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February 15, 2016

Hiring Online: The Pros and Cons

Business

Jeff Cochran

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More than 50% of companies use web-based employment application software, making it one of the most popular methods of online recruitment. There are several advantages to using online software to gather applications from potential employees. There are also disadvantages to consider before you decide if electronic employment application software is right for your company.

Features

Web-based software applications offer advantages and disadvantages compared to paper applications. The software alerts the applicant if the application is not filled out correctly, reducing errors. It stores and sorts the data in one place that can be accessed from a central computer. Employers can presort lists to easily find the best applicants instead of having to manually thumb through each application. Most services offer templates that are easy to navigate. On the down side, with the use of a website comes the problems of that website. If the site is experiencing problems, applications will be affected.

Comprehensive Access to Applicants

Businesses can reach an almost limitless number of possible employees through online services. Online companies average almost twice as many applicants as those using paper applications. A disadvantage is that the applicant pool can produce hundreds of applicants, making it difficult to sort through so many applications to find the ones who are qualified. Another disadvantage is that if you use keywords to weed through the applications, you could miss a highly qualified applicant.

Ease of Use

Online employment application software makes it easy for people to apply for a job from anywhere in the world at any time. The disadvantage to this is that there is no way to know who is filling out the applications or taking proficiency tests.

Cost

Although there is a start-up cost for the application system, it’s more cost-effective for most than using recruiters, who can charge up to 20% of the employee’s first-year salary for their service. Businesses also save on the cost of paper applications, while job seekers save on printing resumes or mailing applications. However, needing additional online security to keep your company’s information, along with the information applicants share with you, safe and confidential, could be an added cost.

With so many options to consider, companies need to look at their specific circumstances to see which pros and cons would affect them the most. Many businesses opt for a hybrid system in which online applications as well as paper applications are accepted.

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