Literature Review: Recruitment and Selection Process



Nowadays, every organization necessitates personnel planning as one of the most vital activities. Human Resource Planning is, by far, an essential ingredient for the success of any organization in the long run. There are a number of techniques that need to be followed by every organization that guarantees that it possesses the right number and type of people, at the right time and right place, so as to enable the organization to achieve its planned objectives. Commonly, the objectives of Human Resource Planning department include resource, planning, recruitment and selection, career planning, training and development, promotions, risk management, performance appraisal, to name a few. Each of these objectives requires special attention and accurate planning and execution.

It is of utmost importance for every organization to employ a right person on a right position. And recruitment and selection plays a pivotal role during such situations. With shortage of skills and the rapid spread of new technology exerting considerable pressure on how employers perform recruitment and selection activities, it is recommended to conduct a step-by-step strategic analysis of recruitment and selection processes. With reference to the current context, this paper presents an incisive review of previous literature on the recruitment and selection process. This paper is primarily based on an analysis of six pieces of literature conducted by practitioners and researchers in the field of Human Resource management.

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Various researchers have contributed to the field of HRM, and have offered intensive and profound knowledge on the branches of HRM such as scientific recruitment and selection, Manpower management, Job analysis, Need and purpose of Recruitment, and so on.

Literature Review:


Edwin Flippo defines Recruitment and selection process as "A process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating and encouraging them to apply for jobs in an organization."

In simpler terms, recruitment and selection are concurrent processes and are void without each other. They significantly differ from each other and are essential constituents of the organization. It helps in discovering the potential and capabilities of applicants for expected or actual organizational vacancies. It is a link between the jobs and those seeking jobs.

Work by Korsten (2003) and Jones et al. (2006):

According to Korsten (2003) and Jones et al. (2006), Human Resource Management theories emphasize on techniques of recruitment and selection and outline the benefits of interviews, assessment and psychometric examinations as employee selection process. They further stated that recruitment process may be internal or external or may also be conducted online. Typically, this process is based on the levels of recruitment policies, job postings and details, advertising, job application and interviewing process, assessment, decision making, formal selection and training (Korsten 2003).

Jones et al. (2006) suggested that examples of recruitment policies in the healthcare, business or industrial sector may offer insights into the processes involved in establishing recruitment policies and defining managerial objectives.

Successful recruitment techniques involve an incisive analysis of the job, the labour market scenario/ conditions and interviews, and psychometric tests in order to find out the potentialities of job seekers. Furthermore, small and medium sized enterprises lay their hands on interviews and assessment with main concern related to job analysis, emotional intelligence in inexperienced job seekers, and corporate social responsibility. Other approaches to selection outlined by Jones et al. (2006) include several types of interviews, role play, group discussions and group tasks, and so on.

Any management process revolves around recruitment and failure in recruitment may lead to difficulties and unwanted barriers for any company, including untoward effects on its profitability and inappropriate degrees of staffing or employee skills (Jones et al. 2006). In additional, insufficient recruitment may result into lack of labour or hindrances in management decision making, and the overall recruitment process can itself be advanced and amended by complying with management theories. According to these theories, the recruitment process can be largely enhanced by means of Rodgers seven point plan, Munro-Frasers five-fold grading system, personal interviews, as well as psychological tests (Jones et al. 2006).

Work by Alan Price (2007):

Price (2007), in his work Human Resource Management in a Business Context, formally defines recruitment and selection as the process of retrieving and attracting able applications for the purpose of employment. He states that the process of recruitment is not a simple selection process, while it needs management decision making and broad planning in order to appoint the most appropriate manpower. There existing competition among business enterprises for recruiting the most potential workers in on the pathway towards creating innovations, with management decision making and employers attempting to hire only the best applicants who would be the best fit for the corporate culture and ethics specific to the company (Price 2007). This would reflect the fact that the management would particularly shortlist able candidates who are well equipped with the requirements of the position they are applying for, including team work. Since possessing qualities of being a team player would be essential in any management position (Price 2007).

