Personnel Management Notes/Study Material

Posted on Mar 30 2017 - 2:21pm by Preeti


Selection is the process of putting right men on right job. It is a procedure of matching organizational requirement with skills and qualified people.

Selection  is  the  process  by  which candidates for employment are divided into class-those who will be offered employment and those who will not.

-Dale Yoder

Managerial decision making process as to predict which job applicants will be successful if hired

-David and Robbins

Selection is the process of choosing from among the candidates, from within the organization or from the outside, the most suitable person for the current position or for the future position.


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

-Thomas H. Stone

Selection Process

The  selection process  consists  of a series   of steps. It is  a  series   of successive hurdles  or  barriers  which an  applicant  must   cross.   These hurdles  or  screens  are designed to eliminate an unqualified  candidate at any point  in the  selection process. This  technique  is  called  “successive hurdles  technique”. According to  Dale  Yoder, the  hiring process  consists  of go no go gauges. Candidates  who  qualify a hurdle  go to  the  next  stage  while   those   who  do  not  qualify are  dropped  out.  However, every selection procedure  does   not  contain all these  hurdles.  Moreover, the  arrangement of these  hurdles  may  differ  from  organisation  to organisation.  There is no standard selection procedure  to be used  in all organisations  or for  all jobs.   The  complexity of selection procedure  increases  with  the  level and  responsibility  of the  position to be filled. The  strategy  and   method  used   for  selecting employees varies  from   firm  to firm  and  from  one job  to another.

Steps   involved in employee selection may  be described  as  under:

  1. Preliminary Interview

First  of all, initial screening is done  to weed  out totally undesirably/ unqualified  candidates  at the outset. Preliminary interview is essentially  a sorting process in which prospective candidates are given the necessary information about  the nature of the job  and  the organisation. Necessary information is also elicited from  the  candidates  about   their  education,  skills, experience,  salary  expected, etc. Preliminary interview is the  first  contact  of an  individual with  the  organisation.  Therefore,  the interviewers  should be  courteous,   receptive  and   informal  particularly   when   the candidate is being  turned  down.

  1. Application Blank

Application blank or form is one of the most common methods used to collect information on various aspects of the applicant’s academic, social, demographic, work related background and references. It is a brief history sheet of an employee’s background, usually containing the following things :


Application  form  helps   to  serve   several   objectives:

a) Scrutiny  of the  form helps   to  weed   out   candidates   who  are  lacking   in     experience   or  some other  eligibility traits.

b) It helps  in formulating  questions  to be asked   in the interview.

c) Data contained   in  application   forms   can   be  stored    for  future reference.  Application  form  duly  filled  in is also  called  biodata   or  curriculum   It provides factual   information   required  for evaluating  the  candidate. It is also  used as  a basic   record   of personal   data   for  those  finally  selected.

  1. Selection Test

A test  is a sample    of some   aspect   of an  individual’s  attitudes,  behavior and  performance. It also  provides  a systematic  basis   for  comparing  the  behaviour, performance and attitudes of two more  persons,  Tests  are based   on the  assumption that  individuals  differ  in their  job  related   traits   which  can  be  measured.   Tests  help to reduce   bias  in selection by serving  as a supplementary   screening  device.  Tests  are helpful    in  better     matching    of  candidate    and   the   job.   Tests    may   also   reveal qualifications   which   remain    covered  in  application   form   and   interview.  No  test, however,  is  fool  proof.   At  best   it  reveals    that   the  candidates    who   have   scored above  the  predetermined    cut  off points   are  likely  to be  more   successful  than  those scoring   below  the  cut  off point.   Tests   are  useful   when  the  number  of applicants   is large.   Further,   tests   will  be   useful    only  when   they   are   properly   designed   and administered.

Some commonly used used employment tests are stated below :

i. Intelligence tests :

These are mental ability tests.They measure the incumbant’s learning ability and also the ability to understand instructions and make judgements. Intelligence tests measures several abilities such as memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency, numerical ability, perception, spatial visualization etc. Standford-Binet test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are some examples of standard intelligence tests. Some of these tests are increasingly used in competitive examinations while recruiting graduates and post graduates at entry level management positions.

ii. Aptitude Tests

An aptitude test measures the talents of a person that may be crucial to perform the job successfully. This test is normally given to those applicants who have no previous experience in that field. Hence, aptitude tests are appropriate for predicting the future ability and/or performance of the candidate. These tests are found to be more effective for jobs requiring mechanical and spatial relationships like those engineers, designers and machinists etc.

