Case Studies and Comparisons of E-recruitment


Part I

Google's official start took place during 1996. During that time it took on the name BackRub but performed the same core function it does today i.e. a search engine. Over the years BackRub transitioned into Google, and as it expanded so did it's services and outreach. At present Google functions from offices found all over the world. That being said the site also has one of the most extensive e-recruitment setups one can find online.

General Impression

The process of hiring has been elaborated on the site one step at a time. The entire procedure of online recruitment actually begins with one searching for employment. Candidates that are looking for jobs will be taking up options based on where they are located, the departments they are interested in and their overall interests. The site also takes into account different services that Google offers to its users in terms of its entrepreneurial efforts around the world. This would include Adsense, mobile marketing etc.

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Once a person completes a submission, the Google team sets out to manage it. It is first analyzed in terms of the criteria of eligibility. After this process is completed the candidate is contacted via telephone, in some instances online interviews also take place before a final decision is made. The website has been peppered with user aids in the form of videos and illustrations to help them navigate and better understand the steps that they are required to take. An entire section has been dedicated to elucidate the standards at a Google office i.e. 'life at Google' shows the visitors exactly what Google's office environment is all about. The site has been modified over the years to encapsulate the main ideals behind Google. In terms of students, the job opportunities have been laid out based on where they are located globally.

Corporate Values

The main aim of Google has always been to try and stay away from a strictly corporate atmosphere. They have tried to maintain the environment and atmosphere found at any small firm. A hierarchical structure may exist but it does not affect the atmosphere of the office i.e. employees are not only allowed but are encouraged to go forward and tell upper level officials of their ideas and opinions. The main process of hiring is more concerned with skills rather than the experience that one has. Google places a substantial amount of importance over its users before anything else.

Career development opportunities

Google caters to the needs of all employees due to its virtually operated job recruitment procedd. The prime focus being on the person job fit adds to the mission of hiring the best professionals in the field of information and technology possessing diverse capabilities in terms of handling the multiple activities of the search engine, the advertising agenda and the involvement in community services. To motivate its current workforce special remuneration packages are provided. The workers are highly paid to retain their loyalty with the firm (Griffin & Moorhead, 2009). The personnel of Google are enriched with chief operating officers that have previously worked for major IT companies like Microsoft. Career development opportunities are available in the form of training sessions being periodically arranged. Graduate students are also benefited by the student job services offerd by Google worldwide.

KPMG international

Overall impression:

A financial advisory organization offering taxation and auditing facilities to the customers globally, KPMG is recognized as a famous financial service provider on an international scale. Having a workforce of ten thousand employees KPMG carries organizational activities with the help of 556 partners that aid in the strategic development of the firm. The website offering e-recruitment opportunity can be easily accessed by users. The web site is informative in the sense that it provides the mission of KPMG, why should potential candidates opt for a job in this firm rather than other well accredited organizations of the same genre. The site is fully enhanced with decription of the upcoming vacation programmes, the trainings being offered for the graduates who are encouraged to take part in the auditing department in order to hone their talent in the respective field. "i Google" compatible gadget designed to update the job vacancy announcements by the company is an additional feature to attract job seekers who wish to start off their career with KPMG.

Corporate Values:

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At KPMG employees are considered the main building blocks around which the functional activities revolve therefore their corporate values are based on maintain employee integrity so that the company can maintain flexibility with the changing environment of finance sector.

Career development opportunities:

The web portal offering e-recruitment to the potential candidates also mentions the awards under the company's banner e.g. in 2009 KPMG was titled the "Best Big Company to work for". The company is an equal opportunity provider as women are also encouraged to apply for the auditing and taxation advisory posts. In the year 2008, almost 45% of the workforce comprising of graduate students were women. Career development opportunities are well catered due to the expanded range of the network, distributed all around United Kingdom, thus offering the flexibility that employees can chose the work post in the KPMG branch that is near their locality. Organizational matrix is sort of linear as hierarchical levels do not follow the same top-bottom approach. Leadership keeps on transiting among most capable employees having experience to cater to the needs of ever changing demands of the clients.

