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The traditional way of recruitment is a very time consuming and costly process for both recruiters and potential applicants. As the result, organisations around the world are always searching for a better way to manage their recruitment process within the past decades. The development of technology is not only impacting the way of how people doing businesses, but also the way of how managers managing the organisations from time to time. In addiction, major human resource management processes has evolved with the increase in use of technology to perform business on a daily basis (Bush and Gilbert, 2002).
Besides, the transformation of the way of recruitment has occurred with the adoption of Internet technology (Veger, 2006), which enables the switching of the way of recruitment from traditional way of recruitment process to e-recruitment. Once of the most significant evidence for such transformation is the use of company's website to include job vacancy information, which is also the most well-known tools of the internet recruitment (Greengard, 1998). Besides, companies has been driven by e-recruitment to redesign their recruiting processes and to switch timely to web-based integrated human resource management systems that are able to generate standardized frameworks for key personnel processes (Cullen, 2001).
Generally, the two concepts of recruitment and selection are closely related and it is extremely difficult to differentiate when undertaking research as one process is dependant on, and inevitably influences the other (Barber, 1998). In other word, recruitment is a very complex process, which will normally consume large amount of money to promote job openings, in order to reach the potential applicants. Also, it requires a waiting periods of couple of days to weeks for the right person to be appeared. At the same time, it requires a significant resources of human capital, cost and time to process job applications, as well as to verify the information provided by the applicants. Such scenario facilitates the e-recruitment to gain substantial popularity, due to pressure that placed on organisations to ensure their recruitment and selection strategies are regularly reviewed and are sufficient in sourcing a diverse range of quality employees within an increasingly competitive environment (Hinton and Schapper, 2000).
For years, recruitment websites continue to multiply in numbers without rest (Cober et al., 2000). This is probably the result of the organisations are attracted by e-recruitment, which is also deemed to be the better alternative to the traditional way of recruitment. It is well agreed that the ability to attract and retain superior employees can lead to sustained competitive advantages for organisations (Turban, Forrent, and Hendrickson, 1998). Therefore, major organisations throughout the world are always been encouraged to utilize e-recruitment as the way to reach more potential applicants. This can be reflected by an estimation of one in four of the job seekers utilise the internet to source job opportunities (Smith and Rupp, 2004).
Since late 1990s, e-recruitment has gained explosive growth, due to when a strong economy produced a high demand for qualified employees that the labour market could not satisfy the higher demand effectively (Thomas and Ray, 2000). And this realistic scenario has encouraging or in fact forcing more and more organisations, regardless nature of business, size and location, to use e-recruitment method without any other better alternative available.
Recruitment, as defined by Rynes (1991), is 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 (Casper, 2004). The recruitment process is a more complex concept that is influenced by job choice process of applicants in terms of the series of decisions made about which jobs and organisations to pursue for future employment (Gatewood et al., 1993).
The traditional recruitment process is normally initiated by employer, after a job vacancy is found available within an organisation. However, interests of potential applicants are usually linked with portrayal of positive and attractive attributes of the job, as well as the perceived likelihood by the applicant of being successfully in the recruitment process (Rynes, 1991). Therefore, there is always with a waiting time period, occurring for the potential applicants to respond, after a job opening is announced by the recruiter. And the duration of such waiting time period can last longer than expected by the recruiter.
According to Wikipedia.com, e-recruitment is the process of personnel recruitment using electronic resources, in particular the internet. In other word, e-recruitment is utilising the internet and database facilities to conduct recruitment process. Besides, e-recruitment also known within the literature as online recruitment, internet recruitment, and cyber-recruiting, that refer to the practise of advertising job vacancies online, and the formal sourcing of information about jobs online (Galanaki, 2002). The inconsistency of the terms in use to descript e-recruitment is somehow shown that the e-recruitment is a relatively new concept for many organisations around the world, which the articles on the topic first started appearing in mid 1980s (Casper, 1985).
2.2 Adaptability of Hiring Time Cycle
The traditional recruiting process is suffers from a relatively much longer hiring cycle time, which can be characterised as a sequential batch process, and is totally differences with e-recruiting, which in the other hand can be characterised as a continuous and online process in which some of the recruiting activities may be performed concurrently (Lee, 2005). In other word, e-recruitment has a quick turn-around time than traditional recruitment process (Helen and Sue, 2008). People generally find the e-recruitment is less time-consuming to use than traditional job-hunting avenues method (Pin, Laorden, and Saenz-Diez, 2001).
