Nearly half of UK employers are using the internet to recruit staff, according to the fourth Annual Recruitment Survey by the Institute of Personnel and Development.
The survey of 262 employers highlights the growth of internet usage from 36% in 1999 to 47% 12 months later.
Companies use the net for three main purposes: receiving applications by e-mail, reported by two-thirds of respondents; advertising vacancies on internal intranets, used by 62%; and using company websites to advertise externally, reported by 43%.
The internet is more likely to be used to recruit professional staff than managers. Four out of 10 recruited professional staff, 36% recruited managers and just under 25% recruited skilled manual workers via the web.
All areas saw an increase on the previous year’s figures with skilled manual recruitment doubling in 12 months.
Imogen Daniels, adviser in employee resourcing at the IPD said: `The internet is here to stay as a recruitment tool. More and more employers will switch to this method of recruitment.’
But she added that it is not seen as a replacement for more traditional methods. Only 2% believe it is a more effective way of recruiting managers and skilled staff than other routes. `This may change as more jobs are offered online and job seekers are encouraged to use electronic media,’ said Daniels.
The survey also revealed an easing of recruitment difficulties despite the tightening labour market. Employers reported an 8% drop in recruitment difficulties, compared to last year. However, 45% said they had problems filling professional posts.
Daniels said the overall easing indicated that employers were being more realistic about the calibre of candidates they were likely to get. `It may also show that the larger number of young people, often with better qualifications, coming through the education system is making recruitment decisions slightly easier,’ she added.
Dominique Hammond writes for Personnel Today
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