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Recruitment and Selection Graduate Diploma in Management Studies

Deirdre Harrington

February 13th 2012

Presentation Outline

Define recruitment and selection Examine Internal and External Sources in Recruitment Look at Contextual Factors that Influence Recruitment and Selection Practices Identify Selection Techniques Validity and Reliability Recruitment and Selection-Key Stages Summary


The recruitment and selection process is concerned with identifying, attracting and choosing suitable people to meet an organisations human resource requirements.

Whitehill (1991) describes the recruitment process as a positive one,building a roster of potentially qualified applicants


A useful definition of recruitment is searching for and obtaining potential job candidates in sufficient numbers and quality so that the organisation can select the most appropriate people to fill its job needs (Dowling and Schuler,1990)

Selection is concerned more with predicting which candidates will make the most appropriate contribution to the organisation now and in the future ( Hackett, 1991)

Recruitment and Selection Process


Analyse requirements Plan recruitment programme

Define requirements

Attract candidates

Select candidates Interview Test Assessment centre

Steps of Recruitment Process Decision is made as to whether recruitment is Jobnecessary is description prepared Specification is prepared Plans are made on how and when to advertise Applicants are shortlisted References are requested Candidates are invited Thefor interviews and successful candidate selection job is offered thetestsand signs the contract of employment

Recruitment Process

Developing human resource plans requires three forecasts: one for personnel requirements, one for the supply of outside candidates, and for the supply of inside candidates. To predict the need for personnel, first project the demand for the product or service. Next project the volume of production required to meet these estimates. Finally, relate personnel needs to these production estimates. Once personnel needs are projected, the next step is to build up a pool of qualified applicants. We discussed several sources of candidates, including internal sources (or promotion from within), advertising, employment agencies, executive recruiters, college recruiting, the internet, referrals and walk-ins.


The initial selection screening in most organisations begins with an application form. Most managers use these just to obtain background data. However, you can use application form data to make predictions about the applicants future performance. For example application forms have been used to predict job tenure, job success, and employee theft. Personnel planning and recruiting directly affect employee commitment because commitment depends on hiring employees who have the potential to develop. The more qualified applicants you have, the higher your selection standards can be. Selection usually begins with effective testing and interviewing

Internal Recruitment

Internal sources include recruiting from the current employee pool, normally by transfer or promotion. Examination of HR records for potential candidates

Usually, internal sources can be used effectively if the number of vacancies are not very large, adequate employee records are maintained,and employees have prepared themselves for promotion

This approach requires considerable investment in training and development and the support of a performance management system with an emphasis on identifying potential and on securing commitment from employees

Internal Recruitment There are various ways of recruiting internally, including :

Management and skill inventories (these are databases) giving an idea of what skills exist in the organisation. They can then be used as a recruitment tool to approach the internal qualified staff Job posting (internal advertising of a post) Bidding procedures (applicants are invited to make internal applications)

Advantages of Internal Recruitment

Applicants are well known to the organisation, and are probably more knowledgeable about the vacancy (thus they do not have unrealistic expectations) It is generally a cheaper and more flexible form of recruitment than external recruitment Increased motivation (it motivates the workforce to know that they have a chance of advancement)

Disadvantages of Internal Recruitment

There are potential disadvantages of internal recruitment, including:

If you recruit internally, you will have less infusion of new ideas Jealously/politics (the competition for internal vacancies may lead to detrimental behaviour) The internal recruitment pool is likely to be relatively small so the potential downfall of internal recruitment is that the organisation does not necessarily get the best person for the job.

Factors that Affect Internal Recruitment Financial Position The Financial position of the organisation affects internal recruitment.

Cash rich organisations may be find it easier to reach agreement for the budgets required for investment in sophisticated selection processes with an emphasis on employee development. Financial constraints can forestall the investment in training and development necessary to tap the potential of the internal labour market. Assessment centres may be deemed appropriate in terms of their purpose and suitability, but remain unused because cheaper selection tools exist. In addition, tight budgets may limit the amount of cash available to fund higher reward packages expected by the best applicants

Size of the Organisation Within the largest organisations HR policy may be decided by a powerful central function, developed over time, with individual business or service units expected to maintain strict adherence to written policy and procedure.

Small organisations(25-39 employees), on the other hand may not have well- developed personnel function or recruitment and selection systems may not exist,. Recruitment may be irregular, with a heavy reliance on informal methods of recruitment. Overall, smaller workplaces are likely to rely on more traditional methods of recruitment and selection, namely CVs and interview whilst more sophisticated methods, such as assessment centres, are likely to be found in larger organisations.

External Recruitment External recruitment may be necessary when:

They are entry level jobs open (thus no one lower to be promoted up)

Inadequate internal supply, either as to number of staff or requisite skills

External Recruitment Advantage

An emphasis on external might help to bring new ideas and new styles of working into the organisation

Disadvantage The adoption of this approach may reflect a short- term focus and an unwillingness or inability to invest in the existing workforce

Factors that Affect External Recuitment External Labour Market Factors When organisations chose to recruit externally rather than internally, the search takes place in local, regional, national and or internal markets, depending on numbers, skills, competences and experiences required, the potential financial costs involved and the perceived benefits involved to the organisation concerned. External recruitment often poses problems for organisations. 85% of respondents to the CIPD Recruitment, Retention and Turnover Survey, 2005(CIPD, 2005) report recruitment difficulties. The main causes cited are A lack of specialist skills required A lack of experience required Applicants want more pay than can be offered No applicants

How to Overcome This

Appointing people who have potential to grow but do not currently have all that is required Increasing starting salaries or the benefits package Taking account of a broader range of qualities such as personal skills instead of qualifications Redefining the jobs Appointing people who do not exactly match what the job requires.

