How popular is online recruitment in the
Professionals seeking employment, particularly in the
engineering sector seem to be a good guide to the current online recruitment
market, reflecting the interest in niche sites, cleverly targeted advertising
campaigns, and social networking. Onrec found out more from key players in the
How popular is online recruitment?
Sophie Relf, head of marketing at totaljobs.com says: "If you look at the
early adopter history of the online recruitment industry; it was favoured by
professional male jobseekers (from TGInet and BRMB findings 2005-6), namely
those in the IT and in the Engineering sectors. Its popularity and importance
amongst engineers has grown, as has the appeal of online recruitment in other
sectors such as Retail, Finance and Customer Service."
Felix Wetzel, Marketing Director of Jobsite agrees that candidates in this
sector were among the early adopters of online recruitment as they realised
the benefits it could have in allowing them to search for jobs quickly and
easily. He says "Engineering is now one of the core sectors on Jobsite
with almost 450,000 registered candidates. To support the growing numbers of
candidates searching for engineering jobs online, Jobsite launched the
EngineerBoard in October 2006 which provides over 20,000 specific engineering
vacancies including mechanical, telecommunications, electronic &
aeronautical. Jobsite's parent company also acquired the UK's leading niche
online recruitment network JobsGroup.net in August 2007 due to its success and
experience in the engineering sector."
JobsGroup.net says that every month over 260,000 individual jobseekers visit
their technical jobsites, which include JustEngineers.net,
JustConstruction.net and JustRail.net. They say: "Online recruitment is
certain to become increasingly popular, as the skills shortage further empower
jobseekers to use the powerful resources available on sites like theirs, to
browse the opportunities available and find the jobs of their choosing. In
August 2007 more than 161,942 candidates had registered their CVs across
JobsGroup.net's technical sites, which was an increased of 104% over the last
12 months, leading to over 37,000 applications in the same month. They say
their portfolio of clients include the UK's most active technical recruiters,
Alfred McAlpine, Amec, Arup, Atkins, Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Audi,
Boeing, BSkyB, Carillion, EDF Energy, E.ON, Jacobs, Highways Agency, Ministry
of Defence, Mouchel Parkman, National Grid, National Air Traffic Services
(NATS), Parsons Brinckerhoff and Siemens."
"Anyone who is not using the internet to find engineering staff is
missing out on a huge pool of applicants" says Shirley Brzeski, MD of
Websearch Recruitment. "We have been using this medium to find applicants
for Cummins (the largest Diesel Engine company in the world) since 2001 and
the internet now accounts for 90% of our clients' placements. Now that niche
job boards have firmly established themselves to attract qualified applicants
in the IT and Engineering sectors, we strongly recommend that everyone wanting
to hire staff includes the online options into their recruitment strategies.
In the last year, we have seen an increase in online applications from
professionals for vacancies however, due to the current skills shortage -
clients need to move fast to arrange interviews if they don't want to see the
best applicants being hired by their competitors. Even rare skills that
require headhunting efforts can often be sought using the various online CV
databases that exist - I can see the day when all vacancies are filled online;
which is a future, we at Websearch will certainly embrace."
What are the benefits?
Sophie Relf says: "Our engineering employers on totaljobs.com tell us
that the benefits of advertising online are threefold: reduced cost or time to
hire, streamlined candidate selection/ application process and consistency of
messaging. In highly competitive times all these factors contribute to the
success of recruitment campaigns, but increasingly employers are anxious to
communicate organisational culture and benefits so that they get a better
'candidate fit'. This reduces churn and helps them secure competitive
advantage - best talent for the market rate of pay - which ultimately gives
their business an edge."
She continues: "The benefits to jobseekers are about market place too.
From one URL they can view all relevant jobs in their sector and skills match.
Applying for jobs is quick and easy, candidates are able to manage their
applications, cover letters and CV from their jobseeker account. We were
reassured by our recent User Profile Survey on totaljobs.com to see two
employment trends playing through in the findings. For the first time we had
less male jobseekers than female jobseekers, and we saw a slight increase in
the average age of our users. This shows that totaljobs.com appeals to UK
jobseekers as it reflects UK employment socio-demographics. We also found that
our users favoured the internet over all other forms of jobseeking. In fact
the popularity of multiple sector internet recruitment sites as the most
important job hunting source had grown from 60% (2005) to a staggering 80%
(2007). We are looking forward at totaljobs.com, to working with recruiters to
drive response from more, better quality online jobseekers as our industry
Felix Wetzel says there are benefits for all industries in using online
recruitment but in a sector as specialist and competitive as engineering there
are even greater advantages. He says: "As a result of the well documented
engineering skills shortage, recruiters want to find the best people quickly
and get them working for their company rather than a competitor. Online
recruitment allows them to post vacancies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
which puts them firmly in control of the hiring process.
