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... applicants and 'promote' the organization to gain a competitive edge other rival organizations (Schuler et al, 1992, p.166). In relation to external recruitment, advertisements are seen as the most effective tool for recruiting (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, p.60; Stone, 2002, p.180). However, there has been criticism towards the effectiveness of advertising particularly in print media, with most advertisements remaining "passive in construction and execution" consequently failing to gain attention and waste money and resources (Hollings, 1998, p.32). Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis elaborate on this belief, stating that the use of AIDA (attention, interest, desire and action) is effective in promoting occupants along with clear statements about the requirements of the job and organization (2002, pp.63-64). The effect that incorrect or misleading advertising has can be quite detrimental and costly to the organization as well as the applicant post-selection as the employee does not have the required skills and qualifications (Iwrin, 2003, p.28).
One growing method of attracting external applicants has been the use of the Internet. Due to the advances in technology and changing demographic of the workforce, more people are accessing the Internet as a form of job search (Stone, 2002, pp.187-188). There are numerous benefits towards the organization including speed of recruiting results and reduced costs due to the inexpensive use of the Web instead of print media (HR Focus, Mar. 2000, p13). Further, research showed that 80 percent of businesses surveyed believed candidates who came via the Web are of a higher calibre than others (HR Focus, Mar. 2000, p.14). In general though, management and HR managers must critically examine recruitment advertisements, printed or Web-based, to ensure consistency with HR policies and legislation. Further, any recruitment advertisements must be monitored and evaluated to ensure future recruitment processes are successful (Stone, 2002, p.181).
Significantly compounding the challenges faced by HR management and practitioners in the recruiting process is the handling of job applications and interview preparation. One main contributor of poor selection of applicants is the failure to establish a selection criterion that is not only consistent with organizational strategies, but reflects the frame of reference set by the job analysis. Employers frequently change job requirements and this results in incorrect selection if HR and line management select unqualified candidates (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, p.81). This will have consequences for the organization, such as increased training time, labour turnover, absenteeism and poor performance (Stone, 2002, p.212). Therefore, information required for interview preparation must be accurate and objective. Further, it is necessary to specify the exact skills and qualifications required for jobs and this is difficult due to the dynamic, perpetually changing nature of jobs (Irwin, 2003, p.31).
Once management addresses the complex task of effectively sourcing and attracting the right applicants for the available position(s), it is pertinent to address the selection process and methods used to eliminate unsuitable applicants. Management often fail to select the right applicant and this may be a result of low reliability and validity associated with selection methods (Irwin, 2003, p.36). Interviews, although common, are criticised for being unreliable and invalid and "are not particularly successful as predictors of future job success (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, pp.133-134). Studies (eg Doyle, 2002) have shown that selection decisions in organizations were based largely on a subjective and arbitrary basis which led to incorrect or misguided assumptions and the selection process was open to manipulation. In addition to these findings, the selection process, and in particular, the interview, is strongly influenced by the interviewer's beliefs and assumptions, judgement and stereotyping and this affects the validity of interviews (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, pp.135-137). Such subjective and discriminatory behaviour will result in a failure to select the most suitable applicant. While interviews still remain the most commonly used selection tool for organizations (99.6 percent based on one study ), psychological and aptitude tests are also methods used in selection. However, such tests must be job related, non-discriminatory and should accurately predict job performance through valid and reliable measures (Stone, 2002, p.224).
Tests have been criticised in the past for lack of relevance, cultural limitations and faking such tests were common (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, p.152). Despite the methods used in screening applicants, the bottom-line is that incorrect selection costs the organization. Recruitment and training costs will rise as well as opportunity costs, reduced profit, loss of competitive advantage and reputation (Nankervis, Compton & McCarthy, 1999, p.291). While interviews and testing can be used concurrently to assist in selection, there may need to be further examinations to ensure the applicant can meet job requirements. One such practice is the use of medical examinations which may be necessary in determining whether an applicant is physically fit to perform a job (Irwin, 2003, p.40). Failing to perform suitable examinations may result in an employee suffering injuries or harm other staff members and subject the organization to workers compensation and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws (Stone, 2002, p.237).
