Online Recruitment Methods

Posted in : HR Updates on 20 April 2016
Helen O'Brien
Personnel and Training Services
Issues covered:

More and more people are going online to look for jobs and background information on companies before job interviews, which means that companies need to have the right social media infrastructure in place in order to meet those needs.

Forms of Online Promotion for Recruitment

An email/message list

Interested people sign up to hear about vacancies as and when they arise. This is an excellent, targeted way of getting out information to those who have already stated an interest, however the recruitment market changes very quickly and an email/message list can be out of date quickly.

Social media

Facebook, Twitter and so forth can be excellent tools for disseminating news about a job vacancy and providing a link to more information. However, with the appropriate infrastructure in place in the form of 2,000– 5,000 followers as a minimum, any such news is going to be slow to spread. Simply putting something on social media is not achieving anything at all unless it is disseminated well by those followers.

Online jobs listings

There are now, with perhaps only a small exaggeration, nearly as many online lists of job vacancies as there are vacancies themselves. They have become a popular way of raising advertising revenue and are regularly promoted through social media. Many need to be treated with caution however, as they are as keen to entice users to click on their external advertisements and links as they are for them to click on their actual job vacancy advertisements.


For recruitment, the website is the ideal place to make available all the documentation and information prospective candidates need. They can also be the place where applications are registered and forms are completed. However, they are only the information source, promotion to get people to that website is far more important.


This massive database of people marketing themselves — presenting their online CV in effect — is rarely used by recruiters other than to check a person is who they say they are. Potentially, we could ask people to apply by simply sharing their LinkedIn profile.

Applying for jobs online makes the process very easy for the recruiter. All the information, in the format requested and completely standardised is immediately available to the recruiter and can easily be forwarded to all members of the recruiting team. The one drawback is that only those people who are au fait with computers and working online will excel at the task of applying when these may be skills that are not needed at all in the posts being offered. Any recruitment that only allows for online recruitment is potentially excluding the small but significant proportion of people who do not have those skills or who do not have access to the internet.

One problem that is becoming common is those recruiters who, through a very successful social media campaign end up with far more applicants than they were expecting. It is important to plan ahead and know what to do if this is the case.

Potentially, recruitment is now much cheaper to carry out, and our ability to reach a far wider range of people is now, literally, at our finger tips. However, it is not enough to rely solely on online methods without a pre-existing mature social media profile twinned with more traditional methods — such as media advertising and recruitment agencies — to ensure genuine diversity of approach.


This article is correct at 27/04/2016

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Helen O'Brien
Personnel and Training Services

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