|Change is happening faster than ever these
days. Changes in the global business environment, changes in the
economy, changes in technology, and changes in recruitment. Today, job
recruiting via the Internet is fast replacing the classified ad. This
should help businesses find good employees quickly. But statistics
show that fewer employers post jobs on Internet job sites than might
In January, 1998 17 percent of Fortune 500 companies
actively recruited employees via the Net, according to the research
firm iLogos.com in Ottawa, Canada. Just a year later, that figure
jumped to 45 percent. Forrester Research of Cambridge, Massachusetts,
projects that employer spending for online recruiting will mushroom to
$1.7 billion in 2003Ėroughly triple the projections Forrester made
in 1997. Already an estimated 2.5 million resumes have been posted to
28,500 job boards, such as JobOptions.com, Monster.com, and
HotJobs.com, bringing employers and job seekers together in the first
step of the job process.
Forrester predicts the Net will eliminate
classifieds as we know them, with online recruiting affecting millions
of people who change jobs each year.
Web sites on jobs have long been an Internet staple,
although the early ones were mostly electronic classified ads. But the
Career Network mirrors the Web's emerging transformation of the ways
employers, job-seekers and placement organizations find and fill jobs.
Advertise on Job Sites
For those employers who havenít tried online recruiting, the first
step is to advertise on job sites such as JobOptions.com. There are
many out there, and prices vary, but professional looking sites that
are easy to find prove most effective. Checking search engines like
Yahoo using keywords like "job" and "your city"
will help employers find local sites that specialize in advertising
their jobs. Remember, the easier it is for an employer to find a site,
the easier it will be for job seekers, too.
Low cost, high speed, and a wide reach are the main
advantages of recruiting online.
Citibank, Hasbro, Lucent Technologies, Marriott
International, Prudential, and Universal Studios advertise positions
on the Net. But that doesnít mean smaller businesses donít have a
chance. In fact, the playing field is leveled on the Net, so everyone
The most important statistical difference in online
recruiting versus regular channels is the number of days it takes to
fill a job. A study by ILogos.com indicates that, on average, using
the Net shaves 20 days off a companyís hiring cycle. For any
company, thatís precious time.
Does the hugeness of these job boardsĖJobOptions.com
posts over 200,000 resumes-- make them less valuable to employers,
burying job opening among thousands of others? And whatís the point
of coast-to-coast geographic scope when most job seekers still want
something close to home?
While those are good questions, an explosion of
niche sites on the Net now enables employers to post to specific
vertical categories within the larger job boards. JobOptions.com
currently has 15 of these vertical sites and is planning to add 14
more soon. In addition, employers can post to independent niche sites
like overseasjobs.com, christianjobs.com, bilingualjobs.com,
coloradojobs.com, spacejobs.com, and just plain jobs.com. There are
sites for casino workers (casinocareers.com), black engineers (nsbe.org),
models (modelssource.com), finance types (jobsinthemoney.com), project
managers (projectsmanager.com), MBAs(MBAfreeagents.com),
Asian-language speakers (asia-net.com), and morticians (funeralnet.com).
However, this new job marketplace also requires
truth, and resumes are notoriously untruthful. Which means that there
still is a need for human contact. On many of the job boards, employers
can conduct virtual interviews with job candidates through public
forums, as well as private chat rooms.
Using the Net
In their desperation, some employers arenít content to post openings
on job boards and wait for resumes to roll in. Instead, they venture
forth and stalk the Web seeking potential candidates. Itís becoming
almost as clandestine as the CIA. As people interact with each other
online, they leave traces that recruiters can find. Some recruiters
lurk on Internet newsgroups, where employees gather to discuss
everything from database administration to dating. They watch to see
who says the smartest stuff, then approach that person by E-mail.
Others use the Net to track workers around the
globe. Hewlett-Packard has created technology to process resumes
written in many languages.
The Web site of Inacom, a 12,000-employee
computer-services firm in Omaha, Nebraska, features a game called the
TechnoChallenge, which combines flashy graphics with a series at
technical questions. To play, contestants must enter their name,
profession, and contact informationĖostensibly to quality for a
drawing for a $1,500 prize if they score 100,000 points or more. What
most donít know is that theyíre also being screened for potential
employment at Inacom.
More aggressive than any online employer is Cisco
Systems. This $10-billion-a-year networking company hires 66 percent
of its people and receives 81 percent of its resumes via the Net. Its
Web site is a Venus flytrap of attractions. Visitors can fill a
shopping cart with job openings that interest them or join the Make
Friends @ Cisco program, which connects them with a real-life person
from the department in which they want to work. If they donít have a
resume handy, Ciscoís Profiler is a simple, humorous interface that
helps them build one. And because roughly 90 percent of the
"suspects" log in from their current employer, thereís a Oh
No! My Boss is Coming button, which quickly fills the screen with
"Seven Habits of a Successful Employee."
Companies like Cisco pursue online recruiting
aggressively. It has software that tracks where visitors to its Web
site go after leaving. It then places employment banner ads on those
sites. Ciscoís banners incorporate a domain-name reader, so that
they appear only on the browsers of people who might be interested in
working at Cisco, for instance, engineers at companies like Lucent
Technologies. Of course, Cisco also subscribes to a number of job
Besides Internet job boards, employers can use their
own Web sites to advertise available positions. Their employment link,
directing visitors to available positions, should be directly on their
site's main page. If itís difficult to find on their Web site, their
results wonít be as effective. Itís a good idea that their
employment link be near the middle of their main page, either on the
left or the right. Their employment section should be easy to navigate
with current listings.
Adding a resume response form to an employment
section allows employers to receive comprehensive information from
their applicants, as opposed to the general information sent in by
Getting visitors, who are looking for jobs, is the
key to a Web siteís recruiting success. Adding keywords such as
"your city" and "sales representative" will enable
job seekers using search engines to find the site.
Itís not hard to imagine a future in which
employers electronically screen candidatesí "soft"
attributes, direct potential hires to a special Web site for skills
testing, conduct background checks over the Net,. interview candidates
via a videolink, and manage it all with Web-based software. Itís not
too hard to imagine, because all those services currently exist, or
will very soon--FutureStep for screening, Owiztek.com for testing,
PeopleWise for background checks, and SearchLINC for video.
Forrest of JopOptions.com noted that the Net is
dramatically more effective than any medium ever known. "The Web
is the future of recruiting."