Everything you need to know about external sources of recruitment. If the existing workforce is not sufficient to cater to the future demand of the organization or falling short of the required skill sets or technical know-how, then the management may lookout for personnel from the external sources.

It is a fact that the organizations do not get the required number and quality of personnel internally all the time. It is, therefore, needed to get them externally i.e. outside the organization.

External sources of recruitment mean the sources outside the organization that gives the indication of prospective employees / candidates as per requirement of the organization.

External sources denote recruitment from sources outside the organisation. Many a time, suitable candidates are not available from the internal sources. In order to meet the demands of the company, the external sources have to be used.


The external sources of recruitment are:-

1. Direct Recruitment 2. Casual Callers 3. Advertising 4. Employment Exchanges 5. Placement Agencies 6. Management Consultants 7. Campus Recruitment 8. Recommendations by the Existing Employees 9. Labour Contractors 10. Telecasting 11. Web Publishing 12. Unsolicited Applicants 13. Temporary Help Service 14. Leasing and a Few Others.

External Sources of Recruitment: Direct Recruitment, Advertising, Employment Exchanges, Placement Agencies and a Few More

External Sources of Recruitment – 11 Major Sources of Recruitment

External sources denote recruitment from sources outside the organisation. Many a time, suitable candidates are not available from the internal sources. In order to meet the demands of the company, the external sources have to be used.

The personnel department may use the following external sources of recruitment:

External Source # 1. Direct Recruitment:


The unemployed persons may contact the employment section of various enterprises to ascertain if they can be casually employed. Many firms follow the practice of recruitment at factory gate to fill casual vacancies. Such workers are known as Budli Workers. This method is very useful for recruiting unskilled workers. It does not involve cost of advertising the vacancies. Whenever the regular workers absent themselves in large number or whenever there is rush of work, this source of recruitment may be used.

External Source # 2. Casual Callers:

In case of reputed organisations, many qualified people apply for employment on their own initiative. Such applications are known as unsolicited applications or casual callers. They serve as a good source of manpower. A proper file may be kept of such applications and the candidates may be called whenever the need arises.

External Source # 3. Advertising:

Advertising a job has become the fashion of the day with the large companies particularly when the vacancy is for a higher post or when there are a large number of vacancies. This helps in approaching the candidates spread over different parts of the country. Information about the job descriptions and job specifications can be given in the advertisement so that only the candidates who think themselves to be suitable may apply only. This method also increases the choice of the management.

External Source # 4. Employment Exchanges:

There is a network of employment exchanges in the country which is run by the Government has also made it compulsory for the employers to fill some vacancies through the employment exchanges. Thus, employment exchanges play an important role.

External Source # 5. Placement Agencies:


Professional bodies have come into existence which provides their services to the enterprises for recruitment and selection of employees. These agencies specialise in the supply of particular categories of workers.

External Source # 6. Management Consultants or Head Hunters:

Management consultancy firms help the organisations to recruit technical, professional and managerial personnel. They specialise in middle level and top level executive placements. They maintain data bank of persons with different qualification and skills and even advertise the jobs on behalf of their clients to recruit right type of personnel.

External Source # 7. Campus Recruitment:

Colleges and institutes of management and technology have become a popular source of recruitment for technical, professional and managerial jobs. Many big organisations maintain a close liaison with the universities, vocational schools and management institutes to recruit qualified personnel for various jobs. Recruitment from educational institutions is the well-established practice of business and other organisations. This is referred to as ‘campus recruitment’.

External Source # 8. Recommendations by the Existing Employees:

Some employers recruit employees on the basis of recommendations of the existing workers. This policy creates goodwill among the present employees and helps in finding reliable candidates.

External Source # 9. Labour Contractors:

Recruitment may also take place through intermediaries known as agents or labour contractors. In some cases, the labour contractors are themselves the members of the companies concerned. This system of recruitment has lost popularity these days. If a labour contractor leaves enterprise, the workers employed through him will also leave the organisation. Thus, it is not a reliable method of employment.

External Source # 10. Telecasting:

The practice of telecasting of vacant posts over T.V. (Doordarshan and other channels) is gaining importance these days. The detailed requirements of the job and the qualities required to do it are publicised along with the profile of the organisation where the vacancy exists.

External Source # 11. Web Publishing:

Internet is becoming a popular source of recruitment these days. There are certain websites specifically dedicated for the purpose of providing information about job seekers and job opening both. In fact, websites such as www(dot)naukri(dot)com. www(dot)jobstreet(dot)com etc., are very commonly visited both by the perspective employees and the organisations searching for suitable people.

