Personnel Selection – List of Contents

How to Use Cullen Morton Training Manuals (3)*
Selecting People (30)
Questions on “Selecting People” (1)
Some Points about Selecting People (Some Definitions) (7)
What Personnel Executives should know about Personnel Selection (5)
Assessment of People (5)

Some Selection Errors (6)
A Guideline for making Promotion Decisions (1)
A Job Specification Form – Self Administering (8) Position Descriptions (12)
How to Prepare Advertisements which attract suitable Applicants (14)
The Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Company Name in an Advertisement for a Position (2)
A Salesmanship Training Course to attract Suitable Sales Representative Applicants (4)
Identification of Potential Sales Executives from among Sales Representatives (3)
What happens in a Personnel Appraisal at a particular Consultant (1)
What should Executives tell a Personnel Consultant about People they send for a Personnel Appraisal? (3)
Take Care in Dealing with Personnel (Employment) Agencies/Consultants (3)
How to save Money in Selection Assignments (4)
How to get Better Value from Employment Agents (4)

*The Numbers in brackets show the number of pages in the notes.

Selecting People


1 These notes describe personnel selection as the prediction of a person’s performance in a particular job. The method to achieve this objective involves taking samples of behaviour and effective methods require repre­sentative samples. However difficulties of establishing criteria to iden­tify successful holders of positions makes it difficult to develop better methods.

2 The notes describe and discuss various techniques and approaches avail­able for Personnel Selection: Job Specification, Sources of Applicants, Initial Screening Methods, Interviewing, Psychological Testing, Group Selection Procedures, Checking Facts Given, and Physical Examinations. They suggest that each technique should represent a gauge to separate Applicants into (a) continue further or (b) discard and that this approach will increase the probability of selecting people who will succeed in a particular approach.

Some Baisc Fundamentals

3 To assess the relative advantages and disadvantages of different selec­tion techniques, Readers should aim to understand an overall view of the selection process. The following looks at some basic ideas.

A Meaning for – Selection

4 Basically selection implies a choice from a number of possibilities. In Organisations, personnel-selection means choosing between people These people may come from inside or outside the Organisation. In general these notes refer to selection appropriate for people outside the Company. However most of the points apply to inside selection. Inside selection merely leaves out some steps.

The Objective of Selection

5 Selection involves finding the person who best suits the requirements of a position. From another viewpoint selection has as its end objective predict the future behaviour of a person. Thus Selectors should ask: Will the Applicant prove an effective Accountant, an effective Sales Representa­tive, and so on? and “Will the Applicant prove ‘effective’ in a particular organisation?”

Continue reading

Some Points about selecting People


1 The following paragraphs provide some outline points on the subject of selecting people. They aim to provide points for discussions rather than a set of notes which stand on their own.

Some Important Terms and Possible Meanings – in Alphabetcal Order

Ability  - Actual power to perform an act – physical or mental; whether or not attained by previous Training and/or Education. Ability implies the current capacity to perform a task.

3 Ability Test - A test designed to reveal the level of current capacity to function.

4 Aptitude - Refers to the fact that an individual has the capacity to acquire proficiency with a given amount of training. In broad terms, Aptitude + Training = Future Ability. Aptitude sometimes carries an impli­cation of innateness, i.e. people inherit an aptitude – they have it when born.

5 Aptitude Test -  Designed to reveal the probable future level of ability to function after a given amount of further maturation and learning. Since all measurement necessarily deals with present performance, an Aptitude Test provides one form of an Ability Test. However it measures present characteristics which predict capacity to learn. Thus an Intelligence Test tests a fairly general present ability and the general capacity to learn.

Continue reading

What Personnel Executives should know about Personnel Selection


1 On the topic of personnel selection, the following sections suggest that Personnel Managers (and others) should have -

(a) detailed knowledge of various topics.

(b) a high probability of achieving some listed objectives.

The End Objective of Personnel Selection

2 The following suggests an end objective for all personnel-selection activities – Select a person for a position who will rate as successful in achiev­ing the position’s objectives after the person has held the position for (say) twelve months.*

3 This objective has a number of vague areas which these notes do not aim to discuss or make specific. Thus -

(a) who determines whether a position holder rates as successful? (Evaluator or Evaluators)

(b) what does the Evaluator(s) do and/or measure to determine “suc­cess”?

(c) What does “success” mean? (Examples. Appointee still in the position; Appointee’s immediate Manager rates her as successful; Appointee’s Subordinates rate him as successful; reaches 90% of all financial targets set.)

