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Human resource has turned out to be one of the key assets for any organization or institution. With a lot of emphasis being human resource, it has become necessary for each and every organization to find ways that can afford them quality and effective recruitment solutions at an affordable rate.
This is where e-recruitment comes in since the internet is no longer a fad; it has now become very potent and effective tool that every organization can use to gain a competitive edge over its competitors.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that prompted the advent of e-recruitment. Conventional methods of recruitment consumed a lot of time and were paper intensive. A better mode of recruitment, one that took less time, lightened the workload, effective yet affordable had to be invented hence the emergence of e-recruitment.
This paper will also analyze the strengths and weaknesses associated with e-recruitment. E-recruitment is at nascent and with time it will become the mainstay for almost every organization. Ways of improving the process of e-recruitment are explored in this paper.
Modes of recruiting have changed significantly over the past years. Various challenges that firms had to contend with while conducting the recruitment process are largely responsible for the dramatic changes being witnessed in the recruitment landscape. Various firms are finding it hard to get qualified applicants for positions that are usually hard to fill.
This is compounded by the fact that attracting a specialized group of applicants has also proved to be a daunting task. Thus these predicaments prompted the development of e-recruitment whereby technological advances aided in the expedition of the development of e-recruitment (Bondarouk & Ruel, 2009).
E-recruitment basically refers to the integration and utilization of the internet technology into the hiring process with the aim of enhancing the efficiency and the effectiveness of the recruitment process. Simply put, e-recruitment refers to the use of technology or internet based tools to expedite the recruitment process (Boateng, 2007).
Factors that prompted the advent of e-recruitment
There are a number of factors that necessitated the development of e-recruitment. Over the years, usage of the internet has become so widespread to the extent of it being regarded as a necessity and not a luxury anymore as it was initially regarded (Goel et al, 2003).
Since the internet has ended up being indispensible to all facets of our lives, any sensible company would inevitably have to consider sourcing for its employees from the internet if not for any other purpose other than aligning its practices with the current trends in the market.
Companies are constantly trying to outdo their competitors in any field of business. This competition extends to the capacity of a company attracting and retaining highly qualified and competent staff thus the need for having better qualified staff than one’s competitors and this is largely responsible for the evolution of e-recruiting.
Any company worth its salt knows that its success over its competitors is pegged on its ability to attract and retain staff with better skills, qualifications and knowledge than its competitors (Hussain & Prowse, 2004).
In the recent past, the job market was employee driven in the sense that prospective employees were the ones required to look for companies that were interested in their services, this has since changed and nowadays the job market is employer driven. Employers are constantly searching for prospective employees who have got the relevant skills and qualifications relevant for that particular employer’s firm.
Strengths associated with e-recruitment
E-recruiting has become a viable and extremely vital tool that is instrumental in the linking of recruiters and employers with prospective employees especially in fields that are experiencing widespread shortage of employees.
Fields such as health sector are always in short supply of employees and it would be very inconvenient for the firm to constantly look for potential employees. The advent of e-recruiting has made it more convenient for such companies to identify the kind of prospective consumers that it needs (Tong & Sivanand, 2004).
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There are those who are adept in using the internet in search of employment positions that are favorable to them. Such sophisticated internet users use e- recruitment as a platform which aids them in the widening of their network with prospective recruitment agencies or employers. This makes it so much easier for them to land jobs as they will be given precedence over other job applicants (Shani, 2010).
E-recruitment has become very popular with virtually every employer owing to its ability to eliminate numerous obstacles the employers had to contend with when recruiting manually (Boxall et al, 2007). Some of the benefits to both the prospective employee and the employer that are largely responsible for it becoming popular are highlighted in the paragraphs that follow.
E-recruitment enables the hiring company to collect all the relevant information about the candidates that have applied for a job. This information is then stored in a standard format. The consolidation of such information which has been retrieved from various recruitment sources makes it easy for the human resource department to access the data whenever it needs it.
This is by far better and more convenient than sourcing for the same data from multiple sources where the data has not been standardized hence the savings in terms of cost; time and human resource are significant (Kovach & Cathcart, 1999).
The streamlining of the hiring process can be attributed to e-recruiting. The lengthy process of hiring which commences with the requisition of the prospective employers all the way to the final hiring process can be extremely cumbersome if done manually.
With the emergence of e-recruiting, the whole process of hiring had to be automated. The automation of this previously tedious process led to the streamlining of the process thus a lot of resources are saved in terms of labor, time and money.
