Recruitment and Selection - Quick Guide

Recruitment and Selection - Introduction

Recruitment and Selection is an important operation in HRM, designed to maximize employee strength in order to meet the employer's strategic goals and objectives. In short, Recruitment and Selection is the process of sourcing, screening, shortlisting and selecting the right candidates for the filling the required vacant positions.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the various aspects of Recruitment and Selection such as the recruitment process, the factors affecting recruitment, recruitment planning, methods of recruitment, recruitment interviews, selection process and making an offer.

The Scope of Recruitment and Selection

The scope of Recruitment and Selection is very wide and it consists of a variety of operations. Resources are considered as most important asset to any organization. Hence, hiring right resources is the most important aspect of Recruitment. Every company has its own pattern of recruitment as per their recruitment policies and procedures.

The scope of Recruitment and Selection includes the following operations −

  • Dealing with the excess or shortage of resources
  • Preparing the Recruitment policy for different categories of employees
  • Analyzing the recruitment policies, processes, and procedures of the organization
  • Identifying the areas, where there could be a scope of improvement
  • Streamlining the hiring process with suitable recommendations
  • Choosing the best suitable process of recruitment for effective hiring of resources

Any organization wants it future to be in good and safe hands. Hence, hiring the right resource is a very important task for any organization.

Case Study: How to Improvise Recruitment Process

Let’s assume there is a company called ABC Systems, which sells FMCG products. The company is lately suffering due to its high attrition rates. In this case study, we will see how ABC Systems can improve its recruiting process and focus on maintaining the efforts required for filling a job vacancy. We will also learn how the HR team of ABC Systems can reduce the time and effort involved in sourcing good resources for the vacant positions.

We suggest here seven different steps that ABC Systems can utilize to resolve its problems.

Step 1 − Define the Problem

First, define the problem in exact terms and then, design a step-wise recruitment process that can be easily followed.

Recruitment Process
Step Activity
1 Sending the resignation communication message to HR with request for initiating the recruitment process
2 Manager-HR directs the hiring team to start the recruitment process
3 Logging into the employment website and contacting different recruiters
4 Sourcing, identifying, and collecting the resumes of the candidates
5 Receiving relevant resumes
6 Shortlisting the resumes
7 Sending the shortlisted resumes to the department manager
8 Schedule interview dates
9 Calling the candidates for interview
10 Interviewers complete the feedback form and the feedback is shared with the HR
11 This process repeats for many candidates till the best candidates are finalized.
12 The HR team negotiates the package and compensation
13 Final confirmation and agreements
14 Send offer letter
15 Offer accepted

Step 2 − Research the Causes

Analyze the root cause of the problem at hand. Why the attrition rate is so high? There are several ways to arrive at the root cause behind a problem.

In case of ABC Systems, it was observed that there is only a less percent of candidates who are rejected in the process of review. Hence, there is a need to improve this process by increasing the number of rejections with an efficient review process.

Screening of resumes must be very effective, because the selection of the candidates through resume screening has maximum percentage of a positive outcome, which is explained below −

Resume Selection Test
Reviewer Resumes Provided Resumes Selected Successful Selections*
1 10 8 4
2 10 5 2
3 10 7 2

Reviewers can use a set of defined criteria to screen the resumes, which can then be compiled as shown below.

Tabulation of Selection Criteria Used
Criteria Reviewer 1 Reviewer 2 Reviewer 3
1 X X X
2 X X X
3 X
4 X X
5 X X X
6 X X
7 X X
8 X X X

Step 3 − Countermeasure Ideas Generation

It is mandatory to have a basis of standardization in selecting the candidates. The shortlisting of the relevant criteria is done as shown in the following table −

Selection Criteria – Standardized
Criteria Reviewer 1 Reviewer 2 Reviewer 3 Criteria to Keep
1 X X
2 X X X X
3 X X
4 X X
5 X X X X
6 X X X
7 X X X
8 X X X X

The shortlisted list of candidates is reviewed by the department heads and they can suggest modification which can then be incorporated as new criteria.

Step 4 − Testing and Modifying the Ideas

The next step is to test the defined set of criteria with three batches. After the selections are done, the set of criteria is analyzed to see it was effective or not.

Step 5 − Implementing the Ideas

If found effective, then implement the new set of criteria for future recruitments.

Step 6 − Standardize Procedures

The next step is to standardize the procedure. First, make a note of the improvements achieved recruitment efficiency. It can done as shown in the following tables −

Improvements in Recruitment Efficiency
Before After
Resumes 100 92
Selected 18 24
Interviews 170 142
Improvements in Recruitment Efficiency
Before After Percentage Improvement
R/C 6.25 4.1 34
I/C 10 6 40

With the help of the above processes, there will be a reduction of about 30%-40% in the hiring process in shortlisting, reviewing and selecting the candidates for the right job positions. This process was standardized and adopted in the regular practice.

Step 7 − Compiling the Quality Improvement Story

At last, the improvised and the quality story is compiled and presented to the senior management for a better recruitment process.

What is Recruitment?

Recruitment is a process of identifying, screening, shortlisting and hiring potential resource for filling up the vacant positions in an organization. It is a core function of Human Resource Management.