Heriot Watt University:

Overall impression:

Being an educational institution, Heriott Watt University was founded in 1821. The university has excelled in the research and development sector to the extent that it has gained the status among the top notch educational centers of United Kingdom offering degrees up to Masters and PhD level. The electronic portal dealing with the job vacancies help current students of the university to keep informed anout the upcoming university posts that meet their education background and subject of interest. Not only this, ex-students can also access the portal to instantly apply for any vacancy that demands a slight working experience in the teaching discipline. There is a proper section where staff profiles are subscribed, also job interview and pretest screening tip and advice can also be viewed from the e-recruitment website of university.

Corporate Values:

Heriot Watt University is proclaiming to eradicate any inequality prevalent in the society on the basis of educational status, therefore efforts are focused to give common masses access to online information that is within reach of almost everyone, also providing the best level of educational standard possible.

Career development opportunities:

For avoiding any ambiguity associated with the process of applying online for a post, Heriot Watt University wants students and graduates to submit an appointment so that their concerned problems can be resolved. Together with such career advisory services, the web portal have separate description of the job fairs being arranged by the educational center. A chat box facility providing twenty four hours service help the students to further clear their misconceptions about the e-recruitment proceedings.

Critical analysis of e-recruitment practices adopted by successful firms:

To apply online for a job, search engines are to be accessed for searching available job opportunities depending on their educational qualification. With one click a potential candidate can have access to hundreds of job boards. Sponsored links are also available that can led the candidate to the web portal of their choice. Among e-businesses, Google is one such site that is involved in providing recruitment facilities to grab the most capable candidates. Google works with the aim of getting the best recruits, the web portal elaborately explains the applying criteria. With prior researches being carried out to check the strategies of Google dealing with hiring online, analysts believe that recruitment strategies must show flexibility, as a lot of people are willing to be a part of the company. The criterion for selecting an applicant is focused on hiring those individuals who possess either a doctorate or master's degree from a well-known university.

Not only Google but other famous software developers are reliant on taking the most qualified persons having intelligence to a considerable extent thus limiting opportunities for people who could not afford to gain education from an accredited institution.

The reason for opting for the highest qualified candidate is to keep pace with the technological innovations in progress. The credibility of the post can only be guaranteed if the applicant selected is able to meet the job criteria and carry out functional activities accordingly. Therefore attracting candidate requires promotional schemes being launched by Google and other major competitors like Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo. Being overtly qualified does not represent the entire rationale rather just a glimpse of the prevailing scenario. The job seekers who have spent more time in universities to complete their educational degrees improve their psychological reasoning for handling complex situations. They are more apt at introducing new technologies within the firm as they have gained expertise in the research and development sector as opposed to the newly appointed graduates who require additional training to understand the working mechanism of the organization. It cannot be argued that young graduates are likely to provide innovative and fresh ideas but recruiting them in large number is only advised if the firm is unable to afford appointing a high qualified professional due to economic recession and more revenues are to be generated within minimum time limit to regain market share. The widely accepted strategy of 15 percent rule is also practiced by Google to improve work efficiency. The driving force was first launched by 3M Company giving organization employees a freedom to carry out fifteen percent of the work in the firm according to their will. With the flexibility ascertained by the concept, employees show better performance and are more motivated to deliver their best for the company. In Google work environment, system engineers are to devote eighty percent of their time for organizational task while for the remaining twenty percent they are allowed to choose task of their own accord. This strategy also helps Google to gain competitive advantage as other web developer and software vendors do not offers such work diversity freedom.

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The dilemma of hiring the doctorate level professionals can be justified as giant business owners like Amazon and Google demand the services of more rational thinkers who can solve work problems within a time limit assigned. Mostly the subject expertise of mathematics and science are deemed important, As PhD candidates are usually experienced in handling independent research works, they are likely to adapt to the situation well and help formulate fruitful results.


