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Make e-recruitment work for you


E-recruitmentE-recruitment systems can be beneficial to all companies, large and small, but the key is in ensuring you maximise its benefits, says’s technology editor John Stokdyk.

E-recruitment and applicant tracking systems (ATS) used to be the preserve of large employers who had the means to develop an online presence. By effectively building their own internal e-recruitment resources, they were able to reduce the amount they spent with agencies.

But these systems are coming within reach of smaller organisations – even for those who hire 20 or so people a year, argues Don McIntosh, director of development for RecruitActive.

“If your website does your business no favours, then it will reduce the number of candidates who want to work for you.”

“If I were to stick my neck out and make a prediction, I would say that more than 70% of companies who could benefit from e-recruitment will be doing so within the next decade,” he says.

To help equip employers for this new online era, McIntosh prepared a guide called 56 Ways to Maximise the Benefits of E-recruitment in your Business’. This article presents some of the main points of his advice.


1. Be realistic about the difference e-recruitment will make. Choose some simple criteria to measure the impact, such as the average time it takes to recruit a position. Then compare the before and after timings to see what has changed.

2. Don’t think that just because you have an ATS, somehow candidates will find your website. Look at your current website and compare it with your competitors. Be brutally honest. Can you find the careers section and is it easy to navigate? If you were a candidate, what kind of experience would you have? Employer branding is key in e-recruitment. If your website does your business no favours, then it will reduce the number of candidates who want to work for you.

Choosing the system

3. Do not try to reinvent the wheel and develop your own system. There are a large number of proven software solutions available. You may think you need a bespoke solution, but it is always best to use an existing system as it will be easier to maintain and adapt. Training users will also be easier.

4. Review case studies of other employers and contact them to discuss any areas of concern you have. Be clear in your mind what you want it to do and then see if the technology can adapt to your requirements.

5. Use the implementation of a new system to review your current recruitment processes. Challenge your existing methods and adopt new approaches. Choose a system to fit your ideal process, not one that makes you fit their processes. The more you break this down, the easier it will be to replicate.

6. Automatic candidate communications and bulk status change options should be included to provide the most appropriate applicant with a professional and timely service.

Attracting candidates

“Unless you are the BBC or have a well-known employer brand, candidates will not automatically look for your website..”

7. Unless you are the BBC or have a well-known employer brand, candidates will not automatically look for your website. You have to decide if you want to stop using your existing recruitment channels and attempt to drive job seekers to your website with online and offline marketing. Ensure that all your existing recruitment channels point to your website so that all candidates apply through the same process. Reduce the size of your print media adverts. They only need a job title and limited text pointing the candidate to your website. There are no limitations of space on the internet and the candidate can find much more information about you and the role there.

Using job boards

8. Start using job boards and make sure your e-recruitment system lets you send the adverts to a good selection. More importantly, ensure that job board candidates can apply back into your e-recruitment system. When choosing a job board, ignore any claims about hits or page impressions. Instead ask them to confirm the number of searches for similar roles during the past month and the number of relevant candidate registrations they have taken in that time frame.

Recruitment agencies

9. Recruitment agencies are increasingly providing candidates to employers through e-recruitment systems. Have a page on your website where agencies who want to work with you can register and advise them that only authorised agencies can access your system.

Applicant management

10. Get feedback from candidates. Send out quarterly surveys asking all candidates about their experience of applying for a role with you (not just the ones you hire, they might be biased). What did they like and what could you improve? How did it compare with other roles they have applied for? Provide an incentive for response.

A version of the full ’56 ways’ e-recruitment guide is available on request from the website.

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One Response

  1. ATS standard in the UK
    I actually had a question. The ATS market is crowded here in the US so I’ve been exploring expanded efforts to Australia and the UK. Delivery is pretty simple since Catch the Best is an on-demand solution. How is the market for ATSs there? Any insights into the market there is appreciated.

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