1.1 Contemporary business goals
1.2 Human resources functions
1.3 Literature on selection of human resources
1.4 Selection among human resources functions
1.4.1 Case study “KRAŠ“ d.d., Zagreb
2. Selection of candidates
2.1 Initial selection of candidates
2.1.1 Applications review
2.1.2 Biographic information
2.1.4 Selected criteria for initial selection
2.1.5 Testing and interviews
2.2 Selection of candidates
2.2.1 Standardized psychology tests
2.2.2 Questionnaire on personality and interests
2.2.4 Other methods
2.2.5 Additional techniques for internal candidates
2.2.6 Conclusion on selection
This work goal was an appropriate insight to selection of employees in all kind of businesses, as a part of human resource management. Also, there were several case studies, but a case study of quality control engineers’ selection in the company “Kraš” d. d. from Zagreb in 1994 was a case for further consideration. 17 years later some of employed experts employed were remaining in the company, some of them were promoted, became managers, as a part promotion and recruitment and selection of candidates from internal resources, but some of them left the job and employed in other companies and organizations. Author would like to express gratitude to “Kraš” human resources department for the history data regarding human resources and business policy.
We are witnessing dramatic changes in human activities area – business, society, culture... locally or globally, we are facing more and more various changes and management of businesses became incomparably more challenging process and activity, particularly in the human resource area. Total and systematic changes in all possible ways lead people to more and more flexibility. Managing human resources is not any more just model or standard driven, but more process and project activity that needs continuous improvements, development and growth, according to contemporary business needs and expectations. People are key solution for the problem of changes and the consequences.
1.1 Contemporary business goals
Environment changes are challenging and may become an issue, but also reward for our long term activities, so many businesses are more flexible not only to present conditions, but also to eventual future trends and expectations.
Neccessity of changes, managing by or through changes is ever lasting process and one of activities that keeps us in track for business success or just survival on the ever changing market.
In order to ensure successfull business management, leading companies and organizations are implementing new policies, standards, procedures, ensuring space for new organizational cultures, business models, new projects and products. Yet, managing human resources is more challenging than we may expect or even imagine. Organization, planning, employing, recruiting, selecting, placing and managing new employees, their adapting ot new environment... there are unlimited opportunities for success or failure, so management have narrow choices and wide responsibilities in their managing this critical resource. Successfull human resources management and development, as well as human resource policy became strategic goals for any business.
In order to ensure human resource and business success executives and CEO’s are ensuring special position for human resources in their strategies, goals and everyday activities and employees personal and team successes are basics of organization or corporate success.
Considering contemporary business goals for any organization, company or just a project team, we have to stress human resources as a part of strategy, and selection and recruitment as key business functions in organization. Goals must follow human resources and need to include following:
1. Customers’ needs fulfilment,
2. Profit and
3. Employees’ contentment.
1.2 Human resources functions
Human resource management usually includes the system of business functions and activities, that encompasses following:
1. Planning – human resource plan, employment needs, human resources evidences, job positions evaluation and design of job positions;
2. Recruitment – advertising job positions, questioning and “head hunting“;
3. Selection – psychological tests, interviews, recruitment for education and reading;
4. Placement – „ job position promotions“and „negative moves“;
5. Introduction to employment – job orientation, education for new employees, dossier management, and professional orientation;
6. Salaries and benefits – salaries, Contracts, cooperation with trade union, employees’ personal insurance, leaves and vacations, benefits, health insurance, and financial support for personal costs (transportation and meals);
7. Professional development – career continuity, business management development, motivation, productivity, identification of talents for leaders;
8. Human relations – job contentment, quality of working life, complaints and appeals, relocations and terminations, promotions, legal protection of employees;
9. Education – education plan, education help, procurement nabava teaching accessories, management education, controls on educational activity;
10. Promotions – system of promotions, selection of managers;
11. Efficiency evaluation – evaluation system, salaries rating, productivity control;
12. Retirement preparation – veterans’ club, retirees as potential advisers;
13. Informing – informations upon company, public relations, library and literature.
14. This process is continuous, “it comes back to the beginning”, as cyclic process.
At the end of one cyclus, new one starts and regenerates the companies’ life.
Diagram 1 shows basic activities of human resources management.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Mentioned activities ensured selection a special position, according to the fact that selection is related to strategic resource – people. Selection process starts with initial selection and internal sources candidates’ selection. It also need external sources and procedures including, more challenging, complex and critical to further considerations, including cooperation not only internally, with company or unit managers, but also with employment institute, agencies, etc.