The challenge associated with tackling e-business concerns is incumbent upon retaining the hired professionals rather than recruiting them. Both the intrinsic b and extrinsic needs of the employees must be properly met so that they remain loyal to the firm. Only financial aids cannot always be considered as rewarding as people's expectation and demands keep on changing. Extrinsic motivation can be brought about by satisfying the work environment needs of the employees while intrinsic indicators are related to the level of satisfaction each employee holds with the current job post. KPMG, Heriot Watt University and most significantly Google are trying to improve their motivation strategies to attract t the most credible pool of employees over the globe.

Social interaction sites like Facebook and Twitter can also be utilized by major organizations together with their official website mainly for promoting online recruitment advertisements. Web 2.0 is one such technology that helps company officials communicate with the applicant via the internet even through large distances for hiring them on the basis of eligibility. This manner is regarded valid as the company also gets informed about some of the job related skills that cannot be elaborated in a mailed resume. Heriot Watt University utilizes the Web 2.0 features in the virtual programmers catering to the job specific needs as required by the university. Online interviews take place with the potential clients but the success of this strategy is yet to be revealed as it is still in the progressive stage.


Literature Review

Critical evaluation: Strengths and weaknesses

Recruiting eligible applicants through the use of virtual databases is a widely accepted phenomenon in the present world yet the literary evidence suggests that organizations make use of e-recruitment to strengthen their position in the corporate sector and to logically select the most suited option after a number of preliminary test screenings (Bertozzi, 2008).

Time effectiveness and the ease of navigation of the web portal defining e-recruitment procedure are the two factors that applicants seeks while making a career decision. The operational efficiency and savings are additional attributes of e-recruitment that help organizations to utilize monetary budget in other worthwhile proceedings instead of wasting it on tedious job recruitment manual tasks. Such hiring process ensure a time effectiveness up to twenty five percent in total. "Potential Park Communications AB" published a report highlighting the percentage of internet users who are getting benefitted by the online job vacancy websites instead of relying on television media and newspaper. The following figure presents the general criteria utilized by online job applicants to view job vacancy updated information. These include consortiums, application service providers, websites, search engines etc. de.jpg

Among other benefits linked with e-recruitment it can be said that the concept is more favorable than the traditional recruiting procedures, as such mechanized software are developed which help organizations sort online applications and arrange them according to the job caliber and employment requirement of the potential candidate. Such strategy is advantageous as publicizing online is relatively cheaper in the manner that large number of applicants can be approached within seconds.

Not only is e-recruitment a better option for the firms but job seekers as wells. They can navigate the entire website in a time span of few seconds, reading the relevant information of a particular job, the brand status of the company and its treatment with the present employees. Not only this, the job specifications, staff profiles, career development opportunities are also well executed to make it easier for the potential candidate to make a decision. Job seekers can choose among two or more companies offering a same job. Employers are able to provide feedback instantly, thus job applicant is given free allowance to try other recruitment as well in case of refusal from the one of the firms (Smyth, Bradley & Rafter, 2009).

Figure: E-Recruitment process as perceived by job applicants

The main disadvantage of online recruitment is that sometimes it is difficult to handle the total number of applications submitted online. Selection process is delayed as some companies do not possess efficient electronic means to further segregate applicants on the basis of their job ability Also quality of proceedings is challenged when employers cannot segment applications according to the requirement of the job (Williams, 2008).

Corporate websites for e-recruitment:

The individual websites of corporations are the easiest way to gather the pool of rightful candidates where e-recruitment is concerned. Corporate firm values, and a place to submit application online are worthy for the applicants especially when they have fully navigated the website of the respective organization (Peacock, 2008).

