recruitment and selection
recruitment and selectionThe process of filling JOB vacancies in an organization by hiring new employees. It is a recurring process for most organizations because new entrants will be needed to replace those leaving (see LABOUR TURNOVER). The challenge is to find and employ people with skills, knowledge and experience which match those required by the organization, and whose future performance will be conducive to the good of the organization. This latter is especially problematic since it is difficult to predict future performance on the basis of the past, and when much of the information flow during the recruitment and selection process is controlled by the job applicant. Many organizations now use quite sophisticated methods to deal with these issues, especially in the selection of managerial employees. Equally, in many cases recruitment and selection is handled in a haphazard way.
There are a number of stages to recruitment and selection, each of which should ideally be carefully managed by organizations.
- Creation of a job specification, i.e. the main characteristics of a job. Ideally this should be the result of careful JOB ANALYSIS;
- Creation of a person specification, i.e. the personal characteristics that match the requirements of the job specification. Two checklists are often used to guide recruiters here:
Fraser's Five-Fold Grading System
- impact upon others (appearance etc.)
- innate abilities
- adjustment (i.e. ability to respond positively in new situations). Rodger's Seven-Point Plan
- physical makeup
- general intelligence
- special aptitudes
- recruitment, i.e. the search for suitable applicants, using advertising, executive search agencies, etc. (see EMPLOYMENT AGENCY);
- screening, i.e. scrutiny of applications to determine which candidates appear to be capable of filling the post;
- selection, i.e. choosing the person to be employed. This can be the most difficult stage of the process for the reasons outlined above. The selection interview is the most favoured method but it is not without its problems, chiefly interviewer bias and (often) incompetence. PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS and PERSONALITY INVENTORIES to determine abilities and to construct character profiles are being increasingly employed as a supplement to the interview, with the aim of uncovering the ‘real’ nature of the applicant in an apparently objective way. Some organizations also make use of the ‘assessment centre’ – a range of tests to determine suitability, including observation of candidates in complex decision-making and leadership situations.
The character of all stages of the selection and recruitment process can be influenced by the opinions of those operating it in such a way that DISCRIMINATION can occur. Legislation now prohibits explicit race or sex discrimination. However, members of disadvantaged groups may still be reluctant to apply for many types of job. To tackle this, many organizations now style themselves as ‘equal opportunities employers’ in their recruitment material. See HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, GLASS CEILING.