Hiring staff: Different selection techniques

The success of a company is often down to the talent within its workforce but employing new staff can be a daunting prospect. Be confident, as we are here to help you get clued up on the process of selection techniques before you take the leap.

Selection techniques

Selection involves two key stages: shortlisting and assessment. It follows recruitment, and refers to finding and hiring the right person for the job.

There is a whole range of different techniques to help screen and shortlist the candidate pool, with the aim of identifying the individual most suitable for the vacancy, and with the greatest potential for progression.

With this in mind, steps must be taken to treat all candidates fairly along the way and actively avoid unconscious bias or discrimination (read more about this on our blog here.) Read on for everything you need to know about selection.


Skills tests are the most reliable, objective and cost-effective selection tool to gauge a candidate’s skills — both soft and technical — as well as their ability to perform a role well.

The benefit of this method compared to others in this post, is that the results provide an objective view of a candidate’s competency to complete the job, rather than how they describe themselves (like in an interview or on their CV) or how they are described by others (as is the case with reference checks).

Examples of different talent assessments include:

  • Psychometric and personality tests (based upon ability, intelligence, motivation, personality type and interests)
  • General mental ability assessments
  • Integrity assessments
  • Technical knowledge tests
  • Situational judgment tests
  • Skills assessment tests

To decide which type of test is best for the role you’re hiring for, start by defining your goals and needs, then the skills you wish to evaluate, followed by the characteristics of your ideal skill assessment tool. You may wish to ask candidates to perform a job simulation exercise, such as a mock sales call, presentation or writing assessment. These can be completed in their own time from the comfort of their own homes, enabling candidates to perform and carry out the assessment comfortably.


Selection techniques
Skills tests are the most reliable, objective and cost-effective selection tool to gauge a candidate’s skillset, as well as their ability to perform a role well.


Structured interviews are another effective method of selection. Start by curating a list of questions related to the job description, and the experience or skills a candidate will need to be successful. Those appointed to conduct the interview, for example a line or HR manager, should ideally be trained in how to ask appropriate questions and will score the candidate on how they answer each set.

Think about whether it should be an individual or group interview and whether it will be held in person (at your premises for example) or virtually via video call. The benefits of a virtual interview rather than face-to-face, ensures it is COVID-secure, it is more accessible for the interviewee, therefore helping them to feel more comfortable, and it is also more time and cost-effective.

Tools to assess culture fit

As well as finding a candidate whose background matches the job requirements, it is also important to know if they are a culture fit for your business. Start by assessing what your culture is like. Conduct an audit with current staff members, to gather their thoughts on day-to-day life, processes and their experiences within your working environment. Ask them questions such as: ‘how do you feel we communicate here?’ or ‘what is our meeting style like? Is it light-hearted or serious?’

Also, think carefully about the different types of people who have been particularly successful within their roles, and the personality traits they possessed. This will help you identify if there any common themes. Once you better understand your business culture, it will be easier to select someone whose character aligns with it.

Be certain about what you are looking for in a candidate beyond just the job description – do they need to be a team player or effective communicators? What sort of mindset are you looking for? Should candidates be able to perform well within a fast-paced environment?

Utilise selection techniques as an opportunity to find out more about a potential candidate’s personality and work style, to see how they will fit within the rest of your team. If you are hiring for a member of senior management, what is the ideal leadership style you seek? Someone who will maintain the status quo, or someone who will mix things up?

Submit an enquiry via our online form today to find out how we can help your business, or call 07771642182 to book a 30 minute consultation with Karen directly.

Visit the GOV website for more employment advice. 


Redundancy: How to follow correct procedures.


Redundancy is a special form of dismissal where an employer needs to reduce the size of its workforce.  In the UK an employee is dismissed for redundancy if the employer has ceased, or intends to cease, continuing the business, or the requirements for employees to perform work of a specific type, or to conduct it at the location in which they are employed, has ceased or diminished, or are expected to do so. If there’s a genuine redundancy, employers must follow a correct procedure and make redundancy and notice period payments. 1(extract from the CIPD factsheet Redundancy: an introduction, 29 Sept 2020).


Redundancy legislation is complex.  As a small business owner, you must understand your obligations, your employee’s rights, and the correct procedures to follow.  Failure to follow the correct procedure can result in a claim for Unfair Dismissal.

Making redundancies should be a last resort.  Before deciding to make redundancies, you need to consider if you can avoid them.

  • Furlough – can you utilise the new furlough scheme?
  • Redeployment – could staff be retrained and carry out other duties.
  • Flexible working – would staff consider job shares, or part time hours, or compressed hours.
  • Reduced hours for a short period of time – staff may consider this as an alternative.
  • Temporary layoff – do you have a clause in the employment contract that allows this?
  • Limit or stopping overtime.
  • Letting go of temporary or contract staff.
  • Don’t hire any new staff.

When redundancy is the only option, Make A Plan.  Remember that for an employee being made redundant it is an emotional and sensitive time.

