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Chapter 5 Recruitment
After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
Explain the strategic importance of the recruitment function.
Discuss the constraints facing a typical recruiter.
Identify the appropriate recruiting methods for different types of jobs.
Design a job application form.
List key measures for evaluating the effectiveness of the recruitment function.
Canadian Human Resource Management includes a complete set of Microsoft PowerPoint® files for each chapter.
(Please contact your McGraw-Hill Ryerson representative to find out how instructors can receive these files.) In the
lecture outline that follows, a reference to the relevant PowerPoint slide for this chapter is placed beside the
corresponding lecture material. The slide number helps you to see your location in the slide show sequence and to skip
slides that you don’t want to show to the class. (To jump ahead or back to a particular slide, just type the slide number
and hit the Enter or Return key.)
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
LECTURE OUTLINE (with PowerPoint slides)
Slide 1
Recruitment Defined
Slide 2
The Recruitment Process
Slide 3
Strategic Importance of
Slide 4
Finding new employees for the organization is a continuing challenge.
Recruitment is the process of finding and attracting capable individuals
to apply for employment
• Responsibility for recruitment usually belongs to the human resource
-- Recruiters: Specialists within the human resource department of
large organizations who are responsible for recruitment
• Identify job openings
-- Human resource planning
-- Requests by managers
Identify job requirements
-- Reviewing job analysis information i.e. job descriptions and
-- Requesting manager
Determine recruitment methods
-- Usually more than one method is used to find suitable candidates
e.g. school, college and university visits, advertisements, contacts
with professional and labour associations, use of government
agencies such as HRDC
Obtain applications
-- Recruitment process ends when a pool of recruits is obtained
-- The right type of applicant is more important than the number of
applications received
-- Variety of constraints may be faced (discussed later in the chapter)
Recruitment decisions may have profound implications for the
organization and its strategic success
Gaining Competitive Advantage from Human Capital
-- Highly skilled and motivated employees are a source of
competitive advantage
Chapter 5 Recruitment
• Reaping the Benefits of Diversity Management
-- Diversity provides vitality and competitive advantage
 Focusing on Employee Development
-- Organization has a choice to develop and promote internal
candidates or hire from outside
 Investing Resources into Recruitment
-- Decision on the total recruitment budget affects the quality of
recruits and the overall effectiveness of recruitment
Internal Recruiting
Slide 5
External Recruiting
Slide 6
-- Employee is familiar with the organization and its culture
-- Lower recruitment costs
-- Employee is “known” to the firm; this improves the
organization’s ability to predict the person’s success in the job
-- Improves workforce morale and motivation
-- Internal rivalry and competition for higher positions can reduce
interpersonal and interdepartmental cooperation
-- No “new blood” is brought into the system, which can prevent
creative solutions from emerging
-- Poor morale (leading to possible turnover) of employees who
were not promoted
 Advantages
-- Organization is able to acquire skills or knowledge
(competencies) that may not be currently available within
-- Newer ideas and novel ways of solving problems my emerge
 Weaknesses
-- Newcomers may not fit in with the organization and into its
present culture
-- Newcomers take a longer time to learn about the
organization’s culture, policies, and practices
-- Usually, hiring from the outside is more expensive
-- Lowered morale and motivation levels of current employees
who don’t see any career growth possibilities within the firm
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
Organizational Policies
Slide 7
Constraints on
Slide 8
2. Human Resource Plans
Recruiters need to consider the firm’s overall plan to fill existing and
future vacancies, including decisions on whether to fill internally or
by recruiting from outside
1. Organizational Policies
Promote-from-Within Policies
-- Gives present employees the first opportunity for job openings and
facilitate their career growth
Compensation Policies
-- Recruiters seldom have the authority to exceed stated pay ranges
Employment Status Policies
-- Some unionized settings have limitations against hiring part-time,
temporary, and contract workers
-- Policies may be in place against hiring employees who have
second jobs
International Hiring Policies
-- May require foreign job openings to be staffed with local citizens
3. Diversity Management Programs
Where diversity management and Employment Equity Programs
exist, recruitment must also take these programs into account
4. Recruiter Habits
