Best Practices for Web-Based Recruiting
Rocky Hopson is president of Online Reporting Service Inc., which operates
a Web-based job recruiting service specializing in hourly based full-time, part-time,
and temporary positions within the retail, restaurant and food service, grocery,
lodging, hospitality, administration, and service-support markets.
With more than 40,000 job boards on the Web, what is the single best tool for recruiting on the Internet? It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. You need to use the Web to be successful, but you don't have the time to waste on ineffective recruiting tools. For example, most boards are great for resume searches, while only a few handle applications and focus on the hourly employee job market.
The Web has given birth to new recruiting media and tools that make some aspects of the recruiting process faster and less expensive. Job boards have effectively improved upon the classified-ad model for job advertising and application, and some of the Web-based applicant-management systems bring previously unheard of speed and efficiency to hiring operations. As a result, a growing company needs to add Web-based recruiting to their recruiting plans, if it expects to compete effectively for talent.
Moreover, adopting a Web-based recruiting strategy - and sustaining that advantage - requires a continuing investment of resources. New tools will be invented, old tools will change, and the only way to stay abreast of what's going on is continuous research and learning. Rest assured: If you don't, your competition will.
Nevertheless, Web-based recruiting is still in its infancy. We are still learning how to build the tools to attract, select and retain the most qualified candidates via the Internet. There are some techniques now being used that work and some can even get the job done well. Those who figure it out will obviously have a great advantage over those that do not.
It is important, therefore, to focus your limited time on best practices. We do have enough experience on the Web at this point to know what works and what doesn't in today's recruiting strategies. There are thousands of recruiters using the Web to source candidates, but precious few are using the medium to recruit them. The difference between those two activities is best practices.
The concept of best practices consists of these activities:
- Using the right tools in the right situation at the right time to generate a significant flow of quality candidates without consuming a lot of resources. There are hundreds of different techniques and methods you can use on the Web. The recruiters who maximize the return on their investment are those who know which tools work best in which situations.
- Using the right tools effectively so that they perform at maximum capabilities. Knowing how to find and use the right tools to full advantage is not easy. Although job posting has consistently ranked among the most-effective techniques among recruiters using the Web, most job-posting content is poorly written and less than optimally effective.
- Being a good user of Web-based recruitment services and products. There are 40,000+ employment-related sites in operation today, and more launch every week. You can select the right tool for a given recruiting requirement and apply it effectively, but if you use it on the wrong site, your results will be just as disappointing as if you had implemented a worst practice. Track your results and ensure that each site performs as advertised.
- Documenting your recruiting processes. This may seem fundamental, however, many companies do not document their recruiting processes. Often, companies have as many different hiring processes as they have hiring managers. Further, most hiring is delegated to first line managers. These are, by definition, the least experienced leaders and the most likely to make mistakes in the difficult process of assessing and hiring talent. Creating a documented, replicable, and measurable recruiting process is a fundamental requirement for establishing company-wide recruiting practices that can be improved with each hiring transaction.
Recruiters can utilize the Web for placement of online job ads, and for resume and application research. However, it's moved from just resume submissions to a very useful tool for employers looking for hourly employees as well. The requirements for hourly workers are much different than the typical resume based worker than part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers where the time is not a set eight hours. But for the experienced online recruiter, the Web can offer unlimited possibilities and help a good strategy and make it better.
Some of the more common benefits to Web recruiting are listed below:
- Inexpensive access. Many libraries, schools and public service providers allow online access for free, and recruiters that want preferred service can usually find unlimited access from their home for under $20 a month.
- Greater reach. Recruitment and applicant sourcing on the Web can be localized or worldwide and can access more job seekers and a broader selection of job seekers than other medium.
- Search and sort capabilities. Search and screen job applicants to hire the most qualified candidate for your job requirements.
- Greater advertising reach and a flexible ad medium. Web advertising offers greater exposure to a larger audience than any other form of media. Web advertising of job postings are as testable.
- Unlimited supply of applications or resumes. The Web provides recruiters access to thousands of applications, resumes, and job databases, and even more newspapers and industry magazines.
- No mailing costs. There is no postage or added cost to forward mail, data files, photos, or other data transfer. In addition, the Web can transfer information to hundreds of individuals simultaneously.
- Low printing costs. The Web is a cost-effective way to save money on printed materials by publishing online brochures, annual reports, project portfolios, press releases, executive biographies, training and hiring materials.
- Convenient accessibility. Company and job information posted on the Web is easily accessible to job seekers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Job seekers also can access their email or send email from any location worldwide with Web access.
- No time restrictions. Recruiting different time zones or working late at night is not a problem with the Web. Immediate feedback; through email, chat, or online messaging, job seekers can send requests or receive information quickly without waiting for regular mail or playing phone tag. The end result is a faster hiring cycle at a significantly lower cost per hire.
- User-friendly platform. Posting job opportunities and doing applicant research is easy to perform due to the graphical "point-and-click" features of the Web.
- Competitive advantage. Web technology allows recruiters to stay ahead of their competition.
- Demographic advantage. Web users are growing exponentially, and offer favorable demographics for recruiters.
These are the basic principles of Web-base recruiting: There is no one solution that can do it all. You must implement a Web-base strategy that's specifically tailored to your existing and future requirements. It will take planning and guidance and for those who invest in the understanding of the best practices on the Web have the knowledge and skills required to design and implement a process quickly and effectively. This is the key to effective Web-based recruitment.