Advantages of Recruiting Centrally

Recruiting centrally has other advantages. It reduces duplication (having several recruitment offices instead of one) makes it easier to spread the cost of new technologies (such as Internet based recruitment and prescreening solutions) over more departments, builds a team of recruitment experts and makes it easier to identify why recruitment efforts are going well (or badly). It also produces synergies. For instance, instead of looking for one financial analyst, you can recruit for five related positions from the same applicant pool. The accountants Deloitte & Touche Tohmatsu recently created a global recruitment site, thus eliminating the need to maintain 35 separate local recruiting Web sites. On the other hand, if the firm’s divisions are autonomous, or their recruitment needs are varied, it may be more sensible to decentralize the recruitment function.

Considering the geographical and educational diversity of India, many firms practice decentralized recruitment. It was very common for companies to engage blue collar and non-managerial employees from the local population since it offered advantages like familiarity with the local language. The same pattern continues for new economy employment avenues like the retail and services sector.

Confronted with the shortage of talent in India’s major cities (Tier-I) where the new economy industries are housed, many firms in the IT/ ITES domain have started locating facilities in smaller cities here talent can be tapped with relative ease. Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Satyam etc have set up development centers across the country and abroad, and have decentralized recruitment. The Ahmedabad based ITES company, Motif Inc., focuses on next tier cities in the state like Anand, Kutch to recruit employees for its non-voice BPO operations located at Ahmedabad. GENPAC, the ITES giant, which has operation in quite a few Indian cities like Gurgaon, Hyderabad, and Jaipur has set up recruiting offices in small towns across the country. Job seekers in such small towns can visit the recruiting centers and receive a letter of appointment right there and then.

Independent Recruitment Function: Traditionally, recruitment is part of the human resources management department. To manage the scale and size of recruiting activities in the growth sectors, many Indian IT/ ITES companies have an independent recruitment department that directly fulfills large scale human resources requirements of businesses. Specialist recruiters with a high level of technical expertise are part of this department.

Line and staff Cooperation: The human resources professional charged with recruiting for vacant job is seldom responsible for supervising its performance. He or she must therefore know exactly what the job entails. This means speaking with the supervisor. For example (in addition to needing to know exactly what the job entails and its job specifications), the recruiter might want to know about the supervisor’s leadership style and about the work group – is it a tough group to get along with, for instance? He or she might also want to visit the work site, to review the job description with the supervisor to ensure that the job hasn’t changed, and to obtain any additional insight into the skills and talents the new worker will need. Line and staff coordination is therefore essential.

Measuring recruiting effectiveness:

Even small employers may spend tens of thousands of dollars per year recruiting applicants, yet firms assess their recruitment efforts effectiveness. Is it more cost effective to advertise for applicants on the Web, or in Sunday’s paper? Should we use this employment agency or that one? On survey found that only about 44% of the 279 firms surveyed made formal attempts to evaluate the outcomes of their recruitment efforts. Such inattention flies in the face of common sense.

What to measure: The question is what to measure and how to measure it. In terms of what to measure, one answer is how many applicants did we generate through each of our recruitment sources? This makes sense. If more applicants are generated than there are positions to fill, the firm can be more selective.

The problem is that more is not always better. The employer needs qualified hirable applicants, not just applicant. An Internet may generate thousands of applicants, many from so far away that there’s no chance they’re viable. Even with computerized prescreening and tracking software (discussed below) there are still costs involved in managing applicant pools: more applicants to correspond with and screen or instance. Furthermore, more applicants may not mean more selectivity. Realistically, the manager looking to hire five engineers probably won’t be twice as selective with 20,000 applicants as with 10,000. So, it is not just quantity but quality.

How to measure: How then to measure each recruiting source’s effectiveness? One way is to assess applicants from each source using simple prescreening selection devices.