Concept and Meaning of Recruitment

The word ‘recruitment’ indicates the action of enlisting or finding new people to join an organization or support a cause. It plays an important role in the staffing process. Employees leave the organization in search of greener pastures- some retire some die in saddle. The most important thing is that enterprise grows, diversifies, and takes over other units-all necessitating hiring of new men and women. In fact recruitment functions stop only when the organization ceases to exist

Recruitment is a major step in the staffing process. It is an initial phase of employment process. It means development and maintenance of adequate manpower. It means creating a pool of human resource so that the business organisation can draw from this pool, additional employees as and when required.

To understand recruitment in simple terms it is understood as process of searching for obtaining applications of job from among from which the right people can be selected.

The term may sometimes be defined as incorporating activities which take place ahead of attracting people, such as defining the job requirements and person specification, as well as after the individual has joined the organization, such as induction and on boarding.

Recruitment is a process of identifying and preparing and inspiring and attracting potential employees to the company. It is a systematic means of finding and inducing available candidates to apply to the company for employment.

After estimating the need and requirement of human resource in an organization, the HR manager proceeds with identification of sources of HR, which is termed as recruitment.

Definition of recruitment

Recruitment may be defined as, “the overall process of finding, attracting, selecting, hiring, and appointing, the best qualified candidate [from within or outside of an organisation] for the right position, at the right time for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner, to perform organisational activities in order to achieve the objectives”.

According to Werther and Keith, “Recruitment is the process of finding and attracting capable applicants from which new employees are selected”.

According to W F Glueck, “Recruitment is the set of activities which an enterprise uses to attract job candidates who have the abilities and attitudes needed to help enterprise to achieve the objectives”.

The process begins when new recruit are sought and ends when their application are submitted. The result is a pool of applicants from which new employees are selected.


The recruitment process includes

analysing the requirement of a job,

attracting employees to fill the organisational vacancies,

screening and selecting applicants, hiring, and integrating the new employee to the organisation.

Recruitment generates applications or applicants for specific positions to be filled in the organization.

In other words, it is a process of finding and attracting capable applicants for employment. Hence, theoretically recruitment process ends with the receipt of applications.

Theoretically, recruitment process is said to end with receipt of application in practice the activity extends to the screening applicants as to eliminate those who are not qualified for job.

It is concluded that, recruitment is a process of searching for prospective employees, and securing applicants for specific position to be filled. It specifies HR requirements through the generation of a pool of candidates for organizational vacancies. It identifies different sources of manpower. it is concerned with the range of sources of supply of labour and of recruitment practices and techniques.

Recruitment process identifies the following:

1. Recruitment process identifies different sources of manpower supply,

2. Recruitment assesses their validity,

3. Recruitment process choose the most suitable source and

4. Recruitment process invites applications from prospective candidates.

The nature of problems that management faces in recruiting the man power they require varies from industry to industry, unit to unit and time to time.

The importance of diversity should be taken into account at each stage of the recruitment process. Processes and systems should be regularly reviewed to ensure hidden bias is removed and to ensure talent is not being blocked from entering the organisation. Everyone taking part in activities such as short listing and interviewing should be aware of relevant legislation and the importance of avoiding discrimination

Recruitment process begins after preparing HR planning and conducting job analysis. Therefore, it keeps a relationship with other human resource activities.

Depending on the size and practices of the organisation, recruitment may be undertaken in house by managers, human resource generalists and/or recruitment specialists. Alternatively, parts of the process may be undertaken by public sector employment agencies, commercial recruitment agencies, or specialist search consultants.

The use of internet based services and computer technologies to support all aspects of recruitment activity and processes has become widespread and revolutionised recruitment activities ranging from recruitment agencies sourcing candidates through online job boards and social media, or human resource professionals using assessment of job simulation programs as a part of the selection process.

Recruitment is thus an important step in industrial employment and subsequently the ultimate success or failure of such employment depends in large measure upon the methods and organisation by means of which the workers are brought into the industry.

If the workers in any undertaking are not recruited in accordance with some systematic, proper and judicious manner, most of them are likely to be found inefficient and often quite unfit for the jobs allocated to them. It will hinder production which, in turn, will mean a substantial loss to total output.

Such lack of adjustment between the worker and his job is often responsible, to a certain extent, for some part of the prevailing high magnitude of labour absenteeism and labour turn over in Indian industries.

