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The purpose of this paper is to determine the leading determinants of e-recruitment and also to reflect the fit of these factors in decision making. Understanding the influential factors of e-recruitment is imperative in measuring the dynamics and the probable success and failure of this contemporary source of recruitment. It has been marked by various authors that there has been a substantial increase in the number of factors, which are considered to be important while making a recruitment decision. An examination of the literature on the recruitment decisions in general may give some insight into the processes behind the leading factors of e-recruitment. The paper reports an exploratory study in the Indian services that elicits the determinants leading to e-recruitment, via a set of in-depth interviews with industrial experts and specialized academician corresponding to the development and application of a survey instrument, and then reflecting on the fit of these factors.
KEYWORDS: E-recruitment, Factors, India, Recruitment.
Over two decades, E-recruitment has been an area of research and interest for both academicians and researchers. The first references to e-recruiting appear in the articles of mid-1980s [15, 5]. While systematic reference to e-recruitment in the HR journals begins almost a decade later, in the mid-1990s, when IT companies and universities begin to use internet extensively. However, up till now little research has been done despite of its popularity.
E-recruitment can be divided into two types of uses: corporate web site for recruitment and commercial jobs boards (such as monster.com) for posting job advertisements .
Corporate websites are company's own website with a link for job posting/career options where candidates can log into for current openings. If the company advertises its vacant positions on other website that specializes in it for example- naukri.com, timesjob.com, monster.com, etc., they will adopt commercial job boards for recruitment. Firms generally adopt recruitment method that suits their size and budget for recruitment. Further, the size and nature of the fraction that applies for an organization's vacancies will be affected by how (and to whom) the organization communicates its vacancies .
With the importance being given to recruitment the advent of e-recruitment is fast gaining top priority for organizations. Therefore, employers are also expected to break traditional approach and lines of demarcation. Internet-related sources, e.g. corporate websites, job boards, job portals, and, most recently, social networks, are increasingly being used as the main recruitment sources for external candidates [27, 28]. In India, little more than a decade ago, online job searches were primarily the focus of a tiny population of hardcore techies. Today, e-recruitment forms one of the central pillars of a smart staffing strategy for firms in every economic sector.
During the last few years, India has witnessed an unprecedented economic growth, where, service sector has become the lifeline for the social economic growth of a country. It is today the largest and fastest growing sector globally contributing more to the global output and employing more people than any other sector. In alignment with the global trends, Indian service sector is one of the major contributors to both employment and national income in recent times. It is estimated that in the near future close to a million new jobs will be created in the services sector. After liberalization of the Indian economy, recruiting, economic transition to an open market and increased competition from internal and external sources has put pressure on all functions of organizations [2, 3]. There has been evidence of a general need among the managerial cadre to build capabilities, resources, competencies, strategies, and macros as well as micro HRM activities [3, 1]. It is apparent from the research to date that Indian service sectors are not all managed in the same way and that employers make specific choices about the types of employment practices that they wish to utilize. Yet, it is remarkable that little research has been conducted into the decision making processes of the organizations to form the basis of recruitment strategy.
An attempt has been made in this paper to fill this gap and to investigate the emerging factors of e-recruitment practices and decision making in Indian services.
Over time, there has been a substantial increase in the number of factors, which are considered to be important while making recruitment decisions. An examination of the literature on the recruitment decisions in general may give some insight into the processes behind the leading factors of e-recruitment. The use of e-recruitment practice demands for transition and changes in the business environment that in turn changes the human resource recruiting practices. There has been number of conflicting theoretical models that lacks strong empirical support, and defines the attempts by research in human resource to explain the recruitment phenomenon. Nevertheless, there is still a need to come with concrete conclusions to bring the leading factors of e- recruitment.
In the milieu of the above, the first objective of the study is to focus at the literature in the area of recruitment and e-recruitment. The second objective investigates leading determinants of e-recruitment in Indian service organizations. This is based on primary data and explores the linkages between determinants and decision making criterion.
The paper is organized as follows: the first section sets the context of the need to study determinants of e-recruitment in Indian service organizations. The next section examines the literature on recruitment and e-recruitment and its linkages to decision making; the third section summarizes the lacunae in research and conceptual framework. This is followed by research methodology, results and implications for future research.
