by Global Expert Systems
What is eRecruitment?
There are two ways to look at eRecruitment. Firstly, it’s simply the process of using Internet and virtual technologies to assist in the recruiting process. Before widespread use of the Internet, there was a movement towards interviews via the telephone which marked the first stage of eRecruitment.
From the telephone interview, we evolved to assessment tests over the Internet, full-fledged interviews with webcams and in many cases, companies are now making job offers without any physical face-to-face meetings.
Secondly, most companies use eRecruitment as a screening process to narrow down the number of candidates. So, the telephone interview may serve as a screening test to evaluate the use of language, preparedness, ability to represent the company over the telephone and level of confidence.
The other part to this post-modern recruitment process takes place where employers and headhunters are now actively recruiting online via professional social media portals like Linkedin, Viadeo, BranchOut, Talent.me and Xing, to name some of the more popular ones available in the English language.
Here are some of the various forms that companies are using the Internet to perform online assessments:
1. Pre-screening timed exams done through specialised centres or under the watchful eye of a webcam. These are usually done on secure websites to control for cheating and collaboration.
2. Online psychometric testing
3. Speed essays
4. Speed interviews
Some companies can actually simulate the type of work the candidate is expected to perform in his or her daily duties. These online simulations are designed to test how the candidate will respond to stressful situations, tensions, managing multiple projects and deadlines and/or handling high-speed chaotic environments.
GES has actual experience with multinational companies that conducted the entire recruitment process online. The obvious benefits are reducing airline travel and expense, simplifying pre-screening tests and other cost savings in terms of time. However, the downside to full online assessment is the possibility of cheating, the “coldness” of virtual reality and the inability to read body language as one would in a face to face environment.
The Growing Importance of Social Media & the Online Interface in Recruitment
Many Fortune 500 companies now start their recruitment online. Here are the usual steps:
1. Research the company’s website and find the tab that says, “Jobs”, “Careers”, “Join our team”, or “Employment Opportunities”
2. Very often you are then prompted to fill out an online registration that mirrors your CV. Some sites will allow you to sign-up or upload your CV from social media sites like Linkedin or even Facebook.
3. Other sites will allow you to upload your CV and cover letter manually.
4. An email acknowledging receipt is then forwarded to you until the next stage if you are successful in this first screening.
The World of Social Media
Part of Linkedin’s global success has to do with their ability to convince potential employers that their portal actually houses the world’s top professionals and many leading employers are using this as a serious source for headhunting.
The popular Facebook still remains very much a true social media portal but there are professional talent management social media applications that are now interfacing with Facebook, like BranchOut and Talent.me.
GES eRecruitment Tips
1. Use your own website or portal as a first point for recruitment. This will attract candidates who have taken the time out to find you and research your company.
2. Allow candidates to manually upload their own CVs even if you have a standard form. This will give you the opportunity to assess their ability to prepare a CV.
3. If you decide to use an online recruitment site, opt for those with good reputations in the market place or other specialised site/portals that cater to your specific industry. There are many examples of these, like those who act as talent brokers for top MBA graduates from around the world.
4. Full online recruitment is not recommended if it can be avoided. Nothing beats face to face contact which allows you to assess body language and other attributes that can be lost in a virtual environment.
5. Do not forget to do your background checks, especially for qualifications and past experience.
To job seekers:
1. Make sure your online CVs are always updated and in sync with your offline CVs.
2. If a job announcement catches your attention on a social media site, it is important to research that company thoroughly and see if the job is also announced on the company’s site. If so, it’s better to apply directly through the company’s site.
3. DO NOT pay fees to online recruitment sites. The old adage still applies, “you do not have to pay to get a job!”
4. Make sure that your digital footprint is tidy, decent and wholesome as many employers are now running background checks/searches on candidates by reviewing their social media and other online presence. In other words, be very careful what you put out there about yourself on the Internet.
5. If you are not comfortable in a virtual environment and you make it pass the first stage, request to be interviewed and/or assessed in a face-to-face environment.
This is our brave new world and it’s here to stay! Next week we will look at the topic “How to implement a Talent Management System in a small business?”
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