Recruitment

All posts tagged Recruitment

Employment Anti-Discrimination Laws Part 2

Published September 16, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Part One of this series offered a brief overview of the systems that hiring managers implement to recruit potential top level performers. Part Two provides samples of the components that hiring managers utilize in the hiring process. The following fictitious samples were developed for the purpose of this research and are based on my previous employment experiences in the music industry.

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Job Description and Advertisement

Basic Information

Job Title: Administrative Assistant for the West Coast Vice President of Promotion

Job Purpose: The individual will provide administrative services for office systems in accordance with procedures, policies and engage in duties required of that department to the best of their ability, within the ethical framework established as outlined in the corporate employment handbook.

Job Overview: The individual hired for this position is required to perform the duties of the Administrative Assistant to the West Coast Vice President of Promotion that includes active participation and working in partnership with the supervisor and other staff members to build and maintain an ethical climate. The position also offers opportunities for career advancement.

Administrative Assistant Duties:

  • Maintains workflow implemented by systems established, studying models, incorporating cost reductions, reporting procedures and developing new ones.
  • Maintains, creates, and revises systems and procedures by examining operation practices, including data and record keeping systems, forms control, office layout, budgetary and personnel requirements and implementing changes.
  • Supports and develops administrative staff by providing information, educational opportunities and experiential growth opportunities.
  • Resolves administrative problems by coordinating preparation of documents, including reports, spreadsheets, analyzing data and implementing solutions
  • Maintains and ensures operation of equipment including preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs; maintaining equipment inventories; and evaluating new equipment, techniques, and technologies.
  • Provides information, as well as answers inquiries and requests.
  • Maintains supply inventories by checking stock to determine inventory level, anticipating need supplies, placing and expediting orders for supplies, and verifying receipt of supplies.
  • Completes operational requirements including scheduling and assigning administrative projects, as well as expediting work results.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, participating in professional societies.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing results as required.

Job Advertisement for Social Media Outlets

Simulation - This is not a real advertisement

Simulation – This is not a real advertisement

Requirements, Knowledge, Skills, and Aptitudes

Bachelor Degree, Minimum Five Years’ Experience, Reporting skills, Administrative Writing Skills, Computer Technology Skills, Microsoft Office Skills, Managing Processes, Organization, Analyzing information, Professionalism, Problem Solving, Supply Management, Inventory Control, Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills.

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Legal and Illegal Questions to Ask Potential Hires

Employers are vulnerable to litigation in the pre-employment process if they are not cognizant of employment and discrimination laws.  The most effective hiring managers implement supportive strategies and programs that avoid discrimination to attract top performers.  Seaquist (2012) postulates that company leaders should educate employees and hiring managers when designing the interview process to make sure they do not over step any boundaries.  This means avoiding any questions that would be in violation of Title VII mandates, including: (a) race, (b) sex, (c) national origin, (d) disabilities, and (e) criminal background (Seaquist, 2012).  Information can be obtained with respect to the aforementioned topics as long as they fall within the legal parameters of both Title VII and state regulations.  For example, an interviewer may include a list of different races on the application that the candidate can select, without having to go into further detail about their culture or personal beliefs.

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Using this framework as a model, the questions listed below proposed by McKee (2012) will help outline more clearly, inquiries that are considered in compliance with employment laws, as well as those that are not.  Most experts agree that the best strategy is to pose questions that inspire and motivate the individual to speak candidly without adding stress or pressuring them into answering questions the way they believe the interviewer expects.  These questions are formulated to engage the individual in feeling comfortable sharing their experiences and can help alleviate trepidation (McKee, 2012).  The following twenty questions illustrate only a few samples of many that can be considered appropriate and inappropriate during the interview process:

Questions Deemed Legal by the EEOC

1.)   Explain to me why you may be qualified for this job?

2.)   Are you willing to relocate?

3.)   Can you describe a time when your work was criticized? How were you able to manage the situation?

4.)   Can you describe a time when your workload was heavy?

5.)   If you were hired, what will we know about you one year down the road?