The propensity of a recruiter to rely on methods, systems, or
behaviours that led to past recruitment success
Habits may perpetuate past mistakes or obscure effective alternatives
5. Environmental Conditions
• Leading Economic Indicators
-- Statistics Canada publishes the direction of the leading indicators
-- Predicted versus Actual Sales (influences recruiting)
-- Help Wanted Index (volume of want ads in major metropolitan
6. Job Requirements
• Highly specialized workers are more difficult to find than unskilled
7. Costs
Recruiters must operate within budgets and minimize expenses
wherever possible
8. Inducements
May be needed to stimulate a potential recruit’s interest
Examples include: monetary, flextime, non-traditional benefits
Chapter 5 Recruitment
Recruitment Methods
Slide 9
Recruitment Methods (cont’d)
Slide 10
Applicants today, tend to use several methods in their search for
• Walk-ins and Write-ins
-- Job seekers who arrive at or write to the human resource
department in search of a job without prior referrals and not in
response to a specific ad (includes resumes via email)
• Employee Referrals
-- Recommendations by present employees to the recruiter about
possible job applicants for a position
-- Excellent recruitment technique however, caution must be taken to
ensure this method does not intentionally or unintentionally
• Advertising
-- Want ads are the most familiar form of employment advertising
-- Blind ads are want ads that do not identify the employer
-- Other advertisements include media-billboards, television, radio,
and transit advertising
Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC)
-- Federal agency that provides programs and services for employers
and present and potential employees
-- Programs and activities include the Job Bank (database of jobs and
work opportunities); Electronic Labour Exchange (computer-based
recruitment tool); Canada WorkInfoNet (information on jobs and
recruiting); Federal Government Employment Opportunities;
YouthPath (opportunities to work at national parks, etc.); Job
Futures (information on the current and future demand for various
Private Employment Agencies
-- Take an employer’s request for recruits and then solicits job
-- May screen applicants or provide a stream of applicants for the
client’s human resource department to screen
Professional Search Firms
-- More specialized than placement agencies
-- For a fee, recruit specialized personnel by telephone, and at times,
recruit from a competitor
Educational Institutions
-- A common source of recruits for entry-level openings
-- In recent years, “co-op education” programs have become popular
Professional Associations
-- Professional associations can be a source of job seekers
• Labour Organizations
-- Local labour organizations maintain list of people with trade skills
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
who are looking for employment
Non-Traditional Recruitment
Slide 11
Job Application Forms
Slide 12
Armed Forces
-- Trained personnel leave the armed forces regularly. Many of these
people have hard-to-find skills
Government of Canada Youth Programs
-- Sources of information exist for firms that hire young persons
Temporary-Help Agencies
-- Provide “on-loan” employees for temporary jobs during vacations,
peak seasons, illnesses, etc.
Departing Employees
-- Buy-back is a method of convincing an employee who is about to
resign to stay with the organization by offering increased wages,
schedule changes, etc.
Open House and Job Fairs
-- May be useful methods to attract employees
The Internet
-- Becoming one of the most important tools to match jobs with
-- Accessible all the time, broadens the recruitment base, costeffective distribution, minimizes time needed to screen,
Non-traditional Recruitment Methods
-- Applicant Tracking Systems--databases of potential candidates to
facilitate matching of job requirements and applicants
-- Contingent/Contract/Leased Workers—includes self-employed,
temporary or leased employees
-- Alumni Associations—source of experienced employees for
technical and managerial positions
-- Direct Mail Solicitations—to target a specific population segment
or geographic area
-- Recruitment Abroad—Canada recruits skilled workers from other
countries e.g. computer programmers
Name and Address
– Are nearly universal requests—need to ensure that information
sought is job-related i.e. non-discriminatory
Employment Status
-- Employment objectives and availability
Education and Skills
-- Uncovers the job seeker’s abilities e.g. specific skills and education
Work History
-- Listing of past jobs
Military Background
-- Military experience, discharge date and type
Chapter 5 Recruitment
Evaluating Recruitment
Slide 13
Memberships, Awards, and Hobbies
-- Off-the-job activities may make one candidate preferable over
another e.g. managerial and professional positions
-- In additional to traditional references questions may explore
criminal record—must ensure job-relatedness
Signature Line
-- Candidates are usually required to sign and date their applications
-- Allows the employer to check references, verify records, etc.
-- Affirms the information is true and accurate—falsification of an
application form is grounds for discharge in most organizations
The effectiveness of the recruiting function should be evaluated on an
ongoing basis. Popular measures include:
Cost per Hire
-- The dollar cost per person recruited—should include the direct and
apportioned costs and overhead
Quality of Hires and Cost
-- Addresses the quality of people hired from various sources e.g.
performance, absenteeism
Offers-to-Applicants Ratio
-- Ratio between the number of job offers extended and the total
number of applicants calculated for each recruitment method
Time Lapsed per Hire
-- Time taken to fill a position
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
1. What background information should a recruiter
have before beginning to recruit job seekers?
5. Suppose your employer asks you, the human
resource manager, to justify the relatively large
recruiting budget that you have been historically
assigned. What arguments would you provide?
What indices or measures will you provide to show
that your recruitment is cost-effective?
Recruiters need information in two general areas:
knowledge of the constraints under which they are
expected to perform and knowledge of the particular job
to be filled. Familiarity with company policies, labour
markets, human resource plans, and affirmative action
guidelines are important constraints imposed on the
recruiter. In addition, the recruiter must have knowledge
of the particular job, either through job analysis
information or discussions with the manager who has
the job opening.
There is a need to have quality recruits, which would
allow better selection decisions to be made. Less
qualified employees may cause organizational problems
and customer irritation or dissatisfaction. There is also
the higher turnover problem with unsuitable employees,
causing additional hiring and training costs.
Some indices that can be used: cost per hire; quality of
hires and cost offers; applicant ratios; time lapsed per
hire. Figure 5-9, p. 237 shows additional measures to
evaluate the effectiveness of a company’s recruitment
2. Give three examples of how organizational
policies affect the recruitment process. Explain how
these influence a recruiter's actions.
Policies in compensation limit the money available to
attract qualified applicants. The affirmative action plan
and policies may suggest specific types and sources of
workers. Promotion-from-within policies may require
the recruiter to undertake a thorough review of present
employees before seeking applicants externally.
3. Under what circumstances would a blind ad be a
useful recruiting technique?
Whenever an employer seeks to avoid large numbers of
applicants or whenever the recruiter thinks people will
be less willing to apply if they know the employer or
nature of the job, a blind ad may be appropriate. Blind
ads also are used in order not to inform competitors of
hiring needs or to keep job incumbents from knowing
an opening exists, especially where an employee is to be
4. "If a job application omits important questions,
needed information about recruits will not be
available. But if a needless question is asked, the
information can be ignored by the recruiter without
any other complications." Do you agree or disagree?
Disagree. Needless questions that are not job-related
may be relied upon to make the final hiring decision. If
such is the case, the irrelevant information may
discriminate against a protected class.
Chapter 5 Recruitment
helpful if the recruiter had knowledge to "sell" the
company. This sales information requires an
understanding of wages, benefits, company-provided
services, the local community, opportunities for
advancement, and other information sought by
1. After months of insufficient recognition (and two
years without a raise), you accept an offer from
another firm for a $2,000-a-year raise. When you
tell your boss you are resigning, you are told how
crucial you are to the business and are offered a
raise of $2,500 per year. What do you do? Why?
What problems might exist if you accept the buyback?
4. In small businesses, managers usually handle their
own recruiting. What methods would you use for the
following situations? Why?
(a) The regular janitor is going on vacation for three
(b) Your office assistant who manages all
appointments and handles all filing in your office
has the flu and won’t be in the office for two days.
(c) Two more salespersons are needed: one for local
customers and one to open a sales office in Victoria,
British Columbia.
(d) Your only chemist is retiring and must be
replaced with a highly skilled individual.
(e) Next week, your only computer
programmer/analyst plans to begin on a three-week
leave to visit his sick mother in India. If his
mother’s health turns for the worse, he may be
delayed by another week or two.
Although there is no right answer to the first two parts
of this question, students might be brought around to
discussing the question of their obligation to the other
employer with whom they have accepted an offer.