Online recruitment also typically allows an organisation access to a greater
breath of candidates and enables unprecedented accuracy in finding them for
example by location, qualifications, experience etc. Jobsite also ensures that
every advertiser gets a dedicated Account Manager so that their recruitment
needs are met in the most effective way. Alongside this is the Application
Management System, which helps to manage responses and which filters
applications so recruiters can send responses automatically to people that fit
certain criteria or those who do not.
From a candidate perspective, they are more time poor than ever before and are
constantly being targeted by different media. Online recruitment allows them
to set up jobs-by-email where relevant jobs for them are sent directly to
their inbox, allowing them to decide which to apply for and when. They can
also save a CV, which can be made available for recruiters to search or can be
simply stored meaning that application to vacancies becomes quicker and
easier. Lastly, they can utilise the highly targeted search function on
Jobsite which can sort vacancies by location, salary, job title, skills etc.
and enables the candidate to find what they're looking for in minutes."
Online recruitment helps recruiters to find relevant jobseekers, and fill
their vacancies, before their competitors - vital due to the technical skills
shortage. JobsGroup.net's award winning innovative technology, Artificial
Intelligence Matching (AIM) dramatically improves the speed and accuracy of
recruitment by enabling recruiters to quickly and effectively identify and
rank relevant candidates."
Jobsgroup says "Because JobsGroup.net sites are dedicated to specific
industry sectors, and can attract relevant candidates throughout the UK,
advertisers reach a highly targeted pool of active jobseekers. Jobsites
greatly benefit jobseekers by providing access to thousands of vacancies at
the time and place of their choosing, from the thousands of vacancies
available to search to Jobs-by-Email. Online recruitment also provides
jobseekers with access to information that enables them to compare vacancies
and research positions. JobsGroup.net enables candidates to gain free access
to the UK's most active recruiters in their chosen industry sector and provide
tools to improve their chances, including CV reviews, interview advice and
email job alerts."
What are you looking forward to?
At Jobsite they envisage a continued rise in the use of social networking for
jobhunting, says Felix Wetzel: "So far this year we have launched a Job
Match application on Facebook, partnered with FriendsReunitedJobs and formed
an alliance with leading student forum, The Student Room. As candidates find
new ways of spending their time online we need to ensure that we can reach
them - this is especially true for passive candidates. Also as people
increasingly access the internet and emails in different ways, for examples
mobiles & PDAs, we have to make sure that jobhunting remains compatible
with these methods.
He also envisages there to be further partnerships between generalist and
niche sites: "We recognise that there are a group of candidates that
prefer to use a niche site as they feel they are getting a more specialised
offering, whilst others use generalist sites due to the variety of vacancies
and additional services provided e.g. career advice and personality profiling.
In terms of the engineering sector, we are confident that this will see
significant growth. According to a recent report by the Association for
Consultancy & Engineering (ACE) there are currently 20,000 unfilled jobs
in this sector, with an extra 2,500 vacancies expected to be added in the next
12 months. This will mean that recruiters will have to work harder to show why
employees should work for them. Jobsite is excited about accelerating their
growth in the engineering sector by working more closely with the expert team
Jobsgroup themselves predict: "There will be a greater move towards
candidate centric services. Jobseekers can no longer be expected to visit
multiple sites when searching for a job. We must bring the information to them
at the time and place of their convenience, building on Jobs-by-Email to
develop social networking applications, desktop widgets and job searches
hosted on relevant third party sites. Recruiters will require the ability to
find relevant jobseekers faster and more accurately than ever before, and
whilst technology will play a big part in this the importance of great service
cannot be under-estimated and will grow in importance. JobsGroup.net is ready
for the challenge."
Malgorzata Kitowski, Head of The Graduate says: "As you might guess,
online recruitment advertising is popular for the engineering and IT
industries. It's unsurprising that recruiters offering jobs in technology
employ not just people but technology to attract their candidates. As well as
the usual websites, there have been some imaginative attraction campaigns
using mobile phone text messages, 'Blackberry Blogs' written by company
employees, podcasts, and even social networks such as Facebook. I call it the
'Liquid Candidate' generation. Candidates have become liquid and recruiters
need to be more inventive to keep up and capture this mercurial pool of
As our correspondents have shown, more and more people, including female and
older jobseekers are going online for jobs. With the industry constantly
developing to meet their increasingly high expectations, engineers would be
foolish to look further than their laptops to fulfill their jobhunting needs.