Everything you need to know about the recruitment and selection process in HRM. Recruitment & selection is one of the important aspects of human resource planning. Human resource planning ensures that right kind and right quality of employees are employed so as to achieve the organizational goals.

Recruitment helps in creating a pool of suitable and interested job applicants, out of which few are chosen for the further selection process. Hence, it forms a base for selection process. If the recruitment process is carried out properly, it will help in employing workforce that suits the organizational requirements.

Selection of candidates begins where their recruitment ends. In other words, it is only after an adequate number of applications have been secured through different sources of recruitment – internal or external that the process of selection begins.

In this article we will discuss about the recruitment and selection process in HRM. Learn about the process, steps and stages involved in the recruitment and selection process of employees.


The enterprise has to choose the best and the most promising persons from among the applicants. In this sense, it may be said that while recruitment is a positive function in that it seeks to induce as many persons as possible to apply for a job in the enterprise. Selection is negative function because it aims at eliminating those applicants who are not found suitable in one respect or the other.

Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM: Process, Steps and Stages

Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM – Complete Process of Recruitment & Selection: Starting from Application Form to Personnel Statistics

Recruitment & selection is one of the important aspects of human resource planning. Human resource planning ensures that right kind and right quality of employees are employed so as to achieve the organizational goals.

According to Edward Flippo, “Recruitment is a process of searching prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs.”

According to Dale Yoder, “Recruitment is a process to discover the sources of manpower to meet the requirements of the staffing schedule and to employ effective measures for attracting that manpower in adequate numbers to facilitate effective selection of an efficient working force.”


The process of searching suitable candidates and attracting them to apply for the vacancies in the organization is termed as recruitment. It is the first step for selection and appointment of right employees for the organization. The organization publicises vacancies in the organization through newspaper advertisements, online job portals, consultancy services etc.

Recruitment helps in creating a pool of suitable and interested job applicants, out of which few are chosen for the further selection process. Hence, it forms a base for selection process. If the recruitment process is carried out properly, it will help in employing workforce that suits the organizational requirements.

Selection of candidates begins where their recruitment ends. In other words, it is only after an adequate number of applications have been secured through different sources of recruitment – internal or external that the process of selection begins.

Selection involved a careful screening and testing of candidates who have put in their applications for a job in the enterprise.


The enterprise has to choose the best and the most promising persons from among the applicants. In this sense, it may be said that while recruitment is a positive function in that it seeks to induce as many persons as possible to apply for a job in the enterprise. Selection is negative function because it aims at eliminating those applicants who are not found suitable in one respect or the other.

The various process involved are:

Process # 1. Application Form:

The application form is designed to contain detailed information about the candidates. It also helps in comparing the merits of the applicants.

The information required in the application form will include some or all of the following:

(i) Post applied for.

(ii) Personal data – name, address, telephone number, age, sex, marital status, children, nationality, next of kin.

(iii) Education – school, college and university attended, degree/ diploma passed, year of passing, subjects offered, grade or division obtained.

(iv) Professional qualification(s).

(v) Languages known- ability to read, write and speak.


(vi) Employment history of all jobs since leaving college/ university, dates from and to, employer’s name, address and nature of business, position and duties held, reasons for leaving.

(vii) Personal circumstances; when required, prepared to serve anywhere or not, etc.

(viii) Medical history; brief details of any serious illness, disability, major operation, etc.

(ix) Interest, hobbies, sports and other activities.


(x) Anything else which an applicant may like to add.

(xi) References

Space for the candidate’s signature, date and place and for office use is given at the end. The printed forms generally contain too much printed matter leaving little space for the applicant to fill in his particulars. There should be at least four times as much space to write in the form as is covered by the print. Some companies have forms printed in different colours for different categories of posts. This facilitates the sorting out and handling of applications by the concerned officials.

Process # 2. Interview:

An interview is the first face to face interaction between the candidate and the company representatives. It is a sine qua non for applicants who qualify in the first screening as probable ones having all the basic requirements. The objectives of selection interviews are to elicit information about the candidate’s motives and behaviour, to assess personality, to check the factual information already given by him and to inform him about the job and the company.


The interview may be held either in two stages – preliminary and final – or in one stage only. A preliminary interview could help in recruiting the most probable candidates who could be called for the final interview. It must be conducted by skilled interviewers; otherwise some potential candidates may be lost.

In some cases companies organise successive interviews, i.e. the same candidate is interviewed by one or more interviewers separately one after another. The panel or the board interviews are, however, more common. The panel may consist of a small number of experts while a board may have a larger number.

The interview may be patterned or open. In a patterned interview a set of questions is already prepared. The interviewers are able to collect information about the candidate in a systematic and uniform manner. The candidate’s basic characteristics and motivations should also be probed into by the interviewers to arrive at a judgement. In a non-patterned or open interview, interviewers put such questions as they feel would make the candidate reveal his mind and his strong and weak points.

For recruiting technical and highly skilled personnel, technical interviews may be arranged to assess the competence of the candidates in their own special fields. The technical expert on the selection board should properly assess the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. If he gives his judgement in such terms as a ‘nice chap’, or ‘got rattled easily’, or a ‘bit glib’, he does not take his job seriously.

Each candidate may be interviewed separately or a number of candidates may be interviewed in a group. Personal interview exposes the candidate only before the board, but group interview exposes him before the other applicants also. In a group interview, a candidate must get an opportunity to show his initiative and leadership qualities better than in a personal interview.

