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A Guide to the Recruitment and Selection Process

A Guide to the Recruitment and Selection Process

The recruitment and selection process involves several steps to find the right talent, with often underestimated costs. A streamlined process ensures better retention, lower turnover rates, and aligns candidates with the company’s values and environment.

07/08/2023 Back to all articles

The recruitment and selection process involves a series of steps followed by a hiring team to gather all the necessary information before making a hiring decision. During the process, there are some costs associated which are often overlooked and underestimated. However, following a streamlined process is crucial to find the right talent for your team, ensure the long-term success of the company and experience lower turnover rates. 

With this said, companies that spend more time to search for the right candidate can successfully find people who not only will fit the required position, but also align with the company’s work environment and values. 

In this guide, we’ll share the key steps to ensure a successful recruitment and selection process, together with best practices on how to  select the right candidate for the job, as well as the costs of recruitment that can get disregarded. 

What is the Recruitment and Selection Process?

Recruitment and selection are two key parts of the hiring process that allow companies to discover and attract top talent. Both involve identifying job requirements, advertising the position, defining the qualifications and narrowing down the pool to choose the best person for the role.

Finding and choosing the right candidate isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. To get a new star candidate on your team, the recruitment and selection process involves seven thorough main steps to get to the final stage, right from drafting a job description, conducting interviews, running background checks, evaluating candidates and sending the offer letter, among other steps along the way. 

Following these steps can lead to better retention rates and successful hires. Hiring managers are responsible for overseeing and  undertaking this process to ensure organisations achieve their hiring objectives.

What’s the Difference Between Recruitment and Selection?

The recruitment process happens mostly in the first stage of selecting the right candidate, which mainly involves the communication of vacancies, and introducing the role to suitable candidates, aiming to reach out to as many people as possible. In this stage, no contractual relationship is established. 

After the recruitment process, the selection process, each candidate is scrutinised and assessed carefully to identify the best person for the role, with the purpose of rejecting them from the list until left with just a few. This stage involves the creation of a contractual agreement between the company and the successful candidate. 

Benefits of a Streamlined Recruitment and Selection Process

Attracts Top Talent

Organisations must build a strong employment brand to attract and retain top talent. The recruitment and selection process are vital in a company because it allows them to attract the best talent. An efficient recruitment process will connect the organisation with top candidates.

Reduces Staff Turnover

A well-executed recruitment and selection process can boost employee engagement, decrease absenteeism, and even increase staff retention. Finding the right person for a role often means there’s a much better chance that they’ll perform to the best of their ability and
stick around for the long-term. 

Saves your Company Money

Keeping a position vacant for too long can be a big drain on a company’s finances. Similarly, a bad hire can also strain the organisations’ productivity and goals as it can increase the costs related to recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees.

Having the right person for the job will increase the company’s productivity and minimise the need for extensive training. Not only that, an engaged employee will be more committed and perform better, which can reduce the costs associated with absenteeism and low productivity.

Ensures Equal Opportunities

A thorough and fair recruitment and selection process will help companies eliminate unconscious bias from hiring managers, giving everyone with the right skills and experience the same opportunity to land a role, regardless of their background. This can be done with inclusive job ads, a diverse interview panel and ensuring non-discrimination at every step of the recruitment and selection process. 

7 Key Steps in the Recruitment and Selection Process 

The process of choosing the right candidate for a job offer involves several steps. If you're wondering what’s the initial step in the end-to-end recruitment and selection process, keep reading on.

Creating a Job Description Offer

The first step is creating a clear and detailed job description for identifying potential candidates for the vacancy. This is the candidate’s first introduction to the role, so it works as the company’s cover letter and should outline what the role entails, and the responsibilities, as well as the required skills, qualifications and experience. 

Advertising the Job Offer in the Right Places

One of the first steps in successful hiring involves advertising the job offer in the correct place. For some companies, specialised job boards may be the best platform to connect with job seekers. Others might prefer to communicate their offer through their website or expand their outreach through newspapers, or on the radio. 

Using social media such as LinkedIn are valuable resources for advertising since many job seekers use it to maximise their network.

Screen Applicants

Manual screening can be conducted by reviewing their CVs and using ATS to identify and reject applicants. Alternatively, telephone  screenings incorporate a range of pre-screening interview questions for applicants to answer. 

During these screenings, it’s essential to ask behavioural interview questions to learn more about your candidate’s personalities and how they handle difficult situations under pressure. Candidate scorecards come in handy to rank every applicant and track their answers.

