A Study Of Online Recruitment

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The dramatic development of the Internet over last 10 years has also significantly changed employment practices. Since first time the Internet emerged as a recruiting tool in 1990s, using online recruitment becomes more and more common for many organizations to select the candidates. Indeed, some experts claimed that online recruitment had completely changed the way that people look for work and brought clearly change to recruiting methods (Cappelli, 2001). This article reviews current empirical work on online methods of recruitment and examine the perceptions of the importance of online recruitment to human resource management (HRM). In addition, two cases are introduced to understand the existing human resource practices and needs of the internet recruitment to support for HRM in business.


Despite the prevalent use of Internet for recruiting, there is little academic research into this topic. Bartram (2000) noted that this topic is relatively new and a research of PsychLit for academic work found nothing concerned with the online recruitment. The situation has changed slightly over last decade, and most of academic interest has stated concerning online recruitment. Accordingly, the articles we can found are probably concerning the terms from the applicant's perspective rather than the recruiter's (Parry and Tyson, 2008). In this part, this paper will mainly focus on reviewing current empirical work in term of applicant perceptions of online recruitment, which discuss how it affects HR strategy and improve performance of recruiting in business. Due to limit resources the paper simply outlines some concepts from operational level.

Since online recruitment shift the recruiting activity form traditional paper-based into web-based, applicants using the application online probably become the first time gaining the impression of an organization's culture or HR policies. It is crucial for every corporate to have a better image in applicants' mind which is closely associate with the reputation. Fortunately, there are some works currently regarding internet recruiting shows that online recruiting does not result in lower applicant satisfaction when compare with traditional recruiting method (Rozelle and Landis, 2002). In contrary, an analysis of applicants' reaction to online recruitment shows that applicants, who apply for a vacancy by internet recruiting, are likely to proceed with positive reactions (Sylva and T.Mol, 2009). The reason is that applicants can obviously view a wide volume of jobs on websites and it improves quality of information (Van Rooy, Alonso and Fairchild, 2003). It is therefore crucial that organizations introduce the new web-based method into recruiting system by carefully designing an appropriate websites.

On the other hand, it does not mean there is no space for tradition method in recruiting market. For example, in North America there is broader evidence for a wide spread use of internet recruitment as a core recruiting tool, however, without displacing conventional medium (Elliott and Tevavichulada, 1999). Also, some findings demonstrate that conventional method still remain it advantages eg., paper-based job posting is performing better than web-based postings (Zusman and Landis, 2002). Besides this, despite the benefits of online recruitment has wildly recognized by most organizations regarding to the cost of recruitment, ease of use and access to applicants, and some study also confirmed the existence of limitations of online recruitment (Starcke, 1996). There is a large number of corporations had suffered with problems about unsuitable candidates (Parry and Tyson, 2008). This is because that Internet recruitment has not development completely to dominate the recruitment marketplace as predicted, and some labour markets constraints employers and employees to continue with paper-based method, while also transferring to use web-based recruiting. Therefore, mixed using online and traditional recruiting would tend to be best choice for many organizations in recent years (Parry and Tyson, 2008).

The efficiency and effectiveness of e-recruitment is another topic for current research regarding the aspect of the operation of HRM. Accordingly, online recruitment reported lead to considerable cost savings owing to 'reduced employee turnover, reduced staffing costs, and increased hiring efficiency' (Buckley et al., 2004). For instance, Fankland (2000) pointed out that the Cisco Corporation reduced recruitment cost by 45 percent since using web-based recruitment system as core channel for recruiting. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of online recruiting was also examined. There is a big increasing in applicant pool since using the internet for recruiting, whereas the quality of applicant is decreasing (Chapman and Webster, 2003). Due to this, there are some study focusing on analyze the methods of examining the quality of online recruiting. As some authors noted, the quality of recruiting should probably be measured by measuring in applicant qualification and job fit. In addition, another work points out that despite the Internet is far superior to other traditional recruiting methods, it is less effective than personal networking in selecting appropriate applicants (Feldmann and Klaas, 2002).

Complementing these findings, there are studies analyzing what kind of factors do result in positive applicant attitudes in online recruitment. In Sylva and T.Mol's study, it indicated that perceived efficiency is the key factor of applicant satisfaction with the online recruiting, followed by perceptions of user-friendliness. Also, ease of navigation and time-savings process considered contribute to a better impression and attraction of applicants (Cober et al., 2004). That is, people may be easier to get frustrated when websites are difficult or unfriendly to navigate, thereby destroying the impression of organization and also affecting the applicant attitudes. Moreover, the feedback which concerns the applicants' person-organization fit and some useful contents concerning such as career development and reward also lead to positive attitudes of applicants (Cober et al. 2003).

