A limited time offer!

urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Free HR Dissertation: Online Recruitment

Essay Topic:
string(111) " a source of true competitive advantage, especially in periods of fierce competition \(Birgelen et al, 2008\)\."

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The present study was carried out to ascertain the benefits of online recruitment, and ways in which it could be improved, at a leading UK technology firm – with respect to graduate, experienced and executive employees. Review of existing literature pointed out that Innovations in technology have revolutionized recruitment processes. Several theorists also claimed that online recruitment leads to an improved quality and quantity of applications, an enhanced platform for information sharing, more operational effectiveness, cost effectiveness and a lack of boundaries.

We will write a custom essay sample on Free HR Dissertation: Online Recruitment

or any similar topic only for you

Order Now

In order to verify or discredit these assertions, quantitative surveys and semi-structured interviews were carried out on 14 students & graduates, and four members of Google Inc. graduate recruitment team respectively. The results obtained from graduates suggested that they were highly influenced by the corporate brand, presence of the organisation on the web and online job boards. Results from Google Inc.’s recruitment department suggested that they achieved a number of efficiencies such as reduced cost, overhead and faster response rate. They have also generally increased their number of applicants by a six fold since adopting online recruitment. However the quality of candidates received is said to be low compared to the quantity, and the company has difficulties in meeting their diversity and disability quotas. These results suggest that the company is not being effective in leveraging their brand, and other means available to them, in attracting the required quality of candidates. Numerous graduates also chose agency as a preferred form of finding a job, thereby illustrating that traditional methods should not be totally abolished. A synergy between agency, job board, branding, and online recruitment is therefore proposed, as an effective method of meeting quantity and quality employment targets for the organisation.

1. Introduction

An organisation’s human resource has been defined as it is most important and effective asset, in terms of building and sustaining competitive advantage (Singh and Finn, 2003). The recruitment and selection of this very important resource is therefore very crucial in any organisation looking to build organisational competencies through its people.

a.Online Recruitment

Job searches and recruitment had been predominantly done through newspaper postings, word-of-mouth and agency recruitment before the advent of the Internet (Singh and Finn, 2003). Recruiting companies then went through daunting tasks of sorting, filing and choosing through a vast list of paper based job applications, which usually involved a lot of resources in terms of human capital and costs.

However, the penetration of the Internet, and the near 100% adoption of Internet job applications, has seen this trend change drastically. Younger (2007) reports that 100% of all Fortune 500 companies in the US and FTSE 100 companies in the UK utilize the Internet predominantly for their job postings and for receiving applications, as opposed to just one-third of Fortune 500 companies in 1999. This trend has become so widespread that a vast majority of job applicants (96%) in a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in 2006 reported using the Internet for job search and applications (Younger, 2007). Some companies are also known to utilize Internet virtual worlds, such as Second Life, in holding recruitment fairs, and having career session with prospective students (Riley, 2007). The archaic use of newspaper publishing and other sources has diminished greatly, as the UK newspaper industry has suffered a 20% year on year fall in ad revenue, in recent years (Guardian, 2009).

b.Organisation under study

Google Inc. is one of the biggest technology firm in the UK, with a global presence in several countries and employees exceeding 23,331, possesses a fully functional online recruitment website (http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/index.html). The website provides information regarding available vacancies, and steps that prospective applicants should take in order to fill an application. It also provides relevant information about the organization and the vacancy position.

Google Inc.’s online recruitment procedure (see appendix) has undergone major changes when compared to traditional recruitment process it practised, which only required candidates to send in their application forms when the firm makes a visit to the university campus or through referral system. The university students are then invited to take first round of technical tests if their CVs and Cover letters were deemed suitable. Candidates living miles away from the test centre would have their accommodation and transportation catered for, only to partake in a 1-hour technical test, where their likelihood of success is uncertain (Times Online, 2005). Now with the advent of technology, there’s the possibility that these processes may have been made more efficient and effective.

c.Research Objective

The research objective is therefore to ascertain the benefits – when related to Google Inc. – of adopting a wholly Internet centred focus to candidate recruitment (graduate or experienced hires). This research would aim to ascertain the improved efficiencies and effectiveness that Google has gained through the adoption of an Internet based approach to recruitment.

The following research question would be expatiated further in the literature review chapter, after relevant literatures have been reviewed. This research topic has been chosen because of the researcher’s previous experience with online recruitment. Google Inc. was chosen because of the researcher’s relationship with a member of the firm’s recruitment team. It would therefore reduce barriers associated with gaining access to the organization for primary interviews and secondary information.

As described further in the Methodology chapter, this research would be based on a quantitative study with students and graduates; and semi-structured interviews with members of Google Inc.’s graduate recruitment team. Analysis of the existing literature would be carried out in Chapter 2, while the research methodology, results and ensuing discussion would be outlined in Chapters 3 – 5 respectively. Chapter 6 concludes.


2. Literature Review

Rynes (1991, p 429) defines recruitment in organizations as “all practices and decisions that affect either the number or types of individuals who are willing to apply for or to accept a given vacancy”. It includes organizational actions carried out with the intent of identifying and attracting prospective employees (Breaugh and Starke, 2000). Attracting high quality employees is a source of true competitive advantage, especially in periods of fierce competition (Birgelen et al, 2008).

You read "Free HR Dissertation: Online Recruitment" in category "Free Dissertation Samples"
Recruitment is therefore regarded as an important constituent of Human Resources, as its main function is to attract and grow human capital – an important resource, within the organization (Barber, 1998).

Shortages in the labour market, and difficulties in finding the right talent, especially in technological and knowledge based organizations, have led to a more competitive recruitment industry in recent years (HRL, 2006; Parry and Wilson, 2006). The emphasis for HR professionals is now on attracting competent talent that have specialties in important skills (Jones et al, 2002), as research has shown that recruitment constitutes the second most important priority for HR (Parry and Tyson, 2008).

The increasing priority being attributed to recruitment has also been corroborated by a research report by CIPD (2009) reporting that 84% of all organizations experience difficulties in recruitment. Recruitment techniques could therefore be facilitated further through an efficient application of technologies, such as online recruitment (Parry and Tyson, 2008)

a.Recruitment, HR and Technology

Technology utilization in HRM has grown at an exponential rate in recent years, as a survey by CIPD (2009) showed that 77% of all organizations adopt efficient HR practices through Information System Technologies. Internet technology is increasingly being used in sophisticated functions such as talent recruitment, training and development as opposed to basic functions such as payroll, benefits or absent management (Martinsons, 1994). HRL (2006) also states that technology plays an important role in the ‘growing sophistication and effectiveness of talent attraction and management.’

Traditional forms of recruitment, which had been through internal labour markets, world of mouth, newspaper adverts and agencies (Ford et al, 1986) has been modernized through the adoption of the Internet, as organizations are increasingly reviewing or changing their perspectives on talent attraction and selection (Othman and Musa, 2006). The Internet has been acclaimed as the future of talent attraction and selection in coming years, and is increasingly becoming a preferred method in organizations (Parry, 2009). This adoption has led to a consistent decline in newspaper job adverts in recent years (HRL, 2006).

However, these technological improvements though compelling, do not necessarily warrant a complete abolishment of traditional recruitment procedures. Though technology would continue to be an important tool in the recruitment process, Younger (2007) asserts that online recruitment should be regarded as one of the tools available to meet the organization’s goals of talent attraction. HRL (2006) therefore recommends a blended approach, in which both internal and external recruitment is utilized. They also advocate that technology should constitute a platform, rather than a process driver, thereby confirming Younger’s views.

b.Traditional recruitment methods

Though technology may constitute an increasing proportion of recruitment method in recent years, it was never the predominant method in which employees were usually hired. The most common traditional recruitment methods – based on existing theories (Harris et al, 2003; Van Rooy et al, 2003; and Othman and Musa, 2006) – has been outlined in a cognitive diagram displayed in figure 1. Existing literatures on traditional recruitment methods are discussed in appendix.

c.Online Recruitment

Recruitment over the Internet first started between 1990 and 2000, and was regarded then as a revolution in recruitment due to the enormous benefits it presented to employers and prospective job applications (Boydell, 2002). It is no surprise then that its use has grown substantially in recent years, fuelled mainly by a ‘headlong rush’ by large organizations to utilize technology and adopt competitive practices in their recruitment processes (Anderson, 2003). This has also been facilitated by new forms of media and innovations in psychometric procedures that have significantly changed the recruitment processes within organizations, and made it more engaging and appealing for prospective applications (Highhouse and Hoffman, 2001; Searle, 2004).

The Electronic Recruiting Index of 2000 has shown that there is a dramatic increase in the spending on online recruiting. The research conducted shows that majority of the visitors (71%) to the job sites are not actively interested in changing jobs. Only 15% actually think of changing work while only 10% are actively looking for a job. Of 5% of the visitors are unemployed.

Online recruitment is now a very popular recruitment portal for employees and job seekers in most developed countries (Highhouse et al, 2004). A study of US companies in 2006 showed that 50% of all new hires were from the Internet (Cober and Brown, 2006); with a larger portion being recruited from the company’s own Internet site (Birgelen et al, 2008). Crispin and Mehler (2006) also reported that 20% of external hires were hired through company websites, while 13% were through online job boards. CIPD (2009) also reported that 67% of UK companies used online recruitment; thus confirming earlier views regarding the growth prospects of the Internet as an important recruitment tool (Parry and Tyson, 2009). Recruitment websites, in the forms of job boards, corporate websites, and agency websites are increasing in numbers, while expenditures on the Internet recruiting totalled $7 billion in 2005 and are also forecasted to increase continuously in coming years (Birgelen et al, 2008).

The main drivers facilitating this growth has been the need for organizations to streamline and automate recruitment processes in order to make them more efficient, in such a way that applicant details were entered by themselves, and communications processes are sped up (Parry et al, 2007). Younger (2007) also reports that innovative recruitment technologies such as online numerical, verbal, logical or psychometric tests could be administered immediately to applicants over the Internet, and results could be derived almost instantaneously; thereby removing previously daunting tasks of coding answers and marking tests scripts. The soaring growth of recruitment job boards and various websites that offer a variety of functions to job seekers and employers, has also facilitated the continued growth in this field (Searle, 2004)

The diagram in figure 2, is also based on existing theories (Searle, 2004; Othman and Musa, 2006; Parry et al, 2007), and outlines the online recruitment procedure for job applications seeking to apply for jobs through online methods, as opposed to traditional methods (Figure 1).

d.Online Recruitment Success Factors

The following factors define the necessary steps that need to be taken for organizations seeking to recruit quality candidates. They determine how an online recruitment campaign can be effective.

i.Web Appearance

An organization’s career website is described by Birgelen et al (2008) as “an important precursor to organizational attraction”. First impressions formed on interaction with career websites have the potential to shape an individual’s attitude towards the organization, and their choice to apply for a job vacancy (Zusman and Landis, 2002).

Cober et al (2004) found that a prospective employee’s decision to apply for a job position is influenced indirectly by their overall view regarding the ease of use, view and information relevancy of the corporate careers website. Searle (2004) also asserts that the website bandwidth speed, its user friendliness and ease of use, have an impact on applicants’ perception, especially those who have limited Internet experience. A survey carried out by Williams (2008) also found that 50% of employees who partook stated that they believed that improving their corporate websites and using job boards were successful ways of increasing the number of job applications and diversity within organizations. Parry and Tyson (2008) therefore concludes based on interview data, that functionalities of corporate websites could be improved in such a way that limitations are surmounted and the Internet becomes a more successful medium for attracting candidates across all industry sectors and demographics.

However, several theorists have refuted the sole importance of corporate websites as a key determinant of the number of job applications received. Birgelen et al (2008) argues that the potential of a corporate website to attract employees seeking job positions is facilitated by the employee’s attraction to the company, and not necessarily by appearance of its website. The reputation, brand and attractiveness of the organization are the main factors that mediate web appearance and job applications. Parry and Tyson (2008) also state that perceived success of corporate websites was related mainly to the size of the organization.

