Recruitment is one of the critical functions of human resources specialists. While it is vital to attract applicants for a position, it is nonetheless essential to use a proper selection strategy to choose the most suitable person for a job. Multimedia artists and animators need to possess a variety of skills and abilities to be able to work in a high-paced environment and produce great results. Applying a multi-stage selection process can help a human resources specialist to filter applicants who are not a good fit and choose the most promising applicant.
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Designing a Selection Strategy
One of the most prominent approaches in recruitment and selection today is the psychometric approach. Newell (2005) explains that this view of recruitment and selection involves specifying the requirements first before evaluating whether or not applicants fit the desired employee portrait. In the case study, these steps have already been completed, and several candidates have been shortlisted based on the requirements. Therefore, the primary goal of the selection process at this point is to evaluate applicants in a way that allows comparing them to the job profile. There is a wide range of selection tools that may help the company in doing that, including interviews, portfolio reviews, and testing. However, given the complexity of the position and the role of the prospective employee in the film’s success, it would be best to use several strategies to ensure a balanced assessment. The proposed selection strategy is a multi-stage process consisting of five stages: CV evaluation, portfolio review, interview, test tasks, and psychometric tests. The results of applicants at each of these stages should be marked from 0 to 20 points, thus allowing comparing their total scores (out of 100) after completion.
Stage 1: CV Evaluation
First of all, it is necessary to evaluate the candidates’ CVs with respect to their knowledge, skills, and abilities. These specifications are an essential part of performance reviews, and thus using them to evaluate applicants can help to ensure that they can do the job well (Beardwell & Claydon 2010). The assessment of candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities fits into the competency-based selection, and thus focuses more on what a person can do rather than on their qualifications. This approach is suitable for selecting multimedia artists and animators since they do not need a university degree to perform their duties. Many artists are self-taught and build their skills through practice, and the competency-based approach helps to appreciate that.
To perform adequate CV evaluations, it is necessary to create a list of knowledge, skills, and abilities based on the job profile. In the present case, candidates should have excellent knowledge of graphic design and animation software, hand-drawing techniques, and modeling programs, as well as publishing software required to make brochures and other promotional content. They also need to have skills in 2D and 3D animated modeling, vector illustration, photorealistic digital painting, and computer animation. With regards to abilities, they need to work with light, color, texture, shading, transparency, and motion, script and plan narrative sequences, create illustrations and animations, and prepare drawings for digital manipulation. There may be other skills required based on the nature of the tasks that the job would entail, but these are the most basic specifications that applicants should have.
Evaluating applicants’ CVs to identify whether or not they possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required involves comparing the list of specifications above with the ones mentioned by prospective employees. However, it is crucial to understand that many applicants would not make a list that detailed, and thus, they might have skills and abilities other than the ones on their CV. This means that human resource specialists should not discard applicants whose knowledge, skills, and abilities do not match all of those listed above. Instead, it would be useful to grade the compatibility on a 20-mark scale (one or two marks per one KSA item listed, depending on importance) and use a cumulative result from all assessment stages for the final selection decision.
Stage 2: Portfolio Reviews
Secondly, in the artistic environment, portfolio reviews are a prominent method of selection. This is primarily because, as mentioned above, the CV does not always provide a comprehensive picture of applicants’ abilities in drawing, animation, and modeling. Additionally, experienced artists often have a unique style of drawing and illustration that might not match the expectations of the director or other crew members. Hence, portfolio reviews are necessary to gain an in-depth understanding of what a candidate is capable of in terms of animation, modeling, and digital painting.
Most digital artists and animators have portfolios ready before they apply for a job. Nevertheless, in some cases, it would be necessary to create a list of items that should be in a portfolio. In the present case, portfolios should contain examples of animated narrative sequences, 2D and 3D modeling, photorealistic digital paintings, and vector illustrations. Each category of the portfolio should be graded subjectively based on quality and compatibility with the desired result on a scale of 0 to 5, creating a total mark of 0 to 20 that can be added to the cumulative assessment result.
Stage 3: Interviews
The third stage of the selection process is an interview, which is among the most common selection tools used by companies today. Interviews are useful because they help to learn more about applicants and their experience, as well as to evaluate whether or not they would make an excellent addition to the team. This is mainly because interviews can highlight a person’s communication style, motivation, and willingness to join the team in a way that other selection methods cannot (Callaghan & Thompson 2002; Herriot 1993). Interviews also provide applicants with a realistic job preview (RJP), thus enabling them to understand whether they would want to become a part of the team (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006).
