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Employee Selection Principles and Techniques – A complete Guide for Recruiters in 2020

Job isn’t just a Job, It’s Who you Are.


1. The Man-Force Planning Process: Plan what you are looking for…

Workforce planning (Employee Selection) is a systematic process to identify the requirement and meet the organization’s goals. It ensures that an organization has the right number of people in the right jobs at the right time. It allows for more effective and efficient use of employees. Many organizations have developed models for Workforce planning. It typically includes five steps:

  1. Identify the firm’s business strategy
  2. Articulate the firm’s talent philosophy and strategic staffing decisions
  3. Conduct workforce analysis
  4. Develop and implement action plans
  5. Monitor, evaluate, and revise the forecasts and action plans

2. Simple definition: What is Ideal Job?

Well just check out the picture Bellow,

Employee Selection - Ideal Job
Employee Selection – Ideal Job

As you see, The David Hamill theory is the easiest theory to understand the ideal job. This Venn diagram has three quadrants A, B, C, and the intersection of quadrants Star this is what we aim to achieve. I realize this seems difficult but not impossible.

We must consider the point Ideal job start with factors that influence the job preference as follows.

# Age and Generation: Generation y (born after 1980) is likely to prefer a flexible work schedule. They like the work that allows them to express their creativity. They prefer co-workers who make, work more fun. They also have a need to stay connected through instant messaging, games, and other instant media. They are multitaskers and like to work in a team. They expect immediate recognition and rewards. They expect their company to provide the latest technology for communication, higher pay and meaningful and challenging work. They do not think that they should prove themselves initially by doing lower-level routine tasks.

# Level of Education: College graduates, High school graduates, and those who do don’t complete high school, all have different fields have different expectations for e.g. an engineering student’s job preference is differs from media student’s preference.

# Economic condition: when the economy is down, new employees are likely to be more interested in pay and secure jobs. They may continue the job even if it is not satisfactory. However, when the economy is high and easy jobs are available, challenging work and growth opportunities may become the preference.

# Discrepancy Between Expectation and reality: Freshers generally have unrealistic job expectations. These unrealistic expectations lead to lower job satisfaction and commitment. Thus, many people leave their first job.

Moving forward let’s Enhance ourselves with difficulties faced by us for seeking ideal jobs. There are various processes of Recruitment like Traditional sources & Modern sources. i.e.

Online search services, newspaper advertisement, employment agencies, job fairs, on-campus Recruitment, And apps-based recruitment. While seeking the jobs we come across various issues but majorly affect job seekers and organizations is The Lack of Realistic Job Preview.

Many IO psychological studies have shown that globally 33% of employees quit the job in 90 days reasons can vary but the most recurring reason resulted in research is lack of realistic job preview.

Realistic Job Preview (RJP) is a technique for providing information about the job to prospective employees, including information about the task context of work. It provides accurate information as possible about the job. It allows a candidate to experience the real scenario or a film, video, and details about “how its Gonna be like?”. The purpose aims to familiarize prospective (Future) employees with both positive and negative aspects of the job and reduce the expectation about the job.

Research has shown that the use of realistic job preview has been successful in terms of saving the cost on the employee who joins and quits in 90 days.

The candidate is already aware of the do’s and don’ts the Recruiter can evaluate them better in real scenarios. The picture is clear before joining the organization hence it increases Job satisfaction, Job performance, and saves the cost of hiring the wrong candidate but giving the opportunity to those who are really interested.

Are you Aware of Fair Employment Practices?? Remember! The ideal job is a Myth until we create one…Hence we must be aware of Right Practices at our workplace and also at the time of selection. One of the important principles we tend to forget let’s readout…

Organization and Employee must follow the Regulation of Employment and Labour Law. During the process of selection generally, we bind ourselves with laws and contracts once we are into the organization but the ideal job or an organization which takes the regulation of Employment and labour law into consideration at the time of selection process also and of course after. Though it may be noted that Indian employment and labour law is largely silent as to the process of selection and hiring the employees in the private sector. But let me highlight vital ones.

