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RECRUITING ON THE INTERNET HUMAN RESOURCE DIPLOMA ( 08 Jul 2009 )
Recruitment has undergone a drastic transformation in the past five years. With the integration and utilisation of Internet technologies, recruitment processes have become smooth, efficient and effective. The entire recruitment industry has raced onto the web creating a comprehensive range of services at a reduced cost, reduced timeframe and an increased efficiency for both the job seeker and the recruiter.

 
 
1.       Introduction to Internet Recruitment
Recruitment has undergone a drastic transformation in the past five years. With the integration and utilisation of Internet technologies, recruitment processes have become smooth, efficient and effective. The entire recruitment industry has raced onto the web creating a comprehensive range of services at a reduced cost, reduced timeframe and an increased efficiency for both the job seeker and the recruiter.

The tremendous growth of online recruitment market proves the phenomenon that electronic marketplaces can offer a reach and efficiency that physical markets cannot rival. And as the Internet penetration is growing, corporates are taking active interest in recruitment through the web. Online recruitment has now become a core strategy of companies in their hiring process.
Today’s world recognises that recruitment is a partnership where both the applicant and the organisation make a choice and that choice needs to be made on the basis of the very best information being made available to all parties.
Since the first edition of Mintel Market Research Report was published in 2002, the online recruitment market has seen significant changes. The economic downturn of 2001-03 markedly affected both revenue streams and the supply structure of the industry. In 2002, for instance, revenues actually fell by nearly 20%, while at the same time record numbers of job seekers were posting resumes to recruitment websites. This began to turn around in 2003, and revenues for 2003 and 2004 are at or above 2001 levels. The revenue outlook is good, as more and more companies and job seekers move their career advertising online. According to industry experts, 96% of Fortune 500 companies now use some sort of online recruitment process. Industry compound annual growth rate through 2008 is expected to be at around 22%.

The poor economy drove many recruitment sites into bankruptcy or out of business altogether, creating an opportunity for larger players to acquire or affiliate with the remainder. The outcome has been the emergence of an industry dominated by three major players: Monster, CareerBuilder and Yahoo! HotJobs, which together account for about 55% of revenues. The remainder is accounted for by a plethora of smaller, industry- or sector-specific sites that appeal to a specialized clientele--the big three are thus actually losing some ground to these niche sites.

The economy is showing signs of a recovery, though job growth remains slower the corporate growth and unemployment has remained at a relatively fixed rate over the past year. Online recruitment, however, is positioned to grow more quickly than other economic sectors. Jupiter Research has predicted that online advertising overall will exceed $16 billion by 2008, adding more than $10 billion from the industry's total revenues today. Recruitment advertising will likely be the single largest segment of this sector.
This paper will cover various factors regarding Internet Recruiting such as why this has become the favoured method of advertising jobs by employers, as well as statistics to support the reasoning behind this current and growing trend in the worldwide marketplace.
I will provide background into the feasibility of Internet Recruitment during this study, as well as reasons as to why the traditional methods of advertising in publications and newsletters is no longer viable.
 
2.       Internet Recruitment as a Marketing Tool
Before the Internet existed most recruitment marketing and advertising was done through the press.
This was typically using the local, regional or national newspapers and some of the specialist trade publications.
However, with the introduction of the Internet there are now additional ways of marketing your company and your vacancies online.  
Whilst some companies still continue to use the traditional newspapers and publications more and more companies are now using the Internet as a way of widening their advertising reach.
Using the Internet for recruitment marketing can be a very cost effective way of promoting your company and can lead to substantial savings in your recruitment budget.
Already the Internet is proving a popular recruitment medium. The Statistics are phenomenal. Of particular interest is the growing use in the UK, where a recent IPD survey reported that 32% of respondents were using the Internet for recruitment.
However the Internet, as a recruitment medium, is dominated by CV registration systems. This presents two issues. The first great benefit of the internet is that it extends your marketing reach enabling you to make more people aware of your job opportunities-a huge bonus. As a consequence the numbers of people applying will increase dramatically. Online recruitment promises huge cost savings and avoidance of paperwork in the pursuit of more targeted candidates.
 
