Recruitment Techniques

Executive Summary

Recruitment techniques enable organizations to find the right employees based on their human resources requirements and policies. The use of the right recruitment technique enables an organization to reduce recruitment costs, find the best talent and reduce the time needed to hire new employees (El-Kot 2008, vol. 1, pp. 200-212). Thus it aims at improving the competitiveness of the organization by enabling its owners to hire the best talent in the labor market.

Currently, the main recruitment techniques used by organizations include referrals, adverts in both print and electronic media and career fairs (Piostrowski & Terry 2006, vol. 26, pp. 210-217). Other techniques include recruitment through databases, internal recruitment and contracting employment agencies.

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Since organizations have varying human resource needs and financial resources, the following factors inform the choice of a recruitment technique. First, the technique should be efficient as well as cost effective (El-Kot 2008, vol. 1, pp. 200-212). Second, it should be effective by enabling the employer to find the right talent. Finally, it should be fair and legal in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

Introduction

Recruitment techniques refer to the methods used by organizations to source and hire employees. It is an important human resources management process that helps in creating competitive advantages by enhancing improved quality and productivity among employees (Piostrowski & Terry 2006, vol. 26, pp. 210-217).

This means that hiring the right workers leads to cost reduction, low turnover and less time used to recruit employees. Adopting an effective recruitment technique can enable a firm to access a large number of resumes. This increases the chances of recruiting the right employee. This paper gives an overview of the various recruitment techniques used by different organizations. The merits and demerits of each technique will be illuminated.

There are various techniques used by different organizations to hire their staff. The common factor among the various recruitment techniques is that they all involve assessments relating to the ability and behavior of the applicant (Abuzeid 2008, vol. 32, pp. 401-403). The various techniques are as follows.

Techniques

Advertisements

This involves placing adverts concerning the vacant positions in either print or electronic media (Schulz, Camp & Waltman 2008, vol. 36, pp. 501-513). In the early nineteenth century, this technique involved placing the ‘help wanted’ adverts in the classified sections of newspapers.

Thus jobseekers could find the details about the vacancies with ease. Currently, most job adverts are done online through websites. Such websites can be owned by the recruiting firm or they can be specialized websites that deal with vacancies only. Vacancies that target specific talent are usually advertised on “industry special job boards” (Abuzeid 2008, vol. 32, pp. 401-403).

The main advantage of this technique is that it enables the employer to reach “potential employees from a wide geographical area” (Schulz, Camp & Waltman 2008, vol. 36, pp. 501-513). For example, adverts placed on a website can be accessed from any part of the world. This increases the chances of recruiting the right talent. The online adverts are also cheap as compared to other recruitment methods.

The employers also benefit from the fact that the applicants using online job databases are already qualified in using computers and the internet. Recruitment through the employer’s website helps in reducing the time spent in recruiting. This is because some of the tests can be done directly through the website at the convenience of the applicant.

The disadvantage of using this technique is that placing adverts in print media is sometimes expensive. Besides, many jobseekers fail to read the adverts due to their inability to purchase newspapers or magazines with such adverts (Schulz, Camp & Waltman 2008, vol. 36, pp. 501-513). The online adverts will not be effective if the used website is not popular. Their use is also limited by the availability, cost and ease of using the internet among the targeted applicants.

Career Fairs

These are “expos that bring together employers, potential jobseekers and schools” (Lam 2007, vol. 44, pp. 993-1016). The firms participating in the expo usually provide a table or a booth for collecting resumes.

The jobseekers are usually given an opportunity to discuss the details of available positions with the potential employers. Besides, they get an opportunity to take their first interviews in regard to the recruitment exercise. Career fairs are usually organized by schools in conjunction with employers and are mainly used to hire staff for entry level positions.

The advantage of this technique is that it provides a convenient “way to collect resumes that can be used for future vacancies” (Lam 2007, vol. 44, pp. 993-1016). It is also cheap due to the fact that the costs or organizing the fairs are shared between the employers and the schools.

