What Is Online Recruitment?

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In the face of an employer's market employment wise, as of 2010, both employers and job seekers have begun to use online recruitment far more than in previous years. The whole concept behind Internet recruitment is finding the right people for the right jobs by using a variety of online tools. Generally online recruiting produces far more applications than other forms of advertising. That response, however, doesn't mean the effort was successful or without any inherent problems.


When you have a good online recruiting system it includes enough technology to both attract candidates and then interact with them through the entire placement process. Many of the best systems use screening and tests with specific questions that help categorize and qualify the candidates, followed by ranking.

Benefits for Companies

  • Besides using online recruitment to weed out inappropriate candidates and isolate those with the best potential, there are many advantages to a company engaging an Internet-based recruiter. They get to fish in a large proverbial pool of candidates, not just from across the United States, but sometimes even the world. The downside here is the time involved in sorting through all those possible candidates can become burdensome.

    The second benefit is the possibility of filling a job opening in as little as a few hours. When a company needs someone even on a temporary basis, that time savings is significant, and it also saves money. The financial benefits extend beyond the speed of online recruiting to the pre-selection element that gives human resource departments a huge advantage over companies using more conventional methods.

    If a company chooses, pre-selection may be custom-automated to narrow the field of candidates for interviews. By having this type of system in place, you handle each candidate exactly the same way. Consistency counts. Once finished, the data from that process becomes a ready, searchable database that you can keep for several months (most companies maintain it for six months as they would any application).

Benefits for Candidates

  • From candidates' perspective, online recruitment allows them to fill out applications, post resumes, and take qualifying tests from the comfort of home. They can enact job searches any time of day or night, not just during business hours. Additionally they can go back to review the status of an application on many job recruitment sites.

    However, some job seekers find the Internet job search too impersonal. They prefer to go to a potential place of employment and meet one-on-one so there's a face to put with a name. If the online recruiting software takes a long time to fill out, or if it's not user-friendly, that will also deter some job seekers. As a general rule, the e-community wants speed and ease, not an hour of grueling steps for an interview that may never come.

What to Expect

  • If you're using online recruiting to help find an employee or a job, there are some things you can expect. As the potential employer, you will pay a fee for this service. The amount of the fee depends on how specific the recruitment process gets. Most companies offer a variety of options, one of which is sure to suit your corporate budget and your needs. If your firm has regular openings, it might be best to enter into a one-year contract with a recruiting firm, which can then really get to know your corporate culture while looking for prospective employees.

    For the job seeker, an effective online recruiter will want to see your resume and may even have a special resume tool to make your paperwork look better for possible employers. Depending on the position for which you're applying, there may be tests to prove your proficiencies. You will also likely be asked to provide personal and professional references. However, you should not pay anything to apply for a job. Companies that require upfront money from job seekers are often scams. Also be cautious of blind recruitment ads. These can be placed by bots who are simply collecting personal information that's used for spam. Finally, realize that the online service can only do so much for you. Keep pounding the pavement, networking and reading ads.

Dos and Don'ts

  • When you're working with an Internet recruiter, keep your resume or curriculum vita up-to-date. Also keep the recruitment company apprised of jobs that you personally apply for outside its service. This way your material won't be presented twice to the same potential employer (this can cause a conflict and leave you out of the running altogether).

    If you have any questions or concerns about a posted job, ask before submitting your resume. Companies really appreciate when you focus your job search to those positions for which you're truly qualified.

    On the don't side: Never give out personal information. No online recruitment agency should ask for credit information, for example. If they do, they better have a very good explanation for it. Any company that requires such information to hire you can gather it when you interview in person. And again, remember that agencies should not ask for retainers or fees from you.

Final Decision

  • If you decide to go with an online recruiting company, do your homework. Research several firms to find one that has solid consumer reviews, a long history and that really fits your needs. Every placement company has specialties, so you want to focus on one that comes closest to the job opening in your company or your skill set as a job seeker. Then make a few calls and talk to several possible recruiters, and ask to review the paperwork required before making your final decision.

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