The e-recruitment website might be regarded as an extended version of all functions performed by the retail business. With the commonality of this concept, approximately five hundred companies across the globe have established their official websites having webpages dealing with recruitment specifications. Some research has proposed that job seekers are further given the liberty to surf with more flexibility with the onset of Job domains that directly link the potential candidate to the organization of his interest. Such virtual tinge added to the otherwise routine hiring processes should be welcomes by employers, as communication flow is more coherent among the two parties that makes it easier for both of them to develop a psychological contract right from the initiation stage (Pitcher, G 2010).

Current thinking and practices in e-recruitment

Globalization has probed further challenge for the smooth implementation of the e-recruitment procedures adopted by organizations. With increase in competition, companies are willing to induce more graphical and animated features on their websites so that potential candidates might try to revisit the online portal and take notice of the company's offering with regard to career development opportunities. Various market strategies are employed to further enhance e-recruitment features offered to the applicants. In the contemporary world, online presence is crucial for the success of organizations. Therefore employers must put forward their utmost effort to satisfy willing candidates for the job by tackling them as consumers who have the ability to either raise or diminish the brand image of the company. If the websites is so developed that right candidates feel the need to navigate the contents on the webpage, than the organizations have achieved the aim of targeting right audience for the job advertised (Sylva & Mol, 2009).

The advent of technology has changed the way businesses used to mechanize in past, traditional recruitment procedures have loopholes which administrators are unable to cater, therefore e-recruitment introduced the "candidate management system" for dealing with this impeding issue. New software have replaced the need for employers to select the individuals in the first stage of recruitment as they can sort them on the basis of job expertise pertaining their online job application and credentials

Characteristics of an online recruitment website:

The website so designed for recruiting individuals online must have a charismatic appeal together with features such as user friendliness and audio visual support. The content of the website must be understandable for the general public. Google has adopted the approach of using casual language on the web pages so that viewers feel at ease and do not become confused about the application procedure. There must be separate sections elaborating the history of the company, its achievements so far together with comprehensive contact details of the major employers or human resource persons who might be contacted any time by the potential candidates to gain any additional information; designing a web portal should consider the targeted population that must be approached for recruitment. A highly qualified technician will not regard an unattractive website lacking vital information about the job proceedings and employee benefits offered by the company (Parry & Tyson, 2008).

Figures and Statistics Related to E-Recruitment

According to "The Global Online Recruitment Resource" (2005), e-recruitmentis gaining tremendous popularity. In 2003 estimates revealed that 3.1 billion dollars were gathered by advertising recruitments. Similarly IDC predicted the gain of 13 billion by e-recruitment on the global scale till the year 2005.Almost 34 % individuals seeking a job make use of online web portals to get information, 46% prefer contacting hiring agencies, 77% use print media for getting aware of the job updates, 36% look through magazines, word of mouth as medium of job advertisement is utilized by 57% individuals while 33% directly contact organizations(The Global Online Recruitment Resource, 2005).

Figure 1: The decrease in expenditure due to e-recruitment

Pie graph presentation reveals the assessment of companies who have employed e-recruitment for hiring employees and the influence it generated on the outcomes of the firms. It is evident that 46% companies perceived that the onset of e-recruitment in their business proceedings helped them to save expenditure better than the traditional recruiting methods. As the world is facing economic recession, the total number of job vacancies offered online might also get affected, thus accommodating only few job applicants to become part of the companies (Smyth, Bradley & Rafter, 2009). This will eventually take place due to continuous downsizing in firms and the inability to meet the current expenses of present employees. With rise in unemployment, people will apply more online yet the employment ratio would remain minimal The job contraction do not guarantee, that the success of e-recruitment will get affected by any means rather the popularity of the phenomenon is likely to improve as people would utilize this less expensive means of communication for posting their curriculum vitae. Same goes for organizations, which will like to spend less by displaying new job vacancy on their web portal thus saving advertising expenditures. In a nutshell, e-recruitment is the genuine solution to the ever increasing job demands of individuals and employers.