Beyond Casting the Net: How Selection Completes Your Recruitment Efforts

Posted by Rick Yvanovich

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In the HR world, the pressure to fill open positions quickly can be immense. Often, recruitment efforts take centre stage, casting a wide net to attract a pool of potential candidates. But what happens after the resumes flood in? Selection, the crucial process of identifying the perfect fit from that pool, can sometimes get relegated to the sidelines.

In this article, we deep dive into the significance of selection, why it's commonly overlooked, the dangers of neglecting it, and the key ingredients of a stellar selection process, along with available methods and their pros and cons.

Table of Content

I. Selection vs. Recruitment

II. Why is Selection Often Overlooked?

III. What Makes a Great Selection Process?

IV. Available Selection Methods and Their Pros and Cons

Selection vs. Recruitment

Before delving into the intricacies of selection, it's crucial to understand its distinction from recruitment. Both are two essential components within the HR hiring process and are often used interchangeably. They, however, represent distinct stages in the process of acquiring talent for an organisation.




Identifying, attracting, and engaging potential candidates for a job vacancy

Evaluating and choosing the most suitable candidate from that pool

Main activities

Creating job descriptions, advertising the position, sourcing potential candidates, networking, or reaching out to potential candidates.

Screening resumes and applications, conducting interviews, skills tests, and reference checks.


To create a pool of interested and qualified applicants.

To make a well-informed decision about who will be the most successful hire for the specific role.

Main audience

An outward facing activity, reaching out to a larger audience

More rigorous and selective, involving in-depth evaluation of a smaller group of candidates


Here's an analogy to think of it this way: Recruitment is like casting a wide net to catch a lot of ‘fish’, while selection is carefully choosing the perfect ‘fish’ for your dish.

Selection vs recruitment in hiring process

Why is Selection Often Overlooked?

In the hustle and bustle of talent acquisition, it's not uncommon for selection to take a back seat to recruitment, even among seasoned HR professionals. Several factors contribute to this oversight.

First, recruitment often involves more visible and proactive activities such as marketing the company, crafting job postings, and engaging with potential candidates. These activities are often seen as more dynamic and appealing compared to the evaluation and decision-making aspects of selection.

Second, some HR professionals may have stronger backgrounds or training in recruitment techniques, such as marketing or networking, compared to selection methods, such as behavioural interviewing or assessment centre techniques, which requires training and expertise. This could lead to a bias towards focusing on recruitment activities.

And finally, there might be pressure to fill positions within a timeframe, leading to quicker hiring decisions without in-depth selection methods. Sometimes, the focus might be on the recruitment metrics such as the number of applications received because they are more visible and easily quantifiable than selection metrics such as quality of the final hire.

However, it's important to note that both recruitment and selection are equally important components of talent acquisition. Neglecting the selection process can spell trouble for organisations in several ways:

- Bad hires: Without proper evaluation, organisations risk making hiring mistakes, leading to poor job fit and increased turnover.

- Cultural Misalignment: Candidates chosen solely based on skills may not align with the company culture, resulting in discord within the team.

- Performance Issues: Inadequate selection can result in underperformance and decreased productivity, impacting organisational goals.

- Unpleasant candidate experience: A negative interview experience can damage an employer's reputation. Focusing on selection ensures a positive experience for qualified applicants.

As a result, the trend is shifting towards recognising the importance of selection. But what does an effective selection process look like?

What Makes a Great Selection Process?

An effective selection process goes beyond just picking the most qualified candidate on paper. It's about finding the best fit for the specific role and company culture. Here are some key elements for a solid selection process.

1. Well-defined job description and criteria

A clear understanding of the required skills, experience, and desired qualities for the role is essential. This forms the basis for screening resumes, writing interview questions, and evaluating candidates.

2. Multi-faceted evaluation methods

Relying solely on resumes or a single interview can be misleading. Use a combination of methods like:
  • Skill assessments: Can gauge technical proficiency relevant to the job.
  • Behavioral interviews: Ask about past experiences to predict future behavior.
  • Case studies or work simulations: Evaluate problem-solving and decision-making skills in a realistic setting.
  • Reference checks: Can provide insights into work ethic and past performance.

