June 23, 2008

Socially Responsible Recruitment

A society is likely to be prosperous when business firms are innovative, competitive, productive, profit and socially responsible. Therefore, the business community is continuously challenged to inculcate all these characteristics.

Today, issues like environmental damage, unsafe working environment, and faulty products leading to customers’ inconvenience are getting attention. Customers are becoming conscious about the social image of the companies from which they buy their goods and services. This requires organizations to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally friendly manner.

With the introduction of the concept that there is something called “common good” or the general welfare of the society, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged. The basic premise of the concept of CSR is the claim that business is also a social institution.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility can be defined as a concept that requires companies to integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Companies have a number of stakeholders like employees, suppliers, customers, creditors, shareholders, key government agencies, etc.

It also highlights that company’s need to answer two aspects of their operations:

• The quality of their management

• The nature and quantity of their impact on society in various areas.

“Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.”

CSR and Human Resources

Organizations are currently highlighting their focus on safety, health and training and development of their employees.

Telewest, a company of the UK declares, “We invest in the development and training of our people encouraging them to focus their learning around business needs and to pursue appropriate development opportunities. Telewest is committed to ensure that the safety of our customers and staff remains a top priority. It is paramount that safe working practices linked with a safe working environment are maintained at all times to protect the health, safety and welfare of all those affected by our activities.”

Recruitment – Social Implications

According to Edward Flippo recruitment is the process of searching for prospective employees and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organizations. He views recruitment as a positive activity of hiring because it increases the number of applicants per job opening. This is valid for corporate jobs in India too.

According to the literature on human resources, the aim of an effective recruitment program is to attract the best people for the job and aid the recruiter by making a wide choice available. Thus, at the time of recruitment, companies have to make attempts to attract as many applicants as possible so that it can hire the best people. If the recruitment effort is not effective, there is a possibility that the company may employ persons with less caliber even when persons with more caliber are willing to work in the company at the salary or wage levels that the company is paying. Hence, human resources professionals are suggested to utilize all possible channels to inform potential candidates regarding their requirement for employment.

At the recruitment stage, HR professionals should try to inform the public at large through all possible channels regarding their requirement of employees with specific competence potential. Such an open policy will encourage many candidates to develop their competence to higher levels so that they can get better jobs. When persons in a society develop their competencies to a higher level, the society will benefit due to the increased productivity, even though the concerned persons do not get a job with higher responsibility and higher pay immediately. This is because improvement in competence gets reflected in the present job also.

Today, companies are narrowing the choice to a group of persons based on religion, caste, region or educational institutes.

Hence, it is proposed that HR departments articulate a recruitment policy that aims at informing as large a number of persons as possible about the manpower requirements of the company and a selection process that is fair to all persons with competencies required for a vacancy in a corporate concern in the interest of the society.


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