Workforce Recruitment & Selection


Strategic business plans give impetus to human resource planning and it is supported by a recruitment programme which could be based on the policy to recruit externally or promote within. The major aim of recruitment process is to obtain the quantity and quality of employees the organization requires to fulfill its objectives. The recruitment effort assembles job-seekers/ finds applicants and the selection exercise screens, evaluates and decides through interview/ tests whom to engage. Recruitment provides opportunities to organizations/ departments to align staff skill-sets to initiatives and goals, and for group and individual growth.

Recruitment is not just an attempt to fill in vacant positions in an organization but a deliberate plan to match the needs of the organization with the requisite skills and aspirations of individual applicants in an optimal form. Recruitment may occur as a result of transfer, resignation, death of incumbent, strategy implementation and redirection, organizational expansion, advancement in technology or otherwise. It is a positive action by management, going into the labour market (internal/ external), communicating opportunities and information and generating interest.

Proper planning and evaluation of the need will lead to hiring the right person for the role and team. It involves writing out job description, developing job specifications, analyzing sources of potential employees and attracting potential employees. Thus recruitment is only one of the steps involved in selection.

Selection means determining among the so-recruited, the best hands for the positions advertised. It is an aspect that involves choosing/ screening, evaluating applicants for jobs and deciding through interviews/ tests whom to engage. It is largely a negative process, weeding out people who are unsuitable for the job or the organization and or whom the job or organisation might be unsuitable for.

It is aimed at:

  1. measuring the ability, mental alertness or intelligence of the job candidate;
  2. reducing the costs of training new employees through the selection of applicants who can learn to work;                                                                                                                                  c). also reduces favouritism in hiring and places the opportunity of securing a job on an objective basis rather than sentiment.

Selection is a rigorous exercise involving a number of steps. The process goes beyond the actual attraction of people, picking among them and placing them on the job. It includes job analysis, recruitment and the steps below:

  • application blank
  • Second interview
  • Psychological testing
  • Work history
  • Referencing checks
  • Medical examination
  • Recommendation
  • Offer

In selection, the ratio of applicants to available job position (selection ratio) is crucial.

Selection ratio = No of vacant position                                                                                                                                                    .                                 No of applicants

This ratio determines the possibility of selection error which can occur in two ways:                                                       a). rejecting those who have potentials for the job                                                                                                            b). accepting or employing those who will not perform on the job.

It is better therefore to draw as many job applicants as possible to ensure that the ratio tends away from unity i.e ratio= 1 (no selection has taken place).

Ratio < I (probability of mistake reduced).

A selection ratio of 1/10 is better than 1/5.

My experience as a recruiter over the years has taught me that there is need to take into cognizance the relevance of selection ratio as it minimizes the incidence of selection errors. We must beware of undue biases and irrelevant sentiments and adhere to the dictates of the recruitment requirements. Objectivity is the key word and must be taken seriously.


Contributed by: Agolo Uzorka

Leave us a comment