Chapter 7 Recruitment

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Chapter Overview

This chapter focuses on recruitment. It describes the recruiting process as one of the ways that an organization can deal with employee shortages. It also explores the importance of recruiting and explains where and how organizations look for job candidates.

New approaches to recruitment are discussed including the impact of Internet, temporary agencies, and employee leasing.

Learning Objectives

After studying this chapter, students should be able to:

1. Discuss how to develop an effective recruiting program for an organization.

2. Describe the recruiting process: who does it, how they do it, and where they find recruits.

3. Define what is meant by a realistic job preview.

4. Identify typical flaws that college students find in recruiters.

5. Discuss different strategies that organizations might use to recruit blue-collar, white-collar, managerial, technical, and professional applicants.

Barriers to Student Understanding

This chapter is closely read by students because of the near application to their own future. They are typically up to speed on computer applications and can bring many examples to class. They also will have recent recruiting stories from friends that have taken positions. These side tracks may take the focus off the subject and get in the way of the specifics that are needed to understand the larger concepts of the chapter.

Lecture Outline

A Diagnostic Approach to Recruitment

External Influences

Government and Union Restrictions
Labor Market Conditions
Composition of Labor Force and Location of Organization

Interactions of the Recruit and the Organization

The Organization’s View of Recruiting
The Potential Employee’s View of Recruiting

Methods of Recruiting

Internal Recruiting
External Recruiting
Realistic Job Previews

Alternatives to Recruitment

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Recruiting

Key Points

To summarize the major points covered in this chapter:

1. Recruiting is the set of activities an organization uses to attract job candidates who have the abilities and attitudes needed to help the organization achieve its objectives.

2. External factors that affect the recruiting process include influences such as government and union restrictions, the state of the labor market, the composition of the labor force, and the location of the organization. The passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 has placed a major responsibility on employers to stop the flow of illegal immigration to the United States.

3. Three factors affect recruiting from the organization’s viewpoint: recruiting requirements, organizational policies and procedures, and the organization’s image.

4. Applicant’s abilities, attitudes, and preferences, based on past work experiences and influence by parents, teachers, and other, affect them in two ways: how they set job preferences, and how they go about seeking a job.

5. In larger organizations, the HR department does the recruiting; in smaller organizations, multipurpose HR people or operating managers recruit and interview applicants.

6. Two sources of recruits could be used to fill needs for additional employees: present employees (internal) or those not presently affiliated with the organization (external).
a. Internal sources can be tapped through the use of job posting and bidding;
moonlighting by present employees; and seeking recommendations from present
employees regarding friends who might fill vacancies.
b. External sources include walk-ins, referrals from schools, and state employment

7. Alternatives to recruiting personnel when work must be completed include overtime, temporary employees, and employee leasing.

8. Advertising, personal recruiting, computerized matching services, special-event recruiting, and summer internships are among the methods that can be used to recruit external applicants.

9. The criteria that characterize a successful college recruiter include:

a. Showing a genuine interest in the applicant.
b. Being enthusiastic.
c. Employing a style that is neither too personal nor too stressful.
d. Allotting enough time for applicants’ comments and questions.

10. A better job of recruiting and matching employees to jobs will mean lower employee turnover and greater employee satisfaction and organizational effectiveness.

11. The Internet is revolutionizing organizational recruitment and may become the primary job search tool in the coming years.

Key Terms

Students will be introduced to the following key terms:

employee leasing

Paying a leasing firm to provide the organization with a ready-made pool of human resources.

employment agencies

Deal primarily with helping individuals who are at middle-level or below find job opportunities.

executive search firm

A "head-hunting" firm that specializes in upper-level executive recruitment. Executive search firms are usually on retainer and charge higher fees than regular employment agencies.

Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986

All employers are required to screen every job applicant's eligibility for lawful employment. Thus, the employer has a major responsibility for not permitting illegal immigrants to be or remain employed.

job posting and bidding

A listing of job openings that includes job specifications, appearing on a bulletin board or in company publications. An employee “bids” on a job by applying for it.

job search

The set of activities a person (job candidate) initiates to seek and find a position that will be comfortable and rewarding.

online recruiting

The use of the Internet to provide information to prospective job applicants.

realistic job preview (RJP)

A briefing that provides a job candidate with accurate and clear information about the attractive and unattractive features of a job. Being realistic so that expectations are accurate is the objective of a realistic job preview.


The set of activities an organization uses to attract job candidates who have the abilities and attitudes needed to help the organization achieve its objectives.

Suggested Answers to Review Questions

1. What guidelines should be followed to make sure that recruitment advertising does not violate equal employment laws?

  • Post notices regarding the availability of a job.

  • Publish a list of qualifications necessary to fill the job, distinguishing between essential qualifications and desirable ones.

  • Do not rely only on word of mouth sources of recruits.

  • Make sure that the job opening is communicated to large portions of the target population.

  • Keep track of applicant flow data, including the type and number of individuals who apply electronically via the web or email.

  • Be wary of establishing qualifications that might directly/indirectly exclude members of protected groups. In other words, avoid indicting preferences for a particular race, religion, age group, gender, or national origin.

  • Be sure the job qualifications are applied to every applicant in a consistent manner.

2. Give some do’s and don’ts in recruiting interviews in terms of the legality of questions asked.

Typically, no questions can be asked of a candidate (or on an application form) that are not directly related to the specifications of the job. For instance, you should not ask applicants about their health, age, marital status, or plans to have children. You should, however, ask questions related to their experience, education, skills, and previous employment history.

Because the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 put responsibility on employers to stop the flow of illegal immigration to the United States, you must also screen applicants to verify that they can legally work in the United States, and then maintain records demonstrating employment authorization.

