There is a large variety of methods of initial assessment. Different companies have different preferences when it comes to the specific methods they employ to select the candidates. Each of the methods has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no right answer to the question which methods are better to use. The combinations vary from a business to a business. Some of the most popular initial assessment methods such as resumes and cover letters, interviews, and references can be unreliable and provide invalid information (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 400).
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This occurs due to the applicants’ desire to present themselves to the employer in the best way possible. As a result, heavy misrepresentation of facts and realities can appear. Besides, one of the most reliable and useful initial assessment methods is the collection of biographical data. It is helpful for the employers as it carries important information about the inclinations and characters of the applicants, their past experiences, typical behaviors and abilities (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 387).
At the same time, as beneficial as it is for the employers, this method is not appreciated by the applicants as it makes them feel like their privacy is violated. Besides, it presents the biodata collector as a prejudiced and judgmental person. If I were to start my own business I would not employ the latter assessment method as it might not be tolerated by the job seekers. Instead, I would rely on such methods as application blanks, training and experience, licensing and certification, references and interviews. The first three assessments can be accessed on paper through the application blank, and then the interview would be a secondary tool to evaluate the applicant based on the information they provided. Background check could be done as a final stage to confirm the validity of the information provided in the other assessments.
The structured interview stands for the assessment method which is standardized and very job-related (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 455). A structured interview is very different from an unstructured one. For example, unstructured interview is quick, casual, the questions included into such interviews target psychological suitability of an applicant, they are open-ended, informal, and allow the interviewer to get a basic impression of the applicant’s character and personality within several minutes (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 456). At the same time, a structured interview contains a fixed set of questions for each of the applicants, the questions are very specific, job-related and are based on the job analysis, the applicant’s answers are graded numerically, and notes of the interviewee’s behavior are taken (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 457).
Structured interviews fulfill the disadvantages of the unstructured ones such as low reliability, the perception of candidates based on their appearances and first impressions and poor recall by the interviewers. Situational question I suggest assesses the conflict resolution skills for a team leader: One of your team members reports being mocked and disrespected by another member based in his sexual orientation which affects the efficiency of the team’s work, what will be your actions? Best answer (graded 5) will include scheduling a conversation with both of the participants of the conflict to find out what actually happened.
Next response (graded 4) will be a warning for the offender about their behavior. Grade 3 is the response where the leader tells both participants to keep their private issues outside of work and refuses to resolve the problem. Grade 2 is the report to the superior about the situation. Grade 1 is informing all the other team members about the issue to seek resolution. Grade 0 is not knowing what to do.
When the compensatory model is applied the higher scores of one predictor can compensate the lower scores of another predictor and then the total score is evaluated (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 550). The weakness of this model is that the lack of some of the required skills and abilities cannot be compensated by the stronger sides of the applicants. In order to make a decision using compensatory model four main procedures may be applied; they are clinical prediction, unit weighing, rational weighing and multiple regression (Heneman, Judge, Kammeyer-Mueller 550).
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In clinical prediction the scores of the applicants are evaluated subjectively and the applicants are selected based on the intuition of the evaluator. This approach works through the individual experience of the evaluators which is in some situations can be valuable and in others – very individual and unreliable. In unit weighing the total score of the applicants is calculated by adding the grades. The benefit of this method is its simplicity, the drawback – the assumption that all predictors have equal value.
In rational weighing each predictor is assigned a rating based on which individual score of each applicant is calculated. The benefit here is specific approach to each predictor, but the disadvantage is the possible disagreement of the evaluators about the value of each predictor. Multiple regression is similar the rational weighing but the individual value of the predictors is established statistically. The advantages and disadvantages are similar to those of rational weighing approach. I personally like rational weighing the most, because it is relatively simple and if the evaluators agree on the value of each predictor – it is the most careful method of evaluation, but I would use it in combination with clinical prediction, because regardless of the precision of the calculation, the intuition of the employers plays an important role in candidate selection.
Heneman III, Herbert, Timothy Judge and John Kammeyer-Mueller. Staffing Organizations. 8th ed. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2012. Print.