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Stephen Taylor and Emma Perry on Online Recruitment Synthesis Essay


It is necessary to carry out a comprehensive literature review to grasp an overview of existing literature on a subject as a prerequisite for understanding the current research position on the topic. Reflectively, the process is intrinsic of comparative analysis of various works of authors in the same scope of the study.

Thus, this analytical treatise attempts to explicitly carry out literature review based on the views of two contemporary authors, Stephen Taylor (1998) and Emma Perry (2009), on online recruitment.

The authors have demonstrated their views on what online recruitment is and how it is useful to an organization, and its advantages and disadvantages to an organization. There is a gap of twelve years between the both authors. However, these authors’ views are from the contemporary literature.

Online Recruitment Literature Review

According to Breaugh and Starke (2000), recruitment “includes those practices and activities carried out by the organisation with the primary purpose of identifying and attracting potential employees” (Breaugh & Starke, 2000, p. 6).

Reflectively, Barber (1998) opines that recruitment can be considered as an essential element of human resource management since it “performs the essential function of drawing an important resource into the organisation” (Barber, 1998).

Since the beginning of the last two decades, the invention of the Internet has brought tremendous changes to the customary practice of online recruitment as opposed to the traditional physical interviews (Arthur 2001).

In the last decade, the internet has radically altered the visage of human resource recruitment and perception of organizations with regard to the recruiting function.

The main idea of the online recruitment procedure is to assess information about applicants in order to determine their fitness for employment without having to necessarily have physical contact.

In the contemporary business and social world, numerous organisations, including both small size and large companies, have implemented online recruitment and utilising it for posting jobs, accepting resumes, and to correspond with the applicants through email (Bartram 2000).

Online recruitment has been proven to be beneficial for the organisations. As opined by Cappelli (2001), online recruitment processes are not only reliable but also valid devices for recruiting in an organization. For instance, it is right to give online tests to an applicant who seeks to work in a field requiring critical management skills.

Reflectively, the desired skill must be displayed by potential candidates. Thus, “the skills that are needed by an employer can easily be quantified through the use of specific online tests that measure those abilities in a potential employee” (Cappelli 2001).

According to Boydell (2002), online recruitment can be defined as a method of using the internet as an aid in the course of recruitment for publicising employment vacancies and/or to contact the candidates through electronic means. In the mid 1990s internet emerged as an instrument of recruitment.

Putting into consideration of all the benefits it could bring to the organisations, it was called as a driver of “recruiting revolution” (Boydwell, 2002). According to Cober, Brown, Keeping, & Levy (2004), the main idea of an online recruitment procedure is to assess information within the shortest time possible. Indeed, there are factors that affect stages involved in the online recruitment procedure.

First, different stages involved in online recruitment procedures rely on the kind of personnel to be hired. Much information is needed to hire managerial personnel than subordinate employees.

Secondly, online recruitment procedures rely on recruitment sources and technique used to get in touch with potential applicants. For instance, in administrative management assistant recruitment, the procedure is complex and requires in-depth analysis of each candidate.

Chapman and Webster (2003) assert that online recruitment procedures rely on numbers of applicants who are targeted in the process. For instance, when the number of targeted applicants is high, online recruitment would automatically increase filtering points in order to manage the recruitment exercise.

Nevertheless, when the number of candidates is small, reduced filtering points would regulate the recruitment exercise.

The online recruitment strategy adopted by an organization also determines factors to be considered in the recruitment procedure. This is because different organizations have their own way of conducting recruitment procedures.

Indeed, it is upon organization’s policy to adopt a unique kind of recruitment procedure to meet its set threshold (Dineen, Ash and Noe 2002). According to Galanaki (2002) online recruitment procedure can be handled successfully when the following conditions are fulfilled.

Somebody needs to authorize recruitment process since this influences the outcome. Moreover, there must be job specification and job description that should be used in the online recruitment procedure.

In addition, the online recruitment procedure should target adequate number of candidates from which the requisite number of applicants may be selected (Dineen, Ash & Noe 2002).

Lievens and Harris (2003) opine that online recruitment process becomes more complex with an increase in responsibility and level of the profession to be occupied. For example, online recruitment procedures done in private organization are quite different from the public sector.

In the public sector, the process is often longer than in the private sector due to the long bureaucratic chain to be followed (Dineen 2003). In the online recruitment advertisement, potential applicants are informed about significant nature of an organization and job description.

Besides, essential information is obtained from applicants about their salary expectation, experience, education qualifications, and skills (Cappelli 2001).

Stephen Taylor’s Views on Online Recruitment

Reflectively, Taylor (1998) considered online recruitment as an innovative instrument and a revolutionary development for the human resource departments, which brought an extraordinary success in a very short period of time (Taylor 1998).

