Recruitment and Selection Practices in HR

“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business” (Wynn, S., 2014). One of the primary duties of any human resources (HR) department is the selection and hiring of new employees. It is a complex process that takes an effective system of recruitment and evaluation. There are various challenges to determine a potential employee’s qualities and skills while matching them with the organization’s needs and culture. The hiring decisions made by HR influence the company’s productivity and budget. The human resources of a nonprofit should adopt efficient recruitment and selection practices to retain cost-effective and talented employees to benefit the organization and its mission.

Recruitment Practices

Recruitment is a multi-step process that requires planning and evaluation. It presents an opportunity for realignment of initiatives, goals, and staff responsibilities within an organization or department. A well-developed recruitment process is optimized and uniquely customized for the needs of the organization. The first step is to identify the need for a new position or replacement and assess its strategic need. This means appropriately classifying the position, its responsibilities, and its strategic role. Also, an administrative evaluation of salary and schedule should be performed. All this information is useful in developing a position description necessary to attract new hires.

It is crucial in articulating the responsibilities, purpose, and scope of the position. The language and information presented in the job description are the first impressions the organization makes on the candidate. Therefore, to attract the best talent, the essential job functions and minimum requirements have to be accurate, objective, and pertinent. Further, the process requires to develop and document a recruitment plan approved by the organization. It presents a strategy for hiring a qualified candidate and ensure all offers and practices follow legal guidelines, including nondiscriminatory interviewing and selection.

The proposal includes a posting period, placement goals, advertising methods, and cooperation with various recruitment agencies or résumé banks. Once approved, the job posting is distributed through media, job boards, social networks, and other mediums. Many organizations send representatives to job fairs, college recruitments, and professional conferences for on-site screening and to develop personal relationships with potential specialists (the University of California Riverside, n.d.).

Several recruitment strategies are effective in finding optimal candidates. An organization should invest in maintaining and training recruiters of the HR department, which translates into understanding the nuances of the hiring process and specific talents needed for each position. A serious investment in recruiting strategies results in a tremendous return on investment with the increasing quality and productivity of its staff. Maintaining a positive and consultative relationship between HR and hiring managers is necessary to obtain a comprehensive profile of the position requirements.

This can be helped by developing a Service Level Agreement, which identifies responsibilities and timeframes for the recruitment process. There are methods to optimize the process significantly. Information technology is used to develop algorithms that can analyze candidates, present accurate data, and provide assessment tools for recruitment functions. Also, HR can implement candidate pools and referral programs that maintain a database of preemptively screened professionals that can be contacted for interviews if there is an available position. This significantly reduces the timeframe (which is valuable due to lost productivity) of selecting the proper candidate (Kolar, 2015).

Selection Process

The selection process is a mechanism of screening applicants for the available position. The selection techniques used by human resources vary but have the purpose of finding an appropriate and qualified candidate. Organizations seeking candidates for positions requiring qualifications and specialty may choose to form selection panels or committees to ensure multiple perspectives. They help develop the selection criteria and assessing the candidates. Such panels should have no conflict of interest and may include the hiring manager, an HR representative, a job specialist, and potentially a co-worker or client.

This eliminates personal bias and establishes fairness in the selective process. At first, applicants are sorted by qualifications, and those under or overqualified are no longer considered. The selection panel can choose to contact applicants to obtain further information on salary and availability (particularly pertinent if drawn from résumé banks or candidate pools). A shortlist of candidates is created and annotated to be presented to supervisors and hiring specialists for approval to determine if the candidates meet the placement and diversity goals of the organization (the University of California Riverside, n.d.).

A common method of candidate selection consists of an interview that is followed up by a reference check. The interview is the most critical junction of the selection process as it allows the employer to evaluate and validate the applicant. The selection team or manager needs to be prepared for the interview by reviewing the information provided by the candidate and having a set list of question which allows familiarizing with the candidate. Interviews should be professional and objective, focusing on the person’s qualifications and abilities. The interviewer should avoid bias and allow the candidate to express their thoughts.

