An e-Recruiting Primer Five Tips for Getting Started in e-Recruiting

So you’re “on the net” now and are feeling pretty good. A few keys clicks away lay thousands of great resumes and access to an almost endless number of contacts, sources, and employee lists. Yet you say, “Where do I begin?” “What actually works?” Here are five tips that should help you get started and become the foundation for an increasingly sophisticated e-recruiting strategy. Tip #1: Have a general understanding of what is out there for you to use. Generally, I break e-recuiting into 4 categories. Category 1 consists of the various job boards that have become so widespread. The best known is and is the largest in terms of total content and usage. Monster is followed in size by, HotJobs and HeadHunter. Category 2 consists of marketing tools and web sites designed to drive candidates to you or serve to market your jobs to candidates. These include your own corporate web site and Internet-based services that allows candidates to present themselves to recruiters. Some of these include and RecruitSoft. Others include firms that put on both virtual and real job fairs such as BrassRing as well as talent auction sites such as Monster’s Talent Market. Some sites focus on consultants and so-called “free agents”: Take a look at, SkillsVillage,, and FreeAgent. Category 3 are the portals and specialized sites and tools that have begun springing up to help recruiters find both active and passive candidates. These include the Electronic Recruiting Exchange. Category 4 is made up of the search tools and skills required to find people on the Internet through techniques such as Internet searching, Internet robots or web-bots; and “flipping” into corporate web sites to find the names and even resumes of current employees. Tip #2: Start simply. Accessing job boards is the place to begin e-recruiting. Through job boards you can find lots of promising candidates and not have to be an expert at Boolean searching. You can also post your jobs and begin getting a stream of candidates from the job boards to you. Job boards come in two basic types: type I are the general boards that cover a wide variety of professions and are global (or at least nationwide) in their scope. The second type is often called a vertical job board. These are focused on a particular profession or geography – or both. is an example of the first type and Craig’sList is an example of a very specialized job board. I recommend you start with the general boards to get a sense of how they work and what is out there. Then locate local boards and boards that contain the professions you are seeking. Most recruiters find that after a while they are only interested in the specialized job boards in the location they are searching in. Tip #3: Make sure you have and use your own web site. A great web site is essential and making a web site that is easy to use and that produces good results is not easy to build. It will take some time and experimentation to be successful in creating one. Take a look at Cisco’s, Federated Department Store’s, and Goldman-Sachs for some ideas on how to do a web site that is interesting, easy to use and brings in candidates. WetFeet Press in San Francisco recently conducted market research on what makes a good web site. Check out their web site for an executive summary and for a copy of the full report. Tip #4: Use the online resources available for recruiters. Electronic Recruiting Exchange is a source of articles, information, surveys and tips on recruiting designed specifically for recruiters. Also the National Association for Recruiting Professionals has a web site at Also check out the Society for Human Resources Management’s (SHRM) site and its specialty group, the Employment Management Association for additional information and advice. Some sites such as help you understand how large salary differences may be between cities. This is very useful as you negotiate with a candidate who is moving from another part of the country. Other sites offer free salary surveys like JobSmart. And Gary Crispin and Mark Mehler have produced a great site with a wealth of information on electronic recruiting, job, resume sites and career management sites at Tip #5: Experiment, surf and explore the Internet every day. Start doing word searches on recruiting topics, subscribe to some of the free newsletters available from the sites above and communicate with fellow recruiters as much as possible. The Internet world changes so rapidly that no one can be completely up-to-date. However, if you want to be at the forefront of innovation and gain the competitive edge of early adopters, you need to make yourself a goal of spending a certain amount of time exploring and surfing and talking everyday.

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Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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