Work by Hiltrop (1996):

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Hiltrop (1996) was successful in demonstrating the relationship between the HRM practices, HRM-organizational strategies as well as organizational performance. He conducted his research on HR manager and company officials of 319 companies in Europe regarding HR practices and policies of their respective companies and discovered that employment security, training and development programs, recruitment and selection, teamwork, employee participation, and lastly, personnel planning are the most essential practices (Hiltrop 1999). As a matter of fact, the primary role of HR is to develop, control, manage, incite, and achieve the commitment of the employees. The findings of Hiltrop's (1996) work also showed that selectively hiring has a positive impact on organizational performance, and in turn provides a substantial practical insight for executives and officials involved. Furthermore, staffing and selection remains to be an area of substantial interest. With recruitment and selection techniques for efficient hiring decisions, high performing companies are most likely to spend more time in giving training particularly on communication and team-work skills (Hiltrop 1999). Moreover the finding that there is a positive connection existing between firm performances and training is coherent with the human capital standpoint. Hence, Hiltrop (1996) suggests the managers need to develop HR practices that are more focused on training in order to achieve competitive benefits.

Work by Jackson et al. (2009) and Bratton and Gold (1999):

As discussed by Jackson et al. (2009), Human resource management approaches in any business organization are developed to meet corporate objectives and materialization of strategic plans via training and development of personnel to attain the ultimate goal of improving organizational performance as well as profits. The nature of recruitment and selection for a company that is pursuing HRM approach is influenced by the state of the labour market and their strength within it. Furthermore, it is necessary for such companies to monitor how the state of labour market connects with potential recruits via the projection of an image which will have an effect on and reinforce applicant expectations. Work of Bratton & Gold (1999) suggest that organizations are now developing models of the kind of employees they desire to recruit, and to recognize how far applicants correspond to their models by means of reliable and valid techniques of selection. Nonetheless, the researchers have also seen that such models, largely derived from competency frameworks, foster strength in companies by generating the appropriate knowledge against which the job seekers can be assessed. However, recruitment and selection are also the initial stages of a dialogue among applications and the company that shapes the employment relationship (Bratton & Gold 1999). This relationship being the essence of a company's manpower development, failure to acknowledge the importance of determining expectation during recruitment and selection can lead to the loss of high quality job seekers and take the initial stage of the employment relationship so down as to make the accomplishment of desirable HRM outcomes extremely difficult. In the opinion of Bratton and Gold (1999), recruitment and selection practices are essential characteristics of a dialogue driven by the idea of "front-end" loading processes to develop the social relationship among applicants and an organization. In this relationship, both parties make decisions throughout the recruitment and selection and it would be crucial for a company to realize that high-quality job seekers, pulled by their view of the organization, might be lost at any level unless applications are provided for realistic organization as well as work description. In view of Jackson et al. (2009) and Bratton & Gold (1999) applicants have a specific view of expectations about how the company is going to treat them; recruitment and selection acts as an opportunity to clarify this view. Furthermore, one technique of developing the view, suggested by Bratton and Gold (1999), are realistic job previews or RJPs that may take the form of case studies of employees and their overall work and experiences, the opportunity to "cover" someone at work, job samples and videos. The main objective of RJPs is to allow for the expectations of job seekers to become more realistic and practical. RJPs tend to lower initial expectations regarding work and a company, thereby causing some applications to select themselves; however RJPs also increase the degree of organization commitment, job satisfaction, employee performance, appraisal and job survival among job seekers who can continue into employment (Bratton & Gold 1999) Jackson et al. (2009).

Work by Silzer et al (2010):

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However, the process of recruitment does not cease with application of candidature and selection of the appropriate candidates, but involves sustaining and retaining the employees that are selected, as stated by Silzer et al. (2010).

Work of Silzer et al. (2010) was largely concerned with Talent management, and through their work they were successful in resolving issues like whether or not talent is something one can be born with or is it something that can be acquired through development. According to Silzer et al (2010), that was a core challenge in designing talent systems, facing the organization and among the senior management. The only solution to resolve the concern of attaining efficient talent management was by adopting fully-executable recruitment techniques. Regardless of a well-drawn practical plan on recruitment and selection as well as involvement of highly qualified management team, companies following recruitment processes may face significant obstacles in implementation. As such, theories of HRM can give insights in the most effective approaches to recruitment even though companies will have to employ their in house management skills for applying generic theories across particular organizational contexts. Word conducted by Silzer et al (2010) described that the primary objective of successful talent strategies is to create both a case as well as a blueprint for developing the talent strategies within a dynamic and highly intensive economy wherein acquisition, deployment and preservation of human capital-talent that matter,, shapes the competitive advantages and success of many companies (Silzer et al. 2010).

