Independent CEO Phil Clarke comments on the value of online recruitment

Online recruitment is an essential element of the recruitment process for us and for all our blue-chip clients.  Using job boards and social networks is critical to building talent pools and developing a differentiating employer brand but it’s only a part of the recruitment picture.  Regular verbal and face-to-face communication with candidates and clients in order to match requirements, skill set and cultural fit are just as important, if not more so.   An over-reliance on online recruitment methods, without a balance of experienced, skilled input from recruitment professionals is likely to result in lower ‘offer to acceptance’ figures and more candidates who do not stay the course.  

The real issue is how best to select and assess candidates against the right criteria.  Social media is an intrinsic part of the recruitment process and with networks like LinkedIn targeting employers directly, agencies increasingly have to add more than sourcing to their repertoire.  With the online recruitment market destined to continue growing and the inevitability of new tools coming onto the market, the real question is who will become more empowered as a result and how is this going to impact the recruitment industry?  

From the job seekers perspective, social media has given them greater direct access to employers and more opportunity to access information about the organisations they are interested in.  However, on the flipside, online recruitment is more intrusive.  Potential candidates are wide open to being approached by anyone with good sourcing skills, which inevitably leads to privacy issues.    In this more fluid environment, there is greater potential for the candidate marketplace to become overly mobile as employees are more aware of available vacancies and more easily poached.   This does little to encourage companies to invest in and develop their people if they are repeatedly head-hunted by competitors.