The Race is On

The Internet can be a vital tool for firms vying for new talent

specific individuals to find out if their backgrounds match what their firms are looking for in an employee.

Don’t overlook MySpace and Facebook, says Breckenridge, whose own firm hits these popular sites to find out about potential recruits for the company. “It helps us get to know the person and gives you a feel for his or her personality and personal interests,” he says. “It can also be a great ice-breaker, providing a connection between the interviewer and the interviewee.”

Social networking sites are good places for midsized companies to set up shop by creating pages and posting information about what it’s such as to work at that company as well as what job positions are open. Online tools such as blogs, which can be monitored and updated by a handful of current employees also work well, Orrell says. Good topics to cover include new company initiatives and their effectiveness; details about the employee benefits package; and information about the firm’s corporate culture, including employee affinity groups.

While some new online recruiting strategies appear to be time-intensive compared to simply writing up an ad and sticking it in the Sunday newspaper, Breckenridge says the payoff can be significant. “It’s a matter of reach and speed,” he says. “Not only do firms have instant access to millions of candidates all over the world, but they can narrow those numbers down to a select few qualified candidates for a position and reach out to them very quickly.”

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