This is a preview. To continue reading, register for free access now. Register now or Log in

Selecting the best candidate for a job

Author: Claire Watt


  • Employers need to ensure that the right people with the right skills are recruited for roles within their organisation. Recruitment selection involves two main processes: shortlisting candidates and assessing candidates against job-related criteria to make a final selection decision. (See What is recruitment selection?)
  • Effective selection is essential to recruit people with the right skills and experience to drive the organisation forward. Employers spend a lot of time and money recruiting new staff, so it is important that they follow good practice and get it right first time. (See The business case for effective selection)
  • Employers should consider the "reliability" and "validity" of the methods they use as part of the selection process. This means that the selection methods should be consistent and measure what they are intended to measure. (See The reliability and validity of different selection tools)
  • There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to selection and employers should choose the combination of selection tools most appropriate for the role. (See Choosing between different selection tools)
  • Employers should ensure that the opportunity for self-selection by applicants runs throughout the recruitment and selection process, and that there is effective two-way communication between the employer and the candidate. (See Self-selection by applicants)
  • Competencies can underpin each stage of the selection process, from preparation of the job description and person specification to shortlisting, testing and interviewing. (See Competency-based selection)
  • Screening is the first stage of the selection process and is particularly important in cases of volume recruitment. Employers need to screen out unsuitable candidates so that shortlisting can commence. (See Screening candidates)
  • Shortlisting against the job-related criteria is a key early stage of the selection process. If the employer carries out the shortlisting stage effectively, this means that it will need to interview and test only the most suitable candidates for the role. (See Shortlisting candidates)
  • Telephone interviews can be used at any stage of the selection process, but are particularly useful when the employer wants to screen out the least suitable candidates for the role. (See Telephone interviewing)
  • Employers commonly use interviews as part of the selection process. They should use a structured interview format to help avoid unintentional bias creeping into the process. (See Selection interviewing)
  • Many employers use psychometric testing to support the selection process by testing candidates' ability, aptitude or personality. The employer should ensure that tests are fair, effective and administered by a trained professional. (See Psychometric tests)
  • Work-sample tests can provide the employer with a powerful prediction of future performance because they allow assessment of candidates performing the same or similar tasks to those performed in the role for which they have applied. (See Work-samples tests)
  • A presentation exercise could be useful if the employer wishes to assess candidates' verbal communication skills. (See Presentations)
  • An assessment centre involves the employer using a range of selection tools to assess candidates. Assessment centres can be expensive but, if well designed and administered, can produce high levels of validity. (See Assessment centres)
  • If used in the right way, recruitment agencies can provide valuable support to employers in their search for the right candidates. (See Using agencies for selection)
  • The employer needs to decide which individuals are responsible for the final selection decision and how they should make this important decision. (See Making the final selection decision)
  • Employers need to be aware of the possibility of discrimination occurring during all stages of the selection process, and make every attempt to mitigate this risk. (See Equal opportunities in selection)
  • Employers should provide job-related feedback to unsuccessful candidates. (See Providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates)
  • Employers should keep accurate records of the selection process, including test results and decisions, as evidence for possible future employment tribunal claims. (See Record-keeping)