Web recruitment: Don't just post jobs

But as you lift your fork, anticipating the next taste sensation, you're also recruiting, screening, and qualifying IT job candidates.


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 The screen test

You're sitting in a restaurant, enjoying a sumptuous meal with an entertaining companion. Your mind is about as far from the office as it could possibly be. But as you lift your fork, anticipating the next taste sensation, you're also recruiting, screening, and qualifying IT job candidates.

If the career section of your company's Web site just collects resumes, it's not working hard enough.
If you optimize the "careers" or "jobs" portion of your corporate Web site, 24x7 recruiting is not farfetched--and you'll enjoy your meals a lot more. The fact is, most corporate Web sites are in their infancy when it comes to capturing interested, qualified, and available IT workers, according to Kevin Wheeler, principal consultant for Global Learning Systems, a recruitment consulting firm in Oakland, Calif. Most sites simply post job openings online and instruct applicants to send a resume to jobs@ABCco.com. Nothing's wrong with that approach, but you can do so much more to leverage your existing Web site.

In the next two to three years, the resume as we know it will more or less fade away as more companies insist that applicants use online resume builders.
With the right tools, Web sites can attract passive as well as active job candidates, automate and accelerate the hiring process, weed out unqualified job seekers, and provide a give-and-take relationship, where both the company and the candidate come away with a personalized and more complete view of one another.

For instance, instead of accepting prewritten resumes, you can create a "resume builder" to collect the background information you want, in the format you need. Or you can require candidates to answer a series of prescreening questions. Or you can make your own employees available to "chat" with potential hires.

For an idea of some hardworking Web sites, Wheeler suggests taking a look at two network providers: Cisco Systems Inc., in San Jose, Calif., and Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, N.J.

Goodbye, resumes

Both Lucent and Cisco provide resume builders, but Lucent's requires applicants to create an online resume before applying for any jobs on its Web site. Applicants are instructed to fill in fields including name, contact information, employment, education, languages spoken, job preferences, and career objectives. Alternatively, they can cut and paste their resume into a space provided. The information is then placed automatically into the appropriate fields.

With resume builders, "companies can control the information they get," Wheeler says. It's also a potentially more straightforward approach. "Resumes are really a marketing piece, and some people are better at marketing and advertising than others," he says.

Plus, "most good candidates don't have a resume," notes Doug Miller, vice president of marketing at World.hire, an Austin, Texas-based firm that helps companies with their Web recruitment strategies. He's referring to passive candidates, individuals who may visit your Web site for information or another purpose but are drawn to your careers page because you've made it an attractive area to visit. "If you can engage them, they might be interested in pursuing a position but may not have a resume. The [submit] resume button will turn them right off."

Wheeler actually imagines a day when paper resumes will be obsolete. "This year, we'll see more companies saying, 'Either submit your information via a resume builder, or we don't want it.' And in the next two to three years, the resume as we know it will more or less fade away," he says.

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