Most blind and partially sighted people are likely to be ‘disabled’ within the meaning of the Act. For this position there are two disabled applicants.

One needs the assistance of a wheelchair and the other is partially sighted. Since they meet the minimum physical requirement of the job, we cannot eliminate them. According to the RNIB website employers should make suitable adjustments during the interview.For example, ask if they would like to be guided from the reception area to the interview room and if so, lead the way at a steady pace, and then ask the candidate where they would like to sit. Interviewers should introduce themselves as this will enable the blind or partially sighted candidate to locate individuals within the interview room. It is also recommended that each interviewer says who they are during the interview when they speak. A blind or partially sighted candidate may find it difficult to respond to eye-to-eye contact.

On the other hand, the wheelchair user should be helped by making adjustments like guiding him to the interview room. Selection Methods There are many methods of selection available to employers. According to Torrington et al (2002c), these include application forms, one to one interviews, telephone screening, testing, references, assessment centres and in- tray exercises.

All of the above methods have advantages and disadvantages, but the first two which have been selected, namely application forms and panel interviews, are the most widely favoured, if not perfect methods.This is one of the reasons why they have been included in the three chosen methods. The final method of selection chosen is testing. The theory used as the basis for these decisions is as follows: A. Application forms According to Torrington et al (2002d), application forms have steadily grown in popularity as an employment selection method and in a survey conducted by IRS in 1997, it was found that 93% of the organisations studied used application forms in some way during selection.However, this was not always the case. In the past, application forms were primarily used for personal details which were included in personnel records.

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They asked for difficult information like National Insurance details and also irrelevant questions like family doctor and next of kin. At that time, application forms were largely ignored in the employment process in favour of an informal chat. As concern began to grow about the validity of interviewers, the application forms began to be used more widely.They were thought to be useful for gaining more relevant information and thereby making short listing easier. They also allowed interviewers to use the form for information for the interview. In more recent times, the application form has grown into a useful tool for eliciting much more, detailed information. An extension of the application form is ‘weighting’ or biodata.

Biodata is described by Anderson and Shackleton (1990) as verifiable data about a person in the selection process given in an application form.This type of information is possibly most useful to large organisations who receive very large numbers of applications. It is used to compare applicants’ characteristics to successful job holders, categorising them as good, average or poor in the opinion of a supervisor.

However, the procedure has its disadvantages. Firstly, it takes time and secondly, it is only possible when there are a lot of jobs holders in a particular position. Biodata is not widely used but this does not in any way detract from the validity of the usual, widely recognised standard type of application form.

One disadvantage of the application form is that applicants may make false claims about their experience and qualifications. It is for this reason that another method may be necessary to verify applicants’ abilities. One possible way to do this is by using references. However, referees also cannot always be relied upon to be completely honest either. Perhaps a better way to verify suitability is psychological testing, which will be discussed in more detail later in the essay.