The information and history of the prospective candidates is captured and filed. This is critical in the sense that all those who can access that particular system can retrieve any information about any candidate at any time they feel like.
With e-recruitment, communication between the employer and the prospective employee is enhanced and with the help of e-recruitment since they are able to communicate better online, a feat that would have been impossible without the help of the internet (Nusair et al, 2011).
Those in the human resource department charged with the responsibility of overseeing the welfare of employees can easily share information and knowledge regarding current and prospective employees online and in real time thanks to e-recruiting. This collaboration among colleagues not only enhances the quality of output but also increases the production by those employees (Kramar & O’Neill, 1998).
E-recruitment is instrumental in increasing transparency in the hiring process in the sense that the chances of hiring a prospective candidate who does not have the necessary qualifications are substantially reduced. The strong analytical and reporting skills facilitated by e-recruitment enable a firm to gain insight into its staff hidden talents. Such talents are harnessed and refined to benefit both the firm and the individual.
E-recruitment is also beneficial to the firm in that it allows for the maximization of retention of skilled staff. This is important to the firm because there are certain individuals who posses certain skills that are not easy to come by in the event the company losses that particular employee.
All the data concerning the company’s current and prospective employees are electronically collected and filed when carrying out the hiring process over the internet. This substantially reduces the amount of paper work that would have been used to do the same job if it were done manually.
The use of paper is not only cumbersome but also consumes a lot of time. E-recruitment has led to the reduction in manual administrative workload hence both the prospective employer and the company save on time and cost considerably not to mention lightening the workload (Beaddles et al, 2005).
In e-recruiting, pools are formed and candidates are assigned to the various pools. This way, it becomes easier to accurately locate qualified candidates within a pool. By virtue of the fact that the database is centralized, collection and dissemination of a candidate’s information to various locations within the organization is efficient and fast.
The reports of the entire organization are centralized and this facilitates the consolidation of human resource reports for the entire organization. As a result the accessibility of these reports is enhanced and can be retrieved whenever and wherever they are needed.
E-recruiting allows the hiring firm to carry out an extensive evaluation of their practices and procedures in an effort of establishing whether additional strategies and techniques can be incorporated into their recruiting strategy to make it more efficient and effective.
The ability for the organization to carry out a self audit enables it to strengthen its areas of weaknesses and improve on its areas of strength thus having an extra edge over its competitors.
E-recruitment also incorporates the use of social and professional networking sites in their recruitment process. The use of both professional and social networking sites can be beneficial to an organization on various levels. The social and professional sites are used by many companies to establish the employer brand.
This makes it easier for the prospective employer to target specific prospective employees who are subscribers of those sites. Recruiters are able to obtain more detailed information about candidates and find potential job matches through them.
Research on the World Wide Web has over the years become highly developed. There are professional sources who gather information on behalf of employers about sources of employees on the internet.
This lightens the work on the part of the employers who will not have to wade through the many sites to find the ideal prospective employees. This is division of labor of sorts since there has emerged a crop of experts whose sole responsibility is gathering information on behalf of prospective employers.
There have emerged specialty job boards. These are usually regional and cover specific types of industries. If prospective employers are interested in employees within a specific industry, they only have to check with these boards to find the kind of employees that they are interested in.
E-recruiting has considerably aided many organizations to shore up their productivity as well as lowering the expenses that are incurred in the course of hiring. An organization can cut back on its expenditure if it chooses to adopt e-recruiting as its chief mode of hiring employees.
The workload will reduce drastically when recruiting over the internet compared to carrying out the same practice manually. The endless hours spent conducting the hiring process can be saved if a firm chooses the e-recruitment method (Pollitt, 2004).
Currently, many organizations have adopted e-recruiting in their systems. For example the e-recruitment delivered return on investment for DML (Devonport management limited) which is a huge employer in the private sector. The company hires about 200 to 250 employees in a year and due to this factor it decided to automate the recruitment process.
DML originally established e-recruiting in a manner where it dealt with candidates to its graduate as well as apprentice recruitment programs this system has brought about flexibility and also enabled the company to exploit the broader hiring management potential.
E-recruitment has been quite beneficial to the company since its capability to put in place thorough evaluation procedures without meeting the candidates has been made possible hence it can now get 120 applicants from 700 applications with the intention of them attending in-person assessment.
Nike, which is widely renowned for the good quality of its products, is another good example of a company that implemented e-recruiting in its recruitment process. The company which initially dwelled on manual recruitment eventually required with a new system that would handle the numerous CVs they received.