Limitation on the background check – Conducting the background check increases to guard against inaccurate resumes, overstated work experience and any employee’s behavioural issues. Conducting the background check is the Employer’s right against the candidate (Employment law overview 2019-20) what mater here is Person’s Consent.

A person should be well aware of the background check specifying how the employer is going to conduct the background check. It is not necessary under government legislation in India disclosing any personal information about the employee/ prospective employee will require such a person’s consent.

Restriction on Application/Interview questions – Given constitutional safeguards against discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth, it’s imperative that employers bear these principles in the mind while conducting the background check and interviews. Excessively personal questions are restricted. Here the IT rules 2011 and government legislations both apply at the time of application or collecting information. The employer must inform the concerned person

i) The fact that his/her personal information is being collected
ii) The purpose for which the information is collected
iii) The intended recipients of the information.

Further, the IT Rule for employee and labour under the government legislation state that where any sensitive personal data or information (SPDI) is sought to be collected such as passwords, financial information, bank account or payment instrument details, details of health conditions, sexual orientation medical records and history. The same can be only connected for a lawful purpose connected with the function of the activity of the company and the collection of this information must be necessary to achieve such purpose. This purpose must be notified to the prospective employee.


To adapt or use any techniques for employee selection we must analyze the purpose and uses of job and work: check the Psychological findings to trigger the understanding

Employee Selection Techniques
Employee Selection Techniques

Purpose –

  • To describe the nature and component of the task
  • To provide information about the tools and equipment used
  • To provide information about the operations performed
  • To identify information about the wages paid
  • To identify the training and education required
  • To provide information about the unique aspects of the job

Uses –

  • To establish a training program
  • To design job and workplace for better performance
  • To uncover safety hazards and dangerous procedures
  • To follow equal employment opportunity program successfully
  • To justify the qualification demands during the selection process
  • To fight against the discrimination charges

Different Techniques– we must learn the right way to conduct the selection process..


It’s a two-way process employer evaluate the suitability of applicant and applicant can check whether the company and job is right for him/her.

Making a good impression – According to IO Psychological findings Aamdot M.G(2004), 4th ed interview is influenced by the subjective impression of applicants. Perceived attraction, sociability, skill at self-promotion and such personal qualities are some of the factors that influence the hiring decisions. Job Applicants use four impressions management technique:

1. Ingratiation: Applicants praise the interviewer to develop a liking for self, E.g. you compliment the interviewer dress or agree to the viewpoint.

2. Self-promotion: Glorifying the self- accomplishment.

3. Self-monitoring: People observe, regulate and control self-image that they display in public. They present themselves best as per the social climate around them. High self-monitors tend to receive more promotions and higher performance ratings than low self-monitors ( Schleicher, Unckless & Hiller, 2002)

4. Lying: 90% of seniors reported that they faked answers in the interviews.

Types of the interview commonly used are:

Employee Selection - Types Of The Interview
Employee Selection – Types Of The Interview

i) Unstructured interview
ii) Structured interview
iii) Situational interview
iv) Puzzle interview
V) Online interview

i) In an Unstructured Interview
, the questions and format are left to the interviewer. Thus, it’s possible two interviewers will have a different opinion about the same applicant.


  • It lacks consistency
  • The interviewer may be interested in different information about the applicants.
  • The recommendation might be based on bias and prejudice.
  • Predictive validity and reliability are low.


In the classic study (1929), 12 experienced sales managers interviewed and rated 57 applicants. There was a lack of consistency in the rating. Some who were given the first rank by one interviewer was given the last rank by others.

It’s important that the interviewer is trained in interviewing skills. A trained interviewer is less likely to discuss non-job-related issues. Bring out more valuable information from the job applicants.

ii) In a Structured Interview, the sets of questions to be asked are decided before and the same questions are asked to all the applicants. The process is standardized and there are fewer chances of the interviewer ‘s bias. The applicant’s responses are recorded. It provides much reliable basis of comparison. It is a valid predictor of job success and makes hiring decision easy


  • Developing a structured interview is viewed as expensive and time-consuming
  • It takes away interviewer’s freedom
  • Lack of communication between the interviewer and applications

iii) The Situational Interview is designed to measure specific job behaviours that are required for successful job performance.

