Internet technology is presenting companies with a new channel for
communicating with prospective employees. In the past few months British
Airways has shifted the emphasis of its recruitment strategy away from
print advertising and is using its online resource to attract
The company recruits between four and five thousand people every year
and believes that the internet represents a more cost-effective and
targeted means of recruiting staff.
’There is a cost saving but more importantly this strategy says more
about the employer’s brand than an advertisement in The Times could ever
do,’ says BA head of recruitment Tina Oakley.
The drive to exploit the internet for recruitment purposes launched in
October following research carried out by British Airways earlier in the
year. According to Oakley, this revealed that while BA is perceived as a
strong employer for career development, it is also considered a faceless
and inaccessible organisation.
By linking with the BA web site, job seekers can access information
about the company, obtain detailed information about job specifications
and communicate directly with BA through a ’Your Shout’ talk-back
’Our approach is to open up communication so that contact with
prospective candidates is more of a conversation than a one-way
dialogue,’ comments Oakley.
BA recently advertised its graduate trainee programme on the web
Over 1000 of the 7000 applicants applied through the site - its highest
response to date. In the next few months, all recruitment from cadet
pilots to engineers will be advertised on the site. Press ads will also
drive prospective employees to the site.
Andrew Parsley, head of research at Bernard Hodes, the recruitment
advertising company, behind the initiative warns that the internet is
not suitable for all brands. ’Large, complex firms will get value from
It’s like throwing open the doors of your company and inviting
candidates to explore. You could never get this from a press ad or a
Parsley believes that the future of online recruiting will include
psychometric testing, allowing candidates to test their ability and
match it to the job specification.
Oakley says: ’People can work out for themselves if the job is right for
them. They will also be aware of the hurdles to be overcome before being