Human Resource Management Notes: Recruitment and Selection

Unit – III: Recruitment and Selection
Meaning  and definition of Recruitment
Recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization. When more persons apply for job then there will be a scope for recruiting better persons. The job-seekers too on the other hand, are in search of organizations offering them employment. Recruitment is a linkage activity bringing together those with jobs and those seeking jobs.
Definitions: Flippo – “Recruitment is the process of searching prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for the jobs in the organization”
McFarland- “ The term recruitment applies to the process of attracting potential employees of the company.”
Thus recruitment may be considered as a positive action as it involves attracting the people towards organization.  The main purpose is to have a rich inventory of eligible persons from amongst whom the most suitable candidates can be selected for employment in the organization.
Sources of Recruitment:
The finding out where suitable candidates are available and informing them about the openings in the organization is the most important aspect of recruitment process. The candidates may be available inside the organization as well outsider it. Recruitment sources can be described as: internal and external sources.
A. Internal Sources: Internal source is one of the important sources of recruitment the employees already working in the organization may be more suitable for higher jobs than those recruited from outside. The present employees may help in the recruitment of new persons also internal sources are discussed as follows:
1.       Transfers: Transfer involves shifting of persons from present jobs to other similar places. These don't involve any change in rank, responsibility and prestige. The numbers of persons don't increase with transfer but vacant posts may be attended to.
2.       Promotions: Promotions refers to shifting of persons to positions carrying better prestige, higher responsibilities and more salaries. The higher positions falling vacant may be filled up from within the organization. A promotion doesn't increase the number of persons in the organization. A person going to get a higher position will vacate his present position. Promotion avenues motivate employees to improve their performance so that they get promotions to higher position.
3.       Present Employees: The present employees of an enterprise may be informed about likely vacant position. The employees recommend their relations or persons intimately known to them. Management is relieved of botheration for looking out prospective candidates. The persons recommended by the employees will be suitable for the job because they know the needs & requirement of various positions. The existing employees take full responsibility for those recommended by them and try to ensure their proper behavior and performance. This method of recruiting employees is suitable for lower position only. It may create nepotism and favoritism. The workers may be employees on the basis of their recommendations and not suitability.
Merits of Internal Sources: The following are the merits of internal sources of recruitment:
a)      It creates a sense of security among employees when they are assured that they would be preferred in filling up vacancies.
b)      It improves the morale of employees, for they are assured of the fact that they would be preferred over outsiders when vacancies occur.
c)       It promotes loyalty and commitment among employees due to sense of job security and opportunities for advancement.
d)      The employer is in a better position to evaluate those presently employed than outside candidates.
e)      This is because the company maintains a record of the progress, experience and service of its employees.
f)       Time and costs of training will be low because employees remain familiar with the organisation and its policies.
g)      Relations with trade unions remain good. Labour turnover is reduced.
h)      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.
i)        It encourages self-development among the employees. It encourages good individuals who are ambitious.
j)        It encourages stability from continuity of employment.
k)      It can also act as a training device for developing middle and top-level managers.
Demerits of Internal Sources: Internal sources of recruitment have certain disadvantages as follows:
1.       Recruitment of internals leads to inbreeding and discourages new blood with new ideas from entering into the organization.
2.       It is possible that internal sources ultimately dry up and hence it may be difficult to find suitable persons from within the organization.
3.       In case of certain jobs such as advertising, style, designing, basic research etc recruitment from within is not desirable.
4.       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.
5.       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, this practice is not followed.
6.       Generally for middle level managers internal source is rarely used, however for promoting blue collar workers to white collar jobs internal source is more desirable.
B. External Sources: Every enterprise has to use external sources for recruitment to higher positions when existing employees are not suitable. More person are needed when expansion are undertaken. External methods are discussed as follows.
