Recruitment and selection can be seen as a two-stage process:
Recruitment attracts the optimum number of suitably qualified candidates to apply for the post; and,
Selection filters this potentially large group through a variety of criteria in order to determine their suitability to match the needs of the job and the business.
Recruitment and selection must be considered as two separate processes, otherwise one or both may fail. If you filter wrongly at recruitment, you may end up with a pool of poor candidates. If you attract wrongly at selection, you may end up with a poor fit between the job and the job-holder.
Job analysis is the process of breaking down a job into its component parts. It requires you to think carefully about all the tasks (eg book-keeping, selling, etc) undertaken by a defined job holder. Once you have considered all the tasks, think about the competencies, attributes and behaviours (eg imagination, initiative, ability to work under stress, etc) which you will be looking for in the person. You may find it helpful also to think about the importance of individual tasks, the frequency of tasks, the relative difficulty of tasks, and the consequences of error.
Once the job analysis is completed, you can prepare a job description (see link to example below). This is a broad statement that sets out the main purpose and scope of the job, the responsibilities and the tasks. It is normal also to include the job title, the line manager to whom the jobholder reports, the job titles of staff who report to the jobholder, and any functional relationships.
When drafting a person specification, you must be specific in the standards you describe. For example, it is not enough to state 'good communicator'. Instead, use terms such as 'clear and concise written communication' or 'able to express ideas logically and coherently'.
The emphasis should be on skills and abilities; for example, if you require a candidate to speak reasonable French, you might be better off with someone who is unqualified but goes to France regularly on holiday and converses in the language, than someone who passed a GCSE in the subject five years ago and hasn’t spoken a word of French since. Qualifications don’t necessarily prove skill.
Once you have taken into consideration the job analysis and person specification, you can then decide if it is necessary to take on another full-time member of staff. It may be that there is an alternative to this. Ask yourself the following questions:
Can you redistribute the tasks to your current workforce?
Take into account the welfare of your employees; will they be taking on too much? Remember, using this method may still mean extra cost in terms of overtime and may take away time from other projects.
Having defined the requirements of the job and communicated this to the people who need to know, you can consider how you are going to recruit. Effective recruitment involves knowing what it is that you want.
You will need to identify sources of potential recruits. These might include:
careers services and local schools;
professional recruitment agencies;
word of mouth; and,
It is a sad but indisputable fact that in any group of people who apply for a job, there will be a number who will not give accurate information about themselves. This may be because they do not understand what information it is that you need, or because they badly want the job, despite not being sufficiently qualified or experienced, and don’t consider the problems they may face should they get it. It is also true that businesses do not give accurate information for similar reasons.
Interviews are the most popular method of assessing, and gaining information about, candidates. Handled properly, they can be extremely useful and beneficial. Handled badly, they can be a nightmare for all concerned. So how do you ensure that your interviews are successful? As always, the key is planning.
Having conducted your interviews and gathered information, the time has come to make your decision and select the candidate to whom you will offer the job. If you have followed the procedure outlined in previous sections, this should be relatively easy. You will have listed and weighted the attributes considered essential and desirable, and questioned in such a way that examples of behaviour illustrate those qualities and their usage.
Now it is time to code the evidence. The coding procedure (for which you can read 'grading' or 'scoring') is best decided before the interviews are conducted. You should be confident that the process will help you to compare all candidates equally.
You will undoubtedly have to keep records of the process you have undertaken. Whether you keep a list of interviewees and copies of letters sent, or full interview notes and records of all communication will depend upon the policies set down by your company. Make sure that you are fully aware of what needs to be recorded and how, and complete your paperwork promptly. Knowledge of the Data Protection Act 1998 will be useful.
You will also need to consider who needs to be informed; payroll, for example, will need details of any starters. Be sure that you let everyone know who needs to know.