The likes of Tony Blair and other important social figures down to Jeremy Kyle have successfully used non verbal communication to their advantage. Tony Blair purposely uses NVC to portray a positive and confident image of himself where as the likes of Jeremy Kyle look for signs of NVC to figure out if his guests are telling the truth. This use of NVC should be taken advantage of especially when it comes to recruitment .
The study of NVC is not concerned with the actual verbal discourse that people engage in, but with the way in which people communicate through their body, gesture, facial expression or eyes. Nonverbal communication “is a fascinating subject that directly relates to all of us” Burgoon et al (1978) p. 1 This essay will look at the way non verbal communication is interpreted especially in a recruitment situation and how further understanding of the subject can assist and improve recruitment decisions.
If everybody engages in NVC then to help managers improve decision making the use of NVC should be looked at from both the interviewees and interviewers side. One of the limitations in the study of NVC is that there is a substantial lack of theoretical evidence to support many of the ideas but there seems to be a common assumption in that place. A key point to remember is that many of the sources generate from a Western point of view which can give a biased view.
To create a meaningful answer in how NVC can help the recruitment process, key features that the interviewer and interviewee may act out will be mentioned. Approaches to assist non verbal communication such as impression management, training and technology aids will be explored and how the cultural, gender and environmental differences can make an impact on the NVC involved in an interview. It is necessary to define NVC because the subject can only be fully explored once a common definition is set. Hargie et al (1994) p.
32 identify a basic definition of NVC “Nonverbal behaviour encompasses a whole range of body movements and facial expressions, together with vocal aspects of speech” a more in depth definition can be found in Burgoon et al (1978) “We consider nonverbal communication to be those attributes or actions of humans, other than the use of words themselves which have socially shared meaning, are intentionally sent or interpreted as intentional, are consciously sent or consciously received, and have the potential for feedback from the receiver.
” p. 9-10 This is a very fitting definition as it covers all the aspects of what NVC stands for in terms of communication, in fact, many may under estimate the strength of NVC and how powerful it is as a form of communication for example deaf people completely depend on NVC to communicate. “Normal human interaction is an exchange into which both parties enter to get satisfaction. If artificial interactions such as interviews shift too far from this natural balance, open communication is prevented” Guirdham (1995) p.
180 nonverbal communication is then used to a higher extent to substitute this lack of ‘open communication’ . It would seem looking at the history that as a whole managers frequently make the right decisions when recruiting new employees as many of the best organisations have a low labour turnover which suggests that interviewers are doing the right thing but “The reviews of the predictive validity of the selection interview have established that, as usually conceived, it has poor predictive power relative to other assessment tools” Herriot (1987) p.
141 therefore it poses the question on whether selection interviews actually hold a large element of ‘luck ‘ and ‘chance’, one way of improving the predictive validity could be to include nonverbal communication in the decision making process. “Whenever applicants are being selected for employment by organizations; an interview is likely to form central part of the procedure, and to be given great weight in the decision” Herriot (1987) p. 139 the interviewing process can be very stressful, nervous and intermediating for many people and so can make an impact on the forms of NVC used in the situation.
One of the useful aspects of NVC is that everybody engages in it no matter how nervous, confident or clever they are this is valuable because it means that different forms of NVC can be related to different situations if it’s found that there is a common pattern. People usually form a judgement in the first few seconds of meeting somebody “Those first judgements colour our perceptions of everything else that follows” Burgoon et al (1978) p. 145 therefore it’s imperative that both the interviewee and interviewer start off the interview with a positive start.
“Frequent head nodding and sounds of affirmation help candidates feel that interviewers are paying attention and appreciate what they are saying” Fear et al (2002) p. 58 If the applicant appears confident then generally the interviewer will have this implanted in their mind during the rest of the interview. This issue of judging within the first meeting can be referred to the logical error that interviewers have, where a person assumes that certain characteristics go together. Hinton (1993) p. 15