Proper follow-up questions guide the conversation. In the end, the interviewee should be allowed to voice their questions and concerns as well as notified about the next steps. Professionalism and proper manners are important to establish a welcoming atmosphere for the candidates. After the interviews are conducted, the selection panel finalizes a potential hire based on their qualifications. At this point, a reference check is performed with the permission of the candidate.

This includes contacting previous employers to determine behavior, work performance, and skills. Also, background checks are conducted. If the reference check does not present any compromising information, the recruitment is finalized. The appropriate paperwork is drafted, and an offer is initiated to the candidate. An offer may be negotiated with the candidate to ensure the best possible conditions for both the company and the potential employee (HR Council, n.d.).

Throughout the selection process, certain aspects should be taken into consideration. The interview process, although necessary, does not provide an accurate image of the candidate. Nervousness, bias, and other emotions skew the worker’s potential. On the one hand, being able to conduct oneself in meetings is an important trait, but it rarely shows the passion, creativity, and technical skills that nonprofit organizations seek in new talent. Some hiring managers choose to conduct follow-up interviews in a more informal setting and get a candidate involved in a social activity to determine if their character fits into the workplace culture.

If a person’s values do not coincide with the organization’s mission, it is unlikely they will be productive and a worthwhile investment. Furthermore, interviews do not accurately exemplify the candidate’s abilities. If the position requires creativity or technical skill, a company may ask for a portfolio and potentially offer a probationary period (Mayhew, 2017).

The process of recruitment and selection leads to the development of a relationship between an organization and the candidate. It consists of interaction and exchange of information between the two sides. Both the individual and the organization use a cost-benefit analysis when evaluating each other. The candidate seeks to obtain realistic expectations about the position, determine the competition, and seek out advantages of working for an organization with a developed selection system (thus providing a socially recognized and secure employment setting). Meanwhile, organizations aim to improve their selection system by determining what is ethically valid and fair according to the applicants.

Information about the turnover of qualified professionals, labor market trends, and systems of performance assessment that are unacceptable provides high utility value for formulating recruitment practices. Therefore, it is beneficial for both sides to consider each other’s perspective. An applicant seeks to present themselves in a way that will result in a job offer. The organization needs to develop a recruitment plan which efficiently screens candidates without repelling qualified professionals due to its complexity. Cooperation between the individual and an organization is necessary for proper assessment and determining the perceptions of the selective process in the labor market (Schuler, Farr, & Smith, 2013).

Importance to HR and Impact on the Organization

Each organization and sector have unique policies and approaches to hiring. The policies are cohesive with managerial objectives. Before developing a successful recruitment method, the job and labor market is analyzed. During the process, complex psychometric tests and ways to measure emotional intelligence or corporate social responsibility are utilized to determine an applicant’s potential. Human resources have much responsibility beyond basic job advertising and interviewing.

The hiring process requires planning, research, and competent management decision making. Candidates have to be evaluated beyond basic qualifications but more extensively to determine their fit to the organization’s mission, culture, and even ethical norms. This approach focuses on fulfilling the company’s objectives and strategic plans through personnel, which should improve performance statistics and profits. Despite a developed recruitment plan, proper utilization of resources, and communication with the management team, the hiring process may encounter unforeseen challenges. Consequently, the implementation of human resource management theories in specific contexts can provide insights and solutions to resolving any issues (Chew, 2015).

The recruitment and selection process is important to any organization because the production and performance value of the workforce is affected by the employees’ ability and competence. Good hires benefit the company, while poor hires result in termination or turnover rates which are costly.

It is suggested that even a low-level retail employee costs up to $3,500 to replace due to administrative and training expenses. This has become especially relevant in the modern economy, resulting in more organizations investing in and restructuring human resource departments to maximize recruitment efficiency. The goal of HR is to hire reliable employees that are profitable and productive on a long-term basis.

