A recruitment website

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Introduction to research domain

The research is broken up into two main areas. The first area of research is to examine the effectiveness of e-recruitment as a means of securing the desired job. Whilst the second area of this research is to determine wether or not social networking would be an advantage as an integrated tool on a recruitment website.

1.2 Research questions

There are a number of questions that need to be addressed:

  • Can social networking resources be successfully integrated into an e-recruitment website?
  • What are the benefits of including a social networking envirnment in an e-recruitment website in order to find the right job?
  • Is Internet technology dramatically altering the recruitment process and allowing recruiters to reach large numbers of quality applicants in diverse locations in a very cost efficient manner.

1.3 Aim of the research

The aim of this research is to successfully develop an e-recruitment website which includes a social networking framework. The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of e-recruitment practices and trends, to identify what e-recruitment methods are being used and what benefits are being experienced by organisations using these methods. Surveys will be carried out to discover wether social networking can benefit the candidate in finding the right job. The finished software will be tested by the target audience through a series of questions in the form of a questionnaire.

1.4 Document structure

The structure of this thesis will follow the general stages of research. Chapter 1 introduces the research domain and research questions. Chapter 2 contains the literature review where I will study and outline previous research in this area. Chapter 3 will include a study of how I adapted the planning stage, the analysis, implemented the design and the development stage. The final chapter will be chapter 4 where I carry out my testing and evaluate the results.

1.5 Summary

Within chapter 1 I introduced my research domain and my goals. I outlined the stages in which I am going to conduct my literature review and I proposed a document structure in which I am going to follow in order to carry out my project. Within chapter 2 I will carry out my literature review and evaluate other research done in this area. Within chapter 3 I will carry out my implementation and design.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

The term e-recruitment is described as "the process of personnel recruitment using electronic resources, in particular the internet." Companies and recruitment agencies have moved much of their recruitment process online to improve the speed by which job candidates can be matched with live vacancies. Using database technologies, and online job advertising boards and search engines, employers can now fill posts in a fraction of the time previously possible.

The recruitment environment has changed dramatically in recent years. With low levels of unemployment and skills shortages in key areas, there is strong competition amongst organisations to attract and recruit the best people for the job. As in other areas of business, technology is being used to transform the recruitment process and to maximise the efficiency with which it can be carried out. Internet technology in particular is dramatically altering the recruitment process and allowing recruiters to reach large numbers of quality applicants in diverse locations in a very cost efficient manner.

The term social networking is one that, in recent years has emerged as a hot topic for internet users worldwide. The basis behind social networking is built upon the idea of each member in having an online profile that serves as the individual's identity in the network. In the professional context, profiles often contain information regarding the individual's experience, education, interests and affiliations, as well information about the individual's skills and resources. Online social networking has been around in many forms for nearly a decade, and has begun to achieve wide and rapid notice in the past few years. Online social networks take many forms, and are created for many reasons. Social networking sites are derived from groups of people who share one or more things in common. Their common bond of social networks may be the community in which members live, their interests, be it career interests, social interests, common friends or shared beliefs.

With e-recruitment and social networking both individually been a sensation within the cyber world, I aim to bring the two together to discover the benefits they may have with securing the right person for the right job.

2.2 E-recruitment

The most significant progress has been made in using online methodologies at the front end of the recruitment process in terms of advertising vacancies and receiving application forms. Increasing numbers of Irish organisations are also using Internet based technology to track applications and communicate with and manage relationships with applicants. Even though the use of online tools for screening and assessing candidates is less prevalent amongst Irish organisations, there is evidence that this practice is set to grow in the future and that this facility will become increasingly valuable to organisations as greater use of online advertising attracts larger numbers of applications. Irish organisations who have implemented e recruitment methodologies have done so for a number of reasons, most notably to reduce costs, increase the efficiency of the process, reduce time to hire and provide access to a larger and more diverse candidate pool. The most notable benefits reported by organisations having introduced e-recruitment are the cost savings, which have mainly been due to reduced advertising cost, a reduction in the resources required to process applications and a reduction in recruitment agency costs.

