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Introduction to Online Recruitment

In association with HR Portal

Part 2 - Where to start?

The online recruitment market is a jungle of jobs and job sites it's true. To attempt to walk through it without falling down some holes, getting trapped or even swallowed up by less scrupulous lions in the industry, you're best to seek professional advice.

HR Portal is a good start point (www.hrportal.co.uk) as it offers a unique combination of skills where it marries unparalleled media knowledge (it posts more than 250,000 jobs a year to sites) with software and web site design expertise. HR Portal knows the industry inside out and is well aware that 'one size' does not fit all.

Every company has a different set of criteria and HR Portal tailors its services and products to meet individual needs.

First and foremost, you need to establish what you want. There are three main points of entry into the market:

1. Media Buying

This is where you simply seek someone to place your adverts on the right job sites and negotiate the media rates. Sounds easy but in fact it can be a hit and miss affair if your adviser doesn't know the market particularly well.

Beware: there is a right and wrong way to buy online media advertising. There's a world of difference between posting your ads to the sites you think are right (because you've heard of them or their name sounds OK) and posting to sites you know are right (because hard quantitative data has proven they yield the best candidates for given jobs).

HR Portal has been gathering this hard data for years and updates it daily. It is based on how many candidates respond to each vacancy from each job site. They are now also measuring candidate quality by job site. After all, it's better to target a smaller site that will yield a handful of suitable candidates than a bigger player that throws you hundreds of unsuitable people.

And there's more ...

As a major player in media buying in its own right, HR Portal enjoys economies of scale with the job sites. These cost savings are handed on to its clients, enabling them to buy online media at a far reduced rate than they could achieve alone.

2. Media Buying with Pre-Selection/Sorting

It is advisable to supplement your intelligent media buying with a quick, effective candidate handling process. This way, the true benefits of online recruitment will be realised.

A good Application Service Provider will develop and tailor such a programme to your business: don't just accept the cheapest programme - it is unlikely to be flexible. Make sure it meets your needs. Insist it is tailored to your business and check there will be strong support to get it up and running and maintained. HR Portal is very service and support orientated: experience has shown that partnerships with its clients are far more fruitful than just selling and leaving.

Furthermore, HR Portal finds that over time its clients' needs change: it is far easier to accommodate any updates and upgrades within an on-going relationship.

3. The Full Monty

Well not literally as in the film, but an impressive display of skills and expertise nevertheless.

HR Portal can take a job on from scratch: build the website, develop the candidate assessment and management software, identify the best job sites and post ads to them. It's all part of its HRExtranet service (www.hrportal.co.uk/r63a11).

HRExtranet blends seamlessly into a corporate website, adding a new dimension to the company's public face. As far as candidates are concerned, they are dealing with the company, not a consultant or an IT specialist. And indeed they are: you, as the recruiter, have control of the system, can see applications coming in and their progress. You can pick up the better candidates and fast track them to interview. You can see which sites and, if you're using them, which recruitment consultants are bringing in the best quality people. Ultimately you can improve your service to your functional colleagues and fill their vacancies more quickly at lower cost. Behind the scenes, HR Portal works alongside you, tracks the site activity and offers necessary support.

To see this in practice, click through to www.hrportal.co.uk/r63a11.

Not so difficult after all

By now you should feel more confident about venturing online to recruit staff. Once you've tried it out, you'll be unlikely to revert to print-only advertising. Online recruitment can offer so much more in terms of value, efficiency and effectiveness. It is the ultimate in flexible and responsive job advertising.

But remember, if a job's worth advertising, it's worth advertising properly.

Take time to research your options. Talk to some professionals in the marketplace and go for someone who can prove they have the right combination of media knowledge, buying power and software skills. Finally, make sure they will take time to understand your needs so you can invest in a partnership rather than a simple buyer/seller agreement.

Good Luck.

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