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E- Recruitment: The Recent Trend of Recruitment Practices

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E- Recruitment: The Recent Trend of Recruitment Practices  

Human resource management or managing “people” includes several activities. Today acquiring and retaining the employees is the biggest challenge. Thus staffing is a vital activity. Staffing facilitates the supply of employees. These employees are needed to fulfill the Organizational goals and objectives by their effective and efficient performance. And recruitment is a logical step in this staffing process. Recruitment is the process of creating huge pool of potential candidates. It attracts the prospective employees and stimulates them to apply for job. The function of it mainly concentrates on two aspects. First is discovering the sources of manpower to match the job description and job specification. Another is to pull the application of potential candidates to make the selection process successful. The process is generally carried forward by the recruiters. He can be the member or staff of the Organization or can be the employment agency like MAFOI in India.

Recruitment before nineteenth century was based on the apprenticeship system. Apprentices were not the employees of the Organization, but after completion of apprenticeship they were absorbed in the company. Compared to apprentices the skilled and qualified candidates were more desirable. Thus the lack of efficient apprenticeship gave birth to the trend of recruitment process in the middle of nineteenth century.

FORMS OF RECRUITMENT

Forms of recruitment can be broadly categorized into two. One is centralized and the other is decentralized. Centralized recruitment is in action when the organization is having a centralized power structure and the departments are not involved in decision making, it is only concentrated in one central department. In government Organizations it is visible, like in State Bank of India. Advantages may be Control of the administrative costs, standardization in the process, minimizes biased choices, experts are involved. Decentralized recruitment is having authority to each department to choose their staff. The companies who are geographically spread, or very big in size will find this form convenient. But the philosophy and Organization culture determines which to follow; like Bausch & Lomb have centralized recruitment form as well as G.E Opticals have the decentralized form.

Cost benefit analysis will determine the source of recruitment. As the process starts by discovering the sources for required manpower, thus the search should be rigorous. Internal sources are many times over-ruled by the Organizations. One of the reason is the search is restricted within the company and limited to the suitable existing employees. External search can be done in various ways. Some of them are- employee referrals, campus recruitment, placement agencies, and advertisements. Advertisements are considered to be most effective and common part of recruitment process. Advertisements can take place through several means, like through newspaper, through magazines/journals using specifically job advertisement newspaper, through professional publication, placing advertisements in windows, through online. On line advertisements for recruitment is a minute part of e-recruitment.

E-RECRUITMENT In the era of globalization anyone who is interested in corporate world is aware of these sites.

Using internet prospective applicants could search for positions in which they were interested. Contact with employers directly is viable. Feasibility of email overruled the use of telephone, fax or mail and the companies started accepting application through email. Today Organizations have their own sites or job postings are given in the placement sites. Again the candidates can visit the sites, post resume, contact the company directly without any delay. All these are just one ‘click’ away. E-recruitment is a tool for many employers to search for job candidates and for applicants to look for job. Recent trend of recruitment is e-recruitment or the internet recruitment or on-line recruitment, where the process of recruitment is automated. The automation began in 1980 but was systematized in 1990 with the release of Restrac’s initial product. E-recruitment simply means the recruitment process through internet. Various methods can be used for it.

E-RECRUITING METHODS

Methods of e-recruitment are many, among those the important ones are-

● Job boards: These are the places where the employers post jobs and search for candidates. Candidates become aware of the vacancies. One of the disadvantages is, it is generic in nature. Special skill candidates to be searched by certain job boards.

● Employer web sites: These sites can be of the company owned sites, or a site developed by various employers. For an example, Directemployers.com is the first cooperative, employer-owned e-recruiting consortium formed by Direct Employers Association. It is a non profit organization formed by the executives from leading U.S corporations. Press release by Recruiters Network (February 20, 2003) showed the site has 98 members approximately 45 percent of which are Fortune 500 companies.

● Professional websites: These are for specific professions, skills and not general in nature. For an example, for HR jobs Human Resource Management sites to be visited like www.shrm.org. The professional associations will have their own site or society.

WHY E-RECRUITMENT? In May 1980 in Kolkata Amita being an MBA never expected any problem regarding job. She returned home exhausted with no satisfactory result in hand. She knew that the place is full of opportunities, and it won’t be difficult to place herself in a job. But what she was not aware of was search for the company will be so tedious and tiring. First she went through the newspaper advertisement meticulously , then scanned those advertisements and selected the suitable ones. Then she visited each and every place just to submit the Resume. It was worse as she was restricted to Kolkata, as going and visiting companies at different places were not possible and due to postal service the Resumes were not properly forwarded. At that era this was the scenario for many candidates. Even the companies were not satisfied with the recent recruitment practices. Like, A1 electrical of Nagpur were to find a suitable engineer for them. The company wanted to collect Resumes of maximum candidates. Advertisement in employment news was not giving them the satisfactory result. There came the need for e-recruitment, to overcome the barriers to easy access of the candidates. To be a successful Organization and to maintain the position recruiting high caliber staff is fundamental. Not finding the right person can lead to frustration. Employers like A1 electricals aren't limited to attracting candidates from their own country and can appeal to qualified candidates all over the world. The same holds true for job seekers like Amita. They can search and apply for jobs in areas where their skills are in demand regardless of geographical location. The widespread use of internet today has meant that advertising for candidates has become cheaper while at the same time appealing to the wider audience. This is the secret of e-recruitment gaining popularity in a short time span. The advantages are:

