Electronic Human Resource Management

Electronic Human Resource Management

The emergence of Internet technology has virtually changed the way humans execute their functions in all phases of activities. The Human Resources Department is not left out, as the adoption and implementation of web technology has revolutionalized the functions and responsibility of the HRM.  Thus, web technology, through e-recruitment is now being used in the recruitment of potential workers in every organization.  E-recruitment has been proved to be an efficient, quick and cost effective means of hiring quality workers into an organization. This paper is aimed at understanding the concept behind e-recruitment technology. These include the origin, types and elements of e-recruitment. The paper also discussed the effects of e-recruitment on the cost, time and efficiency of an organization. The relationship existing among the three variables (cost, time and efficiency) as well as their collective impact on organization is also discussed in this Electronic Human Resource Management paper.

Introduction to Electronic Human Resource Management

For the past ten years, E-recruitment has continued to attract the attention of Human Resource Managers, all over the globe. This relatively new technology that makes exclusive use of the internet is now being recognized as a cheaper and wide-reaching methodology, for recruitment of workers. This is shows that the revolution of internet technology is currently spreading over the world of job hunting and hiring. The term e-recruitment, which is also known as online recruitment, cyber-cruting, or internet recruiting, is used to describe the formal sourcing of job information on the vast World Wide Web. The term was first mentioned in articles during the 1980s. There are two major methodologies for e-recruitment. The first one is the use of corporate web site for recruitment. In this case, companies have corporate websites in which specially designed recruitment web pages are maintained for employment of people. The second methodology is the posting of jobs vacancies on online commercial jobs boards like monster.com. In this case, companies advertise vacant positions on other website that specialize in recruitment. Some good examples of these websites are naukri.com, timesjob.com, monster.com. Nowadays, a growing number of companies and organizations are resorting to these two methodologies for recruitment of skilled and talented workers.

Electronic Human Resource Management (E-HR)

According to Jim (2013), “Electronic human resource management (E-HRM) is the process of integrating components of information technology into the structural design of the human resource department”. Such components of information technology are specifically designed to help with tasks associated with human resources”. Adoption of E-HR is one of the best ways through which an organization can streamline its human resources. This goes a long way in making the human resource department to become more efficient and effective, thereby minimizing its operational and production costs. A typical E-HR suite is capable of handling many important tasks such as staffing, training, and payroll. These customized software suites is particularly suitable for handling all those tasks times that are time-consuming. This gives HR employees more time to concentrate on strategic processes that will improve the organization (Bondarouk and Ruël, 2006).

The Human resources department is a very important section in every organization. The department serves as the communication link between management of an organization and its employees. They are responsible for maintaining a satisfied workforce. Thus, if they ever err in any of their objectives, the company involved is going to have a bunch of disgruntled employees as its workforce. The department is also responsible for recruiting workforce for the organization. At times, carrying out all these tasks can be very difficult and time-consuming. This is the major reason why an ever increasing number of Human Resource Departments have begun the process of installing various forms of electronic human resource management to help out their HR managers (Buckley et al, 2004).

However, it is very important to note that Electronic Human Resource Management cannot replace the traditional human resource departments completely, rather it can serve as a very valuable supplement for the department (Jim, 2013) By installing E-HRM software, a business can streamline the more detailed tasks associated with the HR department.

In every organization, the E-HRM plays great role fulfilling the immense responsibilities of the Human Resource Manager. For instance, E-HRM can include software devoted to payroll issues thereby saving the Human Resource Manager, the time required to attain payroll issues. E-HRM can also be supportive in terms of staffing. During recruitment, the suite through its e-recruitment components can eradicate the stress and time-consuming processes associated with selecting the most suitable applicants..

E-HR also plays significant roles in the management aspect of the Human Resource Managers where it is actively involved in drafting policies and controlling both the traffic and collection of electronic information. Still under the management aspects, E-HR helps in controlling and organizing data within an organization. Accomplishing this requires the creation of effective record management policies. Such policies facilitate lean data storage which involves maintaining pertinent information while removing data as it becomes irrelevant (Jim, 2013).

