Guide to Recruiting Online for Professionals

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					Recruiting Online
A Guide for Decision Makers

April 2009



• This guide is intended to provide employers with an overview of online recruitment and how it can be utilised to attract top talent effectively and efficiently. • The guide is aimed at senior decision makers, including top management of companies and those involved in setting and executing talent acquisition strategy. • The data, insights and opinions presented in this guide are based primarily on the Middle East market and may not be fully applicable in other countries or regions. • This guide has been compiled by, the leading provider of online recruitment services in the Middle East.



• Online Recruitment Cost-Benefit Analysis…….................….. 3 • Developing an Online Recruitment Strategy………………….. 8 • Appendix – Analysis of Middle East Online Candidates…….. 16 • Glossary……………………………………………….…………. 23


Online Recruitment Cost-Benefit Analysis


The Internet provides an ideal channel for employer branding, candidate sourcing and efficient screening
Uses of Online Recruitment


Promote the company as an employer of choice Gather market intelligence that shapes recruitment strategy

Employer Branding



Receive applications from active candidates Headhunt passive candidates through targeted database search

Candidate Sourcing



Automate screening and filtering of applicant CVs Organise the logistics and administration of the recruitment process

Screening & Selection



Online recruitment has proved an effective substitute for newspapers as the primary channel for sourcing candidates
Overview of Recruitment Process

Online Recruitment Portal


Recruitment Agency




Online recruitment compares favourably with other channels in terms of reach, effectiveness and speed of getting results
Recruitment Channels – Performance Comparison

Online Recruitment Product Geographic Reach • Product name • Locally-based candidates • International candidates • Active candidates • Passive candidates • Sourcing candidates Service Coverage • CV Filtering • Interviewing Speed • Average time * 1-10 days Job posting / CV search

Newspaper Advertising Advertising / Classified

Recruitment Agency Contingency recruitment

Executive Search Retained search

Type of Candidates

5-15 days **

3-30 days

30-60 days

* Defined as the total duration from the time a vacancy is sent to the HR team, until the HR team can provide matching CVs sourced from the supplier. ** Includes lead time required for an ad going into print, time to receive CVs and screening time


Recruiting online is by far the most cost-effective method, with total cost per hire as much as 90% lower than traditional channels
Recruitment Channels – Cost Comparison
(US$) Typical Supplier Fee per Hire * Supplier Fee Structure Internal Cost Per Hire ** Total Cost Per Hire †

Online Recruitment

$100 – 300

• Fixed fee, regardless of number of hires • Payable upfront • Fixed fee for advertising, regardless of number of hires • Payable upfront $9,000 – 12,000 • 15-20% of annual salary per candidate hired • Payable upon successful hire • 20-35% of annual salary per candidate hired • Payable 1/3 upfront, 1/3 on short-list, 1/3 on hiring

$1,500 – 3,000

$1,600 – 3,300

Newspaper Advertising

$200 – 500

$2,000 – 4,000

$2,200 – 4,500

Recruitment Agency

$1,000 – 2,000

$10,000 – 14,000

Executive Search

$12,000 – 21,000

$1,000 – 2,000

$13,000 – 23,000

Source: Interviews with HR managers, supplier terms, analysis * Estimated based on hiring a mid-level candidate with a compensation of US$ 5,000 per month ** Includes time of HR team, travel expenses of HR team and/or candidates, assessments and other associated costs † Total cost per hire = Supplier fee per hire + Internal cost per hire


Developing an Online Recruitment Strategy


To maximise the benefits of online recruitment, companies need to address four key questions
Key Elements of an Online Recruitment Strategy

2 Which Suppliers? Which online recruitment sites are most appropriate for my needs?

1 Which Vacancies? Which of my vacancies are best filled through online recruitment?

3 Which Products? Which online recruitment products are most suitable for my needs?

4 What Organisational Model? How should my HR team and process be set up to use online recruitment effectively?

Vacancies suitable for recruiting online should be distinguished from others
Segmentation of Vacancies
Professional / Managerial • • • • • Finance HR Marketing Engineering General Management • • • Entry level / Very Junior Shop Assistant Receptionist Fresh graduate • • • Manual / Unskilled Labourer Driver Maid


