Sample Research Paper on Employee Selection and Assessment

Executive Summary

Employee selection criteria and process are critical components of any employee recruitment strategy in an organization. Using valid employee selection tools is important for establishing an effective hiring process. A firm with a sound hiring process is assured of sustainability. Good employees who are best fit for their jobs will be productive at their job thus ensuring performance consistency and continued business growth. Whether it is the issue of screening out a large number of applicants or deciding the best fit out of a small group of candidates, employee assessment plays a vital role in an organization. However, the major issue is how to assess the critical competencies that impact the quality of hiring and balance it with issues of time, exposure to employment discrimination lawsuits, and budget. This paper looks at how organizations develop employee assessment solutions and whether those assessment tools are effective. These tools start from the recruitment process to after the employee is working in that organization. Developing an effective employee selection model is a mix of art and science. This paper will look at the various employment assessment tools ranging from interviews, hard and soft skills, and job simulation assessments that are used by Coca-cola. Coca-Cola is a multinational soft drink company that operates around the world and its existence can be traced back to the 19th century.

Employee Selection and Assessment

Process and Methods used for Selection and Performance Assessment in an Organization

Personnel Assessment and selection activities are essential parts of an organization’s life. turnover and changed the conventional view of a ‘job for life. There is an ever-increasing demand for organizations to fill unoccupied positions fast with more appropriate employees. Decisions about classifying and hiring candidates are based on predictions and expectations of how they will be in the future at the organization (Ree et al., 1994). When an organization requires evaluation of its employees or recruiting new staff, there are various tools of assessment that they use and that are at their disposal. I will examine the various selection and assessment tools used by organizations and give the loophole and weaknesses of these methods. The selection tool that is used should provide the right type of information thus leading to correct decision-making. If the assessment and evaluation tool is successful, then it is said to be valid. The validity of a selection and assessment tool is based on how well it measures and what it measures.

The Unstructured Interview

Interviews are a customary tool of job selection that follows no definite pattern. Interviews are today regarded as low and still the most commonly utilized selection method by far. Interviews have been found to be undependable, subjective, and unenforceable. Interviews take many forms but are a conversation between interviewers from the organization or hired by the organization and the candidate. The interviewers have the purpose of assessing the candidate’s capacity to work for them; the candidate on the other hand has the purpose to impress the interviewers.

The use of unstructured selection interviews during a selection procedure is to demonstrates the faith that both the candidate and the interviewer have in the selection process. Unstructured interviews are used to test a candidate’s confidence during face-face conversations. Interviews will constantly be required at one point in any shape or form. However, when an organization relies exclusively on interviews, concerns might arise. The low validity of unstructured interviews is due to the fact that various interviewers may rate similar information from the candidate in their own way. Issues of one’s encounters of interviews, racial background, age, outlook, job market conditions, and gender prejudice influence how assessors evaluate information.

To avoid instances of ineffective selection of facing lawsuits, Coca-Cola should avoid wholly depending on these interviews and use other selection tools to complement these tools. Structured interviews can be used to back up unstructured interviews.

The Structured Interview

A structured interview often entails a set of questions that have been designed through job analysis. These interviews limit the subjectivity of an assessment. All candidates are asked these questions or a standardized version of these questions. The questions are devised before the interview and posed to the candidate. These interviews have more advanced job-relatedness than the unstructured interviews. However, highly structured interviews take away the interpersonal aspect of a candidate. They answer the questions to impress and to win. However, despite its setbacks, structured interviews have been retained by many Coca-Cola company for they serve a greater purpose than that of assessment. The multinational company has been known to use these interviews to introduce and sell the job to the candidate (Campion et al., 1988).

Structured interviews are effective as an applicant assessment tool. They serve the purpose of evaluating a candidate while at the same time informing the candidate about the company’s values. However, to ensure that a selection process is successful, these interviews should be less rigid and conducted in a warm environment to make the candidate more comfortable. Structured interviews should also not be the only tool used in the selection procedure.

Psychological Tests

A psychological test is frequently used to evaluate the personality characteristics and mental abilities of job candidates. Coca-Cola uses psychometric tests as a standardized method of acquiring a number of answers and reactions from a contender that are then linked to a predetermined sample. Like structured interviews, these candidates are expected to answer questions (Hough 1984). These tests may be dived into tests of achievements and tests of aptitude. The only difference between the two kinds of tests is that an achievement test focuses on what a candidate knows and what they have learned. Achievement tests are reflective. On the other hand, aptitude tests are more potential-oriented. They focus on what an individual wants to achieve in the future, that is, their potential to learn and want to learn. Though these tests have been proven to be highly effective in the selection process, they are expensive to develop and design. However, they are relatively inexpensive to purchase since the monetary benefit of enhanced productivity in the company far outweighs the cost of purchasing the machine. These costs require highly trained personnel to run the tests. This tool is however not popular among many HR practitioners of many Coca-Cola branches.

Psychometric tests are quite effective. Coca-Cola should train its personnel in the HR department to use these tests so that they can be more conversant with them. This way, they will be familiar with these tests and use them more often.

Assessment Centers

Assessment centers have become highly prevalent in determining an individual’s proficiency or real capability to excel at a particular job. AC is not a place; it is an approach that puts together a range of assessment tools to see that the best candidate is selected. Candidates can either be individually or group tested. There are often benefits and drawbacks of utilizing such a method. An effective and reliable AC combines the skill of selection and the discipline of statistical analysis effectively, thus, reducing the inadequacies of the individual techniques. However, if used correctly, ACs give a precise indication of individuals’ potential at a given job.

