Recruitment, Selection and Test: Recruitment of personnel refers to supply of new personnel to work in an organization to fit into position with a well defined job description. The main aim of recruitment should be to select best candidate for performing specific job in a library.
A library should aim to develop a positive and definite recruitment programme so that it is able to reach out and attract the best available talent. There should be a continuous evaluation of the recruitment programme.
Librarian should take care of all the aspects in recruitment of the staff in the library. He should not have bias for anyone. He should keep in mind that only a suitable professional staff can provide the adequate service to him as well as users.
a) Recruitment and Selection Procedure: The below mentioned procedures need to be followed for recruitment or selection of candidate-
i) Ascertaining the Vacant Job: The vacancy may be due to retirement, resignation, termination or dismissal. New post also may be created for specific job requirement.
ii) Deciding of Revising: If necessary, the requisite qualification, scale and other allowances, etc. of the post should be revised.
iii) Advertisement: Inviting application by advertisement for the posts in national, state or local newspapers or by publishing the information over website or broadcasting it through radio, television, etc. should be carried out.
The advertisement should clearly give all related basic data about the post like the scale of pay, position, job description, essential and desirable qualification, etc. The application form to be filled up by the applicant should carefully be designed to get all the particulars of the candidate to make tentative inference regarding his suitability for the particular post.
iv) Receiving the Application: Receiving the application of the candidates and processing these methodically for deciding the names of candidate to be invited for interview. Library school should also be consulted for this purpose.
v) Selection board: It involves task associated with deciding the interview dates, preparation of the selection board, preparation of interview chart and verifying the data and sending these to expert. For the selection of staff member, the chief librarian should be given a free hand and he or she should also be free from bias. The chief librarian and the departmental head under whom the person shall work must be the member of the interview board. It also involves the activity associated with laying down interview criteria and test for the assessment of the candidates.
vi) Sending Interview letter: Sending interview letters to the candidate selected / recommended by the expert or the library school or selection board.
vii) Interviewing the candidates: The purpose of interviewing is to find out the suitability of a candidate and to seek more information to judge their personality and other traits. It is possible to examine the academic background, knowledge of the subject, general awareness as well as professional skills, areas of expertise, knowledge of technological development, and latest trend of the profession within the country or abroad and other qualities. The interview board can also assess the personal relation, study, motivation, attitude, mode of thinking, ability to adjust with change, sense of co-operation, acceptance of challenge and efficiency of the candidates.
ix) Inviting opinion of referees: The references of suitable candidate are checked for their personal details, especially their past history, political learning and professional standing. For selection of the librarian, the authority may write to department of library science, prominent librarians, etc. and consider their views.
x) Medical examination: Here, the candidate is asked to undergo medical / physical tests. Medical examination serves to ascertain the applicant’s physical capability to meet the job requirement.
xi) Selecting the candidate provisionally: After a candidate has cleared all the hurdles in the selection procedure the candidate should be offered appointment subject to certain laid down condition. For example probationary period, which gives an opportunity to the administrator to correct mistake if any. If during the probation period candidate is not found suitable the management may transfer him to some other job or give up the service.
xii) Issuing of a formal appointment order: In this step, a formal appointment order is issued by the authority. The authority may also execute an agreement bond with the appointed candidate, stating clearly all the relevant conditions of service, etc.
b) Testing the Candidate: Individuals differ with respect to physical characteristic, capacity, level of mental ability, their likes and dislikes and also with respect to personality traits. When matching of individual physical, metal and temperamental pattern with the requirement of the job or field of training takes place the result is happiness for the individual and greater prosperity for the organization and the society. This will require the use of selection test. These tests may take the form of the following-
i) Personality test: These test aims at measuring the total personality of an individual. Personality includes various traits and behaviour patterns such as initiative, judgment, self confidence temperament, complex (superior / inferior), likes and dislikes, etc. Personality may be measured by making use of any of the following three methods-
* Rating method: In the rating method the reliance is laid upon other person’s opinion about a candidate.
* Question answer method: Here the personality of a candidate is judged from the answer given by him to a series of questions asked from him.
* Experimental method: Here actual situation are created to know his reaction. For instance at the circulation counter, a conscience box may be kept for collecting overdue charges from those borrowers who return the books later. The honesty of the candidate can be judged from this experiment.
ii) Intelligence test: The ratio of mental age to the real age can be judge by this method. A person may be asked to name twenty five words in a minute. From such test, mental alertness, understanding power, reasoning ability, etc. of a person may be found out. These tests are very much prevalent now.
iii) Aptitude test: Every person has a peculiar aptitude. The aptitude test helps an employer to know whether a candidate has got aptitude for a manual, mental, mechanical job or routine job. One may be good at mathematical calculation while another may lack it. These tests give an indication to the employer about the possible performance of a prospective employee. A person for example may be asked to copy a straight line drawing.
iv) Trade test: Through trade test, a candidate’s knowledge to perform a specific work or job is measured. He is asked to perform a similar job when he would be expected to perform when appointed. A catalogue typist may be asked to type catalogue card. A professional may be asked to classify actual books of a library in order to know his skill of classifying books. As such these tests may also be named as “proficiency”, “performance” and achievement tests.
v) Interest test: Interest tests are useful in finding out the probable liking of a candidate for a particular job. Through these test a person’s preference for a specific job may be known. A candidate may be a good administrator but he may like a teaching job or vice versa. The interest of a person may be found out through a well prepared questionnaire.
Any one or the combination of two or more test may be used in selecting library staff because library work involves various types of jobs i.e. intellectual, manual, mechanical, routine, administrative, guidance and teaching function.
c) Role of Librarian in the selection of the library staff: Sometimes librarians have been given free hand to select the library staff but the condition is that he or she should be free from bias. In all other cases librarian is the member of the library staff selection board. The chief librarian and the departmental head under whom the person or candidate shall work is always the member of the interview board. The main roles of librarian in the staff selection are –
i) Helps in the selection of harmonious administrative, technical and service staff.
ii) Recommend the Vice-chancellor or principal for employment of the staff.
iii) Can make recommendation to the Vice-chancellor or principal on all matter pertaining to the status, promotion, change in position or dismissal of the library staff members.
Besides the above functions, librarians form an un-separable part of all the steps or procedures of recruitment, test and selection of candidate as the staff member of the library.