Example Answers to Questions on Recruitment and Selection


Q1. Explain the impact of both the law and organizational procedures on the process of recruitment and selection.

Recruitment is the process of location, identifying, and attracting capable applications for jobs available in an organization. Accordingly, the recruitment process comprises the following five steps:

• Recruitment planning

• Strategy Development

• Searching

• Screening

• Evaluation and Control.

Recruitment Planning: - The first involved in the recruitment process is planning. Hire, planning involves to draft a comprehensive job specification for the vacant position, outline its major and minor responsibilities, the skills, experience and qualifications needed, grade and level of pay, starting date, whether temporary or permanent, and mention of special condition, if any, attached to the job to be filled.

Strategy Development: - Once it is known how many with what qualification of candidates are required, the next step involved in this regard is to device a suitable strategy for recruitment the candidates in the organization. The strategic considerations to be considered may include issues like whether to prepare the required candidates themselves or hire it from outside, what type of recruitment method to be used, and what geographical area is considered, for searching the candidates, which source of recruitment to be practiced.

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Evaluation and control: - Given the considerable involved in the recruitment process, its evaluation and control is therefore, imperative. The costs generally incurred in a recruitment process include:

• Salary of recruiters

• Cost of time spent for preparing job analysis, advertisement, etc.

• Administrative expenses

• Cost of outsourcing or overtime while vacancies remain unfilled

• Cost incurred in recruiting unsuitable candidates.

In view of above, it is necessary for a prudent employed to try answering certain questions like:

• Whether the recruitment methods are appropriate and valid?

• Whether the recruitment process followed in the organization is effective at all or not?

"Getting the right person, in the right place, at the right time, is crucial.  Mistakes can be expensive and damaging to the reputation and activities of individuals and the organization"

The Recruitment and Selection Process has several critical points. The Recruitment and Selection Process is very sensible to the changes in the internal organization of the company and to the changes on the external job market.

The whole Recruitment and Selection Process must meet several criteria:

The process must be easy to understand for the target audience of the Recruitment and Selection Process. The process is not created for employees of HRM; the process is developed mainly for the managers in the organization. The managers are the most important clients of the Recruitment and Selection Process,

HRM has to follow the standard defined in the Recruitment and Selection Process. HRM cannot afford to draw the nice process maps and document flows in the organization and not to follow them. When HRM does not follow the rules defined, then HRM cannot expect the managers to define such a process.

HRM must be able to get a buy-in from the managers in the organization to use standards defined and to keep the process consistent. For example the graph illustrates one of the most common mistakes in the Recruitment and Selection Process. The HRM starts to fill the vacancy without a clear agreement about the profile and job content of the vacancy to be filled. This mistake takes a long time to correct and the whole cycle time of the recruitment gets too long and produces confusion among all the participants in the process.

The legal instruments impacting on staff recruitment and selection.

Human resources staff and any personnel involved in recruitment or selection should be trained in applicable employment law. Numerous federal and state statutes regulate selection practices to ensure equal employment opportunities. Thus, the entity must determine that the methods and procedures used to secure human resources comply with applicable laws and regulations. Key federal legislation affecting employers is briefly described in the following table:


Equal Pay Act 1970 as amended (EPA)

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Sex Discrimination (NI) Order 1976 as amended

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Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome, The Equal Treatment Directive (76/207) 1976

Race Relations Act 1976

Workplace, Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992

Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)

Asylum and Immigration Act 1996

Employment Rights Act 1996

Race Relations (NI) Order 1997

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998

Human Rights Act 1998

Northern Ireland Act 1998

Data Protection Act 1998

Employment Relations Act 1999

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003

Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

Equality Act 2006

Organizational procedures and processes that affect staff recruitment and selection.

Assess Condition determines the actual process used:

Conduct interviews, observe operations, and identify and collect available documentation in order to gain an understanding of the entity's actual recruitment and selection process and controls. Included in the actual process are both official/unofficial and formal/informal processes and controls. An official process may exist even if it is not documented. Possible procedures include, but are not limited to:

Determine how the entity identifies and plans to meet its staffing needs through recruitment and selection.

