Human Resources Management

It is my intention to first define the term “recruitment”, give reasons for recruiting staff, mention types of recruitment and its techniques, give reasons as to why a vacancy might occur and the various stages of recruitment. The role of a human resources manager as it pertains to recruitment will be discussed just before the conclusion.

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It is widely accepted that recruitment is the only acceptable process of soliciting prospective employees in the world of work. Recruitment should, however, not be seen as a private sector peculiarity. De Cenzo, D.A. & Robbins, S.P. (2002:150) define recruiting as “the process of discovering potential candidates for actual or anticipated organizational vacancies. Or from another perspective, it is a linking activity- bringing together those with jobs to fill and those seeking jobs”. In other words, recruitment is the process of looking for persons who possibly may be suitable to fill the vacancies and to encourage them to apply for the vacancies. It does not mean that an interested person has already been appointed in the vacancy, it only tries to find a number of suitable persons from which the final selection can be made.


It is believed that when an organization is understaffed, vacancies should be advertised to meet the demand that human resource planning predicts. “Recruitment determines the success of a business”(…). The implication here is that recruiting at the right time, and suitably qualified persons assist in the growth of the company. According to Hacker, C.A. (1998:3), “sometimes we don’t stop to ask ourselves whether or not we really need to hire someone”. The point she makes is that positions should not be automatically filled. Changing needs within the company or department should be taken into account.

Hacker, C.A. (1998:4) advises an employer to consider three things when he or she prepares to hire, i.e., “cost per hire; turnover rate; and productivity”. Recruiting an employee, advertising coupled with the time spent on screening and interviewing the prospective employee, is costly. Again, if the recruitment of people is not cost effective, then the turnover must be avoided. “Employees are a valuable asset of the business” (…).

At the end of the day productivity is what is important. Productivity does not only relate to ability to do the job, but to organizational skills as well. One should note that if existing employees lack skills or talent, the applicant pool is going to be limited, leading to poor selection decisions. Also, an internal recruitment policy can make it difficult for a company to change the nature or goals of the business by bringing in outside candidates.

(ii) External recruitment

According to Bateman & Snell (1999:339), “external recruiting brings in ‘new blood’ to a company and can inspire innovation”. This is an idea of introducing new talent and initiative into the enterprise. “Most businesses engage in external recruitment fairly frequently, particularly those that are growing strongly, that operate in industries with high staff turnover” (…).The general feeling, however, is that promotions should come from the internal source, when the abilities of the staff allow it.

“The biggest advantage of external recruitment is that persons with experience of different terrains and levels, are appointed. This experience can be used to the advantage of the new enterprise” (Pretorius et al,1986:189). This, in other words, the new employee introduces new skills and imparts them to fellow employees. This type of recruitment has its own disadvantages, though, for example, “long process of recruiting, costly advertising and/or agency fees, and difficulties in assessing suitability of candidates” (…). In other words, one would employ the new candidates and get to “know” them later.