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People and Organization One

The unemployment in the world is increasing with very high rate and is not certain if the figure will reduce; in fact the job market has not been able to cope up with high influx of fresh graduates who are produced year after year. Therefore, it has become a great task for companies on who to hire from many interested qualified graduates. To reduce this stress, organizations are delegating this responsibility to privately own firms that are involved with human resource selection. Hiring right candidate for a specific job is the most important achievement every company wishes; the highly performing employees are valued assets to a company.

Group and Team Behavior
Selecting individual for team-based jobs is so challenging; there are a lot of factors to be considered. One of these important considerations is the fact that the individual performance in the job depends upon the effort of other people (Evers, Anderson & Voskuijl 2005, p.478). It was suggested that ‘an individual generic characteristic which makes him or her particularly team-worthy must be considered (p.478). The fundamental point that informed this approach is the reason that some candidates work better in teams than others whereas there are those who work better as individuals.

Additionally, the unique characteristics of a particular team can be used to identify potential candidate. It is found that teams vary widely on several task or duties they performed and this variation influences the choice for specific candidate. Evers, Anderson and Voskuijl (2005, p.478) asserted that task which a team performs is very crucial for consideration, however, they suggested that other factors such as ‘team structure, design, contextual and process characteristics are also essential.

Group Oral Interview
Other companies use the group oral interview to identify potential candidate. Bertram & Strauss (1964, p.139) described this method as similar to ‘member-centered meeting’ where interviewees themselves take control of discussion and as they do so, their different qualities surface. Oral interview are set of questions meant to provide answers about certain characteristics of a candidate (Hudson & Clark, 2008, p.141).The panel leading the interview is able to note the different qualities exhibited by each candidate. Each interviewee is assigned a topic and is allowed to discuss in a group. The topics often chosen are those which the candidates have no clue about. Their capabilities are evaluated by the way they engage themselves in the discussion and solve the problem.

Bertram & Strauss (1964, p.139) argued that ‘quick, clear thinking and ability to handle oneself well’ is essentially what the panellist are looking for. This method is best for selecting candidate for executive position or those positions that involves interaction with the public. It was noted that when candidates are taken through such interviews several qualities can be identified; some of these qualities are shyness-some candidates can be tongue-tied- and problem solving. They elaborated that other candidates my have problems in expressing their ideas orally but can write well; therefore it will be the task of the panel to decide who to select based on the qualities they are looking for.

The role of panellist in the group oral interview is to listen to the candidates in the course of the discussion (Lata & Kumar 2007). More to this point, the panellist appointed are always not related or known to the candidates. Immediately the discussion is over, the panellist who feels that the information they have acquired is not enough can still speak to candidates separately. Finally, each panellists writes report on individual candidate (Bertram & Strauss 1964, p.141a).  These authors argued that some companies have found this approach better in choosing the best candidates. They commented that the approach is time saving; it eliminates the tedious and repetitive process of interviewing one candidate at ago; and the last important positive attribute about this method is the idea that the each interviewer presents their own summary of the candidates which are later harmonised and the best candidate is selected

Direct Physical Features
Some people have raised concerns over the use of direct visible features of a person in selection of personnel. Elsy (2009, p.93) cited David Cohen analogy of the onion different layers as similar to human ‘behavioural tendencies’. The analogy relates the human different behaviours to the different layers of onion which can be pearled off.  She compares the outer layer of onion which can be easily pearled off to the observable human behaviour; and the layer below to be similar to the human personality ‘the can do factors’ and the layer beneath to resemble human characters which are intrinsic to individual and cannot be change. Therefore the use of direct physical features will not identify the intrinsic behaviour which defines the character of that person

The method used to select an individual must be accurate to measure the candidates’ intrinsic qualities. Lewis et al. (2007, p.245) asserted that any criterior used must be capable of identifying candidate with exemplary qualities and who can perform better than those who were not selected. The first information that an employer receives from a potential candidate is the application form and a resume. After receiving the applications the company conducts background checks to proof authenticity of the information in the resume (Smith 2000). One of the cretarior of conducting authenticity of the information in the resume is by contacting the referees provided by the candidate.

However, the likelihood of getting true information through references is very minimal; this is because of the biasness of some referees in giving information about their candidates and more so the reluctance of giving the desired information. Most often than not candidates choose references that they are sure they will provide positive information about them to the employer and even recommend them for the job (McKenna 2000, p.532). The reluctance of some referees to provide information could possibly be due to some companys’ regulation that may prohibits the release of such information concerning their past employees or either, he/she may be fearing loosing his/her friend in the case of giving out true information. Despite the shortcoming in this method, Ingram et al (2008, p.54) asserts that contacting referees is one of the best approach of determining the truthfulness of the information provided in the resume and eliminating the raising case of forgery and fraud in the resume. Furthermore, it helps an organization to abate cases that can lead to legal prosecution for negligence in hiring employees.