Advantages of External Sources of Recruitment:

The merits of external sources include the following:


(i) External sources provide a large number of applicants. This permits the enterprise to have a free hand in making the right choice of candidates.

(ii) The enterprise can expect to get fresh, talented candidates from outside. This means infusion of new blood and new ideas into the enterprise.

(iii) Internal candidates have to compete with outside candidates for the higher jobs. It serves as inducement for the existing employees to show better performance.

Limitations of External Recruitment:


The limitations of external source include the following:

(i) Recruitment from outside may cause dissatisfaction and frustration among the existing employees who aspire for promotion.

(ii) External recruitment takes more time than the internal recruitment since the enterprise has to publicise the vacancies, and wait for the response of prospective candidates.

(iii) The prospective candidates from outside may or may not be good for the enterprise. There is no guarantee that the enterprise will be able to attract suitable applicants even after advertisement and other steps.


(iv) It is very costly to recruit staff from external sources. A lot of money has to be spent on advertisement and processing of applications.

External Sources of Recruitment Top 10 Sources Outside the Organisation (With Merits and Demerits)

It is a fact that the organizations do not get the required number and quality of personnel internally all the time. It is, therefore, needed to get them externally i.e. outside the organization. External sources of recruitment mean the sources outside the organization that gives the indication of prospective employees / candidates as per requirement of the organization.

External Sources include:

i. Employment exchange

ii. Professional agencies / placement consultants / search consultants

iii. Educational institutions


iv. Merger, acquisition / takeover

v. Unsolicited applicants

vi. Temporary help services

vii. Leasing

viii. Independent contractors

ix. Family relations


x. Trade unions.

The details of the above external sources are discussed below:

i. Employment Exchange:

This is a statutory body constituted by the Government to help the organizations in getting suitable candidates for employment as also to inform the registered candidates about the vacancies cropped up in the organizations. Companies can obtain list of candidates from employment exchange on sending request to them.

In case of government offices and public sector units it is obligatory to notify vacancies to the respective employment exchanges before they are filled, as per Employment Exchange (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act. 1959.

ii. Professional Agencies / Search Consultants / Placement Consultants:

These private placement firms keep records of job seekers, remain in constant touch with them and inform them about prospective employment. Organizations may take the services of such professional agencies for filling up the vacancies against fees charged by them.

Some professional firms are mainly involved in finding out suitable executives, particularly in the middle management/senior management level and supply them to the business houses as and when requested. Such professional organizations are also called body shoppers or head hunters.

iii. Educational Institutions:


Today educational institutions are good providers of fresh candidates to the companies, particularly in the area of management, engineering, computer applications. The schools like IIMS, NTS and other universities, management institutes, engineering institutes arrange for campus recruitment of their final year students for different companies in the institutions, keep a good rapport, liaison with the business houses who as per requirement select the students for employment.

As a, prerequisite or a step towards selection some companies arrange (as per request of the universities, institutes) for industrial training and live project work of the students at their organizations before campus recruitment takes place.

iv. Merger, Acquisition and Takeover:

It happens that some organizations take the services of some employees of other organizations who are declared surplus after the merger, acquisition and takeover process takes place. Such organizations, contact other organizations which take over / acquire other companies for supply the list of personnel as per specification.

v. Unsolicited Applicants:

Sometimes organizations receive applications for employment from various candidates. In such cases, companies keep records of those candidates in respect of qualification, age, experience, present status, area of interest, aptitude etc. and feed the information in the computer. Companies may use this sources for the purpose of selection as and when need arises.

vi. Temporary Help Service:

This is one of the external sources of recruitment. Company may need the services of some employees for a temporary period in some areas of activities. So, it may contact temporary help service agency who provides employees for temporary period. Sometime, retired officers / employees, ex-servicemen work with companies for a short period.

Under such arrangement both the parties-company and individuals are benefitted. Company gets motivated, willing, experienced, senior, effective employees at minimum salary with no obligation to pay pension and retrial benefits. Individuals use employment place as a platform to have fun out of work, to pass on time, to avoid drudgery of retired life, and also to get compensation in exchange for service to meet up day to day needs.

vii. Leasing:


Company may contact leasing firm to provide employees to perform such functions which are temporary in nature. Company makes consolidated payment against the services of such employees and has no obligation to provide welfare, social security benefits, retrial benefits, increment, etc.

viii. Independent Contractors:

This is like an outsourcing agency. The company contacts independent contractor to perform some specific function at the company premises or at the premises of the employees. If the work is done at the person’s residence, he keeps informed to the management of the company over phone, fax, e-mail about the day to day progress of the job.