Though the promoting argument does seem valid, it would be safe to conclude the benefits of web appearance as a recruitment attractant are only evident in large organizations that already have a wide known brand and reputation. Smaller companies are at a severe disadvantage with regards to using web appearance as a main success factor when promoting online recruitment

ii.Advertisement and Information availability

Barber (1998) identified that job applicants usually go through two stages when pursuing prospective companies to apply to:

Broad search to identify as many recruiting organizations as possible,
Sorting, selection and research on a short list of potential employers where applications would be made.

The need to drive traffic to a corporate website using effective external advertisement such as job boards, search engine adverts and newspaper clips is therefore essential in communicating a company’s suitable as an organization of choice (Parry and Tyson, 2008). If a company were not readily available through such advertisement portals, it would be highly unlikely that a job applicant would consider sending in applications to such companies (Birgelen et al, 2008). The web therefore plays a huge role in the gathering research on potential employers, and Rozelle and Landis (2002) states that it is perceived as more realistic than other sources for company information. It enables students to make informed decisions about which companies to apply to and how to write their applications (Searle, 2004).

The provision of accurate corporate information, through the most appropriate online medium is advised by Birgelen et al (2008) as an effective way of attracting new employees. Williamson et al (2003) also illustrated that differences in the ways in which recruitment websites orient themselves with regards to availability of information online, influences perception of organizational attractiveness. He further asserts that application decisions and their attraction to organizations are as a result of the amount and quality of information they are able to gather about potential employers, as well as their perception about the organization.

iii.Corporate brand

The brand of an organization is very crucial in attracting the right kind of employee (Wilson, 2008). Potential job employees are usually attracted to a more developed corporate brand, as they believe that an established brand would constitute a more stable and growing organization (Crispin and Mehler, 2006). Big brands also offer better opportunities for job seekers, as opposed to smaller companies (Younger, 2007), which is probably why they have been successful at online recruitment.

Wilson (2008) also asserts that on-going corporate processes that positively impact on the company’s reputation should be communicated in such a way that it has a positive impact on people’s intentions to seek a career in the company. Williamson et al (2003) also states that companies unable to leverage existing brands, or do not possess the relevant reputable brand, usually face recruitment problems, especially in highly competitive sectors. The methods in which brands are being delivered and represented are very crucial in attracting talent globally. Wilson (2008) asserts that a global brand could be leveraged in attracting talent resources in several parts of the world. Inversely, Othman and Musa (2006) also theorises that online recruitment can increase the image of an organization, especially with regards to dedicated recruitment websites. It imposes an image of innovation and flexibility on the organization (Fister, 1999)

However, job applications derived through an effective use of corporate branding, recruitment website and online information do not necessarily impact on the quality of candidates received, just the quantity (Fister, 1999). A study carried out by Williams (2008), illustrated that a majority of companies still believe that the use of employment agencies is still one of the best ways to improve quality of job applicants received. Miller and Weckert (2000) also found that some undergraduates applying for jobs had privacy concerns and were unwillingness to submit personal details.

e. Impact and Effectiveness of online recruitment

i.Better quality candidates

Candidates usually attracted and recruited off the Internet are usually young, educated, computer literate, and have some understanding of the processes and functions of the recruiting company (Ganalaki, 2002). Othman and Musa (2006) also assert that the Internet helps attract better quality candidates as Internet users tend to be more educated and computer literature than non-users.

Younger (2007) states that the evolution of technology in online recruitment has allowed employers to extend their search to the broad network so as to attract potential candidates. This search extension has allowed organizations to broaden the geographic and demographic scope of their search, helping them attract high quality candidates from a variety of sources (Searle, 2004). Elgin and Clapham (2000) also conforms to this by illustrating that the use of online recruitment has demolished predominant geographical, cultural or time constraints that had once narrowed job applications from prospective candidates.

Online recruitment technology also allows companies to filter, deter and weed out unsuitable candidates through the administration of organizational fit tests and application screening, whilst still maintaining a positive view of the firm (Searle, 2004). Thus by extending recruitment advertisement over the web in order to attract the broadest selection of applicants possible, and then removing unsuitable candidates through the use of filters, online recruitment helps the company attract the best quality candidates from the broadest net possible.

Parry (2009) thereby concludes that these benefits are well suited to today’s workplace where diversity is appreciated and proclaimed as a source of competitive advantage, especially in global companies.

ii.Improved platform for information sharing

Another main advantage of online recruitment, as depicted by Birgelen et al (2008) is the nearly infinite space for companies to communicate information about themselves, opportunities and benefits offered to prospective candidates. Websites are a very effective platform for portraying an organization’s achievements. They can also provide information regarding current and future vacancies (Searle, 2004)

Information can also be customised to suit potential new employees, if there preference has already been known. Lin and Stasinskaya (2002) discuss other advantages such as improved accuracy and verifiability of information gathered through Internet sources. Cober et al (2004) also depicted that ease of use and interactivity of corporate websites, and the information contained in those portals, are powerful factors that make online recruitment far better than traditional methods.

Highhouse et al (2004) confirms these arguments by stating that the web provides interactive possibilities for organizations to present candidates with realistic job previews, as this could create positive reactions towards the organization. Information shared through these portals also more valuable in the longer term, as they convey the organization’s value and help shape the psychological contracts of new employees (Searle, 2004)

iii.Efficiency

Rozell and Landis (2002) suggest that recruitment through online channels offers the organization a quick and efficient method of identifying and classifying a virtually unlimited number of job applicants. Younger (2007) also states that the most immediate benefit of online recruitment, as opposed traditional recruitment processes, is the greatly improved degree of recruitment process management being offered. He further explains that every phase of the recruitment process is facilitated by a more streamlined online system. Previous daunting tasks such as coding, sorting, filing and routing application materials are now processed automatically with the use of technology. Parry (2009) confirms these attestations and also adds that the average recruitment cycle is now about a third of what it was before the emergence of Internet recruitment, and that online recruitment offers quick, effective and cost efficient means of accessing potentially suitable workers. It also encourages quicker response and reduces turnaround and communication procedures.

iv.Cost Effectiveness

This improved operational efficiency associated with online recruitment also contributes significantly to its cost effectiveness. Younger (2007) explains that the costs associated with developing and implementing complete corporate recruitment platforms is mostly inconsiderable and often a small fraction of traditional recruitment costs. This is because publishing a company’s vacancies through their own corporate website, and also advertising through job boards, costs so much less than traditional approaches such as the newspaper (Othman and Musa, 2006). This arguments are supported by a CIPD (2009) survey in which 71% of employers claim to adopt online recruitment as a method of reducing recruitments costs, while 60% use it to broaden the candidate pool and 47% use it to reduce recruitment cycles.

The cost savings inherent in online recruitment, are reported to be as high as 90% of traditional recruitment costs (Othman and Musa, 2006) and these cost savings can be achieved in the following areas:

Reduced direct costs associated with newspaper adverts
Abolishment or reduction in job fairs and head-hunter fees
Reducing costs associated with mailing letters to prospective candidates
Reduced workload and overtime required for the HR department.

It also results in time saving and can help achieve faster recruitment cycles (Othman and Musa, 2006). Searle (2004) also reports that the early deterrence of unsuitable applicants represent a significant cost saving, as companies would not need to accommodate or interview candidates who may eventually not pass traditional paper based psychometric tests. Now that these can be done online, only suitable candidates are invited for interviews and catered for.

v.Lack of Boundaries

A study by Parry and Tyson (2008) reports that organizations with a strong brand and geographical presence are better able to attract more applicants through their corporate websites. Also, Ganalaki (2002) states that corporate websites are very good tools for reaching global targets as the Internet does not necessarily have any boundaries.

Though the effectiveness of online recruitment has been widely acclaimed as a crusher to traditional recruitment, it is still unclear as to whether online recruitment can totally wipe out traditional recruitment methods (Rozell and Landis, 2002). Parry and Tyson (2008) report that some organizations are still not willing to fully accept online recruitment, while some are not prepared to discard more traditional methods such as print media and employment agencies. There is also a large portion of UK businesses, especially small and medium scale businesses, who are still yet to adopt online recruitment in any capacity, while there are those who still use a larger portion of traditional recruitment methods (Parry and Wilson, 2009). The following subchapter therefore critically analyses the cons associated with online recruitment, based on existing theories.

f. Limitations of online recruitment

i.Candidates without Internet access

In as much as there are widely acclaimed efficiencies and cost effectiveness that have been attained through the use of online recruitment, several theorists also attest to the fact that it does bring out a few shortfalls. One such shortfall, as demonstrated by Van Rooy et al (2003) is the exclusion of candidates without Internet access, who are now therefore at a competitive disadvantage to their counterparts. This seclusion is also said to have a discriminating impact on certain ethnic or demographic minorities and people who lack access to computers, or do not have the skills necessary to use the Internet (Parry, 2009). Therefore Othman and Musa (2006) assert that organizations need to remember that although the Internet does seem to increase the geographic scope, it reaches still remains limited to a demographic scope.

ii.Candidate filtering

The limitation of online recruitment to particular demographics have also been raised by Younger (2007), who acclaims that the Internet seems to attract a different demographic to those usually recruited using traditional means. Zusman and Landis (2002) further asserts that this limited pool seems to be ‘younger white males, more highly educated, more frequent job changers an already in employment within the sector’. Widespread access to the organization by the general population, and the workforce diversity could therefore be affected (Searle, 2004).

These drawbacks as envisaged by Van Rooy et al (2002) make it difficult for organizations to achieve diversity goals and could pose a potential legal threat. Predominant use of online recruitment could also result in discrimination issues (Flynn, 2000).

iii.Unsuitable Candidates

Several theorists such as Parry and Tyson (2008) have also raised questions regarding the enormous number of applications from unsuitable applicants that online recruitment permits. Younger (2007) illustrates that while some organizations and theorists may fear the growing popularity of online recruitment may exclude candidates who are used to traditional methods, others state that these recruitment methods are not exclusive enough now that anyone can submit an application with just a few clicks. Othman and Musa (2006) also argue that online-based vacancies yield high quantities of applications, but with a low quality fit.

However, Parry (2009) claims that these factors do not necessarily pose that much of a significant limitation as most organizations can manage unsuitable applications and do not necessarily result in decreased efficiency or increased costs. Younger (2007) also asserts that it is a small price to pay for the overall efficiency and cost effectiveness gains that they have realized through online recruitment. In addition, as the use of automated screening processes, such as online tests and organizational fit questionnaires, becomes predominant the negative effect associated with unsuitable applications becomes reduced to an insignificant portion (CIPD, 2009)

iv.Difficulties in recruiting experienced and executive hires

Othman and Musa (2006) also discuss the difficulties faced in recruiting and attracting executive level candidates over the Internet. Whilst some job vacancies are too important to be left in the hands of automated online systems (Parry, 2009), some other executive level applicants just prefer personal contact (Searle, 2004).

Fister (1999) asserts that online recruitment trends to be more useful when looking for junior positions and entry level graduates within organizations, as it is not suitable for recruiting top management (Othman and Musa, 2006) CIPD (2009) also affirms that many organizations still prefer to use traditional recruitment methods, such as agency, head-hunters and newspaper adverts to hire certain types of employees.

v.More effective for known companies

Several theorists (Ganalaki, 2002; Searle, 2004; Othman and Musa, 2006) have also identified another shortfall with regards to online recruitment. They proclaim that online recruitment proves more effective for companies already known, and companies that have an established brand. Establish brands are more successful at attracting applications through online recruitment methods, as they are able to leverage their competencies in such a way that potential candidates are eager to join them (Searle, 2004).

However, Galanaki (2002) argues that the reputation of a company is critical in all recruitment methods, and not just online recruitment, therefore it is not that much of a limitation to online recruitment, but to all companies without an established brand that are seeking qualified candidates.

In conclusion to these limitations, Parry and Tyson (2008) argue that the mixed success that organizations have experienced with regards to online recruitment may be the reason why it has failed to dominate and overthrow traditional recruitment methods as predicted. They also argue that labour constraints may encourage organizations to continue with traditional methods, while also using online recruitment as a supplement.