Organisational design
Written Tests
When the background checks as been completed the organization may proceed with the written test. The written tests are meant to measure candidates ‘knowledge, skills and abilities’ (Lewis et al. 2007, p.245). There are three types of test that are frequently used by employers, these are: personality test, written test and performance test. Fundamentally, written test are used by employers to measure candidates ‘ability, skills, intelligence, or interest’ (p.245). Moreover, the test is widely used to measure knowledge of the candidates’ mathematical skills and interest in specific types of work. The cretarior in this method is that, the higher the score of the candidate the better is he/she for the job.

The other category of test is performance test; in this test candidate is assigned a specific task to perform. There are two types of performance test: ‘work samples and assessment centre’ (Lewis et al. 2007, p.245).  Work sample is commonly used in jobs that are more specific such as assembling of computer. If the candidate manages to perform the task well, then the company hires him/her. It was also commented that the method is very effective and its accuracy level is high. Consequently assessment centres are more suitable for selecting individual to fill up executive positions. This method is essentially used to predict individual performance in a specific job (p.245). It applies techniques such role plays, group discussions and public speaking and presentation (Ingram et al. 2008, p.153). The candidate is assigned specific duties to do such as addressing people, making decision on certain issues, attending meetings and so many others. The tasks are tailored to assess the candidate behaviour in particular challenges and also predict its performance in the specific assignments as a manager. More to this point, the method also evaluates how a candidates decides on ‘which assignment to do and which to ignore’ (p.245). The assessment centres is gaining more usage than oral and written interviews in many companies (Rosenbloom 1985, p.72).

Although the assessment centres takes time to present its results and is very costly, it is more accurate; it is very effective for assessing candidates’ for managerial positions (Beaumont 1993, p.70). The method has also been proofed to be excellent in selecting individuals for sales positions. Ingram et al mentioned that some life insurance firm used the method to select salespeople and the results were remarkable: they were able to identify candidates who possessed the much needed qualities of a salesperson such as sales prospecting, presentation skills and time management than the previous method. In fact Ingram et al noted that the company was able to make a lot of profits within the same period.

Individual personality/Attitudes
According to Lewis et al (2007, p.246) it is valuable to employ individual whose attitude and character rhyme well with the core values of the company. They lamented that ‘teaching an individual about the job is easier than teaching him or her to change deeply held attitudes’ (p.246). The use of personality test by companies to select suitable personnel’s has remarkably increased. Personality tests are tests that are carried out to measures individual attributes or characteristics. Shah (2010, 117) adds that personality test are used to evaluate candidates emotions, maturity and temper in specific situations. It is also very important in testing the ability of a candidate to adapt to various challenges faced in life while upholding his or her reputation. This method is widely used in selecting individuals for executive positions.

There are four types of personality test: Objective test, protective test, situation test, and interest test (Shah 2010, p.117). Objective test is used to test individual neurotic behaviour and self-confidence; a protective test is used to assess candidate character and values; while the situation test is employed to assess candidate behaviour towards challenging situation and his ability to cope up with stress and pressure; interest test determines kind of work a candidate likes most. The tests are prepared in different forms: written test or evaluation by an interviewer. Under the personality test, some organizations perform physical examinations test to the candidates to find out any physical impairment that may hinder work performance. This kind of test is frequently used when selecting people to be employed in military field. The only limitation about personality test is that the questions sometimes may have been poorly designed such that it can’t produce meaningful results (Furnham 1994, p.331).

Interviews are basically, detail conversation done for the aim of ascertaining individual skills, abilities and knowledge. This is done between representatives of an organisation and the candidate (Stewart 2008, p.26). It has been noted that about 90% of people recruited in industrial positions went through interviews (Lewis et al. 2007, p.246). The interview questions that are frequently asked are straightforward and are meant to understand interviewee background of education and relevant experiences. Stewart identified three types of interviews employed by organisations: bio-data or biographical, behavioural, and situation interviews. Bio-data interview is basically used to ascertain candidate background; it asks questions concerning candidate education, self-assessment, abilities, work experience and extra-curricular activities (Prasad & Mohan 2005, p.221). Behavioural interview on the other hand asks questions which are meant to understand the candidate past experiences.

Out of these four types of interview test, behavioural test has been identified as the most predictive (Stewart 2008, p.28). McKenna (2010, p.532) pointed out that the poor performance of biodata is caused by the problems of interviewers not being keen in correlating the certain biographical information with beneficial performance in the work. However, he suggested that the solution to problem is by focusing on the theoretical relationships of the biodata with appropriate work and moreover, retaining biodata information that are essential to specific work performance.

