Recruitment and selection forms a core part of the central activities underlying human resource management: namely, the acquisition, development and reward of workers. It frequently forms an important part of the work of human resource managers – or designated specialists within 13
work organizations. However, and importantly, recruitment and selection decisions are often for good reason taken by non-specialists, by the line managers. There is, therefore, an important sense in which it is the responsibility of all managers, and where human resource departments exist, it may be that HR managers play more of a supporting advisory role to those people who will supervise or in other ways work with the new employee. Recruitment and selection also has an important role to play in ensuring worker performance and positive organizational outcomes. It is often claimed that selection of workers occurs not just to replace departing employees or add to a workforce but rather aims to put in place workers who can perform at a high level and demonstrate commitment (Dessler, 2000).
Recruitment and selection is a topical area. While it has always had the capacity to form a key part of the process of managing and leading people as a routine part of organizational life, it is suggested here that recruitment and selection has become ever more important as organizations increasingly regard their workforce as a source of competitive advantage. Of course, not all employers engage with this proposition even at the rhetorical level. However, there is evidence of increased interest in the utilization of employee selection methods which are valid, reliable and fair.
Mullins (1999) indicated that to be a high performing organization, human resource management must be able to assist the organization to place the right person in the right job. The human resource management practices include recruitment, selection, placement, evaluation, training and development, compensation and benefits, and retention of the employees of an organization. Businesses have developed human resource information systems that support: (i) recruitment, selection, and hiring, (ii) job placement, (iii) performance appraisals, (iv) employee benefits analysis, (v) training and development, and (vi) health, safety, and security. The first few activities of human resource management are recruiting and selecting which deal with the actions concerned, and the recruiting is also less frequently alerted in human resource information system recently. Besides, e-recruitment on the web being the current trend for the recruitment and selection processes can further distinguish many activities of the processes. Dessler (2000) lists the essence of these in the following; build a pool of candidates for the job, have the applicants fill out application forms, utilize various selection techniques to identify viable job candidates, send one or more viable job candidates to their supervisor, have the candidate(s) go through selection interviews, and determine to which candidate(s) an offer should be made.
2.2.1 The Process of Recruitment
Odiorne (1984) indicated that the quality of new recruits depends upon an organization’s recruitment practices, and that the relative effectiveness of the selection phase is inherently dependent upon the calibre of candidates attracted. Indeed Smith et al. (1989) argue that the more effectively the recruitment stage is carried out, the less important the actual selection process becomes. When an organization makes the decision to fill an existing vacancy through recruitment, the first stage in the process involves conducting a comprehensive job analysis. This may already have been conducted through the human resource planning process, particularly where recruitment is a relatively frequent occurrence. Once a job analysis has been conducted, the organization has a clear indication of the particular requirements of the job, where that job fits into the overall organization structure, and can then begin the process of recruitment to attract suitable candidates for the particular vacancy.
According to Odiorne, (1984) one result of effective recruitment and selection is reduced labour turnover and good employee morale. Recruiting ineffectively is costly, since poor recruits may perform badly and/or leave their employment, thus requiring further recruitment. In a cross national study of recruitment practices, suggests that, in reality, recruitment practices involve little or no attempt to validate practices. Personnel managers tend to rely on feedback from line managers and probationary periods and disciplinary procedures to weed out mistakes. Firms with high quit rates live with them and tend to build them into their recruitment practices and they do not analyze the constitution of their labour turnover.
A number of recent studies have suggested that some recruitment methods are more effective than others in terms of the value of the employees recruited. Miyake, (2002) indicated that while advertising is usual for job vacancies, applicants were sometimes recruited by word of mouth, through existing employees. Besides being cheaper, the “grapevine” finds employees who stay longer (low voluntary turnover) and who are less likely to be dismissed (low involuntary turnover). People recruited by word of mouth stay longer because they have a clearer idea of what the job really involves. Miyake, (2002) reviewed five studies in which average labour turnover of those recruited by advertising was 51 per cent. The labour turnover for spontaneous applicants was 37 per cent and turnover for applicants recommended by existing employees was 30 per cent.
One hypothesis proposed to account for this was the “better information” hypothesis. It was argued that people who were suggested by other employees were better and more realistically informed about the job than those who applied through newspapers and agencies. Thus, they were in a better position to assess their own suitability. Better informed candidates are likely to have a more realistic view of the job, culture of the organization and job prospects. Burack, (1985) argues that recruitment sources are significantly linked to differences in employee performance, turnover, satisfaction and organizational commitment. In a survey of 201 large US companies, Burack asked respondents to rate the effectiveness of nine recruitment sources in yielding high-quality, high-performing employees. The three top ranked sources were employee referrals, college recruiting and executive search firms. However, Burack, (1985) cautions that, while these general results are useful, there is a need for greater internal analysis of the relative quality of recruits yielded by different sources.