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Currently, the business environment is facing challenges related to globalization and human resource. As global competition intensifies, and industries have become more intensive towards skill, the demand for talent, knowledge and skill-based workers is increasing. Due to this, companies and organizations are adopting sophisticated and high-end recruitment and selection strategies in order to get the right employee for the right position at the right time. As a result, e-recruitment had emerge and become more easy, accessible and efficient than the traditional methods (Tong and Sivanand, 2005).
The Internet Business Network, a US recruiting consulting firm, reported that the number of worldwide websites which contain job listing had increased from 500 to 200,000. In addition, the number of résumés being posted and uploaded in e-recruitment websites had increased from 100,000 in 1995 to 2.5 million in 1998. According to the Forrester Research's study, a total of 124,000 companies will be recruiting online (cited in Harvard Update, 2000).
E-Recruitment in Pakistan.
In Pakistan today, online job searching has become very popular. This is because of the popularity of the Internet. Online job postings started in 1990, when different IT companies and universities began to use the Internet extensively. The first reference to online recruitment emerged in the mid-1980s, and systematic references to online recruitment in HR began in the mid-1990s. During the two years between 2008 and 2010 in Pakistan approximately 3,000 companies used online career centres (OCC), also known as online job portals (Rehman Khan, 2010).
Access to the Internet had been available in Pakistan since the early 1990s. PTCL was one of the companies in the country to take advantage of the benefits of the Internet, by offering different Internet services via nation-wide local call networks. "Currently, the Internet had become a vital part of the nation, particularly for the younger generation" (Rehman Khan, 2010).
In a qualitative, open-ended survey, 30 senior executives were interviewed to identify the existing HR trends in the IT industry of Pakistan. The result showed that 43% of the respondents prefer online vacancy posting or online posting in order to select and recruit candidates. Furthermore, 80% of the entire population chose rozee.pk as the main destination for online head-hunters, while the remaining 20% consists of theritemoves.com, bayt.com, yahoo groups, meramustakbil.com and LinkedIn, which are considered as the secondary destinations (Pervaz, 2009).
Context of the Study:
Recent study in 1999, survey conducted in order to analyze the trends and development of online job searching processes in the job market of the country. The result of the study shows that time-saving is the primary motivator for Internet job searching, followed by, researching a wide area of jobs, providing global coverage, ease, and cost-saving. The survey shows that the Internet had been a very important means or channel of finding jobs for fresh graduates and jobholders (Rehman Khan, 2010).
These are the primary reasons why the popularity of e-recruitment service providers is increasing. However, a study of Kin Tong and Sinavanand (2005) showed that even though the revenues of e-recruiters are growing in rapidly, their profits are still elusive.
Reasons for Selecting the Research Environment
Pakistan has been chosen for the research environment, because I live there and thus it will be feasible and accessible for me. The company PTCL has been chosen because the primary data can be easily accessed within the vicinity.
Nature of Organization or Case Study:
Pakistani Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) was incorporated in Pakistan on December 31, 1995. The organization commenced business on January 1, 1996. It is listed an all of the three stock exchanges in Pakistan. The company was established in order to undertake the telecommunication business that had been first offered by Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTC). This business was transferred to PTCL on January 1, 1996 under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Act, 1996, which enabled the company to take all of PTC's resources, including properties, rights, assets, obligations and liabilities of PTC, except those that were transferred to the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust (PTET) (Forex PK 2010).
PTCL was chosen by the author because it is considered as one of the largest and biggest companies in the country. Currently, it is servicing innovations and technologies towards millions of people, improving their life. In 2010, the PTCL Group declared its 2009 revenue of Rs 49.4 billion, which was higher by 6%, compare with 2009 (Forex PK 2010).
Aims and Objectives:
The main aim of the study is to explore the different factors that can affect or influence the successful implementation of e-recruitment tools in Pakistani organizations. In line with this, the following will be the objectives of the study:
To analyze the readiness of Pakistani business environment for implementation of e-recruitment systems in different organizations;
To identify the different issues faced by hiring managers in Pakistan;
To analyze how e-recruitment system can solve the problems and issues in recruitment process in Pakistan.
