The 11+ Greatest Employee Selection Methods To Empower Every Recruiter

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Finding the perfect fit for your open role isn’t always easy. At best, there can be too many well-qualified candidates to choose from. At worst, the applications you receive won’t match your expectations for the position. Either way, putting the right employee selection methods in place can help you create a hiring process that screens the best candidates in, provides a great candidate experience, and helps make sure each person is appropriately vetted before getting hired. 

Employee selection methods help recruitment teams make tough decisions throughout the hiring process. These different types of selection methods can be combined or tailored for different industries, roles, and levels of experience. Here’s how employee selection works and how to reap the benefits of selection methods in the recruitment process at your organization.

What is an employee selection method?

An employee selection method is the process of finding a new hire for an open position at your company. Various employee selection methods will make up your overall hiring process. Depending on the type of role for which you are hiring, you may use different types of selection methods. For instance, a developer position might include a job trial or a take-home assignment, whereas hiring for a sales role might include a phone screen and a video interview

Combining different types of employee selection methods allows companies to find the best possible hire the first time around. The benefit of using varied selection methods is that recruiters can design a hiring process tailored to a specific need, allowing candidates multiple opportunities to show their abilities. Talent selection methods aim to provide a 360-degree view of each candidate’s skills and expertise. 

Types of selection methods

Employee selection methods are grouped into broad categories that can help you get organized as you plan your recruitment process. Here are some common types of selection methods to consider that may guide how you select employees that will fit into your organization well.  

Types of selection methods
Types of selection methods

Internal or external recruitment

Internal recruitment takes place when a recruiting team turns to the existing pool of employees to find someone to promote or hire for an open position. External recruitment is just the opposite when a recruiting team looks outside the organization for candidates to enter the hiring process. 

Most recruiting teams use a combination of internal and external recruitment tactics. These approaches will often require different employee selection methods. For instance, a current employee doesn’t need to go through a phone screen; it’s already been verified that they are who they say they are. Accordingly, you may wish to include peer interviews for an internal recruitment process. 

Sourcing method

Recruiters use a variety of sourcing methods to fill a hiring pipeline. However, not all sourcing methods are created equal. Some sourcing methods, such as employee referrals, are more reliable than others. Therefore, customizing your employee selection method based on your sourcing method can help you design a hiring process that allows each candidate to shine. Group your employee selection methods based on sourcing channel classifications, such as direct advertising, social media, word-of-mouth, or direct outreach. 

Previous candidate engagement

Some companies may have existing relationships with seasonal workers or former interns who are now seeking long-term employment. For those candidates with whom you had a previous engagement, your selection methods may look a bit different. Vetting a former intern, for instance, may require some of the methods you use in internal recruitment. Some recruiting teams also use internships as a long-term employee selection method, providing the candidate with a chance to show what they can do over a longer period of time. 

11+ Employee selection methods

With these broad categories in mind, how do you select a new employee? Here are some different selection methods recruiting teams can put into practice.

11+ employee selection methods
11+ Employee selection methods

Job application

A job application is a candidate’s first chance to show you their skills and capabilities. Almost every company requires some sort of job application, in addition to a CV, for internal and external hires. This selection method standardizes the information collected about each candidate, no matter what sourcing channel they use to find the job opening. Job applications can also provide an early warning sign if your job descriptions are unfair. If you see too few job applications from diverse candidates, it could signal that the language you’re using is discouraging. 

Resume screening

Resume screening usually happens early in the hiring process and involves using HR technology (or people) to scan resumes to identify candidates who might be suitable. While resume screening can help weed out spam or wildly unsuitable applicants, resume screening should not be the sole employee selection method used to make a hiring decision. Resume screening serves a purpose, especially in a high-volume hiring event. But, resume screening can also lead to unfair hiring practices. Make sure you’re using resume screening for specific candidate sourcing tools and in conjunction with other employee selection methods. 

Phone screening

A phone screen is best utilized early on in the hiring process. Like resume screening, there’s a time and place for a phone screen. While phone screening has historically helped weed out some unqualified individuals from the hiring process, it’s time-consuming. Today, phone screens ideally serve as a way for a recruiter to check in with a top candidate. Rather than a “screen” per se, these informal phone interviews let the candidate know what to expect in the next stages. Recruiting teams generally only use this selection method as a screening tool in high-volume hiring events with lots of external candidates. 

Shortlisting

Shortlisting is the recruitment process of narrowing down a pool of candidates to those most likely to meet the criteria listed in the job description. Shortlisting quite literally means creating a shortlist of applicants who can be successful at your company. As an employee selection tool, shortlisting is an additional method that can help you consistently and fairly score those in your initial consideration pool. 

[Read more: The Recruiter’s Guide To Shortlisting Candidates]

Skill testing

Skill testing provides an unbiased, validated evaluation of a candidate’s ability to perform the duties listed in the job description. A skills test asks a variety of questions in different formats to see how candidates perform on-the-job tasks. 

The best skill tests include questions that are capable of being answered by someone already doing the job and can accurately measure key performance metrics. Skill tests are one form of employee selection method that works almost universally. Current employees, former interns, and prospective candidates alike should all be offered the opportunity to show what they can do in an on-the-job simulation. And, skills tests cover task-related abilities, like coding, copywriting, or sales, plus the less tangible skills like teamwork and leadership. 

