Small recruitment budget? Go online for big results

Online recruitment

Small firms seeking new staff on a limited budget should look to the internet to secure the best person for the job.

According to recent research, the demand for new staff among small and medium sized enterprises has increased exponentially. 90% of small firms said they planned to take on extra employees over the next three months compared to 81% of large organisations.

While this is good news for the UK’s SMEs, many will be placed in a difficult situation as, unlike larger organisations, they often lack a dedicated human resources department to deal with applications and have limited funds to pay for advertising vacancies.

The internet provides the solution to these issues in several ways:

Cost effective

For large organisations with lots of money to spend, a series of expensive advertisements in a broadsheet newspaper may be suitable but for small firms on a budget the Internet is a much more attractive option.

The cost of advertising online is very competitive compared to more traditional media buying methods. Research by the Lehman Brothers found advertising a £30,000 position on the internet is over 12 times cheaper than using headhunters and five times less expensive than placing an advertisement in a newspaper.

In the early days of online recruitment firms had to sign up for a series of job postings which proved to be an expensive barrier for many SMEs. However many recruitment specialists such as have now recognised the needs of smaller businesses and offer single advertisements.

For between £200 and £300, one vacancy can be advertised online for a fixed term of around two months appearing constantly throughout that two-month period. Conversely vacancies often appear in just one edition of a newspaper.

The online solution provides better value for small firms as it greatly increases the chance of a higher response rate for a relatively low cost.

Time saving

Small business owners are often involved with many more aspects of running a business than managers in larger organisations making the hours in their day very precious, as they are often very busy. Anything that can save them time is very important.

Newspaper recruitment generally involves long phone calls to advertising departments, writing the advert and sending it through and with the time delay of waiting for the newspaper to be published.

Online recruitment firms offer a quick turnaround with almost instantaneous output on the Internet. This means new vacancies can be online within the hour and read by the jobseekers firms require almost as soon as the need to fill a position arises.

The speed of online recruitment is particularly useful for firms needing to recruit quickly to cover an unexpected increase in demand for extra employees, sickness, holidays or other staff shortages.

Candidate pool

An ad on the web gives firms access to a much wider pool of candidates compared to more traditional methods.

Most people use the internet as part of their daily routine and more and more jobseekers are turning to the internet to find work. With extra services such as CV posting and specialist careers advice candidates are increasingly attracted to online recruitment as their favoured method for job seeking.


Using the Internet to fulfil recruitment needs often leads to a larger number of applicants but targeted searching finds a higher number of candidates with relevant experience.

Recruitment websites allow applicants to search by job area, job type, location or salary so results can be narrowed down to specific areas of expertise and requirements. Firms are therefore much more likely to receive applications from candidates with relevant experience.

Compete with the big boys

Advertising online also allows SMEs to compete with large, prestigious, corporates for the best candidates. Although small firms are unlikely to have the funds to advertise in national newspapers alongside these major players, they can afford to post adverts on websites used by these businesses.

The human resources departments of the UK’s large organisations are continually bombarded with letters and emails from people seeking work. Jobseekers are unlikely to target smaller firms with such applications but advertisements placed online alongside those of large companies puts SMEs on a much more equal footing.

Online recruitment lets all businesses play on a level playing field helping to get the right candidate for the job even if the company is an SME.

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