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A Review of the Effectiveness of Manual and online Recruitment Processes

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A Review of The Effectiveness of Manual and Online Recruitment Processes

Rebecca Matthews


This paper discusses the use of manual recrutiting versus online recruiting. These are both systems that organizations can and do utilize to employ the best possible pool of qualified applicants from which they can fill vacancies when there is a need. It will identify the advantages each and how the use technology associated with these programs is efficient in the process of pre-filtering candidates, and will additionally detect the drawbacks of these forms of recruiting. Automated systems against exclusively using direct contact employment applications and screening.

A Review of The Effectiveness of Manual and Online Recruitment Processes

Technology is a part of everyday business practices and brings with its efficiency and increased production, but at what cost, or is it all benefit? The recruitment and selection process is one of the most critical expenditures of an organization. Technology has also increased the demands of the business environment, and as a result, adequate staffing becomes more and more competitive. Having the right people with the required KSAO’s (knowledge, skills, ability and other characteristics) (Herbert G. Heneman III, 2015) is an important process that can be extremely costly when done inadequately. This paper will review the practice of online staffing programs also referred to as e-recruiting, employment portals or job boards and their effectiveness as compared to manual recruiting.

Recruiting Comparisons

Manual recruitment and Online recruitment both focus on the same end goal, “It is about the definition of the job vacancy, designing the appealing recruitment text and offering the competitive package to the winning candidate.” (HR Management Guide, 2018) The purpose of recruiting is to create a desirable outlook of the company as an organization that employs top talent in a competitive and successful industry; providing an accurate description of the job required and a proper expectation of the employee. Recruitment is not limited to external candidates as internal recruitment effects the performance of the company and can increase the satisfaction of employees. Whether the recruitment is accomplished by hiring from within the organizations existing employees or bringing in new employees from outside of the organization, it will be necessary to have an established and efficient recruiting process.

Throughout history, this process has evolved in many ways, most recently with the onset of portal programs utilizing software via the internet that incorporates a set of parameters that are specific to the needs of the organizations desired candidates. Hopeful job applicants access the opportunity by logging into a job board containing the posted position. Depending on the requirements of the organization, there will be education, experience, and industry specific skill filters. The intent is to filter down the mass of applicants, so the recruiting team is left with the top percentage of best qualified applicants to interview.

Before the online process, hiring was performed manually. Employers would utilize publications such as newspapers to make potential candidates aware of the job opportunity. Hopeful applicants would send the resume and cover letter to the contact indicated in the advertisement self-reporting their education, experience, and skills. The recruitment team would then “manually” filter through all of the data and select the applicants with the desired attributions. The two examples listed are not the only examples available however for the purpose of this paper they will be the two used for comparison.

Manual Recruitment Pro’s and Con’s

All recruitment begins with a need. Managers will typically determine that a position needs to be filled and they will create a job request. They will also select the base documents to be used, such as the job specification and job description. They will often need to obtain the required approval to fill the position and secure the funding that may all be done by a senior manager who will then select and delegate the rest of the process to a hiring manager. This may include creating and posting the job opening, finalizing the evaluation criteria based on the job specification and description selected. Then hiring manager will also determine the assessment method(s) to be used to qualify the candidates such as testing and skill demonstration.

When the parameters of the job needs are determined, and the job is posted, the hiring manager may now begin reviewing the applications and resumes that have been collected. It will be necessary to filter all the data manually and organize the applicants into selection piles. Three categories are typically considered during this process; A – top choices, B – runner up and C – rejected.  After this has been completed the interview process will begin, and the best candidate will be offered the position, or if no applicant is selected, the manager and the hiring manager will need to go back and review the specification and description of the job to ensure success on the next attempt to fill the position.

The positive attributes associated with manual recruiting or “Pro’s” include a personal and intimate review and evaluation of each candidate. When reviewing an individual’s resume, a well-trained hiring manager will be able to identify the overall potential or concerns in each candidate beyond the statements written on the paper. This type of filtering is unique to human intuition. The skill of seeing the potential in a candidate often results in an employee that can be brought into the organization at entry level expense but soon yields a loyal and valued employee who quickly develops their inherent skills and returns high quality work. The ability to notice the unstated facts is not something that is accurately or affordably replicated by computers - yet. 

The negative attributes or “Con’s” are the sheer amount of work associated with this process. Human capital is expensive and the when it is realized that this process often requires multiple staff members to be involved the cost may increase exponentially. An additional concern is the chance of human preference if the hiring manager is not well trained or competent in hiring procedures they may be quick to pick an applicant that looks good to them. Favortism such as this may be occurring on a subconscious level and may not be a direct intention. Online recruting with filtering programs are efficient and nonjudgemental in this area and do not add emotional content in to the selection process.



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