Not only Citigroup, but also many other organisations recognised by facilitating online application forms that they can build up a database, which can be extremely practical in the selection process, and in future recruitment. The more detailed the form is, the more information can be used efficiently. For example if a firm only want to employ people who are educated to a degree level, an intelligence database would be able to select only the applications that satisfy this criteria. When the candidates are finally chosen for interviews, the news also can be communicated and organised via email.
Some of the positions require more than face-to-face interviews, therefore many organisations uses other techniques, such as psychometric, intelligence, or personality tests. These can also be obtained online, and forward the result for interpretation anywhere around the world. If a British candidate applies for a job at JP Morgan in New York, to save travel expenses, the first interview, or test can be organised in the London office of the company. Some organisations prefer to post their vacancies on the net, but not on their own websites.
The solution for them is using an online recruitment medium, these are run by existing recruitment agencies (Armstrong 2001) or specialised online recruitment sites. The sector started developing in the 1990s, and after a phenomenal growth, by 2000 the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) recognised that they need a single body to guard the sector, therefore they launched AOLR, Association of Online Recruiters. Their main aim was to promote online recruitment issues and deliver improved standards to the sector (Onrec. com Archive 2005).
The way these websites work helps both recruiters and jobseekers. The latter can register their CVs, search the jobs advertised on the website, and apply online. The recruiting company can browse the uploaded CVs, or specify to the agency their requirements, then the online agency posts the job on their website, selects potential candidates whose abilities fit to the person specification, and the organisation continues the selection process. One of the biggest advantages of this type of recruitment is that there are niche online jobsites that can help overcome some economical problems.
Mark Hepworth, managing director of JobsGroup. net argues that a serious skill shortage could be fixed through niche recruitment sites, such as JustEngineers. net, or JustRail. net. Simply, when is a skilled labour shortage in an industry, firms only have to look at the specialised website to find trained labour. According to NORAS (Recruitment Consultant Issue 31) some of the most popular online recruitment sites have over a million unique users per month. To manage all this information without technology would be a tremendously hard work.
As Austin Naylor, a sales consultant for LSM Logic Ltd explains, an intelligent front-office software like IQX can enhance the efficiency of dealing with a huge number of candidates. Naylor says that any part of the IQX, (or other front-office) database can be made available via online mediums, regardless whether they are client specific, like Blue Arrow, or generic online websites, such as fish4jobs. com. The software enables both the recruiter company (their clients) and the jobseekers to register their requirements and/or their details via the website directly into the front-office recruitment database.
More information on IQX can be found in Appendix 2. Most of the companies in the British economy are SMEs, small or medium sized enterprises. Even if they have their own website, not many jobseekers know about them or look for them. If they want to enjoy the advantages of online recruitment, they have to make sure that prospective employees are able to find them. Apart from the method of using online mediums mentioned above, firms can also use other media sites. Nowadays all major newspapers have an online version, and with one click Internet browsers can get directed to other linked websites.
Also, when using traditional advertising, the advert can include a website or an email address. Everyone who works with computers have a nightmare of crashing computers, losing our precious data. Despite the success of the online recruitment in recent years, it also has some disadvantages. The CIPD (2005) argues that the Internet is not the first choice for everyone; there is a limitation of the applicant audience. Other concerns include confidentiality issues, lack of skills to navigate these website, and the most obvious drawback is that it is impersonal.
One can argue that online recruitment may weaken social values by taking away face-to-face communication. Online mediums face problems from losing the personal touch in recruitment; it is easy to misplace someone, because of lack of information, and not being able to express the acceptations from the desired jobs. Many people in the UK still doesn’t trust the Internet, they would not search for jobs this way; women and elderly people are less likely to search the net. Online recruitment should not close opportunities from potential applicants who are not skilled enough, or simply not interested to search for jobs on the Internet.
Even if they try, badly designed websites can be daunting rather than helping. Filling in online application forms, navigating a recruitment site should be an easy, enjoyable task. Sometimes other than people’s weak relationship with the Internet causes problems and this could be the nature of the job. Certain professions do not advertise jobs on the Internet. A turner or a carpenter in the Midlands would not use the Internet to search for jobs. When online recruitment was born, it was mainly used for IT vacancies. Later some administrative, managerial and graduate jobs have been included as well.