Steps in preparing the situational interview:

  1. Prepare a list of critical incidents that differentiate a successful employee from non-successful employees
  2. The incidents are converted in questions
  3. Decide the scoring system

Once constructed, it is easy to administer and interpret. It is clear and directly related to job behaviours. It increases the motivation of job applicants to answer accurately and completely. It is more valid than a structured interview, also often used to select skilled and semi-skilled workers.

Employee Selection - Preparing The Situational Interview
Employee Selection – Preparing The Situational Interview

iv) In the Puzzle Interview, applicants are asked to solve puzzles related to the job profile. It helps to measure the critical thinking, creativity, flexibility of thought and ability to reason under the pressure of time. Companies like Law firms, Banks, Insurance companies, airlines, advertising agencies and military use the puzzle interviews.

v) Online Interview – Computer software is designed for an online interview. For a position, the same MCQ questions are asked in the same sequence to all the applicants. The advantages of an online interview are that the questions on sensitive issues are easy to ask which otherwise creates and hesitation in the face-to-face interview. Most applicants find it comfortable and they respond to it honestly. It saves time. Personal interviews are conducted only after the applicants passes the online interview. Target, Macy’s, Home Depot and other large retail chains routinely use the online interviews.

When we use any type of interview technique for the selection for employee Interviewer plays ant an important role in the process. Hence the ethical ways important for the interviewer to follow. Sometimes interviewer’s personal liking and disliking can influence their judgement. For e.g. Man who thinks women are incapable of some jobs may evaluate female applicants negatively for the job. In a recent study using videotapes, it was found that the police officer interviewing other police personnel for promotion showed racial bias. Chance of reflecting Halo effect is high.

Assessment centre

This widely uses the technique for selection. It is also called situational testing. In the Assessment centres:

  1. 6 to 12 candidates are placed in simulated job situation to evaluate their skills and ability in stressful situations.
  2. A series of experience are given over a few days.
  3. The exercise is similar to actual job problems.
  4. Applicants are extensively interviewed.
  5. They may also be given psychological tests such as intelligence and personality tests.

The most commonly used techniques are in-basket exercise, leaderless group discussion, Oral presentation and RolePlay.

Employee Selection - Assessment Centre
Employee Selection – Assessment Centre

IN-Basket Technique: Here, applicants are provided with the basket similar to the basket or tray or computer file found on the manager’s table. The basket has similar problems and questions that are generally found on manger’s tray such as email messages, orders etc. Applicants have to work on it in the given time limit. A trained assessor observes how systematically each applicant handles the problems, questions and how he/she delegates the authority etc. The applicants are asked to justify their decision.

Leaderless Group discussions: In this technique, applicants form a group and discuss an actual job problem. How they interact and what leadership and communications skills they display is observed. Some stressful situations also created to see who can work well under pressure. One person takes the leadership role, else try to put their inputs. According to the performance of their capabilities, they acquire their respective role.

Oral presentation and Roleplay: Applicants are given with the information or some material about the aspect of the jobs. They have to organize and present it to the group. In the role-playing, the applicants act out the role of the manager in a simulated job situation. The applicant’s behaviour can be videotaped and evaluated later.

The predictive validity of principles and techniques are useful in predicting job success and creates the ethical ”Ideal job, Ideal Workplace” of the entry-level positions, managers and executives.

What do you think?


Written by Shalini Singh

Believer of the quote that Humans can never stop learning, Shalini is a graduate in psychology and currently pursuing her Masters. She has donned many hats, from being a professional event manager, lifestyle brands influencer, to being content curator. Shalini is a versatile writer, her writing ranges from everyday motivation, social media quick hacks, brand stories to writing about inspiring individuals. Shalini leads the bandwagon as the CEO at Robust story.


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