Selection Meaning, Definition, Importance, Process


Table of Contents:-

  • Meaning of Selection
  • Definition of Selection
  • Factors Affecting Selection
  • Importance of Selection
  • Stages in Selection Process

Meaning of Selection

Selection refers to a process in which individuals are picked up from the pool of job applicants possessing the required knowledge and skills for the job to be performed in an organization. Selection is a process which includes various phases such as exploring the applicants to check whether they are suitable for the job or not, picking up the right ones from the pool of applicants & eliminating the rest. Therefore, selection can be regarded as a negative process in its application, as its main aim is to reject unsuitable individuals as much as possible; to get the right and appropriate candidates for the organisation.

Definition of Selection

According to Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, “Selection is a series of steps from initial applicant screening to final hiring of the new employee”.

According to Terrie Nolinske, “Selection is the process of making a hire or no-hire decision regarding each applicant for a job”.

According to Dale Yoder, “Selection is the process by which candidates for employment are divided into two classes those who will be offered employment and those who will not”.

According to Steven P. Robbins and Mary Coulter, “Selection is the process of screening job applications to ensure that the most appropriate candidates are hired”.

Factors Affecting Selection

Various internal and external environmental factors affecting selection are as follows:

1) Internal Environmental Factors

Internal environmental factors which affect the selection process include:

i) Size of the Organisation: The selection process is influenced by the size of the organisation. For example, small organisations use a more informal selection process in comparison to big organisations, which generally rely upon the formal and systematic selection process,

ii) Type of the Organisation: Organisations having a complicated structure significantly require a refined working structure. Most organisations split their organisational structure into three basic types. One type is a line structure where specific duties are set to be performed from top to bottom. In line and staff structure, duties are defined by staff and line, i.e., with staff departments supporting the line managers. A department’s organisational structure functions with the help of departments, with people specialised in human resources, marketing, engineering and finance. The selection process varies with the type of organisational structure.

iii) Nature of Social Pressure: The selection process is influenced by social pressure as well because the selection of human resources is greatly influenced by legislation, executive orders, and court decisions. etc., as every organisation has to function within society under some social and legislative terms and conditions.

iv) Applicant Pool: The selection process is affected by the pool of applicants. It can be an effective process only if the applicant pool is large and comprises competent applicants for a specific job position. The number of applicants selected for a specific position when compared with the total number of applicants gives the selection ratio.

v) Speed of Decision-Making: The selection process is affected by the time provided for making the selection decision. Organisations can be averse the legal problems by strictly following the selection policies and procedures.

2) External Environmental Factors

External environmental factors which influence the selection process include:

i) Nature of the Labour Market: The selection process is affected by the nature of the labour market as well. For example, the selection process will be short and simple, if there are very few applicants who have the required knowledge and set of skills, and vice versa.

ii) Trade Unions: Trade unions also affect the selection procedure of an organisation. For example, trade unions sometimes recommend some of the applicants for a job, and even demand their selection.

iii) Government Regulations: Organisations need to follow the selection norms defined under the regulations prescribed by the government. Thus, government rules and regulations such as also affect the execution of the selection procedures in an organisation. legislation.

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Importance of Selection

The importance of selection can be described as follows:

1) Select Suitable Candidate

The selection process aims at choosing the most appropriate candidate who meets all the requirements of a position. The best candidate is chosen only after rejecting all the unfit applicants through a systematic process of selection.

2) Verifies Applicant’s Capabilities

The selection process helps to match job requirements with the applicant’s profile to select the best candidate.

3) Places the Right Candidate at the Right Job

The selection process helps to choose the right candidate for the right job so that he can contribute his best efforts towards the achievement of organisational goals by giving a standard performance as desired.

4) Generates Information about the Candidate

The selection also helps in extracting information regarding the candidate to compare him with other candidates and reach a correct decision.

5) Saves Cost

The match between the right candidate and job requirement is important to enhance the employee’s work performance. Any mismatch in this respect can result in a high loss to the organisation. It can be in terms of money, time and any other problems such as the cost of training, cost of operating, etc. With time, employees may lose interest in the job and even resign, as a result of dissatisfaction. A frustrated employee may pass on some negative and misrepresented news about the organisation, which may result in an immense loss in the long run. Hence, continuous observation of the ‘fit’ between the candidate’s abilities and the job requirements is necessary for an effective selection procedure.

Stages in Selection Process

The selection process consists of different barriers or stages. Selection aims at generating full information regarding the candidates to determine whether they are appropriate for the job or not. The selection process differs from organisation to organisation and from job to job. Therefore, an ideal process of selection includes the following steps as shown in the image.

1) Screening of Applicants (Application Forms)

Screening of applicants includes filling up the application forms for the candidates. These application forms contain information about the applicants such as personal bio-data, achievements, experience, etc. This kind of information is utilised to get the right candidate, who is eligible for the vacant position. It can also be used for maintaining a permanent record of the candidates who are selected. After screening all the applicants, only those candidates are allowed for the further selection process, who are meeting the job requirements and the standards set by the organisation. In case, the candidates match the job that requires more than the vacant positions, in such a situation. the organisation goes only for a few chosen candidates for the further selection process.

2) Selection Tests

Every organisation has its own rules for the selection process, to generate the required information about the candidate, or to reject the candidates who are not qualified for the interview. Generally, selection tests support the information provided by the applicants in the application forms. A selection test may provide useful information in terms of their aptitude, hobbies, personality, etc., which is not possible to get through an application form.

3) Selection Interviews

Selection tests are followed by a personal interview with the candidate. The main purpose of a personal interview is to fully evaluate the candidate for the job. It also gives a chance to the candidate to gain all the information about the organisation. Occasionally, a preliminary interview takes place before conducting the tests.

4) Medical Examination

A medical examination is performed to observe the candidate’s endurance or tolerance level under pressure, as there are several jobs which require a lot of patience. The medical examination evaluates whether the candidate possesses these traits or not. It identifies the deficiencies for a positive cause of selective and qualitative placement, not for rejection only. It also indicates the suitability of a candidate for a job and prevents his transfer to other job positions. A medical examination is performed to place the right candidates at the right jobs, where they can function without any kind of ill-effect or loss to their health. It is generally performed by the organisation’s physician or a medical officer authorised by the organisation.

5) Reference Check and Background Verification

The selection procedure includes this step of a reference check and background verification to bring out more information regarding the candidate. Organisations request candidates for some references from whom they can gain some more information. This information may be concerned with their background, character, work, etc. These references may include ex-employees of the candidate, people from the educational institutions of the candidate, or some other important people who know the candidate’s attitude and skills. In India, references are not supposed to be of much importance due to their subjectivity, but they are an important source of valuable information, which cannot be obtained from any other source.

6) Hiring Decisions or Approval by Appropriate Authority

Finally, based on the above steps, the appropriate candidates are recommended for selection by the personnel department or selection committee. However, the personnel department or selection committee may hold the responsibility of finalising the candidates for the job; sometimes organisations have their staff recommend the candidates for final selection by the top management. Generally, organisations assign different authorities to approve the final selection of candidates. On receiving the approval, the candidates are told about their selection in the organisation and are requested to report to the concerned personnel.

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