Living in a virtual world means that almost everything we desire is accessible – and now. There’s no need to wait for services which in the past would have meant phone calls, meetings or relying on the postal system. We live in a world where if we want to do something now – and see results – it’s possible.
An area which is an example of this shift change in industry culture is online recruitment. Applying for a job 15 years ago meant looking at the local newspaper or in the job centre as almost the only means of discovering who was hiring, as online recruitment was in its infancy. It was then a tiresome process of requesting application forms, including stamp addressed envelopes, filling forms in by hand and then posting back and sitting and waiting for days or weeks to either get a letter with an invitation to an interview or a letter of rejection (or never hearing anything at all). Obviously this form of job application still exists, but the internet has opened up the possibility to search and apply for jobs from home, lodge a CV electronically with numerous recruitment agencies without having to travel around them all with a hard copy and sit waiting to be seen, receive interview dates via email and complete documentation electronically.
Online recruitment has just as many benefits and advantages to the recruiting company and the recruitment agency as it does to the candidate. Being able to post jobs quickly and to a set format means that the amount of time it took in the past to create job adverts is greatly reduced. Recruitment agencies can use specifically designed software such as that created by www.darwin.com to create databases for CV’s, storing candidate details, matching those looking for a job to specific vacancies and provide a sleek, process driven management system to take on many tasks which in the past were perhaps onerous or costly. Recruiters are freed to spend time talking to clients and candidates and matching vacancies to job seekers rather than being bogged down with administrative tasks or being involved in meeting deadlines for print copy for the weeks’ vacancies in the local newspaper. Online recruitment means that data can be shared at speed with relevant parties and applicant tracking keeps all important information in one place electronically. A good example of this in action is when a recruiter is carrying out a working with children check or similar request for one’s background. As many of these checks can now be requested online it is often simply a matter of copying the data from an application and pasting it into the online form. What was once a time-consuming process can be done in a minute, sometimes less.
Recruitment in the past was often a very narrow window of opportunity for recruiters to find the right candidate and for candidates to discover where there were job vacancies. Traditionally, any local newspaper would cite Thursday as having the largest sales figures because of the job section but this meant that there was just the single chance to advertise the post and for those looking to find it. Online recruitment offers 24 hour access to a global platform of jobs and candidates from all over the world to choose from.
Recruitment costs are high for any company but they reduce dramatically when online resources are used. When a candidate is chosen for job, they need training and investment; if they leave soon after the recruitment process starts again and this is costly all round. Online recruitment means that it is much easier to discard applications where the candidate is not suitable, arrange interviews through emails without the postal costs, use software applications to slash administrative costs and really find the right person for the job; in turn improving the employee retention figures. Online recruitment also means that there is a greatly reduced need for storage space as all information is kept either on the computer or on the network server online. This means that office space requirements for either an in-house recruitment team or recruitment agency are much smaller.
With our desire for instant information, to enhance our careers and the need to live at the speed society seems to demand of us these days, online recruitment is an area which is set to expand. With the majority of high street recruitment agencies now utilising the web in some way, even the smallest of companies can now reach out to candidates far beyond the borders of their location in a way which only a few years seemed impossible.
This article is provided by Kate.