Given the fast growth and evolution of technology, increase in pool of skilled labor and associated increase in rates of unemployment, human resource departments of organizations across Australia are employing technologically-savvy tools in recruitment and assessment of workforce. The growth of Internet, fm radio stations, telecommunication and cable television has completely transformed the way firms outsource for skilled labor. The Internet in particular has become a major way through which organizations screen potential applicants for job positions in the past decade. Other recruitment and selection procedures via radio, telecommunication and television are practiced, but not to the scale of Internet usage. Researchers recognize the value of job applicant outlooks in the course of recruitment processes, and have evaluated the perception of fairness and efficiency linked to recruitment and selection processes. This paper assesses the impact that the advent of technology on recruitment procedures has presented to human resource departments, the challenges that organizations face and the resourcefulness of these technology.
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The paper is conventional. The first subtitle deals with the importance of efficient technological recruitment and selection procedures. The second subtitle represents the main body of the essay and handles the impact of various technologies in Australia, with emphasis on Internet, on effective recruitment processes. The last subtitle offers a summary and conclusion of the paper, and recommendation of the best practices.
Importance of efficient technological recruitment and selection procedures
Companies in the last century mostly employed newspapers, intra-organizational recruitment and simple posting in firms’ neighborhoods to advertise prospective job vacancies. Such criteria were wanting because the most qualified applicants did not get the information regarding the job opportunities (Jeffay & Bohannon, 1997). Consequently, the organizations had no options but to fill the vacant positions with available, mostly under-qualified, personnel. Such advertisement criteria in fact pooled a limited number of candidates who were either politically correct, lucky enough to get vacant job information or lived near the firms. With the great development and progression of technology available, particularly involving telecommunication and Internet, organizations and job candidates have immensely gained. Organizations are now placed in excellent positions to advertise their vacancies to a significantly wide pool of qualified individuals. Individuals from across Australia are exposed to job openings in various organizations, and are also able to view particular benefits offered by a firm online.
As much as these strides have been made in technology and consequently aided the recruitment process, it is imperative that organizations remain mindful of effective recruitment procedures and techniques. Firms should always be in recruitment process and should ensure their technological hiring system remains in the market in search of talent. Technologies available should not only fetch the organization high performance personnel, but must be time-saving and cost-effective in the process. The decision on which technological tools should be used is more crucial if there are definite skills, knowledge or abilities being scouted. It is true that without a proper job description an ideal candidate for a job will not found, but it is also true that the tools used will determine the chances that the most qualified candidate will be found. For instance, searching for a managerial candidate by use of company website increases the chances of finding an experienced candidate than advertisement on social networking sites. Conversely, when scouting for managerial trainees, postings in universities and colleges boards as opposed company website will be most resourceful.
It is therefore important to carefully decide on a recruitment selection tool. A number of these tools available include company websites, social networking sites, radio adverts, telephone calls and Internet job boards. The recruitment process involves a number of functions and the first is the identification of ideal candidates for outsourcing. In Australia today, the most used tool for outsourcing is the Internet. The Internet is a contemporary and powerful resource for outsourcing and hosts other tools ranging from online newspapers, online VOIP calls and online radio stations. Sites hosted vary from job search engines to bulletin boards. After outsourcing, interviewing is the next stage. Varieties of interviews are available and telephone interviews and online aptitude tests are used in cases where time is crucial. Employers need to keep profile of employee data and information, and for this purpose database management is crucial. Such databases will store information regarding candidates’ contact, qualification and referees. The last stage is running of background checks and verifying candidates’ education, driving license, criminal records and previous employment (Singh & Finn, 2003).
These are aspects of recruitment and selection that would otherwise be impractical without the input of technology. Evaluating candidates’ interview results, references and comparing the results to emerge with the best possible candidate for a position is a scientific process that requires analytical tools (Dineen, Noe & Wang, 2004). These analytical tools are found in form of software packages and also hint at input technology. It is therefore crucial to analyze individual impact of different technologies on the process of recruitment and selection in Australia.
Impact of technology on recruitment and selection
The Internet has obviously had transformational effects in the manner recruitment and selections are carried out. The last few years have seen a remarkable increase in the number of people who use the Internet (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2001). As at 2008, two-thirds of all Australian households had access to the Internet, a trend that was expected to accelerate rapidly in the following years. The Australian Bureau of Statistics as well indicated that over 70 percent of business firms had Internet by 2001. 99 percent of large businesses, those employing more than 100 employees, had access to the Internet, while 81 percent had a company website. Companies that have websites offer job postings on their websites. Companies that do not have websites post their job vacancies on job search sites (Dasborough & Sue-Chan, 2002).
