Pre-employment Testing - employee selection tests

You would recall that selection process involves rejection of unsuitable or less suitable applicants. This may be done at any of the successive hurdles which an applicant must cross. These hurdles act as screens designed to eliminate an unqualified applicant at any point in the process. This technique is known as the ‘successive hurdles technique’. Those who qualify a hurdle go to the next one; those who do not qualify are dropped out. Not all selection processes, however, include these hurdles. The complexity of the process usually increases with the level and responsibility of the position to be filled. Moreover, these hurdles need not necessarily be placed in the same order. Their arrangement may differ from organisation to organization.

Facts [+]

In the year 2000 B.C. the Chinese and Greeks used employee screening techniques and apprenticeship programs.

Pre-employment screening tests have been around since 1919. There are over 50 different types of pre-employment tests and over 1,000 screening test products available on the market. Popular tests include: skills testing, behavioral and personality assessment, aptitude testing, achievement assessment, polygraph tests, drug and alcohol tests, intelligence tests, and handwriting analysis.

The HR Employment Manager directs the organization's recruitment, screening, interviewing, selection, and placement activities. They manage employment functions and staff members. In addition, they extend job offers and establish starting salaries, arrange advertising or employment agency services, and produce affirmative action or college recruiting programs.

The HR Recruiter screens and interviews potential employees on behalf of the organization. They conduct pre-employment tests and reference checks as well as provide training and guidance to hiring managers on policies, process, and regulatory issues. Additionally, they may place employment advertisements and analyze reports and trends.

Supreme Court - case law

In State of Maharashtra Vs Rajkumar

Rules for selection of certain post quashed as there was no nexus between the rules and the object sought to be achieved

Court held that

There should be reasonable relationship between the prescribed test for suitability of the candidate and the post as such.

Pre-employment Test

Initial Screening or Preliminary Interview [Stage 1]

This is a sorting process in which prospective applicants are given the necessary information about the nature of the job and also, necessary information is elicited from the candidates about their education, experience, skill, salary expected, etc. If the candidate is found to be suitable, he is selected for further process and, if not, he is eliminated. This is a crude screening and can be done across the counter in the organization’s employment offices. This is done by a junior executive in the personnel department. Due care should be taken so that suitable candidates are not turned down in a hurry. Since this provides personal contact for an individual with the company, the interviewer should be courteous, kind, receptive and informal.

When a candidate is found suitable, an application form is given to him to fill in and submit.

Application Scrutiny [Stage 2]

You might have seen that sometimes applications are asked on a plain sheet. This is done where no application forms are designed. The applicant is asked to give details about age, marital status, educational qualifications, work experience and references. Different types of application forms may be used by the same organization for different types of employees, e.g., one for managers, the other for supervisors and a third for other employees. Some forms are simple, general and easily answerable, while others may require elaborate, complex and detailed information. Reference to nationality, race, caste, religion and place of birth has been regarded as evidence of discriminatory attitudes and should be avoided. An application form should be designed to serve as a highly effective preliminary screening device, particularly, when applications arc received in direct response to an advertisement and without any preliminary interview. The application can be used in two ways: (i) to find out on the basis of information contained therein as to the chances of success of the candidate in the job for which he is applying, and (ii) to provide a starting point for the interview. It is often possible to reject candidates on the basis of scrutiny of the applications as they are found to be lacking in educational standards, experience or some other relevant eligibility and traits.

Facts [+]

60% Employers Say Soft Skills Essential for Hiring

A recent survey, which has about 750 respondents, says 60% employers feel soft skills are very significant while hiring employees but of this, the majority (70%) find it extremely difficult to find these skills in potential employees, finds the TimesJobs survey.












Paper resume could be thing of the past

WASHINGTON: Two young Indian-American entrepreneurs are attempting to make the traditional paper resume a thing of the past by connecting the job seeker and the employer through video resumes.

The Palo Alto Mayor, Yiaway Yeh, and several other top corporate leaders of the city - which is known as the heart of the Silicon Valley -- lined up last Thursday in its downtown to inaugurate the new office of GetHired.Com, which currently has just 14 employees. is the first job board to embed video capabilities directly into its social recruiting platform so that job seekers can record and submit personal, dynamic responses to an employer's most pressing pre-screening questions at the start of the hiring process.

