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Recruitment and selection is the process of identifying the need for a job, defining the requirements of the position and the job holder, advertising the position and choosing the most appropriate person for the job.

Undertaking this process is one of the main objectives of management. Indeed, the success of any business depends to a large extent on the quality of its staff. Recruiting employees with the correct skills can add value to a business and recruiting workers at a wage or salary that the business can afford, will reduce costs. Employees should therefore be carefully selected, managed and retained, just like any other resource.

Managing job applications

For many jobs, a business will ask applicants to provide a Curriculum Vitae (CV). This is a document that the applicant designs providing the details such as:

Personal details

Name, address, date of birth, nationality

Educational history

Including examination results, schools/universities attended, professional qualifications

Previous employment history

Names of employers, position held, main achievements, remuneration package, reasons for leaving

Suitability and reasons for applying for the job

A chance for applicants to 'sell themselves'

Names of referees

Often recent employer or people who know applicant well and are ideally independent

In some circumstances however an applicant may be asked to fill in a firm's own application form. This is different from a CV in that the employer designs it and sends it to applicants, but it will still ask for much of the same information. It has the benefit over a CV in that a business is able to tailor it to their exact needs and ask specific questions.

Once a business has received all the applications, they need to be analysed and the most appropriate form of selection decided upon. When analysing applications, a business will normally sieve the applications into three categories.

(1) Those to reject

Candidates may be rejected because they may not meet the standards set out in the job specification such as wrong qualifications or insufficient experience or they may not have completed the application form to a satisfactory standard

(2) Those to place on a short list

Often comprises 3-10 of the best candidates who are asked to interview

(3) Those to place on a long list

A business will not normally reject all other candidates immediately but keep some on a long list in case those on the short list drop out or do not appear suitable during interview. The business would not want to incur costs putting them through the selection process, such as interviews, unless they have to.

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