Online recruitment tops employers’ list for filling jobs

Fifteen years after online recruitment first hit our computer screens, corporate websites have become the recruitment method of choice, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) 2009 recruitment survey.

Its poll of 755 employers found that 78% used their corporate websites for recruitment, compared with 29% using commercial jobs boards. And a survey of 106 organisations by Personnel Today’s paid-for sister service XpertHR – covering almost 289,500 employees – showed that almost nine in 10 (87.7%) respondents now use some form of online recruitment, with three-quarters routinely posting all their vacancies on their corporate websites.

XpertHR found that just over half (52%) of respondents used their intranets to advertise job vacancies, while one in 10 (10%) conducted online recruitment through membership of a recruitment consortium. Unlike jobs boards, consortiums tend to be not-for-profit ventures, co-operatively managed, and their services tend to be restricted to employers of a similar kind.

The current economic downturn has dramatically reduced employers’ demand for new recruits, and those that have continued hiring have been under financial pressure to cut recruitment costs. But eight in 10 respondents (79%) said using their own corporate websites ‘provides candidates of the same quality for lower cost than [other] recruitment methods’. And almost nine in 10 (88%) believed it provided better-informed candidates ‘who will know something about us and our work’.

Few other reasons seem to have as much bearing on employers’ decisions to use their own websites to fill vacancies. For example, only one in four (25%) does so for reasons relating to equal opportunities, and only 8% because they believe it provides better-quality candidates. But other advantages cited included:

  • the ability to add more information than might be possible in a newspaper advert
  • its usefulness in determining an applicant’s computer literacy
  • its ability to reduce ‘response-handling work in HR’.

However, despite more than a decade’s-worth of progress, many employers were still dissatisfied with their online recruitment offering. The top three gripes cited by employers were:

  • poor appearance of the website (50%)
  • poor navigation (46%)
  • lack of ‘bells and whistles’ (such as interactive elements, videos and pictures) to make the site more appealing (42%).

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