Recruitment of suitable staff is fundamental to organisational success. Too often the recruitment and provision of staff is treated as a secondary, unimportant activity. It is important therefore that a formal procedure exists to ensure that recruitment and selection is successful.
The Recruitment and Selection Plan
This needs to be an organised and systematic process aimed at matching the correct candidate to the post. It begins with the recognition of a vacancy or vacancies and should be based upon the requirements detailed in the human resource plan.
The recruitment and selection plan must follow a logical process and requires:
1. A Job Description:
This will specify the job content and the relevance of the vacancy to other posts. It must include the main duties and responsibilities of the postholder, the major tasks and limits to authority. It will also detail the job title, location and relationships with others in the organisation.
2. The Personnel (or Person) Specification:
This is often overlooked during the recruitment process, the assumption being that the job description suffices. The personnel specification identifies personal characteristics (as opposed to, for example, technical qualifications) such as physical attributes, aptitude, team approach, aspirations, intelligence, communication skills, personal disposition, experience and generally ‘fitting in’ to the organisation.
3. A Job Advertisement:
Most organisations will place an advertisement in an appropriate newspaper, professional journal or job centre. It is important to recognise that this advertisement must be targeted effectively and attractive to a potential employee, should include information about the vacancy (salary, work details, qualifications) and the organisation.
It may be the case that no advertisement is required because recruitment agencies or ‘headhunters’ are used. However, details along the lines of an advertisement would still be required.
4. Application Form:
These are an effective and efficient way of gathering information about candidates and a mechanism for comparison. The form has to be designed to be completed in a logical manner so that the correct information is provided. It must include questions on age, qualifications and experience. It must also reflect the vacancy and the culture of the organisation. For example, if the vacancy is in the caring professions, then questions might be asked about social interests and family background. Space should always be provided for the candidate to write about his or herself and the reasons why he or she is attracted to the vacancy. The application form allows early sifting of candidates.
5. The Interview:
This follows the sifting of the application forms. It is the most important stage in the process. It assess the candidate and for the candidate to learn more about the organisation. The interview process must have clear goals. It should aim to find the best person for the job, allow the candidate to understand what is expected of him or her and ensure that the candidate feels that he or she has been fairly and equitably treated.
The interview should be structured so that all candidates are put at ease, are asked the same questions and allowed the same opportunities to ask questions. A scoring system is sometimes adopted to ensure that some form of rational comparison is undertaken.
6. Selection Testing:
Is a scientific method of assessing a candidate’s ability. These techniques are being widely used throughout business and industry and may include tests on intelligence, aptitude, proficiency and personality. They are however expensive to administer and may only be used for senior appointments.
Often overlooked, the new employee should undertake a period of formal induction to familiarise his or herself with other staff, procedures, duties and safety requirements. This learning will of course continue on an informal basis throughout the individual’s employment within the organisation.
It is often the case that new employees require both formal and informal training. To this end the employee’s present level of ability and skills are determined and a training programme developed.