The internet is revolutionising the recruitment field; companies can now hire individuals in a matter of days, yet this process took months in the pre-internet era. Furthermore, many of them are attracting a wider client pool than they had ever imagined.
However, these benefits do not come without limitations. The internet cannot replace other recruitment methods because it is not the most effective process. Issues about low job satisfaction and high turnover are some of the problems that emanate out of the use of such a method for recruitment.
When assessing the effectiveness of the internet in recruitment, one must consider the parameters that the hiring process entails. If a company wants to recruit in the shortest time possible, then the internet would be regarded as the most effective route. Other enrolment platforms cannot rival the internet’s immediacy. Companies can post job applications in the morning, receive jobs applications by midday and recruit employees by the end of the day.
The online recruitment process has come of age; this occurred after organisations realised that the use of psychometric questionnaires could save a lot of time involved in test administrations. Furthermore, if they want to maximise on talent abilities, then the internet is the best place as geographical barriers do not limit it. When firms value immediacy and global staffing, then internet recruitments are effective (Crail, 2007).
However, not all HR personnel fit into this profile. Experts assert that it is difficult to do attitudinal tests on the internet. Therefore, companies may hire individuals who possess impressive features on paper, but lack the personality needed to make it in a certain job. This alters employees’ retention rates as they may fail to deliver.
Sometimes, the response rates are too many, and this may overwhelm recruiters. Highly qualified candidates can lose this chance quite easily in the midst of this large pool. For these competent applicants, the method is ineffective. Additionally, local companies continue to face competition from global firms that may seek out their potential employees through the internet.
Analysts assert that security concerns are arising out of this development. Many individuals now display their personal information on several websites, and this may make them susceptible to hackers. This problem puts off some IT professionals or tech-savvy candidates who may be unwilling to compromise their digital security. Companies can miss out on these promising individuals owing to those challenges.
Currently, direct referrals are still the number one recruitment method. This means that the internet is moderately effective. It can only yield maximum results when combined with other application processes.
Candidates who use online recruitment to secure job focus on job attributes rather than organisational qualities. This may work well for employees, but is not appropriate for companies who invest enormous sums on employment training. Such organisations tend to suffer from high attrition rates as loyalty is not a critical trait. In this regard, the method is not effective (Eaves, 2006).
Online recruitment is not that effective for employees, as well. Research has shown that online recruitments draw more qualified or better educated candidates than other recruitment methods. This means that organisations have an upper hand in recruitment. A number of them have responded by lowering benefits and giving employees smaller salaries.
This causes low job satisfaction among employees because they may feel as though they are getting unfair pay. Additionally, this method of recruitment offers employees few opportunities for advancement thus minimising their career prospects in an organisation. In this regard, it is not effective.
Why a business may want to use social networking websites in recruitment
The most attractive quality about social networking websites as a recruitment tool is its low costs. Companies spend almost nothing in recruiting employees through this method because they simply have to use their connections. The organisations can do this by locating individuals who have graduated from universities or persons who need internships.
Alternatively, some employees may have lost their jobs and may need fresh opportunities. Posting this information on social networking websites allows such people to get a chance at a job. Even if, a certain person may not need a job right away, he or she may know someone else in his friendship network that does. That means that such individuals could be quite useful to the company in his or her capacity as an intermediary.
Online recruitment agencies and other platforms tend to be expensive because they require payments before recruitment completion. Furthermore, organisations do not have to spend thousands of pounds on the maintenance of an employee database as they can access this information easily through their social networking sites (Li, 2011).
This approach is much faster than traditional approaches. Social networks act as reference checks for organisations. Furthermore, they facilitate screening processes easily. For instance, one may use keywords on these networking websites to search for candidates in specific geographical locations or those who possess certain traits.
LinkedIn, MySpace etc. contain graphical information about the applicants. Many users may post video CVs or infographic CVs in order to stand out from other potential workers. This allows recruiters to learn a lot about candidates’ personality and attitudes. Unlike other online recruitment methods, human resource personnel do the personality and fitting process quite easily through the use of social media.
Analysts have found that online resumes tend to be more accurate than printed ones. This is because most applicants will create a CV that talks about their personal qualifications and experiences. They may eventually post this information on their social networking accounts for perusal by interested parties.
Such CVs tend to be neutral because candidates are not trying to appear excessively attractive to a company. Prior to online recruitment, most applicants would first wait for a job application before making a CV. More often than not, those CVs would contain untrue information in order to impress the recruiting company.
Using social networking websites to recruit sends out the message that a company treats its brand seriously. Candidates respond well to organisations that take the time to make their recruitment processes technologically compatible. These potential employees may also assume that the firm would treat them seriously if they worked in it.
Surveys conducted by firms such as Jobvite.com indicate that approximately 67% of employers are using social networks for recruitment. The companies have explained that most of these processes are successful. This figure was a 6% increase from the previous year, i.e., in 2010 (Swallow, 2011). Many companies are investing more funds than they did before on social networking recruitments. Employers who have not tried this method should gain enough conviction from their peers who are already doing the same.
Organisations can use social networking websites to post information about them. Sometimes they may do this through their employees in order to appear natural. In such scenarios, people can upload videos about their work environment. This can illustrate how productive and fun the company is. Other individuals can relate to these graphical displays, and may send their applications there.
Social networking websites are an effective method of online recruitment because of their affordability, ease of use, personality-oriented features, and their diverse usage applications.
Crail, M. (2007). Recruitment methods: costs and effectiveness. [online]. London, Personnel Today. Available from http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2007/02/20/39302/recruitment-methods-costs-and-effectiveness.html [Accessed 25th November 2011]
Eaves, E. (2006). Online Job Sites deliver too little – and too much. Reuters Business, 30 Sep., p. 24.
Li, S. (2011). Companies are like-minded on social media jobs. The Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct., p. 3.
Swallow, E. (2011). How businesses use social media for recruiting: infrographic. [online]. NY, Mashable. Available from http://mashable.com/2011/08/28/social-media-recruiting-infographic/ [Accessed 25th November 2011].