Recruitment Sources and Strategies – External Sources




External Sources

External recruitment sources refer to a recruitment and hiring process where the hiring manager has no prior knowledge or experience with the candidates. Re-hiring former employees also falls under external recruitment sourcing as the affiliation between the organization and the employee would have been non-existent at the time of recruitment.

Effective strategies for external recruitment include:

Job Postings

Advertising on print is a convenient way for organizations to expose the position to a wide pool of candidates. Organizations can also promote the job postings online with their websites, via social media, and on industry-specific recruitment boards. Job postings typically state the requirements for the vacancy in question as well as a means to communicate with the firm if one is interested.

Online Hiring

The job market is becoming more globalized and unconventional every day. Some organizations forego traditional hiring methods, instead hiring virtual employees and outsourcing. This method allows firms to hire and manage employees without being in the same space. Workers in such an environment use methods such as telecommunication and job sharing to streamline and complete tasks appointed to them.

College Recruitment

When there is significant competition for talent within an industry, organizations can participate in college career fairs to recruit college graduates who will be entering the workforce.

External recruitment sources, like internal sources, have advantages and disadvantages. They can be time-consuming, expensive, and laborious. However, bringing in external talent sponsors a fresh perspective to organizational policies, procedures, and processes. This fresh perspective promotes organizational change and innovation. Organizations should be aware of different recruitment sources and strategies, as well as their needs, before settling on any of these alternatives.


Recruitment Sources and Strategies – Internal Sources



Once an organization understands who they are trying to recruit, they can then determine how to find candidates. This can be done by looking internally within the organization or externally from the available labor pool, both of which have their advantages and disadvantages. In making this decision, it is vital to evaluate the company culture, the scope of the job being advertised, and the need for stability or the need for new ideas.

Internal Sources

Filling a position from an internal source can beneficial to the morale of the organization. Further, employees within the organization make for a good pool of candidates, especially when an organization invests in its employees. When internal candidates are hired, there is already an understanding of their work ethic, knowledge, strengths, and areas of growth. Also, the candidate is already familiar with the work environment and the operations of the organization. This allows for a shorter transition period, minimal downtime, and continuity of operations. In addition to the impact on morale and operations, internal recruitment is also cost and time effective. Effective sources for internal recruitment include:

Job Postings

Job postings give current employees the ability to respond to announcements of open positions within the organization. When posting a position, it should include a brief description of the position, primary job functions, and minimum qualifications. This allows employees an equal opportunity to apply for positions that they meet the minimum requirements of. Many organizations publicize job openings using internal memos and informal communication. Once the posting is distributed, employees can apply for the position to receive consideration.

Job Bidding

Job bidding allows employees to express interest in positions they are qualified for before the position becomes available. Once reviewed to determine if the employee meets the qualifications of the position, the employee is then placed into a tracking system and will automatically be considered for the position when it becomes available.

Employee Referrals/Recommendations

Referrals and recommendations are popular, informal ways of securing employees for new jobs during the recruitment process. This is generally seen when a mid-level manager recommends a subordinate to fill a particular position. With this method, they are generally familiar with the needs of the position and will recommend individuals who will fit.

Internal recruitment sources are convenient and efficient sources of labor when an organization desires to increase production, save on costs, and retain its culture. However, promoting internally can result in the “we’ve always done it that way” mentality, reducing creativity and innovation.

Recruitment Sources and Strategies – What is Recruitment?



A major component of organizational success is the ability to attract and recruit a highly-skilled, high performing workforce. Despite the high correlation between recruitment and organizational success, recruitment processes and practices continue to be overlooked by managers. As a result, HR professionals must be able to communicate the value of developing effective recruitment strategies.

What is Recruitment?

While there are many different variations of the definitions of recruitment, they all share the element of bringing the human resource into an organization to help the organization achieve its goals. Dennis Costello defined recruitment as “the set of activities and processes used to legally obtain a sufficient number of qualified people at the right place and time so that the people and the organization can select each other in their own best short and long-term interests” (Costello, 2006).

Simply defined, recruitment is sourcing, attracting, and securing individuals with the necessary skills, values, and competencies to assist the organization in achieving its short-term and long-term goals. For a recruitment process to be effective, there must be processes and policies in place within the organization that will support the recruitment strategies. Each organization has slightly different recruitment strategies; however, most go through common steps which are outlined below:

  • Development of recruitment and retention policies that support recruitment strategies.
  • Determine the recruitment needs as well as the resources available to it to attract and retain candidates.
  • Determine the most effective recruitment source.
  • Design the job available by determining the role and compensation for the available role(s).
  • Select the candidate for the position.
    • Assess the availability of resources within the organization.
    • Assess the talent pool to determine the best candidates for the position(s).
    • Hire the most highly qualified candidates to fill the position(s).