Specifically, he opines that the traditional recruitment practice is different from that of the online recruitment, in the sense that the traditional practice of recruitment is time consuming and very expensive to the organisation compared to online recruitment.

Moreover, Taylor emphasises that, in every way, the use of internet in the process of recruitment has been a “significant development in the recruitment field” (Taylor, 1998). He has identified diverse features, advantages, and disadvantages of online recruitment to an organisation.

Notwithstanding, the author listed four different forms of online recruitment which could benefit an organisation. However, in this literature, the focus is on the following two benefits.

The first benefit is that online recruitment helps any organisation to reduce its expenditure with the use of its own web page. As organisations struggle to cut costs through efficiency in recruitment systems, online recruitment has facilitated efficient usage of time and resources in recruitment.

As a result, this has been proven cost effective. For instance, an organisation can publish vacancies on its own website by maintaining vacancy pages as part of the organisation’s own web page; instead using dedicated recruitment sites or news papers (Taylor 1998).

Moreover, Taylor (1998) opines that organisation using a recruitment website or a newspaper for publishing vacancies would be charged according to the words used in the advertisement. However, using the company’s own website would bring down this cost and also there would be no word limit on this parameter.

Factually, it is considered that the cost involved in setting up a website is equivalent to advertising a job vacancy in a national newspaper. In addition, online recruitment creates job awareness in the public and also saves the cost to an organisation involved in the process of candidate selection (Eleanna 2002).

Also, online recruitment saves the loss of productivity due to the time involved in the process of filling a vacant position (Emma and Hugh 2009).

Nevertheless, Taylor (1998) noted few glitches within this new revolutionary process of online recruitment through web pages.

In his reflection, he opined that this new revolutionary to recruitment approach has a limited success as it completely relies on the number of job seekers visiting the organisation’s website and viewing a particular announcement at a particular time.

Thus he believes that this idea is only feasible for large and well-reputed organisations in the business with the good online network.

The second benefit identified by Taylor (1998) is that Cyber Agencies play a major role in the process of online recruitment as promotional agents.

As a matter of fact, there are several well established organisations such as ‘monster.com’, ‘Fish4jobs’, among others who are operating as a platform through internet for both organisations and job seekers in the process of recruitment.

These cyber agencies facilitate and ease the process of finding a suitable candidate. This is due to the reality that they provide an easy access to potential candidates who are seeking employment (Taylor 1998).

However, Taylor noted the shortcomings involved in online recruitment such as, the organisations being showered with applications from numerous job seekers and unsuitable applications, the tedious task for the organisations to filter these applications and the organisations would have to employ more than required resources in doing so.

Thus, Taylor (1998), to some extent, believes that the online recruitment can be carried out by a method in which job seekers complete an online application form by answering specific questions listed in line with the companies’ requirement.

Emma Perry’s Views on Online Recruitment

Emma (2009) describes online recruitment as the most effective recruitment procedure that involves the use of the internet. She noted that online recruitment from an organisational perspective aims at improving on efficiency and the need to manage recruitment within minimal resource use.

According to Emma (2009), “Online recruitment has indeed grown rapidly over the past ten years and is now widely used by both recruiters and job seekers across the world” (Emma 2009). Adopting qualitative research, the author stated that “64 per cent of organisations used online recruitment” (Emma 2009).

She expounds on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to assert that this theory explains the adoption of online recruitment in the United Kingdom and across the world. She opines that TPB may be a classical logic for extrapolating adoption of online recruitment in organizations.

Specifically, organizations with a positive outlook on online recruitment and “who perceive that there are normative pressures for them to use online recruitment, and who believe they have behavioural control over this decision, may decide to adopt online methods within their organisations” (Emma 2009).

In addition, the author identifies factors affecting online recruitment in adoption of organisation websites and job boards.

The positive benefits are stated as the relative advantage of cost, time, and efficiency. The negative parameters of online recruitment are identified by Emma as compatibility, reliability, and authenticity of the online job sites.

Besides, the success of the online recruitment process is pegged on its ‘triability’ and ‘observability’. For instance, online job sites with no limited basis are likely to attract more applicants than those that are not compatible with target users.

This is true because these sites are visited by prospective employees several times. Emma also states that online agencies make come in to coordinate online recruitment in their popular portal.

In addition, the author explores the diffusion of Innovation theory (DIT) to explain adaptability of online recruitments. Interestingly, DIT is modelled by the author to complement the TEP.

For instance, the belief that online recruitment has merits over traditional recruitment is a constituent of relative advantage due to the positive attitude on online recruitment. Besides, complexity in the implementation of online recruitment strategies may be aligned to behavioural control.