6.)   How do you rate yourself as a professional?

7.)   How do you evaluate success?

8.)   How do you handle stress and pressure on the job?

9.)   How does this position fit in with the career path you envision?

10.)  Can you tell us about a failed project?

Questions Deemed Illegal by the EEOC

1.)   How many times have you been married?

2.)   What kind of relationship do you have with your family?

3.)   Have you ever had sex at work?

4.)   Do you steal or shoplift?

5.)   Do you struggle with weight or feel ugly?

6.)   Have you ever been caught cheating on your spouse?

7.)   What have you done with your life so far?

8.)   What are your religious beliefs?

9.)   What is your sexual preference?

10.)   Do you text and drive?

Conclusion

Employers that are not fully aware of employment and anti-discrimination laws will not be effective in the hiring process.  Rassas (2011) reminds us that it is important for business leaders to have a firm grasp of employment laws and to recognize the limitations (Rassas, 2011). Because no single set of employment laws cover all employers or their employees, business leaders that understand the intricate complexities of employment and discrimination laws will have an edge on their competition. In addition, to discover that silver bullet employee, leaders create effective strategies to recruit top level performers and design job descriptions that inspire and motivate candidates.  They design and implement programs that target quality potentials and refrain from using those that focus on attracting quantity.  The findings of this research conclude that even though violating employment laws can lead to litigation, hiring managers interested in recruiting top level performers must be aware and educated in employment and anti-discrimination laws to prevent legal action and costly fines.

References

Adler, L. (2013). The essential guide for hiring and getting hired. Atlanta, GA: Workbench Media.

McKee, P. (2012). How to answer interview questions. Atlanta, GA: Career Confidential.

Rassas, L. (2011). Employment law: a guide to hiring, managing, and firing employers and employees. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Employment Anti-Discrimination Laws – Part 1

Published September 13, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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One of the most significant tasks business leaders face is attracting and recruiting employees that are top level performers.  In fact Adler’s (2013) research revealed that few hiring managers even consider implementing effective strategies. Furthermore, they do not work in partnership with potential hires, nor do they consider enlisting the help of coaches to attract top performers. For example, most companies still post bland, uninteresting job descriptions, crossing their fingers in hope that they will find the ideal individual who is an organizational fit. In addition, the most shocking aspect of this is that most business leaders focus their resources and efforts going after the 17% of candidates who are actively seeking employment, yet desire to employ the 83% who are not looking for work (Adler, 2013). This research is focused on systems that hiring managers can implement to recruit potential top level performers while avoiding the violation of any employment or anti-discrimination laws.

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To examine the process more effectively, a false scenario is examined that provides an example of skills and hiring techniques that may be useful in recruiting a new full-time departmental employee. For the purpose of this study, the focus is centered on filling an opening position for an administrative assistant. The case study includes a detailed description of the position that is in compliance with federal laws. In addition, to attract top performers, an advertisement has been included that is intended to be directed at social media outlets and job recruiting websites. Also included in the research, to support the analysis, is a series of legal and illegal questions that provide a few samples to illustrate topics hiring managers are permitted to inquiry about and the manner in which to draw out information that is in accordance with EEOC mandates, as well as those that are in violation of them. This research will conclude that hiring managers who are not trained or are unfamiliar with employment and anti-discrimination laws can make poor decisions in the hiring process, risking litigation and exuberant fines.

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The Hiring Process

Employers want to hire top performers, but most are not cognizant of doing so in effective ways and avoid violating anti-discrimination and other significant employment laws. For example, Adler (2013) purports there are a variety of reasons that hiring managers have a hard time finding the best recruits, including that: (a) employers depend on a surplus of candidates during the hiring process, but seek them in a talent scarce environment; (b) candidates do not know how to engage in the hiring game; and (c) few hiring managers take responsibility for attracting quality candidates because they are focused on attracting quantity, hoping to discover that diamond in the rough. These are all significant issues that need to be addressed, dissected, understood, and reframed in a strategic manner to produce the most effective hiring programs that will attract top talent  (Adler, 2013).  Taking these components into consideration, hiring managers must also comprehend why people perform at peak levels while others underperform. Most hiring managers, however, maintain a preconceived notion that employers can remedy any situation that arises after the fact.

Next week’s post will have the conclusion with components that have been designed as an example to illustrate one effective method of how hiring managers can attract top level performers including job description, advertisement, as well as samples of legal and illegal questions that hiring managers can ask.

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References

Adler, L. (2013). The essential guide for hiring and getting hired. Atlanta, GA: Workbench Media.

McKee, P. (2012). How to answer interview questions. Atlanta, GA: Career Confidential.

Rassas, L. (2011). Employment law: a guide to hiring, managing, and firing employers and employees. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Job Replacement Management

Published June 28, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Unemployed Americans attend a National C

Human issues are at the core of every business enterprise. The most successful leaders embrace these challenges as opportunities to improve themselves and their organizations. Additionally, executives want to support their most significant assets – their personnel – but often experience difficulty implementing the right people in the most effective positions. Furthermore, organizational leaders do not always offer adequate support to their staff members. This makes it difficult for employees to perform their duties efficiently and enthusiastically. Jackson and Mathis (2011) deduced that some of the biggest staffing problems executives face are (a) attracting and retaining key employees; (b) adjusting benefits because of inflation; (c) training and developing staff members for future job needs; (d) planning the replacement of retirees; (e) dealing with expanded use of technology; (f) complying with changes in Federal, State, and local laws; and (g) how all these conflicting issues are managed and contribute to organizational culture and performance (Jackson & Mathis, 2011). This research is an analysis of the many job replacement issues managers face when filling key positions in their organization. To offer as an example of a case study, it is organized by the premise that a staff member’s promotion to a higher managerial level within the organization creates a vacancy.  As an experiment, it examines the significant task of recruiting a replacement staff member for the vacating position. The experiment is based on the personal experiences of the author of this research, as an alumnus of Capitol-EMI Records, drawing from strategies implemented during the personal departure process in pursuit of other career opportunities. This project provides a closer analysis of the employee hiring process and reveals that the most effective leaders attract high level performers by implementing the following components: (a) an analysis and the design of a detailed job description; (b) the development of efficient recruiting plans devised with strategies from successfully tested and proven methods; (c) providing training programs that introduce the organization’s culture including education on policies, rules, and regulations; and (d) the design of programs to evaluate staff member performances using proficient models in the testing and interview process. In addition, once the candidate was selected for the position, an evaluation of the new recruit’s performance levels was conducted from various methods, including observation of their behavior in the new position. The findings of this research conclude that the most effective management teams work in partnership with employees by implementing strategies and effective training programs to find, invest, and retain the best possible candidates that will help them achieve long term economic goals.

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Employee Staffing

Talent Management

The best operational supervisors create systems to recruit high level performers as well as devise efficient strategies to help manage their talent. Berger (2008) suggested that leaders implement talent management programs. This is one effective method used by many organizations to help them with the assessment process as well as measure staff member performance levels. In addition, the management systems should be designed to evaluate personnel outcomes and produce efficient methods that serve to motivate workers by helping them tap into their highest potential. Berger contended that this model creates an effective formula that can help establish a means to identify employee talent so that Human Resource (HR) units and their leaders can attract top level performers. This framework is also used as a devise to develop more effective compensation plans (Berger, 2008). The case study of this research is centered on an employee vacancy and the process of finding a qualified, suitable replacement for the position. The first step was to begin developing a well devised recruiting plan with the end goal of attracting a top level recruit who has the potential to evolve into a highly valued asset for the organization.

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The Recruiting Process

The initial step of the job replacement process begins with the design and development of efficient recruitment strategies that can also serve to evaluate staff member performance levels. Arthur (2012) purported an effective recruiting strategy should include: (a) details and clarity of the organization’s goals, values, and mission statement; (b) programs that inspire, attract, and retain high level performers; (c) a detailed analysis and description of the position; (d) expectations and opportunities for advancement; and (e) effective compensation plans and benefit packages to reflect an organization that values and appreciates their staff members (Arthur, 2012). These components were included in the recruiting process for the experimental case study of this research. This strategy placed everyone involved in the recruitment process in a better position to assess the possibility of an organizational fit.

