The sources of recruitment can be classified into two types, internal and external. Filling a job opening from within the firm has the advantages of stimulating preparation for possible transfer of promotion, increasing the general level of morale, and providing more information about job candidates through analysis of work histories within the organization. A job posting has a number of advantages. From the view point of the employee, it provides flexibility and greater control over career progress. For the employer, it should result in better matches of employee and job.
In most instances, the jobs are posted on notice boards, though some carry listings in the company newspapers. The posting period is commonly one week, with the final decision for hiring being completed within four weeks. Internal applications are often restricted to certain employees, the guidelines for one company including (1) “good” or “better” on most recent performance review; (2) dependable attendance record; (3) not under probationary sanction; and (4) having been in present position for 1 year. The present supervisor must at some time be informed of his or her subordinate’s interest in another job. Some require immediate notification, while others inform only if the employee becomes a prime candidate for the listed opening. The personnel unit acts as a clearing house in screening applications that are unrealistic, preventing an excessive number of bids by a single employee, and counselling employees who are constantly unsuccessful in their attempt to change jobs.
Inevitably, the firm must go to external sources for lower entry jobs, for expansion, and for positions whose specifications cannot be met by present personnel. Thus the firm has a number of outside sources available, among which are the following:
- Advertising: There is a trend toward more selective recruitment in advertising. This can be effected in at least two ways. First, advertisements can be placed in media read only by particular groups. Secondly, more information about the company, the job, and the job specification can be included in the ad to permit some self-screening.
- Employment Agencies: Additional screening can be affected through the utilization of employment agencies, both public and private. Today, in contrast to their former unsavory reputation, the public employment agencies in several States are well-regarded, particularly in the fields of unskilled semi-skilled and skilled operative jobs. In the technical and professional areas, however, the private agencies appear to be doing most of the work. Many private agencies tend to specialize in a particular type of worker and job, such as sales, office, executive or engineer.
- Employee Referrals: Friends and relatives of present employees are also a good source from which employees may be drawn. When the labor market is very tight, large employers frequently offer their employees bonus or prizes for any referrals that are hired and stay with the company for a specific length of time. Some companies maintain a register of former employees whose record was good to contact them when there are new job openings for which they are qualified. This method of recruitment, however, suffers from a serious defect that it encourages nepotism, i.e. persons of one’s community or caste are employed, who may or may not be fit for the job.
- Schools, Colleges and Professional Institutions: Offer opportunities for recruiting their students. They operate placement services where complete bio-data and other particulars of the students are available. The companies that need employees maintain contact with Guidance Counselors of Employment Bureaus and teachers of business and vocational subjects. The prospective employers can review Credentials and interview candidates for management trainees or probationers. Whether the education sought involves a higher secondary certificate, specific vocational training, or a college background with a bachelor’s, masters’ or doctoral degree, educational institutions provide an excellent source of potential employees for entry-level positions in organizations. These general and technical/professional institutions provide blue-collar applicants, white-collar and managerial personnel.
- Labor unions: Firms with closed or union shops must look to the union in their recruitment efforts. Disadvantages of a monopolistically controlled labor source are offset, at least particularly, by savings in recruitment costs. With one-fifth of the labor force organized into unions, organized labor constitutes an important source of personnel.
- Casual applicants: Unsolicited applications, both at the gate and through the mail, constitute a much-used source of personnel. These can be developed through provision of attractive employment office facilities and prompt and courteous replies to unsolicited letters.
- Professional organizations or recruiting firms or executive recruiters: maintain complete information records about employed executives. These firms are looked upon as ‘head hunters’, ‘raiders’ and ‘pirates’ by organizations which lose personnel through their efforts. However, these same organizations may employ “executive search firms” to help them find talent. These consulting firms recommend persons of high caliber for managerial, marketing and production engineers’ posts.
- Indoctrination seminars for colleges professors: are arranged to discuss the problem of companies and employees. Professors are invited to take part in these seminars. Visits to plants and banquets are arranged so that the participant professors may be favorably impressed. They may later speak well of a company and help it in getting the required personnel.
- Unconsolidated applications: For positions in which large numbers of candidates are not available from other sources, the companies may gain keeping files of applications received from candidates who make direct enquiries about possible vacancies on their own, or may send unconsolidated applications. The information may be indexed and filed for future use when there are openings in these jobs.
- Nepotism: The hiring of relatives will be an inevitable component of recruitment programmes in family-owned firms, such a policy does not necessarily coincide with hiring on the basis of merit, but interest and loyalty to the enterprise are offsetting advantages.
- Leasing: To adjust to short-term fluctuations in personnel needs, the possibility of leasing personnel by the hour or day should be considered. This practice has been particularly well-developed in the office administration field. The firm not only obtains well-trained and selected personnel but avoids any obligation in pensions, insurance, and other fringe benefits.
- Voluntary organizations: such as private clubs, social organizations might also provide employees — handicaps, widowed or married women, old persons, retired hands, etc., in response to advertisements.
- Computer data banks: When a company desires a particular type of employee, job specifications and requirements are fed into a computer, where they are matched against the resume data stored therein. The output is a set of resumes for individuals who meet the requirements. This method is very useful for identifying candidates for hard-to-fill positions which call for an unusual combination of skills.