Advertisement: Advertisement is the best method of recruiting persons for higher and experienced jobs. The advertisements are given in local or national press, trade or professional journals. The requirements of jobs are given in the advertisement. The prospective candidates evaluate themselves against the requirement of jobs before sending their applications. Management gets a wider range of candidates for selection. The flood of applications may create difficulties in the process.
Employment Exchanges: Employment Exchanges run by the government are also a good source of recruitment. Unemployed persons get themselves registered with these exchanges. The vacancies may be notified with the exchanges, whenever there is a need. The exchange supplies a list of candidates fulfilling required qualification. Exchanges are a suitable source of recruitment for filling unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and operative posts.
Education Institutions: The jobs in trade and industry are becoming technical and complex. These jobs require certain amount of educational and technical qualifications. The employers maintain a close liaison with universities and technical institutions. The students are spotted during the course of their studies. Junior level, executives or managerial may be recruited in this way.
Unsolicited Applicants: Persons in search of employment may contact employers through telephone, by post or in person. Generally, employers with good reputation get unsolicited applications. If an opening is there or is likely to be there then these persons are considered for such jobs. Personnel department may maintain a record of unsolicited applications. When jobs suitable for these persons are available these persons are available these are considered for employment.
Casual Callers: Management may appoint persons who casually call on them for meeting short-term demands. This will avoid following a regular procedure of selection. These persons are appointed for short periods only. They need not be paid retrenchment or layoff allowance. This method of recruitment is economical because management does not incur a liability in pensions, insurance and fringe benefits.
Labour Contractors: It is quite common to engage contractors for the supply of labour. When workers are required for short period and are hired without going through the full procedure of selection etc.., contractors maintain regular contracts with works at their places and also bring them to the cities at their own expense. The persons hired under this system are generally unskilled workers.
Labour Unions: Labour unions are one of the sources of external recruitment. The job seekers are required to register with labour unions, & the labour unions are require to supply the names of persons for filing the vacancies. This method may encourage good co-operation between business firms and labour unions, active participation of persons in labour unions, the development of leadership qualities in workers, etc.,
Consulting Agencies: Consulting agencies are one of the important sources of recruitment, especially for big companies. Consulting agencies are specialised agencies which recruit people on behalf of their clients. They invite application for jobs specified by their clients from job seekers through advertisements, screen the application, interview the candidates and select the suitable candidate. They do these services for their clients for some Fees.
Educational Institutions: Universities, Colleges & Management institute are also one of the sources of recruitment of personnel, particularly for the posts of Scientists, Engineers & Management specialist. They have there own employment bureaus to help business organizations in recruiting the students for various jobs.
Present Employees: Present Employees are also one of the sources of recruitment of personnel. The present employees of the concern are asked by the management to recommend suitable persons for employment in the concern.
Advantages of External Recruitment: External sources of recruitment are suitable for the following reasons:
1.       It will help in bringing new ideas, better techniques and improved methods to the organisation.
2.       The cost of employees will be minimised because candidates selected in this method will be placed in the minimum pay scale.
3.       The existing employees will also broaden their personality.
4.       The entry of qualitative persons from outside will be in the interest of the organisation in the long run.
5.       The suitable candidates with skill, talent, knowledge are available from external sources.
6.       The entry of new persons with varied expansion and talent will help in human resource mix.
Disadvantages of External Sources:
1.       Orientation and training are required as the employees remain unfamiliar with the organisation.
2.       It is more expensive and time-consuming. Detailed screening is necessary as very little is known about the candidate.
3.       If new entrant fails to adjust himself to the working in the enterprise, it means yet more expenditure on looking for his replacement.
4.       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.
Difference between internal and external sources of recruitment
Bases of Difference
Internal Sources
External Sources
Recruitment is form within the organization.
It is the recruitment from outside employees.
It is generally based on seniority cum merit.
It is strictly based on merit and qualifications.
Time involved
It is less time consuming.
It is a time consuming exercise.
It is a cheap source of recruitment.
It is an expensive source of recruitment. It involves time, expense and resources.
No reference of the employees is needed since all his records are available with the concern.