3. Standardized and objective evaluation

Develop a scoring system for interview questions and assessments. This ensures all candidates are evaluated on the same criteria and reduces bias. Use a panel of interviewers with diverse perspectives to get a well-rounded evaluation.

4. Candidate experience

Keep candidates informed about the process timeline and their application status. Conduct timely interviews and provide feedback (even if they are not selected).

A positive candidate experience can enhance your employer brand and attract better talent in the future.

5. Continuous improvement

Regularly assess the effectiveness of your selection process. Analyze data on successful hires and identify areas for improvement. Stay updated on best practices in HR selection methods.

By following these elements, you can create a selection process that identifies top talent and ensures successful placements within your organisation.

Among them, the second element, evaluation methods, is arguably the most challenging one. Therefore, in the last section of this blog post, we will go through a list of different selection methods and explore their advantages and disadvantages.

Available Selection Methods and Their Pros and Cons

The best selection process will use a combination of the following methods, tailored to the specific job requirements and company culture. Consider the pros and cons of each method to create a well-rounded assessment that goes beyond just a resume and helps you identify the best fit for your organisation.

1. Resumes and Cover Letters

Pros: Easy to gather, provide a quick overview of skills and experience.

Cons: Can be easily fabricated, don't showcase actual abilities, limited insight into personality and fit.

2. Skills Assessments

Pros: Objective evaluation of specific technical skills, helps identify qualified candidates quickly.

Cons: Might not assess soft skills or cultural fit, some tests may not reflect real-world job application.

3. Structured Interviews

Pros: Structured interviews involve asking each candidate the same set of predetermined questions, allowing for consistency and comparability in evaluating responses. This method helps to minimize biases and subjectivity in the interview process and provides a standardized basis for comparing candidates.

Cons: Structured interviews may feel less conversational and may not capture all aspects of a candidate's personality or communication style. Additionally, interviewers may not have the flexibility to probe deeper into specific areas of interest.

4. Case Studies and Work Simulations

Pros: Assess problem-solving, decision-making, and analytical skills in a simulated work environment.

Cons: Can be time-consuming to develop and administer, may not reflect all aspects of the actual job.

5. Reference Checks

Pros: Provides insights into a candidate's work ethic, past performance, and professional relationships.

Cons: References may be biased towards the candidate, some employers may not provide negative feedback due to legal concerns.

6. Group Interviews

Pros: Observe how a candidate interacts with others, assess teamwork and communication skills.

Cons: Can be intimidating for some candidates, strong personalities might dominate the discussion.

7. Assessment Centres

Pros: Comprehensive evaluation using a variety of methods (interviews, simulations, group exercises)

Cons: Expensive and time-consuming to set up, may not be suitable for all types of positions.

8. Psychometric Assessments

Pros: Psychometric assessments measure candidates' cognitive abilities, personality traits, or behavioural tendencies. They provide standardized and objective data that can complement other selection methods and help predict job fit and performance.

Cons: Psychometric assessments must be carefully chosen and administered to ensure they are valid and reliable for the intended purposes. Some candidates may question the relevance or fairness of certain tests, and interpreting results requires specialized training.

9. Work Trial/Job Shadowing

Pros: Provides the most realistic assessment of a candidate's skills and fit within the team.

Cons: Logistically challenging to organize, requires time commitment from both candidate and employer.

10. Social Media Screening

Pros: Can provide insights into a candidate's personal brand and online behaviour.

Cons: Privacy concerns, potential for bias based on personal information or activity.

As mentioned earlier, no single method is a silver bullet. By carefully selecting and integrating multiple assessment methods, organisations can gather comprehensive and reliable information about candidates' suitability and make more informed hiring decisions.

Remember, selection is an investment. By investing time and resources in building a strong selection process, you'll be well on your way to building a team of high performers who contribute to your organisation's success.

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Rick Yvanovich

 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

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