Recruitment and selection process

Recruitment is the process of having the right person, in the right place, at the right time. It is crucial to organisational performance. Recruitment is a critical activity, not just for the HR team but also for line managers who are increasingly involved in the selection process. All those involved in recruitment activities should be equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills. Before creating business plans or making decisions, it is important to ‘scan’ the external environment. This can be achieved through a PESTLE analysis, i.

e. an investigation of the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental influences on a business. In addition it is also important to be aware of the actions of your competitors. These forces are continually in a state of change. Political changes relate to changes in government influence and can have huge significance for companies.

Changes in the priorities for public spending or the UK ‘s relationships with other countries can open or close major markets.

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European Union (EU) regulations can have similar effects while the accession of new members (e.g. Poland) can bring business opportunities. Political changes are closely tied up with legal changes. Laws are continually being updated in a wide range of areas, e.g. consumer protection legislation, environmental legislation, health & safety and employment law, etc. Economic changes are closely related to social ones. The economy goes through a series of fluctuations associated with general booms and slumps in economic activity. In a boom nearly all businesses benefit and in a slump most lose out.

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Other economic changes that affect business include changes in the interest rate, wage rates, and the rate of inflation (i.e. general level of increase in prices). Businesses will be more encouraged to expand and take risks when economic conditions are right, e.g. low interest rates and rising demand. Social factors relate to pattern of behaviour, tastes, and lifestyles.

A major component of this is a change in consumer behaviour resulting from changes in fashions and styles. The age structure of the population also alters over time (currently we have an ageing population). An understanding of social change gives business a better feel for the future market situation. Technological changes have also become particularly significant in the post-millennium world. This is particularly true in the case of modern communication technologies. The creation of databases and electronic communications have enabled vast quantities of information to be shared and quickly distributed in a modern company enabling vast cost reductions, and often improvements in service. Organisations need to be aware of the latest relevant technologies for their business. The importance of diversity should be taken into account at each stage of the recruitment process.

Processes and systems should be regularly reviewed to ensure hidden bias is removed and to ensure talent is not being blocked from entering the organisation. Everyone taking part in activities such as shortlisting and interviewing should be aware of relevant legislation and the importance of avoiding discrimination. Acknowledging and identifying the benefits of a diverse workforce is the first step towards making a positive change. Actively embedding diversity in the recruitment process signals an open and accepting culture. This attracts more applicants and provides a wider range of skills and experiences from which to select the best candidates for the vacancy. By supporting a diverse workforce, employers are laying the foundation for an innovative and more creative working environment, as employees are drawing on a wider range of unique experiences to contribute new ideas and approaches.

Role models from a diverse background in senior positions can help retain current employees as well as attracting new candidates. A diverse workforce brings other benefits. The more contact people from different backgrounds have the less prejudice they display, this is known as the Contact Hypothesis Employing people from diverse backgrounds can help alleviate and prevent further reinforcement of stereotypes and create positive reputation for the company.

Diversity policies should be incorporated in a business’s core strategy, not only as a duty to comply with the diversity legislation, but also as an integral strategy in developing the business. Diversity policies need to be mainstreamed and made the norm rather than the exception. This prevents them from being restricted to, and associated with, specific groups of people. Acknowledging and identifying the benefits of a diverse workforce is the first step towards making a positive change.

Recruitment methods

External recruitment is concerned with generating a pool of qualified candidates through external sources of employment. Under it, following methods of recruitment are adopted.

Direct Recruitment

Direct recruitment refers to a process of recruiting qualified candidates from external sources by placing a notice of vacancy in an organization’s notice board.

Casual Callers

This method of recruitment is concerned with using previously applied candidates as a source of recruitment. This method avoids the costs of recruiting people from other sources.


Advertising is one of the most common and popular methods of external recruitment under which the job vacancy is announced through different print and electronic media.

Employment Agencies

Employment agencies run by private, public or government sectors are regarded as an important source of recruitment for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled jobs. The agencies are likely to have a list of qualified candidates in their records, and they render their service as per the requirement from other organizations for employment.

