At Work: Human resources - Case study - How online recruitment saves time

Graham Willgoss

CRUK's internet-based system is cost-effective and means efficient handling of applications.

The challenge

Cancer Research UK employs 3,500 members of staff. It fills about 1,000 vacancies each year, but receives in excess of 16,000 applications.

Recruiting managers needed a system that would allow them to advertise positions, view applicants' details and handle a high volume of applications more efficiently.

The process

A report published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that two-thirds of the organisations it had surveyed - from all sectors - used e-recruitment.

CRUK launched its own e-recruitment website in March last year, and moved its job adverts targeted at existing staff online. This was followed in September by external vacancies and graduate positions.

The site offers real-time information on jobs available at the charity.

Applicants can register their details and apply for any position. Their information is then stored on the site's database and can be updated by the applicant at any time.

"If you have applied for a job once, you don't have to re-enter all your personal information if you apply for something else," says Rob Farace, head of resourcing at CRUK.

The outcome

"It saves everyone a lot of time," says Farace. "Our job alert system lets people know immediately when a job in a particular area comes up - candidates don't have to worry about missing a job."

Farace says managers can now update the details of a listed job quickly and easily. "Not only do managers now have immediate access to updated candidate information, but all applications are received instantly," he says. "There have also been significant savings. The last few people we have recruited in this way have saved us about £30,000 in agency fees."

Despite this success, Farace is keen to stress that CRUK still accepts applications by mail, telephone and email. "The number of applications we have had has increased slightly, but we are also finding that we're getting fewer postal and email applications as a result of our e-recruitment," he says.

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