Candidate Presence Online

High presence online

High presence online

Limited online presence

Effectiveness of Online Screening

Can be efficiently screened using online tools

Hard to screen online, as core skills not in CV

CV insufficient for screening, or no CV at all

Overall Fit For Recruiting Online

Ideal for sourcing and screening online

Can be sourced online, but screening may still be time-consuming

Unsuitable for recruiting online

The appropriate online recruitment sites can be selected based on objective criteria
Supplier Selection – Metrics for Evaluating Online Recruitment Sites
Key Metrics Method of Evaluation


Candidate Availability
• • •

Breakdown of candidate database (by location, industry, etc.) Size and freshness of CV database Quality of CV presentation Calibre of candidates • Request references from peers in other firms Review brochure and official statistics of the recruitment portal Request a free live demonstration of the site Purchase a short-term subscription to try out the service Monitor number of interviews and hires over a period of subscription


Candidate Quality



Quality of search and filtering tools Simplicity and user-friendliness

Online Tools



Customer Service

• •

Responsiveness and professionalism Familiarity with the online products


While most employers use both job posting and CV search, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of each product
Comparison of Online Recruitment Products
Job Posting Candidate Types Reachable Input Parameters Required Key HR Skills Required Time to Get Good CVs Likelihood of Offer Acceptance Only Active candidates (cannot reach those who do not apply) CV Database Search Both Active and Passive candidates (some of the best candidates are passive)

Need a full job description to start

Only need job title and/or key skills (no need for a full job description) Ability to do structured online search, and to approach candidates persuasively Minutes (proactively target desired candidates)

Ability to draft attractive job ads, filter and screen CVs Days (should wait for candidates to apply)

Candidates very likely to accept (they show interest first) Recruitment is publicly visible (ideal for building an employer brand)

Candidates may or may not accept (need to be persuaded) No public visibility or branding (can be good for confidential vacancies)

Visibility and Branding

Most firms operate a ‘centralised’ organisation for using online recruitment, giving access to the HR team only
Organisational Model – Centralised

Key Features • Line managers communicate recruitment needs to the HR team • HR team source and screen CVs online, and forward to line managers for review • HR team follow up with approved candidates to arrange interviews • Line managers do not have direct access to the site Online Recruitment Portal • Common setup in the majority of companies

HR Team

Line Manager


It is possible to adopt a ‘distributed’ model, giving access to the line managers as well
Organisational Model – Distributed

Key Features • Both the HR team and line managers have direct access to the site • Line managers identify desired CVs directly and mark them for further follow-up by the HR team • Access permissions to the site are controlled by the HR team – e.g. who can post jobs, search CV database or view CVs online • Used in a minority of firms, but adoption increasing Online Recruitment Portal

HR Team

Line Manager


The choice of organisational model depends on the needs, priorities and resources of the company
Comparison of Organisational Models for Recruiting Online



Control & Standardisation

Fully controlled access and compliance with standard procedures HR team needs to expand in line with the growth of recruitment needs Recruitment requires several exchanges between HR and line managers Central HR team can develop expertise in online recruitment

Enforcing HR standards and procedures in dealing with candidates needs more effort and education Easy to scale up; a small HR team can support a large organisation Less communication overhead; line managers search and identify their target CVs directly Fragmented use may not allow deep online recruitment expertise to be accumulated


Process Efficiency Knowledge Building Stakeholder Adoption

The default setup in most companies; consistent with pre-Internet boundaries

Unpopular with some line managers. Can be offered on a voluntary opt-in basis


Appendix – Analysis of Middle East Online Candidates


Many myths and misconceptions exist about online candidates
Common Myths about Middle East Online Candidates Myths Reality *

“ Fewer people go online, compared to
those who read newspapers ” “ Job ads on a recruitment website do not get as much exposure as print ads in national newspapers ” “ Online candidates are mostly students and young people ” “ Only technical candidates can be found online ” “ Arabic speakers, especially Gulf nationals, do not look for jobs online ”

• The number of Internet users in the region is much higher than the total newspaper print circulation • An online job ad typically receives over 400 applications, compared with around 200 for a print ad in a popular newspaper • Half of the online candidates are aged over 30, and 37% hold managerial positions, including 8% who are in top management • Online candidates span all industries and functions, with only 31% coming from IT and engineering roles • Over 35% of online candidates are fluent Arabic speakers, including 8% who are Gulf nationals

* Based on’s database and analysis of publicly available data


Internet penetration has reached critical mass and now far exceeds newspaper print circulation across the region

Online vs. Print Internet Penetration *
49% 43% 40% 35% 35% 23% 18% 13% 10%
8% 5% 6% 9%

Newspaper Circulation **
18% 15% 10% 17% 27%

Total Population (millions, 2008 est.)

