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The BBC's Kully Dhadda
"More traditional companies are desperate not to be left behind"
 real 28k

Friday, 30 June, 2000, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Employers netting graduates
people using computers
Using the net brings multiple advantages, report says
There has been a boom in the number of employers using the internet to recruit graduates.

Research commissioned by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) suggests that the net is such a significant source of information and communication for young people that nearly two thirds of graduate recruiters are now recruiting online - twice the number of a year ago.

Its report, Going to Work on the Web, also found that 88% of this year's final year students who are seeking work use the net.

It might well pay off for them, because almost half the graduate recruiters surveyed reported that they received higher quality applications online than through traditional recruitment methods.

AGR's chief executive, Carl Gilleard, said: "Today's graduates are web-aware and regard the internet as the 'obvious' place to look for information and services.

"The report shows that employers need to consider the importance of the internet as a recruitment tool - and the implications of ignoring it - when developing their graduate recruitment strategy."

'Competitive edge'

Another advantage of web-based graduate recruitment is that the process is significantly quicker than traditional methods, the report says.

The "time to hire", from application to acceptance of a formal offer, is a few weeks.

"In a tight labour market this can give an organisation the competitive edge they need," the AGR says.

The internet is also global - potentially giving employers a far bigger pool of talent to draw on.

The report was written by Allayne Amos, who said companies using the internet for graduate recruitment were saying something to potential employees about their "values, aspirations and working style".

Dual approach

"Style and content may attract candidates or cause them not to apply. The successful recruiters will be those who understand about marketing in the new economy and use the reach of the internet to get the right people."

The report also takes account of the "digital divide" between those who have access to the net and those who do not - which might be due to reduced physical ability.

It says some companies, especially those that advertise both graduate and non-graduate vacancies, are likely to accept applications either on paper or online for several years yet.

Others who have moved to near-total online applications are making special arrangements for those with disabilities.

The AGR report draws on a survey of 65 of its member firms, plus detailed interviews with 13 recruitment managers who have been using the web for at least three years.

Graduates' views came from 118 students at Coventry and Warwick universities.

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See also:

24 Jan 00 | Education
Steep fall in graduate recruitment
22 Dec 99 | Education
Graduate jobless lowest for decade
29 Nov 99 | Education
Going to university pays off
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