The information of the available job that passing through traditional recruitment process, which is initiated by the employer after a job opening is available, takes time to reach the potential applicants. However, according to Cober et al. (2000), the information relevant to the position may be found with ease and speed at least "in theory" on e-recruitment (as cited by Anthony, Lyn, Brychan, and Gwenllian, 2010). This is due to the ability of the internet which is able to drive the job information worldwide, just right after the recruiter clicked his mouse in hand to post the information of a particular vacancy online.
Besides, e-recruitment which consist of personalised job agent tool, can periodically or continuously searches job openings with predefined criteria, yet notifies candidates of job availability when jobs are identified that match the candidates' qualification, as well as keep job seekers stay informed of all opportunities without searching the job database themselves always (Lee, 2005). Such brilliant personalised job agent tool is able to eliminate the need for job seekers to search job opening from each individual organisations by organisations all the time, as it will generates vacancies' notifications to job seekers automatically from time to time.
The advantages of e-recruitment to job seekers do not stop at only the initial job opening notification's stage. In fact, e-recruitment enables application of job to become much lesser time and cost consuming, as well as eliminates the mess and hassle of traditional recruitment application procedures for job seekers. With the use of various e-recruitment tools and applications, job seekers can easily search for job opening in just a minute of time. Also, job seekers are able to generate applications and resumes for job vacancies positions in just hours of time (Galanaki, 2002).
In addiction, e-recruitment system, which normally supports a job basket tool, in the other hand allows a job seeker to apply simultaneously for multiple jobs available in the company by only clicking several additional clicks online (Lee, 2005). As the result, a same set of application resumes prepared by the job seekers that stored in the e-recruitment system database can be re-editing easily and re-using to apply for the job vacancies in numerous organisations for countless of time. By using e-recruitment system, potential applicants are not longer need to mail in or to send physically their hard copy resumes to the recruiters. In fact, they need to only e-mail or uploading their soft copy resumes to the recruiters' e-mail addresses or recruitment's web portal. Such dramatically changes in delivery practices enable delivery period to be shorter from few days to just a few seconds. It also eliminated the lag time's problem faced by traditional recruitment process applicants, to mail in their response to the job vacancy advertisement (Stimpson, 2004; Wyld, 1997).
Another ability of e-recruitment system is to quickly suggest appropriate candidates to recruiters, based on the detailed personal information that stored in the e-recruitment system database (Smith et al., 2004). Therefore, e-recruitment is able to reduce the need for employees to actively hunting for job and minimizing the visibility of the job search (Feldman et al., 2002; Galanaki, 2002). In other word, e-recruitment has enabled the recruitment process to switch from traditionally only begin by recruiters, to a process which is initiate-able by both recruiters and potential applicants. The ability of recruitment process to be initiated by potential applicants has encourages better adaptability of hiring time cycle to the potential applicants.
2.3 Accessibility of Information
Accessibility of information is one of the key determinants in encouraging potential applicants to apply in any job opening. With the occurrence of e-recruitment system and database, accessibility of detailed information about job position and organisational culture is possible, upon the control of the recruiters. However, differences in the informational orientation of company recruitment websites may influence organisational attraction via perceptions of website usability (Williamson, 2003). This is because of the potential applicants are normally relate to the amount of information about a job and organisation that the employer imparts, in order to make comparison by themselves. Basically, the more specific the information is provided, the higher the probability that applicants can assess whether the job is suitable for them or otherwise (Turban and Dougherty, 1992).
Besides, organisations' websites nowadays are always accompanied with about page, organisations' background, management information and other policies and programs related details. Such policies and programs information of an organisation may provide details to potential job seekers of their possible working conditions in the organisation (Brcaugh, 1992; Rynes, 1991). There are with increasingly organisations that willing to provide more information virtually online or even facilitates their organisations' websites with links to testimonials and employment benefit sites (Bingham et al., 2002; Epstein et al., 2003). Such information is deemed to be critically impacting the choice of job seekers in selecting the job online. And the applicant's decisions and attraction are a critical outcome of the amount and quality of information about potential employers provided (Dineen, 2002; Rynes and Barber, 1990).
The information that available and provided by the organisations online is increasingly high in volume, if compared to the traditional way of recruitment process. Although the information might be seem to be overloaded, however such scenario is not the barrier that can stop job seekers to hunt their desired job online via e-recruitment system. This is because of the e-recruitment system is able to provides an interactive search engine for job seekers to expedite the complex job search, yet the job seekers can simply click on the button or hyperlinks to a webpage that containing a list of jobs or contact information (Lee, 2005). As the result, potential applicants are always been supplied with high volume of job information from uncountable sources, and all the information will be classified according to an array of individual preferences, yet sorted automatically according to the pre-defined individual preferences.