It is therefore, highly desirable that scientific principles of labour administration and labour management should be applied in recruitment of workers in various units of organised industry, particularly in a country like India which is forging ahead on the path of industrialisation.

It is thus obvious that recruitment is a continuing, complex and vital organ of the personnel management involving a careful consideration of a wide range of sources and number of common practices.

Purpose and Importance of the recruitment process

The general purpose of recruitment is to provide a pool of potentially qualified job candidates.

Specifically, the purposes are to:

1. Determine the present and future requirement of the organization in conjunction with its personnel planning and job analysis activities;

2. Increase the job pool of job candidates at minimum cost;

3. Help increase the success rate of the selection process by reducing the number visibly under qualified or job application;

4. Help reduce the probability that job applicants, once recruited and selected, will leave the organization only after a short period of time;

5. Meet the organizations legal and social obligation regarding the composition of its workforce;

6. Better identifying and preparing potential job applicants who will be appropriate candidates;

7. Increase organization individual effectiveness in the short and long term;

8. Evaluate the effectiveness of various recruiting technique and sources for all types of job applicants.

Planning of recruitment

1] Job analysis and job grading

Manager should have accurate information about the jobs and the abilities and qualities he requires in his staff at the time of recruitment. Such information is obtained by means of job analysis, job description and job specification.

“Job analysis is a process of systematically collecting and analysing and documenting information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes and work environment of a particular job, the content and human requirements of jobs as well as the context in which jobs are performed”.

All the data put together results in a “job description” which is the outcome of job analysis. This process is used to determine placement of jobs.

2] Internal recruitment

Internal source of recruitment refers to recruitment from within the organisation so as to conserve the existing manpower through implementation of policies of promotions and transfers, former employees, employee’s referrals and previous applicants

3] External recruitment

External sources of recruitment lie outside the organization. External or outside source of recruitment includes hiring at the gate, advertising, direct application by the person or by mail, unions, educational institutions, employment exchanges or agencies, professional associations, campus recruitment, word of mouth etc.

4] Selection process

“The process of interviewing and evaluating candidates for a specific job and selecting an individual for employment based on certain criteria”.

Employee Selection is the process of putting right men on right job. It is a procedure of matching organizational requirements with the skills and qualifications of people. Proper screening and testing of candidates takes place during selection procedure

Factors affecting recruitment

There are a number of factors that affect recruitment. These are broadly classified into two categories:

I) Internal factors

II) External factors

Internal factors

The internal factors also called as “endogenous factors” are the factors within the organization that affect recruiting personnel in the organization.

Some of these are:-

Size of the organization

The size of the organization affects the recruitment process. Larger organizations recruit more candidates than smaller ones. Also larger organization finds internal recruitment less problematic than organization with smaller in size.

Recruiting policy

The recruitment policy of the organization i.e. recruiting from internal sources and external sources also affect the recruitment process. Generally, recruitment through internal sources is preferred, because own employees know the organization and they can well fit in to the organization culture.

Image of the organization

Image of the organization is another factor having its influence on the recruitment process of the organization. Good image of the organization is established by its management helps attract potential and efficient candidates. Managerial actions like good public relations, rendering public service like building roads, public parks, hospitals and schools help earn image or goodwill for organization.

Image of the job

Better remuneration and working conditions are considered the characteristics of good image of a job. Besides, promotion and career development policies of organization also attract potential candidates.

External factors

Like internal factors, there are some factors external to organization, which have their influence on recruitment process. Some of these are given below:-

Demographic factors

The demographic factors of human population like age, sex, occupation, literacy, religion economics status etc have profound influence on recruitment process.

Labor market

Labor market condition, in other words man power within and outside the organization ie supply and demand of labor is of particular importance in affecting recruitment process. E.g. if supply of labour is more recruitment ie easy and if supply is less recruitment becomes difficult; if the demand for specific skill is less than, recruitment will be relatively easier; and if supply is limited the company may train its own employees for the job.

Unemployment situation

The rate of unemployment is yet another external factor its influence on the recruitment process. When the employment rate in an area is high, the recruitment process tends to simpler. The reason is not difficult to seek. The number of application is expectedly very high which makes easier to attract the best-qualified applications. The reverse is also true. With low rate of unemployment, recruiting process tend to become difficult

Labor laws

There are several labor laws and regulations passed by the central and state governments that govern different type of employment. These cover working condition, compensation, retirement benefits, safety and health of employee in industrial undertakings.

