Systematic stages of recruitment selection process


Recruitment is a set of activities designed to attract a 'qualified' pool of job applicants to an organisation. Effective recruiting should bring employment opportunities to the attention of the people whose abilities and skills meet person specifications. (RKC Handout 2010)

Selection is the process of choosing from a pool of applicants, the person or persons who offer the greatest performance potential. (RKC Handout 2010)

Systematic stages to consider when recruiting

Identification/justification of vacancy

Job Analysis

Job Description

Person Specification

Sources of Staff

Application Forms/CVs


Application Screening/Short-listing


Letters to candidates


Selection Tests

Selection Decision


Legal requirements

It is important to that the right people are recruited to any business. Using this systematic process should help a business to narrow it down to getting it right first time.

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Badly thought out recruiting can aid to hiring the wrong candidates, causing high staff turnover, low staff morale and increased cost to any business.

Explanation of a Systematic Recruitment and Selection Process

It has been established that your company requires more staff it must also be decided for which job you wish to advertise to attract potential candidates. Know exactly what the job is and what sort of person you are wishing to employ.

"Get the right people and get the people right"

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Get the right people - by understanding what exactly what your company needs will allow you to select the candidate whose skills best match with your list of criteria.

Get the people right - by being consistent with your induction policies and practices and encouraging staff training and development will help integrate your new employees to the organisation

Flow Chart Explaining the Recruitment and Selection Process

(CIPD-RKC Handout 2010)

Option to use competency based approach

Job specification

(What is the job?)

Job description

Person specification

Attracting and

managing applications

Making the appointment

Selecting candidates -

Short-listing, interviews and assessment

Joining the


Identification/justification of vacancy

With the relocation of the company's factory, it has been identified that there will be a definite need to recruit approximately 20 new employees- at varying levels. This decision has been made as only two-thirds of current employees are being relocated and that the workload will be too great for the remaining staff.

Factors that have been taken into consideration before coming to this decision are:

can the workload be delivered with existing staff numbers - no

are there areas short on skilled operators - yes

is there a demand to recruit and fill these positions - yes

Although current staff may be happy to work overtime if the demand is long term it is more beneficial and cost effective to recruit new employees.

For the purpose of this report the Application Pack will be for the chosen role of Administration Assistant.

Job Analysis

Job Analysis "is the process of collecting and analysis information about the tasks, responsibilities and context of jobs." (Torrington and Hall 1991pg 245)

It is the close examination of different positions within a company in detail which help identify the key requirements involved in each particular job. A number of important questions need to be explored such as:

job title

to whom the employee is responsible

for whom the employee is responsible

a simple description of the job role and the duties it may entail

By using job analysis it allows employers to:

set out training requirements tailored to suit specific jobs

have choice of recruiting internally or externally for staff

information on hand which can improve decision making

identify potential areas of risk and danger

establish pay bands for specific jobs

(BGN Entrepreneur website)

Job Description

Is an account of the job specifics detailing:

Job title

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Responsible to

Role Brief

Salary Scale

List of Main Duties and Responsibilities

This provides the employee a clear outline of what is expected of them and to whom and what they can be held accountable for and how much they can expect to be paid. Nowadays job descriptions are not seen as rigid so there is some scope of leeway with in the description.

Example: Refer to Doc1: Part B: Application Pack

 Person Specification

Is a further detailed description of attributes a business would like the potential candidate to possess, providing information to meet any specialised skills/personality traits required for the post. This criteria is usually split into 2 categories of essential - a must have and desirable - would be a bonus but not essential.

When drawing up a person specification, regard must be given to all legal requirements including the provisions of relevant legislation such as:

Sex Discriminations Acts 1975 and 1986

Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/1102)

Race Relations Act 1976

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992

Human Rights Act 1998

Employment Rights Act 1996

Age Discrimination Act

Sources of Staff

The options of sourcing staff are viewed as internal and external. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to both recruitment styles:

(Zeus Consulting Website 2010)




you know the employee and their capabilities

they are familiar with the work and staff

promotion from within boosts staff morale

it is cost affective, saving on advertising, shortening further training that is required

having to replace your member of staff

no 'fresh eyes' to the organization may stop them from being critically honest

jealously or resentment from existing staff


reaches wider audience

allows wider choice from applicants

opportunity of 'fresh eyes' with new ideas

can be costly in budget and time

you only know candidate on paper

they may bring disharmony to workforce

With the relocation of the factory it is necessary that the company recruits externally. It is therefore critical that great attention to the job descriptions and person specifications are carried out.

