Recruiting via the Internet

More and more people are going online to look for jobs. One survey found that on a typical day, more than 4 million people turn to the Web looking for jobs. Employers are therefore making it easy to use their Web sites to hunt for jobs: 71% of the Standard & Poor’s 500 place employment information just one click away from their home pages Job seekers can submit their resumes online at 90% of the Fortune 500 Web sites; however, only about 25% give job seekers the option of completing online applications, although it is the method many applicants prefer, according to one expert.

Some managers use the Internet to search for applicants in reverse. Rather than place their own Internet ads, they do keyword searches on sites such as HotJobs’ resumes database. For example, when the HR manager for one hydraulic products company placed a Sunday ad in his local newspaper, it cost $3,000 and produced about 30 resumes, 10% of which were relevant. By comparison, he found that keyword search of the HotJob database produced 52 resumes, many of which included the necessary industry experience. The HR manager says he could find more qualified candidates by searching for resumes on Internet than posting ads.

Employers list several advantages of internet recruiting. In general the Web is a relatively cost-effective way for firms to publicize openings. For example, Marsha Wheatley, HR director for the Washington, DC based American Crop Protection Association, no longer runs $400 ads in the Washington Post when she’s looking for professionals. Instead, ads on cost only $200. And “instead of a tiny ad that says, ‘ACPA needs an accountant,’ she gets a whole page to describe the job give information about the association, and include a link to their Web site. Furthermore, she estimates that for half the cost of Sunday newspaper ad, she averages nine times as many applicant resumes via the online ad. A newspaper ad might also have a life span of perhaps 10 days, whereas the internet ad may keep attracting applications for 30 days or more. Internet recruiting can also be timelier. Response to electronic job listings may come the day the ad is posted whereas responses to newspaper ads can take a week just to reach an employer (although including a fax response or e-mail address can provide quick responses, too). Employers can also use Internet support tools such as Recruiter Toolbox to create online ads that include prescreening tests, thus further automating the recruiting process. They can also supplement their own Web site ads with a variety of job search sites. Two popular recruitment Web sites are presented.

E-recruiting does have some potential legal pitfalls. For example, since more young people use the internet, automated online application gathering ad screening might mean the employer inadvertently excludes higher numbers of older applicants. Furthermore, the US government’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requires certain employers to track “applicant flow data”. To do so, the employer needs detailed information regarding applicants, information the online screening software might not provide.

Applicant Tracking: Web based ads often produce so many applicants that most firms are installing applicant tracking systems to support their on and offline recruiting efforts. Well known tracking systems (such as, and Itrack-IT solutions) help employers monitor applicants. They also provide several services, including requisitions management for monitoring the firm’s open jobs, applicant data collection for scanning applicant’s data into the system, and reporting to create various recruiting related reports such as cost per hire and hire by source.

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