Job Recruitment Methods
section identifies 17 traditional job recruitment methods - all require a different
way of approaching the employer face to face and and use different types of
job application writing methods.
While the explosive growth of the
internet has created an unprecedented access to thousands of jobs, there may
be an over reliance on using only online job search via internet job boards
or job sites such as
Monster (USA) for
example, where there is a lot of competition. Nevertheless online job search
is increasingly has become the primary way jobseekers look for work.
However, job seekers may be missing
and Career Opportunities in Australia
by not looking for work outside cyberspace where there
is less competition.
The advantages and disadvantages of
both traditional and online recruitment methods are discussed here and in
Where to Find a Job
how employers recruit can help you in your job search and open up
avenues you had not thought of.
Traditional Recruitment Methods
1. Written job
application in response to an advertised position - directly to the company.
This is the most common method of
recruiting. Many people still seem to think that a written application means
a hand written application. If a company does want a handwritten letter
they will say so. Go to Letter writing
guide and also see an example of an advertised position and how to
set out a letter. See also advanced information on
how to apply for an advertised job at
Application Letter - Advertised Job
2. Written job applications to
recruitment / employment agencies
Treat this as the same as a letter to
an employer, however, refer to the employer as “Your client” as they are a
second party in this process.
Letter - Advertised Job
3. Registering with a Job
Recruitment / Employment Agencies
Job Recruitment / Employment Agencies
are an effective recruitment tool. Agencies advertise a position on behalf
of the employer and conduct the interview to short list stage. This could be
a pool or the best 3-4 applicants.
Recruitment agencies may specialise in
in one industry or occupation.
In Australia it is illegal for
applicants to pay a recruitment agency to find a job. The employer pays the
fee and there is a trial period. Recruitment Agencies do not get full
payment until the end of the trial period, so they are very selective and
good job references are one of the most important job criteria.
This job search strategy requires
less work and allows you to access to job opportunities you might not
have found on your own.
Recruitment or employment agencies
specialise only in recruitment.
They generally deal with high
demand jobs and often specialise in job areas such as IT, accountancy
The recruitment screening standard
Generally Recruitment / Employment
Agencies tend to advertise most positions in the newspaper and through
internet job boards or websites such as
Seek and CareerOne
(USA). However, if you register personally with these agencies and
present well, with clear employment goals, you may be matched to a job
through their electronic job vacancy database. This is why it is so
important to have an electronically friendly resume, showing key words that
don’t get altered in the scanning process.
Once the jobseeker registers with an
agency, they can ring the company if they see a job they are interested in,
and advise them that they have been interviewed and that their details are
Recruitment processes vary.
Before you decide to register with a specific employment or recruitment
agency, phone them first and check their minimum employment requirements.
This may be a car licence, typing speed, computer knowledge or other
specific job criteria. Ask if you can send in your resume. If so, send a
cover letter setting out clearly you employment needs and credentials and
ask for an interview. The recruitment screening standard is high and your
application and resume must also be high.
The disadvantage of this
recruitment method is that the agency is working for the employer, and will
need to satisfy all their criteria.
Consultants who have developed a good rapport with a client may ask an
employer to look at a "wildcard' - a person who may not meet all the
criteria, but has potential.
You can test your typing speed through
4. Registering with a Job Search Firm
These are more exclusive employment
agencies at the top end of the market - mainly executive recruitment. As
part of their hiring strategy Recruitment Consultants headhunt applicants
from other firms on behalf of their clients. They often do career transition
programmes for retrenched workers on behalf of companies. Expect some type
of psychological screening test.
5. Labour Hire Companies
Labour hire companies have companies
generally meet short to medium term labour hiring needs in the blue collar
job categories. Workers are contracted out and labour hire companies pay
all insurance etc.
This was once a smaller section of the
recruitment market. With the change in Industrial laws and recruitment
patterns, business rationalisation and cost cutting, plus the range of work
these companies receive, they are becoming a more attractive and popular
recruitment method and contracts can be on-going. Some tips for using these
Hourly rate will vary as the
company take a proportion -so check around.
