In a business world that is moving increasingly online, even candidate recruitment can be accomplished by posting online job advertisements and receiving applications through online forms. The method has a number of advantages — including reaching a wider audience in a cost-effective way — but it can also present some disadvantages for employers.

Online applications can limit the kind of data collected about candidates, and can increase the number of applications from unqualified job seekers. The pros and cons of application forms must be weighed before a company chooses which method makes sense for them.

Cost-Saving Advantages

Filling a position through newspaper classifieds, headhunters, or internal personnel or departments can be time-consuming and costly. But online applications can reduce the cost of hiring considerably. Many online job classified sites are free or charge minimal fees for employers, or you can create an application form through your own website. Receiving job applications in digital format makes them easy to store, sort or screen for certain keywords, saving you the time required to read through paper applications.

Chances for a Wider Reach

The internet is a global data source. While newspapers and company announcements tend to reach only local markets, online applications are available to the whole world, including promising candidates who may be willing to relocate to your area for the right job. Casting a wide net increases the possibility of finding the right candidate for the position. Openings can easily be advertised on the internet through job-posting websites, company websites, blogs and social networks.

Increase of Unqualified Applicants

Just as online recruitment requires less time and money on the part of employers, job seekers also find it easier to respond to online applications. This makes it more likely that an employer will receive applications from unqualified applicants and applicants who are not seriously interested in the position. Without the right screening strategy to move these applicants out of the pile, sorting through thousands of applications can make your process less efficient than traditional recruiting.

Disadvantages of Online Forms

A standardized online form makes sorting data and screening applications much simpler for employers, but it constrains job seekers and keeps them from uploading nontraditional data associated with their resume. Particularly in creative industries, items like portfolio pieces and audio samples can be critical to considering an applicant. Even if an online application is made as flexible as possible with open text boxes and uploading possibilities, limitations such as file sizes and formats can keep an employer from receiving important application materials.

With all of these advantages and disadvantages, it is important to weigh the process elements that are most crucial to your business and the positions you are hiring for.