Recruitment is about finding and hiring qualified individuals to work for companies. It includes identifying the company’s needs for new employees, making job descriptions, making applicant specifications such as education and skills, attracting suitable candidates through advertisements, screening applicants, and selecting the best.
Reasons why businesses need to recruit people
Several reasons underlie the company to recruit new employees. First, they must replace employees who resign, retire, or pass away. In other cases, companies may also lay off unproductive employees to increase efficiency and replace them with better ones.
Another reason is expansion. As the company grows, the business and operations become bigger. Thus, the company needs new people to do the job.
Finally, the reason for hiring is promotion. When someone is promoted, the old position is left vacant. The company may need a new person to replace it.
Types of recruitment
A company can fill vacancies through:
- Internal recruitment
- External recruitment
Internal recruitment fills job vacancies by offering them to existing employees. Internal recruitment may be an option if the business already has the right people with the right skills to do other jobs.
For example, a company appoints an employee for promotion to a higher position, such as a manager, instead of filling it with individuals from outside the company.
Advantages of internal recruitment
- More cost-effective without involving costs for advertising or hiring a consultant or assessment center
- Less risk because internal candidate capabilities are known
- Takes less time to adapt and work effectively because applicants are familiar with the culture and work environment
- Less training required for candidates (no need to start training like when recruiting external candidates)
- Faster process because potential candidates are already available
- As an internal promotion, which is good for overall employee morale
- Retain key employees to remain loyal to the company
Disadvantages of internal recruitment
- Fewer potential candidates to choose from
- External candidates may be better qualified
- No new ideas or innovations were brought into the company
- Creating other vacancies to be filled
- Decreased motivation when the candidate is not successful
- Causing jealousy and dissatisfaction among existing employees
External recruitment fills vacancies with applicants from outside the company. It allows companies to get fresh resources with new ideas. Companies also have more candidates to choose from.
However, the external recruitment process is longer. Choices may also be relatively few due to the company’s poor reputation. The process is also somewhat longer.
Advantages of external recruitment
- New ideas and innovations are brought by external candidates to the company
- More potential candidates to choose from
- Higher chance of selecting the best
- Extensive experience with external candidates
Disadvantages of external recruitment
- Lacks knowledge of the candidate’s skills and expertise
- Requires a longer induction period because the candidate is less familiar with the company and the culture within the organization
- Expensive process because it requires costs such as advertising or consultants
- Slower and longer process because it has to go through a longer stage than recruiting internally
- Demotivate existing staff because internal applicants may be unhappy when external parties find vacancies
The recruitment process usually includes the following activities:
- Identify needs
- Make person specification
- Advertise job vacancies
- Submit an application form or request a curriculum vitae (CV)
- Collecting and selecting CVs/application forms
- Make a shortlist
- Conduct interviews/tests
- Inform successful candidates
The recruitment process includes the first four stages. Meanwhile, the last four stages form the selection process.
The company identifies the needs and available job vacancies, both the number of employees and their qualifications. It starts with doing a job analysis and creating a job description. At this stage, the company also needs to decide whether it is best to recruit internally or externally.
Job analysis is a detailed examination of the jobs in a company. That is to determine the activities and responsibilities involved in each area, their relative importance to the company, the qualifications required, and the level of performance expected. In recruiting, it is also to determine which positions require new employees.
Job analysis is important for determining how the company fills vacancies. Through it, companies can identify whether vacant positions need to be filled by new people or not. For example, instead of hiring new people, the company might fill it with existing ones by distributing tasks and jobs among other employees.
A job description describes the position, responsibilities, duties, hours worked, salary, who reports to, and the qualifications or skills required for a particular job. It accompanies job advertisements when companies are looking for candidates.
Make a people specification
The person specification specifies applicants’ qualities, skills, and qualifications. It provides the necessary requirements to fill a particular job.
That is important because it makes it easier for companies to pre-screen candidates who meet the requirements. Meanwhile, it makes it easier for applicants to identify suitable vacancies according to their qualifications.
Advertise job vacancies
Companies prepare job advertisements to attract as many potential candidates as possible to be recruited. It communicates the job description and person specifications required by the company to potential candidates.
- A job advertisement is an advertisement to inform about job vacancies in a company. It is written in an engaging tone and contains information not only about the vacancy but also about the company and the benefits it offers.
Ad placement can be through various media, perhaps through newspapers or company websites. Cost and effectiveness will usually be a consideration.
In other cases, the company may decide to process applications externally. They hired a recruiting agency to handle the application process for them.
Submit an application form or request a curriculum vitae (CV)
Companies ask candidates to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) for selection. A CV usually accompanies a cover letter explaining the candidate’s interest in the position.
The CV format varies between candidates, so to obtain an objective and comparable assessment among candidates, companies complete it with an application form.
The company sends the application form to the candidate to fill out. It consists of questions prepared and pre-defined by the company. Through it, the company digs deeper into the candidate.
Application forms are important to make it easier to compare potential candidates and ensure employers get all the information they need from candidates.
Collect and select CVs/application forms
At this stage, the company collects application forms and CVs from all candidates. Both describe personal information about a candidate.
Both are used to screen candidates at the beginning before going to the next stage. Employers use it to compare a candidate’s skills and qualities to those listed in the people specification.
Make a shortlist
Employers compare the information in application forms and CVs with people’s specifications and job descriptions. The company selects which candidates meet the qualifications and which do not.
Then, the company compiles a list of the most suitable candidates for the next stage, interviews, and testing.
This stage is important to save time and money. Interviewing every candidate who applies is too expensive and time-consuming. Thus, creating a shortlist is intended to reduce the number of candidates to be interviewed.