However, Younger (2007), and Parry (2009) object to limitations associated with ‘candidate filtering’ and ‘candidates without Internet access’, as Internet usage amongst the general public has skyrocketed in recent years, with Internet penetration being a widespread sensation amongst UK residents. Thus making it very likely that the right candidates will connect with their desired companies either through corporate websites or online job boards in order to find desired jobs. The use of traditional methods should however, never be completely abolished (Searle, 2004)

g.Retention and Motivation

Apart from recruitment, retaining and motivating the existing employees are also critical to organisations especially in the field of information systems. Employee retention can be defined as “the effort by an employer to keep desirable workers in order to meet business objectives” (Frank, Finnegan, & Taylor, 2006) .Turnover is usually to consider the “unplanned loss of workers” who decides to leave on their own. In the study by Hiltrop (1999), it is argued that hiring the best employees alone “does not guarantee organisational capability”. It is necessary to hire competent employees and then develop the competencies using a variety of strategies in human resources.

Lack of programmers and analysts at the right time can lead to loss of business for many software firms (Maka & Sockel, 1999). Also, management of employee turnover is critical as many IS projects suffer if the best employees are among the ones who chose to quit the company during the major phases of the project. Thus retaining employees is a significant aspect for a firm to maintain a corporate strategic advantage.

A number of studies have been conducted on the relationship between “job satisfaction and employee turnover” even though this one of the least understood relationships (Spencer, 1986). Some researchers suggest that the two major factors are the alternatives for employees and non-work related influences (March & Simon, 1958), (Price, 1977). Spencer (1986) has concluded that if an organisation provides the employee the options to voice dissatisfaction on their work, there are more chances of them staying with the organisation.

Employee motivation is another issue that is closely linked to employee retention. It is important to ensure employees work towards the goals of the organization. Three major theories are commonly used to explain this: (1) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory [36], (2) Herzberg’s Dual Factor Theory [18] and (3) Hackman Oldham’s Job Characteristic Theory [27]. These theories share the concept that the fulfilment of needs is central to motivating employees, with motivators that increase satisfaction needing to be part of the job.”

Tampoe (1993) suggested that the model for motivation is based on the proposal by Peter and Lawler which is given below.

This model suggested that different rewards led to motivated behaviour and the presence of certain instrumental factors led to performance. This performance ultimately led to rewards which satisfied the motivated employees.

Even during 1980s, Peter Drucker predicted that new management styles were necessary to manage the knowledge workers which are quite different from the styles adopted in the manufacturing industry (Tampoe, 1993).

As discussed in the previous sections, recruiting employees through internet has its advantages and disadvantages. The internet indeed is a cost-effective manner to recruit the best employees for any project. The power of the internet can be leveraged effectively to retain and motivate the best employees in an organisation. Apart from corporate sites, other third party websites are becoming significant currently. These act as mediators or “work-force-exchange” and manage the supply and demand for high-profile IT professionals (Baloh & Trkman, 2003). Also, these firms also offer additional resources for candidates such as CV writing, motivational articles etc. which can help the potential employees.

Ferratt et al. (1999) has conducted a detailed research on the methods of retaining employees in the workforce. They have compiled 35 practices of retention of which nearly half were considered quite important. In this flexible work and timing arrangements were considered to be an important factor. Internet plays a significant role in enabling the IS professionals to work from remote locations and manage their work in a flexible manner.

In a research conducted on strategies for motivating employees, 67% of the industries were of the opinion that providing the worker a freedom to plan work was significant.

Other factors have been proposed by researchers which need to be considered while retaining and motivating knowledge workers. These include providing a challenging work, relatively autonomous work culture and instilling in a sense of purpose in the employees. The “challenge of work experience” is indeed one of the most important factors in employee development. This further improves employee loyalty and commitment to the organisation (Steers, 1977). On similar lines, Hiltrop (1995) argue that tasks and activities should be designed which would give a “sense of accomplishment” to highly talented employees and thus they can improve their skills in decision making. All these steps can lead to deeper employee commitment in the firm.

Also sharing gains and using efficient communication tools are other significant factors (Horwitz, Heng, & Quazi, 2003). Development of Internet and other technology has profound implications on motivating and retaining employees. Information and communication technology has provided “a whole range of new possibilities for performing work and structuring organisations”. Access to top management did motivate employees. However, it is seen that having access to cutting-edge technology and internet was seen to motivate the knowledge workers to a great extent.

i.Teleworking

Teleworking is one of the popular ways which has revolutionised the ways in which employees work, especially in IS projects. Johnston & Nolan (2001) has defined teleworking which involves “the use of computers and telecommunications to change the accepted geography of work”. Niles (1998) opines that the concept of tele-working moves “the work to workers instead of moving the workers”.

There are three views to advantages of tele-working as summarised in the research article by Baloh & Trkman(2003) – “individual, organisational and macro-societal”. Tele-working leads to increased productivity from the employees and also decreases the absenteeism in the organisation. This is turn boosts the morale of the employees and there is lesser tendency to search for other jobs. Hence, tele-working helps in retaining employees and thus reducing employee turnover in an organisation. The fluctuation in the employees decreases by 50-80% as a result of introducing tele-working in organisations (Dash, 1999).

ii.The Virtual Organisation

The power of internet and ICT helps to bring together people with common interests for short term or long term projects. This does not involve the employee to be an actual part of the company (Horwitz, Heng, & Quazi, 2003). Information Technology allows IT allows the “firm’s boundaries to become blurred, even to the point of the much-vaunted “virtual organisation”; while its functions are increasingly desegregated into complex mixtures of Influence of Internet and Information Technology profit centres, franchises, small firms and subcontractors” (Warhurst, 1998).

Baloh & Trkman (2003) predicts that there will be an increase in the number of “portfolio people” who are not bound to any company. They offer the best skills to top clients either as individuals or through other agencies. As per Drucker (2001), an increasingly large amount of people working for the company are not full-timers, rather they are part-timers. In fact these are most “knowledgeable and valuable workers” of the organisation.

iii.Internet for Employee Development

Latest knowledge and advanced skills in technology are quite important for the success of any information system project. Employees who have access to cutting-edge technology and skills stay highly motivated. These employees have a greater tendency to stay with the organisation than those who do not have access to latest technology.

The Internet provides the firm access to latest scientific and technological innovations of other companies and research institutions (Jerman Blazic, 1996). Moreover, the employee has access to the vast database of projects, newsgroups and mailing lists. Online courses are now quite common and easily accessible to employees. These allow the employees to take online certifications which add value to the individual and the organisation as a whole (Baloh & Trkman, 2003).

Drucker (2001) argues that the internet has affected the organisation as a whole by transforming it into a “social universe”. He opines that the new age managers need to recognise this factor and take necessary steps to adapt to them accordingly.

iv.Internet in the Personnel function

The internet has had profound impact in the personnel department of organisations. This has direct impact on the practices for retaining and motivating employees. Personnel function can use the internet to monitor the “supply-side of work market”. As per Dave Ulrich (1997), HR Managers have become ‘business partners’. This is made possible by developing 4 major roles – “management of strategic resources; management of personnel policies and administration; management of employee distribution; and management of transformation and change.”

The HR managers align the HR management systems along with business strategy of the organisation business strategy. This can lead to major cost savings and thus maintain high business contributions. Thus HR managers provide value addition to the firm through “strategy execution administrative efficiency, employee commitment and cultural change.”

On the other hand some researchers like Blaoh & Trkman (2003) have argued that the prevalence of the internet could lead to a rapid revamping of the personnel function as a whole. Tasks which are wholly part of the personnel function would be performed in collaboration with external or third-party agencies. These agencies would have access to huge amount of knowledge using ICT. Also they are capable of supplying the HR managers with list of resources which are not possible by normal HR processes. Thus the internet facilitates the recruitment of the best-fit employees with the best skills. Research has proved that the employee can be retained well, if he or she is recruited for the right role which he is passionate about. The third-party agencies thus play the role of “manager-consultants” in this situation.

v.Impact on Employee-Control

The advent of ICT and internet technologies led to the fact that traditional control over employees is not possible in organisations. For example, as discussed above, the number of tele-workers is increasing in many of the organisations. It is quite difficult to exercise control over the employees who are working from home over the internet. Also controlling and micro-managing the new-generation employees will lead to de-motivation and can indirectly lead to employee turnover (Baloh & Trkman, 2003). Drucker (2001) has suggested the use of objectives and self-control as two solutions to this issue. Managing by objectives has been made effective with the use of internet and ICT. Access to state-of-the-art technology helps organisations to gather, analyse and retrieve information. The employee can collaborate over the internet with the senior management and line managers to set the objectives and this motivates them to work in a highly focussed manner. Also the manager herself “needs to control her own performance” (Drucker, 2001).

Also, the specialists in multiple geographical locations can collaborate over the internet and work on issues together. This allows large globally distributed teams to work efficiently. It is advised that the managers should monitor the end result of each goal in a project (which have been set previously) rather than a continuous monitoring. This is on the assumption that the employees are motivated intrinsically throughout the project.

vi.Knowledge Management

Managing and exploiting the knowledge in the firm is quite essential to attain competitive advantage in the industry. As per Gopal (1995), only 20% of employee is being utilised by the employees. Two major systems are intranets and corporate blogs.

vii.Intranets

The use of the intranet has wide felt impact in managing the employee knowledge. Intranets are relatively inexpensive, easy to setup and maintain in any information systems company. These provide the platform for effectively managing the information within the organisation. An important factor to consider is that of the security issue, wherein the intranet should be secured from the outside world and hackers. Lack of isolating the internal information from the outside world can lead to serious adverse impacts on the success of the organisation. Intranets provide exhaustive source of information to employees about the organisation. These systems help the employee to understand more about the organisation and also maintain their professional data. Some intranets also provide access to training platforms and opportunity to take certifications. Intranets have evolved to become the spine of any organisation. They allow a simple means of disseminating important information to all employees. Also, employees can participate in providing important feedback and recommendations regarding processes within the organisation. These help the firm to refine its business process (Baloh & Trkman, 2003). Thus, employees get the opportunity to participate in the organisation change which provides them with a sense of belonging which increases employee motivation and retention.

Apart from intranets, there are other contemporary hardware-cum-software solutions which can be used for knowledge management such as data warehouses, expert systems etc. These provide the advanced solution to share, store and transfer organisation wide information with the help of IT and internet.

viii.Employee Blogs

The recent development in employee blogging has had dramatic improvement in the employee communication. The blog has emerged as a dynamic medium for employees to express themselves to a variety of internal and external audiences (Wright & Hinson, 2006). Winer (2005) opines that the employee blogging “is nothing less than revolutionary”.

Employees are a vast source of knowledge. As mentioned earlier only 20% of actual employee knowledge is shared within the firm. Corporate blogging provides a platform for employees to share information, increase dialogue, and open-up two way channels of communication. As per a CEO survey, 59% of CEOs consider blogs to be an efficient medium for corporate communications to internal audience. Employees blog to build communities, publish their thoughts and ideas and to promote leadership thoughts.

An important aspect to consider in blogging is that of lack of control the employers have with respect to misuse of information, sharing negative information or confidential information. This leads to development of corporate blogging policies which demonstrate the “best way to balance open communication and legal protection”.

Thus even though blogging can help in voicing employee opinion and disseminating knowledge, having corporate blogging policies help maintain order and some control.

h.International employees

In a highly globalised world of today the role Human Resources becomes highly crucial. It becomes essential to develop effective International HR policies which would be aligned with the organisation’s international business strategy. Expatriate management has become a significant challenge in International HR management. International HR practices are critical to a help firms build competitive advantage by providing a differentiated set of products and services (Capelli and Crocker,1996). Mergers between firms are quite common these days and thus there is limited freedom in managing business which includes a highly culturally diverse environment with new challenges.

Expatriate recruitment of employees requires many complex considerations along with the normal requirements in domestic requirements. Gender plays a major role in international placements as women face some challenges of their own in global work scenarios (Harris, 1993). Expatriate HR management success requires constant planning, preparation and continuous support.

i. Literature Review Summary

Recruitment has been described as the practices and decisions that affect the quantity and quality of job seekers that are willing to apply to an organization.

