An Introduction to Online Recruitment |

Finding the ideal candidate today is different than it was in the past; whether you’re starting your journey in recruitment or have many years of experience in the sector you will know that one of the biggest tools that you can engage in is the internet. 

Nowadays, HR departments are becoming more digital, especially for recruitment and it matches the way that people are searching for jobs. 

Whether you are recruiting for a whole new team or just individuals to fill specific roles, online recruitment tools can save you time and money as well as meet the needs of today’s recruitment market. 

In this guide you will discover what online recruitment is, the advantages and disadvantages of online recruitment, the different methods of online recruitment and learn how you can create a great experience with e-recruitment. 

What is online recruitment?

Online recruitment or e-recruitment or internet recruitment is the process of filling job positions using web-based resources and software to find, attract, interview and hire new employees into your organisation. 

Using cloud based or internet based software, you can post jobs, accept applications and communicate with applicants and monitor their progress throughout the whole hiring process. 

Online recruitment benefits from active and passive recruitment techniques as well, which means that the ideal candidate is never that far away from being able to apply - and done correctly, you can fulfil a database of candidates for future positions in your organisation should you wish to do so.

Advantages and disadvantages of online recruitment

Recruitment is nothing new, but with the changes to the process and the marketplace that people and organisations are witnessing, there is an inevitability that there will be advantages and disadvantages to online recruitment. 

Many recruiters are already using the internet to recruit candidates as well do a myriad of other daily tasks - the internet is nothing new nowadays however, the fact remains that online recruitment covers many different areas and so being prepared to deal with the good and the bad of the process is going to be critical.

Advantages of online recruitment

  • The Internet provides a far wider applicant / talent pool from which to attract candidates and can therefore deliver many more applications for vacancies.
  • Sourcing new candidates 
  • Targeting potential candidates from a wider geographical area improves the likelihood of finding people with required specialist skills or qualifications.
  • Online applicant screen saves time and money - for both organisations and candidates.
  • Communication with applicants is fast and efficient.
  • E-recruitment practices can boost a brand’s image.
  • Online recruitment enables the efficient management of all aspects of the recruitment process.
  • Improves brand image and employer brand especially if the website and the information on site and through social media is attractive making the applicant want to apply for a role. 
  • Create a better inbound recruitment process which attracts passive candidates as well as active candidates. 


Disadvantages of online recruitment

  • Relies on technology and the ability of applicants to use it. Therefore disadvantageous to those who live in areas with poor connectivity and those who are not technically competent.
  • The wider pool of applicants can mean a vast number of applications to process.
  • Online recruitment is open to fraudulent applications - possibly from competing organisations.
  • Online only recruitment methods can omit the insight provided from face to face meetings / interviews.
  • The online recruitment process can feel too informal which can lead to certain positions - mainly highly experienced or niche - not applying.

Online recruitment methods

One of the key advantages of the online recruitment process is that it is constantly undergoing change and because it is very dynamic, it has many techniques, tools and methods which are continuously evolving to ensure that the process is up to date and matches people's behaviour more efficiently than traditional methods - on the whole.

What are the ways in which you can recruit through online methods? Here are some of the best and most tried and tested techniques.

Company website

The company website has changed over the years. What started as a simple page on the internet is now a powerful tool that allows you to create a whole world for candidates and your employees.

If you want to better demonstrate your value as a business, you do this by developing your employer brand.

The employer brand is designed so that it can attract the best talent and one of the ways of doing this is by showing potential employees what the values and the culture of the organisation are and how staff appear to feel about working there.

You can build a dedicated recruitment or careers page(s) that highlights your employer brand as well as your employee value proposition (EVP).

Your Employee Value Proposition is really the message that you will target your candidate with. An employee value proposition should tell potential candidate’s why they should come to work for your company.

Importantly, these pages need to be clear, attention-grabbing and memorable.

Internet advertising

Another advantage of online recruitment is the ability to create paid online advertising which can be highly effective in reaching relevant candidates and guiding them to the company vacancies page - or a specific page.

You can use search engines such as Google and Bing to create targeted adverts to attract the ideal candidates, and even social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook which offer the paid advertising facilities to get your open position to a wider audience.

Online job boards even offer paid advertising features and can gear e-shots to candidates in specific sectors which makes it a highly targeted recruitment method. 

Social media

If there has been one significant change in the recruitment process over the years, it has been the introduction of social media in attracting top talent.

In 2018 it was determined (by Glassdoor) that 79% of USA job seekers used social media in the job search. Platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can all be effectively used to reach potential candidates.

Social media also attracts a different demographic aspect when it comes to communicating your message and the kinds of applications as well. Alternatively, social media also gives potential employers the possibility to reach out to candidates and discover more about them with a bit of extra digging. LinkedIn is the most relevant platform for this kind of outreach since it has highly functional filters that create an effective database which can be automatically exported with Organisations must act ethically when doing so however. 

To demonstrate the impact of social media in the online recruitment process, here are some other statistics that proves that it cannot be ignored as a method. 

