Recruitment – How to get the best out of the process
Recruitment and Selection
This phrase is used daily in organisations and yet perhaps not fully understood. It’s not always clear what the difference between recruitment and selection is. And whilst not completely essential on a day to day basis an understanding of the terms could help us to split the process into manageable chunks and achieve better results.
So, what’s the difference?
Recruitment is about attraction. That is attracting the best possible candidates to apply for the vacancy. Depending on the number of vacancies or the skill levels required in the role, this might involve sufficient numbers of applicants replying to your recruitment campaign or just a handful of people whose skills match those required.
Selection is about sifting, shortlisting and choosing the best candidate for the job. Here’s how to do this…….
- You have identified the need to fill a vacancy or a Line manager has asked you to help them fill a vacancy. So what steps should you follow?
- Job analysis – its good practice to analyse the vacancy you are about to fill. The previous job holder may have been full time but does this fit with your future plans? The previous job holder may have had an array of skills but does the person you’re looking for require anything different or extra?
- Create, tweak or sign off the job description for the role. This will help line managers think through all aspects of the role that relate to the new appointee. It will also help everyone involved in the selection process when shortlisting or rating the selection activities. Potential applicants may use this to self-judge themselves against the criteria. It may even get some people not to apply helping you to control the numbers of time consuming unsuitable applications.
- Compile a person specification – decide what qualities, qualifications or experience are related to the job and then decide which are desirable and which are essential. Similar to the job description, this can help managers identify what they really need from the newly appointed person. It can also help those involved in the shortlisting exercise as all essential criteria should be met. This is a good way of sifting through applications helping to remove bias from the process. It is also helpful for the potential applicant who will use this to self-select for the vacancy.
- Advertising the vacancy. There’s much to consider here from how to advertise, where to advertise, how, when and what your budget is for the campaign.
Why should we care?
We should care because employment law governs recruitment and mistakes can be costly! However there are many other reasons. You need to conduct the recruitment processes professionally. A poor experience can undermine your employer brand as the candidates share their poor experiences with other potential customers or future applicants.
The cost of recruiting a candidate was estimated as ranging from £3000 to £8000 for a senior manager in 2016. So failing to attract enough good calibre candidates is a costly business. This may result in you needing run another costly and time consuming recruitment campaign. Or even settling for a candidate who is the best of a bad bunch.
Employment law governs the process and employments tribunals can and do award compensation to those who have been dealt with unfairly during the recruitment process.
However, there was some protection clarified for employers 2016. A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has cast light on the unusual, but not altogether unheard of practice of individuals applying for roles with no intention of taking them, solely to pursue compensation claims. The ruling confirms that job applicants must have a genuine interest in the role they are applying for before a discrimination claim can be made, as in the case Kratzer v R + V Allgemeine Versicherung AG. They ruled that a person who was not seeking the post applied for was not covered by the equal treatment directives. It held that the purpose of these provisions was to provide effective protection against discrimination. Someone applying for a role purely to seek compensation could not come under the definition of ‘victim’ in these directives.
What can you do?
Make your line managers aware of the correct processes. Provide training on the elements of the recruitment processes. Include how to perform a job analysis, compile a job description, person specification and job advert.
- Provide training on how to avoid discrimination in the process. Use recent cases to highlight that this is a reality rather than something that could never happen to them.
- Protect your company against claims of discrimination by using standardised and structured approaches. These will need to be balanced with a degree of flexibility to help attract the best candidates.
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