Recruitment and Selection Process in HRM

recruitment and selection process

The ideal recruitment and selection process in hrm calls for getting the right people for the right job. However, companies overlook this element intentionally or unintentionally for various reasons. These reasons could be employee referrals, poor strategic management, or an incompetent HR team and mostly it is a combination of all these.

Employee recruitment and selection process in HRM

We define the hiring process as,

“The process of attracting a competent pool of candidates who go through screening and then finally get selected to perform various jobs in the organization”.

The employee hiring process includes recruitment, testing, interview, and final selection.

Why does your recruitment and selection process in HRM fail?

Human Resources or Human Capital is the name given to the workforce in an organization. This unambiguously explains the vitality of the workforce within a company because a company cannot exist without its human capital. Employees are the ones doing all the work from planning to execution. So, the survival and future of the organization are totally dependent upon its employees. Unfortunately, organizations fail to understand this fact, and hence, they have high employee turnovers, staff shortages, and the high cost of frequent hiring & training. This situation leads to a bad market name which ultimately leads to the unwillingness of competent people to join such organizations.

Based on research findings, organizations make the following mistakes that lead to the failure of an effective recruitment and selection process in hrm:

1) Poor strategic management

The course of strategic management of an organization determines its fate i.e. its mission, vision, policies, goals, and strategies defined by its top management. The time of traditional human resource management has gone. This is the era of strategic human resource management which includes strategic recruitment and selection of employees. It means the human resource department must plan all of its functions in accordance with the business strategies that support the company’s goals.

Failure to formulate and communicate an HR strategic plan to lower tiers is the most common reason for the failure of the entire strategic recruitment and selection process. If the gap here is identified and corrected, 85% of the irregularities in the recruitment and selection process in hrm can be fine-tuned.

2) Incompetent HR personnel

This constitutes the root cause of the failure of the recruitment and selection process. A company must understand that the department responsible for competency-based hiring for the whole company should comprise competent people who have the right knowledge of all the human resource planning and execution procedures. Here, the studies show that competence isn’t based on years of service but on the ability of smart management. Organizations fail to understand this and hire HR personnel following the normative approaches. So, you see, why your HR departments are mostly lazy and non-performing?

3) Employee referrals

Employee referrals pose a big threat to the organizational recruitment and selection process in hrm, both in long-term and short-term scenarios. Apparently, getting workforce referrals through current employees is an easy and effective way that reduces advertisement costs and other hiring formalities. But it is important to note that it mostly results in:

  • Under pressure hiring, which could be incompetent hiring.
  • Challenging workforce diversity in the long run, as an acquaintance of an employee is most probably like him. This results in less innovation and prohibition of new idea generations. So, in the long run, the organization suffers from stagnation.
  • Bad market name of the organization, as people know in the industry that this organization does not offer any merit-based opportunities.

4) Poorly designed recruitment and selection process

A poorly designed recruitment and selection process in hrm excludes competency-based evaluations whether they are tests, interviews, or reference checks. Not every job requires passing written tests or being sharp at everything. For example, a computer operator needs to have good computer knowledge. If he is not much presentable, then he should not be rejected based on his personality because it has very little to do with his job description. Similarly, a salesperson needs to be presentable and communicative. Tailoring the recruitment and selection process in hrm according to job requirements is a fundamental consideration.

Steps in the recruitment and selection process in HRM

Hiring can be internal or external based on the requirements. Internal hiring is hiring people from within the organization when a vacancy is created. It is useful as it is inexpensive and the employees are already familiar with the company culture. On the other hand, it has the disadvantage of discouraging the workforce diversity which comes with external hiring (hiring from outside the organization). External hiring calls for more advertisement expenses, interviewing, and delays, but it takes precedence over internal hiring as it results in workforce diversity leading to better performance of employees.

On the other hand, research proves that external hires have high turnovers as compared to internal hires. The reason is again the same: organizational culture. New hire finds it more difficult to settle in a new organization than that person who gets the opportunity to develop within their own organization.

hiring process in hrm
steps in the recruitment and selection process

1) Workforce planning (WFP)

This is a written mapping of the current workforce statistics of the company: how many employees are working, who is going to retire or resign, who will fill the position which is being created, do we prefer internal hiring or external hiring, and which department needs more staff? Hence, this plan reflects all succession planning and human resource requirements. It acts as a guide for present and future hiring moves. Some more information can be found in this article Workforce planning.

2) Job Analysis

Job analysis is,

“the splitting of each job into its tasks and duties and analyzing them in detail”. The purpose of job analysis is to establish the standards to perform each job. Hence, in the case of hiring, it explains the competencies required to perform that job. Read more detail on the functions of human resource management.

Job analysis methods

There are many ways to do job analysis in an ideal recruitment and selection process in hrm. One includes asking the employees about those jobs in a survey. How do they perform the job, its different elements & methods, what time to perform each activity, and the most efficient ways to do it? This involves using a structured questionnaire to ask the same questions from all employees and then compare the results.

A more detailed questionnaire can be a position analysis questionnaire (PAQ) which deals with all the details of the jobs. It includes the tasks and responsibilities, interpersonal relationships in that particular job, mental processes involved in the job, and motivational factors.

The second way can be the involvement of the assessor in the job itself. Thus being a part of the job, he analyzes each element himself and draws inferences.

The third way can be interviewing the employees in a structured way and then documenting the interviews. Information collected from all sources for each job is then assessed and a general picture is drawn.

Critical incident analysis

The fourth method is very important because of its uniqueness. It is a critical incident analysis. In this method,  every job is analyzed for the most critical incidents which have rarely taken place in the past or that could happen anytime in the future. This could be an additional requirement in a job that is considered in order to make the employees aware of which may require some training to be avoided.