To recommend different processes and procedures on successful implementation of e-recruitment system in Pakistan.
Questions and Hypotheses:
The study intended to answer the question:
1-What are the barriers to implementing an e-recruitment or online recruitment system in Pakistan?
2-How can these barriers can be overcome? In line with this, the study will work on the following assumptions:
User acceptance of technology can lead to loss of money and resources and failure of e-recruitment system in Pakistan;
Perceived risk and perceived acceptance can affect the decisions of organizations in Pakistani in deciding about implementation of e-recruitment; and
Job pressure towards the staff can affect the success of e-recruitment inside the organization.
There are much literature has been written about e-recruitment. However, most of this literature focusing on the different benefits of e-recruitment inside different organizations. The study of "Online recruitment connects "3" with top talent: HR specialist ""can learn a lot from marketing" reveals how mobile-telephone company "3" is applying its e-recruitment in order to attract top talent in a highly competitive market. The study shows that e-recruitment has helped to increase the efficiency, ease and speed of the hiring process, which made it easier for the managers to handle large volumes of applications and interviews. The result also shows that there has been a great change in the recruitment process in the company, compared with before, when the company was using combination of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Outlook in recruitment management. Thus e-recruitment increased applicant's confidence in the fairness of the recruitment process. The result was supported by a case study of Superdrug, a UK health and beauty retailer which focuses on describing the weaknesses of the paper and e-mail based recruitment system that the company used to apply. The result shows that the entire recruitment process has become quicker, more efficient and the company experienced 87% savings in using e-recruitment (2007, 26 - 28). The same result was experienced by Nike, a leading manufacturer of shoes and sports apparel, with the introduction of e-recruitment in Europe, Middle East and Asia. The result shows 54% savings upon the introduction of the system, and at the same time, the average time in filling vacancies had fallen from 62 to 42 days (Anon,, 2005).
The study of Zafar, Shaukat and Mat (2010) about the e-human resource management practices inside State Bank of Pakistan of 37 employees, shows that e-HRM, together with e-recruitment, were applied and used inside the organization in order to acquire efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, the survey also showed that the employees and possible employees were satisfied with the current implementation of the system inside the organization. Thus, it enables the entire HRM department and the Bank to take advantage of IT in order to work with the different transactions related with HRM, particularly recruitment, selection and hiring.
The study of Kin Tong (2009) enables to shows some of the possible risks or hindrances in the success of e-recruitment implementation in an organization. Using Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Perceived Privacy Risk (PPR), Performance Expectancy (PE), Application-Specific Self-Efficacy (ASSE) and Perceived Stress (PS) as key external factors, the author analyzes the perceptions and behaviours of the jobseekers towards the e-recruitment adoption in Malaysia. The result shows few key determinants to the adoption of this technology.
Many studies show that the acceptance of the technology, perceived risk and acceptance and job pressure of both employees (HR and IT department of companies) and the applicants are the major issues and challenges which affect the success of implementation of e-recruitment system. First, according to Lin and Stansinskaya (2002) the lack of knowledge of e-recruitment of the HR community as well as the limited commitment of senior managers towards the system can greatly affect the quantity and quality of the candidates using the application. In addition, like any other application of the Internet, its users are concerned with the issue of confidentiality of important personal information. As a result, it hinders the openness of the applicants or candidates to use e-recruitment system (Kerrin and Kettley 2003). On the other hand, Lin and Stasinskaya (2004) suggest that companies are somewhat reluctant in using e-recruitment because of the issues regarding the accuracy, verifiability and accountability of the information about the applicants, which might limit the diversity among applicants. In addition, Lin & Stasinskaya further argue that lack of personal interactions in the process of online employment applications can cause limitations in communication flow between the candidates and the employers, which leads to frustration on the part of the candidates and missed opportunities for the employer to gather more important information.