The employer’s role is to seek out and attract the best possible candidates for the vacating position. Hayes and Ninemeier (2001) suggested applying some of the following proven effective recruitment strategies to attract high level potentials: (a) consider employees to promote from within the organization, (b) reward current employees for referrals, (c) recruit former employees, (d) create eye catching employment ads, (e) consider recruiting current and past clients or customers, (f) provide recruitment packages with special services, (g) seek and contact local employment agencies, (h) add an employment section on the company website, and (i) participate in community recruitment events and programs (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). These approaches were used as effective strategies for the case study of this research.  This methodology was designed to attract a wide array of potential candidates to choose from to help in the decision making process.

Following Guidelines

In addition, it is imperative that these systems are designed and developed to remain within the legal parameters of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Privacy Act of 1974. For example, in order to conduct a thorough background check of possible candidates it is required that each applicant sign a release form to authorize the organization to conduct one. Without such an agreement, the company risks time-consuming litigation by gathering confidential information without legal authority. Dessler (2011) cited that additional methods and guidelines should be devised to create authentic testing conditions for the employer to extract accurate employee information. This system will allow the test taker to respond in a genuine fashion rather than replying with what they perceive is the correct response the test giver wants to hear (Dessler, 2011). To extract the most authentic information for the case study of this experiment, interview questions were also focused on the candidate’s perception of codes of conduct and ethics. The evaluation process was based on transparency and alleviated the possibility of the candidate submitting false information from the onset. This plan was designed to avoid violations and falls within the legal framework of the law which ultimately serves to protect all parties involved.

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Recruiting Top Level Performer Strategies

Job Analysis

Leaders are also encouraged to engage in strategies that will tap into an individual’s passions in order to motivate and inspire performances that drive the organization’s success. Hayes and Ninemeier suggested that to attract the best candidate, employers must also do their part to create an organization that employees want to work for (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). To recruit a high level performer for this case study, methods to attract valuable staff members who are loyal and offer long term commitment are developed. In order to provide the best job description, the first task in the recruiting process is to conduct a thorough analysis of the position that needs to be filled. This examination includes the determination of duties as well as the characteristics required and methods that will be utilized from the individual who fills the spot, such as their level of education and the nature of their professional work experiences.

For this experiment, the job title of the vacancy was classified as the Promotion Coordinator for the West Coast Division of EMI America Records. An analysis of the position helped provide a detailed job description. A close examination of this role revealed many forms of communication, including telephonically in real time as well as via electronic correspondence and traditional forms of communication like inter- and outer-departmental memos, emails, faxes, and so on. In addition, the post requires receipt and distribution of all promotional material within and outside of the organization and, on occasion, at an international level. The job also entails heavy interaction with top level record industry executives, including attorneys, managers, celebrity recording artists, producers, and other prominent players of the music industry. In short, this occupation requires the ability to discern proper and improper behavior with dignitaries at this level. The job analysis also reveals a requirement on occasion, of long hours, participation in after hour corporate events, concerts, movie screenings, and other events related to the organization. Short travel excursions are also part of the responsibilities included for this position. These were important elements that helped with the development of an accurate detailed job description required as part of the recruitment process to identify expectations and qualifications for the position being filled.