Innovations in technology have revolutionized the way recruitment processes are handled today, and there has been a significant shift towards web-based methods of recruitment, especially for medium and large companies.

In order for online recruitment to have the predicted impact on the recruitment industry that has been envisioned, it must offer considerable advantages over traditional recruitment processes such as newspaper job advertisement. These advantages can be achieved if these companies have a thorough and effective web presence, a widely recognized brand, advertise properly and make sure there is ample amount of information present regarding the organization on the web. Online recruitment is said to produce better quality candidates, provide an improved platform for information sharing, more operational efficiency and cost effectiveness, and also provides a lack of boundaries thus making it available on a global scale.

Though the effectiveness of online recruitment does seem to outweigh traditional methods in a number of core factors, its use is being criticised as it excludes candidates without Internet access, filters candidates based on their demographic, attracts a huge number of unsuitable candidates, and is more effective for known companies and records difficulties in recruiting experienced or executive level hires. Several theorists have therefore proposed a synergy on the different ways in which online and traditional methods can be combined in order to attain effectiveness in online recruitment.

The capability to motivate and retain talent is increasingly becoming one of the core competences of top performing firms in global organisations. Improving this competence will be important in the future as “demographic, social and economic developments strengthen the connection between human talent and sustainable pro?tability”.

It will be quite difficult to find a complete supply of talented professionals in the next couple of years. The study suggests that the organisations need to arm themselves with a number of new generation strategies and practices to retain and motivate the best of professionals in their firm to gain competitive advantage in this highly globalised world.

j.Research Question

Based on the literature review, and the purpose of the study as discussed in the introduction, the following research question has been coined:

– Is online recruitment a more effective and efficient method of attracting, selecting and recruiting prospective graduate, experienced and executive hires in a large technology firmIf it were not, then what forms of recruitment practices would be most suitable to each category of applications, and if it is, then how could current practices be improved in order to attract and recruit an increased number of better-qualified candidates?


3. Methodology

a.Research Philosophy:

This study will adopt a positivist approach to interrogate the social existence of technology firms and graduates. These are independent from the researcher and thus, need to be assessed through objective methods such as reflection, sensation or intuition (Easterby-Smith, 2002). Reliable information can be established by an investigation of observed occurrences (Saunders et al, 2007). This study will not use social interpretivism philosophy, which investigates internalized emotion, because the research question looks to determine the efficiency of online recruitment at an organization. Objective methods are used to evaluate this efficiency (such as increase in candidate application and reduction in costs), thereby warranting a positivist approach.

b.Research approach

This study will assume a deductive method because of its positivist quality (Saunders et al, 2007). This is popular method demonstrates the affiliation between theory and research. Logical reasoning is then used to develop the results of this study (Bryman and Bell, 2007). The data findings would be compared against existing literature to ascertain if they concur with what has already been published in the field of online recruitment.

c.Access

Getting granted access to a suitable resource within a business is vital in attaining primary information. The investigation questions, designs and related objectives determine how suitable the source will be (Saunders et al, 2007). As the researcher is a friend of an employee within the organization, he was able to get access. I contacted a friend of mine who currently works within graduate recruitment at Google Inc., and discussed the prospects of my dissertation. She spoke to several of her colleagues on my behalf and they agreed for me to conduct telephone interviews with 4 members of the graduate recruitment team, some of which had been there for an average of 5 – 10 years (reasons expatiated further in this chapter). The organisation and participants did not oppose or object to my enquiry, nor to the questions I asked.

d.Research Strategy

I will use a case study strategy for the purpose of this investigation and for my research. If it is necessary to attain a thorough comprehension of the research perspective, the case study strategy is particularly valuable (Robson, 2002). Therefore as this study aims to understand the recruitment process within Google Inc. and also any benefits associated with online recruitment, a case study would be most effective.

As can be viewed in table 1 below, dual approaches will be employed to complete this study:

Table 1: Research Strategy

STRATEGYAIMSSAMPLETYPES OF QUESTIONSMETHODS OF ASSESMENT
1. Quantitative questionnaireCalculate graduates’ understanding of what comprises an efficient recruitment platform10 graduates who have applied to one or more organizations through their online system.Closed rating scale questions, little information.Descriptive investigation using pie, line and bar charts.
2. Qualitative semi-structuredThis was done to ascertain the advantages linked to online recruitment.4 members of the recruitment staff within Google Inc., who have been in the organization for more than 5 yearsOrdered questionnaires with broad, open questionsSubject assessment

i. Quantitative Questionnaire

To attain research data in the shape of, or articulated as, numbers, quantitative methods are primarily utilized (Easterby-Smith et al, 2008). Questionnaires issued to 10 graduates and undergraduates, used a rating scale system which asked participants to use a scale from 1 – 5 to indicate the strength of their answer for each question. Secondary information was determined by the participant’s application activity, partiality and status (the full questionnaire is outlined in the appendix).

ii.Qualitative Semi Structured Interviews

Four members of the recruitment team were permitted to perform 20 minute telephone interviews because of the access granted within the organisation. These telephone interviews were semi-structured as they relied upon a series of pre-determined questions. These qualitative interviews look to determine data via informal talks (Collis and Hussey, 2003). The semi-structured system is preferred because unstructured modes are felt to generate insignificant data, whilst structured systems overlook unanticipated results. Thus, the more specific nature of the semi-structured system, as well as its potential for probing answers, was better suited to the study’s aims and objective. Questioning a participant’s answer was shown to be helpful in situations where further description was needed. The questions used in the study were based on a series of themes that came from the literature review. Because of the adaptation of online recruitment recently, the semi structured interviews was targeted at members of the team who had witnessed or orchestrated the shift towards online recruitment, that way these respondents would be better able to answer questions that relate to the comparison of both methods.

Also, members of the online recruitment team being interviewed had different positions within recruitment and handled separate tasks. The questionnaires were given to them beforehand, when the approval was first sought, and each respondent chose the questions that they were more qualified to respond to. Therefore the research was such that all respondents answered some questions, while some others were answered by a particular individual because of their knowledge of that process. Table 2 outlines the respondent details and their interview theme.

Table 2: Interview Respondents and Questions asked

RespondentFictionalNameRoleYears in Google Inc.Subjects Covered
R1AliceGraduate Events Manager2Effectiveness, Disadvantages
R2MarthaApplication Review7Background, Adoption, Effectiveness, Disadvantages
R3NickFinance and Budgeting9Adoption, Effectiveness, Efficiency
R4ChloeMedia Advertisement3Effectiveness, Advertisement

Participants were asked for consent before being interviewed and were told that their names would be withheld to prevent the results of the interview being distributed. Fictional names have therefore been used.

e. Data Collection

i.Sampling Method

For the purpose of this study, results would have been more accurate if all the recruitment staff within the organization had been subjected to the interview. Unfortunately, because of the time and resource restraints, non-probability sample was assumed: in this sample the likelihood of each case is chosen from an unknown total population (Oppenheim, 2000). These samples are commonly deployed when using case studies strategy.

Unfortunately, the samples taken from the technology firms and graduates are too small to represent the larger populations; the small sample of graduates used in this study cannot reflect the probability sample of those within London or the United Kingdom, and the Google Inc. participants are not high enough to represent the entire recruitment department. Consequently, the study specialised in quantitative certainties: of the understanding of recruitment within Google Inc., and what graduates perceived of Internet employment.

ii.Primary Data Collection

Easterby-Smith et al (2008) argues that primary and secondary data can be gathered using quantitative methods. Whilst there are advantages and disadvantages to each of these methods, the assimilation of independent data provides reassurance that the data suits the research objectives, and also offers a greater influence over the organization of the sample.

Thus, the researcher attained primary data by distributing-in-person questionnaires to 20 graduates. This distribution was done amongst friends and colleagues within the university who have utilized online recruitment systems. A tape recorder was used so that the data from the semi-structured interview and from the conversations with the Google Inc. employees could be recorded and transcribed. The ability to record and re-listen to interviews was particularly useful because it permitted the researcher to locate patterns in words and emotions in the various responses.

f. Analysis of Research Findings

i.Quantitative Data

Whilst the information remains unprocessed, results do not convey significant information (Saunders et al, 2007). Universities investigate the regularity of the variables, one at a time, including ordinal and nominal (Oppenheim, 2005). But due to the few graduate participants and the study of the organization perspective, it was not possible for a bivariate assessment. Microsoft Excel was used to analyse the results, and graphs were used to compare the results against the qualitative study.

ii.Qualitative Data

In studies whose investigation has relied upon the literature review, it has been shown that the theories used can be deployed to assess the results (Yin, 2002). Therefore, such studies could use a deductive approach for data analysis.

The deductive approach was applied to this study and used to investigate the qualitative data; with the results being assessed in accordance to the literature review themes. Where responses varied on a particular question, all participants’ answers were documented and considered for analysis. Please see the appendix for more information.

The pattern matching process can be used in deductive assessment and involves calculating a model of results based on theoretical propositions (Saunders et al, 2007). When this is analysed by data analysis processes, it highlights the existence of analytical structures. Through the trialling of adequacies of the structure, the process can be used to explain the results (Saunders et al, 2007). If a predicted pattern is located, it would imply that the results have an explanation.

g.Ethics

Numerous ethical issues have risen out of this study. Ethics refers to an individual’s treatment as subject of a research project. Situations that arose are listed below alongside the steps that were taken to resolve them:

– The organisation may be guarded about its online recruitment. For example, the quantity of graduates and marketing techniques to attract graduates, which it may not like its competitors to know about.

– Employees participating in semi-structured systems did not want to disclose an individual expression of the firm’s recruitment system, or the quality of graduates received through their channels, in case their response does not really conform to the brand and reputation that the organization is trying to build (for instance, the firm may pose as an equal opportunity organization that employs people from diverse backgrounds, whereas they mostly only recruit students from top Oxbridge universities with a certain background). Information such as this could pose difficulties if the firm eventually decides to broaden its pool of candidates and employ people from varying backgrounds.

To resolve these issues the questionnaire and interviews relied on a structure that looked to negate causing offence, harm, or to provoke the participants. The questions would be non-intrusive; for example the participants would not be asked to disclose their names, age or position in the organization; the demographics of the recruitment data would not be recorded.

With the graduate questionnaires, some candidates may think that answering these questions and including personal details may impede or even benefit them when applying to said organizations. Therefore the questionnaires would be designed to explicitly outline that it is an academic research document, and therefore does not constitute an organization study.

h.Limitations

– The major limitation of this research would be gaining access to graduates who have gone through online recruitment systems and applied specifically to Google Inc. Graduates that have applied to the firm are diverse both in culture and geography. Therefore this study would be limited in not being able to survey a probability sample of graduates who have either used online recruitment or specifically applied to Google Inc. in the past.

– The willingness and capacity of staff to answer questions with relation to graduate recruitment is also impeded. Some staff may not be willing to discuss sensitive issues such as their views; some may be unwilling to discuss online recruitment in any capacity to an external researcher such as myself, while some may not have the relevant experience necessary to answer most of the questions posed in this study. Therefore the list of participants has been limited to 4, which in no way represents a probability sample of the recruitment workforce within the organization.

– There is also a secondary limitation with regards to the experience of those staffs who participated in the interviews. The ideal participants would typically have been working in recruitment for over 10 years, and would have witnessed and participated in the transition from traditional to online recruitment within the organization. However, only two of the participants answering this questionnaire are ‘ideal candidates’, the other 2 have been working within recruitment over the past 2 – 3 years and were in no capacity to discuss the transition between traditional and online recruitment. However, their views were still helpful and contributed significantly to the findings of this study.

– This study did not incorporate recent events such as the merger between Google Inc. and Like.com. However, including this information would have extended the limits of the study, beyond the word count and capacity currently accepted.


4. Results

The results chapter has adopted a deductive analytical approach, therefore the findings of this study would be collated according to the research questions asked and theories read. The transcript from the semi-structured interviews and data from questionnaires are shown in appendix.