The interview aims at selecting the best out of the most probable candidates. It must be conducted in an objective manner. The interviewers should not permit their personal likes and dislikes and prejudices to come in the way of proper assessment of the candidates. They should not allow the filtering of information about the candidate through their own ‘subjective screen of views, needs and prejudices’. They are supposed to pay the same degree of attention to all the candidates on similar aspects of performance.


The very often committed errors by interviewers are:

i. The halo error- giving high rating to the candidates whose liking and disliking seem similar to his own

ii. The logical error- judging on a wrong yardstick

iii. The errors of leniency- helping to come out for something which the candidate cannot cope with

iv. The contrast error- penalizing the candidate for having opposite ideas or preferences.

An objective assessment of a candidate’s performance would require an unbiased evaluation by the interviewer of the following qualities, as suggested by John Munro Fraser:


i. First impression and physical make-up

ii. Qualifications

iii. Brain and abilities

iv. Motivations

v. Adjustments

The interviewer should keep an open mind till the end of the interview. Too much warming up to the candidate should also be avoided. The candidates should be given an opportunity to talk in a free atmosphere. There should be minimum stress in the beginning so that the candidate does not feel nervous. The room where the interview is conducted should be free from interruptions of telephone calls or visitors.


The assessment of the interviews should be recorded immediately after the interviews are over. All members of the board/panel should give their rating on a defined scale such as- A = Outstanding, B = Good, C = Average and D = Poor. Final selection should be made on the basis of consensus as far as possible after discussing the relative merits and demerits of potential candidates who are on the top of the list.

Process # 3. Employment Tests:

As a method of selection, the employment tests are an exception rather than the rule. They may be used to supplement the information already collected through the application forms and interviews. The future performance of the candidate in a particular field may be predicted to some extent by the tests specially designed for the purpose. The disappointment which arises from failures and dropouts in training and later on the job can be avoided by the use of the tests of ability and potential of applicants.

The five main groups of psychological tests are:

I. Intelligence tests:

Intelligence tests are particularly useful in selecting candidates for jobs which call for problem solving abilities or which involve extensive training. Different forms of intelligence tests are used for candidates of different age groups.

II. Attainment tests:


Attainment tests measure the degree to which a person has acquired knowledge or skill. Tests of knowledge have been developed for spelling, vocabulary, arithmetic, mechanical information and a range of more specialised subjects.

III. Aptitude tests:

Aptitude tests identify an individual’s innate suitability for particular types of work and can indicate whether a man would be more suited to one type of work rather than another. Tests of ‘sales aptitude’, ‘managerial aptitude’, ‘mechanical aptitude’, etc. are used to identify the candidate’s potentialities in a chosen area. The General Aptitude Test Battery identifies a candidate’s abilities in such areas as verbal comprehension, numerical ability, motor coordination, manual dexterity, general intelligence, etc.

IV. Interest tests:

Interest tests help in predicting the areas in which the candidates are most likely to settle down and be satisfied. The candidate’s preference for indoor or outdoor jobs, routine or creative work and individual or group responsibilities may be ascertained by administering interest tests.

V. Personality tests:

Personality tests are designed to measure the degree to which an individual possesses such qualities as drive/ persuasiveness, self-confidence, stability, etc. The most promising kind of test to throw light on the personality area is the situational test, e.g. the leaderless group discussion.

The psychological tests have some limitations. The predictions based upon these tests cannot be hundred percent correct. Further, the candidates brought up in poor families, and in the rural and backward regions may be put to a disadvantage as compared to those coming from affluent urban families when these tests are used as a primary measure for judging their abilities, levels of maturity, etc. The tests should be properly designed and administered by the experts. They should be used to supplement other methods.

Process # 4. References:

References should be sought, after the selection is finalised. These may be either in a written form or checked over the telephone. If references are sought before the interview, they may bias the thinking of the members of the selection board. The opinions of the previous employers and other persons referred to by the candidate are only as reliable as the judgement of the person giving them. References may help in checking certain facts given by the candidate in the application form.

Process # 5. Medical Test:

The selected candidates are medically examined by the company’s doctor or approved medical practitioners. Medical tests may vary from the comprehensive to the nominal, depending upon the nature of the job. The manual jobs may require comprehensive medical tests to prevent infection, detect ailments and complicated diseases.

Process # 6. Appointment Order:

The selected candidates are issued letters of appointment after the recommendations of the selection board are approved by competent authority in the company. Appointments at senior positions such as the chief executives, general managers, financial advisors, etc. need the approval of the board of directors. The chief executive may be the approving authority in the case of other posts.

An appointment order states the post offered, salary and perquisites, service conditions, duration of the post (permanent, temporary, contractual), reporting authority, time limit for communicating acceptance and joining the post, etc. It is duly signed by the employing authority and becomes the first basis of contractual relationship between the company and the candidate.

Process # 7. Personnel Research:

The objective of recruitment these days is not only to select a good person but also to retain a motivated work force as this tends to keep the conflicts low. For this purpose a personnel manager has to fall back on reliable data maintained in his own organisation, researches carried out by other bodies/research institutions or appoint consultants to study a specific area and offer advice.

An independent study by a consultant or a research body brings credibility to the findings and recommendations as:

(i) Generally, it is objective and devoid of subjectiveness and prejudices of individuals.