Determine how recruitment and selection plans relate to strategic and other entity plans.

Obtained review equal employment opportunity and affirmative action plans.

Determine if recruitment and selection planning and processes are centralized (in the human resources department) or decentralized (managers involved) or some combination thereof.

Determine how requests for new positions are made.

Obtain and review any manuals, policies, and forms used for the recruitment and selection process.

Determine how the actual recruitment and selection process is executed for each type of position.

Determine what type of recruitment and selection information is contained in employee personnel files.

Determine how and to what extent human resources staff and management are trained or otherwise informed about the legal, regulatory, and compliance issues applicable to recruitment, screening, interviewing, testing, selection, and hiring, including feedback documentation from training.

Interview employees about the relevance, comprehensiveness, and rigor of their recruitment and selection.

Obtain information on the process the entity uses to review and evaluate its recruitment and selection system and how it reports on this review.

In addition to gaining an understanding of the actual process, also try to find out:

How the participants view their own process?

What they think is important, and why this information may help identify causes and barriers?


Fairness, objectivity and equality of opportunity as elements of recruitment and selection

Equality of opportunity is an important part of our recruitment and selection policies and processes and we require all those undertaking selection decisions to have appropriate training in the area of equality and diversity.

Advertisements, whether internal or external (this includes all media, leaflets, posters and other aids, visual or non visual) must not indicate or appear to indicate an intention to unjustifiably discriminate on the grounds we have identified within this policy.

We must not confine our advertising to areas or publications which would unjustifiably exclude or disproportionately reduce the number of applicants of a particular age, minority community, gender, marital (including civil partner) status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, political opinion, color, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability and/or career status.


When evaluating and reporting on performance, managers should base their assessments solely on evidence, not on assumptions about staff (e.g. women's mobility or length of future service, the suitability of staff of particular ethnic origins to undertake specific jobs) and stereotypes.

It has a primary but not exclusive focus on 7 equality grounds which are referred to in brief below:


It is positive to have a workforce of employees of different ages and to encourage the contributions of younger and older people, within the terms of our core business. We require staff and suppliers to ensure that there is no unjustified age discrimination in work related activities and to promote age diversity as appropriate and practicable.


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Address discrimination against disabled people and to promoting their inclusion in public life. We recognize that disabled people, including those with specific learning differences and mental health issues are disabled not through their own individual impairments or relative ability, but through common social attitudes and physical and attitudinal barriers which result in marginalization and lack of access to full human rights, and we aspire to address this by consciously identifying and removing such barriers and making reasonable adjustments.

Gender and Transgender

Discrimination against men can occur and must be addressed; our focus is on promoting equality and eradicating discrimination in relation to women and girls who worldwide frequently experience social and economic disadvantage, negative attitudes, alienation, abuse and violence.


Racial discrimination is a complex phenomenon which can be based on grounds of 'race', nationality, religion, culture and/or color and other physical markers linked to ethnic belonging.

Religion and Belief and Culture

Respect the religion and belief and cultural diversity of staff working in the British Council and in the communities in which we operate, and make every Endeavour to ensure that needs and preferences are met.  In some countries we provide prayer facilities and take other actions.

Sexual Orientation

Tackle discrimination and harassment against lesbian, gay and bisexual people and respect the right of individuals to be open or otherwise about their sexual orientation. This is not compromised by the confidential collection of equality monitoring data. All colleagues have the right to expect that their private life will be respected and that negative messages or stereotypes on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation will not be reinforced at work.

Work-Life Balance

Understand the benefits of helping employees to balance their work and personal commitments and are committed to supporting staff to work flexibly wherever this is operationally possible.


Have a commitment to a pay system that is transparent and based on objective criteria.  Equal pay, free from gender or other unjustified bias, for the same or broadly similar work (that is for work that rates as equivalent and for work of equal value), operates within the British Council and we are committed to regular Equal Pay Audits.


Bullying and harassment should not be a part of our working culture or practices and our Equal Opportunity Policy requires each member of staff to guard against all harassment and support a dignifying work environment.  Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious and/or insulting behavior, or an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, or injure the recipient.

