This article discusses the three key activities undertaken to bring people into the organization to perform activities meant to ensure that the organization achieves its goals. Once the organization’s strategic plan has been developed, human resources planning has been undertaken to determine requirements for people, and job analysis has been conducted, the three logical activities follow. These are Recruitment Selection and Appointment.
What is recruitment?
Chatterjee states that recruitment arises for different situations such as transfers, promotion, retirement, termination, permanent disability, or death. Many people use recruitment and appointment interchangeably. We have recruited three people for the engineer, accountant, and procurement officer; they would say when they meant they had appointed three people. It is possible to recruit without appointing someone, but you need to recruit before selecting.
It is a process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organization (Flippo). It creates a connection between planning for people and the actual selection of employees. It is a process that creates a marketplace for labour, bringing together those who are offering jobs and those seeking employment.
Like widening a wide net to bring in fish, recruitment provides a base for the selection process (Milkovich and Boudreau, Bach (2005) link recruitment with selection as a process of selecting the correct jigsaw piece (the right individual) from the faulty parts (the wrong individuals) to fit into a particular hole in a jigsaw puzzle. According to Armstrong, recruitment finds and engages the people the organization needs.
Process of recruitment
In the job analysis, information was the basis for a job description and a person’s specification. The two are very important in recruitment. The human resource department will use the job description and job specification to identify the responsibilities, duties, and tasks to be performed and the type of person required to complete the job. This information will be placed in the advertisement outlet like newspapers, the internet, noticeboard, to mention a few.
The purpose of a personal specification, or candidate profile as it is sometimes called, is to clarify the attributes that are sought in candidates for the job in question. Thus, the personal specification summarizes the essential knowledge, skills, and unique characteristics required by the successful candidate to carry out work according to the acceptable standard of performance.
The nature of the job will determine the type and level of knowledge and skills required, but the job will be performed in a particular social context. That is why it is essential to have the manager’s view of personal qualities that could permit the newcomer to fit into the team. Individual specification includes physical make-up, health, strength, energy, and unique appearance. Personal attainments have education, training, and experience required, general intelligence, particular aptitudes, skills, interests, disposition –, personality.
The job advertisement is another crucial part of the recruitment process and is the second part of recruitment attracting candidates. It is intended to reach out into the labour market with an attractive offer of employment to produce an adequate response in terms of inquiries for details then numbers of suitable applications submitted. The primary sources of job advertisement outside the organization are local newspapers, national newspapers, technical, professional journals, the internet, job centres, other agencies, and posters at the factory gates. Organizations can either recruit within the organization (internal) or outside the organization (external).
Internal and external recruitment
When a vacancy exists, the human resource manager may decide to fill the vacancy internally or externally- like, by someone within the organization or externally by someone from outside the organization. Carrel (1982) states that internal or external recruitment should be determined by the availability of qualified employees within an organization, the size of the organization, and the desire to keep up with ideas and methods within the organization. If an organization wishes to maintain ideas and techniques, an organization must recruit internally.
Beach (1985) points out that internal recruitment usually takes the form of job postings or people bidding through unions. Internal candidates are more knowledgeable than the new starters from other organizations. They are also more familiar with the organization’s cultures, rules, and geography, and so take less time to settle into their new jobs and begin working at total capacity.
Giving preference to internal recruits has a significant advantage of providing existing employees with an incentive to work hard, demonstrate their commitment and stay with the organization when they might have otherwise considered looking for alternative employment. Employees are happy when promoted since they feel that the organization cares for them. Once that satisfaction is derived, motivation takes place, thereby giving an advantage to the organization because there will be high productivity and profits for the organization.
Selection is part of the recruitment process concerned with deciding which applicants or candidates should be appointed to jobs.
It involves deciding on the degree to which the characteristics of applicants in terms of their competencies, experience, qualifications, education, and training match the specification in terms of duties, tasks, and responsibilities of the job. It involves using tools of assessment to make an informed choice between candidates. Therefore, it is essential to understand the processes involved in recruiting and selecting candidates in an organizational setting.
The following paragraphs will discuss sources of recruitment and how selection and appointment are made. Essential considerations in recruitment and selection are the reliability and validity of methods used and ensuring equal opportunity considerations. Selection can involve hiring at the entry-level from applicants external to the organization and promotion.
