CHAPTER OVERVIEW • One of the definitions of a supervisor is a person who gets things done through other people. • Viewed through this perspective, a supervisor must have well-qualified, or knowledgeable, skilled employees to accomplish his or her goals and objectives. • Building a well-qualified employee team starts with selecting the right people.
Selecting the right people for the job begins with knowing what the job is and what it takes to get the job done. • A job description specifies • the characteristics of each job, and • a job specification indicates the desirable characteristics of the person performing each job. • It may be the responsibility of the supervisor to develop the job description and job specifications, or at least to make sure they are correct. • These documents become the basis for the selection process.
The selection process will be handled by the human resources department and the supervisor. • The first step is to identify sources for recruiting employees for a specific job. • Current employees may be promoted or transferred to fill job openings. • Outside sources, such as help-wanted advertisements, employment agencies, and schools, may be used to find employees.
Based on the employment applications or resumes, the staff of the human resources department screens out unqualified candidates.
The next step is for the human resources department and/or the supervisor to interview candidates. • The organization may also administer employment tests to determine the suitability of the candidate. • For candidates the organization is still interested in, background and reference checks are conducted. • The supervisor makes a selection decision, after which the candidate may take a physical examination.
The interview is an important part of the selection process. • It is where the supervisor has a chance to obtain additional information to determine if the candidate will meet the qualifications of the job. • It is also an opportunity for the candidate to find out more about the organization.
The supervisor must be knowledgeable about the law and what questions cannot be asked in the interview process. • There are antidiscrimination laws that require organizations to avoid asking for certain information. • The organization, including the supervisor, must avoid actions that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and physical or mental disability, including pregnancy-related disabilities. • These laws apply to recruiting, hiring, paying, firing, and laying off employees and to any other employment practices.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of mental or physical disability against people who can perform the essential functions of a job. • Supervisors should avoid asking about disabilities and the candidate’s health history. • Employers must make accommodations handicapped employees if necessary and if it is readily achievable. • To comply with the law, supervisors should review and revise job descriptions to make sure they indicate what functions of the job are essential.
Common Roles for Supervisors in the Selection Process • The supervisor’s role in the selection process can vary greatly from one organization to another. • In a small office or business, the supervisor may have great latitude in selecting employees to fill vacant positions. • Larger organizations have formal procedures requiring the human resources department to do most of the work.
Job Descriptions and Job Specifications • Job Description: A listing of the charac-teristics of the job, including the • title, • duties involved, and • working conditions. • Job Specification: A listing of the characteristics desirable in the person performing the job such as • educational and work background, • physical characteristics, and • personal strengths.
To select the right employees, the supervisor and the human resources department have to be clear about what jobs need to be filled and what kind of people can best fill those jobs.
The supervisor’s role in the selection process will vary, depending on the organization. • Supervisors may complete most of the hiring procedure, or they may have one or more qualified applicants sent to them from the human resources department for final approval.
The supervisor’s organization may or may not have adequate job descriptions, and job specifications. • The task of creating or modifying job descriptions and job specifications may be the responsibility of the supervisor. • Because supervisors are closer to the positions in their area of control, they are in a good position to evaluate job and personnel requirements.
Possible Sources of Employees • Recruitment: Involves identifying persons who are interested in holding a particular job or working for the organization.
Finding new employees may be as simple and informal as asking present employees if they know anyone who is looking for a job. • On the other hand, an organization may go through a national search utilizing agencies that specialize in finding specific types of personnel.
Company policy will likely dictate the type of search required to meet company goals and applicable regulations such as those related to fair employment opportunities for specific classifications of people. • Some organizations prefer hiring • family members of present employees, • people who are known and know the present employees, • or local folks. • Other organizations specifically • refrain from hiring new personnel with close ties to present members, or • prefer to draw new employees from a broad geographic area.
As a matter of policy, some companies provide opportunities for advancement or lateral movement within the company as the preferred way of filling vacancies. • This method may have a positive effect on employee morale. • Selecting internal personnel for a position may reduce the training and skill mastery time. • On the other hand, these organizations may forfeit an opportunity for bringing in fresh ideas.
Supervisors’ role in the internal recruitment process is to keep upper management and the human resources department informed about the skills and ability of their employees. • They can also recommend an employee in their department when a job is posted.
A wide search for employees will likely increase the cost of hiring. • When potential employees are recruited from outside the local area, companies often pay for part or all of the costs incurred by the potential employee.
Advertising in newspapers is a common way of letting the general public know about job openings. • Placing an advertisement in association journals and magazines will target a specific audience. • This will limit the type of candidates to a specific background or interest in the relevant field.
Employment agencies seek to match applicants with job requirements. • These agencies can be government run, such as state employment (unemployment) offices, or privately owned agencies. • There may be a charge for a private agency.
If a specific requirement for a job is gained through formal education, an organization may contact a university, college, or technical school for applicants.
Steps in the Selection Process • Typically, there are many more candidates than are needed to fill the organization’s vacant positions. • Most organizations have a formal procedure to select the best candidate for its purposes
Candidates for a job respond to recruitment by filling out an employment application or sending in a resume. • These are reviewed to screen out candidates who are unqualified or who are less qualified than others. • The pool of applicants may be narrowed down through various tests; • for example, if math skills are identified, a math test may be given.