● Cost efficient: Advertisements in internet when compared to newspaper, magazines, and employment agencies is considerably cheap. As in the other sources continuously one has to revise the advertisement, for example a company wanted their ad to appear on every Sunday for a month thus was suppose to pay for four advertisements. But for internet it is not applicable.

● Time saving device: Time to deliver; to communicate is minimized by this. Response is direct and immediate without any delay. Beforehand the postal services, fax was one way communication and was time consuming. Phones provided two way communications but resume management, communicating worldwide were not possible.

● Widens the search: In the era of globalization the reach cannot be restricted at one place. It provides global reach that also within a fraction of second. Truly the process supports the definition of recruitment by creating a vast pool of potential candidates.

● Provides clarity: Advertisements in employment news, other newspapers, magazines will have word limit, thus sometimes is misinterpreted. For an example a company advertisement announced vacancy for computer skilled person which was interpreted as MIS job which was rather a job for computer skilled receptionist. The advertisement was not clear enough to explain the full profile. In internet the word limitation is not there, the idea, opinion, profile can be expressed as anyone like.

● Scope for better match: Information in detail is provided with clarity therefore suitable candidate match is possible. The search is widened link with other websites are possible, these attracts the candidates and after the job profile matches, the candidates apply.

● Standardization: The information of the candidates are collected in a standard format. Beside collecting the data it also consolidates information received from various sources.

● Reservoir: It acts as the reservoir of information. From the job profile to candidate profile is available along with past applicant data.

● Lessen paper work: As the data collection, filing, administrative work are done electronically thus paper work or documentation has been lessened.

DRAWBACKS OF E-RECRUITMENT

● Require being computer savvy: The process is restricted within computer savvy candidates. As the search is based on various websites, their screening, keywords application demands for a computer savvy person and company.

● Legal consequences:
Alike other recruitment sources this source also should be aware of the words used in the advertisements otherwise it may lead to the charge of discrimination. For example, Disney World was sued for screening the resumes preferring the key words used by whites.

● Vast pool of applicants: This benefits the Organizations as well as it is disadvantage to them also. Because the huge database cannot be scanned in depth. Either first few candidates are called for interview or the resumes are screened based on some key words. On the other hand applicants also face global competition.

● Non-serious applicants: Lot of applicants forward their resumes just to know their market value. As personally the candidates are not checked thus whether they are serious is not known. At the time of interview the recruiter might realize that the candidate is not serious in leaving the current job. But by that time some serious candidates might have been rejected.

● Disclosure of information: Candidates profile and company details are available to public. The applicants do not want their employer to know that they are looking for a change. Phone number, address information has lead to many security problems. Again the companies do not want their competitors always to know the current scenario.

MODERN TRENDS OF E-RECRUITMENT

● Speedy communication: Company and the prospective employee can communicate with each other via the blogs. Thus blogs, podcasts, vodcasts are being considered a tool of e-recruitmant. No more the process can be blamed for being one way communication like mails, faxes only being speedy as done electronically. Podcasts are the services of digital media files. Vodcasts are the video podcasts.

● Candidate’s preference: History states that employers had the privilege to be selective in hiring process, especially in screening resumes but were not always fair. Because of the time constraint it was not possible to go through all the applications. Today the candidates can choose their employers as not only the financial state is known to them but also the culture is known. Applying for the Organization will no more be influenced only by the image.

● Search engine advertisement: Print ad is phasing out due the popularity of search engine ads. Pay-per-click is not only convenient but also more attractive.

● RSS feed: Job boards are embracing RSS feed. Hotjobs, Google deserves special mention. Google offers one to upload the jobs on Google Base even when one doesn’t have their own site. RSS can be read using software “RSS reader”. It is a family of web feed formats use to publish frequently updated works. Such as blog entries, news headlines in a standard format.

CRITERIA FOR EFFECTIVE E-RECRUITMENT

● The requirement for it is to benefit the selection procedure. Thus to make the process effective, the Organizations should be concerned about various factors. Among them most important are- Return on investment (ROI) should be calculated to compare the costs and risks. It facilitates to evaluate benefits and to calculate the estimated return.

