How 25 Years of the Internet has Changed HR

How 25 Years of the Internet has Changed HR

by Lynna Peterson

Did you know that the Internet celebrated its 25th birthday a couple weeks ago? Twenty five years . . . crazy! What’s even crazier to think about is how the web has transformed our business landscape. Not only has it reshaped the way we do business, but it’s also changed the way that we as HR Professionals hire. So, in honor of our dear friend the Interweb’s birthday, I’d like to take some time to reflect on how far HR has come in the last quarter of a century or so:

You have a much wider reach than you did thirty years ago

Online Job Postings

Don’t you just love how easy it is to copy and paste a job description onto your organization’s preferred job board medium waiting happily for the applicants flow to you in heaps and gobs? Remember what it was like years ago when you wrote a job description (edited specifically for your newspaper of choice) sometimes shelling out as much for your ad as a brand new car? And then having to rely upon an inconsistent fax machine that would spit the pages out to you in a barely legible fashion? Or having to make a numerous phone calls to contact a person about the next step in the hiring process?

Online Applications

This is my personal favorite. Remember when you had to sift through and store stacks upon stacks of illegible paper applications for your open positions? I’ve seen applications that were (and still are) twenty pages long. 2-0! Imagine how daunting it was to complete a packet of questions specific to previous work history and then FAX it in. Nowadays, everything is automated (or at least, it should be) and employers are learning that when it comes to applications, shorter = better! Not to mention the money you save on paper, printing, and storage that is compliance friendly. Plus, you have a much wider reach than you did thirty years ago meaning that more people should be applying for your job openings and you’re more likely to secure that diamond in the rough employee.

There are so many more opportunities to reach people and touch them on a personal level than there was years ago”

Online Recruiting

This is a game changer. In fact, old-fashioned recruiting methods were still being used as little as five years ago. In the pre WWW age, you did the majority of your recruiting by pounding the pavement and establishing a solid referral network. This is obviously still a huge resource for Recruiters, but you no longer have to solely rely on these contacts to amass your applicant pool. LinkedIn is a great tool for “proactive” recruiting since you have access to people’s employment info and a friend of a friend of a friend of an employee of yours can reach out if they’re interested in pursuing a career at your company. The same can be said for the rest of the social media world as well. There are so many more opportunities to reach people and touch them on a personal level than there was years ago.

Now, take a minute to imagine how much time and energy these tools have saved you. I know that some of my clients here at ApplicantPro disagree with me on this point because adapting to the ways of technology carries with it a bit of a learning curve. But like most change that has the ability to transform the way of the world, you have to open your arms to it and evolve with the times to be successful and play a competitive role in the process.

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