Pros and Cons of 10 External Recruitment Methods

Hiring top talent is the top priority of recruitment teams across organizations. Whether it is hiring for technical roles or customer-facing roles or management roles, proper evaluation of skills and competencies is an important part of the hiring strategy. The recruitment methods that the company chooses must be aligned with the recruitment strategy. Choosing the right recruitment methods requires the team to analyze the pros and cons of various recruitment methods and techniques before zeroing in on the method suitable for their organization.

Organizations spend a considerable amount of time and resources to build the talent pool. From sourcing talent to onboarding new hires – there are a lot many steps involved in the recruitment and selection process. The success of recruiting new talent depends on the types of recruitment methods that are adopted by the organization. To choose the right one, we need to know the details of each method along with the pros and cons of each method.

Recruitment Agencies

established recruitment agencies with a good reputation and track record in sourcing skilled and talented candidates can draw in their existing candidate base to help organizations connect with top-caliber jobseekers. Recruitment process outsourcing via recruitment agencies helps fill in niche skill requirements. Recruitment agencies specialize in sourcing talent for a certain industry or skill, that can be leveraged by hiring teams to fill niche positions. In order to benefit from their specialization, organizations need to choose the agency carefully to suit the business and the role. Recruitment agencies can also tell you what the job market looks like currently, the latest recruitment trends, salary expectations, and the availability of niche skills.

Pros –
  • Faster and reliable
  • Screening and shortlisting are done by the agency
  • Payment is done only for successful hires
Cons –
  • Can be expensive
  • Missout on candidates that are not registered with the agency
  • Lack of in-depth knowledge of your business

Company Websites

an attractive and engaging company website is the best way to attract prospective hires. Majority of the candidates check out the prospective buyer’s website before applying for the job. Websites must also comprise a specific section that provides information on the current vacant job positions in the company. The information must make it easy for search engines to understand the job requirement so that the right traffic is directed to the website. Online recruitment methods thrive on website traffic.

Pros –
  • Minimal or no cost
  • Most candidates prefer applying via the website
  • A good way to showcase the brand
Cons –
  • Difficult navigation to the vacancy page on the website might result in losing candidates
  • The web page information must be kept updated
  • Vacancies posted are not confidential

Employee Referrals

employee referrals are a good way to incentivize the workforce for hiring new staff. Current employees know the business well, so they would refer candidates that would be a good fit for the organization. Employee referrals are common in many businesses where top recruiters tap into their friends and connections to source new employees.

Pros –
  • Current employees know business needs and work culture
  • Time and cost-effective method
  • Reliable sourcing of candidates
Cons –
  • Limits the talent pool
  • May have a negative impact on the referrer

Job Boards

these are websites that display job vacancies across a wide range of sectors. The recruitment team can choose from industry-specific job boards to target people with specific skills and qualifications. Some job boards offer applicant tracking systems.

Pros –
  • Wide range of active job seekers
  • Cost-effective
  • Many have a searchable CV database
Cons –
  • Applications from people that are not suitable
  • No guarantee
  • Can be time-consuming


many professionals use their network to identify their next career move. Professional networks work on word-of-mouth advertising that helps spread the word about active job openings and suitable profiles.

Pros –
  • Inexpensive sourcing method
  • Better reach on local talent
  • High-impact face-to-face networking
Cons –
  • Time-consuming process
  • Reach is limited within the network
  • Can be targeted by unsuitable job seekers

Job Fairs

organizations participating in job fairs can showcase their openings, work culture, and environment to prospective hires. Job seekers will attend these fairs and provide their resumes to companies that they deem to be a good fit for their skills and competencies.

Pros –
  • Attendees are actively seeking jobs
  • Opportunity to meet prospects informally
  • Indirect marketing and advertising for your brand
Cons –
  • Chances of missing the right talent
  • The scope is restricted to those that attend the fair
  • Competition is high

On-Campus Recruitment

entry-level positions can be effectively filled via on-campus recruitment drives. Campus recruitments involve sourcing, evaluating, and hiring college/university graduates for starting their careers.

Pros –
  • Allows you to tap talent early
  • Enables you to source qualified candidates for entry-level positions
Cons –
  • Candidates may not stick for a long time with the organization
  • High competition

Print, Radio, Advertising

advertising job vacancies via print media, radio, television, or newspapers is a time-tested way of attracting candidates. Organizations use this media to showcase their work culture to attract prospects.

  • Can be industry targeted
  • Wider reach
  • Can be used to target local talent
Cons –
  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming

Social Media

a raging trend in recruitment is the use of social media to attract talented and skilled candidates. Social media is widely used by candidates to seek jobs. Professional media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Xing, are an online recruitment process.

  • As many as 80% of job seekers use social media
  • Can reach out to passive job seekers
  • Special content needs to be created to make posts attractive
  • Expensive

Professional Associations

professional institutes and trade associations are a great source of skilled and talented professionals. Circulating job vacancies within such organizations helps reach candidates with specific skills.

Pros –
  • Membership allows access to directories
  • Raises business profile with specific professions
Cons –
  • Time-consuming
  • Memberships can be expensive

All of the above recruitment methods can be effectively carried out with the right assessment tools for recruitment and selection. Candidate screening and skill evaluation can be done using recruitment assessment tools that provide role-based skill assessments. Recruitment assessment software also provides performance data that helps the hiring team make informed recruiting decisions. SkillRobo is a recruitment assessment software that enables quick and effective candidate screening.

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