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 Effective human resource planning can predict HR gaps and promote a focus on recruiting the right people to deliver business objectives. The recruitment and selection process is a matching activity between applicant and job, which is dependent, first, on the organisation clearly defining and specifying a need; second, on utilising appropriate recruitment methods and selection techniques effectively; and, third, on reviewing, evaluating and modifying the recruitment and selection system in the light of experience. Recruitment and selection, while being systematic, need not be inflexible and as well as the candidate fitting the job, the job may need to fit the candidate to some extent a degree of job malleability and person malleability will lubricate the matching process. The recruitment and selection of workers is fundamental to the functioning of an organisation and there are compelling reasons for getting it right. Inappropriate selection decisions reduce organisational effectiveness, invalidate reward and development strategies, are frequently unfair on the individual recruit and can be distressing for managers who have to deal with unsuitable employees. Inappropriate recruitment is also expensive. If the overall costs of leaving, including payroll and administration, recruitment and selection time and fees, induction, training, unproductive time and any indirect loss of business or customer satisfaction, are taken into account, the estimated cost per leaver can be around £4000, and £10 000 for managers and professionals (CIPD, 2009b). Recruitment is addressed in this chapter and selection in the next chapter.


 Good recruitment and selection is important because well-thought-out, agreed and communicated policies, procedures and practices can significantly contribute to effective organisational performance, to good employee relations and to a positive public image. Ineffectiveness in recruitment and selection may lead to poor work performance, unacceptable conduct, internal conflict, low morale and job satisfaction and dysfunctional labour turnover. Good recruitment is more than just filling vacancies and human resource planning is the route to forecasting HR requirements and ensuring that the recruitment and selection activity is directed at getting the right people, in the right place, at the right time with the right skills to achieve the business objectives. Recruitment and selection is therefore an essential part of HR strategy. Recruitment and selection processes should be effective, efficient and fair effective in generating candidates of appropriate quality and quantity and distinguishing between the suitable and the unsuitable; efficient in being timely and resource effective; fair by dealing equitably, honestly and courteously with all applicants and providing a positive framework within which diverse candidates can demonstrate their abilities (ACAS, 2006). A contingent approach to recruitment and selection is advocated, while recognising that this may be constrained in practice by standard (self-imposed) organisational procedures. Standard procedures may contribute to fairness and consistency, but some flexibility is also desirable to ensure a business-focused recruitment process. Recruiters should be aware of the range, strengths and limitations of recruitment methods and selection techniques, as this will enable informed choices to be made.



 It is useful for analytical purposes to distinguish between recruitment and selection.

  Recruitment is a process which aims to attract appropriately qualified candidates for a particular position from which it is possible and practical to select and appoint a competent person or persons.



 Selection is a process which involves the application of appropriate techniques and methods with the aim of selecting, appointing and inducting a competent person or persons.

 Recruitment and selection are components of the same system or process and can be considered separately, but they are not mutually exclusive functions. A systems approach to recruitment and selection (Figure 6.1) is based on the idea that a system has inputs, a processing unit and outputs. The processing unit contains the recruitment and selection sub-systems. The inputs are the candidates, the processing unit consists of various methods and techniques, and the outputs are either effective employees or candidates who return to the labour market. 



 The sub-systems can be categorised as:

 1.    Attraction: attracting suitable candidates.

 2.    Reduction: eliminating unsuitable candidates.

 3.    Selection: assessing, choosing and appointing a suitable candidate.

 4.    Transition: converting the successful candidate to an effective employee. The components and activities of each sub-system are exposed in Exhibit 6.1.

The activities within each sub-system can be scrutinised to assess the contribution that each makes to the overall recruitment and selection process. The remainder of


 The pre-recruitment process combines the three interdependent elements of establishing a prima facie case for recruitment, job analysis and labour market assessment .


 Establishing a prima facie case for recruitment

 When a vacancy occurs, whether through resignation, dismissal, increased workload or reorganisation, there is only the opportunity for recruitment and a prima facie case should be established before proceeding (ACAS, 2006). Each vacancy presents management with an opportunity to rethink the structure of the organisation and the allocation of duties. There are alternatives to recruitment when a vacancy occurs, and several questions can usefully be addressed.

   Is there actually a job to be done or can elements be distributed, eliminated or achieved through alternative means, for example by utilising technology or contracting it out?



  Do the workload predictions justify recruitment?



 Does the filling of the vacancy integrate with the human resource plan?



 How does the recruitment proposal fit with diversity objectives?

 Job analysis

 Once a prima facie case for recruitment has been established, job analysis provides the opportunity for assessing whether the job has changed and for reviewing the knowledge, skills and competencies required; for a newly created position the job analysis is a predictive activity. Job analysis is the systematic process of collecting information about the tasks, responsibilities and contexts of a job. The outputs of the


job analysis process are job descriptions and person specifications. In addition to recruitment and selection, job analysis information is fundamental to many other HR management activities, including establishing the job requirements for appraising performance and identifying development needs; making reward comparisons between jobs


    Template headings for a job description


1.    Job title, department, location


2.    Job level and pay rate


3.    Responsible to . . .


4.    Key relationships, responsibilities and accountabilities


5.    Job purpose and objectives


6.    Specific tasks and responsibilities

 7.    Key performance indicators




EXHIBIT 6.3    A six-factor formula for a person specification




The ‘relevance and measurability’ of the following six factors in relation to a specific job.


1.    Skills, knowledge and competencies


2.    Personality characteristics


3.    Level of experience


4.    Certificated qualifications


5.    Physical characteristics


6.    Development potential of the candidate



Job requirements may need to exceed those which are essential for a particular job when candidates are assessed on the basis of potential and career development in line with the human resource plan. Further guidance on compiling person specifications includes:


1.    Skills and knowledge should be specifically related to job needs, and preconditions on length and type of experience should be restricted to what is necessary for effective job performance.


2.    Education and training preconditions should not exceed the minimum requirements for satisfactory job performance, and training to enable candidates to achieve satisfactory job performance should be identified.


3.    Criteria covering personal qualities and circumstances should be directly related to the job and applied equally to all groups regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic origin or disability.



Analysing the labour market


The third element of pre-recruitment activity is labour market assessment. This is fundamentally about establishing the availability of candidates who meet the person specification and the ease or difficulty with which they can be attracted. It also involves consideration of the appropriateness of the terms, conditions and rewards being offered, as incongruence with candidate expectations will have adverse implications for the recruitment and selection process.

  In addition, it may be more difficult to orchestrate a managerially desired change in culture if relying on ILMs. The ILM cannot be relied upon indefinitely unless the rate of staff turnover exactly equals any planned or necessary adjustments in head count. Reasons for accessing the ILM include:

   the provision of opportunities for training and development to existing employees



      enabling employees to pursue reward through internal promotion



      the retention of the investment in the organisation’s human capital



      lower costs of recruitment



      scarcity in the ELM






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