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The Recruitment & Selection Process

The Recruitment & Selection Process

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09/09/2012

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The Recruitment & Selection Process in a Nutshell

In the earliest stages of an intervention, recruitment decisions often get made on the basis of who is standing in the right place at the right time with the right look on his/her face. As the situation matures, we have to think more carefully about picking the right people for longer-term roles including middle and senior management. The integrity of the recruitment and selection process helps to ensure sustainability by building a strong and balanced team, demonstrating the organization’s neutrality, promoting its good name and serving as an example for partners. You may find that one of the first roles you need to fulfill is a HR administrator to help achieve these goals. Here are the major stages in this cycle: 1. Defining the Requirement Decide what vacancy you have. If you need to fill a new role quickly you might find it helpful to adapt one of the models provided here. Task analysis: Draw up a detailed list of tasks that the person will have to do. This helps in determining the qualities and qualifications genuinely required for the job. Job description: produce an outline of the broad responsibilities (rather than detailed tasks) involved in the job. Person specification: decide what skills, experience, qualifications and attributes someone will need to do the job as defined in the task analysis and job description. 2. Attracting applications Your file of previous applicants can be a good place to start. Advertising: phrase your announcement in a way that makes clear what the job involves and the type of person needed. Avoid any stipulations, which could be seen as discriminatory e.g. applying an age restriction, which is not necessary. You can display a notice internally and/or at your gate, in the local newspaper or with a message on the local radio station. Application Form: a well-designed form can elicit information about the person's ability and willingness to do the job. Do not ask for irrelevant information. Make it clear on the form that applicants should consider the points in the job description and person description when applying. Allow enough space on the form for applicants' answers, and indicate whether continuation sheets can be used. State clearly on the form the closing date for applications. For senior positions a supporting letter or CV may also be required; if this is the case indicate the kind of information sought. Background information: provide applicants with clear, up-to-date and accurate information about the organization, its work, its priorities and the job. Clearly indicate the closing date for applications and the short listing and interview dates. 3. Selection Select your candidate. Be objective and unbiased. Choose the person who best fits your person specification. Short listing: assess applications on the basis of the person specification (standard forms can be very helpful at this stage). Guard against bias and discrimination - ensure that you select for interview those who match the specifications, regardless of age, sex, race etc, and that the specifications are not themselves discriminatory. Interviews: Interview your short-listed candidates. Remember that your job is not only to assess the best candidate for the job, but also to create a great impression of your organization.

The amount and quality of the information that you establish will be largely due to the effectiveness of your questions. Use open questions (e.g. tell me about...how do you...why did you...talk me through...) and probe from the general to the specific. Avoid any questions, which could be considered discriminatory eg asking only female candidates who looks after their young children. If you think such a question is relevant - ask it of all candidates who have children. 4. Candidate assessments: The interview will provide you with some information but check it out before offering a job. Ways in which you could do this include: • Ask the candidate to show you examples of previous work, do a presentation, a case study, some tests or full assessment. Tests can be done before the interview or after the interview. It depends on the number of candidates being interviewed and the type of job. Taking up references: You must have the specific permission of the applicant to do so, particularly if you wish to contact their current employer. If you need them quickly, try phoning.

5. Making a Job Offer If you think you have found the right candidate, it’s time to make the job-offer. For your successful candidate: • Prepare and send the appropriate documentation • Make up the employee's personnel file; and • Arrange the induction plan. 6. Induction help your new recruit to settle in quickly and become productive as soon as possible. Legal Considerations All documentation should be in an official language of the country in which you are operating. It is important to consult a local lawyer to ensure that your contracts are compliant with all applicable laws. Now, Let us see a little more in detail how this process can be divided into stages and how best to execute the process: The Recruitment Process: Stages The recruitment process begins when you know you need someone new in the School or Department, either because an existing staff member has left, or because there is new work to be done. It doesn't finish until after the appointment has been made and you have reflected on any changes that you would make in future recruitments. The main stages are identified below. Recruitment Activities: • • • • • Identify Vacancy Prepare Job Description and person Specification Advertise Managing The Response Short-listing

