E-recruitment has emerged as a significant success factor for Human Resource Management in many organizations over the past decade due to its impact on efficiency and performance. This paper highlights the effectiveness of e-recruitment in HRM and recruitment process. A report on recruitment efforts indicated that in the year 2007, 75 percent of companies made use of their websites to attract candidates to fill open vacancies in their organizations.
The paper discusses e-recruitment strategies and how they accrue benefits to organizations. The case study of Nike which reduced its recruitment costs and time taken to fill vacancies though streamlining of its HR process is given. The report also highlights the weaknesses of e-recruitment and proposes how this process can be used to foster organizational success.
The concept of E-recruitment has over the last decade transformed the normal recruitment process. It has done this by providing a wider pool of candidates and making it possible for the human resource personnel to identify the most proficient candidate. By definition, E-recruitment is the carrying out of the recruitment process via online means (CIPD, 2009). Without e-recruitment, it would be difficult for most organizations to attract a significant of potential candidates from which they can choose the best hire.
Technological advances have been used in the HR section so as to assist in recruitment. A report by CIPD (2009) indicates that in the year 2007, 75 percent of companies made use of websites to attract candidates to fill open vacancies in their organizations. The appeal of E-recruitment is that if not only increases the productivity of HR personnel but it also significantly cuts the cost of the recruitment process and saves time.
Even so, most organizations encounter difficulties in their implementation of e-recruitment especially at the executive level. This literature review will discuss the traditional recruitment and e-recruitment methods with focus on how each method uses resources to publicize vacancies and how applicants apply for these vacancies.
E-recruitment is known by many other terms including: Internet recruiting, web based recruiting, and online recruiting. However, all this terms are used to express the same thing. Millar (2010, p.5) reveals that e-recruitment is “practices and activities carried on by the organization that utilizes a variety of electronic means to fill open positions effectively and efficiently”.
The CIPD (2009) elaborates that e-recruitment necessitates the use of technology to attract candidates in the recruitment process. These two definitions suggest that e-recruitment makes use of the internet or intranet in the efforts to attract applicants for the vacancies.
E-recruitment strategies make use of advances in internet technology to enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of the recruitment process. Many companies have come to appreciate these benefits of the internet and therefore incorporate e-recruitment in their recruitment strategies.
The increased use of the internet led to the first e-recruiting innovation which was the creation of large corporate website career sections. Jobs DB (2012) reveals that by 2002, only large companies had recruitment sections in their websites. Today, this is no longer the case and almost all companies have a career section.
The completion of this first phase of the e-recruitment strategy has led to significant improvements in organizations and organizations are constantly improving this process so as to gain a competitive advantage over other players in the market. This competitive advantage can only be achieved if companies finetune their e-recruitment process and websites so as to support this e-recruitment strategy.
HR and E-Recruitment
Technological advances in HR management applications continue to be made every year. An area in recruitment which has benefited from this growth in technology is the recruitment and selection process. CIPD (2009) reports that in 2007, 75 percent of companies were able to attract candidates for their recruitment process through their own company websites.
Traditionally, e-recruitment was only used for advertising for openings and attracting online applications. Back then, online testing was rare and the selection process was done physically. This trend is changing with the Global recruitment website revealing that 44 percent of recruiters are likely to make use of online testing of their potential candidates in the future (CIPD, 2009).
The increasing importance of employee branding which requires the acquisition of a lot of information on candidates’ behaviour has also enhanced the use of e-recruiting. This is because through the internet, more information on a candidate can be acquired easily (CIPD, 2009). With this information, the HR can use e-recruitment software to automatically screen and selection candidates. Such an efficient process increases the chances of the HR finding the best candidate to fill in the position under advertisement.
Privacy and Security
A major consideration for employers and employees alike is the issue of privacy. Privacy requires that any personal information presented online should only be viewed by the intended audience. The importance of security was demonstrated in the 2007 cyber attack of the recruitment website monstor.com.
This attack led to a compromise of the personal information of over 1.6 million users who were then presented with falsified information from the attackers (Careerone 2010). Privacy and security are essential in e-recruitment since the applicants send personal information which can be used for malicious purposes such as cyber-theft if it is obtained by malicious entities. It is therefore the responsibility of the company engaged in e-recruitment to ensure that enough security is provided in order to safeguard the privacy of the applicants.
