What Is the Role of Selection in Human Resource Management?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Selection in human resource management is the same as recruitment. This is the method by which the human resources (HR) section of an organization searches for and recruits employees to fill identified open positions within the company. The role of selection is related to its use as a tool for locating and selecting applicants to fill open vacancies in the organization. Choosing the right candidates is crucial to the success of an organization, because the workforce or labor that has the right qualities will help ensure that an organization meets its goals and targets.

One of the roles of selection in human resource management is to ensure that the prospective employees meet the stated qualities that have been enumerated in the organization's recruitment policy. For instance, if a financial organization has established a policy of only recruiting people who finished in the top three of their business class, then that is an organizational recruitment requirement. Another example is a law firm that only employs law school graduates who have distinguished themselves in one way or another during their internship. One of the ways in which a company sets the qualities it uses in the selection process is through the establishment of a corporate culture. The human resources department tries to identify those prospective employees who have the same ideals or qualities that will make them fit into the culture already in place.


The recruiting process usually includes the advertisement of vacancies by the HR department. It may do this by pacing advertisements in various media or other sources. Sometimes, the organization may prefer to promote candidates from within to fill the vacancies. In such a situation, the company may issue an internal memo or place a notice for application on bulletin boards or the company Web site. The human resources department will accept and review applications, keep in touch with the applicants during the selection process, and inform both the successful and unsuccessful applicants of their positions.

The HR department also often has to conduct background checks on the applicants and perform psychological tests that may include questions aimed at discovering if the applicant is a match for the job. The department could also conduct physical exams that may include drug tests. It will check the references provided by the applicant as well. When the human resources department is through with the selection process, the final decision as to whether the applicants will be hired may rely on the managers or board members, depending on the type of job under consideration.


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