Preparation: The essential step in recruitment and selection

Recently, someone in my network contacted me sharing their dismay after seeing three of their four sales recruits leave the organization or be thanked. This created a major obstacle in its objective of building its sales force which was at the heart of its growth strategy for the next 3 years. After listening to his situation and his goals, I asked him this simple question:

How did you establish the required skills and how did you assess them during the selection process?

My interlocutor was silent for a few seconds and replied: I get it …

In fact, he had based the job description on general elements, many of which could not be assessed, and the interview process had not been prepared in relation to a formal competency profile.

A recruitment and selection process should be carefully planned. As highlighted in recent published articles, each step is part of a whole, and only one of these being overlooked can not only impact the efficiency of the process, but also harm the employer brand and candidate’s experience, putting the future of the organization at risk in achieving its strategic objectives.

Beyond the recruitment and selection process, several steps are also part of other crucial elements of HR management: two well-known performance appraisals and compensation.

Here are essential steps and a summary of their rationale to avoid costly mistakes for your organization.

Function analysis

Before writing the job description, you need to know what to put in it, and determine the importance of each task and responsibility. Function analysis makes it possible to write everything down and assign a level of importance and time to each of the elements.

It is recommended to use several sources, as each person has a different perception of the position. By comparing them, it will be easier to put them into perspective and come to a consensus.

Here are some examples of sources that may be useful:

– Existing job description

– By observing, questioning and probing the people occupying the targeted function, as well as the managers and even the clients, when the role is involved with them

– By consulting government and Order of CHRP websites, or even job postings or descriptions of companies with similar positions

The job description

In my recent post on job postings, I pointed out the difference between description and posting, which are often confused.

According to the Office québécois de la langue française, the job description states, “the tasks, responsibilities and authority relations inherent in a position as well as the professional competence and qualities required to occupy it” and it results job analysis. It is usually found in company HR manuals as well as appendices to employment contracts and is intended to be an administrative document.

The job description consolidates and summarizes the information gathered during the job analysis. It usually contains the following information, and can be summarized in one to two pages:

– Identification elements

– Information allowing to define the raison d’être of the position, its contribution within the organization

– Information on the work performed

– Data relating to the equipment and tools used

– Information relating to the working environment

– Any other information cited by the sources

– Rationale or objective of the position (Summary or Summary of the position)

– Classify each responsibility according to the time spent, frequency or consequences

– Special conditions (environment, schedule, location, etc.)

It is important to update it regularly and indicate the revision date. Organizations evolve, so do roles, and it is important to be able to refer to them.

Competence profile

Once the job description is completed, the skills required must be identified to properly define the profile and assess candidates during the selection process, as well as during their development within the company.

Each competency can group together several tasks and responsibilities, and each of these can be found in several competences.

By then applying a weighting, it is thus possible to identify the skills that will be:

– Essential – approximately 25% of the top weighting

– Important – about 50% of the median weighting

– Assets – about 25% of the lower weighting.

Managers often view all skills as essential. This is why the weighting step will put in perspective and allow to identify the skills to be assessed in more depth.

Selection criteria and skills indicators

For each skill, you must ask yourself the following questions:

– Is it necessary from the start of the selected candidate?

– Can training be offered when the candidate takes up his post so that he can acquire it?

– Can competence be measured, allowing candidates to be assessed?

For example, a detailed knowledge of company policies may be an essential or important skill for a given function. As this skill cannot be acquired before taking up the position, it is therefore not possible to assess candidates on it. However, it will need to be considered during performance reviews once the person is in place. In return, knowledge of the accounting rules in force for a finance position, for example, could be assessed during the selection process, since it is part of the role and the expertise required for the function.

The skills indicators will then be determined to assess whether the candidates meet the needs for the targeted position.

For an effective recruitment and selection process to reduce the risks of bad hiring, these steps are essential for the sound management of your human resources.


Do you want to discuss your recruitment and selection process that will allow you to support your growth?

Write to us at info@jumprecruteurs.ca or directly at my address: steeve@jumprecruteurs.ca and we will be happy to discuss and support you through the various stages.