resource selection is the process of choosing qualified individuals who are
available to fillpositions in an organization. In the ideal personnel
situation, selection involves choosing the best applicant to fill a position.
Selection is the process of choosing people by obtaining and assessing
information about the applicants with a view to matching these with the job
requirements. It involves a careful screening and testing of candidates who
have put in their applications for any job in the enterprise. It is the process
of choosing the most suitable persons out of all the applicants. The purpose of
selection is to pick up the right person for every job.
It can be
conceptualised in terms of either choosing the fit candidates, or rejecting the
unfit candidates, or a combination of both. Selection involves both because it
picks up the fits and rejects the unfits. In fact, in Indian context, there are
more candidates who are rejected than those who are selected in most of the
selection processes. Therefore, sometimes, it is called a negative process in
contrast to positive programme of recruitment.
According to Dale Yoder, ―Selection
is the process in which candidates for employment are divided into two classes-those who are to be
offered employment and those who are not‖.
According to Thomas Stone, ―Selection is the process of
differentiating between applicants in order to identify (and hire) those with a greater likelihood of success in
In the words of Michael Jucius, ―The selection procedure is the system
of functions and devices adopted in
a given company for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not candidates
possess the qualifications called for by a specific job or for progression
through a series of jobs.‖
According to Keith Davis, ―Selection
is the process by which an organisation chooses from a list of screened applicants, the person or
persons who best meet the selection criteria for the position available.‖
selection process is a tool in the hands of management to differentiate between
the qualified and unqualified applicants by applying various techniques such as
interviews, tests etc. The cost incurred in recruiting and selecting any new
employee is expensive. The cost of selecting people who are inadequate
performers or who leave the organisation before contributing to profits proves
a major cost of doing business. Decenzo and Robbins write, ―Proper selection of
personnel is obviously an area where effectiveness - choosing competent workers
who perform well in their position-can result in large saving.‖ According to
them, selection has two objectives: (1) to predict which job applicants would
be successful if hired and (2) to inform and sell the candidate on the job and
the organization. Satisfaction of employee needs and wants as well as the
fullest development of his potential are important objectives of selection.
Dale Yoder says, ―Selection
has long held a high rank in the priority of problem areas in management. Investments in good people produce a
very high rate of return. A good choice of people can provide a basis for long,
Difference between Recruitment
and Selection: Difference between recruitment and selection has been described by Flippo as,
―Recruitment is a process of searching for prospective employees and
stimulating and encouraging them to apply for jobs in an organisation. It is
often termed positive as is stimulates people to apply for jobs, selection on
the other hand tends to be negative because it rejects a good number of those
who apply, leaving only the best to be hired.‖ Recruitment and selection
differs in following manner:
in Objective: The basic objective of recruitment is to attract
maximum number of candidates so that
more options are available. The basic objective of selection is to choose best
out of the available candidates.
is Process: Recruitment adopts the process of creating
application pool as large as possible and
therefore. It is known as positive process. Selection adopts the process
through which more and more candidates are rejected and fewer candidates are
selected or sometimes even not a single candidate is selected. Therefore, it is
known as negative process or rejection process.
Technical Differences: Recruitment
techniques are not very intensive, and not require high skills. As against this, in selection process,
highly specialised techniques are required. Therefore, in the selection
process, only personnel with specific skills like expertise in using selection
tests, conducting interviews, etc., are involved.
4. Difference in Outcomes: The
outcome of recruitment is application pool which becomes input for selection process. The outcome of
selection process is in the form of finalising candidates who will be offered
1 Selection Procedure
selection procedure is concerned with securing relevant information about an
applicant. This information is secured in a number of steps or stages. The
objective of selection process is to determine whether an applicant meets the
qualification for a specific job and to choose the applicant who is most likely
to perform well in that job. Selection is a long process, commencing from the
preliminary interview of the applicants and ending with the contract of
selection procedure consists of a series of steps. Each step must be
successfully cleared before the applicant proceeds to the next. The selection
process is a series of successive hurdles or barriers which an applicant must
cross. These hurdles are designed to eliminate an unqualified candidate at any
point in the selection process. Thus, this technique is called ―Successive
Hurdles Technique‖. In practice, the process differs among organisations and
between two different jobs within the same organisation. Selection procedure
senior managers will be long drawn and rigorous, but it is simple and short
while hiring lower level employees.
