Recruitment can be defined as a set of activities and practices used for the primary purpose of legally identifying sufficient numbers and quality of people fitting for a given purpose. It is carried out to provide an organisation with a pool of qualified potential individuals’ from which judicious selection for the most appropriate applicants can be made for filling vacancies in the organisation. A review
of the HRM literature indicates that recruitment and selection are regarded as integrated activities and where recruitment stops and selection begins is a questionable point (Beardwell et al., 2004). Nevertheless, for the purpose of this work it is useful to differentiate between the two activities. As defined above, numerous authors (Whitehill, 1991: Roberts, 2008; McCormack and Scholarios, 2009) describe recruitment as a process of building a pool of potentially qualified applicants. Whereas selection is seen as a set of activities concerned with predicting which applicants will make the most appropriate contribution to the organisation in view of the present and future human resource requirements (Beardwell et al., 2004: McCormack and Scholarios, 2009). Despite recruitment and selection being considered as integrated activities unfortunately human resources literature discussions tend to neglect recruitment and place greater emphasis on selection. In view of this (McCormack and Scholarios, 2009) comment that the more effective an organisation is at identifying and attracting a high quality profile of job applicants, the less important the selection stage of hiring becomes. Therefore it can be suggested that an effective and agile recruitment strategy is the most fundamental human resource function and if managed well can have a significant impact on organisational performance and is critical to developing a more agile competitive edge (Pilbeam and Corbridge, 2006: Evans et al, 2007).
As the contemporary business environment become increasingly competitive and labour markets continue to grow more diverse, organisations need to be more proactive in their resourcing strategies. Evans et al., (2007) and Richardson, (2008) argue that ineffective recruitment approaches can result in long-term negative effects, among them high training and development costs in efforts to minimise the incidence of poor performance and high turnover which in turn, impact on staff morale, the provision of high quality goods and services and the retention of organisational memory. Richardson, (2008) goes further to argue that at worst, the organisation can fail to achieve its objectives thereby losing its competitive edge and market share. However, it is important to consider that the process of implementing an effective and successful recruitment approach could bring along with it other costs related to the perceptions and attitudes of the people involved in this change.
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