So in summary, E-HR is a very clear example of using technology to boost the productivity of an organization. The fact that E-HR software suite are technologically secured means that the security of any organization that implement and interact with this piece of technology is also secured. The application of E-HR suite in Human Resource Department can boost the sustainability of the organizations. As already pointed out, one area in which E-HR has been successfully implemented is in the recruitment of the organization’s workforce.

E-recruitment definition

E-recruiting can be defined as the use of the World Wide Web and its peripherals, to attract suitable candidates for employment purposes (CIPD, 2011). In other words, E-recruitment is a process through which electronic resources were used to draw the attention of job seekers to vacant positions in corporations (Stone, 2006). Over the years, e-recruitment has recorded unprecedented growth and its applicability has continued to expand in many sectors of human endeavors. Many reasons have been attributed to the tremendous success recorded by this relatively new technology. Recruitment is a process that connects employers to prospective employees. It’s a process in which capable employees are located and incorporated into the workforce of organizations. Recruitment usually begins with the searching of prospective employees and ends when the job applications are submitted. E-recruitment is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways of recruiting staff for an organization as it can play active roles in each phase of the recruitment exercise.

In practice, there are numerous ways through which E-recruitment can be implemented. It may be conducted through the use of the official website of the organization. Alternatively, the company may decide to go through a third-party job site or job board.  E-recruitment can also comprise the use of CV database, search engine marketing or social media platforms to fill vacancies. The common factor here is the use of internet in each of these methodologies. This is clearly in conformation with the definition of E-recruitment, which is the use of the internet in conducting recruitment exercise.

Also, there are different ways through which job seekers can take part in an e-recruitment exercise. The job seekers can log in on the employers’ recruitment website and submit their CVs online. Alternatively, they can submit their CVs on special database for prospective employers to assess. Today, many company and recruitment agents have moved much of their recruitment process online so as to improve the speed by which candidates can be matched with live vacancies, and reduce the cost and time duration of these exercises.

Historical Background

Barber (1998) defined recruitment as; “those practices and activities carried on by the organization with the primary purpose of identifying and attracting potential employees”. Recruitment is almost as old as the mankind. However, e-recruitment is a relatively new term that has just attained significant success within a short duration of time. As have already stated earlier, e-recruitment is simply the conduction of job advertisement, job application and selection of new employees on the vast internet world. Historically, e-recruitment can be traced to the existence in 1980s, of independent job boards popularly known as bulletin board systems. Since then, this method has a recorded an unprecedented increase in its acceptability and implementation among several organizations of the whole world. The United States of America was credited as starting the global trend, with the launch of monter.com in 1994. The significant success of e-recruitment prompted Edgley (1995) to declare that, “the future of the recruitment industry is on the internet”. An analysis conducted by Onrec (2005) showed that between 2003 and 2005, 94 percent of the world biggest companies have adopted e-recruitment methods, as the major means of recruiting new employees. A survey conducted by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed that up to 64 percent of the UK organizations used e-recruitment as far back as 2006 (Parry and Tyson, 2008). Cappelli (2001) declared that 90 percent of US companies were already doing recruiting by internet then. Today, the internet has been globally recognized as the sustainable avenue for recruitment of prospective employees and practitiomers of Electronic Human Resource Management.

How E- recruitment is linked with Technology and Management

Having defined e-recruitment, it is very important for us to understand how this system is linked to technology and Management. The technologies we are talking about here are the HR systems, while the management includes Line Managers and Human Resource manager who are actively involved in recruitment exercise.

Naturally, the Human Resource Manager has essential roles to play in e-recruitment. Of course, the Human Resource Manager is responsible for facilitating and coordinating the recruitment exercise. Thus, the use of e-recruitment can go a long way in reducing the burden of the Human Resource Manager which will in turn; enable the Human Resource manager to operate on a strategic level within the organization. Just like the Human Resource Manager, the Line Manager also has a very important role to play in the recruitment exercise. The Line Manager is mainly concerned with the selection of applications submitted by job applicants. The selection is usually in relation to the vacancies that are listed in accordance with the job role. The roles of the two managers help to boost the effectiveness of the recruitment exercise (Research Advisory Panel, 2006).

