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Human Resource Management Essay


Purpose – The purpose of this report is to explore the hypothesis that recruiters have more power but less costs of employment in recruitment and selection than candidates do, and to offer recommendations. Findings – The report finds out the difference between recruitment and selection and the methods used in recruitment and selection. Discussion – According to the findings, the paper discuss the different result and effect in recruitment and selection separately. Conclusion – The findings partial support the hypothesis. In recruitment, it costs less relative to selection for both recruiter and applicant. And the applicant dominates in recruitment. Nevertheless, in selection, it costs much time and resource for both recruiter and applicant. And the recruiter is more powerful in this relationship. Recommendations – The paper provides four recommendations for recruiter and applicant respectively to overcome the asymmetrical power relationship in recruitment and selection.


The successful recruitment and selection have proved to be a vital part of business success. Recruitment and selection have proved to be a human resource planning activity and play a significant role on an organization’s overall strategic plan. Some believe that recruiters and employers dominate the recruitment and selection process. Many people desperate to find work and would have been prepared to accept anything to which they are remotely suited. Whilst others argue that candidates take the initiative in recruitment and selection in recent years. Applicants openly discuss their willingness to take jobs for which there are over-qualified.

Existing researches in this argument have demonstrated the factors which affect the recruitment and selection. Interpersonal and communication skills including written and oral, academic qualifications and work experience are proved to be three priorities in all selection criteria. Managers and recruiters both rated work experience as the most important factor influencing the decisions to hire an applicant (Daly, Baker & McCarthy 2004).

Although much work has been done to date, previous studies did not consider separately about recruitment and selection that would have different effects on recruiters and applicants. The study reviews previous research and literature about the employment relationships in recruitment and selection. The purpose of this study is to investigate the asymmetrical power relationship in recruitment and selection. The hypothesis is recruiters have more power but spend less costs in recruitment and selection than applicants do.


Most people argue that recruiter takes a dominant position in deciding to hire an employee. In recruitment and selection, the costs of employing resource for recruiter and applicant are very different if an applicant failed to get a job position. The paper will investigate the following aspects to give a better understanding of the asymmetrical power between recruiters and candidates in recruitment and selection.

Differences between recruitment and selection
Methods used in recruitment and selection

Differences between Recruitment and Selection

The differences between recruitment and selection are showed in the following table, Basis
It is an activity of establishing contact between employers and applicants. It is a process of picking up more competent and suitable employees. Objective
It encourages large number of Candidates for a job.
It attempts at rejecting unsuitable candidates.
It is a simple process.
It is a complicated process.
The candidates have not to cross over many hurdles.
Many hurdles have to be crossed.
It is a positive approach.
It is a negative approach.
It precedes selection.
It follows recruitment.
It is an economical method.
It is an expensive method.
Time Consuming
Less time is required.
More time is required.
Source: Management Study Guide.
According the differentiation summarized above, we can see that selection process is more complex, expensive and time-consuming than recruitment activity.

Methods Used in Recruitment and Selection

An organisation’s strategies, human resource policies and process should be taken recruitment strategies into consideration, that is, internal, external or a combination of both. Hacker (1997) pointed out several factors associated with the cost of recruitment, as training a replacement, advertising, time, recruitment agency fees and possible unemployment compensation claim. It is suggested that referrals from existing employees can be a low-cost, effective methods of recruitment, and educational institutions are regarded as a source of labour with newly acquired skills (Compton et al. 2009). Furthermore, it is suggested that advertising media can be a useful tool to attract direct applicants. Internet recruitment comes at a more effective method of attracting widely distributed applicants in the last few years (Kramar et al. 2011).

After recruitment section, applicants’ selection is more complex and costly. Previous survey was conducted by Cameron (2008) identified the selection tools used in selection processes as the following,

It is apparently that interviews and written applications are the two most commonly used selection methods. Participants indicated that the face-to-face interview was the most favoured selection process (Daly, Baker & McCarthy 2004). The sifting of CVs and application forms and interviews as two techniques dominate the selection. It is found that interviewers place too much emphasis on individual information, thus making decisions based on their gut feeling and are unable to explain the strengths and weaknesses of their preferred applicant (Billsberry 2008). Besides, Billsberry (2008) also pointed out that interview’s free format and unclear decision criteria would cause interviewees misrepresenting themselves, thus making biased and unlawful decisions by interviewer.


The aim of this research is to investigate whether recruiters have more power but cost less in recruitment and selection than applicants do. The result should be concluded into two sections. The findings, however, partial support the hypothesis.

The most important finding is, in recruitment activity, it is not cost much for recruiters and applicants. For recruiters, they just need to set the job vacancy and related requirement, and then put the recruitment advertisement through a variety of advertising media or recruitment agency. It may cost some money but not too much. As we all known, internet recruitment usually costs free, such as Gum tree. For applicants, all they need to do is delivery their resumes or fill in the application form. They do not spend much time in recruitment but may wait for the result in a long time.

Another significant finding is, in selection process, it is time-consuming and resource-costly for both recruiters and applicants. One job vacancy may attract a large number of applicants including over-qualified and under-qualified. Of all the applicants, the most competent person will fill the vacant position. Thus, the recruiters should spend plenty of time in sifting of CVs. Sometimes it resulted in literally hundreds of resumes, not one of which made it past the first round. After that, recruiters can arrange the interviews. It is generally not only the recruiter but also the manager will interview the candidate. And then they will make a choice among those candidates according to their qualification and performance. Selection is a cumbersome process.

In addition, applicants take a greater extent of participation in recruitment activity. They are positive and initiative in this section. However, recruiters and managers dominate the selection process. Candidates remain negative and passive in this section.


The paper provides a briefly understanding of the asymmetrical power relationships in recruitment and selection. According to the research, it found out the difference between recruitment and selection, and the methods used in recruitment and selection. In discussing the findings, the author takes the positions into account separately and gets different result.

In conclusion, the power relationships between recruiter and applicant are different in recruitment and selection respectively. In recruitment activity, it costs less relative to selection process for recruiter and applicant. The applicants dominate in recruitment. On the contrary, selection process is time-consuming and resource-costly. And the recruiters are more powerful in selection.


In order to overcome this asymmetrical power relationship, effective methods in recruitment and selection should be considered and designed. In this case, the paper offers the following recommendations for recruiter and candidate.

Recruiter can establish specific selection criteria such as competency profiling to the essential and desirable qualities for the job vacancy. Recruiter can build a rigorous framework for filling an application form to save time in sifting in the first round. Innovative format of resume such as video resume can be used by applicant to show talent and personality for standing out from the competition. Candidate may apply for a couple of positions which are in the same industry and similar. Thus they could make choices between the companies, and the cost of job or no-job could be diminished.

Applying the above suggestions in recruitment and selection, both recruiter and applicant could save time and cost.


Billsberry, J 2008, Experiencing recruitment and selection, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, England.

Cameron, LC 2008, Staff recruitment, selection and retention in family-owned small businesses, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Compton, R, Nankervis, A & Morrissey, B 2009, Effective recruitment and selection practices, CCH Australia Limited.

Daly, AJ, Baker, MC & McCarthy, P 2004, ‘Preferences in recruitment and selection in a sample of Australian organisations’, International Journal of Organisational Behaviour, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 581-593.

Difference between recruitment and selection n.d., Management Study Guide, viewed 17 May 2013, .

Hacker, C 1997, ‘The cost of poor hiring decisions and how to avoid them’, HR Focus, vol. 74, no. 10, pp. 13-14.

Kramar, R, Bartram, T & De Cieri, H 2011, Human resource management: strategy, people, performance, 4th edn, McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd, NSW.

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