Selection Process in an Organization


By: Site Engineer, Staff

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Normally, after the adverts have been placed, many people would apply for the jobs. It is now left for the entrepreneur to choose the best suitably qualified from the applicants. To choose the best candidate, there are some activities which are undertaken by the entrepreneur to make a good selection decision.

The purpose of selection is to enable the entrepreneur to hire an employee who can make a good fit for the job opening. The costs and energy involved in the recruitment and selection process make it very important for an organization to be serious in selecting an employee.

But, if the best candidate is not chosen then the organization would have ended up wasting the resources that have gone into the recruitment and selection process.

To avoid wasted efforts, the entrepreneur must use various techniques to get significant information about the applicant. The information can then be compared to the job specification to know whether the applicant is suitable or not.

This method varies from company to company but generally, the selection process involves the following steps.

1. Initial Screening

The aim of the initial screening, therefore, is to eliminate the candidates that are unqualified for the position.

The initial screening is done when the applicants send their applications. Normally, it is not all applicants that may qualify for the job. The applicants that are qualified are therefore shortlisted.

The shortlisted candidates are then invited for the interview. An application form that each shortlisted candidate would fill is then sent together with the letter inviting the candidate for the interview as well.

The application form could be filled at the venue of the interview.

2. Completion of the Application Form

The application form should be used to get a lot of necessary information from the applicant.

The information usually required are:

  • Personal data of the applicant
  • Schools attended and examination passed
  • Professional qualifications
  • Employment record
  • Strengths/weaknesses of the applicant,
  • Hobbies
  • Clubs and societies the applicant belongs to
  • Names and addresses of about 3 referees

Under normal circumstances, the applicant is expected to provide evidence of some of the claims made like academic and professional qualifications. Passports photographs are also attached to completed forms.

3. Employment Tests

To determine the likely behavior of the potential applicant in the future, employment tests are organized.

The factors that are normally measured are:

  • Capacity for learning
  • Ability to reason
  • Specific aptitude
  • Temperament

These tests are generally psychological and usually written or through practical performance, especially if the applicant is in a technical field or an artisan e.g a driving test, typing test, etc.

The types of tests usually organized are:

  • Intelligence tests
  • Aptitude tests
  • Interest tests
  • Achievement test
  • Personality tests

4. Interview

The interview has been a very important technique for screening applicants to fill vacant positions in an organization. It is the most widely used single method of selection.

Small-scale business owners use the interview method as the only selection method. It is only large organizations that follow all the 7 steps of selection.

The main aim of the interview is to be able to get the person with the best capabilities to suit the job vacancy. While the question that may be asked during the interview may not be quite different from what has been indicated in the application form, the verbal interview gives the added advantage of the interviewer seeing the composure of the interviewee.

How he reacts to some ‘offending’ or the not very favorable questions can help the interviewer to assess the applicant. This may be an indication of how he is also likely to react to the unfavorable situation in the company.

An entrepreneur needs to pay attention to these areas mentioned below during the interview:

  • Strength and weaknesses
  • Experience
  • Why the applicant thinks he is competent for the job
  • Reasons for changing job

It is however very important for the interview, the entrepreneur, in this case, to prepare as many questions as possible to be able to find out as much as possible about the candidate.

5. Background Investigation

A background investigation is necessary to confirm whether what the applicant has said is correct or not. It is also necessary to find out the past behavior of the applicant in his former place of work or school. The educational and professional qualifications claimed are checked, his experience and absentee records, promotions, demotions, reasons for demotions, salary and fringe benefits, and why the applicant’s employment was terminated (where applicable), the reasons for termination are also sought.

These information are checked by the entrepreneur through the lists of the referees submitted, or directly from the former schools, place of work and the professional organizations the prospective employee belongs to.

6. Physical Examination

The physical examination involves medical and physical fitness tests. The main purpose of the examination is to know whether the applicant is physically capable of meeting the demands of the job. This involves the ability to stand for long hours where the work demands that, eyesight tests, and being able to meet the environmental demands.

Another reason for a physical examination is to prevent communicable deceases from coming into the organization. Even though, a particular applicant is suitably qualified and has communicable deceases he will be rejected.

7. Final Selection Decision

All the applicants who successfully go through all the first 6 steps are capable of being recruited. However, more than one person may pass through the 6 steps. But the entrepreneur may need only one person. In that case, the applicants must be graded on each point raised and questions answered in the interview. The person with the highest weighted grade should then be selected for the job.

The recruitment and selection procedures detailed above can be done internally or externally. The internal screening is done by the personnel of the organization. This team usually includes the personnel manager. External screening is done by an independent body outside the organization, normally a management consultant.

The screening by the external body has more advantages than that done internally. It is more objective and free from internal organizational conflicts. Nepotism, favoritism, and tribalism are shot out or at least reduced drastically to the minimum as possible. The external screening method is likely to give the result a better result than the internal screening method, that is, in terms of employing the best candidate for the available vacancy.

Placement and Orientation

Once the final selection is made and the applicant is employed, he is introduced to his job, his fellow employees and his job environment. This is known as induction. Induction, therefore, is the process of “orienting a new employee to the organization”.

The induction program can be performed by 2 departments/people:

  • The personnel department and
  • The employee’s immediate supervisor

The personnel department informs the new applicant of the rules and regulations of the company and the business of the company. The personnel manager gives serial information about the company.

Other topics covered during this phase are:

  • Employee benefits
  • Probationary period
  • Absences from work
  • Holidays
  • Grievance procedure

The immediate supervisor of the employee, on the other hand, introduces the employee to fellow workers through a tour of the department, and the general working procedures of the department.

A good induction program has a lot of advantages. From the organization’s standpoint, it is aimed at reducing labor turnover and grievances. Also, it saves them time and trouble of fellow employees in trying to know the new employee.

The objectives of induction from the standpoint of the employee, are to create a favorable impression and attitude of the organization in his mind’ to establish a sense of belonging and to facilitate learning and teamwork.

Difficulties Small-Scale Businesses Face in Recruitment

The small-scale businesses always have difficulties in recruiting managerial, key technical and other key personnel.

The reasons for this are:

  • Social conditions of work within the enterprises. This includes low wages when compared with the pay in government establishments and the private sector.
  • The informal organizational nature between the entrepreneur and the workers. This does not satisfy the managerial and technical level personnel.
  • Job security is not guaranteed in a small business. The owner/manager can behave erratically by arbitrarily dismissing any of the personnel.

To solve the problem of lack of managerial and technical personnel, the small-scale owners could use the following methods:

  • The Board of Directors can be composed in such a way to get the services of competent individuals who have the managerial and technical know-how. One must get experts in the main activities of your business. For instance, if the business is agricultural oriented, it is necessary to get at least a graduate of agriculture into the board. One should also try and include people knowledgeable in other management areas – marketing, human resources, finance, production management, etc, -on the board to have contributions from all the sectors of management.
  • He could get staff on a part-time basis. When the need arises, the entrepreneur could employ the services of professional staff-layers, accountants, insurance agents, management consultants – and other managerial and technical staff on a part-time basis. The entrepreneur could continue his operations until he is established enough to get the confidence of these categories of people to work permanently with him.


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