As a result, employers are able to quickly find top candidates with good communication skills who are a culturally fit for their organisation, he notes.

" combines the visibility of a job board with the functionality of an applicant tracking system - allowing employers to find and pre-screen candidates using audio and video, conduct interviews in real-time and manage the entire on boarding process," he said.

Selection tests [Stage 3]

A test is a sample of an aspect of an individual’s behavior, performance or attitude. It can also be a systematic procedure for comparing the behavior of two or more persons.

Purpose of Tests: The basic assumption underlying the use of tests in personnel selection is that individuals are different in their job-related abilities and skills and that these skills can be adequately and accurately measured.

Tests seek to eliminate the possibility of prejudice on the part of the interviewer or supervisor. Potential ability only will govern selection decisions.

The other major advantage is that the tests may uncover qualifications and talents that would not be detected by interviews or by listing of education and job experience.

Types of Tests: The various tests used in selection can be put in to four categories:

a) Achievement or Intelligence Tests,

b) Aptitude or Potential Ability Tests,

c) Personality Tests, and (d) Interest Tests.

These tests and what they measure are described below.

a) Achievement or Intelligence Tests

These are also called ‘proficiency tests’. These measure the skill or knowledge which is acquired as a result of a training programme and on the job experience. These measure what the applicant can do. These are of two types:

Test for Measuring job Knowledge: These are known as ‘Trade Tests’. These are administered to determine knowledge of typing, shorthand and in operating calculators, adding machines, dictating and transcribing machines or simple mechanical equipment. These are primarily oral tests consisting of a series of questions which are believed to be satisfactorily answered only by those who know and thoroughly understand the trade or occupation. Oral tests may be supplemented by written, picture or performance types.

Work Sample Tests: These measure the proficiency with which equipment can be handled by the candidate. This is done by giving him a piece of work to judge how efficiently he does it. For example, a typing test would provide the material to be typed and note the time taken and mistakes committed.

b) Aptitude or Potential Ability Tests

These tests measure the latent ability of a candidate to learn a new job or skill. Through these tests you can detect peculiarity or defects in a person’s sensory or intellectual capacity. These focus attention on particular types of talent such as learning, reasoning and mechanical or musical aptitude. ’Instruments’ used are variously described as tests of ‘intelligence’, ‘mental ability’, ‘mental alertness’, or simply as ‘personnel tests’.

These are of three types:

  • Mental Tests: These measure the overall intellectual ability or the intelligence quotient (I.Q.) of a person and enable us to know whether he has the mental capacity to deal with new problems. These determine an employee’s fluency in language, memory, interaction, reasoning, speed of perception, and spatial visualization.

  • Mechanical Aptitude Tests: These measure the capacity of a person to learn a particular type of mechanical work. These are useful when apprentices, machinists, mechanics, maintenance workers, and mechanical technicians are to be selected.

  • Psychomotor or Skill Tests: These measure a person’s ability to do a specific job. These are administered to determine mental dexterity or motor ability and similar attributes involving muscular movement, control and coordination. These are primarily used in the selection of workers who have to perform semi-skilled and repetitive jobs, like assembly work, packing, testing, inspection and so on.

c) Personality Tests

These discover clues to an individual’s value system, his emotional reactions, maturity and his characteristic mood. The tests help in assessing a person’s motivation, his ability to adjust himself to the stresses of everyday life and his capacity for interpersonal relations and for projecting an impressive image of himself. They are expressed in terms of the relative significance of such traits of a person as self-confidence, ambition, tact, emotional control, optimism, decisiveness, sociability, conformity, objectivity, patience, fear, distrust, initiative, judgement, dominance, impulsiveness, sympathy, integrity, and stability. These tests are given to predict potential performance and success for supervisory or managerial jobs. The personality tests are basically of three types:

  • Objective Tests: These measure neurotic tendencies, self-sufficiency, dominance, submission and self-confidence.

  • Projective Tests: In these tests, a candidate is asked to project his own interpretation onto certain standard stimuli. The way in which he responds to these stimuli depends on his own values, motives and personality.

  • Situation Tests: These measure an applicant’s reaction when he is placed in a peculiar situation, his ability to undergo stress and his demonstration of ingenuity under pressure. These tests usually relate to a leaderless group situation, in which some problems are posed to a group and its members are asked to reach some conclusions without the help of a leader.

d) Interest Tests

These tests are designed to discover a person’s areas of interest and to identify the kind of work that will satisfy him. The interest tests are used for vocational guidance, and are assessed in the form of answers to a well-prepared questionnaire.

