8.1 Recruitment

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Recruitment is defined as a process that provides the organization with a pool of qualified job candidates from which to choose. As a process, recruitment involves an element of marketing and sales, as its objective is to raise the level of interest of customers (i.e., prospective employees) in what the company has to offer (i.e., jobs).

In today’s workplace, recruitment has an impact on an organization’s competitive success. Hiring the wrong person for a job can be costly to organizations. Therefore, highly talented and motivated employees offers a competitive advantage which is a firm’s ability to add value to the company through it’s assets (one being its human resources); and is able to lower its costs. When poorly hired employees with the wrong skills and/or experience success for companies is at risk.

Before companies recruit, they must implement proper staffing plans and forecasting to determine how many people they will need. Although it might seem straightforward, obtaining the right talent, at the right place and at the right time, is not easy and requires extensive planning.

Staffing Plan

Staffing Plan Six Main Steps

A staffing plan comprises six main steps:

  1. Evaluate the goals of the organization. What is the organization’s plan for growth? Does it need personnel to staff a new office or retail location? Is it hoping to multiply the size of its sales force to support a significant sales push? Does it intend to offer additional customer service or internal support to boost customer satisfaction?
  2. Identify the factors that might affect the staffing plan. This is where the NOC and Statistics Canada come in handy. Large and small companies alike should examine information from local chambers of commerce, business publications and industry associations to predict possible developments in the market. That can include new businesses or other larger employers increasing their hiring or laying off employees.
  3. Establish the current talent landscape. Keeping the organization’s objectives in mind, there is a need for a complete picture of the current workforce. A detailed company organizational chart can illustrate the jobs, skills, and competencies of each member of the organization.
  4. Forecasting needs. Many factors need to be accounted for when looking ahead for future needs: turnover rate, investments in new technology, the economy, the unemployment rate, and the competition (poaching) can all influence the ability to achieve one’s staffing goals. Performing a trend analysis based on historical data is an effective way to forecast labour needs.
  5. Conduct a gap analysis.  The difference between your future needs and the current landscape becomes the target to meet for your recruitment process.
  6. Develop a recruitment plan.

Trend Analysis

Trend analysis examines past employment levels against selected business variables to predict future staffing requirements. To perform this analysis, an HR manager will select the factor(s) that influence labour levels the most and chart them for a four-to-five-year period. The headcount for the current time period is used with the historic data to arrive at a ratio to calculate future staffing needs. The usefulness of a trend analysis depends on the operational factor selected. For example, a moving company wants to determine how many employees it will need for the upcoming moving season. It uses sales, an operational factor and, according to historical records, it needs 3 movers for every $5,000 in sales. When the strategic plan calls for average weekly sales of $50,000 during the holiday shopping season, HR can predict a 30-employee staffing requirement. Another more complex example would be how hospitals prepared for the pandemic. The number of nurses needed for each COVID patient in intensive care would be an appropriate operational factor for hospital staff projections. A hospital may determine that it normally needs, on average, 0.2 nurses per intensive care patient per day. However, that ratio would rise significantly, to 0.8, from all of the protection measures required. Using projections of public health officials, a hospital predicted that when the pandemic was to hit, it would treat approximately 50 COVID patients. Thus, it determined that it would need 40 nurses as opposed to the normal 10.


The basis of the forecast will be the annual budget of the organization and the short-to long-term plans of the organization—for example, the possibility of expansion. In addition to this, the organizational life cycle will be a factor.  Forecasting is based on both internal and external factors.

Internal Factors

  1. Budget constraints
  2. Expected or trend of employee separations
  3. Production levels
  4. Sales increases or decreases
  5. Global expansion plans

External Factors

  1. Changes in technology
  2. Changes in laws
  3. Unemployment rates
  4. Shifts in population
  5. Shifts in urban, suburban, and rural areas
  6. Competition

Once the forecasting data are gathered and analyzed, the HR professional can see where gaps exist and then begin to recruit individuals with the right skills, education, and backgrounds.

“4.1 The Recruitment Process” from Human Resource Management by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

The Recruitment Process” from Human Resources Management – 2nd Ontario Edition by Elizabeth Cameron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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Sales Leadership Management Copyright © 2023 by Fanshawe College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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