3.       Research Into the Feasability of Internet Recruitment
Independent research conducted on behalf of Monster in Australia shows that whilst only 17.0% of organisations always use the Internet to advertise job vacancies, a massive 61.6% of job seekers now register their details with online career networks. This represents an enormous opportunity for employers to access this huge talent pool with great odds of getting the right candidate.
According to Libby Christie, Chief Executive of Monster.com.au, "IDC predict spending on newspaper recruitment advertising will remain flat, with recruitment dollars continuing to shift from newspapers to the Internet at a growing rate. Online recruitment can only expand as Australian companies increasingly look for more cost-effective ways to manage their recruitment needs and streamline this time-consuming process." Currently the majority of companies are yet to make full use of the web as a recruitment tool, research by the Gartner Group concludes that nearly 80 percent of organisations will be web enabled by the end of 2001.
Online career networks will be used by more recruiters to build and store resumes in digital, searchable format. Monster’s innovative technology provides employers and recruiters with desktop-based online tools which take time and cost out of the recruitment process as well as offering recruiters access to its global database of more than 8 million resumes and Monster’s regional database of more than 200,000 resumes.
A range of new services are being developed which will provide more than the job and candidate matching services of some online recruiters today. Monster already offers a sophisticated search engine, which enables pre-qualification of resumes on the basis of skills, qualifications and experience. Online competency testing and training programs are already available on the web and will soon be standard features of online recruitment sites. Web based HR management applications will make HR professionals more efficient and productive.
The question is, of course, how many job seekers actually find these sites, visit with any regularity, and post their resumes.
Please find below two sites, specializing in the recruitment of personnel for the IT and Media and Advertising Industries, and an outline as to the effectiveness of their online recruitment sites:
·              Dice.com, exclusively for IT professionals, boasts a 36,000+ job database, 475,000+ homepage hits each month, and an all-time high of 4,175,000 job views the month of September 2001.
·              Journalismjobs.com, launched in 1999, claims to be the largest and most-visited resource for media jobs, with the largest database of resumes for journalists. They report more than one million page views each month.
So in general , of the Job Seekers surveyed, 92.5% currently have access to the Internet, and 56% browse the Net at least occasionally. For their job search, most (71%) resort to the internet when seeking employment.
For this reason, Recruiters are now turning to the Internet in order to advertise their vacancies online, either through their own websites or as in most cases by using Online Recruitment Agencies.
 
4.       Perceptions of Internet Recruiting
There is a growing interest in understanding applicant perceptions of and reactions to Internet recruitment. In an interesting study, Feldman and Klaas (2002) examined applicant perceptions of various job hunting strategies, including the Internet. The Internet was the third most frequently mentioned as being effective, with networking/personal contacts and headhunters/professional recruiters being first and second, respectively, frequently mentioned as being effective. The Internet was also the second most frequently mentioned as being ineffective; only newspaper advertisements were more frequently mentioned as being ineffective. The three most frequently mentioned difficulties in Internet job searches were slow feedback or follow-up; not enough jobs to make the search worthwhile; and lack of relevant information on the company’s Web site. 
A completely different kind of study was conducted by www.careerxroads.com, founded by Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler. These two consultants created a fictitious job applicant, named Vinnie Boombotz, with a variety of interesting work experiences and employment (e.g., for 3 years, he worked at Bad-a-Bing Corporation). They sent his application to all possible Fortune 500 career Web sites (a copy of their report may be found on their Web site). Some of their findings are summarized next.
First, to their surprise, Crispin and Mehler found that 27 of the Fortune 500 companies lacked any trace of hiring activity. Thus, for about 5%, there was no way to provide an application. Another group of these companies indicated there were no jobs and provided just a minimum amount of information about the company or information about a few jobs and no additional information. On the positive side, they located 86 companies that they labeled as representing “best practices.” 
So, what do the “best practices” companies do in terms of Internet recruitment? They make it easy to find the listing of jobs. Other companies require the job searcher to make 7 or more “clicks” to locate job openings. “Best practices” companies also communicated clearly to Vinnie; others did not communicate much, if any, information regarding his application. Finally, a few “best practices” companies effectively communicated why people would be attracted to them and why employees stay with the organization. The use of a “refer-a-friend” program also varied considerably. While 40% of Fortune 500 companies offered such a program on their Web site, all of whom Vinnie was listed with, many of them never do anything besides issue a bland acknowledgement of the referral. Since Vinnie Boombotz only referred himself, the consultants performing the study were able to report that Vinnie did not receive a single follow-up e-mail.
In sum, I suspect that there is a great deal of room to improve the effectiveness of Internet recruitment. I-O psychologists would do well to spend more time understanding it and making sure they are involved in design and evaluation of their organization’s Internet recruitment program. I would be very interested in knowing whether you, the reader, play an active role or not in such programs.
 