The results are categorized according to the section under study and also according to the perception of recipients towards particular questions. All questions asked are also shown in appendix.

a.Graduate Questionnaire

Figure 3: Answers to Graduate Questionnaire (Q1 – Q5)

The responses to the graduate questionnaire are outlined in figures 3 – 5. Information illustrated in figure 3 illustrates that the 15 graduate applicants surveyed believe that the Corporate Brand is one of the major determinants of their choice to apply to an organization. The second most important factors are the organization’s online web presence and their utilisation of online job boards (figure 4). All three top factors that mode figures of 5 (Corporate Brand and Job Boards) and 4 (Online Web Presence). Respondents who answered to Graduate events had an average rating of 3.47; however the majority of them chose a rating of 5. The lowest rating however, as illustrated in figure 4, is the graduate’s perceived fit with the organisation. The average rating was 2.33, with most of the respondents choosing the lowest rating of 1.

Figure 4: Answers to Graduate Questionnaire (Q6 – Q10)

Figure 5 below illustrates graduates’ job application preference. A majority of them (40%) chose the Internet as the preferred mode of job application, while 26.67% of them chose to apply through agencies. A minority of applications (6.67%) chose to apply through Newspaper Ads and Word of Mouth from friends and colleagues.

Figure 5: Graduate application preference

b.Semi-Structured Interviews

i. Internet Recruitment Background

The organization started utilizing online recruitment system fully in 2003. Prior to its adoption, online recruitment had primarily been through traditional means such as word of mouth and executive search agencies

Temporary roles were filled through agencies. Executive hires were recruited through executive search agencies.

ii. Adoption

The major drive towards online recruitment has been the need to increase efficiency. Nick believes ‘the availability of technology makes everything easier’ and Martha states Google’s major reason for adopting online recruitment. The respondent also believes that they can recruit a better diversity and quality of candidates using online processes.

Graduate recruitment has received the highest priority (5) with respect to the use of online recruitment, as opposed to a mid-level priority for experienced hires (3) and for Executive hires, Martha states that it is given ‘Lowest priority, but not abolished totally. Let’s say 2.’

iii.Effectiveness

Figure 6: Estimate of employees hired through each recruitment channel

According to estimates gotten from Nick, the company hires a higher portion of its graduates (92 – 95%) from online recruitment systems as opposed to traditional recruitment that account for about 5 – 8%. Recruitment for experienced hires is somewhat evenly split between online recruitment and agency hire and other traditional recruitment methods. Executive hires however are hired less often (0 – 10%) from online recruitment channels, than from agencies and executive search agents.

According to Martha, graduates receive a higher priority because the company believes they are ‘better users and more frequent on the Internet. We receive a higher traffic from graduate applicants than any other job applicant category; it is therefore logical that we choose to adopt a majority Internet based approach to their recruitment.’

Alice also asserts that the company ‘believes it is a better approach to their recruitment since a majority of their application process – such as the online tests can be conducted online.

The company also set up a specific graduate website because of online job boards that directs graduates to the online recruitment site. Previous research conducted by the organization also illustrates that they believe graduates are more likely to look for companies to apply to through online websites. A smaller portion of experienced hires is through online recruitment, but better quality candidates are derived through agencies, thereby prompting the smaller priority.

Rating of 4 – 5 given to job boards in their effectiveness in attracting and generating traffic and applications for the company’s recruitment website. High traffic job boards are expensive to advertise in, but effective in directing traffic. They contain detailed information about job positions open at recruiting companies.

According to Chloe, Job boards represent the following benefits:

– Effective in directing traffic to recruitment website

– Applicants are able to get some details about the vacancies on offer

– Much cheaper than newspaper adverts

– Most effective way in reaching a large number of graduates

Other forms of advertisement include

– Career websites of universities

– Host a number of open events and evenings at university locations and London head office

– Attend career fairs organized by external parties

iv.Effectiveness of advertisement methods

Vacancies on career sections in university websites help in attracting students from particular targeted institutions.

Open events and evenings is to ‘give aspiring applicants much more information regarding the organization, and information that could assist during their applications’

Open evenings at London office help in reaching out to aspiring applications who are graduates but not in university anymore.

‘Career fairs are used to raise awareness and also discuss career prospects with prospective students and graduates.’ – Chloe

v.Traditional recruitment for graduates

‘… All our graduates are recruited primarily through our graduate channels. We do not accept agency referrals for graduate admissions because of the number of tests that would be conducted.’ – Martha


vi.Effectiveness of traditional methods in meeting recruitment agenda

Figure 7: Effectiveness of Traditional Channels

According to information represented in Figure 7, traditional channels are most effective for Temporary, Experienced and Executive Hires, and not so for graduates who received the lowest rating. Temporary hires are mostly recruited through Agencies, while Google Inc. exercises all channels in recruiting experienced hires. Executive hires however are recruited more through executive channels than through agencies or word of mouth.

vii.Quantity or Quality Candidates

Alice: ‘From my personal point of view, I think we get a mix of both. We receive applications from people who are not just qualified for the job, while we also receive applications from qualified candidates. So yes, I believe it is a mix.’

Martha: ‘: I believe we receive more of quantity and a reasonable number of quality candidates. If we did not receive quality, then our recruitment efforts would be futile.’ Respondent asserts that it’s the advertisement and awareness programs are the main determinant of quality.

Nick: ‘Uhm, We receive more quantity than quality to be honest’. Number of applications from quality candidates received is usually not enough to fill all available vacancies.

Chloe: Believes they receive more quantity than quality. ‘But that’s acceptable considering the nature of online recruitment and how open it is’. The available recruitment steps however help shortlist candidates up to a certain number.

viii.Efficiency

Overhead cost

Most recruitment procedures are now handled automatically, as opposed to traditional procedures that entailed hiring a number of external interviewers and taking managers out of their daily jobs. Success rate of applicants have now improved because only candidates who have passed initial online screening are invited for interviews.

Data Accuracy

‘All applicants enter their information directly into the system; therefore it is much easier for us to sort and process data effectively’ (Martha). No more problems recorded with interpreting and coding application information, except those that are made specifically by each applicant.

Printing costs

No more costs associated with printing application forms, letters or correspondence to applicants. Database handles all applicant correspondence.

Cost effectiveness

No more costs associated with printing, newspaper advertisements or extra overhead costs associated with graduate recruitment. These costs have been replaced by costs associated with online adverts, designing and maintaining websites and posting ads on job boards. These costs are much lower than those of traditional recruitment.

ix.Other efficiencies

– Reduce costs and staff in recruitment activities

– Print less paper

– Communicated much faster to applicants seeking employment

x.Possible Disadvantages

Unsuitable candidates

Applicants from inexperienced candidates are received but manageable due to online screening processes.

Ratio of applications received to jobs granted

Traditional Recruitment: 600 – 800 applications; 300 – 400 first round interviews; 60 – 80 jobs.

Online Recruitment: 3,200 – 4000 applications, 500 – 600 interviews, about 100 get the job.

Diversity and disability quotas

‘I believe we are lucky enough to achieve diversity goals most times, however whenever we do not, we outsource our recruitment to agencies for help in seeking candidates from particular backgrounds’ – Martha.

100% adoption

‘Well, like before the online recruitment era, we still receive a number of applications, but it’s the level of fit that has reduced. Therefore if we adopt a 100% approach to online recruitment, I believe we would be able to recruit a considerable percentage of candidates to meet our goals.’ – Martha

‘I think we may be shorthand when it comes to very skilled candidates who are being recruited directly by other firms. In this case, agencies and direct hires are much more effective. In general online recruitment does help satisfy a vast majority of our recruitment objectives.’ – Chloe


5. Discussion

a.The Research Question

The present study was carried out to answer the following research question: ‘Is online recruitment a more effective and efficient method of attracting, selecting and recruiting prospective graduate, experienced and executive hires into a large technology firmsIf it were not, then what forms of recruitment practices would be most suitable to each category of applications, and if it is, then how could current practices be improved in order to attract and recruit an increased number of better-qualified candidates?’

This was done so as to ascertain the benefits attributable to online recruitment, as opposed to traditional recruitment when it came to these different forms of employees. The initial assumption based on existing literature was that online recruitment increased the quantity of graduates that the organization received, and also helped reduce costs. But did it improve the quality of candidates received, result in a ton of unsuitable candidates and also exclude disabled and disadvantaged candidates?

Answering the research question entailed a quantitative and semi-structured questionnaire carried out on 15 students & graduates, and 4 employees at Google Inc. graduate recruitment respectively. Information gathered from all sources has been analysed in the results section, and would be discussed in the following subchapter. The research did not incorporate current events at Google Inc. such as its merger with Like.com. That would have stretched the limits of this research, and constitutes a totally different research perspective.

b.The Research Answer

Based on the research question, the research answer and ensuing discussion could be divided into the following sub-questions, and these are:

– ‘Is online recruitment a more effective and efficient method of attracting, selecting and recruiting prospective graduate, experienced and executive hires in a large technology firm?

– … If it were not, then what forms of recruitment practices would be most suitable to each category of applications?

– … And if it is, then how current practices could be improved in order to attract and recruit an increased number of better-qualified candidates?

An attempt would be made to answer the research question by answering each sub-question using results gathered during data analysis.

i. Is online recruitment more effective and efficient?

Based on information gathered from all four interview respondents, and also through online sources (Martinsons, 1997; CIPD, 2009; Parry and Tyson, 2008), it is irrefutable that technology and the Internet has changed the way recruitment processes work. Google Inc. very much believes that online recruitment is the future, and that is why they have given it a huge priority with respect to some recruitment processes. This conforms to Boyell’s (2002) description of online technology as a potential revolution in recruitment.

Based on information gathered from all four respondents, online recruitment has led to the following benefits:

– Reduced overhead costs

– Improved data accuracy

– Abolished printing costs

– Cost effectiveness

– Reduced costs and staff in recruitment activities

– Communicated much faster to applicants seeking employment.

These benefits are easily quantifiable and have been confirmed by several theorists (Searle, 2004; Younger, 2007; Lin and Stasinskaya, 2002), who attest to the benefits attributable to this revolution.

Based on the results derived in Chapter 4, the number of applicants has also increased about six fold, while those recruited have nearly doubled. Thereby confirming that online recruitment has indeed been successful in increasing the number of applicants who apply through online processes. The increase in application numbers may be as a result of the lack of boundaries that the Internet has brought about (Ganalaki, 2002), or as a result of the increase in budget for new hires. All of which are not readily quantifiable.

However what was more noticeable was the reduction in the number of interviewed candidates per job application (50% for traditional methods, and 15% for online recruitment), and success rate of each new applicant (10% for traditional recruitment, and 3.125% for online recruitment). These figures illustrate that online recruitment may indeed be truly useful when it comes to improving the efficiencies of the recruitment process, as supported by theories of several researchers (Othman and Musa, 2006; Parry and Wilson, 2008). However, none of the respondents were able to firmly support other benefits examined in the literature such as better quality candidates, and improved platform for information sharing that were proposed by Searle (2004) and Younger (2007).

Data gathered from the graduate survey illustrates that they are not highly influenced by information availability on corporate websites (mode of 4, and Mean of 3.53), when compared to other influencing factors. Thereby questioning Birgelen et al’s (2008) assertions that the infinite space for companies to communicate their information is highly beneficial for graduates. They may be important, but not as important as the influence of corporate brand, online web presence and information on job boards.

Also, when asked about the quality of candidates received through online methods, all respondents (Alice, Martha, Nick and Chloe) confirmed the fact that they received much more quantity of candidates than quality. According to Martha, the company does get much more quantity of candidates, when compared to quality, however they still receive a considerable amount of quality candidates. While Nick also asserts that they do not necessarily receive enough applications in order to fill positions. However, the ease of online application process does seem to make it a lot more manageable, due to the presence of online test. These tests help to cut down on the number of unsuitable candidates, and helps reduce the recruitment timeline for each applicant, as discussed by Chloe, and also verified by Parry and Wilson (2008).

