Over the past few years, the number of companies using the Internet to advertise employment opportunities has exploded. More firms than ever before list available positions on their corporate web sites and hiring managers often post the same information on Internet job boards. While recruiting on the web can greatly expand your reach, it’s just one of many tools at your disposal. To maximize your hiring efforts, you should weigh the pros and cons of all options.
Working the Web
The major advantage of online recruiting is that candidates in your local area and across the globe can see your advertisement, as long as they have Internet access. A sales manager currently living in London with plans to relocate, for example, can search the web for positions available in her destination city. If her skills are a fit, your company might be the one to extend an offer.
But with broad exposure of your job listing comes increased response from unqualified candidates. Instead of screening 15 or 20 resumes, you may have to review hundreds to find even a few qualified applicants. And, like general classified advertising, Internet job boards typically reach a general audience, not a targeted one. If your position requires particular industry knowledge or special skills, you may not be reaching the pool of candidates who would be most suited to the job.
It’s true, of course, that online listings are very convenient for applicants. But keep in mind that even less committed candidates who are simply “testing the waters” will apply because it only takes minutes of their time. Now you’ll have even more messages and resumes to sort through to determine who is qualified for an initial interview!
Exploring all recruiting options
There’s no doubt that web-based recruiting can be a tremendous asset to hiring managers who recognize both the advantages and disadvantages. But there’s more than one way to get the word out. Consider complementing your online efforts with some of the following offline options to help you maximize your recruiting efforts:
• Employee referrals– Many firms have established employee referral programs, encouraging staff to recommend candidates for available positions. Most businesses have noticed that referred employees have lower turnover than those recruited through other means. So it’s no wonder that companies offer staff prizes, extra vacation days or cash bonuses when the people they refer are ultimately hired and remain on board for a specified amount of time. There’s no real downside to this practice, but your firm will want to give some thought to procedures, guidelines and appropriate rewards.
• Staffing firms – Working with the right recruiter can make all the difference in the hiring process. Staffing firms maintain an extensive network of professionals they meet in person and can pre-screen applicants on your behalf, saving you time and effort. If you select a firm that specializes in your particular industry, you’re even more likely to have a qualified group of candidates apply. While you will pay a fee to work with a recruiter, you don’t have to spend money on additional ads or divert your attention from your day-to-day responsibilities. Most firms will also post your opening on their own web sites and other career sites as a value-added service.
• Promoting from within – Sometimes you don’t even have to go outside your organization to find the right person for a job. Promoting from within boosts morale and motivation, as employees see that hard work and talent are rewarded. And because existing staff members are already familiar with the firm’s general policies, procedures and corporate culture, they will require less time to acclimate to their new responsibilities. The only risk is that a talented – but not fully qualified – employee may become disheartened if he does not receive the promotion. But by discussing the individual’s professional goals and offering the training and tools needed to achieve them, you can help ensure he is ready for the next available opportunity.
To locate the specialized expertise companies increasingly require today, hiring managers need to take advantage of a variety of recruiting tools. Online listings tap the power of the Internet and give you access to job candidates literally worldwide. And by augmenting web recruiting with more traditional, offline efforts, businesses can most effectively locate the qualified candidates they seek.
Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. The company has more than 100 locations in North America and Europe and offers online job search services at www.rht.com.recruiting, recruiting advice, recruitment