Sample Research Paper On History Of Recruitment AND Retention

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Human Resource Management, Employment, Recruitment, Company, Retention, Employee, Workplace, Human

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/03/21


Nowadays, most companies use the terms retention and recruitment together yet these functions involve entirely different activities. The merging of these functions in companies has been met with equal measures of support and rejection. This paper looks at the development of recruitment and retention in the history of human resource with emphasis on the period when the usage of the two terms became common. It examines the reasons why companies always lump retention and recruitment together. The reasons why we should avoid lumping recruitment and retention together are then discussed with emphasis on the implications of lumping these two functions together and the core differences between them. Finally, the paper recommends what should be done to ensure quality human resource without compromising the autonomy of these two functions of staffing.
Keywords: Retention, Recruitment, Human resource, Autonomy, Personnel, Employee


In the recent times, many human resource departments have started lumping the recruitment and retention staffing activities together. It is now a norm to find the manager of recruitment “and retention” as a title or a head of a taskforce in the human resource department in a company. Many people feel that these two are different functions because their objectives towards the human resource of a company are different. However, other schools of thought feel that putting the two staffing functions together is beneficial to the company since they believe that they go hand-in-hand. This paper discusses why the two different activities are always lumped together. Recruitment and retention are different functions in a company and putting them together will compromise the quality of the human resource of the company.

Recruitment is the process of identifying, attracting, interviewing and finally hiring a new employee in a company. It is a historical business staffing practice dating back to the ancient kingdoms of Egypt and Rome. However, the modern recruitment practice has its roots in the period around the Second World War in the 1940s. During this time, many people left their places of work to serve their countries as soldiers. This left a vast gap in the workplace and many recruitment agencies sprung up in a bid to find the right people to fill these spaces. The end of the Second World War brought a new facet to the recruitment practice. The recruitment agencies now endeavored to attract the war veterans who now had exposure to other parts of the world and had acquired a different skill set.
In the 1970s, the expanding corporate world increased the demand for qualified and specialized employees. The prospective employees described their skills and profile in a CV and handed them to the recruitment agencies or walked into the company offices to present them for consideration. With the rise of the internet, the processing of the application and short listing of candidates became easier; companies could store many CVs for consideration. In the present day, recruitment has taken a multifaceted approach. Any company’s human resource department has unlimited access to millions of professional profiles using social networking platforms such as LinkedIn.
On the other hand, retention is the strategies and measures applied by the company to guarantee that the best talent stays in the company. After recruitment, the company evaluates the performance of the employees. Those who are top performers are great assets for the company. They are also targets for recruitment by other competing companies. Therefore, the companies need to formulate strategies to ensure that their best employees remain in the company. These strategies include rewards such as promotions, career development and providing the best tools.
Employee retention is a newer concept than recruitment. In the beginning of the recruitment practice, the main aim was to attract employees and ensure employee satisfaction. Businesses considered employees as personnel. However, in the 1990s, there was a paradigm shift from personnel to human resource. Academic journals started using the term employee engagement in place of employee satisfaction. During this time, the service industry became popular. Employees needed flexibility in a bid to acquire new skills in different jobs. This was bad for the companies because they needed to keep hiring new employees and training them only for them to move to a competing company.

Why companies lump recruitment and retention together

Some companies put recruitment and retention together in a bid to counter employee turnover. They believe that a flawed recruitment function is the root cause of the high turnover of the employees. Therefore, they think that placing retention and recruitment together will eliminate defects in recruitment since it will be the umbrella responsibility of the merged functions to ensure a reduced employee turnover. Other companies put recruitment and retention together because they think it is a cost effective way to ensure a talented functions. They assume that the two functions will complement each other.

