Developing a Competitive Position with Sustainable Supply ChainJanuary 15, 2021
Report on Case Study of Basil regarding the tax liabilitiesJanuary 15, 2021
In the secret corridors of IT ingenuity within the United Kingdom's SMEs, E-recruitment emerges as a rare alchemist, transmuting the essence of hiring into an artful blend of code and charisma, where the whispers of binary winds sculpt the elusive sculpture of talent acquisition in the most arcane and effective of ways.
A captivating dance unfolds between the twin forces of innovation and necessity in the pulsating heart of the United Kingdom's Information Technology sector. At the epicentre of this dynamic interplay are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) grappling with the formidable challenge of sourcing and acquiring top-tier talent. These SMEs navigate uncharted waters in an industry where change isn't a constant but a rapid evolution. The traditional contours of hiring are being reshaped. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, E-recruitment emerges as a beacon—a transformative force poised to redefine the fabric of talent acquisition within the IT SME landscape of the United Kingdom.
In this rarefied realm, E-recruitment is more than just a technological upgrade; it represents a strategic response to the industry's evolving demands. As SMEs strive to keep pace with the dynamic nature of the IT sector, digital recruitment practices become instrumental in fostering adaptability and agility. This blog aims to illuminate the unique effectiveness of E-recruitment within the intricate tapestry of IT SMEs in the United Kingdom, exploring how this transformative force addresses challenges and opens doors to new possibilities in the ever-evolving landscape of talent acquisition.
The rapid growth of technology adoption in the United Kingdom over the past few decades has led organizations to leverage it for flexible, innovative, efficient, and strategic methodologies, aiming for success. In this context, the human resource management (HRM) function is crucial, relying on technology to address the workforce's needs and treat employees as strategic resources for enhancing organizational performance. The digital revolution has significantly facilitated the expansion of HRM activities (Stone et al., 2006).
As of 2013, the UK's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is the largest and fastest-growing in Europe, valued at approximately £80 billion. This sector's growth is primarily driven by software and services sales, with the UK Economy creating opportunities for both general and niche ICT providers.
Cloud computing and cybersecurity services are in high demand, particularly in the private and public sectors. The National Health Service (NHS) relies on e-health and big data to cope with increased demand and supply pressures. The ICT sector contributes 12% to the UK's GDP and is a growth engine during economic downturns (Europa, 2012).
The success of the UK's IT sector can be attributed to a growing economy, a robust technology environment, a thriving creative and design sector, and a culture of product innovation. The sector boasts critical strengths, including being the largest ICT market in Europe, early adoption of technology and design, and an open, transparent market. Established distribution channels further contribute to its resilience in competitive forces. Nevertheless, the sector faces challenges, notably a shortage of talented and qualified employees.
Human resource management is pivotal for SMEs in the IT sector, requiring access to qualified personnel aligned with their strategic business models. Recruitment, in particular, poses a major challenge for SMEs striving to remain competitive and profitable. The integration of technology has introduced e-recruitment as a concept.
Organizations increasingly employ E-recruitment to access a large pool of candidates while reducing costs associated with traditional recruitment methods. It is recognized as an efficient means of achieving critical HR goals, providing management with diverse tools for success.
Examining the recruitment strategies of the ICT sector, especially within SMEs, becomes essential. Understanding the e-recruitment strategies of SMEs in the UK's IT sector is crucial for identifying the benefits and challenges associated with this approach. While SMEs in the IT industry have embraced technology to meet their needs, further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of e-recruitment in this sector in the UK.
This study aims to:
Evaluate the efficacy of e-recruitment in addressing the requirements of the SME IT sector in the UK. Effectiveness will be gauged based on criteria such as the quality of applicants, time and cost savings, development of brand image, and access to a broader applicant pool.
Examine the drawbacks of e-recruitment to delineate its scope of effectiveness, including challenges such as an increased influx of unqualified applicants, user-unfriendly tools, a perceived lack of personal touch, and additional time and cost implications.