(d) How long must an Appointee hold the position before someone can rate the selection as successful. Some experienced Appointees might perform competently in a position in the firit few weeks. Some Selec­tors will aim to appoint someone who can achieve such competent per­formance. However does this achievement equal a successful selection? Some selectors would want a longer period before they rated an appointment as successful.  In other words, some people believe that success in the position requires more than just competence in the first month or so.

4 All the objectives listed in the following sections should help to achieve the above end objective.

* The environment within which the position holder has to operate may change significantly. Thus it may prove difficult to blame the selection process for a person who rates as unsuccessful in a position.

Some Important Elements in Personnel Selection

5 The following diagram  will help to put all the items listed into perspective. Continue reading

Assessment of People

The Common Approach to Assessing People

1 Everyone describes the personality and behaviour of other people.

2 Examples: We describe Joe as lazy or good-humoured or diffi­cult to understand, easy to get along with, co-operative, domi­neering, grumpy, and so on. We say he behaved stupidly, aggres­sively, with warmth and understanding, etc.

3 Further, people use a large number of words and phrases to describe people and their behaviour.

Some Confusion in using Descriptive Words to Describe People

4 People use the word(s) in two ways:

(a) to describe a piece of behaviour they have observed (Mary acted intelligently).

(b) to describe a person and mean that they expect this person to act in a particular way (e.g intelligently) for a large proportion of their behaviour over a wide number of circumstances. This use equals what Psychologists call “traits”.

5 Many people do not distinguish between whether they have used the words(s) to describe a piece of behaviour or a trait (i.e. a stable tenden­cy of a person). Further, some people have difficulty in distinguishing between when they mean one thing and when they mean the other.

Continue reading

A Guideline for making Promotion Decisions

1 How do Readers feel about the following propositions:

(a) People should get promotion to a different position because of their performance in their current position.

(b) People should get promotion to a different position because of.: expectation of good performance in their future position and pot because a higher-level Manager wants to give them a reward.

2 Do Readers class these two approaches as conflicting?

3 Presumably the first statement means a high-quality performance in one position should bring promotion. However, does this point mean that the person receives a reward of promotion because of high-quality performance?

4 If not, just what factors should Managers use as the basis for deciding to promote people from one position to another?

5 The correct decision should depend on the similarity of performances required between two different positions. Continue reading

A Job Specification Form – Self Administering

In any Personnel Selection, Managers should compare Applicants against a particular position.

This form aims to help Managers to think about:

(a) a particular position and

(b) the type of person they believe will most effectively carry out the job.

Most Managers will help themselves and gain more help from their Personnel Departments if they consider the questions carefully and give more detailed answers.

When answering questions Managers should distinguish between:

(a) the information given in this document and

(b) the information disclosed to the public in an advertisement.

The distinction rates as important because Personnel people often need confidential information to carry out effectively other stages in the Personnel Selection.   However they need not necessarily disclose the information to others in an advertisement or in an interview. Sometimes background confidential information helps to write a better advertisement even though the advertisement does not disclose the specific information.

Place square brackets around information which you do not wish to appear in any . Distinguish which information you do not want Applicants to learn at the initial interviews and discuss these matters with the Person(s) carrying out the relevant interview.

Continue reading

How to prepare Advertisements which attract Suitable Applicants


1 An effective advertisement will encourage Applicants and help the Organ­isation advertising to make a successful appointment from the Applicants. Executives should aim to write effective advertisements; but it proves a difficult task.

2 The following notes aim to help people prepare effective advertisements for Executive positions; but many points also apply to Non-Executive posi­tions.

3 No scientific proof of the correctness of the ideas below.exists  However – probably -  many Advertisers will prepare more effective advertisements if they heed them.

4 The notes arrange the points in three major sections:

(a) Points which Advertisers should use

(b) Discussions on whether to include: a salary figure and/or the Advertiser’s name and/or the job’s location

(c) Errors which Advertisers should avoid.

Section A – Points which Advertisers should consider using

5 The following points should help Advertisers prepare effective adver­tisements to attract appropriate Applicants. Continue reading

The Advantages and Disadvantages of using a Company Name in an Advertisement for a Position


1 Whenever an Organisation advertises a position, it has to decide whether to include its name in the advertisement.

2 Reasons exist for both including and excluding the Organisation’s name. The following notes explore them.

Continue reading