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16th Jan, 2024

Craig Lewis
Craig Lewis
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

Fine-tuning recruitment and selection processes is essential for any organisation looking to achieve its goals and move to the next level by attracting top talent, improving retention and ultimately boosting the bottom line. 

Creating a fair and consistent recruitment process and selection process is incredibly important to the long-term success of any company, helping to futureproof not just its talent acquisition strategy but the entire business. 

A robust hiring and selection process comes with a host of benefits, from cost-savings and access to a wide talent pool, to effective screening methods and ultimately the successful hiring of talented candidates who will help move a business forward. 

What is selection in recruitment? 

Recruitment and selection are two parts of the hiring process. Recruitment is the process used by organisations to source, identify and attract candidates for job roles. The overriding aim is to gather as many candidates as possible, with tasks along the way including scoping job requirements, advertising vacancies, attracting candidates, managing responses and shortlisting candidates. 

Selection is identifying someone with the necessary qualifications and skills from a pool of candidates. It ultimately involves placing the right person in the right job. There are several activities within the selection process, including conducting aptitude and psychometric tests and interviews, and checking references. 

Why is effective selection important when hiring? 

A strong selection process is vital to the overall performance of any organisation. 

Not only can a robust selection process help a company attract the best talent, but it also has the capability to bring about cost savings and drive performance. 

Organisations which get the selection process right will naturally get the right people on board, and the knock-on effect of that is improved employee engagement, a reduction in absenteeism and greater employee retention. 

Those employees will then perform better and stay with an organisation for longer. This not only has an impact on company performance but also results in cost savings. A study by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation found the cost of a bad hire is estimated to be three times higher than the salary they are paid, while research conducted by Reed on 2,000 hiring managers in August 2023 showed 46% of them regret being too hasty when hiring new talent. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a selection process? 

A well-run recruitment and selection process comes with numerous advantages: 

  • An efficient selection process will be cost effective and simple to run. 

  • Pre-employment screening and reference checking as part of the hiring and selection process will help eliminate unsuitable candidates. 

  • A good selection process will be inclusive and without bias, ensuring the best and most deserving candidates are chosen. 

  • Candidates who don’t have the correct experience, skills or ability can be sifted out, as part of the selection process saving time and money in the long term. When the very best people are hired, companies generally see an increase in productivity and retention.

However, organisations need to be aware of potential pitfalls within any selection process, including: 

  • The selection process is not foolproof, and candidates may not always be honest in the screening or interview stages. 

  • If not designed with inclusivity in mind, unconscious bias can influence decision making during the interview and assessment stages. 

  • The potential to rely too much on artificial intelligence and automation can remove vital human interaction from the selection process. 

What are the key steps in the recruitment and selection process? 

There are several important steps in the recruitment selection process, starting with advertising a role and travelling through various methods of selection to an eventual job offer. 

  • Advertising the job role: 

The creation of a clear, detailed job description is vital to make sure the ideal candidates apply for a vacancy. Such a description should include all the details required to attract the perfect candidate, including not only the skills, knowledge, and experience they will need for the role, but the salary, whether hybrid or remote working is available, and your company’s employee value proposition. Advertising a job in the correct place is another important part of the recruitment and selection process, whether on specialised job boards, via a company website, on social media, or via recruitment fairs.  

  • Screening and CV selection: 

Proper screening of candidates will help businesses ensure they are a good fit for a role and for their company. 

Reviewing CVs for the required qualifications and knowledge will help to weed out unsuitable candidates. Screening can also be used to review an applicant's history online, including their social media history. This can be beneficial, in terms of discovering positive information such as published work or achievements, or provide vital insight into their personality and interests.  

  • Interviews: 

Anyone who has gone through the recruitment and selection process will have gone through an interview process. This often starts with a pre-screening interview which will provide additional insight into candidates’ skills, education, experience, and knowledge. More formal interviews provide an opportunity to meet those applying for a role and to assess their abilities more closely. In some cases, especially for more senior positions, several rounds of interviews are required, but a balance should be struck so as not to lose a great candidate to a competitor by prolonging this stage.   

  • Tests and assessments: 

There are several types of tests and assessments that are used as part of recruitment selection. These range from personality tests to technical skills assessments, with the type of test required dependent on the ultimate role.

Personality tests will assess a candidate’s soft skills, determining how they behave in certain situations, while knowledge tests present specific situations or questions about training and skills. 

Then there are more technical assessments which provide objective ways to compare one candidate to another. Psychometric tests, meanwhile, are designed to evaluate intelligence levels, with problem-solving assessments within time limits common among methods of selection. 

Candidates will then be reviewed on their performance based on both these tests and any interviews which have been conducted. The results provided during the recruitment and selection process can then be used to choose the best person for the job.  

  • References and background checks: 

As well as checking someone’s references, this part of the hiring and selection process will allow hiring managers to carry out checks such as a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, drug tests, credit checks or driving record checks. Many of these checks will only be relevant to certain positions. For example, people working with vulnerable children would need a DBS check.  

  • Job offer 

The final part of the recruitment and selection process is to offer the successful candidate the job. Once they have signed a contract of employment and served any required notice period, the applicant will be able to start work in their new role.  

Outsourcing recruitment and selection: 

Organisations which outsource the recruitment and selection process to experienced and seasoned specialists will be able to take advantage of significant savings, improved processes, and wider talent pools. 

Outsourcing gives companies full visibility and control over their recruitment spend, which is often not tracked and monitored as closely internally. It also frees up time for employees to focus on more strategic objectives. 

External providers will be better positioned to deal with compliance issues and to make sure organisations are up to date with the latest legislation, while also helping to streamline and constantly improve the hiring and selection process. 

A greater focus on company brand and employee value proposition is another benefit of outsourcing, with experts able to engage the very best talent and motivate them to join your business. 

Furthermore, services like Reed Talent Solutions’ recruit, train, deploy solution will open up access to wider and more varied talent pools, helping companies to fill skills gaps within their organisation. 

Outsourcing is a particularly powerful option when hiring at volume, while project-based outsourced services can supply vital support if an organisation is going through a period of change.  

If you need help with your selection requirements or with any other element of futureproofing your talent acquisition strategy, speak to one of our experts. 

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