5.       Legal Aspects of Internet Recruitment
Internet testing has become widely popular for pre-employment screening (as evidence, consider the numerous SIOP sessions on this subject) and there is no doubt that in many cases, it provides important advantages over paper-and-pencil methods. Nevertheless, there are a number of reasons why Internet recruitment and testing may be subject to new or additional legal problems compared to the traditional paper-and-pencil route. These are described in greater detail below.
Disparate impact analyses.
 Two distinct problems may occur. First, the EEOC has been developing guidelines as to what determines whether someone applying “online” for a job is considered an “applicant” in the legal sense of the term. The notion is that some individuals who are examining a Web site are just submitting applications but don’t meet even the most minimal qualifications. Depending on how a “candidate” is defined, I would bet that there might be a profound effect on whether a company is determined to have disparate impact. The 80% rule, for instance, which is widely used to determine whether there is disparate impact, could produce very different conclusions, depending on how a “candidate” is defined. 
A second concern is whether moving to an Internet-based system will produce adverse impact because there may be differences in minority use of the Internet (Sharf, 2000). Home computer ownership may also differ, which could further create a “digital divide.” Although some have argued that Internet access is widely available to the public through facilities such as public libraries, it seems reasonable to me to assume that someone who has a high-speed connection at home is more likely to apply and take a test than someone who has to go to a public facility to complete these steps. Race differences in Internet use, which continue to persist (see: http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report=88), may therefore produce disparate impact. I have some unpublished data suggesting that when faced with a choice of applying in person or over the Internet, minorities are more likely to apply in person. Eliminating this option may therefore increase disparate impact.
Lack of equivalency.
While Internet and paper-and-pencil tests may be equivalent, the question needs to be carefully examined. Although they may be both equally valid, there may be mean differences. Even if the Internet and paper-and-pencil versions are completely equivalent, the fact that different problems may arise can lead to potential charges of disparate treatment. Say, for example, people are taking the Internet version of a timed test and experience system problems, such as the server crashes. If they are not hired or promoted, they may claim that they were disadvantaged in this regard and deserved an opportunity to retake the exam. Especially if they are in a protected class, and not afforded the opportunity to retest, this might be viewed as discrimination. Regardless, it is possible that managers could either knowingly or perhaps unknowingly discriminate against certain applicants by offering them one mode of testing, while offering other applicants a different mode of testing. I can imagine a range of interesting possible claims in that kind of situation.
Ease in identifying disparate impact.
Job testers are people who apply for jobs in attempt to identify discrimination. Having “live” testers apply for jobs may be a time-consuming process; the ability to have testers sitting at a PC and applying for jobs and taking tests may greatly speed up the process and provide useful information as to the likelihood that disparate impact is occurring. The idea that fake applicants may apply over the Internet isn’t as farfetched as you might think (see below for the story of Vinnie Boombotz). Thus, it may be far easier for an investigator or agency to determine if there is disparate impact occurring than may normally be the case. In a similar vein, data gathering efforts may be vastly simplified as Internet testing results are conveniently stored in databases, which in turn can be easily and quickly analyzed by the plaintiffs’ expert witness. Hence, plaintiffs may have a far easier time determining if disparate impact is occurring and what test(s) or processes are creating the problem.
Difficulty in proving job relatedness.
Many Internet recruitment companies enable recruiters and line managers to create their own job requirements and pre-employment questions. This has led to the concern that hiring standards may be established that cannot be easily validated or proven to be job related. Given the large number of applicants that may apply using the Internet, it seems that a class-action lawsuit might result. In addition, I wonder how many Internet recruitment sites are offering tests that have not been properly validated. I suspect there are quite a few unvalidated tests that are being used.
In conclusion, I am not aware of any current lawsuits involving Internet recruitment and testing. It would appear, however, that there are many reasons why such lawsuits could be problematic for organizations. If you, the reader, are aware of any such lawsuits in progress, please let me know!
 
