In every organization you need to strike a balance between implementing good processes and getting things done quickly.  In that sense, recruitment and selection are no different than any other logistics activity.

This article has some one person’s opinions and insights and into problems the U.N. has in how they hire and manage people (among other things).  Obviously, the U.N. has special challenges in terms of security, but an average 213 days to recruit someone for any job is ridiculous.  And, remember, half of the positions take longer.  One can only imagine the use of the same process to hire a grant manager, administrative assistant, and field doctor.
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All hiring is a risk analysis.  What are the odds that this person will work out (not that you can improve them with validation selection tools)?  Call centers and retail always have to balance opportunity costs of having an open position rather than filing it will a less than ideal candidate.

Another issue is the long term cost of having an underperforming employee.  Many organizations, apparently including the UN, do such a poor job of performance management that a bad hire is expensive for a long time.  Again, a case of far too much process getting in the way of achieving organizational performance.

But, things can change.  GE has made a big bet on data.  So much that they are getting out of some of their traditional businesses to focus on it.  What I liked about this article was how they worked from business need (how can we recruit more software engineers?) to their HR processes (OK, we’ll make this change so we can attract more).  Of course, they’re a big company with big legacy processes and I’m sure the article makes it sound a lot easier than it was.  But, they are making it happen.

For more information on making your HR process work for you, contact Warren Bobrow.