Adopting a web-based recruiting strategy and sustaining that advantage requires an on-going investment of resources. New tools will be invented, old tools will change and the only way to stay abreast of what’s going on is continuous research and learning. Because if you don’t your competition will.
However, web-based recruiting is still in its infancy. We are still learning how to build the tools to attract, select and retain the most qualified candidates via the Internet. There are some techniques now being used that work and some can even get the job done well. Those who figure it out will obviously have a great advantage over those that do not.
It is important to focus your limited time on best practices. We have enough experience on the web at this point to know what works and what doesn’t in today’s recruiting strategies.
There are thousands of recruiters using the web to source candidates, but precious few are using the medium to recruit them, and even fewer focus on the hourly employee. The difference between those two activities is best practices.
The concept of best practices consists of these activities
Using the right tools in the right situation at the right time to generate a significant flow of quality candidates without consuming a lot of resources. There are hundreds of different techniques and methods you can use on the web. The recruiters who maximise the return on their investment are those who know which tools work best in which situations.
Using the right tools effectively so that they perform at maximum capabilities. Knowing how to find and use the right tools to full advantage is not easy. Although job posting has consistently ranked among the most-effective techniques among recruiters using the web, most job-posting content is poorly written and less than optimally effective.
Being a good user of web-based recruitment services and products. There are 40,000+ employment-related sites in operation today, and more launch every week.
You can select the right tool for a given recruiting requirement and apply it effectively, but if you use it on the wrong site, your results will be just as disappointing as if you had implemented a worst practice. Track your results and ensure that each site performs as advertised.
Document your recruiting processes. This may seem fundamental, however, many companies do not document their recruiting processes. Often, companies have as many different hiring processes as they have hiring managers.
Further, most hiring is delegated to first line managers. These are, by definition, the least experienced leaders and the most likely to make mistakes in the difficult process of assessing and hiring talent.
Creating a documented, replicable, and measurable recruiting process is a fundamental requirement for establishing company-wide recruiting practices that can be improved with each hiring transaction.
Recruiters can utilise the web for placement of online job ads, and for resume and application research. However, it’s moved from just resume submissions to a very useful tool for employers looking for hourly employees as well.
The requirements for hourly workers are much different than the typical resume based worker than part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers where the time is not a set 8 hours. But for the experienced online recruiter, the web can offer unlimited possibilities and help a good strategy and make it better.
Common benefits of web recruiting
Inexpensive access. Many libraries, schools and public service providers allow online access for free, and recruiters that want preferred service can usually find unlimited access from their home for under $20 a month.
Greater reach. Recruitment and applicant sourcing on the web can be localised or worldwide and can access more job seekers and a broader selection of job seekers than other medium.
Search and sort capabilities. Search and screen job applicants to hire the most qualified candidate for your job requirements.
Greater advertising reach and a flexible ad medium. web advertising offers greater exposure to a larger audience than any other form of media. Web advertising of job postings are as testable.
Unlimited supply of applications or resumes. The web provides recruiters access to thousands of applications, resumes, and job databases, and even more newspapers and industry magazines.
No mailing costs. There is no postage or added cost to forward mail, data files, photos, or other data transfer. In addition, the web can transfer information to hundreds of individuals simultaneously.
Low printing costs. The web is a cost-effective way to save money on printed materials by publishing online brochures, annual reports, project portfolios, press releases, executive biographies, training and hiring materials.
Convenient accessibility. Company and job information posted on the web is easily accessible to job seekers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Job seekers also can access their email or send email from any location worldwide with web access.
No time restrictions. Recruiting different time zones or working late at night is not a problem with the web. Immediate feedback; through email, chat, or online messaging, job seekers can send requests or receive information quickly without waiting for regular mail or playing phone tag. The end result is a faster hiring cycle at a significantly lower cost per hire.
User-friendly platform. Posting job opportunities and doing applicant research is easy to perform due to the graphical “point-and-click” features of the web.
Competitive advantage. Web technology allows recruiters to stay ahead of their competition.
Demographic advantage. Web users are growing exponentially, and offer favorable demographics for recruiters.
