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Selection Process: What To Expect And Complete Guide

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Once you have analyzed the job description, researched the company, and completed the job application process, it’s time to prepare for the selection process. The recruitment and hiring process are key elements a company must ace, when searching for talent. Needless to say, the one that masters the art of recruiting, will be the one to prevail!

In this guide, we’ll explain which are the steps of this process and what to expect during each phase.

The selection process steps
Expectations during the job application?
What to expect during screening & pre-selection?
Expectations from the interview?
References and background check?
Selection Process: making the final decision
What to expect from a job offer & contract?

The selection process steps

Let’s start by giving the selection process definition, so that there’s no confusion regarding this term.

Basically, the selection process consists of the steps involved in choosing professionals. They need to have the right skills and qualifications to fill either a current or a future job opening.

Now, let’s see which are the steps in the recruitment process. In most cases, after the job application, we find:

  • Screening & pre-selection phase.
  • Interview process.
  • References and background check.
  • Taking the final decision.
  • Job offer & contract.

What to expect during the job application?

The selection procedure actually starts with the application phase. Once the job opening is posted, candidates are free to apply. The number of candidates applying can range between zero and thousands. Depending on the size of the company, the industry as well as the specific role. Also, the availability of workers, the employer brand or the sourcing strategy can make the difference.

What to expect during screening & pre-selection?

recruitment and selection

The second step of the recruitment and hiring process is the screening & pre-selection of candidates. This can happen in various stages.

Resume or CV screening

Helps evaluate resume examples and if the candidates meet the criteria needed for the role, when the recruiting process begins.

Recruiter phone screen

Usually your first personal interaction with the company representative.

The recruiter’s job here is twofold. On one hand, they should provide you with a more detailed overview of the company and the role. On the other hand, they need to make an initial assessment of your cultural and professional fit.

You can expect basic questions related to:

  • Your motivation for the role & company.
  • A brief overview of your educational and professional background.
  • Your notice period, salary expectations or availability for interviews.
  • Employment visa requirements and status.
  • Involvement in other recruitment processes or hiring process.

The recruiter might also initiate the competency assessment, and ask you a few questions measuring the most critical competencies for the role.

For example, if the job description stresses that one of the critical skills is conflict resolution, you may be asked to give an example of a situation where you participated in and/or had to solve a conflict situation. At this point, it would be helpful that you go through the job description. You should list the hard and soft skills the company is looking for. Think of situations where you had to use these competencies. You can also google example questions, e.g. “conflict resolution interview questions” to better understand what is potentially coming your way.

At this stage, you’re also encouraged to ask recruitment-related questions. What the next steps will look like, what is the desired start date of the job, or what is the recruiter’s motivation to work for the company are just some examples. 😊

Pre-Selection

A screening human resource recruitment method that helps weed out possible mismatches. Recruiters use several tests that help predict the potential new hire’s work quality. For the candidate, these pre-screening tools help by showing both positive and negative aspects of the job, which results in a more realistic description. The objective is to align expectations between both sides and lead to better hires.

What to expect from the interview?

recruiting and recruitment process

Typically, most companies will start this phase with an interview with the hiring manager and finish with face to face interview(s) in the company’s offices. Sometimes, depending on a role and company size, you may also be asked to go through additional assessments.

These assessments can include:

  • Online on-demand interview(s)
  • Psychometric tests
  • An assessment center.

How can you prepare for those? Unfortunately, you can never be 100% sure what your interview questions are going to be like, but you can prepare beforehand. However, there are a few recruitment tools and rules which are usually followed by the interviewers when recruiting.

(1) Hiring Manager interview

The hiring manager will typically focus on speaking to you about your previous experiences. He/she has to understand how your skills and experiences will fit into their team.

Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you might receive some ‘role-technical’ questions. Some can be related to an IT system you’ll need to operate. Some can focus on marketing techniques used for advertising a specific product. You will surely be asked a series of competency-based questions to assess your competencies.

The manager might also ask you about your future plans and ambitions. This is to understand if your career path is compatible with what they can offer. This can also go the other way around. At this stage feel free to ask the hiring manager detailed information about the position, the team structure and responsibility split within the team, the planned career path for this role, and so on.

(2) Face to face interviews

Sometimes also called ‘panel interviews’, are a series of in-person discussions with various stakeholders you might potentially work with if you get and accept the job. This can include the hiring manager and their peers, the hiring manager’s manager, and the HR department representative. At this point, the interviewers will typically assess your competencies and have a detailed conversation about your skills and experience.

They should also share with you information about their role in the company and how the recruited position will interact with them and their teams.

On top of that, some organizations use additional selection tools which help them harmonize and streamline the recruitment process. That’s why a cover letter might also prove valuable.

Here are some examples of recruiting techniques:

(a) Online on-demand interview

This type of interview consists of several pre-prepared questions which are uploaded on an online interview platform. The candidate is requested to access these questions via a link and record their answers. The next step is the assessment done by the interview team. This type of interview would usually substitute or complement the recruiter phone screen.

(b) Psychometric tests

Online or offline tests designed to measure your logical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. The recruiter should inform you about the tests in advance, when the hiring process begins. If you don’t feel comfortable or confident in solving such a test, you can work on practice tests available online before your actual assessment.

(c) Assessment center

A recruiting technique based on a set of group exercises, business cases, presentations, and psychometric tests that helps assess the candidate’s suitability for a role. They are normally part of a selection process for senior-level roles. Participants are presented with various business cases simulating situations they may experience.

Rather than measuring specific technical knowledge, an assessment center focuses on understanding the candidate’s behaviors. Expect your skills, abilities, or personal attributes to be counted as well. This allows the assessors to understand the candidate’s suitability for the role and enhance internal recruiting processes.

What to expect during the references and background check?

recruitment stones

Reference checks confirm the employer’s perception of the candidate. After you’ve given your references, the recruiters will follow up on these, in order to gather relevant information from different perspectives.

Background checks are mainly used for government roles and other jobs that involve access to sensitive and confidential information. Also, these are very helpful for teaching positions and roles involving high responsibility to other individuals.

Selection Process: making the final decision

The next step in the hiring process is making the final decision and choosing the candidate. At this point, the recruiting is almost complete but you can still prepare some questions to ask the interviewer.

There are times when recruiters pick someone less qualified at the selection moment, but who’s proven to be committed to grow and stay long-term with the organization.

Most of the time, the final decision is based on a data-driven approach. Simply put, recruiters use pre-defined criteria for rating each candidate when recruiting. The best candidate is selected and given a job offer going forward.

What to expect from a job offer & contract?

recruiting and hiring process

Now, all that’s left is the candidate to accept the offer. It includes the salary, starting date, and benefits. If the offer is accepted or negotiated until both the employer and the candidate agree upon the details, the organization will draw a contract to be signed by both parts.

Here you have them: all the steps of the recruitment and selection process. Knowing which each phase is all about will help you be well-prepared and stand out from the crowd. You’ll be able to analyze key aspects throughout this process and decide if the role meets your needs and expectations. Also, you can evaluate a company and take an informed decision, by studying their recruitment and hiring process.

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