Case Study Description

In this part, two cases will be described to illustrate how online recruitment effects on the value of organizations. One is the case of Nike EMEA which just carries out the online recruitment process. The other case represents the situation of 3 network in UK which redesign the existed e-recruitment to enhance the company's image. Although the two companies are in the different stages of adopting online recruitment system, they share some common targets such as achieving efficient process and reducing administration cost, as well as promoting a positive brand image in their own business area.

Case 1. E-recruitment gets the Nike tick of approval


With a rapid expanding of the business, Nike's recruitment department was in chaos with the high volume of applications. With only four staff on the recruitment team, it was difficult to view every CV and to reply every candidate. In such a case, a rational recruitment process will be adopted to replace the traditional way, which can reduce both the time and cost dedicated to filling each position was in urgent need. In addition, the overall quality of talent was expected to increase.


Nike cooperated with Jobpartners ActiveRecruiter to help the company to manage the whole recruitment process. Candidates can directly apply to the Nike's website for specific jobs, or they can find more recruitment information though external recruitment website and newspaper advertising. However, for senior positions, the company will still source from headhunting organizations. ActiveRecruiter system automatically matched candidates with the job profile details held in the ActiveRecruiter files, in this way, the system frees HR staff by reducing their workload and enabled them to perform more consultancy.


Online recruitment save the hiring cost reduces the lead time of recruitment and release recruitment staff from heavy workload. Firstly, the company evaluated that ActiveRecruiter has reduced recruitment cost by about 54% since the system was introduced in July 2002, in addition, a return on investment for the new system was only within 6 months. Secondly, time-to-hire decreased from an average of 62 days down to 42 days. At last, each recruitment team member dealt with 15 simultaneous recruitment processes, while having time to fulfill their consultant role for managers in hiring processes.


Nike EMEA will keep updating ActiveRecruiter to monitor the overall quality of recruiting process. Then the recruitment team will have more time on developing interview methods to ensure the company can achieve its recruitment targets and attract quality people with necessary skills and attributes.

Case 2. Online recruitment connects 3 with top talent


In such a highly competitive telecom industry, the mission of 3 network is to promote the image of innovation and efficiency to their customers. In 3 recruitment function, they believed that having a well-known employer brand was crucial to attract valuable talent.

As a network company running for centuries, at the beginning, they started from the very traditional recruitment method by using emails and Excel files to manage the huge volume of applications. Since 2002, 3 had adopted the web-based recruitment system to simplify the process from two perspectives, external candidates and internal recruitment staff. However, the whole process of previous online applications seemed not convenient, as it still cost about 30 minutes. Being a mobile network company who always declared to be efficient and convenient, the priority is to redesign their recruitment procedure to simplify the job-search system and reduce the time for application.


To make e-recruitment more efficient and impressive, 3 worked with the Jobpartners ActiveRecruiter to proceed the redesigning as previously done. By using the new system, the applicants will only take 10 minutes in average to finish the whole process and they can track the status of their application at every stage. Additionally, it became easier to search for vacancies through the system, the job vacancies will be categorized by different functions and geographical areas, as well as external and internal gateways. Moreover, as the company believed that recruitment is like marketing, they even put the short video clips of current employee into the website, in order to provide a vivid picture of candidates' future career.


By adopting the new system, it made 3 company outstanding in its own business area to attract the best talent. In other words, the employer brand was largely improved. Besides, the administration cost decreased because the figure of employee hired from sourced agencies dropped 21% and the rate of independent hiring was increased 19%. Finally, administration time was much saved, and then the recruitment team would spend more time to optimize the recruitment procedure.


The recruitment team of 3 network will use the most updated recruitment methods combined with advanced technology to promote the company's image and recruit the exceptional talent. However, online recruitment should also combine with other recruit methods to achieve success to hire high-quality people.

Independent Analysis

People are the most important asset of business organizations, so all the business organizations are trying every effort and use every ways to recruit the suitable candidates to improve the quality of the working team. Over past ten years the online recruitment has been widely used among business organizations to identify and attract potential employees. The internet has dramatically changed the ways of both job seekers and organizations in employment practices. The two cases above describe the successful examples of use of online recruitment.

The Nike above shows the challenges related to recruitment Nike faced and what kind of solution the company made then finally discusses the future of the recruitment issue in Nike. The 3 case then talks about the effects of online recruitment in this company. These two cases both deliver ideas that online recruitment brings great value to the company and E-recruitment will have a bright future. As it is mentioned in the two cases the online recruitment as a HRM practice has many values to business firms.