In terms of the form of the recruitment ratios, graduate recruitment has received the highest priority, followed by experienced hires and executive hires, but is this warrantedMartha believes that graduates are better users and more frequent on the Internet, and therefore warrant a higher priority to online recruitment. Alice also supported a higher priority as tests could be conducted online. This view has been confirmed by Ganalaki (2002) and Othman and Musa (2006) who assert that candidates who are attracted and recruited off the Internet are usually young, educated, computer literate and have some understanding and functions of the recruiting company. The lower priorities given to experienced and executive recruitment illustrate the non-effectiveness of those methods in attracting the required candidates. These hires may not be so young and computer literature, and therefore not necessarily attracted to using online processes in applying for jobs, according to views expressed by Parry (2009).

As initially predicted by CIPD (2009), results gathered also point to the fact that applications from unsuitable candidates are manageable due to online screening processes, which has also reduced the number of interviewees. However the company experiences mild diversity and disability difficulties, as envisioned by Van Rooy et al (2003), thereby prompting the use of traditional recruitment methods in filling those spaces.

Therefore, based on the following discussion, online recruitment does seem efficient in terms of reducing costs and workload associated with recruitment processes; however the only effectiveness noticeable is in the quantity of graduates received. The number of graduates recruited, does seem to have increased, but it cannot be said if it is whether the recruitment budget has increased, or whether the lack of boundaries does attract much more people. Also, online recruitment does not seem suitable for experienced and executive hires based on priority information derived for those demographics.

ii.What form would be most suitable to each category of applicants?

Based on discussions in the previous sub question and views expressed by Parry (2009), it can be concluded that for graduates, online recruitment does seem to be effective in attracting a high number of applicants, but not really in that much quality. Information gathered from the respondents also point out that temporary, experienced and executive employees are better recruited through traditional recruitment methods such as word of mouth and executive search agencies, but not so much so for graduates because they received the lowest priority. The following sub chapter therefore outlines the most effective form of attracting graduates online, since they form the main basis of the organization’s online recruitment campaigns.

iii.How could current practices be improved?

Based on information gathered from the graduate survey, as outlined in figure 7, graduates received the lowest effectiveness rating when it came to traditional recruitment. This further supports the opinion that these recruitment methods are more effective for executive and experienced hires, as opposed to graduates.

Current practices in graduate recruitment, as outlined in figure 2, illustrate that graduate recruitment processes follow a specific guideline. Results outlined in figures 3 – 5, also illustrate that graduates are specifically more attracted to apply to companies if they have a more effective corporate brand, wider online presence and use job boards more effectively. The use of job boards in particular were corroborated by Chloe, one of the respondents who outlined the benefits of job boards to include directing traffic, information provision, cost effectiveness, and most effective way to reach a large array of graduates. Therefore if graduates believe job boards highly influences them, and organizations believe they are really useful, then it does illustrate that they are truly effective.

However, the other two major influencing factors to graduates such as the proper utilization of the corporate brand and online web presence have not been discussed by the organization. Chloe outlined that they utilized the career websites of target universities, and that they also hosted and attended a number of career events, but this in no way helps the organization to build its brand or online web presence amongst prospective graduates. Their actions seem to contradict Wilson’s (2008) view the brand of an organization is very crucial in attracting the right kind of employee.

The brand effect could also be one of the major reasons why the organization receives more quantity, as opposed to quality candidates. Because based on theories presented by Othman and Musa (2004), this should not be the scenario. Online recruitment should recruit and attract a wide variety of young and highly capable employees. However, the reasons could be explained by Crispin and Mehler (2006) who proposed that potential employees are usually attracted to a more developed corporate brand, as they believes that an established brand would constitute a more stable and growing organization. The graduate team within Google Inc. is therefore not capitalizing on their brand well enough in recruiting the required form of quality candidates that would be well motivated in applying for job positions.

Graduates also rated against the importance of web appearance as a better precursor of online recruitment success, thereby refuting Cober et al’s (2004) view, and confirming that of Birgelen et al (2008), in which he argued that the potential of a corporate website to attract employees seeking job positions, is facilitated by the employee’s attraction to the company, and not necessarily by appearance to its website. However it still does carry some weight, illustrating that it may be important to some extent.

The least important influence (perceived fit within the organisation) is quite interesting as one would typically believe that employees applying to organizations would perceive themselves as a cultural fit to the organization. However, this is not the case, as a vast majority of respondents chose that perceived fit with the organisation is their least influencing factor when it came to applying for jobs, thereby reflecting the reasons why these organisations have more quantity – probably because applicants are more bothered about getting a job, than in selecting an organization where they would make a better fit.

Graduate events also showed some distorted data, as most respondents chose a rating of 5, and the overall mean was 3.47. Thereby illustrating that though some may have thought it was very influential, some others did not believes so. Those that went to graduate events probably chose a 5, while those who did not, would have chosen 1 or 2, not understanding the importance of such events. Thereby illustrating that these events could be useful, if they were more widespread and more graduates visited.

In figure 5, 40% of graduates respectively reported a higher preference to apply for jobs through Internet, confirming Searle’s (2004) view that online recruitment should not be totally abolished. A new application preference (Employee Referral), which had not been previously thought about, but just included in the graduate questionnaire, is also a good source of graduate application preference. Besides, Parry and Tyson (2008) have already argued that the mixed success that organizations have experienced with regards to online recruitment may be the reason why it has failed to dominate and overthrow traditional recruitment methods as predicted.

Therefore based on the following arguments, the best way to improve the attractiveness of Google Inc.’s recruitment campaign would be outlined and discussed in the Recommendations chapter that ensues.

c.Discussion Summary

In summary, graduates receive the most priority for online recruitment, followed by experienced and executive hires. The high priority given to graduates is as a result of the demographical characteristics constituting the group, and also as a result of the size of applicants and ease of application process. According to the respondents within the organization, job boards are the most effective method of attracting graduates. A view that is seconded by graduates who believe that job boards have the most influence of their choice of an organization to apply to. The graduates also identified the influence of corporate brand, and online web presence, which were not identified by the recruitment team. Most graduates would prefer to apply for jobs through the Internet, agencies and Employee Referral.

Several theorists support the importance of corporate brand in attracting the right quality, and online web presence in improving the quantity of applicants. Branding and advertisement should therefore be the basis of attracting fresh new qualified graduates that are able to lead the organization from where it is, to where it needs to be.


6. Recommendations

a.Google Inc. Graduate Recruitment

Based on the discovery of the means of attracting fresh graduates, it is therefore in Google Inc.’s best interest to incorporate several other factors in its online recruitment approach so as to improve the quality of candidates received and make recruitment processes much more effective.

A new branding campaign should be embarked which should properly promote the brand that Google Inc. stands for. The particular emphasis should be on appealing to a broad range of desired job seekers, such that they seek to inquire more about the company’s current operations and vacancies.

A proper integration of the online recruitment system with popular job boards is recommended, such that they are better able to refer prospective candidates to the firm’s website. The graduate recruitment team should also endeavour to provide more information and engage in additional advertisement especially through these job boards, such that they are hard to miss by prospective candidates.

A wider internet presence should also be maintained with respect to graduate recruitment, so that graduates can find relevant information about the organization in search engines, career websites, and students’ forums. The recruitment team could also endeavour to provide more graduates with useful tips which students could use while applying through the graduate recruitment websites.

Steps should be taken by the firm to increase its awareness by attending more recruitment fairs, and also organizing more events such that prospective applicants can talk to members of recruitment team in order to get more information about the recruitment process of the firm, and also the steps they could take to improve their application. Such information should be available so as to reduce the number of unsuitable applications received from applicants who could have otherwise made better applications, if only they had access to more information.

Finally, Agency and Employee referral should be incorporated more readily into recruitment processes, such that agencies could be tasked to refer disadvantaged candidates to the recruitment process, and also put them through necessary steps, whilst employees would be tasked to refer friends or former school colleagues who they feel would make excellent candidates for posts within the organization. Incentives could be handed out so as to improve the effectiveness of these processes.

b.Literature Research

– Another major limitation and shortcoming of this research is that it failed to identify the major influencing factors on experienced and executive hires in seeking job employment. Therefore research should be carried out on the factors that influence their choice of applying to an organization, and also the factors that influence their usage of online recruitment platforms.

– Research should be conducted on the quantifiable figure by which online recruitment has contributed in improving the quality of candidates applying. Most research studies point out that it does improve the quantity of candidates, however none of these studies highlight the distinction between the quantity and quality increase.

– The proliferation of online recruitment in particular industries could also be studied so as to find out if some companies are more effective in utilising their recruitment websites, than others, and what are their main success factors, when compared to others.


7. References

Baloh, P., & Trkman, P. (2003). Influence of Internet and Information Technology on Work and Human Resource Management . Informing Science, 497-506.

Barber, A.E. (1998), Recruiting Employees, Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, 345pp

Birgelen, M. J., Wetzels, M. G., and van Dolen, W. M. (2008) Effectiveness of corporate employment web sites: How content and form influence intents to apply, International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 29 (8), pp731751

Boydell, M. (2002), Internet recruitment helps HR careers, Canadian HR Reporter, Vol. 11 No.20, pp.5.

Breaugh, J.A., Starke, M. (2000), Research on employee recruitment: so many studies, so many remaining questions, Journal of Management, Vol. 26 (3), pp.405-34.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2007) Business Research Methods, 2nd Ed, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 786pp

Capelli, P., & Crocker, H. (1996). Distinctive human resources are firms’ core competencies. Organisational Dynamics , 7-22.

CIPD (2009) E-recruitment, www.cipd.co.uk, (accessed 12/12/10)

Cober, R., Brown, D. (2006), Direct Employers Association Recruiting Trends Survey, Booz Allen Hamilton, Washington, DC

Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2003) Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students, 2nd Ed, Palgrave McMillan: NY, 374pp

Crispin, G., Mehler, M. (2006), Career X Roads 6th Annual 2006 Sources of Hire Study, www.careerxroads.com, (accessed: 12/12/10)

Dash, J. (1999, October 18). Telecommuting Continues to Rise. Computerworld .

Drucker, P. (2001). The Essential Drucker. New York: Harper Business.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., and Lowe, A. (2008) Management Research: An Introduction, 2nd Ed, Sage: London, 194pp

Elgin, P.D., Clapham, M.M. (2000), Attributes associated with electronic versus paper resumes, paper presented at the 15th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and OrganizationalPsychology, New Orleans, LA.

Ferratt, T. W., Agarwal, R., Moore, J. E., & Brown, C. V. (1999). Observations from “The Front”: IT Executives on Practices to Recruit and Retain Information Technology Professionals. ACM , 102-111.

Fister, S (1999), Online recruiting; good, fast and cheap?, Training, Vol. 36(5), pp.26-8.

Ford, J. R., Bryman, A., Beardsworth, A. D., Bresnen, M., Keil, E. T., and Jenkins, R. (1986) Changing Patterns of Labour Recruitment,Personnel Review, Vol. 15 (4), pp14-18

Frank, F. D., Finnegan, R. P., & Taylor, C. (2006). The Race for Talent: Retaining and Engaging Workers in the 21st Century. Human Resource Planning , 12-25.

Galanaki, E. (2002), The decision to recruit online: a descriptive study, Career Development International, Vol. 7 (4), pp.243-51.

Gopal, C. (1195, June 19). Knowledge Information, Learning and IS Manager. Computerworld .

Guardian (2009) UK ad spend will fall further 16%., (accessed: 12/12/10), www.guardian.co.uk

Harris, H. (1993). Women in international management: opportunity or threatWomen in Management Review , 9-14.

Harris, M.M., De War, K. (2001), “Understanding and using web-based recruiting and screening tools: key criteria, current trends, and future directions”, workshop presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, San Diego, CA.

Harris, M.M., Van Hoye, G., Lievens, F. (2003), “Privacy and attitudes towards internet-based selection systems: a cross-culturalcomparison”, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 11(2/3), pp.230-236.

