Employment auctions arrive via the internet

Eighty per cent of American graduates used the web this year to find work.

Gone are the days when people asked whether the internet would transform recruitment. Now, the question is simply how. Could traditional recruitment advertising become a thing of the past? And can e-recruitment make life easier for employees and employers?

The most common reaction from today's employers is that whatever the outcome, it is likely to happen at a slower pace than in the US. Research by SBC Internet Services found that a staggering 82 per cent of Americans graduating this summer have used the net to search for job openings or careers information.

In the UK, on the other hand, studies show that there is no sector in which the internet is the primary tool for attracting recruits and only one per cent cite it as the most effective means.

There are even doubts as to whether the latest methods of on-line recruitment will take off in this country at all. Talent Market, for instance, is the first "employment auction" in the world and has recently been introduced in the US. Individuals submit personal profiles on to the web, together with ideal assignments and fees, and interested companies then bid on those they want to hire.

"It won't work here," says Alannah Hunt, head of the executive search and selection group at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. "It's ridiculous to expect companies to hire people whom they haven't even met. Anyway, we all know that people embellish their CVs so what exactly is it that companies will be bidding for? I think it's a very tacky concept."

Despite these examples of British caution, research shows that the increase in use of e-recruitment in this country has speeded up rapidly during the past few months. Three years ago, the IPD found that 14 per cent of respondents used the internet. By 1998, 19 per cent were using it. This year, that figure suddenly grew to 32 per cent.

It's one of the reasons that George Richardson, an on-line recruitment analyst, believes conventional appointment pages will eventually be used either to signpost web sites or will simply disappear altogether.

Why? "Simple," he says. "If you have the option of sending your CV into a range of web sites and wait to receive an e-mail back, why would you want to waste your time flicking through newsprint, phoning the company and then wasting a stamp?"

Career websites such as www.taps.co.uk and www.jobserve.co.uk have already introduced such systems. Job seekers post their CV directly into the web site and are alerted to suitable vacancies by e-mail.

"Job seekers love it because it's such a flexible and time-saving system," explains a spokeswoman from Jobsite. "You don't even have to post your CV if you don't want to. You can state your interests, and you'll be alerted to suitable jobs via e-mail."

Jobsite claims the benefits stretch even further for employers. A small advert running in the appointments section of a broadsheet for a month can cost up to 35 times more than advertising on the net for the same period.

No wonder, then, that many companies are also turning to the internet for assistance in interviewing. Selby Mellsmith, a Bath-based occupational psychologist has pioneered on-line psychometric testing with graduates.

"Hundreds of graduates complete our questionnaire every month," explains Tony Charles, commercial director. "The data is collated and sent on disc to subscribing employers on a regular basis so that they can use it as a start of the assessment process."

In other companies, staff are being recruited by computer-aided interviews. And a growing number of employers are also scanning CVs to help pick out the most suitable applicants.

Hewlett Packard is one such company. "We use software packages to scan automatically and sift on-line applications. We search our database using key word and buzz-phrase searches," explains Elaine Thaw, a recruitment specialist. The company receives between 60 and 70 CVs electronically each day compared with 20 to 30 in hard copy by post each week.

Nevertheless, e-recruitment is certainly not without its cynics. John Morgan, who works in specialised recruitment, claims e-recruitment is hopeless for his clients. "The last thing you want to do as a specialised worker is put details of your abilities and experience on the internet for anyone to see. It would make very bad business sense."

Many companies have also expressed concerns about inaccuracies. Suppose the software system fails to pick out a key-word from a CV belonging to the best person for the job? Even designers of e-recruitment web sites are quick to admit that no system is fail-safe.

But the biggest cause for concern is that millions of people have already posted their details on on-line recruitment sites, and with 4,000 new users of the internet each week, it may not be long before employers become inundated with data. If that happens, the irony will be that the supposedly time-saving system of e-recruitment has become so big that it can't contain itself.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments