Question The overall aim of good recruitment and selection techniques is to recruit the best candidate, within the right timescale, using the most cost effective method possible. How do I do this?

Answer HR adviser Pam McLeod offers some advice on recruiting and selecting staff.

There are four key stages to effective recruitment and selection: - Assess the job and determine its requirements - Attract well targeted applicants - Assess the applicants objectively and validly - Select the applicant with the closest fit to the job’s requirements For the process to be carried out properly, you will require a significant amount of time in terms of analysing the job requirement, creating the job description, developing the selection process, placing the advert, conducting the interviews and making the decision.

This all needs to be carried out with careful adherence to the various pieces of recruitment legislation which exist to ensure that discrimination does not occur.

Making a poor recruitment and selection decision will result in a poorly performing employee with the risk of undertaking performance management intervention and potentially having to repeat the whole process.

There are also a number of ‘costs’ associated with taking too long to make a recruitment and selection decision. These include: Spending the budget which was allocated for the position Losing the opportunity to get the best applicants before your competition Having a non-producing position for an extended length of time Unavailability of the professional knowledge associated with the position Increasing the workload and stress of surrounding staff Having a less than optimal replacement temporarily in the position An increasingly complex mess to clear for the new recruit’s first weeks on the job Longer period of confusion for suppliers and customers regarding contact points The trick is to make your selection processes as objective, consistent and valid as possible to minimize the number of poor selection decisions.

Business owners should seek specialist help to review the range of selection techniques available and choose the most appropriate ones for the vacant position and the company, within an appropriate time-scale.

You are then assured of having the right people in the right position at the right time in order to support your business.

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