Issues in Recruitment Strategies: an Economic Perspective

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Issues in recruitment strategies: an economic perspective
Giovanni Russo, Piet Rietveld, Peter Nijkamp and Cees Gorter

Introduction
The problem a firm is facing when confronted with one or more job vacancies can in general be succinctly described as: “How do I find the right candidate with the required qualifications as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible costs?”. Clearly this is a matter of addressing the right recruitment channels and following the right procedures. Central to the development of the search strategy is the flow of relevant information between the two sides of the labour market (in the form of external communication), namely employers with vacancies versus job seekers. There is, however, one more information flow that may affect the recruitment procedure, namely the one between the personnel department and the rest of the firm. This type of internal communication allows the personnel manager to design the most appropriate manpower strategies that will enable the firm to anticipate changes in the market conditions (also in terms of training). To do so the personnel manager must be forward looking and be well aware of foreseeable developments, for example new technologies in the production process and their demand in terms of human skills. In reality, one observes significant differences in the stress firms put on internal communication. These differences may vary according to size, sector or tradition. In fact bigger firms tend to have a better structured internal communication, but still the gathering of information is seldomly done on a regular basis; often actions are taken only in case of necessity (for example recruitment because of a vacancy). The situation tends to be even worse in small firms where the role of human resource planning and internal communication is often not considered at all[1], so that only a little information on function specification and requirements is available, even from internal sources. Besides, the branch in which the firms operate also plays an important role; in fact, there are sectors in which human resources traditionally receive more attention, such as the hotel and restaurant sector, the construction sector or the graphic sector; on This research has been sponsored by the Economic Research Foundation (ESR), which is part of The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

The authors Giovanni Russo, Piet Rietveld, Peter Nijkamp and Cees Gorter are at the Department of Spatial Economics, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Abstract In the last two decades the economic literature has devoted significant attention to the mechanisms behind firms’ recruitment strategies as a possible way of reducing (un)employment problems. At the workfloor many efforts have also been made by firms to develop strategies that both alleviate conflicts with employees and at the same time lead to acceptable levels of productivity. This effort has resulted in the broad acceptance of the personnel management function in the firm. Examines how successful this approach has been by focussing on the gap between practice and theory in recruitment, investigating the extent to which and the way in which experiences and findings from actual recruitment (personnel management) have been incorporated in economic theory. Gives an overview of findings on recruitment and selection strategies of firms, with a particular emphasis on economic motives.

The International Journal of Career Management Volume 7 · Number 3 · 1995 · pp. 3–13 © MCB University Press · ISSN 0955-6214

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Issues in recruitment strategies: an economic perspective

The International Journal of Career Management Volume 7 · Number 3 · 1995 · 3–13

Giovanni Russo, Piet Rietveld, Peter Nijkamp and Cees Gorter

the other hand, the health care and the metal sector are often characterized by a low profile in personnel management[1]. From an economic point of view recruitment can be seen as the purchase of one of the...
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