The recruitment process is the only point when a company can identify, evaluate, and reject an unfit candidate without significant losses. The development of screening and selection methodology has led to investment in information technology, workforce training, and evaluation tools. Also, the workforce legal framework is intricate which means that organizations need specialized professionals to overlook recruitment to prevent discrimination lawsuits. It is one of the primary responsibilities of human resources; therefore, the department’s effectiveness and reputation are assessed based on hiring practices. Competent hires will result in improved workplace productivity and atmosphere while executives will further invest in human resources. Recruiting affects all aspects of an organization (Kokemuller, 2017).

NonProfit Industry

Nonprofit organizations strongly rely on their personnel for efficient operation and strategic execution. Similar to businesses, nonprofits experience challenges in establishing and maintaining a stable workforce. However, additional difficulties regarding budget, ideology, and objectives make such organizations heavily dependent on their staff. A particular trait of nonprofits is their reliance on a social mission in their field of specialization rather than focus on profit.

Most of their resources and operation are directed towards objectives related to this social goal. Furthermore, the employee structure of nonprofits is often streamlined to avoid unnecessary expenses and optimize the labor force. Most employees work exclusively for remuneration, and there is an abundant use of interns and volunteers. Due to limited funds, nonprofits cannot invest heavily in human resources or the recruitment process. Also, inadequate compensation and heavy workloads result in poor hires and high employee turnover rates which cause profit losses (Bhatia, 2016).

Nonprofits need to optimize the recruitment process to find passionate and qualified individuals for their operation without constraining the budget. A nonprofit can utilize a similar methodology to businesses, but find creative ways to maximize the investment. Before beginning a recruitment process, it is important to evaluate the existing team and determine if responsibilities can be divided without the creation of another position.

Poor performance in the current team or any future candidates should be addressed (something often ignored due to fear of losing the employee thus accruing more financial losses). Workloads, trends, and planned initiatives should be analyzed about the quality and quantity of the workforce. Sound fiscal management helps to prevent losses. Since nonprofits thrive on passion and commitment, using word of mouth and social platforms to seek out candidates is important (Inc. Magazine, 2014).

Nonprofits should put more focus on personal interviews as the workplace culture is entirely immersed in the mission. Interviews should include open-ended questions, situational scenarios, and strategic planning to determine the flexibility and open-mindedness of the candidate. Also, communication and positive influence on the organization is an effective addition to the team. When making offers, it is critical to emphasize the candidate will receive. This includes intangible benefits such as unique experiences and ultimate human satisfaction that many nonprofit workers receive from helping people in their line of work (Love, 2013).


The recruitment and selection process is a critical function of the human resources department in any organization. It is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive hiring plan to bring the most qualified and productive candidates in the workforce. This is done through a multistep mechanism that formulates the job position and evaluates candidates through a series of practices. Recruitment is crucial to nonprofit organizations that rely on their staff’s passion and work ethic to fulfill social missions without significant monetary benefits. Since budget constraints do not allow nonprofits to invest in the job advertisement and candidate search, the selection process must be efficiently optimized and designed to meet the organizational needs.


Bhatia, T. (2016). Top 4 nonprofit recruitment challenges and how to overcome them. Web.

Chew, D. (2015). Recruitment as the most important aspect of human resource management. Web.

HR Council (n.d.). Getting the right people. Web.

Inc. Magazine (2014). Nonprofit organizations, and human resource management. Web.

Kokemuller, N. (2017). Why is the human resource selection process important?. Web.

Kolar, C. (2015). 9 best practices in recruiting top talent. Web.

Love, J. (2013). 5 steps to successful nonprofit staff hiring. Web.

Mayhew, R. (2017). Methods of HR selection techniques. Web.

Schuler, H., Farr, J., Smith, M. (2013). Personnel selection and assessment. Hove, United Kingdom: Psychology Press. Web.

University of California Riverside (n.d.). Recruitment & selection hiring process. Web.

Wynn, S. (2014) 17 insightful quotes for recruiters & HR professionals. Web.

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