Highhouse, S., Hoffman, J.R. (2001), Organisational attraction and job choice”, in Cooper, C.L., Robertson, I.T. (Eds), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 16 pp.37-64

Highhouse, S., Stanton, J.M., Reeve, C.L. (2004), Examining reactions to employer information using a simulated web-based job fair, Journal of Career Assessment, Vol. 12 pp.85-96

Hiltrop, J.-M. (1999). The Quest for the Best:Human Resource Practices to Attract and Retain Talent. European Management Journal , 422-430.

Horwitz, F. M., Heng, C., & Quazi, H. A. (2003). Finders, keepersAttracting, motivating and retaining knowledge workers. Human Resource Mangement Journal , 23-44.

Human Resources leader (2006) HR under pressure on recruitment, www.humanresourcesmagazine.com.au, accessed: 12/12/10

Jerman Blazic, B. (1996). Internet. Novi Forum .

Johnston, P. &. (2000). eWork 2000. Status Report on New Ways to Work in the Information Society. Retrieved December 12, 2010, from eWork 2000: http://www.eto.org.uk/twork/tw00/pdf/tw2000.pdf

Jones, J.W., Brasher, E.E., Huff, J.W. (2002) Innovations in integrity-based personnel selection: building a technology-friendly assessment”, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 10 No.1-2, pp.87-97.

Lindstrom, J. M. (1997). On the classification of telework. European Journal of Information Systems , 243-255.

Maka, B., & Sockel, H. (1999). A confirmatory factor analysis of IS employee motivaton and retention. Information & Management , 265-276.

March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Martinsons, M. (1994) Benchmarking human resource information systems in Canada and Hong Kong, Information and Management, Vol. 26: 305 16

Nilles, J. (1998). Managing Telework: Strategies for managing the virtual workforce. John Wiley & Sons. .

Oppenheim, A. N. (2000) Questionnaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement, Continuum: London, 303pp

Othman, R. M., and Musa, N. (2006) E- Recruitment Practice: Pros VS. Cons, Public Sector ICT Management Review, Vol. 1 (1) pp35 – 65

Parry, E. (2009) Factors influencing the adoption of online recruitment, Personnel Review, Vol. 38 (6) 19p

Parry, E., and Tyson, S. (2008) An analysis of the use and success of online recruitment methods in the UK, Human Resource ManagementJournal, Vol. 18 (3), pp257-274

Parry, E., Tyson, S., Selbie, D., and Leighton, R. (2007) HR and Technology: Impact and Advantages, CIPD Research Paper, www.cipd.co.uk

Parry, E. and Wilson, H. (2009) Factors influencing the adoption of online recruitment, Personnel Review, Vol. 38 (6), pp655-673

Price, J. L. (1977). The study of turnover. Ames: Iowa State University Press.

Riley, J. (2007) Virtual worlds are 2008’s ‘breakthrough technology’. Computer Weekly, 00104787, (accessed: 12/12/10)

Robson, C. (2002) Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, 2nd Ed, Wiley-Blackwell: NY, 599pp

Rozelle, A.L., Landis, R.S. (2002), “An examination of the relationship between use of the internet as a recruitment source and studentattitudes”, Computer in Human Behavior, Vol. 18 pp.593-604

Rynes, S.L. (1991), Recruitment, job choice, and post-hire consequences: a call for new research directions, Sage: New York

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2007) Research methods for business students, Pearson Education: NJ, 624pp

Searle, R. H. (2004) New technology: the potential impact of surveillance techniques in recruitment practices, Personnel Review, Vol. 35 (3), pp336-351

Singh, P., and Finn, D. (2003) The Effects of Information Technology on Recruitment, Journal of Labor Research, Vol. 14 (3)

Snell, A. (2002), Global 500 Internet Recruiting: 2002 Survey, iLogos Research/Recruitsoft.com, San Francisco, CA,

Spencer, D. G. (1986). Employee Voice and Employee Retention. Academy of Management Journal , 488-502.

Steers, R. (1977). Antecedents and outcomes of organizational commitment. Administrative Science Quarterly , 163-189.

Tampoe, M. (1993). Motivating Knowledge Workers – The Challenge for the 1990s. Long Range Planning , 49-55.

Times Online (2005) Online is best for passing the test, www.business.timesonline.co.uk, (accessed: 12/12/10)

Ulrich, D. (1997). Human Resource Champions. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Van Rooy, D.L., Alonso, A., Fairchild, Z. (2003), In with the new, out with the old: has the internet revolution eliminated the traditional job searchprocess?, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 11(2/3), pp.170-4.

Warhurst, C. &. (1998). Hands, Hearts and Minds: Changing Work and Workers at the End of the Century. Workplaces for the Future , 1-24.

Williamson, I.O., Lepak, D.P., King, J. (2003), The effect of company recruitment web site orientation on individuals’ perceptions oforganizational attractiveness, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol. 63pp.242-63

Williams, N. (2008) Online recruitment is best money saver, Personnel Today, 09595848, 03/04/2008

Wilson, F. (2008) Meeting the challenges of global resourcing, Strategic HR Review, Vol. 7 (2), pp5-10

Winer, D. (2005). The History of Weblogs. Retrieved December 10, 2010, from http://oldweblogscomblog.scripting.com/historyofweblogs.

Wright, D. K., & Hinson, M. (2006). Weblogs and Employee Communciation: Ethical Questions for Corporate Public Relations. 9th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference. Miami.

Younger, J. (2007) Online Job Recruitment – Trends, Benefits, Outcomes and Implications, 25/09/2007, Ezinearticles.com (accessed 12/12/10)

Zusman, R.R., Landis, R. (2002), “Applicant preferences for web-based versus traditional job postings”, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 18(3), pp.285-96.

8. Appendix

a.Google Inc. Graduate Recruitment Steps

Google Inc.’s online graduate recruitment system involves four main steps. First the applicants fill an application form online, which contains their basic details, CV and cover letter. Then the applicant is invited for one telephonic interview of 40 minutes, which measures the candidate’s communication skills. If the interviewer is not satisfied then the candidate might be called for another round of telephonic interview of the same duration. After clearing the initial round of telephonic interviews, the candidate is called for 4 rounds of interviews on a single day. Each of these interviews lasts for a minimum of 45 minutes. Lots of situation based questions which tests candidates problem solving skills are asked in these interviews. Candidates need to solve these questions in real time. The main focus is given on the process followed by the candidate to arrive at the solution. If the candidate successfully clears all the rounds of interviews then he would be offered a job in couple of weeks’ time.

b.Traditional recruitment methods

Though technology may constitute an increasing proportion of recruitment method in recent years, it was never the predominant method in which employees were usually hired. Previous methods of attracting and selecting job candidates were through ‘traditional methods’, such as paper based brochures, adverts in trade journals or other print media, and recruitment fairs and talks, all of which were designed to create a positive brand for the firm (Highhouse et al, 1999; Galanaki, 2002).

These approaches were aimed at specific groups, therefore companies seeking graduates could advertise in media that specifically target this demographic, while those seeking executive level positions would advertise in national media which have a broader distribution and are normally read by the social class sought (Searie, 2004). Less direct approaches are also common such as media publicity, family open days and work previews (Zusman and Landis, 2002).

Traditional recruitment methods were the predominant (and sometimes only) way in which large, medium or small scale organizations could communicate their job vacancies to prospective employees (Van Rooy et al, 2003). However nowadays, traditional recruitment methods are usually predominant in smaller companies, and also companies seeking to fill executive level positions (Harris et al, 2003).


c.Graduate Questionnaire

Hello, my name is Aigerim, I am writing my dissertation on the effectiveness and efficiency of the online recruitment system at a leading UK technology firm, and I would really appreciate it if you could answer the following questions. This is an academic research and is in no way affiliated with any organization, except to compare graduate perception, with that of recruiting managers

Could you kindly rate the extent to which the following factors influence your choice of applying to a particular organization using their online recruitment website. (1 = no influence, 5 = very influential)

FACTORS12345
1Availability of an open job vacancy
2Website Appearance
3Online web presence through adverts, blogs or web postings
4Information availability about organization and position on the company’s website
5Corporate Branding / Prestige of the organization
6Previous knowledge of company and its operations
7Availability of information on online job boards such as Milkround
8Graduate events such as career fairs or open evening
9Word of mouth from friends, employees and fellow students.
10Ease of application, online tests, feedback and recruitment process
11Perceived fit between the applicant and organization.

Could you also provide the following information about yourselfNo personal information would be required.

Are you a graduate(YES / NO)
What year did you graduate______
Could you give a rough estimate of the number of organizations have you applied to, using online recruitment systems_____
If you were given a choice, please underline which one of the following way(s) you would prefer to apply for a job: AGENCY, NEWSPAPER ADS, WORD OF MOUTH, EMPLOYEE REFERRAL, ONLINE.
What would you change in Online Recruitment?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

d.HR Semi Structured Interview

BACKGROUND

– How long has your company been utilizing the online recruitment system in recruiting employees?

– To what extent does your company utilize online recruitment with respect to the following candidates (%)?

Graduates,
Experienced Hires
Executive hires

– Could you give a brief explanation of how recruitment for the following candidates – Graduates, Experienced Hires and Executive hires – had been prior to online recruitment?

ADOPTION

– What would you say is the motivating factor behind your organization’s drive for online recruitment?

– What priority has your organization given to the use of online recruitment in recruiting the following talent (Scale of 1 – 5; 1 = no priority, 5 = high priority)

Graduates,
Experienced Hires
Executive hires

EFFECTIVENESS

– Could you give a rough estimate of the portion of new hires that your company has recruited through online recruitment, with respect to the following roles

Graduate
Experienced Hires
Executive Hires.

If Graduate has received higher percentage as opposed to other hires

– Could you give an explanation as to why your organization adopted a full/more online recruitment approach for graduates, as opposed to the other forms of hires?

– How effective (scale 1 – 5) has online job boards such as milkround, efinancialcareers, graduatejobs – been in attracting and generating adequate traffic and applications on your recruitment website.

Could you kindly outline some of the benefits that have resulted in the adoption of these online job boards

What role do they play in the success of your online recruitment campaigns

– What other forms of advertisement has your organization utilized in promoting your online recruitment campaign.

How effective would you say these have been

– Does your company still utilize any form of traditional recruitment method in attracting and recruiting graduates?

If yes, could you kindly outline these methods
How effective (Scale 1 – 5) do you think these methods have been in meeting your recruitment agenda

– From your personal point of view as an employee, which of the following do you believe your online recruitment campaign has been more successful at achieving?

Quantity or Quality of candidates

EFFICIENCY

– To what extent has your organization achieved efficiencies with regard to the following factors, since the adoption of online recruitment?

Overhead cost
Data accuracy
Printing costs
Cost effectiveness

– Could you also discuss any other efficiency that your organization has achieved with respect to online recruitment?

POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES

– To what extent does application from inappropriate candidates disturb your recruitment process. Do they result in wasted time, effort, and resources?

– Could you give a rough description of the ratio of hires you get per application from online sources, as opposed to traditional recruitment methods?

To what extent to they differ

– How effective has your online recruitment process been in achieving diversity and disability quotasHave you achieved more or less as opposed to the traditional recruitment?

– If you adopt a wholly 100% approach to graduate recruitment, do you believe that it is indeed sufficient in attracting all the required candidates into your organization?

If it does not, then how does your company manage to overcome these shortcomings

e. Hr Semi Structured Interview Transcript

RespondentFictionalNameRoleYears in GoogleSubjects Covered
R1AliceGraduate Events Manager2Effectiveness, Disadvantages
R2MarthaApplication Review7Background, Adoption, Effectiveness, Disadvantages
R3NickFinance and Budgeting9Adoption, Effectiveness, Efficiency
R4ChloeMedia Advertisement3Effectiveness, Advertisement

BACKGROUND

– How long has your company been utilizing the online recruitment system in recruiting employees?

R2: Google Inc. has been utilizing online recruitment systems since I think 2003. That was when we really decided to go all out and accept applications through the system

– Could you give a brief explanation of how recruitment for the following candidates – Graduates, Experienced Hires and Executive hires – had been prior to online recruitment?