The discussion conducted so far shows that the Human Resource Manager acts as the bridge that link the Line managers with the job applicants. However, the roles of the two managers can be greatly facilitated with the introduction of Information Technology tools, such as the application tracking software. Details of these tools are discussed under “Elements of e-recruitment”.

Types of E-recruitment

There are two main methodologies for conducting employment on the vast internet world. These are: (1) Posting vacancies on the official websites of the organization and (2) Making use of Third party websites which enabled a huge marketplace for recruitment. The two processes serve the same purpose of using the internet to get the best suitable candidates that have the right skills, knowledge and abilities required for vacant positions in organizations.

The first method of e-recruitment is particularly popular among organizations that have strong IT culture. It is also the best alternative for organizations that conduct regular recruitment exercises. In that case, it is more economical for such organizations to invest on their own website and equipped it with the necessary modules to handle e-recruitment internally.

The second method of e-recruitment is used primarily by organizations that lacked online presence on the vast internet world. In this case, the job of online advertisement of vacancies in such organizations is conducted by companies that are specialty in that area. These companies range from the fully specialized ones like Monster.com to the less specialized ones like social networks site and online forums.

Even though the two methods generally differ in their modus operandi, companies that have vacant positions can use the two methods at the same time. Organizations that have strong online presence can also include a “link of apply” on the third party website. When a prospective employee click on this “link of apply”, he or she will be redirected to the company’s website to start the application process. E-recruitment is source of huge revenue for owners of these third party websites. According to Silber (2012), “International data corporation (IDC) estimates $5.3 billion was generated in the US in 2011 through online recruitment industry and it is roughly increasing by 4 percent until 2015”.

Elements of E-recruitment

For any e-recruitment platform to be reliable and sustainable, there are certain elements that must be integrated into its operational structure (Parry and Tyson, 2008). These elements of e-recruitment have their place individually within the online recruitment strategy of every company. The main elements of recruitment include:

  • Applicant Tracking
  • Employer Web Site
  • Job Boards
  • Online Testing

According to a publication by Online Recruitment Marketing Council (2004); “the effectiveness of combining several of these elements in a cohesive strategy is a genuine example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts”. Many organizations have recorded significant success in integrating these elements into the operational structure of their e-recruitment module. This is because; a combination of these elements enables the recruitment processes to be fast, effective and cheap. It also reduce the manpower required to oversee the whole procedure, thereby enabling staffs of the Human Resource Department to concentrate on strategic operations that are specifically meant to move the company ahead. According to a publication by Online Recruitment Marketing Council (2004), “a clear understanding of these elements is very necessary when designing an online recruitment strategy”

Applicant Tracking

This is also known by several other names such as: Candidate Tracking, Candidate Management, Candidate Relationship Management and Applicant Database. Just like the name sounds, applicant tracking is a specially designed feature that enables the personnel responsible for the recruitment exercises to identify the status or progress of each candidate with respect to the jobs for which he or she has applied. In other world, the applicant tracking system help those in charge of the recruitment exercises to identify the number of applicants that have submitted applications for a particular position as well as those that waiting for interview. This customized system includes “an analysis of business processes within the end-user company from which will be derived a system configuration for the chosen Applicant Tracking system” (Online Recruitment Marketing Council, 2004).

Some of the features that are contained in a typical tracking system include:

  • Full history of the applicant
  • Ability to send e-mails to the applicants. The system must be capable of sending emails individually or in batches
  • Ability to conduct a search on the applicant’s database
  • Ability of every worker that is involved in the recruitment process to make use of the same system, For instance, the Applicant Tracking System will enable reviewers to review the CV, while interviewers will also have the ability to provide feedbacks for candidates that were interviewed for a vacant position.
  • It will also have reporting features that will enable the Human Resource Manager to identify the pipeline supply of candidates for key positions and measure time to hire.

Employer Website

This is also known Job page, Careers site and Recruitment pages. It is the most important aspect of an organization’s online recruitment strategy. It is the platform through which the full details of the job opportunities are communicated to the whole world. It is also the platform through which important data are collected from prospective employees. So in a nutshell, the employer website is the heart of an organization’s online recruitment strategy. The Job pages are updated with new vacancies or amended job details through simple web-based forms that are only accessible through the admin panel. It is very important to point out here that the Employer Website must have the same branding as the official websites of the organizations.