Such arrangement is cheap as cost of work is much less than the cost occurred in the event of being performed by regular employee. Company has no financial obligation to pay provident fund, gratuity and other retiral benefits.

ix. Family Relations:

If the establishment is family owned firm, relatives are given preference for employment. Under such cases, the qualities like loyalty, trust, commitment get priority and these exist amongst new entrants.

x. Trade Unions:

Some organizations may obtain lists of candidates from trade union leaders. Such organizations may develop understanding with union leaders in respect of recruitment of some candidates, to maintain peace and harmony in the organization.

Benefits of External Sources of Recruitment:

Benefits of recruitment from external sources are mentioned herein below:

1. Management has a wider scope to select people from amongst large number of candidates. Hence, it is possible to get killed, right kind of people for the organization.

2. It is possible to make the people accept changes in the organization as their leaders/executives who are selected externally are dynamic and change personalities.

3. It helps to create a balance in employee composition which can bring a culture of mutuality, essential for growth and development of the organization.

4. Staff cost under external recruitment process is comparatively less than the staff cost under internal recruitment process particularly, when people are promoted on seniority basis. Generally, new candidates are given initial salary / minimum emoluments.

5. Selection of people is made on the basis of skill, ability, experience, competences people possess, as per requirement of job; and scope of influencing selectors is very remote.

6. Organization gets right kind of people, ensures delivery of quality goods and services to the customers.

7. External candidates are free from inbuilt preferences and prejudices.

8. Reservoir of quality, dynamic, committed human resource is created.

Disadvantages of External Sources of Recruitment:

Recruitment from external sources has following disadvantages:

1. Existing employees get demotivated as they do not find scope of going ahead in their career.

2. Employees feel dissatisfied, unhappy as their psychological need, recognition, status, authority which come from position, higher assignment through promotion, remain unfulfilled.

3. It makes the existing employees disloyal, discontented as the employees develop a mind-set / impression about the management, that it is not people centred / concerned for people.

4. It reduces the level of morale of the employees, increases absenteeism and labour turnover rate.

5. It affects organizational growth and development as production is decreased, quality of product is deteriorated, accident rate is increased.

6. Cost of training, induction, recruitment of external candidates affects economic health and profit of the company.

7. This process is expensive and time consuming.

8. External candidates take much time to adjust with organizational environment, culture and to acquaint with the people of the organization.

9. It generates a feeling of insecurity amongst the existing employees.

External Sources of Recruitment – 2 Main Sources: Direct and Indirect Sources

If the existing workforce is not sufficient to cater to the future demand of the organization or falling short of the required skill sets or technical know-how, then the management may lookout for personnel from the external sources. Recruitment may be done directly or indirectly from the external sources.

i. Direct External Recruitment:

a. Advertisements – Advertisement in dailies, journals, magazines, etc., has been the primary tool in revealing the job vacancies in the organization to the potential job seeker. The main advantage of this method is that it has a wide reach.

b. Unsolicited applicants – Unsatisfied employees and unemployed job seekers keep looking out for a better opening to begin their career elsewhere. These job seekers do apply to various organizations voluntarily.

c. Walk-ins – The unemployed job seekers visit organizations in search of job openings. They are considered as direct external source for recruitment.

d. Campus recruitment – As change is a perennial factor it has also affected recruitment. Rather than letting the job seekers to knock doors of the organization, the companies go to educational institutions to absorb good young minds.

e. Recruitment at the factory gate – Casual and unskilled employees are sometimes recruited at the factory gate as and when required. They are employed temporarily and paid on hourly or daily basis.

f. E-Recruitment – The evolution and revolution in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has enabled the recruiters to reach out to the potential job seekers worldwide. Online recruitment through internet has become an inevitable external source of recruitment.

ii. Indirect External Recruitment:

a. Employee referral – The employees of the organization may recommend some of their known people whom they believe could be fit for filling the existing vacancies. The recruiter, out of the employees’ trustworthiness, may consider his word of mouth referral and absorb the referred person.

b. Public employment exchanges – There are public employment exchanges established by Governments which facilitate recruitment throughout the country. Its primary objective is to bridge the gap between job seekers and job providers by providing sufficient relevant information to both, to choose the best among the available choices.

c. Private employment agencies – Similar to the Government employment exchanges, there are private employment exchanges which enable -the job seekers and job providers to meet and get their objective achieved.