Biodata

The process of pre-screening and analyzing application forms is usually assisted by the incorporation of biographical data. This approach is more objective than the conventional paper sifts method of pre-selection. Biographical data allows a candidate to express themselves in terms of attitudinal, demographic, or experimental variables presumed to be connected to individuality structure, success in educational, occupational, or social pursuits, or personal adjustments (Gaugler et al., 1987). Items on the biodata may range from features, such as examination success, position in previous jobs, and date of birth. One crucial level of biodata is its use in pre-screening, which is based on test outcomes and preceding job positions. Biodata assumes that individuals will respond to future situations the same way they have responded in previous. Coca-Cola uses biodata prospectively to predetermine an applicant’s productivity. This selection tool however has one setback, it fails to assess the applicant’s potential of the future by asking them where they want to be in the future. An applicant might have excelled in the past but failed in the future. This toll also focuses on the individual’s intellectual capacity and fails to recognize their social ability to interact with other employees. Social interactions have been known to affect the company’s productivity and thus should be considered during the selection process.

Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluation involves assessing an employee’s output and job performance. It is also known as performance appraisal. The assessment procedure is based on some pre-determined criteria that are in line with the goals of Coca-Cola. Organizational partnership behavior, the likelihood for imminent improvement, deficiencies and strengths, and successes are among other elements that are used to evaluate an employee’s performance. Employees are responsible for the performance of an organization thus the management of performance plays a significant role in the failure or success of an organization. An effective performance evaluation system reduces instances of turnover and increases employees’ productivity (Batson, 1957). It is through evaluation that an organization is able to gauge which of its employees are productive and which of its employees are not. Through performance evaluation, an organization is able to detect variability in employees’ performance. This is the reason why performance evaluation is important to any organization. The following are methods of performance evaluation used by Coca Cola company.

Objective Production

Under this method, direct data is used to evaluate the performance of an employee. This data can be from sales figures, an electronic performance that monitors data entry workers to production numbers per employee. However, this tool of assessment has one drawback-the employees’ variability in their performance can be due to factors that are beyond the employee’s control. In addition, the quantity of production does not necessarily mean the quality of products. This data however reflects performance to some extent.

Personnel Evaluation

This is headed by the head of personnel in the company. The head of personnel keeps a book where they record instances of employee absenteeism. Cases of accidents are also recorded. It is used to evaluate the competency of an employee at their work (Edenborough, 2007). An employee who causes many accidents at the workplace can be considered incompetent in doing their work. Incompetency can be due to sickness or lack of commitment to their work. This tool is however invalid because employees’ variability in performance can be a result of a technical problem. This personnel data is then not an all-inclusive representation of individual employee performance.

Judgmental Evaluation

This is a group of various techniques used to assess an employee. These methods are:

  1. Behavioral scales and checklists: Behaviors are more definite than traits. Behaviors of what is considered to be judged are recorded by supervisors. The supervisors keep records of what is good and bad. In the end, the employee’s performance is evaluated based on their good and bad behavior. This method is biased since it is based on the judgment of a supervisor (Sims, 2002).
  2. Graphic rating scale: This scale uses a 5 to 7 point scale to rate an employee’s productivity. They are the most commonly used performance evaluation.
  3. Employee-Comparison method: Rather than employees to be assessed using pre-determined criteria, these employees are compared to one another (Sims, 2002). This method eradicates leniency and central tendency errors although still allows for halo effect errors to happen. This method lacks objectivity since employees differ in incompetency. For what one employee lacks they make up for it with another thing. Comparing employees might therefore be biased. However, this method is both inexpensive and motivates employees to do their work well since no employee wants to be the worst at what they do. They all want to be the best and role model workers at the organization.

Peer and Self-Assessment

Peer self-assessments include employees evaluating their fellow employees. Peer assessments involve a member of a group appraising and evaluating the performance of the equivalent group. Self-assessments on the other hand is where an individual evaluates their performance. Peer assessments are better compared to self-assessment. An individual might appraise himself or herself in a biased manner. A peer will however be more objective with no emotions attached to the evaluation.

Recommendation

The above evaluation and selection criteria are effective. However, each criterion seems to have its faults and some more than others. To ensure that evaluation and selection tools are effective and successful, Coca-Cola has to use more than one tool for the purpose of selection and evaluation. Using more than one tool will ensure that all the faults are taken care of. It should not fully depend on one criterion. In doing so, effective selection and evaluation will be in place. All these will contribute to the success of a business and an increase in productivity. The HR department in Coca-Cola should ensure that effective selection and evaluation procedures are in place.

References

Batson, R. J. (1957). Employee evaluation: A review of current methods and a suggested new             approach. Chicago: Public Personnel Association.

Campion, M. A., Pursell, E. D., & Brown, B. K. (1988). Structured interviewing: Raising the      psychometric properties of the employment interview. Personnel Psychology

Edenborough, R. (2007). Assessment methods in recruitment, selection & performance: A manager’s guide to psychometric testing, interviews and assessment centres. London: Kogan Page Ltd.

Gaugler, B. B., Rosenthal, D. B., Thornton, G. C., III, & Bentson, C. (1987). Metaanalyses of          assessment center validity. Journal of Applied Psychology

Hough, L. M. (1984). Development and evaluation of the “accomplishment record” methods of      selecting and promoting professionals. Journal of Applied Psychology

Ree, M. J., Earles, J. A., & Teachout, M. S. (1994). Predicting job performance: Not much more      than g. Journal of Applied Psychology

Sims, R. R. (2002). Organizational success through effective human resources management.   Westport, Ct: Quorum Books.