Personnel Recruitment: A Challenge For Philippine Small Businesses


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Personnel recruitment scenario

I have seen it frequently happening in small businesses in the Philippines. The company would put out recruitment ads online and offline; applicants would respond; the selected applicants would come, or occasionally would not come; those who would come and get interviewed would either pass or fail the interview; those who passed would in several cases stay only for a month or even less.  Whew! It was a costly exercise in futility.

You as the business owner or as the human resources manager surely finds this personnel recruitment and selection situation very disappointing.

You can avoid a similar situation by first being clear about your objectives in recruiting and selecting personnel and, secondly, by following a pretty common but sensible process.

Recruitment and selection objectives

You can easily determine your objectives from the definition of personnel recruitment and selection.  It is the identification, evaluation, and hiring of qualified job applicants through a systematic process.  Thus, your objectives can be as follows:

  • To attract and identify a good number of applicants;
  • To evaluate applicants’ suitability to the needs and values of your company;
  • To hire the most qualified applicants

Recruitment and selection process

To achieve these objectives, you go through a process which can vary from one company to another.  Your process may be something like this:

  1. Obtain an approved personnel requisition together with an updated job description;
  2. Place job postings and ads based on the job description;
  3. Form and brief a search committee or an interview panel;
  4. Make an initial evaluation and selection based on responses to job postings and ads;
  5. Interview priority applicants;
  6. Draw up a shortlist of applicants;
  7. Give written exams to the shortlisted applicants;
  8. Conduct reference and/or background check;
  9. Make a hiring decision;
  10. Make an offer to the selected candidate;
  11. Prepare employment documents;
  12. Conduct new employee orientation;
  13. Introduce new employee to the organization.

Crucial part:  the interview

Based on experience, I consider the interview as the most crucial part of the process. Here, face to face, you can find out more about a prospective employee.

To make the most out of the interview and to establish a uniform basis of response evaluation and to provide more reliable results, you can prepare a standard structure of questions generally focused on the applicant’s critical skills, attitude, and behavior.  Remember that how you phrase questions affects the applicant’s response. Special questions may be included to get critical info from the applicant, or simply to add fun or lightness to the interview session.

However, I believe that a rigid approach to an interview session may in some cases result in a failure to get the best out of an applicant, or even turn away a highly qualified applicant.

During the interview, I would normally sell the company first as this is a good way to make the applicant really aspire to work for the company – the vision, mission, corporate values, culture, and what make the employees happy and contented in their jobs.

The only major question I have for the applicant is “how he/she would fit into this ideal corporate microcosm”;  from there, I follow it through with questions seeking clarification or some mind-stimulating, not interrogating, questions and/or remarks.

You correlate the response with the needs and culture of your company. Assess the applicant’s potential of success and predict his/her job performance if hired.

You may find it also helpful if applicants are treated with sincere courtesy and accorded due importance from the time they arrive at your office until they leave.  As probable future employees of the company, accommodating them well and being prompt in attending to them will surely strike a positive note.  They will not hesitate to be part of this kind of corporate environment.

Making a hiring decision

What should be the considerations in making your hiring decision?  I have always believed in the following factors – in order of priority:

  1. Attitude
  2. Values
  3. Motivation
  4. Skills

Some companies would give personality tests for a more scientific evaluation of an applicant’s attitude and inter-personal skills.  Others would also give ability tests and ask for work samples to determine if applicant’s specific skills fit the job requirements.

Companies may follow a more simple or a more rigorous process but the objectives would always be almost similar.

Your personnel recruitment and selection exercise should provide your company with the most qualified personnel – in terms of attitude and competence – at the right time and within your other recruitment constraints.  Failure to do so would result in loss of productivity, higher operating costs, and high personnel turn-over.

Welcome to your new employees!







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