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Matthew Lowe
Matthew Lowe


Recruitment is the overall process of identifying, sourcing, screening, shortlisting, and interviewing candidates for jobs (either permanent or temporary) within an organization. Recruitment also is the process involved in choosing people or unpaid roles. Managers, human resource generalists and recruitment specialists may be tasked with carrying out recruitment, but in some cases public-sector employment, commercial recruitment agencies, or specialist search consultancies are used to undertake parts of the process. Internet-based technologies which enhance all aspects of recruitment have become widespread, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI).[1]


Sourcing is the use of one or more strategies to attract and identify candidates to fill job vacancies. It may involve internal and/or external recruitment advertising, using appropriate media such as job portals, local or national newspapers, social media, business media, specialist recruitment media, professional publications, window advertisements, job centers, career fairs, or in a variety of ways via the internet.

An employee referral is a candidate recommended by an existing employee. This is sometimes referred to as .mw-parser-output .vanchor>:target.vanchor-textbackground-color:#b1d2ffreferral recruitment. Encouraging existing employees to select and recruit suitable candidates results in:

"Safer recruitment" refers to procedures intended to promote and exercise "a safe culture including the supervision and oversight of those who work with children and vulnerable adults".[22] The NSPCC describes safer recruitment as .mw-parser-output .templatequoteoverflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 .templatequote .templatequoteciteline-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0

Internal recruitment or internal mobility[26] (not to be confused with internal recruiters) refers to the process of a candidate being selected from the existing workforce to take up a new job in the same organization, perhaps as a promotion, or to provide career development opportunity, or to meet a specific or urgent organizational need. Advantages include the organization's familiarity with the employee and their competencies insofar as they are revealed in their current job, and their willingness to trust said employee. It can be quicker and have a lower cost to hire someone internally.[27]

Using multiple-criteria decision analysis[36] tools such as analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and combining it with conventional recruitment methods provides an added advantage by helping the recruiters to make decisions when there are several diverse criteria to be considered or when the applicants lack past experience; for instance, recruitment of fresh university graduates.[37]

Organizations define their own recruiting strategies to identify who they will recruit, as well as when, where, and how that recruitment should take place.[38] Common recruiting strategies answer the following questions:[39]

Organizations develop recruitment objectives, and the recruitment strategy follows these objectives. Typically, organizations develop pre- and post-hire objectives and incorporate these objectives into a holistic recruitment strategy.[39] Once an organization deploys a recruitment strategy it conducts recruitment activities. This typically starts by advertising a vacant position.[40]

In the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has established guidelines for prohibited employment policies/practices. These regulations serve to discourage discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, etc.[43] However, recruitment ethics is an area of business that is prone to many other unethical and corrupt practices.[44] According to Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), business ethics are a vital component to recruitment; hiring unqualified friends or family, allowing problematic employees to be recycled through a company, and failing to properly validate the background of candidates can be detrimental to a business.[45]

When hiring for positions that involve ethical and safety concerns it is often the individual employees who make decisions which can lead to devastating consequences to the whole company. Likewise, executive positions are often tasked with making difficult decisions when company emergencies occur such as public relation nightmares, natural disasters, pandemics, or a slowing economy. Businesses that have made headlines for undesirable cultures may also have a difficult time recruiting new hires.[46] Companies should aim to minimize corruption using tools such as the recruitment processes, pre-employment screening, personality tests, induction, training, and establishing a code of conduct.[44]

Depending on the size of an organization, recruitment is the responsibility of a range of workers. Larger organizations may have entire teams of recruiters, while others only a single recruiter. In small outfits, the hiring manager may be responsible for recruiting. In addition, many organizations outsource recruiting to outside firms. Companies almost always recruit candidates for new positions via advertisements, job boards, social media sites, and others. Many companies utilize recruiting software to more effectively and efficiently source top candidates. Regardless, recruitment typically works in conjunction with, or as a part of Human Resources.

Contingency Recruiting: like retained recruiting, contingency recruiting requires an outside firm. Unlike retained recruiting, there is no upfront fee with contingency. Instead, the recruitment company receives payment only when the clients they represent are hired by an organization.

Recruitment is a nuanced process that requires extensive research, thorough procedures, and finesse in order to produce high-quality hires with regularity. With that in mind, here are out top-three tips for effective recruitment:

In order to ensure your trial has adequate recruitment, you have to plan for it. It sounds simple, but a primary reason why clinical trials stop early is because of a failure to enroll enough participants.

  • Executive Summary: CTTI Recommendations for Efficient and Effective Clinical Trial Recruitment Planning

  • Clinical trials recruitment planning: A proposed framework from the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative

  • Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative Releases New Recommendations and Tools for Improving Patient Recruitment in Clinical Trials

  • CTTI Presents Recommendations for Recruitment: Moving Recruitment Planning Upstream to Reduce Barriers

  • CTTI Recruitment Project Expert Meeting

  • Barriers to Clinical Trial Recruitment and Possible Solutions: A Stakeholder Survey

  • Results of an Online Survey of Stakeholders Regarding Barriers and Solutions to Clinical Trial Recruitment

Recruitment is a critical factor that can determine the success or failure of a clinical trial, and a staggering number of clinical trials continue to fail to meet recruitment goals despite previous efforts. Sub-optimal trial recruitment directly translates into missed opportunities for patients who can benefit from clinical trials, the loss of a chance to advance the science and understanding of disease and find new therapies, as well as wasted time, funds, and other resources. Many explanations have been offered to elucidate the failure to recruit adequate numbers of patients, including poor study design, lack of patient engagement, insufficient staff time, inadequate attention to determine and identify available patients who meet eligibility criteria, and inadequate centralized site support.

While various approaches have been taken to address recruitment challenges, relatively little has been done to bring together the strategies, resource considerations, and/or stakeholder perspectives that are needed to help plan for efficient and effective recruitment. Furthermore, since recruitment activities are often iterative processes during a clinical trial, adopting a systematic framework early in study planning likely can facilitate subsequent actions. Actionable solutions are needed to inform best practices for trial recruitment processes.

Recommendations and results from this project will facilitate more efficient and effective enrollment to clinical trials through the use of systematic, well-informed, tailored recruitment planning processes.

Medical record and hospital-based registry or database review were methods that survey respondents felt were most effective and most often successfully employed to improve recruitment; however, no single tool or method alone is sufficient to address the range of significant barriers identified.

Potential solutions proposed by the respondents to address recruitment barriers included increasing education, leveraging technology, obtaining patient/community input, improving planning and budgeting efforts, and streamlining aspects of the study. The most frequent recommendation for identifying eligible patients was to engage in effective study planning, including appropriate site selection.

Following the literature review and survey, recommendations were developed that detail strategic approaches to enhance recruitment across all stages of clinical trial planning. The recommendations contain the following broad suggestions for improvement:

We provide legal advice, business support and training to help brilliant recruiters and to drive the growth of your business. We shine a light on the impact of recruitment and celebrate the individuals involved in making this industry a contributor of 39 billion to the UK economy.

Our Good Recruitment Collective is a network of employers united behind one common goal of recruitment best practice.Your in-house recruiters can benefit from our workshops, conferences, self-assessment tools and data to help you benchmark and improve your recruitment practices.


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