Shortlist Candidates

After screening applicants, it is time to shortlist them. This step involves identifying those  candidates from your applicant pool who meet the requirements and criteria for the open position. Recruiters normally advance around four to six candidates from the pool, and they will be the ones invited for an interview with the client. This raises the question, how to shortlist candidates suitable for the interview?

Determine your shortlisting criteria

Criteria can vary depending on the nature of the role. For example, highly-specialised fields  such as Medicine may require candidates with advanced educational qualifications, while skill-based roles such as plumbing ask for candidates with hands-on experience. Develop a set of criteria that includes educational qualifications, work experience and competencies. 

Design a Shortlist Scorecard

Once you have established your criteria, design a shortlist scorecard which will be useful to identify applicants who meet the specified requirements. Create a chart that outlines the shortlist criteria and includes spaces to assign a score for each criterion, while also thinking on a clear scoring system. For example, a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most suitable standard and one indicating a poor score. This scorecard system ensures that each criterion is applied fairly across all candidates. 

Decide the length of your shortlist

Decide on the number of candidates your team intends to hire before starting the interviewing process. For example, if your team only  wants to hire one candidate, shortlist four to five candidates. Taking into account the required number of professionals for the role and the success rate of interviews within the company will help determine how many candidates should be shortlisted.

Conduct Interviews

After shortlisting candidates assigning them different scores, it is time to conduct interviews. Interviews give the chance to study the  applicant’s body language and the opportunity to ask questions that can offer valuable insights into the candidate’s personality. These questions may vary depending on the role, but they often consist of general, experience-based and in-depth questions. An interview scorecard can be useful to rank and compare candidates.

Evaluating Candidates

After the interview, a testing period follows which can involve different tests to make sure the candidates meet the requirements of the  position. These tests may include analysing a candidate’s problem-solving abilities, knowledge or soft skills. They can effectively narrow down the search and identify the best candidate to fill the role. 

  • Personality tests: These assessments are designed to test a candidate’s soft skills, determine how they will behave in certain situations and assess whether a candidate is a good fit for the company.
  • Knowledge tests: These present candidates with specific situations or questions which assess their expertise and experience.
  • Psychometric tests: Designed to assess candidates’ intelligence, and usually involve solving problems within a time limit.
  • Technical skills assessments: These tests are designed to provide an objective assessment of the candidate’s technical skills, making it easy to compare one candidate to another.

Extend an Offer Letter

After all this process, which sometimes can take weeks, is the moment of verifying that all the necessary information is correct, including contact references and employment history and extend a job offer to the qualified candidate. Hiring managers provide an offer letter with details about the start date, performance expectations and working hours. It may also include an onboarding process guide to welcome new employees and what to expect on their first day.

The integration of new employees is crucial to secure a new position and reduce turnover, throughout a comprehensive onboarding process to support their inclusion and development in the company. 

Recruitment and Selection Process Best Practices

Below are three tips to ensure a successful recruitment and selection process: 

Optimise and Streamline your Hiring Process

Each stage of the recruitment and hiring process significantly influences the applicant experience, starting from the moment they find the job posting until their first day on the job. 
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the entire process is streamlined and enjoyable. This not only reflects positively on your company brand but also encourages more suitable candidates to apply for the role. Here are some ways to refine the hiring process:

  • Simplify the process of filling out required information.
  • Minimise repetitive tasks, such as re-entering various pieces of information.
  • Ensure that your job applications are mobile-friendly to accommodate candidates who prefer to search for jobs using their phones.
  • Facilitate easy scheduling of screening calls.

Write an Engaging Job Description

Having an engaging and effective job description can make or break the hiring process. A poorly written job description with vague information about the role’s responsibilities is less likely to attract top talent. A well-written one that clearly describes what the company’s looking for, will attract the right candidates for the role. The purpose is to write a description that goes beyond the typical checklist of requirements and qualifications.

Expand Your Candidate Sources

There are far more sites than job boards that maybe qualified applicants do not visit. Broaden your candidate sources by looking at social media, CV databases, newspapers and magazines, and even offline avenues may increase your talent pool.

Source, Attract and Recruit Top Candidates with Morgan Philips

Recruitment and candidate assessment are complex processes that encompass various stages which need to be streamlined effectively to ensure top talent gets hired. With almost a decade of experience as a specialist recruitment agency, Morgan Philips has been empowering professionals across the UK to reach their full potential. 

At Morgan Philips, we work with organisations of all sizes, from small startups to medium enterprises and global multinationals helping you find qualified people to drive your business.

Looking for your next top candidate? Talk to our expert team in recruitment and consulting today to find the quality talent you need. Or, use our job search function to find your next executive role.