The History of Recruitment & Selection

by David Adams ; Updated September 26, 2017
Modern interview techniques classify applicants for desirable qualities.

People have always needed to find others for employment, but the field of recruitment and selection is a relatively modern development. The development of standardized tests such as IQ led gradually to the modern field of human resources (HR) recruitment.

Early History

The U.S. Army in World War I practiced some early methods of selection, using the IQ test to place recruits in specific positions. This use of a standardized test to rank individuals became adopted by many companies.

Legislative Effects

Legislation passed during the middle of the 20th century restricted certain hiring practices. Equal opportunity legislation and the expansion of protected classes slowly made previous questions illegal. According to the the Department of Labor, current interview practices must be structured to respect these protected classes.

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Modern Day Selection

Modern day selection techniques revolve around finding the applicant most suitable for the position. According to "Recruitment and Selection", 94 percent of companies use behavioral interviews to rank their applicants. These questions select applicants with the best skills for the position.


About the Author

Currently based in Beijing, David has been writing articles for newspapers such as "The Lancer" since 2004 and for online publication since 2006. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in philosophy from University of California-Davis, and is continuing his education in the field of English.

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