In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Recruitment

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Reference Works
  • Journals
  • Job Applicant Variables
  • Targeting Individuals for Recruitment
  • The Recruitment Message
  • Recruiting Sources
  • Employee Referrals as a Recruiting Source
  • Websites as a Recruiting Source
  • Word of Mouth as a Recruiting Source
  • Recruiters
  • The Timing of Recruitment Actions
  • The Organizational Site Visit
  • Evaluation of Recruitment Activities
  • Recruiting Members of Underrepresented Groups
  • Strategic Recruiting
  • Methodological Issues and Advances

Management Recruitment
James A. Breaugh
  • LAST REVIEWED: 08 February 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 June 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0097


Recruitment (alternatively, “employee recruitment”) refers to an employer’s actions that are intended to (a) bring a job opening to the attention of potential job applicants, (b) influence whether these individuals apply for the opening, (c) affect whether these individuals maintain interest in the job opening until a job offer is extended, and/or (d) impact whether a job offer is accepted. The way an employer recruits is important because it can affect the quality of the individuals it hires, their initial performance, their work attitudes, and their retention. For employers who are interested in creating a diverse work force, recruitment can be an important first step in that it helps create a heterogeneous applicant pool.

General Overviews

The sources listed below provide a foundation for the study of employee recruitment. For the most part, the perspective taken in the sources cited is psychological in orientation. This perspective reflects the interest of most of the scholars (e.g., human resource management, organizational behavior, and organizational psychology) who are doing research on recruitment topics. Rynes, et al. 2013 provides a historical context for recruitment research that has been conducted, citing trends in research on major recruitment topics. Breaugh 2013 draws upon basic psychological research to explain why recruitment actions are likely to have the effects they have. Ryan and Delaney 2010 provides a selective review of recent research on a range of recruitment topics, with heavy emphasis given to issues of an international nature. Billsberry 2007 offers several rich anecdotes that demonstrate how different recruitment experiences can affect job hunters.

  • Billsberry, Jon. Experiencing Recruitment and Selection. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007.

    Based on interviews with individuals about their experiences as they went through the recruitment process, this book offers a unique perspective on how different experiences can affect job applicants.

  • Breaugh, James A. “Employee Recruitment.” Annual Review of Psychology 64 (2013): 389–416.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143757

    Breaugh provides a review of recruitment research published between 2000 and 2012. This review uses psychological research dealing with such topics as selective attention, attitude formation, and decision making to explain why various recruitment actions have the effects they do.

  • Ryan, Ann M., and Tanya Delaney. “Attracting Job Candidates to Organizations.” In Handbook of Employee Selection. Edited by James L. Farr and Nancy T. Tippins, 127–146. New York: Routledge, 2010.

    This chapter provides a selective review of somewhat recent recruitment research. Substantial emphasis is given to issues, such as culture, that are related to international recruitment.

  • Rynes, Sara L., Cody J. Reeves, and Todd C. Darnold. “The History of Recruitment Research.” In The Oxford Handbook of Recruitment. Edited by Kang Y. T. Yu and Daniel M. Cable, 335–360. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

    This chapter summarizes historical trends in the recruitment literature. It offers a constructive critique of many of the studies conducted and suggests new directions for future recruitment research.

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