Above all, the study of Stanton (1999) shows that e-recruitment can cause threat towards equal opportunity, because it may hamper the efforts of the organization in promoting diversity in their workforce. This is because,according to Sharf (2000) there are still vital differences in the percentage of households which possess Internet access within the poor community and disabled people.
Even though, there are different researches which focus on the advantages and disadvantages of e-recruitment for organizations and individual career hunters, thus, there are numbers of research which mainly focus on the case of Malaysia, UK and the United States, there are few, if none, which focus on the case of Pakistan. This is very important because, it is vital to investigate further the impact of technology gap in the effectiveness of e-recruitment towards organizations and candidates for employment.
This study will gather both textual and numerical data from the selected population of respondents. Thus, it will employ qualitative and quantitative method. With this, survey interview and questionnaire will be used in order to gather primary information. Questionnaire will be delivered and conducted towards the respondents with the supervision of the researcher, in order to prevent disadvantage of self-administered questionnaire. On the other hand, due to financial and time aspect, interview will be conducted via phone. Generally, this study will be descriptive in nature. This will focus on analyzing the current problem by focusing on the responses of the respondents.. According to Creswell (1994), it will focus on presenting facts about the nature and status of a given situation as it exists during the time of the study, therefore, it will be helpful in analyzing the connections and practices that exists, beliefs that are ongoing, effects that are being felt and even trends that are being developed (Best 1970). As a result, it can help in order to describe the present or existing conditions and conditions based on the perceptions and opinions of the respondents of the study (Creswell, 1994). In general, descriptive studies not only focus on supply of knowledge regarding the different variabilities and regularities, but also stimulate the investigators to focus on the definition of master terms in unequivocal manner (Vallier, 1973, 217). In addition, this study will examine and explore the problems and questions by taking cross section of it one time - using cross-sectional study (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). With this, it can offer great advantage and benefits towards the researcher, because the research can be taken or implemented in a short period of time. Furthermore, because the topic, problems and questions associated with the study does not demand long-time observations and analysis, this method is of great use. In addition, case study will be used in the study. Case study are considered as set in temporal, geographical, organizational, institutional and other context which enable boundaries to be drawn around the said case, thus it can be defined by individuals and groups that are involved, together with their roles and functions in the case (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2003, 182).
Data Collection Methods:
Survey questionnaire and interview will be implemented. The name of the respondents to join the research will be chosen in random manner. The names of the entire population of the selected case will be listed in strips of paper, and then will be drawn. A total of 60 employees will be selected to answer the questionnaire administered by the researcher. Because the researcher believes that he/she will be taking working times of the respondents, the questionnaire will be employ closed questions. This is the type of question which all of the possible answers are identified and the respondents are asked to choose one of the answers. This was chosen because it will be beneficial both for the respondents and the researcher. It is easier to administer, easier and quicker to record the respondents and easier to code. In addition, its major disadvantages, which are the inability to raise new issues, will be complemented by the interview process.
Out of the 60 employees, 10 will be selected in order to undergo interview. Unlike the survey questionnaire, the interview will employ open questions in order to raise new important issues regarding the problem of the study. The schedule of the interview will be dependent towards the availability of the respondents. Because of financial and time issues, phone interview will be implemented.
Data analysis will be done in two ways: mathematical and document analysis. In document analysis, different information gathered from past literature, articles, studies as well as annual reports and newspaper articles about the case will be analyzed, which will be used in order to support the mathematical result of the study, together with the interview result. On the other hand, the answers by the respondents in the survey questionnaires will be encoded in the SPSS, a statistical computer application, which will help the researcher to easily analyze the result of the survey. The following are the statistical formulas to be used:
Percentage - to determine the magnitude of the responses to the questionnaire.