A relatively small number of applicants are selected for personal interviews for the job by the human resources department and/or ther supervisor.
Interviewing Candidates for a Job • Structured Interview: An interview based on specific questions determined before the interview. • The same questions are covered with each candidate. • Unstructured Interview: There is no specific list of questions to direct the interview. • The questions are directed by responses to previous questions. • This type of interview allows for more flexibility.
Open-ended Question: A question that gives the person responding broad control over the response. • This type of question can be asked as a single question, for example, • List for me all of the associations you belong to. • It may also be used as a follow-up question to a yes or no question, for example, • “Did you attend classes that included the legal requirements of the human resources department?” • “Yes.” • “What were the classes, and what topics were covered?”
Closed-ended Question: A question that requires a simple answer such as yes or no. • Closed-ended questions also include those that are answered by a number, such as the number of years at one job. • Closed-ended questions are easy to answer and easy to use for comparisons. • However, in really getting to know the candidate for a job, they limit the depth of information that can be obtained.
Halo Effect: The practice of forming an overall opinion on the basis of one outstanding characteristic. • An example of this effect is if the person has been a winner in debating, he or she must have other excellent skills that are not related to debating.
When the human resources department has narrowed down the list of candidates to a few people, the next step is to interview them. • Objectives of interviewing include narrowing the search for an employee by • assessing each candidate’s interpersonal and communication skills, • seeing whether the supervisor and employee are comfortable with one another, and • learning details about information of the application or resume. • The candidate also has an opportunity to learn about the organization.
To prepare for the interview, the interviewer • should review the job description, • develop a realistic way to describe the job to candidates, and • review the applicant’s resume or job application. • Questions should be developed to expand the amount of information included in these documents
Most job candidates feel at least a little bit nervous, making it difficult to tell what the person would be like on the job. • Put the candidate at ease by using a comfortable setting with privacy. • Offer the candidate a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to talk about non-controversial subjects such as the weather.
The interview should determine the suitability of the candidate for the position. • It is also an opportunity to let the candidate find out about the company. • In addition to the description given by the interviewer, the candidate should be given an opportunity to ask questions.
The interview should close by telling the candidate what to expect, such as a phone call in a week or a letter by the end of the month. • As soon as the candidate has left, jot down notes of his or her impression.
Types of Employment Tests • Aptitude Test: A test that measures a person’s ability to learn skills related to the job. • Proficiency Test: A test that measures whether the person has the skills needed to perform a job. • Psychomotor Test: A test that measures a person’s strength, dexterity, and coordination.
There are many types of proficiency tests. • They may test motor and cognitive skills. • The distinguishing characteristic of these tests is that they measure skills. • Examples of these types of test are math, typing, and reading.
Information about applicants’ background can be obtained from resumes and applications. • However, it is necessary to match specific required skills with actual candidates. • This is accomplished through testing. • For example, if manual dexterity is a requirement of the job, there are tests that screen specifically for this skill. • If the job requires a certain level of math skills, there are tests that indicate the applicant’s level of math proficiency.
The types of test include • ability to learn or aptitude tests, • specific skills tests such as typing tests, physical skills, and • personality types.
In addition, many companies use drug screening tests for all applicants selected in the final pool of potential employees.
Antidiscrimination Laws • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: The federal government agency charged with enforcing the Civil Rights Act. • Affirmative Action: Plans designed to increase opportunities for groups that have traditionally been discriminated against.
Congress has passed laws that restrict employment decisions. • These laws are designed to give people fair and equal access to jobs based on their skills, rather than on such personal traits as race or physical disabilities.
Some of the laws listed in the text include: • a. The Civil Rights Act forbids employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in recruiting, hiring, paying, firing, or laying off employees, or in any other employment practices. • It is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. • b. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 makes it illegal to refuse a job to a disabled person if the person’s disability does not interfere with his or her ability to do the job. • c. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
See text Figure 17.5, which summarizes the categories of workers protected by the antidiscrimination laws.
Many organizations have established affirmative-action programs that move beyond simply obeying antidiscrim-ination laws. • Affirmative action is an active attempt to promote diversity in the organization.
Hiring Decisions Affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act • In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. • This law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of mental or physical disability in hiring and promotion. • Organizations must also avoid discrim-ination in • public accommodations, • transportation, • government services, and • telecommunications.
Employers must make accommodations for handicapped employees if the necessary accommodations are “readily achievable.” • that is, easy to carry out and possible to accomplish without much difficulty or expense. • This law extends beyond wheelchair accessibility to require accommodations for a variety of disabilities including impaired sight or hearing.
The four most common disabilities are • arthritis, • high blood pressure, • hearing impairment, and • heart disease.
Supervisors can take several steps to comply with ADA. • One is to review and revise job descriptions. • Job descriptions should focus on the results the employee must achieve, rather than the process of achieving those results. • When interviewing candidates, the supervisor should be careful not to ask whether they have a physical of mental condition that would prevent them from performing the job. • Rather, after making a job offer, the organization will seek to accommodate any impairment the person may have.