E-recruitment: Easing hiring woes
By LEAH B. del CASTILLO, Sub-Editor Business World
First of three parts
Companies in search of the right talent to fill their ranks have a new tool in online recruitment, which allows them to reach prospective employees through the Internet. In contrast with the traditional hiring process, online recruitment offers speed and efficiency which newspaper ads most of the times do not assure.
Estimates where it is already a phenomenon show that online recruitment -- or e-recruitment as it is also known -- is a profitable business.
For Western Europe, the International Data Corp. (IDC) estimates that the e-recruitment business would be worth $4.5 billion by 2005.
In the United States, the International Herald Tribune last month reported, citing IDC figures, that domestic revenue for online jobsites last year grew by 38% to $727 million, while revenue newspaper job ads fell by 35% to $5.7 billion.
An estimate for the Philippines put the worth of online recruitment at $1.1 billion by 2003.
A number of businesses have been established in the past few years offering companies the benefits of using online recruitment, among them Jobstreet.com Philippines and trabaho.com, which is owned and maintained by Web Philippines, Inc. Even the government has gotten into the act with its online recruitment service Phil-JobNet.
A QUESTION OF HOW MUCH BETTER
In a country with high unemployment rate and increasing use of the Internet, these e-recruitment sites may yet become a staple in job recruitment, if more companies soon realize the profits of availing of this service.
"Online recruitment is a very effective means of finding jobs for Filipinos here and abroad," Joyce O. See, trabaho.com brand head, said in an e-mail interview.
"This serves as a venue for employers and job seekers to interact. This puts Filipinos in touch with thousands of employers, local and foreign, who are actively looking for qualified applicants."
Sifting through and processing numerous job applications are some functions from which companies are spared with the use of e-recruitment services.
"It's really a question of how much better or how much we could improve processes, making them more efficient. This includes costs -- how much more cost-efficient recruitment can be," Candice L. Alabanza, Jobstreet Philippines general manager, told BusinessWorld.
The e-recruitment websites have a basic software tool allowing companies to post their ads on the site, for a fee. Jobstreet, which started operations in the country in late 1999, has SiVA, a program that allows companies to create, edit and customize their own ads online. The ads may then be accessed by the job seekers identified by Jobstreet as having the right qualifications, following the specifications of the hiring company.
With SiVA, potential employees are pre-selected and employers view only the most relevant data from the job applicant's resume. They are also able to compare the details of as many as 20 job applicants at a glance.
As of November 2001, Jobstreet had 300,000 registered users, i.e. job seekers, and generated an average of 5.3 million page views a month. It boasts of some 15,000 visitors per day.
On the other hand, through trabaho.com, which was established in 1996, job seekers can submit their resumes via e-mail and may receive feedback on the same- day, "if not within the same hour," Ms. See said.
Unlike Jobstreet, trabaho.com affords companies a look into their resume base, through another software tool, MyResume Manager, through http://www.resume.com.ph . This application helps employers organize and store resumes. Another tool, the Job Fit Analysis, helps employers screen applicants according to their qualifications.
"Employers/recruiters can search through a database of over 20,000 online resumes," Ms. See said.
The matching system offered by the Department of Labor and Employment's Phil-JobNet, operational since November 1998, follows a strict 100% correspondence and does not allow companies to search through its resume database.
Similarly, job seekers are not allowed to comb the applications. Phil-JobNet, through a software application, matches the job seeker with the employer; if a match occurs, only then is the job seeker referred to the company.
"If the employers see the entire database, the tendency is for them to resort to manpower pooling. Similarly, applicants who get to see all the job positions tend to apply for all the posts available even if they are not qualified," Zenaida A. Contreras, Phil-JobNet's supervising officer, said in an interview.
Ms. Contreras pointed out that since Phil-JobNet is not moved by financial motives -- it does not charge companies and job seekers anything for their service -- it can afford to follow such strict criteria.
"What we want is that the job vacancies be accessed by the right people. Some job seekers, maybe out of laziness, would not try to look through all the postings," she said. "If we will fill all the vacancies, then it would greatly help the country's employment scenario."
There are currently some 5,000 positions advertised in Phil-JobNet, while there are some 2,500 active job seekers, or those who renew their applications every 30 days. Its database, however, contains some 100,000 resumes.
Next Wednesday: Companies on e-recruitment, fill rates and a sketch of the country's work force