(ii) It is systematic and properly identifies the problem, its magnitude and draws a scientific plan of study.

(iii) It is purposive as the problem is clearly spelt out and the information collected serves the specific purpose of dissecting the problem and seeking answers to it.

(iv) It is scientific. By being systematic and purposive, it identifies methods, tools, approaches and techniques to understand/ solve the problem.

(v) It can be generalised. As the study is controlled for specific purposes, extraneous factors and irrelevant matters are not allowed to influence it and clear conclusions which can be generalised are easy to draw.

Personnel research is the task of searching and analysing facts for solving personnel problems and arriving at principles/laws governing their solution. It is necessary for anticipating personnel problems likely to occur; evaluating current policies, changes in policies and practices; predicting employees’ response to changes (be it machinery, change of work, promotion policies, staggering holidays, performance appraisals, welfare measures, etc.)

Since research is selection of facts in specified areas and search for trends that will help in solving the problems, it can be of various types or an amalgamation of a few types such as, specific case studies, historical studies; opinion survey, exploratory studies, experimental studies. What is important is a sound knowledge of the process of research and various steps that are to be followed through the identification of problems, methods of data collection, analysis and conclusions.

The contents of research reports generally vary depending on the type of study but these should essentially include the following:

i. Title of the study

ii. Purpose of the study

iii. Statement of the problem clearly and precisely

iv. Magnitude of the problem

v. Methods and procedures adopted for the study

vi. Limitations of the study, if any

vii. Discussions and analysis of the problem

viii. How the inference and conclusion have been drawn

ix. Area of extended studies and future research

x. References

Process # 8. Personnel Statistics:

Depending on the size of the company, a statistical cell to collect and collate data may be helpful in analysing many problems and decision-making processes to reduce conflicts and confrontations.

The areas of collection and maintenance of statistics on routine basis could be:

i. Employee’s Record – Age; sex; length of service; region; occupation; size of the family; education; training; salary range; etc. compared occasionally with similar firms. Exchange of statistical reports with a similar industry is a healthy practice after taking due care of the confidential nature of the data.

ii. Transfers – Reason for transfers; whether by request or by the management itself; relationship of expertise with the department; type of work; age; sex; length of service; earning; occupational hazards, etc.

iii. Absenteeism – Causes of absenteeism. Correlation with season, age, sex, occupation, department, length of service, health, etc.

iv. Health – Cause of illness and whether it is related to the working conditions, age, sex, size of family, etc.

v. Accident Proneness – Analyse accident rates according to department, working environment, age, sex, season/shift, type of accident. Compare the trend of accidents and severity rate.

vi. Grievance and Resignation – Analyse cause, subject, department of work, frequency, education level, sex, rank, etc.

vii. Manpower Productivity and Standards – Number of employees; time standards; output records; productivity and value added per person according to department, age, sex, qualifications, working environments, etc. compared with similar industries.

viii. Personal Appraisal Reports – For purposes of promotion, transfer, training needs, changes before and after training, future development prospects, etc.

ix. Recruitment and Training Expenses – Department-wise, trade-wise: qualifications, age and sex for comparison with similar firms.

x. Payroll Data and Control of Overtime – According to trade, department, age, sex, accident, health, etc.

xi. Suggestion Records – Suggestions received, reviewed, accepted and rewarded, savings effected, classifying them according to qualifications, department, age, sex, salary, etc.

xii. Service and Welfare Records – How the employees are making use of canteens, cafeterias, libraries, recreation and sports facilities to examine the trends.

The data collected, analysed and tabulated should not be merely for the sake of records. It should be periodically analysed and made use of for the good of the company.

Data collected should be periodically examined with a similar industry with a view to:

i. Decreasing – absenteeism; resignation, accidents; health hazards; reprimands; grievances; conflicts; disparities; stoppages of work, etc.

ii. Increasing – employee effectiveness; utilisation; output; productivity; value added per person; time standards; job security.

iii. Improving – working conditions; welfare measures; morale and motivation; suggestion schemes; sense of belonging and pride of working for the company; community/ labour relations; industrial peace and safety.

Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM – Important Steps in Recruitment and Selection Process

Recruitment is a set of activities viz. advertising, establishing preliminary contacts and performing initial screening to create a qualified pool of job applicants for an organization. Selection involves choosing from a pool of applicants (created by the recruitment process) the person or persons who offer the greatest performance potential.

Step # 1. Temporary or Permanent Employee:

The first step in the selection and recruitment process is to determine if the job should be filled by employing a temporary or a permanent employee. When an employee suddenly exits from the organization leaving behind a vacancy to be filled urgently, it is worthwhile in most instances to find a temporary employee to fill the post to allow for suitable timeframe for formal selection and recruit­ment of a permanent employee.

In other scenarios, a particular job may be seasonal in nature and thus, temporary employees would be more suitable for such a job. For example, retail stores usually increase the number of employees during the festival season like Deepawali, Christmas, and Eid, keeping in view the huge rush of customers during this time. Many of these employees are tem­porary and are laid-off after the season gets over.

It is generally easier to handle temporary employment as these are short-term contracts and the employee knows from the beginning that the employment will lapse after the term gets completed. There are however advantages of this approach in which temporary employment gives the opportunity to the em­ployee to demonstrate his capabilities to the employer and also, to learn the skills typical of the organization. Later, if the need be, the employer may con­sider the temporary employee for permanent employment.