Reducing recruitment costs and improving the efficiency of the recruitment process are the most significant drivers for the adoption of online recruitment among business world(Emma.Parry,&Shaun.Tyson, 2008). Online recruitment uses advanced internet technology to spread job advertisements and attracts jobseekers from all over the world via the company's website or the third-parties job websites. When the online recruitment system is used, the speed of recruitment process is much faster than before, it is estimated that the average recruitment cycle is one-third to one-half as long as it was in the pre-Internet era. It could handle thousands of CVs at the same time, simultaneously find the suitable candidates as soon as possible. Meanwhile fast responses will be automatically sent to applicants via emails. Many interviews could be carried out in the form of email interviews instead of face to face interviews or telephone interviews which can frees HR staff from the heavy work caused by job applicants and improve the working efficiency. In this case, time can be dramatically saved through the recruitment process, as well as the cost. For instance, by using the online recruitment system the 3 company save £1,760 per hire on average as a result of not incurring agency fees. Also the Nike average time to fill vacancies has fallen from 62 to 42 days. The cost per hire has also reduced greatly by 54%.

Also through the online recruitment system, a database which is full of applicants' information is built. The information of jobseekers can be held in this database for a period of time, the applicants can create and update their information in this database, even if one applicant is not suitable for the job offered, it could be possible that another job in the future will better match his or her applications. When the open job positions are appeared, it is not necessary for the recruiters to make recruitment advertisement through website again, what they need to do is just check the database and select the right applicant with related background. E-recruiting has helped companies to build, store and retrieve pools of talent very quickly.

In addition, the online recruitment system can help the business organizations to improve their abilities to attract talents and spread their brands. Nowadays the competition between business firms is becoming more and more intensive. Lievens et al. (2002) argued that the "war for talent" meant that the business organizations should emphasis more on attraction instead of selection of talents and the labor market shortages and recruitment difficulties led to a more competitive recruitment market. The online system can provide the candidates with a fast and professional service and this experience can leave those jobseekers a fascinating impression. Moreover t the business organizations' own websites supply a good way for those job applicants to get a insight into the company, get to know what kind of career they will get if they are recruited into the company.

In real life, because of their age, gender, geography, experience and so different, there will be some communication between them can not avoid the obstacle, but the Internet has a hidden feature in the Internet, people can make a variety of camouflage, in the virtual online world, you can eliminate all kinds of social cues and material representation of interference, equality, communication and information with each other, exchange ideas, express feelings, in order to achieve the greatest understanding and help each other. This will result in a long time in real life, reduced direct communication between people, relationships fade, causing students and social separation, escape the world, only to meet the spiritual needs of the contacts in the real nervous, not suited to produce lonely feelings reflected. Over time, will be into the "modern and lonely", resulting in real interpersonal conflict and dislocation.

Internet, media coverage is unmatched by any previous, and its tentacles can be easily extended to every corner of the world.Online recruitment relies on this feature of the Internet, to the traditional method of recruitment can not get results.2000, IBM recruited a message through the network 7 in the country only 14 schools in the city put up a poster, and not in any promotional activities on campus, but it received from the British, American, Japan, Australia and other places studentsincluding more than 1,300 resumes, the number of schools have far more than the 14, the coverage of recruitment companies themselves are anticipated


According to statistics [1] , about 20 million daily worldwide employment value of the information released, about 3,000 people send your resume on the Internet. The birthplace of the Internet the United States, over 50% of average people who change jobs through the Internet. According to "Fortune" Statistics, Global 500 companies and 88% use the network to recruit staff.

Online recruitment is not simply move the jobs online, "a hanging" of the matter. In addition to the necessary technical strength, the recruitment website must also have a deep understanding of human resources. Need to have strong ability of market planning and promotion to attract more applicants. However, at present most of the job site in the deep level of services is still very weak, on the talent market analysis, market supply and demand orientation, salary levels and related changes in the personnel system and other aspects of consulting services are very limited. Online recruitment service system is still in the early stages of development and needs further development to improve.

Internet penetration of 10 years, China won the rapid development of online recruitment, online market intelligence to the momentum can not discuss the impact of the traditional job market, talent network increased rapidly, diverse way of variety of services, expanding market share. Career development of diversified channels, commissioned by recruitment agencies, personnel exchanges, job fairs, campus recruitment, hiring and other acquaintances, and network co-exist, with the rise of online talent market, the upward trend in online recruitment.