Recruitment & Selection Essay Example

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Question 1

Recruitment and selection is one of the most important components of the human resource role in organisations. Recruitment can be defined as the process of looking for and getting a pool of potential candidates that have the preferred knowledge, expertise and experience to enable an organisation to choose the most suitable individuals to fill its job vacancies based on specified descriptions and specifications. The aim of recruitment is to obtain the broadest pool of applicants to offer the greatest chance to choose the people that are best suited for the roles in an organisation. On the other hand, selection involves identifying from the pool of applicants attracted through recruitment, those that can be regarded as the most suitable for the available job positions. The aim of selection is to make sure that the most suitable individual or individuals are appointed to the position using appropriate, reasonable and equitable evaluation practices. This essay will explore ways in which recruitment and selection can be cost effective and efficient by ensuring that the process achieves its purpose without necessarily having to cost an organisation a fortune.

One of the most important ways of making recruitment and selection cost-effective is to target carefully the required pool of applicants. To achieve this, the human resource personnel who spend time defining the type of knowledge, skills and abilities required for a particular job can use the information that they have to establish which advertising channels are best suited to reach individuals who meet the specified requirements.

There are various channels that organisations can use to ensure that recruitment and selection is efficient but not involving exorbitant costs. For instance, depending on the nature of job vacancy that is available, the human resource department of an organisation can opt to recruit from internal talent pools as a way of reducing advertising and sourcing costs. Internal recruitment basically means that the organisation seeks applicants for a job from among those people who are already inside the organisation. An organisation will typically use advertising methods such as newsletters, memos or electronic postings. Internal recruitment is not only less costly but also efficient since the selection process also relies on the recommendations of managers in various departments regarding the applicants. This also makes the selection process quicker since those involved in selection focus on individuals whose performance records they can have ready access to. Since internal recruitment develops employee commitment as well as motivation by showing the opportunities that exist for employees already working in an organisation, it proves to be very cost-effective and efficient. This is because internal recruitment helps reduce turnover due to the high employee commitment and motivation that it is associated with. The high retention resulting from internal recruitment implies that an organisation will not need to repeat the recruitment and selection process every now and then.

An organisation can also elect to use external recruitment but at the same time ensure that the process is cost-effective and efficient. External recruitment means that a hiring organisation seeks applicants for a job from an applicant pool that is outside the organisation. In such a case, organisations can use a variety of methods such as company websites, or specialised recruiting websites, trade journals, newspapers, head-hunters, employment agencies, employee referrals, personal contacts, and even contacting people in competing organisations.

Using a company website can help an organisation to realise significant cost reductions by placing all job positions that are available on its corporate career website. While this method is cost effective in that it does not require additional resources to reach the potential recruits, it is also efficient in that it is more likely to attract people who are interested in the company (i.e. those who visit the company’s website). Compared to other methods such as sourcing or the use of job boards, the use of company websites to advertise jobs offers arguably the most cost-effective method of recruitment.

Organisations can also reduce the costs that they would incur on using employment agencies by using cheaper alternatives of recruitment. Such include the use of local newspapers, candidate pipelines, and referrals. Since agency search firms seek a notable sum of payment and are more likely to be more expensive compared to media such as local newspapers, eliminating such agencies from the recruitment process can help an organisation make significant savings in costs. What is required is to ensure that the referrals, candidate pipelines or advertisements in local newspapers target the specific pool from which the organisation seeks to recruit and select its potential employees.

Another way in which an organisation can make the recruitment and selection process cost-effective and efficient is through green recruiting. Greening recruiting means automating the recruitment process. Adopting a paperless recruitment and selection process informs potential employees that the company is committed to green recruitment. For instance, the company will advertise its job vacancies online and inform potential applicants to make online applications. This is then followed up with online selection processes such as online assessments, quizzes and psychometric tests that are related to the job in question. The benefit of such a process is that it saves resources in terms of the time and money that would be used in sending physical mails, storage, handling of the documents, filing them and preparing reports based on them. Most importantly, green recruitment is environment-friendly.

In conclusion, recruitment and selection, while being a very important part of the human resource role in any organisation, does not have to be the most expensive exercise. Organisations can reduce the costs involved in the recruitment and selection process by ensuring that they target judiciously the required pool of applicants. Whether the recruitment and selection process targets people who are within the organisation or outside, the approach used to target the individuals will determine how cost-effective and efficient the process becomes. Internal recruitment offers a more cost-effective and efficient way to recruit and select since the potential applicants are known. Still, if an organisations recruits externally, it should use methods that involve less costs such as referrals, local newspaper advertisements, company websites, candidate pipelines or green recruiting.

