What is Human Resources Recruiting?

Sheri Cyprus

Human resources recruiting is the recruitment of personnel to fill job vacancies. In other words, human resources management actively seeks out candidates to become employees of a business. Human resources departments, especially those in large corporations, are usually always looking to fill jobs in their company. Many companies build a database of applicants to refer to when a job opening occurs. Human resources recruiting is a crucial part of employment and includes searching for suitable job candidates as well as interviewing them.

A human resources manager conducts hiring interviews.
A human resources manager conducts hiring interviews.

Many human resources consulting firms provide recruiting services to other businesses. They place ads online or in newspapers to get the attention of qualified applicants. The more specific the ad is in terms of the qualifications needed for the job, the more qualified the respondents are likely to be. A human resources recruiting agency must first understand the employee needs of their client before they place ads to recruit possible candidates for job openings.

An employer may choose to recruit candidates who are either internal or external to the company.
An employer may choose to recruit candidates who are either internal or external to the company.

Within a business, there are two main types of employee recruitment: internal and external. Internal human resources recruiting occurs when a company looks at existing employees to fill a new job opening. Internal recruitment often works well for businesses since it usually means that deserving existing employees receive promotions. Many companies look internally to fill lower to mid level managerial positions and recruit externally to fill entry and top level jobs. If a company can't fill a position internally first, they will often actively recruit potential employees externally.

When advertising a job, be sure to specify whether it involves telecommuting options or if all work is done on site.
When advertising a job, be sure to specify whether it involves telecommuting options or if all work is done on site.

External human resources recruiting may involve outsourcing. Outsourcing is recruitment done outside one country. Most outsourced employees work through telecommuting. For example, outsourced customer service representatives may work from a country such as India and use telecommunications equipment to communicate with a North American company's clientele. Outsourcing is controversial, as it's usually done to get cheap labor from poorer countries rather than having to pay the going rate of workers in the same country.

Active human resources recruiting is considered more beneficial for businesses than waiting for the right applicant to send a resume. Active recruiting means contacting resources such as university placement centers and networking at industry conferences. Human resources recruiting departments also look for resumes posted online by job seekers in their field. Recruiters should actively build a database of candidates regularly so businesses have qualified employees to hire when they need them. Many human resources departments use a standard form to collect information from job candidates.

Human resources recruiters are responsible for finding qualified employees to hire when companies need them.
Human resources recruiters are responsible for finding qualified employees to hire when companies need them.

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Discussion Comments


What qualities should I adapt as an HR recruiter? I am starting an HR recruiting job.


@hamje32 - One thing I’ll tell you – the typical human resources director makes a lot of money. We’re talking easily into the six figures.

Of course, there is a reason that they are paid so handsomely. They are expected to attract and retain the brightest talent, and that directly impacts the company’s bottom line. I would guess that if they failed in that mission, they’d be out the door in a hurry.


@David09 - I can tell you that the outsourcing the article talks about is practiced a lot, especially in Information Technology. The article is not kidding when it says some of these recruiters are based in India.

I have actually gotten calls from India for positions available in a local company! Talk about a long distance call. The recruiter must have been talking over a voice over Internet connection or something like that; but apparently with the web it’s easy to make the calls as well as to contact companies who need positions filled.

There really is no distance in this kind of business.


@Charred - That sounds great, and I agree that networking is much better than sending out hundreds of resumes. Most companies rely on a human resources recruiting firm to get their best leads, and that’s a hit or miss proposition in my opinion.

In fact, some companies are so big that they don’t even outsource the recruiting; they have their own internal human resources recruiter. I don’t know if they fare better than the external recruiter. I would think that they would, since they know the business and positions better, and they can work with existing employees to find leads.

But like you said, it is a matchmaking game and from my experience, it’s never been easy.


@irontoenail - To some extent I agree with you. Of course they are going to put a good spin on the job.

But, if they are really going after people who are the best in their field, then they must know that others will be trying to recruit them as well.

So, they've got to give them a reason to stay. Now, maybe the job can't get any better than it already is. After all, some jobs are quite difficult. Which is why they offer all those benefits to people who they think are worth it.

If you give them enough benefits, it makes it worth their while to stick around, at least for a while, in order to take advantage of their situation.

So, yeah, I think that for the most part everyone is going to be on the level. They have no reason to say otherwise.


Human resources recruitment is a matchmaking game. I recently switched jobs, not as a result of my looking for one (although I was looking) but as a result of active recruitment taken by one of the companies here in town.

A lady I used to work with got hired on at this company, and they needed someone to fill a programming role. None of the other candidates who had applied for the position gelled out, so she decided to give me a call and ask what my current situation was.

As I said, I had been looking, but had never really applied anywhere. The position sounded like a good fit for me, and within two weeks and a round of interviews, I was hired.


This makes me think of a friend of mine who was recently head hunted to a new company.

They offered him all kinds of benefits and a pay increase so in the end he took the job.

Unfortunately, the new job isn't nearly as interesting as the old one, even if it does have more prestige attached. He said that he wasn't exactly misled, but was told about the job in more exciting terms than it probably deserved!

I suppose that's the job, when you are recruiting people for a company, particularly when you are bringing them in for work which might not be the most fun. You have to find a way to get them to want to do it.

Not that all human resource recruiters would do that, intentionally or unintentionally. But you should probably talk with people who actually work in the company before quitting your old job!

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