• • • • • •

References Arrange Interviews Conduct The Interview Decision Making Convey The Decision Appointment Action

Vacancy is known in two situations (generally): 1. An employee leaves and there is a vacancy created 2. Business Growth The vacancy is intimated to the HR department by the concerned technical department. Writing a Job Description A job description provides the employing organization, potential applicants and the eventual post holder with a clear outline of what is required in the job. A job description should specify: Title: The title of the post Grade: The grade, which is attached to the post. Purpose or aim: A brief description of the purpose of the job. This can probably be limited to one sentence. Responsible to (Person): Title of the post(s) to which the post holder will be immediately and ultimately responsible. Responsible for (Person): Title of post(s) the post holder will be responsible for. The numbers and grades of other posts formally supervised by the post holder should be specified, and the relevant supervisory relationships within the department generally could usefully be expressed in the form of a family tree. Duties: Start with the elements, which take up most of the post holder's time. It may be helpful to distinguish between regular, intermittent, and emergency duties, and/or to assign an approximate percentage of time to each specific duty. The job description should not include details of how the tasks or activities should be carried out, but some indication should be given, where appropriate, of the purpose or objectives of the task. It is important to make clear those tasks or activities for which the post holder has ultimate responsibility. These should be clearly distinguished from those tasks and activities in which the post holder has involvement but not responsibility. In order to avoid misunderstanding of the post holder, it is suggested that the words "Responsible for" are used with care and only where responsibility does rest with that post holder. For example: a typist might be considered to be responsible for the accuracy of the typing of a document whereas the author of the document is responsible for its content. In view of the need to provide flexibility and to take into account future developments (especially if the job description is part of the contract of employment), it is advisable to specify as the last itemized duty 'such other comparable duties as may be required by the Head of Department'. Equipment For certain posts (for example technicians), it may be appropriate to outline the principal equipment to be used by the post holder. Guidance for writing a list of duties Use the checklist below to help in drawing up the list of duties within a job description. (Not all areas will be applicable in each case.) • Does the post holder have to deal with people? Who? How often? In what way (e.g. letters/memos/telephone/in person/at public meetings)? To do what (e.g. persuade/negotiate/instruct/give information/request information/act as receptionist)?

• •

• • • • •

Does the post holder have to do written work? What? How often? At what level (e.g. timesheets/memos/office records/notes of meetings/committee papers/publicity materials/advertisements)? Does the post holder have to do graphic or cartographic work? What? How often? To what standard (e.g. rough drafts/designs/printer-ready artwork)? Does the post holder have responsibility for resources (money, equipment)? What? How much? What level of responsibility (e.g. own tools/petty cash/office stocks/section's budget/valuable equipment/vehicles/departmental budget)? What staff management responsibilities does the post holder have (e.g. training/staff development/discipline and grievance/equal opportunities/setting work/monitoring results) Are there deputizing responsibilities? For whom? How often? What does this involve? Are planning responsibilities involved? What (work/budgets)? On behalf of how many people? Does the post holder have to use any particular equipment? What (e.g. computer/office machinery/vehicle)? How often? To do what? Are there any miscellaneous activities? What (e.g. unsociable hours/occasional meetings outside office hours/on-call rota/sickness cover)?

Short-listing form The production of selection criteria, mutually agreed by the panel, forms the core of a fair and effective selection process. It is important for fair selection because: • While no selection of people can be made completely objective, it should be the aim of the selection panel to reduce as far as possible the subjective nature of the process, which can inadvertently lead to unfair discrimination. All panel members should be able to assess candidates against the same standards. • If candidates know what standard they are being assessed against, selection is seen to be fair. Candidate Name A B Selection criteria C D E F Total Notes Shortlisted?

