HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
Dr Joe Azzopardi
Purpose and Process
to attract sufficient and suitable potential employees to
apply for vacancies in the organisation.
Represents the organisation’s code of conduct
A typical policy statement:
In its recruitment activities the company will:
Advertise all vacancies internally.
Reply to every job applicant with the minimum of delay.
Aim to inform potential recruits in good faith about the basic details and job
conditions of every job advertised.
Aim to process all applications with efficiency and courtesy.
Seek candidates on the basis of their qualification for the vacancy concerned.
Aim to ensure that every person invited for interview will be given a fair and
The company will not:
Discriminate unfairly against potential applicants on grounds of sex, race, age,
religion or physical disability.
Discriminate unfairly against applicants with a criminal record.
Knowingly make any false or exaggerated claims in its recruitment literature
or job advertisements.
1. Has the vacancy been agreed by the responsible
2. Is there an up-to-date job description for the vacant
3. What are the conditions of employment (salary, hours,
4. Has a candidate specification been prepared
5. Has a notice of the vacancy been circulated internally?
6. Has a job advertisement been agreed? Have details of
the vacancy been forwarded to relevant agencies?
7. Do all potential candidates (internal or external) know
where to apply and in what form?
What arrangements have been made for drawing up a shortlist of candidates?
Have the interviewing arrangements been agreed, and have shortlisted
candidates been informed?
Have unsuitable candidates, or candidates held in reserve, been informed of
Have offer letters been agreed and dispatched to successful candidates? Have
references been taken up, where necessary?
Have suitable rejection letters been sent to unsuccessful shortlisted
candidates, thanking them for their attendance?
Have all replies to offer letters been accounted for?
Have the necessary procures for placement, induction and follow-up of
successful candidates been put into effect?
or candidate profile
The Seven Point Plan (devised by Prof Alec Rodger in the 1950s)
Physical Make-up – What is required in terms of health, strength, energy and
Attainments – What education, training and experience is required?
General Intelligence – What does the job require in terms of thinking and
Special Aptitudes – What kind of skills need to be exercised in the job?
Interests – What personal interests could be relevant to the performance of the
Disposition – What kind of personality are we looking for?
Circumstances – Are there any special circumstances that the job requires of
Applying the Seven Point Plan
Feature sought Essential
Physical make- Weight in proportion to height; eyesight,
hearing, perfect; neat, clean appearance; age
between 21 - 28
Secondary school level of education
Social skills adequate to deal firmly but
politely with passengers
Fluency in relevant
Travel, flying, firstaid
Friendly personality; ability to remain cool Sense of humour
and calm in an emergency; ability to work
short periods under intense pressure
must be able to work irregular hours; must Flexible domestic
be willing to stand for long periods; must be situation
willing to live near the airport
or candidate profile
Five Point Grading developed by Munro Fraser (1978)
Impact on others – embraces Rodger’s physical make-up and also aspects such as
dress, speech, manner and reactions. Important to look at individual objectively.
Acquired knowledge or Qualifications – this part deals with general education, work
experience and training, and is similar to Rodger’s attainment category.
Innate abilities or ‘Brains’ – the individual’s ability to exercise his/her intelligence in
a range of situations. Especially applicable in cases where the individual has few formal
qualifications. Emphasis on potential.
Motivation – ‘goal-directed’ aspect of human personality. How has the individual
achieved his/her personal needs and ambitions, rather than trying to identify these
Adjustment – The individual’s emotional status: stability, maturity, ability to cope
with stress. Basically the individual’s reaction to pressures.
• Can people be ‘chopped up’ in five or seven separate sections?
• Are we not over-simplifying personal characteristics?
• A means to an end – to concentrate attention on one facet at a
• Provides a practical framework to enable selectors to make
reasonable consistent comparisons between candidates;
• To try to introduce a greater element of predictability and
control in HRM processes – to minimise the effects of personal
prejudice and judgement and increase objectivity.
To entice potential applicants and to inform them about the
basic features of the job in question.
