Recruitment pros and cons

Apr 5, 2011


According to Edwin B. Flippo recruitment is “the process of searching candidates for
employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation“. This creates a
pool of prospective employees for the organisation, which then selects the most
suitable candidate from this pool. The recruitment process can be divided into internal
and external recruitment, each indicating a number of pros and cons, which are
referred to in this article.

Internal recruitment is defined as ‘the process of filling vacancies by recruiting staff
from inside the organisation‘ (

A major advantage of this process would be limited or no recruitment costs – there is
no need to pay for agencies, advertisements, etc., and in addition it acts as a
motivational indicator for staff. The organisation sends a clear message to the
workforce that room for advancement is offered. Familiarity with policies, procedures
and customs is ensured and at the same time the organisation has established an
employment historing showing workers’ formal and information skill and abilities, as
well as work ethic and performance record.

The disadvantage of internal recruitment seems to be the danger of inbreeding. The
likelihood of new perspectives and innovation is restricted. Also, the organisation
needs to ensure that employment equity is adhered to, which may necessitate
external recruitment. More training to develop skills in a new role may need to be
provided to internal staff, which could lead to a more extensive training programme,
rather than to recruit someone who can immediately produce from the outside.

External recruitment refers to the process of sourcing candidates from outside the

The benefit to the organisation is that new people provide new ideas, industry specific
experience and skills. The process can be quicker especially when the job market is
full of potential candidates. Various sources can be used to find the candidate that
would suit the organisation and the role the best. Recruitment agencies and head
hunters are often used as they have extended sources to recruit from and deal with
most of the administrative aspects associated with the process. Sourcing candidates
on-line (e-recruitment) is growing in popularity with thousands of candidates to
choose from. The attractiveness of on-line recruitment is the limited costs involved, as
well as the broad geographical area it covers.

The most significant disadvantage of an external recruitment process is the cost and
the time it can take to fill a role. It can be time consuming for HR to sift through many
applications, do interviews, etc. to ensure the most suitable candidate is chosen for
the role. A method such as e-recruitment may not be effective as some candidates
are not giving the correct information when posting their applications. In addition, the
most suitable candidate may not have access to the internet or may not have placed
their CV on a suitable site.

The above highlights the different methods as well as the potential pros and cons
associated with each method. In the end the purpose of a recruiment process is to
enable the organisation to meet its goals and to become and remain the most
competitive in their sphere. The recruitment process needs to meet these
requirements to be effective.

Assessments: To add value to the recruitment process, it is recommended that
organisations add competency based or psychometric assessments to decide on the
most suitable candidate. These instruments can determine current and future
potential in a much more accurate manner than interviews and reference checking. It
assists with the difficult process of determining conceptual abilities, personality type,
conflict handling, etc. in an interview and reference check. By using assessments,
line management would certainly have more information about the candidate to make
an informed decision.

This information is published for general information purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular situation. Maserumule will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this publication. Consent must be obtained from Maserumule before the information provided herein is reproduced in any way. No person shall have any claim of any nature whatsoever arising out of, or in connection with, the information provided herein against Maserumule and/or any of its personnel.