The Internet monster

It used to be that finding a newspaper in the break room opened to the classifieds was a sure sign that someone in the company was looking to leave.

Today, however, most employers would need to check the History function on their employees’ computers to learn who has been online at one of the many job boards.

Internet job postings and searches are becoming more and more popular, saving the job seeker and the job holder money and time, while increasing the scope of such searches from regional to international. Last year, there was a 15 percent rise in the number of employers who routinely use the Internet to find candidates for open positions, according to the SBN Magazine Workplace Practices Survey, conducted by the Employers Resource Council.

Forty-five percent of the 92 CEOs and HR managers who responded to the 2001 survey reported reliance on the Internet for recruiting, up from 30 percent in 2000. That’s coupled with a jump in online recruiting budgets — nearly double from last year — and a drop of almost 15 percent in traditional classified advertising budgets.

Peter Tuttle, president of, a regional job board where job seekers are directly linked to potential employers, says his company has benefited from the growth in online recruiting. Unlike the behemoth site, CareerBoard does not allow third party recruiters or anyone offering jobs outside Northeast Ohio to post jobs on its site.

Tuttle says by keeping it regional, the company supports the community in which it is based.

“Talent is in short supply,” he says, “and it’s tough enough to compete with other companies in the region without having to compete with companies nationally.”

The approach has been successful, Tuttle says. Within the last year, CareerBoard has gone from 4 million hits a month with 35,000 unique users to 8.5 million hits and 90,000 unique users each month. CareerBoard has also become one of the largest regional Internet job boards in Ohio and, after, is one of the largest in the nation.

“The job descriptions include compensation in the $100,000 to $150,000 on the top end,” Tuttle says. “But I would say our sweet spot is around $40,000 to $60,000.”

Jim Bennett is president and CEO of EmployOn Inc., parent company to the, a Euclid-based Internet employment firm. Bennett sees a future in Internet recruiting, but also believes that what we see today isn’t what we’ll be seeing in the future. For online recruiting to take the next step, there needs to be more sophistication added to the art of searching for an employee.

For $7,000 per year, a recruiter or business representative can access 2 million potential employees. What makes Bennett’s approach different from everyone else’s on the Internet is a technical, concept-based search engine that works with themes, ideas and desires, not just keywords.

The Internet is not just about more comprehensive searches.

Says Tuttle, “It levels the playing field for the small employer. Now they can have an equal shot at candidates.”

What this means for CareerBoard clients is that they save money on advertising or third party recruiting fees and, more important, on lead time. No longer do they have to wait for a Sunday ad to run and resumes to come in.

Another benefit, says Tuttle, is that there are no real space restrictions, so employers using the Internet can go into more detail on available jobs.

For Bennett’s part, he justifies the subscription cost by pointing to traditional recruiting searches.

“If a firm was going to charge or pay for a 25 percent search fee, it is paid back in one hire,” he says.

One great thing about the Internet is that you open your company up to receiving resumes from all over the world. That’s also the bad thing about Internet recruiting.

“It is here to stay,” says Bennett. “However, there are some cases where it has caused as much pain as it has helped. If you post an ad and get 600 resumes instead of 30, your new problem is wading through all of those candidates.”

But that’s a small price to pay, says Tuttle.

“There has been a 30 percent crossover from Staffing Solutions (our traditional placement service) to CareerBoard,” he says, adding that even if online recruiting isn’t totally replacing print ads, it is often used in conjunction with them.

“A majority of the businesses use the Internet in conjunction with traditional print advertising,” Tuttle says. “But a number of clients are putting the CareerBoard address in their print ads.”

How to reach:, (216) 595-2200; EmployOn, (216) 502-5500

Kim Palmer ([email protected]) is managing editor of SBN Magazine.