Sources of Recruitment

Sources of recruitment are the means of selecting the candidates for the process of recruitment. Through the sources of recruitment, one gets to know about the availability of several suitable candidates. When the recruitment plan demonstrating the number and type of prospective candidates is finalised, then the recruitment sources are considered. This makes it necessary to identify recruitment sources from which these candidates can be attracted. 

There are two main sources of recruitment, which are as follows:


Internal Sources

This is the process of filling job openings by choosing from the pool of existing workforce in the organisation. The following methods or techniques can be used while recruiting internally:

1) Transfer and Promotion: Transfers and promotions are ways of internally filling organisational job vacancies. Internal movement within the same grade, from one job to another is called a transfer. Whereas, the movement of an employee from a lower level position to a higher level position alongwith the changes in work, responsibilities, status and value is termed a promotion.


2) Job Posting: It is an in-house method of recruitment in which notices of vacant jobs are posted at important. places of the organisation such as employee lounges, cafeterias, elevators, etc., and employees are provided with a large amount of time to apply for the available jobs. 

Nowadays, job posting is being used as one of the most creative ways of recruitment in organisations. Various organisations consider job posting as an inbuilt part of an effective career management system. Thus, it is considered to be the easiest and most commonly used method by employers to inform employees about job openings.


3) Employee Referrals: Using personal contacts to find a job opportunity is known as an employee referral. It is a reference from an existing employee regarding a candidate be it a friend or a close relative. It is thought to be an “it takes on to know one” approach. A major problem with this method is that it encourages favouritism, i.e., candidates of one’s community or caste are selected, who may or may not be suitable for the job.


4) Former Employees: Former employees are increasingly becoming a feasible source of recruitment, as employers mostly contact former employees, and try to change them. They are more trusted as internal sources because they have relations with the company. Many of the retired employees may be interested in return back to work on a part-time basis or may propose someone who would like to work for the organisation. 

At times people who have left the company to upbringing their family or to complete college education are enthusiastic to return to work after fulfilling their individual objectives. Individuals who had left the job earlier for other jobs may be interested to return for a high salary package. For attracting retirees or others who had worked earlier in the organisation, the use of job sharing and flextime programmes can be beneficial. Recruiting former employees is beneficial in the sense that the organisation already knows about their work ethics.


5) Previous Applicants: Not only internal sources but those who have earlier applied for jobs can be contacted again by mail. It is a fast and cheap way to fill unpredicted or unexpected job vacancies. Candidates who have attended “walk-in” may also be considered. Earlier walk-ins are likely to be more appropriate for filling unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. 

For example, a firm which required two cost accountants may contact previously qualified applicants. This particular action can fulfil the needs of the firm and in turn, will also help those individuals who were dissatisfied with their present job at another organisation.


Merits of Internal Sources

Merits of internal sources of recruitment  are given below:

1) Familiarity: The organisation and its members know each other very well. The organisation is aware of the capability and skills of the candidates as they are insiders. On the other hand, employees are also aware of the workplace environment and requirements of the vacant jobs.


2) Better Utilisation of Internal Talent: Dependence on internal recruitment makes it possible for the company to use the competencies of its employees in the best way. For example, some extraordinary employees may be worthy of promotion, or some may perform better after switching to other jobs.


3) Economy: The cost of recruiting internal employees is nominal and there is no need for the company to spend a huge amount of money and time on informing and reminding its employees to apply for the job.


4) Motivational Value: Employees feel motivated and encouraged through internal recruitment. The employees work efficiently in anticipation of getting promotions and transfers.



Demerits of Internal Sources

Demerits of internal sources of recruitment are given below:

1) Restricted Choice: Internal recruitment has a narrow base and limits the alternatives and freedom for the firm in selecting the most appropriate candidates for the vacancies. Because of that, the company may not be able to choose the best option available outside the organisation.


2) Inbreeding: Too much dependence of the company on internal recruitment signifies that the company does not want to hire fresh applicants present outside. Existing employees lack dynamism, even if, they are promoted or transferred they may continue to work and behave in similar ways as that of the previous post.


3) Absence of Competition: Employees possibly assume an automatic promotion by seniority as there is a lack of competition from competent candidates present outside. Therefore, they may have no desire to prove them again and again. 


4) Conflict: Chances of conflict and hostility among employees who aspire for promotion to the available vacancies may increase. The efficiency of those who have not been promoted drops and they become dissatisfied.



External Sources

Organisations can fulfil the job positions from outside through the following methods or techniques: 

1) Direct Methods: In these methods, the recruiters are sent to educational and professional institutions, building public contacts and exhibits. 