Step # 2. Perform Job Analysis and Create Job Description:

Successful employee selection is dependent on a clear understanding of a job’s components. A job analysis is used to identify job tasks and responsibilities. This may be accomplished by collecting information about the position; by interviewing workers, supervisors, and other employers; and by observing cur­rent employees. The end result of job analysis is the job description and speci­fications.

Let us take an example of a job description and specifications at the pharmaceutical major Novartis:


i. Job title – Program Director

ii. Department- Human Resources

iii. Reports to – Head of Learning

Job Purpose:

The Program Director designs and delivers learning programs that will enhance the skills and capabilities of Novartis’ current and future leaders around the world. These programs are designed in close cooperation with and sponsored by members of the Executive Committee. This position reports to the Head of Learning and is based in Novartis worldwide headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

Major Accountabilities:

i. Serves as an expert for the design, development, implementation, and on-going updates of specific learning programs in close contact with the Head of Learning

ii. Is the first point of contact for the business partners and identifies the development needs

iii. Deals directly with all potential vendors in the design and development phase

iv. Is personally present in key learning programs, deals with internal senior faculty and senior business school, consultancy representatives

v. Contributes to the overall learning strategy of the company

Key Performance Indicators:

i. Feedback/Ratings on specific programs

ii. Favourable feedback from senior management partners

Job Dimensions:

i. Number of associates- Administrative Support depends on scope

ii. Financial responsibility- 5-10 Mio CHF

iii. Impact on the organization: Learning programs regarded as an essential part of people development, high impact on the job performance

Background—Education and Experience:

i. University degree with a preference for MBA

ii. Strong business acumen

iii. Excellent people and communication skills

iv. 6-10 years’ experience in an internationally operating company

Step # 3. Determine the Recruitment Strategy:

The next step involves reaching out to the intended audience with the information that a vacancy exists for a particular position in the company. The objective here is to have as many applicants as possible for the vacancy so that the employer gets ample choice to find the best candidate for the job. Ways to advertise the position include- company website, present employees, previous applicants, trade journals, newspapers, vocational schools, universities, and employment agencies.

Many times, people come looking for work when there is no vacancy existing in the organization at that point in time. It is a good idea to make them fill up a simple form (requiring bare minimum information) so that they may be contacted when there is a relevant opening. Such a database is very handy for expanding the applicant pool for a job vacancy in the due course.

Step # 4. Determine the Selection Tools to be Used and the Sequence Thereof:

There are various tools to check the abilities, knowledge, and skills of the applicants. For example, preliminary screening (say by using group discussions), application forms/resumes, written tests, personal interviews, reference checks, letters of recommendations, medical check-up, etc. Some tools are better than the other in some respects. Therefore, it is best to use a combination of them in a predetermined sequence.

Factors reflecting worker motivation, such as punctuality and attendance, may, be elicited within the interview, but contacting previous employers may give more reliable information. If possible, try to verify evidence of specific skills, knowledge, and abilities at more than one point in the selection process. It is useful to identify specific tools which would be utilized for measuring the specific skills, knowledge or ability by using a table.

The questions and situations to be used in the various methods deployed-in the selection process need to be finalized beforehand keeping in view the vari­ous attributes to be gauged in the applicant. Some of the tools like the prelim­inary screening and application forms may be used to eliminate a proportion of the applicants when the number of applicants is very large. The sequence of the hurdles (in the form of selection tools) is generally kept such that the more expensive and time-consuming selection tools are used later in the selection process.

Inviting candidates to participate can include a description of the steps in the process, their sequence, and any required applicant preparation. The sequence of hurdles may be programmed to minimize travel and expense for both applicants and employer. A preliminary telephone interview with geographically distant applicants may eliminate unnecessary travel. Written tests can sometimes be mailed when they can be administered to applicants by a trusted, qualified third party.

Step # 5. Perform a Pre-Interview Orientation:

A pre-interview orientation is very helpful for the potential candidates. This orientation should brief them of the company profile, its activities, and future outlook. It allows the candidates to clarify any doubts about the job and the company by asking questions. It also helps in arousing the interest of the poten­tial candidates to apply for the job in the company.

Step # 6. Preliminary Screening:

When the number of applicants for a job is very large, preliminary screening can be performed to eliminate less worthy candidates. Group discussions have been found useful for screening candidates for managerial positions. The communica­tion skills, listening skills, team skills, and leadership acumen of the candidates are tested through group discussions. Some organizations prefer to conduct ob­jective-type tests to screen out candidates.

Step # 7. Review Application Forms and Resumes:

Well-drafted application forms aid in capturing the academic and employment history of candidates. Similarly, resumes and curriculum vitae (CV) are helpful in this regard. The advantage of a standard application form vis-a-vis resume is that it facilitates easy comparison of the profile of two or more candidates on various parameters—gaps in employment, too short stints with organizations in the past, etc.—evident in the application form provide opportunity to the selec­tion committee to seek clarifications later during the personal interview stage.

Step # 8. Conduct Written Test:

Written tests constitute the next step in the selection process. There are various types of tests to measure knowledge, ability, skills, aptitude, attitude, honesty, and personality. These are – power tests (to gauge the knowledge and analytical abilities), speed tests (to measure the ability to perform repetitive tasks in a set time frame), open-book-open-web exams (in which the candidates are allowed access to study material and the Internet), etc.

