Human Resources
Implementing a New Selection Process

Implementing a New Selection Process


Jan 18, 2017 | by Kathy MacKay

Organizations change their selection and assessment (S&A) processes for a number of reasons: jobs evolve, some try to keep up with or stay ahead of the competition, and some wish to align their selection process to advances in technology. Regardless of the why, how does a company go about such a change? Surprisingly enough, the foundation for such a shift can be simplified into four key requirements.

Drum roll please…the four key requirements are:

1. Assess the situation
2. Identify/engage stakeholders and determine implementation strategy
3. Build the right team
4. Create the project plan and manage accordingly

1. Assess the situation
Understand the organization’s vision and goals and clearly define the desired S&A process.  During early discussions, listen to the leaders about their objectives, and uncover any competing priorities or risks.  Also, ensure that the leaders are aligned on the goals for the project and the process flow. Below is an example “process flow” of the candidate experience from beginning to end.

Simple Process Flow

In order to determine the process flow that is right for your organization, you could use the below questions as a starting point:

  • How will candidates learn about the open position?
  • How will the application be completed? And in what languages?
  • What type of tool/s will be needed to assess candidates?
  • What is the scope of expected testing?
  • How will the tool/s be used?
  • How will the tool/s be scored and result reported
  • How to communicate next steps to candidates? 

2. Identify/Engage Stakeholders and Determine Implementation Strategy
A key requirement when implementing a selection and assessment program is buy-in.  Think through who will be involved or impacted by the effort.  Once identified, messaging can be crafted accordingly and it can also help in formulating the implementation strategy.

When planning your strategy, try to mitigate risks and resistance. It is good practice to have a change management model in order to visualize and conceptualize the many elements involved, but also how they are all connected. Aon Hewitt’s Change Management Model breaks organizational change into 3 categories: change triggers, behavior change, and change levers. Once the main areas within each category are identified, it is easier to identify and develop the needed strategies to drive change holistically.

In addition, consider risks, identify questions, and ensure there are answers. Document the current state, key changes between the current and future state, what needs to be done to help manage or communicate the changes, and who will be impacted–the stakeholders for each aspect of the project.

3. Build the Right Team
Once the team has been established, each team member’s role must be made clear.  Consider the following:

  • Who will develop and send out communication regarding the project?
  • Who will be responsible for internal training?
  • Which team members will be the designated subject matter experts? 
  • Who will be responsible for tracking progress?
  • Who is the ultimate decision-maker between competing ideas?
  • Who are the users and who are the ‘customers’?

The implementation team should be prepared to address concerns and promote the change process with the tools and resources provided; creating buy-in and understanding with effective communication and engagement.  All communications should be easy to digest, positive, and continually reminding and reinforcing the ultimate goal of the project.

4. Create the Project Plan and Manage Accordingly
As you create your plan, think about who should be involved, how to communicate, resource constraints, timing, etc. As Industrial Organizational Psychologists, we adhere to the guidelines supporting the validation of selection tools, but that would require much more than a blog, so I will assume this is part of your plan.

The project plan is the blue print that guides you through the implementation process by identifying resources, roles, and deadlines but feel free to revise as needed. It is a living document that not only provides direction on the future of the project, but also helps to document what has already been accomplished.

In summary, start with the four requirements: assess the situation, identify stakeholders and determine strategy, build the right team, and create/manage the project plan. Proper planning, promotion, and assistance with S&A process change can lay a solid foundation for success. For more information, contact Kathy MacKay.

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