In today’s business environment, organizations are faced with the pressure to produce more with fewer resources. An organization’s success depends upon its employees and it is that capital that is the largest fixed cost. Producing more and decreasing the cost of that production is what most organizations aim for. Human resources plays an important role here because it is this department that must ensure the organization attracts the best talented people at the lowest cost.

Competitive advantage is built on hiring the right people, whether in the public or private sector, whether in the corporate world or in the world of education. People are an “inimitable” or unmatched asset. The right people and their skills are something that competitor organizations cannot imitate. High caliber employees are the most valuable asset for any organization. Finding the right people and putting them in the right jobs is the most important challenge.

What is Recruiting?

Once you know how many human resources you need, management has to find the places where these resources will be available. They must also find a way of attracting the right people to the organization before selecting suitable candidates for jobs. All of this is generally known as recruitment.

Recruitment is “a process to discover the sources of manpower to meet the requirements of the staffing schedule and to employ effective measures for attracting that manpower in adequate numbers to facilitate effective selection of an efficient workforce.” Edwin B. Flippo, author of many personal management books, defined recruitment as “the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization.”

Objectives of Recruitment

  1. To attract people with a broad range of skills and experiences that will suit the present and future organizational plans.
  2. To bring in new people with a new perspective to lead the company.
  3. To position new people with fresh ideas within all levels of the organization.
  4. To develop a culture that attracts competent people to the company.
  5. To search for people whose skills fit company values.
  6. To think about ways of assessing psychological traits.
  7. To seek out unique and unconventional talent.
  8. To search for talent globally and not just within the company (more so for large organizations).
  9. To design entry salaries that compete on quality but not on importance.
  10. To anticipate what new positions might become available and find people for these positions that do not exist yet.

Recruitment Policy

The recruitment policy of any firm comes from the personnel policy of that organization. The policy must include ways of motivating the employees through internal promotions or improving employee loyalty by trying to accommodate the retrenched or laid-off employees. It must also take in account the situation of casual/temporary employees or dependents of present/former employees based on their capabilities.

The following factors should be taken into consideration when deciding and formulating recruitment policy.

They are:

  1. Government policies
  2. Personnel policies of other competing organizations
  3. Organization’s personnel policies
  4. Recruitment sources
  5. Recruitment needs
  6. Recruitment cost
  7. Selection criteria and preference etc.

Planning for Recruitment

Before interviewing for a job, the organization needs to ensure a number of important steps are taken. These prior steps include the forecasting of human resource needs, the description of individual job requirements and appropriate recruitment channels. The HRM specialists, in the organization, are likely to be particularly prominent (as are line managers) when this is being done.


Factors Affecting Recruitment

Both internal and external factors affect recruitment. The external factors include supply of and demand for human resources, employment opportunities and/or unemployment rate, labor market conditions, political and legal requirements, government policies, social factors, and information systems.


Internal Factors

Preparing a detailed job description is necessary after identifying specific human resource needs. The job description is a legal requirement and assists the HR manager when selecting candidates. The direction the company goes from there will depend greatly on the corporate philosophy. For example:

– Will the company look internally or externally to fill its employment needs?

– Does the company believe in hiring the most qualified candidates, regardless of background, or does it wish to be an industry leader when it comes to workforce diversity?

– Will the organization try to sell itself as a high wage, high search, or high training organization as identified by Stigler?

Keeping the above questions in mind as well as existing company policies and practices, gives the recruiter the necessary base from which to proceed to the external environment.


External Factors

For legal, ethical, and practical reasons, it is important for the recruiter to be very aware of the organization’s external environment. All of these factors will play a hand in the recruiter’s strategy:

Legal: The legal environment is constantly changing, as new laws and regulations are passed. These affect all aspects of human resource management. The recruiter must follow the rules to avoid unpleasant government actions.

Ethical: While ensuring the internal corporate philosophy, the recruiter should follow the guidelines that keep and expand the company’s positive corporate image.

Practical: Many avenues are open for the recruiter when seeking appropriate job candidates. Having updated information on the labor market and economy on both a national and local level will improve the efficiency of the effort.

All of the above considerations will lead to an efficient and effective recruiting effort for the HR professional.


Internal Recruiting

Internal recruiting is the search for employees already in the organization. This is the search for employees who have the abilities and the attitudes to fulfil the requirements needed and to help the organization achieve its objectives.


The Recruitment Process

Recruitment is the process of identifying that the company needs to employ certain people to fill certain positions. Its aim is to hire the best qualified candidates. These potential new employees must have the suitable abilities to assist the organization in achieving its corporate goals.

The recruitment process works in a particular way. Applications and resumes are received after the initial advertising for new employees. A short list is made and those on it are asked to come in for an interview. The interviewing structure can vary. For example, in some cases a number of interviews will be done, in others the candidates may be asked to do certain tests in order to assess their suitability. The candidate that is chosen will receive an official job offer.

When the recruitment process has produced a number of applicants, the important steps in selection are as follows:

– short-listing candidates for the next stage;

– test arrangements for the short-listed candidates, which can be in an assessment center and include the testing of certain knowledge or skills. Testing is optional, however, and depends on the position;

– interviewing the candidates (and giving them feedback on the tests) and allowing the candidates to ask the selectors questions they would like answered about the job;

– choosing the candidate who has been successful;

– ensuring references are checked (this is sometimes done before the interview) but must be done at some stage;

– offering the position, confirming in writing and receiving acceptance from the chosen candidate;

– organizing the induction process; and

– evaluating the result usually after a certain period of time.


Obtaining References

Ensure references are obtained before offering the position.


Offering the position

Once references have been carefully checked, then the company can offer employment to the successful candidate. This must be confirmed in writing. In certain cases, however, it may be better to inform the candidate as soon as possible, especially if you aware that they are applying for other positions. Then a telephone call with the main details usually takes place first. Should the candidate wish to negotiate any of the details, then this call allows such negotiations to proceed quickly.

The offer of employment should contain the following details:

– Job Title

– Starting Date

– Starting salary and any agreed details on salary progression and how it is determined, especially during the first year.

– Any help with re-location if appropriate.

– Company car, level, and arrangements for petrol, if appropriate. This is for executive positions.

– Details of confirmation of the offer (the candidate is usually asked to sign their agreement on one copy of the letter and return it to the company.

– Details may also be supplied of other company benefits if appropriate. These can include healthcare and life insurance, staff discounts, parking arrangements, and pension schemes. When the candidate accepts the company’s offer of employment a formal ‘contract of employment’ needs to be given to the employee approximately two weeks before they start work. Unsuccessful candidates are informed by letter. However, the candidate who is ‘first reserve’ should also be telephoned to be told of the decision. They will be informed that they are waiting for confirmation but, if the chosen candidate declines, they will be offered the position. This is more than just a courtesy as it keeps this candidate interested and positive towards the organization.