A recent study by Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) of UK employers with 100 or more staff reveals that those that are currently using the services of recruitment sites are committed to spending more money with, and advertising more jobs on,
career-orientated sites.

The survey of 238 UK employers conducted in February and March 2001 under Forrester’s UK Online Recruitment Benchmark Programme, found that 44% of UK employers who currently use online recruitment sites will increase the amount of money they spend with them, and a further 46% plan to utilise the medium over the next year. Moreover, only 12% said they would cut their budget allocation to online recruitment, and just 9% indicated an intention to cut the number of jobs they will place with recruitment Web sites. Of employers not currently using the Internet to recruit, only 17% said they prefer to use traditional methods when recruiting, while over a quarter (28%) are either considering using the Internet in the future or haven’t thought about it yet.

“However, in order to grow to become a truly invaluable tool for UK employers, recruitment sites must listen to what current users are saying, both candidates and employers — and act,” said William Reeve, Forrester’s group director of European Data Products. “The UK Online Recruitment Benchmark Programme has already revealed that candidates demand three fundamental criteria when hunting for jobs online -¿ locality, industry specialisation and personalisation. Now a third of employers are saying that too many inappropriate CVs and unsuitable candidates are disadvantaging career-orientated sites. Therefore, it’s not surprising that more than three-quarters (78%) are not using the main feature offered to employers — the candidate database.

“Online recruitment sites must act in the short term and evolve their offering to provide a more tailored focus,” Reeve added. “In the longer term, recruitment sites will need to provide both candidates and employers with a unique, specialist offering focusing on a particular industry or a particular type of candidate.”

For the UK Online Recruitment Benchmark Programme, Forrester polled 7,000 UK Internet users and more than 200 employers about their attitudes towards career Web sites in February and March 2001. Critically, Forrester interviewed the users of seven of the UK’s leading online recruitment companies.