Main sources of job advertising (external):
• Local newspapers
• National newspapers
• Technical/professional journals
• Via the internet (employer’s website or on agency’s)
• Via job centres
• Via other agencies
• Posters at the gate
Effectiveness of Advertisements
Can be judged by:
1. The number of enquiries it
2. The number of applications
3. The suitability of the applicants
Effectiveness of Advertisements
An effective job advertisement:
• Identifies the organization and/or its industry with a few brief
• Provides brief but sufficient details about the salient features of the job
• Summarises all the essential personal features required by the jobholder
• Refers briefly to any desirable personal features
• States the main conditions of employment, including salary, for the
• States how and to whom the enquiry or application can be made
• Presents all the above points in a concise but attractive form
• Conforms to legal requirements
• Attracts sufficient numbers of suitable applicants
The Selection Process
• To have information about candidates in a
standardised format that facilitates
• Enable applicants to give a full and fair
account of themselves and their suitability
for the vacancy
• Can be used as the basis for the interview
We need to have different forms to meet differing
demands of major employee groups, e.g.
managers, professionals, clerical, manual.
One way of differentiating is to employ:
‘closed’ forms (requiring only routine information
for unskilled manual and clerical jobs)
‘open’ forms (requiring the expression of opinions
and judgements + routine info for managerial,
executive and professional positions)
Example of a ‘closed’ form
Job applied for:
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Notice required in present job:
Example of a ‘open’ form
(first two sections as in closed form)
Current Position & Salary:
Brief Details of Previous Posts:
(commencing with most recent)
What attract you to this post?
What contribution do you think you can make?
What has given you the greatest satisfaction at work to date?
How do you see your career developing in the next few years?
Notice required by present employer:
Referees: Please supply the names of two persons abel to
provide a reference on your behalf.
The Curriculum Vitae
The candidates own description of how they see their
personal history in relation to a job application.
A combination of two elements:
1. Standard/routine information
2. Personalised information
1. Name, address, telephone, email
2. Age, marital status
3. Education: secondary
4. Qualifications: GCSE’s, A levels,
certificates, diplomas and degrees
5. Professional memberships, e.g. ACCA,
to elaborate on one’s work/professional experience
– Job history/achievements
– Motivation/skills (e.g. IT, Languages)
– Personal interests/other activities
Neat, clear print-out, brief
Also referred to as: ‘pre-selection’ or ‘selecting out’
• Economic conditions determine whether pre-selection
• Application forms and CVs form the core of preselection
• Reliability depends strongly on well-designed
systematic pre-selection procedures
Brief statements about a candidate made by a third party,
usually the candidate’s superior
Intended to confirm information supplied by applicants
Referees are asked to provide:
1. Factual information about the candidate’s
period of employment in their organisation
2. Evidence concerning the candidate’s personal
character (sobriety, honesty, reliability etc)
Effects of referees on outcome of selection process not
known – they serve mainly to encourage applicants to
tell the truth
A formal exchange of facts, impressions and viewpoints
between a prospective employer and a prospective
employee with a view to their mutual selection or parting.
Research shows that selection interviews are neither
particularly reliable nor valid:
– Reliability: the degree of agreement between different
interviewers about a set of candidates.
– Validity: the extent to which the interview can predict
suitability for the job.
Research also shows that where selection criteria are
employed in a structured way, reliability and validity
Structuring the Interview
Full use of application form, personnel specification, CV and
references provide a framework for more reliable and valid
Some practical suggestions:
• The Interviewer should
possess and have read all the relevant documents.
Establish what precise issues need to be drawn out in the interview.
Prepare crucial questions and comments to put to the candidate.
Be in control of the situation.
Be aware of his/her own prejudices and needs.
• All candidates should be given every opportunity to give a
full and fair account of him/her self.
• The ability to prepare adequately
• Ability to listen, including picking up points implied in the candidates
• Questioning skills – ability to ask relevant questions at the right time
• Ability to analyse the picture of the candidate that is emerging during
• Ability to summarise and make notes on the candidate’s performance
• Ability to supply relevant information to the candidate without boring
• Skill in building and maintaining a relationship with the candidate
• Ability to control the interview with tact, diplomacy and firmness
Requires people to give their undivided attention to another
Looking at the candidate
1. Nodding the head
2. Making verbal signs
3. Asking follow-up questions or making follow-up
4. Picking up any implied points, often accompanied by
changes in voice/facial expression
Distractions from listening:
Thinking about the next question while half-listening to the
answer to the current question
Through questioning an interviewer:
– Selects the issues that need to be covered
– Elicits relevant information
– Controls the pace and direction of the interview
Two broad categories:
‘open’ – seek to draw the candidate out and usually begin
with ‘what’, ‘how’ or ‘why’: get the candidate talking
about key issues
‘closed’ – require a specific answer, usually ‘yes’, ‘no’ or
some specific piece of information like numbers: used
to redirect the line of questioning, curtail it, or to
confirm a point
Analysing and summarising
• Making sense of what the candidate is saying
• Building up a picture of the candidate
• Identifying any significant blanks in overall information
• Good analysis cannot be carried out unless we have a clear idea of
what we are looking for
• Interviewers need to make notes immediately after seeing the
candidate – this will assist in coming to a final choice
• Pre-prepared assessment forms (based on the personnel specification)
can help the process
– Information about the job and the organisation
additional to that given via the recruitment process, i.e.
personnel specification and advertisement. E.g.
specific details about the job or about the team he/she
may be joining.