Some of the important features which a typical employer website must have include:

  • Ability to enable visitors to conduct job search
  • It must also enable prospective employees to create a profile, submit core personal details as well as CV
  • Apply for jobs online
  • It must have set-up job ‘alerts’ that will notify applicants of any changes to the jobs they applied or the availability of new job offers. Such notifications are usually conducted through e-mails.
  • Enables both applicants and non applicants to view the status of all on-line applications
  • It must allow a single application to be submitted for multiple job vacancies
  • It will enables applicants and even administrators to send job details to their friends

Job Boards

This is also known as Job sites. It performs the same function as the recruitment advertising section of a newspaper or magazine. Hence, this element of e-recruitment enables applicants to access several job vacancies that exist in different organizations. Generally, job boards feature jobs in different sectors and geographies, each carrying different branding. This means that job boards are mostly restricted to a particular class of jobs (such as the health service), region or even levels of seniority. It may also include additional information, which could be in form of articles or editorials. This additional information helps to attract the specific class of visitors that are needed by the organization.

There are some factors that must be considered before selecting job boards to use. Some of these factors are: cost, sector, location of the organization, etc. Thus, it is very important for the Human Resource Manager to obtain audited figures for the relative popularity of different job boards before making a choice.

Apart from the services mentioned above, some job boards also render additional services that are specifically aim at helping job seekers. For instance, some of these agencies are known to maintain CV databases which can be access by prospective employers and agencies. There is a variety of charging models for this kind of service which aim to make it cost-effective and quick for you to find suitable candidates. The features of job boards are exactly the same as those of Employer Websites.

Online Testing

Another name for online testing is Psychometric testing. The term is used to describe the process of conducting some kind of assessment of candidates over the internet. This internet-based assessment can be “factual (for example numeracy, comprehension etc.) to the assessments of personality and identification of most appropriate kinds of work” (Online Recruitment Marketing Council, 2004). This is the main reason why employers use online testing as a selection tool as well as a special tool that help job seekers to identify another career opportunity.


Apart from the four elements of e–recruitment discussed so far, there are still other elements that can be of great help to the recruiter. However, these extra elements normally require one or more of the major elements to function. Some examples are as follows:

  • Intelligent CV parsing tools: These are online- based tools that validate the submitted CVs. This validation exercise, which is usually automatic, involves the extraction of unstructured data, and modifying them into a ‘structured’ format. The data that are usually targeted by this tool include: name, address, skills, employment history, education etc. The CV parsing tool may either be designed as a standalone system or incorporated into the functional and structural design of an Applicant tracking system.
  • Multiple posting tools: – These are special tools that simplify the tedious process of posting job details of vacant positions on multiple job boards. These tools also include the utilities for managing the purchasing of advertising from the job boards. It also enables the recruiter to evaluate the success rates of the job boards.

New Trends in E-Recruitment

Information Technology is very dynamic and progressive. The fact that e-recruitment is a product of Information Technology also means that its methodology is constantly changing and expanding. Certain new trends in e-recruitment are currently emerging in the vast internet world. It is very important for Human Resource Managers to identify this new trend and take advantage of digital tools and resources in order to find the best talent.


LinkedIn is a networking platform that now doubles as an e-recruitment tool. This online platform that has more than 150 million users is a reliable alternative to the popularly known job-boards. The main features that enable LinkedIn to serve as an e-recruitment tool include: ability of employers to post jobs, receive applications, and recognize ideal candidates. This networking platform also has recommendation and introduction capabilities in its functional structures.


This is also another online networking platform that has recruitment ability. However, twitter is not strictly for recruitment and is therefore less effective. Nevertheless, twitter enables employers looking for job seekers to get the word out quickly. Apart from allowing organizations to maintain an online presence, twitter also enable them to manage their company’s image successfully. This is always an important consideration for new hires. Thus, it’s advisable for recruiters to engage more in conversations with potential hires in twitter rather than relying only on posting details of job vacancies.

