Selection Process: Definition, Steps, Types, Importance

Effective performance management relies on a good selection process to find talent. Here, we’ll look at the selection process and discuss best practices for developing a process that will help you find the best candidates while making the candidate experience as good as possible. 

Here are 7 steps in the selection process for hiring employees and how to best go through every candidate. 

This article will take you through all the major steps of making the selection process easier, more convenient, and more advantageous. Thus, take your tea, and read on!

What Is The Selection Process?

The organizations do the selection process to find & hire the best employee for the company. 

The major goal of the selection process is filtering the most suitable candidate for openings. This process is similarly structured to a funnel system. 

Let’s suppose that your employees are looking for another opportunity, and you are searching to hire new ones. 

You post your requirements and attract 50 people to apply to your job opening. 

You pick 10 out of 50 for the interview, and lastly, you get one suitable person you think is a great fit for the job offer.

The selection process in any organization is always started when there is a need for new candidates. It is worth noting that every job opening should clearly define a function profile. 

Depending on the job description, Criteria like how many years of work experience, education qualification, and proficiency in skills should be included.

Once you are done with publishing & advertising your job opening, candidates start coming to you. 

The selection process in HRM takes place in certain steps that candidates have to go through. 

A specific funnel is made up of seven important steps. Let’s understand these stages one by one in detail.

The 7 Stages Of Selection Process


Creating a job advertisement and double-checking it for errors is the first step toward posting it. 

There are now opportunities for candidates to apply, but the quality, number, and diversity of the applicants can vary significantly. 

The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of an external factor beyond your influence as an HR professional. You may find that the pool of applicants is smaller than it was pre-pandemic, depending on the infection rates and the regulations put in place by your government regarding work, health, and immigration. 

Additionally, the field you work in HR will have an impact. You will face a greater challenge if you’re trying to hire nurses in a public hospital when burnout is high than if you’re looking for graduate developers who can work remotely. 

The number of applicants can range from zero to thousands depending upon the company’s strategy and selection process. 

These factors include Internal factors such as pay rates, opportunity, growth, and benefits like health insurance, which also have a considerable influence. 

The number and the quality of applicants you will get to interview rely on your job advert format, style, and content. 

The style and format taken into the writing, meaning how informative, engaging, and inclusive it impacts the candidates. 

Screening & pre-selection

Initial screening of candidates comes in at stage two in the recruitment and selection process. This second step aims to narrow the candidate pool from a vast group to a manageable group of between 3 and 10 people who can be interviewed.

Resume screening

The screening of resumes or CVs is the most well-known procedure. Examining a candidate’s resume might help determine whether they meet the job’s requirements. 

If your requirement is 3+ years of work experience and you found that a college graduate applied, it is easy to out this person.

Reviewing CVs can take time if you work in a large company’s HR division. An effective and affordable way to handle this difficulty is by using the software.

There are various options, from resume screeners that employ artificial intelligence to estimate the quality of hire to built-in ATS resume screening tools.

To use this kind of technology excessively is not advised. It needs to be regularly checked for bias, so make sure of that.

Phone screening/chatbot

Frequently, a phone (or video) screening follows the resume screening. This makes it easier for the candidate and employer to have similar expectations. After reviewing resumes, the recruiter gives prospects the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. 

A checklist that can cover issues like compensation expectations, full- or part-time hours, flexible work arrangements, starting dates, and other potential deal-breakers can be reviewed by the recruiter.

As mentioned above, modern technology allows us to perform these checks automatically. Chatbots interrogate candidates and make the interview lively.

An illustration is a sizable engineering firm that implemented a chatbot to streamline the hiring process and maintain candidate interest. According to the data, completion rates increased from 74% to 96% once the chatbot was put into use.

Pre-selection or pre-employment assessments

Pre-selection is an effective screening technique that assists in eliminating potential mismatches. 

Predicting the quality of the new hire is made possible by specialized pre-selection tools, which offer assessments that may include cognitive testing, a job simulation, or other tests.

These tools occasionally have resume screening included. An accurate glimpse of the job is offered via a job simulation. 

This provides an authentic look into a role by highlighting its most intriguing and exciting aspects and its most difficult components.

This results in hires that are a better fit by helping to align expectations between the business and the employee. 

Another aspect of the growing influence of AI technology in the recruitment scene is pre-selection tools. For high-volume recruiting, these pre-selection tests are frequently implemented (roles with large numbers of applicants). 