Conduct interviews and tests
Interviews allow companies to get to know candidates deeper by asking them questions. It may be via telephone or video call, such as Skype, besides face-to-face interviews.
The interview can go through a one-to-one interview where one person interviews a candidate. Alternatively, the interview could be a panel where more than one person interviews a candidate.
Interviews offer several advantages. First, companies identify more deeply the candidate’s personality. Second, it allows the company to clarify further the information provided in the application form. Third, candidates have the opportunity to ask questions because communication can be two-way.
But interviews also take time. In addition, the candidate may react poorly because the interview can create a stressful situation, causing the best candidate for the job not to be selected.
This stage also usually involves the candidate going through tests such as:
- Aptitude tests to see a candidate’s potential to perform specific job-related tasks.
- Achievement tests to explore what the candidate knows and can do.
- Psychometric tests assess the candidate’s personality, attitude, and character.
- Intelligence tests to see if the candidate has the required mental abilities, e.g., analytical abilities.
- Group situational tests to observe the candidate’s performance during team assignments.
Testing is vital because it allows employers to discover a candidate’s personality and abilities. It will provide a more thorough and objective insight into the candidate, not just what they say about themselves.
Interviews and testing may involve external parties or assessment centers. Companies ask candidates to be tested and interviewed at a designated assessment center. It could take a day or more.
Inform successful candidates
After the selection process is complete, the company gets a successful candidate. The company will inform them by phone, email, or letter. For internal recruitment, internal candidates can be notified directly.
The company will offer the successful candidate an employment contract at the end of the process. The individual receives an employment letter followed by an employment contract.
- An employment letter offers a selected candidate to work for a company.
- An employment contract refers to a written agreement between an employer and a worker explaining both parties’ duties, rights, and responsibilities.
What employees expect from employers
- Fair salary and compensation
- Reasonable working hours
- Good work environment
- Fair treatment by management
- Proper training
- Opportunity for promotion
What employers expect from employees
- Timely attendance
- Employee hard work
- Cooperation from employees
- Compliance with instructions
- Loyalty and trust
Contents of the employment contract
The employment contract contains the following:
- Employer details
- Employee details
- Job title
- Start date
- Job roles and specifications
- Contract duration, i.e., part-time, temporary, or full time
- Terms and conditions such as working hours, leave, remuneration (salary), and termination of the contract
- Disciplinary and complaint procedures
- Notification requirements
Why are employment contracts important
Employment contracts are important for several reasons. First, it clarifies the agreed terms and conditions for both parties (employer and employee).
On the one hand, employers know what they can expect from new employees, including their duties and roles. On the other hand, employees understand what their rights and obligations are.
Second, the employment contract becomes a reference if there is a dispute about the terms and conditions of work. It becomes the cornerstone for resolving any work dispute.
Third, the employment contract allows for avoiding heavy fines or penalties. The employment contract is legally binding. Thus, there are consequences if the employer or employee violates the agreement.
How the employment contract ends
The work contract does not apply and ends for the following reasons:
- Employees resign to take jobs at other companies
- Employees reach retirement age
- The employee was fired for breach of contract
- The employee leaves the job because they have violated the terms of the contract
- The contract term has ended
- Employees are promoted with different roles and responsibilities
Types of employment contracts
There are different types of employment contracts, including:
- Permanent contract
- Zero-hour contract
- Part-time contract
- Flexible contract
The permanent contract does not specify a term or termination date. It remains in effect until the employer or employee chooses to terminate the agreement.
Zero-hour contracts do not specify guaranteed hours of work. Employees will only be paid for hours actually required to work, which may be zero at any given time. For example, employees in a restaurant are not required to wait at tables or cook when there are no customers. As a result, they will not be paid.
Part-time contracts offer fewer hours than full-time contracts. There is no official definition to differentiate between the two. But, generally, full-time workers will work 35 hours or more a week.
Flexible contracts allow staff to be called in at a most convenient time for the employer and the employee, for example, during peak hours. For example, jobs in the tourism industry usually have flexible contracts where workers will be called in during peak holiday seasons.
Advantages and disadvantages of full-time vs. part-time contracts
Advantages of part-time contract
- Fewer overhead costs because part-time employees are not entitled to benefits such as health insurance and paid time off.
- Flexible workforce in response to changing demands and business environment.
- No redundancy payments, for example, during downsizing to reduce operating costs.
- Attracting a desirable workforce because some people don’t want to work full time
Disadvantages of part-time contract
- Inconsistent productivity because they are usually not adequately included in training and development programs
- Lack of knowledge and familiarity with the company and its business
- Low synergy between part-time and full-time workers
- Lack of loyalty due to lower commitment and part-time employees find it easier to leave due to factors such as compensation
Advantages of a full-time contract
- Employees tend to be better trained than part-time workers as they are often provided with adequate training and development
- Employees are more committed to the business because they are more attached to the company
- Less supervision is required to supervise work
- Fewer mistakes because they are more experienced than part-time employees
Disadvantages of full-time contract loss
- Costs are more expensive because companies need to pay for several benefits such as health insurance and training
- Less new ideas are being brought into the business as fewer new people are being recruited
- Not ideal for working-life balance
- Paid time off, where employees will still be paid even at less busy times
Roles of technology in recruitment and selection
Advances in technology affect the process and cost of recruiting and selecting new employees. For examples:
- The internet can be used to advertise job vacancies with a wider reach at a lower cost.
- Video calling, such as Skype, can facilitate face-to-face interviews, providing more flexibility.
- Online forms replace conventional forms, saving money on purchasing and printing papers.
- Online tests and assessments can be used during testing, providing more time and space flexibility for both candidates and employers.
- A database to store information about candidates applying for positions within a company.