Employment Auctions Arrive Via the Internet Eighty per Cent of American Graduates Used the Web This Year to Find Work

By Hilpern, Kate | The Independent (London, England), September 19, 1999 | Go to article overview
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Employment Auctions Arrive Via the Internet Eighty per Cent of American Graduates Used the Web This Year to Find Work


Hilpern, Kate, The Independent (London, England)


Gone are the days when people asked whether the internet would transform recruitment. Now, the question is simply how. Could traditional recruitment advertising become a thing of the past? And can e-recruitment make life easier for employees and employers?

The most common reaction from today's employers is that whatever the outcome, it is likely to happen at a slower pace than in the US. Research by SBC Internet Services found that a staggering 82 per cent of Americans graduating this summer have used the net to search for job openings or careers information.

In the UK, on the other hand, studies show that there is no sector in which the internet is the primary tool for attracting recruits and only one per cent cite it as the most effective means.

There are even doubts as to whether the latest methods of on-line recruitment will take off in this country at all. Talent Market, for instance, is the first "employment auction" in the world and has recently been introduced in the US. Individuals submit personal profiles on to the web, together with ideal assignments and fees, and interested companies then bid on those they want to hire.

"It won't work here," says Alannah Hunt, head of the executive search and selection group at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. "It's ridiculous to expect companies to hire people whom they haven't even met. Anyway, we all know that people embellish their CVs so what exactly is it that companies will be bidding for? I think it's a very tacky concept."

Despite these examples of British caution, research shows that the increase in use of e-recruitment in this country has speeded up rapidly during the past few months. Three years ago, the IPD found that 14 per cent of respondents used the internet. By 1998, 19 per cent were using it. This year, that figure suddenly grew to 32 per cent.

It's one of the reasons that George Richardson, an on-line recruitment analyst, believes conventional appointment pages will eventually be used either to signpost web sites or will simply disappear altogether.

Why? "Simple," he says. "If you have the option of sending your CV into a range of web sites and wait to receive an e-mail back, why would you want to waste your time flicking through newsprint, phoning the company and then wasting a stamp?"

Career websites such as www.taps.co.uk and www.jobserve.co.uk have already introduced such systems. Job seekers post their CV directly into the web site and are alerted to suitable vacancies by e-mail.

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Employment Auctions Arrive Via the Internet Eighty per Cent of American Graduates Used the Web This Year to Find Work
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