6.       Reasons To Use Internet Recruitment
 
Here are some reasons why more and more companies are using the internet as a recruitment method.
 
·              Internet recruitment is far cheaper than traditional press advertising, in some cases by as much as 90%. As a result you can significantly reduce your cost per hire.
 
·              You can publish job adverts on the internet at anytime and start to receive applications straight away. 
 
·              More than half the 2nd and 3rd World population now have access to the internet. With millions of those users potentially looking to change jobs no other medium can give you that sort of reach. The accuracy in targeting - by age, location, day of week and profession is almost 100%.
 
·              Internet delivers an interactive capability unmatched by any other communications medium.
 
·              Results are measurable, enabling you to determine your return on investment from each web site used in the campaign.
·              A workforce more educated and certainly more 'wired' than at any time in the past deserves to be treated with new recruitment methods.
 
·              More job seekers are turning to online recruitment sites when looking for work
 
·              By advertising jobs on the internet you typically have more available space compared to using the traditional media. This means you can give more information about your vacancies and your company, including company values, employee profiles, benefits etc.
 
·              Applicants can apply to you through a job-site or directly through your own web-site. 
 
 
7.       Online Recruitment versus Newspaper Advertising
 
·              An Internet job description is immediately accessible; newspapers need lead time.
·              If you need to make a change to your Internet job ad, it can be done immediately.
·              An Internet job description can be accessed 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
·              You can track your results by counting the "hits" to your Internet job description.
·              The Internet enables employers and job seekers to be more specific about their requirements since more content can be included at less cost.
·              You have access to thousands of resumés that have been posted and you can use our site's talent matching analysis to sort out those that do not meet your criteria. Paper resumés need to be read individually.
·              Invite the viewer of your ad to apply online and link directly to a Web-based application.
·              Your Internet job posting can be viewed for the length of time you choose.
·              The Internet expands your columns beyond the one-inch rule held to by newspapers to a wider column which is easier for people to read.
·              There are 350 million Web users worldwide who can access your Internet job description.
·              When internet recruitment first started it was suggested by some that it would signal the end of the traditional media. This never happened. 
·              Today, companies who use a mix of traditional and internet recruitment advertising, are typically finding more success that those who use either method in isolation.
·              By simply running a slightly smaller sized advert in the traditional media you could easily cover your online recruitment costs!  
 