Nike decided to work hand in hand with Jobpartners’ to put in place an e-recruiting system known as ActiveRecruter which handles the process of recruitment with ease and at a faster rate.
With the help of e-recruiting, external candidates have the ability to apply for particular employment opportunities directly through the Nike internet site while current Nike employees have the opportunity to apply for employment opportunities that have been posted on Nike’s internal website. In terms of recruitment costs the company has saved up to a total of 54% since the system was implemented.
E-recruitment has assisted Xerox Europe in finding the right personnel for the Xerox Concessionaire sales network. This company received about 100000 applications hence it needed e-recruitment system so as to make the process of recruitment efficient and cost effective. Currently, the system has enabled 600 concessionaires accessibility to fully service recruitment.
Xerox Europe decided to use Jobpartners’ ActiveRecruiter since it provides a workspace to handle the whole recruitment process and it has facilitated the company in introducing the facet of the plan on a pan-European basis. This system has enabled the company to engage other operational sectors in Human Resource as well as employee-loyalty activities; this clearly proves how vital e-recruitment is to the company.
E-recruitment has created a new opportunity for e-recruiting service providers who specialize in online recruitment and professional hiring services to their customers. The e-recruitment providers utilize softwares and infrastructure; resume databases, which support the hiring customers hiring procedures they receive job postings from employers to their websites.
Examples of e-recruiters are Monster.com, CarrerBuilder.com and HotJobs.com. job postings are charged according to their duration of advertising that appear on the e-recruitment provider’s website. The e-recruiters’ websites allows job seekers to apply for a job directly without having to -transact with a third-party agent.
Weaknesses that come with e-recruitment
In spite of all the merits that come with e-recruiting, there are some demerits that come along with it. One of the most notable outcomes of e-recruiting is that the application of jobs has been simplified and streamlined. As a result, there is a surge in the number of applicants both qualified and unqualified.
Now that it only takes one a few clicks to send a resume, recruiters are forced to sift through more applications. This exercise can be extremely overwhelming and a lot of time is wasted while undertaking the process.
There is no doubt that e-recruiting has come a long way but there is still room for improvement. E-recruitment has reached a point where it needs to reach out and touch the active as well as the passive job seekers. This may be achieved through the use of more traditional methods such as direct marketing.
A good example of a passive job seeker is a nurse or any other medical practitioner for that matter. Those who are in healthcare are extremely busy and in high demand as well. They do not have the time to post their interests for jobs on several job boards or the time to look through available jobs. Job boards should look for ways to get to such kind of people.
A good example of what they should consider doing is to respond by e-mailing nurse jobs that meet the specific needs of the nurses. This will go a long way towards solving the problems of passive job seekers. This process is referred to as personalization (Leftly, 2007).
For an organization to switch over from manual recruitment to e-recruitment, it has to have the necessary resources to finance such a move. Lack of adequate resources can serve as an obstacle to an organization if it intends to go the e-recruitment way.
In addition to that, the staff to build and operate the e-recruitment system has to be there. If an organization is financially challenged, it might find the going hard when it comes to switching to e-recruitment (Capelli, 2001).
One cannot over-emphasize the importance of deployment and creative use of online tools in reaching out and speaking aspirations of young generations. This is a group that has grown up using computers and is at its element interacting in the virtual world.
Organizations that find it hard to attract top notch young people, especially those with special and scientific skills should really consider using the online platform in its efforts to attracting highly skilled clientele (Feldman &Klass, 2002).
In summary, human resource will continue to be the most priced asset for any organization. The benefits that have been mentioned above will enhance the precision with which an organization can hire highly skilled and productive employees while keeping costs at the bare minimum and conserving of time.
The importance of human resource to any organization can not be overemphasized. E-recruitment although in its initial stages, is becoming a part of corporate strategy with many organizations setting aside budgets for online recruitment.
Many organizations have resorted to deploying the power of the internet to assist them in achieving the organization’s goals with regard to human resource. E-recruitment not only improves productivity but is also cost effective as well as giving the organization a competitive advantage.
The benefits any organization stands to enjoy as a result of e-recruitment are many. There are also challenges that come with the process of e-recruitment. Organizations are constantly looking for ways to overcome those challenges and better the e-recruitment process in a way that it becomes more effective and efficient.
Last but not least, it is important to note that recruitment is not about hiring the best candidate among those who come to your organization seeking for employment, rather it is about finding out how to enroll the right candidate in your human resource capital overcoming all challenges with the help of technology.
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