Interview [Stage 4]

Personal interview is the most universally used tool in employee selection process.

Supreme Court - case laws

Calling a large number of candidates of interview for each post as it gives an opportunity for manipulation

M.P. Public service commission VS Navnit Kumar Potdar, AIR 1995 SC 77: (1994) 6 SSC 293

State of Haryana Vs Subash Chander marwaha, AIR 1973 SC 2216 : (1974) 3 SSC 220

The Supreme Court has decried the practice of calling a large number of candidates of interview for each post as it gives an opportunity for manipulation. Also, when large number of candidates how to be interviewed, interviews tend to be casual, superficial and sloppy and the true personality of candidates cannot be assessed properly.

Candidates with meritorious marks in interview should be selected

Janki Vs State of Jammu and Kashmir, AIR 1973 SC 930 : (1973) 1 SCC 420

The Supreme Court set aside the selection as it found the interview process to be thoroughly unsatisfactory. The interview committee did not take into account the service records of the candidates and the candidates who had secured even less then 30% marks at the interview were selected. The court ruled that the selection made on such poor basis cannot be regarded as a real selection at all.

Facts [+]

Women do better than men in job interviews

WASHINGTON: Women, although typically more stressed about interviewing, perform better than their male counterparts in job interviews because they handle stress better than guys, say researchers. That is the finding of new research by three University of Western Ontario researchers who looked at how men and women handled the stresses of job interviews. More >>

The following are examples of the most commonly asked illegal job interview questions. Are you married? Do you have children? How old are you? Did you graduate from high school or college? Have you ever been arrested? How much do you weigh? What country are you from? What is your native language? Are you handicapped?

Interview Meaning and Purpose:

Interview is the process of interaction between two parties who are interviewer/interviewers and interviewee. Interviewer is a person/employer who does interview to candidates seeking job. Interviewee is a person who gets interviewed by the interviewer/interviewers. The very purpose of calling the candidates for interview is to see candidates face-to-face and to know his or her attitude, behaviour, communication skills, personal/family details, work experience, interests and hobbies, subject knowledge. Sometimes interview might be platform to negotiate salary and other benefits offered to candidate if got selected. In stage of an interview, candidate may not be stressed on questions related to various related subjects because the candidate has been already passed through those tests and proved, hence called for interview.

The most common interview mistake that job candidates make is talking too much during the interview, according to a recent survey of recruiters conducted by executive search firm Korn/Ferry International. Other common mistakes cited by recruiters include lack of knowledge about the company or position, over-inflated ego and appearing overly confident.

Types of Interview

Informal Interview:

This is may take place anywhere. The employer or a manager in the personnel department, may ask a few questions, like name, place of birth, previous experience, etc. It is not planned and is used widely when the labour market is tight and you need workers very badly. A friend or a relative of the employer may take a candidate to the house of the employer or manager where this type of interview may be conducted.

Formal Interview:

This held in a more formal atmosphere in the employment office by the employment officer with the help of well-structured questions. The time and place of the interview are stipulated by the employment office.

Planned Interview:

This is a formal interview carefully planned. The interviewer has a plan of action worked out in relation to time to be devoted to each candidate, type of information to be sought, information to be given, the modality of interview and so on. He may use the plan with some amount of flexibility.

Patterned Interview:

This is also a planned interview but planned to a higher degree of accuracy, precision and exactitude. A list of questions and areas are carefully prepared. The interviewer goes down the list of questions, asking them one after another.

Non-directive Interview:

This is designed to let the interviewee speak his mind freely. The interviewer is a careful and patient listener, prodding whenever the candidate is silent. The idea is to give the candidate complete freedom to ‘sell’ himself without encumbrances of the interviewer’s questions.

Depth Interview:

This is designed to intensively examine the candidate’s background and thinking and to go into considerable detail on a particular subject to special interest to the candidate. The theory behind it is that if the candidate is found good in his area of special interest, the chances are high that if given a job he would take serious interest in it.

Stress Interview:

This is designed to test the candidate and his conduct and behavior by putting him under conditions of stress and strain. This is very useful to test the behavior of individuals under disagreeable and trying situations.