d. Employment consultancies – Private consultancy firms facilitate recruitment on behalf of client companies at cost. These agencies are particularly suitable for recruitment of executives and specialists. It is also known as RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing).

e. Professional associations – It is also called ‘headhunters’. The professional and technical positions are filled through professional associations such as The Institute of Chartered Accountants, The Indian Medical Association, The Institute of Training and Development, The Institute of Engineers, All India Management Association, etc. These professional associations serve as a source of external recruitment to find suitable personnel for the organization.

f. Deputation – To cater to the temporary need of personnel to do a specific job in a particular department or unit, the employees are deputed for a certain period of time.

g. Word-of-mouth – In this method of recruitment, the information about the job vacancies is passed on through people to learn from them the source of potential personnel for recruitment.

h. Labour contractors – Unskilled and manual laborers are recruited through labour contractors.

i. Job portals – There are several job portals available on the internet which helps both the job seekers and the job providers to get in touch with each other and get their demands met.

External Sources of Recruitment – 17 Most Effective Sources: Advertising, Employment Agencies, Management Consultants, Referrals, Casual Labour and a Few Other Sources

Inevitably (unavoidably), the companies must go to external sources for lower-entry jobs, for expansion and for positions whose specifications cannot be met by the existing manpower. Certain recruitment sources are found to be more effective than others.

We therefore attempt to discuss each source below:

Source # 1. Advertising:

Advertising in newspapers, trade journals, bulletins, publications and magazines is the most frequently used method. In order to be successful, an advertisement should be carefully written. If it is not properly written, it may not draw the right type of applicants, or it may attract too many applicants who are not qualified for the job.

By means of advertisement the organisation is able to communicate its requirement of people, some of whom may be its prospective employees. An advertisement contains brief statement of the nature of jobs, the type of people required, and procedure for applying for these jobs.

There is a trend towards more selective recruitment in advertising. This can be affected in at least two ways. First, advertisements can be placed in media read only by particular groups.

For example- The tool engineer is ordinarily read by production engineers. Secondly, more information about the company, the job, and the job specification (age, education, experience) can be included in the advertisement to permit some self-screening. When time is limited, the daily newspaper, particularly the Sunday edition, will reach the maximum number in the shortest period.

Employment news in a leading government publication which serves as sources of Recruitment. Sometimes, advertisements are placed in magazines read only by particular groups. For example, Data Quest for computer professionals, Business Today for management, etc.

The advertisement is the most fragile contact between prospective candidates and the potential employer. Also, as each advertisement competes with many others for attention marketing people have a simple but effective guide — AIDA — for creating good advertisement.

A- Attract the reader’s attention

I- Generate interest in the vacancy

D- Create desire for the job

A- Stimulate the reader to take action

Advertising is very useful for recruiting blue-collar and hourly workers, as well as scientific, professional, and technical employees. Local newspaper can be a good source of blue-collar workers, clerical employees and lower-level administrative employees.

The main point is that the higher the position in the organisation, or the more specialised the skills sought, the more widely dispersed advertisement is likely to be. The search for top executive might include advertisement in a national periodical, while the advertisement of blue-collar jobs is usually confined to the daily newspapers or regional trade journals.

Here, it’s easy to place job ads without much of a lead-time. It has flexibility in terms of information and can conveniently target a specific geographic location. On the negative side, newspaper ads tend to attract only those who are actively seeking employment at that point of time, while some of the best candidates who are well paid and challenged by their current jobs may not be aware of such openings.

As a result, the company may be bombarded with applications from a large number of candidates who are marginally qualified for the job — adding to its administrative burden. To maintain secrecy for various reasons (avoiding the rush, sending signals to competitors, cutting down expenses involved in responding to any individual who applies, etc.), large companies with a national reputation may also go in for blind-box ads in newspapers, especially for filling lower level positions.

In a blind- box ad, there is no identification of the advertising organisation. Job aspirants are asked to respond to a post office box number or to an employment firm that is acting as an agent between the job seeker and the organisation.

A number of factors influence the response rate to advertisements. There are three important variables- identification of the organization, labour market conditions, and the degree to which specific requirements are included in the advertisement.

The classified advertisement section of a daily newspaper or the Sunday weekly edition of the Hindustan Times, The Times of India, The Tribune, Bharat Jyoti, The National Herald, The Free Press Journal, The Pioneer, Amrit Bazaar Patrika, The Economic Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, etc., carry advertisements for all types of positions.

