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E-cruitment is revolutionising the Recruitment Industry

By Michael Stamp

Online recruitment and the use of new emerging technologies have many advantages for the modern recruiter. It makes the process of finding candidates and new business opportunities quicker, cheaper and more efficient. The one drawback, however, is that online recruitment can appear to be a daunting subject.

The Internet, in fact, has completely revolutionised the role of the traditional recruiter. Gone are the days where cold calling and candidate networking were the only option available to identify new potential candidates. Now it's about searching through hundreds of thousands of CV's placed on personal web pages and browsing online corporate staff directories.

Don't assume that this is all the internet has to offer, with billions of both personal and corporate websites available to browse and over 7 million new pages being added every day, the internet can provide vital business intelligence information for all sectors of the market place.

In a candidate-starved market, the Internet can prove a valuable resource for finding potential candidates that are not necessarily looking to change their current jobs but would be open to the 'right' opportunity. Meanwhile in a candidate rich marketplace, we can use the Internet to find relevant 'live' job vacancies where companies have advertised directly on the web. You can also use the internet to find information on company's financial results, their budget information, who has recently been appointed and business wins and losses. In fact, with the right search techniques, you can normally find exactly what you are looking for.

It is true to say that the Internet is a goldmine of valuable resources that will increase the performance of any recruiter that understands how to find it.

There are many techniques that can be used for finding accurate information that will be of invaluable use to a recruiter on the Web. The most popular industry terms include words like 'flipping', 'x-raying' and 'peeling back'. It is these terms that are slowly reinventing the role of the traditional recruiter and changing the way that forward thinking recruitment agencies operate.

Let's take a look at what the industry jargon means and exactly how we would use it to identify potential candidates and generate new business.

'X-raying', for example, is a technique achieved with the use of some simple search commands in many of the major search engines. Much of the information on a large website reside on pages that are not linked to the main web pages or on other pages that are available to the casual visitor, therefore are effectively invisible when you visit the site. Search engines may find all pages on a website, regardless of where they are linked and therefore when you x-ray a website you may see web pages that would be otherwise unobtainable or invisible to you.

'Peeling Back' is not so much a technique as a process that should be used whenever a web page is found that contains information that is of interest to you. One of the first things to understand when you first start searching the web is how a web site is structured. It is identical to the way you would save your documents on your computer; a collection of folders each containing related documents. If you 'peelback' a web address, which basically involves you deleting the last part of the web address up to the last forward slash ( / ), this will show you all of the information that is contained in that folder.

'Flipping', meanwhile, is used to find the relationships between web pages based on how they are hyperlinked together. The theory is that many people create home pages, alumni pages or brief listings about themselves and link those to the sites that are significant to their experience, including companies that they have worked for and professional associations that they are members of. Companies may have page links to their customers or business partners.

These techniques can significantly reduce the time and effort involved in identifying relevant information from the billions of publicly accessible web pages. Whether you are looking for candidate CV's, staff lists, conference attendees or users groups, advanced Internet recruiting is definitely the way forward.

Second article: A Searching Strategy

Third article: Finding candidates on the Web

Michael Stamp is the Managing Director of Recruitmate. Website:, or contact him at

Copyright ©Michael Stamp 2003


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