The Recruitment Yield Pyramid
An HR manager has the job of finding the right person at the right time for the right job with the right skills, knowledge, and experience. No easy task. Now imagine that same HR manager has two months to get five new employees. She designs a great job ad and hopes to get at least 120 applicants. Why so many? The HR manager uses a tool called the recruitment yield pyramid.
Looking at the bottom of the pyramid, we have 120 applicants, and yet the HR manager plans to only invite 20. How is this done? The HR manager uses a technique called screening. Screening is the way companies select only the applicants with the basic requirements for the job from a large number of applicants.
Methods of Pre-Employment Screening
These days many companies ask job applicants for both a resume and an application form. Why do they do this? The resume can be a great way for applicants to highlight their strengths, which an HR manager wants to know, but an application has the additional advantage of allowing an HR manager to control and guide the type of information gathered. With these two documents, an HR manager can get rid of unqualified applicants based on their qualifications, work experience, skills, and so on.
There are many methods beyond the resume and application for HR managers to choose from, such as phone interview, in-person interview, testing, reference check, background check, and drug test. If you are faced with a large number of applicants and time is short, then testing might be your best choice. Tests can be sent out to applicants or made available on-line with a deadline for completion and automatic scoring.
Types of Testing
Deciding to use testing is really just the first step, though. You now need to choose which type of test you want to use. There are a range of options each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
The intelligence test is generally referred to as an IQ test and measures a range of mental abilities that enable a person to succeed at a variety of intellectual tasks. The range of mental abilities refers to memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency, and numerical ability. The score for this test tells you a person's intelligence level compared to other adults. Although intelligence is important, the test doesn't tell us about other areas, such as personality, the candidate's range of skills, and ability to do the actual job.
The aptitude test is similar to the intelligence test in that it also measures specific mental abilities, such as reasoning, memory, and numerical ability. The main difference is that the aptitude test is job-specific and predicts the potential of an individual to perform tasks within a job.
The personality test aims to assess the personality of candidates in order to make predictions about their likely behavior in a role. It covers areas such as introversion, stability, and motivation. Personality tests are useful in detecting people with deviant behavior, which may affect the work of colleagues and the safety of the workplace.
Some personality tests are projective. This means that a candidate is shown a picture, such as an ink blot, and the candidate then says what he or she sees. The picture is unclear and so the candidate projects his or her emotional attitudes and perspectives through what they think the image shows.
Other personality tests are not projective and ask the candidate to answer true or false statements, such as I prefer to let other people do the talking in a conversation. These tests assume that personality directly affects success in doing a job.
In an interest inventory, candidates make a list of their interests, which is compared to the interests of the employees already working in the position. This test assumes that a candidate will be successful in their job if they have the same interests as the previous employee in that position or in the same area of expertise.
Situational tests are video-based tests that are available on-line. Each candidate watches a video with a given situation that could happen in the job. They then have to decide what they would do next based on a list of answers. This test is job-specific and tells the HR manager what action a candidate is likely to take in the job and if they make the right choices. However, it takes time to prepare.
After initial screening and testing, the final applicants may be invited for interviews. The final interviews result in one or two candidates chosen as the best for the job and the final method for selection is used here: checking references. This is a way to check the candidates' general information, interview responses, and behavioral tendencies.
The reference is given by a referee. This is a person the candidate has put on the resume and is willing to give their opinion of the candidate. The HR manager asks a few questions about previous work experience to check candidate's responses and ask the referee's opinion of a candidate's work habits. If everything checks out, then the HR manager has at last found the best person for the job from the original list of applicants.
Screening is used to make sure that only the applicants that meet the basic job requirements are able to get a final interview. The recruitment yield pyramid helps an HR manager calculate how many applicants are needed in order to get the required number of new employees. Then, the manager collects resumes and applications from potential candidates and further narrows down the applicants. The next step is testing. HR managers may choose from a range of tests to further screen applicants, including:
- Intelligence test
- Aptitude test
- Personality test
- Interest inventory
- Situational test
The final steps in candidate selection are usually the final interview and checking references.
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