Since enterprise does not know about person, references about previous work, conduct and character are needed.
There is a limited choice from among the present employees.
There is a wide choice from a large number of applicants.

Factor Affecting Recruitment
The factors affecting recruitment can be classified as internal and external factors.
The internal factors are:
a)      Wage and salary policies;
b)      The age composition of existing working force;
c)       Promotion and retirement policies;
d)      Turnover rates;
e)      The nature of operations involved the kind of personnel required;
f)       The level and seasonality of operations in question;
g)      Future expansion and reduction programmes;
h)      Recruiting policy of the organisation;
i)        Human resource planning strategy of the company;
j)        Size of the organisation and the number of employees employed;
k)      Cost involved in recruiting employees, and finally;
l)        Growth and expansion plans of the organisation.
The external factors are:
a)      Supply and demand of specific skills in the labour market;
b)      Company’s image perception of the job seekers about the company.
c)       External cultural factors: Obviously, the culture may exert considerable check on recruitment. For example, women may not be recruited in certain jobs in industry.
d)      Economic factors: such as a tight or loose labour market, the reputation of the enterprise in the community as a good pay master or otherwise and such allied issues which determine the quality and quantity of manpower submitting itself for recruitment.
e)      Political and legal factors also exert restraints in respect of nature and hours of work for women and children, and allied employment practices in the enterprise, reservation of Job for SC, ST and so on.
Recruitment is the process of location,  identifying,  and  attracting  capable  applications  for  jobs  available  in  an  organization.  Accordingly,  the  recruitment  process  comprises  the  following  five  steps:
1.       Recruitment Planning: The first involved in the recruitment process is planning.  Hire, planning involves to draft a comprehensive job specification for the vacant position, outline its major and minor responsibilities; the skills, experience  and  qualifications  needed;  grade  and level  of  pay;  starting  date;  whether  temporary  or  permanent;  and  mention  of special  condition,  if any,  attached  to  the  job  to  be  filled.
2.       Strategy Development: Once  it  is  known  how  many  with  what  qualification  of  candidates  are required,  the  next  step  involved  in  this  regard  is  to  device  a  suitable  strategy for  recruitment  the  candidates  in  the  organization.  The strategic considerations to  be  considered  may  include  issues  like  whether  to  prepare  the  required candidates  themselves  or  hire  it  from  outside,  what type  of  recruitment method  to  be  used,  what  geographical  area  be  considered,  for  searching  the candidates,  which  source  of  recruitment  to  be  practiced,  and  what  sequence  of activities  to  be  followed  in  recruiting  candidates  in  the  organization.
3.       Searching: This step involves attracting job seeders to the organization.  There are broadly two sources used to attract candidates.  These are:
Ø  Internal Sources
Ø  External Sources.
4.       Screening: Through  some  view  screening  as  the  starting  point  of  selection,  we  have considered  it  as  an  integral  part  of  recruitment.  The reason being  the selection  process  starts  only  after   the  application  have  been  screened  and  short listed. Those who do not qualify are straightway eliminated from the selection process. The techniques used for screening candidates are vary depending on the source of supply and method used for recruiting. Preliminary applications, de-selections tests and screening interviews are common techniques used for screening the candidates.
5.       Evaluation and control: Given the considerable involved in the recruitment process, its evaluation and control is, therefore, imperative. The costs generally incurred in a recruitment process include Salary of recruiters, Cost of time spent for preparing job analysis, advertisement, Administrative expenses, Cost of outsourcing or overtime while vacancies remain unfilled, Cost incurred in recruiting unsuitable candidates.  
In view of above, it is necessary for a prudent employed to try answering certain questions like:
a)      Whether the recruitment methods are appropriate and valid?
b)      Whether the recruitment process followed in the organization is effective at all or not?
