Jobseekers use internet first but employers fail to make the most of online applications

The internet is the first port of call for jobseekers, yet employers are still damaging their employer brand when it comes to dealing with online applications, a survey has found.

According to the latest Total Forum report – a study of 1,198 jobseekers by online recruitment site – 80% of jobseekers look online before anywhere else, up from 66% in 2005. Regional newspapers follow, with 52% using this source.

The volume of online applications is also rising. More than half of those polled had applied for a job online, while a third had applied for between one and five jobs within the past month.

Yet despite this high level of online activity, it appears that the majority of recruiters are damaging their employer brand by failing to have the courtesy to respond to applicants.

Three-quarters of those polled did not receive a response or acknowledgement from employers after applying for a job.

John Salt, website director for, said: “Five years ago business was ahead of consumers in terms of internet sophistication, but now the tables have turned. Employers understand the value of online applications, but the majority haven’t transferred customer relationship management principles to the online recruitment cycle.”

The report also gave an insight into exactly who was using the internet to find work, revealing an increasing trend towards more experienced and professional jobseekers using the web. Some 41% of online jobseekers are now at managerial level or above, an increase of 5% since the last report.

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