Section: NEWS ANALYSISTen years since the first sites were launched in the UK, the industry now boasts hundreds of commercial jobsboards and 11 million jobseekers. Tim Elkington examines whats in store for employers and candidates over thenext decadeThe Interactive Advertising Bur-eaus latest figures show that more than £53m was spent on online recruitmentadvertising in the first half of 2004. If a similar level of spending is achieved during the second half of the year, atotal annual spend of £107m would mean that the internet will have accounted for roughly 10 per cent of allrecruitment advertising.Developments in technology and a maturing online recruitment market mean that this 10 per cent share willincrease in the future, and the internet will have an even greater impact on traditional recruitment techniques.Impact of broadbandFirst, the increased uptake of broadband among internet users means that online jobseekers will surf for longerand have more engaging interactions with employers online.Communications regulator Ofcom currently estimates that a third of all UK internet users access the internetthrough broadband, and it reported that the average monthly price of a high-speed connection fell from £45 in2002 to £22 last year.If this price reduction continues — and there is no reason to suggest that it wont — then broadband will shortlybecome the most popular way of connecting to the internet.The faster connection speeds offered by broadband will allow employers to communicate more effectively withcandidates. Corporate recruitment website features that are now regarded as advanced — such as employeevideo profiles, virtual office tours, online presentations and interactive tests — will become standard.Employers will be faced with the challenge of how to best use these interactive features to communicateemployer brands and engage and educate candidates before their competitors do.Speakers at the Online Recruitment — the Next 10 Years event in London last month, organised by EnhanceMedia, also focused on the changing nature of suppliers within the recruitment industry. For example, whenonline recruitment began in 1995, the Guardian newspaper offered advertisers the chance to placerecruitment advertisements within the newspapers different recruitment sections.Ten years later, the paper has rebranded its offering as Guar-dian Recruitment Solutions. It providesrecruiters with an expanded range of options from print recruitment advertising to online advertising, and evenoffers to design, build and host careers sites.
These developments show that the traditional boundaries that existed between print media owners, jobsboards, recruitment advertising agencies, recruitment consultancies and technology companies, are breakingdown.Future developmentsIn the future, a new breed of super suppliers will develop within the recruitment industry, offering employersa range of resourcing solutions, rather than just concentrating on a particular niche.The challenge for recruitment advertisers will be how best to utilise these new suppliers to implementintegrated strategies that draw from the best elements of online and offline solutions.The impact of these developments on jobs boards was also discussed at the online recruitment event. Therewas speculation that the paid for advertising model currently used by job boards would be replaced by a moreplacements orientated model, where recruiters only pay for results.Speakers also agreed that the transparency offered by the internet in terms of assessing the effectiveness ofonline advertising would finally be brought to bear, and that jobs boards would feature eBay-style effectivenessassessments, rather than traditional testimonials and client comments.These changes will have an impact on the print recruitment sections of national newspapers, such as theSunday Times, and there was some discussion regarding the long-term future of offline recruitment solutions.Some believe that the future will be uncertain for print recruitment sections, citing the decline in printrecruitment advertising within the IT market, while others believe there will always be a demand for offlinerecruitment advertising.However, there was agreement that in 1995, no one would have predicted that the development of onlinerecruitment would have such a huge impact on the way that employers recruit and pay for candidates.Enhance Media is responsible for the National Online Recruitment Audience Survey (Noras) — an independentand audited source of information on the users of online recruitment sites.PHOTO (COLOR): The uptake of online recruitment is increasing as services such as broadband make themedium more effective~~~~~~~~By Tim ElkingtonA six-point guide to online recruitment
Step 1: Assess your current progressYou need to find out how web savvy your company is right now. Once you have established your level of onlinerecruitment sophistication, then youll know where to start.Step 2: Identify the right processesNext, you need to look at the recruitment process itself. Ensure recruitment is integrated with business goalsfor workforce planning. You need to be able to measure the effectiveness of online recruitment so set up themetrics for measuring recruitment spending.Step 3: Identify the skills you need in your recruitment functionThe new breed of recruiter needs to use sales and marketing skills in a broader way. It is no longer enough forthe recruiter to advertise/post a job ad and wait for the ideal candidate to walk through the door. Todaysrecruiters must create an image and brand for their organisation.Step 4: Plan and research your online strategyDevelop a recruitment brand — a clear, concise, consistent and targeted message about your organisation.Based on your candidate research, target your message, advertising medium and location to reach the onlinejobseeker. Ensure that all approaches are linked to and centred on your own recruitment site. Integrate e-recruitment into your overall recruitment strategy.Step 5: Understand the technology infrastructure for recruiting onlineThe candidate management/applicant tracking system is crucial because if you do not put in place an efficient,technically capable and integrated back-office facility, all the good work you will have done to locate, attract andinterview those great candidates will be lost.Step 6: Develop your corporate websiteThe corporate website is the most important communication vehicle to receive and process job applicationswhether through direct or online advertising.This information is adapted from the Personnel Today Management Resources one-stop guide to OnlineRecruitment.To order your copy, telephone 01371 810433, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or go towww.personneltoday.com/resources