9 min read

What is Recruitment?


Recruitment refers to the overall process of attracting, shortlisting, interviewing, selecting and hiring suitable candidates for jobs (either permanent or temporary) within an organization. Recruitment can also refer to processes involved in choosing individuals for unpaid roles. Managers, human resource generalists and recruitment specialists may be tasked with carrying out recruitment, but in some cases public-sector employment agencies, commercial recruitment agencies, or specialist search consultancies are used to undertake parts of the process. Internet-based technologies which support all aspects of recruitment have become widespread. 


What Does Recruitment Involve? 

The recruitment process is each organization different, but there are essential components of the recruitment process which is common to most organizations. We’ve listed some of them here: 


  • Recognize and understand the hiring need 
  • Formulate a recruitment strategy 
  • Built a Job description 
  • Promote the job vacancy 
  • Attract potential candidates, both active and passive 
  • Recruit the position 
  • Screen applications 
  • Telephonic Interviews 
  • Perform technical and HR interviews 
  • Perform additional tests to confirm whether applicant is job fit 
  • Background check 
  • Choose best candidate 
  • Reference Check 
  • Release offer letter 
  • Hire 



  • Job analysis for new jobs or substantially changed jobs, a job analysis might be undertaken to document the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) required or sought for the job. From these, the relevant information is captured in a person specification. 
  • Sourcing is the process of attracting or identifying candidates. 
  • Screening and selection 



Sourcing is the use of one or more strategies to attract or identify candidates to fill job vacancies. It may involve internal and/or external recruitment advertising, using appropriate media, such as job portals, local or national newspapers, social media, business media, specialist recruitment media, professional publications, window advertisements, job centers, or in a variety of ways via the internet. 


Alternatively, employers may use recruitment consultancies or agencies to find otherwise scarce candidates—who, in many cases, may be content in the current positions and are not actively looking to move. This initial research for candidates—also called name generation—produces contact information for potential candidates, whom the recruiter can then discreetly contact and screen. 


Referral Recruitment Programs 

Referral recruitment programs allow both outsiders and employees to refer candidates for filling job openings. Online, they can be implemented by leveraging social networks. 


Employee Referral

An employee referral is a candidate recommended by an existing employee. This is sometimes referred to as Referral recruitment encouraging existing employees to select and recruit suitable candidates results in: 


  • Improved candidate quality (‘fit’), and retention (which in the call center industry is around 45% annually.). The one-to-one direct relationship between the candidate and the referring employee and the exchange of knowledge that takes place allows the candidate to develop a strong understanding of the company, its business and the application and recruitment process. The candidate is thereby enabled to assess their own suitability and likelihood of success, including “fitting in.” 
  • Reduces the considerable cost of third parties service providers who would have previously conducted the screening and selection process. An op-ed in Crain’s in April 2013 recommended that companies look to employee referral to speed the recruitment process for purple squirrels, which are rare candidates considered to be “perfect” fits for open positions. 
  • The employee typically receives a referral bonus, and is widely acknowledged as being cost effective. The Global Employee Referral Index 2013 Survey found that 92% of the participants reported employee referrals as one of the top recruiting sources for recruiting. 
  • As candidate quality improves and interview to job offer conversion rates increase, the amount of time spent interviewing decreases, which means the company’s Human Resources headcount can be streamlined and be used more efficiently. Marketing and advertising expenditures decrease as existing employees source potential candidates from the existing personal networks of friends, family and associates. By contrast, recruiting through 3rd-party recruiting agencies incurs a 20–25% agency finder’s fee – which can top $25K for an employee with $100K annual salary. Referral recruiting can be free (or cost a fraction) 


There is, however, a risk of less corporate creativity: An “overly homogeneous” workforce is at risk for “fails to produce novel ideas or innovations.” 


Social Network Referral 

Initially, responses to mass-emailing of job announcements to those within employees’ social network slowed the screening process.  


Two ways in which this improved are: 


  • Making available screen tools for employees to use, although this interferes with the “work routines of already time-starved employees”
    “when employees put their reputation on the line for the person they are recommending” 


Screening And Selection 

Various psychological tests can assess a variety of KSAOs, including literacy. Assessments are also available to measure physical ability. Recruiters and agencies may use applicant tracking systems to filter candidates, along with software tools for psychometric testing and performance-based assessment.In many countries, employers are legally mandated to ensure their screening and selection processes meet equal opportunity and ethical standards. 


Employers are likely to recognize the value of candidates who encompass soft skills, such as interpersonal or team leadership, and the level of drive needed to stay engaged. In fact, many companies, including multinational organizations and those that recruit from a range of nationalities, are also often concerned about whether candidate fits the prevailing company culture and organization as a whole. Companies and recruitment agencies are now turning to video screening as a way to notice these skills without the need to invite the candidates in physical. Screening as a practice for hiring has undergone continual change over the years and often organizations are using video to maintain the aforementioned standards they set for themselves and the industry. 


Methods Of Recruitment 

Internal recruitment or internal mobility (not to be confused with internal recruiters) refers to the process of a candidate being selected from the existing workforce to take up a new job in the same organization, perhaps as a promotion, or to provide career development opportunity, or to meet a specific or urgent organizational need. Advantages include the organization’s familiarity with the employee and their competencies insofar as they are revealed in their current job, and their willingness to trust said employee. It can be quicker and have a lower cost to hire someone internally. 


An employee referral program is a system where existing employees recommend prospective candidates for the job offered, and usually, if the suggested candidate is hired, the employee receives a cash bonus. 


Niche firms tend to focus on building ongoing relationships with their candidates, as the same candidates may be placed many times throughout their careers. Online resources have developed to help find niche recruiters.Niche firms also develop knowledge on specific employment trends within their industry of focus (e.g., the energy industry) and are able to identify demographic shifts such as aging and its impact on the industry. 


Social recruiting is the use of social media for recruiting. 


Mobile recruiting is a recruitment strategy that uses mobile technology to attract, engage and convert candidates. 



recruitment strategy is a plan an organization enacts to form a recruiting process and establish a candidate pool. An organization uses recruitment strategies to identify a hiring vacancy, establish a timeline, and identify goals throughout the recruitment process. Recruitment strategies are typically the responsibility of the human resources department. 



Organizations define their own recruiting strategies to identify who they will recruit, as well as when, where, and how that recruitment should take place. Common recruiting strategies answer the following questions: 


  • What type of individuals should be targeted? 
  • What recruitment message should be communicated? 
  • How can the targeted individuals best be reached? 
  • When should the recruitment campaign begin? 
  • What should be the nature of a site visit? 



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