  • 96% of job seekers use social media when conducting a job search (CareerArc)
  • 49% of professionals follow companies on social media to stay aware of job opportunities (LinkedIn)
  • 81% of jobseekers want to see job opportunities posted to Facebook (Link Humans)
  • 46% of companies said social media recruiting investments are a focus in 2020 and beyond (Jobvite)

Contact sourcing

Contact sourcing is another way that online recruitment has changed for the better - in many cases. In order for it to be successful, it involves doing some more work to obtain contact information for people in the industry who may have an interest in working for you. 

For example, if you're hiring for a social media marketing position. Contact sourcing is about looking at profiles on portfolio websites like GitHub and then looking for email addresses for people who mention they're seeking work in that field. You can then either reach out to see if they are still interested or store in a database of potential candidates for the future. 

You might also do general web searches or take advantage of contact sourcing tools such as ContactOut or Aevy.

Online job boards

If there is one area that has really grown in the last two decades it is the online job board. Nearly everyone has heard of this method and more than likely, you will be using this as part of your ongoing recruitment strategy. 

You can use them to not only attract the top talent but equally as a research tool to help you define better job descriptions and roles for your own organisation. 

Job boards such as Monster, REED and Indeed are three of the most popular online recruitment packs and cover nearly every category of job posting and industry. 

In many cases, some job boards allow recruiters to use features without charge, offering options for free job postings or trials. 

These happen to be very popular with job seekers as they can input their CVs one time and get emails sent about new openings on a daily basis.


Video interviews

Once again, the recruitment industry heavily adapted the way it did business during the global pandemic, and it started to use many of the tools that were already available - and even refine them to ensure that organisations could still hire and attract the best talent with their candidates. 

One such method that really grew was the video interview. The pandemic accelerated what was a growing trend - alongside remote working - to develop a new way of being able to bring in the best talent without them having to leave their home. 

It is now a commonly used strategy as it can give greater flexibility to candidates and recruiters alike, scheduling in time before or after usual hours without requiring the physical commitment to be in the office. 

Guest posts

One of the original methods of influencer marketing and something which hasn’t really disappeared is the use of Guest Posting. This is either on a very popular online industry news/magazine platform or through someone who has a very popular blog/website. 

Guest posting gets to put you directly in front of a niche audience that are either interested in your line of business or work in your industry. A guest post can also be more creative and can lend itself to other recruitment content such as posters/infographics/video and interviews.


Another new technique that can be created within the organisation is a podcast. This should be a wider creative ambition for the organisation where the day to day goings on are discussed on a podcast - or the industry as a whole, but if done in an engaging and entertaining way, it can open the door to the organisation developing the employer brand greatly. 

In doing so, if you need to fill a job position, you instantly have a sounding board on which to do so. 

Create a great candidate experience with e-recruitment

The candidate experience is “the series of interactions that a job seeker has with your company throughout the recruiting process.” Done well, it can significantly improve the candidate’s experience and impression of a brand.

How can you improve the candidate experience with e-recruitment? There are a few ways to do it and they include; 

1. Use the right/industry specific technology

Whether you have an internal system or a recruitment platform, getting the right technology to screen candidates before they talk to someone at the business is important. From ease of application to adapting for people with disabilities, the right technology can make the candidate experience significantly better. 

It can also make the experience faster and more user friendly. Using automation tools, the right technology can reach out to candidates and make their experiences more friendly and build better relationships with the brand and organisation.

2. Provide feedback

Successful or not, providing feedback in a timely manner is essential. This will leave the candidate feeling positive about the interaction and even with more knowledge on how to develop their own interview skills. Unsuccessful candidates should always be told they have been unsuccessful. Failing to do so shows a lack of respect on behalf of the business which in turn leaves for a very negative candidate experience. 

3. Shorten the gap to onboarding

For successful candidates, shortening the gap between final interview/decision and onboarding is a positive experience. This will make the new recruit feel already part of the business and team; giving them the opportunity to show the business that they’ve made the right choice. 

The candidate experience is about making every interaction throughout the recruitment process one that provides a positive or at worst, neutral experience. Thinking about your current systems and what you can do to improve them is a good starting point. Remember, it’s about making recruitment work for your business and how important it is that you develop something that reflects the best aspects of your business overall that matters.

In summary

Online recruitment or e-recruitment is the process of filling job positions using web-based resources and software to find, attract, interview and hire new employees into your organisation. This has been one of the most radical changes the recruitment industry has seen in recent years, and yet, many organisations still aren’t using the benefit of this great tool to their advantage.

It is normal to use the internet in a myriad of ways for day-to-day work and nearly 90% of all businesses use the internet to recruit their employees. Using the right techniques and methods you can find the ideal candidates and meet demand for new job positions in your organisation with greater efficiency and accuracy. 

The Thomas Recruitment Platform can be used as part of the recruitment process and initiate searches for candidates as well as managing the recruitment process from one centralised area.