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Study Shows Internet Usage to Double in 12 Months


Usage of the Internet for employment recruitment purposes in the U.S. is expected to double in the coming year and is rapidly changing the way job hunters and HR professionals seek out one another, according to a national research study released by JWT Specialized Communications. It also suggests that corporate recruiters have only begun to scratch the surface of the Net's applications for their industry.

The employment communications company contracted with Millward Brown Inc., a Los Angeles-based international independent research firm, to carry out the national study which is the first of its kind in size and scope. The study is based on more than 400 telephone interviews with human resources professionals and a survey of nearly 800 job-seeking Internet users.

"The research objectives were to explore how the Internet is being used by HR professionals as a recruiting tool; to better understand how job seekers are using the Internet, and to establish benchmarks against which future usage can be measured," Kim Macalister, president and CEO of JWT Specialized Communications, said. Although newspapers and trade publications remain the number one medium of choice, the study found that the advantages of Internet recruitment are substantial. The Internet reaches an extremely large group, giving human resources personnel a broader selection of candidates, while the nature of its selectivity practically assures that contacts will be made among the computer literate. Additionally, contact is immediate and the Internet is inexpensive and relatively easy-to-use. Companies that use the Internet for recruiting report positive, results. They fill significantly more positions per year than non-users with, or without, knowledge of the Net's recruitment capabilities. In addition, companies using the Internet tend to fill more higher level jobs.

Recruiters looking for technical people are especially successful when using the Internet since most of those who surf the Net are highly knowledgeable users. Ninety four percent of companies currently using the Internet for recruitment intend to continue their use for that purpose in the future, and of that number, 75 percent will increase usage in the coming year. Tomorrow's future use of the Internet is expected to increase substantially. Thirty-nine percent of Internet literate, non-users will try it in the year ahead and 84 percent of "current users" will increase their use of the Net. Job seekers using the Internet are predominantly highly educated, young males (18-34 years old) with household incomes well above the U.S. average.

Both job seekers and human resource professionals consider job posting sits to be the most effective means of locating career connections on the Net. They also favor the Online Career Center (OCC) over all other job posting sites. Human resources personnel used OCC four times more than its nearest competitor and job seekers preferred OCC five times more. Other posting sites mentioned included CareerMosaic, Career Path, Career Web, E-Span, Jobweb and Monster Board plus a host of on-line trade publications and association sites.

"The findings boil down to this," Macalister said, "If you're looking for a job in the technical field, or to fill a technical job within your company, you need to look toward the Internet, and we fully expect non-technical job within your company, you need to look toward the Internet, and we fully expect non-technical jobs to follow in the year ahead as well." JWT Specialized Communications, a J. Walter Thompson company, is a diversified $150 million marketing communications agency serving the needs of clients in business-to-business, employment communications, healthcare, high technology and senior marketing. The agency has 21 offices throughout the nation.


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