HR, Human Resources

HR Selection Tools

Human resources selection tools are a series of steps in the hiring process, from the preliminary screening of employment applications to vetting the final job candidate through background check and drug testing. Hiring processes differ, based on the organization’s resources and the type of job. A company without a dedicated HR department might conduct fewer steps or the company president might be the only hiring manager. Regardless of the company structure, the minimum selection tools should include an application and interview.

Preliminary Screening

Preliminary screening of employment applications and resumes is the first selection tool to determine whether an applicant meets the requisite qualifications for a job. A cursory review of application materials reveals whether applicants meet the basic criteria or if they’ve adhered to the application instructions. For example, if applicants were instructed to include salary history in a cover letter, applications without the required information would be eliminated during the first round of screening.

Telephone Interview

Many recruiters conduct telephone interviews as a second-round selection tool. Telephone interviews are a cost-effective, productive use of a recruiter’s time in deciding which applicants will become viable candidates. This is a two-part selection tool. The first question a recruiter asks is whether the applicant is still interested in the position. If the answer is “no,” that’s the final selection tool and the recruiter eliminates her from the applicant pool. The second part of this selection tool is the actual interview wherein the recruiter asks basic questions about work history and experience.

Hiring Manager Interview

Applicants who perform well during a telephone interview move to the next selection tool, a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager. Technically speaking, the applicant becomes a candidate at this stage in the process because the recruiter has narrowed the field down to applicants who possess the job knowledge, experience and qualifications. The point of an interview with the hiring manager is to determine which candidate is best suited for the job based on qualifications and how he fits into the workplace culture, according to Tough Nickel.

Background Check

Background checks generally are conducted after the hiring manager selects a final candidate. When the company extends the initial job offer, the recruiter explains that the offer is conditioned upon successful results from the background investigation. The depth to which a background investigation probes a candidate’s history depends on the job.

For example, for jobs that require handling large sums of cash, the background investigation might focus on a candidate’s criminal history and previous employment to rule out questionable charges involving theft, misappropriation of funds or convictions for fraud or embezzlement. Using background checks as a selection tool can provide employers with the satisfaction of knowing that the hiring manager has made a wise decision, according to Her Business.

Drug Testing

Screening candidates for illegal drugs is a selection tool that most employers use to ensure they won’t have problems with substance abuse or workplace safety. Pre-employment drug testing can mitigate potential liability for employee safety and fulfill requirements for certain workers compensation insurance programs. In addition, companies that employ workers with commercial driver licenses are required to conduct pre-employment and random drug testing.

Skills Assessment

For jobs that require technical skills or expertise in certain fields, employers may consider skills assessment in the collection of hiring tools. The tests could range from computer proficiency in one specific area to a battery of tests to measure overall administrative skills. Executive employees also may be subject to tests that gauge their judgment and personality.