Human Resource Management, Recruitment and the Interview Schedule

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Human Resource Management, Recruitment and the Interview Schedule

  1. 1. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Managing People in Sport Human Resource Management, Recruitment and the Interview Schedule “The nearest to perfection that most people come is when filling out an employment application.” Anon Despite the lack of credentials regarding this opening statement, it provides asuffice insight into the effort put in, and subsequent high quality of, employmentapplication forms. Applicants may even manipulate the truth to gain an advantageover others (Cunningham 1989; Lawson 2004; Wood, Schmidtke & Decker 2007)thus the recruitment process progressively becomes more perceptive and thorough toensure the right person is chosen for the role. Prospective employers are primarilyinterested in whether or not the applicant can ‘apply the knowledge and skills theyhave acquired to the job for which they are applying (Jackson & Geckeis 2003, p.11).’The job description, outlining duties and responsibilities, and person specification,defining required skills and qualifications, serve as the initial communication betweenan organisation and potential employees (Simpson 2001; Taylor, Doherty & McGraw2008). Deciding to apply for the post, successful candidates are usually invited for aninterview. To form the opening basis of a hypothetical recruitment and selection process,I will prepare a bespoke interview schedule using the role specification of a DutyManager for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) as my example (Appendix 1).Interviews are justifiably the most popular technique used in the latter stages ofrecruitment (Simpson 2001, Hunt 2007) as they provide a versatile vehicle forinformation exchange, screening and selection (Roberts 1997). On the contrary, theauthor warns that they can also be highly ineffective if not used correctly. By simplyinserting a hyphen, the definition inter-view becomes self-explanatory highlightingthe desired parallel information exchange process between the interviewer and theinterviewee (Breaugh & Starke 2000; Holstein & Gubrium 2004; Bunting 2005);Simpson (2001, p.71) highlights the crucial importance of this, suggesting ‘attitudesof many recruiters fail to recognise that the process is two way.’ Poor interview skillsmeanwhile are a major reason why applicants are unsuccessful in their quest foremployment in the sports sector (Halstead et al. 2004). Again, these may exist on the Page No. 1
  2. 2. MA Sports Management Philip Barnesother side, where successful bidirectional dialogue may be restrained due to theinterviewer lacking the skills, training, experience and preparation required (Roberts1997). Preparation for an interview involves thorough research of the rolespecification and responsibilities, the applicant’s curriculum vitae (Appendix 2),application form and a profoundly relevant interview schedule. Its overall aim is tofind the best candidate for the role by comparing their skills and experiences to thejobs responsibilities and duties (See Figure 1). Figure 1 – Interview Model (Sanghi 2003, p.89) An effective interview should follow Argyle’s (1972) sequential four stagedWASP technique; welcoming the participant, acquiring information about them,supplying information about the role to them before finally parting satisfactorily. Themajority of people are nervous to a degree entering an interview (Powell 2006; Arthur2006; Jay 2008), therefore it is beneficial to gain a rapport with the candidate to helpencourage a more fluent voluble engagement (Roberts 1997; Pont & Pont 1998;Sanghi 2003; Bunting 2005). However, it is vital to bear in mind Simpson’s (2001,p.92) suggestion that it is a common mistake for interviewers to make their decision‘in the first three minutes of an interview, based on first impressions.’ Non-verbalcommunication can highly demonstrate an individual’s ability to communicate withothers through a firm handshake, confident posture and a nice smile. In addition tothe universal dialect of body language, one can also judge a candidate’s suitability fora role through their professional appearance; clothes have throughout history servedas one of the initial forms of communication, whilst in the workplace ambitiouspeople should dress for success (Krannich 1982; Argyle 1988; Pigford 2000; Kennedy Page No. 2
  3. 3. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes2007). For this reason, the introductory section of the interview schedule template(Appendix 3) includes a brief scale for perceived professional appearance. This schedule aims to help create an effective structured interview which willhelp avoid bias as it asks each interviewee ‘the same questions, allowing directcomparison of the manner and context of the answers (Simpson 2001, p.92).’Planning a structured interview can be time consuming according to Cooper &Robertson (1995), however, a well prepared structured interview will greatly improvean organisation’s chances of making the best selection (Maurer & Fay 1988). Thisinterview schedule is predominantly behavioural where the candidate is asked aboutprevious experiences to demonstrate a key skill or attribute that they employed.According to Roberts (1997, p.187), this technique ‘works on the premise that the bestindicator of future behaviour is past behaviour.’ Taylor & O’Driscoll (1995)developed a behavioural interview guide (Appendix 4) which heavily influenced myschedule for the LTA. Extracting key competencies from the job specification helpedme design several sections of questions to understand potential candidates’ ability andexperience with each; key skills of the desirable duty manager included teamwork,decision making, leadership and conflict management. Poor questioning technique can be detrimental to the interview as thecandidate may get unsettled which may inhibit information exchange (Swift &Robertson 2000). It is important therefore to ask open questions that encourage theinterviewee to reflect upon and evaluate their previous experiences. Openquestioning helps persuade greater discourse and self reflection, giving candidates‘the latitude to answer as they deem appropriate (Hochel & Wilson 2007, p.60).’ Onthe contrary, this form of questioning can occasionally yield a weak answer, thereforeit is recommended to have probing questions prepared to help encourage furtherinformation if needed (Armstrong 2006). According to Simpson (2001), weakanswers to open questions may aim to divert the interviewer from exploring an area ofweakness therefore additional probing questions may help highlight areas originallyleft indistinct. To help with further selection and interview analysis, note taking spacehas been incorporated in the interview schedule template, to help briefly record keymoments within an interview (Roberts 1997; Swift & Robertson 2000; Bunting 2005). Page No. 3
  4. 4. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes In conclusion, a well prepared interview will help maximize the chances ofsuccess in finding the most suitable person for the role required. Questions should bedesigned after an in-depth job analysis, whilst all candidates should be asked the samequestions to help avoid bias in the selection procedure. An effective interviewschedule must be implemented with an acute form of guile, enthusiasm andprofessionalism. Swift & Robertson (2000) portray a proficient interview structure(Appendix 5) which will prove extremely helpful when putting this schedule intopractice. The process of recruitment has a significant impact on the successfulcandidate’s performance according to Rosseau & Wade-Benzoni (2006) who identifya correlation between the employment process and levels of motivation, innovationand customer service. Page No. 4
  5. 5. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes BibliographyArgyle, M. 1972. The Social Psychology of Work. New York: Taplinger.Argyle, M. 1988. Bodily Communication. London: Routledge.Armstrong, M. 2006. A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice.London: Kogan Page.Arthur, D. 2006. Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting and Orienting New Employees.Boston: Amacom.Breaugh, J.A., Starke, M. Research on Employee Recruitment: So Many Studies, SoMany Remaining Questions. Journal of Management, 26(3):405-434, 2000Bunting, S. 2005. The Interviewers Handbook: Successful Interviewing Techniquesfor the Workplace. London: Kogan Page.Cooper, D., Robertson, I. 1995. The Psychology of Personnel Selection. London:Routledge.Cunningham, M.R. Test-taking Motivations and Outcomes on a StandardizedMeasure of on-the-job Integrity. Journal of Business and Psychology, 4(1):119-127,September 1989Halstead, J., Littleford., D., Mulraine, C. 2004. Career Skills: Opening Doors into theJob Market. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Hochel, S., Wilson, C.E. 2007. Hiring Right. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Holstein, J.A., Gubrium, J.F. 2004. The Active Interview. In Silverman, D.Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice. London: SAGE, p.140-162Hunt, S.T. 2007. Hiring Success. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Jackson, A.L., Geckeis, K.C. 2003. How to Prepare Your Curriculum Vitae. London:McGraw-Hill International.Jay, R. 2008. Brilliant Interview. London: Pearson.Kennedy, J.L. 2007. Job Interviews for Dummies. Indianapolis: For Dummies.Krannich, C.R. 1982. Interview for Success. Manassas: Impact Publications.Lawson, R.A. Is Classroom Cheating Related to Business Students Propensity toCheat in the "Real World"? Journal of Business Ethics, 49(2):189-199, October 2004Maurer, S.D., Fay, C. Effect of Situational Interviews, Conventional StructuredInterviews, and Training on Interview Rating Agreement: An Experimental Analysis.Personnel Psychology, 41(2):329-344, 1988 Page No. 5
  6. 6. MA Sports Management Philip BarnesPigford, L. 2000. The Successful Interview & Beyond. London: Cengage Learning.Pont, T., Pont, G. 1998. Interviewing Skills for Managers. London: Piatkus Books.Powell, G.N. Applicant Reactions to the Initial Employment Interview: ExploringTheoretical and Methodological Issues. Personnel Psychology, 44(1):67-83,December 2006Roberts, G. 1997. Recruitment and Selection. London: Chartered Institute ofPersonnel and Development.Rosseau, D.M., Wade-Benzoni, K.A. Linking Strategy and Human ResourcePractices: How Employee and Customer Contracts are Created. Human ResourceManagement, 33(3):463-489, November 2006Sanghi, S. 2003. The Handbook of Competency Mapping. London: SAGE.Simpson, S. 2001. Recruitment & Selection. In Leopold, J et al. Human Resources inOrganisations: An Integrated Approach. London: Pearson Education, p.52-108Swift, T., Robertson, I.T. 2000. Effective Interviewing Skills. Oxford: BlackwellPublishing.Taylor, P.J., O’Driscoll, M.P. 1995. Structured Employment Interviewing. Surrey:Gower Publishing.Taylor, T., Doherty, A., McGraw, P. 2008. Managing People in Sport Organisations.Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Wood, J.L., Schmidtke, J.M., Decker, D.L. Lying on Job Applications: The Effects ofJob Relevance, Commission, and Human Resource Management Experience. Journalof Business and Psychology, 22(1):1-9, September 2007 Page No. 6
