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Sources of Recruitment (Internal and External: Meaning, Merits and Demerits)

Last Updated : 06 Apr, 2023
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Recruitment can be defined as the process of publicizing information about various job vacancies in the organization. It is a process of searching for prospective employees and encouraging them to apply for the job in the organization. Recruitment is a positive process because it stimulates people to apply for the job. It is an important part of staffing, and it is also an ongoing process. Its main aim is to attract a large number of qualified candidates to apply for the job. For this purpose, an organization communicates the vacant position through different sources of recruitment. This process of staffing brings together the job giver and the job seekers.

Sources of Recruitment

Recruitment is performed to attract potential employees with the necessary qualifications and skills in the adequate number for the positions available in the organization. It searches available people for the job and invites them to apply for the job. The process of recruitment precedes the process of selection of the right candidate for the given positions in the organization. Recruitment seeks to attract suitable applicants to apply for available jobs.

 The recruitment process involved the following activities:

  • Identify different sources of labour supply for which applications of prospective employees may be obtained.
  • Evaluate the validity of different sources.
  • Choose the most suitable source or sources.
  • Contact the chosen sources of recruitment to secure applications.
  • Attract and motivate prospective candidates to apply for vacant jobs.

An organization can recruit employees from within or from outside. Therefore, the various recruitment sources available to an organization may be broadly divided into two categories: internal and external sources.

Internal Sources

Internal recruitment consists of two main resources that are transfers and promotions. 

  • Transfers: Transfer refers to the moving of an employee from one job to another, one department to another, or from one shift to another without any significant change in a person’s responsibility, status, or pay. In some cases, it may bring about some changes in responsibilities, or working conditions, but it cannot result in a change in the salary of the employee. Transfer can help fill vacancies with employees from departments that are over-staffed. It is the horizontal movement of employees. If employees are insufficient in one branch or department, it can be filled through transfer. It is also important in avoiding termination and helping solve the employee’s problems. During the transfer, it should be kept in mind that the employee who is transferred to another job is capable of performing it. Transfer also helps the employees learn about different jobs as well.
  • Promotions: In most business organizations, there is a practice of promoting the employees from a lower level to a higher position. It is the movement of employees from a lower level to fill in the vacancy of a higher authority. Promotions influence the employees greatly as a promotion at one level leads to a chain of promotions in the levels lower than it.

Merits of Internal Sources

Internal recruitment or filling vacancies within the organization have the following advantages.

  1. Higher Motivation level: Internal recruitment may help the employees to boost their performance. Promotions at a higher level lead to a chain of promotions at the lower levels. This also increases their status and pay, and motivates the employees to improve their performance. This increases their motivation and commitment to the organization. The employees, thus remain loyal and satisfied with the organization.
  2. Simple Process: Internal recruitment makes the process of selection and placement simple. The working of the employees can be evaluated in a better way. This type of recruitment is better as the employees know about the organization well.
  3. Develops future managers: Transfer is a method through which employees are trained for higher jobs. The people who are transferred within the organization do not need induction or orientation training.
  4. No over or under staffing: Another benefit of transfers is that the organization can shift employees from one department to another where there is a shortage.
  5. Economical: The process of internal recruitment is cheaper in comparison with external sources.

Demerits of Internal Sources

The limitations of internal sources are as follows:

  1. Lack of fresh talent: The internal sources reduce the opportunity of getting fresh talents. Therefore, being completely dependent on internal sources can give rise to the danger of inbreeding by not letting new people join the organization.
  2. Decrease in enthusiasm level: The employees tend to become lazy because they know that they will be promoted.
  3. Low productivity: The productivity of the organization may get hampered due to the frequent transfer of employees.
  4. Lack of competition: The employees may lose their motivation and spirit of competition as there is no competition from the outside world. 
  5. Limited choice: All the organizations cannot fill in all their vacancies through internal sources of recruitment, especially new organizations.

External Sources

Since the filling up of all the vacancies in an organization is not possible through internal sources, there are several external forces for various positions. There might be a possibility that there are not sufficient men or that they do not fulfil the eligibility criteria for the job. The external sources of recruitment provide a vast range of choices and the introduction of fresh talents to the organization. The most used external sources are as follows-

