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Analyse the impact of online recruitment on the current trends in human resources. Evaluate its effectiveness in improving the quality of recruitment process for large-scale companies.
Nowadays, the invention and advancement of various technologies have played an indispensable role of a modern society. These technologies help Human Resources (HR) departments to reduce HR staff time spent on manual tasks. It may have transformed the way in which HR offices attract and recruit candidates. It is called online recruitment. In general, when describing what online recruitment is, Gilmore and Williams (2009) defined that 'E-recruitment, also known as online recruitment, refers to the use of technology to attract candidates and aid recruitment' (p. 103). Besides, as a result of economic recession, a competitive recruitment market has been caused by labour market shortages in the UK in the last decade. Therefore, to overcome these difficulties, using technology in recruitment is one of the current trends in Human Resources in the UK. This idea is supported by CIPD (2009) that the using company's own website is the most frequently used method for attracting candidates in the UK (cited in Green et al., 2011). This data shows clearly that the tendency of using online recruitment has been increasing in the UK in recent years. Therefore, this essay will analyse the impact of online recruitment including advantages and disadvantages on the current trends in UK recruitment, and then evaluate its effectiveness in improving recruitment process for famous companies.
To begin with, there are three main benefits from the online recruitment. Firstly, a decrease cost in the recruitment is one of the advantages of it. In general, in the currently economic recession, most of companies have efforts to reduce cost in each department, including recruitment cost. Therefore, online recruitment seems to be the best choice to limit the recruitment cost. If it is compared with the traditional recruitment, companies may pay a certain lower amount of money when using online recruitment. For example, the price for making the traditional recruitment advertising on television is far more expensive than using their own website to advertise jobs. This idea is also supported that 71% of companies in their survey applied online recruitment to reduce recruitment cost (CIPD, 2006). The falling cost could be resulted from the rising use of social network such as Facebook, professional networking Linkedln as a method to recruit positions, and the limiting recruitment on televisions or radios. Secondly, reaching a wide audience is also one of the advantages of online recruitment. It is probably difficult for traditional recruitment methods to get this. The reason is that when a company employs on local newspapers or television channels, job advertisements are possibly accessed by small group of people. Therefore, employers may only receive applications from local candidates. In contrast, a company will reach a global audience by online recruitment because people all over the world who are interesting these jobs can access applying by the internet. It is also illustrated that with using e-recruitment, Monstor.com received about 4,000 CVs each day in 1999 (Bartram, 2000). Additionally, online recruitment not only helps employers receive a huge number of CVs, but also possibly classifies applications according to ages, regions and experiences. For example, some UK companies may only want to recruit local people so when a candidate fills the application form and clicks a selection which is not the British, this application will be excluded automatically. However, the technology sometimes has a problem in the automatic system that caused losing of relevant CVs accidentally. Furthermore, another advantage of online recruitment is making the recruitment process quickly and easily. Employers may only need to identify job requirements and update them on website while candidates only need to click the website to apply and submit their documents with an access in 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Besides, e-recruitment makes it easy for candidates to apply for jobs when they are far from employers. For example, the internet interview may be the best choice for applicants who want to apply jobs at foreign companies because they can apply for jobs without travelling to companies. Bartram (2000) also agreed that video-conferencing offers a significant saving in cost and time for both the employer and job seeker, especially for international candidates.
On the other hand, online recruitment also has two major drawbacks. Limited the source of candidates is one of the main disadvantages of online recruitment. Although many people often use the internet to search and apply for jobs, it does not mean that the internet is always the first choice of job seekers. A certain number of people who are not able to use online technology may be restricted by online recruitment. A research showed that the average ages of people use the internet for searching jobs are from 25 to 34 with around 90% while older job seekers only made up about 60% (Green et al., 2011). The reason for this situation is because the older people tend to prefer to the traditional recruitment. If companies only concentrate on online recruitment, they may lose a certain selection of candidate resources. In addition, another most important difficulty of online recruitment is that internet interviews cannot replace the face-to-face interviews in some jobs. In general, interview is one of the vital parts in decisions of employee recruitment. The face-to-face interview is probably a useful way for employers to evaluate candidates thoroughly by observing their behaviours in during the interview. Many jobs, especially managers or directors, need applicants to express their abilities not only by written in the personal statements. Some skills such as teamwork, cooperation or leadership are possibly displayed and evaluated properly in the face to face interview, not in the personal statements. Bartram (2000) also mentioned that 'it is deemed unlikely to replace traditional search methods for the top executive positions' (p. 266).
From above advantages and disadvantages, online recruitment has the different effectiveness in improving the quality of recruitment process of each organization because of various situations. An example of this is Nike, which is known as the leader in the footwear market in the world. To be more specific, Nike is a famous brand name so it probably receives a huge number of applications for its vacancies. It seems to be difficult for Nike to manage recruitment without using the technology. Pollitt (2005) also showed that before using online recruitment, a small number of recruiting staff were unable to control many CVs of candidates or made mistake about candidates' information. However, Nike's recruitment process is considerably improved after using the online recruitment system. The online recruitment may help Nike reorganize the managing of vast number of CVs more effectively through an automatic internet system while there is fewer staff. The result of applying e-recruitment by working with Jobpartners is saving recruitment cost (54%) and reducing the average recruitment time from 62 to 42 days (Pollitt, 2005). It appears that Nike is successful in utilizing the benefits of online recruitment to increase the quality of overall recruitment process. Another example of using the internet recruitment is Boots. Similar to Nike's situation, Boots met difficulties in receiving a huge quantity of applications without their preparation. Actually, they already used technologies to deal with applications but they could not exploit the benefits of online technology successfully. It is showed that Boots decided reorganize the recruitment process by applying online recruitment (Pollitt, 2007). However, the way Boots used in the online recruitment to enhance the quality of recruitment was a little different with Nike. While Nike set up electronic links with outside database to update CVs frequently, Boots used the emailing system. With this technology, Boots can manage the real volume of applications, instantly communicate with applicants and clarify them to suitable positions. Making proposals to 1,000 candidates in two weeks has been identified since the system was applied in Boots (Pollitt, 2007).
In conclusion, online recruitment has an important impact on the current recruitment trend in the UK. Although its advantages, such as cost-effectiveness, quickly and easy access or a wide audience, are greater than disadvantages, its effectiveness is specific for organizations because each company has its own targets and recruitment strategies. Besides, to utilize the benefit of online recruitment to a maximum, a certain company needs to recognize weaknesses and strengths in their recruiting process to find a suitable online recruitment method. As a result of this, not only qualities of recruitment process are improved, but also overall level of human resources management may be enhanced to contribute to the company's success.
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