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9.3: Employee Recruitment

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    2. How do firms recruit applicants?

    When a firm creates a new position or an existing one becomes vacant, the firm starts looking for people with qualifications that meet the requirements of the job. Two sources of job applicants are the internal and external labor markets. The internal labor market consists of employees currently employed by the firm; the external labor market is the pool of potential applicants outside the firm.

    A photograph shows Bill Gates' LinkedIn profile page.

    Exhibit 8.5 Online recruiting is among the top internet success stories of the past decade. LinkedIn, Monster, and CareerBuilder are hot spots for job hunters and recruiters seeking to establish a working relationship. What are the advantages and disadvantages of online recruiting compared to traditional forms of recruitment? (Credit: Bill Gates LinkedIn Profile screen capture, 3/23/2018)

    Internal Labor Market

    Internal recruitment can be greatly facilitated by using a human resource information system that contains an employee database with information about each employee’s previous work experience, skills, education and certifications, job and career preferences, performance, and attendance. Promotions and job transfers are the most common results of internal recruiting. BNSF Railway, Walmart, Boeing, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and most other firms, large and small, promote from within and manage the upward mobility of their employees.

    External Labor Market

    The external labor market consists of prospects to fill positions that cannot be filled from within the organization. Recruitment is the process of attracting qualified people to form an applicant pool. Numerous methods are used to attract applicants, including print, radio, web, and television advertising. Hospitality and entertainment firms, such as Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Six Flags, frequently use job fairs to attract applicants. A job fair, or corporate open house, is usually a one- or two-day event at which applicants are briefed about job opportunities, given tours, and encouraged to apply for jobs. For firms needing accountants, engineers, sales managers, and others for professional and scientific positions, college recruiting is very common. These firms (Deloitte, Cisco Systems,, and thousands of others) schedule job fairs and on-campus interviews with graduating seniors.

    Online Recruiting and Job Search

    The internet, social media, and specialized software have completely changed the employee recruitment process. Dozens of companies such as, Indeed, StartWire, and Glassdoor enable applicants to search for job openings, post their résumés, and apply for jobs that companies have posted. Most companies provide links to their company website and to the career page on their site so applicants can learn about the company culture, listen to or read testimonials from employees about what it is like to work for the company, and search for additional openings that may interest them.

    Large firms may receive thousands of online applications per month. To review and evaluate thousands of online résumés and job applications, firms depend on software to scan and track applicant materials using key words to match skills or other requirements for a particular job. Social media has also changed how companies search for applicants and verify applicant information.


    Social Networking and Employee Recruitment

    Referrals and professional networking are commonly used methods of identifying job prospects, particularity for managerial, professional, and technical positions. Several software applications and social networks facilitate employee referrals, reference checking, and hiring based on networks of personal relationships. ExecuNet and ExecRank are just two of the many career sites that allow members to search for contacts and network with other professionals in their fields.

    LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals. It is a giant database of contacts with profiles that provide an overview of a person’s past and present professional experience, skills, professional referrals, and affiliations with business and professional associations. A member can search through an extended network of contacts based on his or her professional acquaintances. The basis for a search can be job, job title, company, geography, zip code, or membership in a professional organization. LinkedIn uses the concept that there are no more than six degrees of separation between two people, or one person can be linked to any other individual through no more than six other people. With more than 530 million members worldwide, LinkedIn’s extensive platform is an ideal network for both recruiters and those looking to make their next career move.

    LinkedIn, like other social networks, is based on voluntary participation, and members consent to being networked. Nevertheless, important questions can be raised regarding privacy concerns and use of one’s social network.

    Critical Thinking Questions

    1. Social networks can easily generate a name for an HR recruiting target, but how can the hiring firm convert the target into a candidate who is interested in the job?
    2. A social network like LinkedIn is an excellent tool that can be used to build a personal brand and find a new job. In what ways could a job seeker potentially harm their career opportunities on a social networking site?

    Sources: “About ExecuNet,”, accessed February 8, 2018; “LinkedIn Statistics,”, accessed February 8, 2018; “Social Recruiting Tips,”, January 24, 2018; Susan M. Heathfield, “Use LinkedIn for Recruiting Employees,” The Balance,, April 7, 2017.

    Recruitment Branding

    Recruitment branding involves presenting an accurate and positive image of the firm to those being recruited. Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA) is a New York–based image consulting firm that assists in developing a recruitment branding strategy.4 The materials developed by CSA comprise a realistic job preview, which informs job candidates about organizational realities of the job and the firm so they can more accurately evaluate jobs and firm expectations concerning work assignments, performance standards, promotional opportunities, company culture, and many other characteristics of the job.


    1. What are the two sources of job applicants?
    2. What are some methods firms use to recruit applicants?
    3. What is meant by recruitment branding?

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