Moreover, job seekers can stay informed of all opportunities without searching the job database themselves (Lee, 2005). Such notification of information will never be possible, without the occurrence of e-recruitment. With the use of e-recruitment system and database, organisations can keep the detailed record of all individual applicants systematically and searching of the suitable candidate is possible to be done in just several minutes of time, according to the match between individual attributes and job requirements. Unlike the traditional way of recruitment process, the job-person match result generated by the e-recruitment system is free from any human preferences biases and can be done in a timely manner. Such advantages have encouraged the development of organisation-candidate relationship program, which promotes a two-way, and a long-term relationship between the both employers and prospective employees, including passive applicants who are not currently searching for job and employed by other organisations, but may have interests in the new job opportunities (Lee, 2005).
2.4 Accessibility of Internet
E-recruitment is becoming extremely popular nowadays, and this can reflected by a variety of positions being advertised on the internet, from traditionally blue-collar or trades type roles, to white collar and professional positions (Baxter, 2005). Such popularity shown that compared with the traditional way of recruitment process, e-recruitment is somehow more attractive for potential individual job seekers in this cyber age.
Besides, individual applicants have also accredited the internet as a useful source of general information on a wide array of jobs, organisations and industries (Feldman and Klass, 2002). By utilising the internet facility, recruiting process is possible to be done virtually online via e-recruiting system. The e-recruiting system is a web-enabled, any-time, anyplace, ubiquitous system for both job seekers and recruiters (Lee, 2005), which perceiving the biggest advantages to individuals and enable them to quickly and easily access information on a wide range of job opportunities twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week via the internet (Feldman et al., 2002; Galanaki, 2002; Smith et al., 2004). Unlike traditional way of recruitment process which requires applicants to mail in or send in physically their hard copy resumes to the recruiters, e-recruitment system is deemed by the applicants to be much quicker and more simplified, with just responding to the online advertisements by uploading their soft copy resumes or via e-mailing their soft copy resumes to the recruiters (Radcliff, 2000).
The most significant disadvantage of the traditional way of recruitment process is that it suffers from low geographical coverage (Lee, 2005). This is simply due to the fact that there are with no other alternatives of information transmitting methods, which are as effective as the internet. The ability in reaching the formerly untapped markets with minimal cost, has primarily increases the popularity to use of the internet as a recruitment tool (Bingham, Ilg, and Davidson, 2002; Magrath, 2001; Smith et al., 2004). In other word, E-recruitment has enabled much larger geographic area to be reached easily (Helen and Sue, 2008). It also provides the opportunity for jobs to be advertised in global, local or niche markets, as well as allows a broad scope of potential applicants by opening the job vacancy to global market (Smith, 2005).
Moreover, the internet is perceived to be non-discriminatory or prejudicial, being able to provide anonymity, and to transcend racial, ethnic and gender differences (Hayes and Sabir, 1996; Marzulli, 2002). Such advantages create a sense of fairness to the individual applicants and further encourage them to search for job vacancy online. Yet, they are been entertained by uncountable large amount of information online through the ability of the internet, which can reach people on a local, national and international scale, with minimal restriction on who can view the particular information (Erica, 2007).
Another advantage of e-recruitment via the internet over the traditional way of recruitment process is the nearly unlimited space to communicate career information (Marcel, Martin, and Willemijn, 2008). Such communication space of career information does not limited to only the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that displaying the application procedures, e-mailing the recruiters for questions, online forum discussion with employers about job openings, or virtual job vacancies' advertisement online. In fact, the internet itself is able to acts as a database of information for organisations, including information pertaining to potential applicants (Gutmacher, 2000; Leonard, 2000).
2.5 Usability of Website
The traditional recruiting process suffers from ineffective candidate relationship management (Lee, 2005). This is due to the lack of the ability to process all of the recruitment procedures in a timely and fairer basis, as well as lack of resources to better communicate to all the applicants, regardless their status of applications. However, such problems are solvable with the use of e-recruitment system to recruit potential candidates virtually online. E-recruitment could surely help by matching jobs offered and jobs sought in a more efficient manner (Pin, Laorden, and Saenz-Diez, 2001).
Moreover, both hiring managers and recruiters within the traditional way of recruitment are relying on hard-copy documents and conventional delivery mechanism to complete the recruiting process (Lee, 2005). E-recruitment in the other hand enables data about job seekers to be collected through the use of online application forms or resume builders and analyzed for candidate profiling (Lee, 2005). Therefore, the e-recruitment is benefiting the organisations, by reducing their cost and time, as well as other resources that allocated for recruitment purposes within the organisations.