Recruitment is the process of choosing the right person for the right position and at the right time. Recruitment also refers to the process of attracting, selecting, and appointing potential candidates to meet the organization’s resource requirements.

External Sources

The hiring of the candidates can be done internally i.e., within the organization, or from external sources. And the process should be performed within a time constraint and it should be cost effective.

Importance of Recruitment

Recruitment is one of the most fundamental activities of the HR team. If the recruitment process is efficient, then

  • The organization gets happier and more productive employees
  • Attrition rate reduces.
  • It builds a good workplace environment with good employee relationships.
  • It results in overall growth of the organization.

Here is a list that shows the purpose and importance of Recruitment in an organization −

  • It determines the current and future job requirement.
  • It increases the pool of job at the minimal cost.
  • It helps in increasing the success rate of selecting the right candidates.
  • It helps in reducing the probability of short term employments.
  • It meets the organization’s social and legal obligations with regards to the work force.
  • It helps in identifying the job applicants and selecting the appropriate resources.
  • It helps in increasing organizational effectives for a short and long term.
  • It helps in evaluating the effectiveness of the various recruitment techniques.
  • It attracts and encourages the applicants to apply for the vacancies in an organization.
  • It determines the present futures requirements of the organization and plan according.
  • It links the potential employees with the employers.
  • It helps in increasing the success ratio of the selection process of prospective candidates.
  • It helps in creating a talent pool of prospective candidates, which enables in selecting the right candidates for the right job as per the organizational needs.

Factors Affecting Recruitment

Recruitment is an important function of the Human Resource Management in an organization, and it is governed by a mixture of various factors. Proactive HR Professionals should understand these factors influencing the recruitment and take necessary actions for the betterment of the organization.

When the market condition changes, the organization also needs to monitor these changes and discover how it affects the resources and analyze these functions for making recruitment an effective process.

We have Internal Factors as well as External Factors that influence the recruitment process. In this chapter, we will be discussing these factors in detail.

Internal Factors

Organizations have control over the internal factors that affect their recruitment functions. The internal factors are −

  • Size of organization
  • Recruiting policy
  • Image of organization
  • Image of job

Size of Organization

The size of the organization is one of the most important factors affecting the recruitment process. To expand the business, recruitment planning is mandatory for hiring more resources, which will be handling the future operations.

Recruiting Policy

Recruitment policy of an organization, i.e., hiring from internal or external sources of organization is also a factor, which affects the recruitment process. It specifies the objectives of the recruitment and provides a framework for the implementation of recruitment programs.

Image of Organization

Organizations having a good positive image in the market can easily attract competent resources. Maintaining good public relations, providing public services, etc., definitely helps an organization in enhancing its reputation in the market, and thereby attract the best possible resources.

Image of Job

Just like the image of organization, the image of a job plays a critical role in recruitment. Jobs having a positive image in terms of better remuneration, promotions, recognition, good work environment with career development opportunities are considered to be the characteristics to attract qualified candidates.

External Factors

External factors are those that cannot be controlled by an organization. The external factors that affect the recruitment process include the following −

  • Demographic factors − Demographic factors are related to the attributes of potential employees such as their age, religion, literacy level, gender, occupation, economic status, etc.

  • Labor market − Labor market controls the demand and supply of labor. For example, if the supply of people having a specific skill is less than the demand, then the hiring will need more efforts. On the other hand, if the demand is less than the supply, the hiring will be relative easier.

  • Unemployment rate − If the unemployment rate is high in a specific area, hiring of resources will be simple and easier, as the number of applicants is very high. In contrast, if the unemployment rate is low, then recruiting tends to be very difficult due to less number of resources.

  • Labor laws − Labor laws reflect the social and political environment of a market, which are created by the central and state governments. These laws dictate the compensation, working environment, safety and health regulations, etc., for different types of employments. As the government changes, the laws too change.

  • Legal considerations − Job reservations for different castes such as STs, SCs, OBCs are best examples of legal considerations. These considerations, passed by government, will have a positive or negative impact on the recruitment policies of the organizations.

  • Competitors − When organizations in the same industry are competing for the best qualified resources, there is a need to analyze the competition and offer the resources packages that are best in terms of industry standards.

Recruitment Process

Recruitment is a process of finding and attracting the potential resources for filling up the vacant positions in an organization. It sources the candidates with the abilities and attitude, which are required for achieving the objectives of an organization.

Recruitment process is a process of identifying the jobs vacancy, analyzing the job requirements, reviewing applications, screening, shortlisting and selecting the right candidate.

To increase the efficiency of hiring, it is recommended that the HR team of an organization follows the five best practices (as shown in the following image). These five practices ensure successful recruitment without any interruptions. In addition, these practices also ensure consistency and compliance in the recruitment process.

Recruitment process is the first step in creating a powerful resource base. The process undergoes a systematic procedure starting from sourcing the resources to arranging and conducting interviews and finally selecting the right candidates.

Recruitment Planning

Recruitment planning is the first step of the recruitment process, where the vacant positions are analyzed and described. It includes job specifications and its nature, experience, qualifications and skills required for the job, etc.

A structured recruitment plan is mandatory to attract potential candidates from a pool of candidates. The potential candidates should be qualified, experienced with a capability to take the responsibilities required to achieve the objectives of the organization.


