External Sources of Recruitment

External sources of recruitment seeks applicants for positions from sources outside the company. External employees already worked for major companies or competitors have better understanding of business strategy and competitive market. Though recruiting external candidates might be tougher but it has some positive effect on business.

They have outnumbered the internal sources of recruitment. The various external sources include:

  1. Professional or Trade Associations : Many associations provide placement service to its members. It consists of compiling job seeker’s lists and providing access to members during regional or national conventions. Also, the publications of these associations carry classified advertisements from employers interested in recruiting their members. These are particularly useful for attracting highly educated, experienced or skilled personnel. Also, the recruiters can zero on in specific job seekers, especially for hard-to-fill technical posts.
  2. Advertisements : It is a popular method of seeking recruits, as many recruiters prefer advertisements because of their wide reach. Want ads describe the job benefits, identify the employer and tell those interested how to apply. Newspaper is the most common medium but for highly specialized recruits, advertisements may be placed in professional or business journals. Advertisements must contain proper information like the job content, working conditions, location of job, compensation including fringe benefits, job specifications, growth aspects, etc. The advertisement has to sell the idea that the company and job are perfect for the candidate. Recruitment advertisements can also serve as corporate advertisements to build company’ image. It also cost effective.
  3. Employment Exchanges : Employment Exchanges have been set up all over the country in deference to the provision of the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959. The Act applies to all industrial establishments having 25 workers or more each. The Act requires all the industrial establishments to notify the vacancies before they are filled. The major functions of the exchanges are to increase the pool of possible applicants and to do the preliminary screening. Thus, employment exchanges act as a link between the employers and the prospective employees. These offices are particularly useful to in recruiting blue-collar, white collar and technical workers.
  4. Campus Recruitment’s : Colleges, universities, research laboratories, sports fields and institutes are fertile ground for recruiters, particularly the institutes. Campus Recruitment is going global with companies like HLL, Citibank, HCL-HP, ANZ Grindlays, L&T, Motorola and Reliance looking for global markets. Some companies recruit a given number of candidates from these institutes every year. Campus recruitment is so much sought after that each college; university department or institute will have a placement officer to handle recruitment functions. However, it is often an expensive process, even if recruiting process produces job offers and acceptances eventually. A majority leave the organization within the first five years of their employment. Yet, it is a major source of recruitment for prestigious companies.
  5. Walk-ins, Write-ins and Talk-ins : The most common and least expensive approach for candidates is direct applications, in which job seekers submit unsolicited application letters or resumes. Direct applications can also provide a pool of potential employees to meet future needs. From employees’ viewpoint, walk-ins are preferable as they are free from the hassles associated with other methods of recruitment. While direct applications are particularly effective in filling entry-level and unskilled vacancies, some organizations compile pools of potential employees from direct applications for skilled positions. Write-ins are those who send written enquiries. These jobseekers are asked to complete application forms for further processing. Talk-ins involves the job aspirants meeting the recruiter (on an appropriated date) for detailed talks. No application is required to be submitted to the recruiter.
  6. Contractors : They are used to recruit casual workers. The names of the workers are not entered in the company records and, to this extent; difficulties experienced in maintaining permanent workers are avoided.
  7. Consultants : They are in the profession for recruiting and selecting managerial and executive personnel. They are useful as they have nationwide contacts and lend professionalism to the hiring process. They also keep prospective employer and employee anonymous. However, the cost can be a deterrent factor.
  8. Head Hunters : They are useful in specialized and skilled candidate working in a particular company. An agent is sent to represent the recruiting company and offer is made to the candidate. This is a useful source when both the companies involved are in the same field, and the employee is reluctant to take the offer since he fears, that his company is testing his loyalty.
  9. Recommendations and External Referrals : There are certain people who have experience in a particular area. They enjoy goodwill and a stand in the company. There are certain vacancies which are filled by recommendations of such people. The biggest drawback of this source is that the company has to rely totally on such people which can later on prove to be inefficient.
  10. Casual Callers : This method of recruitment is concerned with using previously applied candidates as a source of recruitment. The applications already available in the employment office are used as sources of prospective candidates. In other words, applications from individuals who are already recorded in the employment list can be referred as new applicants and the best suited candidates are selected for the job. This method avoids the costs of recruiting people from other sources.
  11. Radio, Television and Internet : Radio and television are used to reach certain types of job applicants such as skilled workers. Radio and television are used but sparingly, and that too, by government departments only. Companies in the private sector are hesitant to use the media because of high costs and also because they fear that such advertising will make the companies look desperate and damage their conservative image. However, there is nothing inherently desperate about using radio and television. It depends upon what is said and how it is delivered. Internet is becoming a popular option for recruitment today. There are specialized sites like naukri.com. Also, websites of companies have a separate section wherein; aspirants can submit their resumes and applications. This provides a wider reach.
  12. Employment at Factory Level : This a source of external recruitment in which the applications for vacancies are presented on bulletin boards outside the Factory or at the Gate. This kind of recruitment is applicable generally where factory workers are to be appointed. There are people who keep on soliciting jobs from one place to another. These applicants are called as unsolicited applicants. These types of workers apply on their own for their job. For this kind of recruitment workers have a tendency to shift from one factory to another and therefore they are called as “badli” workers.
  13. Competitors : This method is popularly known as “poaching” or “raiding” which involves identifying the right people in rival companies, offering them better terms and luring them away. For instance, several executives of HMT left to join Titan Watch Company. There are legal and ethical issues involved in raiding rival firms for potential candidates. From the legal point of view, an employee is expected to join a new organization only after obtaining a ‘no objection certificate’ from his/ her present employer. Violating this requirement shall bind the employee to pay a few months’ salary to his/ her present employer as a punishment. However, there are many ethical issues attached to it.
  14. Mergers and Acquisitions : When organizations combine, they have a pool of employees, out of whom some may not be necessary any longer. As a result, the new organization has, in effect, a pool of qualified job applicants. As a result, new jobs may be created. Both new and old jobs may be readily staffed by drawing the best-qualified applicants from this employee pool. This method facilitates the immediate implementation of an organization’s strategic plan.
  15. Internships : A special form of recruiting that involves placing an employee in a temporary job. There is no obligation on the part of the company to permanently hire the employee and no obligation on the part of the employee to accept a permanent position with the firm. Hiring college students to work as student interns is typically viewed as training activity rather than as a recruiting activity.However, organizations that sponsor internship programs have found that such programs represent an excellent means of recruiting outstanding employees.
  16. Unsolicited Applicants : Many job seekers visit the office of well-known companies on their own. Such callers are considered nuisance to the daily work routine of the enterprise. But can help in creating the talent pool or the database of the probable candidates for the organisation.

Evaluation of External Sources of Recruitment

The merits of external sources of recruitment are;

  • The organization will have the benefit of new skills, new talents and new experiences, if people are hired from external sources.
  • The management will be able to fulfill reservation requirements in favour of the disadvantaged sections of the society.
  • Scope for resentment, heartburn and jealousy can be avoided by recruiting from outside.

The demerits of external sources of recruitment are;

  • Better motivation and increased morale associated with promoting own employees re lost to the organization.
  • External recruitment is costly.
  • If recruitment and selection processes are not properly carried out, chances of right candidates being rejected and wrong applicants being selected occur.
  • High training time is associated with external recruitment.

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