Online recruitment refers to using company websites, online advertisements, job listings, social media and other means on the internet to find and hire suitable employees for your business. Not only has the internet made it easier to source candidates, but you can now even conduct interviews, handle employee paperwork and initiate training online.

Online recruitment can give your company a quicker and cheaper way to fill positions, but you should also consider its limitations and use it alongside other recruiting methods.


The definition of online recruitment is to use the internet to find qualified employees, accept job applications, communicate with applicants and monitor the hiring process.

E-Recruitment Definition and Basics

Internet recruitment creates awareness of positions that are open in your organization, allows you to obtain information about interested candidates and makes it easier to communicate with potential hires. You can even use online employment testing and training methods and conduct interviews entirely online thanks to video conferencing software like Skype and GoToMeeting. The internet also allows background checks and paperwork to be handled remotely.

At the heart of online recruitment is the use of online recruitment software that assists with applicant tracking and application processing. This tool can help screen resumes for job-related keywords, send status notifications to applicants, generate reports, post jobs and keep managers notified as applicants move through the hiring process.

Online Recruitment Methods

Your company has many ways to recruit online that include:

  • Social media: You can use sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to post about new job openings and have your employees share these posts with their contacts. LinkedIn and Facebook also allow employers to create job listings that display on their company pages and are also accessible via broader searches. You can also view people's public profiles and reach out to potential candidates through private messaging on these sites.

  • Contact sourcing: Rather than waiting for candidates to hear about your company and contact you, contact sourcing involves doing some more work to obtain contact information for people in the industry who may have an interest in working for you. For example, if you're hiring for a web developer position, you might look at profiles on portfolio websites like GitHub and look for email addresses for people who mention they're seeking work. You might also do general web searches or take advantage of contact sourcing tools such as ContactOut or Aevy.

  • Company website: Your company website is a great place to share the benefits of working for your company, post job listings and inform applicants about the company culture. You may have a dedicated career site or simply dedicate a page on your main company site.

  • Online job sites: You can take advantage of job-posting sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Glassdoor and Indeed to browse a database of resumes, accept applications and track applicants. Some of these sites also provide a place for current employees to share their experience at the company, and having positive reviews can be an indirect way to recruit employees.

  • Internet ad campaigns: To increase awareness of job openings at your company, you can use pay-per-click ads on search engines and social media platforms. You can even create promotional videos on your company website, YouTube or Facebook page to recruit workers.

  • Guest posts: Reaching out to bloggers in your industry or asking to write for career websites can provide opportunities to create guest posts where you talk about your company and can mention employment opportunities. The key is to paint a positive picture of your workplace and seek sites with many loyal followers.

Internet Recruitment Pros and Cons

Internet recruitment gives your company key advantages since you can have a much wider applicant pool, save time and money automating application screening and communicate more easily with applicants. At the same time, though, you run the risks of having technical problems interfering with your recruitment process and wasting more time handling a larger number of unqualified applicants.

If you rely solely on online recruitment and screening, such as in the case of an online-only business, you deal with the limitations of not getting to meet with applicants face to face or offering them more comprehensive screening.

To make the best use of internet recruitment, use a mix of recruitment methods, take advantage of pre-employment assessments to weed out poor candidates, interact thoroughly with candidates and consider the long-term goals of your organization. Avoid relying entirely on internet recruitment and use it alongside methods such as holding hiring events, suggesting that employees make referrals and informing staff about open positions in your company.