Online Recruitment – State-Of-The-Art Job Search Strategies

Online recruitment started almost the same time in the USA and in England in the early 90’s with providers like Monster.com in the USA, Jobserve.com in the UK and Allstarjobs.ca (started in 1997). A job bank at that time merely had a few thousand of open job positions and the chance of putting employers in touch with jobseekers was quite remote.

Since those early days, we have seen an explosion of job search sites and the technology has improved a lot for the benefit of both, recruiters and jobseekers. Nowadays, typing “Job Search” in search fields of Google or Yahoo, you get millions of pages dealing with this subject.

Now we have a new problem: how not to get lost in this jungle of ultimate Career and Job Search Services (of which many require an inscription fee). What do we really want? Using the Internet in first place has the advantage of speed and the possibility to look in any geographical area for the required job that the candidate is qualified for, or aspires to. With the Internet installed at home, it is possible to investigate the potential employers, ask questions and apply for the position, without even taking off your pajamas.

How do we explain the recent evolution in online recruitment technology? Even if you feel relatively satisfied with the current search offerings of top job search engines like Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com or Hotjobs.com, there are still many doors open for improvements and a lot of research is going on in the field of vertical engines, meaning-based search, intent-driven search, new clustering methods, and much more.

A recent trend in job search engines is the emergence of all-in-one or metasearch engines (sometimes also referred as vertical job search engines), allowing jobseekers to search across multiple websites. Among the most popular engines are Indeed (in the USA), Wowjobs (in Canada) and Trovit (in the UK).

Probably the most powerful of all is Indeed, which was founded by Paul Forster and his partner Rony Kahan in the year 2004 to cover the US job market. According to Hitwise data, Indeed saw its market share increase by 302% in the year 2006 and this was only the beginning. The success of Indeed and other metasearch or all-in-one search engines is the fact that job seekers can go to one place to find all jobs, overcoming the limitation of the job boards, which have a finite number of listings. A simple comparison of mayor job search engines reveals that there is no need any more to look in all the individual engines to find the best fits for the job you are looking for. There are more job sites than you can count, ranging from the top job sites like Monster and CareerBuilder to small, niche sites in just about every career field you can imagine. Meta job search engines like Indeed or Wowjobs are searching in more than 1200 engines at a time and brings you the result in seconds on your screen. With a couple of clicks of your mouse, you search the major job sites, company sites, associations, and other online job sites by keyword and location to get job listings that match the criteria you selected. With it’s high-tech search strategy, Indeed clearly leaves behind other so-called meta-job search engines like Jobster and SimpyHired. With Wowjobs and Trovit, metasearch engines focused on the Canadian and UK job market respectively, the situation is very similar.

A developing trend with both jobs search engines and jobs boards is that many now encourage users to post their resume or CV together with contact details. The fact is, it`s proven that posting your resume in a proactive way in the mayor resume distribution systems will put it on the desk of hundreds of recruiters and can more than double the chance of getting a job!

The advantages of Resume Posting are:

– You more than double your chance of getting “discovered” by a recruiter who is looking for a person with exactly your experience and abilities.

– You put your resume in the hands of hundreds of recruiters, almost instantly!

– You are sending your resume only to recruiters focusing on your specific industry or job categories.

– You save a lot of time and money and you get an instant edge – with only little effort from your part!

– Your resume is passing a pre-selection system and when it comes on the desk of hiring managers they will read it very carefully.

Resume posting has become an attractive business for the recruitment companies as they sell the access to their resume bank to headhunters and recruiting managers. Anyhow, jobseekers should be aware of the risks of uploading personal information to the Internet since they have no control over what will happen with their data and their resume might be seen by their current employer or even by “identity thefts”.

The question is still if all the improvements in search technology also improved the overall performance of recruitment efforts. Finding a job still is hard work. It is very helpful to slow down, take time, and analyze if you are happy with your current situation and what career is really right for you. In our modern world, the best job success is earning good money with work that gives you a sense of purpose, expresses your talents and passions, and is consistent with your values. A lack of many Job Search Sites is that they do not assist the jobseekers in finding their best career fit and even confusing people in trying to evaluate their current situation. Job searching is a short-term pursuit of a position that matches your financial and career goals. Career planning is a long, progressive process of choosing education, training, and jobs that fit your interests and skills. This planning process also includes the evaluation of career change or self-employment opportunities. Deciding what type of work you want to pursue requires knowledge and understanding of your interests, your values, your motivation, and the skills you enjoy using the most. This is helpful whether you are choosing a career for the first time or changing careers for the twenty-first time.

One aspect that even the most powerful Job Search engine cannot cover is the fact that probably the majority of job vacancies are never posted in journals, newspapers or on-line and you only find them using the right contacts or your Network.

This “hidden job market” only can be exploited by keeping focus on people who have experiences, and contacts that might be interesting for you.

Good possibilities to build up your Network, are for example job fairs or similar events where you meet hiring managers, job lead sources and other valuable contacts.

Using state-of-the art job search engines, online recruitment has become a powerful tool for a fast, efficient and economical job search and the performance is improving constantly. But every jobseeker should be aware of the fact that even the most powerful job search engine should be considered only as a single tool in the Job Search Strategy and that still most jobs are found using personal Networks. Finding a job is all about people, the people you know, and people you meet who have the job information and who will inevitably help you get a job. Online Job Search using all-in-one or metasearch engines definitely makes life much easier but should not be overestimated.

1) Two-Approach Job Search Guide – 2ajobguide.com

2) David Hurst,Chairman – ORMC, 2004

3) Joel Cheesman’s Blog, “Craigslist puts smackdown on verticals”, October 19, 2006.

4) INTERNET Inc, “Job Search Verticals – The List”, October 5, 2006.

5) Read/WriteWeb, “Search 2.0 – What’s Next?”, December 13, 2006.