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Saving time on recruiting: group selection methods

HRD-Ukraine, № 6 (237), 2013

Article written by Evghenia Khvostova

Senior Consultant of NRG Company

Фото Хвостова Евгения

Evghenia Khvostova
Senior Consultant of NRG Company

Group staff selection methods are usually used in big companies with a large number of employees. This method is frequently used during mass selection of employees such as: call centre operators, credit inspectors, warehousemen, loaders, drivers and others. This allows the optimization of the duration of the recruiting process. In this way, a group interview implies an interview with a few candidates for the same position at the same time. The number of applicants during the interview can range from three-four to 25 people. The group selection method may be part of the assessment of the middle class managers. For instance, a foreign FMCG-company conducted a group assessment while looking for candidates for the regional supervisor position. There were five candidates who took part in it at the same time. Here are the stages they had to go through:

• the analysis of the territory and the preparation of a presentation with your own vision of its development (homework);

• testing (SHL, BIG4, kmbs);

• panel interview ( several interviewers are interviewing at the same time);

• individual presentations;

This assessment takes from one to two days. The assessors are usually the qualified internal managers of the company, in our case – the functional decision-making leaders.

The disadvantages of this selection method:

• The preparation of assignments and tests requires a great amount of time from the HR executives.

• The functional managers have one or two days off from work.

The advantages of this selection method:

• The most action-oriented and motivated candidates are chosen.

• In the long term – the specialists’ extended period of work in the company ( a few key skills and the desire to work in this company are checked, moreover, the professionals value a serious approach to the selection method of the staff).

Many characteristics of the candidates can be assessed during the group interview. The group selection method is used for the purpose of the selection of professionals based on:

• the communication and interaction between people can expose communication skills;

• the behavior of a person in a group differs from his individual behavior;

• the compliance with the organizational culture is best manifested namely in the group work situations;

For example, when it comes to the selection of candidates for the position of a call-center operator, it will be important to evaluate:

• communicability

• ability to listen and hear out;

• customer directivity;

• literate speech;

• resistance to stress.

The following simple tasks can be used for this purpose:

• For the purpose of evaluating the communication abilities and literacy of speech the participant could be asked to talk about himself in front of the group.

• For the purpose of identifying the customer directivity a hypothetical situation can be proposed: a case on the sale and/or the promotion of services. The following qualities of the candidate can be verified: resistance to stress, ability to hear, communicability, creativity, literacy of speech, customer directivity.

• Modeling games. This method is more interesting for the candidates. The conventionality of the model makes it possible to move away from the working reality to abstractness. At the same time this method allows to effectively develop skills and actions.

The most important element of the group method of selection is the correct analysis of the collected information about the candidate and the correct decision taken.

For example:

1. The candidate, who was proactive, persistent and decisive during the assessment and could influence the opinions of other participants, will be suitable for the position of a leader, but not of an executor.

2. The candidate, who displayed friendliness to all the participants and did not demonstrate decisiveness, could be useful in a teamwork situation.

3. The candidate, who behaved aggressively and distant, worked independently, and yet achieved great results, will unlikely be suitable for group activity. He will be effective in independent work.

4. The candidate, who was lost in his own thoughts and did not work at all, most likely, will not be of any interest, and he could be considered for vacancies which deal with paperwork and numbers, and where his analytical skills and diligence is needed.

For an even more qualitative selection and optimization of time, lately, the online testing of all the candidates at the same time for a specific period of time is being used, which initially will make the personal assessment more objective.

The benefits of a group selection to be noted:

• The participation of several expert-observers increases accuracy, reliability and objectivity of ratings.

• The effect of competition arises during group tasks, which gives every participant the opportunity to expose himself.

• The performance of the tasks from a professional activity increases the validity of the assessment.

• High “traffic capacity” (up to 20-25 people), the simultaneous closure of several similar vacancies.

• This method of selection carries not only an analytical, but also developing nature as well.

• The participants see themselves in action and can independently assess themselves while receiving reliable information about the areas of progress.

The defects:

• The complexity and duration of the initial development of the criteria and exercises. This method of selection requires additional knowledge and skills on the part of the staff’s manager who is responsible for the selection.

• The diversion of the main managers from the core operating activities of the company in the event if they participate in the selection as internal assessors.

• The attraction of outside observers – additional material resources.

• There are the risks that none of the participants of the mass selection will be farther considered by the company. This leads to the recurrence of the activity, according to the involvement of additional time, materialistic and human resources.

The group (mass) method of selection should be premeditated and prescribed step by step with the indication the expected results. The guarantee of its success and effectiveness –is the presence of a known structure of leading an event in accordance with the number of candidates and depending on the specifics of the company’s work.



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