How do I develop an integrated online recruitment program?

Okay, this is the fun part. What s an integrated online recruitment program supposed to look like when you add all these elements together? Very few companies will have all these elements. There are two phases to an ideal integrated online recruitment program. The first phase includes harvesting resumes, placing ads, cross-listing ads, and using your corporate Web site. In this phase, use job boards like to get more space, longer running time, and instant exposure to a national market at a fraction of the cost of a local classified ad.

In the second phase, employers and recruiters will learn to drive traffic and build communities themselves that lower costs even further by intercepting target candidates well ahead of commercial job boards.

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Our picture of a well-integrated online recruitment strategy includes the elements already presented in this chapter in the following order:

Phase 1: Ad hoc online recruitment strategy

- Free resume development via Usenet and America's Job Bank job postings and resume harvesting

- Fee-paid ads and resume harvesting in commercial online services with high-traffic databases that contain links to your Web site

- Well-designed, interactive corporate Web site for recruiting (using Java, Shockwave, video, and sound)

- Integration of your print and online advertising by including your Web address in all newspaper ads and marketing materials

Phase 2: Fully integrated, comprehensive online recruitment strategy

- Resume builders: Use online prescreening forms and applications to help candidates who don't have resumes available or who want to ''self-select'' in the employment process.

- Brand management: Place banner ads on key Web sites to drive traffic to your home page, and participate in online career fairs to develop a greater online presence and company awareness profile.

- Publicity: Use corporate bulletin boards, newsletters, and diversity Web sites as free resources to publicize your job openings.

- Passive candidate identification: Employ the services of source strategists or outsource to consulting firms the process of mining the Web for passive job candidates. Their role will be to find resumes across the Web or in destinations like resume banks, virtual communities, or ISPs, and thereby locate potential candidates in source companies, colleges, organizations, forums, and events.

- Community outreach: Use the concept of community to contact candidates and form and grow relationships on the Net. The World Wide Web is an enriched environment with great tools for building pools of prospects and candidate networks. Once you find candidates, you must be able to communicate with them. You must get their attention, convey compelling opportunities, answer their questions, and develop relationships. Cisco Systems does this, for example, through its ''Make Friends'' program, which connects potential candidates with a Cisco employee from the department where they wish to work.

- Information management: Manage the digital flow of resumes straight into your client server or Web-based applicant management system, where they can be analyzed, binned, sorted into work flow queues, shared by recruiters and hiring managers, and then stored to fill future openings. From automatic e-mail notification when resumes are submitted to full tracking of an applicant s progression through the process, technology is available to make the entire process more manageable for you. For example, notes, time/date stamp features, letter templates, distribution functionality, and real-time statistics are available to help you manage active candidates.

- Reporting: Develop customized online reports that monitor recruiting activities and get automatically refreshed on the basis of current data. Standard reports typically track source effectiveness, cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, recruiter productivity, and affirmative action outreach efforts.

Whether you choose to use online recruitment selectively or to build your entire employment program around it will depend on your industry, the geographic scarcity of candidates, and the resources you have to dedicate. What s clear, however, is that your goal must be to make recruitment an engine of corporate growth and a competitive corporate tool. There is a fundamental shift of power in the job-finding process, and the Internet is leading the way. Climb aboard and experiment!

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