Traditionally when a job is advertised the specification has been formulated in line with one of two main concepts, person specification, stating the desired personal characteristics for the role or job description, which details the specifics of the role itself (Casio & Aguinis 2011) but it has been argued that with the rise of psychometric testing and an increasing focus on personality and behaviours, job advertisements need to evolve and incorporate the two (Cook and Cripps 2005). This is done through the process of job analysis.
It is crucial to always assess the validity and reliability of job specification information (Harvey, 1991) and hard to downplay its importance as the first point of contact with candidates (Sanchez & Levine 2001). Inaccurate job specifications can be detrimental to organizational effectiveness. Imprecise job information can result in ineffective recruiting and selection practices, increased levels of turnover, low job satisfaction and decreased morale (Morgeson & Campion, 1997). Job analysis can help solidify an organisations structure by clarifying roles and expected behaviours (Casio & Aguinis 2011) and should express the organisations values and behaviours. Successful job analysis is done when it is carried out in unison between a member of the team close to the specific role in question and normally a HR professional (Cook and Cripps 2005).
IBM focuses on the competency element of a job specification and thus manages to combine the two approaches. By working in conjunction with the Line Manager who is close to the job role, the HR team member or Recruiter is able to combine in the specification the required practicalities and technical ability as well as the desired personality characteristics and attributes that would indicate success factors (Casio & Aguinis 2011).
As IBM does not use application forms the next stage of the process is a CV phone screen. This is a part of a process often referred to as sifting. Sifting is defined as “the process of sorting applications into proceeds or rejects… and is often done inefficiently or unfairly” (Cook and Cripps 2005, P99). At IBM it is always a Recruiter that carries out this process. Studies have shown that Managers often state that they reject CV’s on the basis of experience but often their opinions are based on the format and initial perception of a CV and that there is often a large bias against female applicants (Davison and Burke 2000). To try to eliminate these factors the sifting process is done through a phone screen where the candidate is called and asked to talk through their relevant job experience.
As well as saving time the benefits of a phone screen are clear. It’s a quick and cheap method of screening candidates for a face to face interview (CIPD 2007 e 13) and it practically eliminates the emergence of an unfair bias on the bases of race, age or disability (Taylor 2010). However the extent to which this is true is hindered by limited...