Updated July 3, 2023
What is the Process of Selection?
When a company has a job opening, it needs to identify the most suitable candidate to fill the position. This is where the process of selection comes into play. It is a methodical process by which a company evaluates and chooses the best candidate from a pool of applicants.
This process usually involves different steps, like reviewing job applications, conducting interviews, and checking references. The goal is to pick someone who is not only qualified and skilled but also a good fit for the company’s culture.
Recruitment and selection are two important processes that companies use to find and hire the best candidates for their job openings.
Recruitment is the process of finding potential candidates for a job, while the process of selection refers to choosing the best candidate for the job from the pool of applicants.
Steps in Selection Process
Let us now understand the process of selection.
1. Resume/CV Screening
Candidates apply for the position by sending the application form, resume, and cover letter. The organization then reviews these applications to determine which candidates meet the job’s minimum requirements. Resumes highlight education, work experience, certifications, and other job-specific requirements.
After the screening of resumes, the organization may notify the shortlisted candidates and invite them to the next stage of the process of selection, which could involve further assessments such as testing, interviews, and reference checks. It helps the organization identify the most qualified candidates for the job. It also saves time and resources by not considering candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements.
During the initial screening process, organizations often create a candidate summary sheet with key information about shortlisted candidates, such as their qualifications, work experience, and relevant skills.
Candidate Summary Sheet
- The resumes through various hiring sources are on a candidate summary sheet (a sample is above).
- The rationale for posting the resume on this summary sheet is that the interviewer or the panel of interviewers will have a ready reckoner available before the interview process starts.
- This is mandatory as the panel should know a brief about the candidate walking in for the interview, especially regarding their qualifications, experience, and skill set.
- This would enable the panel to assess the individuals properly and ask pertinent questions about the role.
2. Preliminary Interview
The HR manager or a senior recruiter can conduct a preliminary interview to have a primary check on the candidate’s skill sets, relevant experience, and qualifications necessary for the discussion. Thus, a filter is important to shortlist the resumes from the received resumes.
- This preliminary check can be through a telephone conversation or a face-to-face interview if it is convenient for the candidate to attend.
- However, looking at the time that an individual spends cutting across the traffic and reaching the venue, it becomes more prudent to conduct the same through a Video Conference (VC), especially if the candidates shortlisted are not local.
- Such out-stationed candidates find it very convenient to attend the interview round through a VC. It is also good for the interviewer as they can see the candidate and take the process further.
- Once the preliminary round of interviews is over, the next game could involve a formal interview.
- However, here it is worth mentioning that the interviewer should be knowledgeable enough concerning the role.
Hence, the HR manager needs to identify and prepare the panel beforehand. It would also be important to mention that the interviewer should have a thorough knowledge of the Job Description (JD) of the profile. Often, a senior member of the organization who is not engaged in any important work gets dragged into the interviewing process, irrespective of the fact that they are aware of the role. This could be detrimental as there is a great likelihood that a less deserving candidate may get shortlisted for subsequent rounds.
3. Shortlisting Candidates
A thorough review of each candidate’s application materials, assessment results, and other relevant information, such as feedback from reference checks, is part of the shortlisting process.
Shortlisted candidates are usually notified by phone or email and invited to the next stage of the process of selection, which may include additional tests, interviews, and reference checks. The organization may also provide additional job-related information, such as a job description, salary range, and benefits. It assists shortlisted candidates in deciding whether to continue with the process of selection.
The shortlisting stage assists the organization in identifying the most qualified and appropriate candidates for the job. Only the most competitive candidates advance to the final stages of the process of selection.
A wrong process of selection could even lead to demotivating others in the team. Further to this step is a quick step of conducting a ‘Reference check‘.
4. Reference Check
The purpose of reference checks is to gather additional information about the candidate, assess their suitability for the job, and verify the information provided by the candidate, such as their work experience, job performance, and other relevant details.
Reference checks should be from previous bosses as they would be better positioned to articulate things and portray a clear and correct picture of candidates’ past performances.
However, the reference may be conveniently skipped if the candidate is a trainee without experience.
Reference checks can also take place after the rollout of the offer letter. And after doing so, if anything adverse comes to the notice, the candidate may need to leave, or the offer letter stands invalid.
5. Final Interview
After initial interviews, the final round may involve a panel of two, usually the HR manager and a business manager from the line function, to make the hiring decision. This interview usually involves a face-to-face discussion between the candidate and the hiring manager, where the candidate receives more information about the role and the team they will be working with.
There are some important points that a recruiter needs to bear in mind.
- The number of rounds in the process of selection should not be too many, or else it puts off the candidate.