Harassment, in general, is unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of men and women in the workplace. It can be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the individual, and may be persistent or an isolated incident. The crucial aspect is that the actions or comments are deemed to be demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient, creating a hostile environment.


Any member of staff who feels that the treatment they have received is not in keeping with Equal Opportunity Policy has a right to register a complaint under the Grievance Framework.


The Speaking up Policy aims to provide a framework that encourages and enables staff to raise concerns about serious malpractice. These concerns may be about financial malpractice, breaches of the law, serious misconduct by another person and breaches in the areas of health and safety, or equal opportunity.  Built into the policy is an assurance that there will be no risk to the person raising such concerns if actions are based on good faith?


It is important that we adhere to legislation and behavioral standards and recognize that as a general principle of law, employers are liable for acts of unjustified discrimination committed by their employees in the course of their employment.


Monitoring and evaluation help us assess the effectiveness of our Equal Opportunity Policy and Diversity Strategy and to this end we have a number of mechanisms in place. 


A copy of the Equal Opportunity Policy is made accessible to all employees. All staff, including newly appointed ones must be made aware of this Policy and the responsibilities of both the British Council and the individual in achieving equal opportunity objectives.  In addition, the Policy and supporting Diversity Strategy and/or its principles, in keeping with our mainstreaming endeavors, must be referred to as appropriate, including in relevant training courses, guidance notes and manuals, throughout the procurement process and as part of operational work.

Q2: Identify personnel requirements and present a reasoned case for changes in staffing resources.

Analyze staffing resources to meet current and future objectives

The planning of HR is an integral part of how an organization is going to achieve its mission, by ensuring that the right people, with the right skills and knowledge are in the right positions to deliver on the organization's mission. Strategic human resource management (SHRM) planning is located within the organization's overall strategic planning process. Overarching organizational goals determine the content of Human Resource Management (HRM) policy, strategies, goals, and measures to achieve what is most important to the organization and address the challenges it will face in the forthcoming years. The HR plan generally takes one of two forms, as a component of a general strategic plan or as a separate HR strategic plan. In both cases the plans developed would form the basis for implementation of actions to achieve set goals, strategies, and measures on issues such as recruitment, retention, employee development, and succession. Just as the form of HR planning varies, so does the approach to planning. Typically, large multifaceted organizations with greater and more complex HR issues to manage will have formal strategic planning processes in place, while smaller organizations may be less formal and more flexible in their HR planning. For example, a fitness centre that identifies expansion into new locations as part of its overall strategic plan would require a formal and detailed HR plan for staffing its new centers. On the less formal side, a regional basketball association may take the opportunity, when presented, to bring in an internship student to develop a membership benefits package, even though the association had not previously identified this position or job task as a priority.

Effective HR planning serves many purposes. It allows an organization to deploy its people to meet its strategies and goals, assists with cost reduction by anticipating and dealing with labor shortages or surpluses in a timely manner, ensures optimum use of each individual's skills and knowledge, and capitalizes on the talents of a diverse workforce (Kane, 1997). The challenges to HR planning largely centre on the rapidly changing internal and external environments of sport organizations. These factors include changes to the way in which the sport is organized and delivered; increased competition for staff, volunteers, participants, and clients; an aging population; the need for a workforce skilled in new technologies and other specialized areas; and workforce diversity. Such challenges increase the importance of effective HR planning in the strategic planning process of sport organizations.

Develop a job description and a person specification

Develop a case for additional staffing resources

Whether you need to address a specific staffing need or make adjustments due to a reduction in staffing, developing a staffing plan will help you to better understand what projects or tasks are covered and where possible staffing deficiencies exist.

Copies of work plans or job descriptions for existing staff

Understand current staffing needs (i.e. for an event, for a program or for general operations). Think of them as categories and create a section for each (i.e. Special Events, Corporate Relations, Marketing and Communications).

List the key components of each category (i.e. for special events you could list the Annual Black Tie Event, Annual Retreat or Fall Conference).

List the name of the person who is currently managing each component. If the current assignment is has a specific time frame, make a note next to the person's name.

Determine where gaps exist. Once you have completed the list, look at the areas that are not adequately staffed. Consider whether or not you have an employee that can fill the need or if you need additional staffing resources.

