Adapting Employee Selection to the 21st Century

Recent years have presented companies and organisations with several additional challenges to recruiting and selecting the right employees. Unprecedented growth in urban populations as well as the explosion in specialities have posed additional hurdles to recruiting the best fit. It is therefore crucial for HR managers and recruiters to update the techniques and methods they use when acquiring talent.

Gary P. Latham and Christina Sue-Chan address the issue of selecting employees in the 21st Century in their article “Selecting employees in the 21st Century: predicting the contribution of Industrial organisational psychology to Canada”. Fundamentally the article proposes using situational interviews and patterned Behaviour Description Interviews (PBDI). As the name implies, patterned behaviour description interviews would require candidates to recount recurring behaviour and respond to certain situations. The article claims that situational interviews ensure reliability.

To ensure the success of the recruitment and selection process, Latham and Sue-Chan urge businesses and corporations to identify indicators that can be used to assess the recruitment and selection processes they adopt. Latham and Sue-Chan go as far as to elevate recruiting and selecting people to one of the four factors that determine the success of an organisation along with the vision and strategic goals, ability to adapt and financial status.

Certain countries and cities around the world may pose additional challenges to recruiting and selecting due to the diversity of applicants. Nevertheless it is crucial for organisation to ensure that candidates are hired solely on the basis of their aptitude as well as the alignment of their abilities with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform effectively within the workplace.

“Selecting employees in the 21st Century: predicting the contribution of Industrial-organisational psychology to Canada” emphasises the importance of identifying a set of competencies to use as the underlying framework for recruiting and appraisal. For organisations to identify competencies, different jobs within the organisation need to be initially analysed. Accordingly core competences are revealed upon which functional competencies and performance standards are based. The required functional competencies for the job along with the legal requirements of the country would eventually form the framework for selection.

Latham and Sue-Chan also shed light on two important considerations for applicant selection. During the selection process inter-observer reliability and convergent validity are often encountered. Inter-observer reliability usually refers to two or more people from the same organisation who make the same decision independently. Convergent validity on the other hand is when two or more people at the organisation, either peers or subordinates, reach the same conclusion independently as to a candidate's suitability for hiring or promotion.

Nevertheless for the selection process to succeed it is crucial to introduce personality tests, cognitive ability tests, and integrity tests. Even though employee selection nowadays has presented recruiters with a unique set of challenges that might not have been as pronounced in the past, Latham and Sue-Chan have presented a practical and logical approach to selecting and recruiting candidates. Despite their article being geared towards Canada’s industrial organisational psychology, the issues tackled are still viable in numerous metropolitan cities around the world.

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