Today, it’s very difficult for many recruiters and candidates alike to imagine a recruitment landscape that does not have the Internet at its heart, given the current status of online recruitment as almost the default means of recruiting staff.
Agencies like Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) make extensive use of the World Wide Web in their services, and yet, it all essentially began as recently as the early 1990s.
By the end of 1994, Monster.com and Jobserve.com had become operational for jobseekers and employers in the US and UK respectively, and the number of sites soon multiplied as the Internet boomed in popularity over the ensuing years.
The principles behind online recruitment bore much resemblance to those commonly cited now, and included enabling jobseekers to easily look for jobs in any geographical area, as well as the speed and efficiency of the application process.
The Internet made it so much easier for candidates to research their potential employer prior to application, as well as find sources of advice and ask questions of the employer via email.
Once they spotted a vacancy of interest to them, jobseekers were able to apply immediately. No longer did they have to wait for the Thursday newspaper jobs supplement or post their CV in the mail, before waiting for many weeks for a response.
There were obvious benefits for those looking to recruit staff, too, as they could quickly receive and evaluate job applications, provide a response and, in the event of a successful application, add the new employee to the payroll without spending time and money re-keying their details.
By the 2000s, it was clear that online recruitment sites were becoming more diverse, particularly with the arrival of such ‘Web 2.0’ elements as blogs and social media.
It may have been 1997 when the site widely regarded as the first social network – Six Degrees – was launched, but the following decade marked the veritable onslaught, with LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook all being launched and expanding the options available to HR managers.
2006 saw the foundation of Twitter, followed by Google+ in 2011. Social media is now a fundamental part of the staff recruitment landscape rather than the young upstart it once was, in some ways taking precedence over more traditional online jobs boards.
Companies that embraced social media in their recruitment soon found themselves with an advantage over the competition, engaging more actively with jobseekers – especially passive candidates.
Although the success of social media recruitment in recent years can be explained by many factors, including its ability to provide long-term results and its usefulness in the building of talent pools, it is in many ways simply the fact that it so well represents the aforementioned online recruitment principles of speed and efficiency that has made all the difference.
By contacting recruitment agencies like Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) for services including relevant job board recruitment advertising and personal candidate management, recruiters today can further the history of online recruitment, making the most of its possibilities.