Create a report based on your list and share with current staff or Human Resources in order to develop a strategy for meeting staffing needs.


Q3: Organize and conduct a selection process, justify a decision and keep necessary records

The stages of a selection process

Job Analysis:

This is the initial phase of recruitment and selection. Is their a job that actually exists?

Job Description:

This is when a document is written up by HR that contains the job title, the duties, roles and responsibilities of the job.

Person Specification:

It contains information of the characteristics and skills required of the ideal candidate. It includes essential and desirable features.

Attracting and managing applications:

For this you need to think about the costs involved and also the benefits/costs of hiring people who work already within the business or getting new ideas and experiences from outside. Think about the impact of either on existing staff morale (career development, promotion etc)

Selecting Candidates (shortlist):

The panel goes through the applications and separates the wheat from the chaff. The HR Manager went through 2,500 CVs only allocating 10 seconds per CV. The lucky 6 or so candidates are invited to attend interview.

Making the appointment:

A series of questions are asked by a panel of interviewers. They take notes on the candidates and compare at the end.

Joining the organization/ Induction:

Normally the candidate who has got the job is offered the job BEFORE the unsuccessful candidates are told they didn't get it. This is so if the successful candidate rejects the job they have others to fall back on.


Methods to support a selection decision

Recruitment methods refer to the means by which an organization reaches to the potential job seeker. It is important to mention that the recruitment methods are different from the resources of recruitment. The major line of distinction between the two is that while the former is the means of establishing links with the prospective candidates, the latter is location where the prospective employees are available. Dunn and Stephen have broadly classified methods of recruitment into three categories. These are:

Direct Method: In this method, the representatives of the organizations are sent to the potential candidates in the educational and training institutes. They establish contacts with the candidates seeking jobs. Person pursuing management, engineering, medical, etc. programmers are mostly picked up the manner. Sometimes, some employer firm establishes with professors and solicits information about student with excellent academic records. Sending the recruiter to the conventions, seminars, setting up exhibits at fairs and using mobile office to go to the desired centers are some other methods used establish direct contact with the job seekers. 24

Indirect Method: Indirect methods include advertisements in the newspaper, on the radio and television, in professional journals, technical magazines, etc. this method is useful when Organization dose not find suitable candidates to be promoted to fill up the higher posts, When the organization want to reach out a vast territory, and When organization wants to fill up scientific, professional and technical posts. The experience suggests that the higher the position to be filled up in the organization, or the skill sought by the sophisticated one, the more widely dispersed advertisement is likely to be used to reach too many suitable candidates. Sometimes, many organizations go for what referred to as blind advertisement in which only Box No. is given and the identity of the organization is not disclosed. However, organizations with regional or national repute do not usually use blind advertisements for obvious reasons. While placing an advertisement to reach to the potential candidates, the following three points need to borne in mind: To visualize the type of the applicant one is trying recruit; To write out a list of the advantages the job will offer; To decide where to run the advertisement , i.e., newspaper with local, state, nation-wide and international reach or circulation. 25

Third Party Method: These include the use of private employment agencies, management consultants, professional bodies pr associations, employee referral or recommendation, voluntary organization, trade banks, labor contractors, etc., to establish contact with the job seekers.

Now, a question arises; which particular method is to be used to recruit employee in the organization? The answer to it is that it will depend on the policy of the particular firm, the position of the labor supply, the government regulations in this regard and agreements with labor organizations. Notwithstanding, the best recruitment method is to look first within the organization.


The stages of a selection process, where records are kept, and the nature of those records.

Record keeping

Each stage of the recruitment and selection process should be capable of audit and a suitable paper trail which is relevant and accurate yet not overly bureaucratic should be maintained at each stage of the process. It is important that a clear record of all decision making is retained in case any decisions are challenged and for feedback purposes. It is also helpful to maintain records and monitor candidate profile via a confidential equal opportunities questionnaire. In some places this is a legal requirement.

Questions to consider when developing your approach:

• What paperwork should we ask our recruiters to complete and in what level of detail, short listing grids, interview record sheets, records of conversations and feedback given to unsuccessful candidates, telephone interview notes?

