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Personnel recruitment and selection is one of the managerial functions, which fall under the staffing function of management. The process of recruiting and selecting personnel is a very costly and time-consuming activity. It is important for an organization to develop a systematic and objective approach to the process. This paper discusses the process of recruiting and selecting personnel in an organization.
Personnel Recruitment and Selection
Personnel recruitment and selection is one of the managerial functions, which fall under the staffing function of management. Recruitment is a process of identifying an organizational need of employing additional personnel(s) (Recruitment, Selection, and Training, 2010). Recruitment process involves all the activities conducted when identifying organizational needs for extra employee up to the point where applications from potential candidates are received. On the other hand, selection is a process of identifying a suitable candidate(s) from a pool of applications received by an organization after the recruitment process (Catano, 2009). The process of recruiting and selecting personnel is very costly and time-consuming. It is important for an organization to develop a systematic and objective approach to the process. This means that an organization should ensure selection of candidates from diverse sources in order to minimize the risk of selecting a wrong person (Catano, 2009).
Moreover, the recruitment process should have a positive approach. Individuals’ first encounter with an organization starts during the recruitment process. In fact, some of the applicants are usually the existing employees while others are usually current or potential customers of the concerned organization. It is therefore important for the individuals involved with the recruitment process to be as positive as possible. According to Cornelius (2001), a positive approach to the recruitment process helps an organization to attract a wide range of applicants, hence increasing its chance of selecting the best candidate for a post. It also assists in promoting the reputation and enhancing the image of the concerned organization.
The recruitment process is also important because it determines the kind of workforce that an organization has in place. ‘Successful recruitment depends on finding people with the necessary skills, expertise, and qualifications to deliver organizational objectives, and with the ability to make a positive contribution to the values and aims of the organization’ (The IPD, 1997, quoted in Cornelius, 2001, p. 36). Failure on the part of the recruiting team to find candidates with the necessary skills, expertise, and qualifications, may result into selection of wrong individuals without the ability to contribute positively towards organizational values and goals. In the end, an organization may ends up experiencing poor/low performance or productivity respectively, due to lack of the right personnel for its business operations. Similarly, the selection process should be based on the applicant’s ability to do the job, ability to make positive contributions to the organizational values and goals, and the applicant’s potential for development (Cornelius, 2001).
In addition, when conducting the recruitment and selection process, it is important for the HR manager to observe the labor legislation governing the process (Recruitment, Selection and Training, 2010). He/she should be completely aware of the equal opportunities’ legislation whereby, all individuals should be given equal opportunities both in the recruitment and selection processes regardless of their gender, marital status, or physical appearance. This allows the employer to avoid engaging in discriminatory acts, either directly or indirectly, during the recruitment and selection process. There are various rules and regulations, which govern every step of the recruitment and selection process. Therefore, HR managers should be aware of such rules and regulations, and observe them during the exercise (Recruitment, Selection and Training, 2010).
There are eight steps involved in the recruitment and selection exercise. The first step entails identification of the need to recruit (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). An organization’s human resource plan determines its recruiting needs (Cornelius, 2001). A well-drawn human resource plan provides an easier way of knowing when an organization needs to recruit an additional employee. Once a need to recruit has been identified, it important for an organization to adjust the requirements of the vacant position. This entails providing flexible and diverse working environment to the incoming employee (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). In the current phase of labor shortage and rapid changes in demographic composition of the workforce, HR managers need to adopt flexibility in order to attract and retain employees. Flexibility is important in not only ‘core’ jobs such as managerial and supervisory jobs, but in low skilled and poorly paid jobs as well.
The next step in the recruitment and selection process is to analyze the requirements of the candidate for the vacant or new position (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). The purpose of this step is to identify the criteria against which to select a candidate. Job analysis is one of the methods that can be used to analyze the requirements of a new/vacant position (Cornelius, 2001). Job analysis collects data concerning the skills, abilities, and knowledge, which are necessary for a given job. Other methods of analysis may include competency analysis and role analysis.