The problems that might exist are several. The
employee might not receive another raise for some time,
having just received one. Secondly, the person's future
loyalty to the organization may be questioned, and it
may affect future promotions. Finally, nothing prevents
the first employer from firing someone it kept through a
buy-back once a replacement is found through a blind
2. Suppose you are a manager who just accepted the
resignation of a crucial employee. After you send
your request for a replacement to the human
resource department, how could you help the
recruiter do a more effective job?
Janitor. Since janitorial services cannot be left undone
for three weeks, a replacement is needed either by
temporarily assigning those duties to someone or hiring
a temporary worker or private contractor to do the
By reviewing the job description and position
description information to see if it is accurate and
complete, the manager understands the type of recruit
likely to be sought. If that information is outdated or
incomplete, a call or visit from the manager would help
the recruiter understand the needs of the job more
Office assistant. Since urgent administrative
information may have to be completed, many firms
consider hiring a temporary office worker. Sharing an
assistant or relying on an administrative support pool
within the company also may be feasible answers.
Salespersons. The local sales position may be filled
through want ads, employee referrals, or private or
public employment agencies. Filling the Victoria
position probably requires hiring a person from the
area. Private placement agencies or search firms are the
most logical source of such talent unless someone from
the company is to be transferred.
3. If at your company the regular university
recruiter became ill and you were assigned to recruit
at six universities in two weeks, what information
would you need before leaving on the trip?
The knowledge needed by a new university recruiter is
extensive. An understanding of present and future hiring
needs, specific job openings and their descriptions,
affirmative action goals, and general compensation
policies is necessary. It would also be
Chemist. To fill a highly skilled position, the manager
probably would rely on the skills of a search firm,
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
although present employees may be able to recommend
Computer programmer/analyst: To fill a highly skilled
position, on a temporary basis, the manager would
either assign the job duties to someone else in the
organization or rely on a temporary or private
contractor. The manager may wish to contact a related
professional association as a source of a qualified
person who may be seeking a temporary position.
5. You are the human resource manager in a large
auto-assembly unit employing 2000 semi-skilled and
skilled employees. Each year you recruit dozens of
full time and part time workers. Recently, the vicepresident, Finance, pointed that out that
recruitment costs in your firm are increasing
steadily. She is proposing a freeze in the recruitment
budget. What kind of information will you provide
in an effort to change her mind on the matter?
The HR manager can show her the productivity of those
who were recruited, such as error and scrap rates in
their assembly work. The turnover rate of those who
were hired would also show the benefit of maintaining
the recruitment plan
Chapter 5 Recruitment
Comments to Instructors
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It is for class discussion purposes.
Comments to Instructors
These exercises have been designed for students to demonstrate their computer and Internet skills to research the required
information. Answers will vary.
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
Incident Comments
Rapid expansion of an organization puts a considerable burden on the organization and the human resource department.
To meet the demands of rapid expansion, firms often rely on the good judgment of recruiters to know where and how to
find capable applicants. Under the circumstances described in the incident, most human resource specialists would take
the following actions.
1. Assuming you are given the responsibility of recruiting these needed employees, what channels would you use
to find and attract each type of recruit sought?
A patent lawyer with considerable experience would be found by employing a professional search firm that specializes in
legal talent. Another possibility would be to locate a professional association of patent lawyers. A third option might be
to retain a law firm with the needed staff lawyers.
A patent lawyer who is familiar with the ins and outs of the patent process and the patent office in Hull, Quebec, also is
needed. Although hiring a lawyer might be feasible through search firms or professional associations, this level of
expertise might be best obtained by retaining an appropriate law firm in Ottawa or Hull.
Twelve engineers are needed, but they represent two different groups, the experienced and the less experienced.
Experienced engineers almost certainly would be hired through a search firm. The less experienced ones might be found
at colleges and universities that the firm normally uses to recruit engineers.
An office manager and clerical staff might be found by pursuing several channels simultaneously. Want ads, private
placement agencies, Human Resource Development Canada Centres, walk-ins, and employee referrals are feasible
channels of recruitment for these skills.
2. What other actions should the human resource department take now that there is a possibility of very rapid
The human resource plan should be revised to reflect the firm's new opportunities. Based on the outcome of that effort,
additional training and recruitment might have to be started immediately in order to supply the human resources needed
to meet expansion plans.