Group Interview:

This is designed to see how the candidates react to and against each other. All the candidates may be brought together in the office and they may be interviewed. The candidates may, alternatively, be given a topic for discussion and be observed as to who will lead the discussion, how they will participate in the discussion, how each will make his presentation and how they will react to each other’s views and presentation.

Panel Interview:

This is done by members of the interview board or a selection committee. This is done usually for supervisory and managerial positions. It pools the collective judgement and wisdom of members of the panel. The candidate may be asked to meet the panel individually for a fairly lengthy interview.

Structured job interview

Structured job interview techniques rely on pre-established questions and answers based on job descriptions and requirements. Job candidate responses to questions are rated against the pre-established answers, producing comparable interviews across all candidates. Structured job interviewing also keeps job interviews on track in terms of time and subject matter.

Sample interview questions

To know more about various types of interview questions may be put for inexperienced and freshers, click side heading of Sample interview questions. This website consisting questions of interview questions, may be helpful for yourself to prepare and have an idea, before facing an interview for the first time.

Facts [+]

A panel job interview is considered the most stressful for job candidates as they face multiple interviewers who take turns asking questions. Panel interviews are more time efficient and allow decision makers to obtain the same information for making a hiring decision. Panel interviews require proper planning in order to avoid duplicate questions and to establish a rapport during the interview.

Behavioral (experience-based or patterned behavioral) interviews are past-oriented in that they ask respondents to relate what they did in past jobs or life situations that are relevant to the particular job relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities required for success The idea is that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance in similar situations. By asking questions about how job applicants have handled situations in the past that are similar to those they will face on the job, employers can gauge how they might perform in future situations.

Behavioral job interviewing was developed in the 1970s. Nearly 30% of all organizations use behavioral interviewing to some degree.

Facts [+]

Eighty-five percent of all job failures are due to lack of appropriate work habits or behavioral issues rather than lack of technical skills. Most HR experts believe that "behavior-based" job interview techniques provide indicators of a future success. Asking a job candidate how they did something, in addition to what they did, can reveal key aspects of their personalities.

Interview Rating: Important aspects of personality can be categorized under the following seven main headings:

  • Physical Make-up: Health, physique, age, appearance, bearing, speech.

  • Attainments: Education, occupational training and experience.

  • Intelligence: Basic and ‘effective’.

  • Special Aptitudes: Written and oral fluency of expression, numeracy, organizational ability, administrative skill.

  • Interests: Intellectual, practical, physically active, social, artistic

  • Disposition: Self-reliance, nature, motivation, acceptability.

  • Circumstances: Domestic, social background and experience, future prospects.

This is called ‘The Seven Point Plan’. The importance of each of these points will vary from organization to organization and from job to job. Hence, these should be assigned weight-age according to their degree of importance for the job.

On the basis of information gathered through an interview, each candidate should be rated in respect of each point given above as: (i) outstanding, (ii) good, (iii) above average, (iv) below average or (v) unsatisfactory. Marks should be allotted to each of these, and the score for each point is arrived at by multiplying it by weights and the total of all these will determine the final position of a candidate at the interview.

29 questions asked in Amazon interviews

    • If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?

    • Describe what Human Resource means to you.

    • What is the angle between the hour hand and minute hand in an analog clock?

    • What is the worst mistake you ever made?

    • Describe what Human Resource means to you.

    • Do you know our CEO? How do you pronounce his name?

    • Here's a string with numbers from 1-250 in random order, but it's missing one number. How will you find the missed number?

    • What would you do if somehow you misdirected 10,000 units of something?

    • Are you willing to work on your feet for ten hours, four days a week?

    • Do you think you'll reach a point where you storm off the floor and never return?

    • Would you tell on a employee for stealing?

    • How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?

    • How do you persuade people?

    • Describe what happens in your browser as soon as you hit enter after writing a URL in the address bar.

    • Tell the story of the last time you had to apologize to someone.

    • Walk me through how Amazon Kindle books would be priced.

    • What would you do if you saw someone being unsafe at work?

    • How would you improve Amazon's website?

    • You have 30 people working under you with 2 working indirect. Each employee can do 150 units/hour. Each work day has two 15 min breaks and one 30 min lunch. In a 5 day work week, how many total units can you complete?