Why we should not put recruiting and retention functions together

In the light of this new approach to staffing, many firms started using recruitment and retention together. The retention and recruitment functions started falling in the same docket though they are seemingly different functions. Many critics have questioned the logic of lumping the terms retention and recruitment together. However, a close examination of the present day staffing dynamics reveals that retention and recruitment differ in many ways and combining these functions together is an erroneous decision for the company.
However, on the other hand, the retention function has the role of coming up with strategies to ensure that those who are already working for the company are willing to work for the cause of the employer. They need to understand the internal environment of the company in order to come up with the best strategy. Their main goal is to induce loyalty to the company in the best performing employees. The skills required to forge such strategies are entirely different from the skills required to interview and hire a potential employee.
Therefore, putting the recruitment and the retention functions together will lead to underperformance since those who perform well in recruitment cannot necessarily perform well in retention and vice versa. If the two functions worked independently rather than together, each function will have optimal performance since they will be doing what they know how to do best.
The second reason why it is not wise to place the recruitment and the retention functions together is that there will be conflict of interest. The evaluation of the performance of the recruitment function has its basis on the number and quality of employees hired. On the other hand, the performance of the retention function is in the ability to induce loyalty to the company among the best talent and retain it. If the recruitment gives the right candidate to the retention function, there will be a high rate of retention. However, if the recruitment gives a bad candidate to the retention, the retention rate will be low. However, low retention may also be an indicator of a poor working environment. These events form the basis for evaluation of the workforce without bias.
However, if the company puts the two functions together, the recruiter will be compelled to retain the employees that they hire in order to convince the management that they are doing a good job. This may compromise the quality of the workforce and jeopardize the operations of the company. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the autonomy of the recruitment and the retention functions in a company. This way, it is easier to rate each department independently and it will reduce bias since there will be no conflict of interest.
Third, contrary to popular belief that recruitment is solely responsible for the high turnover in companies that result in low retention rates, this is not true. Some people believe that combining the recruitment and the retention functions will decrease the turnover. However, assuming that the recruitment function is the main contributing factor to employee turnover is an erroneous assumption. Studies have shown that while the recruiter may provide the best and most qualified employees, flaws in the management strategies make force these great employees to leave.
In addition, the recruitment function does not have any control over any of the factors that make the best employees leave. The recruiter does not have any control over poor pay, callous co-workers, abusive managers and discrimination, which are some of the factors that cause high rates of employee turnover. The responsibility of the recruitment is to get the employees in. However, it is upon the retention to ensure that the employees do not leave.

Implications of putting recruitment and retention together

As mentioned above, one implications of putting recruitment and retention together is conflict of interest. The merging of these functions leads to overlapping of differing functions some of which may lead to bias on one function. The second implication is underperformance since the employees in each function have a different skill set. Combining these employees and hoping that they will perform optimally across the two functions is a lethal assumption. Finally, putting the two functions together will compromise the activities of the company to evaluate the performance of different departments. Having many functions together causes chaos when trying to identify the weaknesses and this is not good for smooth running of the company.


Rather than combining the functions of recruitment and retention, one of the recommended alternative ways of improving the human resource in a company is facilitating the sharing of information across different functions. Occasional interdepartmental meetings are a great way of sharing information across different functions without challenging the autonomy of either function.


In conclusion, it is clear that putting the recruitment and the retention functions together in a company is not a sustainable idea. The two staffing activities have fundamental differences in their core and the skills required to accomplish each. Therefore, having them under an umbrella function will create chaos and complicate the management and performance evaluation process. Alternatively, it is recommendable to facilitate sharing of information across different functions for the smooth running of the company while maintaining the autonomy of each function.

Works Cited

Azanza, Patrick Alain. Human Resources Management. JMC Press, 2004.
Brown, Jane Newell. The Complete Guide to Recruitment: A Step-by-step Approach to Selecting, Assessing and Hiring the Right People. Kogan Page Publishers, 2011.
Cook, Sarah. The Essential Guide to Employee Engagement: Better Business Performance Through Staff Satisfaction. Kogan Page Publishers, 2009.
Diana Furr, Joe Petrick. Total Quality in Managing Human Resources. CRC Press, 1995.
Griendling, Harry. Why are Recruiting and Retention Always Lumped Together? 28 May 2008. 22 April 2015 <>.
Tiwari, M. D. Strategic Human Resource Management at Tertiary Level. River Publishers, 2013.
Trevor Amos, Adrian Ristow, Noel J Pearse, Liezel Ristow. Human Resource Management. Juta and Company Ltd, 2009.

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"Sample Research Paper On History Of Recruitment AND Retention," Free Essay Examples -, 21-Mar-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 02-Dec-2022].
Sample Research Paper On History Of Recruitment AND Retention. Free Essay Examples - Published Mar 21, 2021. Accessed December 02, 2022.

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