Identify strategies for SMEs in the IT sector to leverage e-recruitment efficiently and flexibly, aligning with their needs and requirements.
The UK's IT sector is one of Europe's largest, experiencing exponential growth despite economic downturns. This sector consistently delivers innovative and robust products and services, catering to local and international markets. Despite its success, SME IT firms confront challenges related to human resource shortages, and there is limited research on their recruitment methods. In the United Kingdom's IT sector, particularly within SMEs, the recruitment process is a pivotal function of HR.
This process involves posting job advertisements, receiving resumes, and building a comprehensive human resource database encompassing candidates and current employees. The evolution of technology has given rise to e-recruitment methods, increasingly adopted by organizations. E-recruitment involves utilizing the Internet for candidate sourcing, selection, communication, and overall management throughout the recruitment process. The research aims to investigate how the IT sector leverages technology to address its HR needs. Understanding SMEs' utilization of e-recruitment methods is crucial, as it helps identify the primary drivers and challenges the sector faces in employing such methods.
Human Resource Management (HRM) administers an organization's human resources, aiming to enhance employee performance and fulfil the organisation's strategic objectives. Organizations prioritize HRM to establish policies and systems that contribute to achieving crucial goals (Hendry, 2012).
Effective workforce management is essential for gaining strategic competitive advantage and ensuring profitability in the modern business landscape. Recruitment, a fundamental HRM function, involves attracting, selecting, and appointing suitable candidates to meet organizational needs and strategic objectives.
Traditional recruitment entails conducting job analyses to identify the knowledge and skills required for specific positions. This process includes defining job specifications and descriptions. Traditionally, recruitment strategies involve hiring recruitment firms to locate potential candidates or placing advertisements in newspapers. Sourcing strategies, utilizing media like national newspapers, professional publications, job centres, and other channels, are also part of traditional recruitment (Khanka, 2007).
Recruitment consultants play a role in identifying potential employees for current positions, and the process includes screening through psychological tests to assess capabilities and competencies. However, technology has introduced e-recruitment, transforming traditional recruitment into a time-consuming process. Literature analysis reveals specific issues and limitations associated with traditional recruitment.
One identified problem is the significantly higher costs of traditional recruitment, requiring specialized skills and practices (Khanka, 2007). Another limitation is its perceived outdated and inefficient nature, with recruitment consultants and newspapers charging substantial fees for advertisements and sourcing strategies to find suitable candidates (Khanka, 2007). Additionally, traditional recruitment is criticized for being slow and time-consuming compared to online methods that provide organizations access to a vast pool of candidates.
E-recruitment refers to utilising digital technologies for recruiting, selecting, and onboarding employees. Extensive literature has explored the advantages of e-recruitment, highlighting increased access to a diverse pool of candidates, time and cost savings, and enhanced organizational flexibility. However, some studies caution that e-recruitment may fall short of retaining skilled employees within the work environment (Lad & Das, 2016). Flaws in website design or a suboptimal application process are also identified as potential deterrents to prospective employees (Anand & Devi, 2016).
This section of the study delves into existing research concerning the effectiveness of e-recruitment. Human resource management is critical in business organizations, focusing on workforce management. The objective of HR should be the development of a strategic approach to efficiently and effectively attain the organization's goals. Integrating digital technologies has transformed human resource management, particularly in recruiting and selecting employees.
The benefits of the Internet in this context include reducing candidate search time and substantial cost savings for organizations. Additionally, it provides a transparent method for acquiring information about specific candidates. E-recruitment facilitates hiring individuals worldwide, promoting opportunities and efficiently benefiting organizations. Sharma (2014) contends that 75% of human resource professionals in developed countries now use e-recruitment as a primary method for hiring. Moreover, two out of four job seekers leverage the Internet to explore job opportunities.
Supporting the rise of e-recruitment, Holm's (2014) study indicates that all Fortune 100 companies employ some form of e-recruitment for advertising vacant positions. This suggests that e-recruitment is widely embraced across various positions, from blue-collar to white-collar and professional.