A through investigation of literature was conducted to identify factors that had been speculated for e-recruitment. Research into online recruitment is "very scarce" and that "all the studies retrieved were focused on applicant reactions" . The current paper also supported this assertion, with the majority of literature found on e-recruitment being from the candidate's perspective. For instance, a research focused on the use of online information to promote person-organization fit [8, 9, and 10]; another concentrated on the impact of web site characteristics on applicant attraction ; and yet another focused on applicant preferences for web-based and traditional job advertisements . Very little research has been conducted from organization's perspective and their intentions about e-recruiting.
Internet had brought radical change to corporate recruiting . Among various sources of recruitment, internet has gradually been able to put itself in the priority position and is seen as more realistic than other sources of recruitment. The same has been supported in the research on examining the relationship between the use of Internet as a recruitment source and student attitudes .
With the introduction of the internet, the recruitment process has become easier . In order to make effective and efficient use of internet recruitment, employer should know which type and which level of jobs can be filled by using the internet in the recruitment and selection process.
The literature also reported about the importance of internet in recruitment over a period of time. A study performed at an unnamed industry, concluded that on an average only one out of 120 applicants got selected in a job opening, while the ratio of recruited candidates that made it to the interview phase was approximately one out of 20. Thus, it follows that a degree of automation in the recruitment process to determine the candidates that clearly do not fit the position's specifications can lead to an increased efficiency and high cost savings .
WEDDLE's source of employment ran a survey from March 2007 to March 2008 and asked site visitors about where they found their last job and where they expect to find their next job in order to pinpoint which job search methods work best in today's economic climate and are likely to work best in the future. Results revealed that ad posted on an Internet job board was the highest ranked source that has also increased from 7.6 per cent in 2007 to 13.3 per cent in 2008. The survey also reported that 19.0 per cent respondent will look for their next job on ad posted on an Internet job board which was the highest response rate as compare to other sources. Therefore, Internet is clearly preferred as a source of finding jobs .
A resent research had empirically examined the perception of the internet to human resource management, the existing HR practices and needs of the internet to support HRM functions. The findings indicated that the most frequently cited internet-supported HRM function in the existing literature is recruitment and selection .
Further, a survey on E-recruitment shows that dwindling recruitment spend is being focused on web-based recruitment at the expense of traditional methods. The respondents to the survey, conducted in conjunction with e-recruitment software, said that their overall recruitment budget had decreased. Of those who had cut their recruitment budgets, a quarter (25 per cent) had slashed spending by more than half, while 30 per cent had decreased their budget by 21 per cent to 50 per cent. The author also reported that online methods proved far more popular, for which two-third (66 per cent) of HR professionals surveyed said that jobs section of their own company websites were used as a recruitment tool for most jobs .
The Internet had proven to be an integral part of employee recruitment because there was no faster, simpler, or more cost effective way to reach thousands of qualified candidates. In fact, 44 per cent of online Americans were looking for information
about a job. The Internet allowed employers to reach these candidates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week [20, 18] asserted that the "war for talent" meant that the emphasis in organizations moved from the selection to the attraction of employees, and that labor market shortages and recruitment difficulties led to a more competitive recruitment market. It was also found that recruitment was the second highest priority for HR practitioners (after absence management) HR prospects (2003). Given the importance of recruitment and factors addressed by various researchers, a hypothetical list of factors was constructed for internet recruiting (Table I).
The main objective of the study is to establish the functional relationship between e-recruitment decisions of Indian firms and their determinants. Thus the study identifies the prominent variables influencing the recruiting policies of firms in Indian context.
For the purpose of this study various sources listing the companies in National Capital Region of India, were used to compile the sampling frame (such as Kothari Industrial Directory, National Association of Software and Services Companies . In addition, online data were also sourced from capital online and prowess research data base. The use of multiple lists ensured that there was a high degree of correspondence between the sampling frame and the sampling population . Total eight hundred respondents were identified and reached in sixty four companies who had with at least two years of experience with the organization and fulfilling other criteria as specified above. However, this condition was waived off for HR managers as they were the appropriate persons to give desired information. This was done to ensure informed view about e-recruitment practices of an organization. In spite of personal intervention and explanation, total three hundred and sixty respondents reverted back with full required information.
The paper is exploratory in nature and makes use of primary data. Thirty In-depth interviews with industrial experts responsible for recruitment and specialized academician were conducted to explore the leading determinants for e-recruitment. As the purpose was to elicit all relevant factors, the sample was chosen to gain a spread on a number of relevant dimensions . On the basis of the interview outcome the development and application of a survey instrument was conducted. A 21 items questionnaire was developed with a four-point Likert scale anchored by "Strongly agree" and "Strongly disagree". The content validity (which concerns the relevance of the questions asked to the quality being measured) of the questionnaire was ensured through the use of judges at different stages during its development.
