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Recruitment and Selection
The first stage of recruitment is to think about the job to be filled. There are a vast range of jobs in pharmaceutical companies. Each one needs different qualifications and experience.

Job Role:
When managers think about recruitment, they start by focusing on the job to be filled. This in turn suggests the kind of qualifications and experience they want from an applicant. If they need, for example, a scientist to work in research and development they are looking for graduates with a degree in an appropriate subject (e.g. biology or chemistry). They should also have relevant experience of working in a research laboratory.

Job Description:
These requirements are set out formally in the Job Specification or Job Description.

Person Specification:
The Job Description is only the start of the process. Academic qualifications don't necessarily show all the qualities and skills needed in a job. For example, a quality control supervisor needs to be: methodical, careful, accurate, reliable and able to keep meticulous records. However, a research project leader will need to have quite different qualities. The person will need to be good at communicating, delegating and leading the team.

Job Behavioural Profile:
Often, companies will develop Job Behavioural Profiles using a job analysis questionnaire. This helps them work out the kind of qualities that are needed for a job. The aim of the exercise is to put together a list of the qualities that would make a person perfectly suited to the vacant job. The job analysis is usually carried out by a group of people. These would include:
  • he manager responsible for the position being analysed
  • The person carrying out the job at the moment
  • The personnel or human resources specialist
The questionnaire is first completed individually, and then the group meets to compare answers. They arrive at an overall group conclusion for each question. The end product of the process is a Person Specification.

Job Behavioural Profiles and the Person Specifications that they produce are a vital part of the recruitment process. They help managers in the organisation decide what they are looking for in applicants. This then allows them to design recruitment and selection processes that avoid costly recruitment mistakes.
Recruitment and selection is a join task undertaken by the employing department and by the human resources department. Each has responsibilities to ensure that the company recruits the right person for the job. Recruitment mistakes are costly and can be reduced if systematic recruitment and interviewing processes are adopted.

1. Vacancy: When a vacancy occurs the employing department should assess the need to replace and review job content if appropriate.

2. Raise Personnel Requisition: The employing department should state their requirements and gain the necessary authorisations.

3. Review / Create Job Description: The job description should include the job title, duties and principle accountabilities required. If it is a new job, the job description is reviewed and graded by the human resources department.

4. Review / Create Person Specification: Gives some idea of what characteristics and abilities you are looking for from recruits.

5. Agree Recruitment Method: The Hiring Manager attends a strategy meeting with a Recruiter from the human resources department to discuss candidate sourcing (whether to advertise internally, externally, use employment agencies or a combination of these methods), the selection process and timelines. The Recruiter takes the Hiring Manager through an 'Interview Toolkit' covering all aspects of interviewing including legal requirements.

6. Review Response:
  1. The human resources department will acknowledge the application forms and/or CVs. The appropriate Human Resources Executive will screen the applications and pass candidates meeting the recruitment criteria to the employing department. At this stage, applications should be retained in the human resources department for no more than two days.
  2. The employing department will then do a further screening and select / reject candidates for interview.
  3. The employing department will return the application forms and/or CVs to the human resources department with appropriate notes advising which candidates should be interviewed / rejected. Applications should be retained in the employing department for no more than three days.
  4. The human resources department will write to the unsuccessful candidates.
7. Interviewing and selection:
  1. The human resources department will liaise with the employing department and agree dates for interviews.
  2. The employing department should advise at this time if they require any skills testing to be undertaken and agree with the human resources department how these will be done.
  3. The human resources department will invite candidates for an interview.
  4. The human resources department will provide all interviewers will a schedule of interviews
  5. Interviews should be conducted in private and to time.
  6. Following discussions, (which should take place as soon after the interviews have been completed), the candidates should be evaluated and short-listed for second interview.
  7. The human resources department will write to unsuccessful interview candidates
  8. The human resources department will arrange second interviews (which may include a medical examination). Following each interview, all interview notes are returned to the Recruiter to be kept with the recruitment file. In the UK candidates may request to see interview notes under the Data Protection Act.
8. Offer Job: After further discussion (where the Recruiter and Hiring Manager agree terms of offer), the human resources department will make a formal offer to a candidate and unsuccessful short-listed candidates will be advised.

9. Pre-employment screening: Candidates screened by referencing, security checks and health screening prior to joining company.

10. Confirmation of offer and start date: Recruiter or Hiring Manager sends letter to successful candidate confirming pre-employment checks are completed, induction details, and start date.
Some companies use a behaviour based approach to interviewing and selection. Candidates are asked to provide evidence of past performance, as past performance is viewed as the best predictor of future performance. At interview candidates are asked questions to assess further the candidate's attributes and competencies.

Perhaps the most important stage in the whole recruitment process is the interview. Many organisations now carry out extensive training programmes to ensure that their staff are able to interview job applicants effectively. The first stage is interview preparation. The interview panel have to familiarise themselves with the application forms or CVs and draw up an interview form. The interview form is a checklist based on the points in the person specification. It is important that the interview has clear structure and this is usually worked out at the preparation stage.

Behavioural questioning during the interview stage is a powerful yet simple and obvious technique of focusing questions on past performance and behaviour as opposed to asking questions about possible or imagined future situations. The best predictor of future behaviour and performance is past performance and behaviour. Example of behavioural type questions are:
  • "What has been one of the most difficult situations you have had to manage in your current role?"
  • "How did you handle it?"
Effectiveness can be measured against retention, i.e. how long the new employee continues to work for the employing department and for the company after they have been appointed and the reason for leaving. It can also be assessed by looking at other companies' practices and assessing (or benchmarking) how their practices compare to these.