Such advertisements enable prospective candidates to screen themselves in order to find out whether they are fit for the job for which the advertisements has been issued.

According to advertisement tactics and strategy in personnel recruitment, three points need to be borne in mind before an advertisement is inserted. First, to visualise the type of applicant one is trying to recruit. Second, to write out a list of the advantages a company offers; in other words, why the reader should work for the company. Third, to decide where to run the advertisement, not only in which area but in which newspaper having a local, state or nationwide circulation.

Television and Radio Ads:

These are more likely to reach individuals who are not actively seeking employment; they are more likely to stand out distinctly, they help the organisation to target the audience more selectively and they offer considerable scope for designing ads creatively. However, these ads are expensive.

Also, television or radio is simply seen or heard, potential candidates may have a tough time remembering the details, making application difficult.

Advertisements can be used both for local recruitment effort and for regional, national and international searches. For example, clinical psychologist often finds jobs through listing in the American psychological association’s monthly newsletter. For specialised employees, they can give an advertisement in trade and professional journals, like American psychologist, sales management, electronic news and travel trade.

Internet Advertising and Career Sites:

Employees are increasingly turning to the web as a recruitment tool because online ads are relatively cheap, are more dynamic and can often produce faster results than newspaper help-wanted ads. It is also a convenient tool for job seekers. Thousands of career websites exist and almost all are free to people searching for job.

For example, Monster(dot)com- job seekers can search for jobs by industry, geographic location and in some case, by job description. The former practice of going through the Sunday help wanted ads with a Highlighter in hand is rapidly becoming a theme of the past.

Suitability- We get qualified and experienced staff.

Clerk, peon and workers are recruited by giving advertisement in local newspapers.

Top executives are recruited by giving advertisements in newspapers, periodicals, bulletins, journals, magazines, etc.

Source # 2. Employment Agencies:

As a statutory requirement, companies are also expected to notify (wherever the Employment Exchanges Act, 1959, applies) their vacancies through the respective Employment Exchanges, created all over India for helping unemployed youth, displaced persons, ex-military personnel, physically handicapped, etc.

As per the Act, all employers are supposed to notify the vacancies arising in their establishments from time-to-time — with certain exemptions — to the prescribed employment exchanges before they are filled. The Act covers all establishments in public sector and non- agricultural establishments employing 25 or more workers in the private sector.

An employment exchange is an office set-up for bringing together as quickly as possible, searching for employment and employees looking for prospective employees. The main functions of employment exchanges are registration of job seekers and their placement in notified vacancies.

Typically, the employment agencies are paid a fee-based on the salary offered to the new employees. Agencies can be particularly effective when the firm is looking for an employee with a specialised skills. Employment agency maintains separate database for non-graduates, graduates and postgraduates.

We will describe three forms of employment agencies- public or state agencies, private employment agencies, and management consulting firms.

i. Public Agencies:

In 1933, a public employment service was established as a federal state partnership. It was designed both to help job seekers find suitable employment and to help employers find suitable workers. There is employment exchange run by the government in almost all districts.

The main function of these agencies is closely tied to unemployment benefits, since benefits in some states are given only to individuals who are registered with a state employment agency.

These agencies provide a wide range of services — counselling, assistance in getting jobs, information about labour market, labour and wage rates. Normally, such exchanges provide candidates for lower positions like semi-skilled and skilled workers and lower level operatives like clerks, junior supervisors, etc.

Most non-profit professional and technical societies such as the institute for electrical and electronic engineers have units that help members find jobs. Many public welfare agencies try to place people who are in special categories, such as those who are physically disabled or are war veterans (experienced).

The United States Training and Employment services provide general control of the state agencies through its power over federal tax rebates. Currently, USTES is developing nationwide computerized job bank to which all state employment offices can be connected. It is hoped that this job bank will be the link between job opportunities and applicants from all over the United States.

ii. Private Agencies:

Private agencies are believed to offer positions and applicants of a higher calibre. Private employment agencies are widely used. They charge a small fee from an applicant. They specialise in specific occupation like salesman, technical workers, accountants, computer staff, engineers, and executives.

These private agencies are brokers who bring employers and employees together. Private employment agency screen applicants against the criteria specified by employer and they usually provide a guarantee covering six months or a year as protection to the employer should the applicant not perform satisfactorily.

The specialisations of these agencies enhance their capacity to interpret the needs of their clients, to seek out particular types of persons and to develop proficiency in recognizing the talent of specialised personnel.

