The recruitment and selection process and the effect of relevant legislation

It can said that the firms which have an international affiliation such as Ernst & Young and, Price WaterHouse Coopers the recruitment and selection process has been shaped equal opportunities legislation. The recruitment and selection process is done primarily by the HR specialist (manager). The legislation is largely reflected in the development of highly structured "depersonalized" recruitment procedures that focus on job content and particular task required for the job, in order to achieve greater independence amongst the procedures.

As was stated by (McDaniel et al, 1994) the aim of the structured approach is to remove any areas in the process which might be influenced by individual judgement or contain potential bias, for example adopting a highly structured approach to interviewing based on a checklist of questions which line managers rigidly adhere to, reduce opportunities for a discussion to develop.

This has been explained by a belief that to deviate in any way from the set questions was to invite potential claims of unequal treatment. This process provided a neutrality essential to individual fairness and contributed to the transparency of the decision making process. Within the smaller organizations however, for example Caribbean Home Insurance, considerable HR responsibility for these activities had been delegated to line management.

To provide a managerial consistency of this approach the HRM Unit developed a detailed recruitment and selection code for every stage of the process. However, some line managers identified that the emphasis on this process was leading to rigidity in the approach, which was at times resulting in outcomes which took little account of the main objective of any selection process and that is appointing the best candidate. Line managers' perceptions of the fairness of the selection processes saw an inconsistency.

Line mangers thought that the very procedures that had been carefully developed to ensure fairness and equal treatment for candidates could result in significant disadvantages for applicants unaware of the rules of the game that an informed candidate knew how to play. It was thought by some of the interviewees who had experienced the processes first hand, expressed frustration at the lack of any two-way communication in the process.

Their observations supported the findings of earlier research that candidates actually prefer unstructured interviews where they have greater opportunities to participate and have interpersonal input (Schuler 1993). At Toppin Walker, approaches to recruitment, selection and promotion were similarly dominated by the demonstration of procedural fairness at every stage, but within this organization the approach was largely explained by a tradition in employment practices and a trade union involvement.

Currently within this organization, the HR staff not only provided extensive administrative support for the processes, but also made high levels of input. However, these activities were absorbing considerable quantities of staff time, since it was thought that the special function would be better spent developing more proactive policies to support the firms changing sourcing requirements. Within this organization promotion could only be achieved at the firm by competition with external candidates.

This open access policy was a source of grievance among existing employees and was described as significantly disadvantaging the internal candidate whose known track records could not be taken into account for fear of unequal treatment for the external candidate. This policy contrasted significantly with that of Caribbean Home Insurance where internal recruitment was the first step with external recruitment occurring when there were no "suitably experienced" internal candidates.

Certain line managers stated that this encouraged and reinforced the existing culture and that more open competition would better support the organizational change. In all of the organizations the traditional form of posting job openings was used and that is through an advertisement in the daily newspaper. Only the firms with international affiliation provided the use of the e-recruitment process and Campus Fairs. Companies with outstanding recruitment and selection practices enjoy higher dollar returns in each successful employee hired.

Their new hires are better "fits" in their work groups. They also share values, traits and behaviours that are highly regarded for success in the organisation. In many cases, recruiting can no longer be confined to the traditional ways. With the war for talents intensifying, employers are broadening their reach of qualified applicants through the use of innovative recruiting channels. Static recruitment no longer suffices in today's context of cost effectiveness and efficiency hence rigorous assessment and selection processes are vital to pick the one most suitable for the job.