Process / Steps of Selection

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 15: Recruitment and Selection

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Process / Procedure / Steps of Selection

1. Preliminary Interview

The preliminary interview is generally brief and does the job of eliminating totally unsuitable candidates. Preliminary interview helps reject misfits for reasons, which did not appear in the application forms. It consists of short exchange of information with respect to organization’s interest in hiring and candidates’ inquiry. Candidates who pass this crude screening are usually allowed to fill in the application blank.

2. Application Blank

Inviting applications by CV makes things easier for applicants, but the resulting tidal wave can be horrendous; trying to sort through a pile of CVs, all with different formats and with widely varying levels of presentation, can be extremely time consuming and can make it difficult to spot key information. Consequently, many organizations have designed their own standard application form. The information which is usually sought through application form may be classified into four groups namely, identification, education, occupation, and miscellaneous (interest, hobbies, culture and social activities etc.) covering areas such as knowledge, skills and attitudes; experience; physical criteria; and, any other requirements.

3. Scrutiny of Applications

All applications received have to be scrutinized by the screening committee of personnel department in order to eliminate those applicants who do not fulfill job requirements. Short listing should be carried out objectively and consistently by comparing the relevant information in the application with the criteria detailed in the person specification as being measured by reviewing the application form to establish whether, on paper, the applicant has the type of experience and skills that are necessary or desirable for the job and will minimize the risk of any bias and potential for unlawful discrimination. It is essential to keep a record of the reasons for the selection and rejection of applicants at the short-listing stage. After the screening of applications is completed, a list is prepared of the candidates to be called for various tests or direct interview.

4. Employment Test

Employment tests are used to get information about the candidate which is not available from the application blank. They help in matching the characteristics of individuals with the vacant jobs so as to employ right type of personnel. Generally, tests are used to identify the applicant’s ability, aptitude and personality.

5. Employment Interview

Generally, application blank and employment tests do not provide the complete information about the candidates required for their selection or rejection. Interview may be used to secure more information about the candidates. The occasion, i.e., personal meeting between the panel of interviewers and the candidate may also be used for testing certain qualities and capabilities of the candidate.

6. Reference Checking

References can sometimes provide useful additional information that can be used as part of the assessment process. The applicant is asked to mention in his application form, the names addresses and telephone numbers of two or more persons who know him for the purpose of verifying information and perhaps gaining additional background information on an applicant. The reference persons may be his previous employers, head of education institutions, public figures, neighbours or friends. These people are requested to provide their frank opinion about the candidate without incurring any liability. Their main benefit is that they can confirm factual information on issues such as dates of employment, attendance record and whether the candidate has the experience claimed. The quality of references can be enhanced by providing referees with the job description and person specification for the post and by seeking specific information which is related to the selection criteria. 

7. Medical Examination

Applicant who has crossed the above stages is sent for a physical examination either to the company’s physician or to a medical officer approved for the purpose. It reveals existing disabilities and provides a record of the employee’s health at the time of selection. This record will help in setting company’s liability under the Workmen Compensation Act for claim for any injury. The primary purpose of the pre-employment medical is to assess the individual’s ability to carry out the duties associated with a particular post. The doctor with responsibility for carrying out the medical should be made aware of any special factors or issues relating to the job which might impact on the individual’s ability to perform it. A proper medical examination will ensure higher standard of health and physical fitness of the employees and will reduce the rates of accident, labour turnover and absenteeism. Given the broad definition of disability under the Equality Acts, an organization cannot withdraw a job offer if, following a medical, it becomes clear that the prospective employee has a disability, e.g. diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, unless the doctor certifies that he/she could not do the job, or because of the health and safety risks to the applicant or others in a particular employment situation. Though in the suggested selection procedure, medical test is located near the end, but this sequence need not be rigid. An organization may place the examination relatively early in the process so as to avoid time and expenditure to be incurred on the selection of medically unfit person.

8. Job Offer / Employment

Once the Selection Board has made its recommendation to appoint one or more candidates, the agreed procedures for making an appointment will be followed. It is the responsibility of the Personnel Office to contact the successful candidate and make a written offer. Employment is offered in the form of an appointment letter mentioning the post, the rank, the salary grade, the date by which the candidate should join and other terms and conditions in brief. 

9. Contract of Employment

After the job offer has been made and candidates accept the offer, certain documents need to be executed by the employer and the candidate. One such document is the Attestation Form. This form contains vital details about the candidate, which are authenticated and attested by him/her. Attestation form is a valid record for future reference. There is also a need for preparing a contract of employment. The basic information that should be included in a written contract of employment will vary according to the level of the job. Contract of employment contains information regarding contract details, pay and benefits, nature of contract, hours of work, schedules and overtime, leave, disciplinary procedure, grievance procedure, protection of business information, about probation period, performance evaluation, retirement policy, any other condition, and acceptance.

10. Induction and Follow-up

The process of receiving employees when they begin work, introducing them to the company and to their colleagues and informing them of the activities, customs and traditions of the company is called induction. This process is known as Induction Induction has three aims: 

  1. To smooth the early stages when everything is likely to be strange and unfamiliar to the new employee. 
  2. To establish quickly a favourable attitude to the company in the mind of the new employee so that he or she is more likely to stay. 
  3. To obtain effective output from the new employee in the shortest possible time.

All selections should be validated by follow up. It is a stage where the employee is asked how he or she feels about the progress till date. The worker’s immediate supervisor is asked for comments, which are compared with the notes taken at the selection interview.

The expected result of improving the selection of applicant is that training cost and labour turnover is decreased, production is increased, accidents and probability of accidents are reduced and morale may be increased. However, the mare introduction of a valid testing program cannot act like a magic wand to wave away all difficult problems.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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