Human resource management (HRM) has been evolving along with technological advancements. In fact, HRM has evolved into a technology-based profession. In most organizations, employees interact with HR through the web-portal instead of a person. This transformation in the delivery of human resource service has become known as electronic HR. The term “e-recruiting” describes the acquisition of human resources using web-based technologies. As HRM evolves, human resource professionals must not only gain control over conventional HR knowledge and skills, but also apply the acquired knowledge with the help of technology. Human resources are tilting towards technology, because entities need to reduce HR compliance and administration costs as well as administrative burdens and streamline HR administration, and compete effectively for global talent. This paper explores some of the aspects of e-recruitment in modern organizations.
Applying E-recruitment to Hiring and Reducing Costs
E-recruitment solutions provide automation for the support of major HR functions of the hiring cycle: requisitioning, candidate acquisition, candidate talent searching, reporting & analytics, and applicant tracking (DHS, 2008). In addition, e-recruitment systems offer several basic functions, including generation of advertisements, creation of vacancy and respective details, approval of workflows, and tracking of progress or results. Additionally, the systems give access to online applications, short lists and interview schedules. Online recruitment or e-recruitment reduces hiring delays by enabling recruiters to fill vacancies more rapidly. By reducing recruiting administration, more time is allocated for other critical HR initiatives. Additionally, e-recruitment reduces costs and reliance on recruitment agencies. Vacant positions are advertised and filled before the actual interviews. Typically, e-recruitment websites create profiles for applicants providing the recruiter with an outlook of candidates.
Strategies to Mitigate Unintended Consequences Linked to E-Recruiting
E-recruitment has many benefits, but it also has its shortfalls. For instance, companies cannot reach those candidates who are offline or not on the Web. Additionally, e-recruitment is not constructive for the jobs in local labor markets. Moreover, some online resumes may overstate qualification, whereas others understate the real value of a candidate (Breaugh, 2009). Hence, a recruiter may have to waste time and resources to meet poor candidates or never meet the right talent at all. Therefore, it is important to strategize how to mitigate unprecedented consequences associated with e-recruitment. Firstly, the recruiter should employ such techniques as structured interviews and cognitive exams to predict the applicant’s job performance accurately. Cognitive exams are used to measure the applicant’s intrinsic skills related to the vacancy in question. Secondly, e-recruiters should ensure that the timing and recruitment activities are strategic. Practitioner and academic research reports document that vacancies created and interviews conducted earlier in the year and in colleges attract quality candidates (Breaugh, 2009). To avoid the shortfalls of e-recruitment, the message must also be realistic, specific and important for the targeted group. Central are the details about location, benefits and duties.
Fulfilling Employees’ Psychological Contracts
Psychological contracts entail expectations that employees have of their employers (Grimmer & Oddy, 2007). It follows that HR managers and developers of e-recruitment portals must be aware of such contracts and acknowledge that the potential employees have legitimate expectations related to how they might be treated in the event they are hired. Psychological contracts are important, because their violation leads to serious consequences, including lower levels of commitment, higher quit rates, lack of organizational citizenship and low job performance (Conway & Briner, 2005). In order to fulfill the employee’s psychological contracts, the recruiters must make them explicit (Conway & Briner, 2005). In the same context, HR professionals should understand and strive to fulfill psychological contracts in order to avoid the abovementioned adverse consequences. More importantly, e-recruiters and candidates should both make the terms of the psychological contracts explicit in order to reduce the chances of breaches caused by misunderstanding. In other words, organizations should create an honest and transparent environment for discussions with candidates regarding their mutual expectations as well as perceptions of obligations and promises. All in all, positive and fulfilled psychological contracts tend to contribute positively to the employee’s performance and motivation.