For example, to perform the job of an HR manager, a critical incident could be a union strike which requires you to be good at negotiating with the unions. So, this assesses your negotiation skills through critical incident analysis and then puts into writing the competencies required in an HR manager. Next time, when you hire a new one, you can look for this competency or when you want to promote an existing one, again this competency is an important guide for making the decision.

Job description

Job analysis yields a Job Description (JD) which is defined as “the result of job analysis in writing”. The job analysis marks the tasks and duties performed in each job. These tasks and duties are put into writing for record-keeping purposes. Hiring managers consult this JD when they need to specify the skills for each job. Interviewers refer to this document while taking the interview and assessing the candidates. New hires and current employees look at this JD while performing their daily tasks. So, this is one of the most important documents which everyone must keep in the organization. It is not only an essential requirement for the recruitment and selection process in hrm but also important for day-to-day operations in the company.

3) Recruitment

Recruitment deals with “job advertising and attracting people to apply for the jobs”. This is the first phase of an ideal recruitment and selection process in hrm, the second being selection. Now we have the job description ready and through WFP, we exactly know how many people to hire in each department. Next comes the advertising of the jobs. Candidates’ presence on different platforms decides which mediums to use for advertising. There are a lot of sources to advertise the jobs: job advertising websites, newspapers, the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and of course, the company website.

Through recruitment, you are marketing yourself as a great company where the employees have the fastest career growth. Hence, the ad campaigns must be dynamic and creative, considering the needs of your target market i.e. competent workforce of the society.

While you design the ads, clearly mention the competencies required for each job, the education, work experience if applicable, expected salary, and any associated benefits. Be very clear about what you enlist as additional requirements of the job as a large gap between what you advertise and what you actually consider, can ruin your name in the industry.

Enlist the essential functions- the actual requirements to perform the job and the non-essential functions- some additional, supportive requirements separately and clearly.

An important consideration is guiding and interacting with candidates on each platform to address their queries and concerns.

4) Screening

The recruitment and selection process in hrm includes screening in multiple ways. It must initiate with the ATS. ATS is applicant tracking software that screens and filters the best resumes depending on the preset skills and abilities.

Phone Screening

The first preferred way to follow an ideal recruitment and selection process in hrm is phone screening. The company conducts short interviews over the phone to get a rough idea of the potential of candidates. It saves the recruiters from the hassle of inviting a large number of people to the office. Phone interviews filter the first layer of competent candidates.

It is important to inform the candidates about the timings of the phone interviews so that they are available and prepared. Calling them without intimation is not advisable.

Written Test

The second step of the recruitment and selection process in hrm is conducting a written test of the filtered candidates. This is not necessary in every case and depends upon the nature of the jobs. Some jobs require written assessments and some do not. Also, the written test for one job is always different from the test for the other job. Here, the role of job analysis comes into play. Companies usually do not have this knowledge and they prepare a general test for all positions which is an improper practice. The nature of the job decides how to evaluate each applicant.

The test must contain some cognitive ability and problem-solving questions related to the nature of the job. The purpose is to evaluate the knowledge and expertise of the applicants. Some jobs require passing IQ tests as well. Remember, the purpose is to hire the best people and for this, we need to assess their knowledge in the required field.


The third step is interviewing the candidates who have passed the tests. A few jobs may require only interviewing the candidates to make the best choice. Read about interviewing in detail here. 

In-basket technique

Certain jobs also require that the candidates demonstrate some practical knowledge during the assessment phase. For example, the job of a computer operator or a data entry operator requires the candidates to practically show how well or fast they can type or how much they know about computers. Similarly, for managerial hiring, there might be a requirement for the candidates to show their skills and abilities in simulation exercises such as in-basket techniques. In these exercises, they actually perform job-related responsibilities. The recruiters select the candidate performing the job tasks in the best manner. This technique has a very high accuracy level as people have to show their problem-solving and task-management skills as part of their job roles.

5) Selection

The screening process is an important step towards selecting the best candidates for each job who support the company’s goals. So, at the end of the recruitment and selection process in hrm, we get the best person for the job. Selection requires scores from tests and interviews.

Read about an ideal evaluation and selection process in our other blog: powerful ways to improve your job interview assessment.

The last stage is the background check of the selected person. This background check ensures that he has been working ethically in his previous job, has no criminal record, and will be the best addition to the organization.

After making the selection, appointment letters are issued and the “new hire” is informed.

recruitment and selection process in hrm
recruitment and selection process in hrm

Top tips for an ideal recruitment and selection process in HRM

  1. Get your workforce plan ready before its need arises in any emergency.
  2. Complete your homework for the entire hiring process before initiating any move.
  3. Don’t rush and take the time to choose the best people for the company.
  4. Devise the company’s vision and goals before formulating a hiring plan.
  5. Conduct an organization’s SWOT analysis before you start. Analyze the gap between strengths and weaknesses for which you want to hire. Also, look for the opportunities and threats which can be a result of this hiring.
  6. Go for talent diversity because hiring many people with similar skills leaves your organization crippled.
  7. Reserve a very small percentage for employee referral hiring. It is very likely that your employees’ acquaintances share a similar mindset leading to less generation of new ideas.
  8. Work on avoiding the rater biases as they render even the best-planned hiring processes null.
  9. Use an HRMIS– Human Resource Management Information System to manage the hiring process efficiently.

Identifying all these gaps in the recruitment and selection process in hrm is critical as strategic human resource management is all about formulating and following strategies to achieve organizational goals. It is imperative for the survival of an organization that strategic HR delivers these winning results and inducts competent employees.