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Recruiting and Job Search

Recruitment and Selection is an important operation in HRM, designed to maximize employee strength in order to meet the employer’s strategic goals and objectives. It is a process of sourcing, screening, shortlisting and selecting the right candidates for the required vacant position. Recruitment of staff should be preceded by an analysis of the job to be done (i.e. an analytical study of the tasks to be performed to determine their essential factors) written into a job description so that the selectors know what physical and mental characteristics applicants must possess, what qualities and attitudes are desirable and what characteristics are a decided disadvantage.

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In the case of replacement staff, a critical questioning of the need to recruit at all (replacement should rarely be an automatic process). Effectively, selection is ‘buying’ an employee (the price being the wage or salary multiplied by probable years of service) hence bad buys can be very expensive. For that reason, some firms (and some firms for particular jobs) use external expert consultants for recruitment and selection. Equally some small organizations exist to ‘head hunt’, i.e. to attract staff with high reputations from existing employers to the recruiting employer. However, the ‘cost’ of poor selection is such that, even for the mundane day-to-day jobs, those who recruit and select should be well trained to judge the suitability of applicants.

The main sources of recruitment are:

Internal promotion and internal introductions (at times desirable for morale purposes)

Careers officers (and careers masters at schools)

University appointment boards

Agencies for the unemployed

Advertising (often via agents for specialist posts) or the use of other local media (e.g. commercial radio)

Where the organization does its own printed advertising it is useful if it has some identifying logo as its trade mark for rapid attraction and it must take care not to offend the sex, race, etc. antidiscrimination legislation either directly or indirectly. The form on which the applicant is to apply (personal appearance, letter of application, completion of a form) will vary according to the posts vacant and numbers to be recruited. It is very desirable in many jobs that claim about experience and statements about qualifications are thoroughly checked and that applicants unfailingly complete a health questionnaire (the latter is not necessarily injurious to the applicant’s chance of being appointed as firms are required to employ a percentage of disabled people).

Before letters of appointment are sent any doubts about medical fitness or capacity (in employments where hygiene considerations are dominant) should be resolved by requiring applicants to attend a medical examination. This is especially so where, as for example in the case of apprentices, the recruitment is for a contractual period or involves the firm in training costs. Interviewing can be carried out by individuals (e.g. supervisor or departmental manager), by panels of interviewers or in the form of sequential interviews by different experts and can vary from a five minute ‘chat’ to a process of several days. The recruitment process is an important part of human resource management (HRM). It isn’t done without proper strategic planning. Recruitment is defined as a process that provides the organization with a pool of qualified job candidates from which to choose. Before companies recruit, they must implement proper staffing plans and forecasting to determine how many people they will need. The basis of the forecast will be the annual budget of the organization and the short- to long-term plans of the organization.

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