- One or two rounds are common, followed by a final round.
- The number of interview rounds conducted will depend on the requirement of the job profile.
- Since the position stakes are higher for senior-level employees, more rounds may be desirable.
6. Selection Decision
The selection decision is where the organization evaluates all the available information about the candidates and chooses the best candidate for the job. This decision is under the responsibility of a hiring manager or a selection committee tasked with evaluating the candidates.
To make the selection decision, the organization considers all the information gathered about the candidates, including their:
- Work experience
- Performance in the assessments and interviews.
The hiring manager or selection committee may also consider other factors, such as the candidate’s cultural fit with the organization, their potential for growth and development, and their salary expectations.
After the selection decision, the organization will usually notify the successful candidate and offer employment, subject to completing any remaining requirements, such as a medical exam or background check.
7. Salary Negotiation
Salary negotiation is when the employer and the candidate discuss and negotiate the candidate’s salary and other compensation-related benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, and stock options. This negotiation process is typically in good faith and aims to reach a satisfactory agreement for both parties.
During the salary negotiation process, candidates may express their salary expectations based on their qualifications, experience, and industry standards. The employer may also provide information about the salary range for the position, considering the candidate’s skills and experience, as well as the organization’s budgetary constraints and compensation policies.
The negotiation process may involve multiple rounds of discussion and counteroffers until both parties agree on the salary and other compensation-related benefits. After completing the agreement, the employer typically prepares a formal offer letter that outlines the terms of the employment agreement, including the salary, benefits, job duties, and other relevant information.
8. Medical Checkup
Medical checkups are standard practice in many organizations, particularly those operating in industries where employees’ health and safety are paramount, such as healthcare, manufacturing, or construction.
During the medical checkup, the healthcare professional will evaluate the candidate’s overall health and fitness, including their physical condition, medical history, and any pre-existing conditions that may impact their ability to perform the job. They may also conduct specific tests or examinations based on the job’s requirements, such as hearing or vision tests, drug and alcohol tests, or psychological evaluations.
Suppose the candidate has any medical conditions that may affect their ability to perform the job. In that case, the organization may make accommodations, such as providing special equipment or modifying their work schedule or duties, to enable them to perform the job safely and effectively.
The medical checkup results are typically confidential and shared only with the organization’s human resources department or the hiring manager.
9. Offer Letter Release
Once the employer and the candidate agree on the salary and other compensation-related benefits, the employer prepares and releases an offer letter to the candidate.
The offer letter is a formal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the employer-candidate employment agreement.
It usually includes the job title, job description, salary, benefits, start date, work location, and other relevant terms and conditions.
Sometimes, the offer letter may be a “spot offer” during the final interview or immediately after. This offer is typically made on the spot and requires the candidate to make an immediate decision. Spot offers are common in industries with a high demand for talent and intense competition.
In other cases, the offer letter is available via email or regular mail after completing the negotiation process. This type of offer allows the candidate to review the employment agreement’s terms and conditions before deciding on the offer.
When candidates receive an offer letter, they have a certain amount of time to accept or decline the offer, usually a few days to a week. If the candidate accepts the offer, they typically sign the offer letter and return it to the employer to indicate that they agree with the terms and conditions.
10. Employment Contract
The employer drafts an employment contract after the candidate accepts the offer letter and agrees to the employment agreement’s terms and conditions. This legally binding document formalizes the employer-employee employment relationship.
The employment contract typically contains thorough information about the employment agreement’s terms and conditions, such as the job title, job description, salary, benefits, work hours, work location, and other pertinent information. It also contains information about the company’s policies and procedures, such as its code of conduct, grievance procedure, and termination policies.
Barriers to Effective Selection
While we have understood the process of selection, it would also be prudent to have an insight into the barriers to an effective process of selection. Given below are some potential barriers that may impede effective selection.
1. Perceptual Errors
a) Halo Effect: The Halo effect is where a single trait of an individual may overshadow all other characteristics of a candidate.
Example: If an interviewer gets impressed by a candidate’s confident communication skills, they may neglect their lack of relevant experience for the job.
b) Stereotyping: Stereotyping refers to judging a candidate based on preconceived notions about their group.
Example: An interviewer may believe that all introverts lack the necessary social skills for a sales position and may overlook an introverted candidate with exceptional sales skills.
An interviewer may have preconceived notions about a particular group of people that can influence their decision-making.
c) Projection: Projection means assigning certain characteristics or beliefs to a candidate. In this case, an interviewer may project their qualities or characteristics onto a candidate and rate them higher.