SAP E-Recruitment’s Effect on Business
The HR can make use of recruitment applications to assist in the process with many benefits for the business. One of the applications which can be used by SAP in the e-recruitment effort is the SAP. SAP is an integrated solution which offers many benefits to HR personnel as they seek to make sense of an increasingly complex and technical job market.
Sap assists companies to develop HR resources by offering effective strategies and also expanding the scope of recruitment so as to reach an even more diverse pool of candidates (ERP Consulting 2009).
As it is, the major goal of successful recruitment is to attract qualified and experienced candidates who can bring about increased productivity for the business. SAP solutions help companies to reach an international audience and the likelihood of attracting more qualified and skilled employees is therefore further increased by this e-recruitment applications.
Streamlining HR processes with e-recruitment (Nike case study)
Streamlining of the HR processes with e-recruitment can yield significant benefits for a company. A good example of the positive impact of these streamlining efforts is the case of Nike which decided to cooperate with partners as a part of its e-recruitment strategy.
Using an active recruiter is crucial for controlling the recruitment process since it beings about increased efficiency and effectiveness. Pollitt (2005) declares that the initiative by recruiters provides flexibility and ease, reduces the recruitment cost, and makes it easy for the company to integrate within existing programs.
After Nike streamlined its HR process with e-recruitment, there was an average 20 day reduction in the amount of time taken to fill vacancies (62 to 42 days).
The e-recruitment process rendered redundant the process of manually handing CVs and it also removed the concerns for protection of personal information since no outside recruitment organization was used hence ensuring privacy and security (Pollitt 2005). From the Nike case, it is clear that using e-recruitment improves efficiencies and leads for cutting cost and saving recruiting time hence increasing the chances of business success.
Advantage of E-recruitment
There are many advantages to be accrued from adopting e-recruitment both for the employer and the prospective employee. Arguably the most significant advantage for companies is that it results in significant cost saving. For example, in the Nike case, the introduction of e-recruitment resulted in a 54 percent decrease in recruitment cost (Pollitt 2005).
This monumental decrease was because e-recruitment made it unnecessary to use traditional means such as newspaper or magazine spaces, which reached a lower audience compared to the internet. Candidates also preferred the internet in making their applications as opposed to paying postage to submit their resumes.
Another significant merit of e-recruitment is that it overcomes the geographical limitation of traditional recruitment. Cappelli (2001) demonstrates that e-recruitment makes it possible for applicants who cannot physically reach the organization to express their interest in the available positions. This lack of geographical limitation means that the number of candidates applying for the job is high and the chance of selecting a competent candidate from this pool is increased.
E-recruitment leads to the increase in speed of processing CVs hence vacancies can be filled faster. Millar (2010) reveals that when an opening is posted online, completing the application forms takes faster than using traditional means.
Once the completed application form is received by the HR personnel, the recruitment process can start with virtual interviews and tests being conducted at the applicant’s discretion therefore saving time and cost. With the traditional method, the HR has to deal with loads of paper applications and the amount of time spent searching for prospective candidates for the next stage decreases HR productivity.
The objectivity of the selection process is also increased by e-recruitment. This is so because judgment of a candidate’s competence is based on the information provided to the computer and any bias that could result from personal contact is removed. E-recruitment also provides a metrics through which applicants can be measured since it is more standardized than traditional method.
The communication mechanisms employed by e-recruitment make it easier for the recruiter to communicate with applicants. The filtering process which is typically tedious in nature is made easier by e-recruitment therefore increasing HR personnel productivity.
Disadvantage of e-Recruitment
While e-recruitment has many advantages as has been seen, there are some problems which are inherent in this method. The first demerit of e-recruitment is that it is costly which makes it unaffordable for modestly sized companies. The big companies also incur significant costs in implementing an e-recruitment strategy. Another demerit is that for companies that are not well known to the jobseekers, the applicant turnout may be very low if e-recruitment is relied on entirely.
Galanaki (2002) suggests that low search engine rankings make some small companies hard to find on the internet and their low status may not attract the best applicants. In addition to this, shifting of submission forms may make e-recruitment more time consuming and small companies may lack the technical competence to use this tools appropriately for recruitment though the internet (Smith 2004).