The formats of the tests can also be varied, e.g. multiple-choice, short-answer, fill-in-the-blank, and long-answer or essay questions. Naturally, essay questions are relatively time-consuming during evaluations compared to the objective- type tests (multiple choices), however they provide better insights about the can­didate’s written communication skills.

Step # 9. Conduct Personal Interview:

Candidates qualifying in the written test are subjected to the personal interview. Personal interview provides a perfect opportunity to the selection committee to check the personality, knowledge, verbal communication skills, etiquettes, dressing sense, and ability to respond to situations impromptu. Structured in­terviews require the questions and their sequence to be determined prior to the interview. A structured format is helpful in comparing the performance of two or more candidates.

Step # 10. Perform Reference Checks:

It is important to perform reference checks for the candidate, if found worthy during the personal interview stage. It provides various insights about the personality, academic and employment history of the candidate. The details of the people to be contacted for referencing is usually sought from the candidate in the application form/resume itself.

Unless the candidate gives permission to do so, the current employers should not be contacted as it may unnecessarily create challenges of various sorts for the candidate. Reference checks can be performed through email or by phone calls.

Step # 11. Make the Job Offer:

If the reference checks result in good feedback about the candidate, offer letters sent to the candidate. Otherwise, it is customary to send a formal rejection letter. It is not uncommon that a few candidates do not accept the final offer of employment made by an organization.

If no response is obtained from the candidate or a negative response about the offer is received, the records of the candidate are entered in archives for future action as per company policies. The policies of some organizations prohibit such an applicant from applying again for a job, while other organizations have a lenient and open policy whereby the candidate gets an opportunity to apply again in future.

The offer letter should include a joining date after consultation with the can­didate. Normally, there is a notice period varying from 1 month to 3 months, which has to be given by the candidate to his current employer before exiting. If the selected candidate requires relocation to a new place, some time period for transiting and settling down should be allowed. The relocation expenses are normally borne by the employer and all the modalities in this regard should be mentioned in the offer letter.

Step # 12. Medical Examination:

A post-offer pre-employment medical examination (of the candidate and depen­dent family members) is a must especially when the company has to cover the candidate and his dependent family members by medical insurance. The cost of such a medical examination is borne by the employer.

Step # 13. Induction and Orientation:

The new employees are most receptive to change in their career time, when they are joining a new employment. Therefore, formal induction and orientation of the employees help them in understanding the various facets of the organiza­tion. Unwritten rules, traditions or informal perks should be discussed with employees as part of the orientation period.

The first day in office is always special for everybody. Therefore, proper arrangements have to be made before the joining date of the employee. This includes suitable workstation/room, stationary, computer hardware/software, and a welcome gathering (as per the traditions of the organization).

Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM – Several Stages of Recruitment and Selection Procedure

Generally, the recruitment and selection procedure consists of several stages, important among which are as follows:

Stage # 1. Receipt and Scrutiny of Applications:

Everyone who applied for a job in an enterprise may not possess the necessary qualifications or experience for it Candidates with insuffi­cient qualifications or experience should therefore, be eliminated from the list of those who have to be called for preliminary interview.

If such elimination is not done, all applicants whether having the necessary qualifications and experience or not should have to be called for the preliminary interview. This would only mean waste of time and money for both the enterprise and the candidates.

Stage # 2. Preliminary Interview:

The object of preliminary interview is to see if an applicant appears to be physically and mentally suitable for the job. Questions put to a candidate during such an interview are of a general and definite nature and mostly concerned with his qualifications, experience, interests, age, residence, etc.

Candidates who pass the preliminary interview are asked to fill up a blank application form especially designed by the enterprise.

Stage # 3. Blank Application Forms:

After a candidate has successfully cleared the preliminary inter­view, he is asked to fill up a blank application form designed especially to suit the requirements of the enterprise.

Stage # 4. Tests:

Tests serve as an important device in the process of selection. These are aimed at measuring such skills and abilities in a worker which, according to the job analysis and job description, would help him in performing his job well.


If properly designed and effectively carried out test offer the following advantages to the employer:

(i) Assessment of suitability of candidates – Test provide a good basis for measuring a candidate’s suitability or unsuitability for a given job.

(ii) Verification of facts – Claims made by candidate in respect of his qualifications, experi­ence etc. can be properly checked through tests.

(iii) Objective assessment – Tests eliminate the possibility of personal preference or prejudice concerning any candidate.

(iv) Establishment of standards – Tests help in establishing standards of job performance.


Tests suffer from certain drawbacks.

Important among them are as follows:

(i) Unreliable – Tests are rarely a reliable indicator of the skill and ability of a candidate.

(ii) Liable to abuse – Highly qualified and experienced candidates may be rejected and less qualified persons may be selected.

(iii) Unfair to some – Candidates coming from socially and economically backward sections of society may not be able to face the test as successfully as those belonging to privileged sections.

(iv) Fear of Exposures – Some individuals however qualified and experienced do not like the idea of being given a test for a job.

Types of Tests:

Some of the tests may be given as follows:

(i) Intelligence Tests – Intelligence tests are the most commonly used, standardised and the oldest in industry. They determine general intelligence.

Intelligence tests in connection with other tests give quite satisfac­tory results.

(ii) Aptitude Tests – Aptitude tests are used to explore inborn tendencies. It helps in determining the potential ability and capacity of the candidates to learn the skills required to perform the specific jobs.