Example: If an interviewer is a fan of a particular sports team, they may place a candidate who is also a fan of that team higher, even if the candidate’s fandom is irrelevant to the job.
2. Personal Bias
a) Similarity: Similarity as a personal bias is preferring candidates with similar traits or backgrounds.
Example: An interviewer who graduated from a particular university may prefer candidates who also attended that university.
An interviewer may favor candidates with similar characteristics or backgrounds.
b) Attraction: Attraction as a personal bias prefers candidates due to physical appearance or personality traits unrelated to the job profile and performance required.
Example: An interviewer may be more likely to hire a candidate who resembles a celebrity they admire.
An interviewer may be more likely to hire a candidate they find attractive or physically appealing.
3. Lack of Objectivity
Lack of Objectivity refers to making decisions through personal opinions.
Example: An interviewer may rely too heavily on subjective factors, such as their gut feeling or personal opinions, rather than objective criteria, such as the candidate’s qualifications and experience.
4. Lack of Standardization
Lack of Standardization involves inconsistencies in the process of selection that lead to unfair treatment of candidates. An interviewer may fail to use standardized evaluation methods, leading to inconsistencies in the process of selection.
Example: One interviewer may ask different questions than another, leading to various evaluations of the same candidate.
5. Legal and Ethical Concerns
a) Discrimination: Discrimination in the process of selection is about treating a candidate with unfair treatment due to their gender, race, age group, or other such criteria.
Example: An interviewer may not hire a candidate because they are over a certain age, even if they are the most qualified candidate.
An interviewer may engage in discriminatory practices, such as not hiring candidates based on race, gender, age, or disability.
b) Selection Criteria: Bias on selection criteria means using a standard intentionally to give unfair treatment to candidates that disadvantage their chances of passing the process of selection. Interviewers may use selection criteria that disproportionately impact certain groups of people.
Example: Requiring a degree for a job that does not necessarily require one may disadvantage candidates who cannot afford to pursue higher education.
An interviewer must be careful not to indulge in the above practices to ensure optimum results from the process of selection.
Tests in the Process of Selection
Various types of tests could be useful in the process of selection. For example, a shortlisting process may involve a psychometric test to assess a candidate’s personality.
A. Psychometric Assessment
Psychometric tests are special tools in the process of selection to analyze a candidate’s behavioral and personality traits. These tests are usually expensive and require special skills to analyze the results, which is why not everyone on the selection team may know about them.
In this regard, several tests are available for recruiters to evaluate the candidates.
1. IQ Test
This test helps the recruiters assess the candidate’s analytical and logical skills, which are vital for many roles, such as data analysts, software developers, and researchers.
Ways to test IQ –
- Number series: The candidate has to complete the series by finding the next number in the sequence.
- Analogies: In a set of two words, the candidate has to find a third word that has a similar relationship with the second word as the first word has.
- Spatial reasoning: For a diagram or a puzzle, the candidate has to manipulate the pieces or solve the puzzle to get the correct answer.
2. Aptitude Test
Aptitude test evaluates candidates’ potential to learn new skills and perform job-specific tasks. These tests are useful for entry-level positions or roles that require specific skills.
Ways to test the Aptitude –
- Verbal reasoning: A candidate must identify the assumptions, inferences, and conclusions made in sentences or paragraphs.
- Numerical reasoning: A candidate has to interpret the data and answer the questions related to a data set in graphs, tables, or charts.
- Abstract reasoning: A candidate has to identify the patterns and relationships among diagrams or shapes.
3. MBTI Test
MBTI or Myers-Briggs test helps the recruiters assess the candidate’s compatibility with the organization’s culture and work environment.
This test identifies four pairs of preferences based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality:
- Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
- Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Ways to test personality via MBTI –
- Group discussions: A group of candidates discusses a particular topic. The facilitator observes how the candidate interacts with others, communicates their thoughts, and handles conflict.
- Self-assessment: The candidate completes a questionnaire to identify their personality type and preferences.
- Role-play scenarios: The candidate may need to act out how they would react to a hypothetical situation.
4. DISC Analysis Test
DISC Analysis is a psychometric tool that evaluates a candidate’s behavior and communication style. The test helps the recruiters assess the candidate’s ability to work in a team, leadership skills, and adaptability to change.
The test assesses four dimensions of behavior:
- Dominance (D)
- Influence (I)
- Steadiness (S)
- Compliance (C).
Ways to test via DISC Analysis –
- Behavioral questionnaires: The candidate completes a questionnaire that assesses their behavior in different situations, such as when working in a team, under pressure, or dealing with conflict.
- Case studies: The candidate provides solutions or recommendations per their behavioral tendencies in a hypothetical situation.
