Case Study HLL is a reputed multinational company. It considers selection as an event in the total process of acquiring and developing managers. The company believes that the selection process must be consistent with other events in the total process for it to be effective. Hindustan lever has been one of the most favored companies by the prospective candidates for managerial position. The selection process of the company can be broken into three steps: such as- Screening of application forms, preliminary interview, and final selection. Screening of Applications Forms: In the first step the company usually receives a large number of applications for the positions advertised or through campus interview. Thereafter such applications are screened. Such applications usually contain brief information about the candidates. The selected candidates are then required to fill in a detailed application form. This form is quite elaborate and seeks factual information about the candidate and also about his attitudes and personality. A more strict screening of applications is made in this step. The company believes that to select a candidate it will not be enough to see the application forms only which may not be very reliable measure to select or reject the candidate. This calls for a brief preliminary interview to be held by company to get the best talents. So such interviews are conducted to interview as many candidates as is administratively possible. Preliminary interview: Preliminary interview is conducted for about ten to twenty minutes usually by one manager. During this brief personal contract, some time is spent in discussing the nature of the job, the future career possibility of the applicant and the company’s policy in this regard. Often a second interview is conducted before the applicant is rejected or selected for further consideration. Final Selection: Final selection process is quite elaborate. This stage consists of two aspects-groups discussion and final interview. Group discussion is conducted in two stages. In the first group discussion, the chairman of the panel of selectors requests the group to select a subject which can be economic, political, social educational or even a lighter subject. The subject is decided by the group itself out of the various topics given to it. When the topic is finalized, the members of the group discuss it. In the second group discussion, a case is given. The case is distributed in advance. The evaluation of the group discussion is done by a board consisting of the personnel director, the director of the division in which the applicants have to be absorbed, a senior manager of the same division, and a senior manager of other division. The board evaluates the candidates along the following factors: Style of self-introduction by the candidate, his general knowledge and knowledge of his subject, clarity of thought and logic, lucidity of expression, tolerance of others views, persuasiveness and leadership qualities. Each selector is given a blank sheet to evaluate the candidates. He evaluates the candidates individually. After the group discussion, personal interview is conducted by the board. On the completion of the individual interviews, the board members held discussion among themselves and then arrive at a consensus. Question: 1. What type of selection should be adopted by the company? 2. What is considered in time of screening the application forms? 3. What is the basic objective of the preliminary interview? 4. What should be the size of groups for final selection? 5. Why is a case distributed in advance amongst the candidates in final selection? 6. What is the information on the basis of which the personal interview is conducted?


Question 1

Selection procedures for managerial positions should focus on assessing candidates based on the knowledge, skills, aptitude and attitude. For a managerial position, the skill set comprises of human skills which are the inter-personal skills to interact and motivate the sub-ordinates and team members, technical skills- which involves the technical knowledge and skills required to perform a job, and conceptual skills which are the ability to grasp and understand various concepts, idea generation, to formulate and implement strategies.

HLL selection process is identifying these aspects of an employee through the screening, preliminary interview and the final selection process. The initial screening identifies the matching of skills of the job with that of the candidates. The preliminary interview sets the stage for discussing the various aspects of the job and the discussion of the candidates’ knowledge, skills and experiences and how these skills enable him/her in performing the job.

The group interviews held at the last stage of the selection process identifies the human skills and conceptual skills of the candidates. The participation and contribution of the candidates on the economic, political and social debate assesses the knowledge and level of awareness of the candidates on these topics and issues in the society and he is supposed to provide views and probable solutions on these issues.

The analysis of case assesses the conceptual knowledge of the employees, identifies the perspectives and views of the candidates on the issues discussed in the case.

Thus a selection process should consist of an initial screening, preliminary interview which could be telephonic and a final selection including group discussions followed by a final personal interview.

Question 2

During the screening process the applications are checked for matching the skills. It identifies the suitability of the candidates to perform a job. A screening process checks if the skills, knowledge, aptitude and attitude of candidates is in line with the requirements of the job.

In other words, a screening process aims to qualify and disqualify candidates based on set criteria. It focuses on an in-depth examination of resumes. The main purpose of screening is to identify the most suitable and qualified candidate for the position. Screening could be done manually as well as automatically with the help of computers. The recruiter searches though job key words in order to identify the potential candidates whose resumes includes those or similar key words.

For example, if a recruiter is looking for a marketing manager, he would type key words like marketing, market research to identify potential candidates and screen them.

Question 3

The basic objective of preliminary interview is to know the candidate. It is a process to understand the goals, skills, qualification and above all to know the candidate more as a person. The preliminary interview aims to understand the personality traits of the candidate, the interests and hobbies of the candidate etc. The candidate is assessed based on the gathered information to identify whether he/she could be benefited for the needs and requirements of the company. The preliminary interview could be done over phone and it helps the recruiter to decide whether the candidate could be qualified for the next round.

Question 4

For the final group discussion, the group size could be five to seven members. It should be such that every member should get an opportunity to share their views, opinions and ideas. Prior to starting a discussion, the group should be informed about their assessment criteria, rules of discussion etc.

Question 5

A case is distributed in advance so that the candidates could go through the case before the actual discussion. It helps them to prepare well for the discussion. As a case study deals with a holistic approach, it should be analyzed from different angles, and perspectives in order to identify suitable solutions. Thus it requires much time to analyze a case to identify possible solutions. A case when given in advance, helps candidates to synthesize the contents of the case, to think better and apply various theoretical concepts in solving the issues in the case. When different people think in different perspective, it helps to see the issues in different angles and brings a group setting to problem solving. It prepares the candidates to solve the problems later as part of their employment.

A case study prepares members for a collaborative approach in problem solving.

Question 6

The purpose of final personal interview is to make a final comparison between the short-listed candidates to choose the best among the chosen/short-listed. It is a final analysis where senior management or co-workers may be present for the interview. It is a probability of getting an offer letter. This stage should also be given due importance like the previous stages. Some candidates may assume that the final personal interview is just a formality and may not give due seriousness. It should be taken seriously and prepared well as it still holds a possibility of rejection.

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