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Job Description

The primary focus for the job replacement task presented in this research is to attract a top level candidate and extract accurate information from potential hires. Axulay (2012) contended that employee development needs to be measured, calculated, and strategic as a deliberate procedure (Axulay, 2012). Creating an effective and detailed job description is an important element in the recruitment process.  This should include information on the jobholder’s duties, the method in which to perform their tasks, and provide details on the conditions that the individual will perform under. The job analysis stage served to gather substantial information to help in the development of this next phase: developing the job description. This stage provides the applicant details on such things as job title, tasks, and performance expectations. It also serves to screen applicants by determining information like level of education, abilities, skills, and aptitude to perform the job effectively. For this experiment, the job description includes information on the organization’s expectations of the candidate and outlines the responsibilities for the position. They include: (a) the management of all incoming calls, correspondence, and promotional material; (b) the collection, coordination, and distribution of products and radio tracking data to the applicable recipients; (c) the coordination of scheduling, travel, corporate events, and meetings for applicable staff members, including the VP and other top level executives; (d) the management and coordination of artist events in collaboration with other departments internally including marketing and publicity, as well as externally with radio stations, concert arenas, and other venues; (e) the receipt, distribution, and management of promotional material to applicable recipients;(f) the management and coordination of promotion related events on a local and national level; and (g) the management, organization and coordination of events for regional staff members. This job description provided detailed information that was significant for the candidate and helped the applicant determine whether the position was acceptable.

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The Testing and Interview Process

Successful leadership strategies include a recruiting plan that implements efficient tests as part of the interview process. Wigdor (1989) postulated that methods of testing should include an analysis of skill levels, knowledge, and capabilities that are developed from a predetermined set of conditions and guidelines specific to the position being filled. This procedure helps determine whether the applicant is qualified. It is also designed within the guidelines and regulations provided by the EEOC, ADA and other applicable civil laws to avoid violation of discrimination and privacy issues (Wigdor, 1989). In short, employee testing provides an effective way to collect accurate information directly from the potential candidate.

There are a variety of testing strategies that employers can apply. Falcone (2008) postulated that to yield the best results from potential employees, leaders should determine the following information from potential applicants: (a) the motivation the candidate is applying for the position, (b) whether the individual is willing to commit to career management or merely seeking to fill a temporary position while they wait for other opportunities, (c) whether the individual applying for a salary increase using this as an opportunity for self-promotion, (d) whether the individual is willing to assume additional responsibilities, (e) how well the individual handles emotions like stress and constructive criticism, and (f) verify the individual’s work ethic (Falcone, 2008). For the experiment of this case study, the individual’s motivation in applying for the position played a significant role in the screening process for the vacant position. This method was designed to be used as another means to help assess whether the applicant was a viable candidate.

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The Job Evaluation Process

The end goal for this experiment is to attract the best possible contender to fill the employee position and incorporate efficient methods to evaluate staff member performances. Welcoming a new employee into an organization is not a simple process. For this case study, HR managers worked as partners to help devise models to make the new hire’s orientation a smooth experience.  This strategy helped the new recruit’s transition feel comfortable more quickly. Keefe and Sander (2011) purported that to receive an accurate appraisal, supervisors must find ways to keep their staff motivated to perform at high production levels.  Doing so helps employers justify employee promotion and salary increases. It also provides a method to assess employees who fall short of organizational goals and sets up the ground work for the possibility of further training or, in worst case scenarios, dismissal procedures (Keefe & Sandler, 2004). For this research project, an evaluation system was devised to examine the following work performance related issues: (a) the level of accuracy and attention to details reflected in the new hire’s productivity, (b) the quality of their work, (c) their work habits, (d) the development of their interpersonal and teamwork skills, (e) the amount of time it takes for them to complete their tasks and whether they are able to achieve their goals, and (f) their overall work attitude.  The appraisal program was designed to combine a variety of methods to measure the new recruit’s outcomes and included supervision from the departing employee as part of the evaluation process. For example, by incorporating a graphic rating system it served to measure the new hire’s skills and aptitude levels. In addition, the integration of a ranking system helped identify how the new recruit compares to other employee performance levels. Implementation of the critical incident method was another strategy included.  This method served to create a paper trail for specific recorded work related behavior issues. The combination of these components comprised the design of the assessment process for this experiment. The integration of these appraisal methods were developed to yield the best outcomes for the evaluation process.

