The Problems With Online Recruitment
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The Problems With Online Recruitment

Online recruitment is by far the most popular method for finding potential employees and for applicants to search and apply for jobs at any hour of the day. Online recruitment is fast, convenient, efficient, and cost effective for employers. However, there are some disadvantages associated with online recruitment for both the employers and the job seekers. This article explains the downside of online recruitment.

In times past, individuals looking for work would search the newspaper for job ads that interested them. After locating a particular job(s), they would most likely highlight it with a yellow marker or red pen.  This was so they could easily locate the information when they were ready to apply for the job(s).  The next step was to respond to the ad based upon the employer’s instructions. Most ads requested that the interested candidates mail their resume and cover letter to the address given, and some listed a phone number to call.  And in some cases, job seekers could actually go into a company and fill out an application and leave it along with a resume with an HR representative. These were the most popular methods for applying for a job before the Internet came into existence.

Due to modern technology, recruitment methods have changed within the last ten years or less.  Job seekers are able to go online to the employer’s website, various job boards, and other professional sites to apply for a job. Job seekers can search and apply for jobs that interest them, simply by clicking a mouse at any hour of the day. The job applicant’s documents are transmitted within seconds.  Company recruiters use the applicant tracking system (ATS) to identify resumes that best match the position they are seeking to fill.  This online method of recruitment is fast, convenient, and efficient. However, there are disadvantages associated with online recruitment for both the employers and the job seekers.


Abundance of applicants- because the Internet is accessible to people all over the world, the employer is likely to get swamped with resumes from interested candidates.  And unfortunately, many of the applicants responding to the ads are not qualified.  Recruiters spend a great deal of time sorting through resumes to discard those that do not qualify for the position they are seeking to fill.

Inflated resume keywords- because employers rely upon the applicant tracking system to locate resumes that include relevant keywords, there is a strong possibility that certain keywords in a vast majority of job applicant’s resumes are exaggerated. Yes, some candidates purposely stuff his/her resume with keywords so that their resume is selected by the system. Therefore, recruiters are deceived into calling applicants for interviews that do not meet the job requirements. This is a waste of time, for both the applicant and the employment recruiter.  Nonetheless, some job seekers who have been unemployed for a great length of time are really desperate for an interview that could hopefully land them a job.

Overestimate applicant- it’s difficult for a company recruiter to determine whether or not an applicant is the right fit for a job without meeting him/her face-to-face. A candidate can have all the right credentials on paper but still may not have the right character for the company. The most effective way to determine if an applicant is suitable for a particular job and right fit for the company is to meet with him/her face-to-face in an interview.

Outdated job postings- occasionally, human resource representatives fail to remove old postings for positions from the website that have been filled. Sometimes this is due to miscommunication between the hiring manager and HR or a glitch in the system. Recruiters get swamped with resumes for jobs that are no longer open. However, employers will continue to get flooded with resumes from interested applicants until the posting is removed.


Impersonal- this is by far, the biggest complaint I hear from job applicants. Many job seekers attest that looking for a job online lacks a personal touch. Jobs seekers want to be able to talk with someone via phone or face-to-face should they have questions about the company or the job they are interested in applying for.  Job seekers claim employers are so inaccessible and display very little or no human interaction.

Outdated job postings- aforementioned on the recruiting side, outdated job postings is the second biggest drawbacks of online recruitment that job applicants detest. Many applicants claim they have applied for what appeared to be a current job posting, only to find out weeks later that the position had been filled a month ago. How devastating this is for individuals who are hoping to land an interview with a prospective employer. Had the aspirant known the position was filled; he/she would have never applied for it.  This is simply a total waste of the applicant's time.

Website malfunctions- applicants often complain about company websites that breakdown when attempting to submit their documents. Others complain that some website layouts are so confusing and find it difficult to navigate around the site. Some get so frustrated that they give up trying to apply for work on that particular site.

No response from the company- another popular complaint from job applicants is, they don’t get responses from some companies where they’ve submitted their resume and contact information to the company website.  Well of course there’s no way for the applicant to call the company because they’ve purposely omitted a contact number.  Or else state, “no phone calls please”. Nowadays, companies discourage applicants from calling the company to inquire about a job posting, it's strictly web-based process. Nonetheless, applicants want to hear something…even if it’s an email stating, “you will not be considered for the job”.  This will, at least, advice the applicants to continue his/her job search elsewhere.

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Comments (13)

A sensible analysis of online recrutiment. Well-presented too!

In this tough job market, standing out in a crowd of online resumes is really difficult. And like you mention, disheartening when you post a resume and hear nothing back. I know more than a few people in this situation. Good article, Donata

Nothing beats the face to face contact.Well presented information here.Thank you.

What a thorough list here!

Ranked #2 in Job Searching

Recruiting has certainly changed over the years, and it does have its pros and cons.  The personal factor has definitely been lost.

Excellent and so sensible article. Great analysis, thank you so much Donata.

I agree with those views...nothing like a sit down face to face communication before recruiting someone..

Great work and really helpful article.

Good article for today's world. Online recrutiment has grown by leaps and bounds.

Ranked #15 in Job Searching

Very good info. Thank you Donata. Always in your support.

Makes a lot of sense, Donata. Great article!

Some good and valid points you raise. I know online may sound streamlined and fuctional, but the personal approach is gone and you could be left waiting for a time.

Donata, this is one of the best articles on this subject I've ever read.