Various direct methods are:

i) Campus Recruitment: Campus recruitment is a method in which recruiters visit campus and placement cells of educational institutions such as engineering and management colleges to get qualified candidates. Recruiters get a large number of candidates to choose from and candidates can select the job post which suits them from the available job options.

ii) Scouting: Scouting is a method in which representatives are sent by the human resource department to those places where recruitment activities are going on. They get in contact with the prospective candidates who are searching for jobs. Applicants go through an initial interview. Job fairs and indoctrination seminars are some of the other ways of this particular method.

iii) Recruitment at the Factory Gate: It is a method of direct recruitment in which a notice is posted outside the factory gate, stating the information regarding the job vacancies.


2) Indirect Methods: Indirect methods include the following:

i) Advertisements: In modern times, this medium has become equally vibrant, energetic and creative as consumer advertising. The ads usually provide a brief outline of the job responsibilities, compensation package, growth opportunities in the organisation, etc. This method is suitable when the organisation wants to reach a large target group and desires a good number of qualified individuals who are cosmopolitan in distribution.

ii) Employees Trade Associations/Clubs: Meetings, conferences, seminars, and other social functions of employee trade associations/clubs are more ways of spotting suitable candidates.

iii) Professional Associations: Professional associations/bodies of major professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Auditors, Chartered Accountants, and Managers also provide abundant opportunities to discover potential candidates for technical, scientific and managerial cadre vacancies.

iv) Other Reputed Firms: Nowadays, it has become a trend to recruit human resources from well-known firms. Few companies and firms have established good reputations for productivity, efficiency, and industrial harmony. Many firms have made efforts to discover appropriate candidates from such firms for filling job positions.


3) Third Party Methods: Third party methods, which are most common, are as follows:

i) Private Employment Agencies: They are used extensively and charge a very little fee from an applicant. They concentrate on specific occupations such as general office help, salesmen, technical workers, accountants, computer staff, engineers and executives. These private agencies work as a middleman between employees and employers.

ii) State or Public Employment Agencies: These are also known as Employment or Labour Exchanges. They provide a clearinghouse for jobs and job information alongwith a wide range of services such as counselling, job searching, and information about the labour market, workers and pay rates.

iii) Schools, Colleges and Professional Institutions: All these provide opportunities for recruiting their students. These general and technical/professional institutions provide blue-collar, white-collar and managerial personnel.

iv) Professional Organisations or Recruiting Firms or Executive Recruiters: They keep entire information records about employed executives. These consulting firms suggest highly competent individuals for managerial, marketing, and production engineer posts. 

v) Trade Unions: Trade unions offer manual and skilled workers in ample quantity. In a few organisations, formal agreements are made to give priority to the candidates recommended by the trade unions, during the recruitment process. 

vi) Casual Labour or Applicant at the Gate: Many industries are dependent on the casual labour who daily marks his presence at the factory gate or employment office.

vii) Unconsolidated Applications: There are certain job posts for which small numbers of candidates apply. In such a case, organisations can search the application forms of those candidates who have approached the organisation for the vacancies available through their own efforts. 

viii) Voluntary Organisations: These organisations such as private clubs, and social organisations, might also supply employees like physically handicapped, widowed or married women, aged persons, retired people, etc.

ix) Computer Data Banks: When a company needs a specific type of employee, job descriptions and job specifications are uploaded into a computer, where they are matched with the resume data stored therein.



Merits of External Sources

Merits of external sources of recruitment are given below: 

1) Wide Choice: Organisations can freely choose candidates from a huge pool of applicants.

2) Injection of Fresh Talent: People with unique skills and knowledge could be selected to energise the present employees and incorporate creative methods of working.

3) Motivational Force: Internal employees are encouraged to work hard and compete with external candidates in search of career growth. A competitive atmosphere like this would assist an employee to work to the best of his abilities and as hard as he can. 

4) Long-Term Benefits: If competent individuals will join the organisation, they can discover new ideas. This can create a competitive atmosphere which would force employees to give out their best, earn benefits, get promotions, etc.


Demerits of External Sources

Demerits of external sources of recruitment are as follows: 

1) Expensive: Using various sources of recruitment is not an easy job, and hiring costs could rise considerably.

2) Time-consuming: Advertising, de to be repeated again selecting the right employees is a time-consuming process. The whole procedure needs to be repeated again if the right candidate is not found.

3) Demotivating: Present employees who have given a lot of time in service may oppose the process of filling vacancies from outside the organisation. The feeling that their services have not been valued by the organisation demotivates them, and they start losing interest in performing the job.

4) Uncertainty: There is uncertainty that the organisation will be able to hire the right candidates. It may end up hiring unsuitable candidates who may not be able to adjust to the new settings.

Sources of Recruitment



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