Identifying Vacancy

The first and foremost process of recruitment plan is identifying the vacancy. This process begins with receiving the requisition for recruitments from different department of the organization to the HR Department, which contains −

  • Number of posts to be filled
  • Number of positions
  • Duties and responsibilities to be performed
  • Qualification and experience required

When a vacancy is identified, it the responsibility of the sourcing manager to ascertain whether the position is required or not, permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time, etc. These parameters should be evaluated before commencing recruitment. Proper identifying, planning and evaluating leads to hiring of the right resource for the team and the organization.

Job Analysis

Job analysis is a process of identifying, analyzing, and determining the duties, responsibilities, skills, abilities, and work environment of a specific job. These factors help in identifying what a job demands and what an employee must possess in performing a job productively.

Job analysis helps in understanding what tasks are important and how to perform them. Its purpose is to establish and document the job relatedness of employment procedures such as selection, training, compensation, and performance appraisal.

The following steps are important in analyzing a job −

  • Recording and collecting job information
  • Accuracy in checking the job information
  • Generating job description based on the information
  • Determining the skills, knowledge and skills, which are required for the job

The immediate products of job analysis are job descriptions and job specifications.

Job Description

Job description is an important document, which is descriptive in nature and contains the final statement of the job analysis. This description is very important for a successful recruitment process.

Job description provides information about the scope of job roles, responsibilities and the positioning of the job in the organization. And this data gives the employer and the organization a clear idea of what an employee must do to meet the requirement of his job responsibilities.

Job description is generated for fulfilling the following processes −

  • Classification and ranking of jobs
  • Placing and orientation of new resources
  • Promotions and transfers
  • Describing the career path
  • Future development of work standards

A job description provides information on the following elements −

  • Job Title / Job Identification / Organization Position
  • Job Location
  • Summary of Job
  • Job Duties
  • Machines, Materials and Equipment
  • Process of Supervision
  • Working Conditions
  • Health Hazards

Job Specification

Job specification focuses on the specifications of the candidate, whom the HR team is going to hire. The first step in job specification is preparing the list of all jobs in the organization and its locations. The second step is to generate the information of each job.

This information about each job in an organization is as follows −

  • Physical specifications
  • Mental specifications
  • Physical features
  • Emotional specifications
  • Behavioral specifications

A job specification document provides information on the following elements −

  • Qualification
  • Experiences
  • Training and development
  • Skills requirements
  • Work responsibilities
  • Emotional characteristics
  • Planning of career

Job Evaluation

Job evaluation is a comparative process of analyzing, assessing, and determining the relative value/worth of a job in relation to the other jobs in an organization.

The main objective of job evaluation is to analyze and determine which job commands how much pay. There are several methods such as job grading, job classifications, job ranking, etc., which are involved in job evaluation. Job evaluation forms the basis for salary and wage negotiations.

Recruitment Strategy

Recruitment strategy is the second step of the recruitment process, where a strategy is prepared for hiring the resources. After completing the preparation of job descriptions and job specifications, the next step is to decide which strategy to adopt for recruiting the potential candidates for the organization.

While preparing a recruitment strategy, the HR team considers the following points −

  • Make or buy employees
  • Types of recruitment
  • Geographical area
  • Recruitment sources

The development of a recruitment strategy is a long process, but having a right strategy is mandatory to attract the right candidates. The steps involved in developing a recruitment strategy include −

  • Setting up a board team
  • Analyzing HR strategy
  • Collection of available data
  • Analyzing the collected data
  • Setting the recruitment strategy

Searching the Right Candidates

Searching is the process of recruitment where the resources are sourced depending upon the requirement of the job. After the recruitment strategy is done, the searching of candidates will be initialized. This process consists of two steps −

  • Source activation − Once the line manager verifies and permits the existence of the vacancy, the search for candidates starts.

  • Selling − Here, the organization selects the media through which the communication of vacancies reaches the prospective candidates.

Searching involves attracting the job seekers to the vacancies. The sources are broadly divided into two categories: Internal Sources and External Sources.

Internal Sources

Internal Sources

Internal sources of recruitment refer to hiring employees within the organization through −

  • Promotions
  • Transfers
  • Former Employees
  • Internal Advertisements (Job Posting)
  • Employee Referrals
  • Previous Applicants

External Sources

External sources of recruitment refer to hiring employees outside the organization through −

  • Direct Recruitment
  • Employment Exchanges
  • Employment Agencies
  • Advertisements
  • Professional Associations
  • Campus Recruitment
  • Word of Mouth

Screening / Shortlisting

Screening starts after completion of the process of sourcing the candidates. Screening is the process of filtering the applications of the candidates for further selection process.

Screening is an integral part of recruitment process that helps in removing unqualified or irrelevant candidates, which were received through sourcing. The screening process of recruitment consists of three steps −

Reviewing of Resumes and Cover Letters

Reviewing is the first step of screening candidates. In this process, the resumes of the candidates are reviewed and checked for the candidates’ education, work experience, and overall background matching the requirement of the job

While reviewing the resumes, an HR executive must keep the following points in mind, to ensure better screening of the potential candidates −

  • Reason for change of job
  • Longevity with each organization
  • Long gaps in employment
  • Job-hopping
  • Lack of career progression

Conducting Telephonic or Video Interview

Conducting telephonic or video interviews is the second step of screening candidates. In this process, after the resumes are screened, the candidates are contacted through phone or video by the hiring manager. This screening process has two outcomes −

  • It helps in verifying the candidates, whether they are active and available.