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Developing an Effective Compensation Plan

Another significant aspect of devising strategic job management strategies is that it plays an important role in the development of effective compensation plans. Effectual incentive plans reward employees for outstanding performances in achieving their goals and completing assigned tasks. Kohn (1999) asserted that rewards increase the probability of individuals achieving higher performance levels. To reward employees, HR managers resort to a variety of incentive programs and award systems to compensate employees for exemplary achievements. This includes employee wages, commissions, bonuses, and other means of compensation like travel rewards, gift certificates, leased automobiles, and other similar perks (Kohn, 1999). For this case study, HR units classified this position under a predetermined grade level established by the board of directors. This particular position was categorized above the hourly wage staff level and identified as a managerial level. At this grade, the organization implements a direct payment system that includes a salary based on performance achievements. Because the position includes participation in after hour events, other indirect payment plans are included, such as (a) an expense account, (b) employer paid health insurance; (c) vacation, holiday and sick time; and (d) a retirement or IRA plan. These components comprised the salary and benefit compensation package that were devised for the case study of this project. By creating a generous compensation plan, employers communicate that in return for an employee’s services and loyalty, leaders are willing to show their appreciation and gratitude.  In addition, it serves as a motivator for employees to offer higher performance levels and in return they are more likely to remain with the organization on a long term basis.

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Training and Development

Another significant component to recruiting and retaining top level employees is designing and developing effective methods to train and educate staff members.  Successful executives recognize the significance that training plays during the staffing process. They comprehend that the purpose for educating and training employees is to permit them to absorb the information and transform their behavior. Rosenberg and Stolovitch (2011) explained that in order to do this, leaders must develop training programs that include: the expansion of cognitive (mental), psychomotor (physical), and effective (emotional) knowledge and skills (Rosenberg & Stolovitch, 2011). For the case study of this research, activities and learning plans were designed to incorporate practical tools and technology that helped yield the most effective outcomes for the new jobholder.

A lack of motivation is usually at the core of why employees are not engaged in high performance levels. Kolb (1990) asserted that managers must develop and implement training programs that can also help determine the employees who are performing at substandard levels. This will help identify whether low performance levels are due to skill deficiencies or personal trait issues (Kolb, 1990). In this case study, once the new recruit completed the training process, the evaluation system devised helped detect whether the new employee was performing and meeting organizational expectations. The training process also included observation from the individual vacating the position of the new recruit performing their duties. This was achieved without making the new applicant feel intimated or uncomfortable. When this was accomplished effectively, the new recruit was thankful for the supervision and guidance at that early stage.

Equally important is that a new hire is trained and educated in the organizational culture.It is essential a new jobholder comprehends the company’s vision as well as the acceptable parameters with which to operate. Lawson (2002) pointed out that although employees are the most valuable resource, most companies do not support this premise because the orientation process consists of ineffective programs that offer little opportunity for interaction. In addition, new recruits are inundated with learning new procedures, data, and exposure to a plethora of unfamiliar faces, all at what seems like lightning speed (Lawson, 2002). Being able to perform their duties with confidence and security is the end goal, so the observation process is meticulously devised in way that is pleasant and nonintrusive. These were strategies developed for this research project to encourage the new employee to participate enthusiastically; help them feel comfortable to contribute innovative ideas; motivate them to sustain higher levels of energy; and inspire the jobholder to engage in superior levels of productivity.

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Conclusion

Job replacement management requires the design and development of effective strategies. McCoy (2012) proposed that because leaders are dependent on employees to fulfill organizational goals, employers need to focus their energy on attracting staff members that will deliver outstanding levels in attitude, ability, and performance. In addition, leaders want to attract and maintain a motivated and passionate team of personnel and therefore apply formulas that will help employees to tap into their highest levels of human potential (McCoy, 2012). The research gathered for this case study deduced that the most efficient employers establish an effective job recruiting strategy that includes the design, development, and implementation of proven employee recruiting techniques, maintenance plans, and training programs to help managers and HR units with the difficult task of finding and retaining effective employees that will perform at top levels. The findings of this research concluded that employers who invest in their staff members, support and reward them, as well as help them develop career goals, will most likely inspire their employees to work at higher levels, remain loyal to their organizations, and achieve top levels of productivity.

