The Meaning of Recruitment

the meaning of recruitment

What’s the meaning of recruitment? Let’s start with something interesting…

Did you know that the recruitment industry is worth a whopping £38.9 billion in the UK alone? Placing the UK as the third-largest recruitment industry in the world!

The industry is becoming more and more lucrative every year. Many organisations need to play catch-up as they still view recruitment as a ‘simple’ process.

Organisations need to look at recruitment as a two-way process with candidates. A huge 83% of talent change their perception of a company if they’ve experienced a negative interview experience.

Providing a positive experience for candidates is important to the success of the recruitment process. Knowing how to find the right candidate is as important.

With this in mind, we are going to explore the meaning of recruitment. But, first, let us consider how it all began and what steps you can include to improve the chances of hiring the best talent.

History of recruitment and selection

While our modern recruitment practices differ enormously, the concept of recruitment has been around for thousands of years. One of the earliest records of recruitment found is from imperial China during the Han dynasty era of 1500BC. Imperial exams were used to recruit civil service candidates. Often called the ‘exams from hell’, they were considered one of the toughest assessments for centuries.

There is also lots of evidence of what we would consider these days to be resumes found on the rock and wooden tablets dating ancient Rome.

When researching the history of recruitment and selection, I was surprised to find that modern recruitment as we understand it today really took off from as recent as the 1940s thanks to World War II. When most of the young population joined the army, it left a huge shortage of efficient people in production. In particular, in the arms and ammunition workforce despite the huge demand.

Thus recruitment agencies emerged to help fill roles in this labour crisis. Many women were recruited during this time to assume the responsibility of running the nation while their men were absent.

When the war was over, the nation again hit another labour crisis. There were too many skilled workers and not enough jobs when recruitment agencies required skilled veterans to create their resume to list out all their skills to be distributed to industries across their state.

This is how recruitment agencies found their permanent place as a bridge between organisation and candidate.

The introduction of e-recruitment

As time has passed, we have seen recruitment agencies and the recruitment process evolve into a more sophisticated and streamlined process by using the internet. Companies can reach a wider pool of candidates at a much faster time rate.

In 1994 we saw the introduction of 3 online job boards, OCC, Career Mosaic and e-span. Later in 1994, Monster Job appeared who then bought out OCC the following year. The online job boards changed the scope of recruitment, sparking a movement of recruitment from print (newspapers- wow, that’s a foreign concept these days!) to online channels.

Thus allowing applicants to search for their ideal job in the online databases and recruiters could now reach a global market of candidates.

How recruitment has evolved

The 1940s-1970s

Before the days of computers and the internet, recruiters acted similar to private detectives trying to source the best person for the job. Relying heavily on newspaper adverts, hefty phone books and personal connections.

The 1980s-1990s

The recruitment process began to be a faster process with the introduction of computers and the internet! Personal information on candidates could now be stored in computer databases. The introduction of online boards, resume databases, and applicant tracking systems (ATS) broadened the pool and made the process more efficient.

The 2000s- Now

Almost all recruiting is digitized at each stage of the process. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we see the rapid growth and adoption of e-interviews using video software.

Companies are using online recruiting agencies and social media, company career sites, and mobile apps to recruit candidates.

The meaning of recruitment in business

So what exactly is recruitment?

Recruitment, put simply, is the process of fulfilling a job position. Recruitment covers the whole hiring process, from identifying a role in the business to integrating the candidate into their new role.

Typically the recruitment stages will involve identifying, attracting, interviewing, selecting, hiring and onboarding new employees. – More on this later in the post.

HRM (Human Resources Management) is the department in an organisation where people manage people. HR staff will set out procedures and performance strategies to ensure all staff align with the business’s goals.

Recruitment definition in HRM is the initial step to hire candidates with the right skills and work ethic to perform the role while staying within the recruitment budget and timeframe.

The Recruitment process

You can talk about the meaning of recruitment without delving into how it all works.

The recruitment process will vary to different organisations and markets. However, they tend to follow a general pattern typically.

The recruitment process involves:

  • Identify the hiring need
  • Devise a recruitment plan
  • Write a job description
  • Advertise the position
  • Recruit the position
  • Review applications
  • Phone Interview/Initial Screening
  • Interviews
  • Applicant Assessment
  • Background Check
  • Decision
  • Reference Check
  • Job offer
  • Hiring
  • Onboarding

Simplifying the recruitment process

We like to simplify this process to better digest all the necessary steps.

The recruitment process can be broken down into 5 stages.

Simplifying the recruitment process1.Recruitment planning

This is the initial stage where vacant roles are identified and analysed to ensure the right fit for the role. Companies should identify the number of posts needed, duties and responsibilities, qualification and experience required, and whether the post is for a full-time role/ part-time/ permanent or temporary.

