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The globalisation development has enabled a very complex world of global production and a very competitive space of global marketplace to be formed with much lesser nations' boundaries limitation. In this highly globalised world, it is not enough for any organisation to depend on only low cost of production or cheap cost of labour, as the main key to survive. In fact, the competencies and the commitments of the people within an organisation are both the key determinates for a business to be successful. Such competencies and commitments are the employees' skills, experiences, potentials and capacities, which are essential to be an organisation's critical intangible assets under the term named "Human Capital" (Ceridian UK Ltd., 2007).
"Human Capital" is a way of define human as the critical determinate of contribution to organisation's success. As such, allocation of more organisations' resources, to invest in searching the right employees, developing the employees' skills, and rewarding them for retaining purposes, will definitely benefit the organisations, as well as contributes to their overall competitiveness. Under the term of "Human Capital", people in organisation and business are an important and fundamental asset that contributes to development and growth (Stockley, 1996-2009).
The revolution in both of the workplace and workforce within the past decades have shown the need for nearly all of the organisations around the world to acquire proper "Human Capital", as a strategy for them to better compete with their competitors. In order for an organisation to acquire such proper "Human Capital", an investment process which is concerned with the discovering, attracting, and selecting suitable people to meet organisation human resource requirements is a must (Boarddwell & Holden, 1997). This investment process within "Human Capital" can be witnessed easily nowadays, as majority of the organisations are competing and keep searching for the best way to acquire the right person and to place them in the right position of job within their organisations.
Moreover, the principal in acquire the right person does not stop at just for the purpose to fulfil the organisations' internal operational needs. In fact, by simply keeping the right person within the organisation, it can avoid the right person to be acquired by other competitors and yet further benefit them in future. Such highly competitive environment has facilitated to the increase in awareness of major organisations' top management, as the strategy of attracting the right person to the organisations is the most fundamental step to develope the overall employees' long term royalty to the organisations, as well as enables organisational citizenship to be built.
Besides, the advancement in Information Technology and Communication (ICT), as well as the Internet technology has created a new method of recruitment which is known as "E-Recruitment". "E-Recruitment" is also known as "Online Recruitment", "Internet Recruitment", and "Cyber-Recruiting". It is refer to the practise of advertising job vacancies online in the Internet, and the formal sourcing of information about jobs online (Galanaki, 2002). Although e-recruitment is a relatively new concept for many organisations around the world, but it has gained explosive popularity within the business world. Such massive changes in the recruitment practices were closely linked to the world economy development within the past decades. The main factor that contributed to the switching from traditional recruitment method to e-recruitment was due to the strong economy that produced a high demand for skilled and qualified employees, which at the same time that the traditional labour market supply could not satisfy the demand, since late 1990s (Thomas & Ray, 2000).
For the past decade, peoples are familiar to search for the job information online through the Internet and were not depended heavily on traditional methods to get the jobs' information, which were normally broadcasting via newspaper, company physical bulletin board, or personal messages from the key human resource personals. Also, summiting applications and softcopy CVs online have become much more popular than sending the hardcopy application forms and CVs via postal mail method. Such dramatic changes are mainly due to the cost of delivery via e-mail or online portal are nearly totally free, as well as the time needed for the application to reach the recruiters are nearly instantly.
Besides, nearly all of the online recruitment portals allow users to store their CVs virtually online for future used. The online recruitment agents will try to match your qualifications automatically with jobs openings from time to time, yet acknowledge you via e-mail or Short-Messaging-Services (SMS), once there is with matched job found. Users can yet login to the secured recruitment web portals and edit their stored virtual CVs to suit the matched job opening for application. Such practises are the unique attraction in the adoption of E-Recruitment, which in general have become the main magnet to attract job seekers to bet their luck online rather than using the traditional way of job application.
In addiction, e-recruiting enables a globalised world to be created for both recruiters and job seekers. This can be explained as the jobs' information posted online by the recruiters are accessible by the job seekers, regardless where they come from, what is their nationalities, and where is their current location of reside. Also, the job seekers can gain proper information from organisation websites, and determine whether they are adaptable to the organisation's cultures, or make comparison with other organisations easily online.