However, the organisational website's content and style act as key determinants of job seekers attraction to the organisation (Cober, 2003), and the website orientation as well as the outcome expectancy influence the perceptions of organisational attractiveness through perceived usability of the site (Williamson, 2003). Meaning, organisation websites nowadays are far than just a virtual portal to display their organisation related information. The organisation websites is now becoming the main source of attraction to attract potential job candidates, as well as act as a symbolic icon of organisational reputation. Unlike the traditional way of recruitment process, e-recruitment has successfully extended to consist of more interactive recruitment tools, creating an avenue to build relationship between job seekers and organisations (Mooney, 2002; Pituro, 2000). Yet, enable more effectively candidate relationship management to be developed.
The e-recruitment system websites are always featured with the interactive search engine. Such interactive search engine helps job seekers to be able to make comparison on multiple jobs that available based on category, location, experience, or any combination of key-word, which are based on individual's preferences, as well as accessed with user authentication (Lee, 2005). Key words search for a job online is deemed by applicants to be much easier than searching job advertisements through newspapers (Radcliff, 2000). The accessibility to the database system with the user authentication is not only protecting the applicants personal information, but also enables the individual preferences of the job application criteria to be stored securely within the database.
Besides, e-recruitment also has the ability to allow users to enter an array of job related search variables when they are looking for jobs (Feldman and Klass, 2002), yet enable more specific searches (Helen and Sue, 2008). Such ability has smoother the process of job hunting online, regardless of the quantities of the information that available in the internet. It as well stems from the interaction between internet application procedures and firm's internal database management procedures (Kuhn, 2003).
In addiction, e-recruiting system facilitates decision making for job seekers by providing array of decision support tools that perform customized analyses, and generate reports that enable the job seekers to find a match with target jobs with the help of the online self-assessment tools, which have the ability to help job seekers to determine which areas they should target and what they should improve, before the submitting of their applications online (Lee, 2005). Therefore, the job seekers are able to select and apply only for the best position for themselves, and eliminating non-quality applications to be flooded to the recruitment database.
According to Ahuja and Webster (2001), employment purposes websites must be design in user friendly interface, which are able to provide fast, accurate, and easy manner of information, and which do not require too much of searching procedures. Also, the architecture of information is important, which mean that layout of the websites should in the way that all the pages are well-organised, well-labelled and easy to be navigated to enhance the capability and efficiency of browsing and searching (Rosenfeld and Morville, 2002). Followed are the colours, forms, symbols, metaphors, and languages in use for the websites should be able to effectively influence the level of usability and the user interface friendliness especially for the users from multi culturals, ethnic backgrounds and races (Duncker et.al., 2000). All of these various aspects of a website are equally important and are the critical requirement, in order to increase the usability of a particular website. The usability of websites is a multifaceted construct and it is highly developed in human-computer interaction (Agarwal and Venkatesh, 2002; Nielsen, 2000).
2.6 Cost Effective
According to forrester.com, the average cost of hiring an employee via the internet is USD183, whereas the average cost of hiring an employee via traditional methods is USD1383, which are approximately six and a half times higher than the e-recruitment method. Obviously, the traditional way of recruitment process suffers from high cost per hire (Lee, 2005). Cost associated with the recruitment of staff can be extensive and burdensome, and the choice of recruitment source can have a direct impact on monetary and resource costs in terms of the effectiveness in reaching a manageable target market of quality candidates (Courtis, 1994). As the result, e-recruitment is becoming the ultimate method of recruitment for recruiters to recruit efficiency and cost effectively. This is simply because of the e-recruitment is able to reduce the costs of corporate recruiters who currently pay fees to post jobs on commercial job boards (Zappe, 2005).
Basically, e-recruitment method is benefited not only for recruiter but also to potential applicants. It includes cost savings, efficiency and convenience for both recruiter and job seekers (Gale, 2001; Miller, 2001; Tomlinson, 2002). Although, larger firms have a greater recruitment budget than smaller firms (Hausdorf et al., 2004), but the use of e-recruitment do not limited to only smaller firms. In fact, there is with increasingly number of firms that use the e-recruitment system regardless size, due to the e-recruitment method is proven to be relatively cheaper than the traditional method of recruitment (Alfus,2001). The decrease in the cost of recruitment has creating positive impact to the applicants. And Galanaki (2002) had concluded that, most e-recruiters provide services with totally free of charges to applicants or jobseekers to post their resumes online in their databases (as cited by David, 2009).