Options to consider for external recruitment are as follows:

advertising in newspapers - expensive but reaches wide audience

advertising through job centres - low cost/free - multiple responses

advertising with online recruiters - low cost - multiple responses

advertising through own website - free, may not reach wide enough market

Application Forms/CVs

Application forms are a good way of filtering through candidates that are applying for lower end jobs advertised within a business.

Application forms can be detailed to suit the information that the company requires in respect to the position that is being advertised. This form should be in an easy to read logical flow, only requesting relevant personal details from the prospective candidate.

Application forms must also be in accordance with relevant legislations regarding Disability Discrimination Act and the Ethnic Monitoring and the information being requested must also adhere to the Data Protection Act.

Information in regard to contacting referees should be made clear and at which point of the application this will be deemed necessary. A clear outline detailing the selection process and requirements of the job should be present on this form.

By using a consistent format it is easier for the company to assess quickly and objectively whether or not the candidate is suitable for short-listing and that they have not discriminated against any candidates.

Example: Refer to Doc 3: Part B: Application Pack

CVs are not always presented in a logical flow which can hinder a company in realising whether the candidate is suitable for the job or not. As there is no control over the content, you may find that it is full of irrelevant information.

Therefore CVs are best used when advertising for more higher up positions within a business such as a managerial position. Here the information given should speak for itself. The candidates will able to list their suitability/experience in regard to the position.


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Using newspapers to advertise your vacancies is still the most frequently used way that businesses can attract candidates. However running an advert in the press can be very expensive! Therefore it is critical again that we pay attention to the details that should be placed in the ad, making sure the important details are included.

Advertisements should be clear and concise indicating the:

position available, outlining requirements of the job

desirable criteria (helps limit numbers of undesirable applications)


contract (term, hours)

organisation (detailing the nature of their business)

details of contact or how to apply

Application Screening/Short-listing

When all applications and CVs have been returned in time of the closing date then the application screening can begin. This process helps to slim down the numbers who have applied for the position.

It is important that those involved in this process are aware of all discrimination legislations so that all candidates are treated equally. A business's reputation can be tarnished if a candidate makes a tribunal claim of being unfairly treated. It is therefore potentially better for a business if there are a panel of screeners to check over applications.

In theory short-listing should be a straightforward process. You check through all application forms and CVs marking them off against your person specifications criteria. Identify those who meet your requirements and reject those who don't, it may be necessary to also have a maybe pile for some who just miss the mark.

If your panel has differing ideas on potential candidates, those meeting the criteria may have to be marked on their suitability, scores should be tallied up at the end and those with the highest amounts should be carried further in the selection process.

This can often be a lengthy time-consuming process, however if time and care is taken over it, you will hopefully be left with the cream of your candidate pool.

Example: Refer to: Doc.8: Shortlisting Grid


The purpose of references is to obtain information about a candidate's employment history, qualifications, experience and/or an assessment of the candidate's suitability for the post in question. Prospective employers may seek information on matters including length of employment, job title, brief details of responsibilities, abilities, overall performance, time-keeping and reason for leaving.

Candidates will normally be asked for the name of at least 2 referees, usually being their most recent employers. In the event of them not having worked before references from others sources such as teachers, college lecturers or someone who has known them for a length of time can be sought after for character references.

It is entirely up to the discretion of the business if they wish to take up references of potential employees before they have interviewed their candidate pool, however it is more common that references will only be sought after once an employer has made an offer of employment.

Letters to Candidates

You have short listed your candidates, so it is time to send out letters telling them of their success in the selection process.

As a business you should have your own policy on how to deal with successful and unsuccessful applicants. Answering all applicants is a good practice to have as it will give a good impression of your business and it also puts applicant's hopes to rest one way or another.

For successful candidates a letter congratulating them thus far should be sent out along with the details of date, time, place and whom they will be interviewed by. A contact number should be given so they are able to confirm or arrange when/if suitable.

Example: Refer to Doc 1: Part B: Application Pack -

Unsuccessful candidates should also be contacted thanking them for their interest in the position but in this occasion that they have been unsuccessful in being taken further in the process.


It is up to a business to decide which form of interviewing style they wish to adapt as their method. Panel interviews where you have a small number of interviewers working as a committee can often be more reliable as the interview questions can be shared and you will have several opinions on how well a candidate is suited or not. All questions during the interview process should remain the same for each candidate so it remains fair and unbiased throughout.

