Online Recruitment Service Industry

By: M H Ahsan

The twenty-first century has ushered in many alternative ways in which to do business. Specifically, Human Resource Management has been challenged to keep up with today's fast tools of technology. We will explore the pros and cons of utilizing the internet for recruitment of personnel for staffing purposes. The areas we will consider are cost, time, interviewing techniques and skills in an effort to justify the use for on-line recruitment services.

In a recent survey it was reported that 32% of 203 respondents were using the internet as a primary recruitment source; this is up from 20% in 1996. Computer related positions were the most commonly filled through the Internet postings (accounting for 59% of the workers hired) followed by technical (39%), engineering (29%), consulting (21%), sales (15%), management (14%), marketing (14%), accounting (10%), as well as various other job classification. This alone shows success with electronic recruiting for many employers.

The obvious reason for using on-line recruitment would be instantaneous access to a wide pool of applicants. This lessens the time it takes to get the message to a targeted area. Additionally, it takes little time to set up an account and get the process going. Payment can be made easily over the internet, which also eliminates time and money.

The cost ratio for internet advertising rather than the traditional means such as newspaper, etc. may also be greater. One must consider the amount of time an applicant can stay on the system and/or the employer may advertisement in comparison to a $50 to $100 ad which will be advertised perhaps only two or three days. There is competition between the on-line recruiters so a cost savings is possible with due diligence.

Electronic links allow the recruitment process to be better managed since applicants can view opportunities, look at job descriptions and related details, and the potential to submit letters and resumes online. (SHRM) This gives the employers an added targeted area with a wider variety of links.

There is obviously a greater need for urban employers rather than rural employers. There may be more competition among companies and thus making on-line recruitment more attractive. Rural areas are typically slower in catching on to technological changes unless they are part of a large corporation.

State and federal statutes require that an employer not only recruit from a diverse audience but also design employment announcements that will encourage a diverse group of applicants. (McGraw Hill) On-line recruitment meets this challenge.

There are some disadvantages associated with this new technology of online recruitment. Some disadvantages are the need for HR staff to have additional training to utilize new tools and be prepared to communicate electronically, online recruitment may be expensive depending on which source it utilized, or the company may incur costs if it is not well equipped with the market.

Other concerns may be high-end work categories are hard to pinpoint on general selections for most work sites and, one of the most difficult disadvantages to overcome is the manager's decision to hire based on a resume instead of face-to-face interviews.

The online recruitment has been growing in the past few years because of its easy to use- easy to access- and immediate response. However, in determining the "right" candidate, the employers must hire staff to utilize key words in order to recruit the right candidate and have the ability to read and correctly interpret the online applications. This means more cost to the company in training HR and providing the tools necessary to complete the tasks.

Specialty jobs and high-end jobs are very difficult to categorize in the general worksite. Many jobs can be categorized under many titles and still not provide enough efficient information to match the right candidate to the job.

Many sights now offer keywords, but even with this development the keywords are limited. An example of this would be an employer is looking for an export specialist that is very detailed in international documentation, dealing with customs and very familiar with rules and regulations in other countries. Most job sites would categorize this under transportation and warehouse, even though it really doesn't involve these types of jobs. However keywords for this type of job may be "export" or "customs", however most jobseekers looking for this type of job may not think of using these terms. Therefore, the job is only submitted to the people that think of these keywords and those who are in general labor class under transportation and warehouse. This causes a problem for the employers to try to find a perfect match,

Another disadvantage of online recruitment is the relationship between the application/interviewer and first impressions. A resume is the first impression and will help determine whether or not you have the required skills. For example, you have two candidates for the export job, one has a bachelor's degree in business with one year of experience and where as the other candidate may have five years of experience in the field. Most employers would want the education and the experience so in this case based on the resume they might choose the person with the bachelor's degree. In this case, the person with five years of experience was one of the top persons in the field and may never be given the opportunity to share his knowledge base experience with the employer. If both candidates were at an interview and could explain their experience and the knowledge they have of the job, perhaps the final decision would be different.

A candidate may be exactly the right match for the company, but the applicant may live out of state and the other applicants may be located in the immediate area. It might be in the best interest of the company to offer the job to local applicant instead of accruing the long distance phone calls, arranging a long distance interview and/or paying for relocation expenses.

Personality of a person is not determined online or by a resume, which causes a problem. The best-qualified person on paper may not have the attitude needed for the job environment. Some places are now including a personality test with the online application, to get a feel for the person's personality type. This still does not replace the person actually sitting in front the interviewer and discussing what is important to them and their true attitude, but it is a positive step. Although there are many disadvantages, there are many advantages and it is up to the employer to weigh the balance between the two.

After reviewing the pros and cons for on-line recruitment, a decision must ultimately be made whether a company should utilize the on-line capabilities. It is the decision of this group that our company should continue to recruit via the employment service, which is necessary since we do government contract and is a requirement for Affirmative Action. That being the case, the employment service also has on-line capabilities. Additionally, we would like to take advantage of local on-line recruitment to attract applicants from the immediate area. Our company will be selective in the agencies we utilize and upon references from other companies' experiences; we will utilize a good pool of recruitment sources.

As technology is changing faster than we can adjust to itPsychology Articles, the next generations must be open to "change". On-line recruitment is a big change from our past HR practices but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Advertising for job openings as well as receiving on-line applications through the company web site may seem overwhelming in the initial stages of implementation but with experience our skills will rise to meet the need of processing them efficiently.  

Human Resources
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