Some of the major e-recruitment websites such as "www.jobstreet.com", even produce annually updated salary and compensation survey reports to their users. Such salary and compensation survey reports create a much more transparent labour market compensation details for both job seekers and recruiters, yet benefit both parties as a whole. Job seekers can now taking into consideration about their value and compensation level before submitting application to any job opening. As for recruiters, they are able to customise the most competitive compensation packages to job seekers, by simply referring on such salary and compensation reports.
Generally, it is clear that organisations has been driven by e-recruitment to redesign their recruiting processes and to switch timely to standardized frameworks for key personnel processes that are able to be generated by web-based integrated human resource management systems (Cullen, 2001). As the result, it is critically important to study the predictable variables, which might influence the e-recruitment's effectiveness in attracting the potential job seekers. Such predictable variables are adaptability of hiring time cycle, accessibility of information, accessibility of Internet, usability of website, and cost effective.
Basically, job seekers feel it extremely easy for them to apply a job via e-recruitment due to the adaptability of hiring time cycle. Without e-recruitment, job seekers might be facing a lot of problems in meeting the hiring time cycle, such as time period required to prepare the application form, obtain the verification materials, and develope their CVs. Also, the delivery period needed for application to be posted and reaching the recruiters. As well as, the possible unforeseen circumstances that might be causing the application could not be reached on time.
Besides, the job's information provided via traditional recruitment method is often limited for proper decision making of job seekers. Normally, the only job information to be passed by traditional recruitment method is focusing on the particular job opening requirements, and is often with very limited or without any information regarding the organisation's background and cultures. However, with the adoption of e-recruitment, job seekers will have the much higher possibility to access to any information needed by them for consideration, before they make their decision in which job or which organisation to apply with.
Moreover, with the advancement in Internet technology, accessibility to the Internet is becoming much easier and much affordable regardless where you are. According to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) (Q4, 2010), Malaysia has approximately 55.6% of the households are with Internet broadband subscriptions. The rate is believed to be increasing from time to time, under the Malaysia's National Broadband Initiative (NBI) plan. Such figure could be the solid evidence to show that the accessibility to the Internet is getting much easier and much affordable than before. By utilising the Internet facilities, e-recruitment has enabled the job application process to be done anytime, anywhere, without proper working hours and working locations' limitations.
In addiction, the various website features, such as the search functions, sorting functions, editing tools, the save for editing options, and the click to apply tools, are all contributing to the ease of application procedures for job seekers. These enable the job seekers to prepare their applications and CVs online, by simply click on few buttons and type in the details information to generate CVs virtually without any cost. Hence, deliver the application via e-mail or online portals with free of charges. Therefore, it is believed that job seekers will be influenced to apply job online, by the usability of the website, as well as for the purpose to save cost.
As for the main purpose of this research, the degree of the attraction for each predictable variable will be studied in depth, together with their relationship with the 'E-recruitment's Effectiveness' as the only dependent variable within this study.
1.2 Research Problem
'E-recruitment' is a relatively new concept, which the article on the topic first appearing in mid 1980s (Casper, 1985). As the result, the researches and studies on the e-recruitment are found to be relatively low in number. However, according to the research on organisational choice, researches have concluded that a job seeker's attention about his compatibility with a job position, or his perceptions of the capacity of an organisation to become a future employer, is affecting their attraction to apply for a particular job vacancies (Fisher et al., 1979; Highhouse, Lievens, & Sinar, 2003).
Since that e-recruiting is a relatively newly recruitment source, but at the same time it is also an unavoidable method of recruitment to be adopted by the organisations, regardless their nature of businesses, sizes, and organisational structures. Hence, a detailed study within the attraction of each predictable variable is essential in order to establish an effective e-recruitment system. In conjunction, this research is aim to study the attraction within the five predictable variables, namely: adaptability of hiring time cycle, accessibility of information, accessibility of Internet, usability of website, and cost effective, as well as their relationship with e-recruitment's effectiveness.
