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A Close up Look at the Selection Process

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The Selective Process


Thursday Class

Nov. 23rd, 2001

A Close up Look at the Selection Process

The Selection Process is a systematic series of events, which results in an organization making a selection from a group of applicants. The group of applicants usually consists of individuals who best meet the selection criteria for the position available. A lot of people graduating from college will most certainly ask themselves, "just what's involved in the selection process from a HR managers perspective, or referred to in most cases as the interviewer." Lets take a look at the selection process, since trying to land that job of a lifetime is one of the primary reasons why most students decide to continue their education.

Many employers follow a format called an employers guide to good practices. First there is the personnel assessment. This assessment is a systematic approach to gathering information about the individuals. This information is used to make employment or career-related decisions about applicants and employees. For example, an employer may use personnel assessment to select employees for a job. And career counselors may conduct personnel assessment to provide career guidance to clients.

Personnel assessment tools, such as tests and procedures, are used to measure an individual's employment or career related qualifications. There are many types of personnel assessment tools. These include traditional knowledge and ability tests, inventories, subjective procedures, and projective instruments. Personnel assessment tools differ in purpose, what they are designed to measure what they are designed to predict, work samples, and levels of standards, objectives, and productivity. All assessment tools used to make employment decisions, regardless of their layout, are subject to legal standards.

For example, both the evaluation of a resume and the use of a highly standardized achievement test must comply with applicable laws. Assessment tools used only for career counseling are usually not held to the same legal standards. Employers should remember that personnel tests provide only part of the picture about a person. However, these steps help combine and evaluate all the information gathered about a person to make career or employment related decisions. People differ on many psychological and physical characteristics.

These characteristics are called constructs. For example, people skillful in verbal and mathematical reasoning are considered high on mental ability. Those who have little physical stamina and strength are labeled low on endurance and physical strength. The terms mental ability, endurance and physical strength are constructs. Constructs are used to identify personal characteristics and to sort people in terms of how they possess of such characteristics.

For example, organizations don't observe physical strength but they can observe people with great strength lifting heavy objects and people with limited strength attempting, but failing, to lift these objects. Such differences in characteristics among people have important implications in the employment context. Employees and applicants vary widely in their knowledge, skills, abilities, interests, work styles, and other characteristics. These differences systematically affect the way people perform or behave on the job.

Why do organizations conduct assessment? Organizations use assessment tools and procedures to help them perform the following human resource functions: selection, placement, training and development, promotion, career exploration and guidance, and training evaluation. Organizations should use assessment tools in a purposeful manner. It is critical to have a clear understanding of what needs to be measured and for what purpose. It's also important not to rely too much on any one test to make decisions. Organizations should use the whole person approach to assessment.

Secondly, there is understanding the legal context of assessment employment laws and the regulations with implications for assessment. For example, the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964 (as amended in 1972), and the Tower Amendment to Title VII. Title VII is landmark legislation that prohibits unfair discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Other legislation has added age and disability to the list. Women and men, people age 40 and older, people with disabilities, and people belonging to a racial, religious, or ethnic group are protected under Title VII and other employment laws.

Individuals in these categories are referred to as members of a protected group. The employment practices covered by this law include the following: recruitment, transfer, performance appraisal, disciplinary action, hiring, training, compensation, termination, job classification, promotion, union or other membership, and fringe benefits. Employers having fifteen or more employees, employment agencies, and labor unions are subject to this law. The Tower Amendment to this act stipulates that professionally developed workplace tests can be used to make employment decisions. However, only instruments that do not discriminate against any protected group can be used.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits against employees or applicant's age 40 or older in all aspects of the employment process. Individuals in this group must be provided equal employment opportunity. If and older worker charges discrimination under the ADEA, the employer may defend the practice if it can be shown that the job requirement is a matter of business necessity. Employers must have documented support for the argument they use as a defense. ADEA covers employers having 20 or more employees, labor unions, and employment agencies.

Certain groups of employees are exempt from ADEA coverage, including public law enforcement personnel, such as police officers and firefighters. Uniformed military personnel also are exempt from ADEA coverage. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of 1972 is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. It receives, investigates, and processes charges of unlawful employment practices of employers filed by an individual or group of individuals. If the EEOC determines that there is "reasonable cause" that an unlawful employment practice has occurred, it



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