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Chapter: Mechanical : Human Resource Management(HRM) : The Concept of Best Fit Employee

Sources of Recruitment

After the finalisation of recruitment plan indicating the number and type of prospective candidates, they must be attracted to offer themselves for consideration to their employment.

Sources of Recruitment


After the finalisation of recruitment plan indicating the number and type of prospective candidates, they must be attracted to offer themselves for consideration to their employment. This necessitates the identification of sources from which these candidates can be attracted. Some companies try to develop new sources, while most only try to tackle the existing sources they have. These sources, accordingly, may be termed as internal and external.


Internal Sources


It would be desirable to utilise the internal sources before going outside to attract the candidates. Yoder and others suggest two categories of internal sources including a review of the present employees and nomination of candidates by employees. Effective utilisation of internal sources necessitates an understanding of their skills and information regarding relationships of jobs. This will provide possibilities for horizontal and vertical transfers within the enterprise eliminating simultaneous attempts to lay off employees in one department and recruitment of employees with similar qualification for another department in the company. Promotion and transfers within the plant where an employee is best suitable improves the morale along with solving recruitment problems. These measures can be taken effectively if the company has established job families through job analysis programmes combining together similar jobs demanding similar employee characteristics. Again, employees can be requested to suggest promising candidates. Sometimes, employees are given prizes for recommending a candidate who has been recruited. Despite the usefulness of this system in the form of loyalty and its wide practice, it has been pointed out that it gives rise to cliques posing difficulty to management. Therefore, before utilising this system attempts should be made to determine through research whether or not employees thus recruited are effective on particular jobs. Usually, internal sources can be used effectively if the numbers of vacancies are not very large, adequate, employee records are maintained, jobs do not demand originality lacking in the internal sources, and employees have prepared themselves for promotions.


Merits of Internal Sources: The following are the merits of internal sources of recruitment:


It creates a sense of security among employees when they are assured that they would be preferred in filling up vacancies.


It improves the morale of employees, for they are assured of the fact that they would be preferred over outsiders when vacancies occur.


It promotes loyalty and commitment among employees due to sense of job security and opportunities for advancement.


The employer is in a better position to evaluate those presently employed than outside candidates. This is because the company maintains a record of the progress, experience and service of its employees.


Time and costs of training will be low because employees remain familiar with the organisation and its policies.


Relations with trade unions remain good. Labour turnover is reduced.


·         As the persons in the employment of the company are fully aware of, and well acquainted wit, its policies and know its operating procedures, they require little training, and the chances are that they would stay longer in the employment of the organisation than a new outsider would.


It encourages self-development among the employees. It encourages good individuals who are ambitious.


It encourages stability from continuity of employment.


It can also act as a training device for developing middle and top-level managers.

Demerits of Internal Sources: However, this system suffers from certain defects as:


There are possibilities that internal sources may ―dry up‖,and it may be difficult to find the requisite personnel from within an organisation.


It often leads to inbreeding, and discourages new blood from entering and organisation.


As promotion is based on seniority, the danger is that really capable hands may not be chosen. The likes and dislikes of the management may also play an important role in the selection of personnel.


Since the learner does not know more than the lecturer, no innovations worth the name can be made. Therefore, on jobs which require original thinking (such as advertising, style, designing and basic research), this practice is not followed.


This source is used by many organisations; but a surprisingly large number ignore this source, especially for middle management jobs.


External Sources


DeCenzo and Robbins remark, ―Occasionally, it may be necessary to bring in some ‗new blood‘to broaden the present ideas, knowledge, and enthusiasm.‖Thus, all organisations have to depend on external sources of recruitment. Among these sources are included:


Employment agencies.


Educational and technical institutes. and


Casual labour or ―applicants at the gate‖and nail applicants.


