Employee Selection Methods: How to Select the Right Employee

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 25, 2022

Whether you work for a small or a large company, selecting the right employees is crucial because it creates a positive work environment, helping ensure improved productivity. A company can use various techniques during the employee selection process to learn essential details about a candidate's skills, experience, and credentials. Learning about different employee selection methods can help you develop a robust recruitment procedure to identify the most suitable and high-quality candidates for the job. In this article, we define employee selection methods, discuss their importance, and explore 12 practical methods for selecting the most suitable candidate.

What are employee selection methods?

Employee selection methods are ways for selecting the best candidate for a specific job. They entail assessing an individual's skills, training, work experience, and character to check if they can perform tasks effectively and fit into the organization's culture. Employee selection varies by company, but it usually entails steps or criteria that the company follows when recruiting new employees. Selection methods include tests, interviews, and background investigations. Recruiters frequently use them to get the right employees from a long list of applicants and assess how they respond to various workplace settings.

Related: Differences between Recruiting and Selecting Employees

Importance of employee selection methods

Employee selection methods are necessary for the recruitment process to help ensure that an organization hires a suitable applicant. An ideal fit refers to a candidate with the qualifications and skills to perform the required tasks. The organization supports the employee with the appropriate conditions for their professional objectives. Effective selection methods are critical to a team's operations because:

  • Improved morale in the workplace: Selecting the right employees who fit the company's culture is vital for enhancing overall morale.

  • Increased employee satisfaction: Suitable employees are more likely to be happy in their jobs and have higher job satisfaction.

  • Enhanced productivity: Productivity increases consistently when an organization matches employees' skills with its requirements.

  • Higher employee retention rates: When employees are happy in their jobs, they usually stay longer, helping to lower hiring expenses.

  • Better leadership: Because management teams impact the entire organization, an effective employee selection process is essential for hiring the right management personnel.

  • Improved company reputation: Identifying the appropriate employees can help build the company's image with clients and attract other high-quality candidates.

Related: What Is Recruitment Marketing (Definition and Benefits)

12 effective methods to select the right employee

Here are methods for selecting the right employee:

1. Application review

In this step, a recruitment team selects top candidates from job application materials submitted through e-mails and other application channels. They usually follow a set of criteria that outline the qualities that an organization looks for in top candidates, such as industry experience, technical skills, and education background. A recruiter may look for key phrases that match the associated job description to simplify the hiring process while maintaining high standards, as this demonstrates a candidate's commitment to the process. They might also use an AI system that automatically identifies high-quality resumes based on a company's guidelines.

2. Introductory screening

In the process, recruiters screen candidates selected from a previously compiled application review shortlist. It usually entails sending the candidates an e-mail with questions to assess their credentials and competence. A recruiter may then send their top ten candidates to a hiring manager for a more in-depth interview. Some hiring managers prefer to set up a phone interview with candidates to learn more about their communication skills and whether they can provide quality responses to unfamiliar questions.

Related: Methods and Criteria for Assessing Employees (With Tips)

3. Assignment test

This process entails giving a test request related to job tasks a candidate might encounter in the workplace. Recruiters frequently send the assignment tests to candidates on a shortlist via e-mail. It can reveal more about a candidate's skills for a specific position, such as their competence and how well they manage their schedule to meet deadlines. For instance, a hiring manager may invite a content writer to send a writing sample following the company's editorial guidelines or request a computer programmer to draft algorithms for the company's website.

4. Interview

Interviews are a popular part of the hiring process. A company may conduct several interviews so that various team members can meet with prospective teammates. Some companies may also hold a group interview when there are a lot of candidates to interview. These group interviews can help measure essential interpersonal skills by observing how candidates communicate with others while also considering each candidate's problem-solving abilities. Organizations may also use peer interviews to assess how candidates interact with other team members. In addition, some candidates feel more comfortable when speaking with peers.

5. Cognitive strengths test

Cognitive strength is the ability to plan and solve problems using observational and conceptual skills. Some hiring managers conduct a cognitive strength assessment to determine a candidate's ability to analyze new information, solve problems, and relate disparate facts. Cognitive skills may include calculations, speed, accuracy, problem-solving, verbal reasoning tests, or learning skills based on the company and the role. These tests can provide a quantifiable figure representing a person's ability to think critically in essential work tasks. While using this process, recruiters consider influencing factors on a participant's score and follow laws protecting the rights of certain groups.

6. Job knowledge evaluations

Recruiters use this approach to see if a job applicant has enough critical knowledge to accomplish specific job duties. This evaluation is frequently practical when the company requires a candidate to understand precise details before training or on boarding. It can also help to confirm the accuracy of a candidate's training background or credential available on their resume or cover letter. For instance, a recruiter may require an individual applying for a bookkeeping job to enter some data into a popular database accurately. Depending on the work type, the job evaluation test may be real or hypothetical.

Related: Guide to the Process of Recruitment (With Tips)

7. Personality assessment

This process entails assessing an individual's attributes to determine if they match the current position's requirements or the organization's working conditions. These evaluations can show details about a candidate's work habits, including how they treat clients and teammates. Recruitment managers frequently make statements that suggest a particular behaviour or quality an individual might exhibit at work and then ask candidates if they agree with that thought process. For instance, they may use a statement such as customer support typically requires a cheerful personality, with true or false as possible answers.

8. Integrity evaluation

Integrity evaluations are a type of test that an employer uses to assess a candidate's ethical principles and sense of morality. Hiring teams may use this approach to evaluate a candidate's ability to follow company policies, especially if they include legal processes. Integrity assessments can help prevent disputes between employees and customers by establishing acceptable conduct and behaviour standards. Although a background check is merely a formality, it can affirm a candidate's integrity. Sometimes hiring managers check criminal records.

9. Situational judgment test

A situational judgment test is a behavioural assessment in which a hiring manager shows a participant a scenario and gives them choices to demonstrate how they might react. This technique helps a recruitment team understand how a candidate may respond in real-life situations, such as disputes or high-intensity events. This assessment may be especially beneficial in the recruiting process for managerial positions, as these roles require specific judgment and interpersonal abilities. Situational judgment tests are also helpful in many medical organizations to determine how a healthcare professional may react to a patient's condition.

10. Physical and medical assessment

Although physical and medical tests aren't a requirement in many industries, they're necessary for some, such as police officers, military, and firefighting. Physical assessments usually entail completing a series of physical tasks, such as running, climbing a ladder, and carrying loads. These assessments typically test endurance, and recruiters give grades based on a participant's ability to complete them successfully. After physical tests, a candidate may undergo medical tests to help ensure they have no underlying medical conditions or injuries. When using these tests, it's essential for organizations to follow government laws associated with their accommodations in the workplace.

Related: Top 10 Recruitment Skills for Successful Recruiters

11. Candidate references

Candidate references are testimonials from a former employer or teammates that may reveal a jobseeker's work ethic and expertise. A recruiting manager may request references early in the recruitment process to learn more about the candidate's background before meeting them or later in the recruitment process to confirm what they discovered. When speaking with a former employer, it's common to discuss a candidate's duties and characteristics to determine their suitability for the new role. When a hiring manager speaks with a candidate's former teammates, they usually learn more about their personality traits and ability to work in a group setting.

12. Internships or apprenticeships

An internship or apprenticeship can provide a probation period for candidates before hiring them full-time or part-time. An organization can also use this procedure to prepare trainees or apprentices according to company policies and regulations to increase their chances of hiring a new employee who can fulfil a specific position. It also allows a recruiter to monitor how a trainee or apprentice performs their duties and interacts with colleagues to determine if the person can be a good fit for the company.

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