This is an extract from our full guide ‘Secrets to Online Recruitment Success.

Using Internet is an effective way to quickly find the best talent available. However, with a plethora of new concepts it’s good to get some clarity. This is what we have set out to achieve – to clarify the best way to find available talent.

Social media marketing

Social media could potentially be the best tool for you if your company has the same on-going requirements. This is because it costs a lot of time to invest in creating relationships with potential candidates and is often not suitable for urgent requirements.

LinkedIn is very valuable for headhunters. You must have appropriate internal resources to approach candidates. You also need to sell the opportunity, rather than have the candidates sell themselves. It is difficult to find any genuine case studies that demonstrate social media as a great source to finding candidates.  However, providing you have the candidate’s permission, it is a great tool for reference checking.

Even established brands such as BT are struggling to recruit via the social media. Therefore our advice would be, whilst it is cheap, you need to make a large investment in your time and it is a long-term game.

Online job sites

The most efficient way to attract candidates is to use online job sites because they are so widely used by job seekers. However, candidates tend to limit themselves to approximately 2.4 sites. With over 2,000 UK job sites it can be almost impossible to choose the right one. Therefore you must ensure you cover as many job boards as possible. Feel free to have a look at our guide ‘Choosing the Best Online Job Boards

Be careful when choosing a job site based on past successful performances. Job sites have a variety of candidate attraction campaigns. Therefore what worked before may not work again. Some sites may flood your advert with candidate traffic during a free trial, only to sign you up to a long-term contract and then turn off the candidate traffic.

Covering all job boards may mean you need to invest a lot of time and money buying advertising and managing you account. Unfortunately, you may receive a lot of irrelevant applications. Thus making the process of sifting through CVs a time-consuming task. You could waste even more time answering calls from candidates chasing their application or asking questions. Equally, expect to be called by other job boards wanting to sell you more advertising or by recruitment agencies wanting to offer their services. If you include your employer branding on the job adverts, there is the expectation to respond to all candidates. Not doing so will damage your brand resulting into fewer applications to future job adverts.

Online recruitment companies

Online recruitment companies already have access to all the best job sites online. They will take the stress and time away by advertising your vacancy, filtering candidates and managing all responses. Because they buy thousands of job advertisements, you benefit from their buying power. Best of all these companies are so affordable.

However, there are a few things to look out for as price, service and ability vary widely.  Here are a few things to we recommend you do:


  • Choose a supplier who charges the same fee regardless of the salary offered
  • Some companies charge based on cost per head, others allow you to hire everyone the advert finds. If you are looking for a number of staff, the latter may be more beneficial
  • Find a supplier with no added extras. Some may offer a low price but could have lots of hidden extras and costs
  • Be clear of the terms before you enter any agreement

Coverage and duration

Not all suppliers cover the same number of job boards for the same duration. Therefore we recommend you do your own research to ensure you choose the most efficient supplier. If you can’t find their jobs on the sites they say they are on, look elsewhere. We advise to post your job advertisement for a minimum of 28 days to ensure it has enough coverage to attract suitable applicants.

Managing applications

To save your inbox being flooded with applications, it is important you are given an online portal to access applications. Ensure that it shows every application as some suppliers only show the ones they want you to see. A very limited number of suppliers have the ability to send out application forms and refer candidates to online career sites. However not all candidates complete them.

The revolutionary tool of video interviewing is being incorporated to help you see the candidate without even meeting them. This tool saves the trouble of meeting a candidate at a face-to-face interview and immediately knowing they are not suitable. By asking applicants the same question, their response is captured using their webcam or mobile phone for you to watch. Meaning you are spending far more time with the right candidates.

How to filter

Most services should include two types of filtering: automated and hand-filtering.

Automated filtering is very advanced. This tool specifically identifies keywords in the candidate’s CV to determine relevance.

Hand-filtering is conducted by person, so we advise you speak with the resource to establish your selection criteria. Be careful of companies that outsource hand-filtering abroad as they may lack vocabulary, local knowledge and be unfamiliar with locations.


Be very careful of any guarantees given by a sales person. Guarantees cannot really be offered when selling advertising, as you cannot control market conditions. Many “guarantees” are for a minimum of CVs. If you don’t receive the minimum requirements, most will simply re-advertise the job. The price in re-advertising the job is factored into a higher initial price and if it didn’t work the first time, why would it second time around?


To earn extra-commission some companies “sell” branding for companies. They may attempt to convince you it will generate a better response but there is no evidence to support this.

Instead what you could find are daily calls from candidates and sales people.

To summarise

In order to succeed recruiting online recruiting you need to look for reputable companies. Research case studies and real testimonials where names are given. Identify if there were large volumes of jobs advertised on sites relevant to yours and where you feel they are meeting your requirements.

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