Sites must offer more than jobs

Internet
job sites must change if they are to meet the challenges of an ever-decreasing
workforce. By Prof Ray Wild

There
is a “talent drought” and it is likely to get worse. Organisations are finding
it increasingly difficult to get and keep the people they need. The
Appointments sections of newspapers have multiplied and grown as a result.

Even
more significant has been the development of Internet job sites. The use of
such sites was up by almost 100 per cent last year.  Eighty per cent of companies increased their spending on
web-based recruiting and budgets are set to grow dramatically as companies tap
the Internet in the increasingly difficult search for good people.

There
are now more than 40,000 employment-related websites. Some are the giants. For
example, Monster.com now has boards for 13 countries with a total of 430,000
job vacancies listed. There are many other big, international sites. There is,
however, a great deal of database duplication with the same jobs and candidates
appearing on numerous sites. For example, individuals can have their CV emailed
to potential employers.

For
a modest fee, Monster’s ResumeZapper will send your CV to up to 8,800 potential
employers. Algorithms – some very simple – are increasingly used to match
vacancies to individual job requirements. This enables sites not only to “zap”
CVs to potential employers but also new vacancies to potential candidates. So,
enthusiastic candidates can get a steady and substantial e-flow of potential
jobs, and employers can get a regular flood of candidates “matched” to their
requirements. 

But
the services seem to have done little to solve the recruitment problem and a
great deal to increase the load, effort and general information “churn”.

Nevertheless,
companies need help, and the Internet sites could provide an answer and also
provide a better service to individuals. We will surely see changes in the
scope and focus of what is now an indiscriminate service.

Given
the internationalisation of business and managers, international recruitment
sites will have increasing value. They will also be more focused, concentrating
on specific sectors and groups of employers and those with particular
skills.  The MBA’s jobs site is a good
example of an international niche service (www.MBAjobs.net).

Employers
know that the best people are not necessarily those who have put themselves on
the open market. They are “passive” candidates, content in their present jobs
but potentially interested in the right move.

Recommendation
systems will therefore evolve through which individuals are rewarded by sites
for recommending individuals for particular appointments for companies. One
example is www.refer.com. In this way, job sites will begin to enter the
executive search territory.

Developments
such as video clips of candidates will improve services to employers and
candidates. But these could be just an overture to really significant changes.
Good people no longer look for permanent employment commitments. They are not
recruited – they make themselves available to employers.

They
pick and choose – and are very willing to move on – to further their careers.
They, rather than employers, drive the employment and recruitment process.

Job
sites should encourage and support such behaviour by providing forums and
communities for individuals. Individuals who identify with their peers, not
their employers, seek to congregate in order to debate, network, offer and
receive advice. Increasingly such communities will be facilitated and
supported.

Web
sites which can provide this may begin to replace the role traditionally filled
by some professional bodies and there will be scope for considerable overlap
with education and development activities.

In
the emerging situation employers will, increasingly, be marginalised. They will
lose the ability to look after themselves in recruitment. They will become
dependent but not on the types of job site or executive search that predominate
now. Services which provide not just an employment marketplace and search
capabilities but also support and cultivate professional communities, and the
professional development of their individuals, may become the fulcrum in this
new world.

Ray
Wild is principal of Henley Management College

Comments are closed.