1.3 Literature on selection of human resources
Discussing upon selection in relevant region transitional countries (Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungaria, etc.), we may emphasize 3 phases:
1) In the “personnel era“ (till mid '60s), selection was out of focus, because employment processes were extensive;
2) “Staff era“, stressed human position as central one, particularly int he production, and selection was present in literature and in practice of bigger companies, that have already psychologists' teams in their organization, as staff departments or similar (mid '60s – '90s); and
3) “Human resource era“ (since '90s) started with market oriented economy, introducing competition, market, candidate selection as process of employment selection became equally important function, equally respected from human resources department, other departments and corporate top management.
Sveto Marušić wrote about candidates selection methods in his book “Human resource management and development“. At first author elaborates working positions analysis, recruitment, preselection and selection. Mentioned as “selection“, this activity was considered in Zoran Bujas “Psychophisiology of work” and in cooperation with Boris Petz. In just a two pages of text related to selection author recommends selection for professions with special responsibility, army, police, special schools and professions that may be carried by limited number of people.
Selection is performed on minimum ability criteria or according to relation of free positions and number of candidates. Besides selection, in addition author recommends professional orientation – for rejected candidates, particularly for the fact that selection was performed according to one psychology examination.
Same book describes main types of psychology tests, metrical characteristics, as well as their values in candidates' job placements.
There were numerous discussions on various aspects of candidates’ selection. Ivan Koren writes about different treatment of candidates, which happens, particularly when there are more phases of assessment. Legitimity of criteria differences may be accepted conditionally, when it is related to handicapped or dispaired persons or other special categories. Boris Petz in “Work psychology”1987 develops Bujases thesis on prefering professional orientation to selection. Yet, for cases where selection is performed, there are procedures considered. Also, there is a problem of working place analysis, and certain contraindications for particular working places, health examinations and testing of abilities. Boris Petz in one of non published interviews claimed that even mentioning of “selection” in his book “Psychology of work” was criticized in '80s. During that period psychologists working in companies were performing psychology tests, personality questionnaires and interviews for candidates selection (mostly relating that activities to professional orientation), but results of their researshes they simply didn't published in popular literature. As in Croatia idea of market economy was developed, and related to it, newly established idea of competition, also competition for working places, positions or jobs, general view of human resources policies was also changed. But, before important political changes in political and economical conditions that enabled people to change businesses at all, key changes were impossible.
Regarding to methods of candidates selection, aside to psychology tests and interviews, Marušić wrote several chapters in his book “Human resource management and development”. Author covers working place analytics at first, then selection divides to chapters on recruitment, preselection and selection.
Certain techniques for each oft his phases are described. Recruitment is divided to one for internal candidates (notice board, factory magazine, acquaintances, managers' recommendations), and other for external candidates (media, agencies, educational institutions, postal communication and electronic communications, special occasions, etc.). When considering initial selection, we usually emphasize our activities onto applications and recommendations review, internal candidates register/evidence and data overview, tests and interviews. Selection follows similar program for internal and external candidates, and considering methods, author elaborates biographical information, psychology tests, personality and interest questionnaires, intervju, assessment centre, and additionally success and colleagues evaluation, for internal candidates selection.
Wayne Cascio dedicates special chapters of his book to recruitment and selection, with distinction to internal and external candidates' procedures, presenting differences, advantages and disadvantages of each, with presentation of relevant methods. In selection chapter at first he stresses initial selection or preselection (“Screening”), and besides selection, elaborates in detail methods like digital data analysis for each candidate, testing, interviews and assessment centers.
Gary Dessler stresses strong correlation between human resources planning and recruitment and selection, with questionaires examples he used for this purpose. Process of selection itself is similar to the Cascio’s one, but mostly retaining on psychological tests and interview, as the most usual methods for candidates selection. Selection procedure itself is similar to Cascio's, but mostly emphasized on tests and interviews, as the most usual methods for candidates’ selection.
Books that elaborated management and industrial psychology presented importance of recruitment and selection with more details. Robert Kreitner connected selection and recruitment, and in selection he discusses advantages of internal and external candidates.
Shultz and Shultz, in “Psychology and Industry today” are discussing on legislation that ensures employment equal opportunities, working positions analysis and selection. Torrington and Hall are describing recruitment and selection in four chapters of their book. They started with preparation of documentation, and in the chapter Selection they covered processes and methodology of preselection and selection.