- Interviews: The candidate answers behavioral-based questions during the interview process, such as “Describe a time when you had to handle a difficult situation” or “How do you typically respond to conflict in the workplace?”
B. Inkblot test
The Inkblot test involves participants imagining and weaving a story when an ink drop blots a piece of paper. The examiner closely monitors participants’ responses, including time and emotional expressions.
Such tests, though uncommon, find their way into an organization where creative skills are important or innovative writing is of paramount significance.
C. Work Sample Tests
Work sample tests are hands-on assessments that allow employers to evaluate a candidate’s work quality, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
Here are some common types of work sample tests:
1. Typing sample
A typing sample test is a practical way to measure a candidate’s typing speed and accuracy, essential for roles that require data entry, content writing, or any work that involves heavy typing.
Example – The candidate may get a set amount of time, such as 5 minutes, to type out as much text as possible from a provided passage.
2. Writing sample
A writing sample test requires a candidate to write a brief on a topic or draft a blog post, depending on the job requirements. This test helps evaluate the candidate’s writing style, grammar, vocabulary, and tone.
Example – A candidate for a content writing profile may need to prepare a blog for 500 words as an assignment.
3. Coding sample
A coding sample test evaluates a candidate’s coding skills and problem-solving abilities. The candidate must solve a coding challenge or a task within a specific time frame.
4. Design sample
A design sample test is useful for evaluating a candidate’s skills, particularly in graphic design, web design, or user interface design.
Example – The test could ask the candidate to design a business card for a new employee, providing them with the employee’s name and contact information, as well as the company’s logo and branding guidelines.
5. Sales pitch
A sales pitch test is useful to assess a candidate’s ability to sell a product, service, or idea to a client. This test helps evaluate the candidate’s communication skills, product knowledge, and persuasive abilities.
Example – A candidate can be asked to create a compelling pitch highlighting the product’s unique selling points and convincing potential customers to buy it.
Hiring managers can improve their recruitment and process of selection by keeping an eye on some key ratios. They can monitor these ratios at each stage of the process and get a better sense of how successful the hiring process is and where they might need to make improvements.
Here are some of the ratios to consider:
|Number of applications selected||(Number of candidates selected / Total number of applications) x 100||Determines the effectiveness of the process of selection|
|Number of resumes shortlisted||(Number of candidates shortlisted / Total number of resumes) x 100||Evaluates the screening process|
|Number of shortlisted candidates present for tests||(Number of candidates who appeared for the tests / Total number of shortlisted candidates) x 100||Assessment of the quality of shortlisted candidates|
|Number of candidates passing the tests||(Number of candidates who passed the tests / Total number of candidates who appeared for the tests) x 100||Evaluates the effectiveness of the testing process and the caliber of the candidate|
|Number of candidates finally selected||(Number of candidates selected for the role / Total number of candidates who appeared for the final round) x 100||Measurement of the success rate of the process of selection|
|Number of offer letters accepted by candidates||(Number of candidates who accepted the offer / Total number of candidates offered with the job) x 100||Evaluates the effectiveness of the offer procedure|
|Number of candidates actually joining after the offer letter||(Number of candidates who joined the company / Total number of candidates who accepted the offer) x 100||Identifies the number of candidates who backed out
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q1. What are the objectives of selection?
Answer: The primary goals of the process of selection are as follows:
- Find the best candidate with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience
- Ensure a fair, objective, and merit-based process of selection
- Identify candidates with potential for growth and development within the organization
- Improve the organization’s overall performance by selecting the right fit candidates
- Reduce employee turnover by selecting committed candidates.
Q2. What are the five recruitment strategies or methods?
- Employee referrals: Current employees refer candidates for available positions, often motivated by referral bonuses.
- Social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are some popular media platforms used to attract potential candidates.
- Career websites: Companies often have a section dedicated to career opportunities where they list job openings and provide information about company culture, benefits, and the application process.
- Job boards: Websites that list job openings for candidates to search and for companies to post openings.
- Recruiting agencies: Companies that specialize in finding candidates for open positions, often with potential candidates on hand, to help find skilled candidates quickly.
Q3. What is the difference between recruitment and selection?
|Objective||To attract quality candidates.||To hire the best-fit candidate.|
|Process||A broad process that involves advertising, screening, and sourcing candidates.||A focused process that involves interviewing, testing, and evaluating candidates.|
|Timing||Comes before selection.||Comes after recruitment.|
|Scope||Wide-ranging||Narrow and specific|
|Skills Required||Marketing, communication, and sourcing skills||Evaluation, analysis, and decision-making skills|