8.       Posting Jobs On The Internet
Internet job postings are different than print advertisements
Writing job postings for the Internet is different than writing your typical ad for a print publication and thus should be treated differently.
With an Internet posting you are not being charged by the line. This gives you a lot more room to discuss the position, the company and the working environment. While most sites have some limit on the amount of content of job ads, there is sufficient space to outline enough information for the candidate to understand the position and the company. One well-written ad I checked on Monster was about 400 words. By the time I was finished reading the ad I knew exactly what technical skills I needed, soft skills I needed, company benefits, the working environment and a general view of what the company was all about. It was thorough and to the point. It had lots of valuable information without being too wordy. The job seeker benefits from a well-written ad because they now have enough knowledge of the job and the company to better determine if this is a position for which they would like to submit their resume. You benefit because the detail you provide in your ad will help you to receive only resumes from self-selected, higher potential candidates.
The job title is critical
Spending the time up front to write descriptive, thorough and creative job titles will lead to a better result in the end.
The actual content of your job posting becomes meaningless if no candidate clicks through your hyperlink to read your ad. The job title that is entered for each job is of critical importance to the success of your Internet recruiting campaign. Monster allows you approximately 40 characters for the Job Title. Use all 40 characters to describe your position. For example, I pretended I was a job seeker and conducted a search for jobs posted over the last 30 days for a position requiring c++ and unix skills. 387 positions came back. I furthered my subsearch to add in databases and 110 jobs resulted. As a job seeker I now have to determine which of these 110 positions I want to click into. Positions with the most interesting, targeted titles will be looked at the most. The job titles from which I had to choose ranged from simple descriptions such as "Programmer/Analyst", "Software Developer", "Product Specialist" and "Sr. Programmer" to detailed descriptions such as "Sr. Java Object Oriented App. Engineer", "S/W Developers c, c++, Java, PB", "Embedded Systems Dev., c++, c, unix, oracle" and "Sr. Oracle Web Solutions Developers". As a job seeker I would be inclined to click through the more detailed titles. If you have the room, use it. Say something about the opportunity. For example, Java, c++, oracle, web, hot technology. This is 39 characters long and gives the impression that this company is cutting edge.
Organise your content
When writing ads for the Internet, organise your content in an easy to read, concise format. Organise it the way a job seeker would want to see it.
First paragraph.
Job Description: Discuss the content of the actual job. Candidates first and foremost want to know what they will be doing on the job. Include the following: Type of work they will be doing: What is the scope of the work? For instance, in a networking environment there is a huge difference between a company with 150 users at one site and 7,000 users across the country. Will they be planning and developing something new or improving on something already in existence? What is their "end product" and who will be the recipient of it - outside customers and clients, the general consumer, internal clients? Will they be managing a team of people? If so, what does that entail?
Second Paragraph
Required skills: Outline skills required and necessary certifications. Be sure to delineate between the actual required skills and the "nice to have" skills. For technical positions indicate what software they need to know, hardware, testing tools, environments that they've had to work in, etc. For other professional positions, indicate the same types of things as they apply. For example, in an accounting environment, does it require a CPA? Is audit experience necessary? Cost accounting or financial accounting analysis required? Be specific with required skills.
Third Paragraph
Other qualifications: Here is where you can add in soft skills like communication skills, ability to work in a team environment, ability to interact with outside clients and customers, organisation skills, willingness to travel, flexibility, etc.
Fourth Paragraph
Educational Requirements: If there is something specific required, spell it out here- CPA, MBA, Masters in Engineering, BA in journalism, etc.
Fifth Paragraph
Work environment: What is the company/department like? Is it casual, team centreed, highly competitive, independent, offers good benefits?
Closing
Include an e-mail address, fax number and snail mail address (if you still use one) to send in a resume. Include your Web page address so they can learn more about the company.
Creating content
Many companies rely on "formal" job descriptions to create their job ads. This is insufficient. Often these job descriptions fall under categories of jobs. For example, a company may have one job description for a computer engineer which would cover software and hardware engineering. This may be too generic for you to write a sufficient job ad. Within each department, positions are different. Talk to the hiring managers to find out what specifically the job entails. The more detail you have to post about the position, the better fit the candidates will be that respond. Spending the time up front to gather the appropriate detail will reduce cycle time and ultimately the cost per hire.
One way to manage this process is to sit down with managers from each department on a quarterly basis to assess their upcoming needs. At this meeting you can define the skill sets needed for each position.
Managing the posting process
Create a document file for your job ads. Once you've created a job ad for the Internet, save it in a document file. When you need to repost your positions you can simply copy from that file.
Create a spreadsheet to track postings. Managing postings, sites, expiration dates etc., can be an organisational nightmare for which you can easily lose control. Regardless of the expiration date, you want to keep your positions fresh on the Internet and repost them every few weeks (if the site/your contract allows.) To help manage the process create a spreadsheet. Down the left column list your jobs/ requisitions. Across the top list all of the sites to which you post. Under each site create the subheadings: Date initially posted, Date expires, Date to update/repost. You now can use this spreadsheet to stay updated on all of your postings so that you don't miss a critical date. You can also track metrics on jobs posted and to which sites.
 