R2: I think back then we used to recruit mainly through campus hiring and referrals. Campus hiring was mostly conducted for students who are about to graduate while referrals are mainly for people with some years of experience.

For students, first round of interviews were conducted in the campus after which they were called for further round of interviews, after which successful applicants were offered employment.

Experienced hires were employed primarily through referrals. We pass on our vacancy list to our employees who assisted in searching for candidates who met our minimum criteria. Fit candidates were then invited for interviews with the firm, and successful ones were offered the jobs.

ADOPTION

– What would you say is the motivating factor behind your organization’s drive for online recruitment?

R3: I think the most motivating factor behind our adoption of online recruitment has been the need to make everything more efficient. Technology also makes things easier.

R2: I think IT has been a blessing. It makes the whole process much faster and easier is a powerful motivational factor for the organization. We find that we can recruit a better diversity and quality of candidates by adopting online processes.

– What priority has your organization given to the use of online recruitment in recruiting the following talent (Scale of 1 – 5; 1 = no priority, 5 = high priority)

Graduates – R2: I would give that a five, highest priority,
Experienced Hires. R2: Uhm… maybe a 3
Executive hires – R2: Lowest priority, but not abolished totally. Let’s say 2.

EFFECTIVENESS

– Could you give a rough estimate of the portion of new hires that your company has recruited through online recruitment, with respect to the following roles

R3: Graduates (92 – 95%) Other 5 – 8% is recruited through agencies that refer graduates to entry-level roles that are not part of our graduate scheme.
R3: Experienced Hires (50 – 60%) A majority of experienced hires, for lower roles are recruited through our online recruitment systems. They send their CVs and answer a few questions. If they match our criteria, they are called in for interviews. The other 40 – 50% is hired through referrals where we give referral bonuses to find candidates for us. Most of the candidates gotten through referrals are usually experienced because of the level of detail we give to the agencies finding jobs for us.
R3: Executive hires: Only a slight and often negligible minority of our executives are recruited through our online recruitment channels. They are mostly recruited through executive search channels because a vast majority of them already have positions in other companies and are therefore not looking for jobs.

If Graduate has received higher percentage as opposed to other hires

– Could you give an explanation as to why your organization adopted a full/more online recruitment approach for graduates, as opposed to the other forms of hires?

R2: Well, based on our experience, it is the younger graduates who are better users and more frequent on the Internet. We receive a higher traffic from graduate applicants than any other job applicant category; it is therefore logical that we choose to adopt a majority Internet based approach to their recruitment.

R1: We believe it is a better approach to their recruitment since a majority of their application process – such as the online tests can be conducted online.

R4: Graduates are increasingly resorting to online job boards in their search for jobs, and these job boards refer them to website where they could make applications. Previous research has also pointed to the fact that these graduates believe that online recruitment constitutes a better approach to their recruitment, since they prefer the ease of feedback.

– How effective (scale 1 – 5) has online job boards such as milkround, efinancialcareers, graduatejobs – been in attracting and generating adequate traffic and applications on your recruitment website.

R4: In terms of attracting and generating traffic, I would give the job boards a 4 – 5, depending on which job board is being referred to.

R3: We mostly use LinkedIn to direct traffic to the site, which is quite effective but are quite expensive to advertise on. Whenever our job positions are open, we contact them and they advertise the positions and details for us. Candidates are usually redirected from their websites, to ours, where they inquire more about the position and submit their applications.

Could you kindly outline some of the benefits that have resulted in the adoption of these online job boards

R4: Well, as the questionnaire asked earlier, the job boards are very effective in directing traffic to our sites. A vast majority of applicants are directed through them and are able to get some details about the vacancies we offer.

R3: They are much cheaper than newspaper adverts. A number of graduates seeking jobs go to these sites in order to gain access to companies that have graduate vacancies; therefore it is very effective for us to utilize them as they are the most effective way of reaching a wide number of graduates.

What role do they play in the success of your online recruitment campaigns

R4: They play an important role in the success of our online platform as they direct the necessary traffic to our websites, and also inform job seekers about our vacancies, timelines and recruitment processes. It is also a means to build brand awareness, as a vast majority of applicants have no idea about the company before they start their applications.

– What other forms of advertisement has your organization utilized in promoting your online recruitment campaign.

R4: Well, we primarily advertise our vacancies in the career sites of universities’ website. We also host a number of open events and evenings at either university locations and also at our London office. We attend career fairs for university graduates that have been organized by external parties in order to advertise our brand.

How effective would you say these have been

R4: Well, we believe each advertisement serves a separate purpose. For instance, vacancies that are advertised on the career sections of universities help in attracting students from particular targeted institutions to our websites.

R1: Open events and evenings, help give aspiring applicants much more information regarding the organization, and information that could assist them during their applications.

R1: Those open evenings at the London office help us reach out to aspiring applicants who are graduates but not in university anymore. They get the chance to come over to our head office and discuss with members of staff about the prospects of joining the organization.

While career fairs are used to raise awareness and also discuss career prospects with prospective students and graduates.

– Does your company still utilize any form of traditional recruitment method in attracting and recruiting graduates?

If yes, could you kindly outline these methods

R2: Well, not really. All our graduates are recruited primarily through our graduate channels. We do accept employee referrals for graduate admissions also.

R4: We still use traditional recruitment methods in the form of executive search agencies, word of mouth and employee referral. These forms of recruitment are primarily used for higher level experienced hires and executive hires. They are the main recruitment strategies for these posts.

How effective (Scale 1 – 5) do you think these methods have been in meeting your recruitment agenda

R4:

Word of Mouth and Employee Referral: Temporary Hires – 1; Experience Hires – 5; Executive Hires – 3

Executive Search: Temporary Hires – 1, Experienced Hires – 3, Executive Hires – 5.

– From your personal point of view as an employee, which of the following do you believe your online recruitment campaign has been more successful at achieving?

Quantity or Quality of candidates

R1: From my personal point of view, I think we get a mix of both. We receive applications from people who are not just qualified for the job, while we also receive applications from qualified candidates. So yes, I believe it is a mix.

R2: I believe we receive more of quantity and a reasonable number of quality candidates. If we did not receive quality, then our recruitment efforts would be futile. I believe it is our advertisement and awareness program that help drive quality into the mix, otherwise we would have a bunch of people who apply just because they stumbled upon the website.

R3: Uhm, We receive more quantity than quality to be honest. However the numbers of quality candidates we receive are not always enough to fill our employment target. For instance we may have vacancies for 20 people in a particular role and we could only recruit between 10 – 15 people in that year because we do not have enough candidates who have applied to the system.

R4: I think we receive more quantity than quality, but that’s acceptable considering the nature of online recruitment and how open it is. But due to various steps and procedures, we are able to shortlist these candidates to an acceptable number that we could interview personally and assess.

EFFICIENCY

– To what extent has your organization achieved efficiencies with regard to the following factors, since the adoption of online recruitment?

Overhead cost

R3: I cannot give a definite figure, but I know that before we started online recruitment, we spent a lot of cash and resources in administrative duties such as sorting, and reading each application. We hired a higher number of external interviewers and took managers out of their daily duties so they could interview a huge number of applicants. The success rate of these applicants was usually low because they had not taken any tests and there was no indication as to whether they were a good fit within the organization. However with online recruitment, most of these procedures are now handled automatically. Applicants answer application forms and their information is automatically entered into the database. They are then invited to partake in telephonic interview if we think their initial credentials match what we want. It’s a technology ride that reduces our overhead cost significantly

Data accuracy

R2: All applicants enter their information directly into the system; therefore it is much easier for us to sort and process data effectively. We no longer have any problems with interpreting and coding what applicants have written in their application form. The accuracy of data has therefore improved significantly since we started this process.

Printing costs

R3: Well, now the Internet recruitment process handles everything. During the traditional recruitment era, we usually had to print out several documents such as application forms, letters advising applicants on each level of the process, and also documents regarding or relating to the whole application process. Now, all we have to do is update our database on the applicant’s progress, and automatic emails are dispatched to each applicant informing them of their status. Application forms are now online with no need whatsoever to print anything regarding the applicant. Thereby saving the company money on those expenses.

Cost effectiveness

R4: In terms of effectiveness, I believe the cost we previously incurred in printing, newspaper advertisement and overhead costs, have now been replaced by costs associated with online adverts, designing and maintaining our websites, and also posting ads on job boards. However, these costs in no way come close to the cost of overhead and advertisement that we previously incurred when adopting traditional measures for graduates.

R3: The only traditional costs we incur now are those related to agency payments for executive and experienced hires, and also payments related to organization or attending events for graduates.

– Could you also discuss any other efficiency that your organization has achieved with respect to online recruitment?

R3: effectiveness and efficiencies anyway. We have been able to reduce cost, reduce staffs in recruitment, print less paper and communicated much faster to applicants seeking employment.

POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES

– To what extent does application from inappropriate candidates disrupt your recruitment process. Do they result in wasted time, effort, and resources?

R2: Well we do get a number of applications from applicants that are very unsuitable for the roles, either because they are unqualified or they do not answer the recruitment questions appropriately. However the recruitment system enables the people reviewing these applicants to be able to spot these unsuitable applicants without investing too much effort or time in them. Though the number of these appears to be high they are very manageable.

– Could you give a rough description of the ratio of hires you get per application from online sources, as opposed to traditional recruitment methods?

R2: Well for Graduate Recruitment, I would give you a rough overview. Prior to the applicant, let’s say we normally got about 600 – 800 applicants, and we conducted up to 100 first and second round interviews, after which about 5 – 10% of applicants would get the job.

Now that we have online recruitment, we get about 1,500 applications, interview just about 150 – 200 applicants, out of which only about 20 get the job.

– How effective has your online recruitment process been in achieving diversity and disability quotasHave you achieved more or less as opposed to the traditional recruitment?

R1: I believe we are lucky enough to achieve diversity goals most times, however whenever we do not, we outsource our recruitment to agencies for help in seeking candidates from particular backgrounds. However it is also possible to achieve disability quotas form online recruitment. Sometimes we do not, and if we do not, we outsource to disability agencies or centres that would refer us potentially suitable candidates.

– If you adopt a wholly 100% approach to graduate recruitment, do you believe that it is indeed sufficient in attracting all the required candidates into your organization?

R2: Well, like before the online recruitment era, we still receive a number of applications, but it’s the level of fit that has reduced. Therefore if we adopt a 100% approach to online recruitment, I believe we would be able to recruit a considerable percentage of candidates to meet our goals.

R4: I think we may be shorthand when it comes to very skilled candidates who are being recruited directly by other firms. In this case, direct hires are much more effective. In general online recruitment does help satisfy a vast majority of our recruitment objectives.

f. Graduate Questionnaire Response

RAW DATA FROM RESPONDENTS

RespondentJob AvailabilityWebsite AppearanceOnline Web PresenceInformation AvailabilityCorporate BrandPrevious Company KnowledgeJob BoardsGraduate EventsWord of MouthEase of ApplicationPerceived FitGraduate?Preferred Form of Recruitment
13343435532111
24252535543225
34443524434115
43554435555314
55254524343214
65143333254325
74354544142115
85343435153325
94233545334224
103344424135121
114453535423415
124344543544522
133454414355221
144355525523121
155344435542415

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS OF DATA RECEIVED

Web AppearanceOnline Web PresenceInformation about JobCorporate BrandPrevious Organization KnowledgeJob BoardsGraduate EventsWord of MouthEase of ApplicationPerceived Fit
Mean3.004.403.534.472.804.403.473.733.472.33
Mode34.0045355431
Median3.004.004.005.003.005.004.004.003.002.00

PREFERRED MODE OF APPLICATION

FrequencyPercent
Valid
Word of Mouth19.80%
Employee Referral352.12%
Internet638.08%

How to cite Free HR Dissertation: Online Recruitment, Free Dissertation Samples

Choose cite format:
Free HR Dissertation: Online Recruitment. (2019, Apr 22). Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://phdessay.com/free-hr-dissertation-online-recruitment/.