    • What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced in your life? How did you handle it?

    • How would you tell a customer what Wi-Fi is?

    • You are Amazon and Samsung offers you 10,000 Samsung Galaxy S3s at a 34% discount. Is that a good deal?Design an online payment system.

    • Design an online payment system.

    • Give me an example of a time when you were 75% of the way through a project, and you had to pivot strategy -- how were you able to make that into a success story?

    • Should we sell private label cleaning products?

    • What would you do if you found out that your closest friend at work was stealing?

    • Which Amazon leadership principle do you resonate most with?

Business Insider / January 06, 2016

Gamification (New)

This recruitment process is evolving from interviews and group discussions to a process of using game mechanics, that makes the entire process fun and engaging helping employers find the right candidate, experts say. Specifically in the recruitment process, companies have started using coding marathons, hacking events, complex problem solving against time, solving cryptic puzzles as part of their recruitment process. This is mainly used by the IT and hospitality sector for recruitment across all levels, however, it can be extended to all industry segments. It's a question of adapting and embracing this as a facilitator for recruitment, he opined.

Gamification as a concept started in Britain in 2002, but gained popularity only in 2010.

While Gamification was and is being used widely only in marketing and brand building, in 2012, companies began looking at this as a concept to identify engagement levels of employees within the organisation.

Gamification as a tool can be used more effectively across various HR functions like to assess training needs of employees, better employee utilisation based on their skills and capability, to minimise offer drop out of prospective candidates among others.

Echoing a similar view, CIEL HR Services CEO Aditya Narayan Mishra said, Gamification is a tool is being used in the last three years in a significant way by IT and technology companies have in the recent past, especially for entry and mid-level roles.

Physical Examination [Stage 5]

Applicant who get over one or more of the preliminary hurdles are sent for a physical examination either to the organization’s physician or to a medical officer approved for the purpose.

Purposes: A physical examination serves the following purposes:

    • It gives an indication regarding fitness of a candidate for the job concerned.

    • It discovers existing disabilities and obtains a record thereof, which may be helpful later in deciding the company's responsibility in the event of a workman’s compensation claim.

    • It helps in preventing employment of those suffering from some type of contagious diseases.

    • It helps in placing those who are otherwise employable but whose physical handicaps may necessitate assignment only to specified jobs.

Physical examination covers the following:

    • The applicant’s medical history.

    • His physical measurements—height, weight, etc.

    • General examination—skin, musculature and joints.

    • Specia1 senses—visual and auditory activity.

    • Clinical examination—eyes, ears, nose, throat and teeth.

    • Examination of chest and lungs.

    • Check-up of blood pressure and heart.

    • Pathological tests of urine, blood etc.

    • X-ray examination of chest and other parts of the body.

    • Neuro-psychiatric examination, particularly when medical history or a physician’s observations indicate an adjustment problem.

    • You would realize that the importance of these characteristics varies from job to job and, therefore, different weightages have to be given to each far an overall evaluation.

Private doctor's or other government doctor's opinion can't be accepted to determine medical fitness of police force aspirant: Delhi High Court

Read Judgment below


(Priyanka vs UOI)

The petitioner is an aspirant to the post of Constable (G.D.)in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and had applied for the said post.

After qualifying the written test, she appeared for the Physical Standard Test/Physical Efficiency Test (PST/PET and was also successful in these tests. she was called for a medical examination. Unfortunately, she was declared medically unfit for “Carrying Angle > 20°Both Side”. She was issued a medical unfitness certificate of the same. She was granted a chance to file an appeal against this finding. Before filing the appeal, she was also required to obtain a medical certificate from a medical practitioner/specialist medical officer of a government district hospital.

The petitioner approached the specialist orthopedic surgeon in the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, Government of Karnataka, who, after conducting a thorough examination, declared the petitioner fit, observing that “there is a bit Cubitus Valgus carrying angle < 20°(18°)”.

The petitioner appeared before the Review Medical Board which again declared her unfit for the same reason.

The Delhi High Court stated that a private doctor's or other government doctor's opinion which is contrary to that of the doctors of Armed or Police Forces cannot be accepted to determine the medical fitness of a police force aspirant.