Video assessment

Video assessment is a relatively new recruitment tool that is yet to be embraced by many organizations out there. In this case, applicants are required to submit video formats of their introductions and answers to certain questions, together with their applications. This tool helps the recruiters to review the shortlisted applicants, prior to the interview. This saves time and cost for the recruiter.

Mobile Recruitment

This technology is also very new and has not been accepted by a great number of organizations. It involves the development of recruiting applications for different mobile platforms, such as IPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows. There are wide varieties of such apps. Some allow recruiters to develop questions and send to applicants, who then answer by video and send back. There are also certain mobile apps that enable recruiters and applicants to fix interview dates that can be updated on both their calendars. Other mobile apps allow recruiters to do sophisticated web searches for applicants, identify the most suitable candidates for the vacant position and then contact them instantly. There are also other mobile apps that allow employers to post details of job vacancies to multiple web job boards simultaneously with just a single click.

Advantages of E-recruitment

Studies conducted by several recruitment experts’ show that an increasing number of organizations are using e-recruitment for identifying the most suitable candidates for open vacancies. Lang et al. (2011) identify 14 major advantages of e-recruitment. These advantages are in agreement with the opinions of many scholars (Lang et al, 2011). The advantages are as follows:

  • Cost efficiency and relative affordability
  • Time saving
  • Efficiency (Hiring Efficiency)
  • Ability to expand the geographical scope of recruiting measures
  • Corporate policy
  • Targeting of the right group of candidates
  • Increase in number of qualified applicants
  • Independence of place and time, as everything is conducted strictly online
  • Portrays a better image of the organization
  • Provision of adequate information about the organization as well as additional workplace
  • Realization of competitive advantage
  • Recruiting qualified staff more easily
  • Updating of job and applicant data
  • Usability

Disadvantages of E-recruitment

Despite the immense benefits accruable from the use of this piece of information technology, a number of disadvantages do occur and many of these challenges are synonymous with the normal challenges encountered in the use of Information Technology (Thompson et al., 2008).  To start with, most people are still of the opinion that the internet is not the first port of call for job seekers (Galanaki, 2002).  However, the major challenges of e-recruitment revolve on the likely effects its implementation is going to have on company’s overall performance, especially in terms of its effectiveness and behavioral influences.

The main challenge that faces e-recruitment exercises in our today’s contemporary world is mainly on the trade-off between quantity (increasing) and quality (decreasing) of the job applicants. Of course, one great advantage of e-recruitment is attraction of huge number of job seekers. But the higher the number of job applicants, the higher the number of unqualified job seekers (Pearce and Tuten, 2001; Chapman and Webster, 2003; Barber, 2006). Unfortunately, this negativity is capable of raising the cost and time duration of the processing.

Also, e-recruitment can change the social interactions of the job applicants and this can even cause the job seeker to lack the ability to present his or her own KSAOs to the employer (Stone et al., 2006).  For instant, it is very important for a marketing manager or assistant to be outgoing and a little bit talkative. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to perfectly measure these attributes through e-recruitment. Indeed, what Pin et al. (2001) called “Lack of Human touch” can have negative effect on e-recruitment processes.

This method of recruitment also lack the features needed to perfectly address the issue of discrimination in course of selection (Barber, 2006). This claim is confirmed by the result of a research conducted by Garcı´a-Izquierdo et al (2010) on companies listed on Spanish Stock Exchange. The result of the survey conducted by this team shows that the level and type of information which some of these companies ask in their application forms, is capable of giving rise to discrimination. Barber (2006) also pointed out the possibility of disable people applying for positions that are impossible for them to handle.

