BA online jobs site widens the net for potential staff

British Airways’ new online recruitment site is exploding the myth that
blue-collar workers do not look for jobs on the Internet, the airline’s head of
recruitment has claimed.

Peter Holloway said BA recruited 150 customer service agents in the first
three months of the website’s operation. "It’s great to dispel these
myths. I think the blue-collar market is there for the taking," he told
delegates at last week’s CIPD annual recruitment conference.

The website, launched in September 2000, has received 6.2 million visits so
far, and all graduates are recruited online.

Even though BA received 5,000 applications instead of the usual 12,000,
Holloway argues that the online recruitment for graduates has been successful.

He said, "We have halved the number of candidates, but doubled the
quality. You can de-select a lot of candidates if they cannot navigate their
Internet site."

The website was designed with two types of candidate in mind – those with
specific career aims and college graduates curious about the company.

The online site channels candidates towards specialist job roles, such as
engineering or IT, or the general graduate programme called Leaders for

Graduate applicants have to fill in an online competency questionnaire.

Another aim of BA’s recruitment strategy is to improve the employer profile.

Holloway said, "E-recruitment provides us with an opportunity to step
up our efficiency as an employer. Online recruitment is not rocket science but
it says that we are web-enabled."

Holloway emphasised that it is important to have some fun sections in the
online jobs site. One of the most visited sites for graduates is an online
flight simulator, which received 46,000 hits in the first six months.

By Karen Higginbottom

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