Because working on a film requires constant communication between team members, it would be useful to arrange interviews where one applicant would speak to two or three team members, including the HR specialist, the director, and the screenwriter, or other relevant members of the crew. Having more than one person perform the interview could also help to avoid bias in the selection process. Pilbeam and Corbridge (2006) explain that interview results may be distorted by interviewers’ assumptions, expectations, risk aversion, and personal bias. Panel interviews help to reduce these risks, thus providing a more accurate review of the participant’s abilities, competencies, and interpersonal attitudes.
Given the specifics of the vacancy, the panel interview should focus on four key areas: previous experience, motivation, interpersonal communication, and compatibility. The final criterion means both the person’s fit with the team and the applicability of their skills to the chosen role. Each of these areas should be graded by panel members individually on a scale of 1 to 5, and average scores should be calculated to achieve a combined interview score. This mark should be added to the cumulative result that will be used later. At the end of the interview, the HR specialist should inform the participant of the final two selection stages and answer any questions that they might have about the project or the selection process.
Stage 4: Work Sample Test
In the field of graphic design and animation, there is a need for creative selection tools that would enable companies to evaluate the candidate’s fit from a practical viewpoint. While portfolio reviews allow seeing samples of the applicant’s work, items in portfolios are selected carefully to represent the best side of the candidate’s abilities. While working on a tight deadline, applicants selected based on portfolio reviews could demonstrate worse results. Because the job profile for a multimedia artist and animator involves creating high-quality content under tight deadlines, using work sample tests would be beneficial.
Work sample tests involve assigning a task similar to the one that the applicant would perform on the job, setting a deadline, and evaluating the results. This selection method is considered by applicants to be the fairest in terms of representing their abilities (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017). These tests also have a moderate to high predictive validity, meaning that they provide an accurate reflection of the applicant’s potential on-the-job performance (Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017). In the present case, each applicant should receive one task that would reflect a typical assignment for the project and have a similar deadline. Performance should be evaluated by the director or other key crew members who will be engaged in assessing the quality of animation and design. The total number of marks that the participant could earn on this task should be the same as in other stages of selection (20) so that the score could be added to the final result without conversion.
Stage 5: Psychometric Tests
Finally, psychometric tests can be used to identify the candidates’ innate qualities that could influence their work. Psychometric tests, such as personality or aptitude questionnaires are widely used by companies in various industries (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2017). They are particularly relevant in contexts where employees are required to have high motivation, teamwork and communication skills, stress tolerance, and other characteristics that would help them to perform their job better.
There is a wide variety of psychometric tests to choose from depending on the job profile. Given the specifics of the case, it would be best to apply Cattell’s Sixteen Personality Factors (16PF) to evaluate how each applicant’s traits could affect their work (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). The various personality factors included in this test allow predicting a person’s behaviors on the job. Marking this test would require determining the desirable personality factors and comparing each applicant’s results with the ideal profile. Then, the candidate’s results should be marked out of 20 based on their compatibility with the desirable scores. Adding this result to the cumulative score would provide an evaluation of the participant’s fit in percentage (e.g. 87 out of 100 would be 87%), thus allowing to select the best candidate.
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Constraints of the Proposed Strategy
Although the strategy is based on high-quality evidence, there are some constraints associated with it. Firstly, this selection strategy is rather expensive and time-consuming, mainly because applicants are judged based on their final scores instead of being eliminated along the way. Time and budget constraints are essential in the film industry because projects are usually completed on a tight schedule and with restricted funding. However, this selection strategy helps to ensure that the assessment is comprehensive and that potentially suitable candidates are not rejected based on their CV or interview results only. This, in turn, would ensure that the selected candidate provides excellent results and fits into the team well, which is important for the project.
Secondly, some of the methods used in the proposed strategy are not very reliable. This includes interviews and psychometric testing in particular. Scholars note that the validity of interviews as a selection method has been contested in numerous research studies (Herriot 2002; Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). Similarly, psychometric tests often fail to provide an accurate representation of an individual’s behaviors or characteristics (Pilbeam & Corbridge 2006). Nevertheless, these tools are balanced by more reliable selection methods, such as work sample tests and portfolio reviews. Because a wide selection of assessment tools are used, the participants will also be more likely to experience positive reactions to the company and the crew, resulting in better work attitudes (Hülsheger & Anderson 2009; Wilkinson, Redman & Dundon 2017).
Overall, the proposed selection strategy will allow choosing the most suitable candidate for the position of multimedia artist and animator. Although it combines methods with various levels of accuracy, it focuses on those with high perceived fairness to ensure that the applicants have a pleasant experience throughout the selection process. The variety of methods used in this strategy will help to create an accurate impression of each applicant’s skills, work, and personality traits, thus identifying the best possible fit.
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