Another survey conducted by Pin et al. (2001) in Europe revealed two other disadvantages of e-recruitment. These are poor segmentation and higher rate of employees turn out. As pointed out in the last section, one of the advantages of e-recruitment is “targeting of the right group of candidates.” However, the result of the survey conducted by Pin et al. (2001) contradicted this claim. According to the result of the survey, about 59 percent of the companies interviewed listed “targeting of the right group of candidates” as the main reason for not using e-recruitment. Pin et al (2001) blamed this on the fact that “matching the position with the candidates is impossible” because of the broad accessibility offered by the internet technology.  This put companies at the risk of having less qualified applicants with the cost of losing qualified ones. Even though the level of classification of contents on the internet has been improved and it is now possible for companies to find the related domain, the footprint of the problem pointed out by Pin and his team still remains observable (Suvankulov et al., 2012)

The second disadvantage of e-recruitment, discovered by Pin et al. (2001) is higher rate of employees’ turnover. This claim is confirmed by Smith and Rupp (2004) in their study on managerial challenges of e-recruiting. For instance, an employed person can get interested in a vacant position in an organization. This is possible since all information is freely accessible through the internet.

Finally, the low level of internet accessibility in certain parts of the world is another major disadvantage of e-recruitment. The absence of internet connectivity and its lack of awareness will surely keep qualified job seekers in the dark.


Even though e-recruitment has so many advantages over the orthodox methods of recruitment, it is not advisable to completely replace the recruitment process of an organization with the electronic methods. Similarly, it will be a very costly mistake for an organization to continue to depend solely on the traditional method for its recruitment exercise.  The best alternative will be to supplement the traditional method of recruitment with the electronic method. The loopholes of e-recruitment can be covered by the traditional methods while the whole process can be made faster, cheaper and more efficient by incorporating electronic technology into it. When two vacancies are there and two candidates are available the companies do not have much choice, thus they prefer to widen their search and attracts numerous applications. Indeed, receiving application manually can be time-consuming. Manual sorting of applications is not only tedious, but is a sheer wastage of resources. E-recruitment is the surest way through which organizations can facilitate the smooth flow of recruitment process in today’s competitive world. This technology provides a straightforward and stressful way through which employers meet their prospective employees. Thus, it won’t be wise to discard this wonderful piece of technology. Rather, e-recruitment should be use to make the traditional method of recruitment to be faster, cheaper and more efficient. It’s also the best alternative that can be used to minimize the huge cost of job advertisement.

How e-recruitment affects cost, time and efficiency

As already pointed out, there are many advantages that endear e-recruitment to the heat of many Human Resource Managers. Top on the list are: cost efficiency, time saving and efficiency. These three advantages can collectively boost the effectiveness of the overall recruitment process.

Cost Efficiency: E- recruitment is generally cost effective and thus, can help companies to save huge amount of money. Unlike other form of media e.g. newspaper, it is relatively cheaper to post job vacancies on website.  This enables recruiters to advertise job vacancies at very low cost. According to Othman and Musa (2006), the four main ways through which recruitment cost are reduced with the use of online methodology are:

  • Costs saved directly from the advertisements posted on other medium of communication e.g. Newspapers
  • Reduces mail costs from paying fees to the head recruiters or Job fairs
  • Reduces the workload of the of the Human Resource Department
  • Posting through emailing is relatively cheaper than Phone calls and fax

Even though the communication methods used in e-recruitment is cheaper, the whole process is still faster and easier. Also, developing a career website is also cheaper when compare to the cost require in tracking down the details of every applicants that applied for a vacant position. Of course, this reduces the number of manpower required as there would be no need for manual sorting of applications (White, 2008).

Time:  E-Recruitment has more effective advantages in saving time. The fact that recruiters can use the E-Recruitment processes together with the traditional recruitment methods means that the submitted applications can be sourced and processed quickly and yet adequately (Marr, 2007).  This saves long hours of sourcing and processing applications. According to the study of Barber (2006), “the ease of completing online application form and the time taken to process applications are done in minutes faster than weeks”. This also saves time for both the recruiters and job seekers. The structural design of e-recruitment platforms allows recruiters to pre select an application as well as obtains quick response electronically. All these feature save time for the recruitment process.

Efficiency: Hiring efficiency is another major advantage of e-recruitment. As we have seen so far, the internet technology reduces the cost of recruitment by ‘reducing employee turnover as well as the staffing costs (Stone et al., 2006). All these increase the hiring efficiency of the e-recruitments.

The three aforementioned variables, namely cost, time and efficiency are closely relation in terms of operation. For instance, reducing the cost of conducting recruitment exercise as well as the time duration sorting, selection and processing of job applications will surely go a long way        boosting the hiring efficiency of the organization. As already pointed out, these three variables are very important the success of any organization.

