Employee Selection Process in Nursing Practice

The process of recruiting and selecting employees in the nursing practice is an important one because it influences the quality of care patients receive. Different healthcare facilities have unique processes that appeal to their internal organizational dynamics. This paper outlines the selection process for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) position in Lineville, which is an assisted living facility in Alabama. A review of the recruitment strategy is done and a critique of the same process is provided in this paper. However, before delving into the details of this analysis, it is important to understand the steps taken in the selection process.

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Team Members for Each Step

The selection process adopted in Lineville to fill the CNA position involves three steps highlighted in Table 1 below.

Table 1. The steps followed to fill the CNA post.

Step Description
1 The first step in the selection process includes the review of job applications based on whether candidates meet the outlined criteria, or not. The human resource department is ordinarily mandated to oversee this task.
2 In the second stage of selection, personality and honesty tests are carried out to establish the applicant’s integrity as a potential CNA. Background tests are also undertaken at this stage. The hospital’s human resource department oversees this process.
3 The third step that characterizes the selection process is an oral interview with top candidates. Usually, there are cases where highly specialized jobs are offered to winning candidates through a conditional job offer where top candidates are subjected to a physical exam.The nurse manager oversees this process.

How effective is the System?

I do not believe that the system for recruitment and selection employed in Lineville effectively aligns job tasks with desire candidates because it is rigid and does not provide the organization with a wide selection of applicants. Consequently, almost every position advertised gets a limited response. Even when the recruiters single out one candidate, the potential employee often quits because of poor working conditions or pay. Based on the recruitment metrics provided by McLemore, Levi, and James (2015), the selection process adopted in Lineville is ineffective.

Problems with the System

The current recruitment process at Lineville is also stifled by human biases, which affect the clarity of human resource personnel in selecting potential candidates. Although some of these biases may be unconsciously employed, research studies show that their existence may be “problematic” because they affect people’s judgment (Lussier & Hendon, 2016).

How to Improve the System

I would address some of the above-mentioned biases by making it a policy within the organization to reflect on the merits and demerits of all potential candidates and refrain from basing the final decision on only one interview or person. One member of the selection panel should also play the “devil’s advocate” and ask the potential recruit tough questions about their suitability as a candidate. Doing so could help to reveal “another side” of the candidate that would otherwise not have emerged in the typical interview processes or through background checks, as claimed by Hutchinson (2017). The section below explains the skills and background characteristics that a candidate for the CNA position should have.

Skills and Background a Desirable Applicant Would Have

  • Must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certification
  • Must have undergone formal training in CNA that would eventually lead to post-secondary certification
  • Must be CNA certified

Type of Fit Required

According to Markey and Tingle (2012), organizations majorly look for three types of fit when recruiting candidates: personality-job fit, ability-job fit, and person-organization fit. A personality-job fit refers to how well people’s personality types fit with the kind of job advertised (Lussier & Hendon, 2016). Comparatively, the ability-job fit refers to the capability of potential candidates to undertake the tasks specified in the job description (candidates who satisfy this fit often look for careers that would help in optimizing their skills and talents) (Lussier & Hendon, 2016; Markey & Tingle, 2012). Lastly, the person-organization fit refers to how well employees are compatible with their organizations.

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The ability-job fit is the right kind of model for evaluating candidates who would fill the CNA position. This type of alignment is appropriate for this post because CNAs require little formal education. Additionally, their success is largely measured by their ability to carry out basic nursing duties, such as taking vital signs, bathing patients, dressing them and similar activities.

Comparison of Job Description with Job Expectations

The typical job description of a CNA is as follows:

  • Dressing and bathing patients
  • Taking vital signs
  • Helping patients to get onto beds, wheelchairs, and exam tables
  • Answering patients’ questions
  • Ensure bedpans are available and emptied frequently
  • Changing patients’ beddings and ensuring they have the proper supplies
  • Repositioning bedridden patients
  • Examining patients’ wounds and injuries
  • Gathering information about patients’ treatment plans and health conditions from doctors and caregivers

The list of job descriptions highlighted above aligns with the ability-job model because the process of accomplishing the tasks highlighted above greatly depends on the ability of CNAs to be mentally hard-wired to accomplish them. Referring to international hiring practices for nurses, Giblin, Lemermeyer, Cummings, Wang, and Kwan (2016) agree that the ability-job fit is desirable for filling such nursing positions because tasks to be accomplished require people with personality archetypes, physical abilities, and leadership dynamics. For example, part of the CNA’s job description is lifting patients and helping them get into a wheelchair. Being in good physical health to help the patients get in the wheelchair is an ability-oriented skill that emphasizes the role of the ability-job fit in filling the CNA position.

Attributes to Look for as a Nurse Manager

Other specific attributes or characteristics that I would look for in a potential candidate seeking to fill a CNA position are patience and the ability to learn. These are subjective qualities that may not be easily detected in a typical interview, but I would ask the candidate to tell me about their “life story” even if it may not be directly related to the job applied for. Knowing the candidate’s background and history would help in deducing the candidate’s soft skills and virtues (Lin, Viscardi, & McHugh, 2014). This way, it would be possible to have a holistic picture of the candidate.


Overall, it is essential to point out that selecting the right kind of employee to fill a specific job position largely depends on the kind of job advertised. Additionally, the culture and expectations of people in the workplace would have an impact on how well candidates fit in the institutional setting. In the context of this study, the position of a CNA would be best filled using the ability-job fit model. The justification for choosing this approach is premised on the alignment of the job description and desired skills.


Giblin, C., Lemermeyer, G., Cummings, G., Wang, M., & Kwan, J.A. (2016). Learning from experience: Improving the process of internationally educated nurses’ application for registration — A study protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(3), 650-657. Web.

Hutchinson, T. (2017). Four common biases that could stop you hiring the best person for the job. Web.

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Lin, P.S., Viscardi, M.K., & McHugh, M.D. (2014). Factors influencing job satisfaction of new graduate nurses participating in nurse residency programs: A systematic review. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(10), 439–452. Web.

Lussier, R.N., & Hendon, J.R. (2016). Human resource management: Functions, applications, & skill development (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Markey, L., & Tingle, C. (2012). Screening RNs: A change in hiring practice. Nursing Management, 43(2), 13–15.

McLemore, M.R., Levi, A., & James, E.A. (2015). Recruitment and retention strategies for expert nurses in abortion care provision. Contraception, 91(6), 474-479. Web.

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