E-business is in the news. Not a week goes by without a few old economy companies announcing their plans to form an online marketplace. The Big Three automakers, the aerospace industry, mining, petrochemical–the list goes on. The old economy giants are waking up to the idea of using Internet technologies to improve efficiencies in complex supply chains. What has this got to do with recruitment? Recruiters have to manage a supply chain of their own: a recruiting supply chain. And, as is increasingly evident across many traditional industry processes, there are significant savings to be realized in transforming the recruiting process into an e-business supply chain. On the surface, recruiting appears to be catching on to these technology opportunities. But a closer look often reveals a disjointed supply chain. Links in the Chain For recruiting, the supply chain steps include:
- job requisition creation
- internal deployment
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Nearly all the steps in recruiting have the potential to be linked together and to their external providers electronically, into a total e-business supply chain. Yet many companies have not contemplated the transformation of their recruiting process into an efficient supply chain process. Adoption & Methods As an example, look at just one aspect of one step in the process: sourcing. An overwhelming majority of the largest companies in the world already use the Internet as part of their recruitment sourcing strategy. In its annual survey of the Global 500, recruitsoft.com/iLogos Research found that 79% use their corporate websites for recruiting–i.e. to source candidates. Among those companies, methods vary widely. The “Global 500 Web Site Recruiting, 2000 Survey” broadly categorizes these into e-centric and basic recruiting. “E-centric recruiting” is defined as the practice of posting jobs online and using email or a resume builder on the Web site to receive applications. “Basic recruiting” is characterized as using the Web to advertise job openings, but encouraging candidates to apply through more traditional hiring channels, such as mail or fax. Merely using the Internet as part of a sourcing strategy does not make a recruiting process into an e-centric process-one that is best positioned to become a solid link in an e-business supply chain. Survey results from recruitsoft.com/iLogos Research show 33% of the Global 500 companies are basic recruiters, using the Internet simply as a way of channeling job seekers into their traditional, paper-based recruiting procedures. And sourcing is just one link in an overall recruiting supply chain. Two or more links must be connected electronically for the chain to be considered an e-business process. On the other hand, the survey found that 46% of the Global 500 use a “Careers” section on their corporate home pages to solicit online applications from job seekers. This represents the first step towards transforming recruiting into an e-business process. Once key information about the applicant has been submitted in electronic form, the applicant can be ranked and tracked in a paperless environment. Information can easily be shared and moved through the internal and external suppliers that comprise the recruiting supply chain. The E-Business View Envisioning the recruiting process as an e-business supply chain is the first step towards implementing the process and systems needed for “New Economy” recruiting. For visionary and leading corporations, the corporate website is the public side of a web-based hiring management system integrating all recruiting sources, including job board, print media, job fair and employee referral programs. State-of-the-art web-based recruiting systems bring increased efficiencies and productivity to the corporate recruiting process. These systems ameliorate the frustrations expressed not only by corporations now laboring under cumbersome systems, but also by job seekers, who often experience unsatisfactory results from current Internet job application interfaces. Companies are transforming themselves into e-businesses. Corporate cultures are changing rapidly. The old economy is catching up with the new. Human Resources, once viewed as overhead, is now seen as critical to the overall success of the corporation. The e-business revolution promises cost savings in all business processes, and HR is no exception.