You need to fill out an
application form and supply good referees. Make sure you take your
resume with you to copy from. The agency may also keep your resume on
They generally want people with
current driver's licences.
They will want your tax number
before they can register you.
You must have a valid working visa
Jobseekers should ensure that the
agency covers insurance, and only use reputable companies. Since Industrial
law changes some labour hire companies have come under fire regarding
workplace legislative requirements. This may change in the future under
proposed new government industrial relations initiatives.
6. Temporary Staff Recruitment /
This should be a popular recruitment
method yet many job seekers feel it is too insecure. These agencies can make
arrangements to transfer an employee to the company full time if required
(at a fee to employer). Often companies use agencies to 'trial employees' as
they do not have to deal with Industrial relations issues. Points to
Many people have been placed in
good permanent jobs after proving themselves.
Often the company will make the
approach to the agency to employ the temporary staff member full time.
It is all about "fitting in" with the company's organisational culture.
Usually this arrangement is considered a 'perfect match' for both the
employer and employee.
Temporary agencies are very
selective in their recruitment. jobseekers will have to do a range of
work related tests.
jobseekers may need to establish
themselves and build credibility with an agency to be selected for some
of the better positions.
A wise jobseeker would take any
assignment and use these placements to build a good employment profile.
Some unemployed people are afraid
of the security of accepting temporary assignments. If they have good
skills they should not be deterred by going down this path.
7. Group recruitment requiring
This recruitment method is used by
employment agencies on behalf of a client and some Government Departments to
short list candidates from a large pool. For example, through public service
tests or the opening of a new company and in Government the introduction of
a new policy initiative or increase in budget for new substantive
positions). Potential employees will be given a time when someone will ring
them and they will have to answer a series of questions. The company will
generally send an information package showing them what to expect. Some
Telephone interviewing for group
recruitment can often screen out good candidates. Applicants must
prepare carefully for these interviews.
The interviewer will have a script
so that everyone is asked the same questions.
The interviewer will use a ratings
matrix and will give the applicant a value, or a mark. This will
determine if they have passed the screening process to go on to an
The interviewer needs to be very
experienced to be able to evaluate answers at the same time as asking
questions and may miss a potential match
This is a pretty hard job so the
applicant needs to make it easy for the interviewer, or they may be unfairly
rated. Answers need to be constructed almost the same as in selection
criteria writing using processes used to make a decision. Pro-Active Human
Resource Management can offer a tutorial in this area. Contact us
8. Group recruitment - information
If a company is doing group
recruitment they may ask you to attend an information session if you pass
the telephone interview. They may do recruitment testing or simply get
you to play silly games meant as a recruitment assessment technique. I can
only say "good luck". An arsenal of psychology tests are available for use,
the main one is to find out if candidates are team players. If a jobseeker
is attending these interview days I recommend reading up on assessment tests
such as team building. Many recruitment agencies are staffed by people with
psychology degrees, and use these tests as they look impressive and costly
and they need to justify their qualifications.
Other recruitment practitioners from
the Human Resource Management stream, including academics, do not believe
they have much validity. It is a much debated topic. You can manipulate
these tests as most are visual. Google “psychological testing",
"psychometric testing" or recruitment or team building assessment tests, for
Career support services for
more information on carer tests
or screening interviews
A warning about
unscheduled screening calls in response to written applications or phone
A screening interview may be conducted
legitimately by a government agency or a new company who are bulk recruiting
as already discussed and you will be advised in advance when this is to take
place. (see above)
There is another type of screening
interview that the jobseeker may not realise is happening. An employer,
(and also an employment agency/recruitment firm) may ring the jobseeker to
talk or "chat" about their application. This is really telephone
interviewing. Consider this as an important screening interview.
From this contact you will either be put on a shortlist for a face-to-face
interview, or your application will be discarded. So if a company/agency
phones you to talk about your application make sure you know what job they
are referring to. Don’t be afraid to question them and to ensure you know
the job and the requirements.