The recruiter will also define the job analysis, job description, job specification and the recruitment method.

2. Strategy Development

This is where recruiters decide which recruitment method is best to find the right candidates. This includes the type of recruitment (internal, external recruitment) and the geographical area.

3. Searching

Searching for the right candidate means the recruiters need to sell the role effectively. So the right channels need to be used, and the prospects of the vacancy need to be attractive.

4. Screening

Screening or ‘selection’ is where the pool of candidates is shortlisted. We’ll talk more about this later in the post.

In the screening process, selected candidates are reviewed by looking at their resumes and cover letters. Successful applicants are then invited for a telephone or video interview. This helps recruiters determine if the candidate is active and available, enabling them to be verified. Also, it gives the recruiter an essential insight into the attitude and ability of the candidate in how they can answer questions and how they conduct themselves. This is especially important in video interviews as candidates’ communication skills can be analysed through their body language and facial expressions.

5. Evaluation and Control

This is where the recruitment process is analysed and assessed to ensure its’ cost-effective and bringing home successful results.

Organisations should look at recruiters’ salaries, advertisement costs, agency fees, admin costs, and time spent by management in preparing for the job role.

Difference between recruitment and selection in HRM

There is a clear difference between recruitment and selection. As you may have guessed from looking at the recruitment process, recruitment and selection are very different.

As we’ve identified, recruitment refers to the overall hiring process from start to finish. It can also be viewed as finding candidates and attracting them to apply for the position.

Whereas selection is shortlisting the candidates to identify and offer the job role to the right person. The selection process allows the HRM staff to differentiate qualified applicants from unqualified applicants.

Some selection activities include:

  • Screening
  • Eliminating unsuitable candidates
  • Conducting an examination (aptitude test, intelligence test, performance test, personality test, etc.)
  • Interviews
  • Checking references
  • Medical tests

The selection process is one of the more time-consuming stages of the recruitment process. HR managers need to effectively reduce the candidate pool, ensuring the right person gets hired for the job. Recruiters need knowledge and expertise in the selection process. One reason is to

Methods of recruiting

How can you effectively use recruitment techniques to make job positions attractive for a large pool of candidate applications? Organisations need to utilise an effective recruitment strategy that not only saves time but money too.

So what recruitment types can organisations effectively employ?

1.   Internal recruiting

Internal recruitment is when organisations hire employees from within the organisation. It’s more cost-effective, and the process is quicker. This boosts employee motivation and reduces recruitment, training and induction costs. Organisations who internally recruit usually have better loyalty from their workforce.

However, it does have its drawbacks. It could stifle innovation as new employees can bring new ways of thinking. Existing employees are conformed to the company culture, which can limit innovation. It also creates another vacancy within the organisation to fill the previous role. It can demotivate existing employees who did not get the job.

Internal recruitment includes promotions, transfers and can even extend to previous applicants.

2.   Advertising externally

Advertising externally is vital for growing companies. Its advantages enable companies to increase their branding. There’s no bias between employees, there is a larger scope for finding the ideal candidate as the pool is larger, and new employees can bring fresh ideas propelling the business forwards towards its goals.

However, external advertising is a much higher cost to the business. It is much more time consuming, and external candidates may have more demand for remuneration and benefits.

3.   Print Advertising

This traditional form of recruitment is still alive. It has its place in sector-specific magazines for specialised roles.

4.   Online advertising

Recruitment websites allow companies to reach a wide pool of candidates and can reduce costs.

5.   Social media

A whopping 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site.

Companies using social media platforms such as Linked In and Twitter can easily headhunt potential clients, increasing year on year.

6.   Recruitment agencies

40% of UK companies use a mix of in-house and outsourced recruitment.

Recruiters are typically commission-based, so it’s in their interest to recruit great candidates for your organisation.

The benefits of using a specialised recruitment agency are they’ll be experienced in recruitment and will have skills that your organisation may not. They also have access to a large pool of candidates.

We recommend you use an agency that specialises in your field.

The disadvantages are that it will cost you money!

7.   Talent search

You can look for your needed talent instead of waiting for candidates to apply to your role by using recruitment sites that store a database of candidates’ resumes and CV’s. You can search for candidates by inputting specific keywords. However, this process has its downfalls, the information can be outdated, and it can be very time-consuming.

There’s so much more!

We hope you enjoyed our introductory post on the meaning of recruitment. We have barely just scratched the surface of the recruitment industry, so make sure you follow our Twitter page @Reworking_App to keep up with our recruitment blog posts and news.

Thanks for reading our very first post, and we’ll see you soon!

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