Strategies Used to Attract High-Quality Candidates
To compete successfully in the labor market, organizations must transform their recruiting approaches. Some of the strategies that can be employed include streamlining the hiring process, formulating targeted recruiting strategies, and prioritizing talent management. Firstly, organizations must initiate ambitious programs to attract high-quality talent. In accordance, they must have a strong training and development program. Similarly to the FBI, organizations must make talent management a top priority alongside its best practices (Dohrmann, Kennedy, & Sheenoy, 2008). Secondly, e-recruitment solutions must also make a compelling case by communicating the advantages of the advertised jobs. Some of the popular benefits include job security and generous bonuses. In this respect, e-recruiters can attract more talent by communicating the flexibility and opportunities for advancement. The point is that the details of the advertised job should be clear and easy to understand by various candidates being attracted. Lastly, the e-hiring process should depict that the recruiter is a contemporary and thoughtful employer. For example, the recruitment and hiring process should be simplified. Additionally, effective techniques for evaluating applicants and communicating with candidates regarding their application status should be used. By employing these approaches, an entity will be able to attract and recruit the talent that it needs to reshape its human resources for more performance and productivity.
The Impact of Website Attributes on the Candidate’s Motivation
Besides the attractiveness and quality of the e-recruitment web portals, the complexity of its usage and submission of job applications online is one of the factors that have a great impact on the applicant’s motivation to proceed with the process (Aswathappa, 2005). Amazon, IBM and eBay are apt examples of business entities that have simple and user-friendly websites. User-friendly application process can motivate applicants to spend much of their time for submitting their applications. Unsophisticated graphical user interface can also have negative impact on the applicant’s motivation in the sense that it may induce notions of immaturity or unprofessionalism of the recruiter. E-recruitment has improved the applicants’ access to information. Job seekers submit their applications online without spending money and time on transport. As a result, tedious and time consuming e-recruitment solutions can demotivate some job seekers.
Security Controls to Protect Personal Data
Organizations must protect applicants’ personal data and at the same time archive securely reliable and accurate records about them. The recruitment records must be protected from unauthorized access or malicious entities. Additionally, the records must be protected from any form of loss, because they might be required when dealing with appeals against some contested recruitment decisions. E-recruitments systems can be protected through authorization, accounting, encryption and authentication techniques (DHS, 2008). Authorization is the process of determining whether the user has permission to access a file or a resource or not. Typically, authorization is coupled with authentication for the server to grant access to the user requesting it. Under authentication, the user must prove his or her identity proof using username and password. Other authentication methods include retina scans, cards, fingerprints and voice recognition. Unlike authorization, authentication does not outline the files that can be viewed or the tasks that can be done by the user. Instead, authentication verifies and identifies the person who is attempting to access the system. Encryption is the process of transforming data to an unreadable format for the users who do not have decryption keys. Typically, e-recruitment systems employ the Socket Layer (SSL) and Secure Shell (SSH) protocols in encryption processes (DHS, 2008). Through encryption, such data as credit card numbers, social security codes and addresses can be relayed over the cyberspace with minimal risk of interception during the exchange. Encryption ensures privacy by protecting an individual’s personal information in transit over the Internet. Authorization is used to control viewer access to certain documents or data. Additionally, moving target defense (MTD) technology can also be used for the protection of data. MTD is one of the emerging cybersecurity technologies where a dynamic set of system security parameters is used instead of the conventional static approach. MTD creates complex settings for intruders. Consequentially, hackers have to spend more time and resources to exploit the system’s vulnerabilities. Lastly, technical safeguards and audit logs can be used to prevent the misuse of data. Audit logs ensure that only authorized people are granted access. On the same note, audit logs protect audit trails form modifications or intentional destruction, and are backed up regularly.
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This paper has explored various aspects of e-recruitment in organizations. It is clear that e-recruitment is useful in terms of reducing time, saving recruitment cost, and helping entities develop an image, increase competitive advantage and attract highly qualified candidates. E-recruitment is also effective for managing talent. E-recruitment has changed the way companies advertised jobs as well as the manner in which prospective candidates apply for them. The credit for the simplicity of portals goes to software developers and improved access to the Internet. The improvement in Internet connectivity and accessibility has made human resource acquisition easier. For this reason, e-recruitment is facing a bright future. In the future, companies will transform traditional methods of recruitment and employ e-recruitment as their strategic tool. E-recruitment will help create and sustain competitive advantages in the future job market. Speed, simplicity and stability of e-recruitment solutions will be the key features of online hiring portals in the coming years.