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Key Methods in Selecting Employees

Updated on February 9, 2022
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.

The following are the major criteria in personnel Selection

Preliminary Interviews

A preliminary interview is an interview done for the purpose of short listing potential candidates in order to reduce the personnel selection process. The purpose in conducting preliminary interviews is to allow only eligible candidates for the next stage in the process of personnel selection. Some of the questions asked in this stage include the candidate’s education level, age, expected pay, experience and training. Other areas explored in this stage include the candidate’s competencies, family environment, and the candidate’s interests. These kinds of interviews are less formal and planned in comparison to formal interviews. The candidate is also briefed on the company, and the job profile and is also used to know the extent at which the candidate understands the company.

Preliminary interview is important for both job seekers and employers as it provides an efficient, convenient, and affordable way of determining if the job matches the potential candidate’s qualification, objectives and interests. Further, an employer may be able to screen many applicants to determine the most eligible for the job. In addition, a preliminary interview may provide an efficient screening without the necessity of bringing the candidate on the company premises. Only candidates who pass this stage are taken to the next stage, an aspect that minimizes the cost. Minter (2003) postulates that prescreening may do well with regard to eliminating a large number of unqualified candidates that are being considered. However, he also notes that preliminary interviews may not be very effective in identifying the top candidate for the next hiring stage. In some circumstances, applicants with high prescreening scores could either be overqualified for the job, or fake their qualifications during this process. There are cases of some candidates overestimating their qualifications, and in some circumstances, responding to what they feel is the ideal applicant qualification during this process.

Employment Interviews

Employment interviews involve a face-to-face interaction between an employer and the potential candidate. It is used to establish whether a potential candidate is suited for the current position. Among the disadvantages involved in face-to-face interviews is that, they may consume much money and time. The interviewer has to assess all the applications, prepare and design interview questions, setting aside interview time, doing the actual interview, analyzing the candidates’ skills, relaying the feedback to management, and finally, selecting suitable candidate(s). In addition, the candidate’s competency may not be judged effectively at this stage. Interviews may at times be biased and be one sided. It should also be noted that face to face interviews does not give the best environment in testing the candidate’s ability in a given job.

On the other hand, the employer, or one conducting the interview, has an opportunity to acquire detailed information concerning the candidate’s perceptions, feelings and opinions. In addition, the interviewer has an opportunity to ask for questions that are more detailed and able to clarify ambiguities, and to press on for exact answers as well as following up on incomplete answers. The interviewer will also be at a better position to employ precise wording in respect to every candidate, and clarify specific questions according to each candidate’s requests. Furthermore, questions may be delved more deeply until the interviewer is satisfied on the expertise and skills, which the candidate can give to the company for the job vacancy.

Medical examination

Medical test involves subjecting the candidate to medical tests in ensuring that he or she is physically fit for the required job. In other words, medical test will assist the employer in determining the physical fitness of the new employee. The procedure differs from one company to another. It minimizes the employee chances of absenteeism. This procedure is meant to determine if the new worker has a condition that may prevent him or her from effectively performing his duties. In addition, companies perform this process to know if a new worker has a contagious health condition that may spread to others in the workplace. This will prevent other workers from acquiring an infectious or potential disease.

Although employers in ensuring physical fitness of potential and existing employees may view medical examinations as a valuable tool, there are also various disadvantages related to medical tests. The first of these advantages is the obvious invasion of privacy, where most individuals would view this as an invasion of their own privacy, and therefore, develop a negative attitude towards the company. There are also those who postulate that such an activity may not have an impact on an individual’s ability to work. Potential candidates may also feel uncomfortable towards the whole process of medical tests. For instance, one may be required to provide a urine sample in the presence of other individuals. This lack of privacy would make the entire process to be very uncomfortable for potential candidates.


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