The major factors which determine the steps
involved in a selection process are as follows:
process depends on the number of candidates that are available for selection.
process depends on the sources of recruitment and the method that is adopted
for making contact with the prospective candidates.
steps involved in as selection process depend on the type of personnel to be
selected. All the above factors are not mutually exclusive, rather these
operate simultaneously. In any case, the basic
of a selection process is to collect as much relevant information about the candidates
so that the most suitable candidates are selected. A comprehensive selection
process involves the various steps.
Adopt objectivity Check the reliability and validity
Steps in Selection Process
Pool: Application pool built-up through recruitment process is the base for
selection process. The basic
objective at the recruitment level is to attract as much worthwhile
applications as possible so that there are more options available at the
2. Preliminary Screening and Interview: It is
highly noneconomic to administer and handle all the applicants. It is advantageous to sort out unsuitable applicants
before using the further selectionsteps. For this purpose, usually, preliminary
interviews, application blank lists and short test can be used. All
applications received are scrutinised by the personnel department in order to
eliminate those applicants who do not fulfil required qualifications or work
experience or technical skill, his application will not be entertained. Such
candidate will be informed of his rejection.
interview is a sorting process in which the prospective candidates are given
the necessary information about the nature of the job and the organisation.
Necessary information is obtained fromthe candidates about their education,
skills, experience, expected salary etc. If the candidate is found suitable, he
is elected for further screening. This courtesy interview; as it is often
called helps the department screen out obvious misfits. Preliminary interview
saves time and efforts of both the company and the candidate. It avoids
unnecessary waiting for the rejected candidates and waste of money on further
processing of an unsuitable candidate. Since rejection rate is high at
preliminary interview, the interviewer should be kind, courteous, receptive and
3. Application Blank
orApplication Form: An application blank is a traditional widely
accepted device for getting
information from a prospective applicant which will enable the management to
make a proper selection. The blank provides preliminary information as well as
aid in the interview by indicating areas of interest and discussion. It is a
good means of quickly collecting verifiable (and therefore fairly accurate)
basic historical data from the candidate. It also serves as a convenient device
for circulating information about the applicant to appropriate members of
management and as a useful device for storing information for, later reference.
Many types of application forms, sometimes very long and comprehensive and
sometimes brief, are used. Information is generally taken on the following
(a) Biographical Data: Name,
father‘s name, data and place of birth, age, sex, nationality, height, weight, identification marks,
physical disability, if any, marital status, and number of dependants.
Attainment: Education (subjects offered and grades secured),
training acquired in special fields
and knowledge gained from professional/technical institutes or through
(c) Work Experience: Previous experience, the number
of jobs held with the same or other employers,
including the nature of duties, and responsibilities and the duration of
various assignments, salary received, grades, and reasons for leaving the
and Benefits: Present and expected.
(e) Other Items: Names and addresses of previous
employers, references, etc. An application
blank is a brief history sheet of an employee‘s background and can be used
for future reference, in case needed.
application blank must be designed from the viewpoint of the applicant as well
as with the company‘s purpose in mind. It should be relatively easy to handle
in the employment office. Application form helps to serve many functions like:
Its main usefulness is to provide information for
reference checking, good interviewing, and correlation with testing data.
It helps to weed out candidates who are lacking in
education, experience or some other eligibility traits.
in formulating questions to be asked in the interview.
contained in application form can be stored for future reference.
It also tests the candidate‘s ability to write, to
organize his thoughts, and to present facts clearly and succinctly.
It indicates further whether the applicant has
consistently progressed to better jobs. It provides factual information.
Weighted Application Blanks
organisations assign numeric values or weights to the responses provided by the
applicants. This makes the application form more job related. Generally, the
items that have a strong relationship to job performance are given higher
scores. For example, for a sales representative‘s position, items such as previous
selling experience, area of specialisation, commission earned, religion,
language etc. The total score of each applicant is then obtained by adding the
weights of the individual item responses. The resulting scores are then used in
the final selection. WAB is best suited for jobs where there are many employees
especially for sales and technical jobs. It can help in reducing the employee
turnover later on. However, there are several problems associated with WAB e.g.
time to develop such a form.
The WAB would have to be updated every few years to
ensure that the factors previously identified are still valid products of job
The organisation should be careful not to depend on
weights of a few items while finally selecting the employee.
