Online recruitment: pros & cons

This a particularly challenging time for those hiring as the UK economy moves into recovery mode in a still-uncertain economic environment. Against this backdrop, online recruitment increasingly looks like an attractive solution.

General job boards and specialist sites (e.g. run by professional associations) may be particularly useful for organisations without a strong employer brand that may be unlikely to attract candidates directly to their website. An increasingly, organisations large and small now have a dedicated 'vacancies' section on their websites.

But is online recruitment an effective channel for every business?

Reasons to focus on the online recruitment channel:
  • it's generally cost-effective

  • it can speed up the recruitment cycle and streamline administration

  • technology helps manage vacancies effectively and co-ordinates processes

  • global reach, instant applications

  • it makes internal vacancies known across a wide range of sites and divisions

  • it supports employer branding with ‘soft’ information on workplace culture, e.g. though videos and blogs

  • it handles high-volumes of applications in a consistent way and records volume of response easily to feedback which phrases and job advertisements work best.
But there are potential downsides:
  • the potential for a large numbers of inappropriate applications if care not taken drafting the job description and person specification

  • a badly designed careers site, or a difficult online application process, can turn-off potential applicants and damage your employer brand

  • it could be seen to be discriminatory if your site isn't fully accessible

  • use of CV key word search can also lead to allegations of discrimination.
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