References

Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Axulay, H. (2012). Employee development on a shoestring. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

Berger, L. (2008). The compensation handbook. New York, NY, USA: McGraw-Hill.

Dessler, G. (2011). A framework for human resource management (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Falcone, P. (2008). 96 great interview questions to ask before you hire. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Hayes, D., & Ninemeier, J. (2001). 50 one-minute tips for recruiting employees. Seattle, WA, USA: Crisp Publications, Inc.

Jackson, J., & Mathis, R. (2011). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Keefe, J., & Sandler, C. (2004). Performance appraisal phrase book. Avon, MA, USA: F&W Publications Company.

Kohn, A. (1999). Punished by rewards. New York, NY, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Kolb, R. (1990, October 2). Focus on employees’ positive contributions demanding that workers perform tasks outside of their “comfort zones” is counterproductive. Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, WI, USA. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/333455300?accountid=32521

Lawson, K. (2002). New employee orientation training. Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

McCoy, T. (2012). Compensation and motivation. CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Rosenberg, M., & Stolovitch, H. (2011). Telling ain’t training (2nd ed.). Danvers, MA: ASTD Press.

Wigdor, A. (1989, August 21). Employment tests can be useful. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA. Retrieved 15 2013, May , from http://search.proquest.com/docview/282608644?accountid=32521

Testing Employees

Published May 31, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Managers that seek to fill staff positions use a variety of employee testing techniques. It is one of the most effective ways a leader can ascertain whether an individual is qualified and skilled for a position at their organization. Hoffman (2001) predicates that organizational testing is on the rise. This is primarily due to the significant improvements of the tests themselves as a result of mathematical breakthroughs and advances in computer technology. Consequently, leaders now have the ability to review results more quickly and far more accurately. In addition, tests help managers filter out unappealing candidates and can differentiate those who are highly competent potentials (Hoffman, 2001). This research examines the role of employee testing in relation to the hiring process. We will also take a look at the components that go into designing the most effective screening methods to yield the highest results. Our research will illustrate that even though assessments can intimidate and scare off prospective applicants, testing employees is an important part of the staff selection process because it helps identify a candidate’s abilities, it presents a way to collect genuine and direct information, and can help distinguish high performance job candidates.

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The Role of Testing

Leaders and Human Resource (HR) managers’ primary focus is to extract accurate information and responses in interviewees during the hiring process. Like thorough detectives, they gather data and initiate interviews to ascertain whether to offer the potential applicant the position they seek to fill. Falcone (2008) postulates that employers who yield the best results put a plan together that helps ascertain the following information: (a) what is the reason and motivation behind the applicant seeking the position, (b) does the person fill a need for the organization, (c) is the individual willing to commit to progressive career management with the firm or filling a temporary need waiting for the next occupational opportunity, (d) is the individual merely looking for a salary increase in their current position and using this as an opportunity for leverage, (e) will the individual adhere to specific job duties laid out in the job description or are they willing and able to assume additional responsibilities, (f) how well does the individual handle emotions like stress and constructive criticism, and (g) what kind of work ethic does the individual have (Falcone, 2008). In addition, leaders should strive to develop a strategic plan that garners the best responses and meet employers’ expectations.

One method organizations devise as a means to validate a candidate’s responses is by way of reference checks. Falcone (2008) points out that equally significant, HR Managers must be careful to avoid creating tests that will yield responses which encourage applicants to retort with long inventories or flowery adjectives regarding traits such as their nobility, intelligence, commitments, work ethics, and integrity. Adjectives are not proven claims, can waste time, and act as a side-track tactic for obtaining relevant information (Falcone, 2008). The tester’s main concern is acquiring concrete evidence of how a candidate will perform, contribute to the organizational goals, and fit on the company team.

