In a volatile and cost-cutting environment, surely the furthest thing from an employer’s mind is the idea of launching a time-consuming and costly recruitment campaign?  

However it is exactly when a company faces the challenges of an unstable market that it needs not only to retain its brightest talent, but also to ensure that it recruits the very best new people to succeed now and in the future.

Identifying the best

For most companies, recruiting is a daunting process, especially when applications from potential candidates start flooding in. So how can you identify the very best talent?

With jobseekers increasingly making online their preferred method of discovering new career opportunities, and with more and more use of social media and services sites, the realm of internet recruiting is developing at a rapid rate. But e-recruitment is about far more than advertising jobs on the internet.

Research from Cranfield School of Management found that e-recruitment – defined as “the use of the internet to attract, sift and manage candidates” – can provide significant benefits to organisations.  Dramatic cost savings can be achieved through reducing agency and advertising fees, through less need for paper and postage and by reducing headcount due to administrative savings.

Importantly, for the recruiter, the process represents a key branding opportunity, as this is a crucial touch point with potential candidates. So it needs to be a positive and efficient brand experience. Even if candidates choose not to apply for an opportunity at this stage, their experience will form a lasting impression of the company’s brand. It will undoubtedly influence the candidate’s perception of the potential recruiter and, more importantly, their professional networks.

Who are the applicants?

Statistics from the National Online Recruitment Audience Survey (Enhance Media, 2008) show that people from all industry sectors and at all levels are searching online for jobs. Of those surveyed, 76% have applied for a job that they found on the internet, 33% completed an online application form and 34% emailed their CVs to an employer/consultant.

It’s not just the usual suspects of ‘generation Y’ or ‘digital natives’ looking online as a channel for their career development. For example, 18% of online job seekers are from ethnic minorities and 7% are over 55 years old, suggesting that the internet attracts a diverse source of applicants.

Importantly e-recruitment offers the recruiter the opportunity to maximize return whilst driving down costs. In the current climate, with pressure to cut overheads, an HR team using traditional manual processes can find it costly.

However, investing in an e-recruitment system can optimize processes, reduce overheads and improve profitability and help any organisation to bring onboard the talent it needs to ride out the downturn and be ready for growth when the market bounces back.

Any e-recruitment system should only be selected if it is able to engage all parties involved in the recruitment process. A successful implementation must use effective and timely communication through real-time access to current recruitment data.  It needs to be a blend of web as a service, internet technologies and recruitment processes. Together, these will help deliver a comprehensive solution by improving and automating all the key aspects of recruitment.