  • It also helps in giving a quick insight about the candidate’s attitude, ability to answer interview questions, and communication skills.

Identifying the top candidates

Identifying the top candidates is the final step of screening the resumes/candidates. In this process, the cream/top layer of resumes are shortlisted, which makes it easy for the hiring manager to take a decision. This process has the following three outcomes −

  • Shortlisting 5 to 10 resumes for review by the hiring managers
  • Providing insights and recommendations to the hiring manager
  • Helps the hiring managers to take a decision in hiring the right candidate

Evaluation and Control

Evaluation and control is the last stage in the process of recruitment. In this process, the effectiveness and the validity of the process and methods are assessed. Recruitment is a costly process, hence it is important that the performance of the recruitment process is thoroughly evaluated.

The costs incurred in the recruitment process are to be evaluated and controlled effectively. These include the following −

  • Salaries to the Recruiters

  • Advertisements cost and other costs incurred in recruitment methods, i.e., agency fees.

  • Administrative expenses and Recruitment overheads

  • Overtime and Outstanding costs, while the vacancies remain unfilled

  • Cost incurred in recruiting suitable candidates for the final selection process

  • Time spent by the Management and the Professionals in preparing job description, job specifications, and conducting interviews.

Finally, the question that is to be asked is, whether the recruitment methods used are valid or not? And whether the recruitment process itself is effective or not? Statistical information on the costs incurred for the process of recruitment should be effective.

Types of Recruitment

For any organization, recruitment is a crucial part of developing and maintaining an effective and efficient team. A good recruitment strategy will cut down the wastage of time and money, which would have incurred for extensive training and development of unqualified resources.

Have you ever thought of, how a recruiter finds the right candidates? Recruiters use different methods to source, screen, shortlist, and select the resources as per the requirements of the organization. Recruitment types explain the means by which an organization reaches potential job seekers.

Sources of Recruitment

In this chapter, we will shed some light on the secrets of hiring and recruiting methods, used by the recruiters. Recruitment is broadly classified into two different categories − Internal Sources and External Sources.

Internal Sources of Recruitment

Internal sources of recruitment refer to hiring employees within the organization internally. In other words, applicants seeking for the different positions are those who are currently employed with the same organization.

At the time recruitment of employees, the initial consideration should be given to those employees who are currently working within the organization. This is an important source of recruitment, which provides the opportunities for the development and utilization of the existing resources within the organization.

Internal sources of recruitment are the best and the easiest way of selecting resources as performance of their work is already known to the organization. Let us now discuss more on the various internal sources of recruitment.


Promotion refers to upgrading the cadre of the employees by evaluating their performance in the organization. It is the process of shifting an employee from a lower position to a higher position with more responsibilities, remuneration, facilities, and status. Many organizations fill the higher vacant positions with the process of promotions, internally.


Transfer refers to the process of interchanging from one job to another without any change in the rank and responsibilities. It can also be the shifting of employees from one department to another department or one location to another location, depending upon the requirement of the position.

Let’s take an example to understand how it works. Assume there is a finance company called ABC Ltd. Having two branches, Branch-A and Branch-B, and an employee from Branch-A resigned from his job responsibilities. Hence, this position has to be filled for the continuation of the project in Branch-A.

In this scenario, instead of searching or sourcing new candidates, which is time consuming and expensive, there is a possibility of shifting an employee from Branch-B to Branch-A, depending upon the project requirements and the capabilities of that respective employee. This internal shifting of an employee from one branch to another branch is called as Transfer.


Recruiting Former Employees

Recruiting former employees is a process of internal sources of recruitment, wherein the exemployees are called back depending upon the requirement of the position. This process is costeffective and saves plenty of time. The other major benefit of recruiting former employees is that they are very well versed with the roles and responsibilities of the job and the organization needs to spend less on their training and development.

Internal Advertisements (Job Posting)

Internal Advertisements is a process of posting/advertising jobs within the organization. This job posting is an open invitation to all the employees inside the organization, where they can apply for the vacant positions. It provides equal opportunities to all the employees working in the organization. Hence, the recruitment will be done from within the organization and it saves a lot of cost.

Employee Referrals

Employee referrals is an effective way of sourcing the right candidates at a low cost. It is the process of hiring new resources through the references of employees, who are currently working with the organization. In this process, the present employees can refer their friends and relatives for filling up the vacant positions.

Organizations encourage employee referrals, because it is cost effective and saves time as compared to hiring candidates from external sources. Most organizations, in order to motivate their employees, go ahead and reward them with a referral bonus for a successful hire.

Previous Applicants

Here, the hiring team checks the profiles of previous applicants from the organizational recruitment database. These applicants are those who have applied for jobs in the past. These resources can be easily approached and the response will be positive in most of the cases. It is also an inexpensive way of filling up the vacant positions.