A recent survey was carried out in Ireland by the Public Appointments Service - Research Advisory Panel. The survey targeted a number of key areas and was handed out to 358 organisations during November/December 2005. Respondents were not required to identify their organisation but could do so if they wished. In order to understand the extent to which e-recruitment is being used and how significant it is alongside other more traditional recruitment methods, the survey sought information regarding the full range of recruitment methods used by the organisation during the past year.

From this survey they found that the most common forms of recruitment were newspapers, internal recruitment, recruitment agencies and the internet. Other surveys of e-recruitment in Europe suggest that usage of online recruitment methods has substantially increased over recent years to the point where they are now a central feature of the recruitment strategy in large organisations. A Cap Gemini survey in 2004 found that the proportion of organisations within a public sector context that were using e-recruitment techniques had risen from just over 40% in 2001 to 70% in 2004. The results also found that

  • Nearly all respondents (91%) stating that they were either using or planning to use the internet for some aspect of the recruitment process.
  • (39%) indicating that online recruitment is a 'very important' part of their overall recruitment strategy.
  • 26% indicating that it was 'quite important'
  • 33% indicating that it was of 'emerging importance'
  • Just one respondent said it was 'of no importance'.

So why the growth in e-recruitment?

The main factors seem to be cost effectiveness, to target a larger or more diverse pool of applicants, to lower administration costs and to save time. However, Cost effectiveness was the single most important reason given by the survey respondents in relation to implementing e-recruitment approaches, and amongst case study organisations the potential to save on cost and resources was a key factor for all in adopting e-recruitment approaches.

2.3 Social Networking

Pew Internet & American Life carried out a study in 2007 in order to find out who exactly is online and for what reason. The survey found that the young adult internet population has remained the most likely to go online.

  • 93% of teens ages 12-17 go online, as do 93% of young adults ages 18-29. One quarter (74%) of all adults ages 18 and older go online.
  • Over the past ten years, teens and young adults have been consistently the two groups most likely to go online, even as the internet population has grown and even with documented larger increases in certain age cohorts (e.g. adults 65 and older).

It also revealed that:

  • 62% of online teens get news about current events and politics online.
  • 48% of wired teens have bought things online like books, clothing or music, up from 31% who had done so in 2000 when we first asked about this.
  • 31% of online teens get health, dieting or physical fitness information from the internet. And 17% of online teens report they use the internet to gather information about health topics that are hard to discuss with others such as drug use and sexual health topics.

2.4 Social Networking and E-recruitment: "Hot" or "Not"?

In today's modern society more and more people have gained access to social computing networks. In a recent study carried out by the Pew Centre study of online social networks among American teenagers, 55 percent of all teenagers who are online use social networks like MySpace or Facebook, with 64 percent of 15-17 year-olds creating online profiles in these networks. Teenagers use these networks to send private messages to their "friends," as well as to post more public messages in the form of comments on user profiles or blogs. The use of friends allows these teenagers to establish rapport with others in their networks.

This model has opened up the door to "Friendenomics," the use of marketing and advertising on social networking sites by organizations to promote their products and services. Rather than simply advertising, this marketing method establishes a relationship that's more like two friends interacting and less like a business talking to a customer.

What does this mean for e-recruitment?

The study carried out asked students what they thought about social networking and campus Web sites, couching the responses in their own terms as "hot" or "not":

Colleges or universities that put up sites on social networking sites to describe their programs, campuses, and students.

Hot: 61% Not: 39%

Colleges or universities that advertise on social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.

Hot: 53% Not: 47%

Individual admissions counselors from recruitment agencies setting up pages on social networking sites to connect with potential employees.

Hot: 56% Not: 44%

Does this mean that social networking sites are the next frontier for e-recruitment?

Not exactly. Students did not necessarily want to create social networking profiles or be recruited through sites like MySpace:

Have you looked for recruitment on your list on MySpace or Facebook?

Yes: 33% Would again: 92%

No: 67% Would like to: 35%

Blogging is another hot social networking tool. One- quarter of all college admissions offices use blogs by students or campus personnel in their recruitment efforts, with some campuses even paying students to blog about campus life.3 How interested were prospective college students in these blogs?

Have you read a blog written by a current student?

Yes: 27% Would again: 91%

No: 73% Would like to: 46%

Have you read a blog written by a faculty member?

Yes: 21% Would again: 88%

No: 79% Would like to: 43%

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