Minor modifications were made to the questionnaire at this stage. The questionnaire was then pre tested on a sample of 30 respondents. These respondents did not form a part of the sample of the main study. The aim of pre-testing was (i) to ascertain the time required to complete the questionnaire, (ii) to check the adequacy of response categories formulated, and (iii) to check the overall appropriateness of the questions. The questionnaire was discussed with respondents as well. Thereafter, the same sample was approached after three months to establish the consistency of the questionnaire.
Nature of data and requirements of analysis dictated that data should be standardized. It was imperative to use data reduction methods to identify significant differentiating components/variables. Factor Analysis was used for this purpose. The principal components method of extraction was used in the present study to organize the variables into factors, as it finds a linear combination of variables (a component) that accounts for as much variation in the original variables as possible. It then finds another component that accounts for as much of the remaining variation as possible and is uncorrelated with the previous component, continuing in this way until there are as many components as original variables. A Varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalisation was used. Factors with an eigenvalue of more than one were accepted. Items with a factor loading of less than 0.4 were removed from the analysis. This ensured that only those factors with items that loaded strongly onto each factor were produced.
The relationship between each factor and adoption was then examined. The relationship between the predictors and criterion variable was investigated using multiple linear regression analysis; enter method and list wise deletion of cases.
LEADING DETERMINANTS OF INTERNET RECRUITING AS EMERGED FROM INTERVIEWS FOLLOWED BY SURVEY
The list of hypothesized factors depicted in Table I was initially explored using structured interviews with 20 industrial experts, especially the HR managers who were responsible for recruitment, and with 10 academicians specialized in the area. The purpose of the interviews was to extract all relevant factors. Respondents were asked about their perception about e-recruitment, and the factors included in the hypothesized list. Respondents were then probed regarding the reasons for their views regarding the same. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Each interview was coded according to the factors in the hypothesized model, and any new factors that had arisen during the interview were added. This produced a number of factors that were used to develop the survey instrument for the second stage of the research (Table II).
A survey instrument was developed by organizing the items identified in the interview. The questionnaire was constructed using number of statements that were taken directly from the interview transcripts. The questionnaires were administered in groups and in some rare cases individually. For this, first of all, rapport was established with subjects and then the purpose of the study was explained to them. The instructions for each item were given separately either in groups or individually depending on availability of subjects. For senior managers, the questionnaires were handed over explaining the instructions in detail and were collected later on.
The subjects were instructed that "below are given some statements related to e-recruitment. Choosing an appropriate number indicate to what extent you are in agreement with them; (1) strongly disagree (2) disagree (3) agree (4) strongly agree. Subjects took approximately ten to fifteen minutes to complete the questionnaire. Respondents were also asked to report the source of recruitment they are currently using for their organization, to form a dependant variable. Table III shows a summary of the respondent's level of use of e-recruitment. It can be seen from the results that the respondents demonstrated a wide range of usage.
Four components were extracted for which eigen value was more than 1, as scree plot gets parallel to x axis between 5th component (Figure 1). The variables/Components were renamed based on relationship among questions they represented and conceptual understanding. The same have been summarised in Table IV.
IMPORTANCE OF E-RECRUITMENT FOR CANDIDATES (IMP_ER) This variable tests the respondent's perception about importance of e-recruitment facilitating candidates. Loading of input variables was 0.858, 0.719, and 0.507 respectively. 0.4 loading factor was taken as a cut-off point for the input variable. This parameter could explain 14.040 percent of total variance (CR= 0.628).
IMPORTANCE OF RECRUITING PROCESS (IMP_RP) This variable tests the respondent's perception about importance of recruiting process facilitating ease in managing and building database. Loading of input variables was 0.900, and 0.849 respectively. 0.4 loading factor was taken as a cut-off point for the input variable. This parameter could explain 12.418 percent of total variance (CR = 0.737)
IMPORTANCE OF COMPANY WEBSITE (IMP_CW) This variable tests the respondent's perception about importance of various services provided by company website in order to facilitate candidates. Loading of input variables was 0.782, 0.772, and 0.619 respectively. 0.4 loading factor was taken as a cut-off point for the input variable. This parameter could explain 12.214 percent of total variance (CR = 0.604).
IMPORTANCE OF JOB BOARD (IMP_JB) This variable test the respondent's perception about importance of job boards facilitating organizations with various services and features. Loading of input variables was 0.819, 0.753, and 0.428. 0.4 loading factor was taken as a cut-off point for the input variable. This parameter could explain 10.254 percent of total variance (CR= 0.794).