However, any examinations undertaken must be done only for a legitimate job requirement otherwise the organization may be violating EEO legislation. In further substantiating an employee's ability to perform their task once selected, thorough reference checking must be undertaken and it is critical to perform this before making a job offer (Stone, 2002, p.236). Failure to conduct an adequate background check can be expensive, embarrassing and certainly dangerous. Assaults or harassment towards staff or clients as a result of an employee's behaviour may result in an organization becoming liable for negligence by not undertaking thorough background checks (Greengard, 1995, pp.85-90). Organizations must undertake relevent reference audits to obtain as much relevant information about an applicant as possible without violating their privacy (Irwin, 2003, pp.40-41). CONCLUSION Organizations are experiencing major environmental upheavals such as increased globalisation, deregulated industrial relation system, competition and technological advances.
These economic, social and political contexts have in turn triggered a complex multiplicity of overlapping, concurrent initiatives that are radically altering existing structures, cultures and job requirements. In response to this dynamic change, HR managers must approach the recruitment and selection process from a strategic perspective. Recruitment and selection strategies and policies must integrate within both HR and organizational strategies. In turn, HR and line managers must successfully source and attract potential employees in a highly competitive environment as well as abiding by legislation relating to equal employment, workplace relations and privacy legislation. Additionally, the integrating of recruitment tools such as job analysis and design as well as an understanding of the organization's culture are necessary to establish selection criteria in selecting potential employees. This will ensure validity and reliability for selection methods including interviews and psychological testing. Finally, HR management must finalise the selection process with legitimate medical examinations and reference audits in accordance with any privacy laws. REFERENCES ACCIRT, 1999, Australia at Work: Just Managing?, Prentice Hall, Sydney, pp.10-34. Allan, C.
2000, 'Hidden organizational costs of using non-standard forms of employment', Personnel Review, vol. 29, no. 2. Callander, P. 1999, 'Shrinking the recruiting cycle', HR Monthly, October, pp.32-33. Compton, R.L., Morrissey, W.J. & Nankervis, A.R.
2002, Effective Recruitment and Selection Practices, 3rd edn., CCH Australia Pty Ltd., Australia. Doyle, M. 2002,'Selecting managers for transformational change', HRM Journal, vol 12, issue 1, pp3-16.(online database) [accessed Apr. 2, 2003] Drucker, P. 2001, 'Will the corporation survive?', Economist.com, Nov. 1, (online) http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm? story id=770819.
Greengard, S. 1995, 'Avoid negligent hiring: are you well armed to screen applicants?', Personnel Journal, Dec., pp.84-85. Hollings, S. 1998, 'New options drive facelift for basic recruiting tool', HR Monthly, May, pp.32-33. HR Focus, 2000, 'Online Recruiting: What works, what doesn't', March, Issue 00-3, pp1-14. Huo, Huang & Napier. 2002, 'Divergance or Convergance: A cross-national comparison of personnel selection practices', Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 40, No.
1. Irwin, R. 2003, Study Guide: Staff Selection and Appraisal, Southern Cross University, Lismore. Levy, H. 1998, 'Recruitment marketing sells your worth as an employer', HR Monthly, May, p.42. Milla, D. & Smith, P. 1997, 'Australian management selection practices: why does the interview remain popular?', Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol.
35, no.3,pp.99. Nankervis, A.R., Compton, R.L., McCarthy, T.E. 1999, Strategic Human Resource Management, 3rd edn., Nelson Australia. Stone, R.J. 2002, Human Resource Management, 4th edn. Wiley, Australia (author unknown), 2000, 'Talent War: Finding and keeping staff is testing management everywhere as demand for good people goes global', Business Review Weekly, Aug. 18, pp.66-70..
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