• How long will we keep recruitment records for?

• What equal opportunities monitoring will we undertake and what will we do with the results?

• What other monitoring and evaluation would it be useful to undertake such as successful versus unsuccessful processes, assessment approaches that were particularly successful in eliciting good quality information?

Policy implementation

The way in which you implement and publicize your policy will depend on the culture and communication norms of your organization. We have therefore not attempted to offer a "one size fits all" good practice implementation guide, suffice to say that clear communication, adequate training and regular legal updates for those involved in recruitment and selection is key to ensuring both legal compliance and developing both skill and consistency in recruiting great talent for your organization.


Evaluate the selection process

The schematic below is an example of the outcome from the technique. It shows (in blue) the key dimensions of a job compared against the evaluated attributes (in red) of a suitable candidate. It is immediately apparent where the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate are, in relation to this one position. Actions and decisions can then be taken in respect of the strengths and weaknesses.

If you believe that these processes, employee evaluation and selection, are not key components in managing for success or you are looking for a better way to execute with a higher degree of measurable success these HR processes, this technique is for you.

It will also enable you to conduct effective job interviews, focusing you on the interview questions you need to ask in order to ascertain candidate appropriateness for the important job dimensions you have analyzed as being important to success.

Some uses It can easily be applied inter alia other instances such as:

Developing employees for internal promotion

Constructing training and development programs for individuals and groups

Succession planning

You want to delegate more, to enable you to tackle the high payoff projects you have on the back burner, but cannot find away of developing a likely the chosen person

In team building, constructing a project team having key skill, knowledge and experience bases

Employee surveys, where you wish to compare an ideal situation, with the situation perceived by employees

Also, one of the traits of an effective manager is his / her ability to extract information from informal conversations (management by wandering around) as he or she goes about daily routine. Such a manager would be able to use the technique of profile analysis to build a profile of key constructs in his / her area of responsibility (not covered by normal performance reporting, like say morale) and measure this over time.

When you browse this article, it is recommended that you keep in mind the question 'how else could I use this technique, outside of the job interview process?'


Q4: Communicate the selection decisions and plan induction for the appointed candidate.

The communications required during a selection process

What Are Selection Criteria and how are they used?

Selection criteria describe the personal qualities, skills, abilities, knowledge and qualifications (if any) a person needs to perform the role effectively. They are used to identify the right person for the role.

Selection criteria are sometimes divided into:

IMPORTANT criteria


Important criteria are weighted equally (unless explicitly stated otherwise).

Less Important criteria are rated equally and have a lower weighting than Important criteria. However, your chances of progressing through the selection process (e.g. being short-listed) will be greater if you meet all the selection criteria, as you may be competing against many applicants.

Selection criteria can also be divided into:

Essential criteria ('must have' criteria)

Desirable criteria ('nice to have' criteria).

The selection advisory committee will rate applicants against the criteria in order to select the right applicant.

You must meet all of the 'essential' criteria in order to be seriously considered for a role. It is not necessary for you to have the qualifications, skills and knowledge outlined in 'desirable' criteria. However, your chances of progressing through the selection process (e.g. being short-listed) will be greater if you meet all the selection criteria, as you may be competing against many applicants.

Step one - Understanding the selection criteria

As an example, take the capability written communication skills. The associated selection criterion could be; well developed written communication skills. This includes the ability to:

structure written communications such as reports to meet the needs and understanding of the intended audience; express opinions, information and key points of an argument clearly and concisely; and to write convincingly in an engaging and expressive manner'. It is important that you clearly understand what is meant by each selection criterion before putting pen to paper.

Step two - Opening sentence

When addressing each selection criterion, you should begin with an opening sentence that clearly states your claim to this criterion. For example:

I possess strong written communication skills, which I have developed over the course of my career'.

This opening statement needs to be supported by detailed examples of where you demonstrated these skills in the workplace (or other context if workplace examples are not possible). The following steps will help you to provide a structured, easy-to-understand response.