If you are not ready to focus on a
screening interview ask if you can call them in 10-15 minutes.
Ensure they know you want
to speak to them but you need to refresh your memory. You can say that
you have several jobs you have applied for and you want to be able to
refresh your memory about their requirements.
Look at the job and your
application again and ring them back.
So you can see the need to answer
the telephone professionally at all times and keep good records of your
job search activities.
Applying for jobs requiring selection criteria
If an advertisement states that you
should send for the selection criteria you can be confident that it is a
Government or Statutory Authority position or an agency funded by the
Government. If you have any doubts about your suitably you should ring the
contact person to check it out. The package they send out will tell you how
to set out and write the application. This is very difficult if you haven’t
done it before. It must be done correctly or they will not, and cannot, look
at your application under State and Federal Legislation. Although Pro-Active
Human Resource Management does not generally advertise this service, we do,
however, offer a service to polish up your application.
For comprehensive information on how
selection criteria is used see
before you even look at this method. Note: Graduate
recruitment comes under this category, and the standard of job applications
is getter higher, but could improve.
11. Phone application in response to
an advertised position
Generally this recruitment method used
by smaller companies. If you are asked to phone (as opposed to submitting a
written application) you must do so immediately. You will probably be
screened by the receptionist who may take job and personal details. They
will tell you that the employer will ring you back. This is a hit and miss
method of recruitment and used by many smaller companies and very
frustrating for job seekers. (See
12. Applications by e-mail to
recruitment websites or job boards
The two most well-known examples of a
job bank are Seek and
CareerOne (Australia) and
but other job boards are increasing at a rapid rate such as
Jobsjobsjobs (Australia), an
American company that is expanding rapidly. When you use these job boards
ensure you use the method if the employer requests. In today’s world
everyone is afraid of viruses and will delete any messages they cannot
recognise. Make sure that the subject line states that it is an advertised
position and give the position title. Follow the employer’s directions.
13. Accepting applications from job
seekers cold calling
In the past smaller employers were
impressed by the applicant who cold called, by visiting the company and
leaving their resume. (from my personal experience as a Consultant).
Research confirms a view that has been held for a long time, that job
seekers who cold call are considered to be highly motivated with a lot of
initiative and confidence and really wanted to work. The extensive use of
the internet for looking for work may have changed this view somewhat, and
this is because it is not being done correctly.
The attitude to cold calling
may change and can be spam if you do not do it correctly. All cold calling
letters that come to this office can be classified as spam, albeit they are
not filtered by the ISP unless they are using an internet provider with a
bad reputation. They are thoughtless, meaningless letters that show how lazy
and uninformed the applicant is. They deserve to be ignored and deleted. If
you really want to cold call do it properly. --->
How to cold call
14. Industry/Corporate Websites
A good example is mining companies and
larger organisations. Most have vacancies advertised on their site. So do
your See Market Research
Use the search box below.
15. Job Network (Australia)
If you are receiving unemployment
benefits in Australia you will know all about job network. Private companies
and community based organisations (and some private companies) are paid by
the Federal Government to help place unemployed customers/clients.
However, many agencies will take
private recruitment contracts for higher level positions and you do not need
to be registered and receiving benefits to use this service. Job Network
generally operates at the mid -lower skill level, although there are some
surprisingly good jobs that come, depending on where you live. Refer to Job
network and check out your local agency. In the current economic climate the
use of these agencies may increase, as they are free to the employer.
16. Employee referral
This method of recruitment occurs more
often than you may think and can be a traditional method of employment for
many companies. The advantage is that an employee would not recommend
someone they know that is not up to the job as it reflects back on them.
Used more in USA than Australia. It was first tried as a traditional
recruitment method by American Express over 30 years ago.
This is a very good job finding
technique and is covered separately.
find a job through networking and
How to develop a networking plan.
Try a combination of
best approach is to try about a dozen contacts in each of the categories and
find out which ones are giving you the most leads and best contacts.
Don’t waste time on areas where you are not getting results.