Question 2

Interviewing is one of the most frequently used selection techniques. An employment interview can be defined as an assessment activity that involves a recruiter observing various behaviours of an applicant so as to make a decision on whether to select the applicant or not. Interviewing also enables to recruiter to obtain relevant information from the applicant, to provide information about the organisation to the applicant, and to establish a positive relationship between the prospective employer and the employee and to motivate the prospective employee to accept a position in the organisation. Research has however found that interviewing can be an ineffective form of selection. This essay will investigate this view with reference to concepts of reliability and validity of the interviewing process. The essay will also explore why potential candidates are often interviewed more than once during the process of selection.

Interviewing, especially the use of unstructured interviews, is regarded as an ineffective form of selection because of the low reliability and validity that is associated with. Reliability refers to the extent to which an instrument helps obtain measurements that are consistent when used at different times or by different users. This means that an interview can be regarded to be reliable if the same set of measures can be used at different times and by different recruiters to obtain consistent results from job applicants. On the other hand, validity of the interviewing process refers to the extent to which the interview is designed to measure skills, abilities and knowledge required to perform a task. Interview validity also means the adequacy of the interview process as a selection procedure in sampling the pertinent knowledge, critical behaviours, and skills that candidates need to have in order to perform their job. If the interviewing process is inadequate in terms of validity and reliability, then it can be said to be an ineffective form of selection.

Good interviews must be reliable and enable interviewers, their limitations notwithstanding, to select the same candidate capabilities over and over. High intra-rater reliability (within the same individuals) may be shown, but in most cases, only moderate to low inter-rater reliability (among different interviewers) is depicted. The significance of inter-rater reliability is seen when each of a number of interviewers is selecting candidates from an applicant pool, or when employer makes use of panel or team interviews with many interviewers. The differences that exist in the reliability of the interview as a selection tool and the interviewers themselves make it difficult to produce a perfect interviewing process. More importantly, when an interview lacks validity; that is, when it is not able to adequately measure the attributes that it is supposed to measure, the interviewing process is likely to be even more ineffective.

The weaknesses of interviewing as a selection tool are particularly evident when one looks at unstructured interviews. Unstructured interviews can involve a somewhat general conversation. They involve little prior planning and the format and type of questions is left to the judgement of the interviewer. As such, it is possible that interviewers involved in separate unstructured interview sessions with the same candidate will receive totally dissimilar impressions. Such interviews can be said to be lacking in terms of interviewer suitability, consistency of reliability, as well as predictive validity. Even with structured interviews in which the applicant is subjected to a set of predetermined questions, there may be differences in terms of how the interviewer perceives the responses. Combined with the problems related to unstructured interviewing, these are some of the reasons why interviewing as whole can be regarded an ineffective form of selection.

In spite of the setbacks that are associated with the use of interviews, interviewing is still used widely as a form of selection. To counter the biases associated with interviewing, various approaches are used to increase the effectiveness of the method. One of these approaches is interviewing potential candidates more than once during the selection process. In most cases, interviews are conducted at two or more levels. The first level is at the initial screening point where applicants are interviewed to determine if they have satisfied the required minimum qualifications. Later, the applicants are also subjected to an in-depth interview or interviews with members of the human resource department or operating managers to ascertain whether the individuals will fit properly into the chosen work position. The aim of the repeat interviews is also to iron out any issues that need clarification or to resolve inconsistencies that may have been observed during the previous interviews. Subjecting candidates to more than one interview is also done in recognition of the fact that interviewing is not perfect. Therefore, the focus of the repeated interviews is to minimise errors and to attempt to provide the best information.

In summing up, it has been noted that interviewing can be regarded an ineffective form of selection when the process is lacking in terms of reliability and validity. Lack of reliability in an interview process is caused by failure of the interview to obtain measures that are consistent when it is used at different times or by different interviews and candidates. Lack of validity on the other hand stems from an interview failing to measure the skills, abilities and knowledge of a person in relation to the task that the person is supposed to perform. There are also differences among interviewers, which make the process of interviewing different from person to person. The aforementioned factors make interviewing an imperfect process, and as such, the process can in some ways be said to be ineffective as a selection tool. Interviewing potential candidates more than once can be used as an attempt to remedy some of the challenges and inconsistencies that are associated with interviewing.

