Your company's employee selection process will determine the quality of your new hires and can have an impact both on daily operations and your company's long-term success. Choosing the wrong employees can make your workforce less productive, reduce quality, lower customer satisfaction and cost you more money.

On the other hand, choosing the right employees can boost morale and organizational performance and can even give your company a strategic advantage. Understanding the role of selection in HRM and the importance of the process can help you make better hiring choices.

The Role of Selection in HRM

To understand the importance of employee selection, you should first know where selection falls in the human resource management process and which goals this step achieves. When you need to fill an open role, you'll begin the process of recruiting workers through job postings, word of mouth, the internet, job fairs and other means.

Once you've identified some possible candidates, you'll begin the selection process where you determine which available candidates meet your company's needs and have the skills and experience to perform the job well. This process can involve interviews, written tests, hands-on skills assessments, medical examinations and reference checks.

Selection Affects Daily Operations

The importance of employee selection can be seen in how the choices made will have a major impact on day-to-day operations in terms of work productivity and quality.

If you select employees based solely on their credentials and skills on their resume and don't get a good idea of how they actually work, you take the risk of hiring someone who might not be fast enough to keep up with the rest of your team or who may prefer to slack off and make other employees take up the workload.

Even worse, your selection choice may not focus on doing quality work, costing you money and lost productivity time to redo the work. By effectively selecting workers, you can help avoid any damage to your company's reputation that can result from these issues.

Selection Impacts Long-Term Success

The employees you select not only determine how your company will run daily but also whether you'll be competitive in the long run. Selecting employees who can simply do the jobs needed today can limit you if your company needs to make changes to job duties in response to innovation in your industry.

Your selected workforce should be adaptable so that they can take on new roles and learn new technologies if necessary. Otherwise, your company may not keep up with competitors and can see bad effects on its bottom line and reputation as a result.

Effective Selection Saves You Money

Regardless of which position you need to fill, hiring a new employee can cost your company thousands of dollars when you consider costs for recruiting, employee relocation, referral bonuses, advertising agency fees and travel expenses. If you rush the selection process, avoid taking advantage of skills testing and reference checks or simply make a mistake, you risk hiring someone unfit for the job and having to restart the expensive recruitment and selection process.

In the meantime, your unfit hire can cost you more money in terms of poor customer service, quality and productivity. Therefore, thoroughly researching job needs, carefully interviewing candidates and understanding the importance of a selection test are essential to saving you money and helping you make the right hiring choice.

Also know that ineffective employee selection can have costly legal implications if you discriminate or hire unqualified candidates. For example, if you ask questions during interviews that seem discriminatory or reject a candidate simply due to a protected characteristic such as religion or physical disability, you can end up paying fines and getting a negative reputation that can cause you to lose customers. At the same time, if you hire someone with a fake credential, you might face a lawsuit if he causes harm.

Selection Impacts Employee Morale

If you hire the right people, your existing employees can benefit from productive and positive new colleagues who make the workplace a more enjoyable place. However, if you choose the wrong people, you can end up with a disgruntled workforce with employees who don't get along and argue over issues such as personality conflicts, taking on the work assigned to others and fixing mistakes the new hires make.

In the worst case scenario, poor employee morale can increase your turnover rate and cause you to lose your long-time workers. At the least, it can disrupt job processes and team projects and waste valuable work time.