● Recruitment policy should be flexible and proactive, to adapt market changes. The companies will have their own mix and match sources according their objective. The guidelines to be provided in the policy.

● Unemployment rate, labor turnover rate are considered. As the whole process depends on the availability of candidates in the market. For every post, position it is not viable to spend too much of time. These rates will determine whether to be stringent or lenient.

● Impact of supplying compensation details to be considered. That is the wage, salary, benefits, when disclosed on line then it should follow the legal norms. Chance for negotiation will not be there. Compensation rate of the company not only reaches to the candidates but will be known to all.

● Precautions to be taken for resume screening. Words that discriminates gender, age, religion etc to be avoided. For an example, ‘recent’ college graduates only in an ad are not preferable.

● Review the results periodically and also update regularly to achieve a better result. Otherwise pool of candidates will remain static and will not serve the purpose.

● Organizations need to selective while choosing the sites. It refers to whether it is required to be giving to the job search sites like www.monster.com or in their own site. When special skill candidates are searched then generic job search sites to be avoided.

● RECRUITING YIELD PYRAMID1 to be formulated:


The process of recruitment cannot stand without a proper estimation, proper plan. It is required to calculate the number of applicants to be generated to hire the required number of employees. The illustration of DESSLER will make it more clear-

A company knows it needs 50 new entry level accountants next year. From experience, the firm knows the ratio of offers made to actual new hires is 2 to 1; about half the people to whom it makes offers accept them. Similarly, the firm knows that the ratio of candidates interviewed to offers made is 3to 2, while the ratio of candidates invited for interviews to candidates actually interviewed is about 4 to 3. Finally, the firm knows that of six leads that come in from all its recruiting efforts, only one applicant typically gets an interview. Given these ratios, the firm knows it must generate 1200 leads to be able to invite 200 viable candidates for interviews. Thus the pyramid will be as follows-

New Hires

Offers made 2:1

Candidates interviewer 3:2

Candidates invited 4:3

Leads generated 6:1

Source : Human resource management, Gary Dessler, 9th edition, Pearson Education, 2005

E-recruitment facilitates by increasing the lead generation number. Thus 1200 can increase to 2000 and the ratio of estimation can be more accurate. For instance if candidates interviewed do not reach 100, 50 new hires will be difficult. But if from the base the numbers are increased selecting 50 candidates won’t be a problem.

CONCLUSION Traditional methods should not be replaced by the e-recruitment, it should supplement. The loopholes of e-recruitment can be covered by the traditional methods and recruitment process will be faster, global due to e-recruitment. One method should not replace the other. When two vacancies are there and two candidates are available the companies do not have much choice, thus they prefer to widen their search and attracts numerous applications. But when for two vacancies a company receive 2000 application, the in depth screening process is not possible. While other methods like campus interview, internal search has a personal touch. But receiving application in hand, communicating with candidates becomes time consuming without internet.

Cisco2 a global infotech player has gained competitive edge by their creative mix and match of different recruitment sources. They changed the newspaper advertisement by availing their internet address and inviting for application without giving the job profile. Another innovation was clubbing employee’s referral with internet. Cisco thought information about them when provided by the friends, will be more approachable. They launched friends program in 1996. Informal sources of information like referrals, word of mouth are also being used in various IT companies, such as IBM, WIPRO. Cisco observed they are hiring 1000 employees every three months of 1999, hundreds of positions still to be fulfilled. They formed focus groups who targeted the senior engineers and marketing professionals of other companies to find out how they spend their free time. The survey showed that ‘corporate cartoon Dilbert” website is extremely popular as watching movie was the preference. They linked with the webpage. The website offered fill in resumes online or create a resume using their resume builder which appealed both active and passive job seekers. Their hiring cycle came down to 45 days from 68 days. By late 1999, job page of Cisco was recording around 500,000 applications per month. By 2001, referrals with the Friends program accounted for 50-60% of new employees. Speedy global reach when supported with traditional methods will serve the objectivity of hiring process; Cisco deserves special mention regarding this.

1. Edited by Sangeetha K, Effective Recruitment- the emerging scenario, ICFAI university press
2007
2. Human resource management, Dessler Gary, 9th edition, Pearson Education, 2005
3. Armstrong Michael, HRM practice, Kogan Page , 9th edition
4. E-Recruitment, the right way, The Hindu, Wed Mar09, 2005.
5. For IT firms, e-recruitment can save time, money
12 Aug 2001, Times of India
6. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1480890233.cms
7. http://www.minfosystems.com/erecruitment-solution-india/recruitement-software-india.htm

Written By:
 Arundhati Ghosh, Junior Faculty Member
Icfai National College, Garia, Kolkata cuarundhati@gmail.com

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