The job interview, the third phase in the applicant selection process funnel, is the most well-known and prominent.

To determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the position, their direct manager, the recruiter, or both will interview them.

The interview provides a glimpse of someone’s expressive language and sociability. It affords the chance to market the position to the candidate and gives a chance to ask the candidate questions about the work.

Online or in-person interviews are also options for conducting interviews. Nowadays, many businesses do a preliminary remote interview, with a final in-person interview as the final stage of evaluation.

Cost savings and improved time management are advantageous to both the firm and the candidates. 

Many businesses are doing all interviews remotely due to the pandemic and shelter-in-place directives, and this trend is expected to continue for a long time.

Types of Interviews

Unstructured and structured interviews are the two basic categories of interviews. An established set of questions is utilized in a structured interview.

This gives the interviewer a consistent way to enter data and a standardized way to rate the qualifications of the applicant.

Candidates may also be interviewed by a panel or by their peers. These interviews seek to learn more about a candidate’s temperament, approach, and ability to interact with peers or others they will be working with.

According to scholarly literature, the structured interview has nearly twice the reliability of the unstructured interview (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998).

Using a structured interview, the interviewer can fairly compare candidates and base his or her choice entirely on the available data.

Evaluating Interviews

The STAR method is a typical interview technique besides having standardized questions. The candidate’s information can be retrieved systematically using this approach. The abbreviation STAR stands for:

  • Situation. Provide an illustration of a situation that they were involved in.

  • Task. What were the tasks that a candidate was working towards?

  • Action. Ask the candidate to elaborate on the steps they took to address the challenges they faced and achieve their task.

  • Result. Ask the candidate to explain the result of the action and what they learned.

The STAR technique is excellent for evaluating a candidate’s experience in many circumstances that are pertinent to the position.


In the second step, we briefly covered assessments. The whole assessment is typically more accurate when the pre-selection, or screening, is utilized to clear out the least qualified candidates roughly.

A General Mental Ability (GMA) exam, commonly referred to as an IQ test, and a Five-Factor Model of Personality test are typical evaluations. Faster learning and higher top performance are related to higher IQ.

This indicates that applicants with high IQs will likely perform better and will have a shorter time to reach optimal productivity.

While you can include these tests in your pre-selection procedure, many businesses prefer to use them in the employment process’s later stages. More diligent candidates perform better at their jobs when it comes to personality.

  • Candidates with high conscientiousness scores are frequently characterized as diligent, obedient, goal-oriented, and detail-oriented. According to research, the best non-cognitive indicator of job performance is conscientiousness.

  • Tests of honesty, tests of work samples, and tests of job expertise are other examinations. According to scientific research, evaluations in the form of work sample tests are some of the best indicators of future job success.

  • During the interview, it’s a good idea to have candidates do a case study or resolve a genuine issue. 

  • It is feasible to assess a candidate’s work quality to the work of other candidates and compare it to the anticipated or ideal performance.

  • A job task-style simulation is not present in every position. Additionally, not all applicants or job titles benefit from this strategy; if you’re hiring someone for a mid-career position, their CV and references will be a tremendous source of information.

The applicant has made significant progress in their subject and is likely to be an expert in several areas. 

The benefit of a thorough evaluation is greatest when recruiting recent graduates with little prior work or life experience.

References and background check

Until here, You have narrowed down your list of potential prospects to one to three. Reference checking is a crucial phase in the selection of candidates.

Reference checks allow you to verify that the information a candidate has provided and your views of them are accurate. Request the candidate’s references, then call the people on them.

A reference check is a great approach to learning more details from a different angle if you have questions about a particular competency or skill during the interview.

A background check is frequently required for jobs in government agencies and other fields requiring access to extremely private data, such as those in the healthcare industry.


The next phase in the recruitment and selection process is choosing the applicant with the best potential for the organization.

Sometimes this entails choosing a candidate who may not be as qualified right now but is dedicated to developing and sticking around the company for a longer time.

In order to make your hiring decision as fair as possible, you should employ a data-driven strategy. In actuality, this refers to pre-established standards by which each applicant is evaluated during the selection process.

The top applicant is then selected and presented with an offer. The recruiting manager typically has the last say. Other bosses and coworkers may also provide input.

