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.
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.
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.