Pros and Cons of Internal Sources of Recruitment

Internal sources of recruitment, i.e., hiring employees within the organization, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are as follows −

  • It is simple, easy, quick, and cost effective.
  • No need of induction and training, as the candidates already know their job and responsibilities.
  • It motivates the employees to work hard, and increases the work relationship within the organization.
  • It helps in developing employee loyalty towards the organization.

The drawbacks of hiring candidates through internal sources are as follows −

  • It prevents new hiring of potential resources. Sometimes, new resources bring innovative ideas and new thinking onto the table.
  • It has limited scope because all the vacant positions cannot be filled.
  • There could be issues in between the employees, who are promoted and who are not.
  • If an internal resource is promoted or transferred, then that position will remain vacant.
  • Employees, who are not promoted, may end up being unhappy and demotivated.

External Sources of Recruitment

External sources of recruitment refer to hiring employees outside the organization externally. In other words, the applicants seeking job opportunities in this case are those who are external to the organization.

External employees bring innovativeness and fresh thoughts to the organization. Although hiring through external sources is a bit expensive and tough, it has tremendous potential of driving the organization forward in achieving its goals. Let us now discuss in detail the various external sources of recruitment.

Direct Recruitment

Direct recruitment refers to the external source of recruitment where the recruitment of qualified candidates are done by placing a notice of vacancy on the notice board in the organization. This method of sourcing is also called as factory gate recruitment, as the blue-collar and technical workers are hired through this process.

Employment Exchanges

As per the law, for certain job vacancies, it is mandatory that the organization provides details to the employment exchange. Employment exchange is a government entity, where the details of the job seekers are stored and given to the employers for filling the vacant positions. This external recruitment is helpful in hiring for unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled workers.

Employment Exchanges

Employment Agencies

Employment agencies are a good external source of recruitment. Employment agencies are run by various sectors like private, public, or government. It provides unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled resources as per the requirements of the organization. These agencies hold a database of qualified candidates and organizations can use their services at a cost.


Advertisements are the most popular and very much preferred source of external source of recruitment. The job vacancy is announced through various print and electronic media with a specific job description and specifications of the requirements. Using advertisements is the best way to source candidates in a short span and it offers an efficient way of screening the candidates’ specific requirements.

Let’s take an example. Assume that there is a Sales Company called XYZ Ltd which has got a new project of selling a product in a short span of time, as the competition is very high. In this scenario, choosing the specific recruitment plays a vital role. Here the ideal type of recruitment which should be chosen is Advertisement.

Advertisement is the best suitable practice for this kind of hiring, because a large volume of hiring in a short span can be done through Advertisement only. Advertisement is one of the costliest way to recruit candidates, but when time and number are important, then advertisement is the best source of recruitment.

Professional Associations

Professional associations can help an organization in hiring professional, technical, and managerial personnel, however they specialize in sourcing mid-level and top-level resources. There are many professional associations that act as a bridge between the organizations and the job-seekers.

Campus Recruitment

Campus recruitment is an external source of recruitment, where the educational institutions such as colleges and universities offers opportunities for hiring students. In this process, the organizations visit technical, management, and professional institutions for recruiting students directly for the new positions.

Word of Mouth Advertising

Word of mouth is an intangible way of sourcing the candidates for filling up the vacant positions. There are many reputed organizations with good image in the market. Such organizations only need a word-of-mouth advertising regarding a job vacancy to attract a large number of candidates.

Pros and Cons of External Sources of Recruitment

External sources of recruitment, i.e., hiring employees outside an organization, has both its benefits and drawbacks. The benefits are as follows −

  • It encourages new opportunities for job seekers.
  • Organization branding increases through external sources.
  • There will be no biasing or partiality between the employees.
  • The scope for selecting the right candidate is more, because of the large number candidates appearing.

The disadvantages of recruiting through external sources are as follows −

  • This process consumes more time, as the selection process is very lengthy.
  • The cost incurred is very high when compared to recruiting through internal sources.
  • External candidates demand more remuneration and benefits.

To conclude, the HR department should be flexible enough to choose between internal or external methods of recruitment, depending upon the requirement of the organization.

Recruitment Interviews

An interview is a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons. Generally, an interview is a process of private meeting conversation between people, where questions are asked and answered, for obtaining information about qualities, attitudes, prospectus etc.

An interview refers to a conversation with one or more persons acting as the role of an interviewer who ask questions and the person who answers the questions acts as the role of an interviewee.

The primary purpose of an interview is to transfer information from interviewee to interviewer. Interviews can be either formal or informal, structured or unstructured. Interviews can be carried out one-to-one or in groups; they can be conducted over telephone or via video conferencing.

Recruitment Interviews

There are different meanings of the word “interview”, as different scholars defined the term differently. However, interviews have some basic objectives, which are as follows−

  • Through interviews, recruiters can verify the information obtained through application forms and tests.

  • Recruiters can obtain additional information about the candidates which are not mentioned in the application forms or resumes.

  • Interviews provides an applicant the information and the necessary facts about the job and the organization.

  • Interviews establish a mutual understanding between the applicant and the organization.

How to Interview?