Job offer & contract

Once you have completed all the parameters to analyze candidates, It is still remaining from the end of the candidate. The selection process is not completed until the candidate accepts the offer!

At this moment, it is vital to have (for the company) all the essential information that will help to get the answer yes. Hopefully, you have taken this information through the various screening and interviews.

After you have given an offer to the candidate, prepare a contract If they accept and have both parties sign it. The selection process is complete only when both parties sign the employment contract.

Types of Selection Process

Application Review: This is the initial stage of the selection process where the recruiter or hiring manager reviews the resumes and applications of candidates to determine if they meet the job requirements.

Pre-Employment Tests: These are tests that assess the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the job. They may include aptitude tests, cognitive ability tests, personality tests, and skills tests.

Interviews: Interviews are one of the most common selection processes used by employers. They can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing. The interview aims to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications, personality, and suitability for the job.

Reference Checks: Reference checks involve contacting the candidate’s former employers, colleagues, or other professional contacts to obtain information about the candidate’s work experience, skills, and work habits.

Background Checks: Background checks involve verifying the candidate’s education, employment history, criminal record, and credit history to ensure that they are suitable for the job.

Assessment Centers: Assessment centers are a type of selection process that involves a group of candidates who are assessed on various tasks and activities, including group discussions, presentations, and problem-solving exercises.

Work Samples: Work samples involve asking the candidate to complete a task or project that is similar to the job they are applying for, to assess their skills and abilities.

Job Auditions: Job auditions involve having the candidate perform the actual job tasks for a short period, such as a day or a week. This type of selection process allows the employer to observe the candidate’s skills, work habits, and how they fit into the workplace culture.

Virtual Reality Assessments: Virtual reality assessments are a relatively new selection process that uses immersive technology to simulate job-related tasks and evaluate the candidate’s abilities and behavior.

Peer Evaluations: Peer evaluations involve having the candidate interact with potential co-workers and supervisors who provide feedback on their abilities, behavior, and fit with the company culture.

Medical Examinations: Medical examinations are conducted to determine if the candidate is medically fit for the job, particularly if the job requires physical activity or involves hazardous conditions.

Importance of the Selection Process

  1. Finding the Right Fit: The selection process helps employers find candidates with the skills, experience, and qualifications required for the job. This ensures the candidate fits the job and can effectively perform the duties and responsibilities.

  2. Reducing Turnover: By selecting the right candidate, employers can reduce employee turnover, which can be costly in terms of time and money spent on recruitment, training, and lost productivity.

  3. Enhancing Productivity: When the right candidate is selected, they are likely to be more productive, contributing to the company’s success. Productive employees help increase revenue and profitability for the organization.

  4. Promoting Company Culture: The selection process also helps identify candidates who are a good fit for the company culture, values, and goals. This ensures that the employee will fit in well with the team and contribute to a positive work environment.

  5. Legal Compliance: The selection process helps ensure that the employer follows legal requirements, such as anti-discrimination laws and regulations regarding equal employment opportunity.


The process of recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees is a challenge for any manager, no matter how big or small. This process requires you to juggle many different factors. 

Some of the most important factors to be aware of include the company’s culture, size, and the job’s responsibilities.

The success of any firm over the long run depends on choosing and hiring the best candidates. Strong hiring and selection procedures aid in giving the firm a competitive edge.


What is the selection process?

The selection process is the series of steps that an organization takes to identify and evaluate job candidates in order to make a hiring decision.

What are the steps in the selection process?

The steps in the selection process may vary depending on the organization, but typically include resume screening, job application review, pre-employment assessments, interviews, reference checks, and background checks.

How is the selection process different from recruitment?

Recruitment is the process of actively seeking out and attracting potential job candidates, while selection is the process of evaluating those candidates to determine which one is the best fit for the job.

How do organizations ensure that the selection process is fair?

Organizations can ensure that the selection process is fair by using standardized procedures, evaluating candidates based on job-related criteria, providing equal opportunities for all candidates, and avoiding discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, and age.

What types of pre-employment assessments may be used in the selection process?

Pre-employment assessments may include cognitive tests, personality assessments, skills tests, and job simulations.

Can a candidate be disqualified from the selection process based on a criminal record?

Employers may consider an applicant’s criminal record as part of the selection process but must comply with relevant laws and regulations governing the use of criminal records in employment decisions.

In some cases, a criminal record may disqualify a candidate from a job.

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