3. What role do job descriptions and job specifications play in an effective recruitment program?

Without a current job description is it impossible for recruiters to determine how well any particular applicant fits the job. The job descriptions must specify which requirements are absolutely essential for the job and which are desirable. These details aid in a realistic job preview and help prevent an employee from becoming disgruntled with a position if they are surprised by the tasks expected after securing the position.

4. Considering that there are millions of resumes posted on the Web, what steps should recruiters follow to screen out unqualified candidates in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner? Explain your answer.

Recruiters, especially those using screen software that searches for (or deletes based on) certain words or phrases, should be very careful with their wording choices. There is legal risk if using terms or phrases that will disproportionately eliminate candidates from protected classes. For instance, using terms such as blind, Muslim, single, or Asian, would be unwise.

5. What has led to an increased use of temporary employees in organizations? What are the major advantages of using temporary employees?

Temporary agencies have increased because of the downsizing of the 1980s and the labor shortages in the 1990s. In the past, the positions that were provided through temporary agencies were primarily clerical. However, more than one-third of all North American companies now also use professional temporary help for positions such as accounting, legal, and human resources.

The advantages of using temporary labor include relatively low labor cost, an easily accessible source of experienced labor, and staffing flexibility. Plus, temporaries generally do not receive fringe benefits, training, paid holidays, or a compensation and career plan.

6. Discuss how the Internet has changed recruiting.

E-recruiting has grown tremendously in recent years. Some companies post job openings on the Internet because it is significantly less expensive than using an employment agency. Others like having instantaneous access to thousands of resumes. Current estimates are that over 96 percent of all U.S. companies now utilize the Internet for some or all of their recruiting activities. Plus, companies are beginning to see that having their own human resources web page can be an effective addition to their overall recruitment strategy.

From the job seeker’s perspective, the Internet allows for searches over a broader array of geographic and company postings than was ever before possible. There are also more specialized online sites that focus on jobs in particular areas, such as health care, higher education, and federal employment.

One of the newest twists to Internet-based recruitment and selection is the talent auction, where workers post their resumes and organizations are given the opportunity to bid against one another for a given worker.

7. Describe a realistic job preview (RJP). How can it be used to reduce turnover?

A realistic job preview provides the perspective employee with pertinent information about the job without distortion or exaggeration. A traditional job preview paints the job as attractive, interesting, and stimulating. Some jobs are all of these things, but most jobs have some unattractive features. The RJP presents the full picture, warts and all.

Several studies indicate that newly hired employees who received RJPs have a higher rate of job survival than those hired using traditional methods. They also have higher job satisfaction.

8. Visit three different job search websites. Search for a job in a particular region of the United States. Which of the three websites is the most useful to job seekers? Explain your answer.

Variable answer, depending on which websites the student visits and which features they find most helpful.

9. What are the characteristics of an effective and an ineffective college recruiter?

The effective recruiter conveys an image and appearance that reflects favorably on the organization. This typically means they are outgoing, self-motivated, and good salespeople. They also possess well-developed interpersonal skills and are familiar with the company they represent.

Students also prefer recruiters who have work experience in their specialties and some knowledge of the university they are visiting. They also desire friendliness, knowledge, personal interest in the applicant, and truthfulness.

Ineffective recruiters have the following flaws: lack of interest in the applicant, lack of enthusiasm, and interviews that are too stressful or too personal.

10. What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of promotion from within as a recruitment technique?

Promotion from within increases morale within the organization by showing that advancement is possible. It also helps with wage differentials from new market hires, and can keep costs of recruiting low. The internal candidate is a known quantity and requires less training and orientation. Their loyalty is valuable.

External candidates, however, provide new ideas and new perspectives and can often bring new skills. Plus, external searches are more likely to meet government regulations in terms of Civil Rights legislation.

Suggested Answers for Application Case 7-1
So Long to the Sunday Classifieds

1. Assess the effectiveness of a recruitment advertising strategy that relies on imaginative, highly visual, eye-catching ads. What are the potential strengths and drawbacks of this approach to recruitment advertising?

The effectiveness of eye-catching recruitment ads is not discussed in this chapter. Human resources departments have begun to replace the traditional classified ad with creative, clever, eye-catching ads in an attempt to boost recruiting efficiency and to send a unique and memorable message about the company to sought-after prospective applicants. The strengths of this approach is that it may attract a larger number of applicants and reduce the per-applicant cost of recruiting. The drawback is that it may attract a number of non-qualified applicants as well, which will cost time and money to screen. The ad may also signal that the company is spending a lot of money to find qualified applicants, which can cause job seekers to ask for higher starting salaries.

2. What type of company (in what kind of industry) would benefit most from contract recruiters? What type would benefit least?

The companies that would benefit most from hiring contract recruiters are those that need to hire a large number of employees in a very short time. This is true of any industry that has a spike in hiring requirements. Industries that come to mind are weapons manufacturers in time of war, companies that land large, time-restricted contracts, construction companies, and security firms.

Companies least likely to benefit from hiring contract recruiters are those that have a steady flow of job applicants and job openings, or who rarely hire new employees.

3. Suppose that you are faced with the task of developing a college recruiting strategy for obtaining talented business school graduates with degrees in management information systems (developing and managing a company computer information network). Demand for these individuals is currently very high; supply is limited. Develop a recruiting strategy that addresses innovations discussed in the case and include your own ideas.

The answer will vary by student, although all strategies should address these key areas: recruitment advertising, contract recruiting, campus recruiting, employee referrals, computer databases, and internet recruiting.

Instructor’s Manual/Chapter 7

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