The literature identifies numerous benefits of e-recruitment. Girard & Gallery (2009) assert that e-recruitment saves time for both organizations and employees. Employers can post jobs using various methods in as little as 20 minutes, without limitations on ad size, and receive resumes immediately. This stands in contrast to traditional methods, such as newspaper advertisements, which take time to appear and are limited in duration.
The implication is that e-recruitment is faster and more cost-effective than traditional recruitment methods. The entire recruiting cycle is enhanced, from posting to receiving resumes and filtering to managing contacts and workflow. Melanthious et al. (2015) argue that e-recruitment significantly reduces recruitment costs for organizations. Posting on job portals incurs significantly lower costs than traditional search firms or advertising methods. This reduction in costs holds significant implications for organizations facing rising HRM-related expenses.
One notable benefit of e-recruitment is the cost savings that can be redirected for other strategic purposes. This underscores e-recruitment as a cost-effective approach, particularly beneficial for companies, including SMEs with limited financial resources, aiming to hire and retain talented and high-performing employees.
Advantages and Disadvantages
E-recruitment offers various benefits, as highlighted in the literature. Parry & Wilson (2009) emphasize the broad reach it provides to employers, surpassing the limitations of traditional methods tied to geography or industry parameters. Online recruitment methods maintain current and updated databases covering various levels efficiently. Similarly, candidates gain access to diverse job opportunities across industries through e-recruitment. Candidates can showcase their resumes online, potentially attracting employers and recruiters seeking top talent.
Florea & Badea (2013) assert that e-recruitment incorporates state-of-the-art filtration tools, enabling companies to swiftly and efficiently identify potential candidates. Unique search criteria facilitate the screening and sorting of candidates, allowing employers to access resumes and promptly engage with active and passive professionals. This suggests that e-recruitment equips employers with powerful tools for rapid and effective candidate searches.
Al Otaibi et al. (2012) argue that e-recruitment presents employer branding opportunities. It is a platform for companies to promote their brand, demonstrating commitment to employee growth. Consistent branding is crucial in the modern era, as candidates seek associations with reputable companies known for prioritizing employee needs and offering ample growth opportunities.
Sophisticated management tools available in e-recruitment methods assist management in making critical decisions related to recruitment. These tools enable centralized management of posting vacancies, receiving resumes, prioritizing and contacting specific candidates, and tracking activities, contributing to achieving organizational strategic and operational goals while streamlining workflow processes.
While e-recruitment offers numerous advantages, studies have also documented its disadvantages. Holm (2009) warns about the legal implications of using improper language in advertisements, potentially leading to discrimination claims. Handlogten & Ettinger (2009) caution that accessing a vast pool of applicants through e-recruitment may lead to challenges in thorough assessment, potentially resulting in the selection of only a few of the first candidates for a job.
Other problems associated with e-recruitment include difficulties in screening and verifying the authenticity of millions of resumes, potential wastage of time when targeting specific candidate groups, and the persistence of outdated job postings due to miscommunication or system issues (Parry & Tyson, 2011). The effectiveness of e-recruitment is challenging to measure due to the lack of metrics for examining and modifying postings. Issues like ineffective search engine optimization, website malfunctions, and applicant confusion with website layouts further complicate e-recruitment strategies.
While e-recruitment is cost-effective, it does not necessarily translate into quality. Free online platforms can lead to oversaturation, burying job positions under numerous offers, making the strategy complex with a high response rate. Malherbe et al. (2015) identify significant risks, including the potential for fake applications to infiltrate companies or gain fraudulent access to their intranet.
Business organizations employ various e-recruitment methods to fulfil human resource needs and requirements. Job boards, a common method, serve as platforms where employers post jobs and candidates apply for positions. However, these boards are generic and encompass diverse job types (Shahila & Vijayalak, 2013).
