The resume, group discussion and the final interview have long been the tools of hiring managerial level candidates and most HR professionals believe that these are the only 3 ways of screening individuals. It might however be noted that many companies and many HR professionals have now begun to realize the flaws in these methods and have begun to think of creative solutions in order to choose the best candidate. HR managers usually feel uncomfortable when asked not to depend on resumes and interviews entirely; mostly because that is the way the textbooks have laid down the rules and principles.
Psychological Underpinnings of Group Discussions and Interviews
However, if one were to consider the psychological processes that take place during group discussions and interviews, one might have to consider the fact that all applicants are unique and they respond to interview and GD situations differently in different times. There are chances that an HR manager might choose the wrong candidate based on teh way he performs at the GD or by the way he or she answers the questions during an interview.
Just like everyone else, applicants have their good days and their bad days. Most of the applicants who get through rigorous selection procedures usually would have had their good days, and been plain lucky. For every successful candidate hired, a company loses several better candidates who just had a bad day. Thus, recruiters must understand that looking a resume and throwing it away in the dustbin disregards an applicant’s prowess by just looking at his resume writing skills.
Moreover, an impressive resume can be written by professional resume writers who know exactly how to play with an HR manager's mind. A group discussion may seem like a good idea, and may indeed reveal several things about a person's behaviour. The most important areas that a GD can throw light upon are a person's level of neuroticism, ability to stay calm, and also to think quickly. However, these traits are not always consistent and can change. A person who does well in a GD on a particular day may fail miserably if he were given an opportunity the next day. Interviews too have a similar way of deceiving the recruiter to hire incompetent managers and not select deserving candidates.
Advantages of Projective Writing Techniques
One of the most important way an HR manager can try and minimize these defects of traditional ways of hiring is to use projective techniques, especially that which involves writing. A person can be asked to write either a fiction or a nonfiction piece about any topic that interests him. The idea is to get the most out of a candidate and they might be encouraged to write for at least 2 hours.
A candidate of a managerial level should be able to write a piece that is coherent, cohesive, structured and lucid. An essay usually taps into the subconscious of the individual and reveals far more details than a situation like an interview or GD. Moreover, it tests the individual’s language skills, vocabulary and general knowledge. Thus, projective writing techniques must be seen as an important way of hiring practices in order to avoid recruiting the wrong individuals and eliminating the right ones.