Trading time for money

Recruiting and job hunting on the Internet.

By Russ Kratowicz

Assuming that the world is a perfect place, the World Wide Web should make it easy to have state-of-the-art Human Resources practices in place. One would expect that some of the Web sites are dedicated exclusively to posting job openings. Searching these rather large employment databases should turn up some interesting possibilities. Let's take a trip around the Web to see what is out there for the asset care professional that needs to staff up.

The Monster Board

Our first stop on this road to success is The Monster Board at http://monster.com. This Web site features a Career Surfari and something called the Corporate Sphere. The Surfari portion, mainly for job seekers, features a career search, resumes on-line, and employer research. The corporate side is more for employers and offers HR information, success stories, and job posting.

The site also has job listings for Great Britain and Quebec. It has medical positions, HR positions, and entry level positions. At the time I checked it out, the site claimed to have a total of 55,000 opportunities--a claim certainly worth investigating. There were nearly 15,000 possible jobs in the Surfari section when I checked the Web site.

The Monster Board uses a two step process to locate a job posting. First, the user must select both a location and a job description. The available locations cover our 50 states, the Canadian provinces, Chile, the UK, and Germany. Each of the states are further subdivided into metro centers. Of course, one can always select any, a default choice that selects every city. The database covers 171 job descriptions in the fields of information systems, engineering, biotechnology, finance, health care, retail, education, human resources, sales, creative, insurance, and that old standby, other. As with the location criteria, any is a valid choice. One caution--using any sure returns a lot of material for review.

After making the two selections, the second step is to click on the search icon. This reveals the number of possible job openings in the database that match the user's search criteria. Clicking on an icon at the bottom of the screen reveals the details of the job leads.

Every lead includes a job identification number, the employer's identity, the city and state, and the job title. In addition, the listing uses anywhere from two paragraphs to a full page to describe the responsibilities of the position, the required qualifications, and information that helps the job hunter contact the employer.

The typical contact information was a mailing address and a fax number to which resumes could be sent. Some leads listed an e-mail address. Some of the leads included a hot link to the employer’s own Web site that gives the potential applicant more information than is available on the Monster Board. If the job seeker has a resume loaded into the system, then it is possible to apply for the job on-line.

For a road test, I tagged Chicago as the location. The database turned up 4 positions for engineering management, 2 process engineering openings, 24 management opportunities, 4 slots in manufacturing, and 1 production position.

Next, I checked out the employer profiles. Selecting central USA as a search criterion, the database turned up 55 employer names plus 42 logo icons hotlinked to the employer's Web sites. I clicked on the name of a major engineering consulting firm in Chicago and found a company overview, a description of the technology they are offering, and a description of the benefit package. At this point I was faced with the opportunity to view the job postings this employer loaded into the system.

This Web site has quite a bit of material for your HR department. It offers news, professional development, an on-line forum to discuss issues with peers, a list of HR resources, and a career search for HR professionals.

Finally, I checked the rates for posting ads. For job seekers, the rate is zero. For employers, on the other hand, this Web site offers a range of prices from $75 for running an internship listing for 60 days to $5,000 for the largest combo package.

Search.com

You should remember this Web site (http://www.search.com). It should probably be your starting point for any sort of Web search. It features various search engines and search categories from arts to Web. Off on the left side of the screen was the word "Employment" and clicking on it brought up 16 job-related Web sites, one of which was the Monster Board.

One of the more interesting of the 16 was Job Network Resume Database that houses a database of job candidates, sort of a reversal to the standard approach to job hunting.

Some of the 16 sites focus on multimedia, Web-related, legal, and academic positions. These would probably not be very useful for the asset care function. However, the others are--America's Job Bank list openings courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerPath repeats job ads from 20 newspapers, and NationJob Network covers many more industrial job listings. The general operation of these employment databases is similar to that found at the Monster Board site.

The World Wide Web is making it easier for you and your HR department to find qualified candidates for the asset care positions you have. The potential of the relevant Web sites can provide advertising coverage that exceeds the reach of dozens of newspapers. The Web makes nationwide recruiting of talent cost-effective. You will, of course, need to structure your salary offers and benefit plans into a strategic recruiting tool since everyone out there can directly compare these factors in evaluating any job offer you might make.

But, being the two-edged sword that it is, the Web makes it easier for the skilled people on your staff to find a situation for themselves that does not include you. The easy availability of information is going to make it possible to keep up-to-date in benchmarking salaries for a given position. The Web is a wonderful source for networking since job ads posted there give the name of the person to contact. Sending resumes to blind ads may well be a thing of the past. With so much job information freely floating around and so easily accessible, it makes sense to treat your current employees well if you expect them to stay. Common courtesy says that the proper thing to do is treat them well, regardless.

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