The relationships between the three variables (Cost, time and efficiency) and their importance to the organization

The highly competitive nature of today’s business world has made it very necessary for businesses to seek the most cost effective way to recruit new employees as well as for employees to seek employers (Ratling 2012; Vera etal, 2009). Many organizations now prioritized the recruitment of the most optimum employees because of the overall effect such a workforce will have on the progress of the organization (Vera etal, 2009).  Obtaining the best workforce for an organization can be easily accomplished through e-recruitment. Indeed, e-recruitment is known to be very effective in attracting administrative positions (Dictionaries, 2000).  In the last section, we stated that, the three variables; cost, time and efficiency are closely relation in terms of operation.

To start with, the cost of e-recruitment is relatively cheaper than other methods of recruitment. Despite the growing cost of running business in our society today, it is still very necessary for organizations to adopt effective methods that will enable the obtainment of high quality employees that are required to attain a competitive advantage over others. E-recruitment offers a cost-effective way of achieving this goal. A cost-effective, but reliable means of recruitment can go a long way in boosting the efficiency of any organization. This option is exactly what e-recruitment is offering.

A cost effective method of recruitment should also be time efficient. In other words, it must be capable of saving lots of time for both employers and job-seekers. Such system must provide round the clock services at a very fast rate, without compromising the quality of the work that is being rendered. The process of sorting out both eligible and ineligible candidates must be done quickly and efficiently, without the involvement of any middle persons. Thus, both cost effectiveness and time-efficiency are two great factors that help organization to be more efficient in rendering of services.

Significant strides have been recorded by the adoption and subsequent implementation of e-recruitment. This is seen in the statistical figures of some researchers. According to a survey conducted by iLogos.com, about 92% of Fortune 500 companies now have websites that are specifically meant for careers, while 96% of recruiters now publicize their vacant positions on their websites (Borstorff et al , Marker, and  Bennett 13). Verhoeven and Williams (2008) attributed this significant rise to the following advantages: “reduced costs, faster processes, wider accessibility, improve reputation and brand, higher quality of applicants, better match of the position, 24/7 running ability, and reduction of unqualified applicants”

Generally, the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and profitability of every organization can be greatly enhanced by information technology (Looise, 2004; Fredric, 2001). These are exactly the effects e-recruitment has on organizations. Apart from these, the adoption and implementation of e-recruitment also save costs and maintain quality of customer service by reducing the time and resources dedicated to administrative tasks (Richards-Carpenter, 1996).  So in summary, the adoption and implementation of e-recruitment enables an organization to achieve its strategic alignment, boost its business intelligence and enhance its overall efficiency and effectiveness.


Even though e-recruitment is a relatively new terminology, a lot of researches have been conducted to unravel its immense potential and advantages. Thus, many authors have employed several methodologies in analyzing the effects of e-recruitment on the cost, time and efficiency of an organization. Holm (2010) conducted a research in which he determined whether the adoption and implementation of e-recruitment has any positive impact on the process and underlying tasks, subtasks and activities of the recruitment exercise. He made use of three large organizations that have well-established e-recruitment practices in his research. These case studies were conducted using qualitative research methods. One great advantage of this methodology is that it enables researchers to study processes of recruitment in their social context. The data used in the research were collected from multiple sources that are readily accessible for the analyst and these data were predominantly qualitative (Holm, 2010).  In order to get a more comprehensive idea of how online recruitment methods were used at the studied companies, the researcher analyzed the content of corporate recruitment web pages and the job ads that the case companies placed on their websites (Holm, 2010). Thus, Holm (2010) utilized a blend of qualitative methods, techniques, and data sources in his study.  The overall data analysis was deductive. At the end of the analysis, Holm (2010) discovered that e-recruitment had significant impact on the recruitment processes of all the companies that were used in the study.