Career fairs give employers a chance to meet a large number of well-trained professionals and this increases the chances of finding the best employees. They also enable employers to develop relationships with school authorities. Thus the school authorities can customize their degree programs to suit the needs of the employers.

The disadvantage of this technique is that it can not be used to fill vacancies in the event of an emergency (Lam 2007, vol. 44, pp. 993-1016). This is attributed to the fact that career fairs are usually held once or twice a year. They also inconvenience employers due to the logistics involved in travelling to the schools to meet the potential employees. The fairs are usually characterized by competition due to the large number of firms participating in them. Consequently, a firm can miss the opportunity to get the best talent.

Database

This involves creating a resume database. Thus a firm using this technique will develop a filing system to store resumes or details of the applicants. The resumes stored in the database are usually collected through various methods such as career fairs, websites or direct deliveries by the applicants.

The employers normally review the database in order to find resumes of potential employees whenever they want to fill a vacancy (Dave, Patricia & Linda 2000, vol.15, pp. 162-178). The candidates who meet the desired qualifications are then contacted and interviewed for the vacant position.

This technique enables the employer to save time during recruiting (Dave, Patricia & Linda 2000, vol. 15, pp. 162-178). This is because the resumes are readily available thus saving the time spent in advertising. The availability of a large number of resumes also helps employers to eliminate the costs associated with advertising job vacancies.

The disadvantages associated with this technique are as follows. First, establishing and maintaining the database is expensive. This is attributed to the high cost of acquiring and using the right database technology.

Second, the information maintained in the database is sometimes not useful due to the time lag between the application date and the time of contacting the applicant (Dave, Patricia & Linda 2000, vol. 15, pp. 162-178). In most cases the potential employees find jobs in other organizations by the time they are contacted by the firm maintaining their resumes in a database. When this happens, the firm will be forced to start the recruitment process afresh and this leads to time wastage.

Employment Agency

An employment agency is a firm that specializes in sourcing and testing the abilities of potential employees on behalf of other firms. Thus a company using this technique will provide the employment agency with the details of the needed skills or competencies (Underhill 2010, vol. 48, pp. 338-355).

The information is then used by the agency to help their client (employer) to find the right employees. In some cases, the employer is also involved in the recruitment process especially at the last stages of the interviews and discussion of the terms of employment. The employment agencies are usually engaged on contractual basis. This means that they are only contracted whenever there is a vacancy to be filled.

This technique is suitable for positions that require technical skills or expertise (Underhill 2010, vol. 48, pp. 338-355). Thus a firm using this technique will benefit from the specialized skills of the agency to find the right talent. It also helps in saving time since the employment agencies normally maintain databases for resumes that match a wide variety of jobs. Apart from helping in the recruitment process, the agencies usually assist their clients to train the employees prior to their employment.

The demerit associated with this technique is that it involves high costs in the short-term. The agencies usually charge high fees for their services and this makes it difficult for firms to contract them (Underhill 2010, vol. 48, pp. 338-355). It can also be ineffective if the agency fails to understand the needs of the employer. This is because such misunderstandings can lead to recruitment of ineffective employees.

Internal Recruitment

Internal recruitment refers to the process of giving the existing employees a chance to fill the existing vacancies (Callaghan & Thompson 2002, vol. 39, pp. 233-254). This is done through promotions or interdepartmental transfers. In most cases the record of an employee’s past performance is used to judge his or her suitability for a particular position (Underhill 2010, vol. 48, pp. 338-355).

However, some organizations subject their employees to psychometric tests and interviews before promoting them. The promotions are normally accompanied with specialized training to help the employee to adjust to his or her new position.

The benefits of this technique are as follows. First, making use of existing employees help in saving the time used to source and hire external workers. Second, internal recruitment gives employees advancement opportunities (Freyens 2010, vol. 48, pp. 262-286). This translates into high morale and low turnover.

