Recruitment refers to your ability to recruit some of the NPCs to join you and fight on your side in combat. Extra help in combat is very useful, but there are some minor problems associated with it. Barring either badgering everyone on the face of the planet or consulting a walkthrough, it can be difficult to determine who can and can't be recruited. Recruited party members do a decent job using the tools you give them, but you have to manage their inventory either by bartering (which is annoying when you are trying to take something from them) or by using the Steal skill (which is more efficient, but doesn't allow you to take the gun they are currently holding). Also, since you have no control over your party members, they may make some questionable decisions in combat, further increasing their risk of dying in combat (which goes up throughout the game due to their refusal to don any new armor you give them).