This format may be used in one of two ways: a simple tick/cross system in each box may be adequate for some posts; alternatively, it may be more appropriate and more flexible to use a scoring system, allocating points out of (say) 10 for each criterion. Whichever system is used, it is important to remember that it is there to help the process of short-listing, not make it more difficult or reduce it to a mathematical exercise. The Notes column should be used to make comments on the candidate, which either clarify the score or add to it.

Interviews: Preparing for the interview Consider the following issues: • Size and composition of panel (remembering that the panel should be mixed-sex wherever possible); • Any exercise or test to be used (ensuring that it is valid and relevant to the job); • Location of interview (privacy, no interruptions, adequate space and light); • Timetable (allowing five minutes before and after each session for preparation and review, and comfort breaks for the panel); • Structure and question strategy; • Preferred style of interview (formal or informal) • Note-taking; • Information for candidates (structure of department, terms of employment, when they can expect to hear result). Preparing Interview Questions: Asking the right questions at the interview is the most obvious task that a Panel Member has to do. Its easy to think that asking questions is quite an easy process but experienced interviewers will tell you that there is a real art to phrasing questions to gain exactly the information you want. Listening to the answer is the less visible but equally important part of being a Panel Member. Question types Here's a reminder of various question types, with examples of each. Open Questions Open questions encourage the flow of information. Questions usually begin with words like, What, Why, When, Where, Tell me about, or How and encourage an expansive response. Interviewees will usually respond well to an open question. E.g.: ' What sort of work do you enjoy most'?' 'Tell me about the project you are currently involved in' Closed Questions Closed questions are direct and focused. Some think they should not be used as they only lead to 'yes' or 'no' answers, however these questions are useful for concluding and summarizing. They control the flow of information and are most effective in confirming information or slowing down a verbose candidate. Eg:' Have you attended any conferences this year'?' 'Did you personally supervise any students?' Probing Questions Probing questions are used to follow up and obtain more detail. Their purpose is to draw out more information about specific points, aiming for depth rather than breadth of information. E.g.: ' You say you enjoyed your last project, which aspect of the work gave you the most satisfaction?' 'You say that you worked in a team, what was your main role as a member of that team?' Leading Questions

Leading questions are directive and always indicate the preferred answer or telegraph the interviewer's opinion. These are not productive in obtaining depth or qualify of information. Example: ' You are willing to work every other Saturday morning aren't you?' 'I expect you prefer to work in a team' Hypothetical Questions Hypothetical questions are open in style and pose a 'What if...' scenario. They can be useful in analyzing knowledge, attitudes, reactions, creativity and speculative thinking. However, in setting a scene you need to be very careful that everyone would understand the basis of the question and the sub context of the scenario. For example, an applicant might think that the Professor should take precedence as they are a senior academic, where as, in fact, the interviewer is looking for someone who can stand up to the academic and put the needs of the student first. Without long explanation of the situation candidates may not necessarily have a full understanding of what is required. This could particularly disadvantage applicants from outside the University, as they will not understand the internal culture and politics of the organization Example: ' If another member of staff took credit for work you had done, what would you do?' 'If you were in the middle of doing something for a student and a Professor Multiple Questions Multiple questions, as the name suggests, are several questions joined in a series. Their use should be limited, as they tend to confuse the interviewee, producing limited information. It may be useful to combine questions requiring several repetitive factual responses, as in the example given opposite. This can avoid having to interrupt regularly with the same questions and gives the interviewee responsibility for covering all points. Example: ' I want you to think about your skills in relation to Word-Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases and Email and rate your self against each as a) no knowledge, b) beginner, c)advanced user, d) expert.' Linking Questions A linking question will summarize and confirm correct understanding and make transitions to new subjects. Example: ' Thank you, I can see from your answer that you like working with people, can you tell me how you use this skill when you are working on the help desk?' 'It's interesting to hear that, on a related subject I'd like to ask....' Behavioral Questions Behavioral questions will seek advice from the past as an indicator of future performance. They are similar in nature to hypothetical questions in that they can measure knowledge, attitudes, reactions, creativity and thinking, but they do so on the basis of something the candidate has actually experienced and done. Example: ' Think of a time when you had to deal with someone who was angry. What techniques did you use to calm the situation?'