Public and private employment agencies play a vital role in making available suitable employees fordifferent positions in the organisations. Besides public agencies, private agencies have developed markedly inlarge cities in the form of consultancy services. Usually, these agencies facilitate recruitment of technical and professional personnel. Because of their specialisation, they effectively assess the needs of their clients and aptitudes and skills of the specialised personnel. They do not merely bring an employer and an employee together but computerise lists of available talents, utilising testing to classify and assess applicants and use advanced techniques of vocational guidance for effective placement purposes.




Educational and technical institutes also form an effective source of manpower supply. There is an increasing emphasis on recruiting student from different management institutes and universities commerce and management departments by recruiters for positions in sales, accounting, finance, personnel and production. These students are recruited as management trainees and then placed in special company training programmes. They are not recruited for particular positions but for development as future supervisors and executives. Indeed, this source provides a constant flow of new personnel with leadership potentialities. Frequently, this source is tapped through on-campus interview with promising students. In addition,vocational schools and industrial training institutes provide specialised employees, apprentices, and trainees for semiskilled and skilled jobs. Persons trained in these schools and institutes can be placed on operative and similar jobs with a minimum of in-plant training. However, recruitment of these candidates must be based on realistic and differential standards established through research reducing turnover and enhancing productivity.


Frequently, numerous enterprises depend to some extent upon casual labour or ―applicants at the gate‖ and nail applicants. The candidates may appear personally at the company‘semployment office or send their applications for possible vacancies. Explicitly, as Yoder and others observe, the quality and quantity of such candidates depend on the image of the company in community. Prompt response to these applicants proves very useful for the company. However, it may be noted that this source is uncertain, and the applicants reveal a wide range of abilities necessitating a careful screening. Despite these limitations, it forms a highly inexpensive source as the candidates themselves come to the gate of the company. Again, it provides measures for good public relations and accordingly, all the candidates visiting the company must be received cordially.


Table          : Recruiting Sources Used by Skill and Level


As Jucius observes, trade unions are playing an increasingly important role in labour supply. In several trades, they supply skilled labour in sufficient numbers. They also determine the order in which employees are to be recruited in the organisation. In industries where they do not take active part in recruitment, they make it a point that employees laid off are given preference in recruitment.


Application files also forms a useful source of supply of work force. Attempts may be made to review the application to determine jobs for which the candidates filed for future use when there are openings in these jobs. The candidates may be requested to renew their cards as many times as they desire. All the renewed cards may be placed in ―active‖files and those not renewed for considerable time may be placed in ―inactive‖file or destroyed. Indeed, a well-indexed application file provides utmost economy from the standpoint of a recruiting budget.


Efficacy of alternative sources of supply of human resources should be determined through research. Attempts may be made to relate the factor of success on the job with a specific source of supply. Alternative sources can also be evaluated in terms of turnover, grievances and disciplinary action. Those sources which are significantly positively related with job performance and significantly negatively related with turnover, grievances and disciplinary action, can be effectively used in recruitment programmes. The assessment should be periodically performed in terms of occupations. It may be that source ―A‖is most effective for technical workers, while source ―B‖for semiskilled workers.


Advantages of External Recruitment: External sources of recruitment are suitable for the following reasons:


It will help in bringing new ideas, better techniques and improved methods to the organisation. The cost of employees will be minimised because candidates selected in this method will be


placed in the minimum pay scale.


The existing employees will also broaden their personality.


The entry of qualitative persons from outside will be in the interest of the organisation in the long run.


The suitable candidates with skill, talent, knowledge are available from external sources. The entry of new persons with varied expansion and talent will help in human resource mix.


Disadvantages of External Sources:


Orientation and training are required as the employees remain unfamiliar with the organisation. It is more expensive and time-consuming. Detailed screening is necessary as very little is known


about the candidate.


If new entrant fails to adjust himself to the working in the enterprise, it means yet more expenditure on looking for his replacement.


Motivation, morale and loyalty of existing staff are affected, if higher level jobs are filled from external sources. It becomes a source of heart-burning and demoralisation among existing employees.


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