Various researches have proved that organizations that spend more time on recruitment have benefitted greatly in long term. An important thing to do, when you are planning for an interview is to think, whom you are interviewing and what kind of information you want from that person. Hence, you should prepare a list of questions, which you want to ask, prior to conducting an interview.

Interviewing is both an art and a science. Hence, how to interview is a technique that every HR professional should learn and try to implement.

How to Interview

The following five P’s should be taken into consideration in order to ensure effective selection and interviewing −

  • Prepare − Preparation is the first step of conducting an interview. Prior to interview, the interviewer should make sure that he/she understands the key elements of the job. And the interviewer should go through the resume of the candidate for understanding his/her qualities and efficiencies

  • Purpose − The interviewer should have knowledge about the purpose of the interview, why he/she is conducting it. The interviewer should project the organization as the best place to work to the interviewee, which helps in selecting the right candidate.

  • Performance − An interviewer must identify the attitude, attributes, knowledge and skills of the applicants, who are needed for the success of the organization. If the requirement is about special education and technical skills, then hiring high-performing applicants plays an important role.

  • People Skills − The applicant, who comes for an interview, will not be completely transparent. Hence, it is the job of an interviewer to un-mask the applicant and discover the inner qualities and skills during the interview. This good practice of hiring will help in selecting the right candidate for the organization.

  • Process − Every interviewer should follow a structured interview process to get better results. A structured process of interview avoids bias and gives equal and fair chance to all the applicants. The best way for accomplishing this process is by using the behavioral based questions and situational questions.

Importance of Interview

An interview provides an organization the scope to learn more about the applicants, who come for an interview, while the applicants get an opportunity to become more familiar with the demands of a given position. Interviews enable both the parties to exchange information, ask questions and also help in evaluating the potential for establishing a professional working relationship with the organization.

Interviews help in gathering a wide range of information about the applicants’ attitude, feelings and motivations, which in turn help in the decision-making process to hire the right candidates.

The following points explain the importance of conducting interviews −

  • Interviews help in selecting the right candidate from a group of applicants, who applied for a job.

  • Interviews are a medium to help collect useful information about potential candidates.

  • Information given in the application form or resume is very less. Recruiters can ask the candidates to provide an elaborate explanation during the interview.

  • A good interviewer gives good impression about the organization, which in turn increases the goodwill of the organization.

  • Interviews also help in promotions and transfers of the candidates, as per the requirements of the organization.

Interview Process

Interviewing candidates is the final stage in the recruitment process. Hence, to find the right person for a specific position, there should be a proper process, that has to be followed for the right results.

An ideal interview process for selecting the right candidates is as follows −

  • Determine the requirements of the job. Conduct a thorough job analysis.

  • Prepare a specific job description and a job specification.

  • Make a plan − how and where to find qualified candidates.

  • Collect and review applications and resumes and from them, select the most potential and qualified candidates for further proceedings.

  • Interview the shortlisted candidates based upon the job description and specification.

  • Verify the candidates’ background with the references provided by them.

Following such an interview process, the HR department can hire the best possible candidates for a vacant job position.

Types of Interviews

Depending up the requirements, situations, locations and time, the interviews are broadly classified into ten different categories. Recruiters should be knowledgeable enough to understand which type of interview should be used when.

The ten different types of interviews are as follows −

  • Structured Interview − In this type, the interview is designed and detailed in advance. A structured interview is pre-planned, accurate, and consistent in hiring the candidates.

  • Unstructured Interview − This type of interview is an unplanned one, where the interview questionnaire is not prepared. Here, the effectiveness of the interview is very less and there is a tremendous waste of time and effort of both the interviewer and the interviewee.

  • Group Interview − In this type of interview, all the candidates or a group of candidates are interviewed together. Group interviews are conducted to save time when there is a large number of applications for a few job vacancies. A topic will be given to discuss among the candidates and the interviewer judges the innovativeness and behavior of each candidate in the group.

  • Depth Interview − Depth interview is a semi-structured interview, where the candidates have to give a detailed information about their education background, work experience, special interests, etc. And the interviewer takes a depth interview and tries in finding the expertise of the candidate.

  • Stress Interview − Stress interviews are conducted to discover how a candidate behaves in stressful conditions. In this type of interview, the interviewer will come to know whether the candidate can handle the demands of a complex job. The candidate who maintains his composure during a stress interview is normally the right person to handle a stressful job.

  • Individual Interview − In an individual interview, the interview takes place one-on-one i.e., there will be a verbal and a visual interaction between two people, an interviewer and a candidate. This is a two-way communication interview, which helps in finding the right candidate for a vacant job position.

  • Informal Interview − Such interviews are conducted in an informal way, i.e., the interview will be fixed without any written communication and can be arranged at any place. There is no procedure of asking questions in this type of interview, hence it will be a friendly kind of interview.

  • Formal Interview − A formal interview held in a formal way, i.e., the candidate will be intimated about the interview well in advance and the interviewer plans and prepares questions for the interview. This is also called as a planned interview.

  • Panel Interview − Panel interview, as the name indicates, is being conducted by a group of people. In this type of interview, three to five members of the selection committee will be asking questions to the candidates on different aspects. The final decision will be taken by all the members of the panel collectively.

  • Exit Interview − Exit interviews are conducted for those employees who want to leave the organization. The importance of the exit interview is to discover why an employee wants to leave his job.