% = -------- x 100 ; n - number of responses
N N - total number of respondents
f1x1 + f2x2 + f3x3 + f4x4 + f5x5
x = ----------------------------;
where: f - weight given to each response
x - number of responses
xt - total number of responses
Quality Issues: Reliability, Validity and Generasability of Intended Work:
The concerns of the researcher upon the collection of data focus on the means of measuring the instruments: validity and reliability of the instrument used. Reliability pertains on the estimation of internal consistency which pertains on the level to which the sum of scores from a given set of items correspondents to the scores that would be obtained from a parallel set, which include the equal number of items which measure the same phenomenon. With this, coefficient alpha will be used in order to measure reliability (Burton & Steane 2004). On the other hand, validity pertains on the estimate of the extent to which the data measure what is intended to be measure (Brewer & Ware 2002). Thus, in order to maintain validity of the instruments to be used in the study, initial survey of 5 respondents will be conducted, which will not be included in the final data gathering procedure. The participants will be asked to indicate any parts of the questionnaire which need changing. Thus, in accordance with their demands, the questionnaire will be changed in order to ensure that it will be easily understood and answered by the future respondents.
The primary data will be gathered from the IT and HRM department of PTCL. A total of 50 respondents are targeted in this study, which include HR officers, IT staff and newly hired employees (hired via the e-recruitment process). The names of the respondents will be chosen in random selection manner, which will help in order to prevent bias from the personal opinion and perception of the researcher towards the respondents. The name of the entire population of the said three groups will be listed on strips of paper and will be drawn at random by the researcher; his process is called the lottery
Ethical issues .
The probable ethical issues in the study are informed consent and confidentiality. First, it is important to consider that right to privacy follows from the assumption that autonomous individuals have the right to make decisions regarding their lives, together with the information and data that are related to it. Therefore, it is the decision of the respondents if he or she will want to participate in the study. Even though the use of informed consent will be helpful, it is not considered as a panacea for the ethical problems. Therefore, this researcher will inform the participants of the study ahead of time, regarding the different information and aspects of the study, which will help in order for them to be informed, thus clarify future misconceptions and misunderstanding (Kitchener, 2000). Another important issue is confidentiality, this pertains not just towards the actual use of the data, but also in the process of gathering of data - how the interview questions and survey questions are constructed. The researcher will not disclose personal information of the respondents, thus; the information gathered from the respondents will be used solely for the assessment.
Undertake preliminary literature search
Define research questions
Write-up aims and objectives
Select appropriate methodology and locate sources of information. Confirm access.
Write-up Dissertation Plan
Undertake and write-up draft critical literature review.
Secondary and Primary Data Detailed
Research findings evaluated and discussed in relation to the literature review
(including limitations and constraints)
Main body of the report written-up and checked for logical structure
Introduction and Executive Summary written-up
Final format and indexing
Benefits of the Study:
The proposed study will be very beneficial towards different types of organization, particularly, to those from the telecommunication industry. Overall, this will be helpful in analyzing and evaluating the different factors that are related to the e-recruitment process, particularly its advantages and disadvantages, which can help the most important resource in any business - human resource.
Limitations of the Study:
The main limitation of this paper focuses on the time that the author will spend in analyzing the case. Due to this, it had affected the methodologies, approaches and tools to be used in order to gather primary and secondary data. Consequently, this will have an impact towards the results and findings of the study. Primarily, this study is limited to one organization. It is important to consider that each and every organization, in different sector or industry is unique in their own way, due to the different internal and external factors which affect the organization. This is particularly important in the case of e-recruitment, because it will have to focus on the economic, social, technological and policy aspect of the macro-environment setting of the company.
Just like all of the countries in the world, Pakistan had been affected, and is continuously being affected by the Internet and globalization. Thus, it also affect on how people seek jobs for money and daily living, and how companies look for useful people in order to achieve their organization goals and objectives. It can be applied in the case of PTCL, where in the company strive for the better in order to improve their human resource management process, to catch the biggest fishes in the sea of pool of striving candidates.