Specific job boards cater to organizations seeking candidates with specialized skills. Many companies maintain their websites, offering comprehensive details for potential candidates and featuring a dedicated careers page for new job vacancies. Employer-specific websites are designed to facilitate a targeted search for a specialized workforce in an innovative and integrated manner.
Technological advancements provide organizations with a wide array of e-recruitment methods. Email outreach is one method that involves sending targeted messages to candidates who can apply for various vacancies as they arise (Brahmana & Brahmana, 2013). While this approach is effective, email message lists require frequent updating to maintain efficacy.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have emerged as powerful tools for disseminating information about job vacancies. The advantage of social media lies in the direct targeting of potential applicants. Organizations can leverage social media tools to initiate interview requests and conduct background checks. The costs associated with identifying potential candidates are relatively low or even free for companies utilizing social media for recruitment (Roy & Srimannarayana, 2013). The integration of recruiter-specific communication activities and the dynamic creation of an employer's job page enhance the effectiveness of this approach. Social media's benefits for e-recruitment include a higher response rate due to reduced spam and an improved likelihood of communication with highly skilled candidates (Davison et al., 2011).
Social media's additional advantages include its effectiveness in referrals and reaching passive candidates. However, establishing the necessary infrastructure for spreading information about potential job vacancies requires time and effort. The prevalence of multiple e-recruitment methods underscores organizations' access to diverse HR function management tools. Successful organizations strive to use a combination of methods to achieve their strategic goals (Malik, 2013).
Research is characterized as a systematic process of inquiry and analysis into any phenomenon, aiming to identify new trends or questions and validate existing theoretical concepts in a given discipline (Taylor et al., 2015). Two primary research methodologies exist: qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative methodology involves deriving statistical and quantifiable variables related to a research phenomenon, identifying numerical trends and collecting factual, numerical information (Bryman & Bell, 2015).
Conversely, qualitative research delves into the assumptions, reasons, and insights associated with knowledge in a particular field. It aims to obtain descriptive data that researchers can analyze and assess, acknowledging a dynamic and negotiated reality during the research process (Bryman & Bell, 2015).
For this study, the qualitative methodology will be employed. This choice is driven by the need to identify descriptive data concerning the dynamics of the IT SME sector in the United Kingdom. The study seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of e-recruitment methods in the IT SME sector, necessitating the utilization of industry knowledge and existing trends in e-recruitment to derive valid and accurate inferences.
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
- What are the benefits and challenges of using e-recruitment in the IT SME sector of the United Kingdom?
- How can challenges associated with e-recruitment be overcome by the IT SME sector of the United Kingdom?
Data Collection Methods
This section of the paper will use secondary research to derive valid conclusions. The secondary research uses existing studies filtered out based on their relevance and recentness to derive accurate conclusions. The primary advantage of secondary research is the relative ease with which the researcher can access many secondary data sources (Zikmund et al., 2013).
There are many studies related to the topic of e-recruitment that are available online. Secondary research is openly accessed, offering convenience and standardized usage methods for all secondary research sources. Another advantage of secondary data is its availability at little or no cost. The information is less expensive than researchers trying to engage in primary research activities (Zikmund et al., 2013).
Secondary research is beneficial in clarifying the research question. It helps the researcher create a specific research focus to produce sound outcomes. There are some disadvantages to using secondary research, such as the fact that information from secondary sources must be carefully scrutinized and analyzed. This is important because the source of the information might be questionable. The ability to verify the validity and reliability of the information can be a time-consuming process for the researcher (Zikmund et al., 2013).
Another disadvantage is that the secondary data might not be present in a format that will be according to the researcher's needs. The use of secondary data might be limited because researchers might find interesting and valuable information which might not be accessible to them. This is because many research studies charge expensive fees for complete reports and studies on any discipline.
Finally, a major disadvantage of secondary research is information might be outdated. Trends in many disciplines are changing, so it is important to identify the relevance of the studies in the context of the current market situation (Zikmund et al., 2013).
