Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Importance of The Good Selection of People

Once you have a pool of applicants, the next step is to select the best candidates for the job. This usually means whittling down the applicant pool by using the screening tools explained later tests, assessments centers, and background and reference checks. Then the prospective supervisor can interview likely candidates and decide who to hire.

Selecting the right employees is important for three main reasons: performance, costs, and legal obligations.

Performance: First your own performance always depends in part on your subordinates. Employees with the right skills will do a better job for you and the company. Employees without these skills or who are abrasive or obstructionist won’t perform effectively and your own performance and the firm’s will suffer. The time to screen out undesirables is before they are in the door, not after.

Cost: Second, it is important because it’s costly to recruit and hire employees. Hiring and training even a clerk can cost $ 5,000 or more in fees and supervisory time. The total cost of hiring a manager could easily be 10 times as high once you add search fees, interviewing time, reference checking and travel and moving expenses.

Legal Obligations: Third, for US employers it’s important because of two legal implications of incompetent hiring. First, equal employment laws require non-discriminatory selection procedures for protected groups.

Negligent Hiring: Hiring workers with questionable backgrounds without proper safeguards.

Second, courts will find the employer liable when employers with criminal records or other problems use access to customers’ homes (or similar opportunities) to commit crimes. Lawyers call hiring workers with such backgrounds without proper safeguards or negligent hiring. In one case, Pointcase v KMS Investments an apartments manager with a passkey entered a woman’s apartment and assaulted her. The court found the apartment complex’s owner negligent in not properly checking the manager’s background. When lawyers recently sued Wal-Mart alleging that several employees with convictions for sexually related offenses had assaulted young girls, Wal-Mart instituted a new program of criminal background checks for qualified candidates.

Negligent hiring highlights the need to think through what the job’s human requirements really are. For example, non rapist isn’t likely to appear as a required knowledge skill, or ability in a job analysis of an apartment manager, but in situations like this screening for such tendencies is obviously required.

Avoiding negligent hiring claims requires taking reasonable action to investigate the candidate’s background. This includes:

1) Making a systematic effort to gain relevant information about the applicant and verifying all documentation.
2) Scrutinizing all information supplied by the applicant and following up on unexplained gaps in employment.
3) Keeping a detailed log of all attempts to obtain information, including names and dates for phone calls or other requests;
4) Rejecting applicants who make false statements of materials affects or who have conviction records for a offenses directly related and important to the job in question
5) Lancing the applicant’s privacy rights with others need to know especially when you discover damaging information
6) Taking immediate disciplinary action if problems arise.

Selection is thus important. We’ll start with testing. A test is basically a sample of a person’s behavior. Using a test (or other section Tool) assumes the device is both reliable and valid.

Reliability: The consistency of scores obtained by the same person when retested with the identical tests or with alternate forms of the same test.

Reliability is a test’s first requirement and refers to its consistency: A reliable test is one that yields consistent scores when a person takes two alternate forms of the test or when he or she takes the same test on two or more different occasions.

There are several ways to estimate consistency or reliability. You could administer the same test to the same people at two different points in time, comparing their test scores at time two with their scores at time one; this would be test estimate. Or you could administer a test and then administer that experts believe to be an equivalent test later; this would be an equivalent form of estimate. The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is an example of the latter. A test’s internal consistency is another reliability measure.

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