The aptitude tests measure specific ability and capacity.

(iii) Achievement Tests – Aptitude is a capacity to learn in the future, whereas achievement is concerned with what one has accomplished in the past. It is the test of the knowledge which the candidate claims to have achieved such tests include as typing and dictation to a candidate for steno-typist

(iv) Interest Tests – The object of these tests is to measure a candidate’s interest in a particular kind of work. On the basis of an interest test, it becomes easy to assign to each person a work for which he has the greatest liking so that he derives maximum job satisfaction and is enabled to contribute his most to the enterprise.

(v) Personality Test – Many individuals possessing intelligence, interest and aptitude have failed because of their inability to get along and motivate others. These tests measure the non-intellectual traits of a candidate such as his ability to mix up with people or to motivate them properly.

Personality tests bring out any strong characteristics possessed by a candidate such as courage, cowardice, initiative, bad temper, likes and dislikes and so on. Here the aim is to ensure that the candidate has necessary tempera­mental and emotional make up to handle the join for which he is to be employed.

Stage # 5. Interviews:

An interview is a formal consultation to evaluate the aptitude, training etc. of a prospective employee. It is a “face-to-face observational and personal appraisal method” to evaluate a candidate for a job.

In any selection process interviews may be of various kinds, important among them are as follows:

(i) Direct Interview – This form of interview is brief but straight forward, face-to-face question and answer sessions between the interviewer and the inter­viewee.

No analysis of a candidate’s ability, skills, characteristics or atti­tudes can be possible in such an interview.

(ii) Indirect Interview – In such an interview, no direct or straight questions are put to the candidate. On the other hand, he is encouraged to express his views on any topic of his liking. The propose is to know which issues he considers fit to be discussed by him.

(iii) Patterned Interview – Under this method, a number of standard questions to be put to a candidate are framed in advance. Ideal answers to these questions are also determined beforehand. Then the answers given by the candidate are checked with the ideal answers to assess his suitability for the job in question.

(iv) Stress Interview – In such an interview, the interviewer deliberately creates a situation that subjects the candidate to considerable stress and strain. The purpose is to know how the candidate reacts to such situation.

(v) Systematic Interview – As the name suggests, this kind of interview is planned in advance. The interviewers plan the questions to be asked on a particular subject. The purpose is to get an integrated view of the skills and personality of the candidate.

(vi) Board of Panel Interview – In this interview, there are not one but many interviewers to put questions to a candidate. Each interviewer is assigned an area from which he has to choose his questions e.g. one on educational background, another on his professional skills, yet another on his interests and aptitudes and so on.

(vii) Group Interview – Under this method, a number of candidates are interviewed simul­taneously, a question or a problem situation is posed before them and each candidate is asked to participate in the discussion that follows. On the basis of a candidate’s performance during this group discussion, he is selected or rejected.

Stage # 6. Checking of References:

A candidate applying for a job in an enterprise is usually asked to provide some references i.e. names of persons to whom inquiries as to his educational background skills, experience, and character might be addressed.

A verification of references might prove to be quite rewarding in some cases. This is because some candidates may provide incorrect informa­tion as to the dates of their previous employments, job titles, past salary or as to reasons for leaving a prior position.

Stage # 7. Preliminary and Final Selection:

Up to the stage of checking of references, the preliminary selection process is handled by the staff executives. From there onwards, the line management takes over. Because the requisition for additional employ­ment is made by line executive and because it is their responsibility to order and control performance of their subordinates, it is only proper that they should also have the right to make the final selection of their subordinates.

Stage # 8. Medical Examination:

For jobs that prescribe certain physical standards as to height, weight, eyesight, hearing etc. a medical check-up prior to the placement of the candidate, becomes necessary. Selection in the armed forces or civil services, for example, is subject to the candidate clearing his medical examination.

Stage # 9. Placement and Orientations:

Even when a person has been finally selected for a job, the selection process is not complete. The last act is the placement of the selected candidate into his new job and his orientation to the organisational environment. For this purpose, it is necessary to give the new man a copy of the rules, policies and procedures to be followed by him. He should also be provided with complete description of his job. This is not all; the new employee should also be told about his authority and responsibility, who shall be his immediate and ultimate boss? Who are the people whom he can command? And so on.

From the point of view of the employee, the induction should create a favorable impression and attitude, establish a sense of belonging and facilitate learning and teamwork. And from the organisation’s point of view it should seek to reduce turnover, save time and troubles for supervisor and fellow employees and reduce grievances.

Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM

Selection is the process used to identify and hire individuals or groups of individuals to fill vacancies within an organisation. Often based on an initial job analysis, the ultimate goal of personnel selection is to ensure an adequate return on investment —in other words, to make sure the productivity of the new hire warrants the costs spent on recruiting and training that hire.

Several screening methods exist that may be used in personnel selection. Examples include the use of minimum or desired qualifications, resume / application review, oral interviews, work performance measures (e.g., writing samples), and traditional tests (e.g., of job knowledge). The field of personnel selection has a long history and is associated with several fields of research and application, including human resources and industrial psychology.

After you have finished all the interviews your next step is to assess each candidate. You want to see which one is the strongest in terms of skills, experience and qualifications. Also, you want to assess intangibles such as the person’s fit to your company. If the applicant is weak in a particular area how will it affect you and the rest of your employees?