This study will utilize several studies to derive valid and accurate inferences. Two types of studies have been selected for this study. One collection of studies relates to the existing literature on e-recruitment and its efficacy for modern organizations. These studies also identify the limitations of e-recruitment for organizations.
Another collection of studies derives statistics and trends about the nature of SMEs in the United Kingdom. These studies provide information regarding SMEs' nature, size, and scope in the UK's IT sector.
Research ethics is very important for the research process because it must conform to professional and ethical standards. Although this study does not utilize primary research for its objectives, the fact remains that it is critical to focus on research ethics.
The primary concern is that the selection of studies should be done carefully to ensure the highest levels of objectivity and neutrality (Zikmund et al., 2013).
Another concern is that the researcher should assess the validity and reliability of these existing studies to prevent any problems during the research process.
Finally, it is important to have a contextual understanding of the data by assessing and countering risks of misinterpretation. Proper planning and reflection of the data will be an important step towards achieving this objective. Research ethics needs to be undertaken in a systematic and integrated manner. The goal should be to ensure that high levels of objectivity and neutrality can be maintained.
The following is a timeline for the various activities that will be undertaken for the completion of the project:
Proposal for study
Weeks 1st – 2nd
Week 2nd – 3rd
Week 3rd – 4th
Findings and Data Analysis
Week 4th - 6th
Week 6th – 8th
It is important to identify the project limitations to assess the scope of this study. One of the limitations of this project is that primary research is not being used as a data collection method. This can limit the efficacy of the inferences being derived for the study. Specifically, primary research helps the researcher to get firsthand experience and insight into the nature of the research problem.
Moreover, the direct participation of the research helps interact with industry experts on the research topic. Another advantage is that high levels of neutrality and objectivity can be maintained through primary research. Another limitation of the project is that the results might apply only to SMEs in the IT sector. The results related to the efficacy of e-recruitment might not be applicable for other SMEs working in divergent industries due to unique organizational and environmental variables that impact the HRM policy of such organizations.
Technological advancements have revolutionized business processes, particularly within the human resource management (HRM) function, a pivotal element for organizations striving for enduring success in a fiercely competitive landscape. HRM is dedicated to workforce management by implementing robust policies and procedures that address employee needs while fulfilling the organisation's critical goals.
Given its significance in organizational success, HRM should adopt a strategic approach to attain its strategic goals efficiently. Integrating digital technologies has notably transformed HRM, particularly in recruiting and selecting employees. The Internet has emerged as a valuable tool, reducing candidate search time and delivering significant cost savings for organizations. Additionally, it provides a transparent method for obtaining specific information about candidates.
E-recruitment, facilitated by digital technologies, enables organizations to source talent globally, promoting opportunities and enhancing organizational efficiency. Recruitment, a fundamental HRM function, employs various methods to attract and retain employees. Traditional recruitment methods are plagued by issues such as being outdated, costly, and inefficient.
Contrastingly, a comprehensive literature analysis indicates that e-recruitment is gaining prominence among business organizations. Highlighted benefits in the literature include cost-effectiveness, efficiency, robust processes, and access to diverse management tools for success. The UK boasts a robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, one of the largest and fastest-growing in Europe, with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) playing a significant role. Exploring the use of e-recruitment in such SMEs is crucial, involving identifying benefits and key challenges associated with these approaches.
The following is the list of preliminary references that will be used for this study:
- Digital entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom, 2012. Retrieved from: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/dem/sites/default/files/Countryfiche_UK.pdf
- Al-Otaibi, S.T. and Ykhlef, M., 2012, January. Job recommendation systems for enhancing the e-recruitment process. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Information and Knowledge Engineering (IKE) (p. 1). The Steering Committee of The World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Computing (WorldCom)
- Anand, J. and Devi, C., 2016. Literature review on e-recruitment and its perceived benefits: A walk towards paperless HR.IJAR, 2(11), pp.528-531.
