Employee Life Cycle: Step 2 Selection

1.Managing the selection process

It is important to remember that the recruitment process is not just for you as an employer to find a suitable candidate, it should also be used to help the candidate learn more about the organisation and whether the job role is truly what they are looking for.

Selecting candidates involves two main processes:

  • Shortlisting; and
  • Assessing applicants.

2.Shortlist job applicants

In order to determine which applicants will be invited to the next stage of the recruitment process you will need to carry out a shortlisting exercise.

The shortlist process involves:

  • Reviewing applicants against an objective set of criteria that are often job-related in order to identify a suitable pool of candidates for further assessment;
  • A shortlisting panel of at least two people who will decide on the shortlisting criteria;
  • The shortlisting panel should assess applications on their own to help prevent bias, following which they should meet to agree the final shortlist.
  • The shortlisting panel should consider each application against the same set of criteria. These criteria should relate to the requirements of the job.

During the shortlisting process you need to make sure you:

  • Avoid making assumptions about an applicant’s ability to do the job;
  • Base your decision on information relevant to the role;
  • Do not unlawfully discriminate against a job applicant;
  • Make any reasonable adjustments required; and
  • Keep a paper trial.

3.Assessing candidates

There are a variety of different methods which can be used to help assess your shortlist of candidates. These are:


There are a variety of different ways in which interviews can be conducted. These are:

  • Structured/unstructured/semi-structured;
  • Face to face/telephone/video link/video interview; and
  • One to one/panel

Psychometric testing

Psychometric tests can help to assess individuals on:

  • Ability;
  • Aptitude;
  • Attainment;
  • Intelligence; and
  • Personality

Most tests are designed and developed by occupational psychologists. The most common way for psychometric tests to be conducted is online.

Ability tests

These are cognitive ability tests that are used to predict performance differences between candidates and are used as part of psychometric testing. The most commonly used ability tests are verbal or numerical reasoning. They are most often used when there is a large amount of candidates that need to be whittled down.

Personality assessment

This selection technique uses questionnaires to identify the candidate as a particular personality type. From this assumptions can be made about a candidate’s suitability for the role. This uses candidate’s answers to pool them together with others who answered similarly and then makes assumptions that everyone who answered those questions thinks about behaviours in a particular way.

Work samples/scenario based examples

This selection technique gets the potential candidate to undertake work based scenarios to test their ability to undertake the role.

Assessment centres

An assessment centre gives you the opportunity to observe candidates and how they react and behave. Typically, at assessment centres activities will consist of:

  • Interviews;
  • Psychometric testing;
  • Role plays; and
  • Group activities.


Gaining references from a candidate’s previous employers can tell you a lot about them. Just remember some organisations may have a policy to only give factual references about the dates and position held.

 There is no one technique that is the holy grail to selection. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The most appropriate technique will depend on the role.


Before an interview you should:

  • Produce a job description;
  • Prepare a standard list of questions in advance, designed to check how well each candidate matches what you are looking for;
  • Write a list of questions that directly relate to the job’s responsibilities;
  • Review the application letter and CV before each interview so that you can identify any particular information you want to check or gaps that need explaining;
  • Determine how you are going to score the candidates;
  • Determine whether you are going to conduct other forms of assessment i.e. paper based tests, problem solving exercises, group discussion about a scenario question, role play scenarios, a presentation, a one to one interview, aptitude tests.

5.Making the appointment

As an employer you have the responsibility to check whether a candidate has the right to work in the UK before making a job offer.

Once you are satisfied that you have selected the right candidate and they have the right to work in the UK an offer of employment should be made in writing.


Are you or your managers confident in handling the recruitment and selection process? We can provide training on how to conduct the recruitment and selection process. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01527 571 611 or alternatively on info@agilityrac.com.

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