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What are the principles of great selection?

What takes place during the selection process following interviews? Find out in this course from Learning Lounge and FutureLearn.

The video at the top of this step has no audio but is a visual representation of a candidate sitting down to interview. In the process of selecting and preparing for interviews, amongst our busy work lives, it’s easy to forget that while this may be just another day in the office for you, it’s a big day for the candidate.

They may be nervous, and they are also interviewing you to see if your organization and department are right for them.

What is selection?

Selection is the process of determining the best person for the requirements of the job from those in the pool of candidates. The basic principle is to match the job and the individual.

How are candidates selected?

When applications (CVs/resumes) begin to pour in, you must meticulously screen each one. The goal is to weed out those lacking the proper educational or professional background. Selecting candidates from a pool of applications usually narrows down the number to be interviewed to a manageable number.

Candidates should be selected to be interviewed based only on how many of the essential and desirable criteria they meet within the person specification i.e. their suitability for the role. Following the pre-determined criteria at this stage, reduces the risk of bias or discrimination.

Usually either you will be reading through CVs trying to determine which of the criteria candidates meet, or your application form will have asked for applicants to write a page describing how they meet the criteria. Ideally, they have written this page using headings, making it easy for you to determine what they have and have not met.

Telephone screening

Once selected the candidates can be invited to interview. If you have a lot of candidates who meet the criteria you may wish to start with a first round of telephone screenings.

Download our example telephone screening discussion questions at the bottom of this step to help you record your answers. Be sure to explain the purpose of the call (mini interview) and how long it is likely to take. Schedule it with at least a couple of days’ notice and use the answers from this to reduce the number of candidates invited to interview to a manageable number.

Telephone screenings can actually end up saving you time overall.

Invite to interview

Provide clear instructions on when and where the interview will take place. Also, remind the candidate of the role name they applied for, and include a copy of the person specification. You should outline what they can expect from the interview, how long it will last, who will be present, its style, and whether any presentation or testing will take place.

Transparency and confidentiality

Applicants should be kept informed of the status of their application and notified if unsuccessful. The reasons why someone was not selected should be documented and transparent. If an applicant appeals or requests feedback you should have information available to share.

Confidentiality is essential. This includes the storage of applications (which contain personal information), who can access them, and collusion between applicants and those involved in the interview process. An example of a privacy breach would be a recruiter discussing the details of a confidential job application with their family or friends.

In this next step, we discuss who should sit on your selection panel and possible interview questions.

This article is from the free online

Recruitment, Selection and Induction: The Basics

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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