Suppose there is a software company Global Systems, which has an executive requirement for the position CEO. This kind of position cannot be fulfilled in a short span. This kind of requirements need a keen observation and a lot of planning.

There are different types of interviews, which are explained in the above list. The best type of interview suitable for hiring a CEO would be a “Structured Interview”. Hiring a CEO for an organization is a big task and it can only be fulfilled with lots of planning. Hence the interview process needs to be well structured and it has to be executed in a perfect way.

What is Selection?

Selection is the process of picking or choosing the right candidate, who is most suitable for a vacant job position in an organization. In others words, selection can also be explained as the process of interviewing the candidates and evaluating their qualities, which are required for a specific job and then choosing the suitable candidate for the position.

The selection of a right applicant for a vacant position will be an asset to the organization, which will be helping the organization in reaching its objectives.

What is Selection

Different authors define Selection in different ways. Here is a list of some of the definitions −

  • Employee selection is a process of putting a right applicant on a right job.

  • Selection of an employee is a process of choosing the applicants, who have the qualifications to fill the vacant job in an organization.

  • Selection is a process of identifying and hiring the applicants for filling the vacancies in an organization.

  • Employee selection is a process of matching organization’s requirements with the skills and the qualifications of individuals.

A good selection process will ensure that the organization gets the right set of employees with the right attitude.

Difference between Recruitment and Selection

The major differences between Recruitment and Selection are as follows −

Recruitment Selection
Recruitment is defined as the process of identifying and making the potential candidates to apply for the jobs. Selection is defined as the process of choosing the right candidates for the vacant positions.
Recruitment is called as a positive process with its approach of attracting as many candidates as possible for the vacant jobs Selection is called as a negative process with its elimination or rejection of as many candidates as possible for identifying the right candidate for the position.

Both recruitment and selection work hand in hand and both play a vital role in the overall growth of an organization.

Importance of Selection

Selection is an important process because hiring good resources can help increase the overall performance of the organization. In contrast, if there is bad hire with a bad selection process, then the work will be affected and the cost incurred for replacing that bad resource will be high.

The purpose of selection is to choose the most suitable candidate, who can meet the requirements of the jobs in an organization, who will be a successful applicant. For meeting the goals of the organization, it is important to evaluate various attributes of each candidate such as their qualifications, skills, experiences, overall attitude, etc. In this process, the most suitable candidate is picked after the elimination of the candidates, who are not suitable for the vacant job.

The organization has to follow a proper selection process or procedure, as a huge amount of money is spent for hiring a right candidate for a position. If a selection is wrong, then the cost incurred in induction and training the wrong candidate will be a huge loss to the employer in terms of money, effort, and also time. Hence, selection is very important and the process should be perfect for the betterment of the organization.

Advantages of Selection

A good selection process offers the following advantages−

  • It is cost-effective and reduces a lot of time and effort.

  • It helps avoid any biasing while recruiting the right candidate.

  • It helps eliminate the candidates who are lacking in knowledge, ability, and proficiency.

  • It provides a guideline to evaluate the candidates further through strict verification and reference-checking.

  • It helps in comparing the different candidates in terms of their capabilities, knowledge, skills, experience, work attitude, etc.

A good selection process helps in selecting the best candidate for the requirement of a vacant position in an organization.

Selection Process and Steps

As we have discussed that Selection is very important for any organization for minimizing the losses and maximizing the profits. Hence the selection procedure should be perfect. A good selection process should comprise the following steps −

Selection Process
  • Employment Interview − Employment interview is a process in which one-on-one session in conducted with the applicant to know a candidate better. It helps the interviewer to discover the inner qualities of the applicant and helps in taking a right decision.

  • Checking References − Reference checking is a process of verifying the applicant’s qualifications and experiences with the references provided by him. These reference checks help the interviewer understand the conduct, the attitude, and the behavior of the candidate as an individual and also as a professional.

  • Medical Examination − Medical examination is a process, in which the physical and the mental fitness of the applicants are checked to ensure that the candidates are capable of performing a job or not. This examination helps the organization in choosing the right candidates who are physically and mentally fit.

  • Final Selection − The final selection is the final process which proves that the applicant has qualified in all the rounds of the selection process and will be issued an appointment letter.

A selection process with the above steps will help any organization in choosing and selecting the right candidates for the right job.

Salary Negotiations

Salary negotiation is done ahead of issuing an offer letter. This is the heart of recruitment and selection process, wherein the actual worth of a right candidate will be evaluated. The remuneration offered should be balanced, acceptable and agreed by both the parties – the employer and the employee.

Some organizations have salary grades, which are already assigned for each and every position, hence the new employee also receives the salary as per the grade for which the candidate is qualified and selected for.

Salary Grades

A Win-Win Situation

The negotiations should be a win-win situation, where both the candidate and the employer should benefit.

If the candidate expects and demands for a higher salary than the offered salary, then the employer can raise the package (if the budget permits) in the following cases −

  • The candidate is highly talented with a potential to deliver great results.
  • The candidate has exceptional skills which are rare in the market.

Sometimes there is high demand for a skill and the market does not have sufficient supply of qualified candidates to fill the gap. In such cases, the HR team offers lucrative packages in order to attract talented professionals.

