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. 

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