The child Labour Act, 1986; for example prohibits employment of children in certain employments.

Similarly several other acts such as the Employment Exchange Act,1958; The Apprentice Act, 1961; the Factory Act,1948; and The Mines Act, 1952 deal with recruitment.

Legal consideration

Another external factor is legal consideration with regard to employment reservation of jobs for schedule tribes, and other backward classes, physically handicapped etc, is the popular examples of such legal consideration. The supreme court of India has given its verdict in favor of 50 per cent of jobs and seats. This is so in case admission in the educational institutions also.

Trade unions also influence the recruitment process.

Image of the organisation and its goodwill

Image and goodwill of the organisation is influences the process of recruitment. An organisation with a positive image and which enjoys a goodwill in the market attracts and retains employees than an organisation with a negative image.

Social and political environment

The social and political environment also influences the recruitment process. Eg a change in the government may directly influence recruitment of companies due to a change in government rules and regulations.


The recruitment policies of the competitors also affect the recruitment policy of the organisation. To face the competition organisations change their recruitment policies according to the policies of their competitors.

Sources of recruitment

Sources of recruitment may be

I] Internal source of recruitment.

II] External source of recruitment

I] Internal source of recruitment.

Internal source of recruitment refers to recruitment from within the organisation so as to conserve the existing manpower through implementation of policies of promotions and transfers.

The best of employees may often be found from within the organisation. It is therefore desirable first to look for applicants from within the organisation.

Internal sources

I] Present employees

Promotions and transfer from among the present employees can be good sources of recruitment.

1] Promotions

Promotions are given on the basis of seniority and merit. It is a movement to a better position where both responsibility and prestige may be increased. Promotion implies upgrading of an employee to a higher position carrying higher status, pay and responsibilities.Normally promotion indicates increased earnings, but this may not always be so

Dry promotion – indicates increase in rank and not in earnings.

Designations are different but no change in responsibilities eg when an university professor becomes the head of the department, there is no increase in salary.

Horizontal promotion – Horizontal promotion is a lateral promotion involving an increase in responsibility and pay, but the person may remain at the same or similar designation. eg a lower division clerk is promoted as an upper division clerk.

Vertical promotion – Vertical promotion is a promotion to a position of greater managerial authority and responsibility and therefore greater earnings. eg A vice president of a company becomes the president of the company.

Promotion from among the present employees is advantageous because the

1] Employees promoted are well acquainted with the organization culture, they get motivated and it is cheaper also.

2] Promotion from among the person employees also reduces the requirement of job training.

However, the disadvantage lies in

1] Limiting the choice of the few people and denying hiring of outsiders who may be better qualified and skilled.

2] Furthermore, promotion from among present employees also results in inbreeding, which creates frustration among those not promoted.

2] Transfers

A transfer is shifting an employee from one job to another without any change in position, post, status and responsibilities or compensation.

The need for transfer is felt to provide employees a broader and varied base, which is considered necessary for promotion. Job rotation involves transfer from one job to another job on lateral basis.

Transfers may be permanent or temporary.

Personal transfers – made on request of the employee

Versatility transfers – made to provide the employee better opportunity and varied and richer work experience.

Remedial transfers – are made to help employees to adjust themselves better with their jobs as well as with their seniors.

Replacement transfers – are similar to production transfers intended to prevent lat-offs.

Shift transfers – to help employees to work in a shift of their convenience.

Plant transfers – are made to adjust the workers of one plant with that of another when the plant is closed down.

3] Former employees

Former employees are another source of applicant for vacancies to be filled up in the organization. Retired or retrenched employees may be interested to come back to the company to work on the part time basis. Similarly some former employee who had left the organization for some reason, and may want to come back to work. This source has the advantage of hiring people whose performance is already known to the organization.

4] Employee’s referrals:

This is yet another source of recruitment. The existing employees refer their family members, friends and relatives as potential candidates to the company for the vacancies to be filled up in the organization. This source serves as the most effective method of recruiting people in the organization as the candidates referred are the potential candidates who meet the company requirements as known to the company’s employee from his own experience.

5] Previous applicants

This is considered as an internal source in a sense that applications from potential candidates are already with the organization. Sometimes the organisation contacts these applicants to fill up the vacancies especially in case of semi-skilled and unskilled jobs.

Evaluation of internal sources of recruitment

Advantages of internal sources of recruitment

1] Familiarity with their own employees – The organization is familiar with their own employees and is aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

2] Better use of talent – Internal recruitment helps the organization to develop and make optimum use of internally available talent.

3] Economical – Internal recruitment is economical in terms of time effort and money. The organization does not have to make an effort and spend time and money to attract potential candidates.

4] Improves morale – This recruitment method improves the general morale of the employees in the organization, as it ensures the them that they would be preferred to outsiders as and when vacancies occur.

5] A motivator – It also helps the management to motivate the employees for making their maximum efforts towards the accomplishment of organisational objectives; as this will ensure them better prospect to further their career and increase their  income. It also attracts and retains employees in the organization.

6] It builds loyalty among employees by creating a sense of security among them.

7] It helps the organisation to have a stable and contented work force ready to extend full cooperation in the achievement of results.

8] It provides an opportunity to the management to implement a comprehensive programme of talent inventory and analysis.

9] In many organisations the principle source for qualified workers may be the ranks of present employees who have received specialisation.


1] Limited choice – Internal recruitment limits the choice of the management to talents available within the organization instead of tapping talents in the vast labour outside the organization.

2] Discourages competition – Internal recruitment discourages competition between candidates from outside the organisation who might be more competent. Also it might develop a tendency among the employees to be promoted without any special extra efforts.

3] Stagnation of skills – This method may create a sense of security among them employees ensuring them of promotion. They may therefore become complacent and their skills may become stagnant. This will reduce productivity and efficiency of the firm.

4] Creates conflicts – Conflicts and controversies surface among internal candidates as they compete for promotion whether they deserve it or not.

II] External source of recruitment

External source of recruitment or labour supply are also very important because few organisations can fill all their manpower requirements from within.

External sources of recruitment lie outside the organization. These outnumber internal sources.

External or outside source of recruitment includes hiring at the gate, advertising, direct application by the person or by mail, unions, educational institutions, employment exchanges or agencies etc.

External sources are as follows:

1] Employment exchange

The national commission of labour [1969] observed in its report that in the pre independence era the main source of labour was the rural areas surrounding the industries. Immediately after independence, national employment services were established to bring employer and job seeker together. In response to it, the compulsory notification of vacancies act of 1959 [commonly called the employment exchange act] was instituted which became operative in 1960, the main function of these employment exchanges with the branches in most cities are registration of job seekers and tier placement in the notified vacancies. It is obligatory for employer to inform about the outcome of selection within 15 days to the employment exchange. Employment exchange is particular useful in recruiting blue-collar, white-collar and technical workers.

2] Employment Agencies

In addition to the government agencies there are a number of private agencies that register candidates for employment and furnish a list of suitable candidates from the data bank as and when sought by prospective employers. Generally these agencies select personnel for supervisory and higher levels. The main function of these agencies is to invite applications and to shortlist the suitable candidates for the the organization. Of course the representative of the organization takes the final decision on selection

The advantage of this source is that time saved can be better utilized and the employer’s identity remains unknown, thus he can avoid receiving letters and attempts to influence.

3] Advertisement:

This method of recruitment can be used for clerical, technical, and managerial jobs The higher the position in the organization, the more specialized the skills or the shorter the supply of those resources in the labour market, the more widely dispersed the advertisement are likely to be.

For instance, the search for a top executive might include advertisements in a national daily like the Hindu. Some employers/companies advertise their post by giving them post box number of the name of some recruiting agency. This is done to particular keep own identity secret to avoid unnecessary correspondence with the applicants.

However the disadvantage of these blind advertisement, i.e., post box number is that the potential job seekers are the hesitant to apply to unknown organization, on one hand, and the bad image/ reputation that the blind advertisement have received because of the organizations that placed such advertisements without position lying vacant just to know supply of labor/ workers in the labor market, on the other.

While preparing advertisement, a lot of care has to be taken to make it clear and to the point. It must ensure that some self-selection among applicant take place and only qualified applicant responds.

the advertisement should be prepared by using a four-point guide called “AIDA”. The letters in the acronym denote that advertisement should attract Attention, gain Interest, arouse a Desire and result in action.

