Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Factors Influencing Graduates Recruitment Decisions: The Case of Tanzania Corporate Recruiters

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Factors Influencing Graduates Recruitment Decisions: The Case of Tanzania Corporate Recruiters

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Recruitment is among the core functions of organizations and effective deployment of human capital has clearly been recognized as a key contributor to organizational effectiveness (Ahmed, 2009). According to Richardson (1989) recruitment impact most critically the performance of an organization and acquiring and retaining high-quality talent is critical to an organization success. Following changes in the labour market, factors such as mass enrolment in Higher Education Institutions (Tan & French-Arnold, 2012) and advancement in technology (Hager, Holland & Veckett, 2002; Datta, 2001) have changed the way organizations recruit graduates (Steiner & Gilliland, 1996; Anderson & Witvliet, 2008). Indeed, technological change and globalization continue to increase the demand for skilled workers that can operate successfully in the global environment (Karoly, 2010). In this context, organizations are becoming more flexible and responsive and accordingly are changing their preferred recruitment channels in response to changing labour market conditions (Russo & Gorter, 2000; Russo, Gorter & Schettkat, 2001).

Studies on recruitment have focused on applicant attraction to organizations (Larsen & Phillips, 2002; David, 2005; Celani & Singh, 2011), recruitment sources (Rynes, 1989) and employers' recruitment behaviour (Behrenz, 2001; Gorter & Rietveld, 1996; DeVaro, 2005) with the later studies; addressing little on how corporate recruiters recruit new graduates. Gorter & Rietveld (1996) argues that recruiters prefer advertisements as the first recruitment channel when applicants are required to have work experience. Additionally, employers search for personal qualities and characteristics such as professional knowledge, personal engagement and social competence (Behrenz, 2001) characteristics less reflected to new graduates. Few studies have conceptualized and empirically address the processes and mechanisms explaining how personal characteristics and in particular skills attributes may influence corporate recruiters' decision during recruitment of new graduates (Stewart & Knowles, 2000; Mora & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2009). Recruitment of new graduates by corporate recruiters brings with it different decision making strategies making the subject of interest to explore.

This study addresses this gap by creating empirically grounded propositions on how corporate recruiters make recruitment decisions during recruitment of new graduates in the Tanzanian context. The study responds to the questions; what recruitment strategies do corporate recruiters use to obtain employable and qualified new graduates? What skills attributes do corporate recruiters consider important when making decisions within the recruitment and selection process? What tools and criteria do corporate recruiters use to assess the possession of the skills attributes among new graduates during recruitment process? Abel, Deitz & Su (2014) define a recent graduate as a graduate who is twenty-two to twenty-seven years old and has graduated within the first five years. In this study, a new or a recent graduate falls within the age range, but should have graduated a bachelor's degree within the first three years.

Literature review was conducted to establish the state of art on recruitment channels, potential screening tools and selection criteria used by corporate recruiters. Interviews were conducted with 22 corporate recruiters in Tanzania, firms that operate at local, national and multinational levels. Study findings show that recruiters use formal recruitment channels to attract new graduates. Recruitment from all disciplines is common in auditing and banking financial institutions. In relation to screening of the applicants, there is a growing trend towards using tests particularly aptitude tests to screen applicants views also shared by Branine, 2008. Besides assessing graduates soft skills; employers also demand basic technical and general knowledge from the applicants the attributes that are assessed during interview process. …

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