting. It was used by Chinese in eleventh century to predict personality characteristics based on handwriting. Outside China, it was used by a French priest, Jean-Hippolyte, in 1830. Since then, this concept travelled to other parts of the World.

Graphology draws its basics from the theory of space symbolism, which suggests that a person uses a blank sheet of paper in exactly the same way as he uses three-dimensional space. For instance, an individual who uses every inch of the paper will normally explore every nook and corner of a new room he himself finds in.

Extending the analogy to handwriting, graphologists contend that the way in which an individual’s script uses space reflects his interactions with others in real space and, thus, provides a clue to his personality.

Graphology looks at slant, speed, spacing, pressure, clarity, size, length of upper extensions, and length of lower loops of script to gauge one’s personality. We may observe occasional writings by different graphologists indicating the relationship between the type of handwriting of a person and his personality. However, such a relationship has not been confirmed as yet.

Therefore, its use is not significant in personnel selection. Some companies insist that application forms should be in the candidate’s own handwriting, and sometimes, with a paragraph about himself. However, the purpose is not to associate candidate’s handwriting with his personality but to seek additional information about himself not covered by the structured application form.

In jobs that require good handwriting, graphology can play its role. In other jobs, it does not have much scope though good handwriting may create better impression about the candidate.

Besides these, there may be some other non-scientific methods for personnel selection such as physical features — height, weight, family background, caste, etc. However, none of the traditional methods meets the requirements of selection process.

Selection Process in HRM – an important Function of the Management (with Benefits of Selection)

The quality of personnel working in the organisation determines its success. Selection is an important function of the management.

Following points explain the benefits of selection in detail:

Benefit # 1. Procurement of Skilled Employees:

In the process of selection, only desirable candidates are hired and others are denied the opportunity. Therefore, in selection, the suitable candidates who are fit for the job are selected from the prospective employees.

Benefit # 2. Reduction in the Cost of Training:

When, through selection, proper candidates are selected, the cost of training is reduced. This is because the selected qualified personnel have better grasping power and they can understand the techniques of work better and more quickly.

Benefit # 3. Solution to Personnel Problems:

Personnel problems are reduced in the organisation when proper selection of personnel is made. Labour relations improve and workers become more satisfied with their work. Many problems like labour turnover, absenteeism and monotony are not experienced in the organisation.

Other Benefits:

Some of the other benefits of selection process are:

(i) Selection helps in appointing competent employees who perform better at work.

(ii) If suitable employees are selected, rate of industrial accidents also reduces.

(iii) It helps in building up the contented workforce for the organisation.

Selection Process in HRM – 2 Types of Errors (Selection Errors and Omission Errors)

Statistically speaking the error can either be systematic or random in nature; where systematic error shall mean those caused by faults in the system or the process whereas random errors would be more related to the usage of the selection tools.

However as we just observed, in selection the two main types of errors could be ‘selection errors’ and ‘omission error’.

1. Selection Errors:

Selection errors are those resulting from hiring a ‘wrong person’. In such cases success is predicted and failure results. The costs of such errors include the costs of loss (indicating the period for which the wrong-hire worked), cost of training and cost of re-hire, re-training etc.

2. Omission Errors:

Omission errors are those resulting from letting a right person’ go and not hiring him/her. The costs of such errors shall primarily be computed on lost opportunity. However it may be impossible to properly estimate the total loss.

Other Errors:

Besides attrition and non-availability of skilled human resource, the problem of wrong hires confronts most of the organizations. Wrong hires always mean a wasted cost to the company. It is estimated that the cost of hiring a wrong candidate is always 24 times more than hiring an average candidate. One way to ensure ‘correctness’ in hiring is to have reliable and robust selection tools.

Selection Process in HRM – Recent Trends Emerging in Selection Techniques: Selection by Invitation, Leasing and 360° Selection Programme

New trends have been emerging in selection techniques along with other areas of human resource management.

The recent trends in selection include:

(i) Selection by invitation,

(ii) Leasing and

(iii) 360° selection programme.

1. Selection by Invitation:

Management observes the performance of key executives of competitors. If the performance of the key executives is excellent or the key executives are change agents, the management invites such executives to join the organisation by offering attractive salary and benefits. Thus, the significant performance of the executives forms the basis for selecting them by invitation.

2. Leasing:

Presently, the organisations need to employ specialists to take-up the highly skilled jobs. In fact, the changes in technology demand highly skilled employees. It would be very difficult for small organisations to employ skilled employees as they demand high pay. Added to this, such employees may not have enough work.

These factors enabled the consultancy organisations to employ experts and depute these employees to the needy companies on lease. These consultancy organisations are principal employers and the needy organisations draw the required employees from the pool on lease and pay the agreed fee to the consultancy firms. The consultancy firms pay the salary to the employees.

This type of arrangement is beneficial to the consultants, employees on lease and the industrial organisations. The business organisations can utilise the services of the experts with less cost. The employees get high pay and benefits. The leasing company derives surplus from its charges and fees.

3. 360° Selection Programme:

Normally, superiors administer the selection tests and interviews. They judge the fit between the job and the candidate. But the employee skills, knowledge and performance affect not only superiors but also subordinates and the employees of the same level. Hence, the organisations started involving the subordinates and the employees of the same level in administering the employment tests and interviews. This type of selection programme is called 360° selection programme.