Government Policy and Legislation

While organisations have considerable freedom of choice in the type of people they want to recruit, legislation plays a significant role in the recruitment and selection process, particularly in attempts to prevent discrimination on the groups of sex, race, disability and age

Equality Act 2004: This legislation makes significant amendments to the Employment Equality Act 1998 which prohibits discrimination in a range of employment-related areas. The prohibited grounds of discrimination are gender, marital status, family status, age, race, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation and membership of the Traveller community. The Act also prohibits sexual and other harassment.

Selection Techniques Various selection techniques are available, and a selection procedure will involve the use of more than one. The most popular techniques will be outlined Interviews Interviewing is universally popular as a selection tool, Torrington et al (2002:242) describe an interview as a controlled conversation with a purpose. However this broad definition encompasses a wide diversity of practice. Differences can include the number of interviewers and the number of interview stages. The format can be biographical for example following the contents of the application form or it can be based on the key competencies required for the job.

Continued There are different types of structured interviews, but they have a number of common features (Anderson and Shackleton, 1993:72)

The interaction is standardised as much as possible All candidates are asked a series of questions Replies are rated by the interviewer on performated rating scales Dimensions for rating are derived from critical aspects of on-the-job behaviour

Interview Techniques The most popular structured interview techniques are behavioural and Situational interviews.

A behavioral interview is a style of interviewing wherein the job applicant is asked to give examples of situations they have personally been involved where they have demonstrated a particular trait or skill that the interviewer is interested in.For example, Can you give an example of when you had to deal with a difficult person). A situational interview is a style wherein theoretical or hypothetical situations are given by the interviewer to assess the applicant's behaviour in such a situation. ( What would you do if you had to deal with a team member who was uncooperative)


The main difference between behavioral and situational interviews are that behavioral interviews focus on past experiences and behavior of the applicant, while situational interviews concentrate on how the applicant will react when confronted with a given situation. These two styles of interviewing are often used in conjunction with each other.

These styles of interviewing job applicants are tailored to specific competencies required for specific job positions, thus specific situations must also be given as examples by the applicant. Vagueness must be avoided. The examples may be ordinary events in his life and not necessarily from previous work experience..
For either style, the interviewer needs to identify the required competencies for the job he wants to fill. He must then examine actual situations related to the job where these competencies (or lack thereof) played a critical part in its success (or failure). A set of questions can be developed and framed in such a way that canned responses may be avoided. A rating scale is also prepared after the job is analysed and the competencies are identified.

Telephone Interviewing Telephone interviewing increasing in popularity They have a number of benefits: They can be quicker to arrange and conduct than more conventional methods They can be cost-effective as an initial screen They provide an ideal way to assess a candidates telephone manner Disadvantages They can not take account of non-verbal communication for example facial expressions, gestures and body language, which accounts for up to 60 per cent of total interpersonal communication.

Testing Testing is essentially an attempt to achieve objectivity, or, to out it more accurately, to reduce subjectivity in selection-decisionmaking(Lewis,1985:157)The use of test used for selection are ability and aptitude tests, intelligence tests and personality questionnaires.

Ability tests (such as typing tests) are concerned with skills and abilities already acquired by an individual, whereas aptitude tests(such as verbal reasoning tests or numerical aptitude) focus on individuals potential to undertake specific tasks. Intelligence tests can give an indication of overall mental capacity, and have been used for selection purposes for some considerable time. Personality questionnaires allow quantification of characteristics that are important to job performance and difficult to measure by other methods (Lewis,1985)

Assessment Centres

An assessment centre is not a place but rather a process that consists of a small group of participants who undertake a series of tests and exercises under observation, with a view of the assessment of their skills and competencies, their suitability for particular roles and their potential for development( Fowler, 1992). They have a number of characteristics A variety of individual and group assessment techniques are used, at least one which is a work simulation. Multiple assessors are used. These assessors should have received training prior to participating in the centre Selection decisions are based on pooled information from assessors and techniques

Questionnaires They are helpful when a large number of jobs are covered. Can save interview time by recording purely factual information and by enabling the analyst to structure questions in advance to cover areas that need to be explored in greater detail

A disadvantage is that it may fail to reveal the full flavour of the job.If they are over generalised it will be too easy for job holders to provide vague or incoherent answers.

Recruitment and Selection-Key Stages Summary

Defining the vacancy - Who do we want? Job & Person Specification; Terms & Conditions Attracting applicants - How can we attract them? Recruitment Methods; Adverts & Documentation Assessing candidates - How can we identify them? Short-listing; Selection Techniques

Making appropriate decisions - Who is involved in the process? Line managers, peers, specialist agencies; outsourcing
Evaluate the effectiveness of the process - How do we know if we have got it right? Efficient (cost, delays), effective (retention, promotion etc.), fair