Once the requirements for the vacant/new position have been analyzed, the next step entails defining the selection criteria (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). This involves defining a fair and systematic criterion through-which the applicants can be assessed and selected (Cornelius, 2001). An organization can use job description to assess whether an applicant meets the requirement for the job applied. Moreover, person specification can be used to assess applicants. Here, the essential and desirable attributes of the ideal person for the vacant/new job are determined (Cornelius, 2001). Then, personal specifications of the applicants are measured against those of ideal personnel.
This is followed by determination of the reward package for the new personnel (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). This includes both tangible and intangible benefits. An organization can employ a number of methods for determining the reward package. For instance, an organization can study the local advertisements on print media and on the internet, to find out the current pay rate in the labor market. This is because many organizations indicate the reward package when placing advertisement on print media or on the internet. Additionally, an organization may contact an Employment Agency, which can be very useful in providing information about pay rate of different job grades. When collecting information about the current market rate for employees, an organization should consider factors such as the location of the other organization, the sector, size of the organization, range, and level of responsibilities, and the requirements of the job (Gareth, 1997). However, it is important for an organization to consider its ability to pay a given level of a reward package to the new employee (s). Nevertheless, the reward package should depict equity and fairness. This means that, there should be no variations in reward packages for men and women in the same job grade. Similarly, those with physical disabilities or from minority groups should be rewarded in accordance to their skills, knowledge, and competency (Gareth, 1997).
The next step involves advertising the vacancy (A Guide to the Selection and Recruitment Process, 2011). Advertising entails communicating the potential candidates about the availability of a vacancy(s), and attracting them to apply for the vacancy(s). An organization should choose the wording to be used in the advert because advertisements say a lot about an organization. The image portrayed in the advert determines the image held by the applicants as well as customers (Kumar, 2010). Advertisement method depends on where an organization wants to source the candidates. For internal sources, an organization may use circular, notices, or internal memos. On the other hand, for external sources, an organization can use newspapers, magazines, or the internet to place the adverts. According to Kumar (2010), for effectiveness, the method used to communicate to potential candidates about the availability of a vacancy should incorporate a bold headline indicating the title of the vacant position. Moreover, a job advert should indicate the salary, location, industry, job functions, and entry requirements such as experience, qualifications, and age (Kumar, 2010).
The next step involves selecting the best candidate(s) (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). This is where the selection process begins. The selection process may begin with scrutinizing the applicants’ forms. Here, the HR personnel look at certain features such as, conformity to application instructions provided, and neatness of the applicant’s forms, among others. Those candidates whose application forms are selected are called for further processing of their applications. This can be done through interviews and/or psychological tests. Interviews are good in selecting candidates where certain aspects of a candidate cannot be determined through tests. An organization may use structured, unstructured, stressful, or behavioral interview while interviewing a candidate (Gale, 2004). On the other hand, psychological tests allow candidates to demonstrate talents that may not be demonstrate orally (through interviews). Psychological tests include aptitude, achievement, intelligence, personality, occupational, and neuropsychological tests (Gale, 2004).
Having selected the right candidate, the next step is to hire the individual (Recruitment, Selection Process Methods, and Steps, 2008). However, some organization place great importance to reference. They therefore make reference calls and conduct background analysis of the selected candidate, to confirm what the candidate has indicated in his/her personal profile (résumé). However, according to Cook, depending on the references’ feedback to make a hiring decision is not usually good (2009). This is because; some applicants who do not wish their current employees to know that they are looking for employment elsewhere may, not include their current employers as their references. They therefore include other people, whose credibility about providing accurate and truthful information about the applicant may not be valid. Furthermore, many employers use telephone calls to take up references. Cook also finds this unreliable since the employer cannot check the identity of the individual giving the reference (2009). Nevertheless, the recruitment and selection exercise ends once the right candidate has been selected. The next process entails hiring.