Magazine article Insight on the News

Companies and Employees Are Hooking Up on the Net

Magazine article Insight on the News

Companies and Employees Are Hooking Up on the Net

Article excerpt

The labor market is tight, and it seems that just about every type of employee -- receptionist to executive -- is moving away or moving up. Job recruiters are turning to the World Wide Web for help.

John Otroba, a human-resources director for American Management Systems in Fairfax, Va., is constantly striving to keep his company fully staffed by running column-length ads in newspapers, networking and talking to recruiters. But like a growing number of personnel directors, Otroba has turned to the Internet to help him find talented candidates faster and cheaper.

"Using traditional methods to hire a receptionist or a marketing assistant, we would place a one-column ad in a newspaper for about $1,200 and get resumes about five days later," Otroba says. Using Internet employment sites, he can begin scanning resumes within 24 hours of posting an advertisement.

While most human-resources professionals still list newspapers as their most frequent venue for advertising, an increasing number are using the Internet, according to a study of 323 human-resources executives from 10 different industries by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a consulting firm in Washington. About 83 percent said they would be interested in posting jobs on the World Wide Web in the future.

Otroba uses a service called TeamBuilder.com, which allows him to scan fresh resumes that are delivered electronically to his computer every 24 hours. Companies paying for the service also gain access to other larger job-hunt services, such as the Monster Board and Online Career Center. While the service is not cheap -- it costs American Management Systems about $30,000 each year -- Otroba says he's saving money in the long run. "We don't get more resumes than we would with a newspaper," he says "but we do get more qualified applicants."

Job seekers likewise can use Netstart's CareerBuilder.com service. The free site allows them to search for opportunities by industry, location or professional field and then place a resume in the system. The service also provides tips on interviewing and resume writing.

"Using traditional methods, the job seeker has to write a resume and cover letter and then send it out to a lot of companies you probably don't know much about," says Netstart's founder and chief executive officer, Rob McGovern. "But on the Web you can get almost unlimited information about a company, its finances or anything else you're interested in. You can really educate yourself about a company before throwing your hat in the ring."

Like the job seeker daydreaming about that next career opportunity, McGovern was looking for a way to use his 15 years of experience in the high-tech industry to start his own business. He envisioned Netstart two years ago while vacationing at the beach with his family Three weeks later he had a business plan and launched the company in the fall of 1995. Today he has hundreds of business clients, a number that has been increasing each month.

But there are hundreds of career Web sites available on the Internet, and that number is increasing as well. Some of the services created by state or local government agencies and schools are free, but others cost thousands of dollars. Tim Riley of Lycos, a Marlborough, Mass.-based search engine that rates Web sites, is helping employers and job seekers navigate the new medium. …

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