'When you are under pressure to meet a number of tight deadlines, what strategies do you use to manage your time effectively?' The Questioning Process: The aim is to help candidates talk freely (they, not the interviewers, should do most of the talking) and with relevance (they should not be allowed to waffle or waste time). This is best achieved by asking open questions followed by probing. An effective form of probing is to keep asking for specific examples from the candidate's own experience to support an assertion or claim. The process can be thought of as a funnel, with probing gradually narrowing down to concrete evidence. Good listening is vital if the interviewer is to probe effectively. At the end of this "funnel" process the interviewer should test that he or she has correctly understood the candidate by reflecting back a brief summary of the candidate's answers, and then move on to begin the process again with a new area of questioning. Structuring the interview: Every interview should have a structure, which is clear and transparent to both the interviewers and the candidate. A simple structure to follow is GASP: Greeting Acquiring information Supplying information Parting Greeting Interviewers should provide candidates with an outline of the interview process, introduce the participants, tell applicants when they will be able to ask questions and confirm the follow up process. A gentle introduction puts the candidate at ease. Many candidates will find it difficult to plunge straight in to the interview proper: it may help for a panel member to begin by giving some basic information such as the structure of the interview, names of panel members etc. This gives the candidate time to relax. Nerves are not necessarily a reason to mark a candidate down; beware of prejudging the candidate at this early stage. Acquire Interviewers should gather information by use of open, closed and probing questions following agreed question format based on agreed question criteria. Ensure that discriminatory questions are not asked. Supply Interviewers should supply appropriate and accurate information by being aware of the questions and queries that candidates are likely to ask. Part Interviewers should ensure that candidates are clear on what happens next, in particular how and when they will hear the outcome of their interview. Ensure that any administrative details that are your responsibility have been dealt with. Ensure that the candidate is left with an image of professionalism and courtesy - so that regardless of the outcome in their individual case, they will carry away a good impression of the organization and will feel that they have been dealt with fairly. Making a Job Offer If you think you have found the right candidate, go ahead to give him the job offer. For your successful candidate:

• • •

Prepare and send the appropriate documentation Make up the employee's personnel file; and Arrange the induction plan.

Induction Help your new recruit to settle in quickly and become productive as soon as possible. Legal Considerations All documentation should be in an official language of the country in which you are operating. It is important to consult a local lawyer to ensure that your contracts are compliant with all applicable laws. What is a Total Selection Process? - An Integrated multi-step process to: Recruit high-quality applicants Ensure applicants have a clear understanding of important job requirements Assess their ability (or potential) to be successful at the job Assess their ability to positively contribute to work group and company success Maximize applicant buy-in and participation in the process Maximize supervisor and work team ownership of and commitment to good selection decisions Best Practice Tips • If someone leaves, take the opportunity to decide what you really want to do next. It is an obvious option to go for a like for like replacement but the best option could be to restructure, redistribute or automate tasks. • Consider how you could give opportunities to your current team members when you have a vacancy. They may require training, but this could be a better option all round than bringing in someone new to do the job. • Give applicants a balanced and accurate picture. Point out the terrific things about the job and its less attractive features. Creating a realistic expectation will help you to retain employees. • At interview, try to relax the candidate. Sitting on opposite sides of the table can be a little intimidating. A candidate at ease will tell you more. • Make notes during or immediately after an interview - to help your memory and ensure that you're unbiased. • Beware of the 'halo' effect - you like the look of the candidate and find reasons why they are suitable - or the 'horns' effect, which is the opposite. • It can help you to compare and contrast candidates if you ask a lot of the same questions at interview. • Do consider paying travel expenses. • Ask some practical questions towards the end of the 'Acquire' stage of the interview: When could you start (if successful)? What is your salary expectation? Do you have any holiday planned? The application form can help provide a logical structure for your questions.

Note: This document is prepared from various sources and is posted with the sole intention of helping out students and new professionals by providing handy information for quick reference By: Smita P

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