HR teams failing to embrace the internet when hiring

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

HR departments are failing to fully embrace the internet age when acquiring new talent, new research has revealed.

A survey of 1,167 UK HR professionals carried out by leading digital marketing agency,, revealed that almost three quarters (68 per cent) of HR departments in the UK are not using internet marketing to their full advantage when advertising job vacancies.

Of those surveyed, only a third (32 per cent) said they are using a targeted, online marketing led approach when looking for new employees. 

However, despite being in the minority, it seems the HR departments that are taking a targeted approach are really reaping the benefits as reported vacancy rates are up to 59 per cent lower compared with HR departments who aren’t fully embracing the digital age.

HR not exploiting digital opps

Further evidence of how HR teams are failing to exploit digital opportunities was illustrated by the fact that 38 per cent of the HR workers surveyed say they only post job vacancies on their company website and share on their own social channels (without attempting to advertise new vacancies to prospective job hunters). 

Unfortunately by taking this approach, companies looking for new staff will only ever reach potential job hunters who are already aware of their own company.

The survey also found that almost a third (29 per cent) said they exclusively use recruiters to find new talent, and never actively promote vacancies themselves.

Finally, a staggering 11 per cent of the HR professionals surveyed said that they still do not use the internet at all when recruiting, relying on print media and local papers to fill their vacancies.

“It’s clear to see that HR departments who are fully embracing the digital age are reaping the benefits, with their vacancies being filled much quicker than their less tech-savvy counterparts”, said Gareth Hoyle, managing director at

“A targeted, marketing led approach to recruitment has clear benefits for employers. The two key metrics that can be improved by this approach during the recruitment process are the ratio from both CV to interview and from interview to placement . 

Brand perceptions

“Moreover many recruiters forget about the perception of their own brand as company and that an interview is as much about the applicant deciding if the role is the best move for them, as it is the employer deciding if they’re the right candidate.

Hoyle goes on to argue that: “[E]mployers really need to ensure they’re showcasing their company to prospective employees in the best way possible throughout the recruitment process, which includes having a targeted, digitally led recruitment strategy. 

“Applicants now more than ever are using the internet for their next job search, and unless they have an existing interest in a particular company, they are extremely unlikely to find  the careers section of a prospective employer’s website without [the company] deploying  some kind of targeted digital recruitment campaign. 

“In addition, having a strong brand is important of course but can only be maximised by spending time and money to promote it to prospective candidates using online marketing channels.

“Internet savvy HR departments are also benefiting from treating job vacancies as marketing material as they are able to directly target relevant job hunters for each role. 

“By using compelling and persuasive language in the job description, savvy recruiters are encouraging a higher number of applications vs those who companies don’t pay much attention to the overall appeal of the description itself. 

“In addition, they can also get across the company benefits in a much more applicant friendly way – keeping themselves and their company front of mind to job hunters.”

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