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Designing Effective Tests

Testing employees is an effective method to deduce employee competencies. This includes gathering information from a candidate with components like screening tools, exams, background checks, and interviews. No matter how one slices it, employers are looking to select the strongest candidates and the best people to fill open positions. Simultaneously, they are required to satisfy EEO, ADA, and civil rights laws to avoid costly and timely litigation. Designing and implementing effective employment tests helps managers find the best candidates that are highly motivated and driven to help them pursue organizational goals with efficiency and fairness. Therefore, employment testing is an efficient tool and an imperative component toward a manager’s finding high performance workers successfully. Wigdor’s (1989) research asserts that methods of testing should include the examination of skill levels, knowledge, and capabilities designed according to a set of predetermined conditions and guidelines specific to their organization. In addition, employers use testing to evaluate a candidate’s achievements, aptitude, abilities, and personality traits (Wigdor, 1989).

Employers have also changed the climate of the testing process at the workplace because of the efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). For example, Meyers (2008) reveals that a recent study conducted from the National Research Council suggests that the widely used employment tests provided by the Department of Labor’s General Aptitude Test Battery allow employers to hire a wider demographic range. These tests are designed to preserve the benefits of the testing in a manner that breaks through the discrimination barriers of the past. As a result, there have been an increasing number of minorities in the workplace. In short, employers are now able to seek qualified candidates who are highly intelligent in a safe, supportive arena in a way that is fair to any potential candidate. In addition, Meyers (2008) discloses that the EEOC recently issued a document stating that anti-discrimination laws must be included in the design of employer tests, personality tests, medical examinations, criminal background checks, and credit checks. The EEOC contends that testing and other methods of screening are efficient methods to screen vast numbers of applicants and helps in the decision making process (Meyers, 2008). Employers are urged to educate themselves on these regulations to avoid violation of anti-discrimination laws and recommend employers implement “best practices” conduct when employing tests and screening tools.

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Testing employees is very effective for collecting valuable data. To achieve the best results, Arthur (1991) contends the environment should be consistent each time the test is conducted. This includes elements such as seating, space, ambiance, ventilation, and lighting. In addition, the same tools or screening devices should be distributed in the same fashion each time the test is given with the purpose of the test clearly explained to the candidate from the onset (Arthur, 1991). For instance, when an applicant submits information with adjectives purporting they are not afraid to work hard, the interviewer must find a way for the candidate to elaborate. For example, the interviewer may communicate to the applicant with a response that gives praise to hard workers and follow that by asking the applicant to share an experience of how hard they work in relation to their colleagues. Leaders do not want to intimidate and scare off potential hires, so they look for ways to ascertain the best information to help them in the decision making process. To find the best possible candidates, effective leaders and HR managers design and create tests that will help them attract, recruit, and maintain the highest level performers.

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Conclusion

Employee testing presents an effective way to collect genuine and direct information. They are procedures that help determine whether an employee is an organizational fit. Proper administration should fall within the guidelines and regulations of the EEO, ADA, and civil laws to avoid any violation with privacy or discrimination issues. The EEOC offers employers fact sheets with information and guidelines that clearly lay out the parameters to help managers veer away from any potential pitfalls. Arthur’s (1991) research suggests that tests should be designed to measure skill levels and also help determine how driven an individual is as well as identify a potential hire’s undesirable traits and shortcomings. In addition, the EEOC requires that testing include a written policy that clearly identifies the main objectives of the position, regardless of religion, creed, race, gender, age, disability, or ethnicity (Arthur, 1991). In conclusion, while it can intimidate and scare off potential applicants, testing employees is a significant part of the hiring process because it identifies a candidate’s abilities and helps differentiate unappealing applicants from those who are high level performers.

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References

Arthur, D. (1991, August). Conducting pre-employment and employment tests. supervisory management. Saranac Lake, NY, USA. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/214226575?accountid=32521

Falcone, P. (2008). 96 great interview questions to ask before you hire. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Hoffman, E. (2001). Ace the corporate personality test. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Meyers, J. L. (2008, March 12). Employment tests. Pittsburgh Post – Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/390705134?accountid=32521

Wigdor, A. (1989, August 21). Employment tests can be useful. Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA. Retrieved 15 2013, May , from http://search.proquest.com/docview/282608644?accountid=32521