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By LEAH B. del CASTILLO, Sub-Editor Business World

Last of three parts

Even as many companies still need to get the hang of online recruitment, the e-recruitment business faces a promising future.

In Europe where the outsourcing of human resource functions is more prevalent, the HR services market is expected to grow to $31.2 billion in 2005 from $20.2 billion in 2001, the International Data Corp. last year predicted.

In the Philippines, the online recruitment business is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by next year.

In the Philippines, the online recruitment business is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by next year.

In order to take advantage of this expanding market, local online recruitment firms expect to take steps that will keep them in the race.

Trabaho.com, from being primarily a jobs board, sees itself evolving into a business catering more to the employment needs of companies. It will become a "competitive career resource website," Joyce O. See, Trabaho.com's brand head, said.

The website "will have a repositioning that will focus not just on job seekers but at the same time on the employers," she said.

With the repositioning, Trabaho.com, which has some half a million page views a month, expects to come up with more products and services which are more "customer-centric."

Currently, Trabaho.com offers, together with Yapster E-learning, visitors with e-learning solutions. It also offers e-payroll services, which allow companies to focus on revenue-generating activities, Ms. See said.

On the other hand, Jobstreet Philippines sees itself doing a lot of headhunting in the future, a kind of service that has been practiced in this country since the '80s, and improving its recruitment software.

"We're pushing more our recruitment solutions that impact business," Candice L. Alabanza, Jobstreet Philippines general manager, said.

With less than 10 years e-recruitment companies have been in the country, it seems far-off before any of them transforms itself into a completely outsourced HR service for companies.

Jobstreet Philippines, which counts on 20 persons to run the business, began its operations in late 1999, while Trabaho.com, staffed by eight persons, was established in 1996.

"It's an alternative but right now, we're still trying to fill that recruitment function," Ms. Alabanza said. "There's still a lot that we can do. We're still educating a lot of our clients."

Ms. Alabanza, however, stressed that e-recruitment, while not entirely fulfilling the activities of a traditional HR department, is the way to facilitate recruitment.

"We saw that there's a better way of doing things and that this medium, Internet, is able to provide for the need of doing things faster, more efficiently," she said.

"You always need to fill positions, so we just used the Internet as a tool to improve something that's a traditional business."


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