Schools, Colleges and Universities

Most educational institutions provide placement services where the prospective recruiters can review credentials and interview the interested graduates.

Labour Contractors

Labour contractors are an important source of recruitment under which workers are recruited through contractors. However, this method of recruitment is not used by many business firms and organizations.


It is closely concerned with employee referrals. Under this method of external recruitment, applicants are introduced by friends and relatives. In fact, many employers, operating at a small-scale operation, prefer to take such persons as they are acquainted with backgrounds and credentials of prospective employees.

Selection Methods

This section looks at the process of selecting candidates. A variety of methods are available and consideration needs to be given as to which are suitable for a particular post. The methods described here are:

  • Application forms
  • Interview
  • Group selection methods
  • Realistic job previews
  • Portfolio
  • References
  • Assessment centres
  • Other testing
  • Let’s look closely into few of these selection methods
  • Group selection methods

When working with other people is an important part of the selection process, it could be useful to consider a group selection method. This could involve asking a group of candidates to carry out a task and observing the ways in which they interact. The task need not be particularly complicated. It could, for instance, involve the group designing and delivering a presentation on the changing nature of the world of work. You could observe the group and look out for the people who seem to demonstrate the sort of qualities that the job requires; those who were verbally skilled, those who showed leadership behaviour, those who mediated when squabbles broke out, etc.

It is important to tell people what sort of qualities you are looking for before you start such an exercise, as if you do not give clear goals, some potentially viable candidates may try to second-guess you and demonstrate completely untypical behaviours. Where clear goals exist, candidates may also show untypical behaviours, but this is very difficult to do successfully.

Realistic job previews

Methods like this are time-consuming and there are serious issues of confidentiality, but if you can screen your shortlist down to two or three candidates, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring them in and give them a problem to handle; preferably, it would be a problem that you’ve already dealt with successfully. A benefit with realistic job previews is that they can involve more staff in the selection procedure. People tend to work well with candidates whom they have seen and had some say about.


Written references have some drawbacks; perhaps someone wants rid of an employee – they certainly won’t give a poor reference under those circumstances! Poor references could also turn out to be libellous, although one of the main problems is that people just don’t know what you’re asking for. The most accurate references may come from face-to-face or telephone interviews with someone who has had direct experience of the candidate’s work.

Other methods

Perhaps the most popular of the other methods available is psychometric testing, which offers actual tests in areas such as intelligence and personality characteristics. These include Raymond Cattell’s 16 PF Test, which broadly demonstrates candidates’ emotional stability. The Myers Briggs Test is reasonably user-friendly (it’s short) and purports to identify people by personality characteristics such as extrovert v. introvert and thinking vs feeling. Finally, there are selection methods which use samples of candidates’ handwriting (graphology), their star sign (astrology) or which select through palmistry. Little evidence exists to support these as adequate predictors of performance.

Activity 2

Part of recruitment process is selection of suitable candidates. Selecting candidates involves two main processes: shortlisting, and assessing applicants to decide who should be made a job offer. It is a crucial stage in the overall recruitment process which is outlined in our recruitment factsheet. It is very important to get it right. ACAS provides a “how to get it right” some of the points are mentioned below.

  1. Prepare a person specification. This should briefly describe the ideal person to fill the job. It is a profile of the personal skills and characteristics to look for in recruitment and selection. By writing a person specification, you can avoid inadvertent discrimination.
  2. Review the applications.

An application form can help you get the information you need and sift out unsuitable candidates. You can also use it as a basis for the interview. The form should only ask for information that is relevant to the job, During this recruitment applicants were selected based on following criterion on person Specification

  1. Qualifications Certificate in Personal Practice
  2. Knowledge Working knowledge of HR practices
  3. Experience
  4. Skills
  5. Personal qualities

Further details can be found in the Person Specification document attached. Based on the person specification three candidates have been selected and invited to interview however only two attended. 3rd candidate had to withdraw from the process due to personal reasons.

Cite this page

Recruitment and selection process. (2016, May 19). Retrieved from

Recruitment and selection process

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