Also, they have elaborated application forms, “telephone recruitment”, tests, interviews, assessment centers, graphology and astrology.
Evaluation of certain methods and legal repercussions of particular selection techniques are elaborated, particularly the relation between employment and selection and further success on the job candidate applied. George Thomason has separated recruitment and selection process into activities:
- recruitment and
Steve Ipps has shown practicality in his attempt to reach corporate efficacy. He gives instruments description, application and validity calculation for any of methods. Also, he presents very broadly and with several practical examples, at first humn resources needs in new companies and then also selection methods:
- Biographical data analysis,
- Psychology tests,
- Structured interviews,
- Assessment centers.
German experts have accepted many lessons from American experiences in human resources management and development. The main concept was taken up, as well as functions distribution, and methodology very often.
The whole complex of company need fulfillment through human resources selection Maria Zeller has entitled as potentials recruitment. It is divided into 3 phases:
- Informing (staff plan, job market analysis and instruments preparation),
- Action (advertising, interviews, documents review, testing, Contracts on employment, job introduction), and
- Control phase (deviation causes, instruments control).
Arnold Ernst has described candidates selection procedures in his guide „Personnel Management“ as the beginning of candidate and corporate interaction, with influence to candidates further remanining int he company. The procedure itself Ernst divided onto analysis, documents evaluation, testing, first interview, group discussion, additional evaluations (psychologyst, graphologyst etc.) and assessment center. The most detailed preparation includes biographical data analysis, school grades overview, performance assessment, recommendation, candidate photos, application checks, and eventual work checks.
1.4 Selection among human resources functions
Highly professional and educated staff is very often insufficient, even in the most developed economies and societies than ours. Apart from economical emigration to more developed countries onto more appropriate and/or better payed positions in public companies, the most of experts, already registered in State employment institute, private employment agencies or other institutions, can not cover growing needs for an adequate – professional and capable staff. This is particularly related to staff in high tech, ICT and similar professions and sciences.
Local job or human resources market, high quality and professional staff supply is only seemigly sufficient for organizational or corporate growing need, or for economy at all. Lack of high quality professionals some of organizations or companies are trying to cover through various replacement improvizations, repositioning of professional from other services, departments or units. But that is not and can not be long term solution. Also, there is sensible fear to new ideas, solutions and suggestions comming from new staff, particularly external candidates, approving themselves as the best choice for certain position.
Lack of an adequate staff is very hard to solve through improvizational “jumping” of other staff to uncovered positions inside the company or organization. Usually the solution is “out oft the house”, ie., on external human resources market. Well, besides internal, very mportant role has external human resources. Either the most of comanies and organizations are searching for solution in theirs own human resource sources the importance of external sources is undoubtful.
External sources of human resources are mostly related to following: Employment institutes, private agencies and organizations for employment, intermediation and consultation for employment, educational institutioins etc. These sources are offering numerous opportunities for recruitment and selection of various profile staff.
Also, there is a possibility to consult, mediate, research, develop and acquire new knowledges and informations from this strategically important area of business.
Literature that covers this area ensures variety of opportunities for informing on an appropriate procedures management for recruitment and selection. There is neccessary caution included, because some of theoretical or foreign countries (cultures) applications or solutions are not always practically and easilly implemented into everydays' corporate/organizational problems.
Reasons for this inapplicabillity of theoretical or foreign applications is, among other reasons, cultural differences, organizational culture and other business elements, in human resource functions undevelopment in company at all. Yet, building a selection or recruitment model for certain positions is important for any organization or company. Part of successful human resource policy is also building a system for quality of human resource selection and recruitment, which ensures conditions for management and development of strategic potential – human resources in organization or company.
Harmonizing human resource strategy with corporate strategic plans, particularly in the area of recruitment and selection, we are establishing basics for ensuring a continuous human resource recruitment and selection source.
Market criteria, for example price, enterpreneurship, demand, supply etc. Are prioritizing professional staff selection and later we come to professional orientation of candidates with lack of qualifications and abilities.
Handicapped or disabled persons, war or army veterans and other imperiled groups, are employing through social and similar programs for help to imperiled population groups.
Professional orientation is left to Employment institutes, institutions, agencies and organizations, specialized for routing, consulting and mediating in employment. Professional selection stresses out top staff selection which satisfies employer criteria. Knowledge, abilities and skills as well as other candidates' top qualities are stimulated and successfull individuals are routed towards team building or project and other groups establishing for the purpose of strategic support. That teams or groups are becoming Centres of excellence – basics for contemporary business. Leading companies and organizations are paying particular attention to this problem and critical issue.
