Table of Contents
Recruitment means selecting proper and suitable candidates for particular jobs. In other words, it is the process through which suitable candidates are induced to compete for an appointment to the public service. There are different methods of recruitment. Out of these the following types of Recruitment are being followed in various countries of the world:
(1) Direct Recruitment and Indirect Recruitment.
(2) Positive Recruitment and Negative Recruitment.
(3) Mass Recruitment and Individual Recruitment.
Direct Recruitment and Indirect Recruitment:
In recruitment for higher positions, the problem arises whether these should be open to all the qualified candidates who may wish to apply or restricted to persons who are already in service. Direct recruitment means the recruitment of employees through the prescribed methods from all available sources of supply. When the vacant posts in the government are filled up by the suitable and qualified candidates available in the open market, it is called Direct Recruitment. Normally, the lower-level posts in all the departments are filled by Direct Recruitment.
Indirect recruitment is also known as recruitment by promotion. When recruitment is made for new and higher posts from amongst qualified persons already employed in government services, it is called Indirect Recruitment. Posts at the higher level are filled up by indirect methods or by promotion.
Both these types of recruitment have been adopted in different countries. Many countries use these two methods simultaneously. Each has its merits as well as demerits.
Merits of Direct Recruitment:
The following are the merits of Direct Recruitment:
(1) Direct Recruitment gives an opportunity for employment to young and qualified persons.
(2) Direct Recruitment creates a sense of hard work among candidates for improving their qualifications.
(3) Through the induction of fresh and qualified personnel, Direct Recruitment Method makes it possible for a service to keep pace with the changing conditions and techniques.
(4) In the Direct Method of Recruitment, the source of supply of personnel is wider than in the Indirect Recruitment.
(5) Direct Recruitment is more democratic in nature. It is based on democratic principles because it gives an equal opportunity to all qualified persons to get employment.
Demerits of Direct Recruitment:
The following are the demerits of Direct Recruitment:
(1) A most major flaw of Direct Recruitment is that those who are recruited to the responsible posts are inexperienced. They have no administrative experience.
(2) Serving employees’ experience, hard work, and efficiency is virtually neglected in Direct Recruitment.
(3) Serving employees may shift to other prosperous/lucrative services if there are fewer chances of future promotion.
(4) The Direct Recruitment method increases the burden of the recruiting agencies.
(5) Directly recruited personnel to have to be given training for several months.
(6) When persons are directly recruited from outside, it leaves little chance of progress for those who are already in the service of the organization.
Merits of Indirect Recruitment:
The following are the merits of Indirect Recruitment:
(1) The most important advantage of Indirect Recruitment is that those persons who get recruited are experienced persons who have been already in service in the same department.
(2) When persons are recruited from within, there is no need for prolonged training for them.
(3) Indirect Recruitment provides an opportunity to the employees for progress and advancement in service.
(4) This method encourages the employees to work hard for getting promotions.
(5) In Indirect Recruitment, appointments are made from within. It makes it possible for the utilization of the hard work, efficiency, and experience of the existing employees for the good of society.
(6) The Indirect Recruitment method or recruitment by promotion reduces the burden of the Public Service Commissions.
(7) The service record of the existing employees helps the employers to give promotions to those who have already proved their merit.
Demerits of Indirect Recruitment:
The following are the demerits of Indirect Recruitment:
(1) The major disadvantage of Indirect Recruitment is that it is undemocratic. It gives the opportunity to only a limited number of persons who are already in service.
(2) In Indirect Recruitment, the persons are appointed from within. In it, young and competent persons are denied the chance to enter the services.
(3) It is a source of conservatism in recruitment. Existing personnel are promoted. There is little scope for the induction of new ideas.
(4) The source of supply is narrow and restricted. Most of the appointments are made only from within.
After studying the merits and demerits of the two types of recruitment, we can say that each system has some positive and negative aspects. In the process of recruitment, no one system is exclusively adopted. A good policy of recruitment always involves a combination of both direct and Indirect Recruitment methods.
Positive Recruitment and Negative Recruitment:
Positive Recruitment- It means an active search for the best. In other words, the positive method of recruitment is in operation when the recruiting agency actively searches for the best qualified and competent candidates for appointment in government services. In it, new techniques such as advertisement of posts, campus scanning, etc. are employed to attract screen and employ the best possible brains and talents for public services.
Under this system, as Pfiffner remarks, the emphasis is on “how to induce the best to serve the state and how to assess their abilities to ensure that each will be placed where he belongs.”
Stahle specifies the following as the elements of Positive Recruitment:
(1) Discovery and activation of the employment market for posts in public services.
(2) Use of attractive recruitment literature and publicity.
(3) Use of scientific tests for determining the abilities of the candidates.
(4) Tapping capable candidates from within the services.
(5) Placement programme which assigns the right man to the right job.
(6) A follow-up probationary programme as an integral part of the process.
Negative Recruitment- On the contrary, the negative method of recruitment aims at keeping the unqualified and unfit candidates out without adopting any active role in attracting the best candidates. Under this system, the emphasis is less on providing competent and able persons for public services and more on getting employees in the open market. It seeks to eliminate political influence and favoritism but fails to concentrate on the task of selecting the best persons.
In earlier times, this system was practiced for eliminating the spoil system. But the little attempt was made to recruit a competent body of civil servants. Even in the 20th century, this method was adopted when the number of applicants was much more than the available vacancies. In such a situation, unqualified and less competent persons are eliminated by this negative method of recruitment. The major defect of this system is that while aiming at the elimination of political favoritism, it goes in for the recruitment of mediocrities. The able and competent persons are kept out of public service. As Kingsley Donald remarks, “The rascals have been kept out perhaps, but so have been many men of vision and ability.” No wonder then, the negative method of recruitment stands disfavored today and the positive method stands accepted as the ideal method of recruitment. The negative method, however, continues to be used in the appointment of technical experts in civil services. Since highly qualified and technical personnel experts do not get easily attracted towards civil service, the attempt has to be made to recruit the willing among the available trained manpower. Here, the need is to prevent favoritism and thereby recruit out of the available merit. For most, almost all types of civil servants, now, the positive recruitment method is being used with a few exceptions of course.
To sum up, we can say that at present, in most of the countries, the positive method is in use and for recruitment, several means like newspaper advertisements, publicity literature, use of the mass media, cinema slides, etc., are adopted to attract the best candidates to come forward for joining public service.
Mass Recruitment and Individual Recruitment:
When a large number of non-technical unspecialized posts of a general nature are to be filled up, then mass recruitment techniques are adopted. Advertisements in mass media of communication, a large number of applications, the cumbersome procedure of examination and interviews, etc. have to be adopted to fill up a large number of vacant posts. Individual recruitment is possible and desirable only in cases where the number of posts to be filled in is very small and the selection of the candidates is generally done through interviews. It is operational in recruiting highly specialized technocrats, whose number is quite limited.