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How to Recruit Via the Internet

January 6, 2000
Related Topics: Internet, Candidate Sourcing, Featured Article
A professional staffing agency in Southern California, Commercial Programming Systems (CPS), uses the Internet extensively to post ads and search for candidates. Their executive vice president, Phil Sawyer, offers the following advice to companies planning to recruit over the Internet.

  • Utilize all your Internet options.
    Post job listings on Internet career sites such as or Candidates search these sites, contacting companies that interest them.

    Many qualified candidates post their resumes on databases sponsored by Internet career sites. Recruiters are able to search the sites, or have software programs called "agents" run daily searches.

    Recruiters also search for passive candidates (those not actively looking for jobs), and this option yields the best prospects, but is the most time intensive. Resume databases tend to give the best results, and posting jobs provides a steady stream of responses from which to choose.
  • Know what criteria to screen for.
    Internet career sites generally allow recruiters to screen resumes for the candidate’s skills, location and source (whether the resume came directly from the candidate or a third party).

    Some search engines let you search by area or zip codes. All search engines generate a list of candidates based on your search criteria, so the more detailed your search, the more qualified candidates you’ll find.
  • Use rules wizards as part of the screening process.
    Sorting through and responding to hundreds of e-mail responses to job postings every week can be a headache. At CPS, to shorten the screening process, they use the "rules wizards" (sets of filtering rules) within the MS Outlook program to sort incoming e-mail to separate strong candidates from the weak ones.
  • Screen, verify identity, and test over the telephone.
    Do the first round of screening via e-mail, then telephone the candidate for the next go-around. A candidate can write impressive e-mail, yet may be difficult to understand or incompatible over the telephone.

    At CPS, they discovered it is best to examine a candidate by telephone instead of online because recruiters know they are speaking with the actual candidate. Since CPS subscribes to a software package of about 40 tests, all recruiters can test each applicant at advanced, intermediate or beginning levels.
  • Don’t waste time: determine your chances of hiring candidates early.
    Because other recruiters may be reviewing the same candidate, a rapid response is best. There’s no time to circulate a resume to the entire staff in a lengthy review process. Because the Internet condenses the communication cycle, competition is severe. Depending on the skill set, candidates can be gone within a week of posting a resume.
  • Keep in touch with candidates and build a long-term relationship with them.
    People want an individual relationship when changing jobs, so when you are last in line to talk to a prize candidate, contact him later and build a long-term relationship.
  • Recruit directly from your own site and from Web portal sites.
    Make sure your Web address gets high visibility. Use national sites as much as you need, but not at the expense of recruiting candidates directly to your own company’s site.

SOURCE: Commercial Programming Systems, Los Angeles, December 1999.

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