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As business organisations move further into the twenty-first century, it is

becoming absolutely clear that the effective management of an organization’s

human resources is a major source of competitive advantage and may even be

the single most important determinant of an organization’s performance over the

long term. Thus, levels of competition among organizations have increased. Most

organizations today can copy technology, manufacturing processes, products,

and strategy. However, human resource management (HRM) practices and

organization are difficult to copy, thereby representing a unique competitive

advantage (1998). To be successful in the future, organizations will have to build

organizational capability. HR professionals and HRM practices will be required to

create value by increasing organizational competitiveness (. 1999). And, as with

any process, the human resource management aspect of a firm starts with first,

the recruitment, and then the selection process. This paper discusses both, and

touches on the most essential issues revolving around them.


One of the most important areas of global context for human resource is

the area of employment law. There can be considerable risk of making mistakes,

pursuing risky strategies, and putting the enterprise at considerable potential

liability for not understanding adequately what these laws, standards, and codes

require of the business. Every country's employment laws vary significantly from

every other country's employment laws, making this area of the human resource

management environment very complex. Around the world, countries are passing

legislation to protect the rights of employees and job candidates to be free from

discrimination based on their gender, race, color, religion, age, or disability. The

laws in place, in some countries, such as the US and now in the EU, are pretty

well developed, although, within the EU, there has been a distinct lack of

uniformity in many of these areas, with the possible exception of sex

discrimination. However, in 2003, directives went into effect requiring all member

states to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, gender,

disability, age, sexual orientation, and religion or belief. The countries have not

yet moved beyond maybe approving the ILO accords. But this is clearly an area

of international labor standards to which every firm must pay close attention ( &


One of the general statements of equivalent employment standards stated

by various international organizations with regards to the recruitment and

selection processes is that there should be equal employment opportunity and

non-discrimination ( & 2004). For instance, the American Disability

Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate

against a disabled person ( & 1995). Thus, an employer wishing to comply with

the existing laws on human resource management especially in the area of

selection and recruitment should review their recruitment and selection policy
and all the associated documentation including job descriptions and personnel

specifications, application forms etc. as any changes in a step in the process will

have a knock on effect in the next stage. Likewise, the United Nations Global

Compact states that with respect to labor standards, businesses should eliminate

discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

At its most basic, organizations have different recruitment and selection

procedures, depending on their need of personnel and their available resources.

For example, a multinational company may opt for mass recruitment from outside

the company to look for fresh and young talents that have not been discovered

by competitors, while another may look for personnel to promote within the

bounds of their own organization, for reasons of experience and knowledge of

the intricacies of the business. Thus, the processes differ depending on what the

company needs at the time. Another example would be when the culture of the

company is inclined to keep employees for regularization. The recruitment and

the selection processes would therefore be stricter, as they are looking for

individuals who would be potential permanent members of the organization.

Corporate strategy has a positive influence on the existence of HR policies with

regards to recruitment and selection. It is the main explanatory factor with the

exception of policies on equal opportunities and high-fliers. Company size is

another independent variable which exercises a positive influence on all of the

HR policies with respect to the two processes.

As with the recruitment and selection processes, the personnel

requirements also differ, depending on the position required of the company at

one particular time. Some of the general requirements that employers base their

selection decisions in are: formal education, experience, past performance, skills

and abilities, personal characteristics and fit with the overall organization.

Employers faced with increased foreign and domestic competition, must engage

in HRM planning on a near-continuous basis while simultaneously trying to

ensure that their employees are working efficiently. New technology, shifts in

labor demand, and improved work methods, for example, can each alter an

organization’s human resources needs. As a result, in three months the human

resources needs of an organization may be quite different from its needs today.

As a result of these changing needs, the way workers perform their jobs may

change. Eliminating jobs that are no longer necessary can streamline

organizational functioning. Jobs that have changed in response to new

technology create a somewhat different problem. Employers must find individuals

with the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform adequately the

activities required. It is through effective HRM planning that adjustments and

refinements are made, transforming an organization’s workforce to meet the

projected future needs of the organization.

Job analysis is one of the building blocks of the HRM planning process

and is a fundamental source of information for this process. As organizations

have increasingly tried to meet the dynamics of an ever changing competitive

global world of work they have developed flatter, more agile, and innovative
structures and work designs. These new structures and work designs have led to

an increased role for human resource management personnel in the actual

design and redesign of jobs intended to improve organizational success ( 2002).

HRM personnel now find themselves needing to be prepared to modify job

descriptions, job specifications (the qualifications needed to perform a job), and

recruitment practices and perhaps to adjust pay scales as well.


According to (2002), the selection process is concerned with identifying

the best candidate or candidates for jobs from the pool of qualified applicants

developed during the recruitment process. At the heart of any effective selection

system is an understanding of what characteristics are essential for high

performance. With regards to screening the applicant’s educational background,

it will be advisable to use educational accomplishment as a surrogate for or

summary of the measures of an individual’s abilities. In a selection context formal

education refers to the classroom training an individual has received in public or

private schools and college, university, and/or technical school. As for the skill

qualification, as organizations move more toward teamwork and team-based

operating systems, it is desirable to put more emphasis on hiring individuals with

the skills necessary to function effectively in a group situation. The rationale for

this practice is that current team members are well placed to assess a given

individual’s ability to fit in and become an effective member of the team. In all

organizations, human resource recruiting and selection determines the quantity

and quality of HR needed to foster organizational renewal and enhance

competitive readiness. Thus, HR professionals and organizational leaders

engage in a series of related steps to guarantee that appropriate HR are

identified, recruited, selected, and developed.