There are many consultancy and employment agencies like ABC Consultants, A.F. Ferguson and Company, Personnel and Productivity Services, S.B. Billimoria and Company, KPMG, etc., which provide employment services for selecting higher and middle level executives. This agency also undertakes total functions, of recruiting and selecting personnel on behalf of various organizations. They charge fees for this purpose.


Suitable to recruit skilled, semiskilled and unskilled workers.

Source # 3. Management Consultants:

Agencies of this type are actually specialised private employment agencies. They specialise in middle level and top level executive placement. In addition to the level at which they recruit, the features that distinguish executive search agencies from most private employment agencies are their fees, their nationwide contacts, and the thoroughness of their investigations.

In searching for an individual of vice-president calibre, whose compensation package may be far in excess of $ 1,00,000 a year, the potential employer is often willing to pay a very high fee to locate exactly the right individual to fill the vacancy. A fee amounting to 30% of the executive’s first year salary is not unusual as a charge for finding and recruiting an individual.

They seek out highly effective executives who have the skills to do the job, can effectively adjust to the organization, and most important are willing to consider new challenges and opportunities. The executive search firm can act as a buffer for screening candidates and at the same time, keep the prospective employer anonymous. In the final stages, senior executives of the prospective firm can move into the negotiations and determine the degree of mutual interest.

Source # 4. Employee Referrals or Recommendations:

Employee referral campaigns are an important recruiting option. Employee referral means using personal contacts to locate job opportunities. Employee recommendations can be considered to employ personnel particularly at the lower levels, manual and skilled workers.

The idea behind employee recommendation as a source of potential applicants is that the present employees may have specific knowledge of the individuals who may be their friends, relatives or acquaintances. If the present employees are reasonably satisfied with their jobs and displayed better loyalty, they communicate these feelings to many persons in their communities.

For example, some hospitals facing labour shortages and using employee referral. When the labour market is very tight, large employers frequently offers their employees bonuses or prizes for any referrals that are hired and stay with the company for a specific length of time.

Some companies maintain a register of former employees with a good record to contact them when there are new job openings for which they are qualified. This method of recruitment however, suffers from a serious effect that it encourages nepotism. In the recruitment of sailors, in the navy, the candidates sponsored by the serving and retired armed forces personnel are given preferences over others, provided they meet the basic requirements.

For example, Citibank offers Rs.50,000 to its employees for every vacancy filled up by the bank on the basis of their referral. Birla 3M also has an incentive based employee referral programme in place. InfoTech companies such as Polaris, Software Labs, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Cisco Systems, etc., have even discovered that the turnover of employees joining through referral system is quite low.


1. Suitable to recruit lower level personnel.

2. The existing employees are better at judging the degree of fitness between the organization and employee.

Source # 5. Schools, Colleges and Universities:

Sometimes, recruiters go to educational institutions where they meet the placement officer or the faculty members who recommended suitable candidates. The companies that need employees maintain contact with the guidance counsellors of employment bureaus and teachers of business and vocational subjects.

This source is quite useful for selecting people to the post of management trainees, technical supervisor, scientist and technicians. The organization holds preliminary interviews on the campus on the predetermined date and candidates found suitable are called for further interviews at specified places.

High school diploma, specific vocational training or a college background with a bachelor’s or master’s or doctoral degree, educational institutions are an excellent source of potential employees for entry level positions in organizations. You might think that college recruiting may change in its nature and shift from face-to-face meeting to web based interactions. For an example Hewlett Packard has a website specifically focused on college recruiting at www(dot)jobs(dot)hp(dot)com


1. Employer select apprentice trainee from such source.

2. Employer gives project work to student and then absorb him or her.

3. Technical and professional institutions provide blue-colour applicant and white-colour managerial professionals.

Source # 6. Labour Unions:

In many organizations, labour unions are used as source of manpower supply, though at the lower levels. Many such union leaders whose styles are cooperative and constructive can be promoted to supervisory level. In many organizations, unions are asked to make recommendations for employment of people as a matter of goodwill and cooperation. But in case of adverse IR, these techniques may create difficulty.


(1) Suitable to recruit manual and skilled workers.

(2) Large and medium-scale firms use these sources.

Source # 7. Casual Labour:

Most industrial units rely, to some extent on the casual labour which presents itself daily at the factory gate or employment office. However, this source is uncertain and the candidates cover a wide range of abilities. Even then, many of our industries make use of this source to fill up casual vacancies.

This can be developed through provision of attractive employment office facilities and prompt and courteous replies to unsolicited letters. It can be effective by prompt disposal of applications by providing information about the organization’s policy and procedure regarding such hiring and providing facilities to such gate callers.