  7. 7. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Appendix 1 Page No. 7
  8. 8. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Page No. 8
  9. 9. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Appendix 2PERSONAL DETAILSName: Paul BorelanD.O.B: 28 – 08 -1986Telephone: 07826841199Email: pborelan@uclan.ac.ukDriving License: FullHOME ADDRESS34 KintyreAntrimCo. AntrimNorthern IrelandBT41 2ANPERSONAL PROFILE I view myself as being a hard-working, dedicated and enthusiastic youngprofessional with a keen interest in sport. I am currently studying for a Master ofArts in Sport Management and I have recently developed an interest within themarketing side of the course, an area which was otherwise relatively obscure to me.I also aim to research and do a dissertation on ‘The Marketing of North AmericanSports within the UK’. Throughout my previous degree in Sport Studies and fromthis year, I have developed many key work-based skills through career modules, andalso many personal skills. These skills include communication, presentation, creativeand team-working skills.EDUCATIONSept 1998 – June 2005: St. Louis’ Grammar School, BallymenaGCSE: English A Maths A P.E A French B Geography B Page No. 9
  10. 10. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes R.E B D.A Science BB Computing B S.E.S BA-Level: P.E B Biology C Computing ESept 2005 – June 2007: North Down & Ards Institute - HND in Sport, Exercise and FitnessSept 2007 – June 2008: University of Central Lancashire, Preston - Bachelor of Arts in Sport (Studies) with a Second Class Honours DegreeSept 2008 – Present: University of Central Lancashire, Preston - Currently working towards a Master of Arts in Sport ManagementLEISURE AND INTERESTS - I enjoy participating in a range of sports including Football, Tennis, Swimming and Golf, although Football would be my main interest. I play football for Wakehurst FC in the IFA Interim League when I am not at University and the university team when I am living in Preston. - I am also interested in travelling although I have not had the chance to do so due to educational commitments. I travelled around South East Asia last summer and aim to travel to other destinations after I am finished education.WORK EXPERIENCE AND PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENTFeb 2004 – Nov 2004 Alpha Retail, Belfast International AirportPosition: Sales Assistant P/TSept 2005 – Sept 2007 Nike Retail, Junction OnePosition: Sales Assistant P/TSept 2006 – June 2007 St.Louis’ Grammar School, BallymenaPosition: Physical Education Teaching AssistantMay 2008 – July 2008 JJB Sports PLC, AntrimPosition: Sales Assistant F/TREFEREESName: Ceara McCullough Page No. 10
  11. 11. MA Sports Management Philip BarnesPosition: Assistant ManagerCompany: Nike Retail Junction One, AntrimEmail: cearam159@hotmail.comTelephone: 02894 467757 Appendix 3Interview ScheduleDuty Manager ProgrammingCandidate Name: ………………………………………………Date of Interview: ….. / …... / ……….Appearance: ….. / 10Welcome Candidate and Explain the Interview Process Aspiration and GoalsCould you please describe your ideal role?What is your short and long term career aims? Page No. 11
  12. 12. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Dealing with ConflictReflecting on a difficult situation in your past work experience,how did you handle it and why?How do you think you handled the situation? Put in the same situation again, would you do anything differently? LeadershipIf you could have changed one thing in your previousorganisation, what would it have been and why?The Duty Manager of Programming is responsible for otheremployees. How would you motivate your staff to perform attheir best? Decision Making Page No. 12
  13. 13. MA Sports Management Philip BarnesDescribe a time when you have had to quickly make a harddecision recently. How did you make it, and looking back on it,was it the right decision to make? Delivering Results Taking a time you had been assigned a number of tasks, how did you prioritise inyour approach and was this met with success?What was the greatest contribution you have made/helped maketowards your previous organisation’s success? TeamworkWhat would you say is your favoured atmosphere within ateam? How could you help create this? Page No. 13
  14. 14. MA Sports Management Philip BarnesWhat kind of character do you find it challenging to work with? Role AwarenessWhat made you apply for this role?What do you enjoy most about being a managerial position? Skills and QualitiesWhat is the major strength you will bring to our organisationand how will we benefit?With regard to the concept of Continuous ProfessionalDevelopment, what areas would you like to improve on in thefuture? Ending Questions and Comment Page No. 14
  15. 15. MA Sports Management Philip BarnesThank Candidate and Explain the Future Selection Process Appendix 4 Steps for Developing a Behavioural Description Interview Page No. 15
  16. 16. MA Sports Management Philip Barnes Taylor & ODriscoll 1995, p.20 Appendix 5 Selection Interview Structure Swift & Robertson 2000, p.69 Page No. 16

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