The Eye of the Beholder. An examination of the selection interview methodologies employed in the Electricity Supply Board ('ESB')

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Breen, Samantha
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management
Dublin Business School
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The principle aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between interview selection methodologies employed in ESB and 'best practice' outlined in detail in extensive literature by various theorists. The objective and scope of this paper is to further extend the literature in order to make a recommendation on selection interviewing to be employed transversally in ESB. The secondary research comprised of reviewing literature put forward by various theorists within the field of personnel management. The primary research was conducted on each business unit within ESB by the administration of a questionnaire in the form of a one to one in-depth, structured, direct (undisguised) personal interview. Where a single respondent was probed in detail on various areas of the recruitment and selection methodologies applied by them. Through this research there was extensive evidence to suggest that a job analysis did not take place at the preparation phase of the recruitment and selection process therefore making it difficult to prove the reliability and validity of the selection interview employed irrespective of the methodology applied. The research also indicated that panel selection interviews were used, however, in some cases there was no direct criteria utilised to select some of the panel members. The research undertaken also indicated that only 40% of the HR. practitioners in ESB have undergone specialist training the area of selection interviewing. It also uncovered that of the practitioners who had undergone this training, some did not chair or direct the selection interview, leaving the co-ordination to a panel member who had no training in the area or limited awareness of the legislation. Thus leaving the organisation exposed to bias, subjectivity and unfair discrimination. The research also indicated that the majority of respondents interviewed felt the selection interview methodology employed by the department for which they represented was inadequate as a predictor of job-related performance, adding that another selection tool/methodology should be utilised in all cases, such as psychometric testing. However, they indicated that financial constraints implemented by the organisation prevented them from utilising these tools to ensure that the selection methodologies employed by them were in fact reliable and valid. All four departments confirmed that there is a strong presence of 'intuitiveness' used in the decision making involved in the selection process employed them, again leaving the organisation exposed to litigation in the form of unfair discrimination.