Casual applicants will depend on economic conditions, the organization’s image, and the job seeker’s perception of the types of jobs that might be available; this source does provide an excellent supply of applicants. Unsolicited applications made by unemployed individuals, however, generally have a short life.


(1) Suitable to fill up casual (accidental) vacancies.

(2) Suitable for unskilled and semiskilled workers.

(3) Suitable at the initial stage of the organization where large number of such people may be required by the organization.

(4) Sometimes people may directly approach the organization and inquire about the vacancies.

Source # 8. Unconsolidated Applications:

For positions in which large numbers of candidates are not available from other sources, the companies may gain in keeping files of applications received from candidates who make direct inquiries about possible vacancies on their own. The information may be indexed and filled for future uses when there are opening for these jobs.

Sometimes, the candidates may be requested to keep the organization posted with any change in their qualifications, experience, or achievement made. Some candidate send their applications without any invitation from the organization.


When large number of candidates are not available from other source.

Source # 9. Computer Data Banks:

When a company desires a particular type of employee, job specifications and requirements are fed into a computer, where they are matched against the resume data stored therein. The output is a set of resumes of individuals who meet the requirements.

Which particular source is to be tapped will depend on the policy of a firm, the position of labour supply, government regulations and agreements with labour organizations? However, the personnel managers must be in close touch with these different sources and use them in accordance to his needs.


This method is very useful for identifying candidates for hard-to-fill positions which call for an unusual (uncommon) combination of skills.

Source # 10. Professional Organizations:

Many professional organizations, including labour unions operate placement services for the benefit of their members. The professional organizations include such varied occupations as industrial engineers, psychologists and seafarers. These organizations publish rosters of job vacancies and distribute this list to members.

It is also a common practice to provide placement facilities at regional and national meetings where individuals looking for employment and companies looking for employees can find each other. They maintain complete information record about employed executives.

These same organizations may employ “executive search firms” to help them to find executive talent. This consulting firms recommended persons of high calibre for managerial, marketing and production engineers’ posts. Indoctrination seminars for college professors are arranged to discuss the problem of companies and employees.

Professors are invited to take part in these seminars. Visit to plants and banquets are arranged, so that the participant may be favourably impressed. They may later speak well of a company and help it getting the required personnel.

Professional organizations however can also apply sanctions to control the labour supply in their discipline.

Source # 11. Nepotism:

The recruitment of relatives is an inevitable component of recruitment programme in family-owned firms. Such a policy does not necessarily coincide with hiring on the basis of merit, but the interest and loyalty, trust, confidence to the enterprise and the offsetting advantages.

Source # 12. Leasing:

To adjust to short-term fluctuations in personnel needs (to meet fluctuating demand); the possibility of leasing personnel should be considered. In leasing, the company not only gets well trained personnel, but also avoids any obligations in pension, insurance and other fringe benefits.

Every company cannot afford to develop every source of manpower to the fullest extent. Sources utilised should be evaluated and judged in terms of the degree of success in obtaining competent personnel. For each major category of jobs, present personnel can be evaluated for job successes. If a correlation is discovered between successful personnel and particular sources, those sources should be further developed.

It is a part-time or temporary job and payment may be on daily, weekly, or hourly basis. Here organization can get well trained and experienced persons. Success in recruitment can be judged by utilising a number of criteria. Some of them are the number of applications received, number of offers made, number of personnel recruited and number of successful placements.

And here, the number of job applicants has least value in determining the effectiveness of the programme. The number of offers made is a better indication of the quality of recruitment. The number of personnel recruited is indicative of getting closer to the real objective of securing an adequate number of qualified personnel.

But the real test of recruitment programme’s effectiveness lies in the follow-up. Answers to the questions such as “Was the placement successful?”, “Is he a good employee in terms of productivity and attitude?”, and “Did the employee quit because he misunderstood the nature of the job and the company?” will provide the necessary inputs for taking any corrective actions.

Source # 13. Deputation:

At the initial development of public sector organizations, this source was quite common for filling managerial vacancies in these organizations. Many organisations take people on deputation from other organizations. Such people are given choice either to return to their original organization after a certain time or to opt for the present organizations.

People from civil and defence service were on deputation in this organizations. Organizations promoted by various industrial groups also use these sources to fill up higher managerial position. People working in one organization are deputed in another belonging to the same industrial house.


Suitable in public sector organizations and to fill up higher managerial positions.