Work by Taher et al. (2000):

Toward that end Taher et al. (2000) carried out a study to critique the value-added and non-value activities in a recruitment and selection process. The strategic manpower planning of a company, training and development programme, performance appraisal, reward system and industrial relations, was also appropriately outlined in the study. This study was based on the fact that efficient HR planning is an essence of organization success, which flows naturally into employee recruitment and selection (Taher et al. 2000). Therefore, demand rather than supply must be the prime focus of the recruitment and selection process and a greater emphasis must be put on planning, supervising and control rather than mediation. Extending this principle, a realistic approach to recruitment and selection process was demonstrated, and the study found that an organization is efficient only when the value it commands exceeds the price involved in determining the process of decision making or product. In other words, value-added and non-value added activities associated with a company's recruitment and selection process impacts its role in creating motivated and skilled workforce in the country (Taher et al. 2000). Thus, the study identified the waiting time, inspection time and filing time as non value added tasks and the cost of advertisement as the only value added activity in the overall process. Taher et al. (2000) investigated the recruitment and selection section of Bangladesh Open University. It was found that whenever the recruitment and selection department of BOU received a recruitment request of new applicants from other sections, the officials failed to instantly advertise the vacancy in various media. The university had to follow some long sequential steps prior to doing so. After the vacancy is publicly advertised, what followed were the bureaucratic formalities and complications together with inspection and supervision by two departments thereby causing unnecessary waiting in the recruitment and selection process that eventually increases the cost of recruitment by keeping the organization's image at stake. The study also witnessed some amount of repetition taking place at every step of recruitment where the applications of applicants circulating around too many departments for verifications. This repetitive work tends to engage unnecessary persons for a single task that results in unnecessary delay in the decision and unjust wastage of manpower.

After careful consideration of similar problems in the BOU, Taher et al. (2006) recommended for amending the recruitment process by stating that firstly processes like job analysis and searching internal and external sources must be followed by direct advertisement of the post as the HR's own responsibility, and not by any intermediate officials. This will eliminate the non-value activities. Secondly, Taher et al (2000) suggested a 'system' to be introduced to ease the respective department to study the shortlisted candidates, which can be done only by the request of the HR department. A medical assistance must be sought by BOU in regards to the physical or mental abilities of applicants for the job function as well as their workers compensation and risk. A procedure needs to be devised pertaining to the privacy and confidentiality of medical reports. Thus, this privacy and decrease in noon-value added activity of the medical exam can be sustained effectively by testing the applicants via contracted medical advisors, or in-house doctors. Use of a computer based HR system should be installed in BOU to manage the pool of information about employees and to make the organization to take just-in-time HR recruitment and selection decisions.

Therefore, any organization is encouraged to development real-time recruitment strategies that must attempt to generate a pool of appropriately qualified and well-experienced individuals so as to effectively initiate the selection strategies and decisions. In essence, the potential applications are encouraged to apply for the open vacancies and also the relevant departments can engage in recruiting the best candidates to upgrade the department's performance (Taher et al. 2000).


It can be clearly concluded that for a company to succeed all it takes is the proper recruitment and selection strategies which also shapes the overall manpower management of the company. By conclude this literature review, the study emphasizes on the fact that the recruitment and selection process is integrated with other processes such as strategic plan of the company, training and development schemes, compensation, rewarding/incentive system, performance appraisal, and lastly, industrial relations. Furthermore, according to Silzer et al (2010), there exist several reasons why the most apparent information have been more promising; including the well-structured nature of interviews, the use of questionnaires based on a job analysis, inclusion of panel of interviewers, the practice of note-making during the interview, and the use of rating scale based on behavioural factors to gauge the interviewee's answers all play an integral part in the improvement of the recruitment validity.

Therefore, the study has offered an incisive review of literature of as many as six authors based on their individual studies and research on recruitment and selection processes.