UAE Qatar Lebanon Bahrain Kuwait Saudi Arabia Jordan Egypt Oman

5.6 1.4 4.0 1.1 3.6 24.9 6.1 77.1 2.8

Sources: ITU, The World Factbook, Internet World Stats, Middle East Media Guide, Economist Intelligence Unit, Analysis * Number of Internet users as a percentage of total population. Based on 2007, the most recent year for which data is available ** Sum of print circulation of all daily newspapers as a percentage of total population. Based on claimed (unaudited) circulation figures for 2008


Candidates found online have a higher level of education and better language skills than the general population

Breakdown of Online Candidates *

By Level of Education

By Language

No University Degree
12% 88%

English Only
10% 55%

Arabic & English

With University Degree

English & Other language


Based on’s database of 1 million candidates


Online candidates include a significant proportion of mid-level and senior professionals

Breakdown of Online Candidates *

By Age

By Seniority

Above 50 41-50 36-40 31-35 26-30 Under 26

6% 15%

Director / Executive Manager
15% 22% 29% 13%



Experienced Professional Junior Professional Fresh Graduate / Student
9% 20%



Based on’s database of 1 million candidates


Online candidates include a diverse talent pool from different locations

Breakdown of Online Candidates *

By Country of Residence

Asia Europe / US
14% 13% 12%

4% 57%

Middle East (excl. GCC)

GCC **

* Based on’s database of 1 million candidates ** Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates


Candidates from all major industries and job categories can be found online

Breakdown of Online Candidates * By Industry By Job Category

Construction & Real Estate Banking & Finance IT & Telecom Oil & Gas Education Manufacturing Retail & Consumer Goods Healthcare Marketing & Media Transport & Logistics Hospitality Government & Public Sector Recruitment Other 1% 5% 8% 7% 6% 6% 5% 5% 4% 3% 3%

18% 16% 13%

Engineering Finance Sales & Customer Support IT Administration & Secretarial General Management Marketing and PR Education & Teaching Healthcare Human Resources Logistics Procurement Legal Other 7% 6% 6% 6% 4% 4% 3% 2% 1% 3% 10% 14% 13%



Based on’s database of 1 million candidates


Glossary of Key Terms
Online recruitment portal An Internet website where employers advertise their vacancies and candidates register their CV to apply for those vacancies, or to be otherwise found by employers for potential job opportunities. A job advertisement placed online on a recruitment portal, allowing candidates to review and submit their applications directly to the employer advertising the vacancy. An online facility allowing employers direct access to the CV database of a recruitment portal, to search and find candidates with the desired profiles and to contact them directly without the involvement of an intermediary. Someone who is interested in changing employment and is actively searching and applying for vacancies. Someone who is potentially open to considering alternative employment opportunities, but is not actively searching and applying for vacancies. A type of recruitment service where the recruitment agent receives a fee only upon successful placement of a candidate. The employer typically works with several competing recruiters. A recruitment service where the agency is exclusively retained by an employer, with an upfront payment, to fill a particular vacancy. The agency typically uses a headhunting approach to target passive candidates.

Job posting

CV database search

Active candidate

Passive candidate

Contingency recruitment

Retained search

About is the Middle East’s leading online recruitment portal, with a database of over 1 million professionals covering all sectors and job categories. It serves as the primary source of both national and expatriate talent to over 2,000 employers and recruitment agencies across the region. Headquartered in Dubai, covers the markets of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Further information is available at: Tel: +971 4 367 2084

Disclaimer & Copyright This document should be used for information purposes only. makes no claims or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, and accepts no liability for any use made thereof. The recipient is solely responsible for the use of the information contained herein. © 2009. All rights reserved.


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