Meaning of Selection in Human Resource Management
Human resource selection is the process of choosing qualified individuals who are available to fill positions in an organization. In the ideal personnel situation, selection involves choosing the best applicant to fill a position. Selection is the process of choosing people by obtaining and assessing information about the applicants with a view to matching these with the job requirements. It involves a careful screening and testing of candidates who have put in their applications for any job in the enterprise. It is the process of choosing the most suitable persons out of all the applicants. The purpose of selection is to pick up the right person for every job.
It can be conceptualised in terms of either choosing the fit candidates, or rejecting the unfit candidates, or a combination of both. Selection involves both because it picks up the fits and rejects the unfits. In fact, in Indian context, there are more candidates who are rejected than those who are selected in most of the selection processes. Therefore, sometimes, it is called a negative process in contrast to positive programme of recruitment.
According to Dale Yoder, “Selection is the process in which candidates for employment are divided into two classes-those who are to be offered employment and those who are not”.
According to Thomas Stone, “Selection is the process of differentiating between applicants in order to identify (and hire) those with a greater likelihood of success in a job”.
According to Keith Davis, “Selection is the process by which an organisation chooses from a list of screened applicants, the person or persons who best meet the selection criteria for the position available.”
Thus, the selection process is a tool in the hands of management to differentiate between the qualified and unqualified applicants by applying various techniques such as interviews, tests etc. The cost incurred in recruiting and selecting any new employee is expensive. The cost of selecting people who are inadequate performers or who leave the organisation before contributing to profits proves a major cost of doing business.
Significance of Selection
Selection means to choose the person from among the prospective candidates to fill in the vacant posts in the organisation. The success of the organisation depends upon the quality of personnel selected for the job. Thus selection of personnel is the most important function of the personnel management. The importance of selection may be judged from the following facts:
1.       Procurement of Qualified and Skilled Workers: Scientific selection facilitates the procurement of well qualified and skilled workers in the organisation. It is in the interest of the organisation in order to maintain the supremacy over the other competitive firms. Selection of skilled personnel reduces the labour cost and increases the production. Selection of skilled personnel also facilitate the expansion in the size of the business.
2.       Reduced Cost of Training and Development: Proper selection of candidates reduces the cost of training because qualified personnel have better grasping power. They can understand the technique of the work better and in no time. Further, the organisation can develop different training programmes for different persons on the basis of their individual differences, thus reducing the lime and cost of training considerably.
3.       Lesser need for training: Properly selected personnel exhibit a lesser need for training; as their suitability for the jobs to be assigned to them, has already been verified through the selection-procedure. As such the necessity for arranging ‘routine-training programmes’ for such personnel is rules out – saving organisation’s time, efforts and costs involved in conducting such training programmes.
4.       Self-motivation and high morale: When suitable candidates (i.e. ‘best-fits’) are assigned to matching jobs; such personnel feel self-motivated towards the best performance of’ their jobs. The constant state of self-motivation over a period of time helps in building high morale of such personnel, for the organisation.
5.       Absence of Personnel Problems: Proper selection of personnel reduces personnel problems in the organisation. Many problems like labour turnover, absenteeism and monotony shall not be experienced in their severity in the organisation. Labour relations will be better because workers will be fully satisfied by the work. Skilled workers help the management to expand the business and to earn more profits and management in turn compensate the workers with high wages, benefits etc.
6.       More and better production - leading to profit maximization: A derivative advantage of the ‘self-motivation and high morale’ is that the production (or performance) turned out by ‘best fits’ is not only more in quantity; but is also of a superior quality. This phenomenon leads to profit maximisation, for the enterprise, in the long-run.
7.       Good human relations: As a result of good selections, there is a better environment for working in the organisation. Such environment helps to promote good human relations in the organisation; which is one of the highly valued assets of the organisation.
Steps in Selection Process:
Selection is a process of choosing right person for the right job. The selection process consists of a series of steps or techniques as follows:
1.       Job Analysis: The first step in selection process is analyzing the job. Job analysis consists of two parts : Job Description, and Job Specification. Proper job analysis helps to advertise the job properly. Accordingly, the right candidates may apply for the job, thus saving a lot of time and effort of the selectors.
