Digital divide in online recruitment


Despite growing signs that employers are turning away from online recruitment, new figures suggest that the number of people using the web to look for a job has almost doubled since 2000.

According to research by recruitment firm, one in ten people have found a new job via the internet while almost nine out of ten think that the web will become an even more important component of job hunting in future.

The figures means that more than 1.3 million people have been recruited over the web in the past five years.

But the growing popularity of the medium amongst job seekers comes as employers are increasingly tuning away from it as they are deluged by ‘GradSpam’ from unsuitable job applicants.

Much of the problem has been caused by the rapid expansion in university participation and a corresponding fall in the quality of graduates.

Research earlier this month from IT services firm Parity has found that a mere five per cent of organisations in the UK used the web to find staff last year, down from a third in 2001.

But despite this apparent ‘digital divide’, almost a quarter of people now say that the web is their favourite way of finding a new job, a rise of more than ten per cent on three years ago.

Reed’s poll of 1,600 people by showed that the web is growing in popularity because of its constant availability (cited by more than one in four), speed and ease of use. Concerns expressed included lack of personal feedback, worries that jobs advertised online were not genuine and technical problems.

"Our research shows that almost everyone thinks internet recruitment is going to get more important in the future, as technological improvements make it an even faster and easier route to the right job," said reed’s Dan Ferrandino.