Many people still don’t know that specialised recruitment websites are exist, therefore they wouldn’t look, search for it. Other pitfalls of using the Internet include dealing with an enormous amount of application forms. Individuals feel less responsible when they apply for a job through the net; it is- generally – an easy and simple task, many people just do it without any serious determination. If this problem is not dealt with care, it can add an additional cost to the selection process. Concentrating on too many useless application forms may lead to loosing some valuable ones.
A badly designed and operated website may not be able to pre-select the candidates and this could flood the HR department with worthless timewasters’ applications. The latest threat of recruitment is not only applicable to online recruitment. Especially for management or higher positions the potential employees might find themselves in trouble because of the World Wide Web. When my company, LSM Group, was about to take on a sales consultant, one of the directors typed in the person’s name in a search engine; the result was a photograph of the applicant as a contestant in the ‘Batchelor OF The Year’ competition.
This actually put a smile on everyone’s face, but not every jobseeker is so lucky. According to the Hungarian HR Portal, American Maja Skipp thought she was a perfect match for a job with her result of 100% in a psychometric test, English-German language knowledge and excellent degree. The recruiter searched the Internet, and found a webpage where Maja placed some pictures that made the HR person to choose someone else instead of Skipp. One can argue that to be able to gather information about someone through the Internet is a great help for employers, but I believe this might lead to discrimination.
It is easy to make judgement on someone without certifying the validity of the information. Through the recruitment and selection process organisations collect personal information from the job applicants. It is vital to obtain this information without breaching the Data Protection Act 1998. The act aims to control automated processing, such as CV scanning, online skill tests. Infringe the act could lead to legal actions (Hogg 2000). Literature on Internet recruitment that was published 5-6 years ago enlist many other disadvantages, which are now out of date, the problem has been solved.
The above-mentioned weaknesses of online recruitment are improving day by day; people are trying to find the best solutions to correct the mistakes. Competition among Internet services providers brings down the prices, more and more people can afford to pay for the access and this will develop their relevant skills. The CIPD has some useful tips for recruiters on how they could improve their online recruitment strategy. On their website they emphasize the importance of monitoring the service, and suggests to get feedback from applicants and employees who were recruited this way.
Regarding to the usage of organisations own website, Hogg in Internet and e-mail use and abuse (2000) recommends to use and integrated strategy. Hogg, and many other HR writer, suggests to integrate with other methods; advertisements in the press could include an email address or website, where jobseekers could find more information on the vacancy, furthermore, the company itself. Nowadays main newspapers have an electronic version, where the advertisements placed in the printed version can also be seen. This is an excellent opportunity for SME’s; they can link their website to the advertisement and use the advantages of online recruitment.
Technological improvements, of course, are on the way too, some firms are using software, that filter the online application forms (See Appendix 1 for details). The very latest news to one concerned is a New9to5, a CV ‘reader’ was launched, and it helps to match jobseekers and recruiters by “reading CVs and extracting information with a high degree of accuracy, with no forms to fill out. ” (Recruitment Consultant, Issue 39). “This year’s National Online Recruitment Audience Survey shows that e-recruitment is continuing to increase in importance…. online recruitment is now more successful than ever.
” (Recruitment Consultant, Issue 31). Despite of the fact that online way of seeking vacancies is not every jobseekers first choice, many organisations recognised the advantages of this still new method of recruitment. If used well, it can save a significant amount of time and money. Organisations can use their own website, an online medium, or some media sites. It is vital to have relevant experience and a strategy to deal with the matter and use own website to solve recruitment and selection tasks. If it is not well organise, companies may be flooded by useless application forms.
Users must be careful and keep in mind that it is easy to breach the Data Protection Act 1998. Generally speaking the Internet has bought many excellent features to the way of recruiting human resources, and the drawbacks of the method are being prepared.
Armstrong, M, (2001), A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practise, Eighth edition, London, Kogan Page Buchanan, B, Huczunski, A, (2004) Organisational Behaviour an Introductory Text, Fifths Edition, London, FT Prentice Hall Cheatle, K, (2001) Mastering Human Resource Management, Basingstoke, Palgrave Hogg, C, (2000), Internet and e-mail use and abuse, London, CIPD