These are the basic principles of web-based recruiting: There is no one solution that can do it all. You must implement a web-based strategy that’s specifically tailored to your existing and future requirements.
It will take planning and guidance and for those who invest in the understanding of the best practices on the web have the knowledge and skills required to design and implement a process quickly and effectively. This is the key to effective web-based recruitment.
How to pick a recruitment website
Using the Internet is an increasingly effective recruitment strategy when carefully integrated into a broader campaign of experience-tested techniques.
Depending on whose numbers you accept, however, there are somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 employment-related sites currently operating on the web. It’s a daunting task just keeping track of them and an even harder challenge to figure out which sites can best contribute to your recruiting requirements.
The following two-step process can help you solve both aspects of this dilemma. Step 1 involves an environmental scan, enabling you to narrow the range of alternatives you need to consider to a manageable number. Step 2 provides you with a number of criteria you can use to select the site or sites most likely to maximise your return on investment in on-line recruiting.
Conducting an environmental scan
The goal of this step is to explore the universe of recruitment websites on the Internet to locate those which have the potential to meet your recruiting needs. Obviously, you can do both the exploration and the assessment yourself, but the rapidly expanding and ever-changing nature of cyberspace makes that a time consuming and difficult proposition.
Therefore, a more efficient approach is the “guide-assisted scan” in which you use one or more resources that have already done much of the legwork involved in searching out and evaluating recruitment websites.
Selecting the best websites for your recruiting needs
Obviously some sites are better than others, either in the general caliber and/or value of services they offer or in their ability to support your specific recruiting needs.
The following criteria will help you evaluate the alternative websites identified in your environmental scan and select the best for you, at this particular moment in time and in the future, as new requirements emerge.
How long has the site been in operation?
How many people, counted just once, have visited the site in the last month? This figure, called “unique visitors,” is a relatively good measure of the potential candidate pool likely to see your job posting.
How many pages of information did the site visitors open and look at? This figure, called “page views,” is a relatively good indication of how long people stayed at the site, and therefore, the probability that they will read your ad.
What is the demographic profile of the “average” site visitor?
How is the information on visitors acquired? verified?
What kinds of jobs does the site typically post (e.g., full time, part time, contract, contingent)?
What is the fee to post jobs? do they offer special deals?
How long do the job openings stay posted online?
Are jobs linked to a recruiter’s website if it has one?
Can candidates apply for the job or send their resume to the recruiter directly from the job posting? Or do they have to send their resume through the posting site?
Are the job postings also provided to other websites (e.g., to search engine home page and classified ad sites)?
How many recruiters have posted jobs similar to yours in the last 90 days?
Does the site offer display or banner advertising?
Does the site offer virtual job fairs or targeted recruiting programs appropriate for your job opening?
How many resumes or candidate profiles are posted on the site?
What is the cost of accessing those resumes/profiles?
Are there any restrictions on who can post a resume/profile?
What are the primary occupational fields of those posting a resume/profile in the database?
How often is the database updated and purged of out-of-date resumes/profiles?
How are the resumes/profiles acquired (e.g., are they posted directly by candidates or acquired from other sites)?
Because you’re using the same factors to describe all of the sites, these criteria will enable you to set up a good, old fashioned, side-by-side comparison test. Although not exhaustive, they will provide enough information about each site’s relative benefits and costs that you can identify the site or sites most likely to meet your current needs.
Keep in mind that successful online recruiting is essentially an exercise in managing eyeballs. The key is to post your job ad where it is most likely to be seen by qualified candidates and/or to search a resume database where you are most likely to see them.
Therefore, pick a website according to the following rule of thumb: big is good (lots of eyeballs), little is bad (hardly any eyeballs), but focused is best (the right eyeballs). The best site is the one which attracts and holds the interest of those Internet users who best match the profile of your optimal candidate.
About the Author
Maggie is a Business Analyst who works for link management service, gathers, processes, and applies complex information to work out simple and yet actionable steps that improve companies’ performance. She always keeps herself up to date with the latest business trends.