A. Checking References:

Once you have selected your top candidate the next step is checking references. In talking to the applicant’s current or previous managers or co-workers, you are making sure the applicant has the skills and experience listed on their resume. Reference checks are important since research shows that about third of all applicants are creative with or lie about their employment history. You want to make sure the person will not be a liability to you and your clients if they claim to have technical expertise that they do not in fact possess.

B. Making Your Offer:

Before you contact the unsuccessful employees, make sure your top candidate is willing to take your job offer. They may well have found another job by the time you reach this step. In your call briefly tell the applicant why you want to hire them, confirm salary range and other details.

C. Completing the Paperwork:

Finish off your recruitment process by tying up the loose ends. This includes sending your offer letter with the job title, start date, and salary to the successful applicant. Send the unsuccessful interviewees a short letter explaining that the position has been filled and wishing them success in their job search. Some of them may wish to approach you in the future for a different position.

Hence it is important for the recruiting firm to understand the job that needs filling?

i. How has the job changed since it was last filled?

ii. Do we still need the job to be done?

iii. What does the job now involve?

iv. Does it need to be done in the same way as before?

v. Is there a Job Description?

It is also important for the firm to know what sort of person they need –

1. To fit the job-

i. Is it a lonely job?

ii. Does it require unsocial hours working?

iii. Does it need a team person?

2. To fit the organisation-

i. What do we believe in?

ii. Obedience to the boss—or Independence?

iii. Competition—or Co-operation?

iv. Customer First—or—Organisation First?

3. Do we want help to change?

D. Recruitment Policies and Procedure:

One of the first steps in planning for the recruitment of employees into the organisation is to establish proper policies and procedures. A recruitment policy indicates the organisation’s code of conduct in this area of activity. A typical policy statement for recruitment may run thus.

Once the recruitment policy is made explicit, the company can evolve a detailed procedure to make the whole exercise systematic. Such a systematic approach will enable people within or outside the organisation to follow a predictable path. The recruitment procedures should, however, be flexible enough to permit personnel department to respond quickly to demands made on them by various departments and by potential candidates.

Recruitment, it should be remembered, is a marketing activity as well as a public relations exercise. When recruiting people, organisations are going out into their external environment and competing with others for suitable candidates. Such activities therefore, should be conducted in a manner that sustains or enhances the prestige and public image of the organisation concerned.

Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM – Various Steps Involved in Recruitment and Selection Process

The various steps involved are:

Step # 1. Placing the Requisition:

The Line Manager or head of department submit the requisition for recruitment to the personnel department. The requisition specify the position for which persons are required, the number to be recruited, the time by which persons should be available, salary to be offered etc. This form is prepared in duplicate; one copy is being sent to personnel department and the other retained by requisition department for reference

Step # 2. Recruitment:

It is defined as the process of searching prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation. Recruitment is called as the subset of selection, means recruitment is a part of selection.

But in practice both employee and employer search for each other.

The success of the two depends on each other which in turn depend on three factors:

1. Communication medium- Recruitment is not possible if it is not communicated to the willing people.

2. Perception- Candidate should assess themselves whether my skills, knowledge, experience etc. is fit for that particular job or not.

3. Motivation- The capacity of organisation, package offered, working environment acts as motivation factor to get the right candidate.

Sources of Recruitment:

(a) Internal

(i) Job Postings

(ii) Newsletters

(iii) Succession Planning, e.g., Promotion

(b) External:

(i) Education institution

(ii) Similar organisation

(iii) Employment exchange

(iv) Advertisements

(v) Recruitment

(vi) Casual callers

(vii) Recommendations

(viii) e-Recruitment

(a) Internal Sources:

It refers to present working force of a company. In event of vacancy someone already on payroll is promoted or transferred.


(i) Economical

(ii) Reliable

(iii) Satisfactory


(i) Limited choice

(ii) Inbreeding

(iii) Bone of contention

(iv) Inefficiency

(b) External Sources:

It refers to hiring people from outside an organisation.


(i) Wide choice

(ii) Injection of fresh blood

(iii) Motivational force


(i) Expensive

(ii) Time-consuming

(iii) Demotivation

Alternatives to Recruitment:

A company cannot fill all its vacancies from one single source. It must carefully combine some of the sources on the basis of quality of men they supply, cost, etc.

Following are the alternatives to recruitment:

I. Overtime

II. Subcontracting

III. Temporary employees

IV. Employee leasing

V. Outsourcing

Evaluation of Sources of Recruitment:

I. Measuring past recruitment can help predict

II. Timeliness of recruitment

III. Budget needed

IV. Methods that yield greatest number of best quality candidates

V. Assess performance of recruiters

Step # 3. Selection:

It is the process of choosing the right candidate for the job. Right candidate is the person who has minimum educational qualification, skills and experience to perform a job in a well manner.

Selection is the process of gathering information for the purpose of evaluating and deciding who should be hired, under legal guidelines, for the short and long-term interests of the individual and the organisation. (Schuler, Dowling, and Smart, 1992)

Steps in Selection Process:

There is no any standardised set for the selection process. It differs from organisation to organisation.

i. Preliminary interview

ii. Receiving application

iii. Screening of application

iv. Employment test

v. Employment interview

vi. Reference checks

vii. Medical examination

Selection Decision:

Case 1 – Candidate who is selected/accepted is successful doing the job then decision is correct.