Court held that

"once no mala fides are attributed and the doctors of the Forces who are well aware of the demands of duties of the Forces in the terrain in which the recruited personnel are required to work, have formed an opinion that a candidate is not medically fit for recruitment, opinion of private or other government doctors to the contrary cannot be accepted inasmuch as the recruited personnel are required to work for the Forces and not for the private doctors or the government hospitals and which medical professionals are unaware of the demands of the duties in the Forces.

What may seem as a minor difference in the assessment of the Civil doctors in comparison to the assessment of the Medical Boards, may blow up into a serious health condition during the course of service with the CAPFs. It is not in the interest of either the Police Forces or candidates that their medical problems are brushed aside only on the plea that it was a question of employment. The general health of candidates would be permanently impacted due to the stress, both physical and mental, on account of these medical shortcomings. On the other hand, the government would be saddled with a Police Force where such personnel would seek soft postings because of their health conditions and low medical category. This would lead to dissatisfaction amongst the personnel in the Forces as some people, who ought not to have been taken into the Forces, would always benefit, whereas the others would be mostly faced with hard postings and duties."

Private doctors or other government doctors opinion cant be accepted to determine medical fitness of police force aspirant Delhi High Court.pdf

Reference Checks [Stage 6]

The applicant is asked to mention in his application the names and addresses of three such persons who usually know him well. These may be his previous employers, friends, or professional colleagues. They are approached by mail or telephone and requested ta furnish their frank opinion, without incurring any liability, about the candidate either on specified points or in general. They are assured that all information supplied would be kept confidential. Yet, often either no response is received or it is generally a favorable response.

Underlining the significance of reference checks, 40 per cent hiring managers said it ensures better, informed hiring decisions while 30 per cent say it helps exclude applicants with inappropriate workplace behaviour. A good 21 per cent believe it helps them check the cultural fit of the candidate.

References checks still in vogue for assessing new recruits: Survey

PTI -Aug 05, 2018,

In the digital age, companies are increasingly adopting artificial intelligence to improve the recruitment process, but a significant percentage of HR managers still support the age-old practice of reference checks while hiring mid and senior level professionals, says a survey.

According to a survey by multi-national recruitment firm Antal International, that covered 200 HR Managers and senior line managers, 93 per cent respondents strongly support the practice of reference checks.

Most respondents believe speaking to previous employers and colleagues gives insights on the candidate's work ethics, personality and social skills.

"Reference checks are a vital part of the hiring process that help in making the right decision while hiring. The average costs of a bad hire may equal 30 per cent of the first year's potential earnings and reference check can help avoid companies avoid this hiring blunder," the survey said.

The survey noted that 78.2 per cent of companies conduct reference checks as part of their hiring program, to ensure that they hire the right candidate, while 58 per cent respondents said they would not roll out the offer without completing the reference check of a candidate. Around 68.5 per cent respondents said they won't hire a candidate whose reference check was not up to the expectation.

For the 31.5 per cent respondents who would still go ahead and offer the job to the candidate, it could be at a lower compensation, or at a lower title than previously discussed, or may offer lesser scope of work than previously discussed and it could also mean a decline in fix compensation and an increase in the variable component, it added. "These insights give hiring managers the best opportunity to gauge what that person will be like in a work environment. Inspite of technology taking over hiring processes, hiring managers still rely on this traditional method while making hiring decisions for their businesses," the survey said.

Companies reject 20% candidates per month post reference check: Report

Fake references seem to be one of the key pain areas for recruiters as almost 10-20 per cent applicants are rejected every month post their reference checks, finds out a study. According to a TimesJobs Study, despite the fact that HR managers rely significantly on them for quality hires, 20-30 per cent candidates fake references in their resumes

Underlining the significance of reference checks, 40 per cent hiring managers said it ensures better, informed hiring decisions while 30 per cent say it helps exclude applicants with inappropriate workplace behavior. A good 21 per cent believe it helps them check the cultural fit of the candidate. The frequency of fake resumes encountered by the HR managers is so high that almost 10-20 per cent applicants are rejected every month post their reference checks, say the employers surveyed.

    • 48% HR managers state reference checks are the most crucial aspect while hiring for middle level positions

    • 40% HR managers find reference checks important when hiring senior professionals

    • 12% HR managers say reference checks are necessary for hiring junior level employees.

Only 9% of the surveyed HR managers claimed that reference checks are not of much importance to them and only a basic random check may be conducted while hiring a candidate.

