Although theory is improving with the development of human science, the newly developed theories still have some problems in solving the practice troubles. In the past, because of the undeveloped system in human science, we cannot find as many methods as now to recruit and select in HRM. Nevertheless, at present, a lot of criteria in selection are used when deciding who will be selected. Some of the new methods are used in reality. For instance, graphology, astrology and palmistry, pseudo-tests, polygraph and drug-use test (Ref).

They are probably helpful for the recruiter to make the decision but the evidence shows that some of them are not a viable assessment method. The graphology was used in the process of selection in Europe to a great extent, about 85% of all companies. Unfortunately, Klimoski & Rafaeli (1983) found that it proved not to be an ideal method of selection to use in personnel selection. From the discussion above, whatever the theory is, it cannot guide practice completely. Furthermore, other factors which block HRM application in real life also can be discussed from the following two aspects, inside and outside environment of an organisation.

The good practice of theory demands the corresponding conditions of the corporations themselves. In virtue of the limitation of the corporation size, capital, in practice, many corporations cannot acquire the ideal conditions which are suggested in theory. In this situation, the theory cannot be well applied in practice. Take the recruitment and selection for example, the process of recruitment and selection is a high-cost procedure. Costs include those associated with the recruitment, the screening of applicants, the selection methods and procedures, etc.

However, this is beyond the acceptance level of some corporations, especially the small enterprises (Ref). Hence, high-cost procedures cannot be widely undertaken. Small enterprises cannot spend a great portion of the capital on the recruitment and selection. Consequently, the quality of the applicant could depend on what the recruiters can offer. Time means efficiency and fortune, (Ref) time saving is vital for the development in every corporation; thus, speed and high-efficiency is required in recruitment.

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In practice, time is unpredictable in different situations. The more urgent the company is, the more risk the company has for screening the applicant’s qualifications. Time limitation happens often when the company needs workforce immediately. However, in theory, this cannot assume the time value in different situation. Due to the tremendous development of the Internet, more and more recruiters have chosen the brand-new mode. During the period 1995 to 2002, E-recruitment developed significantly and remarkably (Ref).

According to the result of the survey conducted by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), by May 2002, 74. 0% of the respondents would choose to recruit from the Internet. However, the E-recruiters met inevitable problems: First, not all potential applicants can access the Internet; therefore, they would choose the paper based methods which will add to company’s costs. Second, it is not yet the first choice of the job seekers. Third, E-recruitment is the most effective when used as a part of integrated recruitment process.

However, most organisations lack the resources and expertises to achieve this; thus, at this moment E-recruitment cannot replace the traditional recruitment methods, for instance, interviews, advertisements in newspapers, etc. In the near future, this new technology could be the most important part of recruitment and selection process. The managers or the officers in HRM may make a decision based on their own judgments. However, the judgments vary depending on different criterion which they hold. Basically, the judgments are related to the subjective.

Hence, there must be an overlap between the judgment and the actual objective so the theory could not do well when it is applied in practice. Take the interview of selection for example. The interviewers have a tendency to select the candidates who displays attributes that they regard as important. The applicants are defined as “good” if they obey the rules of the interview as seen by the interviewer, and ‘bad’ if they do not comply (Ref). However, criterion the interviewers hold cannot be totally right (why?

) so the subsequence of this subjective opinion may lead to the failure of choosing the appropriate person. In the first place, ethnic discrimination plays an important role in real recruitment and selection. Although this kind of unfairness has received a lot of attention by society, it is still happening and taking effect in assessment at present. When an Afro-American applies for a job, although their attributions are better than the whites, they still have more chance of being refused because of their colour (Ref).

In this case, whichever the theory is used, in practice it does not work. Considering the fairness in employment selection, Tuvia Melamed, a four-year study of the psychological make-up of more than 1,200 managers, conducted the Thatcher Theory of Women’s Success research, found that the basic differences between the sexes in the general population are largely non-existent among managers. However, many women said they had difficulties with having to act tough and there was a higher level of stress among women managers than men.

Discrimination of the interviewers in selection with regard to race, colour, sex, religion, and national origin are obviously still happening. Schmidt and Hunter 1974 have cautioned that no meaningful analysis of test fairness issues can be undertaken without an unbiased criterion. This issue of fairness still remains a problem even though steps are being taken to help it. For example, males tend to be selected in the process of recruitment compared with female when both of them have the same qualification applying for the same position. (www. recruitment-connection. co. uk, accessed 08/11/03)


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