Recruiting via Internet on the rise

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oldclass: 5 With global competition and departmental workloads at their peak, companies in need of marketing help are increasingly turning to the Internet for assistance in locating and hiring professionals for their marketing team.

Online resources, such as newsgroups, e-mail discussion lists, Web sites with employment databases and recruiters utilizing these Internet tools, have accelerated the process of finding and hiring practitioners and executives for company marketing teams.

Mixing traditional, new

Traditionally, human resource personnel have located marketing talent via word-of-mouth or classified newspaper ads. Newspapers have become very active in increasing their presence through online news publishing.

Major-market newspapers offer online classifieds as an accessory to print employment classifieds. Recognizing that many job applicants are still accustomed to seeing job openings in their local paper, some online job sites offer cooperative agreements with print newspapers, as well.

For employers interested in online employment databases, Monster Board's job posting rates start at $150 each and run for 60 days. Job postings are indexed in an easy-to-use and searchable database, cataloged by location and discipline. Package rates on multiple job openings are available.

Internet-savvy search firms can save a company weeks in the recruitment process. Consultancies such as Judith Cushman & Associates, Marshall Consultants and Profiler-Digital Media Recruiters quickly can connect companies to experienced marketing candidates. Most work on a contract basis, using resources such as an active e-mail database of candidates, which allows them to recruit worldwide.

Integral tool

"The Internet has become an integral tool in our business," says Judith Cushman, president of Judith Cushman & Associates, an executive search consultancy in Seattle. JC&A publishes a free monthly electronic newsletter that covers search assignments, news and trends, such as salary ranges. A variety of marketing professionals subscribe, keeping JC&A in touch with viable candidates of all types.

Profiler-Digital Media Recruiters uses the Internet to recruit in two ways: In a promotional capacity and in a "candidate harvesting" capacity. First, Profiler creates a promotional Web site containing contact information. Second, it actively uses the Internet to recruit technical and creative talent, contacting candidates via e-mail and inviting them to the site.

"We will enter into a technical chat room or tech support area and begin a conversation and tell a potential candidate about an opportunity we are working on," says Profiler Principal Andy Riabokin. "If they are interested they will send us a resume."

Costs are fairly standard with executive search firms, which ask 30% of the first year's annual compensation package for a successful hire. For those companies that recruit in more traditional ways, adding the Internet to their recruitment arsenal usually does not affect the bottom line. They view the Internet as just another tool under their umbrella of services. Occasionally, a client company wishes to restrict its search to the Internet, in which case costs can vary with the recruitment company.

In addition to its contract search services, JC&A offers a Web and e-mail-based service called Recruiting Connection, which quickly connects junior and midlevel professionals (generally five years and less) with reputable hiring organizations. The Recruiting Connection fee is $500 plus a small budget for out-of-pocket expenses, such as phone calls, faxes and mailing letters.

Harvesting names

Profiler-Digital Media Recruiters charges about $5,000 for a promotional recruitment Web site, with monthly service costs of about $200. Currently, the Los Angeles-based business is developing a custom application that will enter technical chat rooms and get candidates' names and e-mail addresses automatically. Profiler will use this information to follow up with a personal phone call. The cost of this custom application is also in the $5,000 range.

Marshall Consultants, New York, an executive search consultancy specializing exclusively in corporate marketing communications, has this advice:

"When looking on the Web for executive search firms, look for representative client lists," says Larry Marshall, president. "You should be able to contact and talk with the key principals of the firm, as well as the people who will be assigned to handle your particular search. You should expect that a comprehensive search will take from one to four months to complete. You should be very aware of the completed search record of the firm you are engaging." Marshall Consultants boasts a 94% success rate of complete searches over a 30-year period. The average in the industry is approximately 80%.

Results in less time

Satisfied employers who have used the Internet to hire marketing employees have reported results in less than half the time it takes to hire talent, when compared with traditional sources and techniques.

Companies such as Epson America, U.S. Robotics Corp. and Oracle Corp. have found that online recruiting works efficiently, saves their marketing departments time and money, and automatically prequalifies candidates as Internet-proficient, a skill needed by the majority of marketing employees today.

Kim M. Bayne is author of "The Internet Marketing Plan: A Practical Handbook for Creating, Implementing & Assessing Your Online Presence," John Wiley, New York, 1997. You can reach her at

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