Step three - Brainstorm ideas for each criterion

For each selection criterion, brainstorm ideas from your recent work life. Ideally, you should confine your examples to the last two or three years of employment. Where you do not have relevant work examples, situations from different aspects of your life (e.g. university, clubs or the community) may also demonstrate relevant strengths. For instance, acting as the secretary for a large club may be an appropriate example for the selection criterion described above.

Step four - Expand on your brainstorming ideas - provide the evidence

You should then expand upon the points that you have noted as part of the brainstorming activity in step three. Go back to each specific criterion and make your final choice on which examples to use, by matching them against the wording of the criterion.

Once you have finalized your examples, you need to demonstrate how they meet the different aspects of the criterion. In doing so, it is important that you are very specific and describe exactly what you did, including the outcome. This is to demonstrate convincingly that you have met the requirements of each criterion.

Step five - Checking work

At this stage, you should read through your application, and check the following points:

Have I used positive and specific language?

It is important that you avoid ambiguous or unclear expressions such as 'involved in' or 'assisted'. These expressions make it difficult for the reader to understand exactly what you did. For example, instead of 'I assisted the process through a monthly newsletter'; this idea has been phrased as 'I initiated a monthly newsletter'.

Words and phrases which could reduce credibility should also be avoided (e.g. some, a little, limited, somewhat).

Have I used strong action (doing) words?

Avoid using passive language when describing your experience. For example, 'I received consistently excellent feedback in relation to this newsletter from these internal clients and my own manager', is better than simply stating, 'Feedback in relation to this newsletter was consistently excellent'.

Induction plan for an appointed candidate

An effective Induction ensures a positive start at QAA. It is also an ideal time to identify any personal development needed for the individual to become effective in the job as quickly as possible.

Once a start date is agreed, induction will be planned. HR will organize the corporate induction, which includes terms and conditions of employment, HR policies, health and safety, data protection, meetings with relevant staff including the Chief Executive, records management and Finance. A similar Induction will take place for colleagues at the Scotland office. New starters will also be offered a meeting with a PCS representative. HR will arrange for a mentor. Guidance is available for the mentor. It is the responsibility of the line manager to arrange induction with the group. This should include meetings with relevant staff, information about the job, identification of short term objectives and any training needs. The line manager for the new appointee will need to plan, and make arrangements for, the local induction. This is likely to extend over a number of weeks. Induction is not something that can or should be highly standardized. Instead it should be tailored to the needs of the new post holder and the specific areas of responsibility that they will hold. The line manager will make arrangements for the new starter's arrival, for example by making sure that a desk, chair, telephone and PC are set up.

General induction to QAA

The general induction to QAA normally takes place on the employee's first day, and spans the majority of that day. The format is, however, modular, and so it is possible to fit this around the other activities in the team or commitments of the line manager. Administrative arrangements will be carried out by HR on day one, or during the employee's first week. At the Scotland office, this will be carried out by the nominated member of the admin team. This will include obtaining bank details; emergency contacts; copies of certificates for academic and professional qualifications; documentation confirming the person's right to work in the UK etc.

Induction will include health and safety, data protection, finance, meetings with relevant colleagues, meeting with a mentor and with the Chief Executive.

Local induction to the job

The induction to the work responsibilities associated with the job will be co-ordinated by the line manager. An information sheet is available for line managers explaining their role in the induction process and HR are able to provide additional support and guidance as necessary. The content of the local induction will be dependent on the job of the new post holder and their knowledge of QAA or work areas for which they will be responsible.


Review the impact of the recruitment and selection process and the appointed candidate on the objective of the case for the additional staffing resource


The basic phases of a recruitment and selection process are:


Plan staff requirements.

Recruit applicants via job postings and other means.

Screen applicants.

Interview candidates.

Test candidates.

Verify application information.

Extend the job offer.

Review, assess, and report on the process.


Suggested procedures, organized according to the elements of a finding, are listed below. They should be expanded or tailored to fit the specific entity being reviewed.

Review Criteria:

General criteria applicable to the recruitment and selection process are as follows:

General criteria:

Processes should be designed and implemented to allow the hiring entity to obtain the greatest amount of relevant information to identify the applicant whose knowledge, skills, and abilities are best suited for the job without creating legal risk.