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Theory of Recruitment and Selection

Updated April 17, 2017

The theory of organizational recruitment is a scholarly body of work about how people can most effectively be persuaded to apply for a job. Under normal circumstances, an increase in the pool of applicants will improve an employer's opportunities in selecting exactly the right person for an opening.

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Person-Organization Fit

Research shows that applicants will be attracted to the organisation to the extent they see it as a good match for them, or what in the literature is known as "person-organization" (P-O) fit. Potential applicants make an initial assessment of the likely P-O fit through what they understand of the employer's culture: for example, a firm that seems "supportive and team-oriented" will attract a certain pool of applicants, and a firm that seems "innovative and detail-oriented" will attract others.

Organization Size

Research also indicates that the simple fact of size correlates with the way a particular organisation will seek to recruit applicants. Smaller firms are more likely to rely upon employee referrals and networking--what are known as "internal recruitment sources"--than their larger counterparts. Studies on such matters are quoted, for example, in the "Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management" by Peter F. Boxall and others.


The actual selection will always be subject to pitfalls, however successful the recruitment. As Gareth Roberts wrote, "The only way to be certain that someone can do the job is to give them the job."

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About the Author

Christopher Faille

Christopher Faille is a finance journalist who has been writing since 1986. He has written for HedgeWorld and The Federal Lawyer and is the author of books including "The Decline and Fall of the Supreme Court." Faille received his Juris Doctor from Western New England College.

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