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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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Web recruitment – is it worth it?


This article was written by Chris Berry, Managing Director of SaaS provider CIPHR.

Pressures on organisations to do more with less have been increasing as budgets are squeezed across the board. So, as the talent pool effectively shrinks it becomes ever more important for organisations to hone their recruitment processes to identify the relevant skills needed, find talent with that expertise and then build strategies for hiring, retaining, and training the workers to create competitive advantage. As ever, the challenge to HR is not the act of recruitment itself but the ability to find the right talent and then engage it effectively over the longer term.

Recruiting talent is an area where HR can make significant savings simply by taking an online approach. In fact, eRecruitment systems not only streamline the recruitment processes, they save valuable time through automation of administrative tasks. They also extend the reach of traditional, paper-oriented recruitment methods by opening up social channels to recruitment opportunities through the benefits of scale and reach associated with social media. These two aspects alone make eRecruitment a compelling solution for any organisation.

In fact, for those actively hiring, eRecruitment systems are an absolute must in this day and age. You may want to mix in a healthy blend of traditional recruitment techniques but an online recruitment presence is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s a necessity.

A recruitment game face

Looking good has never been so important for recruiters. Having the best, or most attractive jobs to offer is all well and good but you need to be sure that the details of those jobs reach the appropriate audiences and compel them to action. The trick is to design your online brand to be appealing to prospective employees, as well as customers, and to appear ‘cool enough’ to attract the most eligible millennials/GenYs as they enter the jobs market.

Think about the design of your recruitment portal and ensure that it is branded appropriately, does it reflect your organisation, the way you work or its products and services? It is important that the experience of new recruits is positive right from their first encounter with your site. After all, the younger generations (and in particular the so called Trophy generation) aspire to work for a cool company and their first impression is likely to endure. Also, this generation communicates extensively via social channels and, as a result, the knock-on of their experience with you will be felt far afield. In fact, this generation is having a massive impact on the traditional dynamic of the recruitment process and many believe that it is likely to change the face of recruitment in much the same way that the baby boomers did back in their day. Having a strategy to address this group is likely to be a key differentiator over the near term.

Recruitment stamina

Recruitment is no longer simply about placing a great ad in a newspaper and waiting for the CVs to come flooding in. To be successful, it is critical that the recruitment process extends beyond initial search and selection phases to include onboarding practices and then continue into employee engagement, assessment and development activities. No company wants to be the training ground for its competitors so they should move their focus along the engagement curve to ensure that their people are motivated, challenged, and supported at all times. Incentives to remain in a company are not always financial, so businesses should look at a range of opportunities and techniquies to motivate and encourage key talent to remain.

The game maker

Technology can really make the difference in recruitment. It can support and channel the process of maintaining contact with prospective employees by automating the initial phases and takes out the potential for human error at this early stage. Automating the various phases and applying strict policies ensures a smooth flow of information and avoids bottlenecks that would prolong the process.

Providing relevant information at appropriate stages of the engagement and developing effective strategies to onboard employees will prove vital ongoing. After all, continuous attention to the needs of staff (from the first point of contact onwards) will create an environment that engenders commitment and loyalty.

Extending into overtime

In reality, onboarding has become an extension of the recruitment process and it is equally important to the on-going health of any recruitment drive. It has proven to be important to many of our customers as they engage in positive, proactive dialogue with their new recruits. It is used to varying degrees, as an information resource and training tool to introduce people, products, services and the company to new recruits. Many organisations have recognised the power of effective onboarding using video footage, recorded webinars, infographics and photo galleries to share relevant and interesting content and information.

It has become an integral part of their recruitment activities and a core facility in their HR systems as these evolve into an employee engagement and communications tool.

Just the ticket

Like any investment, eRecruitment should demonstrate a clear ROI (Return On Investment). We encourage our customers to put their figures into our calculator to see just how much they are able to save over the course of months, not years. In many cases customers don’t just reduce the amount of paper advertising they produce, some discard it completely. Also using the eRecruitment portal to manage the interaction with agencies can potentially limit associated charges through pre-arranged fee structures. The potential savings in these instances can be considerable.

In our experience the main challenge is to change the culture and the outlook of organisations rather than prove the value of eRecruitment. Inertia is so often the enemy of progress and promotion.

3 Responses

  1. No downside to online recruitment

    Having an eRecruitment strategy does not mean just posting a vacancy on several job boards and accumulating thousands of CVs. Obviously, if you don’t have a tool to process them all, you can’t benefit from having all these applications roll in. So good processing technology is an inherent part of eRecruitment. The whole point is to get as many good CVs as possible (which requires a good career website and online application process) and then have  a recruitment system that can help search, screen and identify the right candidates quickly. Then of course, as pointed out in this article, there is the onboarding process which is also essential. That’s how big employers should be approaching online recruitment (and that’s how our clients do it). 

  2. What about the disadvantages?

     I agree with the author that eRecruitment is the way to go, but I have to comment on its disadvantages.

    I recently did my bachelor’s thesis about recruitment and I found that there are issues like being flooded with résumés and the fact that not everyone has access to the Internet. Although an organization probably doesn’t want the people who does not have an access to the Internet, the first point is highly relevant.

    For some organizations, the amount of responses they get is humongous. Sure the Internet is cost-effective but what about the time effort needed to go through even a fraction of the applicants? Say an organization receives 2,000 applicants (which is very possible, for example in a fast growth company like Rovio at the moment), the amount of hours it requires to look at the applicants’ résumés thoroughly is huge. 

    Note: I’m not disagreeing with the author on this one, I merely wanted to point out some of the negative aspects of the eRecruitment at the moment. Maybe one solution is to make it somehow impossible for the applicants that do not meet the minimum requirements (education, work experience) to apply for the opening? Although being untruthful in the application process is possible, it would limit the amount of applicants simply because applicants don’t want to lose their face in front of possible employers if they care about their career at all. At least I wouldn’t.

    Keeping this in mind, I highly recommend eRecruitment as well, but in my opinion it needs to be developed further to obtain the benefits of it.


  3. Web recruitment, is it worth it? YES.

     I completely agree with Chris that "an online recruitment presence is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s a necessity."

    As with so many processes, the choice is either to technologise or lose out. Digital recruitment enables companies to tap into more relevant talent, and much more quickly, so if you’re still doing it the traditional way then those competitors of yours using eRecruitment will beat you to the top candidates everytime.  

    Furthermore, I totally agree that onboarding should be seen as an extension of the acquisition process. 


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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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