Question 3

External recruitment agencies offer a platform for organisations with job vacancies to recruit and select potential employees, especially during times when such organisations are faced with skills shortages. A recruitment agency can be defined as an organisation that looks for appropriate candidates for job vacancies with one or more firms. Based on the job description that they are given by their client (the organisation with a job vacancy), a recruitment agency will search for suitable candidates through advertising channels that they deem appropriate. The external recruitment agencies then assess the applicants in order to select the ones that are suitable for the job. This essay will assess the case for and against the use of external recruitment agencies to recruit and select potential employees. To achieve this, the essay will outline examples of companies or industries where the use of recruitment agencies would be more or less appropriate.

There are several reasons why it would be appropriate for organisations that are facing skills shortages to consider the use of external recruitment agencies. To start with, an external recruitment agency’s role is required where the agency’s reach and level of knowledge about the industry as well as approach to recruitment may be beneficial in attracting the required applicants to areas of skills shortage. There are instances where organisations have vacancies for highly specialised jobs (e.g. oil and gas engineering or aerospace engineering) or high-level jobs whose qualifications are rare to find. For instance, a local airline company looking to replace its high-performing CEO who has exited may not be able to find a suitable candidate if it focuses on internal recruitment or external recruitment from a narrow pool of applicants who may not meet the requirements of the highly demanding job. In such a scenario, the airline can use a reputable recruitment agency that has an extended reach and is well versed with the airline industry to search for a new CEO.

The use of an external recruitment agency is also appropriate where the organisation looking to hire wants to speed up the recruitment process by having another qualified entity manage all or parts of the recruitment and selection process. An external recruitment agency might be involved in activities such as initial screening of candidates in cases where more than one job vacancy is advertised or where many applications are received. It can also help in checking for the referees of external candidates and in designing and administering alternative methods of selection. By engaging an external recruitment agency, a hiring organisation is likely to conduct the recruitment selection process much faster and possibly get a suitable candidate based on the skills and expertise of the recruitment agency.

The size nature of an organisation is also another factor that would make the organisation to consider the use of an external recruitment agency to attract and select candidates for job vacancies. While large companies such as Coca-Cola and Barclays Bank invest a lot of money and time to develop and market their brands, many small and medium-sized enterprises and smaller businesses do not have the same amounts of resources. In other words, smaller businesses may not be able to attract highly skilled and qualified job candidates on their own. However, if they choose a recruitment agency wisely, they can give probable applicants a real insight into their operations. Such organisations can use recruitment agencies to inform potential applicants about what it is like to work in the organisation, the benefits available and the career openings that exist, as well as the organisation’s culture. In as nutshell, an external recruitment agency can be used to reflect a hiring organisation as an employer of choice.

There are also a number of reasons why the use of an external recruitment agency in a time of a skills shortage would not be a good idea for an organisation. The first reason is the cost involved. Working with a recruitment agency requires a fee for the service. The recruitment fees may be particularly high if the hiring organisation wants some skilled people at short notice in a field that has a skills shortage. Thus, the use of external recruitment agencies may be a disadvantage, especially for small firms which have scarce resources.

Another argument against the use of external recruitment agencies is that there is lack of control in the recruitment and selection process. Giving the recruitment process to a third party means that the hiring organisation loses all or some control over the process, and as such, the people that are sourced by the external recruitment agency may not necessarily be the ideal ones as desired by the employer. For instance, the selected candidates may not be properly matched with the organisation’s culture because of the failure of the organisation’s representatives to interact with the applicants during the selection process.

There is also the possibility that the candidates who are selected through external recruitment agencies may not stay long at the hiring company. Thus, while a recruitment agency may offer a solution to the problem of attracting candidates in an area of skills shortage, the relief may be short-lived. This may particularly be the case where the recruitment agency takes little responsibility over what happens after the candidate has been selected. There is a possibility of the recruitment and selection process not being thorough or being comprised, especially where the agency is primarily interested in fees. As such, the candidates may be subjected to unsuitable assessments, they may be given inaccurate job specifications, and so on – which will ultimately affect their perception of the job when they are selected.

To conclude, it can be noted that the use of an external recruitment agencies in a time of skills shortage may be appropriate in some instances but not in others. The services of external recruitment agencies are relevant where organisations want to benefit from the agency’s wide reach as well as level of knowledge with regard to attracting candidates for available job vacancies. Recruitment agencies are also necessary where an organisation wants to expedite the recruitment process and where the organisation does not have its own elaborate recruitment process or the organisation is not well known by potential candidates. However, recruitment agencies may be less appropriate in cases where high costs are involved, where the hiring organisation has concerns of losing control over the recruitment process, and where the recruitment agency seems to have little control over recruitment the process.