Effective recruitment and selection practices identify job applicants with the appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities, and other requirements required for successful operation in a job or organization. The human resource department receives all applications, and the applications are screened against the established minimum criteria listed in the job specification. This takes place within a time frame agreed within the recruitment policy.
The selection process begins with an initial screening interview and concludes with a final employment decision. The steps vary from one organization to another and from position to position. In general, there is a process of shortlisting of candidates, which is an initial screening process; invitation of candidates for interviews; interviews or employment tests which in others might be followed by a comprehensive discussion; selection of candidates in order of merit; background investigation concerning seeking recommendations from previous employers or people who know the candidates well; physical examination and final employment decision.
Most organizations have recruitment and selection procedures that are followed. These act as a guide on the systems in the selection process. The selection methods used are individual interviews, assessment centres, selection tests, intelligent tests, ability tests, and personality tests.
Because of the interview’s significance in the selection process, we need to examine some aspects of the interviews further. While it is easier to appoint an individual to enter an organization, it is difficult to remove a wrong employee. That is why the selection process must be done very carefully to ensure that the right candidate is selected. Interviews can be unstructured, structured, telephone, panel, or group interviews.
The interviewing process can be time-consuming, making it imperative that the correct type of interview(s) for the particular job be carefully chosen. Some jobs, for example, may necessitate only one interview, while others may require a telephone interview and at least one or two face-to-face interviews
Questions are changed to match the specific applicant in an unstructured or structured interview. For example, questions about the candidate’s background about their résumé might be used. Therefore, in a structured interview, the expected or desired answers are determined ahead of time, which allows the interviewer to rate responses as the candidate provides solutions.
The traditional interview usually takes place in the office or board room. It consists of the interviewers and the candidate, and a series of questions are asked and answered. On the other hand, a telephone interview narrows the list of people receiving a traditional interview.
Thus, one may conduct phone interviews, then do a meal interview and follow up with a traditional discussion, depending on the type of job. The higher the position, the more rigorous the selection process.
The appointment is the filling of a vacant post that exists. Hiring people with the wrong skills leads to disaster for both the person and the organization. Following the interview, the Human Resource Manager evaluates the interviewee regarding whether or not they meet the competency criteria set out in the job specification. Once the candidate has been selected, the Human Resource Manager will write a letter of appointment after negotiation between the Human Resource Manager and the candidate. The candidate is contacted and given the offer letter, which the candidate signs of accepting the offer.
Types of appointments
Appointments can be permanent and pensionable, temporary, probationary, contract, or part-time. A permanent position may be granted to a professional employee who has completed probation. A probationary appointment is given to a newly appointed employee for a period of, say, three months (Schein). The recommendation to grant a permanent position requires the approval of the head of the department with the advice of the Human Resource Manager.
For example, if a Finance Officer is appointed, he might be given a probation period of 3 months. A probationary appointment may be terminated if the employee does not comply with the organization’s rules, regulations, and policies. During the probationary period, the employee will be assessed as to whether he will cope with the volume of work. When the employee proves to be capable after three months, that employee will be appointed permanently.
According to Kotter, temporary appointments ordinarily shall be given only when service is part-time. This appointment may be terminated at any time. Most term appointments are renewable on negotiable terms. Organizations that are donor-funded prefer to use term appointments because they are donor-funded. If the donor is to fund the project for three years, the organization creates one-year contracts for their employees so that the contracts are renewed every year until the project period comes to an end.
Before letters of appointment are sent, a medical examination is done for each successful candidate. In most organizations, it is a requirement and part of conditions of service that all employees should undergo a medical examination before appointment. The appointment letter provides essential information to the selected candidate, including the agreed starting salary, reporting date, time and location, employee benefits, and other helpful information.
Recruitment is finding the right people with the right skills, at the right time, and for the right jobs for the organization. Human resource planning and job analysis precede recruitment selection and appointment in the organizations. They show the need to recruit new people and provide information on the skills, attributes, and knowledge required to implement these activities successfully. Recruitment can be from within or outside the organization. Selection methods include interviews, assessment centres, and selection tests.
The appointment is giving an individual the job based on qualifications and experience. Organizations need to select effectively to attract and retain quality candidates. The more effectively organizations recruit and prefer candidates, the more likely they will hire and retain satisfied and more productive employees.