12 Popular Recruitment Types Used By Employers

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recruitment is the process of finding suitable candidates for various roles. Having a well-defined recruitment strategy helps businesses build and develop an efficient and productive team. If you are interested in an HR career, understanding the different types of recruitment enables you to recruit the best candidates for each role. Alternatively, if you are a job applicant, being aware of the different kinds of recruitment helps you reach out to recruiters. In this article, we explain the different recruitment types and describe the pros and cons of each technique.

Related: What Is A Recruiter? A Complete Guide

What are the recruitment types?

The process of recruiting has two broad categories:

  • internal recruitment

  • external recruitment

Each of these methods is further divided into several sub-categories. Let's take a closer look at each technique.

Related: Recruitment Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Types of internal recruitment

Internal recruitment is a process where the HR team recruits candidates from within the organisation. For example, when a vacancy opens up, the recruiter evaluates current employees and selects the best candidate to fill the position. Internal recruitment makes it easy to fill the vacancy quickly, as the HR department does not have to go through the entire recruitment process from the beginning. Companies maintain a database of all existing employees, their skills and performance ratings making it easy to select the right candidate for the role. Let's take a look at the different types of internal recruitment:

1. Transfer

A transfer is shifting an employee for the same job role from one location to another. For example, the HR team of a bank may decide to transfer a cashier in Mumbai to Pune to fill the newly opened vacancies in the Pune branch. In a transfer, the employee's designation and salary remain the same—only the location of the employee changes.

2. Promotion

Promotion is the process of upgrading the designation of an employee. For example, the manager may promote a senior developer to a team lead after the candidate gains a few years of experience. In general, most employees prefer promotions since this upgrade increases their salary and benefits. Besides the salary, a promotion also entails more responsibilities and an increase in duties. Promotions are one of the most common forms of internal recruitment and HR teams usually use this recruitment strategy to fill higher job positions in the company.

3. Re-employment

Re-employment occurs when the organisation hires past employees to fill vacant positions. Boomerang employees are people who performed well in their job and left the company on good terms and are re-hired by the organisation in the future. For instance, an employee may have left the company for higher education or other personal reasons. Later, when a new role opens up, the HR team contacts them and checks if they are available for the new position. Re-employment is an efficient recruitment strategy as past employees understand the company's working culture and are well-versed with the job requirements.

4. Internships

Internships are temporary short-term roles in a company. Most companies hire students in their final year as interns. This helps the students gain working experience and allows the company to employ short-term candidates who assist permanent employees in various duties. At the end of the internship, the company may offer a permanent position to candidates who performed well during the programme.

Related: What Is An Internship And How Do You Find One?

5. Internal advertisements

An internal advertisement is the process of advertising for job vacancies within the organisation. When a company opens a new branch in another city with similar operations as the current branch, the HR team may send out a recruitment advertisement to all employees regarding the available positions. The idea behind internal advertisements is to recruit quickly, saving time and cost. Employees who are willing to relocate usually apply for the available roles.

6. Referrals

Referrals are another common type of internal recruitment, especially in the tech industry. Current employees refer their friends, previous colleagues or acquaintances in their network for vacant positions in the organisation. HR teams encourage referrals as it helps in reducing the time and cost taken to find the right candidates. Some companies even offer incentives for employees when a referral candidate they suggested gets hired.

7. Talent pool databases

Several organisations maintain a database of talented candidates who previously applied for a job but were not hired. When a new vacancy opens up, instead of starting the recruiting process from the beginning, the HR team goes through the talent database to check if there are any suitable candidates for the role. The shortlisted candidates undergo an interview process and the interviewer selects them based on their performance.

Types of external recruitment

External recruitment is the process of hiring candidates from outside the organisation. When a vacancy opens, the HR team hires a fresh candidate with the right skills for the job. When compared with internal recruitment, external recruitment is time-consuming and expensive. The HR team has to post recruitment notifications online, evaluate resumes and then shortlist candidates for the interview. Based on the performance of candidates in the interview, the recruiter selects the right applicant for the required job.

Though external recruitment is time-consuming, hiring fresh candidates offers long-term benefits for the organisation, as new candidates bring fresh perspectives to the team. Here are the popular types of external recruitment:

1. Advertisements

Placing recruitment advertisements on the career page of the company's website, social media websites, recruitment portals are some of the most popular ways to hire from outside the organisation. External advertising provides recruiters with a bigger pool of qualified candidates, helping them choose suitable applicants for the job.

2. Recruitment agency

In this method, the recruiter approaches a third-party recruitment agency to hire candidates for specific roles. Recruitment agencies have an updated database of qualified candidates, thereby accelerating the time taken to select candidates. For example, most television and film productions approach casting agencies to help them find actors for various roles. Here, the casting agency takes on the part of the recruitment agency.

A recruitment agency is an excellent choice for an organisation when they do not have the internal resources to maintain a full-scale HR department. The recruitment agency does the recruiting on behalf of the employer for a nominal fee. This is a great option to fill senior positions as recruitment agencies maintain an extensive database of suitable candidates. Companies generally use recruitment agencies when they want to headhunt candidates working for their competitors.

Related: What Is Headhunting And Recruiting? Definition And Process

3. Campus recruitments

This is one of the most popular ways to recruit freshers. Companies have tie-ups with colleges and other higher educational institutions to conduct campus recruitments for students in their final semesters. This helps companies find young graduates for various entry-level roles. Campus recruitment usually has a written preliminary selection process followed by individual face-to-face interviews. Successful students receive a job contract that commences after they graduate.

3. Job fairs

Also known as recruitment events or off-campus recruitments, these are ideal for large companies to recruit several candidates for various entry-level positions. A job fair can have different styles of recruitments, like organising a hackathon or coding competition to identify talented candidates. Alternatively, it can also be a walk-in recruitment event where interested candidates can apply for the job through interviews. Job fairs can be expensive as the company has to book the venue and promote the event to attract the right candidates.

Job fairs can be beneficial for hiring organisations when they are looking to hire a large number of employees for various roles. They act as a promotion for the recruiter helping to build their brand image. In addition, it is a great way to let people know that the company supports talent and provides multiple employment opportunities.

Related: What Is A Job Fair? (Definition And Tips For Finding A Job)

12. Employment exchanges

An employment exchange is a recruitment portal from central and state governments. These portals help to connect potential employers with suitable candidates. Unemployed candidates register on the portal by providing their academic qualifications. Employers post their requirements on the portal and get a list of eligible candidates. Employers then proceed with the usual recruitment process like written tests and interviews to select suitable candidates. Generally, recruiters use the services of an employment exchange to fill roles for factory, agricultural and other non-skilled jobs.

Which is better: internal or external recruiting?

There are pros and cons to both methods and both strategies work well for different situations. Internal recruiting helps to simplify the recruiting process. It is quick and efficient, as the recruiter knows the candidate well and there is no lengthy onboarding process. Secondly, it motivates current employees to perform well as they know they can move on to higher job roles and better opportunities, depending on their performance. External recruiting is best-suited for entry-level positions as it helps in hiring fresh candidates with new ideas and innovative approaches.

Related: How To Feature Recruitment Skills On A Resume (With Example)

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