Example: Refer to Doc 5: Part c: Interview Plan and Interview Questions

One to one interviews are between the interviewer and candidate, again the same questions will be addressed to each candidate, however in this style you only have one opinion on how a candidate has answered and you may become biased without even realising.

Whatever style is adapted there are a few additional preparations that can help the interview run as smoothly as possible:

selection and booking of appropriate room size and organisation of seating within

if telephone in room have all calls put on divert ensure there will be no interruptions

notify Reception Staff of names of interview candidates

have waiting area arranged for interviewees

familiar yourself with job descriptions, person specifications , selection criteria, have appropriated CVs or application forms at hand

interview questions should be prepared

set out equal times for interviews and allow yourself time between each candidate to discuss or take notes

Example: Refer to Doc 6: Part D: Instruction Sheet on Conducting an Effective Selection Interview

Selection Tests

Selection tests can help aid the employer in reaching a decision whether or not a candidate is suitable. There are a number of different tests that can be used but the most common ones are aptitude tests.

The ideas behind these tests are to gauge how quickly and how well a candidate can pick up new skills or how well they answer. It can show their learning potential and capabilities at acquiring new skills.

Selection Decision

The selection decision should only be made once all candidates have been interviewed for the position in question. The panel/interviewer must also take into account not only how the candidate has presented in the interview but how they measure up to fitting the job description and person specification. All information on the candidate throughout the process should be taken into consideration before a final decision has been made.

Once the selection has been made, it is important that the interviewer/panel contacts the candidate with a verbal offer of employment, which will later be followed with written confirmation. It is important to do this on the day the decision has been made as it also gives the business time to decide on their second choices in case the candidate decides not to accept the offer.


Induction in the workplace usually refers to the welcoming in of new employees and giving them the low down on the business and their policies and allowing them some time to acclimatise and adjust to their new surroundings and work colleagues.

It is good practice for companies to have induction programme when introducing new staff as there are certain procedures, terms and conditions that business are required to share with staff by law.

A good induction programme should cover all of the following:

orientation (physical) - describing where the facilities are

orientation (organisational) - showing how the employee fits into the team and how their role fits with the organisation's strategy and goals

an awareness of other functions within the organisation, and how the employee fits within that

meeting with key senior employees (either face to face or through the use of technology)

health and safety information - this is a legal requirement

explanation of terms and conditions

details of the organisation's history, its products and services, its culture and values

a clear outline of the job/role requirements

The induction programme should be given to all members of staff and it should be accompanied with a checklist, that new employees can sign off agreeing that they have partaken in and understood the induction process.

The importance for induction is to make new staff welcome and make sure they are clear on the company regulations and what their role is within the company. Without an induction process, a business can find its self back at square one as new employees feel kept in the dark, their role within the company is unclear and staff turnover is high. Then begins the lengthy recruitment process all over again causing extra costs in time and finance of which both a company should not have to pay out.

Example: Refer to Doc 7: Part E: Induction Checklist

Legal Requirements

When a company first starts the recruitment process it is important for them to understand that they have several legislation acts that they new to be familiar with for legal purposes.

If they do not have a prior knowledge of what can be considered as discrimination against any employee or future employee then they could be facing a very public and costly legal battle that could potentially finish their business.

The main Discrimination Acts are as follows and they should be adhered to throughout the whole recruitment and selection process:

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 &1976 Amendment-these Acts were put into place to help eliminate the unfairness on individuals who were discriminated against on the grounds of their sex whether they had the ability to carry out the work or not

Race Relations Act 1976 - this Act aims to prevent unfair discrimination on a person on the grounds of their colour, race, nationality and ethnic or national origins. Nowadays 'Ethnic Monitoring' questionnaires are usually part of a job application form to help employers be fair in their selection process

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 - this Act prohibits discrimination against disabled persons. It generally applies to employers of 20 or more, again 'Positive About Disabled People' can be found on application forms which can help guarantee that the person will be considered for the job in question providing they meet with all other criteria of person specification

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 - this Act covers discrimination against those who have committed offences, if the conviction has been spent and if the candidate has not disclosed the information, these grounds are not enough for an employer to refuse employment

Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 - this Regulation was brought in to prevent employers discriminating against potential candidates in relation to their age

Data Protection Act 1988 - this Act was put in place as a measure to keep personal information on potential employees safe and confidential.

It is a therefore really important that an employer is especially careful when:

Advertising - is the job discriminating against sex, age, colour and disability?

Applications - has the relevant issues of 'Ethnic Monitoring', 'Disability' and 'Rehabilitation of Offenders' been included? Has the Data Protection Act been mentioned in regard to the information you are requesting?