Source # 14. Field Trips:

An interviewing team makes trips to towns and cities which are known to contain the kinds of employees required. In this method of recruitment, carefully prepared brochures describing the organization and the job it offers are distributed to the candidates before the interviewer arrives. The arrival date and the time and venue of interview are given to the candidates in advance.

Source # 15. Customers:

An innovative recruitment source is the organization’s customers, who are already familiar with the organization and what it offers. Customers can be more valuable than simply as buyers and consumers of product or service.

These people, who must be happy with the organization’s product or services-because they remained customers, may bring more enthusiasm to the workplace than other applicants and as the recipients of the firm’s product or service may have valuable insights into how the organization could be improved.

Finding qualified and motivated employees is a key concern for small businesses, as two-thirds of small businesses report their difficulty in finding the qualified employees. Bad hires can be catastrophic for small businesses, which do not have the luxury of reassigning workers who are not well suited for their positions.

Source # 16. Internet Recruiting:

In recent years most companies have found it useful to develop their own website and list job openings on it. The website offers a fast, convenient and cost-effective means for job applicants to submit their resume through the internet. Infosys Technologies Ltd., for example, gets over 1,000 resumes a day from prospective candidates through the net.

The resumes are then converted into a standard format using the software that the company has developed for short listing candidates according to a set criteria such as alma mater, qualifications, experience, etc. The HR manager has to key in his or her requirements and ‘profiles’ of candidates from the company’s database get generated.

There are a variety of websites available — in addition to a company’s own website — where applicants can submit their resumes and potential employers can check for qualified applicants. Such as- (i) www(dot)jobsahead(dot)com; (ii) www(dot)naukri(dot)com; (iii) www(dot)monsterindia(dot)com; (iv) www(dot)timesjobs(dot)com. Internet recruiting generates fast, cost-effective, timely responses from job applicants from different parts of the world.

And that’s where the problem lies- the websites might be flooded with resumes from unqualified job seekers. Applications may also come from geographic areas that are unrealistically far away.

Source # 17. Voluntary Organizations:

Like private clubs, social organizations might also provide employees who are handicapped, widowed or married women, old persons, retired hands, etc., in response to advertisements.

Pros and Cons of External Sources of Recruitment:


1. Fresh talent and skill come into the organization.

2. Highly qualified and experienced employees may help the organization to boost performance.

3. External sources provide the requisite type of personnel for an organization, having skill, training and education up to the required standard.

4. In the long run, this source proves economical, because potential employees do not need extra training for their jobs.

5. It helps in motivating internal employees to work hard and compete with external candidates while selecting career growth. Such a competitive atmosphere would help an employee to work to the best of his abilities.

6. Talented people could join the ranks, new ideas could find meaningful expression, a competitive atmosphere would compel people to give their best and earn rewards, etc.

7. Since, people are recruited from a large market; the best selection can be made without any distinctions of caste, gender, or colour and no personal bias.

8. It is in tune with the principle of democratic values and norms as it ensures equal opportunities for entry to public office to everyone.

9. This method can help able young men from universities to public service careers.

10. The public services are kept attuned to the changing socio-economic conditions of the country through the constant flow of young persons. It also checks stagnation in services.

11. In technical fields, the latest knowledge is required which the young man can easily supply.

12. Direct recruitment motivates the persons in service to keep themselves up to date in knowledge least they may not qualify in competitions for higher posts.


1. This system suffers from what is called “brain drain”, especially when experienced persons are raided or hunted by sister concerns.

2. Hiring costs could go up substantially. Tapping multifarious sources of recruitment is not an easy task.

3. It takes time to advertise, screen, to test and to select suitable employees. When suitable ones are not available, the process has to be repeated.

4. There is no guarantee that the organization, ultimately, will be able to hire the services of suitable candidates. It may end up hiring someone who does not “fit” and who may not be able to adjust in the new set-up.

5. Existing employees who have put in considerable service may resist the process of filling up vacancies from outside. The feeling that their services have not been recognised by the organization, forces them to work with less enthusiasm and motivation.

6. This reduces the morale of existing employees because outsiders are preferred to fill up superior vacancies.

7. They deny career advancement for existing employees.

8. Proper evaluation may not be possible due to the time constraint resulting in faulty selection.

9. Outsiders not being acquainted with the policies and the procedures of the organizations need training, before they can deliver.

10. Direct recruitment places younger persons over the older and experienced employees. This creates jealousy which is not good for the services.

11. An extensive outside recruitment at the higher grades is the poor reflection on the ability and the talent available within the service and undermines the career ideas.