An Online Portal to A-Players

Article by:
John Younger, EO San Francisco
John Younger
EO San Francisco

John Younger is the president and CEO of Accolo, a recruitment process outsourcing company. Accolo offers a turn-key and scalable internal recruiting department that includes professional services and a proprietary SaaS Platform. Contact John at [email protected].

A little more than a decade ago, online job searches were primarily the province of hardcore techies. Today, online recruiting forms one of the central pillars of smart staffing. Thanks to sophisticated online tools, entrepreneurs can automatically weed out unsuitable applicants and cast the broadest net possible in the search for qualified staff. Here are some advantages that are associated with online recruitment:

Precision and Broad Outreach
The most apparent benefit of online recruitment is the vastly improved reach into potential candidate pools. With job boards and social-networking tools like LinkedIn and Twitter, a well-crafted job description can get into the hands of far more people who will likely be, or know, the right person.

Improved Processes
An online system facilitates a much more streamlined, standardized approach than traditional, paper-based recruitment. Many manual tasks, such as sorting and routing application materials, can now be performed automatically. This enhanced process contributes significantly to another major benefit of online recruitment— its cost-effectiveness.

Sifting Through the Volume
Some leading-edge tools can extend the efficiency of this online approach even further. Asking the right questions makes all the difference, and often great candidates are knocked out because of a mediocre resume. Online screening quizzes, instant “fit” assessments, skill-based evaluations and other metrics can be administered instantly to candidates over the Internet, further reducing the time needed to make an A-player hire.

Proper Management
Experts have noted that when properly managed, online recruitment’s positive effect can transcend the realm of HR and enhance the firm in core ways. In an era where image is everything, online recruitment can form an important component of an overarching brand-management strategy. The marketing collateral that’s packed into an online job posting can help enhance brand awareness, a vital variable in today’s competitive landscape.

Despite the promise inherent in the practice of online recruitment, there are potential drawbacks, as well. The disadvantages of online recruitment include:

The Business Blind Spot
In the early days, many people expressed concern that qualified applicants may be overlooked by recruiters focusing primarily on candidates who submitted online applications. However, now that virtually anyone can submit an application online, the traditional barriers that worked to keep out wholly unsuitable candidates have now been largely eliminated.

No IT in HR
A somewhat more thorny issue is the complaint that online recruitment erases the “human” aspect of HR management. This concern has validity when intangible factors, such as a candidate’s organizational “fit” and the sense of “clicking” with a team, are not incorporated into the online process.

Basic Respect
The ease of applying for dozens of jobs per hour, coupled with the rarity of meaningful, online interview questions, is creating a perfect storm of disrespect and lack of follow-through. Our research shows that 94 percent of the people who apply online never hear back about the status of their application. This does not speak well of the employer’s brand.

How has online recruitment helped my business? It has dramatically expanded our reach to the A-players that we need. For example, we recently launched a search for a vice president of sales and marketing. Normally, this would have required an executive-search firm. By using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and online job boards, however, we have begun to see impressive candidates.
As an entrepreneur, my objective remains unchanged: I am responsible for finding and keeping the best candidates to ensure my business stays successful. Online recruitment helps me do that.

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