Third, it is easy to match the skills of existing employees to the requirements of the vacancies due to their experience within the firm (Freyens 2010, vol. 48, pp. 262-286). Finally, promoted workers are less likely to ask for high compensation as compared to external workers. Thus it can help in reducing the fixed costs associated with hiring employees.

Internal recruitment will not be beneficial if the existing employees do not have the needed skills. In such cases, the employer must recruit external workers. It also demands high level of transparency and professionalism to ensure that decisions are made on merit.

Lack of transparency can lead to corruption or nepotism during promotions and this can lead to dissatisfaction among employees. Limiting recruitment to existing employees denies the employer the opportunity to access “a wide spectrum of talent” (Freyens 2010, vol. 48, pp. 262-286).

Referrals

In this case, the employers obtain the information about potential employees from key informants (Dainty 2011, vol. 49, pp. 55-70). The key informants are people with information about the existing talent within an industry. Such informants can be existing employees, business partners or retired employees.

Most employees do not look for jobs actively. This means that the information about their abilities and skills is not available to other organizations that might be interested in hiring them (Dainty 2011, vol. 49, pp. 55-70). Thus referrals enable employers to reach potential employees who are not actively looking for jobs.

The main advantage of this technique is that it helps in reducing recruitment costs since the referrals are not paid for in most cases. This technique is suitable for positions that need specific behavior patterns such as determination (Callaghan & Thompson 2002, vol. 39, pp. 233-254). Such attributes can not be easily verified during interviews. Thus referrals enable employers to reach potential employees whose skills and behavior have already been verified.

Referrals can be misleading since they are based on the knowledge of the informant (Dainty 2011, vol. 49, pp. 55-70). This means that the employer can hire ineffective employees if the informant had insufficient information about the potential employee.

Conclusion

Recruitment techniques refer to the various methods used by organizations to source and hire employees (Piostrowski & Terry 2006, vol. 26, pp. 210-217). The benefits associated with choosing the right recruitment techniques include cost reduction, hiring the right employee and reducing the time needed to fill existing vacancies (Lam 2007, vol. 44, pp. 993-1016).

The above discussion indicates that each technique is associated with various merits and demerits. Besides, some techniques are only suitable under particular situations. For example, internal recruitment can only be used if the existing employees have the desired skills.

Thus the factors that determine the choice of a recruitment technique include the following. First, the technique must be efficient and affordable by saving both time and costs (Lam 2007, vol. 44, pp. 993-1016). Second, it should be effective by enabling the employer to find the right employee. Finally, it should be fair and legal so that decisions can be made based on merit.

References

Abuzeid, A 2008, ‘Recruitment and selection into specialty training’, Psychiatry, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 401-403.

Callaghan, G & Thompson, P 2002, ‘We recruit attitude: the selection and shaping of routine call centre labor’, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 39, no. 2, 233-254.

Dainty, P 2011, ‘The strategic HR role: do Australian HR professionals have the required skills?’, Asian Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 55-70.

Dave, B, Patricia, L & Linda, M 2000, ‘The recruitment and selection of young people by small businesses’, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 162-178.

El-Kot, G 2008, ‘A survey of recruitment and selection practices in Egypt’, Education, Business and Society, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 200-212.

Freyens, B 2010, ‘Managing skill shortages in the Australian public sector: issues and perspectives’, Asian Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 262-286.

Lam, A 2007, ‘Knowledge networks and careers: academic sciences in industry-university link’, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 44. No. 6, pp. 993-1016.

Piostrowski, C &Terry, A 2006, ‘Current recruitment and selection practices: a natural survey of fortune 1000 firms’, North American Journal of Psychology, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 210-217.

Schulzs, E, Camp, R & Waltman, R 2008, ‘Incremental effectiveness of two key IT recruitment methods’, Journal of Managerial Issues, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 501-513.

Underhill, E 2010, ‘Should host employers have greater responsibility for temporary agency workers’ employment rights?’, Asian Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 338-355.

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