Can You Gain from the Net? Online Job-Seeking Is on the Rise - but Watch out for the Pitfalls

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

Can You Gain from the Net? Online Job-Seeking Is on the Rise - but Watch out for the Pitfalls


Byline: JACKY HYAMS

JOB-HUNTING via the net is on the increase. A recent survey conducted by the BMRB (British Market Research Bureau) revealed that 23 per cent of jobseekers in the UK cited the internet as a favoured method of jobhunting, nearly double the number who surfed the net to find work four years ago.

Given the plethora of company and recruitment websites, this isn't so surprising.

Yet newspapers still top the list of job-hunting routes, cited as the preferred method by nearly 50 per cent of people surveyed. But, could there come a time when the internet takes over from the traditional job-hunting methods?

"Electronic jobseeking may be a growth area, but it can never be as big as finding a job through word of mouth, recommendation or even contacting a company direct," says Richard Chiumento, chief executive of career management consultancy Chiumento.

"In other words, proactive job-seeking will always have the edge because the net remains a reactive way of finding work."

It may be speedy, instantly available and easy to use if you're checking out job opportunities, but the downside of the internet is the lack of human response or personal feedback available and online recruiters still have a huge task ahead to overcome this barrier.

"The job-seeker is increasingly demanding. They want feedback and better-quality information about the company they're approaching," Chiumento explains.

"Certainly, some of the best employers have already recognised this and produced corporate websites offering a careers adviser online for candidates to contact if they want feedback or to learn what skills they might need for the future." Indeed, some companies are now using the internet to assess people online, using psychometric testing.

"Our clients, mainly bluechip companies and individual consultancies, have already shifted from using paper-andpencil based tests to embracing the online mode of delivery," says Gillian Hyde, director of Psychological Consultancy, which helps clients carry out assessments of candidates online. …

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