  • Direct Recruitment: Under the process of direct recruitment, a notice is placed outside on the notice board of the organization. The notice contains all the details of the job available. The people who are interested gather outside the premises of the organization on the specified date and time, and selection is done then and there. This method of direct recruitment is usually used for finding candidates for unskilled or semi-skilled jobs. Such people are paid wages daily and are referred to as casual workers or ‘badli’ workers. This type of recruitment is economical, as it does not require any form of advertising and thus, a lot of money is saved. It can be really helpful in situations when there is a rush of work or when the permanent workers are off-duty.
  • Casual Callers: A lot of business organizations keep a record of uninvited job applicants in their offices. These candidates can be of benefit to the organization. Such a list of job-seekers can be evaluated, and used for filling up vacancies as required. This type of recruitment can decrease the price of recruiting the workforce.
  • Advertisement: When a wide choice is required, advertisement is the frequently used method. Advertisements can be done through newspapers or trade or professional journals. A lot of senior positions in the industry as well as commerce are filled through advertisement. The benefit of advertisement is that a lot more detail about the organization and the job can be provided. It helps the management of the organization select from a larger range of candidates. Advertisements given in leading newspapers can bring in a lot of responses, but most of the time they are from candidates who are not quite suitable. 
  • Employment Exchange: Government-run employment exchanges are considered a good source of recruitment for both skilled as well as unskilled jobs. In a few cases, the organizations are necessarily required to notify the employment exchange of vacancies available. Therefore, employment exchange work as a link between the job-seekers and the employers by matching the personnel demand and supply. But a lot of times, the records of employment exchange are not quite suitable, as they might not meet up the expectations of the job.
  • Placement agencies and Management consultants: Private agencies and professional bodies appear to be doing considerable work in technical and professional fields. Placement agencies help provide nationwide service by matching personnel demand and supply. These kinds of agencies evaluate the bio-data of several candidates and provide suitable names to their clients. These types of agencies are useful where large-scale screening is necessary and they charge fees for such services. These professional agencies attract higher-level executives by providing the right kind of offers. Management consultancy firms facilitate the organizations to recruit technical, professional, and managerial personnel. They especially deal in middle and top-level executive placements. These firms manage huge sets of data people with different qualifications and skills, and also advertise jobs in the place of their clients to recruit the right person for the right job.
  • Campus Recruitment: Recruitments are also done through colleges and institutions of management and technology. These have become a significant source of recruitment for technical, professional, and managerial jobs. Several huge organizations keep close contact with universities, vocational schools, and management institutes to recruit qualified candidates for different kinds of jobs. Educational institutions are a widespread and normal practice for businesses for recruitment. 
  • Recommendations of Employees: A lot of times, the present employees, or their friends or relatives may introduce applicants. This might be a good source of recruitment. Also, the background detail of the candidates are well known, so it is easier to select them. Some kind of introductory screening takes place because the employees working there know the company as well as the candidates, and therefore, would try to satisfy both of them.
  • Labour Contractors: Labour contractors are helpful as they keep close contact with labourers and in providing the necessary amount of unskilled workers in a short period. The labour contractors are themselves employees of the organization and perform the work of recruiting labourers whenever necessary. But if the same employee of the organization who is the labour contractor chooses to leave the organization, the labourers hired by him will also leave.
  • Advertising on Television: Proving advertisements on television is now becoming much more popular these days. It is attracting the attention of a large number of people. Also, whenever there is a vacancy, the job details and required skills regarding the job are posted along with the profile of the organization.
  • Web Publishing: The most common source of recruitment nowadays is the Internet. People can apply as well as post jobs through websites that are specially designed for this purpose. These websites are frequently visited by both candidates or job-seekers and organizations in search of required employees.

Merits of External Sources

Following are the advantages of the external sources of recruitment:

  1. Qualified Personnel: With the help of external sources of recruitment, the management can get skilled and trained candidates who are qualified for that particular job which is vacant in the organization. 
  2. Wider Choice: When advertisements regarding vacancies are made widely, several applicants from outside the organization apply. Therefore, the management has a wide variety of choices.
  3. Fresh Talent: Sometimes, the present employees in the organization may not be enough or able to fulfil the requirements of the organization. Therefore, external sources are very useful in bringing new and fresh talents to the organization.
  4. Competitive Spirit: If an organization utilizes external sources, the existing employees will have to compete with outsiders. They will be motivated to work harder to perform better.

Demerits of External Sources

Following are the disadvantages of the external sources of recruitment:

  1. Dissatisfaction among existing staff: External recruitment may result in dissatisfaction and frustration among present employees. The employees may feel deprived of their chance to get a promotion.
  2. Lengthy process: Recruitment from external sources follow long procedures and thus, can be time-taking. The organizations have to evaluate and give notice about any vacancy available, and then wait for the applications to be processed. 
  3. Costly process: The process of recruitment through external sources can be quite expensive. Advertisement and evaluation of applications for selection can be costly as a lot of money has to be spent.

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