- Brahmana, R.K. and Brahmana, R., 2013. What Factors Drive Job Seeker's Attitude to Using E-Recruitment? The South-East Asian Journal of Management, pp.123-134.
- Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015.Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.
- Davison, H.K., Maraist, C. and Bing, M.N., 2011. Friend or foe? The promise and pitfalls of using social networking sites for HR decisions.Journal of Business and Psychology, 26(2), pp.153-159.
- Fee, M.C., 2014. Human resources management. Stephen Publishers
- Florea, V.N. and Badea, M., 2013, May. Acceptance of new Technologies in HR: E-Recruitment in Organizations. InProceedings of the European Conference on Information Management & Evaluation (pp. 344-352)
- Ghazzawi, K. and Accoumeh, A., 2014. Critical Success Factors of the E-Recruitment System.Journal of Human Resources Management and Labor Studies, 2(2), pp.159-170.
- Girard, A. and Fallery, B., 2009. E-recruitment: new practices, new issues. An exploratory study. Sage Publications
- Handlogten, C. and Ettinger, M.D.E., 2009. Implementation of e-recruitment.Amsterdam: Universiteit Twente
- Hendry, C., 2012.Human resource management. Routledge.
- Holm, A., 2009. Virtual HRM: A case of e-recruitment.Human Resource Information Systems
- Holm, A.B., 2014. The Value of e-HRM in Recruitment Strategies of Organizations.
- Iannotta, M. and Gatti, M., 2016. Innovating e-recruitment services: an Italian case study.
- InEmpowering Organizations (pp. 103-114). Springer International Publishing.
- Khanka, S.S., 2007.Human resource management. S. Chand Publishing.
- Lad, D.R. and Das, S.S., 2016. E-Recruitment Process With Use Of Business Process Modeling.
- Malherbe, E., Cataldi, M. and Ballatore, A., 2015, August. Bringing order to the job market: Efficient job offer categorization in e-recruitment. In Proceedings of the 38th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (pp. 1101-1104). ACM.
- Malik, Z., 2013. The Role of E-recruitment Towards Attraction of Workforce: A Case of Telecom Sector Organization.Abasyn University Journal of Social Sciences, 6(1).
- Melanthiou, Y., Pavlou, F. and Constantinou, E., 2015. The use of social network sites as an e-recruitment tool.Journal of Transnational Management, 20(1), pp.31-49.
- Parry, E. and Tyson, S., 2011. Desired goals and actual outcomes of e‐Human Resource Management Journal, 21(3), pp.335-354.
- Parry, E. and Wilson, H., 2009. Factors influencing the adoption of online recruitment.Personnel Review, 38(6), pp.655-673
- Roy Chowdhury, T. and Srimannarayana, M., 2013. Applicants’ Perceptions on Online Recruitment Procedures.Management and Labour Studies, 38(3), pp.185-199.
- Shahila, D. and Vijayalak, R., 2013. E-Recruitment challenges.International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research, ISSN, 2277, p.3630.
- Sharma, N., 2014. Recruitment Strategies: A power of E-Recruiting and Social Media.International Journal Of Core Engineering & Management, 1(5), pp.15-35.
- Stone, D.L., Stone-Romero, E.F. and Lukaszewski, K., 2006. Factors affecting the acceptance and effectiveness of electronic human resource systems.Human Resource Management Review, 16(2), pp.229-244.
- Switzerland Global Enterprise (2013). Opportunities and Challenges: The UK ICT Market. Retrieved from: http://www.s-ge.com/sites/default/files/private_files/BBK_ICT_Market_UK_11_2013_1.pdf.
- Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R. and DeVault, M., 2015.Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.
- Woźniak, J., 2014. On e-recruitment and four ways of using its methods. InProceedings of 8th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2014 (pp. 15-16).
- Zikmund, W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. and Griffin, M., 2013.Business research methods. Cengage Learning.
Get 3+ Free Dissertation Topics within 24 hours?