Question 1: Write the brief synopsis of the case?

Answer: The owner of a company with production plants in various regions in the world wants to standardize the methods of personnel selection for the Asian-Pacific region (APAC). A new system of personnel selection has to be developed for middle management positions in APAC. The owner delegates this task to a cross-functional, multinational project team that operates in Hong Kong headed by human resources (HR) executive and expatriate from Germany. In terms of the new personnel selection system, he has two opposing goals in mind: the new personnel selection system should be highly specific for a particular country and simultaneously valid for different countries. A series of issues must be resolved in order for the project to be successful. Some of these issues are related to the personnel selection system; the job requirements to be assessed, the modules it must include, the stages and methods of each module and the implementation of the system across countries in APAC. Other issues are interpersonal, such as the cultural differences and the heterogeneous perspectives that exist among the team members, and a conflict between the HR executive and the owner. Question 2: Kindly comment on the recruitment & selection process being developed. Does it make sense or not? Argument on each stage? Answer: Exist national differences in selection processes and some of the variability across organizations in staffing approaches is due to the nation in which an organization operates. In this case, we have an international management, German and Chinese Human Resource experts with multinational candidates and aspects of selection system. Each recruitment source has strengths and shortcomings. Broad generalizations can be made regarding quantity, quality, and cost and can impact the human resources outcomes for different recruiting methods. The first strength about the personnel selection system was having the final decision about how to select these people. They decided on two-tiered. The first tier consisting of viewing of the candidates’ application documents, a telephone conference with the applicants in an unstructured manner, and obtaining of three former employer’s references. The second tier was separated by four modules: 1) Panel interview. 2) Biography-oriented in- depth.

3) Simulated group exercise. 4) Testing procedures. Another relevant strength was having three persons evaluating the applicants’ documentation. This “6-eye-method”, is a process of overview the applicants and their qualifications. The “6-eye-method”, it is very interesting and essential because the applicants will have more than one opinion about their applications. This method is a good way to have broadened perspective of the candidates. For this case, APAC personnel were focusing more on the KSAOs of the applicants. Effectively, staffing group would have to define the job requirements together with competency information, for each of these management positions available. The definition of the job requirements was proposed and the Koch, the manager leader, agreed on them. They were based on six dimensions cited by one of the team members: planning / organizing, initiative, adaptability, conflict management, decision-making / goalorientation, and leadership. Sustained by this definition, the personnel selection criterion was completed. Phone interviews have been very cooperative and beneficial for many employers, and one of the advantages it is the travel costs reduction. In addition, the phone call can encourage the applicant to listen to a question and respond it on his/hers time. Another advantage will be because the applicant is not at the same room as the interviewer; he/she can make commentaries accompanied by facial expressions. What probably a person would not do it in a face-to-face interview. Normally, interviewers want to know who the applicant is, what he/she knows, and whether if this person would be good to work with. On the other hand, shortcomings may appear as; the interviewers can make their decisions based on superfluous aspects rather than on the applicant’s abilities and qualifications. Some factors to influence the interviewers can be tone of the interviewee’s voice: its inflection, mood, attitude, and even body language can interfere on the voice. In addition, APAC’s HR group would have the references from former employers as another strong point to evaluate the applicant’s personality. This can bring more information about the candidate’s relationship with colleagues and managers. Also, it could value if the individual had social skills and if he/she could work around difficult social workers situations.

On the second part of the selection process, four modules would be handled. The indepth biography-oriented interview will have as primary objective to gain insights into the candidate’s private and professional past. The interview would not be oriented towards job requirements, but instead consider the candidates’ complete life span and be of a general nature. This biography-oriented interview could exclude people basis on their personality, overlooking the job requirements and the individuals’ qualifications. Besides, the method will request additional expenditure that could not be acceptable and required to guarantee a precise judgment on the individual’s experience and education. Also, the method of handling the language barrier could have an opposite effect instead. The proposal of having the candidates to speak in their mother language during the first phase interview could be frustrated after all, because at the second phase during the panel interviews, they have to answer the questions in English and then they will be translated and over translated. Everything will be evaluated and analyzed by human being and human makes mistakes, which could disfavor the applicants. Communication barriers can arise in situations with elevated emotions levels and consequently misunderstandings can appear. Also, non-verbal communication barrier can underestimate and raise a potential failure for the applicant. The ability tests/questions in the simulated group exercise can be strength, but also a shortcoming. The positive part on this simulation would be having the time to think about the questions, answering them accordingly and prepare to present them. However, the preparation part can be the weakness, because the individual’s behavior, comportment and emotions during the presentation can make all difference on the interviewer’s point of view.

By: Abhishek Mishra ISBE-A//SS//10-12 (SB-4)

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful