Recruitment and selection are important functions of human resource management. The current environment has changed the traditional processes of recruitment and selection. Now the firms' are highly keen to hire right people in order to succeed in the market. This suggest that the traditional forms of recruitment and selection like advertisement in newspapers, interview and references etc shows radical changes in the current environment of hiring process. Both these functions, recruitment and selection, are almost simultaneous and they are not complete without each other.
Recruitment and selection differ with each other in their essence. The recruitment process precedes selection and it paved the way in selecting a right candidate. The recruitment can be defined as:
EDWIN FLIPPO, "Recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization."
The recruitment process helps to attract adequate potential candidates to meet the requirements and challenges of the organization and it facilitates the process of selection. In selection process a handsome data of eligible and potential candidates is gathered in order to select most suitable individuals. Recruitment is the firs step to contact with potential candidate.
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The need of recruitment is essential and this need occurs as a result of the business growth, diversification, and expansion of the business activities. The recruitment need is also urged due to promotion, transfer, termination or retirement etc. At this stage the existing staff becomes inadequate and it becomes difficult to manage and control the business operation effectively. The purpose and importance of recruitment is to assess and forecast the present and future needs of staff and to help to select right candidate in order to get best services and retain for a long time and evaluate the process of recruitment.
The sources of recruitment are of two types, it is internal and external recruitment. The internal sources includes promotions, transfers, internal advertisement, retirements, recall former employees etc. and external sources include press advertisements, graduate recruitments, recruitment agencies and walk-ins etc. The internal recruitment seeks to fill the position from within the organization. Both external and internal recruitment sources have merits and demerits.
Now the selection involves the process picking the right applicant from the pool of the potential candidates, who has the best requiring qualification, skills and competencies against the filling position. Recruitment and selection both are the two phases of employment process. We can say that selection is a late stage of recruitment. Selection is a long process and it starts with initial interviews of the screened applicants and continues to tests, informal interviews, formal interviews, final interviews, job offer, induction and end with employment contract, evaluation and end of the contract.
There are lot of factors that affect the process of recruitment and selection. These factors can be from internal and external environment. The external factors include supply and demand, labour market, image/ goodwill, soci-economic and political environment, unemployment rate and competitors. The internal environment is related to within the organization and it can be among the recruitment policies, human resource planning, size of the firm, and cost of recruitment, growth and organizational culture.
The recruitment and selection are the dynamic and most important functions of human resource management because it's the people who make and break the organization. Informational technology has changed the world of the business and the people as connected with each other as much as never before. People have access to latest products and services. Now the national borders are becoming more and more irrelevant. More and more firms are going to offshore in order to get the benefits of profit and to reduce the cost. The firms are establishing their operational setups, production units, more and more mergers and acquisitions are taking place. So in order to control offshore subsidiaries there is need to hire appropriate human resources. It's a very critical and crucial stage to recruit and select the eligible candidates because there is lot of cross culture differences.
Advantages and disadvantages of Informal Methods of Recruitment and Selection:
The firms use both formal and informal methods in the process of recruitment and selection. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. The informal method includes such like promotion within the organization, inter-departmental transfers, internal employment notices, through references, pick a well known professional of competitor organization and through him try to attract the whole team, recall the retired, internee and former employees and the from those institution who are producing relevant professionals. The more informal methods include such as word of mouth and speculative applications. This method is usually adopted during the hiring of low level staff and it is an unstructured method. These informal methods vary from country to country. One informal methods used in UK can be different what id utilized in USA. In some countries applicants are more attracted by blind applications where there is no organization name and salaries offered. In such cases people pay heavy fees to recruitment agencies. The role of recruitment agencies is also increasing day by day. But on the other hand in some countries one of the main sources of recruitment is through relatives, friends or acquaintances of exiting employees. "In-------- certain part of Africa, where you studied is not as important as whom you know, and the people you know may be more important than what you know". (Langtry, 1994).
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This nepotistic approach can be found throughout the world but it varies in degree from country to country. When this approach is adopted in recruitment and selection process, it based more on informal methods. The informal methods of recruitment and selection have advantages and disadvantages as well. The informal method is quick and cost effective. When an employee is hired informally from within the organization, it gives satisfaction to the hired or promoted individual. No high hiring time is associated with this method so there are chances of wrong selection and this is the drawback. when the position are filled promptly, internally, or through some reference, it may give benefits for short term but there are chances to miss the potential fresh talent, skills and competencies and this may result as overall loss for the organization in long terms. Another disadvantage is that it brings resentment and professional jealousy among coworkers when one is promoted or an employee brings his kin to a position, it's naturally tends to develop a sense of jealousy. In informal methods sometimes we don't care and we are not able to asses the employees individual needs, recruiting for the foreign subsidiary, it can be difficult for such employees to adjust in the firm's culture and a miss-fit individual can create problems and he could not attain the desired level of satisfaction and ultimately they will not be able to produce those result for which they are hired.
Role of Recruitment Agencies and Advantages and Disadvantages:
The firms are stepping to offshore markets, they are facing problems while hiring appropriate employees because they are unaware of that particular market and culture of that country, as a consequence private recruitment agencies emerged to fill this gap. There are different types of recruitment agencies working in the markets but the major five are following: traditional agency, headhunters, niche recruiters, in-house recruitment and passive candidate research firms and sourcing firms. These agencies play a middle role between the employers and the job seeker. These agencies usually charge the employer for their services and they not charge the applicants. These agencies have certain advantages and disadvantages for the employers.
Among the advantages of recruitment agencies is that they save the time and they cost low to the firms. They have a good pool of qualified and skilled candidates and they can easily manage much or little requirement of the company. It helps the organization to get free from about the human resource planning in advance. These agencies help the top management to focus on more strategic level of human resource management instead of recruitment process. These agencies stop to leak the confidential information of an employer firm to the competitors like job descriptions, pay package, skills and qualifications etcâ€¦..if these things advertise in the paper than it may be possible that your competitor can react with more aggressive strategy. There is lot of recruitment agencies working in the market and sometimes it becomes time consuming and wastage of money to select a recruitment agency and to evaluate that which will be useful or not for long-terms. These recruitment agencies are like a 'breathing insulator' as they are sometimes considered. The employers just keep in mind that they are not working specifically with employers' best interests. They are just doing business and it depends on what is your part in their business means how much business you are giving to them and what is their credibility and market standing. They can betray you for their better business may be provided by your competitors.