False references are jeopardizing careers

The frequency of fake resumes encountered by the HR managers is so high that almost 10-20% applicants are rejected every month post their reference checks say the surveyed employers. This is because of the high rate of false references provided by job seekers, which result in most HR managers developing unfavorable opinions towards the job seeker, often leading to rejection.

  • 59% HR managers say they develop an unfavorable opinion towards a candidate post a false reference checks, while

  • 36% HR managers say they develop a favorable opinion towards the candidate post a positive reference checks

  • Only 5% HR managers say references don’t matter to them and the interview is the deciding factor

References matter for hirings across the board

  • 48% HR managers say reference checks are crucial while hiring for middle level positions

  • 40% HR managers find reference checks important when hiring senior professionals.

  • 12% HR managers say reference checks are necessary for hiring junior level employees

This TimesJobs Study was conducted with inputs from over 650 HR Managers pan-India across key sectors, including IT, telecom, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, FMCG, consumer durables, travel and hospitality, BFSI, media and entertainment, infrastructure, BPO and ITeS.

Facts [+]

According to a Society for Human Resource Management survey of human resources professionals, employee referral programs (ERPs) were found to be one of the most cost-effective recruiting methods available. Eight of ten survey respondents said that ERPs are more cost-effective than job search firms. Seven of ten said they are more cost-effective than other recruiting practices.

Background Verification [Stage 7]

The background screening process involves carrying out checks at different levels, from education, employment, address check and criminal record to reference checks, checks against global regulatory and compliance databases, identity checks, drug testing, and resume validation. The companies entered into employee background verification services in 2010 because of fake documents, degrees from fake universities or unrecognised colleges are the major educational discrepancies.

For example, at entry level, candidates may only have their last/highest educational qualification, current address, drug and criminal checks conducted; while for candidates at relatively senior levels, checks such as more than one educational qualification, addresses for five to seven years, drug tests, criminal checks, regulatory and compliance database checks and employment checks are conducted.

Facts [+]

Presumption that out of 10 resumes 4 or having fake information regarding the job experience and academic qualifications. Due to this recruiters are now employing specialised agencies which have newly come-up for background verification of candidates, this is because of raise in number of fresh graduates seeking employment and employees those who want shift their career with increase in salary.

Facts [+]

ADP Screening and Selection Services conducted nearly five million employee background checks last year. Forty-nine percent of the education, employment, and credential verifications had inconsistencies between what the applicants provided and what the source reported. Six percent of the information differences were received with negative remarks from the source in regard to the applicant.

Five ways to conduct informal employee checks

Background and reference checks (Cheap alternatives have become the golden rule of hiring in large companies due to instances of fraud or inflated cvs, but come with heavy costs. We shares how one can save through informal background checks.

1. Scan social networks

Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Orkut can be a happy hunting ground to find out about a candidate's details. "Facebook and LinkedIn are two forums which give real feedback about a candidate, since the references they give will always hold them in good stead," says HR firm Aspire Human Capital CEO Amit Bhatia.

Job-seekers asked for Facebook passwords

SEATTLE: When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.

Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn't see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information. Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn't want to work for a company that would seek personal information.

But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no. In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

"It's akin to requiring someone's house keys," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor who calls it "an egregious privacy violation." Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.

2. Use your connections

Try and leverage your own business network and contacts to find out more about a candidate. "The network will always give rational feedback on a candidate. One can also tap business contacts in the same company where the prospective candidate is currently employed to get as much details," says Ma Foi Randstad MD & CEO E Balaji.

4. Just run a search

Sometimes, an internet search about a candidate can throw up information that can help you form an opinion about a candidate. This is more so for middle and senior managers.

5. Check with affiliates

These days, several professionals are affiliated with professional organisations. "A call, email or visit to such affiliate organisations will provide details and help to verify qualifications and work experience," says Reshmi Ghosh, an HR consultant.

6. Devote time

HR experts suggest spending as much time on undertaking a background check as on interviewing a candidate.

Placement [Stage 8]

Sometimes a particular person is selected for a given jab. Often more than one person may be selected for the jobs of similar nature. In the second case, individual employees have to be put under individual supervisors with the approval of the latter. In the first case also his approval is also necessary but it should be done early in the selection process.

A proper placement reduces employee turnover, absenteeism and accident rates and improves morale.