2.       Advertising the Job: The next step is to advertise the job. The job can be advertised through various media. The right details about the job and the candidate must be given in the advertisement.
3.       Initial Screening: The initial screening can be done of the applications and of the applicant. Usually, a junior executive does the screening work. At this stage, the executive may check on the general personality, age, qualifications, family background of the candidate. The candidate may also be informed of salary, working conditions, etc.
4.       Application Blank: It is a prescribed form of the company which helps to obtain information about candidate in respect of social, biographic, academic, work experience, references, etc. The application blank helps to:
Ø  It provides input for the interview.
Ø  It provides basis to reject candidates if they do not meet eligibility criteria, such as experience, qualifications, etc.
5.       Tests: Various tests are conducted to judge the ability and efficiency of the candidates. The type of tests depends upon the nature of job. An important advantage of testing is that it can be administered to a large group of candidates at a time and saves time and cost. The various tests are: (a) Personality test, (b) Intelligence test,   (c) Performance test, (d) Stress test, etc.
6.       Interview: It is face to face exchange of views, ideas and opinions between the candidate and interviewer(s). There are various types of interviews such as:  (a) Panel Interview, (b) Individual Interview, (c) Group Interview, (d) Stress Interview, (e) Exit Interview.
7.       Reference Check: A candidate may be asked to provide references from those who are willing to supply or confirm about the applicant’s past life, character and experience. Reference check helps to know the personal character and family background of the candidate. It also helps to guard against possible false information supplied by candidate.
8.       Medical Check : Medical examination of the candidates is undertaken before they join the firm in order to:
a)      Find out whether the candidate is physically fit to carry out duties and responsibilities effectively,
b)      Ensure the health and safety of other employees,
c)       Find out whether the candidate is sensitive to certain work place such as in a chemical factory.
9.       Final Interview: Before making a job offer, the candidates may be subjected to one more oral interview to find out their interest in the job and their expectations. At this stage, salary and other perks may be negotiated.
10.   Job Offer: This is the most crucial and final step in selection process. A wrong selection of a candidate may make the company to suffer for a good number of years and the loss is incalculable. Company should make a very important decision to offer right job to the right person.
Meaning of Scientific Recruitment and Selection
A scientific recruitment and selection process involves job analysis, advertisements, written tests, personal interviews, medical examination, final selection, etc. It is conducted by different types of experts. It involves a lot of time, energy and money (cost). Even then most organisations use a scientific selection policy to select their employees. This is because of its various advantages. 
Importance of Scientific Recruitment and Selection: The scientific selection policy is given importance due to these reasons:
1.       Right job for the Right Person : Scientific selection policy helps to find the right man for the right job. It also helps to find the right job for the right person.
2.       Reduces Labour Absenteeism and Turnover : Labour absenteeism refers to the employees remaining absent from regular duty (work). Labour turnover refers to the employees leaving the company. Scientific selection policy helps to reduce both labour absenteeism and labour turnover. This is because it helps to select the right candidates for the right jobs. These candidates get job satisfaction, and they have a high morale. So they will not remain absent, and they will not leave the company.
3.       Reduces wastages, damages and accidents : The scientific selection policy results in the selection of qualified and interested employees. These employees will be very careful while handling machines and materials. This will reduce wastage, damages and accidents.
4.       Reduces Training and Supervision Costs : The scientific selection policy results in the selection of qualified and interested employees. These employees require less training and supervision. This will reduce the training and supervision cost.
5.       Improves Goodwill of the Company : Scientific selection policy results in the selection of interested employees. These employees will maintain very good relations with the shareholders, customers, public etc. This will improve the goodwill of the company.
6.       High Morale : The employees who are selected through scientific selection policy do get job satisfaction. This will increase their morale. High morale brings many benefits to the company.
