Sources of recruitment

There are two broad sources of recruitment – internal and external. A brief description of each source follows:
1. Internal Sources of Recruitment: Existing employees of an organization provide the internal sources in the main. Whenever any vacancy arises, someone from within the organization is upgraded, transferred, promoted or even demoted. Retrenched employees, retired employees, dependents deceased employees may also constitute the internal sources. The major internal sources of recruitment are as under.
a. Promotion and Transfers: The most important source of filling vacancies from within is through transfers and promotions. A transfer is a lateral movement within the same grade, from one job to another. They may lead to changes in duties and responsibilities, working conditions, etc. but not necessarily salary. Promotion, on the other hand, involves movement of employees from a lower level position to a higher level position accompanied by (usually) changes in authority, duties, responsibilities, status and remuneration. Organizations generally prepare a central pool of persons from which vacancies can be filled in. such persons are usually posted to various departments, depending of internal requirements.
b. Job posting: Job posting is another way of hiring people from within. In job posting, the organization publicizes job openings on bulletin boards, electronic media and similar outlets. One of the important advantages of this method is that it offers a chance to highly qualified applicants working within the company to look for growth opportunities within the company without looking for external opportunities.
c. Employee referrals: Employee referral means using personal contacts to locate job opportunities. It is a recommendation from a current employee regarding a job applicant. The logic behind employee referral is that “it takes one to know one”. Employees working in the organization, in this case, are encouraged to recommend the names of their friends working in other organizations for a possible vacancy in the near future. In fact, this has become a popular way of recruiting people in the highly competitive IT industry now-a-days. Companies offer rewards also to employees whose recommendations are accepted – after the routine screening and examining process is over and job offers extended to the suggested candidates. As a goodwill gesture, companies also consider the names recommended by unions from time to time.
2. External Sources of Recruitment: The sources of recruitment that are used to hire people from outside the organization may be many but a few most important among them are discussed below:
a. Advertisements: When an organization desires to communicate to the public that it has a vacancy, advertisement is one of the most popular methods used. However, the media of advertisement preferred is often determined by the type of job.
As, of fact the higher the position in the organization, the more specialized the skills, or the shorter the supply of the resource in the labor force, the more widely dispersed the advertisement is likely to be. The search for a manager, for example, might include advertisement through internet, in national dailies, specialized journals, etc. on the other hand, the advertisement for lower level jobs in usually confined to the local dailies.
Many organizations prefer what is referred to as a blind advertisement in which identification of the organizations is not disclosed. Respondents are usually asked to reply to a post office box number. This is especially preferred when the position that the organization wishes to fill is expected to draw an extraordinary number of applications. Using the blind ad relieves the organization from having to respond to any individual who applies. Only those individuals the organization wishes to see are notified; the remaining are not as if the application was never received. This method is appropriate when (A) the organization intends to reach a large target group and (b) the organization wants a fairly good number of potential candidates who are geographically dispersed to apply for the advertised vacancies. Let’s briefly examine the wide variety of alternatives available to a company as far as ads are concerned:
i. Internet ads: In the age of globalization prospective candidates for specialized jobs in large organizations, especially MNCs may be attracted through internet ads. Such ads do have world wide access to highly qualified people having internet connections.
ii. Newspaper ads: Ads in news papers may be published without much of a lead time. It has flexibility in terms of information and can conveniently target a specific geographic location. On the negative side, newspaper ads tend to attract only those who are actively seeking employment at that point of time, while some of the best candidates who are well paid and challenged by their current jobs may not be aware of such openings. As a result, the company may be bombarded with applications from a large number of candidates who are marginally qualified for the jobs, adding to its administrative burden.
iii. Television and radio ads: These ads are more likely to reach individuals who are not actively seeking employment, they are more likely to stand out distinctly, they help the organization to target the audience more selectively and they offer considerable scope for designing the message creatively. However, these ads are expensive. Also, because the television or radio is simply seen or heard, potential candidates may have a tough time remembering the details, making application difficult.
b. Employment agencies: There are three forms of employment agencies – public employment agencies, private employment agencies, and management consulting firms.
i. Public employment agencies: Most public agencies tend to attract and list individuals who are unskilled or have had minimum training this, of course, does not reflect on the agency’s competence. Rather, it reflects the image of public agencies. Such agencies are perceived by prospective applicants as having few high skilled jobs, and employers also tend to see such agencies as having few high skilled applicants. Therefore public agencies tend to attract and place predominantly low skilled workers.
ii. Private Employment Agencies: How does a private agency, which has to charge for its services, compete with state agencies that give their services almost free? Clearly, they must do something different from what the public agencies do, or at least give that impressing.
The major difference between public and private employment agencies is their image. That is, private agencies are believed to offer positions to applicants of a higher caliber. Private agencies also provide a more complete line of services. They advertise the position, screen applicants against the criteria specified by the employer, and usually provide a guarantee covering six months or a year as protection to the employer should the applicant not perform satisfactorily.
The private employment agency’s fee can be totally observed by either the employer or the employee, or it can be split. The alternative chosen usually depends on the demand – supply situation in the community involved.
iii. Headhunters: The third agency source consists of head hunting management consulting or executive search firms. Agencies of this type are actually specialized private employment agencies. They specialize in middle-level and top-level executive placements. In addition to the level at which they recruit, the features that distinguish executive search agencies from most private employment agencies are their fees, their nationwide contacts, and the thoroughness of their investigations.
Executive search firms canvass their contacts and do preliminary screening. They seek out highly effective executives who have the skills to do the job, can effectively adjust to the organization, and most important are willing to consider new challenges and opportunities.
c. Unsolicited Applicants / Walk – ins: Companies generally receive unsolicited applications from job seekers at various points of time. The number of such applications depends on economic condition, image of the company and job seeker’s perception of the types of jobs that may be available, etc. such applications are generally kept in a data bank and whenever suitable vacancy arises, the company would intimate the candidate to apply through formal channel.
d. Temporary help Services: This can be a source of employees when individuals are needed on a temporary basis. Temporary employees are particularly valuable in meeting short term fluctuations in personnel needs. The firms that take resort to such type of recruiting source also enjoy the benefit of avoiding the burden of excess employees.
e. Campus Recruitment: It is a method of recruiting by visiting and participating in university campuses and their placement centers. Here the recruiters visit reputes education institutions with a view to pick up job aspirants having requisite technical or professional skills. Job seekers are provided information about the jobs and the recruiters, in turn, get a snapshot of job seekers through constant interchange of information with respective institutions. A preliminary screening is done within the campus and the shortlisted students are then subjected to the remainder of the selection process.
If campus recruiting is used, steps should be taken by the Human Resource Department to ensure that the recruiters are knowledgeable about the jobs that are to be filled and are capable of employing effective interviewing skills.
f. Professional Organization: Organization like the chambers of commerce and industries, engineer’s institutions, management associations, etc. may act as external sources of recruitment. These lists to members. It is also common practice to provide placement facilities at regional and national meetings where individuals looking for employment and companies looking for employees can find each other.

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