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Human Resources: Formal vs. Informal Recruitment

by Declan 18. April 2011

The recruitment market is becoming highly specialised as people look for different ways of recruiting the best people for available positions in their organisations. There are a number of practices, as well as decisions involved in the recruitment process and HR practitioners need to have all of the information available to them in order to make the best decisions. This is why recruitment software and programs such as applicant tracking are so important to the overall process.

Human Resources is a constantly changing environment. During the 1980’s the emphasis was on hiring exceptional individuals, whereas the 90’s called for more team oriented people to fill key roles within organisations. Today many companies are not only looking for a specific set of skills in a potential employee, but a wider range of general competencies and talents. There are also new ways of discovering talent and attracting them to your organisation that have led recruiters to use both informal and formal avenues of recruitment.

Informal Recruitment

This could be described as word-of-mouth recruitment, or at management level it is commonly known as headhunting. Some recruiters choose not to use this approach as they feel that it excludes many people who may not hear about the job. Using social media networking and other forms of ‘soft marketing’ may be a way of spreading your net a little bit wider in the search for excellent candidates for your business. This is where the use of applicant tracking software and recruitment software plays such an important role in capturing key data about potential employees for your talent pool. Good recruiters do not let any information about candidates go past them without capturing them in the net. You never know who is going to be a perfect catch for the future.

Formal Recruitment

The key to effective formal recruitment is to have the right job specifications and the right advertising strategy to attract the right employees. The strength of formal recruitment lies not only in the ability to attract the right people for the job but to have the software and the technology to handle them throughout the system. Human Resource departments are moving closer to the technological advances of recruitment software and applicant tracking to revolutionise their initial attraction and selection of possible candidates.

Choosing one candidate from a talent pool does not mean you need to ignore the rest of the people in the pool. Effective HR software allows you to keep all of the data you have on prospective candidates and use it for future employment opportunities with the business.

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