Recruitment is distinct from employment and selection


Once the required number and kind of human resources are determined, the management has to find the places where required human resources are or will be available and also find the means of attracting them towards the organization before selecting suitable candidates for jobs. All this process is generally known as recruitment.

Some people use the term ‘recruitment’ for employment. These two are not one and the same. Recruitment is only one of the steps in the entire employment process. Some others use the term recruitment for selection. These two terms are not one and the same either.

Technically speaking the function of recruitment precedes the selection function and it includes only finding, developing the sources of prospective employees and attracting them to apply for jobs in an organization, whereas the selection is the process of finding out the most suitable candidate to the job out of the candidates attracted. Formal definition of recruitment would give clear cut idea about the function of recruitment.

Recruitment is defined as, “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 defined recruitment as “process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization.�

Those definitions can be analyzed by discussing the processes of recruitment through systems approach.

Objectives of Recruitment

1. To attract people with multi-dimensional skills and experiences that suits the present and future organizational strategies.
2. To induct outsiders with a new perspective to lead the company.
3. To infuse fresh blood at all levels of the organization.
4. To develop an organizational culture that attracts competent people to the company,
5. To search or head hunt people whose skills fit the company’s values.
6. To devise methodologies for assessing psychological traits,
7. To seek out non-conventional development grounds of talent,
8. To search for talent globally and not just within the company.
9. To design entry pay that competes on quality but not on quantum,
10. To anticipate and find people for positions that does not exist yet.

Sub-systems of Recruitment

The recruitment consists of the following sub-functions

1. Finding out and developing the sources where the required number and kind of employees will be available.
2. Developing suitable techniques to attract the desirable candidates.
3. Employing the techniques to attract candidates.
4. Stimulating as many candidates as possible and asking them to apply for jobs irrespective of number of candidates required.

Management has to attract more candidates in order to increase selection ratio(i.e. number of applications per one job vacancy)in order to select the most suitable candidates out of the total candidates. Recruitment is positive as it aims at increasing the number of applicants and selection is somewhat negative as it selects the suitable candidates in which process the unsuitable are automatically eliminated. Though, the function of recruitment seems to be easy, a number of factors make performance of recruitment a complex one.

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, legal requirement and government policies, social factors, information systems etc.

The internal factors include the company’s pay package including salary, fringe benefits and incentives, quality of work life, organizational culture, career planning and growth opportunities, size of the company, company’s product/services, geographical spread of the company’s operations viz., local, national or global, company’s growth rate, Role of Trade Unions and cost of recruitment.

Complexity of the Function of Recruitment

Performing the function of recruitment i.e. increasing the selection ratio is not as easy as it seems to be. This is because of the hurdles created by the internal factors and external factors which influence an organization. The first activity of recruitment i.e. searching for prospective employees is affected by many factors like

1. Organizational policy regarding filling up of certain percentage of vacancies by internal candidates.
2. Local candidates (sons of soil).
3. Influence of trade unions;
4. Government regulations regarding reservations of certain number of vacancies to candidates based on community/region/ caste/ sex;
5. Influence of recommendations, nepotism etc. As such, the management is not free to find out or develop the source of desirable candidates and alternatively it has to divert its energies for developing the sources within the limits of those factors though it cannot find suitable candidates for the jobs.

The other activity of recruitment is consequently affected by the internal factors such as:

1. Working conditions ; and
2. Promotional opportunities ;
3. Salary levels, type and extent of benefits;
4. Other personnel policies and practices;
5. Image of the organization;
6. Ability and skill of the management to stimulate the candidates.

It is also affected by external factors like:

1. Personnel policies and practices of various organizations regarding working conditions, salary, benefits, promotional opportunities, employee relations etc.,
2. Career opportunities in other organizations;
3. Government regulations.

The degree of complexity of recruitment function can be minimized by formulating sound policies. A few progressive companies in India like Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Lever, Procter & Gamble and a few others have exemplary policies of recruitment which even International companies are trying to emulate. Of late Indian BPO’s and multinationals have evolved their unique methodologies in fast recruitment and selection processes.

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