Selecting ApplicantsSales Management Chapter 6Irene Mae Simon Genevieve Lara
Selecting Applicants and Strategic Planning Selecting applicants is an integral part ofimplementing the strategic sales forceplanning. Matching company needs and applicants’potential is very important to the strategic andtactical aspects of sales forcemanagement.
The sequence in which selection toolsare used varies among companies. Initialscreening (beyond that done inrecruiting) may start with an applicationblank, an interview, or some form of test.
Legal Considerations Hiring decisions may no longer bemade on “gut feeling.” Title VII of theCivil Rights Act of 1964 provides thatthe selection of employees must bebased on the objective criteria. Thesecriteria must be (1) independentlymeasurable, (2) job related, and (3)predictive of performance.
is the statisticalValidation process of measuring the extent to which a given selection tool or hiring qualification is a predictor of, or is related to, job performance.
Application Blanks The applicationblank – or personal-history record, as itis sometimescalled, is one of thetwo most widelyused selection tools.(The other is theinterview.)
Information Asked for on Application Blanks On the application blanks, experience requirements are usually divided into two groups, educational background and work experience. Most application blanks ask for information about the candidate’s employment history, including periods of unemployment
PERSONAL INTERVIEWS A personal interview isused basically to determine aperson’s fitness for a job.Moreover personal interviewsdisclose characteristics thatare not always observable byother means. Another purpose ininterviewing is to interpret andget further information aboutfacts stated on the applicationblank.
Fundamentally, all the questions asked during an interview are aimed at learning four points about the applicant:• Is this person capable of excelling at this job?• How badly does this applicant want the job?• Will the job help this person to realize his or her goals?• Will this applicant work to his or her fullest ability?
Reliability of Personal Interviews as Predictors of Success It has been discovered that behavioural/performanc e-based interviews are better predictors of success in the sales job than other types of interviews.
Improving the Validity of Interviews There are ways tooffset these weakness andimprove the validity ofinterviews as predictors ofjob performance. It isimportant thoroughlyreview the applicant’sresume or applicationbefore proceeding furtherin the selection process.
Interview Structure Selection interviewscan differ, depending onthe extent to whichthe questions are detailed in advance andthe conversation is guided by theinterviewer. At one end of the scale is thetotally structured or guided interview and atthe other end is the informal, non directedtype.
Guided Interviews The guided interview seeks to overcome problems encountered in using personal interviews as a selection technique.Non Directed Interviews The interviewer ask afew questions to get theapplicant talking on certainsubjects, such as his or herbusiness experiences, homelife or school activities. Theinterviewer does very littletalking – just enough to keepthe conversation rolling.
Interview Focus One type poses questions concerningthe candidate’s past or intendedbehaviours which relate to their sales aptitude. Another focuses on the candidate’s performance of selling related exercises.
Behaviorally Based Interviews Questions which focus on past behavior are based on the premise that what a person has done in the past is indicative of what he or she will do in the future. Applicants who have performed successfully in the past are expected to be successful in the new job
Performance-Based Interviews Some companies ask candidates to perform exercises simulating selling situations.Stress Interviews The stress interview is one in which the interviewer intentionally places the applicant under stress.
Timing of the Interview
During Initial ScreeningCompanies often use aninterview as the initialscreening device.At Later StageFirms that do a thoroughselection job ordinarilyinterview applicantsseveral times before theyare hired.
Psychological TestMajor tools often used in the sales selectionprocess.Psychological testing has undoubtedly beenthe most controversial of all selection tools
What is Psychological Test?A field characterized by the use of samples of behavior in order to assess psychological construct(s), such as cognitive and emotional functioning, about a given individual. The technical term for the science behind psychological testing is psychometrics. By samples of behavior, one means observations of an individual performing tasks that have usually been prescribed beforehand, which often means scores on a test
Psychometricsthe field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, , which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality tr aits, and education measurement. . The field is primarily concerned with the construction and validation of measurement instruments such as question, tests, and personality assessments.
REASONSEmployers has become more knowledgeable about the legal requirement surrounding the use of test.Some studies have shown that testing is a better predictor of job performance than any other section job.Finally as the cost of making a poor selection decision continue to rise , employers are turning to testing as an additional mean of improving their selection decision.
Legal Aspect of TestingLegislation put restraints on the use of testing in the selection “testing is legal”. Properly validated and standardized employee selection procedures can significantly contribute to the implementation of non-discriminatory personnel policies.
Framework for TestingIdeally, test should be used to provide objective information about a candidate’s skills and abilities.* It is important to remember that no test can predict with 100% accuracy. Therefore the result should not be used as the sole acceptance or knock out factor.
Selecting and Developing TestIn building a good testing program, a company should use test which measure the criteria develop during the planning phase of the hiring process.
Problem In TestingTesting may eliminate the truly creative person, who may fall in the average or normal range in testing at the same time. Creativity may be the very trait that would make that person an outstanding sales representative.
• Test are sometimes misused because executive fail to apply the concept of a range of score.• All who fall within that range should be judged as equally qualified for the job.• Another factor to watch for in testing is that applicants can fake the answers on some tests.
Reference and Other Outside Sources Reference checks may be made byletter, telephone or personal visit, and each method has some limitations.
• Personal visit may take too much time, or the telephone is advantage because nothing is in writing.• Some companies will not supply information to a stranger over the telephone.• A letter is used more frequently than the two other methods.
Assessment Centers A Techniquecentralized, comprehensive evaluationprocedure involving tests, interviewsand simulation exercises such abusiness games, discussiongroup, role playing and individualpresentation.
Reaching A Decision About An ApplicantWhen all the steps in the selection process have been completed, one thing remains to be done. A company must decide whether to make a job offer. This decision involves a review of everything know about each applicant.
SummaryThe last step in the sales force selection process involves (1) developing a system of tools and procedures to measure the applicants against the predetermined hiring specification and the (2) actually putting this system into operation to select the salespeople.