Recruitment agencies are a part of the ever changing world. As the world moves closer to become one, recruitment agencies play a pivotal role in helping in mass transmission of human resources from one part of the world to another. There was a time when people were happy to work in their own community. But nowadays things have changed dramatically. A lot of people travel to different parts of the world to get experience by working in alien environments.
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This change in the attitude of the general masses around the world has encouraged the local employment agencies to expand globally in order to make the route of recruitment and selection easier. Furthermore the expansion of the European Union has allowed people from the poorer but skilled countries like Poland, Romania and Bulgaria to travel to the UK for jobs and a better way of life. New legislations have also helped in allowing people from various parts of the EU to travel to UK and seek out opportunities.
Recruitment and selection process is concerned with identifying, attracting and choosing suitable person to meet organisations human resource requirements. (Anderson, 1994) A useful definition of Recruitment is ‘searching for and obtaining potential job candidates in sufficient numbers and quality so that the organisation can select the most appropriate people to fill its job needs. (Dowling and Schuler, 1990); whereas Selection is more concerned with predicting which candidates will make the most appropriate contribution to the organisation – now and in the future’. (Hackett, 1991)
Unemployment is not equally distributed across the UK labour force. Age, qualifications, gender, ethnicity and location all have an impact on whether or not people become unemployed and the length of time people spend on work. (Social Trends, 2002) Examining the organisation’s ability to recruit various types of employee that may be required is one of the major aspects of manpower planning. Shortages of the right kind of employee may result in failure to meet production plans and even to major revisions of marketing plans.
But predicting this ability to recruit is one of the most speculative areas of manpower planning. It is not possible to calculate an accurate number to represent the rate at which certain types of specialist may be recruited in the future. The more stable and unchanging the situation, the more feasible such a calculation would be since it would then involve extra extrapolating present recruitment rates. But it is very unlikely that all the factors which may affect recruitment in the organisation itself, in the economy, in the technology, in education, training and other fields would remain constant for many length of time. (Angela M. Bowey, 1978 p:60)
The specialist skill of external recruitment advertiser has been used for many years by personnel departments looking outside for design skills and up to date knowledge of more successful media. Agencies have also been used for temporary recruitment of staff to cover for periods when full timers are on absent or on holidays. Recently, however, the reasons for using third parties in recruitment have intensified. With the move towards increasing the proportion of non-permanent contracts, a greater number of temporary staff is being recruited at all levels.
Some evidence suggests that the number of temporary managers is increasing by 25% percent per year, to oversee specific projects as well as to fill temporary vacancies (People Management, 1996, pg 96). Agencies are becoming increasingly involved in working with organisations where strategic decision to resource prior a third party is being taken. For example, Reed Employment has recently won a contract to provide temporary workforce of thousands to retune the videos in millions of UK homes for the new channel FIVE, taking on the responsibility for training, selection and employment. (Overell, 1996)
Employment agencies and consultancies use job analysis to identify the kind of personal characteristics need to perform job adequately. They are described in a profile or person specification which is dependent upon the requirements of the job, identify in a job description which is influenced by many factors. These include technical content, people content and organisational context, described by Hall (1992) as an intangible resource of know-how, personal relationship and culture. (Rosemary Harrison 1993 pg 221)
These assumptions tend to have emerged from experience based on organisation structures that have now passed. The future will involve far more complexity, greater ambiguity, more rapid change and a challenge to the methods that made sense to those managers who constructed the old organisations. This challenge will reduce the meaning and usefulness of traditional methods of recruitment and selection. (Sparrow and Hiltrop, 1994, pg 316)
Number of different people may be involved in recruitment and selection process internally; they could include personnel specialist, line managers, supervisors and team members. Externally, they could include agencies consultants and even customers. Consultants may be used to provide specialist knowledge and expertise which is lacking in an organisation. This is particularly relevant in the use of psychometric test; Newell and Shackleton (1993) found that organisation with no internal trained staff used consultants for administration and interpretation of tests. However, it is also applicable to more traditional approaches to selection; Storey (1992) reported an increased used of consultant – provided packages which offer a method and training support to improve the selection process without abandoning the interview – indeed these programs retain the interview at centre stage. (Len Holden 1997 pg 259)
When firms hire employees they match well with the organisation, the job and their co-workers, there is an increased likelihood of retention. Recent survey research indicates that careful selection is the most widely used method for retaining frontline employees. In addition to the use of selection procedures such as valid test and improved interviewing processes to obtain better job matches between employees job qualification.(Charles R-Greer, 2001, pg -14)
Employment agencies have traditionally used for temporary recruitment of staff cover for periods of when permanent staff has been absent on holidays or through unexpected illness. Recently the reason for using third parties in recruitment has intensified. The increasing use of non-permanent contracts increases the need of temporary or fixed term contract. Culey et al. (1999) indicates that temporary workers are used in 28 percent of work places and that fixed term contracts are now found in 44 percent of work places (Ian Beardwell, 2004, pg-221).
Executive research and selection are two different methods used for recruitment of executives. Search or head-hunting refers to recruitment of executives thru direct or personal contact by specialised consultancy acting as intermediately between the employer and the prospective candidate(s). The individual targeted by executive research consultants’ work at senior levels, and responsibility at regional, national or international level. Income generated from executive research in the year 2000 was estimated to exceed $10 billion, of which a third is generated in Europe. The top fifteen multinational consultancies are judged to have at least 25 percent between them (Garrison-Jenn, 1998 P- 38). Key reasons for using executive research and selection consultants include the need for confidentiality, a lack of in house recruitment knowledge and skills at this level, and simply a lack of senior management time to devote to the activity.