9.       The Traditional Recruitment Model
 
·        Data Collection / First Impression
Job Seeker searches through newspapers for vacancies. These are discarded, and the seeker must purchase a new edition on a periodical basis.
 
·        Comparison / Discovery
The Job Seeker submits his/her CV to the prospective employee, once a suitable vacancy is found.
 
·        Deliberation / Elimination
The prospective Employer is now required to sort through many applications in order to filter out suitable candidates for the position as advertised.
 
·        Application Preparation and Execution
Once the Employer has chosen suitable candidates for the position, contact must be made in order for an interview to be set up.
 
·        Application Completion and Transmission
Many documents are completed and sent from many sources, then assembled and compiled for the interview and possible recruitment of a suitable candidate.
 
 
10.     The Online Recruitment Model
 
·        First Impression
Job Seeker views web site, if interested submits inquiry.
 
·        Comparison/Discovery
Job Seeker examines web site in more depth and identifies suitable jobs as advertised online.
 
·        Deliberation/Elimination
The applicant is able to register his/her CV on the site database, as well as applying for any suitable positions by filling in an online registration form.
 
·        Application Preparation and Execution
The Online Recruitment system sorts through applicants electronically with the use of key phrases or words as used by the applicant during the registration process and identifies suitable candidates.
 
·        Application Completion
The applicant is contacted via e-mail should they suit the job criteria. If not their information will be stored in the Online database for future reference.
 
 
11.            Case Study: OHOD Employment
 
 
The website is static and needs more dynamic modules such as Frequently asked Questions and possibly a Banner advertisement for the site, as well as a CV Database.
The Website needs to be more dynamic and provide search options for job seekers and companies to search OHOD’s database.
 
There is no Search Engine Optimization, and the Job Seeker will not find this website without the URL. Its is a known fact that web browsers very rarely search past the 3rd page of the search engine results.
Search engine optimization should be a priority so that when Job Seekers and Companies are searching for a recruitment agency within Egypt, OHOD Employment is listed within the top sites displayed.
 
The website has not been updated, and this creates the impression that work advertised through this site will be old and no longer apply.
The website needs to be updated on a regular basis, and all information displayed must be correct.
 
Spelling and grammatical errors have been made throughout the site, and this will make the Job Seeker question the credibility of this Recruitment Agency.
Ensure that all spelling and grammar is correct as this is very important to create a positive impression on the website viewer.
 
There is an “Urgently Needed” Tab which, once selected directs the Job Seeker to two selection criteria, one for Job Seekers and one for Companies and Organizations looking to recruit new staff.
 
When filling out the online details form for Companies and Organizations a page error occurred.
The error string in the database needs to be corrected to ensure that this does not re- occur. The owner of company should contact the website developer to correct this problem. The website should also be checked and quality assured on a regular basis for any technical difficulties.
 
When clicking on the tab for Job Seekers I was directed to some text outlining what jobs are available but no specifications.
Each available position should be categorized according to type of job, qualifications required, location and indicate the salary scale.
 
 
 
 
 
REFERENCES
 
 
Human Resource Management, Ninth Edition, (Gary Dessler-p.112-116)