How to attract and attain good candidates in a competitive marketplace? This is a relevant question for many organisations when competent personnel is seen as an advantage for business. Variety of personnel recruitment and selection methods are designed to attract and to find the right employee to specific job. When competition of qualifies employees is tough and wrong recruitment decisions are very expensive, securing good recruitment and selection processes have become more essential. But what is good recruitment and selection process from the organisation’s perspective?
First this article will give insight to concepts of recruitment and selection. After that best methods of securing good recruitment and selection process is presented. Finally conclusions will follow.
Recruitment is a process which is concerned attracting a pool of candidates for the vacant position by advertising or other methods, as well as producing a shortlist of candidates whose background and potential are in accordance with the profile contained in the job specification. The applicants will be screened and selected afterwards. After a positive selection of applicant, one gets hired. Lastly, it is ensured that the person chosen is able to fulfil his new role in organisation. There are two forms of recruitment: the internal and external. The internal recruitment consists of training and upskilling employees who are already working in the business to prepare them for another job position. Whereas in the external selection, new applicants, outside the organisation, are getting hired to the organisation.
Selection is a final stage of the overall recruitment process and it is concerned with choosing, from a sample of job applicants, the individual best suited to the job available using different methods, which will be later clarified. In the selection process, the employer decides who will be hired to the organisation.
How to secure good recruitment and selection process in organisations?
Successful recruitment process starts with a job analysis. It is necessary to analyse the particular job to which organisation is hiring. Job analysis is designed to produce info about the job e.g. the nature of the work performed, the equipment used, the working conditions and the position of the job within the organisation. Techniques and procedures for job analysing are wide ranging but they can consists e.g. of written already existing job descriptions within the organisation, job holder’s and colleague’s reports of the work or observation. After analysing the gotten data it can be used in many purposes, for example to creating a job description, job specification and job advertisement. The job description contains the outline of the job, the tasks and duties involved, the summary of
overall role and responsibilities of the future employee, and the conditions of work. Job specification states the minimum acceptable qualifications in the terms of knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and interests that employee must possess to perform given task successfully. Job advertisement raises awareness of the vacancy and it attracts the potential applicants. It is very important, because the right advertisement can address appropriate applicants to apply for the position and encourage unqualified applicants not to seek a specific job. Attention should be placed, where to post the advertisement, so that it reaches the right candidates.
Selection assessments methods are used to pick the applicant with the highest job potential to the position. There is wide range of different personnel selection measures, which are not equally useful, e.g. screening CVs, interviews, psychometric tests, biodata, references, work sample tests, assessment centres and checking references. This article will take a closer look to interviews, psychometric tests, work sample tests and assessment centres as a means to secure good selection process for organisation.
Most promising applicants are asked to take part to interview after their CV and application letter has been screened. Interviews are by far the most popular form of personnel selection even though they have been criticised to be subjective, unreliable and vulnerable to bias. By securing a good recruitment process interviews should be structured and interviewers trained. Using structured interview and standardised set of questions reduces the variability of results across applicants and increase the validity of the interviews as a selection device. In addition, interviewers questions should be based on job analysis, questions should be consistent for different applicants, even when using different interviewers, and consistent criteria set should be used to evaluate applicants’ responses. When these factors are secured, interview can be seen as a valid mean on selecting employees.
Two most common forms of structured interview used in selection are behavioural interviewing and situational interviewing. They can help to measure applicants skills, knowledge and abilities and secure good selection process for organisation. In behavioural interviewing, interviewer asks applicant to describe past behaviour in past situations that are relevant in new job. Interviewer is looking for proves that individual has demonstrated behaviour that would suggest that applicant is capable in similar behaviour in new work. This form is based on a premise that past behaviour predicts future behaviour. For example applicant is asked to describe situation when he was able to persuade someone to change his view and this would give information about his negotiating and persuasion skills. In situational interviewing applicant is presented hypothetical job-related situations and asked to indicate how he would respond e.g. What would you do if 25 % of your staff is sick when you come to work in the morning? There is many possible answers to this question. Interviewer will compare applicant’s response to responses that are expected from a good, average and poor performers in this role. This form is based on assumption that intention to behave predict future behaviour. Problem with both of these forms is that they does not take into account different levels of experience that applicants might have. Individuals with less experience are disadvantaged.
In addition, psychometric tests can be used to secure good selection processes. They are divided into two categories: cognitive ability tests and self-report measures of personality. Cognitive ability tests measure e.g. general intelligence, spatial ability, numerical ability and verbal ability. Many researchers argue that these tests are the best and most widely applicable predictor in personnel selection. They have been shown to be the best single predictor of later job performance. Self-report measures of personality are based on assumption that personality is an important determinant of behaviour at work. Measures of personality are based on five factor model of personality. Research has evidenced that personality traits can determinate performance in different work situations. For example conscientiousness is positively correlated to overall job performance, openness to experience correlates positively with training performances and extroversion correlates positively in sale performances. There is an ongoing debate going on about using personality measures in selection. However, they can add significant incremental validity for some job roles, particularly when predictor and criterion variables are carefully matched.
Furthermore work sample tests gives employer information about how applicant perform a task or a set of tasks that are relevant in job. Tests try to simulate as much as possible the genuine conditions under which individuals have to perform their work. For a secure good selection process, when work sample test is used it is important to notice that the test is designed after careful job analysis. It guarantees that the test have direct relevance to the job in question. Clear instructions about the task and time for performing the task are also important to communicate to applicant. Work sample tests have high criterion-related validity (0.55) which in turn influence that applicants respond positively to work sample tests in selection processes.
Assessment centres are reliable, systematic and effective method of recruitment consisting of different methods. They offer possibilities for applicants to demonstrate their competencies on a wider range for example compared to interviews. They can include work sample exercises, group exercises, presentations, in-tray exercises, role play, practical skills, interviews (competence and situational) and psychometric tests. The combination of methods depends on the target of job role and is based on job analysis, which is important on securing good recruitment process. While performing exercises multiple trained assessors observe and evaluate the performance of applicants. Typically competences are assessed multiple times with different exercises and each exercise assesses multiple competencies e.g. in group discussion communication and leadership styles are evaluated. Applicants have to be chosen carefully by the hiring organisation because assessment is very expensive. However obtained data is very comprehensive and comparable, when several applicants have participated to assessment.
To ensure a good recruitment for the business, it is important to make use of appropriate job-related selection methods which are based on job analysis to find the right applicant to a specific job. It is recommended to use multiple methods before evaluating and selecting the person to whom the job will be offered.
To sum it up
While recruitment processes are time-consuming and expensive to execute it is important to secure good recruitment and selection processes when the goal in organisation is to find the best candidate for the job. There are many methods that can be used in organisations for securing good recruitment processes. All of them base on well executed job analysis, which gives the information, what kind of person and with which skills and knowledge is needed for the specific position. Job analysis is the corner stone for successful recruitment. After job analysis it is far more easier to consider, which selection methods could be reasonable for a finding best fit to a certain job. The level of the position has also its effects on what methods should be used; for high level positions, assessment centres could be considered and for lower level positions interviews might be enough.
Arnold, J. & Randall, R. (2016) Personnel selection: analysing jobs, competencies and selection methods. In Work Psychology. Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace. Chapter 4.