Firms alienate online job seekers

The majority of UK employers have yet to integrate Internet recruitment into their HR strategy

If you are thinking of speculatively applying for jobs on corporate Websites then you could be wasting your time.

Research by recruitment consultancy, Intelligent People Solutions shows that the majority of UK employers have yet to integrate Internet recruitment into their HR strategy.

The report showed that less than 30 percent of 300 major UK 'technology' and 'non-technology' sector employers have developed a Front-end or Applicant Tracking System to efficiently handle a job applicants visit.

Proactive candidates looking for employment opportunities on corporate Websites or via the telephone can expect a largely unrewarding experience.

Although, 72 percent of the tech and 49 percent of non-tech sector companies had the facility to advertise current UK vacancies on their Websites, some high-profile employers had abandoned the idea altogether and advised candidates to read the press.

Of those who had a relatively well developed corporate careers section, the vast majority were US centric, with few or no European/UK based roles advertised.

A very significant proportion returned "no vacancies" despite the fact that they were actually recruiting, and often after the visitor had been encouraged to read what an exciting, challenging and expanding employer they were.

The report showed that when telephoned directly, 47 percent of all companies were unwilling, uninterested or unable to accept a speculative application. None of the companies approached significantly qualified the relevance of a candidates experience prior to recommending an application or further course of action.

The report author, Richard Ogden told ZDNet, "When all the available positions on global site appear to be in the US, all it indicates is that the UK or European subsidiary is not using the careers section to advertise. In a lot of cases candidates are asked to email CVs and they stack up without any system to process them" said Ogden.

Only 7 percent of companies with vacancies advertised on their corporate Web sites directed callers to them.

Responses from technology companies when telephoned by prospective candidates included "I don't think we would have any need for anything like that" -- this was from a network consultancy talking to a network design engineer. A UK telecoms equipment company gave a candidate the human resources postal address but no name: "Post it to us," they said. "Address it to personnel."

UK employers according to the report appear to be forgoing significant process and cost efficiencies, pursuing piecemeal initiatives that increased recruitment timescales and expenditure whilst alienating potentially key employees.

On the positive side, Ogden praised BAe systems and Reuters for having well developed Websites and career sections.

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