– An interchange of impressions and ideas revealed
spontaneously, en passant, during the interview.
– Opportunity for candidate to learn more about the
organisation – contributes to higher validity.
– Avoid long monologues at beginning, when candidate
is ill-at-ease waiting for the moment to respond to the
Face-to-face encounters pose a challenge to both
interviewer and interviewee.
• It is essential to get the candidate talking and
putting him/her at ease
• Good eye-contact
• Encourage facial expressions and comments
• Ensure that candidate feels that the interview is a
constructive and enjoyable experience
Control & Conclusion
An interview is a costly and time-consuming business – ensure that the
time available is not wasted.
Tactful control by:
Politely but firmly
– Thanking the candidate for interest and response
– Acknowledging effort invested by candidate
– Being diplomatic to promote the ‘company image’ aspect
of recruitment and selection
Guide to Good Practice
Welcome the candidate
Encourage candidate to talk
Control the interview
Supply necessary information
• Obtain available information (job details,
candidate specification, application form)
• Arrange interview room
• Ensure no interruptions
• Plan the interview
Welcome the candidate
• After initial courtesies, thank candidate for
• Explain briefly what procedure you propose
to adopt for the interview
• Commence by asking relatively easy and
Encourage candidate to talk
Ask open-ended questions
Prompt where necessary
Indicate that you are listening
Briefly develop points of interest raised by
Control the interview
• Direct you questions along the lines that
will achieve your objectives
• Tactfully, but firmly, clamp down on the
• Do not get too involved in particular issues
just because of you own interests
• Keep an eye on the time
Supply necessary information
• Briefly add to information already made
available to candidate
• Answer candidate’s questions
• Inform candidate of the next steps in the
• Thank candidate for his responses to your questions
• Exchange final courtesies
• Write up your notes about the candidate
• Grade, or rank, him/her for suitability
• Operate administrative procedures regarding
Also referred to as psychological tests.
Usually standardised tests designed to provide an
objective measure of certain human
characteristics by sampling human behaviour.
Typically used to identify:
• an individual’s level of verbal, numerical and
• and his/her personality profile
Caution: use tests that have been tested over many
years and that have acquired a reasonable
reputation for both reliability and validity
Issues to consider
• Is such a test appropriate in the circumstances and will it
provide the information that we are looking for?
• Is a test to be used as an aid to short-listing or as an element
in final selection?
• How will test evidence be weighed in comparison with other
elements of the selection process?
• Should candidates be given an opportunity to prepare for the
• Will they be given feedback on their results?
• How will confidentiality of test results be protected?
• Should the test be administered and/or analysed by
organisation’s own staff or by specialist consultants?
• What steps would we take to monitor the use of tests and to
assess their value and effectiveness?
• Tests of intelligence: designed to measure performance of
a number of standardised mental tasks – closely related to
the general ability to learn
• Aptitude tests: special aptitudes – mechanical ability,
spatial and numerical ability
• Attainment test: attempt to test previous learning –
include tests for spelling, arithmetic, typing
• Personality tests: aim to provide a profile of individual
personality – the most controversial – validity open to
• Occupational preference tests: to bring out individual
preferences for certain categories of employment – also
useful for career counselling
Not a place but a process
A combination of assessment methods
A central role for simulation exercises
Groups of candidates assessed by groups
An extended period of the selection
process (half to one and a half days)
• Considerable data about candidates can be collected
• Candidates can display a range of knowledge and
skills over the course of half to one and a half days
• If successful, can produce valid and reliable choices
• Has the potential for use as a staff development tool
as well as for selection purposes
• Provides useful experience for assessors who have to
test their personal judgements against those of their
• Complexities of putting an assessment centre
together (selecting tests, devising simulations,
organising interviews and assessors)
• Costliness of setting up and they running a centre
• A poorly designed centre, or one which fails a
particular group of participants, (e.g. women or
minority groups) can bring adverse publicity and
ill-will as well as representing poor value for
• Assessment centres cannot accurately measure
tacit skills or capability