Recruiting employees by means of corporate websites has become a common practice in Australia, although most companies admit recruitment is not the objective purpose of hosting a website. Most firms identified advertising, public relations and marketing as the main reasons they host Internet corporate websites, and employee recruitment only represented a paltry 2 percent of the reasons some firms hosted a website. A survey carried out in 2000 indicated that more than 75 percent of Australian firms conducted online recruitment. Recruitment of personnel through corporate websites can either be described as basic or e-centric recruiting. Basic recruiting involves the use of websites to post vacancies while still encouraging applicants to use traditional application methods like sending of hardcopy resumes or faxing. At least 30 percent of Australian firms admitted to employing the basic recruitment method. On the other hand, e-centric recruiting involves the exclusive use of resume builders in the corporate website or sending softcopy resumes via e-mail (Dineen, Noe & Wang, 2004). A majority of firms, at least 46 percent, admit to using the e-centric method.
Alternative online recruitment method used by firms is job boards. In this case, a third-party firm hosts a job search website where firms through their human resource subscribe and post available vacancies in their organizations. Job seekers have to visit these third-party sites to find available jobs, they even post their resumes in the third party sites so that companies can search for them against a particular skills criteria. The third party job sites will then inform subscribed companies if particular candidates with desired qualification respond to job postings. Prospective employment seekers who have submitted their resumes to job boards will also get e-mail notification whenever a firm advertises vacancies that fit their academic qualification and interests.
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Job postings on websites costs are comparatively competitive across job boards ranging from $100 to $200 for every posting. Normally, job boards permit companies ten postings for each month and access to databases of resumes for around $400 to $500 monthly. Large firms which employ employees in thousands prefer to carry out their own job search since placing such listings on third party websites is very expensive, and could cost up to $100,000. However, the cost of placing postings of vacant jobs for these large companies in third party sites is cost-effective compared with the cost associated with advertising in newspapers. A third but comparatively uncommon method of recruiting individuals over the Internet is by use of passive recruitment (Singh & Finn, 2003). In this recruitment method, firms contact individuals who are not in active pursuit of positions in the internet but are well qualified. Online recruiters browse through web pages of individuals in attempts to spot and identify prospective and highly promising candidates for vacant positions.
Advantages of business deals done in Internet are well documented. They provide available information to a wide scope of audience and improve communication in a resourceful and very timely way. The internet can also be seen as a cost-effective advertisement medium which enables paperless (electronic) and actual real-time business. Concisely, the potential beneficial impacts of Internet recruitment include: lowering costs of recruitment process; accelerating the recruitment cycle; and netting of excellently competent recruits. The cycle of recruitment is accelerated since the process of reviewing the hundreds of candidates’ resumes is streamlined (Wood & Payne, 1998). The outlays related with Internet recruitment that are lowered include low costs of development and maintenance of company employment information in the employment section, and the subscription costs of online job boards.
Telecommunication, radio and television
A survey carried out to determine the most preferred selection process established that a majority of managers and job candidates preferred face-to-face interviews, written letter applications and hiring of recruitment agencies to carry out recruitment. A majority of recruiters and job candidates favored telephone screening as a mode of interviewing because they found it more relaxing and comfortable than face-to-face meetings (Dineen, Noe & Wang, 2004). Telephone interviews also allow an interviewer and interviewee to schedule an interview at a more convenient period when the two are most comfortable. Telephone screening enables the involved parties to circumvent continuous interviews, and instead focus on ongoing interview, maximizing the chances of success. However, most large organizations in Australia have shied away from telephone screening in cases where there is a large pool of candidates to be selected. This is because interviewing many people over the phone is not only tiring to recruiters, but is also costly in terms of telephone bills
.The use of radio and television in recruitment is significantly diminished. Radio and television have been traditionally used when targeting specific audiences. For instance, announcement of vacancies in a church can be done via a local religious radio or television station, to improve chances of reaching church goers. Advertisement of managerial positions and other normal organization positions done on the radio will reduce the chances of the message reaching a wide target market. Few organizations announce vacancies on their companies via radio or television because of costs and reduced chances of reaching a wide target market.
While it is true that organizations still employ telecommunication, television and radio in the recruitment and selection process, it is hard to find an organization that did not incorporate the Internet tools in its selection processes. Even though a perception exists that many of individuals who search Internet for jobs in Australia are college and university graduates, this is not entirely the case. Statistics reveal that a good number of online job hunters are people with high schools degrees or even two-year college degree holders. As the number Australian citizens with full time broadband internet access increases, a conscious shift to Internet selection and recruitment will be witnessed in the ensuing years.
Organizations should therefore strive to achieve cost-effective recruitment procedures. Firms should cut down on direct newspaper announcement of available jobs and job fairs. Mailing costs can also be cut down as e-mail has become an everyday component of communication. In fact, statistics reveal that Internet recruitments reduce the overall workload of the human resource department. This is because the Internet helps in collection, filtering and management of files. A number of tasks eliminated by Internet include envelope opening and waste paper disposing.
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