Recruitment Procedures

Recruitment Procedures
Recruitment should be a partnership between the manager in question and Human Resources or Personnel. The manager should be responsible for setting things like job descriptions and person specifications (see here), and also be central during the selection and interviewing process. Human Resource experts are there to make sure that all of this is carried out within the procedures laid down, which in turn are largely written in order to be compliant with Employment Legislation.
As an operational manager, it would be unreasonable to think that you could be an expert in this specialist field. It is also the case that if the procedures are not followed, then there could well be subsequent, and expensive, repercussions.

All organisations will develop their own procedures, so do not assume that what was in place at a previous job will be replicated in your current position. That said, most procedures would cover broadly similar areas.

Employment Legislation

The murky waters that are these need to be negotiated carefully. At the most basic level, you will need to ensure that any job that you are looking to fill does not discriminate against certain sections of the community. Those areas specified in law are: Gender; race; faith; disability; age and sexual orientation.

This becomes even more complex when the concept of 'indirect discrimination' is considered. Specifying a minimum or maximum height could be deemed thus. There are fewer women who are over 6 feet tall in the population, and therefore, such a stipulation would be deemed to be indirectly discriminating on the basis of gender.

In fact, many organisations these days, do not ask for details regarding date of birth and so on, as this could lead to claims of age discrimination. Often, such information is requested on a separate document for internal monitoring, a sort of quality control for fair recruitment.

What appears above merely scratches the surface of the legal framework.


In many cases, a manager will need to present a case for recruiting a new member of staff. The need will have to be established, whereupon a procedure for the sanctioning of that post should be followed, prior to it being agreed, normally by a combination of Human Resources and senior management.


All organisations will have a policy or procedure regarding the advertising of the post in question. An example of this might be that all jobs have to be advertised internally in the first instance. This part of recruitment is best left to the personnel people.

Standard Documentation

In many instances, companies will insist on standard formats for things like job descriptions, person specifications, application forms, and even up to the point of specifying certain required 'fields' to be covered in a CV. Always check the procedure first, and if in doubt, act alongside an expert.


As with the above, the majority of organisations will be specific about what disclosures applicants should make. These may be anything from the simple provision of references, through medical information, to criminal convictions. There is sometimes a legal requirement for this, as in the case of those working with children.

Short-listing and Screening

Strict criteria are used for sorting through applicants. These criteria are normally based on the core requirements taken from the job description and person specification. At all times, those carrying out this part of the process should be able to justify their selections on the basis of demonstrable evidence.

Selection Process

This can take a variety of forms (see recruitment selection), but will almost certainly include interviewing. There is a range of interviews that can be carried out, including telephone interviewing in some instances.

A common format is for there to be three interviewers. These are often the manager whom the candidate will report to, a peer manager, and someone from Human Resources. It is important for the role of each one to be clear and in keeping with the company guidelines.

It is necessary that questions are not seen to be discriminating, either directly or indirectly, for or against, any individual candidate. To this end, in extreme cases, some organisations insist that all candidates are asked identical questions.

Offer and Rejection

Again, there will be standard procedures for these. This is another part of the process, which can be best left to personnel.


Companies will have a complaints process should any individual feel they have not been fairly dealt with. This is normally something which is included in the rejection letter.

Given the legislative constraints around recruitment, it is vital that all concerned operate strictly within the corporate procedures. The simplest way to see this is as follows: were an individual to bring a case of discrimination, it is up to the organisation to prove that they have acted, not only within the law, but in accordance with their own internal policy. Failure to do so will provide a loophole, through which the complainant may gain a verdict in their favour.

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