There can be no doubting the significant role that the internet now plays in the recruitment market facilitating recruiters and candidates in finding the “best” fit.
I use the word “facilitating” advisably as it is not the be all and end all. It has certainly reduced advertsing costs and significantly reduced the role of the more expensive press media. However, in defence of press media it does have a role to play in reaching candidates for certain job funtionalities and sectors where they continue to reach and attract the attention of certain skilled, busy and experienced employees and executives.
As an effective advertising medium, the internet it is capable of generating a huge response to any one advertisement if drafted, placed and worded correctly – which incidentally is becoming a skill within itself by appropriate use and repitition of key words and highlighting etc. However that is only where the recruitment process begins. The recruiter is then left with an often arduos task of sifting through the mass response to determine a short list for interview. This requires considerably, care, effort, time and therefore cost. Certain companies may be able to justify the cost of such an internal resource or effort by virtue of the volume of their recruitment requirements within their human resource department/budget. I would however question whether that HR budget would be better allocated to retaining, developing , managing and disciplining the human resource and their systems and certainly have no hesitation in stating that it would not be the best use of a busy executive or owner of a business to perform the intial screening. The role of an experienced independent consultant therefore becomes clear and readily justifiable in terms of drafting, placing and reviewing response to the advertising together with minimising and making the spend more effective. I have had significant demand for these services from clients both with and without HR departments and from recruitment agency / consultant clients looking for staff themselves!
In making that all important hire of a new team member advertsing is but one means of getting to the best candidate. Search, headhunting and networking are other very effective means – again “facilitated” and made easier with the internet. Again these tools are in common use by experienced recruitment professionals.
It has been said that the recruitment sector will become polarised, with search and selection being used to fill the minority of high-level roles, but with the vast majority of roles being filled online. I cannot disagree more – the interenet povides the perfect medium for effectively bringing search and selection into the main stream recruitment function enabling experienced professionals to provide cost effectivley a more robust, exhaustive and quality service to their clients.
The human interface of an experienced consultant will also provide a warranty on candidates they have searched for and selected – this can be money back if they fail to find a relacement if needed but normally finding a replacement at no extra cost. Money back guarrantees for ineffective use of the internet still leaves one with a position to be filled, lost time and effort in screening (hence cost), opportunity cost by not having the position filled for a period of time and the eventual more effective cost of using that experienced resource which one should have referred to in the first instance.
The internet is a fabulous tool for the recruitment market but for clients it is not the be all and end all. There is no relacement for the human interface in a people business.
Mike Pill, F.C.A., B.Sc. (Eng)
Senior Search Consultant & Director, TMP & Associates Ltd www.tmpandass.com
Mike helps organisations in a wide range of industries, across all commercial disciplines and geographies recruit the senior talent they need to succeed.