Recruitment and Selection as HR Function

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Overview

Among the many functions HR has today, recruitment and selection is a basic yet pivotal function for an organization’s success. The parameters and process for recruitment and selection have undergone drastic changes, as organizational objectives have themselves become multi-dimensional, and as the business environment constantly poses new challenges. In a scenario where critical talent is valuable and practices like poaching are rampant, the job of the HR professional has become even more difficult.

Recruitment as Different from Selection

This function requires hiring the best talent, appropriate to the organizations need. The entire process requires careful outlining from start to finish to ensure it is error free. The costs of hiring an inappropriate candidate can be enormous for an organization. Recruitment is often used to imply hiring workforce, but in fact, it is the process of searching apt sources of manpower to meet the staffing needs of an organization, and attracting capable applicants for employment. It is a function that precedes the selection function. It begins at the identification of a vacancy and finishes at the point where a pool of candidates has been identified for selection from. At this point the selection function takes over.

Recruitment as a function requires astute judgment, business acumen and farsightedness on part of the HR professional to be able to envision the organization’s future growth and requirements. The recruitment policy and process have to be aligned with the organizational goals for maximum benefit. The process of recruitment starts with the identification of a staffing need. There must be an understanding of the expectations from that role and consent of the superior who the incumbent would be responsible to. It is followed by creation of a proper job description further stipulating the terms of employment – namely the compensation, work hours, holidays etc.

In keeping with the expectations from the role and the larger goals, a desirable profile of the candidate is chalked out - what physical and psychological characteristics the applicants must possess, what qualifications, experience and attitude are desirable and also what characteristics are a decided disadvantage and must be watched out for. It must be noted that recruitment can be carried out internally i.e. within the organization and externally i.e. from outside it. In case the recruitment function is handed out to a headhunting firm, the needs and specifications must be explained well.

In case it is addressing the need of replacement, it is a better approach to try and understand why the vacancy arose and whether a replacement is really required. The HR professionals must take care that the pool of applicants they are looking at attracting is a healthy mix, that does not set the organization up for discrimination lawsuits and that the criteria and process are ethical and in compliance with laws. This complex recruitment process which may involve handling large volumes of applications and resumes is eased a great deal by intelligent recruitment software solution.

Opting for a software solution comes in very handy as the constantly evolving business environment spawns the need for constant assessment of the recruitment process. Parameters can be evaluated minutely and changes made accordingly.

Selection as a Process

The selection process is all about selecting the most suitable one from the pool of applicants. The more responsibility associated with a position, the more complex the process of selection. There are stage by stage screening steps built into the process so that unfit candidates are eliminated. It is assumed that there are more aspirants than vacancies. Applications received are reviewed and the ones that don’t measure up to the basic criteria of suitability such as qualifications, experience, age, skills are rejected. The remaining candidates then go through a series of steps like preliminary interview, selection test that may assess attitude, aptitude, behavioral and psychological responses, employment interview, health assessment etc. Once most of the hurdles have been cleared, reference checks are carried out. It is only after all information provided has been verified that the final selection is made.

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