Virtual recruits Featured

11:00am EDT July 21, 2004
In the 2004 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices survey, retaining and recruiting qualified people was ranked as the biggest challenge facing Northeast Ohio businesses.

More than half of those surveyed indicated they use online job boards to fill positions, but only 32 percent have an online career center on their own Web site.

National City is in the minority in that it uses both third-party sites and has a careers section on its Web site. The company has gotten very good results from both sources.

"We use a variety of third-party sites, like Careerbuilder, CareerBoard and Monster," says Denise McGee, senior vice president, manager of employment for National City. "Who we use is dependent on the position we are looking for, the geographic area and the number of people we need. We try to profile a candidate ahead of time based on the job descriptions and then use the best tools to find someone.

"There is no specific formula we use. It's a collaborative approach between the recruiter, the HR business partner and the manager a lot of times."

If the bank is looking for a particular specialty, it might also post the position on a professional organization's Web site or target a specific periodical read by the target candidate.

Some positions are filled using only the company's Web site without posting the position anywhere else.

McGee says the bank is using about a 50-50 mix of online vs. print ads to recruit candidates, but the company is moving toward more online initiatives.

"Part of our employment philosophy is to gravitate more toward online activity," says McGee. "We want to shift that mix. We will never get rid of print, just like we will never get rid of technology. It's just another tool.

"We're always looking to hire the best candidate. We haven't done any studies if print is better than the Internet, but we do get good, quality candidates." How to reach: National City,

Auto recruiter

National City is moving toward more Internet-based recruiting, instituting a Web-based system that will not only post all the openings in the company, but also tie it into an applicant tracking system.

Instead of submitting hard copies of resumes, applicants will fill out a profile and submit it online.

"The template will be a consistent profile, so that when we are searching and sourcing, there will be key variables we can pull up," says Denise McGee, senior vice president for National City. "The system will allow us to be a lot better at proactive sourcing and knowing the types of candidates that are coming in. It will also save us a lot of leg work and time spent processing papers. One of the objectives is to automate a lot of the manual activities like resume collection."

Automating the process allows the company to spend more time focusing on finding the best candidates for each position. Candidates will also be able to be tracked in real time throughout the interview process.

"Online still doesn't take away from the personal touch, though," says McGee. "No matter how much technology we use, we will never get away from the personal touch. The system might streamline the process and screen candidates, but you still have to make sure you have human contact when necessary."

More survey highlights

Here are some other results from the 2004 ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices survey.

* 27 percent of Northeast Ohio businesses have a written diversity plan.

* 94 percent have business casual dress.

* 27 percent randomly test for substance abuse.

* 66 percent utilize a time clock system.

* 64 percent utilize some type of human resources information system.

* 67 percent utilize some type of formal quality improvement process.

* 40 percent have received an award for community involvement in the last two years.

* 67 percent outsource payroll.

* 12 percent have a seasonal shutdown.

* 74 percent have Employers Practice Liability Insurance.