The relationship between each factor and the adoption was then examined. Correlations between the factors are shown in Table V. While these correlations are significant in each case; they are less than 0.5 and not large enough to warrant concern.
MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION ANALYSIS
The model for e-recruitment was highly significant (p < 0.01) and produced an adjusted R2 value of 0.419. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that importance of e-recruitment for candidates and importance of recruiting process had a highly significant (p < 0.01) impact on the use of internet as a source of recruiting. Importance of company website and job boards also had a significant effect at 5 per cent (Table VI).
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This study examined the leading determinants of e-recruitment. Initial qualitative investigation demonstrated the perception of interviewees regarding internet recruiting. This investigation results in development of questionnaire with all relevant factors. The survey results identified four factors with relation to adoption of e-recruitment - these have been named as importance of e-recruitment for candidates, importance of recruiting process, importance of company website and importance of job boards. The first two factors were found to have a high significant impact on e-recruitment. The other factors were also found to have a significant impact.
The results for first factor suggested that the internet enable recruitment situation has high stakes both for the potential employer and candidates. Considerably, it is interesting to note that with the augmentation of web-based recruitment, the firms are able to contain additional information that leads them to have a better exposure of candidates. This additional information provides an opportunity for the organization to build an initial interaction with potential candidates and results in developing a positive image of the organization. This can be supported by the statement that in times of fierce competition, being able to attract high-quality human resources is considered as a true competitive advantage for organizations [14, 26, and 29].
Importance of recruiting process has also shown high significance with e-recruitment. The association suggested that those HR managers who perceived the use of internet in their process of recruitment positively are more likely to improve the efficiency of their recruiting process. Moreover, building and managing database of received applications, which is one of the tedious tasks in the process, will become easy and hence improving the efficiency of the recruiters.
Importance of company website had a less significant impact on e-recruitment (p < 0.05). This finding suggests that as practice, it is agreed that e-HRM leads to considerable changes and therefore should be taken as an important development in the HR field [17, 16, and 15]. This development provokes an important question for the employers regarding adoption of new methods and technology. If the organizations are posting job vacancies on their own company website, they have to be cautious on the subject of providing relevant information about the job as well as the organization itself.
The significance of importance of job boards suggests that job boards are viewed by potential recruits who may not have considered approaching the advertising organizations, hence expanding the reach and spreading an awareness of the vacancies to target groups. The aim is to attract the attention of the right people, and encourage them to submit an application .
The relationship between the above factors and the use of internet recruiting can be summarized in Figure 2.
LIMITATIONS AND RESEARCH DIRECTIONS
This research focused on examining the leading determinants of e-recruitment. However, the proposed factors needs to be broadened up conceptually and theoretically and a detailed assessment of the factors as well as their prediction are required.
Figure 2: Model of the Adoption of E-recruitment
For example, employers can devise and prefer substitute factors to the adoption, which can represent consecutively further reaction and decision. Thus, the changing reaction aspect must be considered. Moreover, among the judgmental variables which have been proposed here, there may be permutations and combinations that need further, careful investigation.
Despite of the above-mentioned shortcomings, the proposed factors could be the starting point for future research in this area. The research on the e-recruitment is still in the nascent stage especially in Indian perspective. The literature on the subject is scarce and descriptive in nature with speculative inferences. There is a need to develop the understanding of how employers react to adoption, because for the success of adoption all parties involved need to make decision-implementation analysis. Without empirical research it is unfeasible to review the degree and the extent of the problem. Furthermore, it would be valuable to identify the factors and processes that support positive employer reactions and contribute to the success of the adoption.
This study has provided some insight into leading determinants of e-recruitment in relation to its adoption by different Indian firms. Considering that internet has become one of the most used source of recruiting and recruitment web sites are continuing to multiply in numbers . The research presumed that firms select their recruitment methods based upon the approach it takes to recruitment and assumes that recruitment outcomes depend on something more than the existing dynamics of labor supply and demand that can produce meaningful differences in performance outcomes.
The results show that four major factors that form a base for the choice of recruitment channel are importance of internet recruiting for candidates, recruitment process, company website and job boards. This study is intended as a first step towards establishing leading determinants for an Indian organization's use of online recruitment. The identification of these factors may provide a platform for further development of the recruitment method and therefore may prove valuable to online recruitment providers and recruiters alike. Such research would help online recruitment fully to realize its potential within the recruitment marketplace and would have significant practical implications for both recruiters and providers of internet recruitment tools.