4. Selection Tests: Many organisations hold different
kinds of selection tests to know more about the candidates or to reject the candidates who cannot be called for
interview etc. Selection tests normally supplement the information provided in
the application forms. Such forms may contain factual information about
candidates. Selection tests may give information about their aptitude,
interest, personality, which cannot be known by application forms. Types of
tests and rules of good of testing have been discussed in brief below:
Tests: These measure whether an individual has the capacity or talent ability
to learn a given job if given
adequate training. These are more useful for clerical and trade positions.
Tests: At times, personality affects job performance. These determine
personality traits of the candidate
such as cooperativeness, emotional balance etc. These seek to assess an
individual‘s motivation, adjustment to the stresses of everyday life, capacity
for interpersonal relations and self-image.
Tests: These determine the applicant‘s interests. The applicant is asked
whether he likes, dislikes, or is
indifferent to many examples of school subjects, occupations, amusements,
peculiarities of people, and particular activities.
Tests: In this test the applicant is asked to demonstrate his ability to do the
job. For example, prospective
typists are asked to type several pages with speed and accuracy.
Tests: This aim at testing the mental capacity of a person with respect to
reasoning, word fluency, numbers,
memory, comprehension, picture arrangement, etc. It measures the ability to
grasp, understand and to make judgement.
Tests: These are devised to measure the depth of the knowledge and proficiency
in certain skills already achieved
by the applicants such as engineering, accounting etc.
G. Achievement Tests: Whereas
aptitude is a capacity to learn in the future, achievement is concerned with what one has accomplished. When
applicants claim to know something, an achievement test is given to measure how
well they know it.
Tests: In these tests the applicant projects his personality into free
responses about pictures shown to
him which are ambiguous.
Rules of Good Testing
Norms should be developed for each test. Their
validity and reliability for a given purpose should be established before they
time and resources must be provided to design, validate, and check tests. Tests
should be designed and administered only by trained and competent persons. The
user of tests must be extremely sensitive to the feelings of people about
to be uses as a screening device.
should not be placed solely upon tests in reaching decisions.
should minimize the probabilities of getting distorted results. They must be
‗race-free‘. Tests scores are not precise measures. They must be assigned a
5. Interview: An interview is a procedure
designed to get information from a person and to assess his potential for the job he is being considered on the basis of oral
responses by the applicant to oralinquiries by the interviewer. Interviewer
does a formal in-depth conversation with the applicant, to evaluate his
suitability. It is one of the most important tools in the selection process.
This tool is used wheninterviewing skilled, technical, professional and even
managerial employees. It involves two-wayexchange of information. The
interviewer learns about the applicant and the candidate learns about the
Objectives of Interviews: Interview
additional information from the candidate.
giving to the candidate information about the job, company, its policies,
products etc. To assess the basic suitability of the candidate.
selection interview can be:
one between the candidate and the interviewer:
more interviewers by employers representatives-sequential;
panel of selections, i.e., by more than representative of the employer.
sequential interview involves a series of interviews; each interviewer meeting
the candidate separately. The panel interview consists of two or more
interviews meeting the candidate together.
Types of interviews: Interviews
can be classified in various ways according to:
Degree of Structure
Purpose of Interview
Content of Interview
or non directive: in which you ask questions as they come to mind.
There is no set format to follow.
or directive: in which the questions and acceptable responses are
specified in advance. The responses
are rated for appropriateness of content.
and non-structured interviews have their pros and cons. In structured
interviews all applicants are generally asked all required questions by all
interviewers. Structured interviews are generally more valid. However
structured interviews do not allow the flexibility to pursue points of
interests as they develop.
of Interview: A selection interview is a type of interview
designed to predict future job performance,
on the basis of applicant‘s responses to the oral questions asked to him.
A stress interview is a
special type of selection interview in which the applicant is made uncomfortable by series of awkward and
rude questions. The aim of stress interview is supposedly to identify
applicant‘s low or high stress tolerance. In such an interview the applicant is
made uncomfortable by throwing him on the defensive by series of frank and
often discourteous questions by the interviewer.
of Interview: The content of interview can be of a type in which
individual‘s ability to project a
situation is tested. This is a situation type interview. In job-related interview, interviewer attempts to assess the
applicant‘s past behaviours for job related information, but most questions are
not considered situational.
In a behaviour interview a
situation in described and candidates are asked how they behaved in the past in such a situation. While
in situational interviews candidates
are asked to describe how they would react to situation today or tomorrow. In
the behavioural interview they are asked to describe how they did react to the
situation in the past.
