Survey: E-Recruitment Tools, Processes Coming of Age

By Theresa Minton-Eversole Jun 25, 2007

LAS VEGAS—More sophisticated e-recruiting tools are helping many companies achieve greater recruitment process efficiencies. But those companies using more refined e-recruitment tools, such as the “dot-jobs” domain, are better able to show recruitment effectiveness and are more in tune overall with recruiting best practices, according to survey results released here Sunday by SHRM during its Annual Conference and Exposition.

Advancements in recruitment technologies, combined with the growing importance of niche job boards and social networking sites, are helping to make the process of applying for jobs simpler, notes SHRM’s 2007 E-Recruiting Survey. The survey, conducted in March, polled approximately 600 SHRM members from companies that did and did not have .jobs domain names for their employment sites.

The .jobs domain was created in 2005 by the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers. SHRM is a partner in the venture that gained approval for the domain.

Respondents from all organizations (.jobs and organizations) reported in the survey that employee referrals generated the highest quality of job candidates and the best return on investment for their organizations. The most commonly reported techniques or strategies respondents said they used to engage passive job candidates were:

  • Viewing membership directories for associations and trade groups.
  • Scanning social networking sites.
  • Mining industry-specific blogs, discussion forums, newsgroups or listservs.

The most frequently cited online recruiting challenges that all organizations encountered were difficulty attracting high-quality candidates, limited staff resources, difficulty managing the volume of resumes and difficulty attracting diverse candidates.

However, organizations with a .jobs domain, compared to companies without such domains, often reported better outcomes with e-recruiting and were significantly more likely to:

  • Offer direct navigation in their advertising campaigns.
  • Monitor the average number of clicks it takes for a job candidate to find the career section on their organization’s web site.
  • Have an applicant tracking system.
  • Use search engines to review information posted online by job candidates.
  • Use social networking sites to review information posted by a job candidate.
  • Have received candidates through online diversity job boards or niche web sites.
  • Indicate that it was “easy” or “very easy” for job seekers to apply for a job.
  • Report that they expected their 2007 recruiting costs to decrease compared with 2006.

Respondents from high-tech organizations and large-staff-sized organizations were more likely to have a .jobs domain, suggesting that these types of organizations may be at the forefront of embracing new technologies.

“Overall, the survey results demonstrate that organizations with a .jobs domain have more effective recruiting practices across a range of areas,” said Shawn Fegley, SHRM survey research specialist.

But, Fegley said, there’s more to attaining that effectiveness level than just having a .jobs domain.

“While there is a direct relationship between having a .jobs domain and having more effective recruiting practices, it is important to note that it does not mean there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship,” said Fegley. “The use of additional recruitment methods, in conjunction with tools like a .jobs domain, helps improve the efficiency of recruiting. Organizations would be wise to evaluate their current processes and procedures to see if different strategies and techniques could be integrated into their recruitment strategy.”

The report concludes by noting that future trends in e-recruitment are likely to aim toward:

  • Increasing the number of quality candidates that recruiters are able to tap while simultaneously filtering out unqualified job candidates.
  • Improving job matching, searchability and ease of use.

Theresa Minton-Eversole is editor of the SHRM Online Staffing Management focus area.

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