Another disadvantage of e-recruitment is that not every candidate may have access to the internet which means that some prospective hires may be locked out of the recruitment process (Millar 2010). The fact is that not all people have the computing skills that are essential for one to take part in e-recruitment.
In some developing countries, there is lack of awareness of the internet and Lievens & Harris (2003) therefore reiterate that while e-recruitment may be used to increase the geographic scope of the recruitment, this positive attribute is limited in its demographic scope. In addition to this, Galanaki (2002) argue that HR management in some countries such as India still favour the traditional methods to web based recruitment.
Interviews provide a platform for the HR staff to interact with the candidate and observe their personal skills or even charisma. Moreover, e-recruitment suffers from the inherent security risks associated with using the internet and hackers can perpetrate malicious attacks against recruiters and applicants.
E-recruitment also results in an increase in the rate of unqualified candidates applying for the advertised positions Tong and Sivanand (2004) state that the relative ease of applying online results in unqualified applicants applying for jobs which makes the selection process costly for the firm. The unqualified candidates will increase the time taken up to fill a vacancy as HR personnel will be forced to sift through their applications. Inflated levels of unqualified applicants decrease the efficiency of e-recruitment.
E-recruitment is not suitable for recruiting at the executive level. This is because the employees at this level prefer face to face interviews since other factors such as personal attributes and charisma play a crucial role in selecting the candidate. In addition to this, e-recruitment is mostly used to fill junior positions and it may therefore be seen as unsuitable by individuals who are looking for employment in top management levels..
Another significant weakness of e-recruitment is that it may lead to an over-application for the advertised position (Millar 2010). Since the internet makes it easy for candidates to make their applications and removes the geographical barriers inherent in traditional recruitment methods, the employer may be overwhelmed by too many applications. Smith (2004) demonstrates that this huge volume will decrease the efficiency of the HR as they look for the best qualified candidate.
Traditional Recruitment versus E-recruitment
Traditional recruitment makes use of a number of means to attract applicants. The most commonly used method involves a company announcing its job openings though classified advertisement in the media. This process is people, paper and time intensive since it is typical for candidates to send a lot of CVs to the companies they hope to work for (Millar 2010). The companies in turn send letters of acceptance or refusal to the applicants which makes the process both time and resource intensive (Kuhn & Skuterud 2000).
Another method used in traditional recruitment is looking for new applicants or vacancies through contacting friends or relatives. This method uses word of mouth and the jobseeker drops his/her resumes to places where there might be vacancies. The applicants in this scenario hope that the companies they contact will have a suitable opening for them (Koong, Liu, & Williams 2002).
Lee (2005) articulates that the traditional recruitment process involves: identification of company’s hiring needs, requisition for the job, submission of the approval, and then the posting of the job advert. The candidates submit their applications which are then screened screening of pre-employment also occurs.
The contract of employment is then given to the candidate who is chosen through this process and the job is offered. The HR managers and recruiters make use of conventional delivery and hard copy documents to complete the recruiting process.
E-recruiting which is also known as web based recruitment is widely used among organizations and Taleo Research (2005) document that 79% of the 500 wealthy organizations have a link between employment data and their corporate websites. This demonstrates that prominence that e-recruitment has gained with many organizations. E-recruitment makes use of 5 major phases. The first phase involves listing down the available jobs in the website.
The candidate is then required to browse the website in search of the job. After that any relevant information pertaining to the job is sent to the potential candidates. Use of applications assists in the decision making process when choosing the appropriate candidate. These applications include pre-screening and self-assessment tools. The whole process is streamlined to enhance communication since the idea is to promote a protracted connection between the HR manager and prospective employees (Lee 2005).
This paper set out to discuss e-recruitment and highlight its components, merits and demerits. From the discussions, it is clear that e-recruitment has led to changes in the recruiting process. E-recruitment makes the processing of candidates’ resumes faster and more accurate when contrasted with the traditional method where the HR department has to deal with heaps of papers and applications.
The cost of implementing the e-recruitment is therefore justifiable considering increased productivity and efficiency that it accrues Based on the merits attributed to e-recruitment, it can be suggested that all organizations and companies should adopt this method since it helps them to acquire competent staff who are the real capital of any organization.
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