Case 2- Candidate who has been rejected might be successful (assume to be successful) in performing the job, then this decision of rejection suffers from error.

Case 3- Candidate who has been selected for the job is unsuccessful in doing the job, then decision is regarded as an error.

Case 4- It is assumed that candidate who has been rejected must be unsuccessful in performing the job, then decision is correct.

Selection Tests:

Test is an important step of selection procedure.

Some of the commonly used employment tests may be stated thus:

1. Intelligence Test

2. Aptitude Test

3. Personality Test

(a) Projective Tests

(b) Interest Tests

(c) Preference Test

4. Achievement Tests

5. Simulation Tests

6. Assessment Centre

(a) The in-basket

(b) The leaderless group-discussion

(c) Individual presentation

Guidelines for Selection Tests:

1. Should supplement not substitute other methods?

2. Are a screening device

3. Are not precise measures

4. Test conditions are important

5. Must be conducted/assessed by competent persons

Cost of Poor Selection:

I. Direct costs

(a) Re-advertising costs

(b) Panel time and effort

(c) HR staff time and effort

II. Hidden costs

(a) Reduced productivity

(b) Lost productivity whilst position vacant

(c) Time taken for new hire to become productive

Step # 4. Interview Types:

Various techniques and methods are used to obtain the desired information about an applicant during the interview. Interviews can be classified according to the techniques used. These are patterned or structured, non-directive, multiple and group, and the stress interview. Despite all the criticisms, employment interviews continue to be widely used.

i. Patterned or Structured Interview:

In this type of interview a detailed form is used, with specific questions to be asked, and space provided for answers. The form is completed either during the interview or immediately afterwards from memory. The subjects covered in the procedure include the background, knowledge, attitudes and motivation of the applicant. These interviews guide the interviewer in getting the facts about the candidate, provide a set of principles for use in interpreting the facts, and provide a means for minimizing an interviewer’s biases and prejudices.

ii. Non-Directive Interview:

The main purpose of this type of interview is to get the individual to talk freely in expressing himself or herself. The questions asked by the interviewer are broad and general in nature. The role of the interviewer is one of a good listener, using questions sparingly and phrasing responses briefly. Interviewers do not impose their values, attitudes or their way of thinking about the candidate but give the candidates an opportunity to reveal their own identity.

iii. Depth Interviewing:

This type of interview is a combination of the patterned and non-directive type of interviews. While the approach is similar to the non-directive interview, the questionnaire used provides some structure to it. The questionnaire used in this type of interview covers work, education, social relationships, economic, personality and ambitions to be responded to by the applicant. The questions are designed so as to permit the candidate to say as much as he or she wishes in response to them. This method of interview overcomes some of the limitations of patterned and non-directive interviews.

iv. Group Interview:

This type of interview is getting popular in the companies which encourage a group approach to decision-making and functioning. This method involves the use of more than one interviewer. The candidate spends time talking to several different people separately or he meets with a panel or Board whose members alternate in asking questions. Normally, the group evaluation is derived after discussion among the various interviewers, but independent estimates can be obtained from each interviewer, and these then are averaged to achieve a final decision.

Revlon Inc., reports that group interviews not only save executives’ time but seem to result in better selection decisions. Studies show that factors such as initiative, aggressiveness, poise, adaptability to new situations, tact, ability to get along with people, and similar qualities are observed during group interviews.

A well-known airline uses group interviews for selecting cadet pilots and the company is happy with this process. At Microsoft, interviewers include human resource professionals, managers from functional departments, peers, and people outside the department who are well grounded in the corporate culture.

Step # 5. Placement:

After selecting a candidate he/she should be placed on a suitable job. It is the process of assigning specific job and work places to the selected candidates. It is the process of matching individual and the job. Correct placement is no way less important than selection. Even competent employee may be dissatisfied if put on a wrong job. If a candidate is not placed properly then it may lead to absenteeism, turnover, poor performance, etc.

If the new recruit fails to adjust himself to the job and turns out to the poor performance, the organisation may consider his name for placement elsewhere.

Step # 6. Induction:

Induction refers to the activities involved in introducing the new employee to the organisation and its policies, procedure, rules and regulations. When a new employee reports for work he/she must be helped to get acquainted and adjusted with the work environment and fellow employees.

Importance of Induction:

1. Reduce the cost and inconvenience of early leavers

2. Increase commitment

3. Socialisation

4. Accelerate progress up the ‘learning curve’

Three Basic Components of Induction:

1. Company/organisational Induction

2. Departmental Induction

3. Follow-up

Objectives of Induction:

1. Clarifying the job

2. Developing the realistic expectation about the organisation

3. Strengthening the relationship between new employee, his superiors and peers.

Topics of Induction Programme:

I. Organisational Issues:

(a) History of company

(b) Names and titles of key executives

(c) Products/service offered

(d) Disciplinary issues

(e) Company’s policies and rules

II. Employees Benefit:

(a) Pay scale

(b) Holidays, vacations

(c) Insurance

(d) Medical

(e) Retirement benefits

(f) Promotion

(g) Transfer

(h) Training and Development

(i) Counseling

III. Introduction:

(a) To supervisors

(b) To co-workers

(c) To trainers

IV. Job Duties:

(a) Job location

(b) Job tasks

(c) Job objectives

(d) Relationship with other jobs

(e) Job safety needs