Definition: Recruitment refers to the process of identifying, screening, shortlisting, and interviewing applicants, and then hiring or selecting them as employees that will perform various duties or roles in an organization. In other words, recruitment is a continuum that involves everything from the identification of applicants to the final selection of staff. 

Recruiters source candidates with the knowledge, skills, aptitude, and attitude that are necessary for the achievement of the organization’s objectives. Recruitment is usually a core function of the human resource or personnel department, especially in large organizations.

Content: Recruitment

Types of Recruitment

Recruitment can mostly be internal or external.

Internal Recruitment

This refers to the sourcing of manpower within the hiring organization. In the internal type of recruitment, only existing staff and/or those who have records with the organization are considered for the available positions.

This makes things a bit easier for the organization since there will be no need to pass through the protocols associated with hiring new staff from outside. 

Below are some sources of internal recruitment.

  • Promoting staff to occupy higher positions (succession planning)
  • Employee referrals (can also be external)
  • Transfer of staff
  • Recruiting boomerang/ex-employees
  • Recruiting those who applied previously but were not successful
  • Internal advertisements/job postings

External Recruitment

In the external type of recruitment, labour is sourced from outside the hiring organization. This usually occurs when the vacancies cannot be filled from within the organization because of the lack of in-house skills or qualifications for the vacant position(s).

The hiring protocol for external recruitment is often not as simple as those of internal recruitment since new it involves applicants who have no records or previous relationship with the hiring organization.  

Some external sources of recruitment include:

  • Direct advertising (e.g., on the internet)
  • Professional associations
  • Employment exchanges
  • Word of mouth 
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Internships/apprenticeships
  • Recruitment events (e.g., job fairs, campus recruitment, etc)

Recruitment Process

As noted above, recruitment is a continuum that involves several activities over time. To enhance hiring efficiency, it is pertinent that the Human Resource (HR) team of an organization adopts global best practices (such as those mentioned below).

These practices help ensure optimal hiring thereby bringing about organizational stability in terms of hiring and firing of incompetent workers, among other benefits.

Recruitment Planning

Most human activities commence with planning. Hence, human resource planning is usually the first step in the recruitment process. A well-articulated recruitment plan should include:

  • Identifying the vacancy
  • Job analysis
  • Job description
  • Job specification
  • Job assessment

Recruitment Strategy

After drawing up a recruitment plan with the above components, a hiring organization then needs to strategize on the best ways of executing its recruitment plan. When mapping out a recruitment strategy, the organization has to consider its peculiar characteristics and needs.

The development of a recruitment strategy can be a long and dynamic process, but having the right strategy is a necessary condition for identifying and ultimately employing the right candidates. The following steps are involved in developing a suitable recruitment strategy:

  • Setting up a team of HR experts
  • Identifying the organization’s peculiarities
  • Collection of available data
  • Analyzing the collected data
  • Setting the recruitment strategy based on the organization’s peculiarities and data analysis

Identifying the Right Candidates

After, the planning and strategizing aspects of the recruitment process, it is then time for the organization to set its machinery in motion towards the identification of the right candidates. This is usually based on the job description and specification.

Often, organizations look internally when vacancies emerge and only opt for external sources if there is no suitable internal staff to take up these vacant roles. The main way of searching for and identifying external candidates is through advertisements on various platforms, including social media.


Screening is a very important part of the recruitment process. It involves scrutinizing identified applicants to determine their suitability for the positions they have applied for. In other words, screening helps in weeding out unqualified or irrelevant candidates to concentrate on those whose credentials match or approximate the organization’s requirements.

Hence, screening activities can include examination of CVs, resumes, and cover letters, verification of the details in these (and other) documents provided by the applicants, etc. 


A shortlist is a compilation of probable candidates for a position. It is a direct outcome of the screening process. Thus, shortlisted candidates are those deemed by the hiring organization to have the highest likelihood of being finally selected for the positions for which they have applied.

Interview of Shortlisted Applicants

Candidates who are lucky to survive the screening phase are then invited for an interview on a pre-determined future date. In some cases, the shortlisted candidates will be given instructions on what to expect in the interview so that they can prepare adequately. Interviews can be of different types, depending on the hiring organization and nature of the job. 

For instance, there may be written interviews to test the applicants writing abilities and/or oral interviews to test their speaking ability. For jobs that have to do with vocational skills, the interview usually includes subjecting the candidates to practical sessions to ascertain their competency levels, among others. The interview phase is very vital because successful candidates usually emerge after it.


In the selection stage, the HR team brainstorms on the outcomes of the interview sessions to conclude which candidates will eventually assume the vacant positions in their organization. After their evaluation, applicants who are deemed to have excelled in the interview are subsequently rewarded with employment offers.


This is a conscious effort by the organization’s management to acclimatize the recruited staff (particularly the externally employed) to their new positions and environment. Onboarding is also referred to as organizational socialization. It serves as an orientation or induction exercise aimed at acquainting the selected employees with organizational culture and modus operandi. 

Sometimes, it can also be an avenue to provide further training for the hired workers. The idea is to help the newly employed workers to settle down comfortably.

Process Evaluation 

This is the last phase of the recruitment process. In this stage, the effectiveness and the validity of the entire recruitment process and the methods used are thoroughly assessed and evaluated. The main objective for this is to find out if there were any lapses in the just concluded recruitment and selection exercise to correct them in time against future recruitments. 

In a nutshell, an evaluation of the process is necessary because recruitment can be a tedious and costly exercise and inefficient recruitment can lead to waste of the organization’s resources on incompetent personnel in the form of salaries and allowances.

Importance of Recruitment

Labour is essential for the establishment and growth of every organization. This is because all organizational functions are dependent on labour efforts. However, to ensure operational efficiency and attainment of organizational objectives, every organization must carefully source the most suitable manpower for its needs. Therefore, the need for an effective recruitment process can never be overlooked.  

Positioning the right people in the right place can play a significant role in the growth of an organization while the contrary can negatively impact the organization in several ways. Hence, an effective HR department has become an essential component of many organizations in today’s highly competitive business environment. This is because it is the duty of the HR department to evolve sound recruitment policies that can help increase profitability, drive growth, and meet other goals set by the organization. 

Recruitment is important because most organizations require continuous staff replenishment for performing daily operations in the long run. For instance, as old workers retire, new ones will be needed to occupy their positions. Workers who die, resign or move to competitors or other organizations will leave vacant positions in the firm. Lastly, because of growth and expansion, there arises e a need for organizations to create brand new roles that require new manpower.


Recruitment is a vital aspect of every organization, whether profit-oriented or otherwise. It is very necessary to recruit staff because human labour is key to all organizational activities even in these days of machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, recruiting poorly can have adverse consequences that can ultimately lead to the abrupt end of an organization.

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