Comment to instructor: Students’ answers will vary. The exercise should make clear to students that often their current
skills may not be sufficient to get them a job and that they may have to take certain courses, e.g. Business
Communication or Interpersonal Behaviour, to fulfill employers’ expectations.
Chapter 5 Recruitment
Answers to Discussion Questions
candidates are also encouraged to apply" is likely to be
perceived as insulting by many. (Suggestion to the
instructor: you may want to ask your female and visible
minority students about their reactions to the statements
in this ad.)
1. What is your evaluation of the recruitment
strategy used by Maple Leaf Shoes?
The recruitment methods used (e.g., ads in the local
newspapers and contacting a temporary help agency)
are not appropriate given the responsibilities and
competencies associated with the HR manager's
The student should evaluate the ad against the chapter
material and list the items that are missing in the ad.
Assuming the position is to be advertised, it should have
been done in national (or even international
publications of trade organizations and chambers of
commerce would also be more appropriate than in local
There is no single correct answer for this question.
Emphasize the content when evaluating the final ad
(especially the avoidance of illegal, discriminatory, or
unnecessary statements). You may give bonus points to
students who also give emphasis to copy layout
(emphasizing visual balance and tension and attracting
the reader's attention instantaneously).
3. Design a new recruitment advertisement for the
position of the human resource manager.
Hiring a search firm would have been a better approach
given the time constraints faced by the firm. The
position is also very critical for the survival and
prosperity of Maple Leaf Shoes. Clark's actions do not
show recognition of this fact.
4. Design an application form to be used for hiring a
human resource manager in the firm.
The application form should basically be along the lines
suggested in this chapter. The application form given in
the text chapter should however be modified to meet the
needs of a senior managerial position such as this. The
student should be asked to show a one-to-one
correspondence between the job specifications (s)he has
identified for the position and the questions in the
application form.
It should also be pointed out that the job description and
competencies expected of the new job incumbent are
not based on any systematic job analysis. Thus, the job
description used for recruitment purposes is erroneous.
2. Evaluate the recruitment advertisement. What
parts of the copy would seem undesirable? What
items are missing in the advertisement?
Once again, Poor!
The student will note that several of the criteria listed in
the text chapter for a good recruitment ad (e.g., clear
job definitions, non-sexist language) are violated in this
ad. The ad does not tell the reader very much about the
job, responsibilities, or the job challenge except in
The language is sexist and very masculine in tone.
Adjectives such as aggressive, take charge, etc. show
the firm's bias for a "macho" person to head this
function. The statement, "qualified women and minority
Part 3
Attracting Human Resources
Answer to Discussion Questions
Ninety percent of the investment managers and analysts
have at least a university degree, while only 40 percent
of the sales staff have a university degree.
1. Make your recommendation on the best
recruitment methods for each type of workforce.
Both advertisements and Internet recruitment attract the
most number of applicants for both investment
managers and analysts, and for sales staff. Internet
recruitment led to the most number of investment
managers who accepted job offers, but also the highest
number that left the firm within two years.
Advertisements led to the most number of sales staff
who accepted job offers with only two leaving within
two years. In balancing between costs and the number
of successful hires, internet recruitment appears to be
the best-suited method for the managers, while
advertisement appears to be best suited for the sales
staff. Campus recruiting (using referrals from current
employees) may also be effective due to the savings
associated with reduced training requirements.
Consideration for this method will need to be balanced
against the likelihood that allegations of discrimination
may arise.
For investment managers, their specialized skills and
experience suggests that the best recruitment method is
through professional associations and advertisement in
trade publications. Professional search firms may be
expensive but may be able to locate qualified applicants
for technical and managerial positions that are hard to
fill. For sales staff, their skills suggest that recruitment
can be done through newspaper want-ads and
educational institutions. Internet recruitment can be
used for both types of employees.
2. What other conclusions can you arrive at when
looking at the figures provided in the case?
The statistics reveal the following patterns:
Women are underrepresented among investment
managers and analysts.
Most of the investment managers and analysts are less
than 30 years old, while the sales staff have a more
balanced age distribution.