However, not many organizations mention complete detail about job positions in there advertisement. What happened is the ambiguously worded and broad-based advertisements may generate a lot irrelevant application, which would, by necessity, increase the cost of processing them.

4] Professional Associations

Very often, recruitment for certain professional and technical positions is made through professionals association also called ‘Headhunters’ Institute of Engineers, All India Management Association, etc, provides placement service to the members. The professional associations prepare either list of jobseekers or publish or sponsor journal or magazines containing advertisements for their member. It is particularly useful for attracting highly skilled and professional personnel. However, in India, this is not a very common practice and those few provide such kind service have not been able to generate a large number of application.

5] Campus Recruitment

This is another source of recruitment. Though campus recruitment is a common phenomenon particularly in the American organizations, it has now been adopted in India. Of late, some organizations such as HLL, HCL, L&T, Citibank, Cadbury ANZ Grind lays, etc., in India have started visiting educational and training institute/ campuses for recruitment purposes. Many Institutes have regular placement cells / offices to serve liaison between the employer and the students.

The method of campus recruitment offers certain advantages to the employer organizations.

First, the most of the candidates are available at one place;

Second, the interviews are arranged at short notice;

Third, the teaching is also met;

Fourth, it gives them opportunity to sell the organization to a large students body who would be graduating subsequently.

The disadvantages of this of recruitment are that

organisations have to limit their selection to only “entry’’ positions and they interview the candidates who have similar education and experience, if at all.

6] Deputation

Another source of recruitment is deputation ie, sending an employee to another organization for the short duration of two to three years. This method of recruitment is practice in the Government department and public sector organization.

The advantage is that they do not have to incur the initial cost of induction and training. However, the disadvantages of this of deputation is that deputation period  of two/three year is not enough for the deputed employee to prove to the employer his/her mettle, on the one hand, and develop commitment with organization to become part of it, on the other.

7] Word-of-mouth:

Some organizations in India also practice the “word-of-mouth’ method of recruitment. In this method, the word is passed around about the vacancies or opening in the organization. Another form of word-of-mouth method of “employee-pinching’’ i.e., the employee working in another organization is offered by the rival organization. This method is economic, in terms that it saves both time and money.

Some of the organizations maintain a file of applications and bio-data sent by job seeker. These are very handy as when there is vacancy in the organization.

The advantage of this method is no cost involved in recruitment.

However, the disadvantages of this method of recruitment are non- availability of the candidates when needed and choice of candidates is restricted to a small number.


8] Raiding or Poaching:

This is another source of recruitment whereby the rival firm by offering attractive terms and conditions, try to attract qualified employees to join their organisation. This raiding is a common feature in the Indian organizations. For instance, service executive of HMT left to join Titan Watch Company, so also exodus of pilot from Indian Airlines to join the private air taxi operator. In fact, raiding has become challenge for the human resource manager.

Besides these, walk – ins, contractors, radio and television, acquisitions and merger, etc., are some of the other sources of recruitment used by organizations.

Evaluation of external sources of recruitment

Advantages of external sources of recruitment

1] Open source.

Being a more open process it is likely to attract a large number of applicants and applications. Therefore a wide field of selection is available.

2] Availability of talented candidates,

With the large pool of applicants, it becomes possible for organization to have talented candidates from the outside. Thus, it introduces new blood in the organization.

3] Opportunity to Select the Best Candidate.

With the large pool of applicants, selection process becomes competitive. This increases prospects for selection the best candidates.

4] Fresh view point and possible a broader outlook may be attracted.

5] Employees with varied and broader experience may be secured

6] Provides healthy competition:

The external candidates are selected on the basis of their higher training and efficiency. With such a background, they work with the positive attitude and greater vigor. This helps create healthy competition and conductive work environment in the organization.

However, external recruitment may be justified when suitable candidates cannot be obtained from within the organisation.


However, the external sources of recruitment suffer from certain disadvantages too, these are:

1] Expensive and time consuming:

This method of recruitment is both expensive and time consuming. There is no guarantee that organization will get good and suitable candidates.

2] Unfamiliarity with the Organization:

As candidates some outside the organization, they are not familiar with tasks, job nature and the international scenario of the organization.

3] Discourage the Existing Employee:

Existing employees are not sure to get promotion. This may discourage and therefore reduce their efficiency and the productivity of the organization.

Posted in Mpm