Hiring managers, most of the time, have a budget for each position and they are under pressure to hire the right candidates without overshooting their assigned budget.

Tips for Good Salary Negotiation

Hiring managers should keep the following points in mind while negotiating salary with a potential candidate −

  • Research about the job posting well in advance and have a clear understanding of the demand and supply of skilled professionals in the job market.

  • Make the candidates understand the break-up of the total package that is offered.

  • Do not let the candidate know the maximum salary that can be offered.

  • Do not reject a candidate if his expectations are beyond the budget, rather try to make them understand the fringe benefits that is being offered in the package.

Salary negotiation is extremely important, as it can either make or break a selection. Sometimes, hiring managers tend to go overboard and offer an extraordinary package to attract a right candidate. At other times, a potential candidate rejects the offer because it was not up to his expectation. Hence, it is very important to maintain balance between hiring the right candidates and working within the boundaries of the assigned budget.

Making a Job Offer

Making a job offer is the final stage of recruitment and selection. Once a candidate is selected, he/she will be issued an offer letter, which describes the designation, job location, role, responsibilities, remuneration, benefits, and a few terms related to the company policies.

Most HR professionals tend to believe that making an offer is a simple process, but in many cases, it is not so. Making an offer is a crucial part of recruitment and selection, because it’s a stressful and demanding process until the candidate joins the company, after issuing an offer. At this stage, a lot of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the HR with regards to the process after making an offer.

How to Make a Job Offer?

Making a job offer is a delicate process and it should be handled carefully. The outcome of this process can be one of the following −

  • the candidate may accept and start working with the organization, or.
  • the candidate may accept a better job offer from another organization, if he gets one.

Hence, the HR team should take quick action at his stage. The following points should be kept in mind while making a job offer −

  • Do Not Delay − Issue an offer letter as soon as a candidate is selected, especially if the resources are limited.

  • Put the job offer on the table − While issuing an offer letter, do not wait for the right time. Contact the selected candidate over phone and give him a verbal confirmation that he/she is selected to fill the position vacant.

  • Set a deadline to accept the offer − Once the offer is issued to the candidate, set a reasonable deadline to accept the offer. Take a confirmation from the candidate that he/she should join as per the date of joining mentioned in the offer letter.

  • Stay connected − Even after the offer is accepted by the candidate, it is the responsibility of the hiring manager to be in touch with the selected candidate, till he/she joins the organization.

After finding the right resource for the vacant job in the organization, the offer is prepared and released to the candidate. It is crucial at this stage to follow a correct process in order to close the deal and ensure that the selected candidate joins the organization as per the terms issued in the offer letter.

Preparing a Job Offer Letter

Once the salary negotiations are completed, the next step is preparing and issuing a job offer letter. During the confirmation of the job offer through phone call or mail, it is best to make the initial offer and discuss about the terms of the employment.

Offer Letter

A formal job offer should include the following −

  • Name of the employee
  • Title or designation of the job
  • The remuneration or salary offered
  • Employment commencement date
  • Roles and responsibilities of the job
  • Terms and conditions (contract/temporary/permanent) of the job
  • Compensations and benefit
  • Conditions during the probationary period
  • Additional condition, which includes legal, background verification etc.

Once the offer letter is prepared and issued to the selected candidate, ask the candidate to send a signed copy of the offer letter, as a token of acceptance of the job offer.

The process of recruitment and selection starts right from understanding the requirements, sourcing, scheduling, shortlisting, interviewing, selecting and finally issuing the offer letter. The process is not over till the candidate joins.

What Next after Issuing a Job Offer?

Employees usually have to serve a notice period before switching jobs. So, there is a time-gap of one month or so after a candidate accepts the Offer Letter till the time he joins the organization. During this time-gap, the role of a recruiter is important because the candidate may or may not join, even after accepting the offer letter! Hence, the recruiter should be in touch with the candidate through mails/messages/calls till he/she joins the company.

This communication and the relationship between the recruiter and the candidate will help the process to complete and reduce the risks of the candidate not joining the company. Hence, communication plays a vital role in the process of recruitment and selection.

The following steps are important after a candidate accepts the Job Offer −

  • Documentation process − This process includes collecting documents such as educational certificates, id proof, address proof, previous company offer letter, relieving letters, etc. If a candidate responds positively, then it is an indicator that he/she is actually interested in joining the organization.

  • Employment verification process − Collecting an employment verification document, which consists of the details of the previous employers and their references. It provides information regarding the behavior and attitude of the candidate.

  • Contacting the candidates − Be in contact with the candidate through calls or mails or messages, which helps in building a relationship between the recruiter and a potential employee. It also helps in knowing the status of the candidate joining the organization.

  • Resignation from current employment − As soon as an offer letter is issued to the candidate, make sure that the candidate resigns his current job and shares a copy of the resignation document/mail. Later on, do follow up with regards to the resignation acceptance document/mail from the current employer.

  • Following up for the joining date − Finally, keep following up with the candidate about the joining date, because it will help in knowing the status of the candidate joining the organization as per the joining date mentioned in the offer letter.

All the above points help the employer in identifying the interest and the seriousness of a candidate in joining the organization.