Whether it’s a downturn in business, business model change, new machinery, new ways of working, restructure, or office move/closure, whatever the reason it’s a tough call to be made.

My top 5 DO’s.

  1. Do take ownership and responsibility for the decisions you make.
  2. Do communicate clearly.
  3. Do be objective with your selection criteria.
  4. Do treat those selected with respect.
  5. Do support your redundant staff as much as you can.

My top 5 DON’Ts

  1. Don’t blame someone else for the decision to make redundancies.
  2. Don’t keep information to yourself.
  3. Don’t hide your selection criteria.
  4. Don’t change your mind.
  5. Don’t forget the staff left behind.

Above all, Make A Plan.

Some things to include in the Plan; a written communication detailing the need and reason for redundancies; the budget showing the savings needed and the impact on costs; the number of staff affected; the selection pools (if appropriate); a budget (for notice periods and redundancy payments), scripts to use for the consultation meetings, a timeline for consultation, proposed termination dates, internal vacancy list (if applicable).

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS2) has a wealth of information, template documents and guidance available for employers to use.

Some Business groups such as the Institute of Directors and the local Chamber of Commerce have Member helplines that provide help and advice on employment matters.

If your business is facing redundancies make sure that you take advice.  Redundancy is complex and can lead to claims for Unfair Dismissal.  Unfair dismissal claims are costly, time consuming and bad for business.

If you don’t have access to a helpline or an inhouse HR expert, external HR Consultants are a great source of expertise.  Experienced HR Consultants can work with the small business owner to produce the right Plan for their particular situation.

1CIPD – The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – The professional body for HR and people development.

2ACAS – gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules, and best practice.

Submit an enquiry via our online form today to find out how we can help your business, or call 07771 642 182 to book a 30 minute consultation with Karen directly.



Karen HRM: Presenting our first newsletter

Presenting our first newsletter!

Welcome to our very first newsletter. It’s been an exciting month here at Karen HRM.

Firstly, let us start by inviting you to visit our brand-new website, launched on 30th October 2020. Designed to offer an engaging, accessible experience for small tech business owners, our site will explain the pivotal role Karen HRM can play in implementing the right HR processes for your business.

“The clean, fresh design of our website, along with its expert content, brings to life our desire to offer pragmatic advice and support that’s full of common sense,” revealed Karen Dolan, founder of Karen HRM.

“As one of the UK’s newly created HR Management companies, our mission is to enable small tech business owners to protect, develop and grow their business by helping them manage their people.”

Our new platform offers a wealth of information on the professional yet friendly HR services we offer, together with informative visuals and short video blogs presented by Karen herself. Watch the first introduction to the video series below.

WATCH: Founder Karen Dolan discusses how Karen HRM provides professional, pragmatic solutions to suit all your HR business needs

But that’s not all; there’s plenty more expert content over on our blog too. This month’s posts are inspired by the theme ‘attract’, exploring how to maximise interest for openings within your company, and entice the best talent pool to apply.

Starting with how and where you should be advertising jobs, we also investigate ‘the importance of employer branding’ and what this means for you, to help determine how your business is known locally and nationally.

Submit an enquiry via our online form today to find out how we can help your business, or call 07771642182 to book a 30 minute consultation with Karen directly.

Discover our NEW website now.


Karen HRM unveils website

Karen HRM is inviting visitors to explore its website.  It’s been designed to offer an engaging experience for businesses, to help them get the right HR processes in place and how Karen HRM can help them do that.

Created with the user in mind, the site includes extensive information to help visitors understand Karen HRM’s complete range of services. This will be brought to life over the next weeks and months with blogs, informative visuals and short video blogs by Karen HRM’s founder, Karen Dolan. Together these will showcase the commercially savvy advice and support on offer to help business owners get the right processes in place.

With an ongoing increase of the UK population wanting to access information while “on the go”, the site is completely responsive.  This means that whatever type of device you need to access information from; desktop, tablet or mobile, the information is presented in an easy to engage with format, providing you with the information you need. 

“Our mission as one of the UK’s newly created HR Management companies is to enable business owners to protect, develop and grow their business by helping them manage their people,” said, Karen Dolan, Founder at Karen HRM. “The clean and fresh design of our website along with its content, brings to life our desire to offer pragmatic advice and support that’s full of common sense.”

Please do visit www.KarenHRM.co.uk today. There is a quick form on the website to sign up for newsletters or to book a 30-minute consultation, and if there’s a particular challenge you’re facing, they’d love to hear about it.


How and where to advertise a job

Do you know how and where to advertise a job? Recruiting staff is a great way to enrich and diversify your workforce but finding the right candidates can be a long, demanding process. Hiring (or retaining) employees can add value, a new perspective and innovation to your company, so, whether you need to fill a vacancy with an exact skill for skill replacement, or staff a completely new position, how can you ensure you attract the best talent? Read on as we explain how.

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