Over the past decade, several empirical studies had been undertaken by researchers to assess e-recruitment, but with the findings provided very little evidence to conclude that e-recruitment attracts more quality applicants than traditional methods of recruitment (Breaugh, Greising, Taggart, & Chen, 2003). However, according to Recruitersnetwork.com (2001), out of 400 poll participants, 46% of the total recruiters concluded that e-recruitment was the most effective way to get the best applicants and the most hires.
Another research that exanimate the impact on job information on applicants decisions to apply for a job, was able to support the premise that suggested the accessibility of information, regardless formal or informal, leads to better job satisfaction, retention, and performance (O'Reilly, Chatman, & Caldwell, 1991). As the result, accessibility of information wills definitely impacting the attraction of job seekers to apply their jobs online.
Besides, according to a study on how content and form on website influence the intentions for job seekers to apply, Marcel, Martin, and Willemijn (2008) were able to support Cober et al. (2004) findings by proven the web site's content and style are important precursors of organisational attraction. In addiction, the average cost of hiring an employee via the Internet is USD183, compare with the average cost of hiring an employee via traditional methods is USD 1383 (Forrester Research, 2003). As for job seekers, the cost to search and apply for job online is nearly zero, which is much cheaper than the traditional ways of job's application.
E-recruitment is becoming increasingly attractive to job seekers. Such attraction is built with the support of various factors. However, the degree of attraction of each factor to the job seekers remains unclear.
1.3 Research Question
Why job applicants choose to search and apply the jobs online?
How effectively the E-recruitment act as the method to attract potential job seekers?
1.4 Objective of the Research
To study in depth within the five independent variables.
To analyse the degree of attraction within the five independent variables for the job seekers to become potential job applicants online.
To investigate the relationships between the five independent variables and the e-recruitment's effectiveness.
1.5 Justification of the Research
This study pre-indicates five variables as main determinates, which are adaptability of hiring time cycle, accessibility of information, accessibility of internet, usability of website, and cost effective. The selection of the five main factors were based on the reviews on the various studies that done by other researches. This study will try to access the five variables and investigate in what degree the job seekers have been influenced by each of the variable. As such, job seekers' perception on e-recruitment can be better investigated, which are critically affecting the e-recruitment's effectiveness.
The outcome of the research is expected to benefit the organisations, in the way to determine the degree of attraction in each variable, as the key references for organisations to design the effectively e-recruitment system. It is well understood that an e-recruitment system, which link to the organisation-wide database is often a complex system. In order to obtain a more effectively e-recruitment system, the organisations might need to include all of the possible factors that they think will attract the job applicants into their e-recruitment system. Once, there are with occurrences where the organisations are unclear about which factors are carrying the most influences to the job seekers, it will definitely adding to the complexities of the e-recruitment system. Such complexities in the system will normally resulting to the higher cost of operational and development.
Beside, since that the most fundamental stage to acquire the right person is to attract the potential job seekers to become the job applicants, hence a detailed study in the relationships between the attraction of the predictable variables and the e-recruitment's effectiveness is necessary. The study outcome is believed to be essential guideline for organisations in making decision on whether to stick with the traditional recruitment method, or to switch to the e-recruitment. Such decision is not easy, as it involves a significant amount of cost to setup the organisational-wide e-recruitment system, the required trainings to operate the e-recruitment system, and the overall changes of organisational cultures to adapt to the e-recruitment practices.
In addiction, this study is able to suggest an overall big picture to the organisations, about the key attractions of the pre-application, which might lead to the satisfaction of the post-application. As for example, a company website with very less information provided might reflecting to the thoughts in the job seekers' mind that the particular company is not transparent enough, or even with legitimate doubts within the company's businesses. Another very significant example would be the job seekers are often assuming that organisations with systematic e-recruitment practises will definitely treasure the Human Capital, and providing more opportunities for skills development, as well as job advancements for them in future.
