VIRTUAL HR DEPARTMENT – RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION: SELECTION PROCESS

Virtual HR Department

Recruitment and Selection

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Selection is a step-by-step process that identifies candidates who have the potential to perform the role for which you are hiring and eliminates from consideration those that clearly do not, ultimately concluding with a hiring decision.
 
It is essential that the questions you ask and evaluation criteria you use comply with human rights and other applicable legislation and do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been received.
 
Links to various government websites where you can find further information on federal and provincial standards and regulations can be found on the Resources and Links page of this website.
 
In the Selection Tools section of this website, you will find numerous tools to assist you in preparing for, creating and conducting high-quality interviews in order to determine the best candidate for your position. The following sequence of steps should be followed each time you hire: 
 
Résumé/Application Review

The first step in the selection process is to review the résumés and/or applications that have been submitted in response to a posting or advertisement, that are on file from previous postings and that have recently been received without solicitation.
 
The goal of the résumé review is to identify those that appear to have the basic requirements of the position (skills, experience, education, etc.) for further consideration and to set aside those that clearly do not.
 
The local employment market and the type of position you are hiring for will determine how wide or narrow your review criteria can be. If you are hiring for a position such as a maintenance electrician, it is likely that only those candidates who are licensed electricians will be selected. When hiring for non-licensed roles, you will have, and may need, the flexibility to select candidates who may not have direct industry experience, but have worked in what appears to be similar environments with similar technical complexities. Even when there is an availability of candidates with direct industry experience, it is recommended that candidates with what appear to be similar experience be given consideration. While initial training may be slightly easier with someone who has worked in the industry before (no guarantee of that), these other candidates may have greater potential for future growth within your organization that would make a little more front-end training well worth it. 
 
This same principle applies for those candidates who do not have Canadian experience. Canada is fortunate to have a significant number of skilled immigrants and those organizations that can best identify their potential and hire them into appropriate positions based on their skills and experience will have an advantage over their competitors who continue to reject non-Canadian experience as inadequate.
 
Flexibility in your approach to hiring offers you the best opportunity to select candidates who will be significant contributors to the success of your organization. 
 
Telephone Pre-Screening
 
Next, telephone pre-screening should be completed with the selected candidates. Telephone interviews are used to clarify and expand upon specific information contained in the résumé. Similar to the process followed in the review of résumés, the interviewer should create a template to follow to ensure thoroughness and consistency.
 
Questions should be developed that explore candidates' skills and experience in the key elements of the job so that you can assess whether the candidate should be brought in for a personal interview. Generally, telephone pre-screens last between 5 and 15 minutes. 

It is essential that the questions you ask and evaluation criteria you use comply with human rights and other applicable legislation and do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been received.
 
Interview

Candidates who, based on telephone pre-screening, are viewed as having a reasonable level of the skills and experience necessary to perform the job for which you are hiring should be brought in for a more in-depth personal interview.
 
Interviews are usually done in person; however, if distance is an issue, an in-depth telephone interview could be used as an alternative. Personal interviews are used to explore the skills, experience, goals and motivations of candidates in order to identify those candidates who will have the greatest likelihood of success in the position, fit with the company and potential to develop and take on additional responsibility in the future. 
 
Again, it is essential that the questions you ask and evaluation criteria you use comply with all applicable legislation.
 
The interview process may include two to three meetings between company managers and one or more candidates, with an objective of identifying the most suitable candidate for the position.
 
Reference Checking
 
Once the preferred candidate is identified, the final step in the selection process before extending an employment offer is to confirm the information the candidate has provided to you about prior employment and experience by conducting reference checks. In a situation where it is felt that more than one candidate could do the job, you may choose to conduct reference checks on each of them and include that information when making your final selection decision.
 
Reference checks are becoming increasingly difficult as many organizations now have a policy of confirming only basic employment information such as the start and end dates of a candidate's employment, their last salary or wage, their reason for leaving and whether they are considered re-hirable. More and more companies are refusing to provide information about a candidate's job performance, making reference checks a little less valuable than they were in the past. Despite this fact, it is still a critical step in the selection process, as there continue to be individuals who will rely on you not bothering with reference checks and will lie about their past in order to get a job.
 
Many organizations take the background-checking process further and utilize a third-party company to verify education, and conduct credit and criminal background checks. There can be value in taking this extra step, and it may be worth exploring for your organization.