How to ensure, recruit and select high quality staff, in existing condition, in a function of human resource management and development? Problem of selection (as well as recruitment) is topic of this paper, but also topic of numerous other professional and scientific papers. Rising number of similar papers indicates rising importance of this problem in business, but also in scientific practice. As we are aware oft he fact that there is no universal solution, this paper is focused on project of selection of candidates, based on „Kraš“ - case study, i.e. their need to employ three different profiles of food technology engineers.
The main thesis of this paper is that selection, as recruitment or other human resource management and development functions need to become a part of stategic plans in organization or company, particularly in existing conditions of continuous and ever changing environment. Recruitment and selection o fan adequate staff, ensures companies and organizations strategical advantage. According to conditions, environment, internal potentials and development opportunities, this procedusres need harmonization to business policy and strategy of organization or company.
In order to ensure the most appropriate staff int he company, it is neccesary to ensure an appropriate model, methods and instruments of selection, appropriate to company and existing environment. Searching of an appropriate strategy for human resource management and development, the most of companies are original in defning their own approach and resources, recently focused mostly to data and knowledges from the world of science. The fact is that tests, questionnaires, interviews and other instruments of selection are mostly in organization/corporate human resources departments, and it encourages, but also leads to caution, because of eventual misuses or frauds during application of mentioned instruments. According to relevant legislation, only graduated psychologists are allowed to implement or apply such instruments as psychology tests. We have to be constantly aware of this constraint, there are still huge number of companies without any psychologist emplod in human resource department (lawyers, economists, etc.).
Yet, recently there are various alternatives in evaluation of candidates that makes selection easier to human resources departments, without psychologist in their team. Using check-lists, questionnaires, interviews and other instruments, without need for the results explanation by psychologist (either psychological expert advices may be precious in particular situations), there is a number of medium and small-sized companies that don't have psychologists in their human resource teams. Instrumentaria for recruitment and selection becomes additional companies' strategic advantage, so there is no surprise in tendency to keep such informations as top secret data and knowledges.
As in other scientific researches, here also army pioneered in results utilization. As for recruitment and selection, various informations, knowledges, techniques and approaches from the world of science, is mostly used primarily by army. Even the “Assessment centres” and other methods for candidates’ evaluation were developed as research results for the army purposes. Investments in human resources, particularly in selection and recruitment have exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, even in return of investment criteria. For the success of any organization or company, particularly int he area of human resources, there are few „neccessities“:
- Ensuring continuous selection and recruitment of high quality staff, that may enable functioning, survival and development of company, and
- Ensuring and opportunity for high quality of human resource management and development.
 Sveto Marušić. Human resources management and development (2006.), Zagreb, Adeco, p. 62
 Sveto Marušić. R. Cit.
 Sveto Marušić. R. Cit.
 Zoran Bujas. Boris Petz. Psihologija rada. Škola narodnog zdravlja, Zagreb, Croatia 1964.
 Ivan Koren. Praćenje školske i profesionalne uspješnosti intelektualno nadarene omladine. Republički zavod za zapošljavanje Zagreb, 1980.
 Boris Petz. Psihologija rada. Školska knjiga Zagreb, 1987.
 Sveto Marušić. Interview with Boris Petz, unpublished in professional media, Zagreb, 1994.
 Sveto Marušić. R. Cit.
 Wayne F. Cascio W. F. Managing Human Resources (2005) NY USA, Mc Graw-Hill
 Gary Dessler. Personnel Management (2004) UK, Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall
 Robert Kreitner. Management. (1989), USA, Boston. Houghton Mifflin
 Duane Shultz, Sydney Shultz. Psychology and Industry Today, (1982), USA, NY. Macmillan
 Derek Torrington, Laura Hall. Personnel Management – A New Approach (1992), UK, London, Prentice Hall International
 George Thomason. A Textbook of Human resource management. (1990), UK, London, Wimbledon, Institute of Personnel Management
 Steve Ipps. Selecting and Managing Personnel. Telegraph Publications, London, UK, 1988.
 Maria Zeller. Human Resource Management. Management Akademie München, Germany, 1993
 Arnold Ernst. Personnel Management. IHK Akademie, München, Germany, 1993.
 The most of companies in transitional period were searching for such strategies
 There is no universal solution.