Sources, Merits and Demerits of External Sources of Recruitment in Human Resource Management

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(d) Unsolicited applicants

(e) Labour contractors

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(f) Employee referrals and

(g) Field trips

(a) Advertisement:

Advertising in newspapers, trade journals, and magazines is the most frequently used method.

In order to be successful, an advertisement should be carefully written. If it is not properly written, it may not draw the right type of applicants or it may attract too many applicants who are not qualified for the job.

Therefore, a well- thought out and planned advertisement for an appointment reduces the possibility of unqualified people applying.

Organisations often spend large amounts of money and time on advertisements. A well-designed advertising copy should contain the following four basic steps:

(i) Attracting attention

(ii) Developing interest

(iii) Arousing desire and

(iv) Generating action.

These four basic steps are together called AIDA formula. Appropriate appeals or pulls must be given special attention to maximise the pulling effect of advertising copy.

Since potential candidates are first introduced to the company through advertisements, image building can be made effective at this stage.

There are three different types or methods of advertisement followed by organisations. They are:

1. Using Post Box Numbers:

Some organisations do their own advertising. These advertisements carry only a post box number instead of the company’s name and address.

But this method is generally not advisable as good candidates may feel that it is not worthwhile to apply for a job without knowing the prospective employer.

2. Engaging Specialised Agencies:

Some organisations do not do their own advertising. They make use of specialised agencies, which advertise positions without divulging the name of their client.

3. Direct Advertisement:

Some organisations do their own advertising and give their names and address. This direct method is advisable as applicants get an idea about the organisation they apply to.

(b) Employment Exchanges:

An employment exchange is an office set up for bringing together as quickly as possible candidates searching for employment and employees looking for prospective employees.

The main functions of an employment exchange are registration of job seekers and their placement in notified vacancies. Employment exchanges have answered a great need in placing workers in suitable vacancies.

Employment exchanges register unemployed candidates and maintain the records of their names, qualifications etc.

When the employers intimate the exchange about the vacancies available in their organisations, the exchange selects the suitable candidates among the employment seekers who have registered with them and forwards their names to the employers for consideration.

There are two types of employment exchanges- government employment exchanges and private employment agencies.

(c) Campus Recruitment:

Sometimes, recruiters are sent to educational institutions where they meet the placement officer or the faculty members who recommend suitable candidates.

This system is prevalent in U.S.A where campus recruitment is a major source. Today the idea of campus recruitment has slowly caught the fancy of Indian employers.

The advantage of this method is that most of the applicants are present at one place and the recruitment can be arranged at a short notice.

The recruiters can meet the faculty members and obtain an idea of the course content. The disadvantage of campus recruitment is that it is neither feasible nor attractive for filling higher level positions. The method can be used only for “entry level” positions.

(d) Unsolicited Applicants:

Unsolicited applicants are another source. Some candidates send in their applications without any invitation from the organisation.

A recruiter can use these unsolicited applications for appointment as and when vacancies arise. However, this source is uncertain.

(e) Labour Contractors:

Many organisations employ labour contractors to hire workers. This method is usually resorted to when the work is of a temporary nature.

(f) Employee Referrals:

Friends and relatives of present employees are also a good source from which employees may be drawn.

Some organisations with a record of good personnel relations encourage their employees to bring suitable candidates for various openings in the organisation.

This method of recruitment has the advantage of the new recruit being familiar with the organisation and its culture.

The disadvantage of this system is that it encourages nepotism and cliques of relations and friends may be formed in the organisation.

(g) Field Trips:

An interviewing team makes trips to towns and cities, which are known to contain the kinds of employees required. These travelling recruiters are sent to educational and professional institutions.

In this method of recruitment, carefully prepared brochures describing the organisation and the job it offers are distributed to the candidates before the interviewer arrives. The arrival dates and the time and venue of interview are given to the candidates in advance.

Merits of External Sources of Recruitment:

1. Fresh talent and skill comes into the organisation.

2. New employees may try to change old habits.

3. New employees may be selected according to the terms and conditions of the organisation.

4. Highly qualified and experienced employees may help the organisation to come up with better performance.

5. Since persons are recruited from a large market, the best selection can be made. In other words, the recruiter has a wide range of candidates to choose from.

6. External sources provide the requisite type of personnel for an organisation, having the required skill.

7. External sources of recruitment are economical because potential employees do not need extra training for developing their skills.

Demerits of External Sources of Recruitment:

1. External sources of recruitment reduce the morale of employees because outsiders are preferred to fill up superior vacancies.

2. External sources of recruitment deny career advancement for employees.

3. The recruiter may not be in a position to properly evaluate outside candidates because the time at his disposal is very less. This may result in faulty selection of employees.

4. Outsiders are not fully acquainted with the policies and procedures of the organisation. Therefore, they should be given training, which is quite expensive.

After discussing the different sources of recruitment, we can conclude that there is no hard and fast rule whether the recruitment must be internally or externally or exclusive to each other.

The best management policy regarding recruitment must be to first look within the organisation and if we are not able to locate the suitable talents, external recruitment becomes inevitable.

To use the words of Koontz and O’Donnel “the (recruitment) policy should be to ‘raise’ talent rather than ‘raid’ for it”.


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