After reading this article you will learn about the meaning and sources of recruitment of candidates.

Meaning of Recruitment:

Recruitment means discovering applicants for the present or future jobs in an enterprise. It may be described as an activity that aims to bring the job-seeker (applicant) and the job- giver (employer) in contact with one-another.

Recruitment is the process of identifying the sources for prospective candidates and to stimulate them to apply for the job. It is the positive process of employment. It increases the ratio of applicants and number of posts vacant and thus provides an opportunity to the management to select the suitable person.

The term Recruitment generally means obtaining fresh supplies but on the context of personnel management it is an activity of discovering job seeker (Recruitee) for the present and future needs of the organisation.


According to Filipps, “Recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation.”

Recruitment is a Dual Affair:

It takes two to complete the recruitment process—the job giver (the person who in recruiting) and the job seeker (the person who is to be recruited).

Sources of Recruitment:

The sources of recruitment may be classified into two main categories:


(1) Internal sources

(2) External sources.

1. Internal Sources:

Internal source is the most obvious source of recruitment. Under this source, the human/personnel needs are filled through transfers, promotions and present employees.

Thus, internal sources of recruitment are listed below:


i. Transfers,

ii. Promotions,

iii. Demotion, and 

iv. Present employees.


i. Transfers:

“A transfer involves the shifting of an employee from one job to another without special reference to change in responsibility or compensation”. Transfer of an employee from one place to another does not ordinarily result in any change in the nature of duties or emoluments. It also does not alter the number and kind of employees working in the enterprise.

Advantages of Transfers:

1. A good transfer policy can be very encouraging and motivating to employees.


2. It may result in increasing the productivity and effectiveness of the organization.

3. It helps to improve skills of employees.

4. This reinforces a sense of loyalty among employees and provides them an opportunity for advancement.

5. It leads to generate job satisfaction and better superior- subordinate relations.


6. This also helps the management to be assumed of the quality of performance of employees.

ii. Promotions:

A “promotion” means appointing an employee to a position of greater responsibility or authority. It is yet another internal source to meet personnel demand. While “promotion” brings about a change in the nature of duties and authority of the employee concerned as also his emoluments, it does not alter the number and kinds of employees of the enterprise.

Promotion may be based on seniority or merit of employees.


Advantages of seniority-based promotion:

1. It is simple to operate.

2. It creates a feeling of discipline and respect for senior persons.

3. It keeps the senior workers satisfied due to recognition earned by seniority.

4. It enables workers to know about their future job prospects.

Disadvantages of seniority based promotion:


1. It does not recognize merit and competence.

2. It fails to motivate competent workers.

3. Competent employees, who are junior in terms of stay in the organization, may leave for better prospects.

Advantages of Merit-based promotion:

1. It recognizes and rewards merit and competence.

2. It motivates competent employees to greater effort.


3. It enables the organization to retain competent employees who might otherwise leave the organization for better prospects.

4. It leads to increase in productivity.

Disadvantages of Merit-based promotion:

1. It is not easy to devise a system to determine competence in an objective manner.

2. It may cause frustration among senior employees which may lead to indiscipline.

3. Workers are not sure about who might be picked up for promotion.


iii. Demotion:

In the business under deflationary pressure, employees may be demoted back to their original jobs. Demotion shocks the morale and self-respect of employees, so it should be avoided.

Demotion is generally made when the promotion is conditional, or the court has disapproved promotion or vacancy is for the time being caused by the leave of a senior employee.

The major drawback of internal sources of recruitment leads obviously to external sources, when employees are selected from outside the enterprise through a prescribed selection procedure.

iv. Present Employees:


It is an internal source of recruitment of personnel. In the event of any vacancy, employees of the enterprise may be asked to recommend their friends and relatives for employment. It will not only keep the employees happy and in high morale, but also ensure recruitment of competent and sincere persons.

This is because ordinarily, an employee will only recommend those persons in whose capacity for hand and sincere work he has full confidence. For if the person recommended by him does not perform well, he may be held responsible.

2. External Sources:

It is always not possible to recruit the workers from within, especially vacancies at lowest level or recruitment at the time of expansion of the organisation or where job specifications cannot be met by the present employees, the employer has to go to external sources of manpower supply.

Most common used source are as follows:

a. Advertisement

b. Employment exchange.


c. Recruitment at the gate.

d. Recommendation of present employees.

e. Intermediaries.

f. Colleges, universities and technical institutions.

g. Employment consultants.

h. Management consultants.

i. Unsolicited applications.

j. Professional bodies.

a. Advertisement:

Recruitment through advertising in local or national newspapers or trade or professional journals is one of the most common methods of attracting personnel of all types—skilled workers, clerical staff and higher staff.

b. Employment Exchange:

Employment exchanges are regarded as good source of recruitment for unskilled, skilled or semi-skilled operative jobs. The job seekers get their names registered with employment exchanges managed and operated by the Central and State governments. The employers notify the vacancies to be filled in by them to such exchanges and the exchanges refer the names of prospective candidates to them.

c. Recruitment at the Gate:

The foreman or the departmental manager scrutinizes in a general way, the people who are available at the gate and recruit the necessary number. It is a good method to recruit unskilled workers to fill up casual vacancies.

d. Recommendation of Present Employees:

When present employees are asked to recommend new hires, a type of preliminary screening takes place, the present employees knows both the company and his acquaintance and presumably would attempt to please both.

It is generally concluded that the referring employees are better at judging the degree of fit between organization and employee than were the company interviewers. This method may be well developed in the field of lower executive posts.

e. Intermediaries:

Intermediaries are generally known as jobbers, mukaddams, chaudhary or contractors. Management generally consults these intermediaries at the time of their requirements. This system of recruitment has led many abuses. It is most current in Indian industries.

f. Colleges, Universities and Technical Institutions:

This method is mainly followed in western countries where there is a shortage of highly qualified administrative and technical personnel. In times of scarcity, the tendency is to obtain the graduates without experience but with potentialities.

g. Employment Agencies:

Employment agencies may be public or private. These agencies provide more screening facilities. Generally such agencies are specialized in the supply of particular categories of employees.

h. Management Consultants:

It depends upon the personnel policy of an undertaking whether to make use of outside experts in personnel matters or not.

i. Unsolicited Applications:

An organization of repute draws a steam of unsolicited applications at the company’s office. The applications are examined of and on whenever needed to locate suitable candidates for the job.

j. Professional Bodies:

Some professional institutions like Institute of Chartered Accountants, Institute of Costs Works Accounts (ICWA). Institute of Company Secretary etc. maintain a register of qualified persons from which they recommend the names of the job seekers to the employers when asked for.