Concept and Meaning of Selection

The word selection indicates the action of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable. Once the potential candidates are identified, the next step is to evaluate their qualifications, qualities, experiences, capabilities etc, and make a selection. From this point of view selection refers to the process of offering jobs to the desired candidates.

The process of selection in an organization is, “The process of interviewing and evaluating candidates for a specific job and selecting an individual for employment based on certain criteria”.

Employee Selection is the process of putting right men on right job. It is a procedure of matching organizational requirements with the skills and qualifications of people. Proper screening and testing of candidates takes place during selection procedure.

Effective selection can be done only when there is effective matching. By selecting best candidate for the required job, the organization will get quality performance of employees, will Face, less of employee absenteeism and employee turnover problems. It will also save time and money.

Process of selection is complicated, lengthy complicated and time consuming. Employee selection can range from a very simple process to a very complicated process depending on the firm hiring and the position. Certain employment laws such as anti-discrimination laws must be obeyed during employee selection.

The process selection divides applicants into two classes

a] Those who will be offered employment

b] Those that will not be offered employment

As more candidates are rejected than hired the selection process is sometimes referred to as the “rejection process”. Therefore process is also described as a negative process.

The employee selection process takes place in the following order

The employee selection process entails placing advertisements and arranging interviews.

Companies have the never ending task of interviewing, selecting and hiring employees. However despite the repetitiveness and skill of a company’s human resource department selecting the right individual for a job is extremely challenging. Making the wrong choice can also be costly. The employee selection process usually entails notification or advertising, reviewing, screening, interviewing, testing then selecting the best available candidate.

1] Notification

The employee selection usually starts with a manager commissioning human resources department to fill a new or a vacant post. The manager will then establish the job requirement. On the basis of these job requirements the human resources department will then will place an advertisements, use head-hunters etc to find the appropriate candidate for the job.

2] Blank Application Forms

Whenever there is a vacancy applications are invited from the candidates. A standard application form is printed. This is a preliminary application form. Personal information is asked for in this form like name, address, telephone, number education, skill, record of previous employment if any etc of the applicant. This gives the interviewer information about the candidate.

3] Reviewing

Companies’ may receive many applications which will then be reviewed. The candidates qualifications will be matched to the job requirement and the human resource department will decide how many candidates will be called for interview.

4] Screening interviews/Preliminary interviews

The employment selection process may actually include a screening interview especially if the candidate lives out of town. This interview may be conducted on telephone etc.

It is used to eliminate those candidates who do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria laid down by the organization. The skills, academic and family background, competencies and interests of the candidate are examined during preliminary interview.

Preliminary interviews are less formalized and planned than the final interviews. The candidates are given a brief up about the company and the job profile; and it is also examined how much the candidate knows about the company.

The main purpose of this interview is

i] To assess the personality of the candidate.

ii] To check the factual information given in the application.

iii] To check the suitability of the candidate for the job.

iv] To give the candidate an idea about the job and the company; and the terms and conditions of his appointment.

v] To make an appointment.

5] Scrutiny of Application Form- The candidates who clear the preliminary interview are required to fill application blank. It contains data record of the candidates such as candidate’s general background, details about age, qualifications, experience, employment record, references, reason for leaving previous job, general remarks, etc.

This method of gathering information is an effective and inexpensive aid of the selection process. If the candidate is selected this application form is the basis for the employees record with the company. If he is not selected, the application form can be kept for future use.

The selected candidate has to present himself for the various personnel tests on a predetermined date.

6] Personnel Tests- The employee selection process may also include testing. These tests are standardised, objective tests. The information gathered from such tests supplements the information gathered in the selection process.

Various written tests conducted during selection procedure are

aptitude test is used to measure the applicants capacity and his potential for growth.

intelligence test, designed to the mental ability of the applicant.

reasoning test,

personality test is designed to probe the qualities of a person as a whole.

the candidate may also be tested for drug addiction etc in accordance with the requirement of the company.

These tests are used to objectively assess the potential candidate. They should not be biased.

7] Employment Interviews-

After the tests the desired candidates are called for the final interview. This interview is the most important in the selection process. It is a one to one interaction between the interviewer and the potential candidate. It is used to find whether the candidate is best suited for the required job or not.

One of the most important facets of the employment selection process is the face to face interview. Different companies have different procedures for personal interviews. Some companies prefer to have all day long interviewing sessions where job candidates meet with different persons from human resource department, chairman of the organisation, the hiring manager, personnel manager other employees or outside experts etc.

Sometimes candidates meet key personnel one day and come back again to meet some executives.

8] Medical examination-

Once the selection committee arrives at a decision regarding selection of an applicant, the applicant is required to undergo a medical examination. It is necessary to protect the employer from the risk of employing physically unsuitable candidate. It will decrease chances of employee absenteeism Medical tests are conducted to ensure physical fitness of the potential. medical tests are conducted by experts appointed by the organisation.


9] Appointment Letter- After a candidate has cleared all the hurdles in the selection process, A reference check is made about the candidate selected and then finally he is appointed by giving a formal appointment letter.

Generally candidates are not appointed on a permanent basis but employed on probation. If during this period he is not found suitable management may transfer him to some other job or terminate his services. If he is found suitable he is continued in the job.

10] Selection

The hiring manager will usually ask for a feedback from the human resources and other employees who interview the job candidates before selecting them.


But selection must be differentiated from recruitment, though these are two phases of employment process. Recruitment is considered to be a positive process as it motivates more of candidates to apply for the job. It creates a pool of applicants. It is just sourcing of data. While selection is a negative process as the inappropriate candidates are rejected here. Recruitment precedes selection in staffing process. Selection involves choosing the best candidate with best abilities, skills and knowledge for the required job.

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