Moreover, it is believed that the outcome of this study will be contributing to more effectively e-recruitment system designs, which will lead to higher attraction of potential job seekers to become the job applicants online. Such increasing in the effectiveness of e-recruitment will definitely increase the chances for the job seekers to search for their desire jobs and apply for it online. Therefore, it will benefit the recruiters as the right person can be found much easier online than the traditional recruitment method. As the result, the unemployment rates can be reduced, as finding and getting the right jobs become much easier in general.
This research will be conducted by the use of questionnaires as the method of data collection. The questionnaires will be contained mainly closed-ended questions, and will be distributed to targeted respondents who might become the potential job seekers that utilise the e-recruitment as the method to find their desire job. Analysis of data collected will be done by using the Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) Statistics Version 18.0.
1.7 Chapters' Outline
This research study is carried out with a step by step approach on the chapter to chapter basic. There are three linking chapters, which include: Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Literature Review, and Chapter 3: Research Methodology.
The first chapter is mainly discussing the attraction of the predictable variables and their relationship to the e-recruitment's effectiveness. Under the chapter, the background of the research, the research problem and questions, the objective and the justification of the research, the research's mythology, the study's chapters' outline, the definition, and the scope of study will be presented. The chapter will be ended by the chapter summary.
The second chapter will then take place and will be focusing in which the significant factors that had been identified by other researches will be gathered and studied through the method of Literature Review.
The third chapter will be focusing in the research methodology used in this study, which in addiction involve the sampling method, data collection procedures, research instruments, and the types of the analysis.
1.8 Operational Definition
Recruitment - a process that involves the utilisation of organisational practices to influence the number and types of individual who are willing to apply for job vacancies (Rynes, 1991).
E-Recruitment - the process of personnel recruitment using electronic resources, in particular the Internet (Wikipedia.com).
Adaptability - ability to change something or self to fit to occurring changes (Andresen & Gronau, 2005).
Hiring Time Cycle - in this study refer to the cycle time needed in the hiring process.
Accessibility - in this study refer to the ability to access, to view, to know, or to gain.
Information - data that has been verified to be accurate and timely, is specific and organised for a purpose, is presented within a context that gives it meaning and relevance, and that can lead to an increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty (BusinessDictionary.com).
Internet - a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide (Wikipedia.com).
Usability of Website - in this study refer to the ease of use of the website portals and their functions, as well as features.
Cost Effective - economical in terms of the goods or services for the money spent (YourDictionary.com).
Attractiveness - quality that causes an interest or desire in something or someone (Ortony, Andrew, Gerald, & Allan, 1990).
Effectiveness - in this study refer to the degree of the ability for something to product desired effect.
1.9 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study for this research will be focusing in the Melaka private university's graduates, who are believed to be the potential job applicants in e-recruitment. A list of current final year final trimester students will be gathered and be contacted by e-mail, once after they are graduated from the university. The targeted respondents are generally new graduates, regardless age groups, races, religions, genders, and nationalities. There is with no pre-determined control in the number of questionnaires distribution, as it is hardly to be confirmed that all of the targeted respondents will be responding to the survey for this research.
1.10 Chapter Summary
E-recruitment has changed the way of the recruitment process, and enables a very complex process of recruiting within the traditional ways of recruitment to be done in a much easier way. Such dramatically changes have benefiting both of the job seekers and recruiters. An effective e-recruitment system should be able to attract the job seekers in the first place and yet to apply their desired job virtually online. As such, in depth understanding and analysis of the degree of attraction in each of the possible factors are extremely critical for organisations, in order for them to develop an effectively e-recruitment system. The selection of the five variables in this study is based on the review of previous studies done by other researches. The five variables, which include the adaptability of hiring time cycle, the accessibility of information, the accessibility of Internet, the usability of website, and the cost effective, are all proven by other studies to be the attraction factors to adopt e-recruitment, as well as affecting the e-recruitment's effectiveness. Hence, this study will be focusing in the in depth study within the five predefined independent variables, analysing the degree of attraction within all the five predefined independent variables, and to investigate the relationship between the five independent variables with the e-recruitment's effectiveness.