It’s important to note that skills tests are not the same as personality tests. Personality tests are tools used to assess and classify human personality traits. While many HR professionals swear by the effectiveness of personality tests, there is no scientific proof that hiring partially or solely based on personality will get the best person for the job. Worse, personality tests can lead to unfair hiring and even discrimination. 

Take-home assignments

Take-home assignments can be especially useful when hiring remotely. Take-home assignments are similar to skills tests giving candidates the opportunity to show their capabilities and expertise. There are two additional benefits to framing a skills test as a take-home assignment. 

First, the candidate is able to spend as much time as they want (before the deadline) to complete the assignment. If you give someone two days to complete the take-home assignment, they can spend as little as five minutes or as long as 48 hours. This gives the candidate a better sense of their own ability to do the job. Allowing them to self-select out if they feel the position is too advanced. 

Second, take-home assignments allow you to see how a candidate works unsupervised. For companies that are shifting to long-term remote work, take-home assignments can show how self-motivated a person is and how much oversight they may need. The candidate can also decide if remote work is right for them. 

In-person (or virtual) interviews

Almost every hiring process requires one (or multiple) face-to-face interviews. Interviews can be structured in multiple ways, including: 

  1. One-way video interview: a candidate receives a list of questions and records their response via video. 
  2. Live video interview: a candidate and recruiter meet live via an online platform like Skype or Zoom.
  3. In-person interview: a candidate and recruiter meet in the same physical space for an interview. 
  4. Live chat or chatbot: a candidate and recruiter use a text-based chat tool to conduct a virtual interview or chat with a scripted chatbot. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of interview. As an employee selection method, the interview is only as strong as the questions asked and the strategy behind the interview. Online interviews, for instance, allow recruiters to improve diversity hiring, shorten the hiring process, and identify top candidates quickly. However, online interviews can suffer from the same hiring biases as in-person interviews. Recruiters should consider integrating blind hiring practices into their employee selection methods. 

[Read more: The Complete Guide To Blind Hiring In 2021]  

Group interviews

Traditionally, group interviews would take place over the course of one or two days. A company would invite its top candidates to come work on a job simulation solving a “problem” together. Group interviews are meant to give recruiters an idea of how different candidates work together, brainstorm, and problem solve in teams. 

Today, group interviews are made easier with automated hiring software. Virtual rooms make group interviews much easier asno one has to schedule time to come in, or worry about transportation. All of the potential candidates can easily get into your virtual interview room. And, they can all answer the same questions, at the same time without talking over one another. Companies can utilize group interviews for internal and external candidates to see how well a potential new hire “clicks” with the existing team. 

Job auditions or trials

A Job audition is a simulation or trial of the role for which a candidate has applied. Some companies host in-person trial days, meaning candidates come in and try out the role for half a day, a few hours, or a few days. Other companies use online job auditions, which can be less time-consuming and just as effective. 

Both options give the hiring team the opportunity to see the candidate react to common situations they may encounter if they’re selected. For example, a marketer may be asked to present a strategy proposal. A UX designer might be asked to review a user flow within a product. Or a sales representative might be asked to pitch a product to a panel.

Assessment centers

An assessment center is a testing process that analyzes each candidate’s social, communication, and analytical skills. A candidate takes multiple tests at one location to simulate they’d perform in real on-the-job scenarios. Assessment centers usually give candidates a set amount of time to finish all the required assessments. 

Assessments are usually scored by hand, which makes them time-consuming for recruitment teams. As an employee selection method, assessment centers are often replaced with virtual skills testing and other online pre-employment tests. The exception may be if your company is hiring someone to do physical labor, such as construction or another technical task.

Reference checks

Finally, one common employee selection method is reference checking. Reference checking, like resume screening, has its time and place — but not in the way they’ve been used historically. This is because references are almost always positive. 

Rather than being part of the employee selection process , reference checks can be a great employee onboarding tool. If done correctly, reference checks can be very effective in setting candidates up for success. They help understand what it would be like to work with the candidate, how to support them, and how you can get the best out of them. 

How to select a new employee

The process of selecting a new employee looks different at every company, and for every position. Broadly speaking, however, selecting a new employee should include some combination of these methods: 

  1. Application and screening: create a process in which you are using multiple sourcing channels to solicit resumes and applications. Once applications have been received, a company might use a candidate shortlist to determine who is qualified to move on to the skills assessment. 
  2. Skills assessment: a skills assessment is a universally fair and efficient way to make sure every candidate gets a chance to show what they can do. Skills assessment tools that use AI reduce time to hire, help recruiters find the best-qualified candidates, and provide a great candidate experience. It’s one of the most powerful talent selection methods available. 
  3. Interview(s): most companies use at least one virtual or in-person interview to get to know the candidates better. In this phase, it’s important to utilize diverse interview teams and a standard set of interview questions to keep candidate selection as fair and consistent as possible. 
  4. Reference check: the final step in a hiring process, this employee selection method verifies the information you’ve already gathered about a candidate up to this point. In practice, a reference check shouldn’t give you new information: instead, it should help set the employee you select up to be successful. 
  5. Final offer: the package you offer to an employee can actually be an employee selection tool. The right combination of benefits and compensation will make it easy for the candidate to say “yes”. Do your research into what market rates are fair and generous before making your job offer to the best candidate. 

From coding tests to mock sales calls, Vervoe can put the power of employee selection in your hands. Find out how Vervoe can help your hiring process by requesting a free demo.

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