Interestingly, interviews as an approach for selecting personnel has very ‘low validity’; this is because many interviewers are not well equipped with the necessary skills to facilitate interviews (Lewis et al. 2007, p.246).  Another shortcoming of interviews is that they are ‘fairly informal’; studies have revealed that interviewers make their conclusion about the candidate within the first 2minutes of the interview (p.246). This raises questions on the accuracy and effectiveness of the interviews. Sometimes the interviewers are influenced by the perceptions and stereotypes they hold about the candidate.

Lewis et al (2007, p.246) suggested several ways of solving the above problem: introducing structured format of interview whereby same question are asked in the same order for each candidate; and inquiring for more information based on what the interviewee has said. It was also suggested that the following points for effective interviewer: asking precise questions, avoiding perceptions, avoiding discriminative questions, taking good time before concluding and ‘keeping written records of the interviews’ (p.246). They concluded by saying that interviewers should take time to explain clearly to the candidates what the job really entails and focus entirely on the positive attributes of the job.

Peer Assessment
Peer assessment is another approach that is preferred by some companies. Peers are people who have direct interaction with individual and knows individual well. This places the peer in a better position to assess the candidate. In this approach peer assesses the candidate and give their opinion. However, this method is considered as ineffective (McKenna 2000, p.534). Peers may not be willing to give genuine information about their colleges that they feel will ruin their changes of securing the job.

Any approach used to select candidates for employment must be fair to all candidates and eliminate situations that give a specific candidate undue advantage over the others. McKenna (2000, p.534) commented that some ‘ethnic minorities do not perform as well as other applicants in many test of intelligence and aptitude’. This has made some nations to legislate laws to protect such vulnerable entities or group of people; an example is the UK Race Relation Act created in 1976 (p.534).

Travel Agency
Travel agency is an agent who is involved with providing general travel services or specialised travel services to clients. (Lubbe 2000, p.82). Singh (2008, p.1) defined travel agency as a business company involved in selling travel based services. General Service travel agency specifically is involved with organising and making necessary arrangements for holiday or business related travels for individual and groups. Corporate travel agency involves with providing for all the needs of the travel of the corporate client or a company. Specialised agencies renders travels services to specialised group of persons such as ‘senior citizens adventure or religious groups’ (p.82). Basically, travel agency is involved with providing entire travel services-arranging for travel documents and tickets-after which the client pays for the service rendered to them.

Job description
Travel Agency has so many departments ranging from the Chief executive officer to clerical departments. Chief Executive officer is the senior officer of the organisation and is the overall person incharge of the organisation. Every department in the organisation has specific duties and responsibilities to do. The Chief Executive Officer is entrusted with the responsibility of development strategies and formulating policies in line with the goals and objectives of the agency (US Dept of Labour, Bureau of Labour Statistics 2004, p.64).  The executive represents the agency in important meeting of the board of directors and is answerable to the board of directors of the agency. A chief executive officer also has a responsibility of hiring departmental heads of an organisation. According to Pidgeon (2004, p.192) the duties of Chief Executive Officer is to lead an organization into the future. He makes sure that the task of the employer is well done (Acutt and Hattingh 2003, p.38).

Profile Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive officer of a travel agency must be arguably, experienced in managerial position or has held or served previously under the same capacity (U. S. Department of Labour 2000). He or she must possess high personal skills and good analytical mind that is able to analyze a lot of information within a short period of time effectively. Furthermore, he/she must be in a position to communicate ‘precisely and persuasively’ and also exemplify qualities such as ‘leadership, self-confidence, motivation, decisiveness, flexibility and sound business judgment’ (U. S. Department of Labour 2000, p.82). The minimum educational qualification for the candidate must be a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts or business administration (p.32).

Approach for Selection
The best approach to employ in select a candidate for a post of Chief Executive Officer of a travel agency is personality test. Using situation tests, behaviour of a candidate under stress situation as Chief Executive Officer can be predicted. This method also can effectively measure the candidate persuasive and decisive skill as a Chief Executive Officer in attracting investors to the agency.

In conclusion, organizations use different approaches depending on the kind of Job description and the qualities they are looking for. For executive positions organisations prefer personality tests and performance tests. This test has proofed to be successful since it can predict the performance of candidate as a Chief Executive Officer in specific challenging situations. There are two types of performance test: work sample and assessment centres. Assessment centres employ technique of role plays and public speaking to assess candidates ability to tackle problems. This method has been echoed by many people as the most accurate; however it is a bit expensive.

Likewise personality test has proofed to be the best approach in selecting candidates. There are four types of personality tests: Objective test, protective test, situation test, and interest test. The test is carried out to measures candidates’ attributes or characteristics. An interview is also one of the most widely used approaches. This is done in a way of conversation between the representatives of the employers and the candidate. There are two types of interviews employed by companies: bio-data or biographical, behavioural and situation interview. Interviews have been cited as sometimes ineffective; the interviewers’ level of training may not be adequate for facilitating interviews. In general, the approach a company chooses to use to assess their candidates should be based on the job description, necessary attributes of the candidate, and desired results.




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