Suppose you want to open a restaurant. After planning and organising you are aware of the various job positions that are required to be filled up. Let us say, you have assessed your requirement for a general manager, a chef, an accountant, and many other staff for home delivery of foods. Possibly, you have a list of persons interested to join your restaurant. For example, your uncle has promised you to provide an experienced general manager.

The manager of the bank from where you have taken loan has referred an accountant to you. One of the chief cooks of a reputed hotel has already approached or talked to you to join your restaurant as a chef. In addition to all these, you know that there is an office that can provide you people of your requirement by charging a fee, whenever you ask for it. You also know that an advertisement in the newspaper can help you in getting applications from many people.

While engaging yourself into all these activities you are basically trying to make a pool of suitable or interested applicants for the job. In other words you are recruiting the staff for your business.

The term recruitment is often used to signify employment. It is true that normally when we say we have recruited such and such persons, it signifies that we have employed them. But as a part of staffing function, the term recruitment has limited scope. It just refers to one of the initial steps in employment of people i.e., searching for suitable candidates for the various job positions to be filled up from time to time in the organisation.

Thus, recruitment is the process of finding and attracting suitable applicants for employment.

Sources of Recruitment

Having determined the qualification and experience required for various jobs involved, one has to search for the suitable persons and receive their applications. For this purpose one has to have an idea as to where such persons are available. In other words, one must be aware of the sources of recruitment before publicising the specific staffing needs and induce the suitable persons to apply for the job positions involved. These sources can be internal and external.

1. Internal Sources

In any business, existing employees expect that they will have chances of promotion and will be considered for higher positions before outsiders are considered. Managers, therefore may promote and transfer some of the existing employees to fill the vacant positions. The advantage of internal recruitment is that it is easier for managers to fill vacancies as they are conversant with the abilities and skills of their subordinates and have records of their performances.

Employees also feel happy as their work performance is recognised by management through promotion. However, there is one major drawback of recruitment through internal sources i.e., the organisation is deprived of the benefit of inducting fresh blood into its system.

2. External Sources

All vacancies cannot be filled up from within the organisation. Existing employees may lack the required skill, initiative and qualification needed for the jobs involved. Hence managers have to recruit some persons from outside the organisation. Not only that the external recruitment provides a wide choice from among a large number of external candidates from which employees may be recruited.

The workers and office employees at the lower level are often recruited from outside the organisation. The various external sources of recruitment are:

  1. Media Advertisements: You must have seen advertisements in newspapers about vacancies in organisations. The advertisement contains details about the job, its nature, the qualification required to do the job, how to apply, etc. This is a very popular medium of advertising. The job advertisements are also given in magazines, specialised employment magazines like Employment News, Rozgar Samachar, etc. Now-a-days we also commonly find such advertisements in various electronic media like television and Internet. Such advertisements normally get a very good response from the prospective candidates.

  2. Employment Exchanges: In India, employment exchanges have been set up by the government for bringing together job-seekers and employers who are looking for employees. Those who are in search of employment get themselves registered with the local Employment Exchanges which keep a record of all such persons in detail who require help in finding jobs. The employer informs about the vacancies to the nearest Employment Exchange. The Employment Exchange, in turn, identifies the names of the qualified employment seekers already registered with it, and forwards them to the employer for consideration. Thus, if you are seeking a job after passing the senior secondary examination, it would be better if you get yourself registered with an Employment Exchange. It may forward your name to the prospective employers keeping in view the suitability of the job as per your qualifications.

  3. Educational Institutions: Now-a-days, companies or big organisations maintain a close liaison with the universities, vocational institutes and management institute for recruitment of their staff. As and when the need arises, the companies send one or more of their senior executives to the institutions of repute imparting such professional/technical education to students. These executives take the interview of the interested candidates and select the suitable candidates as per their requirement. This process is popularly known as campus interview and is found to be an effective source of recruitment of managers, engineers, technicians, etc. for many companies on a regular basis.

  4. Unsolicited Application: Those looking for jobs often apply on their own initiative. They assume that certain vacancies are likely to arise, and apply without references to any job advertisement. Managers keep a record of such applications and contact the suitable candidates when they need them.

  5. Recruitment at the Factory gate: This is found mainly in case of factory workers to be recruited on daily wages. Such workers gather in the morning at the factory gate to serve as casual workers. Very often existing regular employees go on leave, and their vacancies are filled up by recruitment at the factory gate. These casual workers having served in the factory for some time may be considered for regular employment at some stage.

  6. Referrals: Quite often the management gets references about interested workers from different sources like workers unions, previous employees, existing employees, clients of the organisation etc. These sources are important because their recommendations are made by people who are associated with the organisation and are fully conversant with its requirements. Sometimes we also receive recommendations from our friends and relatives to employ persons known to them. But one should be very much cautious while considering such recommendations.

  7. Private Employment Agencies: In urban areas, a number of private organisations have started functioning as employment agencies. These agencies register with them the names of the individuals who are seeking employment and try to arrange job interviews for such candidates. Companies often get in touch with such agencies to provide them the details of suitable candidates for various jobs.