Electronic Human Resource Management
Electronic Human Resource Management

Similarly, Gopalia (2010) in his own study which was aimed at assessing the effectiveness of e-recruitment used Tesco as his own case study. His research methodology includes an exploratory, theory building approach. In other words, an exploratory and qualitative research approach is used by Gopalia in his study. The methods used in collection data were via literature review and case study. After his analysis, Gopalia (2010) discovered that e-recruitment is effective in terms of saving cost of recruitment and selection. According to him, “Case exploration about the effectiveness of online recruitment and selection depicts that it saves time to hire and reduces recruitment cost”. The methodologies used by Holm and Gopalia can be employed collectively in a different research that will enable us to understand more about the effects of e-recruitment on the cost, time and efficiency of an organization.

Facts and statistics about e-recruitment

Even though e-recruitment is a relatively new technology, a significant rise in its adoption has been recorded.  About 95% of the Global 500 companies now use e-recruitment as the main method of employing new workers (Barber, 2006; Kim et al, 2009). In Asia and America, the percentage of organizations that uses e-recruitment is put at 96%, while that of Europe is estimated to be 94% (Barber, 2006; Kim et al, 2009). The wide acceptance of e-recruitment by many agencies of the world has made it possible for employers to increase their capability of sourcing and meeting their recruitment objectives much faster.

 A statistical analysis conducted by Greenspan (2003), shows a breakdown of those that uses e-recruitment as follows: 26% for executives or managers, 26% for technical workers, 19% for professionals and a mere 5 and 7% for fulltime students and blue collar workers respectively. Evidence of about 43% of job seekers, who seek jobs online claim to have at least 10 years of work experience and half of those are looking to score jobs in the range of mid to senior level management (Gill, 2001). The databases of many online agencies are currently overflowing with resumes. Monster.com alone has about eleven million resumes that are very much available for employers. This explains why about 90% of those businesses that make use of the services offer by these online agencies are willing to renew their subscriptions annually. Gill (2001) observed that this is a great way for business to save their operational costs. He believed that between $ 50,000 and $60,000 can be save yearly by organizations that made use of these online agencies (Gill, 2001). About 56% of prospective employees that are interviewed by majority of companies are now known to be generated by these online agencies (SkillRoad Inc, 2012).  About 46% of those interviewed are usually hired (SkillRoad Inc, 2012). This shows the high success rate of using online methods of recruitment.


The highly competitive nature of today’s business world means that every organizations, companies and business establishment must strive to attract and retain the best and brightest employees. One of the surest ways of accomplishing this feat is by making use of the internet. E-recruitment is currently being adopted by an ever increasing number of organizations because of its cost effectiveness, fastness and efficiency. Despite its immense benefits, e-recruitment should not replace the traditional methods of recruitment. Rather, it should serve as a supplement to carter for the loopholes of the traditional recruitment methods. However, a lot still need to be done to make e-recruitment more effective and reliable. For instance, despite the technical strength of e-recruitment, it is also very important to incorporate a deep understanding of human resources into the structural designs of recruitment websites. It is also necessary for e-recruitment websites to have strong ability of market planning and promotion so as to be able to attract high quality applicants. Online recruitment service system is still in the early stages of development and needs further development to improve.

Appendix 1

Summary of previous research into the main effects of e-recruitment on the recruitment process as compiled by Holm (2010)

Changes in the recruitment process Changes in the recruitment process performance
The recruitment process turns into a marketing process of selling jobs, with more activities and resources dedicated to building company reputation, Internet communications, and relationship marketing. Automation of the entire recruitment process. Introduction of sophisticated on-line screening systems. Automated systems for contacting applicants. Shorter recruitment cycles. Bigger pool of experienced candidates. Efficient selection of best candidates.
Change from batch mode to continuous mode, with some activities being performed concurrently. Automated pre-screening. Long-term candidate relationship management. Cost savings, better efficiency, increased convenience for recruiters and clients, and shift of focus on effectiveness
Introduction of new processes, e.g. web-based pre-screening. “Just-in-time” recruiting on demand. Lower costs per hire. Shorter recruiting lead times. Improved quality of candidates

Appendix 2

Case Studies of companies used by Holm (2010)

Fictitious name Primary Industry Ownership Number of Employees  
ScandifinDanadrinco Banking and investmentAlcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages


Shareholding companyShareholding company


Energowing Design, production, and installation of energy systems Shareholding company 20,000+


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