Among the many definitions of Human Resource Management (HRM), this paper will approach it from a sistemic perspective. That is to say, HRM comprises the whole range of activities from the need to fill a free post to the time when an employee leaves the firm. The first one is the recruitment process, which is divided into three stages: Application, selection and socialization. This paper will leave out the latter, focusing in the use of HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) for the recruitment process until the final appointment decision.
Specifically, the first decision to be made by the firm is whether the recruitment will be internal or external. Table 1 shows a comparative between the pros and cons of each type of recruitment. As it can be seen, the internal recruitment has, initially, more advantages than the external. This is why several academics (e.g. Deguy, 1989; Peña Baztán, 1990 and Díez de Castro et al., 2002) recommend this option whenever it is feasible and suitable. Only in those cases that this is not valid or sufficient, the firm must resort to external recruitment. Nevertheless, it is necessary to keep in mind that this statement is to be taken cautiously. There is no perfect recruitment method; the choice will have to be made considering the particular circumstances of the firm and its objectives. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (EMCIS) 2006, July 6-7 2006, Costa Blanca, Alicante, Spain
J. A. Fernandez-Sanchez et al.
Use of HRIS in recruitment process. The Spanish case.
Internal recruitment External recruitment
advantages disadvantages Advantages disadvantages
Low cost Limited offer Higher number of
Faster results Interest conflicts Slower
Better knowledge of
Lack of authority due to
excess of trust
No prior knowledge of
Lack of innovation and
Encourage change and
Business culture is
Business culture may
modifications in culture
Likely cultural shock
Increases the build up
Factor for attraction and
upkeep of staff
Table 1. Internal vs. external recruitment
The optimal use of internal recruitment processes requires possessing an updated and accurate knowledge of the personnel of the firm (Leal Millán et al., 1999), for which a HRIS can be used. The simplest and cheapest of them all, most likely, is a human resource inventory (also known as Internal IS): a database or registrar in which the largest amount of information possible is kept. Basic data to be included in this database are the personal details, the recruitment dates, the positions held, promotions, and other observations regarding their performance and potential (Peña Baztán, 1990). Following this, it must be reminded that the internal recruitment sources are to be employed wisely, because, on occasion, they may lead to deception instead of motivation. Likewise, in order to ensure that all internal and external (if any) applications are considered equally, the former should be complemented with the most complete information available (Besseyre des Horts, 1988). Considering this frame of work, this paper intends to test two main hypotheses on the topic of the use of these recruitment sources from an empirical point of view. On the one hand, regarding the relationship between HRIS and internal recruitment processes: Hypothesis 1: “The firms that deploy HRIS in their internal recruitment processes will perform better than those who do not do it”.
On the other hand, following those authors that recommend internal over external recruitment decisions, the research inquires whether:
Hypothesis 2: “The firms that prefer internal recruitment decisions over external recruitment will perform...