Principles of Interviewing
it effective, an interview should be properly planned and conducted on certain
Flippo has described certain rules and principles
of good interviewing to this end:
proper surroundings. The physical setting for the interview should be both
mental setting should be one of rapport. The interviewer must be aware of
non-verbal behaviour. Plan for the interview by thoroughly reviewing job
specifications and job descriptions.
the specific objectives and the method of the interviewing.
as much as possible concerning the known information about the interviewee. The
interviewer should possess and demonstrate a basic liking and respect for
Questions should be asked in a manner that
encourages the interviewee to talk. Put the applicant at ease.
decision only when all the data and information are available. Avoid decisions
the interview tactfully, making sure that the candidate leaves feeling neither
some written record of the interview during or immediately after it. Listen
attentively and, if possible, protectively.
Questions must be stated clearly to avoid confusion
and ambiguity. Maintain a balance between open and overtly structured
language‘ must not be ignored.
interviewer should make some overt sign to indicate the end of the interview.
is largely an art, the application of which can be improved through practice.
6. Background Investigation: The next
step in the selection process is to undertake an investigation of those applicants who appear to offer
potential as employees. This may include contacting former employers to confirm
the candidate‘s work record and to obtain their appraisal of his or her
performance/ contacting other job-related and personal references, and
verifying the educational accomplishments shown on the application.
background investigation has major implications. Every personnel administrator
has the responsibility to investigate each potential applicant. In some
organization, failure to do so could result in the loss of his or her job. But
many managers consider the background investigation data highly biased. Who
would actually list a reference that would not give anything but the best
possible recommendation? The seasoned personnel administrator expects this and
delves deeper into the candidate‘s background, but that, too, may not prove to
be beneficial. Many past employers are reluctant to give any information to
another company other than factual information (e.g., date of employment).
though there is some reluctance to give this information, there are ways in
which personnel administrators can obtain it. Sometimes, for instance
information can be obtained from references once removed. For example, the
personnel administrator can ask a reference whose name has been provided on the
application form to give another reference, someone who has knowledge of the
candidate‘s work experience. By doing this, the administrator can eliminate the
possibility of accepting an individual based on the employee‘s current
employer‘s glowing recommendation when the motivation for such a positive
recommendation was to get rid of the employee.
7. Physical Examination: After the
selection decision and before the job offer is made, the candidate is required to undergo physical fitness
test. Candidates are sent for physical examination either to the company‘s
physician or to a medical officer approved for the purpose. Such physical examination
provides the following information.
the candidate‘s physical measurements are in accordance with job requirements
or not? Whether the candidate suffers from bad health which should be
the candidate has health problems or psychological attitudes likely to
interfere with work
or future attendance?
the candidate is physically fit for the specific job or not?
these physical exams has changed today. Dale Yoder writes, ―Modem policy used
the physical examination not to eliminate applicants, but to discover what jobs
they are qualified to fill. The examination should disclose the physical
characteristics of the individual that are significant from the standpoint of
his efficient performance of the job he may enter or of those jobs to which he
may reasonably expect to be transferred or promoted. It should note
deficiencies, not as a basis for rejection, but as indicating restrictions on
his transfer to various positions also.‖
8. Approval by Appropriate
Authority: On the basis of the above steps, suitable
candidates are recommended for
selection by the selection committee or personnel department. Though such a
committee or personnel department may have authority to select the candidates
finally, often it has staff authority to recommend the candidates for selection
to the appropriate authority. Organisations may designate the
authorities for approval of final selection of candidates for different
categories of candidates. Thus, for top level managers, board of directors may
be approving authority; for lower levels, even functional heads concerned may
be approving authority.
9. Final Employment Decision: After a
candidate is finally selected, the human resource department recommends his name for employment. The management or
board of the company offers employment 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 of employment. Some firms
make a contract of service on judicial paper. Usually an appointment is made on
probation in the beginning. The probation period may range from three months to
two years. When the work and conduct of the employee is found satisfactory, he
may be confirmed. The personnel department prepare a waiting list and informs
the candidates. In case a person does not join after being selected, the
company calls next person on the waiting list.
10. Evaluation: The
selection process, if properly performed, will ensure availability of competent and committed personnel.
Aperiod audit, conducted by people who work independently of the human resource
department, will evaluate the effectiveness of the selection process. The
auditors will do a thorough and the intensive analysis and evaluate the