Job Analysis

Job Requirement Data Formation

Talent Inventory


Orientation Program

More In-depth Interviews

Reference and Recommendation checks

Physical Examination
The process begins with a talent inventory which reveals employees'

skills, knowledge, abilities, and potential, and how they are currently being used.

Job analysis follows; it identifies the performance outputs, standards, and

activities required of each job and the competencies needed by employees to

execute them. These criteria serve as job requirement data, for which recruiting

plans are designed, as measurement criteria useful in the initial screening and

interviewing of available candidates, and as the final determinant in selecting

new employees. Another important criterion, an employee's growth and

developmental readiness, is a critical attitudinal element that must be identified

during the screening, interviewing, and selection processes. Once selected,

employees participate in orientation programs designed to socialize them within

the organization and help them with placement on the job. An individual who is

found to be qualified for employment, based on his or her performance on these

various selection techniques, would then be subjected to more in-depth

interviews, followed by reference and recommendation checks. Finally, physical

examinations will be authorized for those who are about to be offered


The records that would need to be kept include the individuals’

appointment Letter, backing papers (CV, references, terms and conditions, job

advert/specs, request to appoint, any paperwork regarding work permits and

application form), signing-in form, probationary documentation, letter of

confirmation of post and personal information (Including changes affecting name

[copy of marriage certificate], address, bank account / details, telephone number.


It is essential to provide constructive feedback to candidates throughout

the selection process because although only one or a handful of individuals will

be hired, the rest will go back into the community and talk about the company

and their experiences as an applicant. Anything that can be done to give

applicants a positive experience throughout the selection process will pay off in

the long run. Providing constructive feedback throughout the selection process is

also beneficial for the individual involved. Through this, the applicant can use the

strength comments to understand what the HR staff observed he or she does

well and build upon them so they can continue to evaluate and improve on them.

Also, through constructive feedback, they could prioritize their opportunities for

improvement. Feedback could be done in a formal manner or simply through

verbal communication. Commenting on how a certain job was done well or how

fast the applicant is picking up on the things being taught through saying it

directly to them will be one sure way of letting the applicants feel good about their

selves and have a positive outlook on the firm and about themselves. In the

formal manner, the constructive feedbacks can be in the form of a letter or an

evaluation form.


According to (2002), organizations provide training for many reasons: to

orient new hires to the organization or teach them how to perform in their initial

job assignment, to improve the current performance of employees who may not

be working as effectively as desired, or to prepare employees for future

promotions or for upcoming changes in design, processes, or technology in their

present jobs. Recent changes in the business environment have made the

training function even more important in helping organizations maintain

competitiveness and prepare for the future. Effective orientation can play a very

important role in employee job satisfaction, performance, retention, and similar

areas ( 1998).

The induction and development plan for the new employees, first that

needs to be done is to give the employees an bird’s eye view of what the
orientation will include. Then, viewing with the new employees the orientation

video and explain things on the duration should come next. The HR staff in

charge of the program will also need to explain his or her relationship to the

program. Presentation of a copy of their position descriptions, outlining the

employees’ duties and responsibilities and discussion of the type and tenure of

appointment and probationary period should follow. After the three activities,

there should also be a presentation of work hours, lunch schedule, leave policies,

leave of absences and other leaves, overtime and holidays. There is also a need

to show the employee around the work area and other facilities, including the

location of telephones, mailboxes, copy machines, fax machines, restrooms, etc,

plus a discussion of the security of the building/property. Introduction of the new

employees to co-workers and superiors, and explaining the relevance of their

work to the employees’ will also be part of the induction and development plan.

HR staff in charge of the program also need to identify the person(s) the new

employees can go to for help if the HR manager is absent, arrange for the

issuance of an identification card, go over safety, accident, and emergency

procedures for the work area. Also, have them complete job-related tasks that

will provide a sense of familiarization to the surroundings that will soon become

part of their everyday lives. Assisting them in completing the necessary

documents and ensuring they are submitted to the personnel office will also be a

must if the induction and development program for the new employees will be

beneficial to all concerned.


The selection process is a critical one for the organization as a whole and

for all managers. Recognizing the importance of these decisions, today’s

successful organizations invest substantial amounts of time, effort and money in

selecting human resources. The organization must take into account the fact that

not only can an incorrect decision lead to a tremendous cost in terms of resource

and opportunity but it can also affect many people. The right choice can mean

growth and increased productivity for specific work groups associated with the

new hire as well as success for the organization. The wrong selection can result

in months of frustration, repetitive training, documentation, and low morale prior

to the eventual termination of the recently hired individual, after which the

selection process begins all over again. Employee selection is a decision that

needs to be made right the first time. Although this is true in organizations of any

size, the impact of a wrong selection decision is magnified in a smaller

organization. In a larger organization, one inappropriate placement can perhaps

be reassigned or retrained. In the smaller organization, there may be no such

luxury. Selection is critical. The various selection devices available for the use of

HR staff can be used in combination. Indeed, one of the challenges facing a

staffing manager is not only to pick a selection device(s) but also to arrange for

the most cost-effective result.

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