Recruitment and selection tools: Trend versus evidence in Hong Kong
Posted by Cynthia W on 06 April 2007 12:53 AM

The following shows the trend in recruitment and selection tools in Hong Kong.  After the application form, the most popular assessment methodology is interviews by untrained interviewers!  This is then followed by reference checking.  More reliable and valid forms of assessment such as personality tests, aptitude tests and assessment centres are used rarely by comparison.  This pattern applies for manual, clerical and managerial jobs.

By contrast, Robertson & Smith (2001)* found that aptitude tests were the best predictors of performance at work.  Personality tests and assessment centres were also found to be better predictors of performance than interviews carried out in an unstructured manner by untrained interviewers.

The positive way forward in Hong Kong then would be increased use of reliable and valid aptitude and personality assessments for most levels of employee and use of assessment centres for higher level employees.  Additionally, organisations and their HR departments should ensure appropriate training of all interviewers, even if they have been interviewing for years and consider themselves to be experts.  Years of experience does not equate to years of competence!

*Robertson, I. T., & Smith, M. (2001). Personnel selection. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 74(4), 441-472.