iii. Personality tests

Personality refers to the sum of the characteristics of a person which reflect on his/her response to a particular situation. The characteristics may include, among other things, introversion, inter-personal skills, motivation, stability, self- belief, courage, attitude and temperament. Its results are useful in predicting the future performance of the candidate. Rorschach Blot Test (RBT), Thematic Appreception Test (TAT), The Manifest Anxiety Scale are some popular forms of personality test. Of all the tests required for selection, personality tests have generated lot of heat and controversy. The definition of personality, methods of measuring personality factors and the relationship between personality factors and actual job criteria have been the subject of much discussion. Researchers have also questioned whether applicats answer all the items truthfully or whether they try to respond in a socially desirable manner. Regardless of these objectives, many people still consider personality as an important component of job success.

iv. Achievement Tests

These are designed to measure what the applicant can do on the job currently, i.e. whether the tests actually knows what he or she claims to know. A typing test shows typing proficiency, a shorthand test measures the testee’s ability to take dictation and transcribe, etc. Such proficiency tests are also known as work sampling tests. Work sampling is a selection test wherein the job applicant’s ability to do a small portion of the job is tested. These tests are of two types, Motor, involving physical manipulation of things (e.g. trade tests for carpenters, plumbers, electricians) or Verbal , involving problem situations that are primarily language oriented or people oriented (e.g. situational tests for supervisory jobs).

v. Simulation Tests

Simulation exercise is a test which duplicates many of the activities and problems an employee faces while at work. Such exercises are commonly used for hiring managers at various levels in an organization. To assess the potential of a candidate for managerial positions, assessment centers are commonly used.

vi. Assessment centre

An assessment centre is an extended work sample. It uses procedures that incorporate group and individual exercises. These exercises are designed to simulate the type of work which the candidate will be expected to do. The assessment centre approach , thus evaluates candidates’s potential for management on the basis of multiple assessment techniques, standardized methods of making inferences from such techniques, and pooled judgments from multiple assessors.

  1. Employment Interview

An interview is a conversation between two persons. In selection,   it  involves  a  personal,   observational    and   face-to-face  appraisal   of candidates   for  employment.   Interview  is  an  essential  element  of Selection and  no selection  procedure    is  complete  without   one  or  more   personal   interviews.   The information   collected through   application   and   test   can be cross-checked    in the interview.

Types of Interview

Interviews may be classified into following categories:

i. Informal Interview

Such  interview may  take  place  anywhere. It is  not planned and  is used  when  the staff is required urgently. A friend  or relative of the employer may take  a candidate to the house  of the employer or manager who asks a few questions like  name,   birth   place,  education and  experience, etc.  When a candidate enquires  about  the  vacancies after  reading   an  advertisement,  it is  an example of informal interview.

ii. Formal lnterview

This type of interview is preplanned and is held in a formal atmosphere. All the formalities and procedures, e.g.,  the venue, the time, the pannel of interviewers, and  the questions to be asked  are decided in advance.

iii. Patterned or Structured Interview

Such interview is fully planned to a high degree of accuracy and  precision. It is based  on the  assumption  that  to be most effective every pertinent detail should  be worked out in advance. Therefore, a list of  questions to be asked  is prepared and the questions are asked  in a particular cycle. The time  to be  allowed to  each  candidate and  the  information to be  sought  are predecided. The interviewer is carefully selected. The interviewer actively participates and the candidate is expected only to answer  the questions. Thus,  a standardised pattern  is adopted or  the  structure  of the  interview is  decided in  advance. Such interview is also known  as directed  or guided   interview.Patterned interview helps to minimise personal bias and prejudice and provides uniformity and  consistency. It allows  for  a  systematic coverage of the  required information. But such  an interview does not allow deep probing into the candidate’s mind.

iv. Non-Directed or Unstructured Interview

In this interview, the candidate is allowed to speak  his  mind  freely. The interviewer carefully and  patiently listens, prodding whenever the candidate is silent. In other words,  the format  of the interview is unplanned and  the interview is not directed by questions to be asked.Non-directed  interview is a more  flexible approach  and  therefore the  candidate feels  more   at ease.  the  candidate  is allowed to determine  the  time  and  direction of discussion.  The  candidate  is more  likely  to reveal  his  actual  self. As a result,   a better assessment    of  the   candidate’s    personality    becomes   possible.   But   unless    the interviewer is very competent.  the discussion  may lose  its direction  and  may  become a rambling session  with  much   wastage of time  and  effort.

v. Depth Interview

It is a semi-structured  approach wherein details concerning one   key  area   are   sought. It is  designed  to  intensively  examine  the  candidate’s proficiency in his  area  of special interest.  The  purpose  is to get a true  picture of the candidate  through  deep   probing  into  his  mind.   Experts  in  the  concerned  area  of knowledge ask   relevant  questions  so  as  to judge  the  candidate’s  capabilities  in the area.  This  type  of interview requires  a mature  understanding   of human  behaviour on the part  of the interviewer. Depth  interview is the opposite of discussion  interview.

vi. Group Interview

In  this   interview,  groups   rather    than   individuals   are interviewed. Generally, a topic  for  discussion  is given  to the  group.  The  candidates in the group  are  carefully observed as to who will lead  the  discussion,  how well they will participate  in the  discussion,  how  each  will make  his  presentation  and  how well they will react  to each  other’s  views. Such  interview is based   on the  assumption  that behaviour  displayed  in a group   situation  is related  to potential  success  in the job.

vii. Stress Interview

The purpose of such  interview is to find out how a candidate behaves in  stressful  situation,  i.e., whether  he  loses  his  temper,  gets  confused or frightened  or  feels  frustrated.   Therefore,  the  interviewer  adopts  hostile  behaviour towards the  candidate.  He deliberately puts  the  candidate  on the  defensive by trying to annoy, embarrass  or frustrate  him.  In order  to put  the candidate  under   strain,   the interviewer asks  questions  rapidly, criticizes his  answers,  interrupts  him  frequently, keeps  silent  for unduly long periods  of time,  asks  too many  questions simultaneously, makes  derogratory  remarks,   accuses  him   of lying  and   so  on.  Stress    interview is used  for jobs  wherein  emotional  balance  or  resistance  to stress   is required.Such  interview must  be handled with utmost care  and  skill.  It may not necessarily reveal  how the  candidate  will behave in a real  stressful  situation  involved in the job.

viii. Panel  or Board  Interview

In panel interview, the applicant  meets with three to five interviewers who take turns asking questions. After the interview, the interviewers pool their observations to arrive at a consensus about the suitability of the applicant. Such an interview could limit the impact of the personal biases of any individual interviewer. On the negative side, as an applicant, a panel interview may make you feel more stressed than usual.

  1. Medical Examination

Applicants who have crossed the above stages are sent for a physical examination either to the company’s physician or to a medical officer approved for the purpose. Such examinations determine whether the candidate is physically fir to perform the job. Those who are physically unfit are rejected.

  1. Reference Checks

The applicant is asked to mention in his application form, the names and addresses of two or more persons who know him well. These may be his previous employers, heads of educational institutions or public figures. The organization contacts them by mail or telephone. They are assured that all information supplied will be kept confidential.

  1. Final approval

In  most   of the  organizations,   selection  process    is  carried out  by  the   human    resource   department.    The   decisions   of this   department   are recommendatory.  The  candidates  short  listed  by the department  are  finally  approved by the executives of the  concerned  departments/units. Employment is offered in the form of letter mentioning the post, the rank, the salary grade, the date by which the candidate should join and other terms and conditions in brief.


Difference Between Recruitment and Selection


  Recruitment Selection
1.       It is the process of searching for prospective candidates and encouraging them to apply for vacant jobs. It is the process of choosing the right candidates.
2. Since the aim of recruitment is to gather as  many applicants as possible for the jobs in an organization, it is a positive task. Selection attempts to eliminates applicants in different stages to end up with a smaller number of requisite candidates, and is thus a negative task.
3. It always precedes selection. It always succeeds recruitment.
4. Recruitment is comparatively easy as it does not require expertise on the part of the recruiters to build an applicant pool. Selection is a difficult job as it requires specialized knowledge and skills on the part of the selectors to choose the best candidates by predicting their likely performance.
5. It does not lead to contract of service. It leads to a contract of services between the employer and the selected candidate.


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B.Tech Biotechnology,MBA(HR and Marketing), UGC/CBSE NET Qualified

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. prakhar December 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    thanks for providing, such a good material which covers throughout the syllabus

  2. Swa June 29, 2018 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Thanks…,u did a great job..,

  3. boekhoudkantoor March 19, 2019 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Enjoyed the post.

  4. Hyperpigmentatie April 18, 2019 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Keep up the good work! Thanks.

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