7.       High Efficiency and Productivity : The employees selected through this policy will perform their jobs very efficiently. This will increase the productivity & profitability of the organisation.
Placement and Induction
Placement: After an employee has been recruited he is provided with basic background information about the employer, working conditions and the information necessary to perform his job satisfactorily. The new employee’s initial orientation helps him perform better by providing him information of the company rules, and practices.
According to Pigors and Myers, “Placement consists in matching what the supervisor has reason to think the new employee can do with what the job demands (job requirements), imposes (in strain, working conditions, etc.), and offers (in the form of pay rate, interest, companionship with other, promotional possibilities, etc.)” They further state that it is not easy to match all these factors for a new worker who is still in many ways an unknown quantity. For this reason, the first placement usually carries with it the status of probationer.
A few basic principles should be followed at the time of placement of an employee on the job. These may be enumerated as below:
1.       The job should be offered to the man according to his qualifications. The placement should neither be higher nor lower than the qualifications.
2.       While introducing the job to the new employee, an effort should be made to develop a sense of loyalty and cooperation in him so that he may realise his responsibilities better towards the job and the organisation.
3.       The employee should be made conversant with the working conditions prevailing in the industry and all things relating to the job. He should also be made aware of the penalties if he commits a wrong.
4.       Man should be placed on the job according to the requirements of the job. The job should not be adjusted according to the qualifications or requirements of the man. Job first; man next, should be the principle of placement.
5.       The placement should be ready before the joining date of the newly selected person.
6.       The placement in the initial period may be temporary as changes are likely after the completion of training. The employee may be later transferred to the job where he can do better justice.
Orientation is a process through which a new employee is introduced to the organisation. It is the process wherein an employee is made to feel comfortable and at home in the organisation. The new employee is handed over a rulebook, company booklets, policy manuals, progress reports and documents containing company information which are informational in nature. It is responsibility of the human resource department to execute the orientation programme. Orientation is one component of the new employee socialization process. Socialization is the ongoing process of instilling in all new employees prevailing attitudes, standards, values, patterns of behaviour that are expected by the organisation and its departments.
In the words of John M. Ivancevich, “Orientation orients, directs, and guides employees to understand the work, firm, colleagues, and mission. It introduces new employees to the organisation, and to his new tasks, managers, and work groups.”
According to John Bernardin, “Orientation is a term used for the organizationally sponsored, formalized activities associated with an employee’s socialisation into the organisation.”
Billimoria has defined orientation as, “Induction (orientation) is a technique by which a new employee is rehabilitated into the changed surroundings and introduced to the practices, policies, and purposes of the organisation.”
Inductive Training in India
The Induction Training is also called as an orientation programme, wherein the new employees are introduced to the rules and regulation of an organization with the objective of making them accustomed to the working environment, where they will be working. The new hires are generally provided with the following information about the organization:
1.       General information about the daily work routine.
2.       Foundation, history, objectives, mission, vision, products, services, etc. of the organization.
3.       How workers are required to perform their jobs, that will contribute to the organization’s objectives.
4.       Detailed presentation of company’s policies, work rules and employee benefits.
Before designing the induction training programme the firm needs to decide on the following parameters:
a)      Whether the induction training will be Formal or Informal. In the Informal training, the new joinees are put directly on their jobs and are required to adjust themselves to the working environment.
b)      Whereas, in the formal orientation, the new hire undergoes the structured programme designed by the management, that helps them to familiarize with the organization.
c)       Whether the Induction training will be Individual or collective. This means whether the new joinees will be inducted individually or in groups.
d)      Whether the training programme will be Serial or Disjunctive. An induction training is said to be a serial training when an experienced employee inducts the new hire, where he acts as a mentor to him.
e)      Whereas, training is said to be disjunctive when no predecessor is there to induct the new joinee.
f)       Whether the training programme will follow an Investiture or Divestiture strategy. In the Investiture orientation, the formal consent is given to the characteristics that an individual brings to the organization, especially the high-level appointments.