It does not make business sense to waste company resources training people who are not trainable or who do not have the qualities to fit into your organisational culture. When selecting people for trainee positions such as Graduate Trainees or Apprenticeship candidates it pays to invest in the selection of the right candidates. The selection of good employees should be a priority for every manager.
Employees have a direct impact on the success of the business therefore; your recruitment and selection policy needs to support your business objectives. Imagine the benefits that would accrue to the organisation and the country if organisations were matching people to the right jobs. The majority of people we see in companies today are in the wrong jobs and they are not utilizing their full potential. This situation is compounded by the fact that some organisations have now built a tradition of hiring people based on personal connections when the person is not qualified for the job. Special care needs to be taken when selecting people for strategic positions both technical and managerial so the correct people are hired. The amount of time spent managing poor performers and fighting with people with the wrong attitude is considerable.
When selecting trainees (apprentices or graduate trainees) extra care needs to be taken, as considerable resources are spent in their development. Organisations in Zimbabwe are currently using a number of methods in selecting trainees. The most popular one by far however, is the use of oral interviews with heavy emphasis on the C.V. as criterion for initial screening. While some people would claim that the interviewing method has worked very well for them, it has been proven scientifically that the interview method is unreliable as a selection tool, especially when it is used without the support of the other methods. It is also not advisable to rely entirely on information included in the C.V as it may not be factual.
The starting point when selecting your trainees is to make sure you are clear on the competencies you are looking for. When defining the required competencies also take into consideration the environment under which the trainee is going to work. After identifying the competencies, identify the most appropriate means for selecting your trainees.
Well performing organisations in the country have as part of their management systems effective selection policies that do not rely on one method alone. Amongst the selection tools of such organisations are psychometric tests. The reliability of these tests in predicting the potential and suitability of applicants has led to their increased use in the selection of trainees. In technical positions, the potential of an individual is difficult to ascertain in an interview whereas this ability can be established through technical test batteries.
Managerial trainees’ potential in handling managerial challenges can be established through the use of assessment centres, personality profiling and general aptitude tests. Assessment centres allow you to watch the required skills at play through a number of simulation exercises such as role-plays, leaderless group discussions, presentations and in basket exercises.
It is however, important to note that psychometric testing and use of assessment centres in terms of the law must be done by qualified and registered psychologists. To optimize your selection decisions and be cost effective you need to decide at what stage you want to involve specialists like a psychologist.
Memory Nguwi. Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. He is the president of the Zimbabwe Psychology Association. He hosts a radio program HR Perspective every Thursday at 1900hrs on Capitalk 100.4FM. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com