Emma (2009) attributes subjective norms to the needs of an organization in adopting online recruitment. However, “relative advantage had a small, less significant and indeed negative impact on the use of online recruitment” (Emma 2009).

Nevertheless, the author casts doubt on the effectiveness of online recruitment, especially for small companies with unpopular websites.

In fact, the author states that online recruitment might be more expensive for these small organizations since they may be forced to use the expensive popular sites to reach their potential employees.

Besides, the author opines that the process depends on the type of skills required. For instance, in appropriate technology related skills, use of traditional recruitment may be cost effective as compared to online recruitment.

Comparison and Contrast of Literature of Taylor and Emma on Online Recruitment


Interestingly, despite the twelve year gap between these writings, the authors share perception on development and usage of online recruitment in organizations. Reflectively, literature review on the definition and scope of online recruitment is the same.

They both opine that online recruitment encompasses recruitment exercise done via the internet. Taylor and Emma share same sentiments on effectiveness of online recruitment as beneficial in the cost cutting endeavours of organizations.

Since the process is time saving, the authors suggest that it is the most appropriate module for reaching potential employees within the shortest time possible.

The second similarity between the authors is the development of online recruitment over the last the last two decades. Taylor and Emma are optimistic of growth of online recruitment as more organisations develop a preference for it more than the traditional one.

However, the authors opine that the usage of online recruitment is dependent on the nature of job, size of organisation, number of targeted potential employees, and popularity of recruitment sites.


Emma’s writing adopts a qualitative survey to assimilate theoretical perspectives of human resource management of online recruitment. Unlike Taylor, Emma is specific on theoretical framework models on behaviour and innovation diffusion as a component of online recruitment development.

Comparatively, Taylor is silent on theoretical framework despite arriving at the same conclusion. Moreover, Emma is comprehensive in the scope of online recruitment from surveys and interviews conducted.

As a matter of fact, Emma opines that process is directly proportional to the efficiency and largely depends on ‘observability’ and ‘triability’. In contrast, Taylor’s literature cannot be quantified on this periphery since the arguments on the effectiveness of online recruitment is based on assumptions.


Online recruitment is effective in the recruitment exercise for employees. There are several merits of online recruitment as opposed to traditional recruitment. Among the benefits include efficiency in terms of time and cost among others.

However, the process is dependent on popularity the sites and nature of skills required. Despite the twelve year gap between the two writings, it is apparent that they share the same scope on benefits and demerits of online recruitment. However, the noticeable difference is the theoretical perspective adopted in Emma’s article.

Reference List

Arthur, D 2001, “Electronic recruitment”, The Employee Recruitment and Retention Handbook, vol. 8 no. 2, pp.34-41.

Barber, E 1998, Recruiting Employees, Sage, California

Bartram, D 2000, “Internet recruitment and selection: kissing frogs to find princes”, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, vol. 8 no.4, pp.261-74.

Boydell, M 2002, “Internet recruitment helps HR careers”, Canadian HR Reporter, vol. 11 no.20, pp.5-6

Breaugh, J.A., & Starke, M 2000, “Research on employee recruitment: so many studies, so many remaining questions”, Journal of Management, vol. 26 no.3, pp.405-434.

Cappelli, P 2001, “Making the most of online recruiting”, Harvard Business Review, pp.139-46.

Chapman, D., & Webster, J 2003, “The use of technologies in recruiting, screening and selection processes for job candidates”, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, vol. 11 no.2, pp.113-20

Cober, R., Brown, D., Keeping, L., & Levy, P 2004, “Recruitment on the net: how do organisational website characteristics influence applicant attraction?” Journal of Management, vol. 30 no.5, pp.623.

Dineen, B 2003, The Effects of Customising Recruitment Information to Individual Job Seekers in a Web-based Recruitment Context: A Multi-Level Experimental Investigation, Ohio State University, Ohio.

Dineen, B., Ash, S., & Noe, R 2002, “A web of applicant attraction: person-organisation fit in the context of web-based recruitment”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 87 no.4, pp.723.

Eleanna, G 2002,”The decision to recruit online: a descriptive study”, Career Development International, vol. 7 no 4, pp. 243 – 251

Emma P., & Hugh, W 2009, “Factors influencing the adoption of online recruitment”, Personnel Review, vol. 38 no. 6, pp.655 – 673

Galanaki, E 2002, “The decision to recruit online: a descriptive study”, Career Development International, vol. 7 no.4, pp.243-51.

Lievens, F., Harris, M 2003, “Research on internet recruitment and testing: current status and future directions”, International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, vol. 18, pp.131-65.

Taylor, P 1998, “Seven staff selection myths”, New Zealand Management, vol. 45 no. 1, pp. 61–5.

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